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Anti Cheating - Flag System Proposal

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For a long time now SM have had a system in place in order to combat cheating in it's various forms which relies upon a person providing information in account to a potentially illegitimate/unlawful/illegal incident usually between managers in the form of being multiple accounts conducting 'unfair'

Having been a member of the SM community and the game since March 2006 I am well aware of the times when there was no system in place at all in order to try and combat those who would look to gain an unfair advantage and fully appreciate the improvements over the years to address these issues.

Current & Previous Anti Cheating System

The ticket system was implemented and allowed for members of the community to bring to the attention potential issues in game worlds & also general problems, for example fixtures not being played etc. I fully understand that this system resulted in lot's of work for the SM team in order to read through and investigate into potentially thousands of tickets, which is perhaps not realistic or manageable to a full extent.

The current system has been in place now for quite some time and I believe need's to be addressed and improved as I feel do many people from the SM community.

Personally I do not think that the system in place needs to be revolutionised but more so tweaked in order for more sound reports to be made upon links brought to SM’s attention by the community.

This system in place relies on one person providing sufficient information upon something they believe is not fair, be it a transfer, match fixing, multiple accounts and so forth and doing so with enough evidence that the matter is investigated and appropriate actions are taken.

Flaw's in any system are always likely however after many years now I do not believe sufficient evidence has been provided to exhibit that the current system is effective enough to combat incidences the SM community brings to the attention of SM. The main flaw with the current system I believe there is with this system is that an incident can be reported on one occasion and should there not be ‘sufficient’ evidence at that time in order for there to be action taken, there is no opportunity for further evidence to be reported by the community on an issue.

Example

A match is played between two clubs in Gameworld X. The result is a 5-0 victory for ‘Club A’ versus ‘Club B’. Upon looking into this result a manager within the game world finds that interestingly ‘Club B’ fielded a team with a completely new formation and team with an average rating considerably lower than in usual fixtures and reports it as potential match fixing.

Of course with this one report and little evidence due to the likelihood that this could be the manager of ‘Club B’ fielding a rotated squad for fitness or whatever reasons, SM would find there to not be enough evidence to find this an issue in need of further investigating.

‘Club B’ continues to play fixtures and returns to using highly rated match day squads, however when ‘Club B’ and ‘Club A’ meet in a future fixture, once again ‘Club B’ fields a squad with a considerably lower rated squad.

This further evidence cannot however be reported to SM as upon writing a message to notify SM of the further evidence coupled with the prior report of ‘Match Fixing’ you are informed of something along the lines of ‘SM has investigated this incident and believe no further action should be taken’.

Of course with this new evidence a better case has been developed for the links between these two clubs and perhaps should be investigated, however as it has been reported in the past it cannot be reported again.

I believe that a new updated system which would be more efficient but also manageable should be introduced and therefore would like to suggest a ‘Flag System’ used by various other online games I have experienced in the past and found to be very effective.

SM Worlds Relaunch

In a recent topic SM have revealed the following on Page 4 of the post ‘SM Worlds Relaunch’;

Cheating

When caught cheating, there will be no deals between the two

managers for a week.

The SMFA won’t block transfers now as the player values have

been adjusted to prevent unfair deals / noobs getting fleeced.

Allow them to send a support ticket in which will be read by human.

Whilst this suggests that improvements / changes are being made does this

mean that being caught cheating will stop you doing deals for a week and

then these accounts can continue as they were? Is this the only punishment

that will be inflicted?

Are the support tickets being brought back in general for all reporting of

transfers / multiple accounts and such?

The Flag System

When a user believes there has been an incident where by the SM code of conduct has potentially been broken they are able to ‘report’ the incident to SM very much alike to the current system.

They are prompted to provide information in order to support the link they believe to have broken SM code of conduct with a minimum 100 word report.

Upon filling this report the system would record a ‘Flag x 1’ on the specific incident reported.

Example

Club List - Report Multiple Account - First Account ‘Club A’ - Second Account ‘Club B’.

User 1 files a 100+ word report on the two clubs with the evidence they believe to be appropriate in order for the clubs to be invested as ‘multiple accounts’.

Upon filling the report they will receive a message along the lines of; ‘Thank you for the report submitted between ‘Club A’ & ‘Club B’ the report will be investigated in due course’ & they will then see that the two clubs they reported has 1x Flag

User 2 files a 100+ word report between the two clubs and upon submission would receive the same message.

Both User 1 & User 2 will now able to see that ‘Club A’ & ‘Club B’ have 2x Flag.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

The word reports submitted I would suggest stay confidential and each user can only see the report that they submitted.

Should an individual whom has submitted a report find more evidence, they can submit a further report which will be added separately, time stamped and such, below their initial report. - This will incur no extra flag on the two clubs reported.

The SM team will have a collaborated report from all users whom have reported an incident / link between accounts for example however will not be prompted to investigate the issue until specifically set criteria has been met.

This specific criteria will be setup upon the game worlds size and a specific number of users within the game world; Game world X has 80 teams managed and a set 10% flag quantity required for the link to be investigated.

This figure is of course suggestive; if 10% of users were to have reported an issue / occurrence there would likely be sufficient evidence or perception within the game world that something against SM’s code of conduct has occurred.

Example

European game worlds = 24 managed teams, 10% would be 2.4 users.

To be investigated there would need to be 3 users reporting an issue.

Original English & World championship game worlds = 80 managed teams, 10% would be 8 users.

To be investigated there would need to be 8 users reporting an issue.

At this time those whom have reported the issue could possibly be informed that ‘An investigation into the link between ‘Club A’ & ‘Club B’ is being taken’.

Positive Points

  • I believe that with this quantity of information provided and general consensus within a game world that there is an issue where SM code of conduct has been broken that there will be a good collaboration and evidence provided to investigate.
  • Reports on potential breaking of SM code of conduct leading to investigation would not be reliant upon only the first person’s submitted report.
  • A number of the community would have found there to be a breach of SM’s code of conduct.
  • It would eliminate the current frustrating situation where you complete a detailed report of a break in SM’s code of conduct only to be informed that ‘the matter has been investigated and no action was taken’.
  • It would allow for a complete collaboration of evidence to be formed over a period of time to support the complaint(s).
  • It would prevent dupe / multiple accounts reporting issues poorly in order to prevent further investigations as has been known to occur.

Mutual Points

  • Relatively identical reports could be submitted reporting an issue. This could be suggested as Positive; it would support the claim made that the SM code of conduct has been broken. Negative; the same report and therefore little ranging evidence has been submitted giving SM little evidence to be acted upon. The individual / team investigating would therefore need to decide whether sufficient evidence had been submitted to act upon or if further evidence were required.
  • It might encourage use of the news feed in order to gain support of reports. Positive as it would allow for a widespread opinions to be formulated. Negative as that may well result in the same reports being made.

Negative Points

  • Some issues raised by the SM community might not receive the required game world user percentage in order to be investigated by SM, however if there are not sufficient reports then arguably there isn’t enough of a concern from the game world.

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In conclusion I believe the ‘Flag System’ to be of significant improvement upon the current system in place and arguably takes point of both the previous Ticket system and current Report system, highlighting positives from both and additionally trying to remove the negative.

I believe that it’s time for the system to be revolutionised in order to hopefully address the issue of breaches of SM code of conduct in SM Worlds which I personally would debate has never been taken as seriously as it should have been. Having been involved in many of the bigger 'community' game worlds in the past the feeling of needing to police your own game worlds is something which I believe has always bothered users and should be addressed in order to better prevent cheating.

All opinions and constructive criticisms welcome.

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I'm playing SM for a couple of months, it has been a great experience, I love the game, found good and honest users, but... CHEATERS ARE ALL AROUND...

I started noticed many suspicious deals, new "users" selling its best players in pathetic deals, and when the dirty job is done, either resign or stay 30 days without login...

I'm sure you all know the MO

I reported all the blatant situations. SMFA only acted one time

- a recently created account made pathetic and quick deals, clearly benefiting the main account. Both new and old accounts were playing at the exact same gws... SMFA removed the new manager, but... the INFRACTOR HAD NO PUNISHMENT... got Neymar for peanuts, is still managing and what's worrying is that he has a 260 reputation, which means that you can be a cheater for a long time...

this could be a joke, but I know a guy that has 2 main accounts, intitled "xxxxx" and "xxxxx2"... and was caught with more fake accounts...

at this exact moment there's a manager with 2 fake accounts, doing what you know... I reported to SMFA, but I already know that the answer will be an automated meaningless message...

CHEATERS JUST DON'T GET PUNISHED...

IS THIS ACCEPTABLE?

is SM worried about this huge problem called CHEATING?

Am I being stupid for playing by the rules, fairly, being polite, reporting cheaters?... should I become a moron and join the "dark side"?...

SM is wonderful game, and I hope that SM is worried with its reputation and game integrity, and starts taking serious actions against cheating, otherwise honest people like me are just being stupid for playing an inequitable game

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Cheers for flagging this thread up Dan. There are some good ideas in your post and i've forwarded them on as we are currently making several changes to the systems that we have in place (so you can say that this is good timing to flag your proposals up).

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Some good ideas here' date=' too - not too dissimilar, either: [/quote']

Hadn't checked this thread for a while so thanks for the reminder David.

Cheers for flagging this thread up Dan. There are some good ideas in your post and i've forwarded them on as we are currently making several changes to the systems that we have in place (so you can say that this is good timing to flag your proposals up).

No problem Steven. This has personally been my biggest issue with SM for years. I've gotten over various other issues I'd had with areas of the game but I've never been able to get over the ease of cheating and at times the near impossible task of removing clear multiple/dup accounts even when 90% of a game world knew it to be occurring. Change is good' date=' I look forward to seeing the proposals & then changes implemented to the anti cheating side of the game.

I would also like to add a post from the SM World Relaunch thread which was posted by Rio31 which I would like to address & hopefully here it will be considered along with the 'flag system' proposal in the original post.

I've been saying all along, to fully get rid of cheaters, SM needs to make it to where you have to purchase Club Slots, to enter GW's. If I decide to leave that GW, I am not allowed back in, unless I purchase another club slot. Now, if you are caught cheating, and kicked out of a GW, that account, should be banned, FOR LIFE, from SM.

...Cheaters will have to make another, stupid duplicate account, and have to spend more money, if they want to keep cheating. Now, I don't even think cheaters would want to do this. I may be wrong.

At least make it to where you have to buy Club Slots for GC's, instead of GM Days.

Whilst the club slot proposal for Gold Championship clubs as opposed to the GM Days is perhaps a slightly different issue, I believe there's some scope here which could be adapted into all game worlds which could help address the issue of cheating to an extent.

I would presume that SM does not plan to ever remove the 'free to play' game worlds and nor should they in my opinion, however I fully believe that there should be a limit, so to speak, for the ability to play for free.

Suggestion

An account may join a game world on one occasion for free, keeping the 'free to play' game world option in place, however I feel that if a manager leaves a game world and would like to rejoin that game world they could be reverted to a small charge to do so due to previously leaving this game world.

The proposal wouldn't of course address cheating too much however it would hopefully prevent managers from 'bouncing' in & out of game worlds when clubs are, so to speak, released to the general public having been offered to another manager in that game world whom has either rejected the offer or left the offer to expire.

From experience I find that people will log in at the known times that clubs are often 'released' to the public, join the game world quickly in order to ensure they get the team and then proceed to check the team and decide if they would like to manage it or not. This is very common in the more 'elite' / 'original' game worlds where clubs are appear to be desired more. These people will enter a game world on multiple occasions just to get to a time when a team that is released is of a standard which they would like to manage in that game world.

I don't believe this charge should be anything drastic at all but only ensure there is a deterrent to prevent these managers doing this 'bouncing' in and out of game worlds. - £0.49p-£0.99p for example for the chance to return to a game world that an account previously left could help prevent this occurring.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I fully understand that the ability to IP block cheaters is not going to work due to IP blocks sometimes preventing certain areas from playing SM rather than the intended individual alone however there must be some improvements to the methods currently used to stop multiple/dup accounts as well as 'bouncing' accounts which more often than not are actually the people/accounts which end up partaking in cheating/illegal incidents.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now the proposal from 'Rio31' in Gold game worlds I believe is a very good one in general although I believe it's flaws come from the impact upon the various benefits received from being a Gold Member such as the ability to use the Gold Shortlist across various game worlds. I would suggest that this purchasing of a slot within a specific game world could be made available to managers that are not Gold Members to allow them to join Gold game worlds without purchasing the Gold Membership, however there are many flaws within that suggestion as arguably this would make it easier for multiple accounts to join Gold game worlds and so is in need of much more deliberation.

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