Funcom apparently doesn’t understand that the players have at least been its customers

Yeah, how dare we disagree with people who say things like “they haven’t really done one update to fix the game”.

I mean, what’s so wrong about lying? Or name-calling? People just want to have a temper tantrum wherever and whenever they want, so why are the rest of us being so unreasonable and insisting on little things like truth and civility?

You need to make a stand against this censorship and don’t let anyone stifle your voices!

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Then kindly gtfo. Seriously guy, if you mistrust Funcom that much, then leave. Because its hard to take someone seriously when they claim a company lies, is incompetent, doesn’t listen, and yet they still stick around.

Yeah you’re right, us fanboys are laughing at your expense. So stay and keep us (and not yourself) entertained. I dare you to.

i’m part of other clan of this server, they banned 20 legit player, and erased base that were there for more than 2 years = 4k to 8k hour of gameplay erased like that… reason was building spam and land claim, on a server who was abused for the last two week by a clan using hack and bug base with mutliple steam account (yes they hack steam account too). people who were legit players, who were reporting major hack and glitch have been ban as those legit players had a long history of reports done to fc about hack and cheat, so they were well known by fc. i personally still dont understand what has happened and this is to fc to explain it for real.

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Didn’t funcom tell us we’d have dune sometime after the movie? The movie been out a couple of weeks now but funcom doesn’t even have a game trailer, they haven’t even made an announcement of something

Did they? I don’t recall seeing anything newer than the 2019 Annual Report, in which Funcom’s CEO said:

If you have a newer, reliable source, please share it.

That said, what the hell does Dune have to do with you being rude and spreading lies?

Not one update to fix the game? This took me literal seconds to find. And just to be fair I took one from PC, one from PS and one from XBOX. So yeah, I guess they just NEVER update anything or fix anything right? Or shucks, I suppose there is no way to even find out any of this secret hidden information either is there?

2.6 update patchnotes
2.5.1 update patchnotes
2.4 update patchnotes

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Please to not feed the trolls.

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Here’s the difference between me and you. You stare at a screen and languish at a broken thing. I am happily playing a game.

The fact you are suffering, makes my day. Cry harder, please. Your sad experiences in this game are utterly hilarious to me. I really hope you get banned off of officials and get told to buy the game again to play again as well as the DLCs. That’s what I hope for you. That’s how little I think about you.

It’s actually been confirmed elsewhere (sorry, too tired to go figure out where right now) that Zendesk is 3rd party software, rather than 3rd party service - the actual decision making is still being handled by Funcom staff (I had the same question myself when I first heard about Zendesk). I’m sure that doesn’t make it sting any less, but it may at least clarify.

To throw my two cents in - I do believe that players in a clan should still be free to have their own bases, rather than being required to have only a main base, and personal houses - not that this has been suggested anywhere as a rule, just that building is too big an element of CE to be fairly denied to players that wish to do so (within reason of a shared space, obviously - which is, of course, part of the difficulty). And, likewise, I can see how, over extended periods a player’s base can become quite large and ornate, just through a fairly natural accumulation.

Unfortunately, much as I would like a warning system to be possible, I suspect it is more complex (and expensive) than it first appears - firstly, there is the issue that it would double the work of the staff members involved (or require double the number of staff) as they would now have to visit each report twice - once to view, judge and issue a warning, then again to follow up and re-judge. (And, arguably, if a clear good faith effort had been made to reduce a base, but they still felt it too large, they might be compelled to issue another warning, requiring a third visit to check compliance.). But, secondly and possibly more importantly, as I understand it there is no system by which Funcom is able to directly message individual players/clans within the game - so that would require the addition and integration of a whole new system - with any possible bugs that may entail…

As for the cheating clan(s) not being banned - I think you’ve answered your own question on that one - between the message you received from zendesk, and your suggestion that maybe they were somehow using multiple clan names, it seems likely that the report received by zendesk was only able to lead to the banning of one of them (I would imagine that there would need to be a report listing all of the clan names involved in order for each to be banned). Which sucks, no question, but it is also not going to be possible for Funcom to catch the others without them also being reported (at least, not without considerably longer time (therefore more money) being spent going through logs in detail - possibly also requiring specialist knowledge).

The problem with any sort of fixed building limit is, as has been covered elsewhere, that it becomes something that the ‘bad’ players can then follow the letter of the rules, while breaching the spirit of them, and avoid punishment, while ‘good’ players may follow the spirit of the rules, but by breaching the letter of them, they would have to be punished. And, with fixed rules, they then would need to become increasingly specific (as other’s have noted, some building pieces are more resource intensive than others, some methods of building are more resource intensive than others etc), so the rules would have to cover all of these different instances, becoming ever more complicated and hard to keep track of, or would have to simplify to the lowest number to cover the worst case scenario (and then everyone loses).

The big issue, and the unfairness of your situation, is that none of us can say for certain exactly where the line is. I think a majority of us can grasp the spirit of the rules - but without more data, the playerbase cannot yet be sure exactly what is or isn’t safe (and lurid tales and exaggerations from some only cloud the issue further). But a point that Funcom has admitted is that they are only human, and they too are learning how to judge these situations - precisely because it is (and I believe, needs to be) a judgement call. Over time, Funcom’s admins and the playerbase will figure out exactly what the level is - and that may make what has happened to you even more unfair (or may settle to a level that your clanmate was ‘clearly’ in breach of) - but in the meantime the best we can do is try to work out (and present to Funcom) what we the players view as acceptable or unacceptable - through pictures, build numbers etc. They may not agree with us (we won’t all agree with each other), but it will at least help build data so that we all become clearer on what is or is not ‘legal’.

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You mean like this?
forum_troll-thumb-312x445-68506

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Here and here, but most importantly, it’s all there on zendesk.com and people literally just have to type that into their browser.

I’m harboring a near-delusional hope that if it’s repeated often enough, people will understand the difference between official servers and private servers when it comes to administration.

There are, as far as I know, more than 1000 official servers. Now, I don’t know how Funcom is handling the staffing for the official server moderation, but I doubt they have one dedicated admin for each official server. Unlike private server admins, Funcom employees work for money, and 1000+ salaries add up real fast.

Anything that adds extra workload will slow things down even further, and people are already screaming at the top of their lungs that Zendesk tickets are processed too slowly.

That’s why arguments that official server admins should do additional work are naive at best, and downright delusional at worst. Case in point:

Log. Files. Let that sink in.

Let’s assume that the log files keep the information in such a way that it can be correlated with the current state of the database. In other words, the logs can’t say “Spaceman Spiff of the clan Chumble Spuzz placed the Aquilonian Foundation”. They have to say “Spaceman Spiff [16] of the clan Chumble Spuzz [744] placed the Aquilonian Foundation [103:17]”, where 16 is the identifier of the character in the database, 744 is the identifier of the clan in the database, 103 is the identifier of the building in the database, and 17 is the identifier of the building instance in the database.

Why? Because without player and clan identifiers, name changes will make the log information stale. And because without the building and instance identifier you can’t find correlate the info about the build currently present in the world with the log information.

On top of assuming that the info is in useful format, let’s also assume that log files are never thrown out, so we have the full history since the server was first booted up. That would be a vast amount of information, but let’s say Funcom is Google and they can afford to keep all that shіt around. (Spoiler alert: Google can do it because they monetize your data as a user, but Funcom relies on actual revenue from the game sales, so this is all just wishful thinking, but let’s just run with it.)

Given those two huge assumptions, then it would be theoretically possible for Funcom staff to distinguish which player built what. It would “merely” require them to dig through months, or maybe years of logs to cross-reference the stuff they can see in the world. All that effort so they won’t ban players by association with the clan, provided that it isn’t actually a communal base where it’s not always entirely clear who built which part and who should be banned for it.

But wait, if the situation is that complicated, then how come you “couldn’t outsmart” this private server admin with false information?

It’s because he’s a private server admin. He keeps an eye on that server constantly. No, not 24/7, but often enough to keep track of who plays on his server and what they do on it. He’s not a dude whose job is to get a report about something that’s happening on one of the 1000+ servers and go investigate it and figure out what to do. He has one server. Maybe two or three, if he’s running multiple maps, but he stays on top of them.

But it’s not like explaining this will change anything. When it comes to official server moderation, you can divide people on these forums into two groups.

One group doesn’t want to hear this, and that’s the end of the story for them. You can try to explain how official servers are a service provided by Funcom free of charge, how we’re not paying for access to those servers so we’re not “paying customers”, how Funcom can’t have a dedicated admin for each server unless someone’s actually paying for that, etc, etc. You can go blue in the face explaining that, and you’ll get the same reaction every single time:
ezgif-7-65c168b8a28c1

The other group? They’re the proverbial choir you don’t need to preach to.

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I certainly see the two groups in action often enough here (with plenty of examples just within this thread), but I try to hope that those are just the extremes that seem to show up on the fringes of almost any argument - I hope there are still some who can be persuaded, but who perhaps haven’t seen all the past arguments, or just haven’t seen the precise point stated the right way to click for them. So maybe by each of us restating similar points in slightly different ways, it hopefully isn’t all wasted?. (Since when am I an optimist? :laughing: ) The example that keeps coming to my mind is from my martial arts training - I really enjoy Ju Jitsu, and sensei has a lot of good knowledge to impart, but in all honesty he is not good at explaining things. I think this is why the class has remained small - we get a few beginners, and some who stick around for a bit, but all of us that have remained long-term were already experienced in other styles of martial arts - we are used to being able to analyse and interpret the information. But I’ve found that the beginners that tend to stick with it longest are often the ones that have had the chance to partner up with as many different experienced students as possible on a single technique - with each of us explaining the techniques in different ways, they seem to be more able to put together their own understanding of it. I don’t know if this makes sense, or if it’s just rambling (I should have gone to bed hours ago, lol), but it’s my hope that some equivalent might apply with some people here. (But yes, there will always be people that can’t be convinced because they don’t intend to hear - I can’t tell if it’s truly getting worse in the ‘internet age’ or if I’m just getting grumpier as I get older :wink: )

The simple way I look at that one is - I could, given the relevant passwords/access to zendesk reports, do more or less what is currently being done by Funcom staff - ie. view a report, go to the relevant location(s) on a server and attempt to judge whether a build falls within the rules or not, and then delete/ban as judged - I wouldn’t want to, but, in theory, I would have sufficient knowledge of the basic systems required (or, in the case of zendesk, could presumably learn to read the reports relatively quickly). I would not have the first clue of where to start on reading log files and interpreting the data. Let alone the hours upon hours it would take to decypher exactly which blocks laid by which player at which time contributed to the offending build and which didn’t.

It seems reasonable to assume that some (many? all?) of the Funcom staff who are performing this role, may not have significantly greater understanding of log files than I do since it’s not a requirement for what they are doing - which means then that someone with specialist knowledge would have to take over (probably more expensive - since that’s how specialist knowledge usually works - and quite possibly pulling them away from something else they could be doing).

And even with specialist knowledge, it will still take more time (which, of course, equals more money), since the necessary data will be scattered throughout possibly huge log files spanning extended time periods. I don’t know about anyone else, but I rarely build my base in one single burst, which is the only way such identifiers would remain close together in the files (and even then, only if I was the only one online at the time and thus the only one performing actions to be logged) - it’s far more likely to be scattered over potentially years of log files - at which point it’s probably more time-efficient to shift a whole bunch of programmers off bug-fixing/updates and put them onto making a search engine to trawl through log files and gather specified data sets… And I’m not convinced that would be a popular move…

But, again, that’s just finding another way of saying the same things, in the hope something there clicks for somebody who might not have previously thought about some element that way… Not sure how much of it’s useful, but it is what it is…

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Good response. I think you summed it up well.

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“…but without more data, the playerbase cannot yet be sure exactly what is or isn’t safe”
Indeed, however, this would imply that Funcom should likewise be patient with the playerbase as much as they might ask for patience in kind. But, permabanning players flies in the face of having patience, it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, one that is frequently made hastily and without deep consideration. Thus, my point about removing perma-bans.

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“…I hope there are still some who can be persuaded, but who perhaps haven’t seen all the past arguments, or just haven’t seen the precise point stated the right way to click for them. So maybe by each of us restating similar points in slightly different ways, it hopefully isn’t all wasted?.”
Keep in mind that most people don’t respond, they just read. You are not just responding to a forum poster, but are implicitly speaking to everyone who is just following the conversation. You don’t necessary need to convince that specific person, you can just speak to the audience, using the response as a useful context to propagate information.

Likewise, there is always a need to rehash old arguments. Particularly if we assume that a playerbase is expected to grow, then there will always be newcomers who will encounter these arguments for the first time. So, keep that in mind when making your responses.

Lastly, people when “defeated” in an argument rarely admit it as such. They frequently go home to brood about the debate and spend a great deal of their time reexamining themselves. They might never respond to admit growth on their part, but it frequently happens.

Point is, arguments aren’t as pointless as they first appear (though I definitely know the feeling of fustration when you really want the other person to recognize reality).

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Precisely :slight_smile: Persuasion can be a long and complicated dance, and may involve partners you never even realise are there (hmm, not convinced about that metaphor, but oh well :wink: ).

And I wholeheartedly agree with your points regarding permabans, especially at this stage in the process. Not so much in cases of blatant abuse - but, as I understand the rules, it is a ‘two strikes’ system, with any second offense leading to permaban, which does seem like it has the potential to unfairly catch some, at least while there is still some degree of uncertainty about exactly what is or isn’t too big. (On the grounds that ‘too big’ is the most likely to be disputed of the infringements, rather than to suggest it is the only one.). To be honest, I’m not sure how much your multi-year alternative would solve this, as it still feels it could be quite a heavy punishment, at least in some fringe cases (at this stage we have no idea how many such cases might exist, though it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume there may be some). Though I’m not sure what would be a better solution, given that there needs to be some solid sanction, and every time a repeat offender has to be ‘processed’ is additional work-hours/cost added.

A solid judicial concept is that it is better a 100 guilty men go free, than 1 innocent man be condemned - but to what extent does that apply in the context of a computer game and servers provided by a private company as a bonus to the playerbase? (I’m honestly not sure, but enjoy the ethical questions it raises :slight_smile: )

The other side of this, of course, is that ‘permaban’ is quite a loaded term, with implications of preventing a player from playing the game. What we are actually talking about is ‘only’ a permaban from official servers - private servers, singleplayer or renting their own server/hosting locally are all still available to any player in this situation. That may certainly be unsatisfactory to some, especially if they feel unfairly treated, but the option at least exists. Whether that should be considered enough to mitigate against permabanning from official servers is probably ultimately something that can only be judged by each individual.

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“To be honest, I’m not sure how much your multi-year alternative would solve this, as it still feels it could be quite a heavy punishment”

In my view it resolves the issues of permabans not having a pathway to redemption, while still removing the added costs of additional costly bureaucracy, while also removing “bad” players from the player base. I am not suggesting that the current 2 strike system is good, rather I am critiquing the use of permaban’s entirely.

I mean, suppose that you have a 16-year teenager who gets a copy of CE from his parents (maybe they feel he is mature enough to play the game despite the ratings). He goes on a public server and gets permabanned by being in the wrong clan at the wrong time. Now he is 35, should he remained banned? Does the fact that he used cheating software once change anything? What if he was complict?

In my view, him being 35 makes him a “new” person compared to his 16-yearold self. It is entirely possible that nothing has changed between him and CE, but the odds aren’t that likely. It is quite likely that with this additional maturity, he is capable of being a positive contributor to the game, the community, and to public servers. To argue otherwise is to imply that no amount of potential good can make up for a violation of the rules (whether deliberate or accidental) at that point. Not only that, but it is so dangerous to have a rulebreaker return, or that you are so certain that nothing has changed that you should treat every such infraction as equally horrid. Keep in mind that outside lawsuits, permabans are the highest punishment you can extol. So, it should be rarely given as a punishment, if at all. I don’t see the value in having such a bureaucracy on the payroll just to do that. A yearlong or similar ban seems far more appropriate and makes dealing with extraneous problems (like one’s children getting on their game and getting them banned, hackers who have hacked into the account, etc.) much nicer than the current system.

“What we are actually talking about is ‘only’ a permaban from official servers…”

True. However, the argument still stands on its own merit. Whether permabanning is a major or minor issue for the game itself, is a separate matter. Though, I argue that the ability to play on official servers is an implied feature of the game service.

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Though, I suppose you could have a Kantian moral framework, though I am not sure how you could justify it in this game, particularly as the moral arbiters would need to involve law enforcement to do so (or so I would imagine).

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And the pathway to redemption is most certainly a valid concern - my point was more that anyone banned for a period of years is likely to take it as much the same as a permaban, especially given the way games and gamers move on over the years. Certainly as the smallest change to still allow that path to redemption it does seem better than the current alternative, though I suspect the ‘redeemed’ might be a truly fringe group :wink:

I didn’t mean to suggest that you were defending the current structure - I understood it as an improvement not an endorsement :slight_smile: And you are correct, I had not been taking your point about permabans as widely as I should. While they may be worse in a period of uncertainty about what might lead to a ban, that does not mean that they are not still bad even once the system has settled down.

Yes - certainly - though again, I would expect a majority of such individuals to have long since moved on and forgotten about CE - but that is not the individual we are discussing - there could be someone who all those years later still missed it and wanted to return, long since having understood why not to do what they did at a young rash age. And you are correct - a permaban disallows that possibility.

Indeed it does and indeed it is. Unfortunately that is often the nature of counter-arguments - they often oppose on the basis of different elements of the same issue, in part due to the differing importance that different people place on those different elements. I agree that the argument against permabans stands in it’s own right (and would still do so as an intellectual/ethical issue even if there was no wider ramification), I just feel that at the same time, the counter argument is also valid.

Here I disagree somewhat - though I hold no strong feelings on the matter, which may play a part - my understanding has always been that Funcom offers the official servers as a ‘free bonus’ to players, with the original understanding that they were to be unmoderated (and largely unmaintained). Just an extra option, especially relevant in the earlier days of the game before private communities would have had a chance to develop. To me, there was never an implication that official servers were a direct feature - though I can certainly understand how people could gain that impression, especially from the name. Use of the term ‘official’ inevitably risks creating certain inferences.

More than 25 years on from last studying Kant, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten too much and this one goes over my head :slight_smile: Whatever the case, I suspect a Nietzschean moral structure might be more appropriate to this game - 'I teach you the Ubermensch/barbarian hero - man is that which must be overcome/beaten over the head and dragged back to your wheel of pain :wink:

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Fair enough. I would argue that there aren’t obvious better options, and hence, they would either have to argue against any kind of moderation (which is a different topic) or they would have to admit this is preferable to what is currently in place.

Perhaps, but this also includes accidental bans as well. This includes people who already have a strike and go to answer the door real quick to return to find that their cat as been very helpful in pushing buttons randomly on their keyboard, leading to a ban. While admittedly contrived, I think this help makes the point.

Keep in mind, that many of the individuals will probably have moved on to private servers. We have to include not only those so outraged they gave up on CE entirely, but also those that simply playyed on private servers in the meantime.

Maybe so, but some players will have factored that into their purchasing decision. Consider a different example. Take Starcraft 2 for example. Blizzard is providing official matchmaking as an added bonus to the purchase. However, it is likely that most people purchasing Starcraft 2 are explicitly only doing so to play PVP officially matchmade by Blizzard. I am not suggesting this is a slam dunk argument, but I think that upon offering official servers and moderation, Funcom has created a collective commons, and thus has opened themselves up to critque.

I only minored in philosophy, that is still better than me, lol. I was only tossing around the idea that one could try to make an argument about respecting people’s free choices (ie treating them as an end and not as a means). However, I think that if you were to go down that route, you would have to consider real-world consequences for “bad” behavior, which I doubt most posters on the forum would endorse.

Lol, that would be funny if implemented. Not sure it would be popular though. Thanks for the convo.

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