The Great Alt Epidemic!


#1

I started playing this game about 3 months ago and I very quickly became an addict!

The Tactics, the Diplomacy, the cooperation, the betrayal, the waiting for epic battles, all add up to good little game packed full of different out comes.

But now there seems to be a scourge that threatens the very foundations of the game. ALTS! yes you know who you are.Those people that sign into a game twice with 2 different accounts.“So and so” shares an IP address with bob etc etc “!” “!” “!”

I only just noticed Alts about 1 - 2 months ago in my first 64 player game, and then shortly after I’ve noticed more and more people sharing IP addresses with others. But in the last 2 - 3 games that I’ve started, Its almost as though I’m the only person that didn’t sign up with an alt!? and if there was one or two with out an alt they would just quit strait away.

Now I’ve herd all the excuses under that sun about how its 2 different people that are playing e.g. “My son plays to”, or “I share a dorm with my friend and they play”, “I’m in the army and my army buddy plays”, “My grandma plays on my computer”, O yea and “my dog wrinkles play’s also” etc etc. yea yea what ever.

I didn’t really mind to much when there was just 1 person using an alt per game, in fact there’s nothing more fun than taking them down even though they have an advantage. But when everyone but you has one ? and any one that didn’t have one just quits strait away !

Its getting to the stage where you have to create an alt just to keep up, and that’s just sad. The game is losing its Nostalgia. People that have been playing for ages a moving on to different games, and less people are being introduced to this one. And I’m sure it wouldn’t be very fun for new players to simply get squished by veteran account registers! That would surely be a quick way to get bored and move on to the next game.

A possible solution to the problem :

Wouldn’t It be good If you could start/create a game with an option that turned off IP sharing. That way People can still play with there alts if they see fit, but then you could also have a more serious game that requires you to rely on wit and cunning to win rather than how many ships you can build with multiple empires. I’m sure there would be a few people interested in joining those type of games. Or just Ban Multiple IP account sharing would be fine by me >8)


#2

I think having multiple accounts in the same game should not be allowed. If your family wants to play then they can join any other game besides the one you are playing. A family should be able to help each other in their own games with no problem. The standard games should not allow account sharing at all. If they want account sharing, they should be able to create their own game or join one that allows account sharing.


#3

I agree that its a pain when you get people using multiple accounts, but turning off ip sharing is not a solution. I play many games at a time, but one will usually have a friend from work in it, if we look at the game during the day we’d have the same ip, out of work hours they’d be different. Yes I know some people use the same excuse and are lying, but some people say it because that’s exactly what is happening.
Whilst the game is browser based there isn’t a sure way to stop it, definitely not ip filtering.


#4

The best and only solution for this is to know who you are playing against.

Come and hang out here on the forums, get to know some friends and invite them to private games.

We should do another tournament soon where I verify every player is real!

Jay.


#5

Actually, I agree with Pete’s solution, why not have it as an option that you have to turn on (i.e. off by default allows Alts as Pete calls them)? Doesn’t change the game much and if people want to play with people from work or school, then they can still do it on default/most games…


#6

If you are going to play with friends, family or work colleagues please use Tor or a proxy service. This will easily hide the fact that you share an IP with people.

It means reduced chance of people unfairly ganging up on you or accusing you of having multiple accounts. Everyone who actually cheats is probably already doing this, and therefore it makes complete sense for legitimate users to use these easy methods of hiding your IP address.

(The above is slightly tongue in cheek, but should show that having IP restrictions isn’t going to solve anything)


#7

The facts of the post resemble hearsay, the request doesn’t address the problem.

I move that duplicate IP warnings be removed to prevent witch hunts.

As the above post indicates, IP spoofing is easy when you don’t have to move a lot of data.


#8

Thanks For hijacking my post and Advertising to increase the problem AnnanFray. Very helpful @.@
I’m sure only people that want to cheat would bother going to such lengths as to mask there ip. and for the ones that that didn’t know how to do it, I’m sure there will be a lot more now, well done. The only reason I posted this in the first place is because I like the game and didn’t want to see it take the same path that happens allot to other games sooner or later. I’m sure there are allot of genuine people that do share an ip address. But the odds are the cheaters far out way the honest. The resent increase of alt users surely suggests this. I don’t see anything wrong with having some games with an independent ip option, Its up to you whether u want to join this game more not. And if you really want to mask your ip just to join one of these games to cheat, well then your a sad sort and ill happily let you win so that you you can feel better about yourself.


#9

mmetully is a witch !!! Burn her burn her !!!


#10

@AnnanFay is right Pete, an even simpler solution is to just use your phone for one account and your laptop for another. Or play one account at work, and another at home.

As @mmetully suggest, I have been threatening to remove the duplicate IP warning because it just aggravates people too much.

I’ve spend heaps of time thinking about this and really the only solution is to play with folks you know.

I think it would be cool to integrate the game into a google hangout so that you can see the other players faces while you play. I did this once for another game I was making for somebody else.

Jay.


#11

A chat room or chat box or something could be good for when you waiting for that fleet to hit or such. It could be in game or could be for everyone who is logged on at the time. Socialising is nice but I’m not sure I want people looking at me lol.


#12

One way to curb the advantage would be to place them at opposite sides of the universe… or put them in the less advantageous positions of being entirely surrounded.


#13

That won’t stop them either. A player will end up starting the game on 1 computer at school or work then playing on their normal computer later on. They will be able to group up in the same game. They can also use their phone on 1 account to start the game. They don’t have much more of an advantage over other people that form alliances. A person using 2 different accounts is playing with only 1 strategy in mind but someone playing with an alliance member has 2 people coming up with their own strategy to take out their opponents. This game is designed around teamwork so multiple accounts don’t work as well. They also have to spend more time deploying their strategies with all their accounts so it really isn’t worth it.


#14

I disagree with Jason, It takes time to form trustworthy alliances with others, and then they can always fall apart and turn on each other. This is part of the fun of the game, to keep you on your toes.

Yet when some one starts the game with an alliance already formed (With their self, or even with there friends) they can already assign different research and plan ahead Right at the start which is a obviously a critical moment in the life of the game, and a huge advantage. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, and I’m all for people playing the game with there friends just as I do myself. Its just that It would be nice to have an option to play a “strangers only game” to mix it up a little.

Unfortunately It seems hat the logistics of coding such an option that people can’t get around is very difficult and most likely going to be put in the to hard basket. O well it was just an Idea.


#15

BTW Alts is a fairly common term used in allot of different gaming arena’s to describe aliases:P


#16

I am all for people playing with friends and making strategies. I was saying that people are at a disadvantage when they make several accounts just to play the same game. They won’t be able to play as good as someone who is playing with friends or making an alliance as other members. 2 heads are better than 1 at any game. Also playing on several accounts is more like cheating and it’s not as fun as playing the game the way it is supposed to be played.

Play with your friends, workers, colleagues, or family. If you make multiple accounts you will not have as much fun as someone playing together with others. It is considered cheating to me for someone to make multiple accounts to have any advantage over others. Blocking IP addresses is not the solution. People will abuse any system that is meant to prevent multiple accounts. They always find away around it, which I think is just stupid and takes away the fun of the game.


#17

As someone that introduced the game to a lot of coworkers, for real, I agree. Our company has >10K employees an all connections go out of a single IP, and I dislike having to explain myself having done nothing bad. As someone else summarized it: people that want to cheat have plenty of tools an are likely to use them (they will feel they found the exploit), innocent guys will not. So this is a penalty for the innocent only.

…and yeah, we played one 64 player game at work to give it a try at an alliance. We got our asses kicked as plenty of us were newbies, some were just trying the game and left, etc. The normal alliances were stronger then ours, with more experienced and committed players.


#18

I have to agree that the only solution to the “alts” problem is: forget it. I am very competitive and I play for winning more then for fun, so I know how bad is the feeling of being cheated like that. But maybe facing the challenge to overcome an unfair situation and triumphing is a good motivation also.

Anyway, real wars are anything but fair.

But the option to have a “strangers only” is really interesting. This could be done by having the game entry span multiple random identical “game rooms”. Like, when this kind of game is created, it really creates for example 10 identical games. When a player joins this game he is randomically assigned to one of those 10 games. If he leaves and join again, he is assigned to the same game as before. In this way the odds of two people combining to join the same game is greatly reduced. And the trouble someone would have to join two accounts in the same game would be much greater. Of course, this would demand 10 times more players for the games to start…


#19

Great idea Arth


#20

I really like the idea of assigning players to random games. It doesn’t completely fix the issue, but hugely raises the bar required to multi or join with friends.

Another possibility is to have random forced alliance games. Players joining are put into a random alliance which they cannot leave.