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New dev blog: Team Security - Banning Bad Guys and also Bad Guys

First post First post
Author
Camios
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#161 - 2012-03-02 00:03:12 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:

Based on my experience yes it is the best course of action. Plenty disagree but today bots are getting banned so I get to be right and anyone saying I should tell them every detail of everything we do is wrong. Twisted

I don't want to be dismissive because you're probably sincere. Were I to be trolling this thread I'd come in with something cool like SECURITY BY OBSCURITY because that's a catchphrase that people misinterpret as meaning that all systems need to be open or they're inherently insecure and I could probably argue with me for quite a while about it by taking that bait.

In this case it's a videogame universe with a very specific set of capabilities and a very small team of people working on a rather large problem. We're not going to waste even an ounce of our time satisfying curiosity if there's even a glimmer of a chance it will make us have to do more work getting back to zero. I'm happy to see some examples of anyone else in this industry who handles the situation differently though.

Hopefully that makes sense.


I'll be blunt.
People do think that EVE is FULL of bots. They have some reason in doing so, because there are some big stories about it out there, and because everybody who has mined or ratted a bit (or even played with the market) knows how repetitive that gameplay is.

This is players making bad PR to EVE, with a reason. The rumors might be all rubbish, and all the folks could be wrong, but who cares? After all

While you and your team may have just to fight against bots, your company has to fight against bots and against an unfavorable judgement of the playerbase on your effort (you know what i'm talking about). In this picture, your claim "we banned less than 2000 people" has some technical value but it cannot help the player that wants to understand how far are you from "winning the bot war". Giving away informations on what systems you put in place would instead be a move in restoring the trust of the playerbase. People are asking just because they want to believe in you.

Another way to show how your good your methods are is giving us an estimate of how many bots are still out there, and the percentage you can detect. Use statistics, and find a number with an uncertainty bar, and tell us.

People are not going to applaud when they think there are 25000 bots in EVE and you banned just less than 2000; they might be appy if there are less than 5000 bots in EVE and you banned almost half of them.

But if you, for some reasons, cannot give us that number, well, in order to gain the playerbase trust you'll have to show us something else.

Endeavour Starfleet
#162 - 2012-03-02 00:04:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Endeavour Starfleet
Quote:
BUT WAIT, THERE IS EVEN MORE! From now on, and this current wave is included, characters who receive a warning such as this will have the characters locked to the account. This means that once you've received a warning for botting your character transfer privileges have been revoked in perpetuity. This is to prevent people trying to circumvent the rules by recycling accounts. Yes we know people pointed out this could happen last time around and if you'll remember we said "We'll keep an eye on it and if it becomes a problem we'll deal with it". Here is us dealing with it. We'll probably have to come up with some form of timing solution for the future, but as it stands today it's forever. If you care about your dudes don't to bad things.


Yes Yes... Yes... Yes.... YES YES YES YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


FINALLY!

This was pushing the prices for characters up and allowing botters to get away with their activity. This devblog thus should cause a significant drop in botting.

But the war isn't over yet folks! On our end the best thing we can do is hit the report bot function when we find the bots. And yes this includes blues that are botting. Remember that blue is cheating and making things worse for you in prices or in effort to PVP. Report him or her!

Looking forward to better PLEX prices and for the miners having better mineral value.
Vaerah Vahrokha
Vahrokh Consulting
#163 - 2012-03-02 00:11:44 UTC
Camios wrote:
People are not going to applaud when they think there are 25000 bots in EVE and you banned just less than 2000; they might be appy if there are less than 5000 bots in EVE and you banned almost half of them.


I recall when Unholy Rage happened. I often pass thru a The Forge system with ice belt and I notice its population. Right before U.R. there were 122 in local. After U.R. they were 19. I was really amazed!

The same place stayed at below 30 for some months, before Bat Country "cleanup" they were back up to about 70-80.
Next time I pass through there I'll go check how many we have now (might be 1-3 days).
Tarryn Nightstorm
Hellstar Towing and Recovery
#164 - 2012-03-02 00:12:43 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Vincent Athena wrote:
OK I got a question: "1000 to 2000 bans": Say one player has 5 accounts, 2 of which were botted, and you ban them. I know you an all 5 accounts, but how do you count that in your 1000 to 2000 total? Is that counted as

One ban because you issued a ban against one player,
Two bans because you banned 2 botting accounts,
Five bans because you banned all five accounts?


The number is based on accounts. When one account is banned and tagged for botting all of that player's accounts go with it. So if you only bot on 2 of your accounts but you have 5 all 5 are getting tagged and banned.


[Darth Sidious voice] Goooooood....GOOD! [/Darth Sidious voice]

I didn't know this, though I had hoped this was the case.

NOTE: The character transfer lockout must be permanent if it's to have any effect. Otherwise, the whole character transfer carousel will just take a bit longer, yet ultimately won't change, IMHO.

Star Wars: the Old Republic may not be EVE. But I'll take the sound of dual blaster-pistols over "NURVV CLAOKING NAOW!!!11oneone!!" any day of the week.

Vincent Athena
Photosynth
Just let it happen
#165 - 2012-03-02 00:26:54 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Frabba wrote:
I probably missed this earlier in the thread, but what happens to the other characters on the accounts which were banned for botting? Are they also going to be locked down?


Yes. The account itself will be unable to transfer characters.


Not only that but Sreegs bans not just the character, not just the account, but every account owned by the player. Its the player that turned on the bot, and its the player that gets the ban.

That means if you have 6 accounts, bot on one, your characters in all 6 accounts get locked.

I predict much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Know a Frozen fan? Check this out

Frozen fanfiction

Asuri Kinnes
Perkone
Caldari State
#166 - 2012-03-02 00:29:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Asuri Kinnes
Vaerah Vahrokha wrote:
What will discern them vs a botting behavioral pattern? What tools are they given to objectively and undisputedly prove to CCP they were not botting?


Vaerah Vahrokha wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:
On the flipside the first thing anyone does is claim innocence.


You exactly hit the nail on the head.

There's something in the process that unnecessarily clogs down the process:

- Both innocents and guilty will always petition you to get their account back (huge wasted time and resources).

- Both innocents and guilty will always claim to be innocent (again, big expense in time and resources due to exchange of mails or whatever, escalations and so on).

- Both innocents and guilty in case of behavioral based ban they will exactly look like a bot.


At this point, the innocents would provide CCP with a CCP accepted proof of innocence, while the guilty ones could not.

What are the tools / procedures to produce such proof?

If the answer is "none" then you'll have a varying degree of collateral damage, which is very nice and dandy to downplay until YOU (player who sperges on the forums about pitchform and first strike torture) are that collateral damage.

What the hell is up with you?

Let me put it to you this way:

The only way (ONLY WAY) to make sure someone doesn't get an inappropriate ban is:

NEVER BAN ANYONE AGAIN! EVER!

FOR ANYTHING.

That is the only way to be sure. Otherwise, your going to have an imperfect system, created by imperfect people, worked on by imperfect people (no insult to the outstanding job you guys have done/are doing){after cruicible} botted by imperfect people.

SOMEONE somewhere sometime *will* make a mistake.

Get over it, life sucks. It would suck if it happened to me, it would suck if it happened to anyone (undeservedly). I would send my bloody rig to Iceland if that's what I had to do to prove I wasn't botting.

NOTHING IS PERFECT so they do the best they can.

Deal with it.

Camios wrote:
I'll be blunt.
People do think that EVE is FULL of bots. They have some reason in doing so, because there are some big stories about it out there, and because everybody who has mined or ratted a bit (or even played with the market) knows how repetitive that gameplay is.

This is players making bad PR to EVE, with a reason. The rumors might be all rubbish, and all the folks could be wrong, but who cares? After all

While you and your team may have just to fight against bots, your company has to fight against bots and against an unfavorable judgement of the playerbase on your effort (you know what i'm talking about). In this picture, your claim "we banned less than 2000 people" has some technical value but it cannot help the player that wants to understand how far are you from "winning the bot war". Giving away informations on what systems you put in place would instead be a move in restoring the trust of the playerbase. People are asking just because they want to believe in you.

Another way to show how your good your methods are is giving us an estimate of how many bots are still out there, and the percentage you can detect. Use statistics, and find a number with an uncertainty bar, and tell us.

People are not going to applaud when they think there are 25000 bots in EVE and you banned just less than 2000; they might be appy if there are less than 5000 bots in EVE and you banned almost half of them.

But if you, for some reasons, cannot give us that number, well, in order to gain the playerbase trust you'll have to show us something else.

Ok, I'll be blunt with you:

Q: Why in the name of god, would the security guy give %'s of bots found, how many might still be out there, and the % they think they can detect?

A: They wouldn't, it would be the height of stupidity to give the botters (and the guys who write the botting code) information on how effective they are.

There's your answer.

My best guess: Anything that comes out will be slanted heavily conservative (i.e. - lower numbers than CCP can actually identify/ban/whatever) just so that the people who are doing this, do *not* know really what's going on.

Player base is just going to have to suck it up.

That's just common sense, which seems to be (!SURPRISE!) in short supply here today...

Bob is the god of Wormholes.

That's all you need to know.

Tarryn Nightstorm
Hellstar Towing and Recovery
#167 - 2012-03-02 00:31:27 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Marlona Sky wrote:
Good job. Still would love for you to release some information on where, alliance, corp and or names.


Naming and shaming has been and will continue to be part of an internal dialogue but for the time being it's something we've been avoiding. I understand completely why people would want to see that but I also understand completely why it's pretty dicey to be doing it. As it stands the policy is not to do so.


Could you explain why--"Security for Dummies" version, please--this is the case?

Thank you.

Star Wars: the Old Republic may not be EVE. But I'll take the sound of dual blaster-pistols over "NURVV CLAOKING NAOW!!!11oneone!!" any day of the week.

Tanaka Aiko
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#168 - 2012-03-02 00:32:09 UTC
no need for a 3 steps things, the only need to avoid permaban first is for cases where the guy is not guilty.
so 2 steps are way enough.
Patient 2428190
DEGRREE'Fo'FREE Internet Business School
#169 - 2012-03-02 00:32:50 UTC
Why do you feel the need to lie? Of course it was timed to be before fanfest. Nothing quite gets everybody pumped up and the circlejerking in full swing like a bot banning wave.

You only do a mass banning maybe once a year. Each time you do a mass banning, you claim its an ongoing process, but nothing changes until another annual ban party comes by. This happened last year, this happened with Unholy Rage.

Do you think anybody who would construct these bots wouldn't recognize the pattern?
Asuri Kinnes
Perkone
Caldari State
#170 - 2012-03-02 00:33:48 UTC
Tarryn Nightstorm wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Marlona Sky wrote:
Good job. Still would love for you to release some information on where, alliance, corp and or names.


Naming and shaming has been and will continue to be part of an internal dialogue but for the time being it's something we've been avoiding. I understand completely why people would want to see that but I also understand completely why it's pretty dicey to be doing it. As it stands the policy is not to do so.


Could you explain why--"Security for Dummies" version, please--this is the case?

Thank you.

Something to do with (I think) PDA? I don't know what it's about, and am a little confused about it myself - not sure what the PDA is, or why it would stop them from naming "in-game" names.

Don't have to give the player name, just the in - game names (but that would also get you corp/alliance info too..) Not sure why they can't.

Bob is the god of Wormholes.

That's all you need to know.

Asuri Kinnes
Perkone
Caldari State
#171 - 2012-03-02 00:34:55 UTC
Patient 2428190 wrote:
Why do you feel the need to lie? Of course it was timed to be before fanfest. Nothing quite gets everybody pumped up and the circlejerking in full swing like a bot banning wave.

You only do a mass banning maybe once a year. Each time you do a mass banning, you claim its an ongoing process, but nothing changes until another annual ban party comes by. This happened last year, this happened with Unholy Rage.

Do you think anybody who would construct these bots wouldn't recognize the pattern?

Read the rest of the thread, that's been answered. And no, I won't link it.

Bob is the god of Wormholes.

That's all you need to know.

CCP Sreegs
CCP Retirement Home
#172 - 2012-03-02 01:06:04 UTC
Patient 2428190 wrote:
Why do you feel the need to lie? Of course it was timed to be before fanfest. Nothing quite gets everybody pumped up and the circlejerking in full swing like a bot banning wave.

You only do a mass banning maybe once a year. Each time you do a mass banning, you claim its an ongoing process, but nothing changes until another annual ban party comes by. This happened last year, this happened with Unholy Rage.

Do you think anybody who would construct these bots wouldn't recognize the pattern?


Nothing you've said in this post is accurate. We did and have shown that we did a large amount of activity on a regular basis for months. I've given you some examples of where to find that information in this thread. We openly stated in this very blog that during a period of reorganization it was shut off. Were I a dishonest lad you'd have never known things were shut off. Were we clamoring for pre-fanfest attention you'd have gotten fanfare about the event rather than having to hear about it from other players, unless you're insinuating that I'm such a brilliant puppetmaster that this is all part of my master plan to gain whatever, in which case thanks!

You deciding it never happened doesn't make it so and I'm sorry if that was somehow not clear enough to you but there is enough of a portion of the playerbase who will choose to invent facts rather than digest them that it really becomes an exercise in futility to respond and difficult to have an open dialogue where I can present honest information. I'll go ahead and give it a shot anyway and suggest that you read the thread and if you don't like something we've done then state your case as it relates to the facts given rather than being rude and spreading misinformation. There's plenty of other threads on the internet to do that in. This isn't one of them.

"Sreegs has juuust edged out Soundwave as my favourite dev." - Meita Way 2012

Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#173 - 2012-03-02 01:07:14 UTC
Oh and another thing regard to bots. It's a good thing CCP is taking some action against those players that engage in such activity, but the best thing CCP could do is make game changes that creates an environment unfavorable to bots in the first place.

Remove Local Chat Intel from Null Sec and add random false positives to DScan.

Fix Wardecs and make NPC corps somewhere only for raw newbies or automatically part of a Faction War system.

Take the leash of the Sandbox and players themselves will sort most of this out on their own.
Xantor Bludberry
#174 - 2012-03-02 01:09:15 UTC
+1 for permanent lock! Forever and ever! And lock all chars on all accounts belonging that person.
CCP Sreegs
CCP Retirement Home
#175 - 2012-03-02 01:11:29 UTC
Camios wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:

Based on my experience yes it is the best course of action. Plenty disagree but today bots are getting banned so I get to be right and anyone saying I should tell them every detail of everything we do is wrong. Twisted

I don't want to be dismissive because you're probably sincere. Were I to be trolling this thread I'd come in with something cool like SECURITY BY OBSCURITY because that's a catchphrase that people misinterpret as meaning that all systems need to be open or they're inherently insecure and I could probably argue with me for quite a while about it by taking that bait.

In this case it's a videogame universe with a very specific set of capabilities and a very small team of people working on a rather large problem. We're not going to waste even an ounce of our time satisfying curiosity if there's even a glimmer of a chance it will make us have to do more work getting back to zero. I'm happy to see some examples of anyone else in this industry who handles the situation differently though.

Hopefully that makes sense.


I'll be blunt.
People do think that EVE is FULL of bots. They have some reason in doing so, because there are some big stories about it out there, and because everybody who has mined or ratted a bit (or even played with the market) knows how repetitive that gameplay is.

This is players making bad PR to EVE, with a reason. The rumors might be all rubbish, and all the folks could be wrong, but who cares? After all

While you and your team may have just to fight against bots, your company has to fight against bots and against an unfavorable judgement of the playerbase on your effort (you know what i'm talking about). In this picture, your claim "we banned less than 2000 people" has some technical value but it cannot help the player that wants to understand how far are you from "winning the bot war". Giving away informations on what systems you put in place would instead be a move in restoring the trust of the playerbase. People are asking just because they want to believe in you.

Another way to show how your good your methods are is giving us an estimate of how many bots are still out there, and the percentage you can detect. Use statistics, and find a number with an uncertainty bar, and tell us.

People are not going to applaud when they think there are 25000 bots in EVE and you banned just less than 2000; they might be appy if there are less than 5000 bots in EVE and you banned almost half of them.

But if you, for some reasons, cannot give us that number, well, in order to gain the playerbase trust you'll have to show us something else.



Thanks for being blunt but I've already explained that if "in order to gain the playerbase trust" I have to divulge our methods then you're simply not going to trust me. That's assuming that you personally speak for "the playerbase".

I will say that, as I've said in the past, I could only make a completely idiotic guess at how many bots there are. If I knew that they'd all be gone. I have been reminded about why I hate giving people numbers, as you are quite accurate in stating that you don't have the perspective to use them properly. The last time we did this I gave out none and everyone was all "JUST GIVE US SOME NUMBERS WE DONT NEED PERSPECTIVE WE WANT NUMBERS WE LOVE SPREADSHEETS".

We're just going to have to agree that this is as happy a medium as you're going to get for the time being and I'll apologize if that's not satisfactory to you. :)

"Sreegs has juuust edged out Soundwave as my favourite dev." - Meita Way 2012

CCP Sreegs
CCP Retirement Home
#176 - 2012-03-02 01:13:46 UTC
Tarryn Nightstorm wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Marlona Sky wrote:
Good job. Still would love for you to release some information on where, alliance, corp and or names.


Naming and shaming has been and will continue to be part of an internal dialogue but for the time being it's something we've been avoiding. I understand completely why people would want to see that but I also understand completely why it's pretty dicey to be doing it. As it stands the policy is not to do so.


Could you explain why--"Security for Dummies" version, please--this is the case?

Thank you.


There's legal issues involved and the metagame component which will then bring into play accusations of favoritism to name two quick ones off the top of my head. I'll try to get a bit deeper of a response tomorrow when my brain turns back on.

"Sreegs has juuust edged out Soundwave as my favourite dev." - Meita Way 2012

Esrevid Nekkeg
Justified and Ancient
#177 - 2012-03-02 01:14:02 UTC
Marlona Sky wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:
And I'm off to bed EVE Dudes. I'll pop back by in the morning.


I wonder what a person who commits genocide on bots dreams about...
Sheep.
Because (Ro)bots dream of electric sheep.

Here I used to have a sig of our old Camper in space. Now it is disregarded as being the wrong format. Looking out the window I see one thing: Nothing wrong with the format of our Camper! Silly CCP......

CCP Sreegs
CCP Retirement Home
#178 - 2012-03-02 01:17:30 UTC
Asuri Kinnes wrote:
Tarryn Nightstorm wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Marlona Sky wrote:
Good job. Still would love for you to release some information on where, alliance, corp and or names.


Naming and shaming has been and will continue to be part of an internal dialogue but for the time being it's something we've been avoiding. I understand completely why people would want to see that but I also understand completely why it's pretty dicey to be doing it. As it stands the policy is not to do so.


Could you explain why--"Security for Dummies" version, please--this is the case?

Thank you.

Something to do with (I think) PDA? I don't know what it's about, and am a little confused about it myself - not sure what the PDA is, or why it would stop them from naming "in-game" names.

Don't have to give the player name, just the in - game names (but that would also get you corp/alliance info too..) Not sure why they can't.


DPA is the Data Protection Act and it is basically a European thing that sets some rules around the privacy of your personal data. The problem is that MY NON LAWYER UNDERSTANDING IN PASSING there's some ambiguity involved in situations like in-game names and the information divulged in relation to that. That's probably complete garbage but I never studied law and never intend to.

In essence the simplest decision in naming and shaming is just not to have to worry about whether it's legal or not because there's other negatives as well.

The conversation's not over, but that's the conclusion that we've come to as of today.

"Sreegs has juuust edged out Soundwave as my favourite dev." - Meita Way 2012

CCP Sreegs
CCP Retirement Home
#179 - 2012-03-02 01:23:15 UTC
Xorv wrote:
Oh and another thing regard to bots. It's a good thing CCP is taking some action against those players that engage in such activity, but the best thing CCP could do is make game changes that creates an environment unfavorable to bots in the first place.

Remove Local Chat Intel from Null Sec and add random false positives to DScan.

Fix Wardecs and make NPC corps somewhere only for raw newbies or automatically part of a Faction War system.

Take the leash of the Sandbox and players themselves will sort most of this out on their own.


Game design isn't my department. I'll caveat what I'm about to say having said that and also stating that I'm not responding directly to your above suggestions.

We're simply not going to design our game, played by piles of people legitimately, around a few bad apples. We may make changes because they make sense from a gameplay perspective or to spice things up or for a plethora of other reasons, but we're not going to sic the design team on making it impossible to bot via complete randomization of everything or captchas or *insert flavor of the day barrier to getting things done in a videogame here*.

Not addressed at you directly but it is a statement I wanted to get out there and your post gave me the shot. I'll also say that, yes design is a component of our strategy and while it may seem contradictory to what I said above it's not I just can't give specifics today.

"Sreegs has juuust edged out Soundwave as my favourite dev." - Meita Way 2012

Vaerah Vahrokha
Vahrokh Consulting
#180 - 2012-03-02 01:30:29 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:

In essence the simplest decision in naming and shaming is just not to have to worry about whether it's legal or not because there's other negatives as well.

The conversation's not over, but that's the conclusion that we've come to as of today.


I will name a couple.

A reporting system would be a "mass" reporting system. You publish 1000 names and voilĂ  you can be sure 1 of them was stupid enough to call his in game character with the same name of his RL self, his sister / relative etc.

Another: you publish 1000 names, one of them is known in RL by a corp mate that decides that the SMARTEST thing ever is to spam Facebook and his blog about how guy XYZ is a dirty cheater, lives at this address, and someone should go and really give him a lesson. Next day, you read the newspaper some demented idiot went there and shot the botter with a real gun.

There are countries where people like this actually lives, I don't need to make names.