1. [2018/06/22]
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Other Devs/mods - You have to step it up against the hackers

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by Mornedil, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Mornedil

    Mornedil Active Member

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    I made a thread about the hacker situation, little over 6 weeks ago.

    Nothing has changed, I still match with hackers a couple of times every week.
    Even tho I win 90% of my legit rift matches, I still can't increase my rift rank because of the amount of hackers I match with.

    So why are there so many hackers?
    Because it's worth it to use a modded APK in this game.

    And why is it worth it?
    Because it takes too long for people to get banned.

    This has to change.
    • Hackers shouldn't be able to reach level 60+
    • Hackers shouldn't be able to climb to the gold rank in rifts.
    • After someone is reported, it shouldn't take more than a week before their account is suspended, if the evidence is obvious enough.

    I've heard devs say that "fighting hackers is like an arms race".
    That's true to a certain extent. If developers create stronger anti-hack systems, hackers work harder to get around it, which forces the devs to create even stronger anti-hack.. etc.

    However, this does not apply to manually banning people, which is where more efforts should be put in.
    You ban someone, and they're gone. What can they do about it? They can create a new account.
    But the problem here is that accounts are banned so infrequently that it's worth it to create new accounts.
    If people are banned sooner, it won't be worth the effort of creating new accounts over and over again, and even tho there will always be new hackers, banning them earlier will prevent them from ruining the game from legit players.
     
    #1 Mornedil, Oct 12, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  2. Mornedil

    Mornedil Active Member

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    Another method besides banning would be a silent blacklist system.

    Rather than banning people, they could be put on a blacklist.
    While on this blacklist, they can still play the game, and they will get no indication that they're on this blacklist.
    They can participate in prize fights and earn rewards, but their score is not included in the rewards system.
    They can participate in rifts, but they can only match with other blacklisted players.

    A method like this would let hackers continue playing the game even after they've been caught, but it would prevent them from affecting legit players.
    Since this method is sneaky, it could also reduce the amount of new hacker accounts being created, since a hacker will still have access to their caught account, and they might not even know they've been caught.
     
  3. Hall☆weenQueen

    Hall☆weenQueen Active Member

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    You are so right about this hacker problem being such an issue it feels like it's hurting the people who play by the rules. I like ypor blacklist idea, but what is the threshold for putting someone on such a blacklist? It could seriously hurt a legitimate player to be blacklisted so the bar would need to be set pretty high, but if the devs could ID every hacker, I feel like this would be less of an issue. They may just be too understaffed to work such a system right now but it sounds like a solid idea! Maybe if players could offer more evidence of hackers to help out the devs ID them, this could really happen!
     
    500TheoniteSeriously likes this.
  4. TraiP

    TraiP Member

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    tbh ,this seems like too much work to prevent hackers from cheating,because you will essentially have two versions of the game one for cheaters and one for normal players .I think an IP ban will do the job just fine,if it is accompanied with an anti-cheat mechanism from the server side with human verification ,it will be optimal.
     
    500TheoniteSeriously likes this.
  5. Fel

    Fel wuf
    Moderator

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    Just to clarify, mods don't have anything to do with the banning process in game!
     
  6. Mornedil

    Mornedil Active Member

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    I'm not worried about legitimate players being put there accidentally, if people are only put on it with obvious proof (or by the automatic cheat detection). For example, getting 24400+ battle score in rifts, or beating prize fight teams with 30k fighters while using 1-2k fighters.
    If there's any doubt, wait and see if more reports are coming in for the same player before blacklisting.



    I'm not an expert, but I don't think IP bans would work for a mobile game, since people can use public wi-fi or mobile networks where IP may be different between sessions.

    It wouldn't be that complicated. Just that blacklisted players would have a server-sided variable or flag that tells the game they're blacklisted, which makes it easy to filter them out of prize fights and rifts.
    • For rift matchmaking, it would just add an extra check in addition to comparing rank and collection strength. If both players have the same blacklist status, (either true or false) they can match.
    • For prize fights, blacklisted players would simply be filtered out from the score list before it's compiled, so they don't affect the outcome.



    I put it in the title because I think maybe that's something to consider. I can imagine the devs are busy working on the game itself, creating new content and coming up with new ideas, which might not leave them with enough time to ban cheaters frequently. (this is just a guess)
    If the devs don't have the time to deal with cheaters on a regular basis, maybe we need a community volunteer or a moderator who has the time to do so. (I would volunteer, but I'm just some random player with lots of free time, so I doubt I would qualify for the position)
     
    TraiP likes this.
  7. Mornedil

    Mornedil Active Member

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    To give a more clearly illustrated image of how these hackers are halting my progress,
    this is the pattern that has kept repeating for the past 6 weeks:

    reason why i'm stuck.png
     
  8. buggy.

    buggy. Member

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    How about active anti-cheat measures? Secure the game well enough to prevent cheaters from getting in the first place. While also implementing an automatic in-game cheat detection to find few who slips through the cracks.

    As the game continues to grow larger, the issue becomes bigger as well. Developers probably already knows this. It's a matter of time before they take active steps.
     
    Erick Draves likes this.
  9. Kurokazeee

    Kurokazeee Member

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    Well any anti-cheat measures on the game client on the player side will always be hackable leading to arms race scenario as mentioned. Any algorithm to detect say ridiculous damage for a characters FS will still be hackable if on game client side, from my understanding. How about a focus on the server side and targeting what hackers are trying to achieve...

    Hackers want to spam rift battles (with hacked theonite rift tickets) to win every battle and quickly reach diamond rift tier, and enjoy the feeling of besting everyone out there.

    How about a rule on the server side that you are limited to advancing your best rift rank ever achieved by only one rift tier rank per week? For instance if my best ever rift rank was silver3, I can only advance to silver2 no matter how well I do in this week's rift. So it will take 3-4 months to go from bronze 4 to diamond1 if I was a completely new player starting rift. So regardless of your (hackable) rift score and (hackable) rift rating, your rift tier and rewards is limited by the above rule. Since this rule leaves rift rating alone, it would also make hackers super obvious due to large mismatch between rift rating and rift tier i.e. a silver4 with 2000 rift rating.

    Advancing one rift tier per week reasonable for newer players climbing up the ranks (legit players dont go from bronze 4 to gold 4 in one week) and would discourage hackers creating new accounts upon ban and climbing rift ladder super fast again. For old players who took a vacation and have their rift tier rank drop, this rule does not affect them as they have previous record of high rift rank. Recall that it is limiting your best ever held rank to advance only one tier per week.

    The problem is that this wont outright catch current high rank hackers, but they still have a chance to be caught with standard hack detection and the real kicker is that once they are banned on this account even if it is slow to verify and process, it is all over for them since they have to start all over from bronze 4 and wait 3 months to reach diamond by hacking again.

    Sure, a hacker could game the system by hacking alternate times and purposely losing every other game to not inflate rift rating far above rift tier to become a red flag. But that would need a very patient hacker, and it doesnt give them what I assume they want, which is fast advancement to diamond or gold tier, thus discouraging hacking for most cases...

    I think this could be a simple fix server side and not easily overcome by hackers since ranking, rift rewards and rift tier assignment is fully handled server side
     
    #9 Kurokazeee, Nov 27, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  10. Mornedil

    Mornedil Active Member

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    I agree that the only reliable way to catch hackers is with server sided checks. But the problem with that is that battles in this game are completely client sided, which is understandable to minimalize server traffic.

    Your suggestion about limiting rank gain per week will not make any difference to hackers, as they can still grind rift coins by winning rifts and gaining a win streak which multiplies rewards per win.
    All it will do is to affect legit players negatively by being an unnecessary hindrance, and it's not going to catch hackers by showing a difference between their rift rank score and their rank title, since it's possible for legit players to climb fast as well.

    Personally I climbed from rookie to silver 1 in 3 weeks and it would have felt very unfair to be denied my rewards for another 5 weeks because of such a system.
    20191128_002024.jpg
     
    Kurokazeee likes this.
  11. Kurokazeee

    Kurokazeee Member

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    Great points and yes, my suggestion could cause more damage than benefit, sorry. The idea was to force a public spotlight on hackers through the rift tier rift rating mismatch, but perhaps there are better ways to do it...

    I like your silent blacklist, but I think the hacker would quickly catch onto it since suddenly he matches with all other hackers (hmmm all my opponents have 24400 score too). so they will quickly create new accounts. Maybe the hackers all know each other too, so just by looking at name they know they have been detected, and will not delay their recreation of account.

    The better way would be to match them with normal rift players of their rift tier, but not actually match them. What I mean is the just get a replica of a legit player rift base, and the computer acts like it is a legit player winning some losing some and getting a normal looking rift score at the end. Rift rewards are also given at end of the week as per normal using the cutoff thresholds of legit player pool. There will be no way the hacker knows he is caught.

    The hacker then becomes more confident and keeps hacking for 3 or 4 weeks while advancing in rift rank and matching much harder rift defense gold 2 with little change in his silver4 attack team, during that time the server can specifically collect more evidence like characters he used to complete fights etc etc and even more instances of horribly inflated rift scores. The hacker is happy (overconfident) and the legit players are happy since the hacker is on a fake rift ladder by himself.

    Then finally the hacker reaches diamond and by now the server has collected damning evidence that his silver4 attack collection is besting diamond1 base defenses. The hacker is then banned with no damage at all to legit players, and wasting 4 weeks (also r weeks for devs to review evidence) before he can remake an account.

    on the other hand, if a legit player gets put into this pool, after 1 week of not showing consistently crazy rift score (assume 24400 was a fluke) since he starts to match against quickly harder gold4 etc opponents..., he can be reinstated to original rift tier with a small compensation for missing a week of rift?
     
    #11 Kurokazeee, Nov 27, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019

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