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CCP, questions about the RMT war

First post
Author
Mal Mandrake
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#41 - 2012-01-08 05:16:19 UTC
Thank you CCP for you answers to this question.

I imagine CCP employees have some hefty NDA type rules and regulations on their end. The best we can do is speculate and hatemonger. But hey what is a little bit of paranoia in a fair, open, game based on honesty and honorable fights?

RMT is an ubiquitous problem in MMO's and it is an endless, thankless battle for the companies who have to handle the problem. I mean **** if even one person gets mistakenly banned for botting the PR shitstorm would be extreme. Ever managed an IT department? I wager the new guy is stuck at his desk 8 hours a day looking at logs until his eyes bleed trying to root out RMT. Then one day he isn't the new guy anymore and he gets to sit at his desk spending 8 hours a day reading hate-forums and trying to respond without anger and banning everyone!

Hang in there Skreegs, customer support for any software company is job only for the brave.
Jenshae Chiroptera
#42 - 2012-01-10 02:48:29 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:

I'll address this as well as possible ...

Thanks!


Quite vague but I would like to reiterate that bots tend to be non-communicative and follow some pretty exact activity patterns that could probably be detected heuristically; if you are not already trying to do so.

CCP - Building ant hills and magnifying glasses for fat kids

Not even once

EVE is becoming shallow and puerile; it will satisfy neither the veteran nor the "WoW" type crowd in the transition.

Herping yourDerp
Tribal Liberation Force
Minmatar Republic
#43 - 2012-01-10 04:47:01 UTC
unholy rage made the players feel better.
when ccp announced they have banned a few hundred or so bot accounts and other RMTers it just looks good for CCP and to the players.
Jimi Crackcorn
Directed Evolution Corp
#44 - 2012-01-10 05:19:18 UTC
Herping yourDerp wrote:
unholy rage made the players feel better.
when ccp announced they have banned a few hundred or so bot accounts and other RMTers it just looks good for CCP and to the players.


Yeah, it looks real good for CCP, but how many of those 100s were actually botters authorized by CCP? None, it's just the little guys that get hurt. The one man corp botters. They take all the hits so CCP can keep botting those bots, all while making it look like they're actually working to stop bots. Which they may be doing, but it's just those bots they don't authorize that they're looking for. Can't have anyone cutting in on their profits now can they.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a damn fool. PLEX is a clear sign of CCPs stance on RMT.
Sellendis
The Ares project
#45 - 2012-01-10 12:32:11 UTC
What gets me pissed is when someone says, report bots. They investigate (soft off) and give a guy a warning...wow. 3 strikes and you are out, biggest load of bull i ever heard.
How about not giving a warning, just follow the money, observe the bot, 100% sure its a bot? Ban the everliving crap of that account, follow the money transactions....ban more accomplices. Right now people sell the char when he got a warning for botting, how is the buyer to know what is he buying.

Reporting a bot? I would never do that out of shear principle, i pay to play a game, not to enforce CCP rules and do the job of a person that is getting paid for it. Economy and botting influence aside, you report 1-2 bots, they register 4 new accounts, even most dedicated player will sooner or later say screw this.

Want to get more bots reports? How about for each reported-investigated-confirmed-punished bot, a player that reported him (first) gets (just random number) 25-50m ISK from the bots account, and you get a whole new profession in EvE. You reward players for enforcing your rules and making your job easier.
It can even go as far as a lore part, Concord confirmed drone (or whatever) infiltrators posing as pilots, offers bounty's for their identification and removal.

There are numbers of ways to reduce bot population and to fight them. To quote somebody "we watch what you do, not what you say", it seems CCP isnt doing a lot.
Ratnose Banker
Pink Sockers
#46 - 2012-01-13 10:00:28 UTC
Report a bot doesn't do ****.

lol CCP Screegs coming on here saying the problem is the information from his presentations didn't make its way to the forums. Wrong! Problem is report-a-bot doesn't do anything and 3 strikes for botters while all of us see how bad EVE has caught the bot AIDS. It seems CCP has no problem flagging accounts for suspected rmt and suspending the accounts pending investigation. It would be simple to detect botting (or account sharing) server side by bounty logs. Why not??? We don't need more hot air...we need results.
Vaerah Vahrokha
Vahrokh Consulting
#47 - 2012-01-13 11:13:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Vaerah Vahrokha
Mal Mandrake wrote:

RMT is an ubiquitous problem in MMO's and it is an endless, thankless battle for the companies who have to handle the problem. I mean **** if even one person gets mistakenly banned for botting the PR shitstorm would be extreme.


This is not true. It's technically impossible.

There is not a single way provided by this game to prove someone's innocence about botting. CCP politic is "guilty unless proven innocent, but without any tool, log or software to prove yourself might be innocent".

This is expecially bad when they try detect new bots, they run heuristics based on a lot of parameters which lead to good accuracy but not 100% foolproof. What if someone happens to fit those parameters? Like Avira, you might get "flagged" just because of a matching signature.

Plus there's the forums peer pressure. Years of posting history show that anyone who ever posted about unjust banning has been dissed and flamed to death.

Therefore don't worry, there will never be any PR issue.
Mai Khumm
172.0.0.1
#48 - 2012-01-13 11:40:58 UTC  |  Edited by: Mai Khumm
Since CCP is active in this thread, I might as well ask a few questions myself...

I was wondering if there was staff actually dedicated to hunting bots? It's always been stated by CCP, do it yourself, and let us know. It's also very hard to do so in deep null. Any SOV holding alliance who has half a brain would setup their entry points like a fortress... (I know that my space is more open then my exes legs, but security isn't my job so I don't give a ****.) Which makes it very hard for a small group of players to go into deep null and "hunt" said bots...

Wouldn't any alliance with an open "do not report bots" policy in place be a big target for CCP to investigate? Not to name anyone here, but there's a few big alliances with that policy, and doesn't hide that fact...

Ejit wrote:
I personally believe CCP invests very little manpower, time and effort in the RMT war. Especially since some CCP staff have their fingers in the RMT pie as rumored.


CCP Sreegs wrote:
Regarding insinuations of staff members being involved in RMT you may report allegations of misconduct to IA. Otherwise it would be pretty peachy if you would refrain from making allegations you have absolutely no reason to believe. If you have a reason to believe it and want it to stop I can only assume you'd report it. Otherwise the alternative is that you're just trying to cause trouble and that makes my job harder which is pretty uncool.


Just to expand on this a little. (Just stating a point, not trying to **** anyone off) But on our end (and your IA department) this is even more harder, simply because any CCP employee can divulge information to the player base by non-EVE communication tools. Unless said employee likes his job, he's not going to go around to every player in the game flaunting their rank within CCP. If any CCP employee does do this act, it'll only be to very select players.

(this last point is more of a joke then anything else.)

But can CCP release a tinfoil hat in the NEX store?
Roime
Shiva Furnace
#49 - 2012-01-13 11:56:17 UTC
Common sense has left this topic as of first post ago

.

FluffyDice
Kronos Research
#50 - 2012-01-13 12:37:17 UTC
Oh look. A thread full of tinfoil hat wearing ignorant people.

How refreshing.
Kitten Arbosa
#51 - 2012-01-13 12:57:22 UTC
If CCP really wanted to go after RMT, they'd leverage the playerbase with more incentives. Set up sting operations with the players. "hey, if you buy $10 of ISK from RMT site X, send us a receipt for it and we'll monitor the buy. Successful bust nets you a plex."

You start making the RMT sites paranoid that every sell they make is gonna shut down parts of their network, I betcha they'll start vacating EVE.
Rhinanna
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#52 - 2012-01-13 14:22:22 UTC
Kitten -> Worst idea ever, you realise that a lot of the RMT sites are scams and will just steal your credit card info? Lets not have CCP encouraging people to visit these sites please!

Everyone else accusing people of Botting/RMTing, either show some evidence or shut the hell up please. You are just making yourself look stupid (or more stupid in some cases)

While I'm sure there are botters and RMTers in game, the number from what I've seen that I would even think are bots not players is in the 0.1% range, aka not a massive problem and eventually they will get caught. The reason you often don't see action on the 'report bots' is because when they find a bot, they want to find where the money is going. There is no point in banning the botting account without banning the master and control accounts which are holding the ISK and doing the sales. These accounts been shut down are what really hurt the RMTers and thats why CCP target them.

-The sword is only as sharp as the one who wields it! Other names: Drenzul (WoT, WoW, Lineage 2, WarH, BloodBowl, BSG, SC2 and lots more) 

Kitten Arbosa
#53 - 2012-01-13 14:57:13 UTC
Rhinanna wrote:
Kitten -> Worst idea ever, you realise that a lot of the RMT sites are scams and will just steal your credit card info? Lets not have CCP encouraging people to visit these sites please!

Everyone else accusing people of Botting/RMTing, either show some evidence or shut the hell up please. You are just making yourself look stupid (or more stupid in some cases)

While I'm sure there are botters and RMTers in game, the number from what I've seen that I would even think are bots not players is in the 0.1% range, aka not a massive problem and eventually they will get caught. The reason you often don't see action on the 'report bots' is because when they find a bot, they want to find where the money is going. There is no point in banning the botting account without banning the master and control accounts which are holding the ISK and doing the sales. These accounts been shut down are what really hurt the RMTers and thats why CCP target them.


Trust me, RMT's don't keep much actual ISK itself stored, and they sure don't have it on a "master" account. Actual RMT on a large scale is more one guy monitoring 10-15 accounts running macros. Call will come in for a sell, RMT company will consolidate amount needed from bots, then send via a throwaway account. Very compartmentalized, no "master account" to compromise.

The only way to beat RMTers would be to intercept the payment to the RMT site before it happened, which is impossible. Once they have the $$$, who cares what happens to the ISK buyer.
Mr Kidd
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#54 - 2012-01-13 14:58:20 UTC  |  Edited by: Mr Kidd
Gonna have to paraphrase you Sreegs cuz 1) it's fun and 2) I like reading between the lines.

CCP Sreegs wrote:

I'll address this as well as possible though to be frank I don't think the answer is one you'll find 100% satisfactory.

- We are not going to divulge numbers of employees devoted to security tasks.


- Less than we're proud of mentioning, more than comes to work without a hangover after the weekend.

Quote:

- We have old and continue to implement new detections for various types of activity regularly


- We do the usual, you know, when anyone starts moving in on our unofficially official friends' operations.

Quote:

- Leniency is relative. The numbers we've been collecting show that the current system of administrative actions is effective at curbing the behavior.


- Gotta give our FoC's (friends of CCP) time to prep new accounts.

Quote:

- Never. Security is a process not a powerpoint presentation or a graph.


- Never....again shall we ban +6,000 accounts. Revenue is important.

Quote:

Regarding insinuations of staff members being involved in RMT you may report allegations of misconduct to IA. Otherwise it would be pretty peachy if you would refrain from making allegations you have absolutely no reason to believe. If you have a reason to believe it and want it to stop I can only assume you'd report it. Otherwise the alternative is that you're just trying to cause trouble and that makes my job harder which is pretty uncool.


Regarding insinuations...please stop. It's important that we not highlight the implications of such large null alliances allowed to have rampant botting. I mean, how else does one explain it other than a complete and utter failure of policing or an acquiescence? Now, CCP is a very capable company. And we collect data on all activities. But, some how, we're totally oblivious to someone running 23/7 doing the same activity for that time period. The only rational conclusion is the latter. Do you realize how much money is involved in such activities? Instead of wasting resources on policing such efforts it's more profitable to make money on the front end (plex) and the back end (RMT). And we make it more profitable by policing competing factions who are not under our control paying up to the corp. So just stop making the insinuations else people wise up.

Don't ban me, bro!

Andrea Griffin
#55 - 2012-01-13 17:48:12 UTC
Callic Veratar wrote:
It irrelevant how many people are actually involved in RMT/bot detection. Even if it's ONLY CCP Sreegs, if the tools he develops are effective the job's being done.
I'm certain that CCP has more than just Sreegs working on security, but even if it IS just Sreegs, we're in good hands. There isn't a single other CCP Dev that posts on these forums with such a too-the-point, cut-the-BS style. This guy means business and he takes his job seriously.

Sreegs is a dangerous man and it would not be wise to anger him. : >
Vincent Athena
Photosynth
#56 - 2012-01-13 22:11:52 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
[
I think that working on creative ways to report on that information would be far more effective to the playerbase than telling you how many people touch the problem, which is kinda the point. Communication about botting and RMT is certainly something we intend to be more open about in the future. I think as an example, I've given talks that have addressed the subject in a few venues in the past year but that information has never made its way to the forums, so I think maybe it's time to distill some of that into a blog and get it out to you guys to digest.


CCP Sreegs, when you get around to figuring out how to report information, think about what would generate deterrence. Right now there is little that deters a player from RMT and botting the first time. Once they get caught you have said the repeat rate is low, but what deters them form doing it the first time?

The EULA? If they read the EULA then they will see its a EULA violation. But not many read it and many who do may think its just empty words. News of bans and RMT isk removal? There is no such news. Dev blogs? All previous RMT and botting blogs are buried deep in the archives, and any new ones will join them a month or two after being published. Posts in the forum? Many do not read the forums and posts where the OP says they got caught are few and far between. Looking over the forums a player could easily get the idea that they will never be caught. Word of mouth? Again few talk about getting caught. If anything word of mouth revolves around how to not get caught.

My vote for deterrence is to have published information on the log-in screen about the anti-botting and anti-RMT effort, information that is always there, always up to date, continuous and persistent. Something like "Last week xx players were banned for botting, yy were banned for RMT and zz billion isk bought via RMT was removed from the game". That will make sure everyone is always reminded that CCP Sreegs and customer services will come for any EULA violator.

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Scrapyard Bob
EVE University
Ivy League
#57 - 2012-01-14 06:14:36 UTC
Vincent Athena wrote:

My vote for deterrence is to have published information on the log-in screen about the anti-botting and anti-RMT effort, information that is always there, always up to date, continuous and persistent. Something like "Last week xx players were banned for botting, yy were banned for RMT and zz billion isk bought via RMT was removed from the game". That will make sure everyone is always reminded that CCP Sreegs and customer services will come for any EULA violator.


Or at least a once-per-quarter banner ad on the login screen that shows up for a few days (or 1-2 days per month on a random schedule). Dunno that it needs to be full time. If you're reminding players of things in the EULA (RMT, botting, account sharing, etc) on a monthly basis, that may be enough.

It would be a definite improvement over today's "seems like it's only mentioned once every leap year" situation.
Avensys
The Waterworks
#58 - 2012-01-14 07:36:43 UTC
Mai Khumm wrote:
Since CCP is active in this thread, I might as well ask a few questions myself...

you realize that this thread was necro'd and that Sreegs wrote his replies 3 months ago?

have you seen the devblog he promised?

(neither have I)
Vyl Vit
#59 - 2012-01-14 08:42:47 UTC
James Bond. I like.

Shaken, not stirred.

Paradise is like where you are right now, only much, much better.

Il Feytid
State War Academy
Caldari State
#60 - 2012-01-14 08:59:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Il Feytid
derp