The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

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The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby YosueElShirtlessSkin » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:25 am

I do have to ask why Blank Media Games started charging money to play the game at all. I would have liked to think enough money came from people buying the Coven Expansion (I did, great stuff). I'm probably late to the party in terms of asking about this since it happened in November, but alas.
YESS
"Wow! You breezed through that report. Unfortunately, you must wait a little longer before you can view another."
Hmmmm... MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE IT WAS A FUCKING INAPPROPRIATE USERNAME REPORT!!!!
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby KatiyaKramer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:03 am

The game suffered from a severe botting issue last year, and while the devs tried many options to slow down or stop the botters, they were eventually forced to make the jump to P2P.

See this announcement thread for more details.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=92848
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby YosueElShirtlessSkin » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:10 am

KatiyaKramer wrote:The game suffered from a severe botting issue last year, and while the devs tried many options to slow down or stop the botters, they were eventually forced to make the jump to P2P.

See this announcement thread for more details.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=92848


I'm sure there were plenty of amazing people that were FTP. Could they perhaps be grandfathered in?
YESS
"Wow! You breezed through that report. Unfortunately, you must wait a little longer before you can view another."
Hmmmm... MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE IT WAS A FUCKING INAPPROPRIATE USERNAME REPORT!!!!
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby Flavorable » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:39 am

YosueElShirtlessSkin wrote:
KatiyaKramer wrote:The game suffered from a severe botting issue last year, and while the devs tried many options to slow down or stop the botters, they were eventually forced to make the jump to P2P.

See this announcement thread for more details.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=92848


I'm sure there were plenty of amazing people that were FTP. Could they perhaps be grandfathered in?


The majority of people that played at least 1 game in the last year were grandfathered in.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby ElderSivart » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:44 am

YosueElShirtlessSkin wrote:
KatiyaKramer wrote:The game suffered from a severe botting issue last year, and while the devs tried many options to slow down or stop the botters, they were eventually forced to make the jump to P2P.

See this announcement thread for more details.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=92848


I'm sure there were plenty of amazing people that were FTP. Could they perhaps be grandfathered in?

Everyone that had played at least 1 game was grandfathered in.
I think it' might've been changed so that it was at least 1 game within the past year, I don't remember.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby YosueElShirtlessSkin » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:53 am

Okay, that's good.
YESS
"Wow! You breezed through that report. Unfortunately, you must wait a little longer before you can view another."
Hmmmm... MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE IT WAS A FUCKING INAPPROPRIATE USERNAME REPORT!!!!
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby PKOLake » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:53 am

KatiyaKramer wrote:The game suffered from a severe botting issue last year, and while the devs tried many options to slow down or stop the botters, they were eventually forced to make the jump to P2P.

See this announcement thread for more details.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=92848

"Forced" is a huge stretch. The developers tried options that didn't work, and ignored industry-proven options suggested to them, including blocking TOR exit node IP addresses, which are publicly listed and automatically updated on the TOR website it's self. Instead of taking hard decisions, they took the easy, and most profitable way out. in this thread http://blankmediagames.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=95766 i highlighted the issues with taking the pay-to-pay route in the long term. The GMODs, of course, jumping to the defense of the developers completely ignored my concerns regarding account stealing and instead nitpicked me about how i "misused" a quote, even though it would not matter if i did. They also said that mods "blocked" IP addresses, and claimed that this caused "innocent" players to be blocked, however this is due to Moderator negligence, not due to actually blocking proxies, VPNs, and Tor exit nodes, as an overwhelmingly huge majority (99% plus) of these IP addresses are static, and very few are rotating or dynamic. Very very rarely does a normal user get assigned an IP address of a VPN, proxy, or tor exit node. However, even if one person is blocked, who can easily contact an administrator on this site, that is certainly much better than having free range of bots using proxies, vpns, and tor nodes to bypass blocks. During the botting situation, BMG failed to: 1. Block Proxy, Tor, and VPN ip addresses, 2. Block disposable emails or set up a whitelisting system, 3. Limit registrations on specific IP addresses to a certain number. 4. On top of this, deploying an active in-game moderation team
It's not as if any of these systems are complicated or difficult. (paid & free) Software already exists that automatically and safely blocks proxy servers, web proxies, Tor, and datacenter IP ranges. Even without this software, it isn't hard to discover these IP addresses by hand. Several websites exist that list thousands to tens of thousands of proxies, and TOR its self has a list of exit node IP addresses on their site. Software also exists to detect bot, VPN, and proxy traffic with certain tests. This idea that they were "FORCED" to go to pay-2-play is complete bogus at worst and an extreme exaggeration at best. The developers failed to take adequate action in a timely manner, and they don't acknowledge this. They continue to deflect and make excuses, in attempt to rationalize their bad decisions. Several times we've either seen rationalization or outright ignoring of an issue. BMG did not apologize for not taking adequate action in a timely matter when it came to: MOONMAN spam, botting, the security breach, and bans against users who dared criticize them. It took them years to take any sort of action against MOONMAN spammers, it took them weeks to take any adequate action against botters,it took them nearly a week to even respond to the security breach, and we are still awaiting any official action, besides mass emailing users and "hiring a security firm", neither of which adequately solve the problem of millions of users' data being breached. They banned users who disagreed with them on certain topics, and only unbanned them because of backlash by well-established users, and even a former moderator. And instead of blocking IP addresses in fear of "blocking innocent users" (who can just then email and ask for an account), they implemented a paywall so that NO new innocent user could use the service without paying... really sticking to your own standards, aren't you BMG?
Edit: even the imageboard 4chan, which makes little revenue at all, is able to block tor, proxy, and VPNs, and does it despite gaining not much at all from it.
Last edited by PKOLake on Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby James2 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:37 am

If the government of China can't reliably block VPN traffic, I highly doubt that BMG could. At best they could have blocked crappy free VPNs.

I suggested an email whitelist myself, but such a whitelist would not only have to exclude temporary emails, but also any kind of email which can be created for free over and over again (gmail, hotmail, outlook, mail.com, etc.). This wouldn't have been a bad idea, since most ISPs give you one or two email addresses at their domain.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby Flavorable » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:09 am

James2 wrote:If the government of China can't reliably block VPN traffic, I highly doubt that BMG could. At best they could have blocked crappy free VPNs.

I suggested an email whitelist myself, but such a whitelist would not only have to exclude temporary emails, but also any kind of email which can be created for free over and over again (gmail, hotmail, outlook, mail.com, etc.). This wouldn't have been a bad idea, since most ISPs give you one or two email addresses at their domain.


Except (and this is something I advise people over and over again) people shouldn't use an ISP provided e-mailaddress for anything important. Why? Because if you switch ISPs, which happens quite often at least in the north-western part of Europe, your ISP-provided e-mailaddress gets permanently deleted and you lose any important e-mails you may have had if you didn't back them up quickly enough. Meaning that, if you're someone that looks for the best ISP deal (bi-)annually, you will keep having to change your e-mailaddress every time you switch ISPs, which is an unnecessarily hassle.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby James2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:34 am

It doesn't have to be the email associated with their phpbb account. Just offer verification of a whitelisted email as an alternative to paying when they log into the game. They wouldn't need to retain that email in the future.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby Flavorable » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:00 am

James2 wrote:It doesn't have to be the email associated with their phpbb account. Just offer verification of a whitelisted email as an alternative to paying when they log into the game. They wouldn't need to retain that email in the future.


And how about all the non-adults whose parents won't let them use their ISP's e-mailaddress? And how about all the people that want 2 accounts? Or how about all the people in dorms and student housing that don't have their own ISP? Not to mention a lot of people I know rent places all-inclusive, meaning the landlord has an ISP contract, not the person renting.

Not to mention, a game looks even less attractive to new players if it says "Sorry, no hotmail or gmail e-mailaddresses allowed!" than if it says "Hey, this game is 5 bucks!".
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby James2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:04 pm

People could still pay $5 to play. Anyone willing to pay (that is, anyone who can currently join) would be exempt from email verification.

Also, university emails could also be whitelisted, as you can't get an indefinite number of them for free.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby PredictedCyborg » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:35 am

Just adding, if I'd used my university-given e-mail for a game I'd have gotten chewed out for it.
We were given our uni mails strictly for university-related stuff - and yes it was enforced. We needed them clear for 'important' coursework and lecture-related things.

Barring the free e-mails would have stopped me from joining this game. I use my personal gmail. I joined when I lived with my mother and didn't have access to her ISP-given address. I recently moved to a place where the wi-fi provides not only my housemate and me, but the business downstairs. Again, it does not belong to me.

$5 isn't a massive amount, and as long as you're conscious of what you're doing in-game you won't have to spend it over and over. Every now and then a bot will get in or someone gets their account phished (unfortunately, I feel bad for those people who lose them that way x.x) but it is NOWHERE near as bad as it was when the botting attack was in full swing.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby PKOLake » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:17 am

James2 wrote:If the government of China can't reliably block VPN traffic, I highly doubt that BMG could. At best they could have blocked crappy free VPNs.

I suggested an email whitelist myself, but such a whitelist would not only have to exclude temporary emails, but also any kind of email which can be created for free over and over again (gmail, hotmail, outlook, mail.com, etc.). This wouldn't have been a bad idea, since most ISPs give you one or two email addresses at their domain.

Why the rationalization? You don't even represent BMG.
This analogy doesn't work for the simple fact that preventing bad IP addresses from connecting to your site is not the same thing as preventing your 1.3 billion citizens from accessing certain websites. BMG's (should-be) goal would be to block a few bad actors from registering on their website, not 1.3 billion citizens from accessing content you don't want them to see. Furthermore, China has been successful in blocking VPN traffic, the whole TOR network, TOR bridges (including private ones), proxies, etc. China has to monitor what traffic hundreds of millions of Chinese people are transferring. To block every single proxy, VPN, and TOR node & bridge as possible, they use deep packet inspection to automatically detect a connection as one of these. Since BMG isn't actively trying to prevent connections from billions of users, actions taken to block VPNs, proxies, and TOR (exit) nodes are more effective to scale. If china could block 99% of circumvention tools for 1.3 billion people, that would be less effective than, say, BMG blocking 90% of circumvention IP addresses for maybe 100 bad actors, most of which may give up after trying 1-2 VPNs, and those who do get past just help add more IP addresses to block. This, combined with my suggestion of limiting the amount of registrations per day on an IP address, and having an active in-game moderation team, would make it much more effective.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby PKOLake » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:27 am

Flavorable wrote:
James2 wrote:It doesn't have to be the email associated with their phpbb account. Just offer verification of a whitelisted email as an alternative to paying when they log into the game. They wouldn't need to retain that email in the future.


And how about all the non-adults whose parents won't let them use their ISP's e-mailaddress? And how about all the people that want 2 accounts? Or how about all the people in dorms and student housing that don't have their own ISP? Not to mention a lot of people I know rent places all-inclusive, meaning the landlord has an ISP contract, not the person renting.

Not to mention, a game looks even less attractive to new players if it says "Sorry, no hotmail or gmail e-mailaddresses allowed!" than if it says "Hey, this game is 5 bucks!".

Why is what restrictions that a parent puts on a child BMG's problem?
Anyhow, i agree that if a whitelist were in place, it should include most popular emails. The point of it is to prevent spam registrations with disposable emails. Furthermore, most email services have protection against repeated registration for use of spam, something that is industry proven and is why i suggested BMG do the same, but they still haven't, because they took the easy way out.
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Re: The Game Ain't Free Anymore?

Postby James2 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:37 pm

PredictedCyborg wrote:Just adding, if I'd used my university-given e-mail for a game I'd have gotten chewed out for it.
We were given our uni mails strictly for university-related stuff - and yes it was enforced. We needed them clear for 'important' coursework and lecture-related things.


Perhaps it's different in Europe. I've never heard of an American university telling students what to use their email for.

PKOLake wrote:
James2 wrote:If the government of China can't reliably block VPN traffic, I highly doubt that BMG could. At best they could have blocked crappy free VPNs.

I suggested an email whitelist myself, but such a whitelist would not only have to exclude temporary emails, but also any kind of email which can be created for free over and over again (gmail, hotmail, outlook, mail.com, etc.). This wouldn't have been a bad idea, since most ISPs give you one or two email addresses at their domain.

Why the rationalization? You don't even represent BMG.
This analogy doesn't work for the simple fact that preventing bad IP addresses from connecting to your site is not the same thing as preventing your 1.3 billion citizens from accessing certain websites. BMG's (should-be) goal would be to block a few bad actors from registering on their website, not 1.3 billion citizens from accessing content you don't want them to see. Furthermore, China has been successful in blocking VPN traffic, the whole TOR network, TOR bridges (including private ones), proxies, etc. China has to monitor what traffic hundreds of millions of Chinese people are transferring. To block every single proxy, VPN, and TOR node & bridge as possible, they use deep packet inspection to automatically detect a connection as one of these. Since BMG isn't actively trying to prevent connections from billions of users, actions taken to block VPNs, proxies, and TOR (exit) nodes are more effective to scale. If china could block 99% of circumvention tools for 1.3 billion people, that would be less effective than, say, BMG blocking 90% of circumvention IP addresses for maybe 100 bad actors, most of which may give up after trying 1-2 VPNs, and those who do get past just help add more IP addresses to block. This, combined with my suggestion of limiting the amount of registrations per day on an IP address, and having an active in-game moderation team, would make it much more effective.


It's really the same principle. In both cases, they want to identify and block traffic from VPNs.

And I have no idea where you're getting your information from. I know several academics who've been to China, and none of them had any trouble accessing private VPNs in America, nor did their Chinese colleagues. I'm sure China is successful at blocking ordinary people from visiting banned websites, but anyone with technical know-how can easily circumvent it. And of course, the people attacking ToS were obviously technically adept.

PKOLake wrote:Why is what restrictions that a parent puts on a child BMG's problem?


Thank you for pointing this out.

Anyhow, i agree that if a whitelist were in place, it should include most popular emails. The point of it is to prevent spam registrations with disposable emails. Furthermore, most email services have protection against repeated registration for use of spam, something that is industry proven and is why i suggested BMG do the same, but they still haven't, because they took the easy way out.


BMG required a Google captcha to register an account. That didn't stop the botters because account registration was something that could be done manually. Likewise, a human being can manually create as many gmail (or what have you) accounts as they want.
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