Bots

  • Not talking about any uni or player in particular but i think we all know the amount of bots on this game is increasing significantly. i was wondering if GF are actually looking into the websites that host/sell them or taking any action at all to stop them? We're told to create a ticket if we believe someone is botting but it's not exactly an easy thing to show in a few screen shots. For example we had a player in a uni who was blatantly botting, activity 24/7, never FS, if you attacked him he would always FS 1 minute before the attack landed and i think the whole uni reported him and it took 4 months for him to be banned and that is just 1 of the cases where someone actually got banned.


    Many of us spend hours every day playing this game and to see bots just run all day and night is just a spit in the face to all us active players

    A wise man once said "it's only pixels on a screen"

  • Good thread, Sage!



    There is two more things I'd like to mention :



    1. It's strange that GF doesn't issue any kind of apologie to universe when bot is found and banned. I'd like them to consider this.


    2. Why is there no reward ( maybe dm as reward ) given for players and staff member who give evidence to GF that turned out to be crucial in giving punishment ?


    I see so many threads this days of players sacrificing their time, and i don't understand why not acknowledge that.



    piink


    Can you please keep an eye on this thread

  • Another major problem is that if someone gets banned for botting it's only a 2 week ban, so they just wait and continue doing it or just start in another uni. I think it should be a lifetime ban from the uni and all lobby accounts should also be banned

    A wise man once said "it's only pixels on a screen"

  • Another major problem is that if someone gets banned for botting it's only a 2 week ban, so they just wait and continue doing it or just start in another uni. I think it should be a lifetime ban from the uni and all lobby accounts should also be banned

    That's how it was in the old days. There was no lobby, but they would ban all accounts with that email address, even in other communities. To do this however the evidence must have been overwhelming.


    Today, I would assume they give perma ban for absolutely certain cases of botting with plenty of evidence, and two weeks if they are just "assuming".


    But we shouldn't really discuss this because they will just close the thread...

  • The scripting/botting is a significant issue.

    Gameforge has already taken steps in an attempt to reduce the issue.

    However, every step they have taken has required months to implement.

    Botters are able to work around the implementation typically within 24 hours.


    This is a difficult one to explain but as Kelenken mentioned, the process to detect rule violations of this nature is flawed.


    As for a DM reward, it would be akin to a pillory.

    Remember, the pillory was removed due to the GDPR so providing rewards for information would be the same as stating what happened to a player's account.


    As for an apology, nobody in the gaming industry is offering an apology because their game is so easily hacked.

    If that were the case, CoD, Planetside2, Eve Online, etc. would have apologized long ago.

    Gameforge is not the only game producer who is dealing with these issues - it is a market-wide problem.

    If this were an easy problem to solve, it would have already been done.


    Trust me when I say this issue is just as frustrating for us as staff as it is for the players (and we are players too).

  • This is incorrect.

    We have a Gameforge policy which dictates the length of standard administrative sanctions.

    The object is to steer players toward playing within the rules.

    Now, we can certainly debate how effective this is (in some cases it is, in others it is clearly not working).

    But scripting has two administrative sanction levels.

    The first one is not what is considered a permanent ban.

    However, I just work within the guidelines I am given.


    Also, just because a player is scripting on one account in a lobby does not mean they are scripting on another.

    Again, whether all accounts on a lobby should be banned for scripting can also be debated.

    The issue is, there can be false bans handed out as we too are only human.

    Perhaps it is better only one account is affected and not all accounts?

    I do not mind discussing the issue as long as nobody is pointing fingers or insulting anybody.

    I do not want to see how staff is not doing its job.

    I do not want to see any player accounts being named as obvious scripters.

    But the reality is, the issue exists whether we like it or not.

    Will this thread actually solve anything?
    Unfortunately, no.

    I do not mind trying to answer questions as best I can given the restraints I have to maintain with the DPA.

  • I completely understand what you are saying and it also can't be easy banning someone in case they are just very active and not actually cheating. But a certain player who i wont name because i don't want this thread to be closed was banned for botting for 2 weeks in 1 uni and then started the next uni and got banned for botting again for another 2 weeks. Even tho it's in different unis surely that is deserving of a permanent ban especially if the player is using the same email and IP?

    A wise man once said "it's only pixels on a screen"

  • Unfortunately, no.


    You are asking for the equivalent of all game accounts within a Gameforge lobby to be banned thereby effectively disabling the Gameforge lobby.

    If you read the Terms and Conditions you will find section 8 which provides a mechanism to delete user accounts (Gameforge lobbies).


    Specifically, section 8.2 states:


    Now, one could argue whether subsection b actually applies in this circumstance, but then the lawyers get involved.

    Is botting/scripting really negatively impacting the gaming experience of other users?

    The answer is "no" because your specific account is not being prevented from playing the game.

    Do I agree with that?

    No.

    But from a legal perspective it is accurate.

    You are going to have a hard time convincing a lawyer this issue negatively impacts your ability to play the game.

    Subsection c is a bit more sustainable as section 3.3 covers the use of the client software.

    Quote

    3.3 Use of client software


    Gameforge grants the user, in relation to services which require the prior installation of client software to enable their use, the non-exclusive (ordinary) right, limited to the duration of the licence agreement, to install and use the client software. The user is only permitted to reproduce the client software insofar as this is necessary for the contractually compliant use of the software. All forms of commercial use of the software are prohibited. Any modification of the client software or the retranslation of the supplied program code into other code forms (decompilation) as well as any other forms of reverse engineering of the various software production phases are prohibited to the extent these are not required to obtain the information necessary to establish interoperability of the client software with other programs, and if the establishment of interoperability cannot be otherwise demanded particularly from Gameforge and the relevant data is not used for any purpose other than establishing interoperability and these actions are performed by the user only.

    The last statement is the key part of this I think:

    "Any modification of the client software or the retranslation of the supplied program code into other code forms (decompilation) as well as any other forms of reverse engineering of the various software production phases are prohibited to the extent these are not required to obtain the information necessary to establish interoperability of the client software with other programs, and if the establishment of interoperability cannot be otherwise demanded particularly from Gameforge and the relevant data is not used for any purpose other than establishing interoperability and these actions are performed by the user only."

    The problem we run into here is OGame is a browser game.

    As such, no client software is actually being modified.

    Now, I am not a lawyer but I suspect the argument is the "actions are performed by the user only" relates specifically to the modification of the client software being modified to perform these actions.

    This is not to say there is not a rule (because the rules in-game are an extension of the Terms and Conditions) but we are back to proving rule violations actually occurred with all accounts on the Gameforge lobby.

    If rule violations can only be proven on all but one game account within the Gameforge lobby, then the infractions do not rise to the level of having the Gameforge lobby deleted.


    You have to remember, if an account is terminated, some lawyer somewhere signed off on it.

    That is a pretty high bar to meet and any little thing can throw that attempt off so we have to start all over again.


    I know this is a long answer, but I hope it answers your question as to why it is difficult, at best, to do what you are suggesting.

  • Regarding the ban length - you attack a planet 7 times and get a week. You bot all day long and get two weeks. This just doesn't look right and there is basically no risk for botters.


    One important thing - smart botters do not bot from their own account. They have a multi account bot as a feeder, so if someone gets banned it is the multi and they don't care. After 2 weeks they can go back to business.


    I play in a young uni (not here) where a top 10 player has at least one bot feeder. It will be interesting to see if they ban it.

  • 2. Why is there no reward ( maybe dm as reward ) given for players and staff member who give evidence to GF that turned out to be crucial in giving punishment ?

    Would be fun to see how long it would take for people to make DM farms by reporting their own bots :P

    KmPN4S4.jpg

  • This has been discussed a million times.

    I'd suggest anyone who doesn't have any development or closely related IT experience not to comment on this.

    It could've been stopped, it can be stopped and will always be possible to stop botting.

    Goodbye old friend.

    It has been a good run (2005ish - 2020).

  • This has been discussed a million times.

    I'd suggest anyone who doesn't have any development or closely related IT experience not to comment on this.

    It could've been stopped, it can be stopped and will always be possible to stop botting.

    You cannot prevent anybody from discussing this topic.

    A person's skill set is not important for this discussion.


    Furthermore, you have no idea of the condition of the code base.

    Also, as stated, it is an industry-wide problem.

    However, you are more than welcome to submit your application to Gameforge as a developer to fix the issue with which so many have struggled.

  • State of the code base is, well, that has been discussed as well many times, awful, which can be seen through countless bugs in the bugs section.

    For your offer, thanks but no thanks, that developer, or developers are extremely incompetent or are being forced to abide by some idiotic management decisions.


    My statement still stands, bots could've been stopped and can be.
    If you want me to, I can write you a PM in detail of how that can be done, but then again, neither I nor you are working for GF, so that discussion would be in vein.

    To conclude, to stop botting, there has to be a will to stop it, the ways are countless.

    Goodbye old friend.

    It has been a good run (2005ish - 2020).

  • I have offered in the past for you to provide me the details and I would pass them along to Gameforge.

    You decided to not write me any details because you did not want to essentially work for Gameforge for free.

    It was a fair enough point.

    Yet, here you are again telling me what you could do.


    So, either write me the PM so I can pass the ideas on to Gameforge or drop it.

    But do not make offers you will not keep.

    I realize it looks good for you in the community's eyes, but the reality is you have produced nothing so far.

  • I think I've told you either via PM or somewhere cant remember, I'm done with OGame.

    I occasionally visit the forums and even though I couldn't care less about the game, these kind of discussions are a trigger.

    As for sending a solution to GF, I'm sorry, I don't have the time or the will.

    There are active developers with more knowledge of the game such as Tirnoch and Warsaalk and others who could contribute in this way.

    I'm sure most of them even tried.

    Goodbye old friend.

    It has been a good run (2005ish - 2020).

  • So basically what you are saying is you will promise to deliver something on the forum but when asked you will deliver nothing.

    As long as we are both on the same page, I will not waste my time asking, again.

  • As a fairly versed experienced developer myself (not to toot my own trumpet, just making it clear I'm not a stranger to the subject), albeit not web but still i know my way around it, detecting front end automations is a bit tricky cos all you can rely on is the timing of the actions (if we're speaking about an non-invasive botting). If the botters do actually use invasive botting then i have no idea why GF doesn't do more on the chapter of detecting injection and handling it. Anyways, unless you actually know how the botters bot, I wouldn't hurry to shank GF for not being up to high standards