Author Topic: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped  (Read 25290 times)

Victoria Victrix

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GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:08:39 AM »
OK.  THIS is just wrong on so many levels I cannot even begin to count them.

According to a very reliable friend of mine, Guild Wars 2 is banning the handicapped.

This is how it breaks down.  Arenanet recently started purging GW2 of bots.  Except that the definition of a "bot" includes people that contact them to protest being banned because they are using handicapped-assists.

Here is my conversation with him:

Quote
wolfwings_backup: Not to mention that they are *STILL* auto-banning anyone running any program that ties into the keyboard or mouse devices.
wolfwings_backup: So Logitech G-16? Auto-ban on login if the systray app is running since it's detected as a 'macro/botting' program. Still.
Misty: facepalm
wolfwings_backup: AutoHotkey? I kinda need that running due to work, I'm not gonna quit that every time I load the damn game. So ban for me most likely at some point.
wolfwings_backup: And don't get me started on all the disabled-assistance programs, since most of those *ARE* macro/automation tools. Those are EXPLICITLY banned, a couple folks are considering bringing ADA lawsuits against them over that.
Misty: I think they SHOULD bring ADA lawsuits against them
wolfwings_backup: It's mostly a matter of those that could, would rather go play something else than waste the time, nobody hard-headed enough has hit that wall yet. XD
wolfwings_backup: In many cases going back to GW1.

He's on his way to visit (should be here in 3 days) and I am going to sit down with him, verify this, get some actual names of handicapped people that are banned and verify they can't get any redress, then turn this loose on the game journalists.  What I REALLY want to know is, is this ArenaNet?  Or is this an edict from NCSoft that ArenaNet is helpless to do anything about?  But that is what I will let the journalists try and figure out.
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houtex

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 04:47:38 AM »
Prove you are handicapped.  I don't believe your photoshopped doctors orders and such.  Request denied, bot.

or

Oh, so you're handicapped.  Ok, fine, we're sorry.  Here ya go... Oh, just one more thing... [/columbo]

Prove you're not farming for <gold/rares/whatever the system is trying to prevent> and then going off to sell it.

---

And there's the issue.

I am a child of people who would be considered handicapped.  They are my heroes, by the way... they deal with normal life and their different afflictions, and it's almost NBD.  They're completely awesome.  I want to get that right on out.  They had to deal with life like "normal" people (whatever that is), and still hold down jobs, and still deal with us kids.  And now, they are grandparents and babysit, and... well, I could continue to gush, but I have first hand knowledge of some of the deficiencies computer can have for certain disabilities, like sight, which is a big problem for my mom.  She can't read the screens well, and can't see well overall, so she can't internet or drive.  That's kinda frustrating sometimes for her, in both respects

So, armed with that info, you can understand when I say I really do feel for the people affected by the overzealous bot seeking program/rules.  It sucks to be caught in the net 'accidentally' for needing something to play the game.  I would be irritated myself, of course, and would do everything possible to fight their accusations and decision.

However, as a person who is also a victim of ID theft, proof is just... not good enough in a lot of times.  As in, it's easy to spoof who I am, if you will.  Only in this case it's more a reversed situation.  It's tough to be the accused.  Burden of proof is on you, and even then, it's likely not going to be enough in this case.  In this case... how do we know the disabled person ISN'T running a bot?  Hm? 

I am curious to see how this works out.  It would be better if they used some other determination than detection of AutoHotKey or whatever, but... I'm not sure how that'd be done in the short term.  This is their first salvo.  It may be that a second, more lenient to the 'real people' system gets put in place, like MARTy and the 10+ chat thing for CoH.

/I, for one, can see the bot runners specifically hiring the disabled to ensure they can't be stopped.  I mean, ADA suit, win, can't stop the keyrunners, can't stop the bots.  Win for them. :|
//Honest question:  Does Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft have to accomodate the blind or physically unable to hold a controller?  Would Stevie Wonder or Stephen Hawking have a case?  I should go look into that myself...
 
---
 
Edit: Seeing as it's being hashed out in this thread:
http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,5250.1180.html
 
Kaiser has a good response to whatever I just said, so... yeah, I might have wanted to stay outta this. :p
 
/I should be to bed anyway.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 05:00:47 AM by houtex »

corvus1970

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 05:14:55 AM »
If this is true, such a level of callous incompetence in a game-company is truly beyond the pale.
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Victoria Victrix

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 05:48:08 AM »
To quickly sum up Kaiser Tarantula's post on the other thread, it is evidently ridiculously easy to differentiate genuine bots from people using hotkey aids--and not that hard to tell people who are multi-boxing from people who are using hotkey-aids.  So to take this lazy incompetent way out is...lazy and incompetent.  Remember, these are people who paid $60 for the box.  It's F2P after that, but it's $60 to get in the door.
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corvus1970

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 05:50:58 AM »
But hey, Corporations don't make stupid, irrational decisions. </ sarcasm >
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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 06:24:38 AM »
If this was true it would be headlines on every major MMO game site.  It'll be up there like the time Blizzard banned the openly gay guild "to protect them" from possible abuse.

GW2 rules enforcement reminds me of Singapore and not the Netherlands.  Very strict enforcement.  Arrest first, determine the facts second.

They have repeatedly stated that they don't have a problem with macro keyboard or mice software as long as the macro only does one thing.  No auto chaining attacks.  No auto-movement macros (like one button circle strafe).  If the servers see repetitive series of commands coming in at a rate either deemed too quick or too regular the account may be automatically flagged as a potential bot.  If you don't respond to chat, if you play without break for 10 hours, not even a momentary pause to consult your map or inventory orf you do the same 4 or 5 zone events over and over again as they spawn every hour you may be flagged as a bot.

They don't automatically ban for being a suspected bot, they don't have a bot for that.  The suspected activity is looked at by a real human being and then the ban is triggered.  There is also a review process which can unfortunately take several days but they try to get it done within three.

Players also have complain about being banned for profanity ("why is there a profanity filter then?") on zone wide channels.  They can also be banned, and this is automated, with large transfers of gold between players.  A number of people get swept up by this recently when they twinked a friend who just got the game with what amounts to a small fortune in gold as a holiday gift.

And of course there was that perma ban of 4800 players who abused an exploit to the tune of 1.5 million times over a day or two.  There are players on the forum that still say that was unfair.

Now I'm nodding off as I'm writing this so I'll pick this up again tomorrow.
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Victoria Victrix

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 08:29:31 AM »
If this was true it would be headlines on every major MMO game site.  It'll be up there like the time Blizzard banned the openly gay guild "to protect them" from possible abuse.

As with many, many other things, those who have been acted against have to complain openly (not just on the game forums) and in numbers before anyone will notice.  As I said, Wolf is here now and I am going to find out if he can get me some names, and we'll turn the journalists loose on it.
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Codewalker

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 03:38:40 PM »
It would be good if some of the affected people can give you copies of their correspondence with ArenaNet unsuccessfully trying to get the problem resolved. That's something a journalist would be very interested in.

As it is, it's hard to go by just people complaining on the forums. My (and I'm sure many other people's) experience with people complaining on forums about game bans is that 9 out of 10 are liars, trying to get sympathy or fool CS to reinstate their account after being caught cheating.

Granted that's from the Blizzard forums, not the GW2 ones, but unless there's a solid chain showing that a legitimate user of assistance software was banned, and given the cold shoulder when trying to appeal it (after all, mistakes happen in automated ban-sweeps), then I doubt any of the major outlets will bite.

Peregrine Falcon

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 05:36:58 PM »
To quickly sum up Kaiser Tarantula's post on the other thread, it is evidently ridiculously easy to differentiate genuine bots from people using hotkey aids...
Not necessarily.

First of all ArenaNet isn't deliberately banning handicapped people just because they, or NCSoft, wants to. A business has no reason to do that and frankly I'm a little disappointed that you, of all people, would even advance this kind of theory.

Secondly I don't care how reliable your friend is. If he's listening to internet rumors then his information isn't reliable.

Third. ArenaNet isn't Blizzard. Heck they aren't even Perfect World. You think it's easy to tell the difference between a hotkey aid for the handicapped and a real bot? Ok fine. Here's 153,852 reports of botting that the player base has sent in. You have 2 days to thoroughly investigate all of those reports.

What? You can't do that in 2 days all by yourself? Well, since Guild Wars 2 doesn't have a subscription fee they simply do not have the staff to give you 100 assistants. Maybe they can find you 1 or 2 people to help out. So now that's 3 people. Who now have 2 days to sort through all 153,852 reports.

Yes I'm pulling numbers out of thin air, but I would hope that I've made my point. Look, I know that "NCSoft is the devil!!!!!" around here, and I'm not even disagreeing with that. But as mature, responsible adults we should try to avoid this kind of emotional over reaction and witch hunting. Especially when it's about a subject (software coding) that you know nothing about.

You might also want to consider that since this community is trying to convince NCSoft to sell the City of Heroes IP to another corporation do we really want to antagonize them by stirring up more bad PR against them and/or ArenaNet? Even if it's true? Is it really in our best interests to get them mad at us?
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therain93

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 06:06:17 PM »
Not necessarily.

First of all ArenaNet isn't deliberately banning handicapped people just because they, or NCSoft, wants to. A business has no reason to do that and frankly I'm a little disappointed that you, of all people, would even advance this kind of theory.
Seriously, this right here -- this forum topic ("GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped") is a textbook example of yellow journalism.  Let's be a little more classy, please?
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TimtheEnchanter

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 07:27:16 PM »
Seriously, this right here -- this forum topic ("GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped") is a textbook example of yellow journalism.  Let's be a little more classy, please?

That's not really relevant. Is it deliberate? Of course not. It's over-compensating for a problem that exists in a heavily-competitive gaming environment.

But sadly, this is the only thing that gets a corporation's attention. Let's not forget that NCsoft never even made their own public statement about the shutdown of CoH until AFTER what was quite probably the biggest in-game protest since the SWG NGE riots.

It's not about being petty. It's the sad reality, that most companies won't budge unless they see a threat to their reputation. That it's morally "right" to research this issue and teach the client to discern the difference between handicap aids and combat bots means nothing to a business. It will cost them man-hours to do such a fix, and they won't want to bother. The only way they will, is if it becomes more of a problem NOT to do anything about it.

Unless someone has the money necessary to take them to court over it. But if anyone around here had that kind of dough, we'd already own the CoH IP.

P.S. If their 3rd-party software detection methods are as broad as what is being suggested now, even something like the Razor app is ban-worthy, and that's just sad.

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 07:48:56 PM »
Third. ArenaNet isn't Blizzard. Heck they aren't even Perfect World. You think it's easy to tell the difference between a hotkey aid for the handicapped and a real bot? Ok fine. Here's 153,852 reports of botting that the player base has sent in. You have 2 days to thoroughly investigate all of those reports.

If a company fails to provide the tools and personnel necessary to investigate reports of cheating and instead takes the "cheap" way out by doing blanket bans that disproportionately target the disabled then it doesn't matter if it's Blizzard, Perfect World or Arena Net, they are in the wrong.

Cheating and farming have been around and  a well known problem in the industry since long before the first lines of code were written for the game. If their computer code and business model failed to set aside resources to realistically combat the problem then it is their own fault, and not that of the innocent player. The problem should be fixed at their expense, not that of the players who are disabled.


Using your own example, if just 1% of those reports are accurate then the company has already made $70,000+ just off of selling the game to the cheaters and I would expect them to invest a lot more then $700 ( The cost for a GM and 2 assistants to work for 2 days.) to catch them. Furthermore with only 1% of the reports being accurate they need to overhaul their entire system for catching cheaters since they could arguably get better results by pulling random accounts out of a hat.

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 08:06:37 PM »
If a company fails to provide the tools and personnel necessary to investigate reports of cheating and instead takes the "cheap" way out by doing blanket bans that disproportionately target the disabled then it doesn't matter if it's Blizzard, Perfect World or Arena Net, they are in the wrong.
How do you know if it's "disproportionately target the disabled"?  The first round of bot banning mid December was just 38,000 accounts.  We don't know how many false positives and how many of those are players with a handicap that some mechanical assistance is needed to play.
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RandomUnicorn

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 08:58:29 PM »
How do you know if it's "disproportionately target the disabled"?  The first round of bot banning mid December was just 38,000 accounts.  We don't know how many false positives and how many of those are players with a handicap that some mechanical assistance is needed to play.

 You may want direct your post to Peregrine Falcon since he is the one who I was replying to and chose to use "What If" numbers and a scenario of insufficient resources to handle the problem. He is also the one proposing that it would be difficult to tell the "difference between a hotkey aid for the handicapped and a real bot" which implies that disabled people were more likely to be mistaken for real bots and thus banned.

Finally, I opened my statement with the word "IF" as in "If what you have said and implied in your third point is true then I don't think your third point is a valid defense for Arena Net because..."  and I continued to use the word IF and pointing out that the statements PF made were "Examples" and not facts.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 09:07:22 PM by RandomUnicorn »

Peregrine Falcon

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 09:07:15 PM »
Perhaps I didn't do a very good job making my point. Please allow me to try again.

Which scenario is the more likely?

1) ArenaNet is filled full of evil people who enjoy banning handicapped people from their games.

2) Guild Wars 2, like many MMOs, has a problem with botting. A problem that they are trying to combat by developing and refining their detection and banning methods. The botters are fighting back by improving and refining their methods as well. Any time you ban thousands of accounts you're going to get a few false positives. Not because people are evil or incompetent, but simply because nothing is perfect.

Now taking Occam's Razor into account, which of the above two scenarios is the more likely?

Also, if someone was banned in error they can and should file a support ticket and customer service (which is slammed at the moment according to the community manager) will examine the situation and fix it.

A few people running whatever scripts in the background and getting banned in error because of it is a failure rate far less than 1%. Simply put these things happen and rather than just go off the deep end and automatically assume that the folks at ArenaNet are being evil jerks why don't we instead wait a week or two and see if they resolve the situation correctly?
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therain93

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 12:14:13 AM »
Seriously, this right here -- this forum topic ("GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped") is a textbook example of yellow journalism.  Let's be a little more classy, please?
That's not really relevant. Is it deliberate? Of course not. It's over-compensating for a problem that exists in a heavily-competitive gaming environment.

But sadly, this is the only thing that gets a corporation's attention. Let's not forget that NCsoft never even made their own public statement about the shutdown of CoH until AFTER what was quite probably the biggest in-game protest since the SWG NGE riots.

It's not about being petty. It's the sad reality, that most companies won't budge unless they see a threat to their reputation. That it's morally "right" to research this issue and teach the client to discern the difference between handicap aids and combat bots means nothing to a business. It will cost them man-hours to do such a fix, and they won't want to bother. The only way they will, is if it becomes more of a problem NOT to do anything about it.

Unless someone has the money necessary to take them to court over it. But if anyone around here had that kind of dough, we'd already own the CoH IP.

P.S. If their 3rd-party software detection methods are as broad as what is being suggested now, even something like the Razor app is ban-worthy, and that's just sad.
So, it seems like you and VV need to take a break. 
 
Why? Because you're both coming across with a serious case of bloodlust and it's not helping.  VV's OP is an overthetop exaggeration based on one person and paints a nefarious scheme that NCsoft has concocted when in fact it is more than likely a few people have been identified as false positives.  The statement is libelous and you're trying to justify it, which is simply mind-boggling. And then you dragged CoH into it, as if we were entitled to a public statement beyond the initial announcement.  I want City of Heroes back too, but this isn't the way to do it, and frankly, cooler minds need to address this issue after there's been sufficient time to do any sort of practical research.
 
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TimtheEnchanter

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 02:19:50 AM »
Why? Because you're both coming across with a serious case of bloodlust and it's not helping.  VV's OP is an overthetop exaggeration based on one person and paints a nefarious scheme that NCsoft has concocted when in fact it is more than likely a few people have been identified as false positives.  The statement is libelous and you're trying to justify it, which is simply mind-boggling. And then you dragged CoH into it, as if we were entitled to a public statement beyond the initial announcement.  I want City of Heroes back too, but this isn't the way to do it, and frankly, cooler minds need to address this issue after there's been sufficient time to do any sort of practical research.

Wanting CoH back has nothing to do with it. You completely missed the point. I merely used the Unity Rally as an example of how much noise it takes to even make a corporation blink. NCsoft's website was completely devoid of any news regarding CoH's shutdown. Considering that their main website is there as a news source for ALL of their properties, that CoH didn't even get a footnote except as a response to the rally is staggering.

Also, notice this thread is in Other Games, not Save Paragon. This would be a bad thing regardless of who was doing it. I also don't see anyone blaming NCsoft for this. The worst I have seen is the question, "Is Arenanet doing this on their own, or is the strictness coming from higher up?"

Furthermore, if it isn't libel to accuse a company that producing violent video games as being responsible for gun-related massacres (this has probably happened a few thousand times) then it certainly isn't libel to say that Arenanet is banning handicapped players. That they're just casualties in a war on bots is irrelevant. The thread title says they're Banning the Handicapped, not that they're intentionally doing it.

And my original statement about what it takes to even have a CHANCE at convincing a corporation to change anything, still stands. If there isn't a threat of some kind, they see no point in changing anything. And that's not war-mongering. That's just how businesses think. If they can get away with it, they do it.

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 02:40:53 AM »

Victoria Victrix

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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 02:51:41 AM »
So, it seems like you and VV need to take a break. 
 
Why? Because you're both coming across with a serious case of bloodlust and it's not helping.  VV's OP is an overthetop exaggeration based on one person and paints a nefarious scheme that NCsoft has concocted when in fact it is more than likely a few people have been identified as false positives.  The statement is libelous and you're trying to justify it, which is simply mind-boggling. And then you dragged CoH into it, as if we were entitled to a public statement beyond the initial announcement.  I want City of Heroes back too, but this isn't the way to do it, and frankly, cooler minds need to address this issue after there's been sufficient time to do any sort of practical research.

Wow you sure as hell took everything I said out of context.

What I SAID is that according to my friend, who actually knows some of these people, they are being banned, and when they attempted to get redress, they were dismissed and were told they would remain banned. 

I also said I didn't know if this was coming from ArenaNet or an NCSoft edict and that I was just going to collect some data and turn real journalists loose on it.  Because whether you realize it or not, I actually have work and a job to do to pay the bills, and helping as 1/4 of Team Wildcard is pretty much taking up all of my available time.

And that this is pretty heinous, because it's perfectly easy, according to Kaiser Tarantula, to tell the difference between a bot and someone using kb helps.

I think you and PI need to start actually reading what I write, and not what you think I wrote.
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Re: GW2 Reportedly Banning the Handicapped
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2013, 03:08:50 AM »
And that this is pretty heinous, because it's perfectly easy, according to Kaiser Tarantula, to tell the difference between a bot and someone using kb helps.
And as I explained earlier your friend, Kaiser Tarantula is wrong. I've even given several reasons as to why that is.

As I said before, which is more likely? That the evil folks at ArenaNet are banning handicapped people for fun, or that a few mistakes were made?

Please, before you go to any game journalists with anything make sure that you have screenshots of ArenaNet's responses where they specifically say "we know you're handicapped but we're still not going to unban you." And then have an expert check to verify that they weren't photoshopped.

And you do realize that, even if you're right, if you go to the media and they run with it that it'll only make NCSoft more angry at us and less likely to give us what we want.

All I'm asking is that you think before you act. Please.
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