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Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22


7/18/2017
Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22
Hey Barons,

Felt like every week we are talking about the alt situation. There are a lot of opinions, pros & cons about the current regulation. I think it makes sense to find finally a solution for the majority of all players and the game itself.

To keep it clear and consistent we should talk about it here, in the forum. It is laborious to repeat the arguments again and again on a disappearing game board. At the end we are debating and wasting time with no progress. So, what to do to find a solution?

- Analysis: First of all we have to Know what exactly the reason is to create an alt. It's important to understand from where the drive comes to handle multiple accounts. Perhaps it's an game mechanic or game play issue. So any player with an alt can give us a lot of input here.

- Pros & Cons: We should collect the pros and cons, objective as possible.

- Process: With the information we got we have to talk about it as open as possible. The goal: Find consensus.
The questions could be: Should we change the alt system? If yes, in which way?

- Solution: Presenting our wishes and suggestions as concept paper to Serendipity. Asking if it's feasible or not.

Hopefully we are able to create a nice, calm and target oriented debate.

Greetings
Steffstoff
edited by Steffstoff on 7/18/2017
edited by Steffstoff on 9/2/2017
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Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22


7/18/2017
Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22
Reason for creating alts:
  • Bypass the caps

Pros:

  • It does create more product.
  • It 'fills' the universe up more.
  • Its also fun.
  • It can be used to help self/others.

Cons:
  • Unseen abuse factor:
    - Attack another player which your main not like. If you didnt interact before, no one will realize it. In best case the alt is your guild member. wink
    - dropping demand on the public market and buying in cheap with the main
    - destroy demand in cities from other player with placing industries and OC the location
    - installing an alt in cities to manipulating the elections
    - even parking of military units in an alt account is critical. Why? If I fought an main and he can easily stock up his military with alt units its a great advantage. Even if hes paying the regularly market price for the units! Hes is ready to fight me again, Iam not.
  • Over power: An player with multiple accounts has more units, credits and economy.
  • Evasion of the logistics caps which allow for a player to be larger than the intended size.
  • Frustrating of new players and "nomal one account" players.

I'll update this thread with your feedback.
edited by Steffstoff on 7/18/2017
edited by Steffstoff on 9/2/2017
edited by Steffstoff on 9/2/2017
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Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22


7/18/2017
Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22
My personal point of view (from the game board)
Any Multi-Accounting (used by one single person) is bad for a browser game and his community. There is a reason why the browser game industries forbid multi-accounting in general and take several actions to identify such players. At a specific point "normal" players will notice that in some kind multi-accounts are responsable for personal disadvantage or damage. At this point the normal player becomes frustrated and will leave the game. Thats it. Im 100% sure, there are more normal players out there which just like play a cool game in the their meantime. Only a few people have the time and energy to maintain more than one account. That means we gave much more power to the hands of few people, to dominate the regular player base by allowing multi-accounting (used by one single person). In my opinion such "grey areas" and over power are destroying a community, on long-term. And in BofG its almost more critical because of the caps! With more than one account you can bypass these caps easily. In additional every multi-account is damaging the community feeling and trade behavior. With multi-accounts I dont need any other players for my supplier line, because I make it by my own. But we are in a multiplayer trading game, so actually we should interact with other players instead with ourselves. The caps are made for this idea, that we have to interact with each other. I think its a kind of important dependence from others in this game, which makes it interesting.

I still suggest:
- Forbid multi-accounting (used by one single person)
- create some technical checks in background (I know its not easy but there are possibilities)
- in addition let the community still check other players for inappropriate behavior
- If there are two persons in a household, wife, children, what ever, they can leave a note in the forum with account names and that their accept the ToS. With this information the community self is able to check for any violations.
- max. 2 accounts per household

And even if you cant catch all, it feels so much better for a "normal player" that this topic is addressed and multi-account players know that the possibility is high to get caught and lost all.
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Rekkles
Rekkles
Posts: 36


7/20/2017
Rekkles
Rekkles
Posts: 36
There are pro's and cons to it, but I'm also much more on the 'lets make it not okay' spectrum.

Pros:
It does create more product.
It 'fills' the universe up more.
Its also fun.
It can be used to help self/others.

Cons:
Primarily, i think the biggest issue is evasion of the logistics caps which allow for a player to be larger than the intended size.


My personal opinion is:
  • Forbid multi-accounting.
  • Because its impossible to know for sure if someone is multi-accounting or if its just two people being legit, even with the technical checks, have no further rules or stipulations.
  • Allow for players to submit a ticket or something if they believe a player is multi-accounting, then (with all the spare time i'm sure you don't want to spend on this kind of thing) have Seren or Dread check the activity to see if its likely to be a multi-accounting issue or just two people playing from the same place.
  • If someone is suspecting of multi-accounting, They should be given a warning and allowed to reply.
  • If there is more suspicious activity, the account that seems to be the main account should be banned for 4 weeks.
  • If there is a repeat offense, both accounts should be deleted.


Just my 2c though, and i know im new smile
edited by Rekkles on 7/20/2017
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Aywanez
Aywanez
Posts: 64


7/20/2017
Aywanez
Aywanez
Posts: 64
I have the opposite view.
Running 2-3 accounts is work. And if someone wants to do it (well), I think they should.
What we should do is better enforce rules on 'slave' alts (the ones not intended to profit- like maybe they buy your stuff, or they hold on to your military until you need it, selling it back just before going bankrupt and then picking it up again, or you do whatever the next version of "attack your alt to get out of paying reparations" exploit will be.) The rule of thumb should be: "If you can't tell, after a 10 minute investigation, if an Alt is 90% not actually their guildmate, they should keep it."

edits:
1) for the record, I don't have any alts in this game.
2) that last statement came out confusing. I'm saying if you are 90% sure it is an Alt- ban 'em (well, report them).
edited by Aywanez on 7/20/2017
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Hutton
Hutton
Posts: 276


7/20/2017
Hutton
Hutton
Posts: 276
I concur that running multiple accounts is not an effective power play. At least not once your HQ starts to hit the upper levels.

I have dabbled in multiple accounts for political and role playing purposes and I have suffered economically for it. Just compare the net worth of the City of New York to other founders who started at level 10. Or even some that started at level 1. You spend all of your time trying to find quick fixes to prevent the corporation you have neglected from liquidating. And by the time you have that fixed you realize your other account is on the brink of collapse. Alternate accounts might give you a significant head start from level 1, but I'm not as concerned with the impact of low level players on the environment. Running a single level 10 corporation requires about as much time investment as a normal player with a job can spare.

I like the current appproach of community regulation within the game mechanics. 2nd accounts should be frowned upon in-game, but I like the idea of creating shadow corporation to do our dirty work. I also like the idea of investigating contracts to discover connections and hold Corporations responsible for their skulduggery. And I'm making a deliberate distinctions between "Corporations" and "Players". I think we should just embrace alternate accounts as part of the meta-game and create in-game mechanics for penalizing corporations when they get caught.

The big con of alternate accounts, the one that all the other cons are just sub-categories of, is that they create the perception in other players that they are competing on an unfair playing field. If you manage your alternate account discretely, you are not going to interfere with anyone's fun. If you use your alternate account to attack a competitor because you don't want to draw them into a fight with your main corporation, that seems very much in the spirit of a game about corporations with private armies competing over resources in space. If they catch you because you were laundering money into your alternate account to fund it's military, they should be able to hold you responsible. Either by a trial mechanism that extends reparations awards to your other account or by riling up other players to join them in crushing both of your accounts.

I think of the game of untangling a web of umbrella corporations or catching the money laundering as a potentially rewarding feature of Barons of the Galaxy that outweighs the downsides of multiple accounts.
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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1458


7/20/2017
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1458
I will always start off with this statement about multi accounting:

I cannot effectively prevent multi accounting. Its a free game, you can make as many accounts as you like, I don' even require an email address anymore so there isn't even a hassle of making fake email accounts. Even if it was a pay to play game, for some people the extra money is nothing. I can find casual multi accouters by same IP and some other information but if you are a big power player, you will know how to hide your alts and the power players are the only real problem. No one cares if a level 2 corp is screwing around with 3 alts on a moon somewhere.

So, we can find ways to make multi accounting not viable, maybe no trading AT ALL between corps which will make it a huge hassle to dump one corps product and have the other "raid it" to move money between them but it will still happen.


If I cant stop it, I rather regulate the abuse of it. And while I can make judgement on any abuse, I really prefer the players make the call and dole out punishment as they see fit. I can make tools in the game that allow other players to literally ban other corps. We would have to be careful with something like that but if it on player majority across the System, it should be legitimate.
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Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22


8/31/2017
Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22
So the discussion cam back to the ingame board. So...

Okay let us imagine, just for a short moment, we can go with multi-acconts. Even if the negative impact is much bigger than the positive, in my opinion.

From my board post:
The point is: We have strict multi-account rules and arent really able to find easy abusive behaviors. So in fact every person with multi-accounts can really easy take advantage of those. That circumstance makes the rules set completely obsolete! Thats the truth about your fantastic world and Im pretty sure that the multi-account users are knowing this fact very well.

A serious proposal from my side:
How about an automatic multi-account overview on every corp overview? This overview shows who is hardlinked with whom. Hardlinked is: IP, Cookie, Flashcookie and/or Browserfingerprint for example. In addition a tab with the last 100 contracts with that specific corp would be really helpful! Those tools would gave the community much more power to take care of the multi-account rules. Perhaps its possible to convince "normal" players that fair play multi accounting is possible. Somehow. But as long as we are not able to track this down Im absolutely and 100% sure that there are dozens of abusive mutl-accounts are out there. Because? Nobody cares, nobody can proof.


@DrDread
Would that be feasible?
edited by Steffstoff on 8/31/2017
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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1458


9/1/2017
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1458
Steffstoff wrote:
So the discussion cam back to the ingame board. So...

Okay let us imagine, just for a short moment, we can go with multi-acconts. Even if the negative impact is much bigger than the positive, in my opinion.

From my board post:
The point is: We have strict multi-account rules and arent really able to find easy abusive behaviors. So in fact every person with multi-accounts can really easy take advantage of those. That circumstance makes the rules set completely obsolete! Thats the truth about your fantastic world and Im pretty sure that the multi-account users are knowing this fact very well.

A serious proposal from my side:
How about an automatic multi-account overview on every corp overview? This overview shows who is hardlinked with whom. Hardlinked is: IP, Cookie, Flashcookie and/or Browserfingerprint for example. In addition a tab with the last 100 contracts with that specific corp would be really helpful! Those tools would gave the community much more power to take care of the multi-account rules. Perhaps its possible to convince "normal" players that fair play multi accounting is possible. Somehow. But as long as we are not able to track this down Im absolutely and 100% sure that there are dozens of abusive mutl-accounts are out there. Because? Nobody cares, nobody can proof.


@DrDread
Would that be feasible?
edited by Steffstoff on 8/31/2017



You want a lot more behind the scenes information on who the corp deals with as a method for the community to call out abusers. Im game for that. I can make another screen on Corp Display that shows all their contacts to and from, Maybe thier combats or perhaps their corp worth over time. It might be pretty ineffective though. "Good" alt runners will know how to avoid all that and make therir alts look legit
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Vulpex
Vulpex
Posts: 390


9/2/2017
Vulpex
Vulpex
Posts: 390
Doctor Dread wrote:
You want a lot more behind the scenes information on who the corp deals with as a method for the community to call out abusers. Im game for that. I can make another screen on Corp Display that shows all their contacts to and from, Maybe thier combats or perhaps their corp worth over time. It might be pretty ineffective though. "Good" alt runners will know how to avoid all that and make therir alts look legit



So true. All those tools may at best lead to more speculation. I would much rather you spent your time on actual improvements to the game, though the in game voting system (triggered by rulers) would really be all that we need to deal with this particular issue.
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Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22


9/2/2017
Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22
So true. All those tools may at best lead to more speculation.

Sorry, but you're absolute wrong with this.With that requested hard data is much less place for speculation. wink
What you're doing right now is speculation at it's fines. And now you're talking about tools to declare people guilty without proper evidence. I can't understand this wishy-washy proceed. One hand the developers are saying:"Yeah, that should be solved from the community". On the other hand better tools, for much more transparency, are the wrong way? Erm, sorry sounds very wrong to me. From my site, there is not much understanding left for this whole situation. It feels like, hey the situation is great for abusive multi-accounts, but that's cool. So don't touch the perfect multi system...

Just to make it clear. I made the subscription with some kind of expectations. This game is awesome because it trigger what I really like and it has a great potential. But, I'm not willing to compete with out of control multi-accounts. That's time wasting, because I can't win this unbalanced battle! We've rules and their are okay. So it's by nature that we need monitoring to keep them straight. If we haven't proper monitoring tools, the multi rules are just bla bla bla.

And please refrain from being EVE like and multis are in EVE okay, so. No, that's a poor comparison. The multi-accounts in EVE have much less impact for the game itself than in our browsergame. In Barons you can start dozens of multis and there are constantly present. They make an impact in every single round with only a few clicks. Big fleets can take part in a battle with just 4 clicks and less than 2 minutes. In EVE it's still more an exception that all multis take action at the same time, Even the impact of a multi in Eve is negligible. How many players have Eve? How big is the universe? In my opinion it's comparing apples and oranges even if the setting is similar.

@DrDread
I'm talking about linked accounts by IP, Cookie, Flashcookie and/or Browserfingerprint for example. The other stuff is interesting to but gives us no proof of multi-accounting in any kind.
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Rekkles
Rekkles
Posts: 36


9/2/2017
Rekkles
Rekkles
Posts: 36
Machina raises a really good point actually. I'd rather see Dread spending time making the game even more amazing than dealing with a few people that, for the most part, can be dealt with by the community.

So long as we have a good set of tools to determine (to the best we can) who is abusing alts, then the community should be able to handle that.
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RojaxLyon
RojaxLyon
Posts: 3


9/3/2017
RojaxLyon
RojaxLyon
Posts: 3
A possible solution would be to have a High Court in each solar System which would be lead by a judge who is the highest ranking player in the system. Rank would be determined by Star Lord, Emperor, Mayor and in case of a tie then the titled player with the largest population. The player in question could hire an attorney to represent him or may represent himself. Evidence would be placed in this forum by the accusing party. Evidence to the contrary would be place by the player and/or his attorney. They will make their arguments. The community may discuss the evidence for a period of time at the end of which the judge will render a verdict and punishment if indicated.

Eventually, this could be supported by the game mechanics as the dev has already indicated such.
It would allow both parties to present their case.
If the judge is biased and renders an unfair opinion he may be voted out of office for his lack of objectivity.
It does place more responsibility on paid players but for the price of 2 lattes per month anyone could be a paid player.
This would be a good way to encourage people to support the game by buying a subscription.
Eventually, the High Court could be used to render opinions on other matters.
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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1458


9/3/2017
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1458
RojaxLyon wrote:
A possible solution would be to have a High Court in each solar System which would be lead by a judge who is the highest ranking player in the system. Rank would be determined by Star Lord, Emperor, Mayor and in case of a tie then the titled player with the largest population. The player in question could hire an attorney to represent him or may represent himself. Evidence would be placed in this forum by the accusing party. Evidence to the contrary would be place by the player and/or his attorney. They will make their arguments. The community may discuss the evidence for a period of time at the end of which the judge will render a verdict and punishment if indicated.

Eventually, this could be supported by the game mechanics as the dev has already indicated such.
It would allow both parties to present their case.
If the judge is biased and renders an unfair opinion he may be voted out of office for his lack of objectivity.
It does place more responsibility on paid players but for the price of 2 lattes per month anyone could be a paid player.
This would be a good way to encourage people to support the game by buying a subscription.
Eventually, the High Court could be used to render opinions on other matters.



I intend to use the existing mechanics with a little modification to make this happen. A ruler can put up a vote to punish another corp for whatever reason. You can all discuss it in the Comms message that its linked to. Depending on how much votes he gets for a guilty verdict it enables him to initiate perhaps one of a several game enforced punishments. The next stage after the vote is a list of sentences the ruler can apply. The more votes he gets the more punishments unlock. if he cant get a majority then he can't do anything. The ruler can apply things like "no trade" in area, invoke a fine, force the player out of the area entirely (everything will salvage in 100 turns). The more votes the ruler gets for it the more the available punishments can scale up.

The defender has voting weight also so its not easy to impose big punishments on big players, but small "alts" can probably be forced to liquidate.

Paid account do have some advantage in this since only paid can vote at all and when I add the Renown or Political Power stat which dramatically boosts your voting power its going to only work for paid accounts also. To be honest the paid accounts should have more power in this regard If a large group of high level paying players want to ban another small free alt corp it shouldn't be hard to do at all. I have to find some incentive or limitation to prevent abuse against new players but, again, this is a majority vote of paying players not a single griefer initiating the punishment
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RojaxLyon
RojaxLyon
Posts: 3


9/3/2017
RojaxLyon
RojaxLyon
Posts: 3
I think this will be great! It will lead to exciting and interesting stories.
edited by RojaxLyon on 9/4/2017
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TimurThunder
TimurThunder
Posts: 28


9/4/2017
TimurThunder
TimurThunder
Posts: 28
I dont. More need for an army yet again.
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RojaxLyon
RojaxLyon
Posts: 3


9/4/2017
RojaxLyon
RojaxLyon
Posts: 3
A certain amount of conflict is necessary to make games, novels, movies exciting and interesting. If there is no conflict it is boring. If there is too much conflict then it is overwhelming.
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BakonKnight
BakonKnight
Posts: 5


9/4/2017
BakonKnight
BakonKnight
Posts: 5
I think it would work nicely. I have faith in the community to be fair with the use of such mechanics.
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Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22


9/5/2017
Steffstoff
Steffstoff
Posts: 22
Top story. Honestly, I like the idea to put more power into community hands but with which proof of evidence exactly will be people punished? :rolling eyes:
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