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Forum > Announcements > No more captcha...for now
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Ender [1]
Administrator
rank 9
2018-04-03 22:05:13
[78 days ago]

As you may have heard, Google's reCAPTCHA v1 was turned off on March 31, 2018. Since then (and even a good amount before then), you could enter any text into the box and it would pass the test. So clearly, as an anti-botting measure, this has become completely ineffective.

On a related note, I've wanted to get rid of captchas in the game for a long time. They're a nuisance for legit players and aren't even a foolproof measure of preventing botting anyway.

Given these two points, and given the lack of an obvious replacement that satisfies the game's use case, I've globally disabled all captchas in the game...for now. I haven't decided yet whether this will be a permanent change, so consider this a temporary experiment, the results of which will be evaluated in time.


 
Escobar [1]
2018-04-04 03:22:01
[77 days ago]

Autoclickers freedom


 
Myriad [395]
rank 9
2018-04-04 03:48:32
[77 days ago]

Maybe captchas didn't necessarily stop anyone from cheating, but at least they would prevent someone from logging in, setting up their script and then going afk for the rest of the day. It doesn't surprise me that there is no fallback system despite the V1 unsupported warnings we've had for the past few months; lord knows this game hasn't had any active cheater deterrence for the last 3 years. So while we're in the process of removing captcha, we might as well place a download link to Alan's clicker in the documentation and finally remove the guise of fair play.


 
taduccci [60]
2018-04-04 10:04:24
[77 days ago]

http://bots4.net/profile/63343/Desloratadine

Already enjoying the freedom ^^


 
Ender [1]
Administrator
rank 9
2018-04-04 19:52:58
[77 days ago]

I've generally been more willing to invest in cheating detection than cheating prevention. The latter is an arms race and the means by which it's carried out tends to impact legit players in negative ways. I don't think there's anything I can say to make folks less frustrated though (and as always with anti-cheating mechanisms, full transparency is generally not in the game's best interests), so I won't say more than that. Let's see how the experiment goes. If there's rampant abuse, it will be addressed.

If there are concerns over specific bots, please bmail me directly.


 
MrZal2 [100]
2018-04-04 20:39:18
[77 days ago]

You make me sad Ender.


 
New Horizons [128]
2018-04-05 00:58:04
[76 days ago]
I've generally been more willing to invest in cheating detection than cheating prevention. The latter is an arms race and the means by which it's carried out tends to impact legit players in negative ways.

How does cheating prevention effect legit players? ...


 
Samuli [150]
rank 9
2018-04-05 01:29:48
[76 days ago]

Ville: I guess captcha is/was a good example? Legit players have to type it in. The autoclicker you used and maybe still use did that captcha filling automatically.


 
Unit [50]
rank 9
2018-04-05 01:57:23
[76 days ago]

Either I'm a dumb cunt or I just still don't understand. All these technical terms are throwing my head into a tailspin.

Sure we are "trying this experiment to see how it goes"

But how on earth would you even possibly figure out " rampant abuse "


 
Gpof2 [131]
rank 9
2018-04-05 02:50:24
[76 days ago]

How does cheating prevention effect legit players?

The captcha like samulii mentioned, and the double fight/train links with different colors. Small things for sure, but they are indeed minor annoyances for legitimate players.


 
Myriad [395]
rank 9
2018-04-05 04:17:30
[76 days ago]

The problem is, if you could actually detect who was cheating without captchas then you wouldn't need them in the first place. If there was no one caught while captchas were in place, where is the hope of catching them now that they are gone?

Also, there have been numerous individuals who have sent bmails regarding suspected cheaters over the past year or so, most of whom have not received a single word of response. From a personal perspective, it gets to the point of where there is a sense of futility over making any further reports.

Maybe I'm alone when it comes to concerns over cheating in the game though. It would make me sad to think that this game has been neglected for so long and that its player base has declined so much that there is no one left who cares. Sad indeed.


 
Arkuden [37]
rank 9
2018-04-05 04:53:11
[76 days ago]

Yeah I'm agreeing with you Myraid, there is no hope now of catching the cheaters :/ so how the hell are we ment to report rampant abuse? Like we have no way of detecting anything now.

Just the way ender wrote it don't sit with me.. it's basically a pointless statement


 
New Horizons [128]
2018-04-05 07:17:40
[76 days ago]

The script Ville used only notified when there was a captcha, the user still had to fill it out.

So the captcha slowed him down slightly, but it by no means was a way for Ender to catch him.


 
roflcopter 2 [2]
2018-04-05 07:37:05
[76 days ago]

nobody cares now @myriad

ville has posted in this thread twice and scored to win the month for a clan last month with people knowing who he was. i even talked to him in chat. nobody gave a shit when i pointed it out in end of month thread. ender should just allow autoclicking


 
Samuli [150]
rank 9
2018-04-05 08:58:38
[76 days ago]

Quite bold statement from a guy with no name.
If Phantasy was/is Ville during last month, I had no idea about it until this month and I think same goes for Tucks, Kevin and fifty. If you are too scared to post with your real name why do you think that anyone would take your posts seriously? To me it was as serious as Leaders little brother bmailing everyone that for 50$ he would hack eternal.
No one has showed me any concrete evidence about Phantasy being Ville and if it wasn't Ville then I must say that I am sorry for kickin you mirACLE. I've been only told that there is evidence but I haven't seen it.


 
MrZal2 [100]
2018-04-05 10:22:19
[76 days ago]
The autoclicker you used and maybe still use did that captcha filling automatically.

Just going to say that there is functionality for this in Alan's script, but was disabled because when Alan left he was the one who paid for the service. There are plenty of online services run normally out of India that will sell captcha solving services, which he bought for it/certain people I think. You can earn about $200 a month by solving them actually for about 1 hour a day. According to one website I saw:

"There are many companies who need to signup in large quantities on thousands of websites on internet. They can create the automatic software to signup on the websites but there is no technology to solve these captcha automatically."

So regardless of whether Ender puts in the new captcha or not it only means that Alan's old script would be just as useful as it was before. Someone could set up the new service with a new captcha solving service if they wanted. It's just unlikely they would since it costs money. So having the new captcha 2.0 might be worth it just to prevent constant autoclicking for wins/trains. Captcha 2.0 is free and you only need to put in a new key or something I think Ender.

None of this will prevent autoclicking, it'll just make it more annoying, for everyone. I've thought of lots of different ways to prevent cheating/inhibit it through the years but because of the nature of this game, it seems too easy to change things (say Ender updates the game and adds 3 or 4 security measures, Alan or someone else could rework it to work probably within a day due to there only being so many ways of dealing with these things on a text-based game).

A weird idea I had one time was just a honesty policy. If you are honest and play honestly, you should be allowed to play the game normally with less hindrances, if you're not and found out to be cheating, then you're sent to a special "cheaters only" HoF but this would require a second server like blue bots2 was and it would probably be useless. But there should be ways of allowing people who are legitimate to play with other legitimate players and not be bothered by all these cheaters. But I guess I should just play a single player game if I want that.

Sorry, just trying to help highlight some things even though I don't autoclick and never have. These are just things I've been told/seen/tested. But it seems it doesn't honestly matter. I don't even know why there's even an autoclicker to begin with. Is it honestly fun to put in captchas and just switch targets all day and let an autoshowroom camper do your work for you? To have the work of others be put to shit because you're too garbage yourself to do the work? Cheaters are and always will be one thing, garbage, because they don't want to learn the game, they don't want to put in the time to stop drinking or being shit etc. or look like they are bad. They should have their names, IP addresses, HoF records, clan wins, everything stripped or banned from them and their clans. There should be a platinum called "Never Cheated" for certain players given for their hard work and a shit bronze called "Mama's Little Cheater" given to all bots of cheaters :P

I joke for the last part and likely nobody will read this novel, but uh yeah, maybe do something about the 24/7 ability to cheat eh Ender? Otherwise there really is no point for anyone to play legitimately at all.


 
Not Not Neps [1]
2018-04-05 22:11:55
[76 days ago]

Let's just require everyone have a webcam trained on them at all times while playing. With the stream visible on the bot's profile.

Maybe even an option to donate kudos in exchange for the player doing requests?

I have no pervy motives for pushing this suggestion by the way.


 
Retirement [71]
rank 9
2018-04-06 07:35:28
[75 days ago]

I like to play naked though.


 
Arkuden [37]
rank 9
2018-04-06 07:38:46
[75 days ago]

And with a hard-on too I bet Damon ;) HAHAHA


 
Fishwick [135]
Moderator
rank 2
2018-04-06 08:24:29
[75 days ago]

I don't even know why there's even an autoclicker to begin with. Is it honestly fun to put in captchas and just switch targets all day and let an autoshowroom camper do your work for you? To have the work of others be put to shit because you're too garbage yourself to do the work? Cheaters are and always will be one thing, garbage, because they don't want to learn the game, they don't want to put in the time to stop drinking or being shit etc. or look like they are bad. They should have their names, IP addresses, HoF records, clan wins, everything stripped or banned from them and their clans.

We agree on something entirely for once, Zal. Bots is a very niche game that relies on a sense of accomplishment when you work hard to achieve something. If you don't have that, what exactly do you get from the game? Play something where you can enjoy cheating like counter strike if you have to be a scumbag, but cheating on Bots makes zero sense.


 
Samuli [150]
rank 9
2018-04-06 08:52:15
[75 days ago]

Zal, that was the first sensible forums post from you in ages. I can finally agree with you about something. HALL OF SHAME!


 
MrZal2 [100]
2018-04-06 10:37:02
[75 days ago]
Let's just require everyone have a webcam trained on them at all times while playing. With the stream visible on the bot's profile. Maybe even an option to donate kudos in exchange for the player doing requests? I have no pervy motives for pushing this suggestion by the way.

That reminds me of Roffler's old pictures of him playing bots but everything was in the dark so you could barely see anything. bots2 was so funny in the respect that lots of people just straight up uploaded their actual pictures like it was Facebook, but before Facebook. So I'm sure lots of people would gladly do this.

I like to play naked though.

makes mental note to wear gloves while typing bmails to you

@Fishwick + Samulii

Um, thanks I suppose. I feel like you guys dislike 90% of my other ideas though, so I'll just take the compliment. I feel like a Democrat that's been praised by Trump for something (something that will likely never happen). The feeling of shock makes me just want to say "Never mind, if samulii and Fish agree with my statement, screw it, EVERYONE CHEAT." :P


 
Retirement [71]
rank 9
2018-04-09 05:00:06
[72 days ago]

Yes wear gloves. Double gloves! Hahaha :'l


 
Inkas [123]
2018-04-09 07:09:21
[72 days ago]
I've generally been more willing to invest in cheating detection than cheating prevention.

Ender I gave you that script/extension years ago but people still been using it and on top of that noe there is no more captcha. GG


 
Ad Infinitum [127]
2018-04-11 04:13:26
[70 days ago]

Desloratadine is obviuosl cheating


 
Ad Infinitum [127]
2018-04-11 04:22:05
[70 days ago]

You can send him bmails, attack online and he will still be on training the same bot without any changes and when he goes online he disable his workshop clicker and leaves the bot idle. I wonder why ender let him cheat


 
New Horizons [128]
2018-04-11 07:10:37
[70 days ago]

Are you implying that 32k trains in seven days is sketchy? 😉

One might concur.


 
Ad Infinitum [127]
2018-04-11 07:19:14
[70 days ago]

Fu ville


 
Ender [1]
Administrator
rank 9
2018-04-16 06:28:48
[65 days ago]

The problem is, if you could actually detect who was cheating without captchas then you wouldn't need them in the first place. If there was no one caught while captchas were in place, where is the hope of catching them now that they are gone?

Captchas aren't a way to catch cheaters. They can provide a signal (e.g. player stalled on captcha regularly), but not conclusive evidence. The "no one caught while captchas were in place" statement is false.

Also, there have been numerous individuals who have sent bmails regarding suspected cheaters over the past year or so, most of whom have not received a single word of response. From a personal perspective, it gets to the point of where there is a sense of futility over making any further reports.

The "most of whom have not received a single word of response" statement is also false, for a reasonable definition of "most". The vast majority of bmails in my inbox from the past ~8 years related to cheating have been responded to. That said, I do agree that there are some cheating-related bmails that have still not been responded to. There are a ~dozen or so of them that I received while on my long break that I flagged to respond to later, which I've unfortunately still neglected to this day.

I'll make it a point to go through the remaining bmails soon. If you still haven't received a reply within a week from now, feel free to bring it to the top of my inbox. I apologize for not responding in a timely manner and do encourage you to continue sending reports. I sincerely appreciate them, especially from thoughtful players like yourself that are only making very well-founded accusations.

None of this will prevent autoclicking, it'll just make it more annoying, for everyone. I've thought of lots of different ways to prevent cheating/inhibit it through the years but because of the nature of this game, it seems too easy to change things (say Ender updates the game and adds 3 or 4 security measures, Alan or someone else could rework it to work probably within a day due to there only being so many ways of dealing with these things on a text-based game).

+1, this gets to the heart of the matter. It's a losing strategy for me to block Alan's autoclicker:

  • If I stop it, it will be made operational again soon enough, by someone. There's one of me, but lots of motivated people that will cheat, and provide others with the means do so as well.
  • If I stop it, I also lose the advantage of knowing what (most) autoclickers look like. They'll become more complex, more unknown, and harder to detect.
  • If I stop it, I may have to add more game mechanisms that serve no purpose for legit players (fake links, captchas).

Instead, I intend to make the consequences for cheating severe enough (basically meaning timely locks/resets) that cheating isn't worth the risk for people. If bots start getting locked left and right, people are going to think twice about deciding to start cheating.

Let's just require everyone have a webcam trained on them at all times while playing. With the stream visible on the bot's profile.

Watch out PUBG and Fortnite, there's about to be a new top Twitch game in town...

Ender I gave you that script/extension years ago but people still been using it and on top of that noe there is no more captcha. GG

Yes, this result is the logical conclusion of the statement you quoted...

You can send him bmails, attack online and he will still be on training the same bot without any changes and when he goes online he disable his workshop clicker and leaves the bot idle. I wonder why ender let him cheat

This isn't so much a response to this specific accusation as it is to everyone that is "sure" someone else is cheating. You do not have access to the same information I do. I have the most information out of anyone. Further, I only act on ironclad evidence. It's easy for anyone to make claims on the forums of being "sure" that someone else is cheating, even if they really are pretty confident of it, because there is no consequence if they are wrong. I, on the other hand, have promised myself to never, ever lock/reset someone's account unless I am 110% convinced of them cheating. I've played online games before where the admins were a little too trigger-happy and it sucks to live in fear of that as a legit player.

All that said, I do recognize that there are some particularly "obvious" cases that should have been dealt with a long time ago. Someone of this was from when I was on my long break, but some of it was more recent and should have been dealt with more swiftly. Going forward, I'm aiming to be more timely/responsive with this sort of stuff (and have invested in tooling over the past week or so to facilitate this). For starters, I've just gone ahead and locked/reset 26 bots. As always, please bmail me directly with specific conclusive evidence if you suspect someone of cheating; posting publicly decreases the probability of the desired outcome.


 
Pothead2 [1]
2018-04-24 04:48:46
[57 days ago]

Terrible thread really and puts me off playing again. I think the starting point for building a game which is basically a time investment based game is to make sure no one can cheat and not have to invest time, it impacts this games appeal so much certainly to myself anyway. With captcha it at least felt like something was being done? I can understand how hard it would be to catch but it's just about making it as hard for the cheater as possible.. hell, I personally wouldn't mind playing with a 1/2 minute captcha just to know villa isn't sunning it up in Brazil on the beach while his mum keeps his ac running and I've been sat in a near cockroach infested flat for the past month trying to battle his ac thinking I'm cool. Really sad news and hopefully you clever guys can bash your heads together and come up with an effective solution, I think you need a lot more help from others though Ender if you are going to bring any reasonable and competitive life back to this game.


 
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