ClockworkOrange

ALT prevention

141 posts in this topic

It seems like this new VIP change is mostly being done to try to stop the multi account alternative.

As yoink pointed out we are being annoyed to buy VIP, not enticed. This obviously isn't how you want customers to feel. More benefits may/will come, but this isn't a great lead in.

I have been trying to wrap my head around why this is such a problem. Each account bought is money for ACE. The only problem I see is if campaigns were restricted to say 100 players and alts were taking up those slots.

If this is truly a problem you could restrict campaign logins based on IP. That way if I tried to log a second ALT in to a campaign that one of my alts was already in I wouldn't be allowed or I would be forced to remove a character.

Is there a bigger ALT problem I'm not seeing? If you tell me it's unfair that one character can be a master of everything. I will tell you it's better than a zerg guild mastering everything and being able to play every account at the same time.

By the way I will have one account and will have VIP.

 

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IP based prevention is a crap shoot.

For one, only one per house hold could be played. Also, crowfallc ant be played at college dorms, etc. Anywhere there are more then one gamers it would always be a issue. 

Also, VPN's sorta make IP blocking a moot point anyway. 

And Alt accounts have been around forever, its nothing new. Its basically like having a second character in other games.

The main difference is A: the micro specialization gating by huge time walls. And B: passive training.

In this case A is the reason to have a alt account, B makes it extremely easy to own one.

 

To put it in other words. In crowfall, you cant create more characters like in other games, but you can buy them for $50 each. 

 

This change doesn't 100% fix alt accounts, but it does damper it. However, it also adds alot of value to VIP which in return, helps ACE. 

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Ok good point on college dorms, households, LAN partys and cyber cafes.

Wasn't worried about VPN as it would be really annoying to do and many people wouldn't bother.

Still don't see the problem with alts.

In my opinion this doesn't add value to VIP. They removed value from purchasing the game by forcing a sub after advertising as B2P. This decreases value and forces you to pay a sub for something many of us expect in the game.

What if someone made a game like CrowFall and released it that didn't allow skill queuing. Shortly after the release everyone asked for it so they offered a sub to skill queue. You would think the developer is the biggest scumbag you have met.

I think most of the people who aren't bothered by this have VIP, don't mind gaining a competitive advantage and don't worry about the casual gamer.

Is there anyone out there with VIP who does not want a competitive advantage? I will have VIP and I straight up think this is P2W and I don't want the advantage.

 

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I mean, they are not forcing anything. A dedicated player managing a single account can easily keep up along with a VIP skill training. It just requires effort. Playing crowfall and not subbing but wanting to maintain skill trains means you cant take the casual outlook, you will fall behind, as it should be.

And you have to buy the game either way, VIP or non-VIP so you cant take away value from buying the game, sorta impossible. 

But i do understand the 'not wanting to pay for something you use to get for free'. I really do. Its a large change but it doesn't change the B2P aspect of the game. The skills are the game's progression. It just requires more player interaction if you dont want to sub. In other words, less auto pilot for non-sub. In other words, less convenience, which is what VIP has been promised to provide. 

 

The most important thing people overlook when speaking about VIP. It can be earned in-game.

I would imagine, that a single person should be able to maintain a monthly VIP sub earned in game for a single account with out TO much hassle. Now if you are trying to maintain VIP across multiple accounts, you may need to buy it. 

Now you could argue that a person with out alot of time might not be able to earn it in game. Well then they can buy it.

If they cant afford it AND they cant spend enough time playing the game to earn it....well i guess no participation trophy for them. 

 

Edited by Vectious
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3 hours ago, ClockworkOrange said:

It seems like this new VIP change is mostly being done to try to stop the multi account alternative.

 

I'm only casually following development at the moment -- what's the change you're talking about?  I was trying to figure it out from the thread, but everyone is talking about it without saying what it is!

 

Thanks in advance!

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Originally, the only interaction the VIP had will skill trains was you were allowed to have up to three Archetype skill training at the same time and only one general skill training.

90% of the skill training is in the general skill trees. It has all the general combat/seige/stealth/tracking/harvesting/crafting, literaly the entire game is in the general skill training.

The archetype skill trees just had some stat increases to a particular archetype (none of which were equal, sort of all over the place of who got what). But those are going away to be replaced with....im not sure.

I doubt we will lose the three skill trains but thats not the point, thats what VIP use to do, allow more archetype skill trains.

 

They changed how skill nodes acquire points. Instead of 0-100, its now more like 0-5. Each 'pip' stops the training and you have to resume it.....unless you are VIP, it just goes to the next pip.

 

So if you didint want to pay for that convenience, you cant set alarm timer on your phone to jump on really quick and resume training. 

There is a full overview-> here 

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7 minutes ago, Vectious said:

Originally, the only interaction the VIP had will skill trains was you were allowed to have up to three Archetype skill training at the same time and only one general skill training.

90% of the skill training is in the general skill trees. It has all the general combat/seige/stealth/tracking/harvesting/crafting, literaly the entire game is in the general skill training.

The archetype skill trees just had some stat increases to a particular archetype (none of which were equal, sort of all over the place of who got what). But those are going away to be replaced with....im not sure.

I doubt we will lose the three skill trains but thats not the point, thats what VIP use to do, allow more archetype skill trains.

 

They changed how skill nodes acquire points. Instead of 0-100, its now more like 0-5. Each 'pip' stops the training and you have to resume it.....unless you are VIP, it just goes to the next pip.

 

So if you didint want to pay for that convenience, you cant set alarm timer on your phone to jump on really quick and resume training. 

There is a full overview-> here 

I believe that is still the plan.

 

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12 hours ago, ClockworkOrange said:

It seems like this new VIP change is mostly being done to try to stop the multi account alternative.

As yoink pointed out we are being annoyed to buy VIP, not enticed. This obviously isn't how you want customers to feel. More benefits may/will come, but this isn't a great lead in.

I have been trying to wrap my head around why this is such a problem. Each account bought is money for ACE. The only problem I see is if campaigns were restricted to say 100 players and alts were taking up those slots.

If this is truly a problem you could restrict campaign logins based on IP. That way if I tried to log a second ALT in to a campaign that one of my alts was already in I wouldn't be allowed or I would be forced to remove a character.

Is there a bigger ALT problem I'm not seeing? If you tell me it's unfair that one character can be a master of everything. I will tell you it's better than a zerg guild mastering everything and being able to play every account at the same time.

By the way I will have one account and will have VIP.

 

So here's a simple example of at least one of the problems that ALT accounts provide besides if the worlds were limited.

"Yawn" Tark has 32 accounts last I heard.  So in the next round of Campaign worlds, he can import 320 items, instead of everyone with a single accounts 10. In an environment where to fix the "Uncle Bob" problem, everyone is supposed to be limited as to the amount of imports they can bring in, ALT accounts are a starting wealth multiplier.

That ACE doesn't recognize this giant hole is rather surprising.  I also don't see this solution as being anything more than a delaying/annoyance tactic.  It won't take long for the ALT's to get into the 35+ hour single pip training, and once there the management again becomes... manageable. If they simply bite the bullet and pay or trade for a single month of VIP, they will be able to get past the biggest annoyances conveniently, and people running alt accounts are the most likely type of player to be able to afford to trade with other players for it.

This solution is not the solution to ALT accounts, if that was even a goal, which I don't think it was.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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10 hours ago, ClockworkOrange said:

It seems like this new VIP change is mostly being done to try to stop the multi account alternative.

I really doubt that this is true

Recall that training time increases enormously the further into a tree you get.

The only time that VIP status actually matters is at the front end of a tree when you have 2 hour training blocks and the like.

 

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9 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

So here's a simple example of at least one of the problems that ALT accounts provide besides if the worlds were limited.

"Yawn" Tark has 32 accounts last I heard.  So in the next round of Campaign worlds, he can import 320 items, instead of everyone with a single accounts 10. In an environment where to fix the "Uncle Bob" problem, everyone is supposed to be limited as to the amount of imports they can bring in, ALT accounts are a starting wealth multiplier.

That ACE doesn't recognize this giant hole is rather surprising.  I also don't see this solution as being anything more than a delaying/annoyance tactic.  It won't take long for the ALT's to get into the 35+ hour single pip training, and once there the management again becomes... manageable. If they simply bite the bullet and pay or trade for a single month of VIP, they will be able to get past the biggest annoyances conveniently, and people running alt accounts are the most likely type of player to be able to afford to trade with other players for it.

This solution is not the solution to ALT accounts, if that was even a goal, which I don't think it was.

That's the best example problem I've seen, but as long as theirs no population caps I don't think it matters that much.

I still fall back to my usual counter, is it any better than just working with more people? I think the answer is no, therefore it shouldn't be governed as somehow superior to people working together. 

Sure Jim Bob brought in 32 imports worth the resources, it's not gonna matter much against an actual group of 32 other people bringing in resources, they'll still have the advantage. If your concerned about Uncle Bobbing Import issues than you need to be concerned about blobs period, which no one seems to bring up. This does highlight the various issues with the Import system and I admit I don't have a clean answer, but if the money is spent on an alt, it's really just a way less useful version of getting another player.

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7 minutes ago, Duffy said:

That's the best example problem I've seen, but as long as theirs no population caps I don't think it matters that much.

I still fall back to my usual counter, is it any better than just working with more people? I think the answer is no, therefore it shouldn't be governed as somehow superior to people working together. 

Sure Jim Bob brought in 32 imports worth the resources, it's not gonna matter much against an actual group of 32 other people bringing in resources, they'll still have the advantage. If your concerned about Uncle Bobbing Import issues than you need to be concerned about blobs period, which no one seems to bring up. This does highlight the various issues with the Import system and I admit I don't have a clean answer, but if the money is spent on an alt, it's really just a way less useful version of getting another player.

I think you miss the issue entirely.

Its not one person vs 32 people. Its 32 people vs 32 people and the first 32 people each have 30 extra alts accounts because they can afford it. 

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17 minutes ago, Duffy said:

That's the best example problem I've seen, but as long as theirs no population caps I don't think it matters that much.

I still fall back to my usual counter, is it any better than just working with more people? I think the answer is no, therefore it shouldn't be governed as somehow superior to people working together. 

Sure Jim Bob brought in 32 imports worth the resources, it's not gonna matter much against an actual group of 32 other people bringing in resources, they'll still have the advantage. If your concerned about Uncle Bobbing Import issues than you need to be concerned about blobs period, which no one seems to bring up. This does highlight the various issues with the Import system and I admit I don't have a clean answer, but if the money is spent on an alt, it's really just a way less useful version of getting another player.

All the ALT issue have been driven around and around, over and over, and ACE seems content to turn a blind eye to them, so I'm not going to debate or enumerate all of them.

I just bought this one up because as they say the new campaign is "imminent", and the now not theoretical but are now practical and very obvious.

Personal opinion, ALT's could entire break the campaign is a individual "game" world, the same way that having one person play two different teams in Risk would. Sure there is dilution because instead of 6 players they are planning on having thousands, but it's not just the practical application, but also new player perception.

On topic.  If someone like Tark is bound and determined to maximize training time, they will find a way to do that despite the login restriction/requirements, be it buying VIP for a single month, to building automated scripts at home to manage the login process and training selection while they sleep. 

This is not the correct way to bring ALT's to heal.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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10 minutes ago, Vectious said:

I think you miss the issue entirely.

Its not one person vs 32 people. Its 32 people vs 32 people and the first 32 people each have 30 extra alts accounts because they can afford it. 

No, I get it. I was framing my answer to the specific example. There are several examples that play into this and I was being brief. Yours is a much better example and I have no answer to account for it, that does look like a weird corner case of what could be loosely called P2W. I also agree it's not 'good'.

But I'm just trying to point out that practically speaking, there's just not much you can do about alts existing without causing other problems. The only 'good' solution I can think of is to make the game sub based by default, and don't let F2P accounts import into campaigns. People will still buy alts, but the scale of use should decrease by a decent factor. Course that would probably go over pretty poorly. 

I dunno, the Imports/Exports are both integral to making the game interesting and also a hugely exploitable area.

Edited by Duffy
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9 minutes ago, Duffy said:

No, I get it. I was framing my answer to the specific example. There are several examples that play into this and I was being brief. Yours is a much better example and I have no answer to account for it, that does look like a weird corner case of  what could be loosely called P2W. I also agree it's not 'good'.

But I'm just trying to point out that practically speaking, there's just not much you can do about alts existing without causing other problems. The only 'good' solution I can think of is to make the game sub based by default, and don't let F2P accounts import into campaigns. People will still buy alts, but the scale of use should decrease by a decent factor. Course that would probably go over pretty poorly. 

I dunno, the Imports/Exports are both integral to making the game interesting and also a hugely exploitable area.

You can do the one thing that matters, allow player to have as many crows as they like in one account, and pile those accounts and relationships with all sorts of advantages that are greater than the advantages of imports and exports, such as limited shared training, shared EK management, account spiritbank that allows seamless transfer, etc.

Then restrict imports by account.  IF you want to have a ton of ALT accounts to beat the import rules, you will also be hamstringing yourself and cutting yourself off of the other advantages that having multiple crows on a single account would offer.

Plenty of games already do this. Think of any game that you get no advantage for having more than one account.  Games like League of Legends and other mobas.  There you get to share XP, and Runes with all your champions. It's the champion that defines the play style, and you can switch between the ones you have between games.

It's this incredibly weird fascination with the EvE model of training, as there are other ways possible to do passive training, and the locking of players:accounts rather than characters:Race/Class  combos to specific trades, that has created the situation that is has.

I honestly think that soon after launch, ACE is going to have to take a big step back and re-evaluate many assumptions they have made regarding ALT's and their relationships to campaign worlds. I just really hope it doesn't kill the game in the process.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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The main problem with alts (imo): ACE wants this to be a social game, where people have to cooperate to get anything done. The training system and the uber-specialization it forces are no accident, it was deliberately designed to force that social interaction. Being able to buy a bunch of alt accounts and become self-reliant undermines it all.

This is not a trivial thing. It's fundamental to the game, it's the secret sauce that transforms a glorified single player RPG with an auction house into a real MMO. It's the thing SWG and SB had that many modern MMOs are missing. It's the reason many of us are here.

Personally I think ACE went a bit too far with the uber-specialization. I'd like to see at least 2 general trains per account, and perhaps faster training times overall (although the ability to progress without 100% in a skill may fix that). But I agree with the intent behind that specialization, with the desire to make this a game about social interaction instead of solo grinding.

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32 minutes ago, Vectious said:

I think you miss the issue entirely.

Its not one person vs 32 people. Its 32 people vs 32 people and the first 32 people each have 30 extra alts accounts because they can afford it. 

I am glad someone brought up this point cause I didn't see it originally (Krakken thanks for your post). Most people are not like Tark and don't have to throw money at something to win. Most people also don't have the time to play 32 accounts, so this would rarely happen. So maybe you have a guild of 32 and they each have 3 accounts. That is still inferior than the zerg guild with 96 actual players.

The fact that you can buy VIP in game and the import/export problem presented above just creates more problems, not less. This creates another possibility of P2W as someone can just go buy VIP and sell it in game for resources and other items. This is basically the same as paying real life currency to get more imports in a campaign, because other players will sell you their imports.

All of these things, while poor ways to play the game, are not completely game breaking in my opinion. As people talk about above you will always have people like this looking to gain a competitive edge.

Zergs, VIP trading for items, and ALT accounts are all potential problems to the game. They are problems that give those who "try hard" a greater advantage. We combat this by putting non-VIP players at a disadvantage?

I also don't listen to anyone who tells me a non-VIP could be just as good as a VIP. The only person who could keep up as non-VIP is a retired hermit. So stop pretending this is the case.

This is a hardcore skill based PVP game. There should never be a skill imbalance in training because someone paid more money. This seems obvious to me.

Also since after the first month skills will be training for 24 hours anyway. Non-VIP might as well just get a 24 hour queue.

 

 

Edited by ClockworkOrange

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10 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

You can do the one thing that matters, allow player to have as many crows as they like in one account, and pile those accounts and relationships with all sorts of advantages that are greater than the advantages of imports and exports, such as limited shared training, shared EK management, account spiritbank that allows seamless transfer, etc.

Then restrict imports by account.  IF you want to have a ton of ALT accounts to beat the import rules, you will also be hamstringing yourself and cutting yourself off of the other advantages that having multiple crows on a single account would offer.

Plenty of games already do this. Think of any game that you get no advantage for having more than one account.  Games like League of Legends and other mobas.  There you get to share XP, and Runes with all your champions. It's the champion that defines the play style, and you can switch between the ones you have between games.

It's this incredibly weird fascination with the EvE model of training, as there are other ways possible to do passive training, and the locking of players:accounts rather than characters:Race/Class  combos to specific trades, that has created the situation that is has.

I honestly think that soon after launch, ACE is going to have to take a big step back and re-evaluate many assumptions they have made regarding ALT's and their relationships to campaign worlds. I just really hope it doesn't kill the game in the process.

 

That's a pretty radical idea, but I honestly like it a lot. I just don't think they'll do it because no one seems to want to introduce that much complexity to solve this sort of problem.

Your account example is kind of an apples to zebras thing, but I get where your trying to go. I think the problem is that as long as your 'locked' into some choices alt accounts will always be an enticing option and RPGs generally force you to lock into some sort of choice. I don't know if it can be solved without removing progression.

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10 minutes ago, Avloren said:

The main problem with alts (imo): ACE wants this to be a social game, where people have to cooperate to get anything done. The training system and the uber-specialization it forces are no accident, it was deliberately designed to force that social interaction. Being able to buy a bunch of alt accounts and become self-reliant undermines it all.

This is not a trivial thing. It's fundamental to the game, it's the secret sauce that transforms a glorified single player RPG with an auction house into a real MMO. It's the thing SWG and SB had that many modern MMOs are missing. It's the reason many of us are here.

Personally I think ACE went a bit too far with the uber-specialization. I'd like to see at least 2 general trains per account, and perhaps faster training times overall (although the ability to progress without 100% in a skill may fix that). But I agree with the intent behind that specialization, with the desire to make this a game about social interaction instead of solo grinding.

The problem with that was that they failed to make that specialization and interaction interesting. However, I think the problem is lopsided mechanics design and not the basic premise of specialization. Ultimately when push comes to shove it's gonna be about the people fighting and working together in the moment of conflict that is going to decide the outcome. The alts end up filling roles that don't consume enough time to be detrimental and acting as a support buffer. If someone would turn the support alt roles into an actual time consuming activity that can't be gamed by just making more alts then a lot of the problem goes away as the advantage of alts shifts from simply having them to utilize their passive systems to having them for a breadth of options. Alts would become more 'how will I spend my few hours of gametime today' and less 'queue up the things I need then go back to my main'.

Edited by Duffy

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