- Q: Will some technology be utilized to delay data mining, for example holding assets/data on the servers instead of clients and only streaming it to the clients on demand.
- A: Within our architectures there are some plans for us to mitigate as much as possible the data mining to a degree. But, ultimately there's just going to be some amount of information that's not possible to be kept from data mining. – Steven Sharif
We will be providing combat data for individual players in their chat window, that players can filter and analyze for themselves. The goal is to mitigate and make the practice less prevalent through the ease that DPS meters provide. Also to place actionable enforcement for players who attempt to circumvent the decision by use of 3rd party programs, for which we will be monitoring. – Steven Sharif
- My decision is not to allow DPS meters nor add-ons. I feel we have adequate measures in place to prevent a majority of potential third party trackers. I know this subject has passionate voices on both sides and I respect the various opinions and positions many of you have expressed. – Steven Sharif
- The developers do not want addons/mods to be necessary to experience the game.
- The developers believe that DPS meters (parsers) can cause toxicity and other negative behaviors.
- What role DPS meters provide in online communities that I've noticed in the past my experiences: they can be a bit toxic, they can be a bit exclusionary; and that's why we don't want the DPS meters. – Steven Sharif
- Threat meters will also not be present in the game. There will instead be visual in-game queues to indicate threat.
- Meters in my opinion are a removal from the game immersion; and what I mean by that isn't necessarily even the fact that having the meter takes you out of the game per-se, but it is- there's a lot of diegetic approach that you can take that doesn't rely on UI elements like a meter to indicate how you should do a thing; and when you're not utilizing those types of meters you can do different types of strategies and encounter design. You can have things that can be more subtle and aren't going to be immediately given away by a meter indicating something; and that's the type of gameplay that we think that I believe we want to emphasize; and for that reason, we're not going to be including threat meters. What we will be including however are animation indicators. We're going to be including ability indicators to show the tank "hey I might be losing aggro here." I'm observing in the world these immersive elements that are not tied to any specific type of UI, but indicate to me that this monster might be moving off to attack somebody else in a very immediate future; and now I should be using the abilities that I'm saving to regain that aggro, or to lock them down with a taunt or something. That to me is a bit more representative of the type of gameplay we want to to bring in our encounter design. – Steven Sharif
- There will be integrations available for streaming services such as Twitch and a few other services, but it's not something that will be exposed through an API just yet.
- The design of the game API is still under consideration.
The issue with macros is that from an anti cheat metric perspective it's difficult to define what a macro is against a script. And in order to catch all scripts sometimes you have to prevent the macro usage. So really that's a that's a data issue. If we allow for macros then we lose our ability to precisely ban script users, botters. – Steven Sharif
Security systems will be in place to combat cheating, exploiting, botting, gold selling/real money transactions (RMT), item duplication and other things that affect the economy starting from Alpha-0.
- A broad spectrum of approaches are going to be utilized in order to try to protect the integrity of the game once it launches. Testing of these systems will begin leading up towards Alpha-2.
- Security is always at the top of any concern when you have a closed system like an MMO is... We've seen a lot of MMO is launch without security in place and the economy gets ruined as a result thereafter. And every band-aid that's slapped on top of that wound is just making things worse. And so part of why you take the time in order to ensure that things are done correctly is also the security component of things; and that's where testing with a live audience is a bit different also than testing with a Q&A audience as well, because you're going to get those bad actors- and we call them bad actors because ultimately they're attempting to destroy the fun for others... So what we've done is we've hired some security experts who've worked on massive other MMOs like World of Warcraft and other games, and they bring with them lot of experience; and we're going to be testing that in leading up towards Alpha-2. It's a very important part of Alpha-2. It's not something that we really addressed with Alpha-1 because again, that was a much more barebones functional testing experience. We did see some issues during Alpha-1 and we made it important for Alpha-2 to test those systems. We have a broad spectrum of approaches that we're going to be utilizing in order to try to protect the integrity of the game once it launches. – Steven Sharif
- These systems collect user data and flag abnormal activities for investigation. This combined with player reporting functions generates a live "heat map" that draws attention to unusual behavior.
- We do have already built into the game on the outset is essentially behavioral metrics. So in the game, as a player does normal things and they acquire normal gold, that's all good and well, but if there starts to be item IDs that appear on the player account that are out of the norm, like either a large amount of gold, or significant legendary items, what it does in the back-end it flags the account for view so that we can take a look at where did this item come from. Is it coming from a known gold seller or a flagged bot, or whatever; and then we investigate. So we're going to be pretty hard on the ability for players to subvert the natural economy systems by RMT or botting. – Steven Sharif
- Botters, cheaters, gold sellers, and RMTers, will face severe penalties from the active GM/community team.
- It's important to note that there is a sanctity that must be protected within the game from RMTing; and let me just go into a little diatribe about this: But in games that I've played where the company or the publisher does not enforce rules, it becomes the standard that you buy gold if you want to be competitive. If you want to compete at the top tier levels in certain games, and everyone's buying gold, you almost either have to buy the gold or you're just not going to be able to compete with those people and that's a really shitty feeling to have. Excuse my French, I apologize. That is sucky; and in order for that not to be the case it is the responsibility of the publisher or the developers both to make sure that we have stringent practices from a CS- from a customer customer service perspective- to enforce our rules and to make sure that players are aware if they partake in this there is a huge risk in doing so. It's not going to be a slap on the hand. It's not going to be a "we told you once, we told you twice, we told you three, four, five six times okay. We're just taking some gold away", that thing. We have got to ensure that it is feared to do those things because that ashes has active GMS, it has active customer service, it has an active community team. – Steven Sharif
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