Truebox has failed. Let's talk gameplay changes instead.

Discussion in 'Time Locked Progression Servers' started by Jaera, May 1, 2019.

  1. Jaera Augur

    After five servers and three years of experience, it is pretty clear that the Truebox experiment has solved nothing and the success of Phinigel was due to instanced content. Posts are rampant about botting, hacking, and general circumvention of the "rules" established by Truebox.

    Even worse, the code that is in place simply harms people who live in the same residence if they happen to use the same keys, or people that want to box, and specifically not bot. Recent changes to try and combat the botting and usage of VMs instead harmed legitimate players and prevented them from being able to log in, while the botters continue their actions unabated.

    I believe that Daybreak would be better served enacting gameplay changes rather than continue this technology arms race against botters and hackers if they truly want to rid progression servers of these players and create a more even playing field for all players on progression servers.

    I'd like to outline a few ideas I've heard bounced around that might have a strong impact on botters but only a minor (and hopefully temporary) inconvenience to legitimate players. The idea would be that with these enacted, removing Truebox would not return to the absurdity of Fippy, Vulak, Ragefire, and Lockjaw's early days, but allow regular groups or people who simply want to box but not bot a more fair shot at content. I have no idea of the feasibility of these solutions to be added easily to the game, but I don't believe any of these are asking for a genie:

    1. By default, /pet attack requires line of sight (from the caster) to the NPC to send a pet and a pet cannot be sent at a target greater than 75 units away from the caster. A modification to the "Companion's Discipline" AA line in Planes of Power would be made to remove these restrictions.

    2. If the combined pet damage on an NPC is greater than 60% of the NPC's health, then the NPC doesn't drop loot, coin, or XP.

    3. If an NPC has the ability to summon, if pets are the only actors attacking the NPC that are in melee range, the NPC will instead attack the PC with the highest threat. Once again, modify "Companion's Discipline" AA line to allow pets to hold a summoning NPC's attention, even if they're the only pets are in range.

    4. Apply "Mark of the Old Ways" to all pets as pet users join a group or raid. If pet users make up more than 50% of the characters in the raid or group, apply Mark of the Old Ways V to all pets in the group or raid. If pet users make up more than 75%, apply Mark of the Old Ways X.

    5. If an NPC is on agro and has suffered damage, a player cannot charm the NPC unless they, their group, or their raid has dealt greater than 50% of the damage done to that NPC. Otherwise, charm obeys normal charm-ability rules.

    6. If a player with a charmed NPC is transported more than 200 units away from that NPC, the NPC's charm will break and it will not automatically transport itself to the player. All threat generated by the player will be removed as well.

    Obviously, I'd also be interested to see other gameplay changes people might suggest that would also mitigate the ability of botters to monopolize content. Also concerns that I might have missed would be interesting as well, as I play on Phinigel and most of the botting issues are long in the past.

    Please note that idea centered around a 'single IP' server or 'dual box' server are technological changes that will meet the same problems that are currently being used and are failing. Let's not talk about those here, thanks!
    Protius and Krezzy like this.
  2. birisu New Member

    There is no reason to program over-elaborate and annoying restrictions on gameplay when all it would take is hiring a few GMs to actually police the bad actors. As you say, "Posts are rampant about botting, hacking, and general circumvention of the "rules"", so why not try enforcing those rules before changing the game?
  3. Aegir Augur

    This would only harm those multiboxing pet-classes. Those using more sophisticated bot-scripts are using regular mixed group set-ups.

    I remember on Ragefire when Pets were nerfed... Mage-boxes were replaced with Wizard boxes in less than 24hours, Then came Kunark and people stacked Epic Monks instead.

    Your suggestions will only make it less convenient to multi-box large number of characters legit. I'm pretty sure the Botters will go free or have to tweak their script a bit to be back in business.

    One thing they could do is to take these new TLP servers down for 10mins every 3 days or so without making any game-chances just alter something not gamechanging which however won't make the latest version of the bot/hack programs work. That would create a lot of work to maintain these fresh updates to fit the latest version of EQ. It would also create extre work for the EQ Team, but I doubt it requires more work than replying to all the petitions they get atm. concerning hacks and bots. One casualty of this is Bazaar off-line mode....
    Ayaya and Barton like this.
  4. phattoni Augur

    hows about better ideas other than nerfing gameplay yet again.
    Ayaya and Barton like this.
  5. phattoni Augur


    changing opcodes would work if they could find a way to randomize it when connecting to the server, currently the opcodes are only changed when they patch the game which is why botters disappear after patches for a small amount of time, the software they use is then updated with new opcodes and they are back at it, not sure how much work it would be to do that...

    if they cant decrypt the opcodes, then they cant run the bots, but it would take some kind of randomization of the opcodes.

    taking down the servers every 3 days would slow them down for sure, but it wont stop them, they would just decrypt packets every 3 days and repeat.
    Aegir likes this.
  6. Aegir Augur

    Looks like the randomization of the opcodes could be a solution. VM's would still be an Issue, but stopping the programs is a big step imo.
  7. Kahna Augur

    Having spent the last two months on the EQ2 TLE server I no longer believe that DBG's doesn't have the manpower to police this stuff. There is a hacking program on EQ2 that is similar to the ones used here. Not only did they set up their PvP server to auto ban anyone running the program. They swung the ban hammer so heavy handedly on the PvE TLE that botters are a rare, and short lived, sight. They actually responded to petitions and with bans, not with this weak willed nonsense they are using in EQ1.

    They can do it, they just choose not to. Are there still botters on the EQ2 TLE? Probably, but DBG's swift, harsh response to them has forced them far enough underground that if they are there, you can't actually tell them apart from real players. Pretty sure most of us would accept that level of botting.

    These people exist, disrupting the game, because DBG's tolerates them. All they have to do to get rid of them is to stop tolerating the behavior. One good crack down surge and the roaches would scatter.
  8. Natal Augur

    The only time bots hurt the rest of the player base is when they are perma-camping a named spawn at a particular location.

    The solution to that is some sort of anti-camping code, where a name will not spawn if an account has been parked at a spot (a) for X hours over the previous 24 hours or more, or (b) a named has spawned at that spot in the last X hours. That way someone can't just park at a point and bot-camp a placeholder, if they do they get at most 1 named or possibly 0, no matter how long they sit there. If they want to get another named they will have to wait 24 hours after they left before returning.

    Another solution would be to have nameds pop randomly from any basepop, ie no placeholders. That way it doesn't matter if people are camping a particular spot.
  9. phattoni Augur

    if they could randomize them on login or connection to the server it would 100% stop the bots im guessing, at least the bad programs anyways, people can still automate using scripts and stuff with other programs, but the main offenses, warping, insta gibs etc would be gone.
  10. phattoni Augur

    yet again, this isnt a good solution, this penalizes people that actually play the game, sometimes i play for 24+ hours to camp stuff straight, doesnt mean im botting or afk killing, powersources and stuff like that can be long camps.


    and they somewhat did the no place holders with temple droga i think it is, it used to have spawn points with named, now the phs are everywhere, can have multiple of one named up at a time in that place.

    but yet again, this most likely would not help, because instead of the botters taking camps, they will be taking ENTIRE zones.
  11. Hateseeker Augur

    Yes, instancing was the only positive change. Truebox discourages the benevolent/neutral boxers and does nothing to stop the malevolent boxers.
  12. Ceffener Augur

    That’s just bad game design that penalizes normal people period.

    None of us should be motivated to play 24+ hours.
    Thalliius and BlueberryWerewolf like this.
  13. BlueberryWerewolf Augur

    Camp times longer than 8 hours are something that should have died with staring at your spellbook.

    And I'm not even convinced 8 hours is okay.

    Some things are just bad game design and shouldn't continue existing just because they're "classic".
  14. Brunlin Augur

    True box hasn't failed, policing the game has failed. They dont do anything about the people who are clearly running hack programs and running multiple box crews.....these peeps dont even hide it. You can easily find them as well since they have locked down all the best camps and or mobs that drop the best loot in classic...and they are there 24 hours a day. Just send a gm to each camp ..do a afk check or observe the cheating going on.....When players try to take the policing in their own hands, such as train the botters, than the botters report said players and than those players get warnings and sometimes even temporary suspensions. Im not saying that this kind of play should be going on but sometime players feel frustrated to get their epic pieces done or best of slot pieces, with out having to purchase loot right from bad actors. This in turn, promotes legitimate players to download said cheats so they themselves can compete with bad actors.

    The Gms could even go to the auction rmt websites and secretly begin tracking all kromos being Rmt and shut it down by banning all accounts associated with that RMT kronos. This would shut it down at the source and give DBG extra money for all the kronos that gets frozen in this way.
    Dragon Jockey likes this.
  15. Krezzy Augur

    I don't necessarily agree with any specific proposal here, but I think this is the right discussion to have. Mechanical changes such as Coldain ring quests and Chancellor Di`Zok spawn have restricted the damage the very worst of the players can do to the community. These have been a solid step forward.

    We should be looking for ways to do more of the same.
  16. Boze Augur

    #1 and #3 you propose would enable some crazy exploitive pet pulling. You'd be more likely to see mage boxes snipe your nameds with this plan.
  17. Meridian Elder

    As others have said, the best solution is to have a few GMs in game to watch for **** like this and ban the botters.
    Of course, since the botters and their multi accounts are a cash cow, DBG will never do this. The lesson: swipe harder.
  18. Tymeless Elder

    best solution is for everyone to stop buying GEBS for sell in commonlands. Don't buy plat or krono off second hand sites and guess what they won't have any business they won't make profit and they will quit doing it as then there will be no incentive to do it.
  19. jeskola Augur

    That argument is old and played out. People will always buy stuff with reallife cash. A lot of eq players simply lack the time to invest in gearing up but still have the desire, and have disposable income. Even if one server stopped buying krono, they are gamewide and transfer to all servers.
  20. Tymeless Elder

    indeed there are always those players that have money and not time. If it's not the botters filling that niche it will be elite groups of people holding down the camp regularly just like the old days. Its why people could never get those camps so long ago. The problem is everyone doesn't seem to see is that they still wouldn't get those camps if the botters weren't there someone will always fill the niche and try to profit off of it. The only true way to stop it unless daybreak is willing to make whole scale changes and start making group instances is for people to stop buying things off the market period but it won't stop because there are always people that play this game that have disposable income and don't mind using it. However if the demand goes down enough the profit margin isn't going to be there for the botters to continue doing it.

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