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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:38 am 
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Posts: 892
This is something which has bothered me for a while:
  • We detect multi-accounters using a variety of methods which I shouldn't discuss fully (but which aren't especially novel), which are good for detecting when multiple accounts are being played from a single machine.
  • There may be legitimate reasons that multiple accounts may be played from a single machine. Sometimes people know each other in real life, and introduce their friends to the game, and they share a machine.
  • Whenever someone protests a ban it's always for the reason that someone else was legitimately playing on their machine, and they didn't realize it was against the rules.
  • You can often tell whether this is true or not using the multi-detection tools, with careful analysis, but sometimes it really is hard to tell.
  • But either way the fact that people might not realize until it's too late is understandable, and they may be happy to make the fact known that they have a connection with another player.

So what if we at least make these real life connections to other players transparent? Add a feature where people can:
  • Mark that they know someone else in real life
  • Mark whether it's a close connection or a distant one (a school/uni friend who you might share a school/uni machine with might be a distant connection, a family member might be a close one)
  • Optionally state how they know them, perhaps stating that they won't act differently towards them as a result
  • Create games which ban close connections (the default), or ban all connections, or allow connections
  • Make connections clear via the mod control panel, on both users' profile page, and in-game (perhaps including anonymous games too)
  • Add a clause in the rules saying that it's okay to have friends who play, as long as you declare it correctly
  • Allow mods to add connections between players which the players can't remove

This would involve:
  • A new table to store the connections
  • A new object to allow them to interact
  • Modifications to the games table, object, creation code, searching code, to allow a new game creation option
  • Modifications to the games join code to check for connections
  • Modifications to the games panel code, user profile code, and moderator control panel code to allow viewing connections
  • Modifications to the user registration and profile code to allow these connections to be created
  • Modifications to the rules so people understand they need to register connections

This is something I might take on over the christmas break, when I have a couple of weeks free to get up to speed with some overdue webDip stuff, but I'd like to hear any objections / suggestions / alternatives / issues that anyone interested wants to put forward.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:22 am
Posts: 841
I've added something like this on vdiplomacy already.
It's a bit rough, but I'll try to summarize this later, as I'm a bit busy at the moment.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:22 am
Posts: 841
This is how it works at vdip:
1. Mods can group people together (we call it RL-group) and write a short explaination.
2. We have 2 different groups. Blue=no problems so far, Red=The group (or some members of the group) caused cheating accusations.
3. Mods can get an overview what games these Groups play togeter. There is a visual clue in the country-overview for the mods of each game that shows who knows each other. (it's not visible to a normal player)
4. The multi-account-tool has been extended so it's easy to group people together.
5. Red-Flaged groups can't play anon games together, and normal games write a small message at the beginning of each game who knows who in RL (for the red-flagged groups).
6. All information is only visible for the mods.

We tried to implement some game-creation options, but too many 100%fair-playing friends got issues, because they couldn't play any games together.

You can check my github-account for the code. It's very basic code, as my PHP-knowledge is really basic, but it gets the job done.

Oliver


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:24 am
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:o nice Sleepcap, making your feature official would definitely be a better solution than to redo something similar from scratch. That's also a good point against people and their friends being excluded. I'll have to look into what you tried and what the outcomes were more closely.

Are there areas for improvement do you think, or are you happy with it as-is?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:22 am
Posts: 841
Things I do not like about my solution:
1. Really bad PHP-code. This could be done in a much more elegant way.
2. You access this from the user-profile-page, not from the admin panel.
3. Only 1 group for each user. And if a group is flagged red, all users are affected.
4. I misused some tables that exists already.

Things I do like about my solution:
1. It works and reduces the work for all mods/admins considerably.
2. It's not very intrusive. Most users do not even know about this.
3. The icons are cool.

Things I would like to see:
1. Implementation in the admin-panel.
2. Search for games with 30% or more friends (or any other percentage).

You can follow the progress of this feature with the submits on github really easy.

Oliver


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