Sunday, January 16th, 2011
Issue: 64   Editor: ApocalypticAldarion

COLUMN: No Users Online List at all? ApocalypticAldarion

The past few days a discussion raised on the Game Forum, where several people made suggestions to stop the current bots from gathering data from peopleís profiles. It has been a problem since somewhere in the previous round and it once again became a problem in the current round. This way of retrieving data is not allowed, especially since the bots retrieve the data with intervals of just a few minutes. The question which then arises is: should we completely get rid of the users online list?

The problem with bots started somewhere in the last round, but the crews using them could not turn it into their advantage (at least not in a way that they could dominate the game), simply because there were too much enemies around. In the current round however, only a handful of the old crews are still around giving people who want to completely dominate the option to do so. That is the simple truth of the matter, itís not because they are that good, itís the game that let them. Last round, crews tried exactly the same, but all efforts failed.

Current shootings are all based on the outputs of these bots. If a user logs in, even if it is only for a few minutes, data about him or her is stored. In the end a simple list with all users and ranks is made and all accounts that arenít friendly are shot. This is exactly the reason why wealth statuses were hidden; people were shot for being notoriously rich. It is also the reason why people were given the option to hide their rank once they became above Don; people were being shot for being Legendary Dons. Several solutions have been suggested to deal with this issue, and I have seen quite a few good solutions. However, one of them was to completely remove the users online list, which I think is a bit odd.

The users online list seems quite a fundamental part to the game, from my point of view. At least it gives me the impression Iím not the only idiot playing this game. Removing it could have disastrous results. On the other hand, its existence allows cheats, so what is really better here? I am guessing a way in between would be the best. Perhaps people should be given the option what they want to share, such as rank and wealth. Removing it completely would not be the best solution. Having said that, I do think something needs to be done to make it impossible for the bots to just gather all data from every user online.

This is also the reason why a reset at this point wouldnít really make any sense. It has been repeated by members from the Elite Guard, there is no point in resetting the game if the current problems arenít solved. Perhaps it would be an option if a solution is found, as the current imbalance isnít really the result of fair play. If Iím honest I cannot see this going anywhere, though. I do not expect a sudden miracle that solves everything. It was suggested in the topic as well, but perhaps hiring another administrator (and expert) would in the end be the best solution. Perhaps the real question we should ask is if something will happen, rather than what will happen. One thing is for sure, though. Something needs to done fast. The game is bleeding to death, and we all know its fate if no medical assistance arrives in time.