At the moment you give a first reply, telling nothing but you go the message. Then ... nothing. The customer who reported is left alone, without further information
After already being told that the report was received and that, if justified, action will be taken...what kind of further response would you expect, when keeping in mind that informing you if and what action was taken is not allowed? What kind of "further information" is left that we are allowed to share?
I'll gladly try to improve this aspect of our CS, but in this particular situation I'm not quite sure which kind of improvement you would expect.
(ok, its getting too long again, sorry guys
That's not really the issue. But while writing you kind of went offtopic and most of what you wrote has nothing to do with with making multis less attractive. Maybe I also didn't express myself clear enough. What I'm am looking for is methods to basically take away the reasons to use multis. Let me explain it with an example
Problem Player A creates a lot of accounts to invest his starting money in industries of where the association of his hated rival Player B owns the majority.
Gameplay solution: New players can't invest in industries.
Now this example is just to show what I am looking for, I know that various problems are associated to this "solution". It's just an example what I mean with "making it less attractive. In this case, a troll would have to level up his account first, which would be effort ---> less attractive to do it.
Your ideas are certainly interesting, but not related to the quote you replied to, which of course might be caused by me being unclear.
I dont know about my teammates, but I will try to give one more chance then, if you promise to intervene.
We found the reason why this wasn't taken care of properly so far and are on it as we speak.
Then I'm very sorry I misunderstood you. I thought you meant what you wrote (the "not accepting problems" and dismissing concerns" are direct quotes, you wrote exactly that).
I have a small update about the topic:
- I talked with Legal and the problem with providing specific information about punishments is not the GDPR, but the German constitution/fundamental rights, which protect the punished player. It's complicated and it's a case by case decision. I will try to dig deeper in this topic.
- As already mentioned, the performance of the JP CS team is not satisfying in this case. We (the Game Centre/Devs) will intervene.
As i wrote GDPR is all about of what U want it to be
Not really, it's a law. And it's not either a problem or protection, it's both. Yes, GDPR does protect privacy...but it can also cause problems, for example if customers somehow need/want access to information about other customers and GDPR doesn'ta allow it.
But, to be honest, I'm wondering how this discussion suddenly became all about GDPR. Is getting information about the punishment status of multis really what this discussion is about? How exactly does that help? If there is a multi (the kind of multi that was discussed originally here, short term multis) and you report him...is it really that different whether you are told "Thanks for your report, we are on it" or "Thanks for your report, we take action". If you trust our support, both statements are the same. If you don't trust our support, both are just "hot air". Is it really that different?
But my real question is: Is this what you actually want? Is this the solution? Knowing what happens? The multi will still be able to just create a new account and do the same thing again. Knowing that he got punished changes nothing about that.
Of course I understand the need for information about punishments. I am a gamer myself and, for example, I've been playing a lot of League of Legends. There you can report players for bad behavior and occasionally you get a notification that one of the players you reported got punished. This notification is incredibly satisfying and I wish it would appear more often. It feels awesome to see that justice was served.
But in the end, as satisfying as it feels, I don't really care too much about it and what's really important to me is that rule breakers are caught or it doesn't even happen in the first place.
If you want a better experience when reporting multis to the support, I get it and I support that. At the same time I would much prefer it if you wouldn't even have to write those support tickets in the first place.
Since this disussion widened up a bit, let me try to sum up a few topics:
- JP CS: If our Japanese customer support is below standards, we will take action. On it.
- Phrasing of CS replies to multi reports: I'll ask our legal guys how much info we can provide and how we can change the CS reply accordingly.
- Preventing the creation of multis: That's a topic I could still need your help with, with the focus being on methods to make the creation of multis less attractive. We are having a meeting about this internally soon, but more heads have more ideas, so your input is still highly appreciated.
As far as I understood her she is so disappointed that no actions are taken by your support
That's not what she said though. She said we don't accept the problem and dismiss concerns. That is what she actually wrote and that is simply not true. We are very well aware of the problem and we absolutely understand the concerns players have with this. Keep in mind that we are players too, we are bothered by this problem too.
And yes, it is disappointing that this problem is not easy to solve and that we can't pull a solution out of the hat just like that. I get it. The complaint about the problem itself and lack of a solution is justified, understandable and correct.
To make it clear and that no misunderstandings between myself and you Salix comes up: "No action" means beside a reply message "Thank you for your report.... we'll back to you soon." (copied from email to me received 15.06.2019 um 19:40 Uhr).
That is below expectations for our CS, I totally agree. Which region was this? Not JP, right?
I would like to be able forward a specific case where the quality of the CS replys is below expectations. You can also contact me via PM for this.
So what are you talking about?
What I was talking about was ideas for a possible solution for malicous multi account. As Klabbauter already correctly hinted, I am indeed not the right person to talk about their performance, which is why I don't focus my part of the discussion on that topic. I don't know more about it than any of you...less even, because I never wrote a ticket.
That being said: I'm in contact with the tech support to discuss this problem (this case in particular and the problem in general) to check what could be done, what limits us and what is already being done. And I also talked to our Game Director to explain the situation and its priority.
I was (and still am) hoping for this discussion to help with coming up with feasible solutions how to tackle the problem, preferably via gameplay mechanics changes. So that's what I am talking about and what I would like to continue talking about.
I simply prefer talking face to face (or rather headset to headset) because this prevents misunderstandings, which seem to happen a lot in this discussion.
For example you, Yuki, seem to think that I don't recognize the problem , which is not at all true and I repeatedly made that very clear in this very discussion. But apparently you haven't read that, or you forgot it or you misunderstood this. That's what happens in a discussion that stretches over days. In an actual conversation, these misunderstandings can be fixed in a matter of seconds while here, in the forum, they derail the entire discussion for days.
It's just an offer. I would prefer to include you guys effectively in finding a solution quickly and effectively. But of course you don't have to. We are adressing the problem internally too. I would prefer to include you, but it's just an offer, of course you can say no.
what shall we talk about?
Discussing possible solutions for different cases of multi abuse within the limits of law, reality, business and technology.
Time: Unless you have specific preferences, I'll let you know early next week. It will be in the evening (more players online/available and no interference with regular work for me) and it won't be Thursay (already got another appointment Thursday evening).
Discord discussion should be about what can be used of the ideas
That automatically makes it necessary to also define what can't be used, doesn't it? Otherwise you are not actually discussing ideas that can be used. I'm afraid a discussion without recognizing the limitations of reality is not very solution-focused.
But what is a discord?
Discord is a free chat software (can also be used in the browser, without any software) and is commonly used by gamers, due to it's simplicity.
Would anyone be interested to discuss this "live" in Discord (I will talk, but writing is also okay for everyone who won't do that) some evening next week?
Now suddenly it's not allowed anymore to give a common answer as "We have received your message and look into it. If we find abnormalies we will take the proper actions"?
You misunderstood that. Nobody said that. What you just wrote is something we definitely can write. We can just not provide any indication if or what we did to someone elses account.
Gain more profit with new players.
New players don't generate as much profit as established ones, so no, that is not our focus. This isn't an "either or" decision, "either new players for current players". We need both, we focus on both, both are necessary.
And this will kill your game much faster, than a lower number of new players with 2FA.
Well you say that, but I'm afraid that's not realy true. Current players are important, you are absolutely right about that. And, given the fact that I mostly interact with current players, they are also the main focus of my work. I am very well aware of the incredible value the core playerbase has. But that still doesn't mean we can focus on them no matter the consequences. In this particular case, the consequences would be the end of Rail Nation. That isn't in the interest of the core players either.
What will you do with your huge amount of new players, if you really get them ?
We don't. It's usually a steady flow of new players, not sudden masses that flood the servers.
No matter on what server, your endgames are already lagging with the existing number of players...so what will you do with your "new players" ?
To answer your question anyway: We are working on the new RTS and HTML5. Both will increase performance. The new RTS is specifically designed to be able to handle the increasing complexity of the game (in comparison to the past), future features and, that's the relevant part here, the endgame.
So in the hypothetical situation that player numbers increase in a sudden burst, we will be able to handle this better in the future.
It is perfectly legal. Why this thought is impossible to you, is beyond my understanding.
That's not surpring, given that I never said that. You misunderstood what I actually wrote.
2FA is not impossible because it's illegal (it's not), it's dangerous because it would effectively shut down user acquisition. The steady stream of new players that is keeping RN alive would reduce massively and result in the game having to close quite soon. That is the problem. The legal problems we discussed were about social security numbers, not 2FA.
I'm not being negative here, I'm being realistic. And it's simply not a realisic solution to basically kill off the game, just to get rid of a troll. RN shutting down soon is not in your interest either, isn't it? It's in no ones interest.
So why would we implement an idea that does exactly that?
Thank you for your message. We will check". Is this an auto reply?
No. But it's the reply we give, because we can't provide specific information about what exactly we did to an account you reported (privacy laws, again).
The problems discussed in this thread are related to the problem that it's difficult to get rid of the disruptive player who is active on the JP server right now.
well, those are arguments, but also stoppers, they stop the ideas.
I don't really understand the value of discussing ideas that are simply impossible. I know you frequently blame me for saying "not possible", but those two words are the most appropriate words for things that are in fact not possible.
I prefer discussions to lead somewhere. Yes, in terms of "Punishing disruptive behavior" it would be nice to register players social security numbers. But that's not going to happen, no matter how long we discuss about it, because in the current legal situation, this is simply not allowed. It's hard to predict the future of these laws. Maybe this will be possible one day. Maybe privacy laws will get even stricter. Maybe gaming companies will one day legally be required to collect this kind of data (Great Britains released a quite worrying white paper for censoring and controling abusive content on social media social media that might lead to some changes...or will simply exclude British citizens from big parts of the internet).
I am not that sure about this matter. i would very much appreciate, if you could provide a like about the Korean law, as I think it might not only focus on game accounts.
I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really provide you the details of Korean law (or any law, for that matter). In this area, I trust the judgement of people who know far better than me.
You might even publish them, IF ... yes, if you would ask us to be allowed
Actually not, at least not that easily. With GDPR, sometimes even consent is not enough. I don't fully understand this law, to be honest, but I know that just because a customer agrees to his data being collected this is NOT necessarily enough to actually legally collect this data.
But how about people wanting to play on a Korean server but living outside the country? Can they get an RRN too?
Not that I am aware. There is a black market for those RRNs and I assume that would not be the case if you could get those RRN easily/legally.
As interesting as all this is, could we (including me) try to focus a bit more on the topic again?
I think there is a chance to find methods to limit the problem of troll acounts via gameplay changes, which in my opinion is one of the more feasible options in comparison to breaking the law or killing off user acquisition (and therefore the game).
Also, let us forget about political metaphors like talking about Korea
This is not a metaphor, it's a fact and it's relevant for this discussion. What is needed to actually exclude disruptive players from a game reliably is to link accounts to actual persons. And this is not possible, except in Korea where this is actually done.
However, if you tell nothing at all
I am here, ain't I? I am here and told you things. And I am here for a reason. As you pointed out correctly, I can't tell you what exactly did in this particular case, but you are a smart person, draw your conclusions.
And those, who DO wrong, who spoil fun ... they feel safe to continue. You may ban them for a day, for a week ... do they care? If they really want to spoil our fun, they will be back tomorrow with a different mail
That's correct. That's the essence of the problem of disruptive behavior in online gaming....with the exception of South Korea, where privacy laws are not really a thing and game accounts are linked to your social security number, which means you can be banned as a person. In all other countries, this is not possible.
Gaming companies can ban accounts. Players can create accounts. That's the problem.
I care about the people who are already here.
Good, so do I. I am pretty sure the people who are already here have an interest in RN continuing to exist. If they don't, sure, then user acquision is something they don't need to care about. But for everyone who wants to continue playing RN, user acquisition is something to care about.
You guys at RN think in a very, very short way.
I dare to disagree. If you think that only currently existing players are important for RN, then it's you who thinks "in a very, very short way". This is not a sustainable business practice. If we wouldn't care about user acquisition, RN would have been gone years ago.
every time I read statements like that, it drives me crazy, because it's stupid
It's not stupid. Sustaining a game is just not as simple as you make it sound.
Who says we didn't take action or won't take action?
I can not comment on decisions about individual cases, so I don't. That doesn't necessarily mean we don't do anything.
GI_Joe What I wrote was more about this problem in general, not every (or this) specific case. There are of course cases that are plainly obvious. But ideally we would also like to have solutions for situations that are less obvious or, best case, simply prevent those obvious cases instead of reacting to them.
"A few days" means up to 15 days after the server has started, that's 2 weeks, I have joined servers in era 2 and still managed good results, I think my latest start was around day 1 or 2 of era 2.
Yes, but you are an experienced players, you can compensate with skill and knowledge. A new player is simply frustrated. And even if "a few days" is 2 weeks...that still means that over 80% of the time you can't join a server comfortably.
I'd be curious to see those stats on player acquisition, mostly what is the retention rate, how many of those joining late actually finish the game and how many instead end up inactive soon after.
I can't share this data, but you are asking exactly the right kind of questions.
Depends on which part of the "catch up package" the trolls are using in this case.
Yeah, that's a very good point. I don't know, to be honest. Do you think reducing the money and increasing vouchers (for example train vouchers, since you can't buy trains if you don't have money) would help? Do you see any downsides about this?
yeah sorry, can't do shit for you
Yeah, but I rather be honest about this instead of sugarcoating it. This is the situation we have to deal with and within which we need to look for a solution (if there is one).
I absolutely understand the problem and the frustration with it and I agree that finding a solution for it would be amazing.
Your point about churns is valid, but those churns don't know how to invest, even less how to all invest in a new industry specifically and with the same amount of money
Yeah, and this is one of the main problems: A new player looks pretty much the same as a troll, concerning play style.
Getting rid of the "catch up package" would certainly help to stop disruptive players (or at least increase the effort they have to put into it), but, similar to 2FA, this comes with big costs. This would basically mean that players can't (or won't) join a server anymore once it has run a few days. For user acquisition/reactivation, this would be a catastrophe.
But then, rock solid proof can only be provided by support, that can see patterns in login times, login IPs, etc.
Even for the support this is difficult, because families show pretty much the same pattern as multis do. So it wouldn't be really proof, but rather an educated guess...which is not good enough.
n the German section, employees sometimes tell, they got tools to 100% prove multi accounting
Not sure what you are referting to, but I think it depends on what you mean. Sometimes we are 100% sure. If that is what you mean, then yes, this is actually true. If you mean that we can identify 100% of all multis, that's not true and I would be worried if any employee said this.
- revolution: Delete the multi account rule(s) from the TOC and game rules. This way the good players can fight back, and RN saves a lot of time, effords and manpower on working about the complaints, detecting, proving and banning.
To be honest I never thought about this option. What negative and positive outcomes would you expect?
Be present. Play together with us.
We do. That's not a solution. Not having empathy with the players problems is not the problem here.
From my own experience I can tell, if developers play their game daily, more than 50% (almost 80%) of the bugs will be detected and fixed without that big organisational effort
Good thing that we do that then
Think about the login procedure
I don't think that's the problem. For example on mobile, as a first time player, there is no login at all. It doesn't get much more streamlined than that. I agree that there are is some...clunkyness in the login, partly because of bugs, partly because it's a browser game. But I don't agree that streamlining this will allow us to implement 2FA without suffering the drastic consequences this would have on registrations.
If we would be a pure mobile game, then yes. You could give people an instant account (no login/registration at all) and if they want access to certain features, they quickly need to add....idk...their email, their phone number, something like that. But for a browser game it's not that easy.
Personally, I think that the most effective approach would be via gameplay/game design. Disruptive gameplay behavior should not be easy or not be effective or not be attractive. But, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea how such a solution (that shouldn't also hit genuine new players) would actually look like. Maybe one of you has an idea.
this topic was already discussed in another domain a while ago and there are some things you need to consider.
a) You need to differentiate between "Fake players" and churning players. "Churn" basically means that players stop playing. And, as you might know, we, like all other games, try to attract new players. Because of that, we have a steady flow of new players and many of them churn. How many of them churn depends on where they are coming from (i.e. which kind of advertisment/user acquisition method brought them here), but in general you can say that the majority of players does not continue to play for long. Not just in Rail Nation, but in general in free games. Especially for mobile games it's very common that player just install a game, test it for a few minutes or hours and then never come back.This is where the vast majority of those low-level almost-inactive accounts are coming from. They are not multis, they are not bots, they are not fake accounts. They are churned players who tested the game for a short while and then left.
I'm not saying that fake accounts (as in secondary account/smurf/twink/multi) don't exist. I am sure they do. But most of these almost inactive accounts are not those "fake accounts".
b) About the "It's all about numbers" argument: While that is obviously true in a way and we as a company obviously need to care about revenue, this is in no way related to those accounts. We do not profit from churning players, we, exactly as you, want players to stick around and play normally and for a long time.
c) About doing something against actual fake accounts: Sadly this is easier said than done. Because in order to do that, we need proof. Not just evidence, but rock solid proof. We need to KNOW that an account was created solely for malicious intent and that it's breaking our rules. Assuming or being very sure is not enough. We need to know. Otherwise we have no legal ground to stand on and, even worse, we would also hit innocent players, which is completely inacceptable. That's why doing something against it is not easy.
d) About Two Factor Authentication: While 2FA is probably the gold (ar at least silver) standard in terms of account security, there is a huge downside to it: Most people don't want to do it. You will find very few free games that use mandatory 2FA, because this simply stops players from registering at all. When people just want to test a game quickly, the last thing they want to do is to provide their phone number or anything like that. So instead of doing that, they just leave again. It would essentially mean that we wouldn't just prevent fake accounts, we would mostly prevent new accounts in general. It probably sounds a bit overly dramatic to say it like this, but: This would mean a quite quick end for Rail Nation.
All that being said:
If you encounter actual "fake players" (although I would prefer to call them "trolls" or "disruptive players"), accounts that are specifically created by other players on the same gameworld to disrupt gameplay, and you have proof for that: Please write a support ticket, including the proof. And yes, I am aware that getting proof for this is not easy, but I hope you understand that we can not take action against players without actual proof that they violated the rules.