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Notice Regarding voting, vote abuse, and GTOP

Discussion in 'MapleLegends Announcements' started by Kimberly, Jan 29, 2019.

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  1. Kimberly
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    Kimberly Administrator Staff Member Administrator Game Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2014
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    3:43 PM
    Moderator Post
    Note: Long post approaching. We really appreciate it if you read all of it before commenting.

    Hello,

    When it comes to the voting system as a whole I have expressed a lot of opinions about it in the past. Some publicly, some internally. Overall, I think the whole voting system being as popular as it is, is something I see as a bad thing for the community. However, this is something that happened in 2008, and unfortunately GTOP has been dominating google results so badly, that it's a very negative thing as a server not to do it.

    When it comes to servers using the system it is almost always the same way: You can vote, but you cannot vote multiple times on different accounts.

    The reason why this is set in servers is because usually voting gives rewards that benefit your account. The usual case is Gachapon Tickets, where in some servers the Cash items can be traded. This means that one may vote, buy AP resets, sell those AP resets, earn mesos.

    This creates the term 'Vote2Win'. The reason why its called Vote2Win is because one may go inactive for months, but keep voting in the background. Once the user is back, he uses all the farmed cash to earn a lot of mesos. This is gaining mesos by not playing the game, and thus can be seen similar to pay2win (paying real money for in-game currency, and not by playing the game).

    Vote Abuse

    Vote Abuse is a term created in the MapleStory Private Server community where one votes multiple times as one person. Because voting gives benefits, servers usually apply a rule that one may only vote once a day. If they happen to do it more times, they are breaking the rule, thus are vote 'abusing'.

    The Inconsistency Around This Rule

    The problem we have personally with the whole vote abuse rule is how inconsistent its handled. Furthermore, it's extremely confusing for people new to the private server scene as to what this rule even means.

    On top of that, GTOP actually permits voting on multiple connections, as long its not by VPN or Proxy.

    Thus, having the rule exist is bad for the server in every single way, besides trying to balance an already flawed system.

    To re-cap

    - It's confusing for new users to understand what the rule is about
    - It cannot be consistently moderated because of family members, and other reasons
    - The game keeps tell you on different accounts that you may vote, even though that's not allowed
    - Some get banned for it and some don't
    - Disallowing something that GTOP allows means gaining less votes on purpose (which affects our rankings on GTOP)

    'White listing'

    A different method to deal with this is some sort of 'White list' where users post their in-real life pictures to prove themselves they are different people, which then allows them to vote multiple times.

    Besides me believing that's a horrible thing for a user's privacy when playing a Private Server, there's also flaws in this system:

    - One may just call his brother/sister for a one time picture even though they don't even play the game
    - Any staff member having access to those in-real life pictures may do anything they want with it
    - The above also stands if the place where those pictures are getting posted gets breached into by a hacker

    Thus, when people approached me with this idea in past to combat vote abuse, I have completely rejected it. I would never want such system in place, since privacy is of huge importance to me.

    What we always did in MapleLegends instead is allowing people to vote. If someone was playing together (brother, sister) we allowed them to vote as well, as long they are different people, which we have multiple ways behind the scene to find out

    Of course we KNEW this is flawed, which is why we try have the least vote2win items as possible. Gachapon Tickets from Cash Shop were horribly nerfed, Cash items could not be traded, and so on.

    We still had harsh moderation in place in case people try to vote abuse, and banned those users. However, we can admit from here that even those systems had flaws in them. We are not going explain how, but it wasn't perfect.

    Like I've explained earlier, consistent moderation of Vote Abuse is technically making your server lose legal votes (like I said, allowed by GTOP). So, in my eyes, the rule is bad for the server, for people that don't understand it, for people that get banned for it, and for those that get away with it by not getting banned. Not a positive thing in every single way possible.

    The Final Steps Removing Any Kind of Vote2Win

    For a long time I already wanted get rid of the rule completely, due to mentioned issues. However, one thing we needed make sure before we do, is the complete removal of Cash Gachapon Tickets.

    When we introduced Gachapon Tickets by drops this Christmas we received almost only positive feedback. Of course the items you gained were still awful (the rates were based on the Cash Gach), but that can be improved on when they are completely gone from the Cash Shop.

    This is now done and Gachapon Tickets got re-introduced with improved rates. This conclusion once again led to a lot of positive feedback, since in the end, making this change on a soon 4 years old server is a very difficult choice. Of course not everyone will like the change, but that's with everything unfortunately.

    Removing the Rule (Trial Stage)

    Now comes the conclusion of this story, which is another difficult change on a soon 4 year old server. We want to give multiple voting (on different accounts only, not single accounts) a try. Yes, it's a very scary trial, but we want give it a shot. We are completely aware this gives people the ability to wash multiple accounts at the same time. However, in the end it's still spending the same amount of votes as before, since you cannot transfer cash items to different accounts and you still can only vote on one account one time, or one time on your second account.

    v0.62 passed the 10 years mark a few months ago. MapleStory is becoming a very old game. Yes, people are slowly moving on to different games, and starting on MapleLegends is seen as a huge drag compared to other servers sometimes.

    We are aware this change makes some things related to voting take less time. I personally believe that if perfectly balanced, this is better for the server. Each account still takes the same effort, but you can now do multiple accounts at a time, which makes it overall a less tedious process to get ready in MapleLegends when it comes to vote things (washing, for example).

    With this trial however, we want to make it clear that we reserve all the rights at any point of time to re-implement the vote abuse rule if we feel we missed on something, or are overall not happy with the results. Also, using any mule accounts to abuse anything related to voting, such as SMEGA abuse, may have a harsher punishment now. Please don't send inappropriate SMEGA's.

    We hope you, the community, support our decision and provide honest feedback once we start the trial. Thanks for reading through this long post, and happy Mapling!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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