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melm
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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by melm » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:03 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:26 am
Unfortunately that would be an utterly enormous task and would not be a good user experience as it would have to upload the turn after every player action. It also probably wouldn't give any additional protection as at best it would just make the cheating more time consuming as you'd have to go combat by combat not turn by turn and by the look of it when people cheat, they do it combat by combat.
It won't become cheat combat to combat because when the result happens aka the player sees the result, it is uploaded to the server. He or she can't redo it as the result is already on the server. If the player deliberately disconnect their network before they are making any move, the game could simply not allow any move be made since the connection fails.

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by kronenblatt » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:28 pm

cromlechi wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:55 pm
Swuul wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:57 am
I have to say I am still quite shocked that cheating has apparently been so easy to do in FoG2 MP games. I was sure redownloading even twice would rise the yellow banner already. But nope, no such thing. For all that I know even that 99 redownloads might not have risen any suspicions if there hadn't been that 200+ redownload case of the same person.

However, what I am more shocked about is that Slitherine apparently has no qualms with some cheating, as long as the cheating isn't absolutely overboard. That is the message I get from Ian.

In sports failing to participiate in drug tests three times within a year means you can take a two year break from the sports, in many countries committing a third violence crime means you are out for a very long time, in many countries recieving a third speeding ticket within a year means you can use the public transportation for a year or two, in baseball three strikes means you are out. In FoG2 "false positives" (what does that mean? if a player redownloads a turn 10 times it is "false positive", redownloading 50 times during 10 games is "false positive"?) seemingly are so dangerous that moderate cheating is ok for the common good.

Not taking action against cheaters has killed many good MP games. PUBG seems to be the latest to suffer, a massively popular game which is plummeting because cheats and the unwillingness of the publisher to take actions in fear of the same "false positive" as we seemingly have in FoG2 too. Letting cheaters roam in fear of taking action against somebody who is actually is a good person and an absolute angel who just happens to live at South Pole where electric cuts can happen 50 times a day.

I am shocked.
But this is not the Olympics or violent crime, this is a minor hobby for most players. Anyone that cheats and I guess they are few is really just cheating themselves. At least I know on the odd occasions when I win it was done on merit and I would prefer that to a 100 unmerited victories and suspect most people are the same. There are still a lot of people who like the historical simulation aspect as well and the competition is just a small part of it. I agree we need to deter cheaters but I also appreciate the time and effort that goes into developing these games. Let's keep some perspective. Best wishes Adam
Well written: I too agree with this.
Arranging The Year of Many Emperors (TYME), Dividing the Spoils (DiSp), The West is No More (TWiNM), An Empire in Flames (AEiF), Ruin and Conquest of Britain (ExCoB), Vae Victis I and II (VV) as well the Ever-Green League.

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by paulmcneil » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:12 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:01 am
paulmcneil wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:08 am
Given that a technical solution on its own won't solve this, as you say, to everyone's satisfaction, the human factor has to come in, I suggested this earlier in the thread: "Maybe a simple solution would be - a bit like drug testing in sport, any player who wins a promotion in the dl gets drug tested i.e. the log for reloads is passed to Pete, any player who has no choice but to reload due to some catastrophic failure on their system (which should be very rare) has to tell Pete and his opponent on that turn, a judgement can be made by Pete and the opponent as to the validity of a restart, vs any likely advantage achieved, anyone who has to restart for a subsequent turn maybe is not allowed to move on those turns, but can fire? And anyone who is found to have restarted without telling Pete and their opponent is disqualified? If you are reading this Pete what do you think? (or anyone else)."
There are a number of problems with this, Paul.

1) I am not an employee of Slitherine so I don't think that I am really entitled to the data. I don't actually know what Data Protection would say about this particular situation.
2) Why pick on just the promoted players? Are they more likely to have cheated? Not necessarily, in my view.
3) If I am to collaborate with suspected victims of cheating to decide outcomes it will only be a matter of time before I am accused of favouritism, being "bent", or whatever. Remember "Bog Ends" in Season 1.
4) Disqualifying someone for one offence in one game is a bit draconian for my liking. We could have a zero tolerance regime or we could choose to be a bit more forgiving for first-time minor offenders. If we took this second option then we would be less likely to punish innocent players. A judgement on the type of regime we should operate in future would also depend on how much confidence we all have in the new system that Slitherine eventually introduces.
5) A significant number of players do not read the rules at all so all sorts of bizarre things will happen if self-policing is part of what we introduce.
6) How on earth would you enforce players not moving, just shooting, in a turn after a re-start?
I understand your reluctance Pete, and understand if it may be untenable from your perspective based on the increased workload etc, really think it comes back to transparency, if a player isn't prepared to be open about a reload, then they should be prepared to be banned from a tournament if found out. The only other way seems to be to base it on number of reloads, which would have the advantage of lending itself to complete automation, but has the downside of allowing a certain number of frigged turns (assuming the limit isn't set to zero) whilst penalising people with crap kit/internet service. Personally I'd be happy with a complete ban on restarts in tournament and league matches, but not sure how this would affect other players?
Paul McNeil

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Re: Biblical: arrange your matches here . . .

Post by batesmotel » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:41 pm

Division B

Challenge posted for sunnyboy's Syracusans vs my Achaemenids, password sunnyboy.

Chris
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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by GeneralKostas » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:58 pm

MikeMarchant wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:59 pm
GeneralKostas wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:55 pm
Theoretically, one simple solution to the cheating problem is to disable reloading of turns.
But what then happens if you suffer a legitimate problem? You can't continue with the game.


Best Wishes

Mike
There must be an alternative.

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by Nijis » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Unfortunately that would be an utterly enormous task and would not be a good user experience as it would have to upload the turn after every player action. It also probably wouldn't give any additional protection as at best it would just make the cheating more time consuming as you'd have to go combat by combat not turn by turn and by the look of it when people cheat, they do it combat by combat.
Why not save every move/combat outcome locally? If you reload the game, it has the moves saved and goes through the turn until the point of crash. Sure, in theory one could hack one's own program to override this, but most players aren't going to have the expertise or the inclination to do this.

Also, I was playing a DL game with Najanaja and the server would not accept my turn. I hit "retry" a couple of dozen times, then gave up. But when I left the game, I found that the turn had been sent to the server anyway. Would this appear in the server logs as a 20+ retry attempts - ie, a red flag for cheating?

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:45 pm

Nijis wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:35 pm
Unfortunately that would be an utterly enormous task and would not be a good user experience as it would have to upload the turn after every player action. It also probably wouldn't give any additional protection as at best it would just make the cheating more time consuming as you'd have to go combat by combat not turn by turn and by the look of it when people cheat, they do it combat by combat.
Why not save every move/combat outcome locally? If you reload the game, it has the moves saved and goes through the turn until the point of crash. Sure, in theory one could hack one's own program to override this, but most players aren't going to have the expertise or the inclination to do this.

Also, I was playing a DL game with Najanaja and the server would not accept my turn. I hit "retry" a couple of dozen times, then gave up. But when I left the game, I found that the turn had been sent to the server anyway. Would this appear in the server logs as a 20+ retry attempts - ie, a red flag for cheating?
Not at all. It is Downloads that are bad, not Uploads. And in any case it only counts successful Downloads and Uploads not failed ones.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: Late Antiquity: winners post your results here . . .

Post by General Shapur » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:53 pm

Division D

General Shapur Pictish 210-476 AD with Anglo-Saxon 449-599 AD allies defeats Supervark Sassanid Persian 477-590 AD Allies Hephhalte 350-570 41:13

Thanks for the game
That wraps up my season for all games
Previously - Pete AU (SSG)

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Re: Matches still to be completed . . .

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:52 pm

I have filled in the table above with all the information that I could find. What I do is go through the "Arrange Your Matches Here" threads and put down who has made the challenge and the date it was issued. Then I go to the multi-player lobby in the game and if I cannot find any of the challenges that I have just written down I assume that the matches have started and I add "in progress" to the entry. So that then leaves me with matches that are still in the multi-player lobby which I mark as "not started yet" and matches where I know nothing which I record as "no info". This is not a 100% foolproof method because it doesn't pick up players who may not write the challenge in the forum but just send a PM and sometimes more than 1 challenge is issued for the same match. But it certainly is 95%+ reliable. My first priority will be to chase up the "not started yet" and "no info" matches.

If any of the information is incorrect then please let me know as soon as possible.

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by TomoeGozen » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:12 pm

This is a tough one ..
Whatever the solution though, and I realise people want transparency, don't make it too transparent or give too many clues away about any solution....
Dave.

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Re: Matches still to be completed . . .

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:46 pm

I am sending out enquiry PM's this evening. Thanks for the replies that I am already getting. Please excuse me for not replying in kind to every message. All information is gratefully received.

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by Cunningcairn » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:31 pm

Nijis wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Why not save every move/combat outcome locally? If you reload the game, it has the moves saved and goes through the turn until the point of crash. Sure, in theory one could hack one's own program to override this, but most players aren't going to have the expertise or the inclination to do this.
That sounds like a great idea. It should be coupled with a reload counter which is automatically monitored and logged. The movement log could also be encrypted without too much difficulty preventing a player modifying it. RBS is this something that you could code?

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Re: Biblical: winners post your results here . . .

Post by rs2excelsior » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:13 pm

Division C

rs2excelsior (Carthaginian 550-411 BC with Greek, Western 460-381 BC allies) beat MikeMarchant (Greek Asiatic 550-461 BC) 49-24

The Greeks came with a ton of hoplites, very little cavalry, and no light infantry. The Carthaginians had a more mixed force, with chariots on the right, cavalry on the left, and medium foot prepared to hold a rough hilltop on the left of the main infantry line. The Greek chekerboard advanced, harassed by Carthaginian light troops. Lights in a small village and a wooded area in front of the line particularly disrupted their advance. Beyond that, the infantry lines clashed in the middle, as the Greeks broke off infantry to hold off the Carthaginian horse on both flanks. In the end, it was the heavy infantry fight that mattered. The chariots couldn't maneuver past the Greeks, the cavalry did their best impression of JEB Stuart and spent the battle riding around the enemy army and not really doing much to affect the outcome (besides drawing off some of the Greeks), and the mediums on the left put up a good fight but caved in the end. In the center, however, the Carthaginians were able to exploit gaps which opened in the Greek lines and break through. Greek successes on the left couldn't make up for the collapse of their main infantry line.

The battlefield at the end:
20200729184718_1.jpg
20200729184718_1.jpg (642.79 KiB) Viewed 478 times
Good game, a fun scrap in the middle which could've gone either way!

That's it for me in this division... had a decent run at the top, at least! Thanks to all of my opponents, looking forwards to seeing you all next time around!

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by MikeC_81 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:47 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:26 am
We're currently collecting data on all games to find out what "normal" behaviour is to be able to set the thresholds that will prevent cheating.

This particular incident would have been averted if more time had been spent reviewing it but the system was designed years ago and has not really been reviewed as there is so much else to do so could definitely be better, so more man power is not a long term solution. After review we've noticed the system is better at picking up long term general abuse than spikes in cheating behaviour. When we have the full picture we'll work out how better to detect the cheating but we have first to collect and analyze that data.

We are very worried about false positives as this will kill the hobby quicker than failing to detect cheating. There is nothing worse than being accused of cheating when you didn't. We have probably been too reluctant to call people in the past but this has to be handled carefully and we're not sure that handling it in public is the best solution.
Another disappointing response. Let me reiterate that "normal" behaviour is 0 reloads. ZERO. The threshold you are setting is not for "normal" behaviour. It is the tripwire for the amount of "abnormal" behaviour at which an investigation must be launched. And no one should be afraid of investigations. I have had to reload over the course of 2+ years of competitive play due to technical problems. Yet I am more than happy to have my upload vs download ratio public because it will prove that the the wins I have gotten are legitimate by the simple fact that you can count the number of reloads due to all problems on both hands.

But you make it sound like reloads should be a regular occurance, indeed "normal" behaviour. For a reload due to internet failure, the following has to happen. Their internet must be working to download the file. Then sometime in the next 10 minutes while they play their turn, their internet has to die preventing an upload and it must stay permanently down long enough for them to have to quit the game since FoG2 allows you to retry uploads. The other possiblility is that the game constantly crashes while being played. We don't see masses of people posting on tech support forums or emails saying the game is crashing do we? I mean if there are, you better tell Pip and RBS to fix it because they aren't doing their jobs.

IainMcNeil wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:54 am
Mike, that's exactly the problem. We have a zero tolerance for cheating and anyone we know is doing it would be banned. Determining whether someone is cheating beyond a reasonable level of doubt is the issue. Having a trial by public opinion is also not something that sounds like a good plan. An unpopular player (due to gamey tactics for example) who gets a false positive could be unfairly accused of cheating while a more popular player gets away with it.
We are not in a court of criminal law where the potential for a false conviction is someone ending up in prison with a criminal record for the rest of their lives. Beyond reasonable doubt is a standard of proof left only to criminal cases precisely because the potential penalties are so harsh. A balance of probabilities is used in civil adjudacations and regular administrative law and in the latter, sometimes not even to that level of proof as all you are entitled to is a hearing and a chance to explain yourself. Keep in mind that with the exposure of dkalenda, there has been ample opportunity for mass accusations to break out yet there is none. People will not even disclose names to me in private. What makes you think that this will happen? Crazy RNG events can occur, but crazy RNG events ALONG WITH crazy rare events where turns have to be reloaded?? Come on now.

Do you know what the best way to prove you are innocent is? By having an email notification that tells us that despite the most absurd RNG happening in a turn, no reload occured. Even if a false positive occurs within the realm of trial by public, do we as players not have to right to play with those whom we feel are trustworthy? All an unpopular player needs to do is to point to his upload vs download ratio to shut accusors up. Transparency is key here. Without transparency, everyone suspects everyone else. That will suffocate the community faster than anything else at this point.

Finally we have context. We as players can tell when the reload occured and what occured in the reloaded turn. No automated checker will ever have context.

stockwellpete wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:38 am
Of course, if Slitherine's answer is that they cannot afford to have staff members spending more time checking and investigating what is happening on the server (because they have other duties), then any solution will have to be based on increasing the "technical" component of the checking procedure.
This is obviously their situation. They said so as much in their original reply and Ian again has come out to say that they cannot dedicate more manpower. But then there has never been an expectation for me or anyone else that they can go over with a fine-tooth comb to spot every cheater.
stockwellpete wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:38 am
That is why transparency is what is required right now. In-game or out-of-game notifications when the server sends you the latest saved file telling you how many reloads your opponent did for that turn is almost a must-have as this point to restore player confidence. FoG2 rolls a lot of dice. With dozens of players playing dozens of games adding up; crazy events can and will happen. I have a video on Youtube showing two such instances in one game. One for my opponent, one for me. When the game or email notifies you that your opponent didn't reload the turn at all, it buries any and all speculation of cheating via save scumming. Bottom line, end of story. You as a player can rest assured that you just got screwed by RNGesus and move on. Without transparency, every single odd event begins to be questioned. You can see it happening already in this very thread where Thunderbird got accused. If there was an email notification saying Thunderbird had a 1:1 ratio, there is no way he would be accused. When you put the data in the player's hands, we can pool our data together and figure out cheaters like dkalenda far more quickly or exonerate players as a group when we can all say that reloads from Player X is rare to nonexistent. Without data, players cannot speak since we do not have the facts and are afraid of false accusations as several people I have spoken to have said. They refuse to provide names even in confidence since they believe it to be unfair and they are right - since we do not have data.
I think this could be an important part of the solution if the "technical" component has to be amplified. My worry is though that if someone reads (perhaps in the game chat box) that their opponent has made an extra download that turn then there may be an accusation of cheating right away before the other player has the chance to explain. Some people are very quick to assume the worst about others even though the explanation might be completely innocent. Therefore, perhaps the download count should only be shown at the end of a match and players could then be advised to report the incident by PM to a designated staff member and/or tournament organiser?
This community has held its tongue despite the exposition of the fact that Slitherine's anti-cheat system is woefully inadequate. When bbogensic first raised the spectre of cheating during the first season of the DL, RBS assured all of us that something like this was not able to happen. I accepted that answer despite the fact that I knew low level cheating, even at a constant level could occur. That has proven to be devastatingly false. Private conversations with other players have no confirmed to me why there were so many arguments about RNG producing results that should have happened. It explains why some players seem to consistently run into these crazy events to the point where they refused to believe the probability work I did and started thinking the RNG was faulty. When a player reports to me that their lancers were getting destroyed by opposing foot charging into them for example until they ran into me who's foot got massacred when I was forced to charge into those same lancers, I chalked that up to crazy events. Now, I believe the answer is almost certain that they and others with similar stories were cheated. This problem almost certainly goes beyond dkalenda at this point.

blobka wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:09 pm
The insane amount of spotted reloads suggests, that you not gonna get the desirable outcome that easily, it can turn for the worse as well, reloading once-twice can be considered as abusing the flaw 'on paper' but pretty useless in reality.
You are brutally incorrect here. Even the most lopsided PoA differentials in this game don't get better than an 80% chance to win. Timely save scumming can effectively turn those 80 percent outcomes into 100 percent outcomes with a single reload. In fact, this is the optimal method of cheating since it never raises red flags of abnormal outcomes from their opponents.
stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:04 am
Swuul wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:57 am
However, what I am more shocked about is that Slitherine apparently has no qualms with some cheating, as long as the cheating isn't absolutely overboard. That is the message I get from Ian.
I don't get that message at all. Where do you get the idea from? :?
Probably from Ian's corporate-speak response in which he is preparing us for a "we fixed it behind the scenes its all good now guys!" post without any real details hoping sweep this under the rug. You can see from his response already that he continues to refuses to indicate that reloads are inherently an abnormal behavior.

Cunningcairn wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:31 pm
Nijis wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Why not save every move/combat outcome locally? If you reload the game, it has the moves saved and goes through the turn until the point of crash. Sure, in theory one could hack one's own program to override this, but most players aren't going to have the expertise or the inclination to do this.
That sounds like a great idea. It should be coupled with a reload counter which is automatically monitored and logged. The movement log could also be encrypted without too much difficulty preventing a player modifying it. RBS is this something that you could code?

A few of you are suggesting something like or saving on the server this but I have serious doubts whether Slitherine is willing to rewrite entire segements of how the game handles mulitplayer as this is what these proposals will require. Doubly so for having the PBEM server write concurrently as the game is played. This means instead of sending individual files, players must stay connected to the server at all times. Given that they can't even code for live hotseat gaming and we have to use Steam to hack it, I doubt they will invest in something like this.
Stratford Scramble Tournament

http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=494&t=99766&p=861093#p861093

FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

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Re: Classical Antiquity: arrange your matches here . . .

Post by ulysisgrunt » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:04 am

Challenge for GDod

from Ulysisgrunt

pw: late

snooky51
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Re: Early Middle Ages: arrange your matches here . . .

Post by snooky51 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:56 am

Div E

snooky51 - Ghaznavid 962-1187 AD challenges Supervark - Rus 960-1053AD with Polish 966-1057 AD allies

PW: storm-333

PM sent

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by NikiforosFokas » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:52 am

melm wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:03 pm
IainMcNeil wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:26 am
Unfortunately that would be an utterly enormous task and would not be a good user experience as it would have to upload the turn after every player action. It also probably wouldn't give any additional protection as at best it would just make the cheating more time consuming as you'd have to go combat by combat not turn by turn and by the look of it when people cheat, they do it combat by combat.
It won't become cheat combat to combat because when the result happens aka the player sees the result, it is uploaded to the server. He or she can't redo it as the result is already on the server. If the player deliberately disconnect their network before they are making any move, the game could simply not allow any move be made since the connection fails.
NikiforosFokas wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:58 am
So it is not possible just to save every move in the server!? This seems the best and the simplest solution...
I was meaning that exactly !! Thanks melm
ps: the same thing like Slancaster has reported about Chaos reborn...
For Byzantium!!

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Re: Early Middle Ages: winners post your results here . . .

Post by stockwellpete » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:28 am

Division C

Ulysisgrunt (Vikings in Ireland) defeated Questar17 (Normans) 63 to 35

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Re: dkalenda has been expelled from the tournament for multiple re-loading of turns during his matches . . .

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:47 am

Cunningcairn wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:31 pm
Nijis wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Why not save every move/combat outcome locally? If you reload the game, it has the moves saved and goes through the turn until the point of crash. Sure, in theory one could hack one's own program to override this, but most players aren't going to have the expertise or the inclination to do this.
That sounds like a great idea. It should be coupled with a reload counter which is automatically monitored and logged. The movement log could also be encrypted without too much difficulty preventing a player modifying it. RBS is this something that you could code?
Not personally, no. It would have to be part of the engine (Pip's province) but it would be a very major change.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: Early Middle Ages: winners post your results here . . .

Post by bomber23 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:47 am

Division D

bomber23 [Andulsians] beat Bluefin (French) 60-39

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