Published 2017-06-13

What is cheating and abuse? And what to do?

Just to be clear. Cheaters and abusers are not welcome in this game. They ruin the game for everybody else. That’s not OK. Not by far.

When I first started developing this game I never thought about people cheating or abusing the game. That was naive, I know. So over the years I’ve implemented a background worker that is trying to find cheaters automatically and suspend them. I’m not very keen on adding in game restrictions not allowing users to do this and that, but over time there has been a few of those too. But it’s not enough, cheaters always find ways around restrictions and automatic suspensions.

You guys have however been tremendous on spotting cheaters and you’ve reported both managers and bad trades to me. Unfortunately I have had too little time and too limited tools to do much about it. That’s what going to change now.

What is cheating and abuse?

First. What is cheating? And what is abuse? And what is worse? I will try to give you my point of view in all this.

Here’s an example of what I consider as cheating Users managing multiple teams in the same game world is the most common example of cheating. Even though some manager may have honest intentions for both teams this is rarely the case. Most often you see users having a second account with which he or she joins a second team, makes a trade with the main team or perhaps releases a player, and then resign from the team.

Here’s an example of what I consider as abuse Abuse to me is when a user deliberately taking advantage of the game’s limitations and flaws. The most common example is aggressive computer trading. The trading AI in the game should prevent most cases of ripping the computer teams off but there are always ways around this. Many have asked me to simply turn off computer trading but I’ve always felt that it would compromise the realism of the game. Why would there be teams in your league you can’t trade with?

And I actually have some sort of understanding for users thinking if the computer agrees then it couldn’t be cheating or abuse, right? All who have played single player manager games are used to make deals with computer AI. And of course you want to get as good deal as possible. So what’s different in this game? Well, if everybody strips all good players and prospects from the computer then that team loses its chance of competing for multiple seasons. So what? Well, that team is going to be a new user’s new home. If the team is ruined it will also ruin the game experience for that user and the community for this game will eventually stop growing. Everybody lose.

So what are we going to do about it?

First, I will still need your help to spot who is cheating or abusing the game. That’s not going to change. So please continue reporting as soon as you spot potential cheaters.

Manager No. Some cheaters are trying to hide their trace by changing their manager name. That’s why all managers now have a unique Manager No.. This number is visible both on your manager page but also in the manager info on the team’s page. Please use this Manager No. when reporting cheaters.

Even if the manager resigns from a team he or she will leave a trace in all transactions made. If you hover over a transaction in the Transfer page you can see the Manager No. for managers involved in that transaction.

Cooldown To prevent a manager to resign and rejoin a team there is now a 2 hour cooldown period every time a manager resigns before he or she can sign up for a new team.

New set of tools I have also fixed and developed a new set of tools that will help reverting transactions and suspend managers and such. This will be really helpful since manually moving players are extremely time consuming.

Support team Last but least, here’s the most important change in the hunt for cheaters. To help me out managing the game I’m bringing aboard someone I trust, a long time friend of mine Tobias Glawing. Some of you may already recognise the name. I’ve earlier mentioned that he is helping me with both advice and game marketing. He’s also an “Advisor” in the forum with username Glawing. And he is also managing the Canada Creek Hounds in Game World Clapper.

Together we will create the game’s first support team. To get in contact with either one of us please send an email to support@gameplanhockey.com. Use this email for reporting cheaters, questions regarding your account or if you’re having any urgent problem. Note! Please still use the forum for non urgent bug reports.

Hopefully we will now have the resources to prevent cheaters ruining the game for everybody else. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks!