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Proxy Accounts and Cheats - UK Server

So, anyone that plays on the UK server knows the issue we have with cheating... People don't seem to care. GG are losing so much money from, chargebacks, but all they can produce is a temporary ban. Players are botting a stupid amount but yet. No one seems to have enough guts to put a ban in. What's the point of playing a game, and trying to enforce fair play, if GGE can't even enforce their own T&Cs.

Would love to get peoples views on this...... as most people just seem to accept what's going on.....

Recruiter of Odins Fury 
1 of many Vikings to teach Crimson Guard what a real war alliance is.....

Long time player with powerful friends

Remember that this is a game 

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Comments

  • BM FujiwaraBM Fujiwara Posts: 575
    I know I've been working for literally hours in the last week behind the scenes trying to collect information and pass it on to GGS staff on this issue. I know a huge amount of man hours are being invested into it at their end because particularly with the proxy issues and chargebacks, it is costing them money. It's definitely being taken seriously, a lot of bans have been given out and I'm sure will continue to be given out.

    It would surprise me if they didn't escalate the bans continually as well, but this is a top priority customer service issue at the moment, and as long as people keep up the constant reporting of players, it's in both the players' and GGS' interests to have things resolved as comprehensively as possible. I'm sorry if it feels like it's taking longer than it should to get there though :(

    In other news, congrats on the red hat JT, I hadn't noticed that! :)
    fujiwara @ en-1
    fujiwara @ us-1

  • Philt123 (GB1)Philt123 (GB1) Posts: 1,681GB1
    Yes its a massive problem, the problem is whilst its costing GGS money, its within GGS power to do something about it.

    But the truth is its also costing us players money, becasue lets be honest where on earth do you think all those bot won troops, and cheap ruby / chargeback troops go to, they dont just get deleted!!!  No they go to destroy legitimatly owned / made and purchased equipmet / troops.  And that is not in the players control, we are reliant on GGS enforcing its own rules, something it has been terrible at throughout the history of the game.  

    If  a gun store is broken into and the thief  steals a loads of guns and ammo, then the thief goes on the rampage blasting all the cars in the town to pieces thousnads of cars damaged or destroyed millions of pounds destroyed.

    Who would have your sympathy ?  would it be the store owner who lost thousnads of pounds worth of equipemnt or the innocent people that had their cars blown to bits.

    OK how would that change if you found out that the thieves has already robbed 5 stores in other towns they had a full set of keys and could basically just walk into any of this companies stores and empty it whenever it wanted. And the company had done nothing at all to prevent them doing this they had not changed the locks or put in additional security they had basically done nothing at all to stop the theft.

    I think given this new information the law and public opinion would be holding the store owner neglegent for not taking action to prevent a pretty forseeable fraud!!!  

    Then how would you feel if you also then found out that the store owner as well as owning a gun shop also owned a chain of  Car dealerships, and every time  his gun stores got robbed his car dealerships made 10 times as much as he lost in his gun store as all the town came to him to replace their damaged cars.

    Yes I would agree with you that it just stepped up from neglegent to fraudulent.

    Obviously thats just a made up example  However what is true is these people have been exploiting the lack of security for many years have been reported hundreds and hundreds of time yet they are still playing the game still getting things for free / less than others, as they always have done.  yet nothing at all has been do to prevent this.

    And who do all these players go to when they had their accounts destroyed to build them back up again and replace whats been destroyed by the fraudsters ?  

    Yep they go and buy from the shop of GGE.  £1 gets lost to the fraudsters, £10 comes back from the poor innocents that have had losses caused directly by the fraudsters.

    put that way you can kinda tell why GGE hasnt taken the issue very seriously.

    You can make your own mind up given the above ficticious scenario if the owner was just very unlucky, or neglegent or a fraudulent.




    Philt123 @ en 1
  • I saw a suggestion the other day to slow this down by making each servers payment shop only accept the currency from that server (and that way at the same cost) - surely that should be a simple short term fix ? this would also sidestep the VPN issue as they'd still have to pay the same as everyone else .

    @BM Fujiwara  ? - not sure how you'd do it but with the number of accounts with 2k plus day bans on uk1 this would be a start :smile:
    dandelion1958 @ en 1

    Am still playing 6 years on ! - hi lvl 800 on new yrs eve (2017/18) !

    Leading the Targaryens - PS interested in joining - PM any officer in Game :-)

    PS in top200 on uk 1 never botted or used a VPN - that's why it took 5 yrs to get to leg 800
  • PJH_ (GB1)PJH_ (GB1) Posts: 315GB1
    A very good post by Philt123 there - some serious truth in it which will mean it likely won't be there long......
  • Do love your posts Philt
    I do hope they are Fuji, cause I think I speak for everyone when I say enough is enough!



    Recruiter of Odins Fury 
    1 of many Vikings to teach Crimson Guard what a real war alliance is.....

    Long time player with powerful friends

    Remember that this is a game 

  • Batten (GB1)Batten (GB1) Posts: 1,120GB1
    To be clear Fuji are the alliances being investigated alliances you have played in, in the past or recently?  Second are the alliances or players clients for the additional player support services you provide outside of the in game play?  Thirdly if the answer to either of the first two questions is yes then did you declare a conflict of interest before beginning to participate in the investigation.  In general terms an investigation of this type which if it's is fraud as alleged is a criminal matter has to be carried out independently and without bias in order to at least try and be fair to both parties.  BM's given they still have to play with players concerned potentially or their colleagues shouldn't be put in a position of risk without protection.  Why isn't a CM or a member of the technical team formally responding.  It to me doesn't at a basic level seem appropriate to have a player who played with players on a team being investigated, investigating them.  Particularly if those players may have leverage over the investigator.  I'd suggest a discussion with GGE whether you take the Jeff Sessions route and recuse yourself. I believe you have potential conflict of interests and are too close to this.  I think bringing a BM from another server like Necronex who doesn't have a history with players concerned would be a better option.  As it is I can't see any ban made in a situation with clear conflicts of interest being enforceable if challenged.  It creating issues that don't need to be there.  BM do a great job but this highlights clearly why CM's are so valuable.  I'd also think this extends to GGE staff who play they shouldn't be anywhere near this.  Someone from Admin or Legal with no connections with innocent eyes would give a much fairer appraisal.  I do not think GGE are being fair to you.  

    In terms of the bans I am personally not convinced anyone has been banned I can see no tangible evidence of any action being taken.  Who was banned and why and how do other players avoid making the same mistake?  All we have is some words on a page from another player who played with the players concerned.  Are ops going to be reset to prior to when they were damaged by accounts which shouldn't have been active?  Are VPN accounts being closed and removed from the map or if they can't be removed be honest about that apologise and change the rules to accommodate them. 

    The issue we raised was players being banned permanently from the game for botting returning in VPN accounts that allowed them to fast rebuild to a level they could not obtain if they were playing locally and then using those accounts in a malicious way that damaged the accounts of players who were playing within the rules.  Can this be addressed?  If so how?  If not what are the alternatives.  What can be done now to stop permanently banned players simply jumping into other accounts and creating havoc?  If you can't do anything then fine let us know that. 

    I'd also suggest that information isn't drip feed to some players first and then communicated through Chinese Whispers down to players who don't sit in Skype groups or who don't engage with the forum.  You have the ability to communicate with all players at one time to get messages across to us all so we all get accurate information directly from CM's and GGE staff rather than some abridged version that been translated.  Players may have titles in an alliance structure but we are all customers and entitled to be treated fairly.   
    Batten @ en 1
  • To be clear Fuji are the alliances being investigated alliances you have played in, in the past or recently?  Second are the alliances or players clients for the additional player support services you provide outside of the in game play?  Thirdly if the answer to either of the first two questions is yes then did you declare a conflict of interest before beginning to participate in the investigation.  In general terms an investigation of this type which if it's is fraud as alleged is a criminal matter has to be carried out independently and without bias in order to at least try and be fair to both parties.  BM's given they still have to play with players concerned potentially or their colleagues shouldn't be put in a position of risk without protection.  Why isn't a CM or a member of the technical team formally responding.  It to me doesn't at a basic level seem appropriate to have a player who played with players on a team being investigated, investigating them.  Particularly if those players may have leverage over the investigator.  I'd suggest a discussion with GGE whether you take the Jeff Sessions route and recuse yourself. I believe you have potential conflict of interests and are too close to this.  I think bringing a BM from another server like Necronex who doesn't have a history with players concerned would be a better option.  As it is I can't see any ban made in a situation with clear conflicts of interest being enforceable if challenged.  It creating issues that don't need to be there.  BM do a great job but this highlights clearly why CM's are so valuable.  I'd also think this extends to GGE staff who play they shouldn't be anywhere near this.  Someone from Admin or Legal with no connections with innocent eyes would give a much fairer appraisal.  I do not think GGE are being fair to you.  

    In terms of the bans I am personally not convinced anyone has been banned I can see no tangible evidence of any action being taken.  Who was banned and why and how do other players avoid making the same mistake?  All we have is some words on a page from another player who played with the players concerned.  Are ops going to be reset to prior to when they were damaged by accounts which shouldn't have been active?  Are VPN accounts being closed and removed from the map or if they can't be removed be honest about that apologise and change the rules to accommodate them. 

    The issue we raised was players being banned permanently from the game for botting returning in VPN accounts that allowed them to fast rebuild to a level they could not obtain if they were playing locally and then using those accounts in a malicious way that damaged the accounts of players who were playing within the rules.  Can this be addressed?  If so how?  If not what are the alternatives.  What can be done now to stop permanently banned players simply jumping into other accounts and creating havoc?  If you can't do anything then fine let us know that. 

    I'd also suggest that information isn't drip feed to some players first and then communicated through Chinese Whispers down to players who don't sit in Skype groups or who don't engage with the forum.  You have the ability to communicate with all players at one time to get messages across to us all so we all get accurate information directly from CM's and GGE staff rather than some abridged version that been translated.  Players may have titles in an alliance structure but we are all customers and entitled to be treated fairly.   
    Moderators have no power or influence over the investigative/punishment processes that GGS goes through. I think what Fuji meant was that he's merely gathering information and passing it on to aid in this investigative effort, as all players are encouraged to do via support tickets. I'd guess that the only primary difference is that Fuji has a more direct line to GGS - but I don't believe the CMs have any power over the investigations/punishments either, that's left up to Customer Service. So really it's a less direct line than just reporting them directly, assuming that's not what he's doing.

    I have no answers or input for anything else as it's not my place, but as a former moderator I feel my input on this particular topic is valid. I see no reason for fuji to have to recuse himself more than anyone else who reports other players.

    Most of the moderators have done their fair share of reporting, to my knowledge, and in my case personally I've rarely seen any action by support against players I've reported. Our reports go no further than anyone else's.
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • I saw a suggestion the other day to slow this down by making each servers payment shop only accept the currency from that server (and that way at the same cost) - surely that should be a simple short term fix ? this would also sidestep the VPN issue as they'd still have to pay the same as everyone else .

    @BM Fujiwara  ? - not sure how you'd do it but with the number of accounts with 2k plus day bans on uk1 this would be a start :smile:
    Came back to this thread because I'm bored and wanted to address this.

    While it could solve some issues, it could also cause some. For example I know some genuine Brazilian players that play on the US server, forcing them to pay our prices would be unfair given their currency being far weaker. There would be a whole myriad of issues on ASIA and the International servers for example, where there's a lot of diversity in the playerbase, even having entire alliances from different countries that speak different languages and have different currencies.

    And on the flip side - my living in the US, I could make an account on a server with a weaker currency like the Brazillian server, or the Czech server, and my money being worth more than theirs, I'd easily be able to outspend a lot of the players there for a fraction of the actual cost to me.

    Most of these are fringe cases (except for the International servers, those would be a nightmare to do anything about) sure, but it does beg the genuine question of what to do with some of those, for example Brazilians playing on US instead of Brazil, do we region-lock them and make them play on Brazil? Does this get rid of their US accounts and they have to start over? Assets being transferred between servers is a stretch and there's a good chance those properties they own might already be owned on that server as well, and that if the transfer happens suddenly, they could have a lot stripped from them while they are offline because they didn't know/weren't able to be on when the transfer took place.

    I'm not saying it's cool that people can VPN to Brazil and get cheaper currency on the US and other servers now, but it's a somewhat complicated issue as far as finding a way to stop it completely.

    There are some things I can't talk about due to NDA - but many of these issues have been brought up and various solutions have been brought up/shot down and I'm sure more are still being considered.
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • gazz65 (GB1)gazz65 (GB1) Posts: 524GB1
    So, anyone that plays on the UK server knows the issue we have with cheating... People don't seem to care. GG are losing so much money from, chargebacks, but all they can produce is a temporary ban. Players are botting a stupid amount but yet. No one seems to have enough guts to put a ban in. What's the point of playing a game, and trying to enforce fair play, if GGE can't even enforce their own T&Cs.

    Would love to get peoples views on this...... as most people just seem to accept what's going on.....

    well I agree with you on these dodgy accounts, and also length of ban is a joke.
    gge banned me for 12 hrs for swearing in a message but i aint fiddling money
    out of gge. so guess they take swearing more serious then fiddling money.

    That is why people are leaving game because you cant compete against these people
    whoever they are. mind some have other stuff in life so they leave game.
  • BM FujiwaraBM Fujiwara Posts: 575
    Thanks Friedrich, great to see you around still, and you've covered pretty much all of the points I could have covered in response the same way I'd have wanted to respond to them, so cheers! :D

    I personally do think that having one currency per server would have been the best plan originally, and I still would like to see it happen. It does put foreign players on servers in a very awkward situation though if suddenly the cost-to-buy-rubies on their high LL account is suddenly tripled. Also, as Friedrich points out, what do you do for INT1-3?

    I would also like to see the bans step up to permanent pretty quickly on proven proxy accounts and shell controlling multi-accounters. If someone tries to get away with it the first time and gets caught, a smack on the wrist hopefully does the job - but to repeatedly do it for years and be caught 5+ times and still get the chance to do it again? I don't think this is in the best interests of anyone.

    Sure, I have a conflict of interest, but then so does literally everyone who spends money on this game or competes at a high level. No-one is unaffected, and the more you play the bigger a conflict of interest you have. It's the same with most places where the CoI issue gets waved around - the only people who don't have one aren't interested enough to be there and involved in the first place. I certainly don't have a financial conflict of interest obviously. Being "an affected and interested party", for me, is definitely not a reason to avoid doing what you think is appropriately within your power to help combat something that is very clearly just straight out cheating, and damaging the game you choose to spend your time playing.
    fujiwara @ en-1
    fujiwara @ us-1

  • Thanks Friedrich, great to see you around still, and you've covered pretty much all of the points I could have covered in response the same way I'd have wanted to respond to them, so cheers! :D

    I would also like to see the bans step up to permanent pretty quickly on proven proxy accounts and shell controlling multi-accounters. If someone tries to get away with it the first time and gets caught, a smack on the wrist hopefully does the job - but to repeatedly do it for years and be caught 5+ times and still get the chance to do it again? I don't think this is in the best interests of anyone.

    Sure, I have a conflict of interest, but then so does literally everyone who spends money on this game or competes at a high level. No-one is unaffected, and the more you play the bigger a conflict of interest you have. It's the same with most places where the CoI issue gets waved around - the only people who don't have one aren't interested enough to be there and involved in the first place. I certainly don't have a financial conflict of interest obviously. Being "an affected and interested party", for me, is definitely not a reason to avoid doing what you think is appropriately within your power to help combat something that is very clearly just straight out cheating, and damaging the game you choose to spend your time playing.
    I started playing in-game again so I've been around more.

    Enforcement seems sporadic at best. I used to play with 5-6 other people in the lounge on my college dorm floor, and at one point moved in with another player for 3 months and never saw a ban for it. Not that said bans would have been rightful anyway, and of course I appreciate not having been banned, but I find it interesting that I was able to do that with no issues. I've known people to have keyshared once and gotten banned as well - so I really don't know what to make of that.

    I think Batten was speaking more on terms of alliance, my guess would be he doesn't like yours and thinks they cheat. My philosophy has always been non-confrontational reporting - at least up until the last maybe 2 years, where after numerous reports I'd yet to see a single player banned for keysharing or multi-accounting and basically stopped reporting people for these offenses. Lately about the most I've done is yell at people because in my experience nothing would get done about it if I wasted my time reporting it anyway.
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • Philt123 (GB1)Philt123 (GB1) Posts: 1,681GB1
    its been going on many years yet nothign has been done.  Simply becasue GGE does nothing to enforce its TOS we all as players know it we have all reported players who the whole server knows were cheating only for nothing to happen.

    there are lots of soloutions available to gge, some of them more difficult than others some of them causing some residual issues.

    But all of them are better than doing nothing,  which is what GGE have done, every single company that i know of, every songle one that has regional pricing in a digital media environment has checks / block etc in place.  Yet gge have done nothign to stop the practice other than after about 6 months resetting the currency if the player makes a mistake and GGE find out.  by then the damage is done.  it too late.  Instant perma bans are the way forward for players using VPN's for any reason,  But of course that would involve effort, and as we know effort isnt something gge like

    Philt123 @ en 1
  • Instant perma bans are the way forward for players using VPN's for any reason
    I can't be specific due to the NDA that I signed but I can tell you that it's just not that simple. I can confirm that it was discussed on a few occasions, as I brought it up and pursued it until I got an answer.
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • gazz65 (GB1)gazz65 (GB1) Posts: 524GB1
    Well this will continue because gge don't actually care about normal players
    who play the game fair , who don't cheat the system with bots vpn.

    the list goes on and on and when caught basically nowt happens , we get threats from these players 
    and there alliances. they can do anything because who actually cares in gge. no one gives a stuff
    about normal players.

    everyone on uk server knows the names and and accounts of these players and all you get
    is we will do something. now if a swore on here or in game its a ban. people fiddle money
    and they get nowt. :*they are killing the game but gge don't care.
  • Philt123 (GB1)Philt123 (GB1) Posts: 1,681GB1
    its as simple as gge want to make it, if you look for problems you will always find them, and you will never find solutions unless you are comitted to finding them. That goes for any problem in life.  if you sit waiting for the perfect solution to fall into you lap you will live life disapointed.  If you are proactive and comitted to finding answers you will, but there has to be a real willingness to change, and to compromise, you cant make an omelette without breaking a few eggs  GGE want their cake and eat it.  And their greed constantly makes  them compromise the integrity of their game, abandon all values of fairness, and equality.   And in a game thats effectivly a competition between players once you lose that element of fairness and giving some player huge advantages that others cannot get without cheating.  Then you have failed.

    If the competition is rigged then it will die, allow one player to use a motorbike in a cycle race, and see if anyone will watch it or want to take part in it.

    GGE KNOW that its bad for business having cheating in its game, otherwise it wouldnt have gone to the trouble of  banning it in its TOS.  But it has demonstrated time and time again that it is willing to compromise fairness and equality, for its misguided perception that any money is good money even if it is effectivy at the cost of the integrity of its game, and its this willingness to choose short term gains over producting a game that will make people wanting to play for years to come that will cost it, and cost it bad.

    Sitting back at watching while cheats destroy your game is a perplexing attitude even if they are generating revenue for you.
    Philt123 @ en 1
  • its as simple as gge want to make it, if you look for problems you will always find them, and you will never find solutions unless you are comitted to finding them. That goes for any problem in life.  if you sit waiting for the perfect solution to fall into you lap you will live life disapointed.  If you are proactive and comitted to finding answers you will, but there has to be a real willingness to change, and to compromise, you cant make an omelette without breaking a few eggs  GGE want their cake and eat it.  And their greed constantly makes  them compromise the integrity of their game, abandon all values of fairness, and equality.   And in a game thats effectivly a competition between players once you lose that element of fairness and giving some player huge advantages that others cannot get without cheating.  Then you have failed.

    If the competition is rigged then it will die, allow one player to use a motorbike in a cycle race, and see if anyone will watch it or want to take part in it.

    GGE KNOW that its bad for business having cheating in its game, otherwise it wouldnt have gone to the trouble of  banning it in its TOS.  But it has demonstrated time and time again that it is willing to compromise fairness and equality, for its misguided perception that any money is good money even if it is effectivy at the cost of the integrity of its game, and its this willingness to choose short term gains over producting a game that will make people wanting to play for years to come that will cost it, and cost it bad.

    Sitting back at watching while cheats destroy your game is a perplexing attitude even if they are generating revenue for you.
    As for the other issues, sure, these things apply. But not for the suggestion of banning any and all VPN users. The absolute most I can say is that it's not a decision that GGS can make despite it being in their TOS. It took a lot of badgering them to figure out what I know, and am frustrated that I can't be specific because of NDA, but in this specific instance it has nothing to do with revenue or integrity. There are other factors involved that I have never seen considered on the forums, and did not consider factors myself until I heard it directly from GGS.
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • Well this will continue because gge don't actually care about normal players
    who play the game fair , who don't cheat the system with bots vpn.

    the list goes on and on and when caught basically nowt happens , we get threats from these players 
    and there alliances. they can do anything because who actually cares in gge. no one gives a stuff
    about normal players.

    everyone on uk server knows the names and and accounts of these players and all you get
    is we will do something. now if a swore on here or in game its a ban. people fiddle money
    and they get nowt. :*they are killing the game but gge don't care.
    For what it's worth, I see lots of people get short bans for cussing people out or having bad commander names, castle names, alliance descriptions, etc. But I've yet to see a lot for bigger issues, aside from a few keysharers banned very suddenly and permanently.
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • PJH_ (GB1)PJH_ (GB1) Posts: 315GB1
    Err.....we've got two problems here...... one is the business model (the whole game isn't behind a pay wall and its a game that works on encouraging mass participation with few barriers to lure you in) and the other is the internet (designed to make it hard for anyone to block anyone else from navigating around it....)

    so "blocking VPN's" isn't an easy thing and the models used by the big paywall internationals probably wouldn't work for gge anyway unless you really want to get an instant ban for going on holiday, playing on a work pc in a lunch hour,
    or having tried a browser you find out the hard way that it really does use that technology or checking your a/c at a friends house where maybe he likes to watch the cricket for free etc etc....

    Lots of problems on GB1...many which would be around whether vpns existed or otherwise, just a symptom of problems caused by individuals!

    Nice to hear work is being done and good on everyone involved in keeping some measure of security and diplomacy about it being done.  Good luck to GGS with coming up the a new status quo and whether the changes would actually harm more than being harmed at moment as I'm guessing the "business" obvious strategy would actually be the "player" least favoured one..... which is probably why the whole thing seems to be going so slowly.....


  • Err.....we've got two problems here...... one is the business model (the whole game isn't behind a pay wall and its a game that works on encouraging mass participation with few barriers to lure you in) 

    There's definitely something to be said for this part, at least as far as the stupidly high number of temp bans goes. While quicker perm bans might scare more people into not risking offenses, it'd also get a lot of others permanently banned and drastically decrease their playerbase. The game basically revolves around having non-spenders for the spenders to knock around, so it'd be a lot more hurtful to their business if they banned players after say, making 3 offensive comments to other players. While frustrating the fringe cases where real threats are being made and they ban them 3 dozen times before a permanent ban, I think it's a benefit to have more of a "slap on the wrist" policy for the smaller offenses like swearing in PMs or having inappropriate commander names
    Friedrich IV US1
    The Prodigal Scrub Returns
  • BIGTtheMULLER (INT1)BIGTtheMULLER (INT1) Posts: 2,091INT1
    The reason this is happening is because the way countries buy rubies, many countries buy RUBIES for pittance, and because the game is Global, and players from all countries merge on certain servers. I am from International 1 , and been at war for a long time . 

    I pay like US the highest rate yet i am fighting players that get 10 times the amount of rubies for the same amount i pay for
    so i get hammered because of his buying power, but he is not a VPN player it is legit.

    So i can see why players are looking to balance the odds, the is GGE making . so i suggest the easy way to deal with it is play on your country server, but if you play on a international sever we all pay the same for rubies , not have an unfair advantage.
    BIGTtheMULLER @ WWW 1
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