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Karnisov

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Joined: Apr 12, 2008
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open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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I was recently testing the Linux port of my pillage tools app on my alt. One of the tests involved was damage reporting, which sends keystrokes to chat in the pp window, both on and off station.

Today I try to log onto my alt, and I am greeted with the "you have banned for botting" message.

Since the only time this alt has touched a puzzle station in the last 6 months was to test my app, and the test did not involve moving any actual puzzle pieces, it's obvious that whatever automatic botting detection that was recently implemented is using pretty arbitrary criteria.

This bothers me on multiple levels.

  • users of my legitimate app are possibly getting banned due to this false positive
  • the likelyhood of users of other legitimate apps that send keystrokes, like QM, is high


The attitude of "ban first ask questions later" is damaging your customer retention and community development efforts, OOO.
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
[Dec 7, 2012 1:02:31 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
awright

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Joined: Dec 31, 2010
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Re: open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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Because OOO has adopted this attitude it has allowed for the banning of may players who were playing illegitimately. While it is a massive inconvenience for players like you who are getting a false positive and should obviously be relaxed slightly; I am happy to see that they have done something besides rely solely on other players to /complain suspected botters.

If they ban your main account now for ban evasion however, my opinion stated above will obviously change.
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-barcium

Original Huntard
[Dec 7, 2012 1:34:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Karnisov

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Re: open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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barcium wrote: 

If they ban your main account now for ban evasion however, my opinion stated above will obviously change.


It will be interesting to see what happens with that, since I logged in today with my main account and ran some similar tests, before I was aware my alt account had been banned.
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
[Dec 7, 2012 6:22:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Karnisov

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Re: open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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I received a response from support today:

 
Ahoy,

after reviewing the issue, I've removed the ban on your account.

Apologies for the inconvenience. I do think I should point out that this was
actually a human mistake, not a flaw in our detection system, and thus not
something expected to happen for anyone using legit tools such as yours.

Fair winds,

- Endymion


So I feel better that my app is not potentially causing false positives for other users.

I do think whatever ban procedure they follow needs to be reviewed though. If an account can be banned for "botting" by simply logging in to say "hi" to friends, etc. without doing any actual puzzling, then their manual ban process is obviously flawed.

The policy of "ban first verify later" leaves a very bad taste in paying customers' mouths.
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Karnisov at Dec 8, 2012 7:40:48 AM]
[Dec 8, 2012 7:38:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TexasBeesh

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Re: open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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I'm really glad they looked into this and took care of it for you. :)
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Seatexan - on the Midnight side of Cerulean
LOW RACK PRICES AT DRESSED TO KILL - NAMATH
Always looking for Pollack Sloops!
[Dec 8, 2012 8:00:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Endymion
OceanMaster
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Re: open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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I do think whatever ban procedure they follow needs to be reviewed though. If an account can be banned for "botting" by simply logging in to say "hi" to friends, etc. without doing any actual puzzling, then their manual ban process is obviously flawed.

The policy of "ban first verify later" leaves a very bad taste in paying customers' mouths.


There is no policy of "ban first verify later".

I can't discuss technical details of what happened here for security reasons, but in the end, the reason for this having happened was simply someone missing a crucial detail in the data for this incident.

Certainly, that should not happen, but we're all human, so mistakes can and do happen. Fortunately, especially in this context, they're incredibly rare and easily fixed.

As some other responses indicated, while we appreciate an incident like this can be inconvenient for the affected player, we do think this is better than the alternative - not dealing with players who use bots.
[Dec 8, 2012 11:57:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Belthazar451

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Re: open letter to OOO concerning overzealous "bot" detection Reply to this Post
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Ooo, since you're here, Endymion, is "legit" really a tone-appropriate word to be using in official correspondence? =P
[Dec 8, 2012 12:16:56 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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