A Solution To The BOT Problem On Splinterlands

in #splinterlands6 months ago (edited)

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First, before anyone denies that we have a "BOT problem" on Splinterlands, there are many real players that have been loyal to the game for years that see the problem and have made their thoughts known.

Second, most of the people I know that see this problem, care about the game, the experience, and the economics. They are not looking to bitch for bitching's sake. None of them has tried to form boycotts or protests, because they want the game to succeed.

Third, @yabapmatt and @aggroed need to be proactive and not reactive to the situation. There have been far too many people that have left the game over the years, out of fear that things would never change. This is wasteful, unneccessary, and counterproductive; and can be addressed by getting out ahead of the issues.

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The Bot Problem Defined

The fact that people "can" bot the game is fine. The fact that a few programmers can extract outsized money from the game (versus their investment) is not fine and will kill the game over a long enough time. By outsized, I'm defining that to mean a very high ROI on the amount of money they stake in the game, especially versus what a human can make on a similar investment.

So the goal of fixing the "BOT Problem" would not be to stop the bots from happening at all, but would instead be to figure out how to limit the rewards they can make relative to the money they invest.

NOTE: this is a different issue than stopping bots outright (that many are in favor of), but which I will not address in this post.

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The BOT Problem Solution - Licensing Bots Officially

I suggest in this proposal that Splinterlands licenses the bots. Have an "officially licensed" bot program. Each account would have to declare "bot" or "human", and while I don't advocate fees, SPL could even charge a supplemental bot license fee (or leave it free to bot as well).

In this program, I would suggest the bots would be identified as a bot so that the humans can make that determination straight forward. This would ease the frustration people feel of playing against the bots, plus help the community assist in identifying non-compliant accounts that aren't listed as bots (but in fact are).

If the bot and human accounts were clearly categorized, then there could be many things that happen that could actually improve the game experience. For instance, there could be "bot only" and "human only" tourneys to encourage and reward the various groups.

Also if the bots were identified, then there could be a "code of acceptable conduct" that keeps them from violating the spirit of the game. That could be anything from limiting DEC payout to say 30 matches in a 24 hour time frame, to making sure they don't play each other so we don't have bot vs bot rewards when no person is involved. It would also enable the tournaments to be what is desired of them (ie player excitement), and not just a bot fest with a few human players even participating. We could even have enhanced reward days where a player can earn more for beating a bot, but that bot should have at least a minimum level of DEC in the account (per what @j6969 suggested) and a minimum size summoner (ie not level 1s ranking up and down for earning purposes). Said another way, the bots would stay in their appropriate league and not "creep". Also I would say there should be additional restrictions on the movement of cards from one bot account to another by limiting the cards used in a bot account to once per season.

While all these are just ideas of the top of my head, if Splinterlands were to formally accept botting as a legitimate form of playing the game, then they could solve the issues by laying out rules for the bots to follow. Rules enable the behavior you want and allow you to punish/restrict/ban behavior you don't want. This solution will enable SPL to craft the rules in such a way that they are getting the proper outcomes they seek.

I don't think either Matt or Aggy wants the game to be taken over by the bots, but I feel they feel powerless to stop it sometimes. That's absurd if so. It is their game and they can have "acceptable" rules with codes of conduct they expect. If people or programmers are willing to follow the rules, then there is room enough in this great game for both

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Hi Dave, I agree that some bot farms take too much away from the game, but botting is a protected class and if they did this type of thing you are suggesting, it would violated agreements. There would be court cases and with Aggys exit scam "jokes" and his taking advantage of inside information he would not look well in front of a judge while trying to explain how he clearly broke his agreements. The damages and cost of court would odds are end splinterlands. I think splinterlands needs to keep its legal agreements to function. If you saw my splinterland post about having DEC based rewards it would kill the huge bot net that uses almost no cards. This solution has been out there for months and months but they keep protecting the 2,000 plus bot net. How is running that bot net? How could have gotten access to 1000's of codes? If we could find the owner of this bot net maybe would could understand why there has been no change. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the land presale. That will give a huge advantage to the lower level bots. Land presale is absolutely the priority over fixing the game or correcting the lower level bot farms, Aggy needs that $$$!

Hey @j6969, I think you are absolutely right about the DEC limits to set minimums, that would at least go a long way with fixing the problem. What I attempted was to build upon your idea and take it one step further. If they authorize bots, they can make good rewards for the people that make them, but at the same time limit the abuses from the obvious bot farms that use lower level bots to rape the system. As always, I appreciate your thoughts on the topic and hope you stay engaged in the game. You're a positive force in my opinion, because you want the game to get better! ;)

Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Will take it under advisement.

I appreciate you reviewing it and hope you can implement some of the ideas.

Some interesting ideas there, though I tend to feel that a lot of those who control the bots are heavily staked in the game and have some influence with the official SPL team, thus things are unlikely to change that will upset them too much.

I have about 10% of the market cap in cards, I bot at a high level. I made that investment with the protection of bots. If they mess with bots it will be a court battle to see who is correct and if there are any damages. Matt has told me they will not mess with bots. He has the DEC solution to kill off the huge bots nets, but has not? Who is getting the money from that? Hmm... Also if we do end bots there might only be 50 or so humans left, it would kil the game. Further more open sourced web bots can't be clocked. The only solution that works is mine.

It's a bit of a catch 22. The bot element is having a negative impact on the game from a human player perspective, so it risks becoming nothing but bots. Without human players enjoying the game, it's hard to see where or how it can grow.

Don't look at the accounts as human or bots, just look at them and see how much they invested into the game. My th12-aventador account cost like $50,000. I should be able to use it however I want. But the 2,000 bots who have a total of $2,000 invested? That is not fair. Check out my post on how we can use DEC to limit rewards and get the cards back to the players and investors. Right now the lower bots are being protected and it makes me sick.

I look at it more simplistically. Is it fun to play, yes or no? Right now, for me, tournaments are not because the same bots dominate them by sheer weight of numbers, regardless of what the level the tournament is set at.

Is there a place for bots? Yes, probably. Are the low ranked bots destroying it moreso than the high ranked ones? Almost certainly.

Heading over to read your piece now.

I find playing the game fun as a human, but I used a maxed and full deck and beat the bots. Humans right now are better than bots.

Yeah we need to deal with the lower rated spam bots, but no one has.

I agree completely and think everyone else does too... (except the low level bot farmers)

and yes even Matt and Aggy would have to agree as its killing them day by day with loss of revenues now due to little to no pack sales

I hope you're wrong about that, but you aren't the only one saying it. Maybe they will surprise us one day with something that achieves objectives that we can all agree with. And while I understand they are sensitive to the bot guys, my guess is they could run a legitimate authorized program that could incentivize the bot makers while at the same time keep the humans excited to play.

Some great suggestions there,

I'm just thinking about investing another few hundred quid into the game, so interesting to here.

Thank you @revisesociology! I just invested a few quid myself this afternoon! :)

Bots are really big problem and I think it should be solved asap! Tl

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I agree completely. I know @aggroed saw the post and I'm sure he and @yabapmatt will work on a plan. I hope I gave them something they will consider, because I think everyone would like to see things more in balance.

You make very good points that could be beneficial to those who bot, human players and the game itself.

limiting DEC payout

I think the above is a great idea. It allows the bots to continue to run but not take from the DEC pool. I'm not sure what the limit should be but I'm thinking somewhere on the higher end so that it doesn't discourage players with a grinders mindset.

Overall, great suggestions @davemccoy.
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Thanks @rentmoney. Yes I think they could achieve what they want by setting the boundaries... In reality the bots are needed, but they certainly need the humans too. Treating them with separate rules can be good for both if they structure it right.

I like the way you think @davemccoy 👍

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