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Poll + Bonus Dev Discussion - Multiboxing



  • HartwellHartwell Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    So one keystroke cannot be replicated across several clients, nor can multiple clients be on the same device, but multiboxing is allowed? Sounds fair enough. They could still cast a heal on one account then move to their other account during the cast time, but that's okay. This would still eliminate the possibility of mass multiboxers. I can't see a person controlling over five accounts one by one.
  • LexLex Member, Phoenix Initiative, Avatar of the Phoenix, Kickstarter, Alpha One

    Long hair ... don't care.
  • XiraelAcaronXiraelAcaron Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    JoJoDeath wrote: »
    What reasons are there even to allow multiboxing in the first place? If it is a necessary thing(like how people argue alting is in ArcheAge), I feel like the game should be rebalanced such that it shouldn't be needed. If it is just to provide more benefits to a player, I would consider it Pay-2-Win, and thus should be banned.

    You are right, from the game design perspective, there is no way Intrepid would want to allow multiboxing. It certainly cannot help the game, only potentially harm it. However, if you disallow it, you have to enforce it. And if you enforce it, you need a technical way to do this. This method will most likely not catch the ones that are determined and know what they are doing. But you will prevent many, perfectly fine ways of playing that Intrepid definitely wants to have (see examples in this thread). So from Intrepid's side of view, having to enforce this, has only marginal advantages but many disadvantages. So its less allowing multiboxing but more deciding not to disallow it.
  • arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    edited July 2020
    The options of the poll completely miss the issue unfortunately.
    It´s not about wanting or not wanting people to be able to multibox, its about the trade-off of the counter measures and how they are enforced.
    I think this damages the perception if intrepid is really capable to actually integrate the community into the development process. Imo this whole thread is just for people to vent and will not bring anything tangible data to analyse.
    Nevertheless im happy with intrepids open development process, the amount of engagement of the developers is unparalleled, i hope they can expand on that.
  • I think multiboxing in general is a pretty polarising issue, made worse by the community not necessarily sharing the same perception of what does and does not constitute multiboxing.

    Taking a firm stance and saying "If you want to try to juggle inputs between multiple machines, that's your choice, but running around with a bunch of bots replicating your actions is unacceptable." is a realistic approach to take, overall.

    That being said, it's not going to make everyone happy, but I don't think that realistically you could make everyone happy with any decision on it.

    A lot of people are going to look at this and get caught up in thinking "Yeah, but if you allow it at all, people are going to abuse it and it'll still happen."

    I don't think that they're wrong for thinking that way, but as long as Intrepid remains firm on their stance and actively addresses any exploitative behaviour or cheating as it becomes apparent, then it's hard to argue that it isn't an appropriate stance to take.
  • I stand with the current Interpids stance - being allowed to have multiple accounts but not macro/script and so and have to be on several computers.
  • arsnn wrote: »
    The options of the poll completely miss the issue unfortunately.
    It´s not about wanting or not wanting people to be able to multibox, its about the trade-off of the counter measures and how they are enforced.

    Absolutely agreed. I personally do not believe this will be a major issue. Sure, it WILL occur (how could it not), but limiting the player to only one window open will significantly reduce the incentive to multi-box. You will have the guy that will get multiple computers, but the investment and management of that is so high, that it lends itself to the absolute most dedicated in this matter. And to the point of there being third party programs to break this rule, then that is just simply cheating, which is an entirely different matter anyway; this player will exploit/cheat regardless of rules, and separately from loopholes.
  • AsuraAsura Member
    The decision to not allow multiboxing on the same machine is definetly a good approach, but I still prefer not having multiboxing at all and here is why:

    1. Multiboxing decreases the active player pool of a server. Since you cannot play more than one account at the same time, you explicitly allow 100% afk accounts onto the server, taking away slots from people who actively want to play the game. ("Extreme" case: Everyone has 2 accounts -> real server population is halfed)

    2. Afaik the family system is char based, not account based, which can lead to fast travel abusement by having a 2nd account with 7 chars in the same family as your main char from your main acc, allowing for free fast travel to 7 positions on the world map.

    3. Multiboxing allows for easy selling of your goods, since one account can stay in town all day doing the trading for you, while you play normally on your main acc, which I consider to be an advantage. You could also group find with that account and maybe even craft.

    There are probably many more reasons and I personally dont see any upsides to allowing multiboxing other than that it is easier to implement its control mechanism.
    WMC51 wrote: »
    Current Intrepid stance - Players are allowed to own multiple accounts, but may not launch multiple game clients from the same computer. Players may not use any software to automate character actions or mimic keystrokes.

    This is all you can do. There isn't a way to stop it so any rules against it only hurt the people who follow the rules.

    I disagree with that statement, it should be possible to monitor accounts that play with the same ip address and see if they are never or rarely activley played at the same time when both accounts are online. Another indicator could be when trading is really one sided between both accounts. So it is definetly possible.

  • Mors MagisterMors Magister Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited July 2020
    As a form EVE player, my stance is simple no scripting / boting. Aside from that you can have as many accounts as you can afford. I was running 4 accounts at one point, all most solely so i could be my own mining fleet. I was far from alone in this, and it didn't hurt that economy.

    Running on a different PC is a needless rule as i can just as easily set up a VM cluster to do it from. Just let me alt tab my alts who are likely just smacking trees for wood any way. I am not going to take em in to a fight.
  • I don't have much to say on the topic that hasn't already been said, I just hope they don't ignore the fact that ~35% of their user base doesn't want multi-boxing.
  • I support Steven’s definition of how multi boxing is acceptable. I plan to have a secondary account for my son. Hopefully he wants to play some sort of support class(not a bard) that can buff me when he isn’t on. This is the only advantage I can see happening with the current acceptable stance. I’ll have a designated buff bot when he’s not playing. He’ll be too young to understand who to vote for when it comes to nodes so I’ll have an extra vote in anything I choose. I think Intrepid will continue to monitor the situation and I believe they’ll make the best choice based on everyone’s feedback.

    We are working on Call of Duty Warzone right now. If you can’t get good squad mates, GROW THEM!
  • FelroraFelrora Member
    edited July 2020
    Generally I think that multiboxing should NOT be allowed, because having a lot of multiboxers makes open world pvp worse. I played WoW classic and they allowed multiboxing there. Everytime you encounter a multi-boxer from the other faction in the open world, you just get oneshoted.

    I think however that the current Intrepid stance covers most of the issues. You should be allowed to own multiple accounts and I dont even care if someone is logged in twice at the same pc - that's not what multiboxing is. Software to automate character actions or mimic keystrokes is basically what defines multi-boxing and this is forbidden in the current stance!
  • TroublesTroubles Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I agree with the decision and really hate the automated multi boxing play. 5 toons running together all doing the same thing ruins the immersion into the world.
  • lGSMllGSMl Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I believe that game mechanics should be designed in the way that only active gameplay is beneficial. You can't deal with multiboxers - there always be a way. Make sure passive benefits from just "being at some location at some time" either do not exist or not tradable. No profit -> no multiboxing
  • Any type of multiboxing, restrictions or not, gives someone an in-game advantage that they paid for. By definition, this is literally pay to win. It should not be allowed in the immersive world of Verra where only individuals should be able to come together in order to accomplish epic goals and adventures.

    If someone is multiboxing multiple characters, they could abuse the family system and place each character in different parts of the world in order to fast travel.

    Also imagine a multiboxer having three characters. A bard to buff yourself, a cleric to heal when your primary DPS character is at low health, and a primary damage dealing class such as a fighter. The multiboxer would be impossible to kill against any solo player. This protective advantage also allows the multiboxer to acquire more resources, which means more gold over time.

    You prevent false positive bans by having players manually report multiboxers in-game. GMs are going to be very active on servers, so they can check the reports to make sure they are in fact breaking ToS. Automatic flagging could also report, without banning right away, a suspicious account to the GMs, and they can investigate further.

    If you do still allow multiboxing, then there NEEDS to be a character cap on it. Preferably three characters or under. 20-40 character mass multiboxers exist in other games, and they ruin the immersion and experience of the world, by camping resources for example. Even if they have to play each character individually, they can swap to another character when they die, making it impossible to kill a mass character multiboxer as a small group of 5 or under.

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to have a more complete discussion on the concerns of multiboxing.
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    First, most of you don't use the true definition of multiboxing. Multiboxing is on one computer (box is a window).

    Multi clienting is what Intrepid is allowing. I would prefer to have multi boxing if serious restrictions were added but I don't think it is possible or worth the amount of effort.
  • RubyRuby Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Multiboxing with multiple machines still makes for odd interactions including family teleports (Oh look, I will login my second account to teleport my entire family. Lets use this to participate on multiple sieges right after one another or to camp dungeon entrances across the map). Others have outlined the dangers of same machine multiboxing a lot, but I would like to point out that one player controlling multiple machines can still have significant impact in just about anything that requires multiple players to be logged in at the same time.

    I think valid countermeasures are the obvious mac address block, VM blocking and an aggressive stance on banning violating players.

    Yes, they are paying more money than the average player. Yet they will cause at least as many players quit the game as they are paying accounts for. If you create a grey area, people will try to abuse it. Please Intrepid, show that you truly care about a no pay2win stance and disallow multi boxing entirely.

    How to prevent false positives:
    Have them register their household as multiplayer households. Make sure they have realistic IP addresses that match their billing address. Automatically check this regularly.
    Make players report suspected multi boxing. Use Ingame GMs to check on people who have been reported several times.
  • BlaziiBlazii Member
    Thanks for posting this discussion. There's a lot of nuances to this worth exploring. I will say that while I think it is cool to see the limits of what can be pushed with multiboxing; both technically, mechanically, in and out of game, I just can't support it. I feel the power one player can leverage over others in this manner isn't healthy for a MMO.

    Lets examine the current stance. "Current Intrepid stance - Players are allowed to own multiple accounts, but may not launch multiple game clients from the same computer. Players may not use any software to automate character actions or mimic keystrokes."

    I feel the current stance has some good points. People make multiple accounts for games they like. They just do. We see it in MMOs like EVE Online, in mobile gacha games like Epic 7, Summoners War, and in some cases across platforms, like Destiny 2 and Monster Hunter. If you want multiple accounts, that is fine. Companies listen when with you speak with your money, and if you feel strongly enough to re-buy a game then that speaks to either the quality of the game or a design choice within that players feel they need to take advantage of.

    Now let's look at the second part; "...but may not launch multiple game clients from the same computer." Pretty self explanatory there. The intent behind that message seems to be "One client, one computer." From my experience in seeing other people do multi-boxing, they don't care about this rule. So while it is a nice sentiment, and draws a perfectly visible line in the sand it does little to address an active multi-boxer. If the game is trying to emphasize player agency and skill, then I feel a multi-boxer is the antithesis to that. They may be good at the game, and understand game mechanics, but typically in most games that then becomes a numbers game. A common and accurate phrase you sometimes see, and I'll use Starcraft 2 as a prime example, "More shit beats less shit." If you have 5 marines vs 10 marines, typically 10 marines will win every time. There may be rare instance where 5 marines can win out, depending on terrain, micro, but in stand up fight the advantage lies with the numbers.

    Moving on to the last part of the statement; "Players may not use any software to automate character actions or mimic keystrokes." Again, the intent is clear here and again I would say that this does little to stop it. Heck, you're also not considering it may be done through hardware instead. Given how wide the demographic is for MMOs I'd wager that folks would put in the time and effort to build a solution or workaround for something. If I remember correctly Black Desert Online has horse training, which is basically just riding around and the horse levels up. So what people did is just use a rubber band with a controller, and had their character ride around in a circle for hours on end. Archeage had something similar, but with no controller support it was more just a small weight on two keys.

    In conclusion, I do think that their current statement ought to be a bit more hardline. I think that for what they're trying to do with the game it has to be in order for it to succeed. As of right now if I find myself lucky enough to have the time to spend playing this game I would absolutely try to gather people up and try to stop multi-boxers by flagging on them. Which may be something that could be fun in the short term, but in the longer term I don't think that people are as keen to do the policing. That will likely fall to the GMs and there has to be a consistent and unified stance about it. Maybe the first time you catch them, soft ban the slave accounts, pull the player aside and explain the situation and that further acts aren't tolerated. If they boot up new slaves to follow, or resume using the slave accounts after being warned, hit them with a hard ban. The amount of power one player can leverage through multi-boxing shouldn't be allowed. Power should be awarded to the player via in game design choices and player agency, as was initially intended. Whether that's making a case for themselves during mayoral elections, leading a guild during a castle siege, exploring new regions; these are the things that ought to matter.
  • edited July 2020
    I am hugely in favor of the current Intrepid stance and the years I've played Lineage 2 are the foundation that makes me believe it is the best option.

    "Current Intrepid stance - Players are allowed to own multiple accounts, but may not launch multiple game clients from the same computer. Players may not use any software to automate character actions or mimic keystrokes."

    Honestly speaking I have had the most fun in Lineage 2 back in the days when we had to fill each and every spot in the group with a real player and have proper 9-man parties where everybody interacted with each other and we pushed our cooperation levels to the maximum. At a later stage the supports (buffers) in the group were oftentimes replaced by boxes. At an even later stage the 9-man party could easily consist of 3 people running 3 boxes each. Towards the end of my "career" in Lineage 2 I oftentimes found myself using 4-5 boxes to do raids alone with a 1-2dps/tank/2 supports set up and let me tell you IT. WAS. BORING. Yes, I didn't have to wait for my friends to be online or find people who are willing and capable to clear the specific content I was after, but at the end of the day I was playing a Massive Multiplayer game SOLO. It was the exact opposite of what attracted me to the game in the first place and I am looking forward to never having to do this again.

    Based on that I strongly believe that while multi-boxing from separate computers is needed (in the case of multiple people playing from the same household for example), however prohibiting multi-boxing from the same computer is going to be extremely vital in a game where interactions between players are what makes or brakes the world around us.
  • GrimzarGrimzar Member
    edited July 2020
    Current Intrepid stance is fair enough.

    I can't really imagine someone effectively playing on 2+ computers at once without any additional software.
    Only scenario comes to my mind where on one account someone actively playing and on another one just chilling as a bartender in his tavern. (maybe useful for content creators/streamers)
    Even if you forbid it, it won't stop some from doing this anyway.

    But I am concern if it is possible to distinct actual key pressing from macro inputs. Also is it possible to check if someone is running second client on virtual machine (same pc)?
    If Bot reports will be investigated fairly quickly then I am more than fine with current Intrepid stance ;)

    maybe add some IP + sms validation? quoting infamous "You all have phones? right?" XD Ofc it wont stop hardcore multiboxers but will add additional obstacle for them
  • First things first, I've only recently discovered ashes of creation and got hooked, I've watched a few videos and read some stuff. By no means I'm an expert and updated on all aspects of the game, so what I'm gonna say here could be wrong maybe?

    I think multi-boxing could influence some parts of the game negatively and in an unfair way and I will give you a few examples off the top of my head.

    -Housing, I've read somewhere that there will be a limit of one static house per account if one manages to buy it. By multi-boxing, one can secure multiple houses, causing the consequences that you can already imagine.

    -Mayor elections, I know that for scientific nodes there will be an election based on votes, so one person will have multiple votes depending on the number of accounts he has which is unfair I guess since, well it's just 1 person? And it could probably affect in some way the elections for military and economic nodes as well.

    -Covering a wide range of resource nodes, having multiple accounts logged in simultaneously will greatly increase one's ability to gather resources across various areas. A multi-boxer can gather a few nodes that are close by and then switch tabs to another character that is in a different area and tap nodes over there too, having un "unfair" advantage I would say. Or just get more resources from collective nodes using all his characters.

    -I've heard spying on other guilds is a thing and this could be done without multi-boxing if you have multiple people involved, but if a person multi-box it just becomes way easier to gather information and you don't "spend" one person entirely to this task.

    These are just a few examples of what multi-box can do to the game and I think the cons greatly outweigh the pros of having it allowed.
  • EULEUL Member
    edited July 2020
    Multiboxing shouldn't be a thing but It is okay as long as you don't use any external programs, unfair scripts or similar that offer an unfair advantage. At the same time there shouldn't even be an advantage and desire for multiboxing. I have seen and done a lot myself and know that multiboxing without scripts is almost impossible unless you are in a game by being allowed to hit a monster for two hours without moving itself that does not roam around and does not defend itself. Simply said bad & boring mechanics which won't require attention.

    As soon as it makes sense to practice multiboxing, you should take a look at the mechanics, even if it only acts as a storage or buff etc

    two simple rules for me,
    - don't set rules you cannot constantly check on otherwhise the violation can be profited
    - the more rules you have the more work intern & trust extern you must have to relie on

    Giving hwid bans on 100% confirmation for external software use when player is trying to gain an advantage.
    Automaticly warning players if there is a detection plus flagging accounts with massive
    macrousage should be a good thing imo to prevent stuff like that..

    I'm sure the current rule is the best way of handeling it
    Multiboxing - Playing multiple separate characters at the same time.
    Current Intrepid stance - Players are allowed to own multiple accounts, but may not launch multiple game clients from the same computer. Players may not use any software to automate character actions or mimic keystrokes.

    For me personally games should not be designed for multiboxing or you just should be able to play on one account.

  • Multi-boxing is bad. Plz ban.
  • ElibriousElibrious Member
    edited July 2020
    The following quote was in an issue of Game Developer magazine issued in March of 2011;

    "Many players cannot help approaching a game as an optimization puzzle. What gives the most reward for the least risk? What strategy provides the highest chance – or even a guaranteed chance – of success? Given the opportunity, players will optimize the fun out of a game."

    Multi boxing is another instance of just that. Someone looking for whatever benefit they can afford themselves in a game that is ran by resources. I believe there were mines that were discussed in an interview with Steven, so I will use that example.

    Say someone has 3 accounts. 1 main account and 2 follower accounts, and they know where to find this mine. They walk in there and start having a party on all of the resources present. There will be a carrying limit for inventory and say the 3 accounts have mules. In roughly the same time frame it takes one person to mine what they can hold and make a trip back to town, you're telling me that someone else that has the driving urge to multi box and min max should be able to make 3 times the resources in the same amount of time and make off like a bandit?

    That enables greater chances to find rarer resources, more of the common resources, and overall more yield for their time. Why would you want to reward someone like that? Just for doing the exact same thing other people are doing, but he spent more money so he can have additional hands and inventory.

    This is coming from someone that played Archeage in Beta through when they added dwarves and the demon people, and was dumb enough to play Archeage Unchained. Each and every single time, I would put in an embarrassing amount of hours in a day, but I would never content with the multiboxers. They would always run the markets for almost every resource. PLEASE Don't be like Archeage. Be better. Let the PEOPLE run the markets. Not the multi boxers.

  • arsnn wrote: »
    The options of the poll completely miss the issue unfortunately.
    It´s not about wanting or not wanting people to be able to multibox, its about the trade-off of the counter measures and how they are enforced.

    THIS! countermeasures meaning some heavyduty anti-cheat software client side ... we all did love xcode from BDO right? never got the game to work on linux and got my fair share of trouble with that piece of s-it software on w10 ... as if I'm always installing a fresh windows with only one game it is ridiculous.

    I rather would like dev resources on anti-botting and good tech/software for monitoring and detecting these nefarious activities. If by any chance heavy multiboxing can be detected with this, by all means, please do.

    On the horrors of multiaccount, multibox and botting I don't think we have to say much do we? wowclassic chinese multiboxers farming several 20-40 accounts in diremaul for gold farming and selling. We are beaten dogs after all and have seen the worst. If interpid stance is "no p2w" then they should look to minimize incentives for gaming the system. Like with the freeholds if you need 4 freeholds to cover crafting ... some people will roll 4 active accounts to cover that. If one freehold per account but 4 alts can achieve the same than the incentive is gone. Or keep the incentives in the game and heavily ban anyone trying to pay for another account.

    It is a mixed bag of carp and I feel not qualified nor creative enough to comeup with solutions. All I can do is cry like a beaten dog and say that you have to think it through how this will impact your core-systems.
  • SwaftworthSwaftworth Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited July 2020
    The best way to stop botting and multi-boxing is to just design the game to require a lot of human input. Take freeholds for instance. People will be tempted to purchase additional accounts just to to get access to addition freeholds. I believe that will be a mostly insignificant issue, as long as those freehold do NOT provide a lot of passive benefit (things like like automatic smelting stations or time-gated gardening).

    Basically, I would prefer if Intrepid focused on the root cause, rather than the symptoms. Make the game fun without pushing people towards scripting. Don't give people a reason to use bots, multi-boxing, or RMT in the first place.

    Of course, it's not possible to do that 100%. You still need detection and punishment systems, but I don't think they should be the first line of defense.

    If people want to multibox, I am theoretically okay with it. I am even okay with people using macros/scripts to assist in their gameplay. If they are paying their sub, and not affecting the economy too much with those scripts, then I don't see the harm.

    Personally, I have automated a couple things in MMOs (using AutoHotkey, nothing fancy), just because they were extremely tedious and pointless. Mostly little inventory management things, or UI hassles, like clicking 50 items one-at-a-time to salvage them. (There should just be a "salvage all" button.)

    The only problem is full-on botting, since it has a much larger impact. It can skew the economy, power curve, and incentive structures of the whole game. Obviously, no one wants to compete with a horde of farming robots.

    If possible, I would challenge Intrepid to somehow allow multi-boxing and minimal scripting, while also prohibiting bots and gold-sellers. But I think the line between them gets very blurry when you start looking at multi-boxing with input-duplication (where a human still has full-control of every character). Detecting the difference between that and botting is probably impossible.

    So I'm guessing that the only feasible solution is an at-your-own-risk policy, where multi-boxing is technically allowed, but anyone who takes it too far is liable to lose their account for botting. (Of course there should be an appeals process, but I doubt there will be much leniency/forgiveness.)

    By the way, I really respect Riot Games' anti-cheat teams. I would recommend reading some of their dev blogs. And adopt their policy of hiring the same hackers/cheaters you're trying to fight; a lot of them are quite skilled and willing to switch sides for a salary.

  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Lex wrote: »

    Long hair ... don't care.


    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • floormatfloormat Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited July 2020
    It shouldn't be called multi-boxing, per say, with Intrepid's current stance that only one client on one computer. The term that should be used is True-boxing meaning 1 client per 1 box. So AoC is a True-Box game and multi-boxing is technically not allowed.
  • PedalsPedals Member
    Ok, my thought about multipleboxing is, it should be allowed to multibox from 1 pc atleast 1+1, cause myself with friends are working people and we working differently shifts, in Lineage 2 we can multibox each other, here we wont be able to do so if it will not be allowed from same computer. From Lineage 2 side watching how this game will be party-based mostly game, it will be sad that we wont be able to multibox tank or healer for raids/pvp
  • CaerylCaeryl Member
    It’s a paid advantage no matter how you look at it, and on the whole shouldn’t be permitted in any way.

    Enforcing it gets dicey but with active GMs that can remain invisible to players, they can observe and it’s fairly easy to spot a multiboxer when one character stops getting inputs and another one starts getting them. It’s also fairly easy to spot funneling, as multi-boxers often have a main account where the resources get collected.

    Disallowing any follow command, disallowing any input mirroring software, quickly responding to reports of character trains, active monitoring of funneling behaviors, hardware checks, creating combat where all parties must be able react nearly simultaneously.

    Families aren’t all going to funnel into one person. Friends aren’t going to funnel into one person. Multiboxing is a way for people to reap the benefits of multiple accounts, and whatever claims of “doing it for the challenge” might pop up, we all know that isn’t the true motivation for multiboxing.
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