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Justinkp
06-16-2013, 10:33 PM
Let's say I get a bunch of friends to start an account in an attempt to get them hooked on the game. If many of them fail to have much, if any, interest if I keep them in the game just so they'll subscribe to the VIP system and give me the packs with me paying for it, is this abusing the VIP system?

It seems pretty obvious that it is, but it seems hard to control, and it will tempt many otherwise ethical people. What if they play a little bit but you still do the above, is it still an abuse? I'm not sure where the line is, if they pay for it themselves just to do you a favor, since after all, its not very much money is that an abuse? Would seem less so in that case.

On a side note has it been said if VIP boosters can be primal? I don't recall. With all of the people trying to guess AH prices of boosters the odds and value of primal packs are significant variables that make speculation pretty difficult until we know.

Sorry to make yet another "VIP abuse" thread but I'm genuinely curious where the line is or should be drawn.

Justin

jaxsonbateman
06-16-2013, 10:38 PM
They'll be able to track money movements and lack thereof. If X accounts suddenly stop doing anything except getting boosters, and transferring them or their profits to one 'main' account, I'd like to think they'd notice.

In any case, they wouldn't be happy with this - I asked if I didn't merge my KS accounts would there be an issue with trading items frequently between them. They said no, and that the major thing they didn't want to see happening was those accounts all signed up to VIP.

As for primals from VIP - I'm no help there, but I was under the impression any boosters you got direct from CZE could become primal (hence draft prizes turning primal).

Malicus
06-16-2013, 10:45 PM
Yes this would be abuse and the lack of action except VIP booster trading would likely flag it as such.

hammer
06-16-2013, 10:48 PM
I love pretty much everything that CZE have pitched so far but the price structure for the VIP is ill-conceived and will lead to abuse and have a huge impact on the hex economy. I really hope they rethink or make some limitation on the use / trade-ability of the VIP packs.

Justinkp
06-16-2013, 10:49 PM
They'll be able to track money movements and lack thereof. If X accounts suddenly stop doing anything except getting boosters, and transferring them or their profits to one 'main' account, I'd like to think they'd notice.

In any case, they wouldn't be happy with this - I asked if I didn't merge my KS accounts would there be an issue with trading items frequently between them. They said no, and that the major thing they didn't want to see happening was those accounts all signed up to VIP.

As for primals from VIP - I'm no help there, but I was under the impression any boosters you got direct from CZE could become primal (hence draft prizes turning primal).

I wonder if they'll bother with the "small fry"people maybe getting boosters from 5 accounts or if they'll devote their resources to the major exploiters.

Also if you have super casual friends who play 1-2 times a month would it be considered abuse if you buy them into VIP to get the boosters? Probably, but they'd have a much harder time catching that.

I was figuring the same with VIP boosters being able to go primal but this also increases the value of exploiting the system so thought they might limit it

I tend not to worry as much as some about major exploiting of the program, but wonder exactly how the lines will be drawn for what is considered exploiting. If I get a few friends to become super casual hex players I'd be tempted to buy them into the VIP program.

Justin

jaxsonbateman
06-16-2013, 10:56 PM
If your friends are actually playing, I'm sure their play patterns will indicate as such and they'll be safe. Though CZE may still look sternly upon the accounts if all the vip boosters or earnings are getting funneled off elsewhere.

funktion
06-16-2013, 10:56 PM
Anytime you catch you self asking... "Is this an abuse of xxx program." You ought to already know the answer before even asking. With that said, each your "friends" needs to be paying for the VIP with a unique credit card... so there's that whole part of convincing them to be giving you $4 dollars every month...

Archangel_Vex
06-16-2013, 11:09 PM
I'm actually planning on doing just this, they're not going to boot off paying VIP subs.

OutlandishMatt
06-16-2013, 11:11 PM
I don't see the problem with it. It's only a slight discount and it will be insignificant to the grand scheme of things. Not to mention it's digital goods that costs them probably less than a penny a pack. Also, I would say that would be wrong of Cryptozoic to tell you what you could and could not do with your packs.

Fireblast
06-16-2013, 11:12 PM
You'd need a credit card for each account.
I plan on having 2 accounts, but only one VIP

~

Brumby66
06-16-2013, 11:15 PM
I'm actually planning on doing just this, they're not going to boot off paying VIP subs.

They will if it is ruining the economy. A healthy economy is worth more than a few bucks here and there. The sustained life of the game is going to be more profitable than the short term collapse due to allowing scammers. They have their priorities sorted, but if you want to try it go ahead. I don't think they are going to be very lenient on things that they've already clearly stated.

Justinkp
06-16-2013, 11:19 PM
Anytime you catch you self asking... "Is this an abuse of xxx program." You ought to already know the answer before even asking. With that said, each your "friends" needs to be paying for the VIP with a unique credit card... so there's that whole part of convincing them to be giving you $4 dollars every month...

Most of my friends wouldn't care much about $4 a month and it would be easy enough to give them the money anyway.

How much does an account have to play to be "legitimate"? A lot of the people I know who I'll try to convince to play are very busy, and may play once a month if that. And if all the boosters are being funneled to another account shouldn't the player be allowed to decide where it goes, as long as its a real account even if it plays very infrequently.

For that reason I kind of expect CZE not to bother with small time, less than 5-10 accounts transferring boosters as the chances of getting false positives may make it not worth their while. I expect they'll focus on the serious exploiters dealing with hundreds or thousands of accounts.

I'm not really planning on doing this, although I have enough friends I plan to try to get to play who likely won't that it is tempting. I'm mostly wondering how CZE will draw the line in ambiguous cases and how clear they'll make their policies.

Justin

jaxsonbateman
06-16-2013, 11:21 PM
I'm actually planning on doing just this, they're not going to boot off paying VIP subs.
I can tell you now, I emailed them asking if it was ok to keep my KS tiers separate and just transfer items and cards between them frequently. They said that was fine. The only thing they had issue with was having multiple accounts signed up to VIP. I'd say they care about it a great deal.

Justinkp
06-16-2013, 11:23 PM
They will if it is ruining the economy. A healthy economy is worth more than a few bucks here and there. The sustained life of the game is going to be more profitable than the short term collapse due to allowing scammers. They have their priorities sorted, but if you want to try it go ahead. I don't think they are going to be very lenient on things that they've already clearly stated.

Large scale effects on the economy are going to be caused by the people doing this with hundreds or thousands of accounts. Its hard to see them spending resources on people doing this with several accounts, which would have a negligible effect on the economy (of course if everyone does this the effect isn't that negligible anymore). I guess we'll see what their exact policy and level of enforcement is.

Justin

jaxsonbateman
06-16-2013, 11:35 PM
Doing something because you can get away with it and not because it's not wrong seems like the same sort of mentality people use with botting, item duplicating, win trading and whatever other tricks there have been in MMOs.

Brumby66
06-16-2013, 11:36 PM
Large scale effects on the economy are going to be caused by the people doing this with hundreds or thousands of accounts. Its hard to see them spending resources on people doing this with several accounts, which would have a negligible effect on the economy (of course if everyone does this the effect isn't that negligible anymore). I guess we'll see what their exact policy and level of enforcement is.

Justin

Yeah. If they allow people to do it on 5 accounts without repercussions then everyone will. Nobody would pay the full price of a booster. I think they will likely send a strong message regardless of whether it is a small number of accounts. If they can get the message across that they won't tolerate it then it will be better for them.

Justinkp
06-16-2013, 11:43 PM
Doing something because you can get away with it and not because it's not wrong seems like the same sort of mentality people use with botting, item duplicating, win trading and whatever other tricks there have been in MMOs.

This is a good point, though I'm not sure that doing this on a small scale is necessarily "wrong" (in that it will negatively affect the game as the other examples you gave do). I'm also looking for the ambiguous cases which are harder to tell if they are wrong/exploitative. For instance if I get my father to play and he only plays PvE content which is very likely (I wish there was more multiplayer PvE content besides raids but that's another topic) and he buys into the VIP program only to give me the booster packs is this wrong or an abuse of the system? It doesn't really feel like it to me but others may disagree.

Justin

Mike411
06-16-2013, 11:48 PM
I'm actually planning on doing just this, they're not going to boot off paying VIP subs.

They've made it clear that multiple VIP for one person is abuse, and the president of the company has said he will have 0 tolerance for abuse. Just in case you weren't aware of that prior to making that statement.

As for them changing the VIP program, I wish they would as well.

Justinkp
06-16-2013, 11:52 PM
Yeah. If they allow people to do it on 5 accounts without repercussions then everyone will. Nobody would pay the full price of a booster. I think they will likely send a strong message regardless of whether it is a small number of accounts. If they can get the message across that they won't tolerate it then it will be better for them.

You're probably right and it would be in their best interests to crack down early to send that message. But if the game is very popular they will have to devote more and more resources to stop the high level, organized abusers and the small-scale abusers will likely start to slip through the cracks. I'm not saying this is right, but I'm not sure what they can do to stop it other than spending massive resources to stop the smaller scale abusers which may not make sense for them from a cost/benefit analysis. And if you are abusing the system on a small scale its not hard to do it in a way that's difficult for them to detect. I don't know what the answer is, it does seem like the VIP system may end up being a bigger headache to them than its worth. Maybe it would have been better to give non transferable draft tickets rather than boosters, seems much more difficult to abuse (but likely wouldn't give them the revenue stream that the current VIP system will)

Justin

jaxsonbateman
06-16-2013, 11:58 PM
I don't know how Blizzard does it, but I do recall in vanilla WoW there was one point where they did a massive ban wave on botters, banning thousands of them at once. While their warden software probably flagged an account the moment it was detected, and then they banned everyone all at once, it's very feasible that CZE could have software to flag irregularities with accounts, for either quick review or a banning sweep at some point.

Of course, it's not quite as convenient given that there's a difference between detecting illegal software and detecting random patterns that could be legit, but if they really want to crack down on it they'll be able to.

Of course, people likely will slip through the cracks.

AstaSyneri
06-17-2013, 12:04 AM
I'd anticipate there to be the following solution:

A) Kickstarter accounts (those would be easily identified): You go lenient on those. They are limited. At best shoot them a friendly warning, if it goes beyond a certain point.
B) Post-KS accounts: You stamp down hard on those 5000 pre-paid CCs from China, that show now other activity at all.

The purpose of the VIP program is to get people over the "buy hurdle": Get them used to pay small amounts and get really good value. Once they have started to invest in the game (obviously we KS backers are way beyond that ;-)), it is much more likely that they continue to pay (even small) money over time. And those are the sales CZE must be interested in.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 12:10 AM
I don't know how Blizzard does it, but I do recall in vanilla WoW there was one point where they did a massive ban wave on botters, banning thousands of them at once. While their warden software probably flagged an account the moment it was detected, and then they banned everyone all at once, it's very feasible that CZE could have software to flag irregularities with accounts, for either quick review or a banning sweep at some point.

Of course, it's not quite as convenient given that there's a difference between detecting illegal software and detecting random patterns that could be legit, but if they really want to crack down on it they'll be able to.

Of course, people likely will slip through the cracks.

It seems difficult to really crack down on the small-timers. If I have 5 accounts and play each of them once or twice a month how can they tell for sure? And I'm sure there are pretty simple ways to make it even harder to detect (I could go into detail but I don't know if I should give people ideas). Sure it will seem suspicious if those accounts are sending boosters to one account but as long as that's allowed I don't see what they can really do that doesn't risk a lot of false positives. Plus no matter what they say, each of those accounts IS giving them $4/month which will effect their enforcement. It seems like a pretty difficult problem to deal with effectively which increases the amount of resources they'll need to deal with and lowers the probability that it will actually be worth it for them to do so.

Justin

djlowballer
06-17-2013, 12:20 AM
credit cards aren't even a big deal. My bank issues me as many unique cards and numbers as I want so long as I keep my total relationship value (investment, savings, etc) at a certain level.

Rapkannibale
06-17-2013, 12:20 AM
It will all come down to what they write into the EULA when the game launches. As it stands right now as long as you have different credit cards and don't have unrealistic number of accounts I don't think they will be able to police it.

Who is to say that I don't have 4 brothers all living under the same roof that maybe only play once a month and are fine giving me their VIP boosters. I am of the opinion that if CZE don't want people to have multiple accounts with VIP subs then it is their responsibility to make it clear that it is not allowed and put systems in place to prevent abuse.

So that could be things like only one VIP per IP (although there are ways around that of course) and specifically calling it out in the EULA (although most people don't read that).

I think as long as people are not creating dozens of VIP accounts and fluffing the AH or secondary market it won't have an impact on the game that is significant enough to warrant banning the player or something like that. People having two or three VIP accounts for their personal use means that they are giving CZE regular money that they can better forecast against, it also means they are really enhanced with the game and will likely spend more money that just the subs.

Just my 2 cents. :) will be interesting to see what their official stance on it will be.

Edit: wrote this on iPhone so apologies for typos and such.

Skirovik
06-17-2013, 12:20 AM
It seems difficult to really crack down on the small-timers. If I have 5 accounts and play each of them once or twice a month how can they tell for sure?

They can see the IP being used for each account. I'm not saying this is foolproof, but it makes it harder than just having 5 accounts.


Plus no matter what they say, each of those accounts IS giving them $4/month which will effect their enforcement.

I really don't think you've been paying attention to Cory and his videos/interviews. He said he has a 0 tolerance for abusing the system. He will genuinely not care about your extra $4/month. This is an abuse of the system and there is 0 tolerance for it.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 12:32 AM
They can see the IP being used for each account. I'm not saying this is foolproof, but it makes it harder than just having 5 accounts.



I really don't think you've been paying attention to Cory and his videos/interviews. He said he has a 0 tolerance for abusing the system. He will genuinely not care about your extra $4/month. This is an abuse of the system and there is 0 tolerance for it.

Of course he says that but if you don't think an average of $4 per person compared to $20+ per person won't effect how they react to this issue I don't think that's realistic.

The IP issue will make it somewhat trickier but as Rapkannibale says why couldn't a whole family be playing from the same house? They aren't going to want to risk banning legitimate customers which makes enforcement of the minor abusers much, much harder.

Justin

Skirovik
06-17-2013, 12:37 AM
Of course he says that but if you don't think an average of $4 per person compared to $20+ per person won't effect how they react to this issue I don't think that's realistic.


Honestly, I belive Cory to be a man of his word. Effectively you are saying NO-ONE will be banned for VIP abuse because the more VIPs, the more money he makes. If someone has 5,000 accounts, all VIPs, you don't think they will get banned? It's $20,000 more per month! Please, give me a break!


The IP issue will make it somewhat trickier but as Rapkannibale says why couldn't a whole family be playing from the same house? They aren't going to want to risk banning legitimate customers which makes enforcement of the minor abusers much, much harder.

This is a legitimate problem and one that has plagued many games. I remember people talking about having issues with Blizzard in regards to multiple WoW accounts on the same IP. It'll be the same thing. I'm sure there are ways around this problem (for both sides).

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 12:46 AM
Honestly, I belive Cory to be a man of his word. Effectively you are saying NO-ONE will be banned for VIP abuse because the more VIPs, the more money he makes. If someone has 5,000 accounts, all VIPs, you don't think they will get banned? It's $20,000 more per month! Please, give me a break!
).

No, I'm saying that acting as if a company will completely ignore the monetary incentives in devising their strategy to deal with a problem is not realistic.

I expect them to go after the big league exploiters both because its easier and they have a larger, negative impact on the game. The smaller abusers are more difficult to track and prove they're abusing the system and will possibly not be worth the resources needed to go after them-and the extra money being brought in will effect the strategy they use to deal with this. They are a business after all.

Justin

Xtopher
06-17-2013, 01:20 AM
The effectiveness of a rule or law is determined by two things: Enforceability and the level of penalty for breaking the rule. If it's difficult to enforce the 1 VIP account per person rule, but they make the penalty for being caught a permanent closing of your account on the first offense, then fewer people are likely to break the rule.

I doubt they'd ratchet the penalty that high, but I think it would be an effective deterrent. Kind of like if they had the death penalty for illegally parking in handicap spots. You'd never see a car parked in one without the proper tags.

Patrigan
06-17-2013, 01:21 AM
Tbh, it's very simple. All VIP boosters can be uniquely tracked. They have a list of all VIP boosters being handed out. If they see a VIP booster traded to one person, it gets flagged as curious and will now be tracked. If it happens more than once (maybe 3 times), both accounts will get a warning. One more time and both accounts get banned. Zero Tolerance migtht even have them skip this warning. This can all be perfectly automated and it's easy to fix the mistakes afterwards. You just send them a mail explaining the situation and they'll fix it. There will likely be only a small amount of cases where they actually banned by mistake.

This all can be done with no human involvement at all., so if you believe they won't bother, thik again. Chances are high it's an automated system, so they don't even have to do anything.

And please, PLEASE, don't think they won't crack down on small fry. Cryptozoic Entertainment is a fans first, money second kind of company and abuse affects fans in a serious manner.

This was a warning to you. If you don't listen, then don't come back to complain.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 01:37 AM
The effectiveness of a rule or law is determined by two things: Enforceability and the level of penalty for breaking the rule. If it's difficult to enforce the 1 VIP account per person rule, but they make the penalty for being caught a permanent closing of your account on the first offense, then fewer people are likely to break the rule.

I doubt they'd ratchet the penalty that high, but I think it would be an effective deterrent. Kind of like if they had the death penalty for illegally parking in handicap spots. You'd never see a car parked in one without the proper tags.

Heh, I was thinking of something similar. Reminds me of that ST:TNG episode where Wesley is going to get executed for walking on the grass he's not supposed to.

Justin

Athravan
06-17-2013, 01:41 AM
Even if it's in the EULA - if you have a couple of friends who stop playing and you ask if you can have their accounts and continue their VIP programs, or maybe they continue with their card information and give you the boosters and you give them the cash, I seriously doubt that CZE are going to be chasing you screaming "ABUSER" for getting a couple of cheap packs every month extra. My husband is going to be playing for the PvE fun with me, and not for the PvP, he's unlikely to buy cards and I'm going to use all my wifely-wiles to get him in the VIP program and for him to give his boosters to me and I don't think I'm evil incarnate for doing so.

Botters and abusers are going to want to profit by creating hundreds - if not thousands - of accounts consistently and exploiting them. That's what CZE are going to care about, not some guy taking advantage of a couple of his friends accounts who aren't playing anymore or who didn't want to sub to the VIP program themselves.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 01:44 AM
Tbh, it's very simple. All VIP boosters can be uniquely tracked. They have a list of all VIP boosters being handed out. If they see a VIP booster traded to one person, it gets flagged as curious and will now be tracked. If it happens more than once (maybe 3 times), both accounts will get a warning. One more time and both accounts get banned. Zero Tolerance migtht even have them skip this warning. This can all be perfectly automated and it's easy to fix the mistakes afterwards. You just send them a mail explaining the situation and they'll fix it. There will likely be only a small amount of cases where they actually banned by mistake.

This all can be done with no human involvement at all., so if you believe they won't bother, thik again. Chances are high it's an automated system, so they don't even have to do anything.

And please, PLEASE, don't think they won't crack down on small fry. Cryptozoic Entertainment is a fans first, money second kind of company and abuse affects fans in a serious manner.

This was a warning to you. If you don't listen, then don't come back to complain.

This basically makes it not allowable to trade boosters. What if a casual player only has one friend who plays and sells the boosters for $1.25 to that friend, is that abuse?

I also really doubt that they'll ban people with no warning just because an email afterwards could clear things up. That wouldn't sit well with a lot of people. Besides if you can clear it up with an email what's to stop people from lying? And a smart abuser can likely make himself very hard to detect.

Really I'm more interested in the ambiguous cases and if people consider them abuse. Like if a casual PvE player chooses to give their friend their VIP boosters. I have a hard time considering that straight abuse but it would probably appear so to their automatic trackers.

Justin

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 01:48 AM
Even if it's in the EULA - if you have a couple of friends who stop playing and you ask if you can have their accounts and continue their VIP programs, or maybe they continue with their card information and give you the boosters and you give them the cash, I seriously doubt that CZE are going to be chasing you screaming "ABUSER" for getting a couple of cheap packs every month extra. My husband is going to be playing for the PvE fun with me, and not for the PvP, he's unlikely to buy cards and I'm going to use all my wifely-wiles to get him in the VIP program and for him to give his boosters to me and I don't think I'm evil incarnate for doing so.

Botters and abusers are going to want to profit by creating hundreds - if not thousands - of accounts consistently and exploiting them. That's what CZE are going to care about, not some guy taking advantage of a couple of his friends accounts who aren't playing anymore or who didn't want to sub to the VIP program themselves.

That's what I'm thinking but many disagree. However if its pretty much acceptable to do this then nearly everyone will and you'll end up with a very large effect on the economy, so its not a simple issue.

Justin

Athravan
06-17-2013, 01:50 AM
That's what I'm thinking but many disagree. However if its pretty much acceptable to do this then nearly everyone will and you'll end up with a very large effect on the economy, so its not a simple issue.

Justin

If it truly does become an issue where everyone is doing it, to the point where they need to track individuals getting 4 packs extra a month or seriously believe that it's affecting economy, would they not consider adding a caveat to the VIP boosters that VIP Booster packs have a no-trade flag on them? You can open them yourself, or use them in tournaments, but not resell/gift them. That seems more likely to me than every Joe Bloggs getting issued with warnings or being in fear of getting banned when a friend trades them a pack.

Punk
06-17-2013, 01:54 AM
Rule of thumb: If you have to ask if it is abuse, it probably is.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 02:01 AM
If CZE is planning on being as hardcore about bans as some think (no warning ban for trading 3 boosters?!) they need to can the whole VIP program immediately. An account ban from this game can cost someone hundreds or thousands of dollars, and a false positive would actually convince me to sue the shit out of them. If you go to a Magic Pro Tour event and commit a felony they don't come to your house and confiscate every Magic product you've ever bought. My wife's account will be sending me 100% of its PvP content and only be played for very occasional PvE content when she feels like it. The idea that CZE would even think about taking my KS contribution and closing my account for "exploiting" has me pretty agitated. If I even hear about it happening I'll cash out and watch the game fail from a distance. Let's hope they're sane enough to go after people actually cheating, or making a living off selling $1.01 boosters.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 02:04 AM
If it truly does become an issue where everyone is doing it, to the point where they need to track individuals getting 4 packs extra a month or seriously believe that it's affecting economy, would they not consider adding a caveat to the VIP boosters that VIP Booster packs have a no-trade flag on them? You can open them yourself, or use them in tournaments, but not resell/gift them. That seems more likely to me than every Joe Bloggs getting issued with warnings or being in fear of getting banned when a friend trades them a pack.

But would the no trade flag only apply to the booster or the cards in it? Otherwise just open the booster pack and send the cards. And I don't think anyone wants some of their cards non-tradeable in a trading card game. There doesn't really seem to be a good solution, I wonder if they'll regret the program although a constant stream of revenue is great for them.

Justin

ossuary
06-17-2013, 02:47 AM
I really wish people would stop acting like the VIP program will break the game. If CZE is willing to sell it at that price, the math works out for them. Guaranteed subscription money is often more valuable than unknown random pack buying. It may even encourage buying from someone who isn't willing to pay full price. Having variable price points can be very smart business.

They are reasonably confident in their ability to stop exploitation of the system. That's good enough for me.

Rapkannibale
06-17-2013, 02:47 AM
Rule of thumb: If you have to ask if it is abuse, it probably is.

I don't think it is that clear cut in the digital space. Many games introduce features or systems that have not been done before in that form so there is no real reference for people to gauge if something is abuse or not. In addition if there are similar systems they often have inconsistent rules between companies. The developers need to make up the rules and it all depends on how they feel about it and what they want to achieve.

For example, and not saying it is this way, it could be that the financial forecasts for CZE are based on a booster price that is closer to one dollar and that the 2 dollar packs in the store are sold at a "mark up" for people that don't want to "subscribe" or that want boosters at a faster rate than the once a week thats schedule that the VIP options offers.

Now it seems that the DEV's have been quoted saying that they don't want people to have more than one VIP subscription and that is fine. If that is the way they want to go though, they have to make sure that it is crystal clear to everyone. I think they may have gotten a bit too excited about offering this subscription option and didn't think it fully through.

They know people are willing to pay 15 dollars a month for MMOs and that is basically just to access the game and content updates. Their subscription is 4 bucks a month and offers more value than what you are paying. I don't know how they didn't imagine people would want to get 3 to 4 subscriptions to take advantage of this added value.

In hindsight it might have been better to offer a VIP program that gives people a 10 to 20% discount on the purchases of boosters instead of a once a week booster at a 50% discount. That would still be a nice benefit that doesn't really incentivize multiple accounts. Instead it incentivizes repeat purchases of boosters as you are getting more value the more boosters you buy.

Punk
06-17-2013, 02:57 AM
If CZE is planning on being as hardcore about bans as some think (no warning ban for trading 3 boosters?!) they need to can the whole VIP program immediately. An account ban from this game can cost someone hundreds or thousands of dollars, and a false positive would actually convince me to sue the shit out of them. If you go to a Magic Pro Tour event and commit a felony they don't come to your house and confiscate every Magic product you've ever bought. My wife's account will be sending me 100% of its PvP content and only be played for very occasional PvE content when she feels like it. The idea that CZE would even think about taking my KS contribution and closing my account for "exploiting" has me pretty agitated. If I even hear about it happening I'll cash out and watch the game fail from a distance. Let's hope they're sane enough to go after people actually cheating, or making a living off selling $1.01 boosters.

Your post makes me think that you have the mindset of "I traded a booster pack from one account to another, CZE is going to ban me!" It's almost like you are planning on rage quitting before you can even start playing regarding something that CZE hasn't even done. Cory is super adamant about their security. Comparatively, I doubt he gives two shits about a small amount of people getting a deal on extra boosters.

There is going to be thousands of trades every single day. You're going to have to really abuse the VIP program to get in trouble for doing so. Also, I can't imagine that CZE is going to outright ban anyone for trying to abuse the VIP program. I am sure there will be many warnings, which will lead to suspensions, which will then lead to bans.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 03:13 AM
I don't think it is that clear cut in the digital space. Many games introduce features or systems that have not been done before in that form so there is no real reference for people to gauge if something is abuse or not. In addition if there are similar systems they often have inconsistent rules between companies. The developers need to make up the rules and it all depends on how they feel about it and what they want to achieve.

For example, and not saying it is this way, it could be that the financial forecasts for CZE are based on a booster price that is closer to one dollar and that the 2 dollar packs in the store are sold at a "mark up" for people that don't want to "subscribe" or that want boosters at a faster rate than the once a week thats schedule that the VIP options offers.

Now it seems that the DEV's have been quoted saying that they don't want people to have more than one VIP subscription and that is fine. If that is the way they want to go though, they have to make sure that it is crystal clear to everyone. I think they may have gotten a bit too excited about offering this subscription option and didn't think it fully through.

They know people are willing to pay 15 dollars a month for MMOs and that is basically just to access the game and content updates. Their subscription is 4 bucks a month and offers more value than what you are paying. I don't know how they didn't imagine people would want to get 3 to 4 subscriptions to take advantage of this added value.

In hindsight it might have been better to offer a VIP program that gives people a 10 to 20% discount on the purchases of boosters instead of a once a week booster at a 50% discount. That would still be a nice benefit that doesn't really incentivize multiple accounts. Instead it incentivizes repeat purchases of boosters as you are getting more value the more boosters you buy.

Good post. My main intention in starting yet another VIP thread was pointing out certain cases could be ambiguous and people may have very difficult ideas about what constitutes abuse so that hopefully the rules are created with as much clarity as possible.

I do wonder how much they thought it all through and if they were prepared for the unintended consequences. Your idea of 10-20% off boosters or a certain number of draft tickets (or both) may have been the better way to go and this would still give them a solid, reliable revenue stream which is very useful for a company. It would also be interesting if the VIP program provided more value the longer you were in it-so with your example you start at 10% off and get an additional 1% every X number of months you subscribe uninterrupted to the service. That would make it harder for long time subscribers to quit and provide additional incentive to keep playing. Just thought of this, there could be obvious problems I'm not seeing.

Justin

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 03:19 AM
Your post makes me think that you have the mindset of "I traded a booster pack from one account to another, CZE is going to ban me!" It's almost like you are planning on rage quitting before you can even start playing regarding something that CZE hasn't even done. Cory is super adamant about their security. Comparatively, I doubt he gives two shits about a small amount of people getting a deal on extra boosters.

There is going to be thousands of trades every single day. You're going to have to really abuse the VIP program to get in trouble for doing so. Also, I can't imagine that CZE is going to outright ban anyone for trying to abuse the VIP program. I am sure there will be many warnings, which will lead to suspensions, which will then lead to bans.

In fairness to wildcard, he was basically replying to someone who was suggesting there would be as harsh controls as that (banning without warning after 3 trades of booster). I think that level of response is very unlikely but its clear from this thread that people have very different ideas about what constitutes abuse and what the reaction will be/should be.

Basically as long as everything is clear enough there shouldn't be too many problems (I hope).

Justin

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 03:27 AM
I really wish people would stop acting like the VIP program will break the game. If CZE is willing to sell it at that price, the math works out for them. Guaranteed subscription money is often more valuable than unknown random pack buying. It may even encourage buying from someone who isn't willing to pay full price. Having variable price points can be very smart business.

They are reasonably confident in their ability to stop exploitation of the system. That's good enough for me.

This is a good response for "the sky is falling" type of post. I really wasn't all that concerned about VIP program abuse but this thread made me worry a bit more but your post brought me back to reality I think.

If they're willing to sell them for $1, you're right that it must work out for them. Also we all may be greatly undervaluing primal packs which may make buying boosters on the AH not nearly as enticing which will lower any effects on the economy.

And while their being reasonably confident that they can stop abuse isn't quite enough for me given the number of times I've seen companies be wrong about this sort of thing I don't think she worst case scenario is as bad as many make it out to be.

Justin

Punk
06-17-2013, 03:28 AM
In fairness to wildcard, he was basically replying to someone who was suggesting there would be as harsh controls as that (banning without warning after 3 trades of booster). I think that level of response is very unlikely but its clear from this thread that people have very different ideas about what constitutes abuse and what the reaction will be/should be.

Basically as long as everything is clear enough there shouldn't be too many problems (I hope).

Justin

Yep. Our questions will only get answered once we have the EULA/ToS to read through.

Well, a good number of our questions anyway..

Arbiter
06-17-2013, 03:53 AM
Here is the thing though. If an account that was being played elsewhere switches the IP address from which it logs in, then only ever trades packs to another account that is also at that address it is actually indicating that there have been two violations of what will be in the EULA. We know that having multiple VIPs is going to be against the rules (but multiple accounts will be fine). We also know that sharing account passwords is going to be against the rules (and by keeping this account in a friend's name that has been violated). Why wouldn't that warrant a lengthy suspension, if not a ban? Just don't do it.

Families/housemates that have some play activity on those accounts will be fine. And if a family member is no longer actively playing, then they shouldn't be paying for VIP any more (once their current, paid for, VIP period ends). I don't think family members will be the only ones trading boosters away for stuff because they are primarily interested in PVE.

Patrigan
06-17-2013, 04:21 AM
In fairness to wildcard, he was basically replying to someone who was suggesting there would be as harsh controls as that (banning without warning after 3 trades of booster). I think that level of response is very unlikely but its clear from this thread that people have very different ideas about what constitutes abuse and what the reaction will be/should be.

Basically as long as everything is clear enough there shouldn't be too many problems (I hope).

Justin

Yes, it was to my post. Where I gave a simple example how easy it would be to track people that abused the system. The system I showed is sort of a standard, though. Punish first, ask questions later, you hear the stories all the time with companies like Blizzard and Riot.

If there are 999 abusers, then a company is always willing to risk mistakingly punishing the 1000th guy, if they can make a system that tracks the 999 others. By hand, it's neigh impossible to track 999 abusers. I personally would rather they punish 999 abusers and one mistake, than that they can only punish 500 abusers and don't have time to investigate the others.

So if the EULA/ToS indeed forbid multi-account VIPping, then you can be damn sure that they will have a system that tracks both the big fish as well as the small fry. And to be honest, if you have someone send you the VIP booster 3 months in a row, I think it's fairly safe to assume that you're abusing the system.

Chances are indeed high that the system will require a certain minimum of persons sending the VIP booster to one account on a regular basis, but this number might actually be as low as 5 persons. I don't think it will be lower.

If the EULA and ToS don't forbid it, then go wild, I would say. In the end it is all dependant on that.

ossuary
06-17-2013, 04:22 AM
Another point to consider is this: if you violate the ToS heinously, you can be banned, and forfeit anything in your account when that happens. Additionally, the ID based tracking system makes it easy for CZE to do targetted rollbacks. So if someone tries to fraud the VIP system, CZE could shut them down and keep the money the injected, but still delete the packs / cards from the packs they obtained in violation, thus preserving the economy. In that scenario, the fraudster is the only party hurt, and who gives a shit about them? :-)

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 04:38 AM
Yes, it was to my post. Where I gave a simple example how easy it would be to track people that abused the system. The system I showed is sort of a standard, though. Punish first, ask questions later, you hear the stories all the time with companies like Blizzard and Riot.

If there are 999 abusers, then a company is always willing to risk mistakingly punishing the 1000th guy, if they can make a system that tracks the 999 others. By hand, it's neigh impossible to track 999 abusers. I personally would rather they punish 999 abusers and one mistake, than that they can only punish 500 abusers and don't have time to investigate the others.

So if the EULA/ToS indeed forbid multi-account VIPping, then you can be damn sure that they will have a system that tracks both the big fish as well as the small fry. And to be honest, if you have someone send you the VIP booster 3 months in a row, I think it's fairly safe to assume that you're abusing the system.

Chances are indeed high that the system will require a certain minimum of persons sending the VIP booster to one account on a regular basis, but this number might actually be as low as 5 persons. I don't think it will be lower.

If the EULA and ToS don't forbid it, then go wild, I would say. In the end it is all dependant on that.

So if a friend who's only interested in PvE gives you VIP boosters that would automatically be abuse in your mind? I don't know.

I think they will always give warnings though rather than jumping straight to bans. And while its much easier to automate a system that will give false positives I'm not sure they'll do this. I guess I wouldn't mind if it hits 999 guilty people for every one innocent, but I'm afraid any automated system will have much worse percentages.

In the end, as long as whatever way they go, its clear, I don't really care. I still am interested in some of the ambiguous cases of what may be abuse or what may be someone being a good friend. It will be interesting to see exactly how they word things.

Justin

Icepick
06-17-2013, 05:07 AM
It seems to me that quite a few people in this thread are trying to convince themselves that CZE either won't care, or won't be able to tell, if they abuse the VIP program.

Arbiter
06-17-2013, 05:11 AM
So if a friend who's only interested in PvE gives you VIP boosters that would automatically be abuse in your mind? I don't know.

If they are playing, it is not abuse. You are likely giving them things to help them out too. If all they are doing is logging on to give you cards, well, they are hardly playing. The whole point of the VIP is to give a bit of encouragement to get people to do more in their game (whether it is try PVP, go to a few harder dungeons, or even for those that just like the trading aspect to let them see how far they can get with a booster). If they aren't playing the game they don't qualify for the VIP program - it is not there for others to get cheap boosters from. And tracking a VIP account that has no play, and whose only activity is to trade boosters away is not hard and easily automated.



In the end, as long as whatever way they go, its clear, I don't really care. I still am interested in some of the ambiguous cases of what may be abuse or what may be someone being a good friend. It will be interesting to see exactly how they word things.


They've stated their intent pretty unambiguously. Seeing how it is worded will not help. The fact is that all you own and collect requires their services to use, and they can withdraw that (through a ban) at any time. Using the "other people are doing this so I may as well" defense won't save your account.

A person may not have more than one VIP program on any of their accounts.
A person may not share their login information with anyone else (WoW has exceptions for family members in the same house but not housemates, wouldn't be surprised if there was something here too).
VIP programs are for players. If you cease playing, you should cease getting the VIP. Until that point, the boosters are free to do with what you want.

Patrigan
06-17-2013, 05:23 AM
If they are playing, it is not abuse. You are likely giving them things to help them out too. If all they are doing is logging on to give you cards, well, they are hardly playing. The whole point of the VIP is to give a bit of encouragement to get people to do more in their game (whether it is try PVP, go to a few harder dungeons, or even for those that just like the trading aspect to let them see how far they can get with a booster). If they aren't playing the game they don't qualify for the VIP program - it is not there for others to get cheap boosters from. And tracking a VIP account that has no play, and whose only activity is to trade boosters away is not hard and easily automated.




They've stated their intent pretty unambiguously. Seeing how it is worded will not help. The fact is that all you own and collect requires their services to use, and they can withdraw that (through a ban) at any time. Using the "other people are doing this so I may as well" defense won't save your account.

A person may not have more than one VIP program on any of their accounts.
A person may not share their login information with anyone else (WoW has exceptions for family members in the same house but not housemates, wouldn't be surprised if there was something here too).
VIP programs are for players. If you cease playing, you should cease getting the VIP. Until that point, the boosters are free to do with what you want.

This is exactly what I was trying to convene. Though people seemed to jump on my rather simplistic example.

Rapkannibale
06-17-2013, 05:35 AM
If they're willing to sell them for $1, you're right that it must work out for them.

From the info we have right now, they are willing to sell them for $1 as long as each player only has one VIP sub (since there have been comments from Cory and such that they don't want people to have multiple ones) and they only get one pack a week. That doesn't mean they are willing to flat out sell packs at $1 per pack, necessarily. So I feel this post is still valid as there are just some open questions about this.

There is no doubt there is a demand for people to have more than one VIP sub and we are all unclear as to what will be OK and what won't be allowed and what the consequences would be of having more than one if it's not allowed.

Again, I am not of the opinion that having multiple ones for personal use (so not to resell on the AH or external websites) will break the game's economy or should be punished. However if it does end up being against the rules I will abide by them of course.

It is just something that CZE now needs to think about and we should try to be helpful and provide with our feedback. For example. If there is such a great demand for multiple packs a week and people are likely to create dead accounts just for the sub, why not offer several levels of subs: 1 pack a week for 4 bucks, 4 packs for 16 bucks, 10 packs for 40 bucks. IMO they don't even need to further discount it for more packs since people already are willing to sub to more than one VIP program for more packs.

I also liked Jutinkp's suggestion of an increase discount the longer you have been part of the VIP program.

There are many smart people at CZE and I am sure that, together with out help, they will find a good solution. :)

Banquetto
06-17-2013, 05:36 AM
All this talk of VIP abuse seems a tiny bit.. hysterical.

It's one booster a week. The discount boosters for VIPs will pale into insignificance compared to the much cheaper boosters being given out as tournament prizes (e.g. $8 spend on draft entry fees and CZE gives out 12 boosters).

And 5,000 credit cards? Don't be ridiculous. Nobody has 5,000 legit credit cards and nobody with stolen credit cards would burn them on something as moronic as a scheme to make a few dollars per month per card.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 05:55 AM
From the info we have right now, they are willing to sell them for $1 as long as each player only has one VIP sub (since there have been comments from Cory and such that they don't want people to have multiple ones) and they only get one pack a week. That doesn't mean they are willing to flat out sell packs at $1 per pack, necessarily. So I feel this post is still valid as there are just some open questions about this.

There is no doubt there is a demand for people to have more than one VIP sub and we are all unclear as to what will be OK and what won't be allowed and what the consequences would be of having more than one if it's not allowed.

Again, I am not of the opinion that having multiple ones for personal use (so not to resell on the AH or external websites) will break the game's economy or should be punished. However if it does end up being against the rules I will abide by them of course.

It is just something that CZE now needs to think about and we should try to be helpful and provide with our feedback. For example. If there is such a great demand for multiple packs a week and people are likely to create dead accounts just for the sub, why not offer several levels of subs: 1 pack a week for 4 bucks, 4 packs for 16 bucks, 10 packs for 40 bucks. IMO they don't even need to further discount it for more packs since people already are willing to sub to more than one VIP program for more packs.

I also liked Jutinkp's suggestion of an increase discount the longer you have been part of the VIP program.

There are many smart people at CZE and I am sure that, together with out help, they will find a good solution. :)

Well offering a larger number of packs at that price isn't really in their financial interest. If they were fine with that they'd probably be fine with multiple VIP accounts. I do wonder if the suggestion of a discount rather than $1 packs was the way to go as this would have given people an incentive to buy more as the more you buy the more savings you get.

I'm glad you liked my idea of greater rewards the longer you're in the program but that was just off the top of my head and obviously would need to be thought through carefully.

Fortunately they have an economist on staff (hopefully a good one) who will help them from making mistakes that come back to haunt them later.

I don't think the VIP program will become as much of an issue as some think but it does have the potential to perhaps affect the economy in a negative way. There's also the issue, that I don't know has been brought up, that when players see the $1 boosters they'll irrationally feel as if they're getting cheated paying $2 and this could increase the demand for people to abuse the system to give these entitled players what they want. Just a thought.

Justin

Kietay
06-17-2013, 05:59 AM
This is why they need to change the VIP program. They will not be able to detect tens of thousands of people doing this and that is what will happen.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 06:00 AM
All this talk of VIP abuse seems a tiny bit.. hysterical.

It's one booster a week. The discount boosters for VIPs will pale into insignificance compared to the much cheaper boosters being given out as tournament prizes (e.g. $8 spend on draft entry fees and CZE gives out 12 boosters).

And 5,000 credit cards? Don't be ridiculous. Nobody has 5,000 legit credit cards and nobody with stolen credit cards would burn them on something as moronic as a scheme to make a few dollars per month per card.

Yes, there does tend to be a lot of "the sky is falling" posts as I said, but that's just human nature.

Though there is the possibility of a negative effect on the economy, most likely through Chinese sweat shops trying to exploit the system which almost certainly will happen if the game is successful.

Even in the worst case I doubt its something that people should be worrying about as much as they are. I do find everyone's' views on the situation and the sometimes radically different responses people call for interesting-more interesting than the actual "problem" really.

Justin

Genocidal
06-17-2013, 06:14 AM
And 5,000 credit cards? Don't be ridiculous. Nobody has 5,000 legit credit cards and nobody with stolen credit cards would burn them on something as moronic as a scheme to make a few dollars per month per card.

Getting a virtual, limited use card number from most banks is trivial and the banks are happy to do it because it cuts down on fraud and makes fraud attempts easier to pinpoint which saves them money.

To the topic at hand, if you have to ask, then yes. Marking VIP boosters (but not the cards inside) as account bound will curb a lot of potential abuse cases and make sure that the packs are going towards personal use as intended. You'll still run into the issue of people running a fleet of accounts to crack packs and sell off the cards inside for profit, but this is riskier (not all rares are worth the same and most will be worth less than a pack), takes more time, and is pretty obvious to detect.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 06:40 AM
Thanks to others that correctly identified my comments as narrow in scope, and limited to the situations at the very extreme of liberal use of banning.

I'll just also add that if something is going to be an auto-perma-ban that wipes out thousands in digital assets, CZE should at least do something to try and prevent it. Otherwise it's like putting a kid in a sandbox and when he touches the red shovel electrocuting him for violating chapter 4 subsection f of your 20 page EULA that states red shovels are not to be touched. In this case, if you detect that an account is VIP, but not playing enough to be above threshold, stop the attempted trade of VIP boosters with an explanation of why the trade won't be allowed. Don't facilitate the trade and then erase everyone's card collections. I like to think they're smart enough to do this, but again there are posts in this thread advocating that because this is a black and white policy, the 1 in 1000 innocent victims are just SOL.

Prism
06-17-2013, 06:41 AM
just make the VIP boosters untradable and unable to turn into primal packs. That'd solve everything

jai151
06-17-2013, 06:52 AM
Okay, I keep seeing two issues pop up in this thread as "innocent," getting a friend or family member to sign up for VIP and give you all their packs and getting someone who's stopped playing to give you their VIP packs (or their account), both being repaid under the table.

Both would be violations.

Any time the system boils down to "I'm using multiple accounts to get multiple VIP subscriptions" it's a violation. And no, you won't have a leg to stand on in trying to have a court case, as someone mentioned.

Now, will they ban outright from those violations? Probably not. You'd likely get at least get a warning first, along with a rollback and probably a direct cancellation of VIP subscription on all accounts and an account flag put in place to keep you from re-subscribing.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 06:56 AM
My wife and I are two separate people, two accounts, two VIP subs, and she is willingly giving me all the packs from her VIP sub. How is this clearly a violation of the rules? What it *is* is a situation that could very easily be "caught" by an auto-perma-ban bot.

jai151
06-17-2013, 07:00 AM
My wife and I are two separate people, two accounts, two VIP subs, and she is willingly giving me all the packs from her VIP sub. How is this clearly a violation of the rules? What it *is* is a situation that could very easily be "caught" by an auto-perma-ban bot.

You're getting two VIP subscriptions worth of packs on one account. How is it not a violation?

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 07:04 AM
You're getting two VIP subscriptions worth of packs on one account. How is it not a violation?

So you're not allowed to choose to give your VIP boosters away to whoever you want? Then why not make them non transferable as many people have suggested?

Edit: And are you saying you'd get kicked out of the VIP program with no warning when you get VIP boosters sent to you if you're already a member? That would be an incredible griefing tool. Make a throwaway account with VIP, send someone cards and get them knocked out of the program and maybe banned. A lot of these solutions ironically are prone to extreme griefing just by sending people boosters.

Justin

jai151
06-17-2013, 07:08 AM
So you're not allowed to choose to give your VIP boosters away to whoever you want? Then why not make them non transferable as many people have suggested?

Justin

I have no opinion either way on making them non-transferable.

But while you can trade them, giving them all away is going to raise flags. Outside of someone abusing the system, who is legitimately going to sign up for VIP access and then give all of their boosters away to the same account every month?

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 07:14 AM
I have no opinion either way on making them non-transferable.

But while you can trade them, giving them all away is going to raise flags. Outside of someone abusing the system, who is legitimately going to sign up for VIP access and then give all of their boosters away to the same account every month?

A friend or family member only interested in the PvE game.

Justin

jai151
06-17-2013, 07:21 AM
A friend or family member only interested in the PvE game.

Justin

Again, you're ending up with one account getting double VIP access.

That's not a legitimate situation, the account only interested in PVE shouldn't be signing up for the VIP program in the first place. No one is holding a gun to their head and saying "Sign up!" The only reason they are is to circumvent the VIP restriction.

Hatts
06-17-2013, 07:24 AM
A friend or family member only interested in the PvE game.


In that case they don't need the VIP program, it doesn't gain them anything for PvE. If someone is only interested in PvE they can play it without abusing the VIP system for you.

Avedecus
06-17-2013, 07:28 AM
I'm betting a few names in this thread are gonna show up about a few months down the line complaining about getting banned.

jai151
06-17-2013, 07:35 AM
I'm betting a few names in this thread are gonna show up about a few months down the line complaining about getting banned.

I can see it now...

VIP Banned Player: "Why did all my packs disappear and why did these accounts lose VIP? My wife and PVE friends were just giving me their VIP boosters they didn't want."

Cryptozoic Entertainment Rep: "It was flagged as an abuse of the VIP system. If you guys want your VIP access restored, you'll have to go through appeals. Am I to understand you all want VIP access back?"

VBP: "Yes they want their VIP access back!"

CZE: "Why do they want their access back if they were just giving away the packs to you anyway?"

VBP: "..."

CZE: "...Yeah. Good luck with those appeals."

Punk
06-17-2013, 07:54 AM
It seems to me that quite a few people in this thread are trying to convince themselves that CZE either won't care, or won't be able to tell, if they abuse the VIP program.

They will most definitely care, to an extent. Reasonably speaking, there is no way that Cryptozoic is going to put the same amount of effort into detecting and analyzing every single case where they can detect one person using VIP on two accounts as opposed to when they detect one person with 10+ VIP accounts.

Personally, I have lots of faith in Cryptozoic and that they will handle these infractions on a case-by-case basis and enforce whatever justification they see fit. I really don't care how severe the punishments are, as long as it helps prevent these situations from happening in the future; because I am not going to be trying to cheat the system. Going way out of my way and putting myself at any risk to save a dollar a week is just stupid.

TheHangedMan
06-17-2013, 08:27 AM
Getting a virtual, limited use card number from most banks is trivial and the banks are happy to do it because it cuts down on fraud and makes fraud attempts easier to pinpoint which saves them money.


While it is trivial to get those virtual account numbers it is equally trivial for Cryptozoic to flag someone who is changing their credit card information every month, especially if they are doing it on a large scale. Plus, the name and billing address generally still need to match so it might not even work at all. Heck, if your bank finds out you are abusing their service to effectively scam someone you might get in trouble with them too. It's just not worth it.

Patrigan
06-17-2013, 08:32 AM
Personally, I have lots of faith in Cryptozoic and that they will handle these infractions on a case-by-case basis and enforce whatever justification they see fit.

This is impossible, with just 17000 backers, who's going to handle them case by case? There are already a few people in this thread alone admitting they will do it. How many more will come afterwards? It's really simple, a system that punishes all that seem to be doing it and fixing afterwards. I mean, if you have a good reason to do it, then surely you can just tell them, right? If you know that your reason is too weak, well yeah... Then what did you expect?

Niedar
06-17-2013, 08:38 AM
It is pretty obvious they have not thought through the VIP system well enough. I find it ridiculous that they would start banning people for something like this instead of creating a system that isn't exploitable

jai151
06-17-2013, 08:42 AM
It is pretty obvious they have not thought through the VIP system well enough. I find it ridiculous that they would start banning people for something like this instead of creating a system that isn't exploitable

There is no such thing as a system that isn't exploitable.

That said, why is everyone assuming the reaction will be a ban? There are many other ways to handle it that aren't nearly so irrevocable.

ZeroCool
06-17-2013, 08:44 AM
I think only after a few trades, the notice of inactivity would set up several red flags. Not worth it bro, don't do it.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 09:50 AM
I can see it now...

VIP Banned Player: "Why did all my packs disappear and why did these accounts lose VIP? My wife and PVE friends were just giving me their VIP boosters they didn't want."

Cryptozoic Entertainment Rep: "It was flagged as an abuse of the VIP system. If you guys want your VIP access restored, you'll have to go through appeals. Am I to understand you all want VIP access back?"

VBP: "Yes they want their VIP access back!"

CZE: "Why do they want their access back if they were just giving away the packs to you anyway?"

VBP: "..."

CZE: "...Yeah. Good luck with those appeals."

Poor straw man... no respect.

Of course there are reasons for PvE players to want a VIP sub. $1 packs that are selling on the AH for more than $1 is one good one. As are the PvE chests inside. Would you all have your panties as bunched if my wife sold her boosters for plat and traded me the plat? When she wants to play a bit of PvE I'm sure I'll be trading her some of my cards and loot too. Banhammer time?

Here's another way of looking at this. CZE needs players to feel like they own something. If you start to really take notice of the fact that your "card collection" will be taken away if you look at them funny, you're not going to spend hundreds of dollars on it. What ever they offer for "sale" has to feel like you've bought it, and telling people they will get banned if they trade packs, or open the packs and trade all the PvP cards and keep the chest, or sell the pack and trade the fake currency, etc. is going to create a lot of bad juju. Lets all just hope they make very clear statements of how family/household/friends are permitted to behave, and that they're smart enough to build the system to enforce it so you have to really try hard (hacks, bots, fake id, etc.) to circumvent it. THEN I'm comfortable with bans.

I suspect the folks advocating this liberal use of banning would feel very different if a friend decided to gift them a bunch of packs and they got banned as a result. If you're really trying to run a scam and you get caught that's one thing. But having your users afraid of trading isn't the way CZE wants to be. A similar conversation came up on the "zero tolerance for exploits" topic when people said "if I find a bug I'm afraid to try and confirm it, or even report it the first time", to which Cory has clarified "once or twice is ok". I think the "zero tolerance" line is a lot more flexible than it sounds.

Avedecus
06-17-2013, 10:08 AM
There is a difference between getting an active player's VIP boosters as a gift, and getting a "player's" VIP boosters as a "gift". Only one of those two scenarios will result in punishment and I'm pretty sure most people here are smart enough to know which.

jai151
06-17-2013, 10:40 AM
Poor straw man... no respect.

Of course there are reasons for PvE players to want a VIP sub. $1 packs that are selling on the AH for more than $1 is one good one. As are the PvE chests inside. Would you all have your panties as bunched if my wife sold her boosters for plat and traded me the plat? When she wants to play a bit of PvE I'm sure I'll be trading her some of my cards and loot too. Banhammer time?

If they want the chests inside (Which are not PVE specific), crack the packs and trade what cards they don't want to use. The selling for profit is exactly what CZE is trying to prevent. And I have no respect for anyone who goes right to "FALLACY," especially when they turn around and make one.


Here's another way of looking at this. CZE needs players to feel like they own something. If you start to really take notice of the fact that your "card collection" will be taken away if you look at them funny, you're not going to spend hundreds of dollars on it. What ever they offer for "sale" has to feel like you've bought it, and telling people they will get banned if they trade packs, or open the packs and trade all the PvP cards and keep the chest, or sell the pack and trade the fake currency, etc. is going to create a lot of bad juju. Lets all just hope they make very clear statements of how family/household/friends are permitted to behave, and that they're smart enough to build the system to enforce it so you have to really try hard (hacks, bots, fake id, etc.) to circumvent it. THEN I'm comfortable with bans.

CZE also needs to send the message of don't cheat the system. Don't want to lose your ill-gotten gains? Don't cheat the system. It's pretty easy. Also, I have never mentioned bans as the proper response, removal of the VIP packs gotten and a ban FROM THE VIP PROGRAM for all involved accounts is the correct response.


I suspect the folks advocating this liberal use of banning would feel very different if a friend decided to gift them a bunch of packs and they got banned as a result. If you're really trying to run a scam and you get caught that's one thing. But having your users afraid of trading isn't the way CZE wants to be. A similar conversation came up on the "zero tolerance for exploits" topic when people said "if I find a bug I'm afraid to try and confirm it, or even report it the first time", to which Cory has clarified "once or twice is ok". I think the "zero tolerance" line is a lot more flexible than it sounds.

Zero tolerance does not mean one strike. That said, it does mean zero tolerance. Don't cheat the system and you have no problems.

majin
06-17-2013, 10:51 AM
i just skimmed over the discussions as people are saying the same thing over and over (pros and cons)

i just to put in my thoughts as a programmer on how it is EASY to track accounts gaming the VIP system

(on the database part)
1. add a flag/column to each vip boosters, 1 for VIP, 0 for the rest (very simple and easy to do)
2. create a cron job (automated program) that will run weekly to track how many vip boosters an account is getting per week and from what account
3. create a report that if an account gained X amount of vip boosters from y account in 4 weeks, flag it for review
4. export the result to be reviewed

this is very easy to do (about an hour or so including testing - dummy values) and it won't take a strain on the system because the script runs once a week. this will be able to track those gaming the vip system even if you are using 2 accounts or hundreds of accounts.

they don't even need to query from what accounts you got the booster from, the code above will already include that in the report

EDIT: it won't matter if your friends play or not as the system can ignore that and just focus on the actual vip booster trades

i personally don't like to be ban if my wife's account or my brother's account will give me their boosters as that's also my plan in case they stop playing come set 2+. i just want to point out how easy it is to be flagged this way

until we heard an official comment from CZE about the vip boosters being traded to family and friends' accounts, all we can do is speculate on what will happen to those who are planning to do it

Miwa
06-17-2013, 11:15 AM
The VIP system is for 1 person (not account, not credit card, not virtual entity) to get one $1 booster per week. Anything more than that is exploiting the system, and they can (and should) deal with you however they want. It's pretty easy not to run afoul of any of the analytics to catch folks trying to cheat the system: Don't acquire more than 1 VIP booster per week.

Of course, greed is fun, so many people are already scheming for ways to get as many $1 boosters as they can from the program. Hopefully that all ends up in delicious tears, that is publicized so we can all laugh.

Seriously, it's really easy to game the rules and then claim innocence, but being gamers too, I doubt CZE is going to be fooled. The crappy attitude of "it's just a few extra boosters" is just as bad Mr Roboaccount going to town.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 11:16 AM
If they want the chests inside (Which are not PVE specific), crack the packs and trade what cards they don't want to use. The selling for profit is exactly what CZE is trying to prevent. And I have no respect for anyone who goes right to "FALLACY," especially when they turn around and make one.

What fallacy did I make? "Poor straw man... no respect" was a statement that straw men are constantly being stood up and knocked down around here. Is the problem that I suggested people will be selling their VIP boosters on the AH that CZE set up to be capable of selling boosters? Sorry you don't have respect for me, but your little make believe conversation wasn't very impressive to me either. I also don't see how trading the contents of a booster are so drastically different than trading a whole booster. Everything in this game is tradable, because it's a trading card game, except apparently these particular boosters?


CZE also needs to send the message of don't cheat the system. Don't want to lose your ill-gotten gains? Don't cheat the system. It's pretty easy. Also, I have never mentioned bans as the proper response, removal of the VIP packs gotten and a ban FROM THE VIP PROGRAM for all involved accounts is the correct response.

Unfortunately in conversations where sides form, and you throw your lot in with one of them, responses to your "side" aren't always directly addressed to you. (though this one is, clearly) Several people have suggested a complete account ban for trading VIP boosters. The correct response is to implement the limits in the client to enforce the behaviors you want. If VIP boosters are some different breed of commodity that shouldn't be traded or sold, make it that way.


Zero tolerance does not mean one strike. That said, it does mean zero tolerance. Don't cheat the system and you have no problems.

Actually, it does. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_tolerance "Zero tolerance" means automatic punishment, no exceptions, no excuses, no extenuating circumstances, no allowances for previous good behavior, or exigencies, or anything else. "Zero" is a pretty clear number. It is not "0.1", nor is it "warning and then punishment if you don't change". In addition, "zero tolerance" policies in the real world are usually epic failures that do far more damage in terms of unnecessarily harsh punishments to mostly or completely innocent parties than they do in terms of curbing undesirable behaviors... not hard to understand why people might be concerned about the statement.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 11:23 AM
i just skimmed over the discussions as people are saying the same thing over and over (pros and cons)

i just to put in my thoughts as a programmer on how it is EASY to track accounts gaming the VIP system

(on the database part)
1. add a flag/column to each vip boosters, 1 for VIP, 0 for the rest (very simple and easy to do)
2. create a cron job (automated program) that will run weekly to track how many vip boosters an account is getting per week and from what account
3. create a report that if an account gained X amount of vip boosters from y account in 4 weeks, flag it for review
4. export the result to be reviewed

this is very easy to do (about an hour or so including testing - dummy values) and it won't take a strain on the system because the script runs once a week. this will be able to track those gaming the vip system even if you are using 2 accounts or hundreds of accounts.

they don't even need to query from what accounts you got the booster from, the code above will already include that in the report

EDIT: it won't matter if your friends play or not as the system can ignore that and just focus on the actual vip booster trades

i personally don't like to be ban if my wife's account or my brother's account will give me their boosters as that's also my plan in case they stop playing come set 2+. i just want to point out how easy it is to be flagged this way

until we heard an official comment from CZE about the vip boosters being traded to family and friends' accounts, all we can do is speculate on what will happen to those who are planning to do it

If CZE agrees with the extremists in this thread, make sure your wife sells her VIP booster and gives you the currency, and just buy the booster or entry ticket or whatever you're after. CZE just can't be foolish enough to punish their player base like people are suggesting here. As with the clarification on "zero tolerance for exploits" I suspect what they really mean is "we're going to look for people damaging the system and take steps to prevent it or repair the damage".

jai151
06-17-2013, 11:45 AM
What fallacy did I make? "Poor straw man... no respect" was a statement that straw men are constantly being stood up and knocked down around here. Is the problem that I suggested people will be selling their VIP boosters on the AH that CZE set up to be capable of selling boosters? Sorry you don't have respect for me, but your little make believe conversation wasn't very impressive to me either. I also don't see how trading the contents of a booster are so drastically different than trading a whole booster. Everything in this game is tradable, because it's a trading card game, except apparently these particular boosters?

Slippery slope would be the fallacy you made. As for the contents vs the pack, it's not a question of whether trading one is better than the other. The situation you suggested didn't involve trading at all, but simply setting up a second VIP account and gifting all packs to the first. The use of that other account by a friend or family member is irrelevant as your actions would be getting one account with two subscriptions, which is precisely what CZE is trying to avoid.


Unfortunately in conversations where sides form, and you throw your lot in with one of them, responses to your "side" aren't always directly addressed to you. (though this one is, clearly) Several people have suggested a complete account ban for trading VIP boosters. The correct response is to implement the limits in the client to enforce the behaviors you want. If VIP boosters are some different breed of commodity that shouldn't be traded or sold, make it that way.

The thing is limits can be circumvented. And in this case, circumventing the limits would make it harder to track.


Actually, it does. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_tolerance "Zero tolerance" means automatic punishment, no exceptions, no excuses, no extenuating circumstances, no allowances for previous good behavior, or exigencies, or anything else. "Zero" is a pretty clear number. It is not "0.1", nor is it "warning and then punishment if you don't change". In addition, "zero tolerance" policies in the real world are usually epic failures that do far more damage in terms of unnecessarily harsh punishments to mostly or completely innocent parties than they do in terms of curbing undesirable behaviors... not hard to understand why people might be concerned about the statement.

Actually, it doesn't. Zero tolerance means punishment on the first offense, but not necessarily the most severe punishment on the first offense. There must be a baseline punishment that must always be handed out but on further offenses the punishment can be greater than the baseline. One strike means simply that, the most severe possible response on the first time every time. Historically, yes, in legal situations no tolerance is a bad thing, but that's also because the minimum punishment that can legally be handed out is still pretty harsh. In this case, they can roll back packs and cut you off from VIP. A perfectly acceptable punishment that doesn't do great damage but fixes the behavior. It's also not so horribly harsh that someone mistakenly caught would be quick to quit the game over it.

Delrusant
06-17-2013, 11:52 AM
There still is a difference between giving booster and trading, if you offer something against the 1$ "VIP booster" that is worth (could be PvE gear, chests, cards rare or legendary that you do not need). The problem lies in recurring gift for nothing from a "VIP discount".

Then you can see 2 levels in the scheme: players getting VIP booster from multiple friends to draft/personnal use (don't think the punishment if it exist would be too harsh) and people getting the same amount of booster to auction them.

BossHoss
06-17-2013, 11:58 AM
I can already see the Twitch stream running COPS: VIP...

Door slams open as OP_Kyle and his partner "The Bear" enter

OP_Kyle, The Bear: "GET DOWN, GET DOWN. GET ON THE *HexPletive* GROUND!"

BossHoss jumps out of his chair wearing tighty whiteys covered in *Insert advertizing deal here* and gets on the floor

BossHoss: "What the *HexPletive* is going on here?

OP_Kyle holds Ragefire to the back of BossHoss head on the ground

OP_Kyle: "Just relax and this will not Escalate*

The Bear hacks computer

The Bear: "Sir his account is collecting 7 VIP boosters per week"
OP_Kyle: "SEVEN? SEVEN!
BossHoss: "They aren`t mine, they are for my wife and kids!"
OP_Kyle: "Where are they?"
BossHoss:"Umm... they are... on vacation"

To Be Continued....

End Scene

papalorax
06-17-2013, 11:59 AM
The VIP system is for 1 person (not account, not credit card, not virtual entity) to get one $1 booster per week. Anything more than that is exploiting the system, and they can (and should) deal with you however they want. It's pretty easy not to run afoul of any of the analytics to catch folks trying to cheat the system: Don't acquire more than 1 VIP booster per week.

Have they said that? Wonder why they would care?

Avedecus
06-17-2013, 12:03 PM
Have they said that? Wonder why they would care?
Because, generally speaking, companies want you to buy goods at the listed price and not exploit the systems they set up to offer limited discounts.

Genocidal
06-17-2013, 12:06 PM
Have they said that? Wonder why they would care?

Because boosters are $2 a piece and with the VIP program you're buying them for half price, and Crypto is losing money?

jai151
06-17-2013, 12:06 PM
Have they said that? Wonder why they would care?


There have been a lot of questions about the subscription feature. When naming it, we didn't really consider the dissonance that would occur with HEX, a free to play game, and the term 'subscription.' It's opt-in after all, providing each player a few packs each month at a discount and some cool bonus stuff like the monthly exclusive VIP tournament and the deck "goldfish" tool. It's all upside and none of it is needed to play. So, we're calling it the VIP Program to make sure nobody gets confused.

We've also received a lot of questions from backers worried that players will game the system, opening multiple accounts to stack VIP Program booster packs. This program is intended to be one-per-player as a cool way to let our community access some packs at a discount and get some sweet bonus stuff. But, we do understand that there will always be a small percentage of players who are always looking to game the system. We're aware of this and have powerful analytical tools to determine when this is occurring and will handle those instances accordingly.

From http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game/posts/481824

wildcard
06-17-2013, 12:21 PM
Slippery slope would be the fallacy you made. As for the contents vs the pack, it's not a question of whether trading one is better than the other. The situation you suggested didn't involve trading at all, but simply setting up a second VIP account and gifting all packs to the first. The use of that other account by a friend or family member is irrelevant as your actions would be getting one account with two subscriptions, which is precisely what CZE is trying to avoid.

Sorry, you're either wrong, or you're right and I can't see it. Sticky problem. This is what I originally said:


Of course there are reasons for PvE players to want a VIP sub. $1 packs that are selling on the AH for more than $1 is one good one. As are the PvE chests inside. Would you all have your panties as bunched if my wife sold her boosters for plat and traded me the plat? When she wants to play a bit of PvE I'm sure I'll be trading her some of my cards and loot too. Banhammer time?

(quick aside "you all" was referring to more than just you personally jai) I'm guessing you mean the "if you ban for trading a VIP booster, you'll have to ban for one sided trading of PvE content" as being a slippery slope? I could almost see that, except I said right before that: selling a booster for plat, and one-way trading plat, and then buying a booster with that plat is exactly the same thing as just trading a booster. If the problem is that the trade is one sided, then so are any other one way trades ("gifts" basically, but because we're married, not really, just sharing our possessions like our physical TCG collection). It's not an escalation down a slippery slope in that case, it's an illustration of two identical situations which highlights a fault of the policy.


The thing is limits can be circumvented. And in this case, circumventing the limits would make it harder to track.

Not following this at all either. You're saying "VIP boosters shouldn't be traded or you get in trouble" but you object to the client preventing you from trading them? Having the client enforce the behaviors you want from your players is perfectly reasonable, and prevents people from acting in what they think is perfectly reasonable behavior and suddenly discovering they were wrong. Of course systems can be circumvented, but if anything detecting activity outside the approved systems is easier than behavioral analysis of activity within the system. If people shouldn't go through a door, you lock it. If they break it down, or cut a hole in it, or use C4 on it, well you can have some alarms go off then. You're advocating leaving the door open, and just shooting the people that walk through.


Actually, it doesn't. Zero tolerance means punishment on the first offense, but not necessarily the most severe punishment on the first offense. There must be a baseline punishment that must always be handed out but on further offenses the punishment can be greater than the baseline. One strike means simply that, the most severe possible response on the first time every time. Historically, yes, in legal situations no tolerance is a bad thing, but that's also because the minimum punishment that can legally be handed out is still pretty harsh. In this case, they can roll back packs and cut you off from VIP. A perfectly acceptable punishment that doesn't do great damage but fixes the behavior. It's also not so horribly harsh that someone mistakenly caught would be quick to quit the game over it.

I agree that punishments can escalate in a zero tolerance system, and if the first tier of punishment is a warning (does that even qualify?) we probably agree. But we're circling back to your stance that you should be banned from VIP vs. your account banned. That is certainly a more reasonable approach than others have suggested in this thread. I still want to see SOME measures being taken to prevent the undesirable behavior before punishing people that exhibit it.

Can we imagine there was some EULA limit like "no more than 20 boosters can be purchased per player per month" but then a game client that let you buy as many as you want and/or trade them between accounts such that one account got more than 20 in a month? If you buy more than 20, they keep the money you paid but confiscate the overage and then lock you out of the store for some time. Kind of crazy, right?

jai151
06-17-2013, 12:38 PM
(Just dropping the whole fallacy thing, I hate arguing them and it's completely pointless to the conversation anyway)


Not following this at all either. You're saying "VIP boosters shouldn't be traded or you get in trouble" but you object to the client preventing you from trading them? Having the client enforce the behaviors you want from your players is perfectly reasonable, and prevents people from acting in what they think is perfectly reasonable behavior and suddenly discovering they were wrong. Of course systems can be circumvented, but if anything detecting activity outside the approved systems is easier than behavioral analysis of activity within the system. If people shouldn't go through a door, you lock it. If they break it down, or cut a hole in it, or use C4 on it, well you can have some alarms go off then. You're advocating leaving the door open, and just shooting the people that walk through.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be traded. The difference comes in whether they are being traded to someone legitimately or whether they are being gifted to that person in an under the table "I'll pay for your VIP and you give me the packs" situation. The second is the violation, and by stopping trading completely, you then force people who want to circumvent the one-per-player rule to crack the packs and trade the cards around or sell the cards. While it's far from impossible to track those behaviors, it is much harder. Basically to use your example, the alternative is locking the door and swallowing the key, as people wouldn't be able to legitimately trade the packs either.


I agree that punishments can escalate in a zero tolerance system, and if the first tier of punishment is a warning (does that even qualify?) we probably agree. But we're circling back to your stance that you should be banned from VIP vs. your account banned. That is certainly a more reasonable approach than others have suggested in this thread. I still want to see SOME measures being taken to prevent the undesirable behavior before punishing people that exhibit it.

Can we imagine there was some EULA limit like "no more than 20 boosters can be purchased per player per month" but then a game client that let you buy as many as you want and/or trade them between accounts such that one account got more than 20 in a month? If you buy more than 20, they keep the money you paid but confiscate the overage and then lock you out of the store for some time. Kind of crazy, right?

Except the situation isn't quite identical. The game does not let you buy more than one subscription. Even if you have a second account, you can not buy a second subscription with the same credit card. There are controls in place, and you should know if you're trying to circumvent them you are breaking EULA. I don't see a punitive response to that as crazy.

malloc31
06-17-2013, 12:38 PM
either the boosters and cards (and equipment) in them should be bound to account (maybe they can even give them little "VIP" marks to make it look desirable).

or once you are in the VIP program you should be able to buy as many packs as you like at the discounted price from one account.

If you do anything in the middle of the 2 extremes people trying to make money will find a way to take advantage and break the rules, while those of us who like to follow rules will get the short end of the stick because of it

wildcard
06-17-2013, 12:39 PM
I just want to reiterate that in my example, there are two separate human beings here. Each with a VIP account, because as CZE said "it's a fun way to get product at a discount", but one of them wants to give the other whole packs for use in drafting, and the other will probably be giving back PvE-centric stuff. My wife will use her account at best in frequently, and when she does probably mostly for PvE. She is still entitled to pay for and receive VIP bonuses just like the rest of us, and should be free to do whatever she wants with those packs, including giving them away.

People are literally arguing that this should be an account-ban worthy offense, or to a lesser degree a loss of her right to purchase something on offer. I don't really like going to analogies all the time, but I'm out of ways of explaining this in context. So... your local game store runs a promotion where you can buy the latest Magic booster for $1, limit one booster per customer per week. I'm saying my wife and I go in, only once per week, pay our $1 each, and get one booster each. Out in the parking lot she gives me her booster. Probably because she loves me, but also because she benefits from our relationship in other ways (PvE loot, clearly). There are advocates in this thread for the store owner to run out into the parking lot, take away one or both packs, and forbid us from coming back in the store again. Worse, you want the store owner to build a robot that will do it without even being capable of being reasoned with, possibly even armed with a deadly weapon. Still others don't even want the store owner to refuse to ring up more than one pack at $1. Let the customer buy 4 for $4, and after they've paid, take them all away and keep the $4 and kick them out.

jai151
06-17-2013, 12:46 PM
I just want to reiterate that in my example, there are two separate human beings here. Each with a VIP account, because as CZE said "it's a fun way to get product at a discount", but one of them wants to give the other whole packs for use in drafting, and the other will probably be giving back PvE-centric stuff. My wife will use her account at best in frequently, and when she does probably mostly for PvE. She is still entitled to pay for and receive VIP bonuses just like the rest of us, and should be free to do whatever she wants with those packs, including giving them away.

I still see this as you trying to get 8 packs a month at the VIP rate. Explain to me this, aside from the undefined "PVE stuff" that you are trading her for the packs, why would she sign up for VIP in the first place?

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 12:47 PM
It is pretty obvious they have not thought through the VIP system well enough. I find it ridiculous that they would start banning people for something like this instead of creating a system that isn't exploitable

Most likely there will be two tiers of action. Account that appear to be inactive players gifting their VIP packs to another account for no compensation will probably just get banned from the VIP program (black list the account and the credit card #). Accounts that appear to exist solely to abuse the VIP program will be account banned.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 12:48 PM
I'm not saying they shouldn't be traded. The difference comes in whether they are being traded to someone legitimately or whether they are being gifted to that person in an under the table "I'll pay for your VIP and you give me the packs" situation. The second is the violation, and by stopping trading completely, you then force people who want to circumvent the one-per-player rule to crack the packs and trade the cards around or sell the cards. While it's far from impossible to track those behaviors, it is much harder. Basically to use your example, the alternative is locking the door and swallowing the key, as people wouldn't be able to legitimately trade the packs either.

See below - my wife and I share our finances, and share our possessions, but we're two separate people and "one per person" rules let us get two of them for the household. When she gives me stuff it's not under-the-table dealing... we're sharing stuff. Friends can share stuff too. Even with one of them paying money to the benefit of another. Presumably they are getting something of value in return from the relationship. It simply doesn't matter if that return channel is $USD, Euros, gold, platinum, or specific cards, etc. I'm advocating no restrictions on what you do with what you "bought" in the VIP program, only a simple "one VIP per credit card" solution that will limit most sane people to at most a very minor "exploit" of this pricing (as has been said elsewhere, no one's going to go to extreme lengths to save $1/week/credit card). If someone is of the "trading VIP boosters should be prohibited" mindset, then simply account-bind the boosters you get from VIP. @malloc31 said it eloquently above.


Except the situation isn't quite identical. The game does not let you buy more than one subscription. Even if you have a second account, you can not buy a second subscription with the same credit card. There are controls in place, and you should know if you're trying to circumvent them you are breaking EULA. I don't see a punitive response to that as crazy.

The system doesn't even let you have two accounts without using two credit cards (another flaw in my opinion). But my wife and I do have two credit cards between us, and we will use two so we can each have an account, and we'll each have a VIP sub. That's not circumventing anything, it's the only way for two people to play the game.

Delrusant
06-17-2013, 12:49 PM
@Wild : you seem to enter a trade and not a gift (booster for PvE stuff) The problem of the VIP booster lies in true repeatable gifts (given month after month for no return) not the trade in itself. There sure are PvE player that will get in the VIP program to get low price booster to trade them for some nice PvE gear.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 12:51 PM
@Wild : you seem to enter a trade and not a gift (booster for PvE stuff) The problem of the VIP booster lies in true repeatable gifts (given month after month for no return) not the trade in itself. There sure are PvE player that will get in the VIP program to get low price booster to trade them for some nice PvE gear.

Well, I don't expect every trade window opened between accounts to have something placed in each side. There will be trading going on over time, but there will likely be many "here's my booster" trades as well. Up thread people wanted automated systems that ban your whole account if they see 3 such trades. I kinda flew off the deep end from that point. ;)

jai151
06-17-2013, 12:55 PM
Wildcard, you have moved almost completely into an argument of "I am gaming the system, but it's only in a minor way so I shouldn't be punished."

Using only what you have said, you and your wife share finances that will pay for the game and you end up with all 8 packs a month on one account. Therefore, you are paying for two VIP accounts and reaping the benefits on one account. That is one hundred percent against the terms of the VIP program. It's not even grey area.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 12:57 PM
I just want to reiterate that in my example, there are two separate human beings here. Each with a VIP account, because as CZE said "it's a fun way to get product at a discount", but one of them wants to give the other whole packs for use in drafting, and the other will probably be giving back PvE-centric stuff. My wife will use her account at best in frequently, and when she does probably mostly for PvE. She is still entitled to pay for and receive VIP bonuses just like the rest of us, and should be free to do whatever she wants with those packs, including giving them away.


If you are making fair trades, it's unlikely that you'll show up on the fraud detection system.

Also your case will be considerably stronger if your wife uses the other benefits of her VIP account (goldfish-ing, or entering the invitational tournament), which indicates that the VIP sub may be for her even if she trades away her packs.

But, if she never uses those features, her account logs on weekly to trade your account her VIP pack in exchange for a trash common card, and only plays PvE ones every moth or two, while your account is active weekly...

Yeah, that's probably going to be in the "It's abuse if they catch you" category.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:00 PM
I still see this as you trying to get 8 packs a month at the VIP rate. Explain to me this, aside from the undefined "PVE stuff" that you are trading her for the packs, why would she sign up for VIP in the first place?

"Because it's on offer, and she has a right to" is answer enough. "You see something on sale for a good price and decide to buy it with the sole intent of giving it to someone else" is a problem? And if boosters are selling on the AH/market for let's say $1.50, wouldn't you be crazy not to sign up for VIP and sell the booster? It's pretty clear that if CZE is not account-binding the booster, every player will do this for themselves if they want $4 or more of "value" from the game per month, regardless of what they exchange the booster for.

But of course I can hear the gnashing of teeth already... so how about this - "she signs up for VIP to get 1 booster per week, cracks the pack, and sells all the cards for gold (because they're beneath the PvE power curve anyway), buys a bunch of PvE gear with the gold, and then "gifts" me a bunch of PvE gear - either the same she just bought or the stuff she doesn't need anymore, then I sell the PvE gear for plat, and enter myself in some booster drafts. Notice I didn't actually change the flow of money or value here at all, just substituted in various mediums of exchange.

Perhaps you'd be more comfortable thinking about this as "my household of two is getting 8 packs a month at the VIP rate" and I'm the one most likely to use them in their unaltered form, while my wife will derive other benefits?

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:03 PM
Wildcard, you have moved almost completely into an argument of "I am gaming the system, but it's only in a minor way so I shouldn't be punished."

Using only what you have said, you and your wife share finances that will pay for the game and you end up with all 8 packs a month on one account. Therefore, you are paying for two VIP accounts and reaping the benefits on one account. That is one hundred percent against the terms of the VIP program. It's not even grey area.

You are totally discounting her existence as a separate human being, and I don't understand it in the least. One person opening two accounts and consolidating all the packs, fine, violation, ban hammer, whatever. You want to police what people do with what they as individuals buy, and I guess I'm just reduced to hoping CZE isn't that unreasonable.

Hatts
06-17-2013, 01:04 PM
I think they should treat it like people who abuse a buffet. If you go with a friend and only one of you gets the buffet, it's probably OK if you share a few bites, you may get a warning if it gets out of hand. They may charge you for two buffet's if you both have a plate. If you attempt to sneak plates out of the restaurant to resell them, you will get banned.

There seem to be many all-or-nothing scenarios and solutions being proposed, the answer is going to be more nuanced. They will have a wide variety of methods to deal with the abuse depending on the scale and intent.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:06 PM
And of course we share finances... on EVERYTHING! You could say I didn't back the Kickstarter. She and I backed it, or I did, or just she did... whatever suits your argument. We didn't get two pledges using our separate email accounts, because I know her password and she knows mine, so really only one of us put in both pledges. We don't have two VIP accounts, it's only one, because the money for the credit cards comes from one checking account. Or we have two VIP accounts, but that's only allowed if she likes PvP as much as I do.

This is insane!

TWO PEOPLE = TWO VIP SUBS and it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHO TRADES WHAT TO WHOM FOR WHATEVER PERCEIVED BENEFIT. This is not the same issue as one person creating two VIP subs for themselves.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:14 PM
@Wild : you seem to enter a trade and not a gift (booster for PvE stuff) The problem of the VIP booster lies in true repeatable gifts (given month after month for no return) not the trade in itself. There sure are PvE player that will get in the VIP program to get low price booster to trade them for some nice PvE gear.

Sorry, I keep skipping these voices of reason, and I don't mean to. I agree with you on all accounts Delrusant. The issue is that others are saying the banning can and should be automated so if the system detects legal but "naughty" trades, accounts should be banned without even a human being looking things over or talking to the account holder. I'm saying the activity of the accounts is not easily rationalized by software, because players stop playing for a while and amass some unused boosters, or they mess around in the AH for a bit and then give a friend their VIP booster before logging out, etc. Allowing these naughty transactions and then automatically punishing people that make them is going to hurt a lot of innocent players and turn a lot of people away.

DeToX86
06-17-2013, 01:24 PM
I'm with you Wildcard.

Me and buddy play MTG. I'm a kitchen table guy and he's a PTQ guy. He cracks a box and gets 15 "crap" rares (crap being anything not in a current deck list) and GIVES them to me because he knows that I will enjoy trying to make them work. I crack mythic planeswalker going for $40 and I GIVE it to him.

Once I pay for something, it's my right to determine what I want to do with it. I will most likely be very heavy PVE and my buddy will be PVP. If I sign up for VIP it will be for the sole purpose of giving him all my packs with the knowledge that he will be cracking way more packs than I will be and that I will be getting some sweet PVE stuff coming my way when he does. It's pretty cheap investment by me for what will hopefully be a bunch of sweet PVE stuff.

Once the packs are bought, I don't see how you can have an issue with someone giving them away for any reason. They paid for it, they can decide how to use it. Please realize, this is NOT the same as one person having multiple VIP subs. This is two people both signing up for VIP but using it in very different ways. My buddy is using his in the traditional way and I am using mine as a way to acquire PVE content. I don't see how anyone could have an issue with my giving/trading these packs that I legitimately bought.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:28 PM
Thank you DeToX86, I actually felt my blood pressure go down. I was trying to figure out how to introduce exactly your example of "boosters for cards" without replying to myself for the third time. :cool:

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 01:29 PM
TWO PEOPLE = TWO VIP SUBS and it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHO TRADES WHAT TO WHOM FOR WHATEVER PERCEIVED BENEFIT. This is not the same issue as one person creating two VIP subs for themselves.

It depends on whether the VIP sub is for her (not abuse), or whether you've just used her account to bypass the 1 per customer rule (abuse).

If her VIP account is for her benefit, and she will be just as likley to: keep the packs herself, sell them to someone unrelated to you, or trade them to you for what she perceives as fair value, as she is to give you a pack. As such transactions where she gives you a pack for nothing in return should be the minority of her trading activity.

If on the other hand she is transferring the all the packs from her VIP sub to your account for little to no compensation, or the vast majority of her trading activity terminates in giving you lots of stuff for nothing, that's basicly the same as if you created an account in her name that she never uses in order to get more VIP packs.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:31 PM
It depends on whether the VIP sub is for her (not abuse), or whether you've just used her account to bypass the 1 per customer rule (abuse).

If her VIP account is for her benefit, and she will be just as likley to: keep the packs herself, sell them to someone unrelated to you, or trade them to you for what she perceives as fair value, as she is to give you a pack. As such transactions where she gives you a pack for nothing in return should be the minority of her trading activity.

If on the other hand she is transferring the all the packs from her VIP sub to your account for little to no compensation, or the vast majority of her trading activity terminates in giving you lots of stuff for nothing, that's basicly the same as if you created an account in her name that she never uses in order to get more VIP packs.

You're not married, are you?

Miwa
06-17-2013, 01:40 PM
I just want to reiterate that in my example, there are two separate human beings here. Each with a VIP account, because as CZE said "it's a fun way to get product at a discount", but one of them wants to give the other whole packs for use in drafting, and the other will probably be giving back PvE-centric stuff. My wife will use her account at best in frequently, and when she does probably mostly for PvE. She is still entitled to pay for and receive VIP bonuses just like the rest of us, and should be free to do whatever she wants with those packs, including giving them away.
She's playing the game, then no harm, no foul, she can gift, sell, or do whatever she wants with those VIP packs. That's a lot different than you signing up an account in her name she never uses, and exists solely to funnel VIP packs to your account. See the difference? People looking to game the system will need to find playing friends to front the $4 to. And CZE knows that if they play, they'll eventually want those packs for themselves, even if they never PvP.

Specifically, they said "player" when they mentioned 1 acct per person.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 01:48 PM
You're not married, are you?

Nope, I think through my decisions :p

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:52 PM
Sorry, if each human being on the planet has 0 or 1 VIP subscriptions, then all is right in the world. Its not for you or anyone else in the world to declare what value a person is getting for their purchase, even if that means giving it all away. And because of that, you cannot under any circumstances make a conclusion about whether an account was "opened in that persons name" or "by that person".

My wife and I maintained two WoW subs for over 3 years, from when we were dating through when we were married, and I guess she may have logged 100 hours tops while I logged well more than 1500 hours. Her time in game was spent, very infrequently of course, banging around in newbie areas and during holiday events when she would give me every tradable thing she collected. She said last week, and I am not making this up, "I miss WoW". Take your automated account behavior heuristics and stuff 'em. And please stop insinuating that she's not entitled to the same VIP subscription you are.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 01:53 PM
Nope, I think through my decisions :p

LOL, touche'! Regardless, the idea that husband and wife only engage in economic exchange when the fair market value is roughly equal is... well... not true. :)

OutlandishMatt
06-17-2013, 02:07 PM
They will have to either have one of the most sophisticated tracking systems for exploitation of the VIP program or just not care to monitor it or make the booster and all contents within it Bind on Account.

What stops someone for trading a booster for a common? If Cryptozoic says that's not a fair trade then they are interfering with the economy of the game and dictating the value of a card rather than the community. The only way they can stop "exploitation" is by making everything about the boosters BoA. Otherwise people will open the packs and give away the cards and chests.

TheHangedMan
06-17-2013, 02:12 PM
Personally, I could care less if someone's wife is handing off a pack a week to their spouse. However, from Cryptozoic's perspective this is something of a slippery slope. If they allow that where do they draw the line? How about with your kids too then? Or...your extended family? What about your close group of buddies on top of that too? Then anyone you know at all? If Cryptozoic doesn't draw a line someplace then they might as well drop of the price in the store to $1 since that is all people will pay. Might as well cancel the VIP program too after that since it serves no real purpose anymore. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I agree that making them BoA is easiest fix though.

Jbizzi
06-17-2013, 02:16 PM
I would like to be limited to 3 VIP accounts just so I would be able to draft once/week on average with nothing more than an entry fee after that and I would be spending ~$16/month for that service if I chose to draft every week (which seems to be the going rate for MMOs, even the F2P ones if you want to really apply).

However, I see the understanding that if this were the case, CZE might as well just sell the packs for a buck and remove the VIP program all together, though I doubt it would be that harsh.

EDIT: Off Topic: Where is the server for this website located? Iceland? It is 4:20 CST and the post says 9:16 p.m.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 02:30 PM
LOL, touche'! Regardless, the idea that husband and wife only engage in economic exchange when the fair market value is roughly equal is... well... not true. :)

My point is that if her VIP membership is actually hers, she'll expect to benefit from it herself. As such she's not going to juts give you her VIP pack every week and never get anything (of nontrivial value) in return.

she may not expect every transaction to be itself balanced, and she may not value transactions based on standard market values. But on the large scale value should move in both directions (say she gives you the packs for drafting, then you giver her all the gear that comes out of her and your packs, and you coordinate these roughly every two weeks).

Caballero
06-17-2013, 02:42 PM
I managed to get a couple of friends into the game, they are not really into pvp, but my plan was that we all got VIP accounts, they would pass me the packs so i could play drafts (and be able to get some more cards), then pool everything in our guild chest (or whatever is called) so we all could use it. But you are telling me this is fordidden and punishable?

OutlandishMatt
06-17-2013, 02:44 PM
My point is that if her VIP membership is actually hers, she'll expect to benefit from it herself. As such she's not going to juts give you her VIP pack every week and never get anything (of nontrivial value) in return.

She gets love in return. Duh. His warm embrace. His gentle touch. Also a roof over her head and 3 square meals, cause circle meals are for losers.

jai151
06-17-2013, 02:45 PM
You are totally discounting her existence as a separate human being, and I don't understand it in the least. One person opening two accounts and consolidating all the packs, fine, violation, ban hammer, whatever. You want to police what people do with what they as individuals buy, and I guess I'm just reduced to hoping CZE isn't that unreasonable.

Yes, I am discounting it because it doesn't matter in the least. If the sole purpose of the VIP sub is to give you packs, whether or not she exists is completely immaterial. You are still bypassing the restrictions put in place to get yourself 8 packs a month at the VIP rate, which is abuse of the system. Period.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 02:48 PM
My point is that if her VIP membership is actually hers, she'll expect to benefit from it herself. As such she's not going to juts give you her VIP pack every week and never get anything (of nontrivial value) in return.

she may not expect every transaction to be itself balanced, and she may not value transactions based on standard market values. But on the large scale value should move in both directions (say she gives you the packs for drafting, then you giver her all the gear that comes out of her and your packs, and you coordinate these roughly every two weeks).
See my comment about WoW. You are incorrect. She may very well only dabble in PvE and happily give me almost everything of value from VIP or anywhere else. I don't want you, or a committee, or a bot swinging a ban hammer over it. Limits of one per person are fine. Limits of what behaviors are acceptable after you've bought it are not.

KaosSoul
06-17-2013, 02:51 PM
just open the damn boosters on her account? always do a Card trade not a straight give, use brain , bypass everything, i dont see why ppl are so insane about VIP okay its half price? 4 pack a month? if you only need 4 pack a month you dont play enought lol or your insanely good in Draft and thus you dont need VIP

wildcard
06-17-2013, 02:52 PM
I managed to get a couple of friends into the game, they are not really into pvp, but my plan was that we all got VIP accounts, they would pass me the packs so i could play drafts (and be able to get some more cards), then pool everything in our guild chest (or whatever is called) so we all could use it. But you are telling me this is fordidden and punishable?

Depends on who wins this debate. :-). If I do, of course it's fine... They're real people aren't they? Jai doesn't care if they're real or not. You're a cheater and a scammer. Someone a few pages back wants to automate the extinction of you and your friends. :-p

jai151
06-17-2013, 02:54 PM
I managed to get a couple of friends into the game, they are not really into pvp, but my plan was that we all got VIP accounts, they would pass me the packs so i could play drafts (and be able to get some more cards), then pool everything in our guild chest (or whatever is called) so we all could use it. But you are telling me this is fordidden and punishable?

The guild bank is for decks, not cards. There is no way in the system as it stands to pool cards like you suggest.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 03:00 PM
See my comment about WoW. You are incorrect. She may very well only dabble in PvE and happily give me almost everything of value from VIP or anywhere else. I don't want you, or a committee, or a bot swinging a ban hammer over it. Limits of one per person are fine. Limits of what behaviors are acceptable after you've bought it are not.

That sounds like an abuse of the system to me.

Let me ask you this: if her account got banned from the VIP program so she could still play, just didn't have one pack a week to give to you, would it be you or her who get's annoyed by it?

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 03:02 PM
To me:
Once trading becomes consistent between 3 or more accounts for packs, that should be a red flag for CZE to intervene.

The VIP system is not abusable because everyone wins in any scenario laid out. (exception would be credit card theft)

The problem with my above statement is that it does not account for gaming the system for an inherent advantage. Which, although it is financial based and not through play, it allows a player to marginally profit by lower average prices.

A player playing with family or alone under the same IP with different accounts, should be allowed some leeway between 2 or at most 3 accounts. This gives them some room for family interactions/account management, but anything beyond that should be frowned upon.

Caballero
06-17-2013, 03:09 PM
The guild bank is for decks, not cards. There is no way in the system as it stands to pool cards like you suggest.

How about making some decks with those cards, then storing them in the guild bank?

Arbiter
06-17-2013, 03:10 PM
See my comment about WoW. You are incorrect. She may very well only dabble in PvE and happily give me almost everything of value from VIP or anywhere else. I don't want you, or a committee, or a bot swinging a ban hammer over it. Limits of one per person are fine. Limits of what behaviors are acceptable after you've bought it are not.

I agree with you. It's a perfectly valid use of VIP to me. A player wants to dabble a bit, and do whatever they want when they feel like it. Say a player does subscribe to VIP and gives their booster away to a friend who plays a lot more. In return, they'll get excess unneeded stuff, maybe some PVE stuff from the loot chest in boosters, stuff to trade other players, etc. So that their time spent is going to be more doing what they want and less time grinding - as their VIP has reduced the grind. I do not get why people say this is an invalid use of VIP, or try to mandate booster use to what they believe is acceptable.

People with friends will have an advantage in this game anyway. You can get with more dollars what other people get through friends, which is actually corresponds fairly well to real life TCGs where some groups of friends pool cards/give easy trades/etc and others get the same collection through cash.

Is it really a problem that friends give you an advantage in a massive MULTIPLAYER online TRADING card game? If it is, you should look to play something without the trading aspect at the very least, rather than moan about someone having an advantage over you because they have friends and you have none.

Trading away a booster from an active (even dabbling-level active) account is fine. It's the non-playing accounts with VIP that purely exist to trade away accounts that will bother them.

fido_one
06-17-2013, 03:10 PM
More than other threads, there are responses on this particular thread that speak as if they are authoritative on these matters. Other than the VIP program itself, CZE has not come to say what is proper use and what is not. So for newer members, realize that there are no answers on this front until CZE steps in and clarifies the ToS.

...and this isn't a 'don't speculate' response as I think most of the fun of threads here are about 'what-ifs' - this type of dialogue exercises the same muscles that we use in deck construction. Just please recognize that this thread has little authoritative bearing and is mostly speculation.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 03:17 PM
More than other threads, there are responses on this particular thread that speak as if they are authoritative on these matters. Other than the VIP program itself, CZE has not come to say what is proper use and what is not. So for newer members, realize that there are no answers on this front until CZE steps in and clarifies the ToS.

To add to the above:

They have said that the VIP membership is intended to be 1 per person, that they will use "analytics" to identify abusers, that every account will need a unique payment method, and that they have a zero tolerance policy for bots and other abusive activity that "harms the in-game economy". (said in various Kickstarter updates)

That's relatively clear, but does leave a lot of the specifics particularly pertaining to enforcement undefined.

Miwa
06-17-2013, 03:20 PM
The VIP program is an experiment anyway. If everyone just abuses the hell out of it, and they see most the packs from it turn up on the auction house, or in drafts or somewhere else they dont want to see them, they'll just cancel the program. (Which is my bet anyway)

They'll certainly be tracking what happens to VIP rewards, just like you'd track an advertising or marketing program to gauge its effectiveness. If it ends up just being abused 80% of time as the sole source of packs for players, then *poof* it'll be gone. Or the rewards changed to disincentivize (mmm, made up words) abusing it thusly.

ossuary
06-17-2013, 03:25 PM
I keep praying for a purple name to say "We will be dealing with this. This thread is pointless. Locking it now." :p

wildcard
06-17-2013, 03:38 PM
That sounds like an abuse of the system to me.

Let me ask you this: if her account got banned from the VIP program so she could still play, just didn't have one pack a week to give to you, would it be you or her who get's annoyed by it?

I'll just reiterate first that my whole point is that it's none of anyone's bleeping business... but to answer your question, I think we'd both be annoyed. If there's a sale at the mall offering one gizmo per person and we both drive there and both buy something and she's doing it to make me happy by letting me have two, and some a-hole shoves her out of line and says she has no right being there, we're both going to get pretty pissy about it. I'd be a hell of a lot more angry at the audacity of the jerk than I would be over the gizmo, and she'd be equally pissed off about the accusations of her "unworthy" motives and being denied what is pretty close to the fundamental human right to contract. This is a commercial transaction and you don't get to make judgments about people's motivations for how they spend their money; nor whether they're pooling it in a commune or a shared checking account. At some point later I will probably also feel cheated out of that second gizmo, because TWO people had a right to buy TWO of them, and the best articulated reason anyone can come up with for why I have one is that my wife's existence is immaterial.

I honestly joined this debate because I thought, surely, these few folks just haven't realized how crazy the idea of automated banning over individual booster trades is. It's been made clear that not only do a few people think it's sane, they don't even think whether someone is a human being matters "in the least" as to whether or not they can get a VIP sub. I'll hang around to watch what others have to say... and thankfully I think we have more rational people now in here than not... but I really can't explain this any other way. Two people, two subs. Four friends, four subs. An entire senior class of 100 students that want to pool all of their cards, boosters, gold, platinum, and 100 VIP packs per week into one account and then freely share out cards for individuals to build decks, all communist style, is totally and completely fine. Arguments to the contrary don't have a leg to stand on. Try to explain your position using any physical commodity, please, seriously.

I don't even think this means the VIP program should necessarily be scrubbed (unless they're going to try this behavioral heuristic banning bot thing)... it just means if you have 200,000 HUMAN BEINGS in your game, you might be selling UP TO 200,000 boosters per week for ~$1 each. That's your market impact right there, and if its too much, then the price is wrong.

jai151
06-17-2013, 03:43 PM
How about making some decks with those cards, then storing them in the guild bank?

Again, no cards get stored in the guild bank. It's phantom decks to play/play against in deck testing, not storage.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 03:50 PM
Again, no cards get stored in the guild bank. It's phantom decks to play/play against in deck testing, not storage.

How about using one account to store all the cards, and unilaterally trading cards from it to your friends accounts when there's a deck they want to build? Rhetorical of course, because you can do this, and it's wholly in the spirit of a TCG among friends and family. If you disagree, I hope it doesn't bother you that all the card boxes in my basement are freely available for my wife to deck build from to her heart's content, regardless of who's name was on the credit card that bought them.

Less snarky, are the cards removed from your inventory when you put a deck in the guild bank? Or do you not even have to own the original cards yourself and you're just uploading a deck list? If you don't have the cards taken out of your inventory when you upload the deck list, can you buy them, put the deck in the guild bank, and then sell the cards and still have everyone in your guild play around with the deck? Seems kinda broken if the cards aren't actually going into a bank.

jai151
06-17-2013, 03:51 PM
I'll just reiterate first that my whole point is that it's none of anyone's bleeping business... but to answer your question, I think we'd both be annoyed. If there's a sale at the mall offering one gizmo per person and we both drive there and both buy something and she's doing it to make me happy by letting me have two, and some a-hole shoves her out of line and says she has no right being there, we're both going to get pretty pissy about it. I'd be a hell of a lot more angry at the audacity of the jerk than I would be over the gizmo, and she'd be equally pissed off about the accusations of her "unworthy" motives and being denied what is pretty close to the fundamental human right to contract. This is a commercial transaction and you don't get to make judgments about people's motivations for how they spend their money; nor whether they're pooling it in a commune or a shared checking account. At some point later I will probably also feel cheated out of that second gizmo, because TWO people had a right to buy TWO of them, and the best articulated reason anyone can come up with for why I have one is that my wife's existence is immaterial.

Actually, technically what you're doing to the store in the gizmo scenario is fraud. You may not see it as such, but it is. It's never prosecuted simply because it's impossible to prove in an untracked scenario.


Try to explain your position using any physical commodity, please, seriously.

For the example's purchase, you live in a state with a one handgun a month purchase limit. You buy a handgun, your wife buys a second gun with the express purpose of giving it to you. Your wife has now broken the law and can go to jail for making that second purchase.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 03:53 PM
Wildcard,
I think the main issue here is that CZE doesn't know your wife is a real person and not a bot (unlike your brick and mortar store example).

The core concept here is that if your wife is playing the game and not just handing you her VIP packs without herself being involved in Hex, you should have nothing to worry about. The problem is that every time someone tries to put this into a specific example you reply that it's unreasonable to expect her behavior to be distinguishable from a pack-farming bot.

And to that we're replying that if her account fails a turing test (her behavior trips the anti-pack-farming metrics), it should probably be black listed from VIP until you sort everything out with customer service, because frankly if it looks like a duck...

jai151
06-17-2013, 03:54 PM
Less snarky, are the cards removed from your inventory when you put a deck in the guild bank? Or do you not even have to own the original cards yourself and you're just uploading a deck list? If you don't have the cards taken out of your inventory when you upload the deck list, can you buy them, put the deck in the guild bank, and then sell the cards and still have everyone in your guild play around with the deck? Seems kinda broken if the cards aren't actually going into a bank.

The cards are not removed from your inventory. It's unknown if you need to own them. How is it broken, exactly, since you can't go out and play with the decks, only play phantom games with the AI or (assumedly) a guildmate?

wildcard
06-17-2013, 04:14 PM
Actually, technically what you're doing to the store in the gizmo scenario is fraud. You may not see it as such, but it is. It's never prosecuted simply because it's impossible to prove in an untracked scenario.

Well, you've painted yourself into a corner, might as well have a party there. If you actually think this is "fraud", more power to you I guess.


For the example's purchase, you live in a state with a one handgun a month purchase limit. You buy a handgun, your wife buys a second gun with the express purpose of giving it to you. Your wife has now broken the law and can go to jail for making that second purchase.

Maryland 5-136 specifically calls out the purchase of a regulated (no more than one in a 30 day period) firearm for the express purpose of gifting it to their spouse, as being exempt from the definition of a straw purchase. But of course firearms are probably the most heavily regulated commercial products in the world, as far as ownership goes, and we are still talking about game subscriptions, right? so maybe it's not the best example?

wildcard
06-17-2013, 04:16 PM
Wildcard,
I think the main issue here is that CZE doesn't know your wife is a real person and not a bot (unlike your brick and mortar store example).

The core concept here is that if your wife is playing the game and not just handing you her VIP packs without herself being involved in Hex, you should have nothing to worry about. The problem is that every time someone tries to put this into a specific example you reply that it's unreasonable to expect her behavior to be distinguishable from a pack-farming bot.

And to that we're replying that if her account fails a turing test (her behavior trips the anti-pack-farming metrics), it should probably be black listed from VIP until you sort everything out with customer service, because frankly if it looks like a duck...

The fact that my wife and a pack-farming bot are indistinguishable should probably insult me more than it does, but rolling with it, I agree it's the main issue. I see it as clear evidence that this fictional CZE that's banning people on heuristics that include an account giving 1 pack a week to another account has a broken system on their hands. You and others see it as a heinous crime I guess.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 04:17 PM
The cards are not removed from your inventory. It's unknown if you need to own them. How is it broken, exactly, since you can't go out and play with the decks, only play phantom games with the AI or (assumedly) a guildmate?

I would say it's broken because it appears that as long as you only want to play a TCG with your friends none of you actually need to buy any cards?

jai151
06-17-2013, 04:58 PM
Well, you've painted yourself into a corner, might as well have a party there. If you actually think this is "fraud", more power to you I guess.

And if you want to continue to think that breaking policy is okay, whatever. Just because you can get away with something does not make it right.


Maryland 5-136 specifically calls out the purchase of a regulated (no more than one in a 30 day period) firearm for the express purpose of gifting it to their spouse, as being exempt from the definition of a straw purchase. But of course firearms are probably the most heavily regulated commercial products in the world, as far as ownership goes, and we are still talking about game subscriptions, right? so maybe it's not the best example?

California has no such exemption. Just because your front to get the extras is your wife doesn't make it right. You're still circumventing policy.

Yes I chose a bit of an out there example, but how about this for one more down to earth. You and your wife make a restricted purchase on Amazon of a product. Amazon notices there are two going to the same address and cancels one order. Your wife responds to the cancellation, unaware that you also purchased the item, stating it's a gift for you. Amazon responds saying you already ordered one and stands by the cancellation. Do you think Amazon is in the wrong to do so?

Hatts
06-17-2013, 05:02 PM
How about using one account to store all the cards, and unilaterally trading cards from it to your friends accounts when there's a deck they want to build? Rhetorical of course, because you can do this, and it's wholly in the spirit of a TCG among friends and family. If you disagree, I hope it doesn't bother you that all the card boxes in my basement are freely available for my wife to deck build from to her heart's content, regardless of who's name was on the credit card that bought them.


I think that's perfectly fine. I also think that if one or more of your friends accounts are inactive other than trading the boosters CZE has the right to stop selling them VIP. When they go to resubscribe explain that the VIP program was meant as a bonus for active players and since they haven't played for the past X months except for trading Y booster packs to another player. If/when they start playing again they can re-qualify for VIP.

Setting a minimum activity level over the length of the VIP subscription to qualify for the next one is an example of how this could be done with a soft touch instead of a sledge hammer. Bans should only be used when the abuse is large scale or someone has had multiple warnings.

edit: I'm pretty sure the cards you put in your guild bank leave your collection until take them back. However once there anyone in the guild can the use the deck, there are unlimited copies. So you could make the wildcard guild with all your friends and family, have them on VIP, centralize the cards, create decks, check them in to the guild library and then all of team wildcard can play head to head matches with them. AFAIK right now all of that isn't breaking any CZE rules.

Kietay
06-17-2013, 05:19 PM
Wildcard you don't have to worry. People here might consider what you are saying to be abuse but no sane company would ever even consider banning an account that was owned by a real person and even sometimes legitimately played even if they were giving all their VIP boosters to someone else. It would be PR suicide if they ever banned a real person who spent real money on a program and decided after to give some cards to someone else they knew.

This is the inherent problem with the VIP program. They will not be able to, and likely not care to, stop actual people from having maybe 1-3 extra accounts to get boosters. It's a lot harder to find and stop 10,000 people with 1 extra account than 1 person with 10,000 extra accounts anyways.

They need to rework the VIP system so it does not devalue cards.

Avedecus
06-17-2013, 05:23 PM
People here might consider what you are saying to be abuse
Some of his proposed hypotheticals are examples of abuse. This is not a debatable fact.

purehybrid
06-17-2013, 05:27 PM
They need to rework the VIP system so it does not devalue cards.

Or they could leave it as it is, and we can have a game 1/4 the cost of mtg, instead of 1/2 the cost of mtg :) Either way crypto will make squillions if it is popular.

Genocidal
06-17-2013, 05:46 PM
This thread took off in a weird direction arguing "what-if"s on a pretty straightforward policy.

majin
06-17-2013, 05:49 PM
I keep praying for a purple name to say "We will be dealing with this. This thread is pointless. Locking it now." :p

would a purple text do? :P

We will be dealing with this. This thread is pointless. Locking it now

Kietay
06-17-2013, 06:20 PM
Or they could leave it as it is, and we can have a game 1/4 the cost of mtg, instead of 1/2 the cost of mtg :) Either way crypto will make squillions if it is popular.

This is the problem with the VIP system. They are effectively saying that anyone who wants to buy more than 4 booster packs a month should open up a new VIP account for themself. But they also want to restrict it to one per person (which will not happen no matter what people think).

With the current VIP system you are either doing something CZE doesn't want you to, or you are paying double for boosters compared to most other people. If they want to sell boosters for $1 thats okay but it is extremely silly to think that the majority will take a 100% hit in price they pay just because of an honor system.

The VIP needs to give some kind of reward that does not lower the cost of a limited amount of boosters.

Punk
06-17-2013, 06:27 PM
This is impossible, with just 17000 backers, who's going to handle them case by case? There are already a few people in this thread alone admitting they will do it. How many more will come afterwards? It's really simple, a system that punishes all that seem to be doing it and fixing afterwards. I mean, if you have a good reason to do it, then surely you can just tell them, right? If you know that your reason is too weak, well yeah... Then what did you expect?

Don't quote only half of what I said and argue that. Go read my first paragraph again. What you quoted me on was in direct relation to the people severely abusing the system, not every single person doing it.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 06:37 PM
Some of his proposed hypotheticals are examples of abuse. This is not a debatable fact.
Not a debatable fact... this I have to hear. In every example, there are two people (real live ones!) paying for two VIP accounts. The only argument is how much say you get in what they do with what they bought.

jai151
06-17-2013, 06:46 PM
Not a debatable fact... this I have to hear. In every example, there are two people (real live ones!) paying for two VIP accounts. The only argument is how much say you get in what they do with what they bought.

One person uses a false or temporary card to open two VIP accounts and trade himself the packs. End result, one account with two subscriptions.

One person uses his wife's credit card to open two VIP accounts and trade himself the packs. End result, one account with two subscriptions.

One person uses his wife's account to open two VIP accounts and trade himself the packs. End result, one account with two subscriptions.

When the ends are the same, and are against what has been said to be the intent of the VIP program, what exactly is the difference that makes any one of those scenarios "legal"?

BenRGamer
06-17-2013, 06:53 PM
I just think the boosters themselves should be untradable--the cards in them are fine, as most boosters are worth more than the cards in them anyway. I think that would solve 90% of the problems right there.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 06:58 PM
Wow, I expected this thread to be on page 6.

I really just wanted to show that people's views on what is or is not abuse in ambiguous (or what some consider ambiguous) cases differs radically, so I guess mission accomplished. Its unlikely that anyone is going to change anyone else's opinions on this subject so I wouldn't get too worked up.

One point I wanted to make in response to some saying, "just don't get more than 1 VIP pack in your account each week" is that as far as I know people can give you whatever they want even if you're not online. Some of the solutions given in this thread would lead to briefing by people creating an account just to give you VIP packs and try to get you banned. If this happens over a couple of months the person is sure going to look suspicious even if they have no control over receiving these boosters. Any solution they come up with has to ensure it can't be exploited to grief people which is just one more added bit of complexity.

Justin

iscariotrex
06-17-2013, 07:02 PM
This is all pretty strange to me. I don't see why people would want to game the system to the detriment of the game/pass-time they say they enjoy. Two bucks is cheap ya'll. Yes one dollar is cheaper. One pack a week is nice and all but there was implied functionality that will come along with VIP that I thought was more interesting(at one point did they mention the possibility of a monthly tournament?). Bottom line is this, crappy people are the reason we can't have nice things. People, don't be crappy. People are implying that Crypto should fix the system; crappy people should fix themselves. The game even has a free to play model and people want to take even more advantage... ridiculous. If the company finds the game to be unprofitable, then the game goes away. If you can't afford to pay two dollars when you decide you need something extra(ie. extraneous, as in, not necessary) in a free game, then they probably need to find a less stressful hobby.

jai151
06-17-2013, 07:09 PM
Justin, that would be one expensive griefing...

Mike411
06-17-2013, 07:09 PM
I am of the opinion that if CZE don't want people to have multiple accounts with VIP subs then it is their responsibility to make it clear that it is not allowed and put systems in place to prevent abuse.

Since VIP isn't "Buy as many boosters as you want for $1" - it's clear indication that their limits are supposed to be respected and not circumvented with multiple accounts. That being said, it will likely be in the terms & conditions when you download the game or make an account.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 07:13 PM
One person uses a false or temporary card to open two VIP accounts and trade himself the packs. End result, one account with two subscriptions.

One person uses his wife's credit card to open two VIP accounts and trade himself the packs. End result, one account with two subscriptions.

One person uses his wife's account to open two VIP accounts and trade himself the packs. End result, one account with two subscriptions.

When the ends are the same, and are against what has been said to be the intent of the VIP program, what exactly is the difference that makes any one of those scenarios "legal"?

LOL. I did not present an example for #1, #2 or #3. What I said was TWO people open two VIP accounts and do whatever the hell they feel like with what they've bought because it's not a debatable fact that its within the one-VIP-per-person policy.

Same ends, same legality eh? If I open ten boosters and sell all the cards and just clear enough plat to buy one legendary, or steal your password and transfer out that same one legendary to myself... well, same ends, so same legality right? Or perhaps, might the details of HOW one reaches the ends matter after all? And if the "how" is two accounts for two people, on what planet is that a violation of one-VIP-per-person?

You solo players so desperately want friends and family to not pool their resources that you're arguing for CZE to try and analyze the behaviors of their players to decide if their activities are within some abstract boundaries of "playing enough" or "exchanging equal economic value" or a bloody Turing test to determine sentience, and I'm saying (like others now, yay!) that you're off your rocker. Not a chance that CZE is going to do this. One-VIP-per-person is the rule, and nothing about what each person does with their packs or cards or chests or whatever is going to matter. They're going to look for more than one account per person, and they'll start with multiple VIP subscriptions on one card (that's trivial, just block subs after a card is in use), and after that maybe a search for some reasonably high threshold of "slave accounts" which isn't trivial at all, and will miss a lot of clever scammers... but it won't be anywhere near this lunatic "3 packs from your wife and you're banned" threshold.

Justinkp
06-17-2013, 07:32 PM
Justin, that would be one expensive griefing...

Unfortunately people will still do it if you annoy them enough, even just by beating them. People are broken. And it doesn't have to be that expensive if $1 is enough to get them under suspicion/ banned from the VIP program.

It is something they'll have to take into account sadly.

Justin

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 07:48 PM
...And if the "how" is two accounts for two people, on what planet is that a violation of one-VIP-per-person?

It's a violation when the second person is buying for the first because that's 2 for one person.

wildcard
06-17-2013, 07:53 PM
Good thing you know the intent of other human beings. A subroutine in your Turing test no doubt. No way that will result in false positives.

jgsugden
06-17-2013, 08:04 PM
You can make all the rules you want, place all the precautions you want into place and try to be as dilligent as you'd like... the system can and will be worked around. However, you're usually insane to do it. Why? Because the cost doesn't justify the benefit.

Do you think that having 5 friends putting up with you charging their cards, with you having to log onto 6 different accounts and play enough on each to convince Crypto's systems that each account is active, and then work around the trades to get the cards where they need to go - for 20 bucks or so a month? You're annoying friends, doing a couple hours of work, and constantly having at least a little worry that all 6 accounts are going to get locked down... for $20 a month. If $20 means that much to you, I would suggest you probably shouldn't be spending any money on Hex.

ossuary
06-17-2013, 08:06 PM
If you ignore both jai151 and wildcard, this whole thread is only 10 posts. :p

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 08:11 PM
Good thing you know the intent of other human beings. A subroutine in your Turing test no doubt. No way that will result in false positives.

When all transactions are logged its trivial to see whether the second account is using the membership themselves or handing it over to another account. You don't have to guess at intent when you can point to two months of logs that show a one way flow of value from a mostly inactive account to an active one.

In much the same way that a brick and mortar store running a one-per-person deal would not give you two items if you claimed one was for your absent wife, you should not expect an account that is ostensively for your wife but shows no signs of belonging to a real person, to remain eligible for VIP.

Again this all goes away if your wife's account actually plays the game or of you give your wife something in return for her packs, because then her account will look like a person who is disposing of her packs as she sees fit, not an account that exists so it can send packs to someone else.

Ju66ernaut
06-17-2013, 08:35 PM
Jimmy and Timmy both play Hex. If Jimmy offers to give Timmy his pudding at lunch for a year if Timmy gives Jimmy his VIP pack for a year, should Jimmy and/or Timmy be banned? An exchange was made, CZ has no way to monitor both sides of the exchange, and they've said they don't want to intrude in the secondary market. Pudding is the secondary market, it exists outside of the game.

Everyone please do what you feel is right and let CZ worry about the folks who decide "invest" $200,000 in 50,000 accounts in order to game the system. Don't marsh one another's mallows.

Fateanomaly
06-17-2013, 08:41 PM
If things were so straightforward, convenient and easy, all bots and gold sellers would have been eliminated from mmos long ago.

jai151
06-17-2013, 09:31 PM
Wildcard, all of your examples are your wife buying the VIP sub to give the packs to you. That is not "two people with two accounts."

And I don't know where you got the idea I'm a solo player, I'm not. Not even close.

Finally, for your silly "ends" response, owning a legendary item isn't against known policy. Having multiple VIP subscriptions on one account is. As such, the means are immaterial when the ends are against known policy.

If you walk through TSA screening with a 6.4 oz bottle, it doesn't matter if you knowingly brought it, someone placed it in your bag, or you were combining you and your wife's bottle into one, you still have a bottle too big to get through screening and it's still getting confiscated.

OutlandishMatt
06-17-2013, 10:19 PM
You don't have to guess at intent when you can point to two months of logs that show a one way flow of value from a mostly inactive account to an active one.

So you're saying if I quit playing and decide, "Hey, for my friend's birthday I will just get VIP for a year and gift him the boosters! That's a great birthday gift." I should now have my account revoked?! Or worse, banned?! Seriously? Really? Seriously?! C'mon, really?!

Xtopher
06-18-2013, 12:31 AM
For the record, when I mentioned the possibility of instant ban for abusing the VIP system I was trying to illustrate the absurdity of it, not endorse it.

My position is there are too many cases of legitimate use of VIP to be able to police it in any but the most rudimentary way (such as one CC per VIP sub). The CC restriction will be more than sufficient to deal with this issue and is actually going to be a step too far in some cases.

Enyeez
06-18-2013, 12:41 AM
some of you care way too much about this.

I highly doubt they would ban or suspend accounts for it, it's a steady income for them.
And if they have a problem with it, they would inform us beforehand. let's atleast assume that they are fair.

Patrigan
06-18-2013, 01:10 AM
some of you care way too much about this.

I highly doubt they would ban or suspend accounts for it, it's a steady income for them.
And if they have a problem with it, they would inform us beforehand. let's atleast assume that they are fair.

They have already confirmed they have a problem with it.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game/posts/481824
Scroll down to the VIP Program (right above the pictures), they clearly state it's limited to one per user and any and all abuse will be tracked.

Zomnivore
06-18-2013, 01:15 AM
I don't really see a way to abuse this just by happen stance.

You'd have to be trading a lot of cards to someone else, and I don't see the point. If you've got multiple accounts for the one year of drafts do that, and just have one with vip. Sounds like thats the way they want to handle that. I don't think they're going to get mad if the vip you got for free with the ks accounts gets consolidated...seeing as they let you not merge the accounts right?

That would make sense to me as the sort of fair middle ground on that one.

Banquetto
06-18-2013, 06:20 AM
I've seen lots of people on these forums talking about giveaways. Private tournaments, competitions, giveaways to encourage good forum posting, etc.

I hope none of those people are planning to get VIP subscriptions. Because if they do, half the people in this thread will demand both they and the recipient be permabanned if they ever dare to give away a booster to someone else who happens to have VIP.

Patrigan
06-18-2013, 06:33 AM
I've seen lots of people on these forums talking about giveaways. Private tournaments, competitions, giveaways to encourage good forum posting, etc.

I hope none of those people are planning to get VIP subscriptions. Because if they do, half the people in this thread will demand both they and the recipient be permabanned if they ever dare to give away a booster to someone else who happens to have VIP.

Nobody in this threads demands a permaban for giving away ONE VIP booster... People are asking that CZE keeps to their 1 VIP per person and preventing any and all abuse (depending on the ToS, this will likely include every person who consistently gives his/her VIP boosters to one and the same person.)

jai151
06-18-2013, 06:39 AM
I've seen lots of people on these forums talking about giveaways. Private tournaments, competitions, giveaways to encourage good forum posting, etc.

I hope none of those people are planning to get VIP subscriptions. Because if they do, half the people in this thread will demand both they and the recipient be permabanned if they ever dare to give away a booster to someone else who happens to have VIP.

If you honestly believe that...

The problem is when a second (or third, or fourth, etc, etc) VIP account is set up simply to funnel packs to an account with a preexisting VIP subscription. Unless it's a weekly or monthly tournament/competition/giveaway consisting of all VIP packs and the same person is winning each time, there's not even anything to investigate there.

Kami
06-18-2013, 07:46 AM
I've read through this thread and I think you guys are over-complicating the solution as far as analytics go.

Since everything is trackable through their system (Booster ID, Card ID, etc.), you can safely assume that VIP boosters will be trackable.

Two scenarios for abuse:

1. Single account funneling VIP boosters from multiple accounts to sell. From an analytics standpoint, this person has received a large quantity of boosters from the VIP program and has not used a single one (or very few) on the account while selling many of them. This is an automatic red flag of abuse. This is the easiest method for abusers and also the most easily tracked.

2. Multiple accounts selling all VIP boosters with little to no activity of anything else on the account other than selling boosters/trading. Analytically speaking, this is also not a common user account. This should also trigger an automatic red flag. However, with the multiple accounts scenario, it takes a bit longer to analyze the data over time. The flip side is that for someone using multiple accounts to profit, it is also more difficult, requires more hours and resources to manage as well.

3. Variations of the above. At this point, the time and effort it takes to circumvent analytics will work against you. It is no longer 'easy' to profit.

I don't believe we have anything to worry about, abuse-wise. Most of it will be easily tracked. This is for VIP abuse, obviously.

As for bots, farmers, etc., there are other analytics that apply and in most cases the average user (even hardcore players) will not have the same type of signature as the ones who are gaming the system.

Unless you can show definitively that there is no way to determine suspect behaviour through statistics in a game like this (where everything is trackable), this is over-reacting to a situation that is unlikely to be a problem.

OutlandishMatt
06-18-2013, 08:18 PM
I do not want a VIP program that dictates what can and can't be done with the packs I get. And I have a feeling I am not the only one. I do not dictate what they do with my $4 when I give it to them so they shouldn't dictate what happens with my boosters.

Barkam
06-18-2013, 08:34 PM
I do not want a VIP program that dictates what can and can't be done with the packs I get. And I have a feeling I am not the only one. I do not dictate what they do with my $4 when I give it to them so they shouldn't dictate what happens with my boosters.

Don't be silly. If you buy them the boosters at full retail, you can certainly have that attitude. Since you are getting a 50% discount, I don't think it is unreasonable to apply restrictions on it. The most sensible restriction is not to be able to trade them while they are still boosters. Once the booster is opened it is fair game and no restrictions apply.

RobHaven
06-18-2013, 08:34 PM
I've seen lots of people on these forums talking about giveaways. Private tournaments, competitions, giveaways to encourage good forum posting, etc.

I hope none of those people are planning to get VIP subscriptions. Because if they do, half the people in this thread will demand both they and the recipient be permabanned if they ever dare to give away a booster to someone else who happens to have VIP.

I'm one of these people, and I'm excited about doing these giveaways and tournaments. I'm also going to participate in the VIP program. I don't think "a booster that may or may not have been obtained through the VIP program going to another participant of the VIP program" is how they want us to interpret "abuse." And even if it was something close to that, I'm sure they'd have no issues with lifting the restrictions in the name of building the community. They have, after all, been pushing the community concept since the very beginning.

Justinkp
06-18-2013, 08:56 PM
I've read through this thread and I think you guys are over-complicating the solution as far as analytics go.

Since everything is trackable through their system (Booster ID, Card ID, etc.), you can safely assume that VIP boosters will be trackable.

Two scenarios for abuse:

1. Single account funneling VIP boosters from multiple accounts to sell. From an analytics standpoint, this person has received a large quantity of boosters from the VIP program and has not used a single one (or very few) on the account while selling many of them. This is an automatic red flag of abuse. This is the easiest method for abusers and also the most easily tracked.

2. Multiple accounts selling all VIP boosters with little to no activity of anything else on the account other than selling boosters/trading. Analytically speaking, this is also not a common user account. This should also trigger an automatic red flag. However, with the multiple accounts scenario, it takes a bit longer to analyze the data over time. The flip side is that for someone using multiple accounts to profit, it is also more difficult, requires more hours and resources to manage as well.

3. Variations of the above. At this point, the time and effort it takes to circumvent analytics will work against you. It is no longer 'easy' to profit.

I don't believe we have anything to worry about, abuse-wise. Most of it will be easily tracked. This is for VIP abuse, obviously.

As for bots, farmers, etc., there are other analytics that apply and in most cases the average user (even hardcore players) will not have the same type of signature as the ones who are gaming the system.

Unless you can show definitively that there is no way to determine suspect behaviour through statistics in a game like this (where everything is trackable), this is over-reacting to a situation that is unlikely to be a problem.

I don't think the analytics are being questioned so much as your first scenario will catch people who many people don't seem to think are guilty of abuse. I don't have a strong opinion I started this thread because I suspected people had drastically different ideas about what constitutes abuse which has shown to be the case. I didn't think the argument would go on this long and somewhat regret posting it because I don't think much more useful discussion is going to be accomplished.

Justin

OutlandishMatt
06-18-2013, 10:00 PM
There are tons of subscription models where you receive something at a discounted rate and are not regulated beyond that. Amazon comes to mind. I can get a subscription to some things via Amazon at a slightly discounted price for varying times. Amazon does not police what happens once I receive my goods. The same goes for magazine subscriptions.

Someone in one of the "I missed Kickstarter" threads said it best, "People need to quit worrying about what others have." I think a lot of people are bitter towards others that will end up having an advantage over them. I get it, but don't go overboard and think family and friends should get banned or removed from the VIP program because of their generosity .

Turtlewing
06-18-2013, 10:15 PM
So you're saying if I quit playing and decide, "Hey, for my friend's birthday I will just get VIP for a year and gift him the boosters! That's a great birthday gift." I should now have my account revoked?! Or worse, banned?! Seriously? Really? Seriously?! C'mon, really?!

I'm saying that is a pretty obvious abuse of the VIP program*, and CZE is within their rights to refuse to sell you a VIP membership if they figure out you're doing it (it would also be their prerogative to overlook it). The ethical solution would be to offer to pay for a year of your friends VIP membership, or to simply buy and gift regular boosters.


* You're colluding to gain a financial advantage by bypassing a limitation on a promotional offer. It's not acting in good faith.

OutlandishMatt
06-19-2013, 02:23 PM
I* You're colluding to gain a financial advantage by bypassing a limitation on a promotional offer. It's not acting in good faith.

Collusion requires two or more people. This is one person doing something without the other person having any idea what's going on. Based on what people are saying, a friend could be handing you packs for nothing, just to be friendly and because you accept these packs from a friend, you'll get banned.

Turtlewing
06-19-2013, 02:37 PM
Collusion requires two or more people. This is one person doing something without the other person having any idea what's going on. Based on what people are saying, a friend could be handing you packs for nothing, just to be friendly and because you accept these packs from a friend, you'll get banned.

Yes, some people are saying that (some people say lots of stupid things). It is not what I'm saying however.

I've been saying that they would be unlikely to ban accounts that have a chance of belonging to real people, and that a more sensible solution to apparent collusion/hacked account type abuse is to blacklist those accounts from VIP (exercising the merchants right to refuse a sale) as that would stop the flow of "under-valued" packs into the ecconamy and allow the person to still play or to get things sorted with customer sevice and their VIP reinstated.

I have also maintained that CZE has a right to stop selling you VIP membership if they suspect you're account is hacked/a bot/a front for someone else to get more half price packs.

Account bans would be for accounts that are involved in large scale systematic abuse.

Kathy
06-19-2013, 05:49 PM
I'm convinced. It's unfair to limit mass VIP exploitation, guess the answer is to cancel the program entirely or remove the free expansion pack. (Seriously folks they have to make some money, geezus.)

BenRGamer
06-19-2013, 06:52 PM
Don't be silly. If you buy them the boosters at full retail, you can certainly have that attitude. Since you are getting a 50% discount, I don't think it is unreasonable to apply restrictions on it. The most sensible restriction is not to be able to trade them while they are still boosters. Once the booster is opened it is fair game and no restrictions apply.

Just agreeing with this option.

Covnam
06-19-2013, 07:00 PM
There have been a lot of questions about the subscription feature. When naming it, we didn't really consider the dissonance that would occur with HEX, a free to play game, and the term 'subscription.' It's opt-in after all, providing each player a few packs each month at a discount and some cool bonus stuff like the monthly exclusive VIP tournament and the deck "goldfish" tool. It's all upside and none of it is needed to play. So, we're calling it the VIP Program to make sure nobody gets confused.

We've also received a lot of questions from backers worried that players will game the system, opening multiple accounts to stack VIP Program booster packs. This program is intended to be one-per-player as a cool way to let our community access some packs at a discount and get some sweet bonus stuff. But, we do understand that there will always be a small percentage of players who are always looking to game the system. We're aware of this and have powerful analytical tools to determine when this is occurring and will handle those instances accordingly.From http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game/posts/481824

Personally I don't care if someone wants to create multiple accounts with multiple VIPs. It seems like a lot of effort just to get two extra packs for the same price, but since cze doesn't want it, that's the end of the story. Wouldn't be surprised if they just made the VIP packs unable to be traded to curb this before it even begins. Sure, you could (and should) still be able to move the stuff inside the packs around, but at least that would help deter people.

ossuary
06-19-2013, 08:52 PM
I remember going into McDonald's once with a coupon for buy one Big Mac, get one free. It said "limit one per customer" on it, but I told that lady behind the counter to go fuck herself, and give me 20 Big Macs. They don't tell me how I can use their promotion!

Miwa
06-19-2013, 08:57 PM
I think they intended the VIP program as a way for casuals to get some boosters cheap. Instead it's the hardcore trying to game the system for as much as they can get.

I bet the program eventually morphs to something like untradable discount event tix, or other things that don't stack (like the current entry into VIP-only tournaments) or that aren't worth money on the auction house. Grandfather the current program for just the KS backers, and when those all run out, then only the new system.

fido_one
06-21-2013, 07:10 AM
I just realized something - with all of our talk of what CZE could do on figuring out who is abusing the system, I forgot they have the ability to see who has what cards and where they originate over their inception.

AKA, they can have, behind the scenes, each card say something like: card from booster back originating from person A in the VIP program, opened by person A, owned by person A, traded to person B on timestamp, used in play on ConstructedDeckDualID, etc. etc.

That means some damn fancy tricks in honing in on accounts they think are abusing the system that can't take place in other MMO playspheres.

If they give us a good ToS on the matter (VIP and otherwise), I think they'll have a better chance than other MMOs out there to see how legitimate some of the scenarios in this thread are.

Side note: Almost had to start a new thread as I couldn't find this one - the forums are large enough that the system bulks at trying to search for 'VIP' (even in titles only).

OutlandishMatt
06-21-2013, 10:31 AM
The problem is that you're regulating what a person can do with something they've purchased and that shouldn't happen with a program that's trying to encourage/entice players. "We'll give you a booster a week but you can't trade it or anything from it to someone repeatedly without you getting punished." That's just bad. I'd rather them scrap the VIP program completely than have to constantly worry about my account getting banned for giving a friend boosters I paid for.

jai151
06-21-2013, 10:43 AM
The problem is that you're regulating what a person can do with something they've purchased and that shouldn't happen with a program that's trying to encourage/entice players. "We'll give you a booster a week but you can't trade it or anything from it to someone repeatedly without you getting punished." That's just bad. I'd rather them scrap the VIP program completely than have to constantly worry about my account getting banned for giving a friend boosters I paid for.

1) No one is seriously supporting account bans for abuse. The bans being supported are from the VIP subscription only.

2) A VIP ban would come into play ONLY when someone is abusing the system. Give a few packs away, sure. Set up a dummy acount or pay a friend to set up VIP on their account and send all the boosters to you? You're in abuse territory. It's really not as grey as people are trying to make it out to be.

OutlandishMatt
06-21-2013, 01:26 PM
1) No one is seriously supporting account bans for abuse. The bans being supported are from the VIP subscription only.

Bans in any regard shouldn't happen for this program unless there is undoubted proof of malice. Double digit accounts, sure, but even then you should have to prove it was from the same person. If it's 10 accounts scattered across the globe that doesn't seem malicious but friends supporting someone.


2) A VIP ban would come into play ONLY when someone is abusing the system. Give a few packs away, sure. Set up a dummy acount or pay a friend to set up VIP on their account and send all the boosters to you? You're in abuse territory. It's really not as grey as people are trying to make it out to be.

How are you going to prove someone is paying a friend and not just being a friend? A company should not just assume malicious intent and that's the problem I see. A company banning friends for helping one another out, being a community.

Hatts
06-21-2013, 01:49 PM
If you are 'being a friend' by funnelling all your VIP packs to someone you are still violating the spirit of the program. Banning that 'friend' from the VIP program is perfectly acceptable. If you have a valid reason why this should be allowed you can contact support and try to convince them to lift the ban.

The point is that you should only be getting 1 pack a week at $1 through the VIP program. If you are regularly getting more than that a week there is probably some abuse going on and the onus is on you to prove otherwise.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 01:55 PM
I remember going into McDonald's once with a coupon for buy one Big Mac, get one free. It said "limit one per customer" on it, but I told that lady behind the counter to go fuck herself, and give me 20 Big Macs. They don't tell me how I can use their promotion!

I remember going into McDonald's once with my wife and two coupons for buy one Big Mac, get one free. It said "limit one per customer" on it, but when the two of us tried to buy two Big Macs and get two more free, the lady behind the counter said "nah, I reckon you're going to eat all four of them yourself, I don't believe that your wife is honestly buying those Big Macs for herself." And she wouldn't let us use the second coupon.

Then a bunch of Hex players in the queue behind us all started cheering for her, for diligently enforcing the spirit of the law rather than the letter.

jai151
06-21-2013, 01:58 PM
How are you going to prove someone is paying a friend and not just being a friend? A company should not just assume malicious intent and that's the problem I see. A company banning friends for helping one another out, being a community.

If "being a friend" is signing up for VIP and sending all packs to you, then being a friend IS abuse of the system. If it's not that situation, it's not abuse.

Turtlewing
06-21-2013, 01:59 PM
I remember going into McDonald's once with my wife and two coupons for buy one Big Mac, get one free. It said "limit one per customer" on it, but when the two of us tried to buy two Big Macs and get two more free, the lady behind the counter said "nah, I reckon you're going to eat all four of them yourself, I don't believe that your wife is honestly buying those Big Macs for herself." And she wouldn't let us use the second coupon.

Then a bunch of Hex players in the queue behind us all started cheering for her, for diligently enforcing the spirit of the law rather than the letter.

To finish this analogy it must be pointed out that your wife looks uncannily like a Real-Doll and never spoke or moved on her own initiative during the exchange.

jai151
06-21-2013, 02:00 PM
I remember going into McDonald's once with my wife and two coupons for buy one Big Mac, get one free. It said "limit one per customer" on it, but when the two of us tried to buy two Big Macs and get two more free, the lady behind the counter said "nah, I reckon you're going to eat all four of them yourself, I don't believe that your wife is honestly buying those Big Macs for herself." And she wouldn't let us use the second coupon.

Then a bunch of Hex players in the queue behind us all started cheering for her, for diligently enforcing the spirit of the law rather than the letter.

That's pre-emptive enforcement, which is not what anyone is suggesting. The situation would be closer to you and your wife using the coupons, and then you sit down in the restaurant and you alone eat all four in plain view of the lady behind the counter, who then snaps your picture, posts it behind the counter, and politely informs you that this McDonalds will no longer accept coupons from you.

Niedar
06-21-2013, 02:10 PM
That's pre-emptive enforcement, which is not what anyone is suggesting. The situation would be closer to you and your wife using the coupons, and then you sit down in the restaurant and you alone eat all four in plain view of the lady behind the counter, who then snaps your picture, posts it behind the counter, and politely informs you that this McDonalds will no longer accept coupons from you.

No it sounds like a better analogy is you and your wife order your cheeseburgers and then sit down. As soon as she gives you her cheeseburgers to eat an employee runs up and snatches the burger out of your hand and throws it in the trash.

jai151
06-21-2013, 02:19 PM
No it sounds like a better analogy is you and your wife order your cheeseburgers and then sit down. As soon as she gives you her cheeseburgers to eat an employee runs up and snatches the burger out of your hand and throws it in the trash.

How is that analogous? Now you're talking about revocation of product without remuneration, which is not anything like a VIP or account ban.

Niedar
06-21-2013, 02:23 PM
Are you fucking kidding me, thats not anything like an account ban?

Edit: Unless you mean an account ban is even worse.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 02:49 PM
I think jai151 is a lawyer, and is more interested in the legal definition of scenarios than the abstract comparison of how much something sucks. A point he made earlier suggested that "limit one per customer" would make my wife and I claiming two when she knew she wanted me to have hers a legally proven "fraud" that was merely difficult to prove in court. We normal folks would understand that's beyond crazy, and that two people are each entitled to have one and only one, each, and that what they decide to do with it from there is part of that whole "freedom" thing that lawyers also care little about. I kinda left the thread at that point. But now, look at me, unable to resist more abuse.

jai151
06-21-2013, 02:52 PM
Software developer, actually.

Obviously, someone who is only breaking the rules "a little bit" is going to think they're doing nothing wrong, which is why the two sides of this argument will never agree.

Turtlewing
06-21-2013, 02:52 PM
Are you fucking kidding me, thats not anything like an account ban?

Edit: Unless you mean an account ban is even worse.

Do you understand the difference between an account ban (which no one is suggesting except peopel who need a straw man to attack), and being black listed from VIP membership?

The later just means you can't have VIP on your account anymore because you abused the privilege. That's what "banned from VIP" means.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 02:59 PM
Do you understand the difference between an account ban (which no one is suggesting except peopel who need a straw man to attack), and being black listed from VIP membership?

The later just means you can't have VIP on your account anymore because you abused the privilege. That's what "banned from VIP" means.

Patrigan was the first in this thread to suggest automatic account banning, by an AI/bot without human oversight, after as few as three packs are traded between the same two accounts -- http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=25598&p=256535&viewfull=1#post256535 -- and did so suggesting it was a positive approach for CZE to take, and warned others. That post is what got me involved in this thread actually, as the thought that CZE would ever dream of doing so warranted a public objection in my opinion.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 03:02 PM
To finish this analogy it must be pointed out that your wife looks uncannily like a Real-Doll and never spoke or moved on her own initiative during the exchange.

Hey now, I love her just the same!

wildcard
06-21-2013, 03:16 PM
Software developer, actually.

Obviously, someone who is only breaking the rules "a little bit" is going to think they're doing nothing wrong, which is why the two sides of this argument will never agree.

Stay at a Holiday Inn Express? ;)

In this case, most of my "wife examples" are guessing at best. I got the account for her, on her Kickstarter account with her blessing, and I'm just hoping she plays, but I really have no idea what she will do with her cards or if she'll be interested in being in VIP because it's most bang-for-your-USD, or whatever else. But, all this talk of policing the activity of VIP account holders after they pay for and receive their pack is really cutting to the issue of being thought police. Most of your "you're still breaking the rules, even if just a little bit" replies seem to hinge on her state of mind, and whether that makes it ok for her to continue to be in the VIP program on the basis of why she's choosing to pay. If she *wants* to PvP and gets her pack, and then decides to sell it on the AH, well that's ok because she's in the VIP program with honorable intentions and trading me the gold/plat whatever is within the rules, but if she wants to be in VIP so she has another booster pack to sell on the AH, or gift to me and watch me win a draft or something, well that's despicable and she should be banned from the VIP program. It's just not a good position to be arguing from.

Despite your earlier claim that her status as a separate human being is immaterial, you're still left with making your decisions on people's worthiness for the VIP program hinging on why they want to be in the VIP program... and I think if;then;else breaks down pretty quickly while prying the human mind. The reality is that any algorithm that concludes "this person's intent is impure" is going to result in false positives, and I'm not ok with that. If the VIP program requires this, then it's a flawed program and should be scrapped. My hope is that they intend for VIP to be one-per-natural-person and only exclude people who create more than one VIP subscription, but once you have your one sub you get your pack and Big Brother goes off looking for actual abuse of the game.

jai151
06-21-2013, 03:43 PM
<Lots of stuff about policing thoughts>

It's much more simple and has nothing to do with being big brother. If the VIP packs are all going to you, it's abuse.

Period.

The end result of your account having more than one subscription's worth of VIP packs at that rate is the situation that needs to be avoided.

Niedar
06-21-2013, 03:49 PM
I don't buy that at all, the only time I would consider it abuse is having multiple accounts for one person. I think its absurd to call it abuse when there is a real person behind the account and they actively decide to give someone else a gift.

jai151
06-21-2013, 03:51 PM
I don't buy that at all, the only time I would consider it abuse is having multiple accounts for one person. I think its absurd to call it abuse when there is a real person behind the account and they actively decide to give someone else a gift.

If the "gift" is all the packs from VIP, how is that any different from one person having multiple accounts?

Niedar
06-21-2013, 04:01 PM
Because there is a real person that owns the account, how can you not tell the difference?

How is this any different from someone using VIP and then instantly selling their packs on the AH?

wildcard
06-21-2013, 04:12 PM
Because there is a real person that owns the account, how can you not tell the difference?

How is this any different from someone using VIP and then instantly selling their packs on the AH?

It isn't any different, but this was rehashed many pages ago, and someone even said if the ends are the same, the means of getting there don't matter. Which is so hilariously false and can be shown in so many ways (um, buying vs stealing?), it really does suggest there's just no reasoning with some people. I think most of us are unified in the belief that if a real person is making their own decisions, that doesn't need to be "avoided" regardless of what happens to the packs "in the end". Clearly there would be no problem with someone signing up for VIP, opening the packs, and selling off all the cards and loot for gold, and then transferring gold to another player, who decides to buy all the same cards and loot. The thought police want to know if there was a secret pact between these two people and try to punish them. Anyone who believes CZE should be engaging in this must understand the system is totally broken if that's required for it to function.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 04:37 PM
If the "gift" is all the packs from VIP, how is that any different from one person having multiple accounts?

Because CZE's policy is "one VIP account per person" and this is two VIP accounts for two separate people. That's why you're being accused of acting like thought police - because you're interpreting that as "one VIP account per person who really wants to play Hex themselves and use the cheap cards themselves."

p.s. I wonder how many people who are arguing this line have multiple KS pledges that they intend to merge? Just curious.

jai151
06-21-2013, 04:43 PM
Because CZE's policy is "one VIP account per person" and this is two VIP accounts for two separate people. That's why you're being accused of acting like thought police - because you're interpreting that as "one VIP account per person who really wants to play Hex themselves and use the cheap cards themselves."

p.s. I wonder how many people who are arguing this line have multiple KS pledges that they intend to merge? Just curious.

It's not two VIP accounts for two people at that point, though. It's two VIP accounts being funneled into one. If that's against the rules, as CZE has stated, it's against the rules. That's why I said the two sides will never agree, because you think, even though it's a functionally identical situation, it's somehow different because there's a person playing on the account that's acting as the first person's second VIP account.

As for the KS accounts, CZE authorized that early on.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 04:48 PM
It's not two VIP accounts for two people at that point, though. It's two VIP accounts being funneled into one. If that's against the rules, as CZE has stated, it's against the rules. That's why I said the two sides will never agree, because you think, even though it's a functionally identical situation, it's somehow different because there's a person playing on the account that's acting as the first person's second VIP account.

As for the KS accounts, CZE authorized that early on.

Will you listen to yourself? You're saying that someone is or is not a person, based on their intended use of their cards!

What if you buy a VIP account, don't play the game, just rip open the boosters, and sell any good rares on the secondary market? Are you a person? Or an abuse of the system?

What if two VIPs rip open their boosters and one of them gives just the cards he doesn't need to his friend, rather than all the cards? Is he a person? Or an abuse of the system?

What if the guy's wife has a VIP account, gives him all the cards, but still plays hours of PvE every day? Is she a person? Or an abuse of the system?

As for the KS accounts - exactly!! CZE authorized merging them. Just as they authorized one VIP per person. But a lot of people seem to be in favour of the former but not the latter.

p.s. can you provide a link to where CZE allegedly said it's against the rules for a VIP subscriber to sell, trade or give away their cards?

jai151
06-21-2013, 04:52 PM
I'm saying it doesn't matter if there's a person there. Because it doesn't.

1 person is reaping the benefit of multiple VIP accounts, true or false?

If true, it's abuse. If false, it's not.

EDIT: For your example, "What if the guy's wife has a VIP account, gives him all the cards, but still plays hours of PvE every day? Is she a person? Or an abuse of the system?"

That one is abuse. The wife is not using the VIP subscription (which is not the same thing as the account that HAS the VIP subscription), the husband is.

Niedar
06-21-2013, 04:57 PM
It actually does matter.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 04:58 PM
I'm saying it doesn't matter if there's a person there. Because it doesn't.

1 person is reaping the benefit of multiple VIP accounts, true or false?

If true, it's abuse. If false, it's not.

I'm saying I don't give a damn what you think does or does not matter, and I'd like you to provide a link to where CZE allegedly said it's against the rules for a VIP subscriber to sell, trade or give away their cards, as I requested previously.

Because until you do so, there is no "abuse", there is only a product with zero marginal cost of production which CZE is happy to sell for four dollars a month to any individual who produces a credit card and says "one for me, please!"

jai151
06-21-2013, 05:02 PM
Already did, well earlier in the thread.

EDIT: And before you ask, no, I'm not going to go dig it up. As I said, this is an argument that will never end.

Going slightly over the speed limit is still technically breaking the law, but people don't think they're doing anything wrong.

Unhurtable
06-21-2013, 05:21 PM
Will you listen to yourself? You're saying that someone is or is not a person, based on their intended use of their cards!

What if you buy a VIP account, don't play the game, just rip open the boosters, and sell any good rares on the secondary market? Are you a person? Or an abuse of the system?

What if two VIPs rip open their boosters and one of them gives just the cards he doesn't need to his friend, rather than all the cards? Is he a person? Or an abuse of the system?

What if the guy's wife has a VIP account, gives him all the cards, but still plays hours of PvE every day? Is she a person? Or an abuse of the system?

As for the KS accounts - exactly!! CZE authorized merging them. Just as they authorized one VIP per person. But a lot of people seem to be in favour of the former but not the latter.

p.s. can you provide a link to where CZE allegedly said it's against the rules for a VIP subscriber to sell, trade or give away their cards?

Stop strawmanning please. The person you quoted clearly did not say that a person is a person based on their intended use of their cards.

Now, onto your questions:
1. If you sell the good rares on the secondary market, you will not be flagged for "VIP Abuse" since you will most likely trade the cards with different people. I know what question this answer will lead you to ask, but I'm gonna allow you to ask it in your own words.
2. Again, if they are trading cards thats one thing. If one player is giving all of the "VIP cards" to another player, time and time again multiple times in a row for months, thats a different thing. There will always be lenience in systems.
3. Is the wife paying for the VIP account on her own? In that case she can do whatever she wants with her money. Is she essentially being paid by her husband to have a VIP sub so that he can get more cards cheap? In that case 1 person is clearly paying for 2 accounts.
4. There is no link to a CZE post that indicates that selling, trading or giving away "VIP cards" is against the rules. They have on the other hand stated that you are only allowed 1 VIP sub per person. Those are not the same things. They are not even close to being equal in terms of the discussion at hand.

Lastly, I have some question for you if you don't mind.
1. Should CZE just quit the idea of "1 VIP sub per person" because it cannot be entirely fought?
2. Imagine that CZE changed the VIP subscription to something else. The reward from VIP is still something that you can trade (and can be acquired from elsewhere). In this case, is there any possible case where the VIP subscription is not prone to abuse?

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 05:50 PM
Already did, well earlier in the thread.

EDIT: And before you ask, no, I'm not going to go dig it up. As I said, this is an argument that will never end.

Going slightly over the speed limit is still technically breaking the law, but people don't think they're doing anything wrong.

I don't blame you for not wanting to dig it up - you've posted an enormous amount in this thread.

But I dug it up for you? Aren't I nice?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game/posts/481824 linked by you at http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=25598&page=9&p=256968#post256968

And what do you know? What the CZE guy actually said is rather different to what you are pretending they said.


There have been a lot of questions about the subscription feature. When naming it, we didn't really consider the dissonance that would occur with HEX, a free to play game, and the term 'subscription.' It's opt-in after all, providing each player a few packs each month at a discount and some cool bonus stuff like the monthly exclusive VIP tournament and the deck "goldfish" tool. It's all upside and none of it is needed to play. So, we're calling it the VIP Program to make sure nobody gets confused.

We've also received a lot of questions from backers worried that players will game the system, opening multiple accounts to stack VIP Program booster packs. This program is intended to be one-per-player as a cool way to let our community access some packs at a discount and get some sweet bonus stuff. But, we do understand that there will always be a small percentage of players who are always looking to game the system. Members on our team have dealt with this within digital TCGs for years, tracking this specific type of activity. So, we're aware of this issue and have team members, as well as powerful analytical tools to determine when this is occurring.

Yes, he talks about people "gaming the system", opening multiple accounts, and how they intend to track and prevent that sort of thing.

But the rules are very clear: one per player. Not "one per player as long as they play a lot and use the cards themselves". Not "one per player as long as they don't trade, sell or give away the cards they don't want". Not "one per player and they better not give the cards to their husband." One per player.

As an aside, your speed limit analogy is fascinating. "Going slightly over the speed limit is still technically breaking the law, but people don't think they're doing anything wrong." Yes, and subscribing for a VIP account and giving your cheap cards to your husband is technically obeying the law, but people (i.e. you) think that they are doing something wrong. Kind of the opposite of the point you're trying to make, isn't it?

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 05:54 PM
Lastly, I have some question for you if you don't mind.
1. Should CZE just quit the idea of "1 VIP sub per person" because it cannot be entirely fought?
2. Imagine that CZE changed the VIP subscription to something else. The reward from VIP is still something that you can trade (and can be acquired from elsewhere). In this case, is there any possible case where the VIP subscription is not prone to abuse?

1. Absolutely not. They should stand on the idea of "1 VIP sub per person" and do exactly what they're going to do - require that each VIP sub be on a different account with a different name and a different credit card.

And the thought police fanbois should stop this ridiculous nonsense about whether or not certain people should not be allowed to subscribe under their name with their credit card because said fanbois don't approve of said subscriber's motivations.

2. I'm afraid I don't understand the question. I don't really acknowledge the very concept of "abuse" in giving a company money for a product of zero marginal cost to them. If it cost them five bucks to print and ship four boosters, and selling them VIP for four bucks was a money-losing promotion, sure. But you know what happens if someone subscribes and gives away their cards? CZE makes an extra four bucks of pure profit.

jai151
06-21-2013, 05:55 PM
It's not obeying the law, it's gaming the system, just as they said they'd prevent. You can't (or refuse to) see it. Which is why, as I've said multiple times, this argument will never end.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 06:19 PM
Stop strawmanning please. The person you quoted clearly did not say that a person is a person based on their intended use of their cards.

The person quoted did actually say that -- http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=25598&p=257079&viewfull=1#post257079


If the sole purpose of the VIP sub is to give you packs, whether or not she exists is completely immaterial.
Tada! The fact that my wife is a person and/or exists is immaterial to the issue of policy violation if she gives me packs. THOUGHT. POLICE. Her intent in owning the sub is the reason she is allowed or not allowed to subscribe...

wildcard
06-21-2013, 06:23 PM
And of course, the issue with this is this notion of "sole purpose" being determined by someone else. It probably won't be her sole purpose, but it'll also probably happen some. People advocating for this style of policing may very well end up with an algorithm that punishes her, or me, or both, and that's not cool... because she's met all of the criteria laid out. This isn't even 1 mph over the speed limit. This is AT the speed limit, with a cop who decides whether your inner goals while driving were noble or unworthy, and tickets accordingly.

nicosharp
06-21-2013, 06:27 PM
And of course, the issue with this is this notion of "sole purpose" being determined by someone else. It probably won't be her sole purpose, but it'll also probably happen some. People advocating for this style of policing may very well end up with an algorithm that punishes her, or me, or both, and that's not cool... because she's met all of the criteria laid out. This isn't even 1 mph over the speed limit. This is AT the speed limit, with a cop who decides whether your inner goals while driving were noble or unworthy, and tickets accordingly.

It will be more trouble than it is worth to monitor dumping between two accounts under 1 ip or geographic location.

It will be more likely people with 3+ accounts dumping into 1, or redistributing consistently into 2 from multiple accounts, and even if from multiple locations will be big red flags, and be targeted for no tolerance policies.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 06:37 PM
It will be more trouble than it is worth to monitor dumping between two accounts under 1 ip or geographic location.

It will be more likely people with 3+ accounts dumping into 1, or redistributing consistently into 2 from multiple accounts, and even if from multiple locations will be big red flags, and be targeted for no tolerance policies.
Possibly. Again, I suspect CZE will be completely reasonable about this. So far I think only jai151, Turtlewing, and Patrigan have expressed what I would consider the extreme end of the enforcement spectrum. I do think whatever CZE decides to do will probably be reasonable because it's enough of a big deal that their business could fail otherwise in my opinion.

Not over VIP, but over meddling in the "card binders" of players. As I said upthread, they absolutely require people to keep thinking about these as real "cards" that they're "buying", and when you buy a physical pack for any price, no one comes into your house to judge your intent and take away your stuff (unless you've actually engaged in *criminal* behavior). Hell, if players even read the ToS it may hurt their player base... I can pretty much guarantee it will have language like "you don't own anything", "we can cancel your account or shutdown the whole game at any time with no liability to you", "we can alter, remove, or add digital assets at will for any reason or no reason", etc. This language is all over online games. You just don't want your TCG players thinking about overly much.

jai151
06-21-2013, 06:40 PM
The person quoted did actually say that -- http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=25598&p=257079&viewfull=1#post257079

Actually, I didn't say that your wife isn't a person. I said it didn't matter, which is COMPLETELY different.


And of course, the issue with this is this notion of "sole purpose" being determined by someone else. It probably won't be her sole purpose, but it'll also probably happen some. People advocating for this style of policing may very well end up with an algorithm that punishes her, or me, or both, and that's not cool... because she's met all of the criteria laid out. This isn't even 1 mph over the speed limit. This is AT the speed limit, with a cop who decides whether your inner goals while driving were noble or unworthy, and tickets accordingly.

Are all the packs going to you? Then the sole purpose is giving you two subs worth of packs. That's not meeting the criteria laid out. If she's not giving you all the VIP packs, it's not abuse, if she is, it is. Intent, goals, feelings, whatever, it just doesn't matter, you have two accounts funneled to one person. It's 5 over, but it's still over.

hex_colin
06-21-2013, 06:46 PM
I'm going to have multiple accounts. I expect that I'll get the KS-related trial VIPs on all of them. After those run out, I'm going to sign up for it on just one account.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 06:46 PM
Are all the packs going to you? Then the sole purpose is giving you two subs worth of packs. That's not meeting the criteria laid out. If she's not giving you all the VIP packs, it's not abuse, if she is, it is. Intent, goals, feelings, whatever, it just doesn't matter, you have two accounts funneled to one person. It's 5 over, but it's still over.

Come on, man, we're still on the same page as my post where I quoted what CZE actually said. At least wait until we're onto page 24 before repeating the lie that they ever "laid out" any "criteria" for which players are allowed to buy VIP subscriptions and which ones are not.

jai151
06-21-2013, 06:50 PM
Come on, man, we're still on the same page as my post where I quoted what CZE actually said. At least wait until we're onto page 24 before repeating the lie that they ever "laid out" any "criteria" for which players are allowed to buy VIP subscriptions and which ones are not.

One-per-person without gaming the system. It's not one per person at that point, and it is, intentionally or not gaming the system. This is why the argument will never end, as we both see ourselves as unmistakably right and the other as unmistakably wrong.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 06:54 PM
One-per-person without gaming the system. It's not one per person at that point, and it is, intentionally or not gaming the system. This is why the argument will never end, as we both see ourselves as unmistakably right and the other as unmistakably wrong.

Oh, no doubt. Same as every argument on the internet.

Luckily for me, though, the position I hold is the same one as CZE. You're more than welcome to disagree with their policy, and carry on insisting that VIP subscription is a privilege only to be accorded to certain players who are suitably ideologically pure, but ultimately, players are going to subscribe, and you'll be left throwing an impotent temper tantrum on the internets.

jai151
06-21-2013, 07:02 PM
Oh, no doubt. Same as every argument on the internet.

Luckily for me, though, the position I hold is the same one as CZE. You're more than welcome to disagree with their policy, and carry on insisting that VIP subscription is a privilege only to be accorded to certain players who are suitably ideologically pure, but ultimately, players are going to subscribe, and you'll be left throwing an impotent temper tantrum on the internets.

And, once again, I believe the position I hold is the same as CZE. Of course, with as completely as you mischaracterised my position, it's no wonder you don't think so. And you're more than welcome to keep asserting that minor abuse of the system isn't abuse.

And sorry, but at what point did I "throw a tantrum"? This has been a philosophical debate since the beginning, I don't tend to get heated at those. Nor did I ever truly believe that anyone would get VIP banned for that, or that they deserved to be. Only that they could.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 07:04 PM
Jai151, have you ever addressed the scenario where a VIP subscriber sells their pack every week for platinum or gold? Is that ok? If yes, is what they do with the gold or platinum similarly restricted? If it is restricted, are all their gains in game (PvE loot, prizes, etc.) so restricted? If selling VIP packs is not ok, what if they open the pack and gift/trade/sell cards - is that ok?

Do you understand that by clinging to this idea that there's a policy that no one person will ever hold two packs (or their contents, or their fair market value) that originated from the VIP program, that account bound packs with account bound cards inside are just about the only way your viewpoint doesn't devolve into absurdity? And I'm not talking about "circumventing the rules" by laundering money, I'm saying the rules aren't as you say they are because then we'd be left with a dysfunctional system entirely -- one in which trading cannot occur, in a TRADING card game.

jai151
06-21-2013, 07:07 PM
Jai151, have you ever addressed the scenario where a VIP subscriber sells their pack every week for platinum or gold? Is that ok? If yes, is what they do with the gold or platinum similarly restricted? If it is restricted, are all their gains in game (PvE loot, prizes, etc.) so restricted? If selling VIP packs is not ok, what if they open the pack and gift/trade/sell cards - is that ok?

If you are consistently funneling the rewards from multiple VIP accounts into one, that is abuse. No matter how the trail is hidden, it's still the same thing.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 07:23 PM
I see you recognize you couldn't answer the individual questions. ;) As I said, it's not hiding the trail, I'm asking you what the rules are, and you can't state them because doing so would sound completely ridiculous if you try to do it in a way that upholds your belief that the only thing that matters is how the value flows in the system. So you jump to the end and conveniently avoid admitting that the INTENT is why the path to the end matters in your view. That's why your system is broken. I'll answer the rules for you:

It is ok for VIP subscribers to sell their packs every week.
The proceeds from those sales are in no way restricted. They may be traded, gifted, or exchanged for other things of value.
It is no more and no less restricted than any other game assets.

Thus, the only way it matters if one person receives the rewards from multiple VIP accounts, is if that one person has created two VIP accounts, which is against the one-per-player policy. QED. To say that two people with two accounts are in violation when the rewards end up in one account, you MUST change my answers above to something ridiculous like players can't sell packs, or if they do they can't use the currency in the way any other currency can be used, etc. -OR- you fall back to the idea that the intent of the subscribers is what matters, which is what others tried upthread.

Banquetto
06-21-2013, 07:23 PM
And, once again, I believe the position I hold is the same as CZE.

Even though, when challenged to provide any evidence whatsoever that they hold this position, you have completely failed to do so?

Even though the statements by CZE which have been linked to thus far simply make it clear that VIP is a "one per player" deal, with no judgement whatsoever on what that player should choose to do with their weekly booster pack?

jai151
06-21-2013, 07:29 PM
I see you recognize you couldn't answer the individual questions. ;)

I answered all of the questions with that one statement. The rules are if all benefits of the VIP program are being funneled to one account, that's abuse. If you're selling the cards on the VIP account and sending the gold/plat to the primary account every month, that's abuse. If you're funneling the cards to the primary account every month, that's abuse.

jai151
06-21-2013, 07:30 PM
Even though, when challenged to provide any evidence whatsoever that they hold this position, you have completely failed to do so?

Even though the statements by CZE which have been linked to thus far simply make it clear that VIP is a "one per player" deal, with no judgement whatsoever on what that player should choose to do with their weekly booster pack?

Again, I did provide proof. You didn't accept it. The bit about gaming the system was the judgement on what the players should do, or not do in this case.

wildcard
06-21-2013, 07:42 PM
The five d's of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!

Good night folks.

BenRGamer
06-21-2013, 07:51 PM
Jeez, people.

Does anyone, anyone, have any sort of problem with the solution to this problem that has been posted multiple times, on multiple pages but is always for some reason completely ignored?

That is, the VIP Boosters are untradable--the cards inside are fine to trade, but you can't give away the booster itself to keep people from trying to sell the booster.

That good? That solve any of your problems?

jai151
06-21-2013, 07:57 PM
The five d's of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!

Good night folks.

I'm sorry, what did I fail to answer or, as you accuse, dodge?

You stated, "Jai151, have you ever addressed the scenario where a VIP subscriber sells their pack every week for platinum or gold? Is that ok? If yes, is what they do with the gold or platinum similarly restricted? If it is restricted, are all their gains in game (PvE loot, prizes, etc.) so restricted? If selling VIP packs is not ok, what if they open the pack and gift/trade/sell cards - is that ok?"

If the VIP subscriber is selling the pack every week, that's fine. If they're then taking the gold/platinum and funneling it to another VIP subscriber every week, that's abuse.

Their gains in game have nothing to do with the subscription.

Opening the packs and funneling the cards to another VIP subscriber every week would be abuse. Gifting, trading, or selling them would be fine, so not as it's gifting them all to another VIP subscriber every week, as that would be the first sentence situation.

Direct enough?

OutlandishMatt
06-21-2013, 08:22 PM
The rules are if all benefits of the VIP program are being funneled to one account, that's abuse.

All benefits aren't being funneled. We're only talking about boosters. That's 1/3 of the VIP program. What if a person JUST wants the goldfish ability or VIP tournaments?

jai151
06-21-2013, 08:26 PM
All benefits aren't being funneled. We're only talking about boosters. That's 1/3 of the VIP program. What if a person JUST wants the goldfish ability or VIP tournaments?

Even Cory himself said the main point of the program was the boosters. To put the other features on par with that in importance is a little foolish.

I mean, who would pay $4 a month for those features AND not need the packs AND always give all them to the same person?

OutlandishMatt
06-21-2013, 08:44 PM
I mean, who would pay $4 a month for those features AND not need the packs AND always give all them to the same person?

Someone with a Producer tier or someone that just plays constructed and has 4x of every card and wants the goldfish ability and wants to play in constructed VIP tournaments.

This all goes back to intent. It's not for you to question what I do with it, just if I meet the criteria they have laid out. Am I a person? Yes. Do I have a Hex account? Yes. Is there a VIP sub attached to this credit card? No. Then I can have a VIP account.

Here's a scenario between two friends. Danny loves Constructed. Billy loves Drafts. Danny gives his VIP boosters to Billy so he can draft. Billy drafts with Danny's pack and wins. Billy gives all the loose cards to Danny. Is this abuse? Why or why not? You can't say someone funneled anything because they both got something.

If it's not abuse then how will someone distinguish what has taken place from someone "funneling"? It will be Danny trading Billy a booster for nothing in return.

jai151
06-21-2013, 08:53 PM
Someone with a Producer tier or someone that just plays constructed and has 4x of every card and wants the goldfish ability and wants to play in constructed VIP tournaments.

This all goes back to intent. It's not for you to question what I do with it, just if I meet the criteria they have laid out. Am I a person? Yes. Do I have a Hex account? Yes. Is there a VIP sub attached to this credit card? No. Then I can have a VIP account.

Here's a scenario between two friends. Danny loves Constructed. Billy loves Drafts. Danny gives his VIP boosters to Billy so he can draft. Billy drafts with Danny's pack and wins. Billy gives all the loose cards to Danny. Is this abuse? Why or why not? You can't say someone funneled anything because they both got something.

Notice how to find an example that fit you had to go, well, outlandish?

And there's one more criteria. Are you gaming the system?

As for Billy and Danny, not abuse. The packs weren't being just tossed to Billy, and the cards ended back with Danny.

Ju66ernaut
06-21-2013, 09:08 PM
Why are you guys assaulting one another? Be friends, play cards.

One of these days CZ will write the letter of the law and everyone will know what they mean by "abuse". Until then, none of these arguments hold any ground. It's all personal perspective and manipulation of another person's intentions.

OutlandishMatt
06-21-2013, 09:18 PM
As for Billy and Danny, not abuse. The packs weren't being just tossed to Billy, and the cards ended back with Danny.

But see, you can't distinguish that scenario between anyone else if you just monitored VIP boosters.

Niedar
06-21-2013, 09:18 PM
Notice how to find an example that fit you had to go, well, outlandish?

And there's one more criteria. Are you gaming the system?

As for Billy and Danny, not abuse. The packs weren't being just tossed to Billy, and the cards ended back with Danny.

Well then. I guess its not abuse for Billy to give me his VIP packs and I give him money in real life in exchange. CZE said they won't be regulating the third party market and its the exact same thing. So no abuse. Just stop.