How to reduce the value of multiple accounts?

 
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Alister



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject: How to reduce the value of multiple accounts? Reply with quote

I have an interesting problem I am hoping to get advice on dealing with.

In my mud, crafting is performed passively in the background, whether a character is online or offline. High-end crafting components can take days to create, and finished goods can sometimes take multiple (2-5) components. So to make a high end gear, you're looking at putting in weeks worth of crafting time.

My problem is that players are able to speed up this process by making multiple "idle" accounts; players can queue up individual components in each account, and then just log off the character that is doing crafting for that account. I am looking for a way to prevent this / reduce its usefulness.

I've come up with a couple ideas so far that I'm sort of happy with, but am hoping to get some others, or refinements to these.

Frequent Player Points
Gaining experience by actively playing also awards frequent player points; these points can be used to upgrade accounts in ways that affect crafting, such as producing higher quality crafted items or items with special bonuses. Or possibly, the maximum quality item you can create is capped if you do not earn a certain amount of FPPs per week.

Identify Abusers
Check for accounts that have a high craft time : play time ratio and flag them. These accounts produce lower quality goods.

Anyone have other ideas?
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alister wrote:
Frequent Player Points
Gaining experience by actively playing also awards frequent player points; these points can be used to upgrade accounts in ways that affect crafting, such as producing higher quality crafted items or items with special bonuses. Or possibly, the maximum quality item you can create is capped if you do not earn a certain amount of FPPs per week.

This reduces the impact of alts, but they're still providing a benefit - they're giving additional income, on top of whatever your main character earns, for no real effort or cost. Depending on how you define "actively playing", you may well find some players putting a little extra effort into each of their worker alts to maximise performance.

Alister wrote:
Identify Abusers
Check for accounts that have a high craft time : play time ratio and flag them. These accounts produce lower quality goods.

People will just idle their alts online rather than leave them offline.

The only solution I can think of is to lock the gains to the character, so that the alts can't simply give away whatever it is they produce - instead they're forced to sell it at an appropriate price. Thus you could create a bunch of alts, but they wouldn't be able to pool their profits. At most your main character could hire your alts on an appropriate salary, but you could lock the earnings to the alts, and provide NPCs who'll work for the same salary, so that there's no actual benefit in hiring (or working for) your own alts, as opposed to hiring (or working for) NPCs. This would obviously have a pretty big impact on the gameplay though.
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Deadsoul



Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Southern Hellinois

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

your violating your own system.

the idea for an account system is one person per account to reduce on bloating and ease track-ability.

if you know people are using multiple accounts per person merge them.
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chaos



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 35
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest creating minigames that are difficult to automate and improve the crafting process, or similarly improving it if players are online and appear to be socializing.

It's a question of what behavior you want to provide incentive for. Players don't farm idle characters because they're perverse, they do it because it produces rewards.
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martin



Joined: 17 Sep 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

which mud would that be, actually?

I'd go along with rewarding active playing versus idling. Making crafting only possible if you have have done some active playing? But how to measure?
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Alister



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

martin wrote:
which mud would that be, actually?


ConQUEST

I ended up just logging account IPs, and flagging them as multiplay accounts any time two or more accounts log in from the same IP. If your account is flagged as a multiplay account, you cannot craft until being cleared by an admin.
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Kernal



Joined: 01 Jul 2007
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope your players don't discover proxy servers ^_^.

Cheers,
Kernal
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Alister



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kernal wrote:
I hope your players don't discover proxy servers ^_^.


For the time being it is sufficient, though likely not ideal in the long run.
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