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Enarem Kador
Posted - 2010.12.13 18:58:00 - [61]
 

What a way to throw a bone...

CCP is treating their subscribers like dogs. What is new?


MechaMouse
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:00:00 - [62]
 

Glad to see CCP reads the news sites for EVE. Keep up the good...adequate for now... work.

Salpad
Caldari
Carebears with Attitude
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:02:00 - [63]
 

Originally by: Smoke Adian
In light of the recent EVE News articles, this dev blog is pretty meh. Team "We're Mildly Annoyed" is basically as effective as Pakistan against the Taliban.


A very apt analogy, given that many of the Pakistanis, including som in the intelligence services and other government branches, and probably also the military, sympathize with the Taleban.

Aineko Macx
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:03:00 - [64]
 

Your lack of rage is disturbing.

CapnKellTainer
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:04:00 - [65]
 

The blog is weak. On the other hand, CCP needed to get something out there to prove that they are, in fact, listening. They probably don't know what to do about it, to be honest.

The problem as I see it is as follows:

1) EVE has a relatively small subscriber base, providing CCP with a relatively restricted cash flow.
2) Resources, as with all things in this world of ours, are finite.
3) PLEX can only be used for subscriptions and Fanfest tickets; sadly, Fanfest is in Iceland and it's cold and expensive with relatively limited facilities, so not that many people use PLEX to go to Fanfest.
4) The overall market for subscriptions is relatively limited.
5) Keeping all these things in mind, the supply of PLEX is relatively low (though increasing lately), but the demand for ISK is very high.

There are a few general ideas for how to ameliorate the problem with relatively little pain. It will never go away as long as this game remains even slightly healthy, but you can make it better.
1) Lower GTC prices, increasing the competitiveness of PLEX with purchased ISK.
2) Run a statistical analysis at downtime (or after; whenever) to identify characters that are exceeding reasonable human limitations on gameplay. If Dotlan can get halfway there, I'm confident you have the logs to get the rest of the way there.
3) Offer for a fee a Blizzard-style authenticator. People with the billions of ISK that render them juicy targets for hacks would probably pay a $5-$10 premium to safeguard their assets and ability to play.
4) Look into the feasibility of implementing a Punkbuster solution to prevent external applications from reading and modifying game code.

Each of these, however, has an opportunity cost. 1) would definitely make it less profitable to enter the RMT trade, but it would also drive PLEX prices down, as more people would choose to purchase GTCs and expand a supply that according to the QEN is already well above where it should be. I'll grant that then more people would choose to fund their accounts that way, eventually driving prices back up and expanding the overall subscriber pool. However, there's still an immediate loss of $5 on every transaction. 2) requires that you have Dr. Eyjo or a cheap American college grad with statistics experience expend labor on a task - meaning that you'll have to pay whoever you get to do it. 3) requires some initial capital, although I imagine if they go with the $10 price point it will become a minor revenue stream. 4) requires licensing costs, or requires the expenditure of man-hours to do the programming in-house.

The question is, are any of the proposed solutions worth it? With a subscriber base that doesn't even crack a million, and given that there are already a lot of expenses associated with the game, it's hard to justify additional expenditures, especially as CCP is allocating resources toward the Vampire: the Masquerade MMO (Insert joke about sparkly Twilight vampires and/or teenaged girls here).

The only way to get these changes to occur is to prove to CCP that they can make more money, or lose less money, by implementing them. That requires either statistical evidence of increased income, evidence that subscriber numbers will drop without the implementation of these or other measures, or both.

TL;DR: So, I say, get to work, folks. Draw up those charts. Crunch those numbers. Talk to your CSMs. Talk to each other. Talk to CCP. If you want something done, you need to go beyond the usual grumbling and make this a real conversation.

Salpad
Caldari
Carebears with Attitude
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:06:00 - [66]
 

Originally by: Evelgrivion
Bots read directly from the client's memory. Adding such a delay only makes it more difficult for legitimate users to fight back against the RMT menace.


If so, the obvious solution is for the server to generate fictitious player character at random, entering various systems in 0.0 (and low-sec too, if necessary). That'd make the bots paranoid!

Jay Wareth
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:21:00 - [67]
 

Originally by: Salpad
Originally by: Smoke Adian
In light of the recent EVE News articles, this dev blog is pretty meh. Team "We're Mildly Annoyed" is basically as effective as Pakistan against the Taliban.


A very apt analogy, given that many of the Pakistanis, including som in the intelligence services and other government branches, and probably also the military, sympathize with the Taleban.



Indeed. I want to believe that CCP doesn't allow RMT to pad their balance sheets, but "devblogs" like this one aren't helping.

Othran
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:37:00 - [68]
 

I don't care about RMT. There I said it. RMT impacts CCPs profits and its their problem.

The incessant macro ratting however subjects every single honest player to a situation where they are worth LESS if they do nothing in game for 5 minutes. Every minute you don't earn, you are worth less. Remember that bounties are NEW isk, mined ore/ice isn't. Its a bit like printing money - people in UK/US ought to get that.

As the blog is basically meaningless PR nonsense I think we'll need to see if we can get enough support to remove 0.0 bounties. It'll need a little tweaking but if we can come up with something that reduces the NEW isk entering the game from premeditated cheating then perhaps thats the only way to go.

In response to the blog - way to go, that'll really discourage people Rolling Eyes

Zanes Shoubje
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:38:00 - [69]
 

So I suppose Im the only one that thinks there might be some difficulty in actually proving someone is using a bot or is RMT-ing. I wonder what kind of **** storm would start up if CCP would start banning people they just suspect of wrongdoing.

Im not saying enough, not enough or more than enough is being done about this problem. Just that it might not be as simple as throwing the ban hammer at anyone that is reported.

Assaj Ventress
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:40:00 - [70]
 

Edited by: Assaj Ventress on 13/12/2010 19:42:34
Zero information in dev blog, but the message is clear - if you can't grind like botters 23/7, buy plexes only from us =)

Originally by: Othran
I don't care about RMT. There I said it. RMT impacts CCPs profits and its their problem.

The incessant macro ratting however subjects every single honest player to a situation where they are worth LESS if they do nothing in game for 5 minutes.
...
In response to the blog - way to go, that'll really discourage people Rolling Eyes


so true

Simon TraderOne
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:48:00 - [71]
 

The issue here is probably manpower...

You could hire a team of 20+ people, and those people sole job would be to go talk to players playing more than 10 hours a day doing the same thing, and asking them human answerable questions.

Casiella Truza
Ecliptic Rift
Posted - 2010.12.13 19:50:00 - [72]
 

Not what I wanted to hear. "Yeah, guys, if you'd just stop buying ISK, this wouldn't be a problem!"

We know. We're the honest ones. (At least in the EVE sense. YARRRR!! ) You don't have to convince US.

But we're not convinced you get it. First, macros present a real problem. It's a source, and any of us who work IRL with fraud and intrusion detection can come up with half a dozen ways to start detecting the cheaters. I've no doubt that SMEs looking at the security of the client could do so in their domain as well.

Second, please understand that macros and RMT, while related, are not identical. Somebody running a macro / bot is cheating and that makes the rest of us feel like our gameplay is wasted.

I have every confidence that the CSM will continue to press this issue with CCP.

SargeantNekkid DDS
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:07:00 - [73]
 

Dear CCP,

There's a REALLY EASY way to make sure, without a doubt, that EVERYONE knows that RMT will get you banned.

On the log-in screen, in big, red, capital letters, leave burned in forevermore the following text:

"BUYING ISK OR ITEMS FROM PEOPLE ONLINE WILL GET YOU BANNED. THE ONLY WAY TO LEGITIMATELY GET ISK FOR MONEY IS WITH A PLEX" <---and then linky the word PLEX to a PLEX article.

Put it right next to the password field. Hell, put it in between the username and password fields just to make sure.

Regards,
The EVE community.

TL:DR - CCP is either a bunch of lazy couchpotatoes with no sense of imagination or is lying.

Archestratidas
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:09:00 - [74]
 

Edited by: Archestratidas on 13/12/2010 20:21:49
>>>ISK is sold because people buy it.

lol, true, but why do people buy it? Because making ISK in-game is miserable and unfun and the typical person doesn't want to waste their free time on activities that just aren't fun. Blame your game design, not the "players" for buying it, kthx.

edit: CCP's real complaint thus appears to be that people are buying ISK from third parties and not from them. Well then, the logical solution to that problem is to lower their prices. You know, what other businesses have to do when they're getting undercut on price. CCP created the demand for ISK/PLEX, third parties wanting their piece is the expected result of that design choice. Berating, or even punishing, players for taking the economically consistent course of action is just bizarre and illustrates a fundamental disconnect from reality.

Terry Teo
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:22:00 - [75]
 

Edited by: Terry Teo on 13/12/2010 20:23:29
That was anticlimactic. The Dev Blog I wanted would have said:
1 - If you're in any doubt please be aware that bots are forbidden by the EULA.
2 - Very sorry if you're using them, we're going to do everything we can to the client to stop bots from automating its functions.

Geanos
Missions Mining and Mayhem
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:30:00 - [76]
 

This is probably the lamest devblog concerning a serious problem ever.

For a game you advertise as being harsh and cold, where anybody can backstab or cheat other people, where whole alliances can be put down by a single man, you expect people to be honest and buy GTC's for ISK? I doubt there are so many role players out there Sad. It's easier to say "better in my pocket than in CCP's account" you know.

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:31:00 - [77]
 

Fail blog is fail.

"We're totally doing stuff even though the game is infested with macros everywhere you look, plus it's all your fault for buying ISK anyway. To prove it to you, here are no facts whatsoever"

D minus *MUST TRY HARDER*

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:35:00 - [78]
 

Originally by: Archestratidas
Edited by: Archestratidas on 13/12/2010 20:21:49
>>>ISK is sold because people buy it.

lol, true, but why do people buy it? Because making ISK in-game is miserable and unfun and the typical person doesn't want to waste their free time on activities that just aren't fun. Blame your game design, not the "players" for buying it, kthx.


THIS.

MAKE ISK MAKING FUN, NOT A PUNISHMENT.

ArchenTheGreat
Caldari
Pulsar Nebulah
Army of Lovers.
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:37:00 - [79]
 

You call it a blog? Learn to write from your programmers!

I always said PLEX is encouragement for cheating. If you want ISK go and play for it.

What CCP should do:
- remove PLEX
- add punkbuster style protections (it will never be bulletproof but it will help)
- make ISK-generating activities require brain
- allow players to fight bots (remove NPC corps, remove local in 0.0)

The last two are the most effective solutions.

Virtuozzo
The Collective
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:37:00 - [80]
 

Zero feedback. Shame Confused

Well, reception of this devblog is pretty universal in its reception everywhere it seems. That is significant.

@GM Grimmi. Don't misunderstand me, I fully appreciate the effort that went into the devblog, and the aim towards communications. But this, is, well, just a complete miss. Not by intention, obviously, but for method and aim and result.

Look, Unholy Rage was not just awesome for action, but it had a tangible result. Since that time, things have changed. You don't have the luxury of staying on the outside looking in, I'm sorry. Doing that results into a perception of mere lip service. In spite of shared goals.

EVE always evolves. Think of the old challenge of "adapt or ...". That is what customers do (if they are smart, and if they are lazy, and if they because of life do not have the time that game design imposes as demand), that s what EVE as a whole does. And unfortunately this is also what RMT does. I have no doubt that since Unholy Rage there has been a continued war against RMT, especially because of the initial battles following Unholy Rage with the account hackings and spamming. But while the volume of work in dealing with what RMT used to be has undoubtedly not decreased ... RMT itself has changed.

You know this. You have had petitions on this, and not just the typical "reports". It has been published in community sites. It has been and will undoubtedly once again be in the mainstream media. It's in the blogosphere, on Facebook and on Twitter. What was once the default RMT, still exists but is merely symptomatic while the disease itself has changed and moved on.

There is a requirement for a fundamental shift in managing perspectives for methodology. It will be worth listening to the CSM this upcoming visit. Not just for feedback "general", or milking their brains, but also for hands on solutions in methodology and expectation management offered.

Same goes for investing in tools and instruments. It does not have to be a victim of resource allocation challenges. Remember, it is a battle, but one step at a time.

Good luck. But please, no more of this "lolmarketing" Very Happy Players across the board want to make stuff work, just as CCP does.


As for the botting. There is no way to address that without combining divisions and departments and objectives and methods. This is not just metrics. Fundamental parts of it reside in game design. Both for the infamous mmorpg subscriber addiction curve (which has multiple cycles and points of entry) as well as for mechanics, features and all of that. These last three years, have had plenty issues in these regards. It is not a singular challenge, this is multi disciplinary.

So, once again, good luck.



Datcorinna Erunde
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:47:00 - [81]
 

Edited by: Datcorinna Erunde on 13/12/2010 20:59:30
We really should help CCP in this matter, the seem so help- and clueless. Probably this is the very reason for this semi- devblog: they want advice from us how to find bots. So I want to try my best to explain it step by step for the interested guys on CCP.

Step Zero Point Five
Ask your customers how to handle the problem by throwing them a semi-quality devblog at their heads (already done).

Step One
Click on this link to dotlan and there you click on any of the "Region maps". Preferably on one that you guess it might be a 0.0 one (but others will do the trick too), let's say click on something like e.g."Malpais".

Step Two
You see a map of the chosen region now. On the upper right corner of the map you will notice two dropdown menus, click on the left one and select "NPC kills (24h)".

This will change the map info layer to showing you the amount of killed NPC's during the last 24 hours. For your convenience the great Wollari even colored the shown systems accordingly to the amount of the occured kills. He colored it from white (like "almost nothing") via green, yellow, orange up to a fine, perfect visible shiny red (like "unusually high occurance of NPC kills in this very system OMG OMG!!!!!!11111" or, more fitting "look here CCP, here are the bots!").

Step Three
Click on the red system wich you found to have the highest or second highest number of NPC kills inside the region, e.g. click on (by the time of me writing this) the system "RIU-GC" with an astonishing amount of 10282 kills in 24 hours (while every other system with an amount of 5000 and above kills would do fine too for our purposes).

Step Four
Grab your GM- tools and find out what are the names of the pilots, who killed these 10k rats in 24 hours. Wait until one of them is logged in for say one hour, then start to monitor him for some time without entering his system and do your usual stuff you always do with suspects to find them out and continue with Step Five.

(If you don't know what to do with suspects to find them out botting or not, restart with Step Zero Point One and ask your always willing-to-help customers how to handle this by writing a new devblog about your small step accomplishments and the big problems in recognising usual bot behaviour.)

Step Five
Ban the crap out of them bot acounts and repeat from Step One.



And for the lazy:

Go here, scroll down to "Most active systems 0.0" and use the right table for your investigations. Btw anyone noticed, that there are always the very same regions appearing in this chart?

Sturmwolke
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:49:00 - [82]
 

Pathetic blog. You might as well not post it tbh.

Caiden Baxter
Posted - 2010.12.13 20:58:00 - [83]
 

Holy Muppet what a fail blog.Evil or Very Mad Worst blog in a long time, and they have been generaly good so far.

Abdiel Kavash
Caldari
Paladin Order
Fidelas Constans
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:00:00 - [84]
 

Quote:
Also, use of the "Report ISK spammer" feature has been very helpful in the battle against RMT - also something we'd like to commend you guys for.

Perhaps a "Report bot" feature would be helpful as well?

Ab Tallen
The Alphabet Soup
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:02:00 - [85]
 

This devblog is depressingly devoid of any information. It's not as if nothing happened recently (like, for example, the Evenews24 article at the beginning of December and the preceding discussions it's based on).

This just smells like the war on lag before Team Gridlock came up - which means there's no large scale coordinated activity within CCP regarding RMT and botting. A pity.

Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:04:00 - [86]
 

Originally by: Datcorinna Erunde
For your convenience the great Wollari even colored the shown systems accordingly to the amount of the occured kills. He colored it from white (like "almost nothing") via green, yellow, orange up to a fine, perfect visible shiny red (like "unusually high occurance of NPC kills in this very system OMG OMG!!!!!!11111" or, more fitting "look here CCP, here are the bots!").


Third party tools to the rescue...again.


Furb Killer
Gallente
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:06:00 - [87]
 

Originally by: Malcanis
Originally by: Archestratidas
Edited by: Archestratidas on 13/12/2010 20:21:49
>>>ISK is sold because people buy it.

lol, true, but why do people buy it? Because making ISK in-game is miserable and unfun and the typical person doesn't want to waste their free time on activities that just aren't fun. Blame your game design, not the "players" for buying it, kthx.


THIS.

MAKE ISK MAKING FUN, NOT A PUNISHMENT.

THIS AGAIN.

What needs to be added however is SCs (and to lesser extent titans). If you add a very expensive pwnmobile that you pretty much need to be strategically relevant, you are pretty much telling people to go bot.

Cyaxares II
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:11:00 - [88]
 

Originally by: Mynxee
Originally by: Datcorinna Erunde
For your convenience the great Wollari even colored the shown systems accordingly to the amount of the occured kills. He colored it from white (like "almost nothing") via green, yellow, orange up to a fine, perfect visible shiny red (like "unusually high occurance of NPC kills in this very system OMG OMG!!!!!!11111" or, more fitting "look here CCP, here are the bots!").


Third party tools to the rescue...again.



in-game map would do the job, too, in this particular scenario.

Max Kolonko
Caldari
Worm Nation
Ash Alliance
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:16:00 - [89]
 

Edited by: Max Kolonko on 13/12/2010 21:16:52
Originally by: Datcorinna Erunde
Edited by: Datcorinna Erunde on 13/12/2010 20:59:30
Step Zero Point Five
Step One
.....
Step Two
.....
Step Three
.....
Step Four
.....
Step Five
Ban the crap out of them bot acounts and repeat from Step One.

And for the lazy:
Go here, scroll down to "Most active systems 0.0" and use the right table for your investigations. Btw anyone noticed, that there are always the very same regions appearing in this chart?


What he/she said!

Originally by: Mynxee

Third party tools to the rescue...again.



What he/she said!


BTW: Mynxee or any other of the fine folks at the CSM group - when exactly is the summit held (someone mentioned this week, but more precisely?), and when do You expect first information on how it went to be published? (meeting minutes or full report)

Vincent Athena
Posted - 2010.12.13 21:31:00 - [90]
 

My nightmare worst case for bots is:

The bot manager runs 4 bots per computer, 8 computers. Each bot uses the actual eve client, not a thin client, in order to get around any self identification software added by CCP. Each runs in a sandbox, with the actual bot program outside the sandbox.

Although the bot manager is running 32 clients, he actually has 48 accounts. Each runs for 16 hours a day to better simulate a person.

There are actually two bot magangers, each taking 12 hour shifts. The bots are programmed to alert the manager if something happens that it cannot handle. Examples are forced convos with CCP, or a CAPTCHA added into the game. The bot alerts the manager and brings up the screen of the offending client. their manager clears the issue, and sends the bot on its way.

The bots may be making isk for sale, or making isk for the owner's alliance, or just gathering minerals for ship production.

Now, how do we confirm such a bot? We could say "it does the same thing day after day, week after week, so it must be a bot. Kill it" But each bot clears 500 million to 2 billion a week. I'm sure the bot owner is willing to have to replace the account every few weeks, especially the ones that are trial accounts. And banning IPs does not work, that can be worked around.

And it could just be a person with no life. Bot like behavior is not PROOF of bot usage. How do we tell for sure?

So, what do we (or CCP) do? Giving up seems like a real bad idea, we need ideas people!

The only thing Ive thought of is to make radical changes to the game, turning it into a virtually continuous visual puzzle, making the entire game a CAPTCHA. I have no idea what that would look like. But I'm not sure the results would be fun to play.

So, what is to be done?


(CAPTCHA: Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart)


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