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Closing the forum


Yeetiee
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Hello,

As the spamers are becoming more and more active I am starting to think if the ability to write on the forum, or at least most of it, shouldn't be open only for those who bought the game? 

What do you think?

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Yeah, I think there should be at least sections of the forum where anyone can post (for example, people interested in buying the game), if not the entire forum. Isn't it possible to just have more stringent 'prove you're not a bot' measures for signing up?

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Not my forum, so not my decision.

Question, though. I thought there already was a section for purchasers. It's just that people prefer posting in the open section, and the paid section gets a post every couple months or so.

Anyone bothered by spam, just post in that other section. This looked to be a one-off spamfest (first I have seen it since November) and hitting Page Down once wasn't that onerous.

But from my point of view, I probably would not have purchased it if I could not have seen people talking about the kinds of issues they were having in the game.

[EDIT]

In fact, spam would probably have sold me on giving it a shot. A friendly topping every once in a while that there was a spam-free section available for those who purchased the game where I could get more friendly information would likely have done it. Whatever it was it cost (no, I don't remember) wasn't very much. $25 to get access to a better coverage of game knowledge would have been a no-brainer.

[/EDIT]

Edited by Thorfinn
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I understand sadly the need to close the forum but I hope I can still send links I am discussing with my friends here that hasn't bought the game. But the spammers have been all out recently they shouldn't be allowed to fill up the forum with their spam stuff.

Edited by DX65
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I suspect this is more of a temporary measure until a more nuanced, permanent solution can get put in place.

It's easy enough to track the number of non-paying posts per hour, so a simple kill-switch that temporary suspends non-paying account activity when a certain threshold gets hit would help reduce the immediacy of spam waves. Could potentially combine it with limiting non-paying accounts to a post every few hours, though that's fairly easy to circumvent with a network of accounts.

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Let's be honest - recently the amount of spam on this forum was overwhelming. I hope current restrictions will be only temporarly or there could be one "offtopic" part for non-buyers. The choice lays in devs (it's their game and their forum) but i thank Tyron for deploing some countermeasures.

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@Thorfinn That's not a valid alternative. The Vintarian section does not have a Suggestion subforum, it doesn't have a Question subforum, or a Multiplayer one, or the multiple Creative and multiple Modding subforums. It simply doesn't support orderly, segmented posting - which means that, should it see any real volume of posters, it would become a convoluted mess. Duplicating the public structure in the members section doesn't work either, because especially the modding community relies on its existing support and development threads in the public section. Which need to be in the public section, because people come to them via links from the ModDB or from Google, looking for information without ever interacting with the vintagestory.at website before.

Besides, think about the message a spam-filled public section sends. It gives the impression to a casual outside visitor that the development team lacks either the technical acumen, or the time and resources, or even the care and motivation to do something about it - and I don't know which of those is worse. It's an image of neglect, and of loss of control. That's not what you want to show people that you want to buy your product, or feel welcome.

It also defeats the whole point of a public forum. If someone comes here to post, then they want that post to be read by other people. But if they see that, every single day, there is a wave of bot spam five to six forum pages deep - and yes, that's literally what we were getting here in the days leading up to Tyron's decision - then they'll figure (and rightly so) that no one is going to find their lone, small post among this sky-high heap of garbage, and leave. People almost never page back even once in a forum - heck, a large amount of people don't even scroll down to check the entirety of the front page. You expect them to make a habit of going back six pages to check if there were any real threads posted since yesterday evening? It's not going to happen.

So, no one will post, and no one will bother looking for posts. Why bother having a public section, again? All you're doing at that point is providing a free service to automated spambots, helping them do their thing, consuming bandwidth that you pay for.

Which leads neatly into yet another reason why this is bad - that uncomfortable word, responsibility. If you are a commercial entity providing customers with a service - free or paid, doesn't matter - you have a certain responsibility as to the quality of that service, and the security of those that utilize it. If not by law, then at least by morality, and by convention. If the Vintage Story team accepts spambots as a regular part of their public forum, then they also tacitly accept that those spambots will be successful. There will be someone who comes by and clicks on a link they shouldn't have clicked. There will be someone who gets their personal information phished and malware installed on their computer. There will be a minor who gets forwarded to a hardcore porn site. The very reason that spambots like these exist and invade gaming forums to advertise seemingly unrelated nonsense is because it works and people click on it. All the time. It's a billion dollar industry. And when it happens because the Vintage Story team is carelessly neglectful about its public forum, then the Vintage Story team shares responsibility.

I absolutely agree that switching the public section to members-only is not a good long-term solution. We need a more robust signup procedure that isn't so easily conquered by automated scripts. But it's a better short-term solution than projecting an image of neglect, offering an unsafe, unwelcoming environment, and providing a platform for malicious third parties to exploit your customers.

 

Edited by Streetwind
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This is uuuh...slightly problematic for users that bought the game with a different e-mail account than they use to access the forum. I(Taska Raine) like to hoard e-mails on this one account for purchases and things I may need to refer to in the future via search. But for all my modding and otherwise must-respond-to things, I use a different account and keep it tidy. Thus, the account I use to respond to my mod pages on the forum has lost access.

Is it possible to whitelist e-mail accounts that do not have a game purchase associated with them, upon request?

Edit: I had changed the game account e-mail address after a purchase, but the forum account associated with the old e-mail account still has the forum access

Edited by Taska
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@Taska, I'm pretty sure that's my situation, too. I link all on-line financials through one email account, and only if I mess up does anything else use that account. I wouldn't actually swear to it in this case, because initially my real name was my forum user name, and I'm pretty sure I've got my real name only linked to the one account.

@Streetwind, I'm not sure why the forum structure could not be tweaked to put more in the registered user section. Mods aren't very useful unless you own the game. Suggestions don't mean much if you are only playing VS Classic. The public section really only needs to field questions about VS Classic, too. But the solution to the current issue might be really easy -- give you and a few of the other long-term members and all those with published mods the ability to delete (or at least hide) spam. You are right that @Tyron should not have to pay the costs of hosting spam, it looks bad and diverts money away from where it belongs. And I agree that the policing should not fall on @Tyron's shoulders. But that's where the community could help. If a handful of trusted members had the ability to click a check box in the topic list and the topic vanished, whether deleted or filtered out, the problem is more or less resolved. As well as it can be on the internet, anyway. 

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Unregistred users can't post anything in forum - isn't it so?

As far as i understand...no need to make forum closed. Just make that registering accounts should be just made more protected. How can bot add posts in he can't login?
So if bots won't be able to get in site, no bot made posts in forum as well..


Adding captcha or something more easy to use when registering could fix this i think because i doubt some1 registers bots manually. :)
But maybe i am wrong and don't know something about sites like this. :)

 

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On 3/26/2022 at 10:49 PM, l33tmaan said:

That's false.

Huh. Learn something new every day. I thought the Mod DB only supported back through 1.4 or so. What happens if you add a mod that uses, say, redwood in a recipe in a game which does not have redwood? Is it just that unknown block thing?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Here we go again... those a**holes just cant stop annoying others. 

Is it possible to make non-buying accounts solve captcha or something before adding new posts? 

Edited by Yeetiee
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