Bots in Blockchain Games : The sooner it is addressed the better for the Game Ecosystem

Botting is likely The single most controversial topic when it comes to blockchain games. And mostly in favor of botting are, well...the Botters. Don't take my word for it...go the most successful blockchain game on HIVE so far Splinterlands and ask their thousands of players. The very recent ugliness with a major bot owner is not unknown to anyone who keeps up to date with what's happening around.

But....it's allowed. Speaking strictly by the rules, it is completely legal...but that is not enough to stop either me or thousands of other players on Splinterlands from disliking bots. Same applies to Rabona, except we don't have thousands of players, yet. Soon though! ;)

I don't think I need to go on and address why botting is controversial, but when someone regards botting as the same thing as manual intellect...I think I should address that, especially when it's directed directly at me.

Full Disclosure : I was the one who initiated it :)

But as dada says, if you leave the stage empty, the stage won't stay empty. Someone will take the stage. Rabona is still in the early days and there is already some major dissent regarding bots. But because we are in the early days, there can still be a fix and it was pleasant to see that this one thing we all agreed on.

So when I publicly decided to speak about my dissent towards bots created by Emre (very good bots by the way...quite strong so no doubt about the good work there), he gave the following explanation :

here is a good summary:

- simplifylife exploits the formation mechanic and wins championships. (checks opponents' formation from blockchain then sets a counter-formation just before the game)

- emrebeyler codes a bot doing the same thing.

- emrebeyler wins championships

- simplifylife is mad at the game and quits 

So basically he just falsely accused me of exploiting, without doing his proper research or without even understanding what he was saying because only a little bit of common sense into thinking would be enough as to why his logic is wrong. But it was pretty, pretty late last nigh so I'll give him a pass on that for now, I guess. But I will address the issues and clarify my stand here.

1

emrebeyler codes a bot doing the same thing.

Yes, I change formation in the last minute in "certain specific" (coming back to this in point number 2) matches and even in doing so, I HAVE NO IDEA what my opponent is doing at the same time. In changing formations what I am doing is simply speculating on what my opponent MIGHT be doing. The fact is I HAVE NO IDEA what they are doing and there is no way in hell to find out exactly what they did until AFTER THE MATCH IS ALREADY DONE because the explorer shows transactions 1 minute after the transaction has been completed.

Now ask yourself, does this apply to your bot?
a. Your bot know EXACTLY what the opponent is doing
b. Your bot knows IMMEDIATELY what the opponent is doing

So to conclude to your point quoted above, Not the same thing!

2

simplifylife exploits the formation mechanic and wins championships.

checks opponents' formation from blockchain then sets a counter-formation just before the game

I change formation last minute in "some" games against "specific" players. Why? Because I know for a fact these specific teams have done it to me in the past and continue to do so. There are 3 players specifically (besides the bot) who I need to watch my back against...the fact that at some point these 3 players owned 8 out of the 16 LoC teams is none of my business. One of the 3 is actually a very good friend of mine and we enjoy our little tussles before the games...and after the game we will go and congratulate the one who came out on top.

Knowing someone is poisoning my water and not drinking the anti-venom is stupid, no? You have not been in the LoC for as long as I have been. So before you go on and accuse me of EXPLOITING something, I'd say go do your research...read up on ALL my matches since season 4 (That's when I have started playing the LoC) and then tell me if I am EXPLOITING or simply staying cautious and RESPONDING to having my ass handed to me by these last minute changes by certain teams in the first place.

Again, not saying the teams that have changed formations in the last minute has done anything out of the rules, just saying I will keep watching my back in those certain games. If ALL teams comes to a general consensus that we will not do these last minute changes anymore, I will stop along with them...EVEN IF IT STAYS ALLOWED. I don't need rules to tell me what is right.

The rules are not always right :))

I have enough experience in my small medical career when rules have often gone against my ethics regarding what is best for my patients. So pardon me for not being a Rule book Fanboy :))

3

Similar to how you don't see yourself posting your scoreline as bragging, I also didn't see me as attacking you. Now that I have slept over it and think of it now, I was rude in my approach. I apologize for the way I said stuff last night. I'll never stop admitting my mistakes when it's pointed out correctly. So attacking you...? Yes, my mistake. Exploiting the game...? Never in hell!


As things calmed down a bit later on, Emre made some really good points. I'm quoting them here :

If I won't bot it, somebody else will bot it.
maybe there are already more people

we're in early stages
if bots are a problem, let's solve it
it's better to solve it early then 1 year later

We understand the game DEVs are a bit overworked at the moment and are focused more on getting the tournaments out at the moment. But as Emre said, this is an issue that needs to fixed sooner than later. We all enjoy the game and I'm sure none of us wants to be in the middle of a Splinterlands-like showdown on Rabona. We have clear examples of what can happen if not addressed soon, we need to all agree on learning from the mistakes and try to find a solution if there is one...or to at least limit Bot advantage to a fair extent to the point that it is not a cause of dissent among the users.

The major issue this season

So one thing that needs fixing straightaway is the formation submission time discrepancy. There have been multiple occasions where the bot's team submission at a given time was accepted but players who submitted manually....their submissions didn't count. This is the major beginning point of discontentment among the players. Emre's teams has botted for a few seasons now...but the issue has become a big problem this season only because of this discrepancy in formation submitting time.

Exploring further options

Once the time issue gets fixed, that will give the game devs a breathing space to think about further options for a linger term solution. Else the complains regarding this will keep flooding in. we understand Tim is a bit busy with his life right now, but we hope once he gets the time to, this will be the first thing on his to-do list.

Further options that has been suggested

  • Not Revealing formations before match
  • Removing/decreasing Formation advantage
  • Different formation submitting times for home and away teams

There are certain Pros and Cons of all which continues to be discussed in excruciating details over at the Rabona Discord. One this I was thinking was whether adding a Captcha for submitting teams could be a solution. I have no idea really if that is feasible.

But while we explore further solutions, the issue at hand needs to be addressed ASAP.


P.S. : A lot of these have been discussed on discord..but I think these are important discussions that should stay on chain rather than on discord.

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