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[PC] Combating Gold Spammers

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  • obsiddiaobsiddia Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,025 Arc User

    While we can’t share the specifics of these changes, new characters will be subject to the following restrictions until you have progressed a certain amount in the main quests

    May I ask why it is a character unlock (removing the restriction) and not an account unlock?
    If I have played through the requirements I should have proven that the account is not driven by a bot.
    I really do hope that if you "ban" someone you don't only ban one character but the whole account.
    THIS. Every legit account will have at least one character that has a lot of time put into. It would make so much more sense to impose HIGHER restrictions but only on ONE char to lift restrictions for the entire account.
    THIS is a good point, and should be seriously considered.
    Did you really think anyone could steal the power of the god of thieves?
  • mattachinemattachine Member Posts: 189 Arc User
    edited September 2016

    Here are some ideas. Not all that well thought through, I admit, but none the less they are ideas and meybe they might work. :smiley:

    Introduce pure randomness in the game. Never have the same spawn point for the players nor for the enemies. Randomize all locations for user to interact with. That means skill nodes and chests and what not will vary to such a degree that including all variations would require too much processing power. This would also make grinding the same quests over and over (due to lack of content or wanting a special loot drop) more challenging and less monotone.

    For an MMO in this day and age I am seriously surprised at the very static nature of this game. I fully think that randomness would be a great addition... though it may not stop the botters, but it would slow them down for a while at the very least. Sadly, while having everything be static helps the botters making things random wouldn't be terribly hard for them to adapt to,

    Well it depends on how random it really is I guess.

    Make all regular drops be account bound as well as possible to use by any class, until equipped, when it becomes character & class bound. That way we would always get items that our toons can use. And if we have more then one toon and an other is in greater need they could still get that item instead.

    I agree that making more things be Account Bound would be so very, very nice. It would make this game become considerably more alt-friendly than it is now... and now it seems like they go out of their way to make it alt-unfriendly! :disappointed:

    Not sure about the idea of making all equipment usable by every class though. ;)

    You could try removing AD completely from the Auction House. Replace it with Gold instead. Just like its predecessors in Champions and Star Trek Online does. Save the AD for special stuff like upgrading mounts, buying special gear in stores, etc. You should also change so that AD is pooled for an account and possible to deposit in to guild banks just as Gold is. That way the the player would still get all the AD they earn but the need to buy AD from others will be slightly lowered as you will have more AD at your fingertips in case you need something for a toon.

    Guild Bank tabs should have their price changed to Gold as well. Just like its predecessors in Champions and Star Trek Online>

    All this would do is make the goldsellers actually be, well, sellers of gold instead of Astral Diamonds! ;)

    I do not experience the same gold spamming in Star Trek Online and Champions Online. Who both have their auction houses linked to their respective gold counterparts in those two games. Neither Dilithium nor Questionite is used to buy extra bank tabs or anything put up for sale in the AH.

    Implementing an adaptive piece of software that scans the chat server for gold-spammer's adverts must be child play for a programmer. This software should have a player editable section that we could ourselves add phrases or words to in case int software itself miss something.

    As a coder myself I have thought of a number of ways in which the activities of the goldsellers could be detected. They seem to love using punctuation in their messages to avoid filters... so why not detect messages that use excessive punctuation? Or, remove all punctuation from messages/mails and then check whatever is left. Some judicious RegEx usage could do wonders for detecting the goldsellers. Detecting an account that has sent excessive mails that are 99% similar to previous mails could also be a technique to use to detect them. I could go on... :)

    Adding an incrementally growing auto banning feature that easily logs the player account using the chat and for each time a ban is triggered the time they will be banned for (lets start with 30 minutes) would double, quickly adding up to a permanent ban (doubled 21 times is more time then a normal human lifespan). It should be easily implemented to watch the chat server for those accounts that often in quick succession send friend invites, then a /tell and cancel the friend invite followed by a report spam notice, in matter of seconds. If an other formula is used it can be made faster or slower.

    I don't think I quite understand what you are suggesting here... I almost never get friend requests from random accounts, nor /tells, usually most of the goldseller spam I see is via the mail system or the usual PE chat spam.
    I get friend requests all the time, then they send me a goldspam /tell and then they cancel the friend request. It's done so fast that I can't decline the friend request before it's all over.

  • beckylunaticbeckylunatic Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 14,231 Arc User

    We’d like to note that these barriers of entry are quite low, meaning you’ll only need to play for a few hours before being able to perform the functions stated above. This is to ensure legitimate players are affected as little as possible with these changes.

    @strumslinger

    In all seriousness, why should a completely new player bother? If you started playing an MMO and discovered that it was going to block you from communicating with other players (MMOs ostensibly being social games... like... I guess?), would you be more inclined to try to overcome the obstacles between you and a richer game experience, or to find a game that wouldn't assume you were trash from the moment you rolled your character?

    What makes Neverwinter so special at this time that new players should suck it up and jump through these hoops, as opposed to just going elsewhere? Because trying to see it from their perspective, it's really offputting, a punishment for something you didn't do. I don't see why most people would put up with it when they're looking for a fun experience.
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  • two30two30 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,168 Arc User
    Zone chat in Protector's Enclave before:
    • gold spammers
    • guild recruitment
    • trolls blathering about American politics
    • new players asking for help
    Zone chat in Protector's Enclave now:
    • gold spammers
    • guild recruitment
    Neverwinter Tools for evaluating boons, mounts, dyes, etc.
  • zebularzebular Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 15,270 Community Moderator
    edited May 2017
    Moderator Update: Added the following to the Original Post of this thread.

    To unlock trading, auction house, and other social functions, one must have completed any five of the following quest chains on any one character on the account. Once unlocked on any one character, all characters will be unrestricted.


    Chain: Return of the Crown
    Quests to complete:
    The Trail of the Crown
    Cornering Karzov

    Chain: The Tower District
    Quests to complete:
    Returning the Pain
    Fists of the Warband
    Into the Cloak Tower

    Chain: The Plague Tower
    Quests to complete:
    Troubled Times
    The Plague Tower

    Chain: Blackdagger Ruins
    Quests to complete:
    The Sea Caves
    Bloodying the Bandits
    Grimstorm Keep

    Chain: Neverdeath
    Quests to complete:
    Dragon Attack
    Opening the Way
    The Clockwork Tomb

    Chain: Helm's Hold
    Quests to complete:
    The Underscar
    The Being from Beyond
    The Sanatorium

    One can in game these required quests as they are all be displayed in the new Campaign Layout screens and menus.
    Post edited by zebular on
  • scathiasscathias Member Posts: 1,174 Arc User
    So basically anyone who is not lv 20 is barred from a lot of useful functions, getting help, grouping up in the first few key zones that are crucial to grabbing new player's interest.

    And meanwhile the gold spammers are still here, because they can bot their way to 20 so fast and easily that they really don't care.

    /enthusiastic clapping
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  • zebularzebular Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 15,270 Community Moderator
    edited September 2016
    scathias said:

    So basically anyone who is not lv 20 is barred from a lot of useful functions, getting help, grouping up in the first few key zones that are crucial to grabbing new player's interest.

    And meanwhile the gold spammers are still here, because they can bot their way to 20 so fast and easily that they really don't care.

    /enthusiastic clapping

    Wrong. You can still group up and queue in skirmishes also, as well as join a guild and then use guild, group, or local chat in instanced content.

    I experienced this restriction first hand as a new player on the PS4. I grouped up with my best friend across the country all the way till I unlocked this restriction and we communicated just fine in group and well as voice chat. The only really drawback was that we couldn't trade but after an hour or so of gameplay, that was no longer an issue on any of my characters.

    My only suggestion is to make the restriction go away once an account spends $30-$50 dollars on Zen. I found it quite strange that even though I bought $4000 Zen, spending it on 1 month of VIP and an Epic Mount, that I still had to succumb to the restriction. I say add to the stipulations that one may either complete any of the "3 quest chains" or spend X-amount of RLM on Zen, whichever is achieved first. Make the amount comparable to the cost of an average MMO game, which is between $30-$50.

  • manyvengeancemanyvengeance Member Posts: 172 Arc User
    edited September 2016
    I honestly have no idea how do you run all this quests in an hour, Neverdeath is eternal and you need to be level 30 to unlock the final bunch of quests there (which end up in The Clockwork Tomb and isn't even clear anywhere for a new player to understand what's missing), also Helm's Hold is so big! I can't imagine myself doing it with a 50% speed Mount.

    Back when I started, I played through this quests with other 4 friends (so we had a full group), and let me tell you that while it was fun it got confusing really fast, we "finished" Neverdeath at level 28, so we skipped the last part for the longest time, then we got to Helm's Hold and couldn't finish all the quests there because one or maybe more NPCs don't have the question marks on top of their heads. I literally finished all those quests at level 69 trying to finally get to 70.

    I have one character of each class and I think only 2 have finished Helm's Hold.
  • zebularzebular Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 15,270 Community Moderator
    edited September 2016

    I honestly have no idea how do you run all this quests in an hour, Neverdeath is eternal and you need to be level 30 to unlock the final bunch of quests there (which end up in The Clockwork Tomb and isn't even clear anywhere for a new player to understand what's missing), also Helm's Hold is so big! I can't imagine myself doing it with a 50% speed Mount.

    Back when I started, I played through this quests with other 4 friends (so we had a full group), and let me tell you that while it was fun it got confusing really fast, we "finished" Neverdeath at level 28, so we skipped the last part for the longest time, then we got to Helm's Hold and couldn't finish all the quests there because one or maybe more NPCs don't have the question marks on top of their heads. I literally finished all those quests at level 69 trying to finally get to 70.

    I have one character of each class and I think only 2 have finished Helm's Hold.

    I have over 40 characters on the PC, most are in the late 60's, three on the XBOX, and now three on the PS4. I've ran these quests so many times, I could almost do it in my sleep. Besides, as I said I was grouped with my best friend who was level 60, so everything melted before us. It was probably closer to two hours of gameplay though. I did say also that I bought an Epic Mount, so I was running at 110% speed.
  • manyvengeancemanyvengeance Member Posts: 172 Arc User
    I don't think this is a good solution tho, it happened to me when I started playing the game, I didn't spend any money until much later and the Devs need to look at it from the perspective of a new player, the first time I went through all of this quests it honestly took me months to finish all the enlisted quests because of the reasons I said earlier and also wasn't playing the game as much.

    We learned that we could have a 3rd bag until a friend started talking to random people, we needed the AH because the RNG sometimes lets you run around with the same pair of boots for like 20 levels, everything is doable, yes, but new players aren't always willing to stand this kind of things, even less so if the game doesn't tell you every single step with directions, goals and everything fully detailed. I.E. I haven't found anywhere in-game that you need to be level 30 to unlock the last part of Neverdeath.
  • ruffneck#4235 ruffneck Member Posts: 67 Arc User
    edited September 2016
    Since the Restrictions have been placed The restrictions have in no Way Shape or form stopped the spamming

    its like an invasion now in P.E even worse than before maybe admit you are defeated and place things back the way they were.

    Edit - over 1k spammers blocked. since new system in play before i was only at 600 do the maths :sweat:
  • lewstelamon01lewstelamon01 Member Posts: 7,415 Arc User
    edited September 2016

    Since the Restrictions have been placed The restrictions have in no Way Shape or form stopped the spamming

    its like an invasion now in P.E even worse than before maybe admit you are defeated and place things back the way they were.

    Edit - over 1k spammers blocked. since new system in play before i was only at 600 do the maths :sweat:

    They were never meant to "stop" the spamming. Gold sellers have been around since the dawn of MMO gaming. They're a business and aren't just going to throw in the towel over such things. They're going to follow the money and do whatever it takes to get their advertising across.

    They are, however, meant to make life harder on them or have to actually put in effort to continue their activities. Devs don't have to make it easy on them. It is, and always will be, a never ending cat-and-mouse game though. Things aren't going to change.

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  • samerikersameriker Member Posts: 169 Arc User
    edited October 2016
    I want to know why my GUILD chat is blocked by this action. If I invite a new player to the guild, I trust them. Why can't they join a custom chat channel, why can't they emote, why can't they communicate? I recruit and help the newest players and Cryptic is making this very anti-social. By the time you complete 3 chains, assuming you don't leave the game, you should be wondering why you need anyone to help you at all.

    Thanks for the information on the requirements zebular.

    Edit: @zebular "I've ran these quests so many times, I could almost do it in my sleep."
    That is good for you, but what about the fellow who just signed up to decide, if they really want to buy? Doing these chains makes it between level 20 to 35 and they will be a paragon before they can ask us the important start up questions. I have my 8 characters, not an army as you do, but I am concerned for others, not myself.
    Post edited by sameriker on
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  • beckylunaticbeckylunatic Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 14,231 Arc User
    edited October 2016
    Congratulations!

    Since new players can't talk in zone chat, they can't ask which artifact is best while in their early 20s, so they just take the stupid Catalogue.
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  • tashiaserenetashiaserene Member Posts: 21 Arc User
    New players NEED to be able to talk.

    This all needs to be undone and a different approach needs to happen.

  • zebularzebular Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 15,270 Community Moderator
    edited October 2016

    Congratulations!

    Since new players can't talk in zone chat, they can't ask which artifact is best while in their early 20s, so they just take the stupid Catalogue.

    New players NEED to be able to talk.

    This all needs to be undone and a different approach needs to happen.

    They can talk, in groups or custom channels, or even voice chat services (pc or console). It's not hard to form a group or join a channel and chat away and both the PS4 and XBOX have built in voice chatting. Then there's always the forums.

    Regardless, someone's always going to have some negative spin on any restrictions placed in the game. Personally, as I stated in an earlier post here, the only issue I see is that the restriction isn't lifted if the player spends an X-amount of Real Money on the game.



  • matt5p5p#0725 matt5p5p Member Posts: 2 New User
    Characters created before 8/25 aren't affected? <font color="orange">HAMSTER</font>. My character was made much earlier than that and I can't do <font color="orange">HAMSTER</font>. Also can't even pick up the required quests to unlock the privilege of being able to post and chat. Neverwinter support is also a joke. Done with this game.
  • demonmongerdemonmonger Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,350 Arc User
    If they really wanted to combat gild spammers... we would have systems in place that.

    1) blocked character chats if player said the same phrase more than 3 times in a row

    2) blocked accounts that we put on lists as gold spammers.

    3) banned all accounts using items from 3Rd party sites
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  • petersfieldpetersfield Member Posts: 3 Arc User
    They have to combat their own greed before gold spammers. I see spammers offer 1m AD for $10, if you can convert that it becomes 2k zen. That is twice the amount than cryptic/pwe offers.
    They need to either offer a reasonable AH cap, make lockboxes rain loot, or sell zen cheaper. In any case they need to make it so AD farming for cash is less lucrative, not less AD.
  • dmlouciferdmloucifer Member Posts: 4 Arc User
    zebular said:

    Moderator Update: Added the following to the Original Post of this thread.

    To unlock trading, auction house, and other social functions, one must have completed any three of the following quest chains on any one character on the account. Once unlocked on any one character, all characters will be unrestricted.


    Chain: Return of the Crown
    Quests to complete:
    The Trail of the Crown
    Cornering Karzov

    Chain: The Tower District
    Quests to complete:
    Returning the Pain
    Fists of the Warband
    Into the Cloak Tower

    Chain: The Plague Tower
    Quests to complete:
    Troubled Times
    The Plague Tower

    Chain: Blackdagger Ruins
    Quests to complete:
    The Sea Caves
    Bloodying the Bandits
    Grimstorm Keep

    Chain: Neverdeath
    Quests to complete:
    Dragon Attack
    Opening the Way
    The Clockwork Tomb

    Chain: Helm's Hold
    Quests to complete:
    The Underscar
    The Being from Beyond
    The Sanatorium

    One can in game these required quests as they are all be displayed in the new Campaign Layout screens and menus.

    Your system is not working as advertised. I talked a friend into joining this game, got him to buy a 6 mo sub, talked him into the inscribed armor, and a class pack. We could not trade until we finally completed blackdagger ruins. SO your restriction about completing any 3 of those quest chains is not working. We both had completed the three previous chains before blackdagger and still the game was restricting his access.

    And why is it that in Cryptic's infinite wisdom do you restrict paying customers? My friend would have quit right there when he found out that he was still under these draconian restrictions even after spending almost $100 on this game!

  • duce2duce#5231 duce2duce Member Posts: 23 Arc User
    In all the years of playing mmos every attempt to stop spammers either results in no effect to the spammers and damaging results to players that these things should NEVER effect.

    How about we do some math? If there are 100 paying players putting 10 dollars a month in are complaining about a problem, It should take 1 person less than 1 week to solve the problem equalling in 1000 dollars in payment for jobs done. Now take 3 weeks off work to let the cash build back to 1000 then send someone in to address the problem. Now multiply it up by about 100 or 1000 and there should be a lot of time left over to fix any given problem.

    Instead of setting restrictions on all players through a set it and forget it type of setup how about someone get off their lazy asses and come into the game once a week and MONITOR the chat box and delete and ban accounts as needed. Yes I have heard all of the excuses about what it takes to sign in and read the chat box, guess what I do it every day and it doesn't seem that hard? Now the implications of whats stated would suggest we want GM's to come play with us, NO just sit hidden in the enclave and READ the chat box, its not that hard to figure out who's spamming and who is not. This also can't be a job with a set day of the week for monitirong.

    Another way is to take the crime stoppers method, pay people to participate in removing spammers instead of just blocking the player. I find the report player ability in neverwinter to be annoying and slow, you also can't report a group of people as there is a time limit between reporting.

    I still think the cheapest and best option is to have a REAL person REALLY do something about spammers by sitting there and removing them as they come up. Take the guess work out of reviewing reports about spammers and having to investigate them, JUST SIT IN AND REMOVE THEM YOUYR SELF.

    Tell me I am wrong here, You expect me to pay to play everyday, where is the hurt in expecting someone to fix/take care of problems every day? I pay a sub, there are rules about spamming, why am I seeing or needing to participate in a part of something that should be taken care of by the main followers/setters of the rules.
  • meliodas999#7071 meliodas999 Member Posts: 1 New User
    Why can not I add friends to the game? Someone help me ?
  • firdraingfirdraing Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 58 Arc User
    edited March 2017
    Well... these changes are far from perfect because new comers (Actual players) will have even more trouble and player income will be even shorter...
    But for this once I guess changes are good, at least something to prevent the spam, though a note is important that ~50-75% of the spam I get in total goes to my mailbox, with a bunch of website links and stuff like "We're the most trusted ad website" and other hamster, however when I click report spam it sais player doesn't exist, so it seems they delete their spam chars themselves.
    For the moment we don't need too much to do the first three chains, however for doing plague tower it would be best to have zone/say unlocked already? Because I remember when I started playing, it was a bit hard to get through that questline.
  • firdraingfirdraing Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 58 Arc User
    duce2duce, you're not correct.

    let me put it out this way:
    He sits there and continuosly bans every spammer, yes? Spammer goes, deletes his char, creates a new one and spamms again. Account gets banned? He creates a new account and does the same on his chars. It would honestly be a waste of time.
    Now if they would have IP bans, maybe that would actually do something... because spammers would run out of PCs.
  • zebularzebular Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 15,270 Community Moderator
    edited March 2017
    firdraing said:

    duce2duce, you're not correct.

    let me put it out this way:
    He sits there and continuosly bans every spammer, yes? Spammer goes, deletes his char, creates a new one and spamms again. Account gets banned? He creates a new account and does the same on his chars. It would honestly be a waste of time.
    Now if they would have IP bans, maybe that would actually do something... because spammers would run out of PCs.

    IP bans have been proven to be ineffective since the late 90's as there are numerous ways to circumvent such, even more so in current times. It's just as easy to get a new IP via a number of ways and even worse, with how IPs are recycled and even shared in this day and age, companies run the risk of banning innocent people by IP banning. IP addresses are not PC specific, MAC addresses are but those are just as easily changeable for those in the know... and it's a safe bet that the majority of spammers are in the know, as they deal with all sorts of bans on a continual basis.
  • dread4moordread4moor Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,154 Arc User
    Removing the market for botted goods is not working.
    Doesn't work in real life markets and it won't work in this virtual one.
    How many more years before they at least try some barriers?

    There are many barrier options Cryptic has never even tried.
    1) CAPTCHA (Poor)
    Not a great option. Putting a CAPTCHA barrier to posting on the AH or on zone changes/during loading screens would help. But it would drive some of us humans insane and can be beaten by many bots. Better then nothing.
    2) reCAPTCHA+ (Fair)
    The newest reCAPTCHA reads mouse-movements (bots cannot make truly human-like random mouse movements) which is better. But there would surely be some false-positives. Still, better then nothing.
    3) Logic Script/image combos (Better)
    "Which of these images shows a citrus fruit eaten by an angry person? " Very bot resistant. Very human irritating. Would the NW public endure this with each screen load?
    I would if it stopped the bots, but not all would agree.
    4) Honeypots (Good)
    A fourth option is the "honeypot" approach. It involves an input field with a none-Cascading Style Sheets rule (or similar) on it. Humans cannot read/see these but bots are tricked into filling in the blank, hence announcing themselves as bots.
    This last one is the most promising option.

    There.
    4 options that would certainly reduce some bot traffic. Not perfect.
    @asterdahl @mimicking#6533 @nitocris83 , I'm sure all of these have been considered 100 times.
    Would welcome ELI5 why they have never been used in NW.
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  • shawynnexshawynnex Member Posts: 6 Arc User
    This is the STUPIDEST mechanic EVER!
    You have to be level 20 to complete the quests from Blackdagger Ruins on.
    Unless you're a VIP (and who the HELL would want to be if this is what you have to go thru) you'll be way under leveled by the time you finish the previous quests, and will HAVE to grind or do side quests JUST TO UNLOCK CHAT IN AN MMORPG MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER ROLE PLAYING GAME!!!!!!!!
    A "Massive Multiplayer" "Role Playing" game that you can't have conversations with other people in. WTF??!!!
  • zebularzebular Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 15,270 Community Moderator
    shawynnex said:

    This is the STUPIDEST mechanic EVER!

    You have to be level 20 to complete the quests from Blackdagger Ruins on.

    Unless you're a VIP (and who the HELL would want to be if this is what you have to go thru) you'll be way under leveled by the time you finish the previous quests, and will HAVE to grind or do side quests JUST TO UNLOCK CHAT IN AN MMORPG MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER ROLE PLAYING GAME!!!!!!!!

    A "Massive Multiplayer" "Role Playing" game that you can't have conversations with other people in. WTF??!!!

    zebular said:

    Congratulations!

    Since new players can't talk in zone chat, they can't ask which artifact is best while in their early 20s, so they just take the stupid Catalogue.

    New players NEED to be able to talk.

    This all needs to be undone and a different approach needs to happen.

    They can talk, in groups or custom channels, or even voice chat services (pc or console). It's not hard to form a group or join a channel and chat away and both the PS4 and XBOX have built in voice chatting. Then there's always the forums.

    Regardless, someone's always going to have some negative spin on any restrictions placed in the game. Personally, as I stated in an earlier post here, the only issue I see is that the restriction isn't lifted if the player spends an X-amount of Real Money on the game.





This discussion has been closed.