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How would you handle exploitation in your game?


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So, bugs happen, often times as bugs occur in a game, they allow users to exploit them to gain advantages. How would you as a game owner handle this situation?

For the case of the hypothetical situation, lets assume the bug in question allows the user to gain more points (say double) with a game or feature then why would normally be able to do in a day, and this bug has been undiscovered for a period of 3 months, allowing for it to exploited for a while.

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Difficult question. If going off the example, I probably would let them just keep the extra points since there probably wouldn't be a way to remove them off that particular character. The only thing I could do, is halt the breeding of any characters who have exploited this extra boost so future pups cannot benefit from it and that account cannot be overrun with pups of a higher level than normal.

If the exploit is severe enough, like finding a loop to immortal characters or un-expiring items, and so on, then the account could be potentially soft banned for awhile as my Terms of Service does state that if you put yourself at risk of being banned if you exploit a weakness in the game code or bend the game to create a weakness in any way as that is considered cheating.

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59 minutes ago, Digital said:

@Aminirus so you are saying it depends on the scope of the exploit and the overall effect it had on the game as to how you would proceed, and whether or not it was easy to roll it back as being the main decision on how you would proceed?

Yes. The only reason I would say it depends is because on exploits or mistakes in the game turn out not to be all that bad and sometimes unavoidable. I've had it happen to me actually where even though I didn't want it to happen, it happened anyways, and there wasn't anything I could do except the right thing and tell the owners that it was happening. If I had not said anything and continued to use the exploit, then that shows you are trying to cheat on purpose if you are aware of it. And to me, if you cheat, at least in this form (not meaning through purchasing special items to give you boosts on purpose) but through things like using bots or a glitch in the system and you were aware that it was wrong, then yes, you should be punished in some way. 

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I think it comes down to if the users were actively exploiting it.

If there is an accidental glitch and users realise there is an issue, it gets patched, data rolled back etc.

However if there is a bug and users actively exploit it.. well in that case you need to take drastic action - warning and bans if neccessary.

A few years age there was a bug with the banking system for a site i worked for. When you deposited 1.5 currency it would remove 1 unit from your hand, but add 2 to the bank. People setup bots to abuse this and farm millions in several hours. Once these users were discovered they were banned instantly along with the issue being fixed.

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2 hours ago, Nate said:


A few years age there was a bug with the banking system for a site i worked for. When you deposited 1.5 currency it would remove 1 unit from your hand, but add 2 to the bank. People setup bots to abuse this and farm millions in several hours. Once these users were discovered they were banned instantly along with the issue being fixed.

Wow, that is some bug. I do agree with you though, if severe enough, banning may be the key to stop those who abused it.

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  • 3 months later...

Agree it really depends on the different cases. If it's obvious someone is exploiting, I would ban them, as that has an overall detrimental effect on the game for everyone. If it's not as obvious, would need to make a judgement call then. And also depends on severity as well. Some minor issues people may not even realizing the are abusing and may just think that's how the game works.

For me I haven't so far run into that, some minor things on Animal Acres that were reported, but nothing great. I have ran into issues that negatively impact players though, and try to fix and compensate fairly in those times.

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It depends on the situation.

In the example above, if no one really knew it was a glitch and everyone was benefitting from it, I would leave the points in place, fix the bug, and move on. It was our fault it was happening, and it would be unfair to take it away. However, if a few players knew about a hole in the system and were purposefully milking it, I would remove the points and fix the glitch. Depending on the severity, I would also take disciplinary action against the players. I've had both situations happen.

We had a bug on HP that we didn't know about where people could send a negative amount of money through the bank which would take it away from them, but then create money on the other end of the transaction. So a few people were creating billions of game dollars before it was discovered. Those people were banned, money was removed where we could find it, etc.

However, more recently, I discovered that an item in our cash shop wasn't working as intended and instead of increasing energy by 10 for life, it was increasing it by 20 for life as long as you had bought a weekly +10 boost first. It has been that way for who knows how long before I discovered it, and most people weren't aware that it wasn't supposed to work that way. So I had it fixed, and nothing further happened from it.

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