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Bring Blockchain technology to AoC

Hi, I find AoC a very interesting and ambitious project that I'm passionately following closely since I heard of it from the youtuber 'Orkbit'. What I wanted to share with you is my view on the web 3.0 aka blockchains and internet money/value. Especially in gaming this will have a huge impact, f.e for making things like the epic-ness of loot and the distribution of in game currency a public and a provably fair mechanism this is essential, as it makes it impossible for anyone to have an unfair advantage. I'm sure most of you have had some kind of bad experience with cheats and hacks or even currupt employees in your countless hours of playing mmo's and you all know how it can really ruin the experience you have with a game, potentially for ever. We need systems that solve this problem and we are in a time where technology is making this possible in ways we could not yet imagine.

Bitcoin was the first of its kind bringing this technology to the public and its network is worth more then 60bb USD today, growing rapidly and totally changing the way we transfer and store value on the digitally. I'm not a dev or anything, I'm just someone who played a lot of mmo's and has grown up with all the great people on the internet and the insights they have shared. I'm trying to do the same where I can and IMO the importance of this and the impact it could have on this game are huge. I think this is something that has to flow into the back-end of the development at early stages too, this is nothing that can be patched easily later on as there are a few things that are fundamentally different from the systems we know.

I really hope that I could get my message across and that you will have at least someone seriously looking into this if you have not yet someone. For advisors you can try and mail Vitalik Buterin the founder of Ethereum, he used to play a lot of WoW and is a very smart guy when it comes to this topic.

Thank you for reading this and I'm aware that this is a hard problem to solve and we are still in early days but when I see you guys at AoC, I see people who are grown enough to take on something this big and I have strong faith.

All the best,
mbalance

"The difference humans make of the physical and digital world is getting smaller and smaller, the games utilizing the next generation of technologies will be the games that will make it to the next decade. Not just by creating a great player experience, but by creating worlds that grow to something bigger then the company that is building them."

Comments

  • I'm a big fan of blockchain technology and think it would be a great idea to bring this into the gaming community.
  • I read that post twice, and hate to admit feel a little dumb...

    But how would this tech impact and interact with the actual game?

    Did I miss that in there or is it not there?

  • I read that post twice, and hate to admit feel a little dumb...

    But how would this tech impact and interact with the actual game?

    Did I miss that in there or is it not there?

    I'm sorry to not have made that clear enough, maybe it's worth for you to do some reading on blockchains.

    Databases are the way game progress is stored today, they are highly vaunrable by thier nature and they're controlled by a single entity. Blockchains is what I am suggesting, they are quite impossible to hack and are controlled by the community, if they're setup as a distributed network. While databases are and will remain good at some things, they are very bad at other things like creating a counterfeight proof system for ingame loot, currency and even land ownership. You can even take is as far as making the code and any change to it open and distributed. I do think that's some 2020 stuff though, because everyone making games these days seems to stick to the for profit model.

    Also most games growth today is limited by the amount of trust people are willing to put into the people in charge, if you take that away and implement a system whitout any trust needed, it will create something massive. Just look at Bitcoin f.e a centralized curreny made by some group on the internet would have never been able to grow so big, even if they had done 10 years of legal work beforehand.


  • I admit, I had never heard of Blockchain Technology until I read this post and I had to go and read an article explaining what it is. I am still not entirely sure exactly what it is if I am being honest. But, what I would like to know is, how would this affect the game? What would it provide us with? Why is this better (other than it is harder to hack)?
  • Without knowing much about blockchain myself. The OP seems to be offering a solution to things like this:


  • Hatred said:
    Without knowing much about blockchain myself. The OP seems to be offering a solution to things like this:


    Blockchains won't stop people from exploiting games. It's just an alternative way for transferring currency or other data around without relying on a central database.

    Hacking costs the gaming industry billions of dollars and cause titles to be shut down every year. One of the latest victims of this is the Indie game Moirai.

    Intrepid have announced behavioral based fraud detection, which indicates awareness of security issues. To prevent the exploits as described in the video, they will also need to incorporate robust security mechanisms to detect tampering, prevent reverse engineering and protect sensitive data.

    (Disclosure: I'm a security specialist in the area of application protection)
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    Blockchains won't stop people from exploiting games. It's just an alternative way for transferring currency or other data around without relying on a central database.

    Any exploits would be recognized on the blockchain, it's an open ledger where the whole community can always keep track of the existing supply and every transaction ever made. These fundamentals make it pretty much impossible for anyone (including admins) to exploit currency or resources without being noticed.

    Most people (also a lot of people in tech) still have a hard time grasping what this means and how blockchains will have an even bigger impact then the internet itself on our society, it's still a very new way of thinking and it will take time.

    I'm just trying my best to help innovation and I want my kids to have a chance to actually play a game that is worth their time. Not like me wasting half my life playing WoW, now standing with empty hands because of the greed of a few. This is also a problem blockchains can solve with a consensus mechanism, it will allow for the community to take the decision making of the development  into their own hands without trusting a 3rd party.

    It's worth reading some futuristic articles/blogs about blockchains potential, it will blow your mind.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    mbalance said:
    Blockchains won't stop people from exploiting games. It's just an alternative way for transferring currency or other data around without relying on a central database.
    Any exploits would be recognized on the blockchain, it's an open ledger where the whole community can always keep track of the existing supply and every transaction ever made. These fundamentals make it pretty much impossible for anyone (including admins) to exploit currency or resources without being noticed.
    A blockchain does not protect against exploits. It only guards against very specific types of activity, such as preventing the same currency from being spent twice without the need for central institutions. 
    Source: https://home.kpmg.com/uk/en/home/insights/2017/04/five-blockchain-myths-that-just-wont-die.html

    If a hacker gains access to your your blockchain private keys, he or she could conduct valid transactions on the blockchain with your identity and steal all of your cryptocurrency without the ability for you to recover your funds.
    Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/hacker-steals-7-million-in-ethereum-cryptocurrency-after-compromising-start-ups-token-sale/article/675846/

    Please be careful when evaluating the security merits of a technology. There is a great deal of misleading information out there that could end up being harmful.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    Zastro said:
    I admit, I had never heard of Blockchain Technology until I read this post and I had to go and read an article explaining what it is. I am still not entirely sure exactly what it is if I am being honest. But, what I would like to know is, how would this affect the game? What would it provide us with? Why is this better (other than it is harder to hack)?

    There is no single point to attack and so it can not be hacked without spending massive amounts of resources. Torrent is a good example for this, the only thing you can hack are the sites that provide you with a download link, the actual network itself is very hard to attack as it contains of thousands of clients hosting the data all over the world.
  • mbalance said:
    Zastro said:
    I admit, I had never heard of Blockchain Technology until I read this post and I had to go and read an article explaining what it is. I am still not entirely sure exactly what it is if I am being honest. But, what I would like to know is, how would this affect the game? What would it provide us with? Why is this better (other than it is harder to hack)?

    There is no single point to attack and so it can not be hacked without spending massive amounts of resources. Torrent is a good example for this, the only thing you can hack are the sites that provide you with a download link, the actual network itself is very hard to attack as it contains of thousands of clients hosting the data all over the world.
    Blockchains are not a security panacea. Please be wary of the information you read that might claim otherwise.

    On a macro level, blockchains are vulnerable against large-scale coordinated attacks: http://thehackernews.com/2016/08/bitcoin-software-hack.html

    On a micro level, a blockchain is only as secure as the computer or device you are using to conduct the transactions. 
    VI. ATTACKS AGAINST THE END USER Client Side Attacks -Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency resides in the wallet.dat file, a goal of malicious actors in a cryptocurrency attack campaign is the exfiltration of that file. This can be achieved through physical access, but is most often attributed to malware. Both whitehat and blackhat tools exist for the theft of Bitcoin wallets. 
    Source: http://searchdl.org/public/conference/2013/AETACS/131.pdf

    Having said all of this, Blockchain technologies are valuable and can solve some existing problems if applied in the right context.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    lexmax said:
    mbalance said:
    Zastro said:
    I admit, I had never heard of Blockchain Technology until I read this post and I had to go and read an article explaining what it is. I am still not entirely sure exactly what it is if I am being honest. But, what I would like to know is, how would this affect the game? What would it provide us with? Why is this better (other than it is harder to hack)?

    There is no single point to attack and so it can not be hacked without spending massive amounts of resources. Torrent is a good example for this, the only thing you can hack are the sites that provide you with a download link, the actual network itself is very hard to attack as it contains of thousands of clients hosting the data all over the world.
    Blockchains are not a security panacea. Please be wary of the information you read that might claim otherwise.

    On a macro level, blockchains are vulnerable against large-scale coordinated attacks: http://thehackernews.com/2016/08/bitcoin-software-hack.html

    On a micro level, a blockchain is only as secure as the computer or device you are using to conduct the transactions. 
    VI. ATTACKS AGAINST THE END USER Client Side Attacks -Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency resides in the wallet.dat file, a goal of malicious actors in a cryptocurrency attack campaign is the exfiltration of that file. This can be achieved through physical access, but is most often attributed to malware. Both whitehat and blackhat tools exist for the theft of Bitcoin wallets. 
    Source: http://searchdl.org/public/conference/2013/AETACS/131.pdf

    Having said all of this, Blockchain technologies are valuable and can solve some existing problems if applied in the right context.
    Yes you are totally right, I never meant to get into anything client side related. You can't make a protocol repsonsible for not protecting a client with a rootkit installed or password123 security. Although, devices like harware wallets and new chips being build into phones for this purpose will make it a lot easier for the average Joe to be 100x more secure.

    "If a hacker gains access to your your blockchain private keys, he or she could conduct valid transactions on the blockchain with your identity and steal all of your cryptocurrency without the ability for you to recover your funds."

    This is not exactly true and depends on the architecture of the given blockchain, f.e disputes can be made when trading through multi-sig and even changes to past transactions can be made with community consensus.

    A lot of these articles are very outdated and poorly cratch the surface of the bigger picture. They are poiting out the obvious and acting like they are on to something no one is seeing here.
  • mbalance said:

    I'm just trying my best to help innovation and I want my kids to have a chance to actually play a game that is worth their time. Not like me wasting half my life playing WoW, now standing with empty hands because of the greed of a few. This is also a problem blockchains can solve with a consensus mechanism, it will allow for the community to take the decision making of the development  into their own hands without trusting a 3rd party.

    It's worth reading some futuristic articles/blogs about blockchains potential, it will blow your mind.

    I don't know if I like the idea of all the player base having access to all transaction records and everything that has to with the game. I definitely don't want the community to develop the game as it will probably turn out really bad then especially since the community is split on some major components. Some things just shouldn't be decided by the masses because then it becomes mob rule and it could lead to the game having random systems that don't work well together.  I want the professional game developers, Intrepid,  to develop the game and to take feedback on their development like they are currently doing.

    If I totally misunderstood what you wrote I am very sorry.
  • Another issue is, if the data is distributed then all entities need to be online for data to be accessible.

    In a "data placed on single server scenario", if server is online, data is accessible.

    In a "distributed scenario", if at least one entity is offline, you are screwed.


    Related to MMO, I certainly wouldn't like stuff to be inaccessible to me much more often then in current MMOs due to entity offline problems.

    As such I believe that block chain technology is more suited where "paranoid level security" is requirement, and single server technology where up-time is paramount, like MMOs.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2017
    I dont know too much about blockchains, but to proofread all your inputs by another persons computer would at least ~double your latency(/~tripple your latency if the connection is hosted by intrepid..)
    You couldn't just implement that system for simple gold exchange alone, there are a thousend ways to get fake money/items into the game.

    Security is nice and all, but if the game plays like the servers are under permanent ddos attacks its worth nothing..
  • Still trying to figure out what the purpose would be. 

    Block chaining is used to maintain the integrity of the currency by distributing the info to many nodes.  In the gaming environment the server is presumed to be secure as such trusted.  The server farm is far, far more efficient at doing that.

    Like some other have stated it's not a real time process at least not the kind of real time required in a game.  Latency and data stream bandwidth are the biggest limitation of what can and can't be done online.  Using block changing would take lots of time measured in minutes not seconds let alone milliseconds.


  • If I understood this concept correctly, then it could have its positive and negative side.

    It will be better protected, that's nice. Even though I never played a game whose database got hacked. I heard stories of hackers generating billions of in-game gold through a vulnerability, but this never impacted the games I played.

    On the other hand, this could drastically decrease customer service.
    - How? Let me explain

    I have no idea how this new database structure looks like, but I imagine it to be something heavily encrypted and unreadable. I believe we have all been in a situation in which you did something stupid and asked customer service to fix it. For example, you accidently NPCed your weapon or maybe it just randomly disappeared. This can be reverted through direct database editing, simply relog and your stuff is back. I don't see how something like that would with the new system.
    Maybe you're doing a quest and it bugs out in the middle of it. You cannot cancel or finish it. What to do? Remove the taken quest from your character through the database.

    Maybe I am wrong, but I suppose this would have its positive and negative sides.
  • I first learned about block chain through the Tas flux branch. I'm not to impressed. It seems overly complicated compared to the potential benefits.

    Ashes is too far in to development and may not want to risk the technology failing them. 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2017
    I see this has become a mess, I'm mainly proposing to make crucial parts of the economy trust-less. To this date there is no other way to achieve this without blockchain tech which is still very young and going under a lot of research and development(think of it like the early early days of the internet). Some game developers are visionary enough to grasp this and it will pay off exponentially more in the long run in every aspect you can think of. Just imagine Blizzard would have designed World of Warcraft a single player game because most people didn't have good enough internet access, they would have never seen the growth they did.

    Here is a presentation that could give you some insights where we are heading in the future with gaming(they just raised 11million dollars):



    https://dmarket.io/
  • Gothix said:
    Another issue is, if the data is distributed then all entities need to be online for data to be accessible.

    In a "data placed on single server scenario", if server is online, data is accessible.

    In a "distributed scenario", if at least one entity is offline, you are screwed.


    Related to MMO, I certainly wouldn't like stuff to be inaccessible to me much more often then in current MMOs due to entity offline problems.

    As such I believe that block chain technology is more suited where "paranoid level security" is requirement, and single server technology where up-time is paramount, like MMOs.
    Sorry but that is totally wrong. 

    https://www.multichain.com/blog/2016/03/blockchains-vs-centralized-databases/


  • So, are you saying you want the servers themselves to be set up like a blockchain to make them harder to hack? Or are you strictly talking about the currency in game? Or are you suggesting that in-game currency can have real-world value kind of like gold in WoW which can be turned into money from Blizzard?
  • The way I'm reading this is that OP is suggesting using a  blockchain based distributed database, rather than the traditional server based DB.   I've seen talks about games moving that direction, but haven't seen anyone put it into practice yet.

    If the devs consider going that route, I'd suggest looking into a dual-blockchain tech, such as Vericoin/Verium, that is designed to speed up transaction times.

    My knowledge of blockchain tech is limited, so I won't get into whether or not it would work / be effective.   It is an interesting concept though.
  • In theory it seems great, but in practice I see it as more trouble then what it's worth.

  • Hatred said:
    Without knowing much about blockchain myself. The OP seems to be offering a solution to things like this:


    These 2 commentators and there sarcasm are epic haha
  • Hatred said:
    Without knowing much about blockchain myself. The OP seems to be offering a solution to things like this:


    Ahh yes. "Manfred".  He was the predecessor of my real estate company in UO.  

    His thing was evil.  Players and guilds would wake up one day and the house/tower/castle that they'd spent months and years attaining would be gone, and instead another one was in its place, now owned by someone else.

    His selling on eBay actually spawned the entire world of buying and selling in game currency/accounts/items.  It actually allowed me to take the exploit I'd found in UO housing and monetise it.

    Back then, when you placed a house, you double clicked a deed in your bag that you'd purchased from an NPC and on your mouse popped up a shadow of the house type you were placing.  The front steps were on your mouse point so you could move it around to try and place in the world.  

    If there was an item/person/tree/rock in your way, you couldn't "build" a house there.  Or so they intended that to be the way it worked.

    I found a way to place houses with all sorts of crap in the way.  It turns out the house placement tool only did a check for the perimeter foundation on the X axis for items based on the front step of the house you were placing.  It didn't do any check at all on the Y axis, or for the floor of the house, OR for whether or not there was anything below the X axis for the foundation to actually sit on.

    People I sold houses to had trees coming through their floor, houses were "floating" above ground as long as the front steps were on level ground, and in some rare cases you could walk through them without actually being in the house itself.

    There was a company called UO Gold Transfer that would transfer your money on say the Pacific shard to the Great Lakes shard, and take anywhere from 10-25% of the money as a fee.

    I approached them one day and asked if they had houses on every shard.  Of course they didn't as housing was full all over the world in every shard. (This is pre expansion days)

    I figured that placing houses on Pacific (the shard I played on) meant that I could place on every shard.  There's virtually no way the spots I knew about were taken, because of this "feature" I had found, but if it worked on one shard, it worked on them all.

    I found a hilled spot right next to Moonglow that was 95% still inside of city limits that I could place a house, because the front steps were technically outside the city limits guard zone. 

    After a phone conversation with one of the owners of UOT, I placed one there and one on Sonoma and told the guy I could give him the same house on all shards if he gave me 1 million gold on each shard.  Done.

    He sent every person to me that was looking for a house, and we gave each other a 10% kickback of any real money we made for people we referred to each other.  This lasted about 18 months. 

    It all came crashing down one afternoon when I received a phone call from a blocked number.  The person on the other end said they were chief legal counsel from Origin Systems.  I laughed at my buddy for pranking me, (we just got back from a road trip to California that I paid for with money made from UO houses), I called him a loser and hung up.

    The next call the number wasn't blocked.  

    I was on speaker phone with what sounded like a minimum of 4-5 people.  At least 2 were programmers and 2 were lawyers.  It was explained to me how my account was now frozen.  I logged in as they were on the phone with me and my account was sitting in UO jail. 

    The programmers were wondering how I had hacked the server and what program/code I had used to circumvent their security.  The lawyers were explaining to me that I had violated their TOS and at a minimum I would be facing a fine, but for now my account was frozen.  They'd let me out of jail to show them how I'd "hacked their server".

    I told them I would show them everything.  But I'll need a few deeds.  They let me out of jail in invisible GM mode and we walked around the world until I found a spot I knew I could place a house.  Boom.  House is up.  

    I guess they had my traffic in and out being monitored, and there was a bunch of freaking out in the background because they couldn't find an anomaly.  They asked what I did.  I said placed a house.  The lawyers freaked out again and some guy was yelling at the actual security guys "WHAT THE F*** DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT HE DID?!? WHAT DO I PAY YOU FOR?"

    I gave one of the GM's following me the deed I used, and told him to place the house.  He said he can't.  I walked to the exact tile needed to place the house, and said click where I am.  I walked away, and 2 seconds later... House.

    "WHAT THE F***?!?!" rang out from half a dozen people on speaker phone.  I explained to them the X+Y axis "feature" they had programmed in.  They weren't amused, but they were happy as hell to know it wasn't a security breach, just lazy coding.

    I won't go into how much money I made, but living in Canada and selling on ebay in US dollars meant I needed to create a US bank account to not lose money in currency exchange.  The dollar was about .70 -.75 US at the time so I was also making another 25% on every sale.  I had such a good reputation I had people mailing me cheques saying I could cash it if I found them a house on a specific server.  The Japanese shards paid the most, and I had to hire a girl I knew back in high school to translate for me.

    The kicker to this is that the money I made helped me fund an actual career.  I got my license shortly after and now own an actual real estate company in real life. 

    I don't think I've ever typed this whole thing out before.  It will probably die in this off topic thread, but it brought back some good memories.  Thanks for listening.



  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2017
    Its this kind of thinking, taking advantage of the cutting edge in technology, that will see AoC or the next generation of MMO's thrive. Using blockchain to keep a ledger of all things considered valuable in the game is an excellent idea!
  • Bringing in "the new thing" isn't necessarily always the best thing.
    People have a saying for a reason "Don't fix it if it ain't broken".

    New things are good, but only after they have been thoroughly tested, and shown that in practice they are in fact really better than "old things".
  • Now say everything you folks just said in English.
  • I would worry about the amount of information being sent/received.   

    Right now, my computer communicates with the Server and transfers information that is relevant to me. It does not, however, use my computer to backup information.

    If I understand Blockchain technology correctly, my computer would now have to send/receive not only information that is relevant to me, but also continuously sync information which my machine is helping to encrypt and store on other characters, and the state of the world, too.
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