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MOkami

Concern regarding script-travel.

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This is a quick question here.

 

So, you know how AI encounters are supposed to prevent auto-move botters from working, right? Their presence means you can't just have a script automatically run you across the map, because now you need manual input to circumvent obstacles.

 

But... Is it really so hard to run a script that also automatically hits the submit button whenever one is in an AI combat situation? Therefor removing the original purpose of the AI?

And if they can do that, well... No point to having AI, then.

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It isn't hard at all, but what is the purpose of these "auto move botters" again? What could you possibly gain by moving around the map? 

Also do we really want people running around lightning fast on the map? I see it as another factor we have to deal with, and there are various ways to reduce AI encounter rate anyway. 

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What could you possibly gain by moving around the map?

 

Well, given that this system will make people move "lightning fast", which is what you don't want, then a lot, actually.

 

What I say is, if anyone with half a brain cell figures out to program the scripts to auto-attack AI then the original purpose of said AI, besides minimal exp gains/the fact that they're a classic part of an RPG is pretty much lost.

 

Although... In-battle healing items are worthless without them...

Edited by MarkedNinja

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Well, given that this system will make people move "lightning fast", which is what you don't want, then a lot, actually.

 

What I say is, if anyone with half a brain cell figures out to program the scripts to auto-attack AI then the original purpose of said AI, besides minimal exp gains/the fact that they're a classic part of an RPG is pretty much lost.

 

Although... In-battle healing items are worthless without them...

 

They are only going to be as fast as the response from the server; not based on their submission time. Trust me, I had implemented features that make it so you have to wait until the server is done executing that response before they can perform another. It is an inherent thing within the game, one that many would see if they noticed a duplicate action page. So, it won't make them lightning fast, they'll be as fast as any other skilled player. If they learned to auto-attack AI through complex scripts, then report it when you notice a suspicious person.

 

However, that doesn't negate the purpose of AI. AI serve a purpose for missions, logbook, events, and etc. It doesn't remove the purpose of an AI at all when someone is able to auto-attack it through a script. Otherwise, that would have to equally apply to players as well. The only thing that diminishes is the effect of an AI encounter, because it serves a minimal role. I feel like the concern is over-exaggerated here, because while complex scripts are a concern and it should be reported and dealt with, yet I believe this is purely hypothetical and the problem is being exacerbated more than it really is.

 

~Wolfy

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I think MarkedOne wasn't talking about AIs who have purpose for missions logbooks and events, he just wants those Syndicate Crime Lords and alike to not to slow him down when moving around map if they aren't really needed. Cause yeah.. what is their purpose? So people don't move "that fast"? If they were meant to fight bots then nope, that's actually too easy to overcome. Hmm Im not sure I know their purpose myself, now that I think about it.

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Yeah, I was referring to the Syndicate crime lords and body guards and stuff, not the AI for the missions.

Those guys are good for only one thing: Healing with in-battle healing items. Other than that, they're an extreme nuisance.

I try getting into a village and I get attacked by AI every other square. It's just a tad grating.

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Yeah, I was referring to the Syndicate crime lords and body guards and stuff, not the AI for the missions.

Those guys are good for only one thing: Healing with in-battle healing items. Other than that, they're an extreme nuisance.

I try getting into a village and I get attacked by AI every other square. It's just a tad grating.

 

I understand that, but my point still stands regarding the auto-attack scripts for AI. It's harder to correlate what exactly you are concerned about now. So, in essence, when you actually need AI, they are useful for healing. However, when you don't want them, they are a nuisance. Do you see the conundrum with that? That's not really constructive, in terms of actually trying to address an issue. AI is generally randomized encounters, but I can't recall the exact number. Regardless, I'll go back to the original argument. Why does it matter when you can create a script that can avoid AI by automatically dealing with them?

 

Let me ask this, will everybody use such a thing and risk a ban? Not really, but lets go a step further. If such a thing was allowed and could be dealt with, does that mean AI is useless? Well, by your logic, that's only if the user only wants healing. So, lets take it a step further then. Lets assume there was a script, a complex one, that could heal or deal with an AI appropriately based on the circumstances. Does that diminish the purpose of AI? The answer would still be no, because this is an RPG and we can expand on the role that AI could have. Granted, in its current state, it doesn't have a lot of variety nor benefits, but it still creates difficulty. A script will still have to deal with an AI encounter, which takes time out of raiding and makes things more complex and difficult.

 

A good example would be like Pokemon, where random AI encounters could help leveling through grinding, but after a certain point, you can just travel by flying and skipping through those aspects. The game has built part of its RPG around the aspect of that AI. So, again, this script concern is exacerbated by what you're trying to actually portray. You want AI that means something, but when you're at end-game, it won't mean much. However, it should mean something to beginning players or newly ranked characters. That's what you should focus on, because this concern over scripts taking care of AI is just irrelevant to the actual issue, which is the minimal effect of AI. It isn't the method of which it is handled.

 

That's what I'm seeing, as far as I am concerned. Sorry if I seemed rather stern with the explanation. Mike's Hard Lemonade is good stuff though~

 

~Wolfy

Edited by Wolfpack16
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I still dont know what the purpose of those AIs is, sorry. The healing doesn't really count and I think isn't even worth it if I imagine having them AIs removed, Id do that trade. It's not even supposed to be like that. It was stated somewhere that using healing item on an AI is supposed to consume the item. It was going to be fixed after one of them updates. So whoever made those AI encounters on map, didnt do it cause of healing Im sure. If it's something for new users to fight, so they see how battles look like, then ok. But that'd be disappointing reasoning for us non newbies.

 

We don't get any serious xp from AIs to kill them for fluff xp.. you can train jutsus on it I guess but nobody really does that, pools are just not worth it. You better go and do it with PvP.. And there could be AI in battle arena or somewhere that would deal with how to raise your jutsu level without PvP. Lastly I have to repeat, the complexity/difficulty of making a bot able to use fists after it enters an AI battle is next to 0.

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I feel like the concern is over-exaggerated here, because while complex scripts are a concern and it should be reported and dealt with, yet I believe this is purely hypothetical and the problem is being exacerbated more than it really is.

 

Wolfy, you'd be a much more complete web programmer if you'd learn some javascript. It doesn't take anything close to a complex script to do all of this. The same browser add-on and scripts are very likely what is being used by the players constantly being accused of bot attacking. Currently, there isn't anything built into TNR to track or prevent this sort of botting (unless the fact that my in-battle items seem to switch order randomly was intentional).

 

Imo, TNR needs to update the rules to better define what types of 3rd party tools are and are not legal. For example, ragebars use javascript to circumvent the slow navigation of the site. These are considered acceptable, but now you're talking like a script to select an attack and submit the battle form is not acceptable. I don't really see the difference. I personally think that scripts that auto-attack other players should not be allowed, but there's not clear direction in the manual forbidding those, and the mods have absolutely no way of proving that anyone uses such scripts.

 

These bots are so simple to create and pass on to others, it would be ignorant to try and deny that they exist. These are likely the type of bots Yaseen was selling (if he was truly selling bots), and it would make sense, since the game really started lagging bad after that. Aet has noted before that bot usage could easily be what's causing the high CPU usage on the server, and Terr's mentioned how he thinks having such large combat history stored in the server cache could also be a contributing factor. If players are using these bots, then they'll have a ton of AI battles bloating their combat history.

 

I've already approached Pana about offering a solution for how we can track and prevent the use of these bots. Hopefully, in the near future, something will get implemented. 

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The more complex the "bot shields" and "anti bot" programs, the more complex you push the bots to become. Do you really think botters will just roll over and admit defeat if you introduce some basic countermeasure? No. They'll find a way around it, and it will be even harder to detect them now. You'd be much better off just making it so that it's not beneficial to bot than going through all this trouble.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrobial_resistance

Ever heard of superbugs?

 

As far as toolbars go, uh, that's not a bot. It doesn't do anything automatically for you other than turn your keyboard into a game controller essentially. It makes the game a little bit less tedious, and toolbars are even linked in the manual... A toolbar doesn't move around the map on it's own, attack players on it's own, or do missions for you while you're asleep. It's the equivalent of tying bookmarks to keys on your keyboard, I don't see how that's even remotely like a bot... A bot literally does everything *for* you, it doesn't need hotkeys or shortcuts, because it's not human.

 

Toolbar = mod of the game.

Bot = scripts made to run on their own.

Not the same.

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So Tael, if you were a prison warden and one of your prisoners escaped, by say climbing over the fence, instead of posting a guard to watch the fence, instead of putting barbed wire on the top of the fence, instead of using spotlights to make the fence more visible at night, you'd rather try and make the world outside the prison suck so much that the prisoners don't want to escape or make the inside of the prison so nice that they never want to leave? Because that's pretty much what you're saying TNR should do.

 

I agree that it's impossible to make a publicly accessible server completely hack proof. However, you can make things so secure that hacking is incredibly difficult, especially for one person working on their own. Additionally, you can improve the detectability of security breaches. Right now, the issue of players using the scripts described in this post is that they are incredibly simple to make and even easier to share. 

 

As far as your definition for bots vs tools goes, my guess is that the auto-attack bots we've been talking about would fall under your definition of tools. My guess is that players who use that script have it set so when they press a keyboard key, it loads the combat page and clicks on the top available Attack link. It doesn't work unless the user presses the keyboard key. If Nellis uses something like this, he may agree with your logic, which could be why he denies using a bot. Even if he doesn't agree with your definitions, the rules don't specify that the above described script is illegal. I think it should be, but the rules don't say that it is.

Edited by Shikayaru
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Uh, I'd just make it so that escaping isn't beneficial xD

Strict punishment for attempts, even stricter for escaping, good volunteer and early release programs, a library...

Obviously it's assumed law enforcement will catch 99% of escapees anyway, all things considered. But analogies aside...

 

This fix you're proposing would just make it impossible for single players to make bots. That would make it so that complex, advanced bots designed by a smarter person would have higher market value. In other words, there would be a demand for someone to design a bot to slip under the detection system.

 

How about just make it so that attack links, jutsus, and even the order of the combat list is randomly placed? Seems like a fairly simple fix. Unless you're willing to put in 100s of hours of coding for this anti-bot detection program, which would be irrelevant within a month once the botters find a workaround. (and they will.)

 

Also bear in mind pretty much every countermeasure you employ will piss off the playerbase because it will inconvenience them in some way.

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1) You don't know what my countermeasures are, so don't just assume that they will be difficult to implement and easy to work around. Although, I guess I won't ask you to believe me since I'm not gonna offer you proof.

 

2) You have to remember that eventually the people who know how to make bots (or the people who pay them for their work) will have to come to a point where they realize that they're wasting a lot of time and/or money on a game that really isn't worth the trouble.

 

3) Even if the anti-bot methods only work temporarily, if you are able to find concrete proof that some users were using them, you're able to ban them. Even if someone's able to make a bot that cheats the new safeguards, there's not point in using that bot if you just lose your account in the process...

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Hey I don't wanna know how it works, that defeats the purpose. If you've got something that works, that's great man, love to see it in action. Just hate to see people throwing "pls make bot-shield" at the staff over and over without something to actually contribute.

 

I'd agree with most of what you're saying about obtaining proof/making it so that it's not worth it to botters, that's exactly how you fix the problem. I guess I'll sit back and shut up now and see if you follow through ^_^

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Wolfy, you'd be a much more complete web programmer if you'd learn some javascript. It doesn't take anything close to a complex script to do all of this. The same browser add-on and scripts are very likely what is being used by the players constantly being accused of bot attacking. Currently, there isn't anything built into TNR to track or prevent this sort of botting (unless the fact that my in-battle items seem to switch order randomly was intentional).

 

You're right on the fact that I'm not a complete web programmer, but I knew enough of the essentials to get by. My degrees are more focused on Electrical & Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. However, I'm very good on the back-end, instead of the front-end. So, again, I don't know how many times I have to mention it, but there's never going to be anything built to definitively track or prevent botting on a website. It's not going to happen at all, because this isn't a client-side game where we can utilize memory scanning in order to prevent botting. So everyone needs to stop asking that we should prevent botting, because if I could, I would have done it a long time ago. I'll mention again that there's no way to definitively determine who is a bot or not based on data, requests and timing by itself. It's only through a log of viewing requests and timing that you can determine if botting is possible or not.

 

Imo, TNR needs to update the rules to better define what types of 3rd party tools are and are not legal. For example, ragebars use javascript to circumvent the slow navigation of the site. These are considered acceptable, but now you're talking like a script to select an attack and submit the battle form is not acceptable. I don't really see the difference. I personally think that scripts that auto-attack other players should not be allowed, but there's not clear direction in the manual forbidding those, and the mods have absolutely no way of proving that anyone uses such scripts.

 

I'll agree that possibly "support" tools/macros could be defined. However, the purpose of legal text is to not give a definitive resolution on what specific tools you allow, but what could be acceptable in a vague sense. Let me be clear about my definition with macros, so people can understand what I mean. Macros is a single, or a set of, instructions to perform a particular action. So yes, changing the navigation of the site into keyboard strokes are acceptable, but selecting an attackers and submit the battle form is entirely different in terms of scope, because that involves multiple tasks. Selecting an attack, waiting for response, submit the form, wait for the response. It's entirely different that making a keyboard key into a link. So, I do see a difference due to what's actually going on, because if you allow those, then it starts becoming hard to define it. Just a simple macro is fine...it's not going to harm anything within the overall scheme of things, but they are very different.

 

These bots are so simple to create and pass on to others, it would be ignorant to try and deny that they exist. These are likely the type of bots Yaseen was selling (if he was truly selling bots), and it would make sense, since the game really started lagging bad after that. Aet has noted before that bot usage could easily be what's causing the high CPU usage on the server, and Terr's mentioned how he thinks having such large combat history stored in the server cache could also be a contributing factor. If players are using these bots, then they'll have a ton of AI battles bloating their combat history.

 

I'm not denying that it's being passed around when it's made, but I've made it much more difficult by adding in more variables that they have to consider. It'll never be perfect, but you can't really tell me that these bots are so simple to create without actually showing something concrete. This is where we get into a whole other debate where people should have been upfront about knowing what I could have done to prevent it better. However, I doubt that bots are causing the game to lag. However, now you're getting into stuff that I know quite a bit about now.

 

For one thing, bots don't cause a lot of high CPU usage anymore. It's just not possible, because they have to wait for a response to complete. It won't make sense unless there's a high volume of users, which there is not anymore. So you can forget the whole idea that bots are causing the system to stress out or lag. Caching wouldn't be the issue of this when it is created. Unless it is cached correctly, then you're basically executing the same query without holding the result. Some of those queries are intensive, but they are cached. In terms of the information stored in cache, it shouldn't cause high CPU usage. Rather it should show high RAM usage, so if there's not a high amount of RAM used, then I doubt it's cache either. Cache is meant to offset CPU usage by holding the data in RAM. It doesn't add to the CPU usage. The system is lagging, because of three reasons, which I have stressed when I was coding.

 

Cloud Hosting, CRON Jobs and Bad Database Tables/Indexes. 

  1. Cloud Hosting is not the same as a dedicated server. Cloud Hosting has an inherent lag and switch delay, which is why there's lag spikes during certain intervals. That's the whole part of the architecture, where Cloud servers are not meant to be instantly responsive, but they are very reliable and cheap cost.
  2. CRON Jobs are background processes meant to do certain tasks. Some of those tasks are pretty intensive, considering the daily maintenance and hourly resources update. These flush and search through entire tables in order to do the certain tasks they are required. Some are spaced pretty evenly on intervals, so at times, you could have multiple CRON jobs running. However, the next one is the cause of the most CPU usage I imagine.
  3. Bad Database Tables/Indexes...some of the tables added on later were not created, or indexed, in an optimal way. Most of where you'll see performance enhancement is within the database. It won't be the server, nor the CRON jobs...what makes the system fast, or get the most performance upgrade, is from the database. It just so happens that the tables that are poorly implemented is the user battle table, the resources table and etc. These tables are using methods where it's compressing data into huge chunks and being stored. That's the bottleneck of the system with high CPU usage. These lags happen when certain battles/missions/etc break and it's left as a hanging process until it times out. In truth, to fix a lot of the performance issue will be to optimize tables that are badly implemented.

I doubt this is the fault of log history, or cache, or bots...because there's not enough users to justify the amount of data there. However, in terms of battle data...one battle would utilize more data space than the entire cache system. That's why I'm saying it's neither of what you're saying at all. It's just the main tables used by players for battle, resources, and etc are poorly implemented and indexed. If I had my way with them, the tables wouldn't be implemented in its current state.

 

I've already approached Pana about offering a solution for how we can track and prevent the use of these bots. Hopefully, in the near future, something will get implemented. 

 

I'm just going to copy and paste what Aeterno said, because I'm telling you...there's nothing that will definitively solve the problem nor get implemented.

 

Except you can't easily detect toolbars / add-ons from within a website. Injected scripts are also notoriously hard to detect. Any bot that emulates human behavior by introducing a variance in the timing gets even harder to detect by eye. Much less automatically.

There's a reason most clientside games use memory scanning applications to detect botting.

 

Unless you're a tech prodigy that has a viable technical solution, it's best not to kick open open doors like this. 

 

~Wolfy

Edited by Wolfpack16

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This fix you're proposing would just make it impossible for single players to make bots. That would make it so that complex, advanced bots designed by a smarter person would have higher market value. In other words, there would be a demand for someone to design a bot to slip under the detection system.

I have nothing against what Wolf said, due of lack of knowledge xD

Feel free to ignore this post, it won't add too much to topic.

But still, i have to agree with Shika on that quote. Talking in a general way,  every system has a breech, don't matter how perfect it is, but still we can try upgrading ways to avoid something. There will always be ways to do anything, but we can make it harder, to become minimal, or simply 0. I saw for example League of Legends, it is a game played on all the world and very popular, so we can wait to be secure from everything. Still, someone could use DDoS to make the BR server go down. He wanted to do something to server, and he used. The LOL staff difficulted it, he done it again. Then they difficulted it again... Since that i hear nothing more  from him. So isn't just because things will not have it effects for everyone that we could give up.

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Guest Faithy

hi...

 

is this even a problem? 

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In the grand scheme of things, absolutely not.

This is a dead RPG, people botting/scripting/cheating in general isn't gonna cause much woe to the world.

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It is a problem for those who actively play the game. How would it be not? Doesn't matter how many players it is right now. Yes we can agree on bots being (almost) impossible to track but if Shika or anyone else has any ideas, why not try. If it catches a few culprits at least before bots get better, I call worth.

Also this thread derailed from original issue. AIs on map - do we need them? I really wish someone pointed out why we have them. For someone who raids/moves around map a lot it is a problem if it turns out we don't actually need them. 

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I'll agree they are annoying certainly. I'm not certain what their original purpose was, but right now this is what they accomplish :

1)They cap movespeed for all players, bot or not, the time it takes to kill an AI slows you down

2)You can grind jutsu exp off of them (Yes I know, incredibly slow but it is something.)

3)As stated previously it's something for new players to do

 

 

If you take them away :

1) Give players uncapped move speed aside from page loads

2) Raiders will kill weaker players more often

3) No more grinding jutsu exp

 

They're not exactly pointless, just irritating. I'm on the fence as I don't see a strong argument to remove/keep them. Since they're already in the game I guess I'd side with keeping them.

 

Anything I missed?

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I'll agree they are annoying certainly. I'm not certain what their original purpose was, but right now this is what they accomplish :

1)They cap movespeed for all players, bot or not, the time it takes to kill an AI slows you down

2)You can grind jutsu exp off of them (Yes I know, incredibly slow but it is something.)

3)As stated previously it's something for new players to do

 

 

If you take them away :

1) Give players uncapped move speed aside from page loads

2) Raiders will kill weaker players more often

3) No more grinding jutsu exp

 

They're not exactly pointless, just irritating. I'm on the fence as I don't see a strong argument to remove/keep them. Since they're already in the game I guess I'd side with keeping them.

 

Anything I missed?

If you take them away we will need to heal ourselves without items ;-;

And they are good for AS newcomers to Genin faster

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So there are 4 points

  • grinding jutsu xp - ok so we want that option.. meh, nothing to say. This is so ugly and bottable.. To be honest I wouldnt mind if getting xp was possible only from pvp >.< its not that hard you know. I don't know. Just meh.
  • Something for new players to do - dont they have 3 kinds of arena already, quests, and missions? :/ Also void huh
  • Healing - this is not legit, afaik it's supposed to be removed anyway
  • Capping move speed - now this is interesting point. But why do you want to cap speed? So hunters dont get that easily to their target? The point is that there's no real way to stop them from doing that if they really wanted. As mentioned 4 times before, it takes 0 effort to overcome AIs with bots. Furthermore, bot doesnt care if its request to move or request to fist. So instead of 20 quick consecutive requests to server  you do 25,28. No big deal. For bot you dont add any real delay other than the delay from server side (x5,x8), but that's too small to matter. Move speed is capped by server response time in the first place, there's no real change with these AIs if you use bot. For example if anyone wanted bounty hunter bot, he'd have made it as easily with these AIs as without them + the bot would be way too fast regardless AIs presence. So you wanted to fight a bot(?) and instead  you just made it more annoying for a real player while solving nothing really.
Edited by Evianon

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I don't think AI are an anti bot feature. And for every kill you miss in frustration due to AI, some weaker player is happily skipping away singing their praises.

 

Also keep in mind repel items lose a lot of value if you get rid of the map AI.

 

There's like 6 ways to reduce the encounter rate significantly that I know of, so in my opinion I'm still leaning towards keeping the AI.

 

Edit : I have a few ideas in regard to map AI, I'll see if they pan out.

Edited by Tael

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The point is, and i think many of you will agree, now you gotta fight at least 7 AI to reach a village and at the end when you get there theres no one and you must go to another village, fight another ton of AI only to find yourself alone in combat page again. So again, why do we need AI? Is there really someone botting by random moving to the map, if thats the case, whats his/her purpose?

 

Actually, if you code the right script, random moving around the map could be used to spam jutsu, as long as you find a target to fight with (hello AI).

Once again, why do we need AI besides slowing hunters to track you down? 

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