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Script: "Reliant" + HTML Script Legality Discussion

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.

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Mallorea and Riva
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Ex-Nation

Postby Mallorea and Riva » Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:31 pm

Altmoras wrote:
Mallorea and Riva wrote:
No one here is accusing you of acting in bad faith. All of the GHRs been received and reviewed. The cooperation is appreciated, but I'm sure that you can appreciate that we can't act solely on what we're told happened - it's helpful context and detail, but we need to conduct our own review on the back end to analyze what specific players did, when they did it, and what benefit was conferred by it.


You aren't acting at all. Sedgistan unambiguously declared Reliant illegal in the OP of this thread 7 weeks ago, since then all the users have submitted GHRs declaring their use and those who were asked have provided their copies of the script. Since the judgment on the legality of the script was already made before all that, one would think that you lot could decide what you were going to do about it in the intervening seven weeks, but you haven't. Imagine your local government declaring on TV that you've committed a crime and need to turn yourself in, then leaving you in the lobby of the police station for two months without charging you and barely acknowledging your existence, it's absurd.

If the preference from your end is that we refrain from sharing anything with the player base and then simply spring punishments on every suspected user of Reliant without serious investigation, then I would be surprised. If the preference is that everything be done faster, then obviously we all share the sentiment but you aren't contributing much to the discussion by reiterating what everyone already knows - that a speedy resolution of the issue is preferable to it dragging out, as it has.

Investigating the extent of rulebreaking of this script has proven time consuming for a number of reasons. Figuring out that it behaved illegally was the easy bit - determining the extent of illegal usage is much more time consuming.

Roavin wrote:
Mallorea and Riva wrote:We need to conduct our own review on the back end to analyze what specific players did, when they did it, and what benefit was conferred by it.
...
that should tell you that we haven't decided that every rule-breaking instance of Reliant is categorically 3b


This phrasing made us ponder what could be so spooky in the server access logs, and we stumbled upon a possibility relating to benign VPN use by some players, some of which use Reliant, for latency reasons (a topic I've been in direct contact with [v] and Elu about as far back as February 2017 (!)).

I've GHR'd more info on that as well for admin to look at.

The info is received and is being examined, thanks.

I get that no one is happy with the speed at which this is moving, for a variety of reasons. We're trying to continue to engage meaningfully to the extent we can, but until the back end investigation and decision making on consequences is completed, there isn't a whole lot we can share. It's my preference not to lock this thread pending the result, because I would rather leave it open for productive questions/discussion - but if we keep getting posts focused solely on complaining about the speed, it's likely to get locked by a colleague.
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Guy
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Postby Guy » Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:21 pm

I understand from the above that whether the violations were deliberate or illegal is still under active investigation. If and when a suspicion is formalised that a violation may have been deliberate, especially given the caliber of players involved and their cooperation to date, I hope as a matter of fairness it will be put to them so they can respond.

With regards to locking the thread if players complain about the length of the investigation, I’m sure your skin isn’t that thin.
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Dawn Denac
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Postby Dawn Denac » Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:36 pm

Guy wrote:I understand from the above that whether the violations were deliberate or illegal is still under active investigation. If and when a suspicion is formalised that a violation may have been deliberate, especially given the caliber of players involved and their cooperation to date, I hope as a matter of fairness it will be put to them so they can respond.

With regards to locking the thread if players complain about the length of the investigation, I’m sure your skin isn’t that thin.


I'd imagine the skin of the staff is pretty tough, but getting poked consistently won't speed up the investigation. It will however, solidly continue to annoy them, with respect to the stress of those involved. Just don't want to see the thread get locked and then everyone's worries spike even more.
Last edited by Dawn Denac on Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ever-Wandering Souls
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Postby Ever-Wandering Souls » Mon Apr 25, 2022 1:09 am

This thread has existed incomplete for more than twice as long as William Henry Harrison was president (63 > 2*31), and would have been illegal to abort in Texas three weeks ago.

Which is to say, I respect that this is a complex matter, but 9 weeks is a bit much eh? Not to mention, 4 weeks and a day past being "hopeful" it'll be closed out "next week?" Can say "don't hold us to that," sure, but that's er... looking like a bit of a missed estimate?
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Frisbeeteria
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:15 am

Ever-Wandering Souls wrote: looking like a bit of a missed estimate?

Yes.

Without going into specifics (which frankly I don't fully understand), it take someone familiar with both the site code and the scripting process to evaluate this properly. That's not the moderation staff. It takes a site admin, and both our active admins have RL commitments that prevent them from taking the time to perform that evaluation. Our inactive admins are, well, inactive. Neither I, nor anyone else on staff, can make commitments on their availability. I'd be delighted if I had that information, but I don't.

tl;dr: can't give you a timeline.

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Hermes Express 123
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Postby Hermes Express 123 » Fri May 06, 2022 9:00 pm

So, in short, because the Admins are inactive, this is taking super long?

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The Orwell Society
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Postby The Orwell Society » Sun May 08, 2022 12:03 pm

Hermes Express 123 wrote:So, in short, because the Admins are inactive, this is taking super long?

Seems like it. I haven't seen Max Barry, er… [violet] in a while, nor Eluvator. And I'm not quite sure if this is Reppy's area of expertise.
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The Blaatschapen
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Tue May 10, 2022 7:05 am

The Orwell Society wrote:
Hermes Express 123 wrote:So, in short, because the Admins are inactive, this is taking super long?

Seems like it. I haven't seen Max Barry, er… [violet] in a while, nor Eluvator. And I'm not quite sure if this is Reppy's area of expertise.


It's not reppy's area of expertise.
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Sandaoguo
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Postby Sandaoguo » Wed May 11, 2022 4:40 pm

If admins aren't active enough to determine if any scripting rule was broken, then evidently it's not that important. Tell the affected players that they can move on. NS administration forfeits any reasonable ability to punish somebody months after warning them, just because the only people who even understand what they're looking at aren't prioritizing the issue. Those using Reliant have been warned, time for everybody to move on. When admins feel like this is something they actually want to complete, they can post a review of what the issues were, so other third-party developers don't recreate them.
Last edited by Sandaoguo on Wed May 11, 2022 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Katganistan
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Postby Katganistan » Wed May 11, 2022 7:05 pm

Sandaoguo wrote:If admins aren't active enough to determine if any scripting rule was broken, then evidently it's not that important. Tell the affected players that they can move on. NS administration forfeits any reasonable ability to punish somebody months after warning them, just because the only people who even understand what they're looking at aren't prioritizing the issue. Those using Reliant have been warned, time for everybody to move on. When admins feel like this is something they actually want to complete, they can post a review of what the issues were, so other third-party developers don't recreate them.


You are neither admin nor mod staff, and don't know what's going on behind the scenes. You've no say in determining what or when site staff can enforce, nor the time frame in which the investigation will be completed.

I would advise you not to make such pronouncements given your utter lack of authority here.

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Old Hope
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Postby Old Hope » Thu May 12, 2022 2:45 am

There's one thing that IS very clear though, based on the comments and the speed of development on this site.
We need more admins.
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Bormiar
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Ex-Nation

Postby Bormiar » Thu May 12, 2022 10:25 am

Old Hope wrote:There's one thing that IS very clear though, based on the comments and the speed of development on this site.
We need more admins.

#RoavinForTechModling

For real though.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu May 12, 2022 11:44 am

This isn't the thread for a "more admins" discussion. Start a separate thread on that if you want to have it.

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Gondor and of Arnor
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Ex-Nation

Postby Gondor and of Arnor » Mon May 16, 2022 2:53 am

So in short the Mod's and Admin's can't even do their jobs?

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Sandaoguo
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Postby Sandaoguo » Tue May 17, 2022 10:52 am

Katganistan wrote:
Sandaoguo wrote:If admins aren't active enough to determine if any scripting rule was broken, then evidently it's not that important. Tell the affected players that they can move on. NS administration forfeits any reasonable ability to punish somebody months after warning them, just because the only people who even understand what they're looking at aren't prioritizing the issue. Those using Reliant have been warned, time for everybody to move on. When admins feel like this is something they actually want to complete, they can post a review of what the issues were, so other third-party developers don't recreate them.


You are neither admin nor mod staff, and don't know what's going on behind the scenes. You've no say in determining what or when site staff can enforce, nor the time frame in which the investigation will be completed.

I would advise you not to make such pronouncements given your utter lack of authority here.

I don't care how you feel about my authority or lack thereof to make any kind of pronouncement. I've been playing this game for more than a decade, and likely know far more than you about programming anyways. What this about isn't whether or not delving into server logs and third-party source code is a tedious task only admins can do. Your team has already declared that, and there's no reason to doubt the veracity of those claims.

What's happening here is a failure of both the mod team - you included - and the admin team to act reasonably and properly run a game. It's a pronouncement that needs to be made over and over again, because none of you seem to realize how your poor management is impacting not just the game itself, but the player base's respect for the entire mod and admin team. Game devs and community managers should strive to have a solid rapport with their player base, but you all seem to be intent on doing just the opposite. Purposefully.

It's simply fact that if admins do not want to dedicate their time to this issue, then it's not actually important. NS devs may have lives and jobs outside of this game. Those lives and jobs may be more important than this game. That's fine. It doesn't take over 3 months to tell if simultaneous requests were made by a third-party script that identifies itself, and to read the source code of that script to make a judgment if it was intentionally coded that way. I'm extremely confident in that technical assessment, and any developer can look at this situation and say the same thing. This isn't a problem of complicated code or deciphering traffic logs. By the mod teams' own admission, the problem is simply that admins don't have the time to do any of it.

That's where poor community management comes into play. If this was actually a serious issue, then devs would make time within the past 3 months to analyze and make a judgment. Literally take a lunch break here and there to do it. There's no excuse, except that this isn't a priority. And if it's not a dev priority, then it's incumbent on community managers to proceed without dev input on the moderation part-- the actual meting out of any punishment, or issuing a stern warning and moving on. Instead, what all of you are doing is deferring to devs, who are deferring to their own schedules and telling both you (the community managers) the community itself that it's not a priority for them. The buck needs to stop with somebody. You're more likely to give me a warning for posting this, and ban me if I point it out again, than you are to just take responsibility of the moderation aspect of this thread and tell the users of the script whether they're getting banned or just warned. If you can't see how this endless delay and deferral is damaging the game and the Mod & Admin teams' standing in it, then you're just a bad community manager.
Last edited by Sandaoguo on Tue May 17, 2022 10:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Sweeze
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Postby Sweeze » Tue May 17, 2022 2:38 pm

Sandaoguo wrote:-snip holy shit this is a text wall and a half lmao-

second everything here. im not even one of the people with an axe over my head, but as someone who still dedicates significant portions of their free time where i could be making money and instead choose to make the effort to improve the experience for my fellow r/d'ers and community members its incredibly frustrating to see mods trying to weigh in and act high-and-mighty towards devs and concerned players who, just like them, are just trying to make this site a better place
Last edited by Sweeze on Tue May 17, 2022 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Wed May 18, 2022 12:41 am

There really is nothing more to discuss until we have an outcome to this - which will happen. The thread is being locked until then.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri May 27, 2022 1:34 am

Three months ago we declared the script "Reliant" to be illegal. Since then we have established:

  • We do not believe it is likely that the script was written with the intention of operating illegally.
  • The players who have developed and used Reliant have, to the best of our knowledge, cooperated in good faith with us since our announcement.
  • We do not believe it is likely that all usage of Reliant was illegal, and it is probable that it was only in some cases that it violated the rules.
  • Nonetheless, in those cases, the use of Reliant in an illegal fashion is likely to have provided in-game advantage to those using it, potentially significantly so in some cases.
  • We believe it is highly likely that those players that benefited from using Reliant in an illegal fashion could not have been unaware that they were violating the rules.
Unfortunately, we are not able to determine with full certainty everyone that used the script in an illegal fashion. However, there are some players that definitely violated the rules, and we are therefore handing out the following punishments to them:

  • Altmoras - *** 3 month WA ban ***
  • Lucabaduka - *** 3 month WA ban ***
  • Grea Kriopia - *** 3 month WA ban ***
This closes our action on Reliant. As acknowledged previously, investigating scripting violations takes up an inordinate amount of admin time that we cannot justify, and we are considering future steps to address this.

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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Fri May 27, 2022 1:49 am

Sedgistan wrote:Three months ago we declared the script "Reliant" to be illegal. Since then we have established:

  • We do not believe it is likely that the script was written with the intention of operating illegally.
  • The players who have developed and used Reliant have, to the best of our knowledge, cooperated in good faith with us since our announcement.
  • We do not believe it is likely that all usage of Reliant was illegal, and it is probable that it was only in some cases that it violated the rules.
  • Nonetheless, in those cases, the use of Reliant in an illegal fashion is likely to have provided in-game advantage to those using it, potentially significantly so in some cases.
  • We believe it is highly likely that those players that benefited from using Reliant in an illegal fashion could not have been unaware that they were violating the rules.
Unfortunately, we are not able to determine with full certainty everyone that used the script in an illegal fashion. However, there are some players that definitely violated the rules, and we are therefore handing out the following punishments to them:

  • Altmoras - *** 3 month WA ban ***
  • Lucabaduka - *** 3 month WA ban ***
  • Grea Kriopia - *** 3 month WA ban ***
This closes our action on Reliant. As acknowledged previously, investigating scripting violations takes up an inordinate amount of admin time that we cannot justify, and we are considering future steps to address this.


Being WA banned, do the mods have plans at present to tell us what the illegal activity even was, how we three in particular were selected, and what the issue with the script was? As an affected player, I am no closer to understanding what benefit I even supposedly received.

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Emodea
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Postby Emodea » Fri May 27, 2022 1:54 am

Will moderation tell us why Sylh Alanor was seemingly banned from the WA?
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Queen Yuno
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Postby Queen Yuno » Fri May 27, 2022 1:55 am

Dang that's crazy


Gameplayers getting warned left and right

:|


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Tim-Opolis
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Postby Tim-Opolis » Fri May 27, 2022 1:57 am

As an individual who had a gun to my head for months, only to all of a sudden dodge anything - while I’m not complaining, I’m admittedly curious if there’s a specific common denominator that separated Luca, GK, and Alt’s usage from the rest of us. I think it would be beneficial for us in the sense of knowing how to avoid rulebreaking patterns. As Luca said, we haven’t actually been confirmed what specifically cause the violations - including if it was indeed our theory that Reliant collided with another script (Breeze++) to cause illegal actions rather than itself functioning illegally.

Following up on top of that, would it be possible to obtain clarification on the current legal status of Reliant as a script, particularly given the aforementioned theories presented to Admin on what caused the issue. As the investigation has been completed, I’m taking the reasonable assumption that Admin has answers for the technical aspects now.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri May 27, 2022 2:03 am

Refuge Isle wrote:Being WA banned, do the mods have plans at present to tell us what the illegal activity even was, how we three in particular were selected, and what the issue with the script was? As an affected player, I am no closer to understanding what benefit I even supposedly received.

The nature of the violations was set out in an earlier post in this thread:

Sedgistan wrote:Reliant violated, at a minimum, the simultaneity rule. It also potentially "execute[d] a restricted action in any way other than by immediately responding to a user's mouse click (or similar input) at the ratio of one click to one action".


This was observed with both requests to move region and to endorse nations - I don't think I need to explain the in-game benefit of carrying those out quicker? The three players punished are those that we could determine definitely violated the rules in their usage of Reliant - these violations would also have been visible on national happenings, and it's that which led to the original player report that prompted this.

The issue with the script - that's not our responsibility to determine.
Emodea wrote:Will moderation tell us why Sylh Alanor was seemingly banned from the WA?

Being handled via GHR at present.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri May 27, 2022 2:16 am

Tim-Opolis wrote:As an individual who had a gun to my head for months, only to all of a sudden dodge anything - while I’m not complaining, I’m admittedly curious if there’s a specific common denominator that separated Luca, GK, and Alt’s usage from the rest of us. I think it would be beneficial for us in the sense of knowing how to avoid rulebreaking patterns. As Luca said, we haven’t actually been confirmed what specifically cause the violations - including if it was indeed our theory that Reliant collided with another script (Breeze++) to cause illegal actions rather than itself functioning illegally.

Following up on top of that, would it be possible to obtain clarification on the current legal status of Reliant as a script, particularly given the aforementioned theories presented to Admin on what caused the issue. As the investigation has been completed, I’m taking the reasonable assumption that Admin has answers for the technical aspects now.

Various questions here:

As per my post above, we cannot rule out that other players might have violated the script rules with use of Reliant; however we are aware that not everyone's usage (or all of the usage of it by those that did violate the rules) did violate the rules. The three that were banned were the three we could determine definitely did violate the rules.

The cause - see my post above; Admin doesn't debug players' scripts, and while an initial attempt was made to look into this, it's not something we're going to be able to answer from our end.

Current legal status of Reliant: I am content to remove the "do not use" instruction, but with a hefty warning that it has resulted in illegal behaviour, the script authors need to determine what has caused that and fix it before players use it, and that any future violations would get significantly more severe punishments handed out.

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