It’s roughly 19 hours now since War Worlds was hit with a Denial of Service attack exploiting the game’s chat function. The community policing aspect of the chat, along with the developer’s lack of interest in dealing with alternate accounts, and reliance on google ID’s to identify players, all came together making an easy attack possible. It’s so easy, I could do it. And I’ll lay out what I think happened.
Presumably what the attacker did was acquire a variety of devices – most likely just using his phone, his tablet, PC’s running emulators, etc. Perhaps a group of people did this, increasing the device pool. Next, you get each one logged in with an alt account, and select target players in the game. And start banning them, resulting in what was shown in the previous post.
That answers the first question, how. Next question is who did it. It seems the culprit even went ahead and admitted it in his frustration; you see, it was Yggdrasil who apparently was hit with a chat ban of many thousands of hours the day before.
The chat ban allows you to type whatever you want in the chat boxes – it’s just not transmitted from your device to the rest of the game world. But he found out he could make a request for withdrawl and at least type something other people could see.
This admission, plus the nordic nature of the various sock puppets who have appeared and chatted once the vocal players got banned, pretty much makes it look like it was him.
What does the dev Dean need to do about it is the next question. I think his punchlist is as follows :
- A different chat ban system should be implemented. You can’t have a system where free accounts can be created at will, and expect the community to do even rudimentary policing successfully.
- Perhaps as an immediate stopgap, change the nature of the increases in the ban. Currently each stage gets doubled. You start with 2 hours; next level is 4 hours, and so on until ridiculous numbers are reach like 300 years. Perhaps better would be 2, 4, 8 – and then after that, an additional 2 hours for successful reports. I’m guessing this is easier for him to rush in than a new system.
- It may be possible for a single account to increase a player’s ban from 2 hours to 4000 and higher. That needs to be fixed if the current system remains in any form.
- IP ban and delete the accounts of those who perpetrated this attack. This was done once before for another griefer.
So far, it’s radio silence from the dev, who is probably trying to find time to deal with this or in the process as I type. I think he tries, but he doesn’t do a good job of communicating. I can forgive him – he’s one guy building a PvP MMO for Android, he’s picked a huge task and is doing remarkably well.
And if nothing else, game play goes on. I have passed the 4 million person mark in my empire and am #9 on the rankings list. Now I’m with the actually active players, so I doubt I’m moving a lot in rankings. I am trying to pass the guy above me, but I will certainly be passed by the guy below me, so I am probably landing at #10 in a few days, and staying for awhile.
I suspect I can expand until I hit 10 million before encountering another actual player, not one who abandoned the game. I am currently done with everything except southward expansion on a broad front, to move me closer to one of the abandoned empires.
And the wormholes…. are a bust.
Then, after it moves into position, it disappears from the screen, so you can’t tune it to another wormhole.
But the odder thing is my watching the chat function and finding out that the game is under a denial of service attack by some griefer !
All the well known names from chat seem to be banned at the moment. I believe I have escaped banning, probably because my chat activity consists of free speech advocacy. But this is a whole different ballgame.
I think Dean is going to need to modify the chat ban system because it’s not difficult to grief with.
Reportedly, the chat ban system is extremely open to abuse. The idea is that a number of complaints need to be logged, which is not disclosed, in order to give a person a chat ban. Apparently the problem is, once a ban is ready and in progress, the very same person can continually press “report” and increase the size of the ban. And bans are in 2^? increments, at 2 hours, 4 hours, etc up until the actual time becomes centuries.
Just so I’m not left out, I apparently got hit as well.
War Worlds now has wormholes. They are not expensive at all for a large empire – a few days construction time on a highly developed system. And they work as previously described – build two (either you or your alliance members), and “tune” them to work with one another.
Rather than explain them myself here’s a link to Dean’s blog.
I am not seeing a way for me to use them for my empire – I am in a nonwar stance given my location, along with giving away money to support the Dominion war effort. I just creep along and expand as much as possible, while remembering I have a job and family. Without a doubt, I could play my empire for 12 hours a day, and expect it to get to 24 in a few weeks.
What remains to be seen is, what impact they will have on my empire specifically, out here in no-one-lives-here land. I’ve built one to hold by my homeworld and we’ll see what develops.
In the meantime – just under 4 million souls living in Burbankanova today.
It started off small enough. ”Honey, can I get an I-Phone ? I know you don’t like Apple but I like this better”. We’re about 4 years into owning Apple products in the house, and all the non-techies in my family are surrounded by them.
I fought. The battle of wills was titanic. But the wife did prevail, getting her Iphone, and agreeing not to extend it past just a phone. The first brick in the wall.
Next came my kids. We got them both I-touches. I didn’t worry about it much, given that they were used as toys. They’re pretty much gone now, and I called that one correctly; they were toys only. But having gotten used to I-Touches, the next natural step for them both was I-Pads. And now they both have one.
My boy still has a toy, pretty much, although the day is soon coming when he’ll do schoolwork with it. And he already looks up how to spell things with it. But my daughter writes her papers with the thing – it’s hard enough to get her to use an electronic source to make her school papers (Don’t ask – I don’t get it either), but to make her sit at a computer ? At least she can curl up in the backseat, or on the couch, and type out her latest English assignment.
My in-laws converted to some flavor of Apple computer. I was pissed. The same guy who constantly told me “I don’t want it to be expensive” just cuts loose with over $1500 for a computer for the house. But they seem to like it.
Yesterday, my Mom’s birthday, completed the circle. She bought her own I-Pad, given that all she does is play games, and her PC is still a mystery to her other than using the browser and Skype. Now comes Facetime with her grandkids.
I stay away from all the Apple products in the house and refuse to support them. I get them running on our WiFi – it’s not difficult for me, obviously, but it can be a mystery to a 10 year old why the password has to be so long – and make what feels like obvious suggestions occasionally depending on what they’re doing. I have no desire to dip my toe in the Apple ecosystem, especially at my age.
But it really doesn’t matter. Now, I’m in the position of being the dinosaur of computing in the family, the only one championing Android and Windows, while everyone else is Imessaging and Facetiming. Literally, they all laugh at me, the bunch of jerks. I had to get Minecraft running on the In-Laws computer. Nobody updates the version; none of them even ask me.
For me, I have absolutely no interest or need in an Apple product. Maybe that’s because they’re built for the 90%, not the 10% technically inclined like me. Or maybe I’m being passed over technologically. And the great concern I once had, that this would take over the household and supplant my PC’s, did not happen. I got movies, TV, and books going on the “idiot level”, and everyone has simple access to these things. So no threat from the Apple devices – but a lot of curious wonderment at how much people love these ridiculous things.
As I attempt to deal with Apple a few aphorisms became apparent.
It either works, or it doesn’t. Apple OS’s seem to do things in a few actions. There are no deep, buried secrets for the dedicated to mine, like the “mid-geek” OS’s of Windows and Android. This is a strength in that my kids aren’t lost in configuring their devices, whereas I can spend hours making sure that Windows 7 is configured correctly on four PC’s.
The best part of that one is, my wife hates it when I say that, for no reason I understand.
Apple is for idiots. This perjorative speaks the truth to those who want to understand how their computers work – and forget the irony of being Windows gurus and not having a clue how various *nixes work. But it also fails recognize that “the thing” is the point – whatever application people are using – and as obvious as it is, Facetime simply works, even if I can’t participate from my Desktop.
The bright side is – most of the idiots seem to have disappeared from PC gaming. Most. I assume they all bought consoles and Apples. I still get my work tool and can game all night with the like-minded. But the days of walling myself off from Apple, at home at least, are clearly over.
The press release popped into my email this morning. It’s been a long time coming, but apparently it’s here :
Carmageddon: Reincarnation to launch as an
Early Access release on Steam! Blood, Laughs,
Amazing Pile-ups and more Cows than ever!
Friday, 28th February 2014. Isle of Wight, UK. Stainless Games announces that on the 27th of March 2014, fans who have been waiting for what has seemed an eternity (but is actually a mere 17 years) will finally be able to play the sequel to the original “points for pedestrians” car smash carnage-fest Carmageddon, as the Early Access release of Carmageddon: Reincarnation launches on Steam.
I was wondering if I had wasted my Kickstarter money ($15), but seems I was wrong. When I had pledged, back in May 2012, it was when I was still anti-Steam. Seems I will also get a Steam version of the game.
Your Rewards Breakdown
Reward Description Credit on Carmageddon.com Get your name on the credits for Carmageddon:Reincarnation on Carmageddon.com Credit in-game Get your name on the credits for Carmageddon:Reincarnation in the game DRM-free Download A DRM-free non-Steam version of the PC Game to download 1 x Digital Steam Download 1 x Digital download of the game via Steam Exclusive Wallpaper Exclusive Wallpaper
So just about two weeks to go and presumably I’ll have a new pedestrian-smashing game to show yall.
I have been collecting various Steam games, and have even hit the threshold to have a scrolling list. So just what have I ended up with ?
- Bad ideas = Borderlands2. Crusader Kings 2. Post Apocalyptic Mayhem. Sengoku. Star Ruler.
- Never played = Gal Civ 2 (at least, on Steam). Gettysburg. GTA IV. Mafia. Patrician III. Skyward Collapse. Space Trader – Merchant Marine. Tank Universal. X-Com : Enemy Unknown.
- Extensive Play, not covered in this post : Civ 5. Long Live the Queen. Saints Row the Third. Sims 3. Torchlight II. Tropico 4. Universe in a Sandbox. X-Com : The Original.
- Didn’t grab me for some reason : Fallout New Vegas. Magicka.
- Democracy 3 is an interesting game. So far I am a big failure, all three times I’ve played. It’s a bit short on action, is probably its biggest issue. That, or it’s just too flaming hard.
- You need to get re-elected to win the game, and start out with about 20% support for the United States. No matter who I pander to, I either get booted out at game end or assassinated. And all three games, SOMEONE is trying to assassinate me. Maybe it just needs some study.
- Dragons Lair and Space Ace – Awesome nostalgia for children of the ’80s.
- Endless Space – I still fire this up from time to time, it’s a reasonable 4x game.
- Flatout, various versions. Kicks the llama’s ass.
- Lucid – A fun puzzler. Played for a few days and am close to the top “level”.
- Stardrive – Loses me right away at the exploration model (Just let your ships auto explore !)
Just a quick update – enjoying a lot of Fallen Earth.
Currently finishing up questing in the newbie areas. At first I just wandered and did quests and harvested as needed. Guides for the game suggest you finish many questlines as they reward additional AP’s so I have given in to my natural tendency to quest and am finishing a bunch of them up.
I have throughly explored Clinton Farm (my starting area), Midway, Odenville, Mumford, and am currently finishing up quests in Boneclaw. I’ve explored some of the other areas but I’m going to just work my way through all of these little burbs and see what develops as I go. Next stop – Embry Crossroads. A real large city in FE terms.
The combat is fun, but the visuals are really growing on me. I feel like I’m really in the southwest wandering around as I see the sun rise and set around me. And this is a real crafting game – find recipes, pick up junk, and make it into cool things. I am wielding a spear I crafted for myself, and wearing odd bits and pieces of armor which I mostly made as well.
Bugfix posted today for War Worlds – this fixes a number of bugs.
- The inaccessible galactic map
- “Red Stars” once again have the view button so you can take their planets over
- Alliance requests are working once again
A lot of the big problems are fixed with that. If only the “Disappearing Shields” bug after moving ships could be fixed (it’s not).
And Burbankanova enters the Top Ten players :
I think I’m not that interested any longer in expanding towards Curufin, instead I’ll fill in the area between Coricyn and my empire and see what develops after that. Possibly more of a broad-front expansion along one direction.
Today new bugs appeared in the War Worlds game, and the whole thing is getting very irritating. The things I am putting up with now include :
- Can’t access the star map. Scrolling the map seems to crash the game every time. This will certainly kill the game unless it’s fixed very quickly – no new player would put up with such nonsense.
- The workaround seems to be, use your sitrep reports to get to particular stars you are working on. If you don’t remember their names, you are hosed.
- Chat is unusable – at least by me. I can only use it if it is the first thing I do after entering the game. Otherwise the lag is 30 seconds plus, and the phone sleeps, further lagging it.
- “Red Stars”, formerly colonized by small players, cannot be colonized. Anything the former player had is not attackable.
- Rubber-banding colony ships. The workaround is, send them again. Costs money each time though.
- Alliance requests are broken.
- (Workaround not published as it is a competitive advantage. The Dominion knows all…..)
- Game just crashes. Workaround is to restart it, and it won’t crash every time you’re doing whatever you were doing.
It’s especially frustrating since I was *this close* to entering the Top 10 by pushing down Sunny Universe the inactive. Another 33k or so population to go, which is perhaps 10 stars.
I suspect half the reason for this is our Dev – Dean Harding – is busy working on wormholes, or whatever his day job is. And I could care less about wormholes. I have nothing but empty space everywhere I look, although most players are in a much different situation.
I have a new policy to cut down on the damnable “too much stuff” in the SitRep. Most stars are now on a 60 day build queue – so I set the production to whatever multiple of 5,000 fighters is closest to that. This is because of the “feature” that you cannot build more than 5000 fighters (or any ships, for that matter) in one “lump”. So you just build instead, say, 10 stacks of 5,000 fighters. If it takes 5 days 22 hours to build 5,000, then 10 can be built in just under 60 days.
This cuts down on the frequency of working the reports in Sitrep, but in April I am going to get 10 sitrep reports telling me I built fighters, where I’d really prefer to get one. Well, you have to do what you can or quit playing, and I love oozing out over the universe still.