FOLLOW UP: Abusing Mission Architect

Positron posted a follow-up to his Abusing Mission Architect message from a few days ago.

05/07/09 06:47 PM

After reading most of the thread spawned by my “Abusing Mission Architect” post, I figured I needed to follow up on a few of the points I brought up. You guys had a lot of the same questions, so I think I can answer them FAQ style.

Q) “If I powerlevelled a character, am I going to lose them?”
A) Probably not. Only the worst of the worst, exploitive, powerlevelled characters will be removed from the game. We don’t take retroactive punishments lightly, but some offenses are so egregious that no one would question their intent and those ill-gotten gains should be dealt with. I just want to emphasize that no one is looking to ‘punish’ anyone here, but rather remove the rewards of exploitive behavior.

Q) “Are you going to give us an absolute definition of what abuse is?”
A) I know a lot of you want to know an exact definition to see if you were actually abusing the system, or just playing the game, but I don’t want to be set up in a situation where our definition of abuse is abused. For example, if we say that the definition is “you gained 4 levels in under 30 minutes”, then someone will make sure that they gain 4 levels in 31 minutes, so they can claim they were within the allowed limits and not abusing. Someone said it best that the “definition” of reckless driving is purposely ambiguous, being “Disregard for safety”. With this example, I would say that a good interpretation of abuse is “Disregard for the risk and/or time to reward ratio”.

Q) “Why are you removing badges we worked so hard to get?”
A) I apologize in advance if we remove a badge that someone got legitimately through normal gameplay. We didn’t want MA to become a badge farm (hence why kill-count badges don’t work in MA). Unfortunately the number of “count” badges we put into the system promoted some pretty aberrant gameplay. People forming voting cartels to get Hall of Fame badges, missions whose sole purpose was to tick a badge count clogged up the searches, etc., made finding the honest-to-god story arcs harder than it needed to be. We hope that by removing these problem badges (and adding some new, non-problem, ones in the process) we can see a better play experience throughout the entire MA system. These changes won’t happen until I15, but we’ll get a list of the alterations to you guys early next week.

Q) “Am I going to get banned for farming for badges?”
A) Absolutely not.

Q) “What if people who have a grudge against me complain about my arc and get it banned? Why should I permanently lose a slot over that?”
A) The first time your arc is pulled because of complaints, you do NOT lose the slot. If you get an arc banned and you do lose the slot, your only option at that point is to contact Customer Support. They are the gatekeepers to the slots, and can give you your slot back if it was banned in error.

Q) “You say not to use the word “Farm” in the mission or description. Is that how you are blanket banning things?”
A) We do not do blanket banning based on keywords or phrases. When customer service bans an arc, they are looking at the arc in question when they do it. I ask you not to use certain words in your title or description because players can still complaint-ban your arc, and then there is the fact that we are only human, and even if your “farm” arc is a complete joke/parody ABOUT farm arcs, someone might mistake it for a real farm and ban it, causing both you and us a headache in getting the arc unbanned.

Q) “What about all the farming and abusing that goes on in the normal game? How come you guys don’t put a stop to that?”
A) We address rewards abuse all the time. We put timers on missions that could get reset for rewards. We take rewards off of critters that are considered exploitively farmable. Or we just change the mission. Merit rewards are another way we have handled the situation. You can’t run really fast stuff over and over and get a reward every time. Again, we are looking out for “Disregard for the risk and/or time to reward ratio”, and we take action.

Q) “Why did you guys wait until after the reactivation weekend to do this?”
A) We had a publishing blackout during the reactivation that prevented us from putting new code up onto the live servers.

In the end, we hope you all understand that the changes we’re making, no matter how drastic they might appear to be, are in the best interest of the game and those who truly enjoy playing it. Out goal has always been to make Architect fun and enjoyable for both the authors and the players. We feel that with these changes we’re helping bring about the realization of this goal.


He ended the message with the following link: Release Notes for 18.20090422.5T – 5/7/09


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