Poll + Bonus Dev Discussion - Multiboxing

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Comments

  • greypeltgreypelt Moderator, Member, Braver of Worlds
    I don't expect my opinion to be mainstream on this one.
    I'd prefer more open multiboxing policies.
    I'd like it to go so far as allowing multiple characters to be logged in on the same account at once as long as it's from the same computer. Playing multiple characters at once can be both a fun and challenging experience.
    There are several problems that have been mentioned with multiboxing that I feel like could be solved with other design decisions. I don't like the family teleport system for example. That's going to be as much of a problem with spouses with parked alts teleporting each other around as it will be if a person with two accounts did it. I'd prefer all resource nodes to be completely personal -> Large nodes could still exist, but would function more like a PvP objective to fight someone elses gathering device off the node and place your own instead of 'sharing' with any characters that happen to be there-> No direct profit for having more than one of your characters there (apart from actually trying to PvP with multiple characters)
    I strongly dislike any economy time gated stuff being tied to characters/accounts. I don't like profession cool-downs / processing times long enough to make you want to walk away from the computer. I like the scarcity there to be tied to having gathered the resources in the first place, not a limitation on what you can do with them.
    I'd prefer a world of 1 apartment/in node housing plot/freehold per character, but with high enough initial cost and maintenance requirements that it was a challenge to maintain on multiple characters.

    I think that in the technology world of today, it's going to be too easy to make it appear that your playing from multiple computers with different hardware specs and IP addresses when your not. I think Intrepid could stop something like 'commands being mirrored to multiple clients' with enough work, but there's a point where it's easier to stomp all over multiboxing than actual bots. (Your footpad keyboard and mouse will lead to stranger looking client inputs than a decently programmed AI designed to look human).

    I'm satisfied enough with Intrepid's solution though. I think any stricter and it would seriously damage the ability for groups of people to play together, and I also think some people may not mind that. There's a bit of an inherent advantage to being able to play with people you trust in real life vs hoping random internet strangers won't take advantage of you when it's time to cooperate.
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  • I think it is important to remember how game mechanics work as I feel it will contribute to the multi-boxing issue. As it stands, a high level player (especially those that are corrupted) is severely discouraged from attacking a low level character as this increases the amount of corruption they gain significantly. I think this is relevant as it could create a meta where multi-boxers find the balance between leveling up their character just enough to mine rare/semi-rare resources while still being low enough to dissuade anyone from attacking their farming accounts.

    So, if people are limited to 1 computer per person, how will this be an issue? Well, it is well known within the multi-boxer community how to bypass this restriction - virtual environment software. Virtual "computers" allow you to appear as if you are playing on unique computers due to how they are set up. Yes, these services cost monthly fees, but it is much less expensive then buying multiple computers to run multiple accounts. This is one of the reasons why I think the stance should be to simply disallow multi-boxing, as there are clear ways around the current suggested restrictions. If people can circumvent rules to get even an inkling of an advantage, they will.

    These are the two issues that concern me the most, and I appreciate how much the community is coming together to share their opinions both for and against multi-boxing. Thank you all for your time.
  • BulwarkBulwark Member
    My only concern is that I can play with family members in the same household. If that is considering "multi-boxing" then I guess I'm in favor of having it.

    Honestly, I don't think that's multiboxing. A single person owning multiple accounts and playing them at the same time, regardless if it's on one or multiple machines, is multiboxing and shouldn't be allowed. Owning Multiple accounts should be fine if you're not playing them at the same time.
  • AskereiaAskereia Member
    i have played MMOs where having a paid second account to buff your main account became necessary and it always felt like i am charged with a monthly 30€ fee to play the game.
  • SkbSkb Member
    I've never really been against multiboxing, but when I played Lineage 2 Classic recently, multiboxing was a huge issue, I am support player, and there was no real need for me, because multiboxing a buffer and playing something else was better in all scenarios
  • VatoVato Member
    I think it opens the door , or provides a loop hole for a Pay to win.

    Multiboxers would be able to farm mobs and resources multipled by the ammount of accounts.

    Thats an issue I see with it.
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  • Bulwark wrote: »
    My only concern is that I can play with family members in the same household. If that is considering "multi-boxing" then I guess I'm in favor of having it.

    Honestly, I don't think that's multiboxing. A single person owning multiple accounts and playing them at the same time, regardless if it's on one or multiple machines, is multiboxing and shouldn't be allowed. Owning Multiple accounts should be fine if you're not playing them at the same time.

    They devs have already mentioned that their current stance would be family members playing on different computers would be fine.
  • The small minority of people that are affected by multiboxing not being allowed. Doesn't compare to the damage that it can do. We all know by now what damage that is. I guess I'd be ok if it was multiple computers for multiple accounts, because I don't think you can really not tell people to play in the same household, lol.
  • edited July 28
    Here is the thing, not allowing multiboxing on a single computer with software is great and all, but im curious if you are capable of detecting VMs on computers, because if you cannot than saying you dont allow multiboxing on a single computer is moot.

    Multiboxing and multiaccount is p2w, period. No matter how you do it, it is p2w. Not everyone can afford multiple accounts and anyone with more than one account is purely paying for some form of an advantage. Do I know what it is in its entirety, no, however the biggest boon for having multiple accounts with multiboxing is different locations across the map at the same time. This can range from crafting/gathering, auction/economy abusing, or participating in events etc. Im not entirely sure what is capable of being done, to prevent multiboxing, but its p2w no matter how you look at it. It gives a player an advantage over another player that can only be obtained through money. Without fast travel abusing being at different locations at the same time does not require botting or scripting, can manually perform all the task I pointed out, but in the end it is and always will be paying for more.

    Lack of Fast travel is the biggest boon to multibox and multiaccount. It will immensely reduce time and effort to multitask numerous things and people who pay for this advantage will have something great over a player who does not pay for an extra account/multibox.


    I'm okay with intrepids stance only if VMs on a single computer can be stopped, otherwise taking that stance is 100% pointless. I dont know how or if possible to detect someone on different computers and there is a line where things are a bit excessive a solution to it could very well simply be, just state you arent allowed to do it. You may not be able to detect it but simply taking the stance that it is against TOS will deter people. FF14 takes the same stance with modding and addons etc. If people start harassing others for DPS meters etc it is a bannable offense.
  • BreakeRBreakeR Member
    edited July 28
    I think there should also be a restriction on how many accounts a person can have. This became a serious issue in ArcheAge Unchained, where the meta became to play 3 accounts.

    Problem #1: Daily/Weekly quests that are low-effort, high-reward. If you have multiple accounts, you can just log in to each and make significant progress without putting much effort in.

    Problem #2: Land ownership. Not just in terms of land availability, but also in terms of rewards. Land ownership tends to come with perks like farming, raising animals, and processing materials. This is another low-effort, high-reward situation that is multiplied with accounts.

    Problem #3: Processing and crafting alts. Players who have alt accounts to reap other rewards will undoubtedly set themselves up to be an artisan in a crafting or processing tree. This will diminish interdependency between crafters.

    I know multi-accounting is impossible to monitor and prove, but I think it could function as general rule, where only blatant offenders (3+ accounts) are actually punished. It would be nice to see at least some sort of action taken against people who abuse this sort of thing, or make rewards non-viable so it can't happen in the first place.
  • Caeryl wrote: »
    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.

    This is the most important thing right here. Don't allow any follow command. This will greatly inhibit any multiboxers wanting to abuse the system.

    Also, active GMs investigating characters in-game that get manually reported is the solution to fixing the "automatic flagging" concerns.
  • ScherwinScherwin Member
    As long as there wont be any "Labor" type of system like Archeage where it's almost mandatory to have 3 accounts. then i'm whatever

    Otherwise we will all have 3 accounts and you might aswell let us start them from the same pc to handle it.
    Everyone knows that even if you don't allow that ppl will just be running Computer simulator programs.

    Just design the game so there is no reason for the end user to have multiply accounts other than paying for other household members playtime. and no reason to launch the game twice on the same pc :)
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  • GboltGbolt Member
    I agree with IS stance. There is not much you can do without penalyzing people that follow rules. And for people that just say, its bad to multi-box. I guess everyone agrees its bad when people abuse multi-boxing, but what can you do to stop it?
  • StevenSharifStevenSharif Moderator, Staff, Avatar of the Phoenix
    edited July 28
    I feel the questions posed are pretty neutral. I definitely don’t agree with the hyperbolic mind control accusations. While I’ve played a mage in many games, I’ve yet to master the art of control magic in real life.

    I even prescreened the poll questions on discord first to see if anyone had issues with the language! Lol
  • Undead CanuckUndead Canuck Member, Braver of Worlds
    As long as you allow multiple computers to be played from the same place (think of all the students in a dorm!) by a human without any of them using software or hardware command multiplication, we should all be good.

    Using any kind of automation is botting and not multiboxing (way back at the dawn of time people used separate boxes - computers - to play games, hence multiboxing). Botting should be banned.

    And for those who object to access to multiple Freeholds, when I join a guild I will have access to up to 300 Freeholds.
  • kataraskataras Member, Founder
    Multiboxing is pay 2 win. People pay for more PCs + more accounts = more freeholds, more resources. Could also possibly lead to less need for community interaction. Create 2,3 boxes for a 3 people party to farm alone..
  • Undead CanuckUndead Canuck Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited July 28
    Double post. Please ignore.
  • JayJrodJayJrod Member
    My biggest problem with multi-boxing is that one person controlling eight mages is going to go out in world pvp and cast a multi-fireball that will one shot any player. There is no counter play. I definitely do not think that this should be allowed at all.
  • speeespeee Member
    I don't agree with allowing multiboxing in any form. If someone is caught doing it, whether on the same PC or not, they should be punished accordingly. Whether we can create a reliable way to determine who is doing it, that is the challenge. Having active GMs and a good in-game report system would go a long way.
  • SolonSolon Member
    If intrepid is able to successfully police the sharing of items / money between multi boxed accounts and the only advantage a player gains from multi boxing is having additional accounts progress on separate servers i don't see an issue with that.

    It doesn't seem like most people think that is what multi boxers strive to do so maybe asking them to follow the rules and then actively enforcing the rules isn't worth the effort.

    In my mind spending money to gain an in game account advantage over other accounts that haven't spent money should be prevented. Obviously there are limits to that (good computers, good ISP, etc.)

    Using multiboxing as a form of gold buying / economy juicing should not be permitted. Using it to save time building independent accounts that are equally strong across different servers seems like a strange thing to do to me but not something i would want to stop someone else from doing if that was the choice they wanted to make.
  • I am a fan of other systems to fill in a player's party without needing other physical players, but I do not like multiboxing for the concentration of power to one player, combined with the dilution of the quality of each character in a roleplay/story-engaged setting. This isn't orcs and humans speaking gibberish to each other, we're very much expected to communicate with one another.

    We've talked about "Pay to Win / What is Winning?" on Theory Forge plenty of times, and my argument always comes with the question of "what is winning?" In theme parks, getting through the content, winning every PvP battle, getting the item you want, that's winning. In something more dynamic like Ashes, taking down a raid boss, being a part of the key contributors in a siege, developing economic superiority, probably plenty of other things. If a player is able to pay more and multi-box to achieve those faster, that would fall under the lines of paying to win, though almost every win is likely going to be a small victory rather than a massive server-altering one.

    I have proposed other methods for a player to expand their party, and after receiving feedback on them, I've refined the statements a bit. I understand that they are by no means a replacement for multiboxing, nor do they curtail it, and if multiboxing isn't managed then these could easily just open the doors for more power-scale abuse by a single individual in the game world.

    1) Hirelings - NPCs who are available at towns and other places, possibly tier-locked availability for higher quality or sub-classed NPCs. The NPCs themselves could even be persistent, slowly gearing up as they earn pay or are granted improved equipment of notable value, all while gaining experience and getting a more robust set of skills to offer. Hirelings should never be on the same tier as players, and while a sub-classed decked-out tier 5 hireling should be able to smack down a new player in the cheapest stuff they can arm up with, the lack of access to the same skills and timing and overall strategy of players will leave an unattended hireling at a disadvantage to someone who is maybe half as well-armed and experienced. This persistence would cause them to shuffle around as the world changes, demanding top coin relative to their skills and armament. They could be used regularly, but should be used sparingly, as each addition to the group diminishes player earnings for experience and resources.

    2) Buddypass System - Either for no extra fee, or for an added fee per pass, a player is able to create an invitation code which allows their friends to join the in-game with a limited character. These codes can be sent out to as many friends as possible, but they will be in a queue if they try to buddy up when your passes are currently in use by other friends. Buddy characters would have limitations that keep them from achieving the same power and agency as full players (even being non-combat units with limited inventory, who "help out" with a task to speed it up rather than doing the task independently), and may be restricted to the proximity of the subscriber's character in the world. There would need to be heavy restrictions in place to curtail abuse, including loss of access to buddy slots, or even account suspension or termination, due to abuse or cheating attempts conducted by a buddy.
    I'm not sure which is better, whether an individual owns a buddy character that they play with their subscription-holding friend with, or if the subscriber is the one who owns the characters. For the subscription holder, it means they have persistent allies who they can gear up and rely on whenever friends are around to hop on. If the buddy owns it, it gives them some incentive to buy in and convert the character to a fully-fledged PC, though in doing so they may lock that character our from future buddy use if they stop subscribing.

    3) Altboxing as a Standard Feature - Allow players to bring a limited number of alts with them. This removes the need for multiboxing, but would be easily exploited by multiboxers unless significant systems are put in place to detect and shut them down. The player would be able to set up NPC patterns for their alts to use, which ultimately resolves to auto-follow if there isn't anything else going on. They would be able to press a button to switch to another character of theirs in the party as needed, so the player can set their illusion-dispelling spellcaster to peel away an illusory object so the area behind can be searched for a keyhole or switch to open the hidden vault. Like I stated in the initial points against multiboxing, this would potentially dilute the communication and "story" of each character, since the player would have multiple personalities they're managing, or more likely just a leader and the rest stay quiet, which isn't as compelling as coming to a group of individuals who communicate for themselves and their own interests.

    4) Multiboxing-allowed Server - Have a different form of server designed to allow and facilitate multiboxing. It could even come with extra tools and features that only work on those servers, which would be meant to make for a tool set that multiboxers rely on, one that isn't available elsewhere in an effort to curtail use on those servers. The intent is to make it too easy to do it on the right server, and too much of a hassle to attempt where it is prohibited.


    When it comes to the volume of multboxers if it is allowed, I see a lot of people saying they believe it will be very few players. This depends on whether it is a recognized trend, if communities form around multiboxing and optimizing it, if it is shown to be useful and successful, and if Ashes is able to pull in a massive audience of players who will be competitive at all levels. If it is all done in secret by a few players, the number will stay small, but a culture around multiboxing will make it grow and be an everyday part of gameplay.
  • GboltGbolt Member
    Looks like some people are blowing multi-boxing issue out of proportion.

    I would be worried more about how combat gonna look and feel once a game released or class balance etc.

    I see people keep posting that multi-boxing is P2W, but not providing any solutions to that (hint: there arent any real solutions).

    P.S. and those few super hardcore players that would legally use multi-boxing with different computers. So what, they will be `A drop in the bucket`.
  • NerrorNerror Member
    Make it so having multiple freeholds doesn't give a huge advantage. Allow ingame family members to share smelters and such in a way, that two accounts can use the same smelter at the same time. Incentivize fewer upgraded freeholds over mass amounts of freeholds.

    The Intrepid system is fine. If people start exploiting multiple accounts for any reason, change the game mechanics to make it not worth it.

    And ban those who are obviously using multiboxing to run a group of characters on /follow or /stick and just attacking stuff using shared keystrokes.
  • FildydarieFildydarie Member
    edited July 28
    A lot of people like to tie together macroing/keystroke mirroring with multiboxing, but these are completely different entities as I see them.

    Keystroke mirroring is akin to botting, and measures to detect and prevent it should be implemented as an anti-botting measure.

    Multiboxing, where the player is still required to input all commands to corresponding windows themselves, isn't an anti-cheating discussion, it is a balance discussion.

    Different ways to multibox:
    1. Launch multiple copies of the game on one computer. This is easy, but sorting out different windows is a pain and mistakes often happen with misdirected input.
    2. Have multiple computers. Since I've lived in households where multiple people played games together, you can't stop this without upsetting a non-trivial portion of the playerbase.
    3. Have multiple computers, and remote into them from a central computer to recreate situation #1 while it looks, to technology, like #2.

    You can't stop it, all you can do is remove the motivation to do it or embrace it.

    Gitting back to those options in a moment, I want to address the elephant in the room that is multiboxing as pay-to-win. What is winning? Having a freehold? Then anyone who has a single account has engaged in pay-to-win. Does the freehold offer such amazing benefits that access to multiple would cause a huge imbalance? If so, then it sounds not like multiboxing is pay-to-win, but that freeholds are broken and need to be redesigned. The most efficient way to play MMOs is to have a single main character and focus all time and effort on that character. As the progression is inextricably linked to combat, any activity that does not enhance your combat prowess is an unnecessary diversion at best. People that play alts are penalized for doing so. I often run multiple accounts to mitigate the massive penalties playing alts impose, but I'm still behind the curve when it comes to rate of progression.

    That is my motivation to multibox in games: to mitigate the penalties the game imposes on me because I like to try different things. I can often choose a class that lets me master every weapon, but not one that lets me master multiple tradeskills. Other people do it for the added challenge, some do because they don't like being unable to experience content because they can't find other people that want to play with them. Way back when in EverQuest, I spent 8 hours running to a dungeon so that I could work on a quest, only to find it completely desolate, not a single other person within 3 zones of me. I had to give up on that quest. Had I been into multiboxing then, that would have likely ended differently.

    Talking about multiboxing as pay-to-win is misguided at best (multiboxing is actually a balance issue in that context), but don't pretend other systems aren't pay-to-win. When making a loot acquisition game, you can fixate on combat and nothing else. When making a social game, you need to be aware of play styles other than combat.
    For roleplayers, a cash shop that sells cosmetics is pay-to-win. To them, cosmetics are the win condition.
    Crafters often need multiple characters to master all tradeskills. As more restrictions are imposed in the name of forced co-dependence, a need for multiple characters can rapidly become a need to have multiple accounts. Multiple accounts, even absent multiboxing, is a win condition for crafters.
    Explorers multibox because they want to go places they can't otherwise reach. Not often; exploration is generally a solo endeavor, but if they were to multibox, that would be why. Start locking explorable content behind class-specific locks and you create motivation to do this.
    Multiboxing in combat is easily rendered impractical by adjusting the tempo of combat. In EverQuest I would farm trash in a raid zone on 3 accounts. Paladin to tank, a beastlord for DPS and buffs/debuffs, and an ungrouped cleric to heal. Every time the paladin needed to be healed I would have to stand up, walk across the room, hit a key on the other keyboard, then walk back. The pace of combat was slow enough this was viable (the heal had a 10s cast time). Active combat makes this impractical, unless people are using botting-type applications. But, as I said before, that is a cheating issue, not a multiboxing issue.

    Building a social MMO means understanding the different types of players in your society and giving them content they find engaging. Often, all styles are seen only as a means to enhance combat prowess (exploration grants exp that ultimately raises combat proficiency, tradeskill mastery allows for the creation of self-bound items to increase combat proficiency, etc). Pursuit of cosmetics is notable in that it is often a drain on resources that could otherwise enhance combat proficiency, so it is seen as a money sink, while it is an entire playstyle in its own right. If you refuse to embrace multiboxing, then you need to change player motivations so they don't feel compelled to do it. There is a big difference between a MMO that strives to build a society incorporating different playstyles and a combat MMO that is a huge timesink and horrendously unforgiving.

    Edit: Fixed typo
  • NamilNamil Member
    @Tsukasa You need to chill out with all of this aggression towards Steven, I see some sort of passive aggressive attack on so many of your posts that aren't just in this thread that are just unnecessary. What's with all of this negativity towards the person that's making the game you clearly care so much about? Show some respect man, they're doing their best.

    Also, I think Intrepid's approach to handle multiple accounts is the appropriate one. Multi-boxing can get out of hand though so if Intrepid deems it's necessary to take extra action against these people, I hope you use some sort of preventative measures like requiring 2FA authentication to login and limiting the amount of accounts someone can associate with one phone number instead of outright banning players. In-game GMs could also follow multiboxing reports in game, this is a bit more work but it's the only way you're not going to get families caught in the crossfire.
  • RahkstarRPGRahkstarRPG Member
    edited July 28
    A lot of people in this thread didn't even take the time to read the thing and are making assumptions about how multiboxing will work in AoC... sigh...

    I'd like to ask everyone that is so vehemently against multiboxing on separate computers exactly how they expect that to be prevented without affecting people playing from the same household?

    Because... you can't. I've played a lot of games with multiboxing restriction, and you can't.
  • ShoklenShoklen Member
    Having no way to automatically follow another character in game would help root-out multi-boxers... All their accounts in a single group all auto-following the main character <-- snip that cord and multi-boxing more then an extra single account becomes very bothersome.

    Since multiple accounts/clients can not be run on the same computer; then that would mean 2, 3, 4, 6 keyboards at the table; without auto-follow in the game, multi-boxing is extremely cumbersome. Add in (some) twitch based skills/spells, and the more difficult it becomes (since tab targeting and auto-assisting are also big boons to multi-boxing).

    But if playing with a friend, spouse or other family member in the same house; they are physically there to play their characters.

    So just remove auto-following, and target assisting, as they are almost necessary for that style of playing... technically, these two things are a "type" of "macro-ing" anyway, so just don't have them.
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