Mission Architect Abuse

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Terminotaur
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Mission Architect Abuse

Post by Terminotaur »

Positron posted this on the official boards this morning. Sounds like the devs are going to be really cracking down on farming through Mission architect.

When we created Mission Architect, the goal was to have an outlet for players to craft cool stories, using our assets, that other players could play and participate in. Other players could rate those stories and the best-of-the best would rise to the top.

While we have accomplished some of those goals with the initial launch of Mission Architect, some have found ways to abuse the system we put in place. We are not blind to this happening, nor did we not expect it. However, it is time to take action regarding it, so please be aware that we are about to implement a zero-tolerance stance on the extreme abuse we are seeing in the system.

One thing was made clear to me when I interacted with the players on our Anniversary. It was that you guys really don’t like the powerlevelling that is going on with MA. The constant spam of MA PL teams forming, requests for “Meow” missions, 5 star badge cartels, and the inability to find quality content in the Mission Architect listing are all things I heard complaints about over and over while I was logged in on Tuesday.

So here is a list of things that are going to happen:

• Players that have abused the reward system egregiously may lose benefits they have gained - leading up to and perhaps including losing access to the characters power-leveled in this fashion.

• Currently, some badges are being modified, and some may be removed from the game entirely. The list of changes being made to the MA badge system is not final yet, but you will be made aware when we have a concrete plan.

• Players who knowingly use an exploit when creating an arc, run the risk of having access to MA suspended, or worse- depending on the severity of the action, their account banned.

• Players who have a story arc banned for any reason, will have it continue to use up one of their publishing slots. Players will NOT be able to unpublish this slot without Customer Service’s help. This sets up a “three strikes and you’re out” policy. If an individual gets three story arcs banned, they will no longer be able to publish since their slots will all be used up with banned arcs.
•• This lock will not take place on the first level of “complaint banning”, where an arc has received a larger number of complaints. Players will still have a chance to fix the arc.
•• If Customer Service looks at an arc and determines it was banned in error, they will mark it as “unbannable”. At that point the arc can not be banned for any reason. The unbannable flag will reset if the player makes any changes to the arc at that point, and the arc can be banned again.
•• Remember, publishing slots are account wide, so players will not be able to log in another character on their account and use their slots instead.
•• Players are urged to avoid using common farming terms in their story title and/or descriptions. Even if it’s a joke, DO NOT run the risk of having an arc banned and requiring Customer Support to grant you your publishing slot back.

Some of you have taken the stance of “how does powerlevelling hurt the game?” and “shouldn’t I be able to play the game the way that I want?” What we want to make clear is in order to keep the game fair, balanced, and challenging, we have to maintain a risk:reward ratio. This is a ratio we’ve spent years attempting to achieve. Mission Architect is not immune to this, and we are taking swift action to see that the problems players are seeing and are being exposed to are remedied.

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Scooby Doo
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Post by Scooby Doo »

There has been a lot of abuse of the AE stuff happening, without a doubt. I know I did some solo PLing of some characters using the rikti missions but even now, before reading this I was starting to wonder if I even wanted to hold onto them since I didn't really 'work' for them.

I hope they don't go nuts on this one, no matter what they do. Now isn't the time to be alienating players with CO being slated for release in the next few months.
Wassy wrote:I would do Frost and Scooby purely for its high torture factor.

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IceOnix
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Post by IceOnix »

Good. I was so annoyed by the broadcast spam. I was amazed to find ONE team in Mercy that were doing the arcs from the first two contacts. I've never been so excited to fight snakes.

I have the same problem with the AE farms as most people. When I pull up the list I want to give some custom content a shot. I don't want to have to filter through 22 pages guessing if the arc is a farm or not. Generally I'd go for ones with more than one or two missions.

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Darrk Waver
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Post by Darrk Waver »

Well, I cannot believe they have the time and resources to check every toon that might have been PL'd up to Stamina level or gotten a couple of levels.

From what I've been reading in the ever growing post is some folks were able to PL a toon from 1 to 50 in three hours. Now those toons might get busted.
32 Level 50's and counting...

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Darrk Waver
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Post by Darrk Waver »

IceOnix wrote:I was so annoyed by the broadcast spam.
I removed the Broadcast channel from my tabs a long time ago. :D
32 Level 50's and counting...

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Frost
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Post by Frost »

Darrk Waver wrote:From what I've been reading in the ever growing post is some folks were able to PL a toon from 1 to 50 in three hours. Now those toons might get busted.
Yeah, that's what I think they mean. If you were obviously farming and PLing you should probably be worried. If you did it for a few levels you most likely won't get your character removed.

And if you have a farm arc, now would be a good time to get rid of it...

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Scooby Doo
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Post by Scooby Doo »

Wow. That thread is over 140 pages now.
Wassy wrote:I would do Frost and Scooby purely for its high torture factor.

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Darrk Waver
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Post by Darrk Waver »

Scooby Doo wrote:Wow. That thread is over 140 pages now.
210 pages now. It's on FIRE!
32 Level 50's and counting...

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Frost
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Post by Frost »

*grabs some popcorn*

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Scooby Doo
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Post by Scooby Doo »

325 as of about 20 til 7 EST. I can't wait for the dev response. :)
Wassy wrote:I would do Frost and Scooby purely for its high torture factor.

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Post by Frost »

Image

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Terminotaur
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Post by Terminotaur »

I found something new. There haven't been any new posts on the US boards, but I checked the UK boards and found this comment from Avatea regarding Developers Choice arcs:
Now that things are on track for the Mission Architect to be purged, the "Dev’s Choice: For Your Consideration" section should be added soon, next week if we can have the big changes sorted by the middle of next week.

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Post by Darrk Waver »

Posi posted a follow up message:
After reading most of the thread spawned by my “Abusing Mission Architect” post, I figured I needed to follow up on a few of the points I brought up. You guys had a lot of the same questions, so I think I can answer them FAQ style.

Q) “If I powerlevelled a character, am I going to lose them?”
A) Probably not. Only the worst of the worst, exploitive, powerlevelled characters will be removed from the game. We don’t take retroactive punishments lightly, but some offenses are so egregious that no one would question their intent and those ill-gotten gains should be dealt with. I just want to emphasize that no one is looking to ‘punish’ anyone here, but rather remove the rewards of exploitive behavior.

Q) “Are you going to give us an absolute definition of what abuse is?”
A) I know a lot of you want to know an exact definition to see if you were actually abusing the system, or just playing the game, but I don’t want to be set up in a situation where our definition of abuse is abused. For example, if we say that the definition is “you gained 4 levels in under 30 minutes”, then someone will make sure that they gain 4 levels in 31 minutes, so they can claim they were within the allowed limits and not abusing. Someone said it best that the “definition” of reckless driving is purposely ambiguous, being “Disregard for safety”. With this example, I would say that a good interpretation of abuse is “Disregard for the risk and/or time to reward ratio”.

Q) “Why are you removing badges we worked so hard to get?”
A) I apologize in advance if we remove a badge that someone got legitimately through normal gameplay. We didn’t want MA to become a badge farm (hence why kill-count badges don’t work in MA). Unfortunately the number of “count” badges we put into the system promoted some pretty aberrant gameplay. People forming voting cartels to get Hall of Fame badges, missions whose sole purpose was to tick a badge count clogged up the searches, etc., made finding the honest-to-god story arcs harder than it needed to be. We hope that by removing these problem badges (and adding some new, non-problem, ones in the process) we can see a better play experience throughout the entire MA system. These changes won’t happen until I15, but we’ll get a list of the alterations to you guys early next week.

Q) “Am I going to get banned for farming for badges?”
A) Absolutely not.

Q) “What if people who have a grudge against me complain about my arc and get it banned? Why should I permanently lose a slot over that?”
A) The first time your arc is pulled because of complaints, you do NOT lose the slot. If you get an arc banned and you do lose the slot, your only option at that point is to contact Customer Support. They are the gatekeepers to the slots, and can give you your slot back if it was banned in error.

Q) “You say not to use the word “Farm” in the mission or description. Is that how you are blanket banning things?”
A) We do not do blanket banning based on keywords or phrases. When customer service bans an arc, they are looking at the arc in question when they do it. I ask you not to use certain words in your title or description because players can still complaint-ban your arc, and then there is the fact that we are only human, and even if your “farm” arc is a complete joke/parody ABOUT farm arcs, someone might mistake it for a real farm and ban it, causing both you and us a headache in getting the arc unbanned.

Q) “What about all the farming and abusing that goes on in the normal game? How come you guys don’t put a stop to that?”
A) We address rewards abuse all the time. We put timers on missions that could get reset for rewards. We take rewards off of critters that are considered exploitively farmable. Or we just change the mission. Merit rewards are another way we have handled the situation. You can’t run really fast stuff over and over and get a reward every time. Again, we are looking out for “Disregard for the risk and/or time to reward ratio”, and we take action.

Q) “Why did you guys wait until after the reactivation weekend to do this?”
A) We had a publishing blackout during the reactivation that prevented us from putting new code up onto the live servers.

In the end, we hope you all understand that the changes we’re making, no matter how drastic they might appear to be, are in the best interest of the game and those who truly enjoy playing it. Out goal has always been to make Architect fun and enjoyable for both the authors and the players. We feel that with these changes we’re helping bring about the realization of this goal.

Release Notes for 18.20090422.5T - 5/7/09
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Jumpman
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Post by Jumpman »

It really is amazing the stuff they didn't think of when building this system.

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