Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

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Mongbat
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Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Mongbat » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:52 am

Hi

You see that there is a brand new account", "Rey Edeus" that has traded wins with itself with a high level account of SerasVictoria to rack up an amazing winning score at the top of the ranking leaderboard. I invite everyone to check the battle history record of the said account. From my evidence records, I am sure Rey Edeus/SerasVictoria/TURKO are the numerous accounts of this entity, "TURKO". I invite the developer to check the IP address of the accounts.

There was also a similar complaint about "TURKO" main account now currently playing on the EU Server, under the handle "-TURKO-" which is now a level70 hero. If you check this main TURKO account on its NA server history, you will see the same thing happening he has traded with himself with his own account SerasVictoria and notched himself the Ranking Leader winning achievement, topping the ladder in the process during that month.

If you condone such acts, I would like to propose you do away with the ranking ladder. Genuine players are put off by such cheaters and will never take your game seriously.

Mongbat
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Mongbat » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:57 am

Same goes for user "coetenfoul" and "coetenfoul984" trading so many multiple games with the same player himself. In fact this player is so blatant and openly uses multiple aliases accounts to trade wins.

soulblighter
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by soulblighter » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:27 am

The devs have already openly stated they want to protect these free accounts and not as much wanting properly registered gamers to support their product. No matter how you see it, these free accounts bring them traffic, if that's what they want it.
Last edited by soulblighter on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mongbat
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Mongbat » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:12 am

Now the pair of cheaters on the NA Server, previously known as coetenfoul and coetenfoul984, now change their usernames to "putanginamo" and "gagokaba", respectively. What a subtle admission of guilt. LOL
Last edited by Mongbat on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Motylek
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Motylek » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:45 pm

It is very sad that there is such manipulation occuring and it is even more sad, it is not the first and probably will not be the last attempt. It is also sad beyond words how few immoral cheaters are spoiling experience for majority of honest players.

@soulblighter
I can not prove it, but I believe despite rating is being manipulated, tournaments are showing true strenght, so I disagree that cheaters are winning tournaments. Current rating can be manipulated easily because players are chosing with whom will they play, but in tournament opponents are assigned according to pairing system and there is no easy way to cheat that out. And even if somebody, who is otherwise cheating in rating system, is participating in tournament, he will have to face other players in tournament ladder unless all participant are cheaters other accounts, which is quite improbable.

@Andrey
I am afraid there is needed some fundamental change in rating system. I was criticizing rating system already before because current rating system is mere sign of player activity but has very few in common with player skill aka "how good player is". But this cheating is yet another reason to change rating system to something else which is preferably more representating "relative strenght between players" rather than combination of "activity" and "favor". There are cases, where favor is really hurting. There should be no low ranked player penalized for being favored and there should be no top ranked player getting bonus points for being disfavored. If low ranked player is good, favor is only delaying him unnecessarily from getting to proper place in rating. If top ranked player is not so good, he should not be kept at top due to bonus points from being disfavored , because he is keeping place that is rightfully belonging to somebody else.

My suggestion how to deal with ranking manipulation and have representative rating system would be some kind of league. Points to ranking would be earned only by participating in league where players will be paired by system. That will avoid manipulation due to cheaters chosing their opponents on their own (their other accounts). There would be several leagues differenciated by level of participating heroes similarly to tournaments. Also this way would be much more representative because there will not be possible for some level 60 hero to be ranking leader, because in fact he really real has no chance to beat level 90 hero and as side effect, it would motivate players to level up. You know that top players are kind of bored because there are all the time just same players, no fresh blood in their range. There are also "not so few" high level players leaving game due to discovering all things in game. I think, that such league would be nice refreshment and motivation to stay. All in all, general idea how to solve rating problem would be getting rating points only inside of "closed system", where opponents are paired (in league preferably everybody having duel with everybody in his bracket) instead of chosed on their own will. "Open system" of challenging at will is quite prone to undesired fluctuation of points by design.

PS: I can write more details on how I imagine league system working if there would be desire to change current ranking system. But I understand, it would be really fundamental change of rating and game designers might not be inclining to such "radical cut".

Motylek

Mongbat
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Mongbat » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:29 am

Tournaments the only true strength test of the hero? It depends on how you look at it. Some of us will feel that winner of F.A.Cup is the rightful champion, while some feel the Premier League champion (ranking leader) display a period of superb consistency who should be the strongest.

Tournaments are also cooked up by the multiple aliases of all the players. I once joined a level60-69 category and won it, and I saw from all the other categories where there should have been 4-5pairs (8-10 heroes) participating, many "drop out" leaving just a single fight remaining...manipulation? How are tournaments accurate then?

As an example, if you look at kokokitty's rogue hero on the ladder, this shows consistency and beaten opponents way above same level. And you look at Rey Edeus lvl10 knight, he is an alias of some veteran player feeling bored to win ranking, winning a single fight against a high level 80 elf archer SerasVictoria with all skills fully trained. Rey Edeus gets a 228 ranking points awarded.

You seem to imply that with these "top" level 90 users feeling bored, they are using the time to create aliases to screw things up, cheat up the system. Then unfortunately, it is just shame on them. There won't be any fresh blood for them in their range. New players will leave the game even before they reach level30.

Motylek
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Motylek » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:28 am

I am sorry, Mongbat, your previous posts were usually made with reason, but here you are missing point a lot.
Mongbat wrote:Tournaments the only true strength test of the hero? It depends on how you look at it. Some of us will feel that winner of F.A.Cup is the rightful champion, while some feel the Premier League champion (ranking leader) display a period of superb consistency who should be the strongest.

Tournaments are also cooked up by the multiple aliases of all the players. I once joined a level60-69 category and won it, and I saw from all the other categories where there should have been 4-5pairs (8-10 heroes) participating, many "drop out" leaving just a single fight remaining...manipulation? How are tournaments accurate then?
I did not say that tournaments are the only true strength test of the hero, you just slightly changed my sentence and argued against it, which is kind of manipulation, you can find in many discussions. Also despite I am not expert, I believe that both F.A. Cup and Premier League are closed systems where rules are determining who plays against who and not participants themselves will freely challenge anybody on their own will. (Like if team from top league would challenge some local village team which is not in any league and top team gets points for victory counted in top league. Plus they will do it repeatedly and play against same team 10 times in a row.) And if that is case that both F.A. Cup and Premier League are closed systems (which I am not sure, but I believe it), then your argument against tournament as tool for measuring strength is completely invalid and you are arguing against something which "you constructed", not which "I wrote" in my post. (ad manipulating statement and arguing against manipulated statement)

I also stated clearly in my post that even on tournament could be attempted manipulation, but it is much more difficult and much less probable than in open system of current rating. Furthermore those drop outs you described are typically unexperienced players who either lost or got "bye" (free round) in previous round and they thought that tournament is over for them, so they logout from game. Little they know that especially when there are fewer participants they could be still 2nd even if they lose in 1st round. Plus like I already mentioned before, in tournament possible cheater have to at some point fight with some other player, unless all of participants in selected bracket are accounts of one player. In current ranking system, ranking leader could be anybody who creates several accounts and fights just with himself ad absurdum without having even single duel with anybody else.
Mongbat wrote:As an example, if you look at kokokitty's rogue hero on the ladder, this shows consistency and beaten opponents way above same level. And you look at Rey Edeus lvl10 knight, he is an alias of some veteran player feeling bored to win ranking, winning a single fight against a high level 80 elf archer SerasVictoria with all skills fully trained. Rey Edeus gets a 228 ranking points awarded.
This is again describing disadvantages of open system, which is easy to manipulate, but I was proposing closed system for ranking and evaluating strength. I answered this theme both in my previous post and in my answer above in this post.
Mongbat wrote:You seem to imply that with these "top" level 90 users feeling bored, they are using the time to create aliases to screw things up, cheat up the system. Then unfortunately, it is just shame on them. There won't be any fresh blood for them in their range. New players will leave the game even before they reach level30.
Definitely not, it is you who is implying this. I was mentioning, that high level players are often feeling bored and not so few of them are leaving this game because of it, not that they are starting new account with fresh hero.



No offense, but if you want to have cultivated discussion, please make arguments according to what was mentioned, not what you take out of context, change it slightly and then argument against changed statment.

I want to make it clear once more, my previous post was all about replacing current open ranking system with closed league system and that closed system would be much more resilient against cheating attempts. If you want to make arguments against my suggestion, please do it to theme. Also please notice that I mention current ranking as example of open system and current tournaments as example of closed system.

PS: I would like to also mention that I wanted to make my post clear and informative, I wanted to add to discussion by making constructive suggestion. I do not intend to offense anybody, there is just reasonable expectation that if somebody tries to "put his own words into my mouth", I will point out such attemt to manipulation and clean out my argument out of "dirt thrown out at it by others". Everybody is welcome to have constructive discussion to the theme.

Best regards
Motylek

Mongbat
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Mongbat » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:47 am

No worries Motylek, the few handful of "high-level" players will never leave this game. They simply come back as super experienced level50-60 heroes on new accounts. I played enough of these expert mid-level heroes and knew how experienced they are, how they got royal king heroic card by level51, how at ease they are playing the game, how confident they are :)

Your suggestion of a closed league system is best reflected in the current guild member system format. Does it help anything? I already said in a previous post, all the problems of manipulation came from the ease at which free accounts are registered and how easy it is to start all over again. Do you want me to give you a list of some of the existing guilds, with 16, 25, etc members, created to (of course) circumvent the restrictions on guild wars/territory control by member size? These guilds only have got ONE user, and created multiple accounts with a customary hero in it.

So what if it is a closed league isn't it? A league table of 100 user heroes, 80 of which is the same guy? Or 10 users owning 10 heroes on 10 separate accounts?

Side-track a bit to brief talk on tournament/league argument. Let me use the World Cup quarterfinals as example. You have Germany vs Brazil, Holland vs Argentina, China vs Italy, Belgium vs South Africa in the tournament. On paper, the odds are that Germany will beat Brazil, Argentina will beat Holland, Brazil will beat Holland... but at the end of the day majority of these teams don't show up. Brazil was left to beat China in the finals ;)
In the league leaderboard ranking format there are 20 teams that must play each other 2 times for a total of 38 games. Sometimes the teams have player injuries, bad internet connection, etc, but at the end of the season the true strength of the champion team always show over time. It is like I don't need to enter into the ring with Floyd Mayweather/Holly Holm to know how good they are. I just need to read it from the news.

In my opinion the existing league is fine. Fighters boxers are free to pick their duels, accept challenges. You want to be foolhardy and go against a much higher level hero, go ahead. The problem is in the points scoring system - you have also mentioned in your previous post, and as well a foolproof mechanism to trap attempted cheaters. A single fight that awards 228 points? Maybe the system should have taken the entire table league standings to award points for victory. Repeated wins against the same opponent, in a short period of time? There are alot of things that can be looked into.

Motylek
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Motylek » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:18 am

I perfectly agree that experienced player creating new hero under new account is frustrating for newcomer, who wants to try new interesting game. I am afraid, newcomer will not really have odds on his side ever in this case. But as newcomer will grow up, he will get more experience and catch up with veterans around level 80. At top levels, he should fight on equal terms with veterans or at least I hope so. What are good news, even experienced player hero around level 60 will not have chance to really compete with heroes 20 levels or more higher and he will not be able to get Ranking Leader achievement as well. That is change in comparison to current status and I personally see it as improvement. (But of course problem with cheating users is not removed with it, it would be only making it harder to cheat out Ranking Leader achievement. I do not want to present it as fully fundamental solution. It is just constructive idea, which should bring at least some small improvement.)

Closed league can not be really compared to current guild system for at least 3 reasons. A) League would be competition of individual heroes, while guild wars are competition of teams. B) League would generate rating points which would decide about Rankig Leader at end of month, while Guild Wars are out of current ranking system and have no influence on who becomes Ranking Leader. C) Guild wars/Conquer mode are again kind of open system in sense that there is no system pairing rule, which would guarantee equal number of duels with varied group of opponents.

If you are suspecting some cheating in Guild Wars, you can give information to Andrey and I am sure he will investigate it. You can even send him email or use in game form to avoid any unwanted public attention, but of course you are free to post it here in forum as well, whatever you find more suitable.

I personally think, that expectation of 80 heroes out of 100 played by 1 person or expectation of 100 heroes being controlled by just 10 players is too pesimistic. :-) I am pretty confident that in current ranking system TOP100 are more than 50 different players, but it is just my guess. :-) (I mean European server, I am not so much familiar with ranking ladder on American server.)

Regarding World Cup quarterfinals, knockout system is always bit of lottery. But exactly for that reason I am suggesting league instead of knockout sytem as it requires to duel with more opponents and final result is combination of all those duels. Success or failure is not based on single confrontation like in knockout system.

Single confrontation awarding 228 points into score would not be possible in closed leagues system as it would require first for any level 8 hero to get into same league with level 80 hero and that is not going to happen. ;-) Also duels in league would generate 1 point for victory, so in order to award 200+ points, there would be needed at least 100 players in same league (assuming each pair of competitors will play only 2 duels). I do not think 100 players in one league is good idea. I have more in mind something like 20 at maximum.

Do you see any significant advantage of current open ranking system over closed league system? I can think about some, but I find none of those, which I could come up with, to be relevant enough.

Motylek
Last edited by Motylek on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mongbat
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Re: Ranking leaderboard manipulation on NA Server

Post by Mongbat » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:25 am

There is another "-Rey Edeus-" account ranking leader on the EU Server now.

So now we have Rey Edeus 1 on NA Server and Rey Edeus 2 on EU Server.

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