So I’ve noticed all the work you’ve been putting into the social stuff in the game and I came up with a neat idea. What if players formed guilds if they spoke alot and you could tie this into the banning system. So if a player starts cheating and normally it would be a cut and dry decision to ban him however in this instance he’s in a huge guild. You could have it that when a guild member is banned it causes all the other guild members to become annoyed. Just an idea, don’t know if it’s something you think could work or even if it’s something you’re already working on
This is actually already part of the plan, although I’ve not implemented guilds yet!
One of the more advanced “social” technologies you can unlock as your MMORPG develops will be a ‘guild’ system, where players can form persistent groups of friends. A huge benefit to adding guilds to your game is that anybody who is in a guild is much less likely to unsubscribe, since they’ve made friends in your game. What you describe is precisely the downside of having guilds; if you ban someone who is in a guild, everyone else in the guild will get annoyed with you. (Especially if it’s a small guild, or if the banned person was the guild leader)
In the game right now, when you discover cheaters you really only have one option to deal with them; ban them. But because cheats can spread from player to player during conversation, if you ignore cheating for a long while you can eventually discover that nearly all of your subscribers are cheating; the cheat has slowly spread through your player population until almost everybody is cheating, since there’s been no punishment. You really don’t want to ban everybody (since that’d cause massive negative publicity and would make everybody quite mad), but you also don’t want to let everyone continue to cheat.
I have exactly this situation in one of my test games right now, in fact; several thousand subscribers, and the vast majority of them are using a speed hack… I don’t really want to ban all those users so… I’ve basically been ignoring the problem, because I have no other tools in the game to stop them.
So I’ve been thinking about designing a way that a player could “fix exploits” for money, which would reset everybody to not-cheating status again; effectively, all the old cheats would have been patched over so that they wouldn’t work any more. It’d have to be expensive to do this. Maybe it could only happen at certain times, such as during a version update. And of course, it might annoy some of the previously-cheating players. But at least it’d be a way to get out of the “everybody is cheating” situation without having to manually ban literally everyone in your game or entirely start over, or anything like that.
Or maybe if you ban a cheater, it shouldn’t just ban them, it should also scare some other cheaters out of cheating. I don’t know whether that happens in the real world, but it sounds vaguely plausible.
You could also have it so that players could gain a cheater or none cheater flag based on their satisfaction with the games and other factors. People with a none cheater flag will never use cheats and cheaters could possibly stop using them if major problems they have are fixed. Of course some users will just cheat no matter what but it could allow you more control over cheating apart from just banning
Oh boy I’m a couple weeks late to this party. @j0hn21792, you’re definitely on to something in flagging certain “happy” players as non-cheaters, even if another player attempts to pressure them. Happy players have no reason to cheat, they wouldn’t want to risk the ban.
However, if you’ve spent hours playing a game legitimately just to find out someone has reaped those same benefits in a few minutes, it would be irritating. So maybe this results in less happiness for that user. Also, if that same player is continuously approached by cheaters, they’d realise that there’s clearly a lack of anti-cheat measures, and may succumb to the pressure, after all. This is why there should be some anti cheating deterrents.
As mentioned by @trevor, one option could be the player fixing exploits at a cost. Whether it be during a maintenance (If maintenance is implemented), during a version update, once per [in game] day, or at will.
Another possible solution could be to contact cheat tool distributors and pay them off. It’d need to cost a pretty penny, of course.
Fixing the exploits would work as a short term ‘Band-Aid’ solution but while the hackers behind the cheats are still active, they’ll always be looking for a way around.
Anyway that’s just something to think about. I do agree that banning a cheater should scare others out of cheating. Definitely happens in the real world!
As a gameplay mechanism I guess it comes down to how big of a feature cheating will be in the game. Is it something the player will need to constantly keep an eye on and micromanage? Or maybe it’s a minor issue that the player can forget about for a while, wait for it to get to burning point, fix, and forget about it again.
If it needs to be managed constantly, the player could issue warnings to a cheater, resulting in a high% chance they stop cheating, but still a small chance they continue (in which they’d be banned). I’m just brainstorming here.
I hadn’t even considered issuing warnings! That’s totally something the player should be able to do, to manage misbehaving players.
I don’t want the game to be fundamentally about managing cheaters. It’s something that the player should perhaps think about once in a while, and occasionally might ‘explode’ into a major crisis (much like the ‘Disasters’ in the original SimCity), but it shouldn’t be in the top five list of things that the player is thinking about moment-to-moment, while playing.