One MMO Is Sending Its Trolls, Hackers And Griefers To A Virtual Alcatraz

How precisely do you deal with people in MMOs that are found guilty of botting, cheating, griefing and generally being a negative influence? One MMO is trialling an interesting answer.

In a post on the official forums, a Daybreak Games Company developer has unveiled the lid on an intriguing new experiment that they think might be the solution to cleaning up the EverQuest 2 community.

"Later this week we plan to release a server we are calling "Drunder," which is a 'prison server'," the developer posted. "Ultimately, players who are caught breaking our rules and disrupting EQ2 live server gameplay will be flagged for this server, and no others -- ever."

"Drunder will get no customer service support and it will require a maintained membership to access and play. Rather than disrupt live servers in an attempt to join the “prison server,” players can use our /petition system and ask to join Drunder."

"To be clear: You won’t be able to move individual characters to this server, while maintaining characters from the same account on another server. This is a ONE-WAY trip for an entire account forever."

What's equally interesting is how it will effectively open up a new zone for people who want to live in utter chaos. "Ultimately, players who break the rules – or want to – will have a world of their own to do… whatever they will."

Daybreak added the results could be fascinating since it's such an unusual method of dealing with this kind of player behaviour. I can see Drunder becoming a little bit like DayZ or Rust, in how players interact, trade, backstab and generally mistrust each other.

What do you think of the move -- or would you prefer all MMOs simply ban individual characters as per usual?


Comments

    I think its a good idea... but is it really punishment enough? I think they should simply be banned from the game entirely, well at least the hackers and modders, greifers and trolls are not so serious, so maybe they should get that treatment.
    Still a pretty nifty idea though

      If they are hacking/modding to get an edge against other people then it kinda is punishment enough cos it means they will now be up against other people that are doing the same thing so they don't have that edge anymore. I don't know if Everquest 2 is subscription based or not but this is also a way to keep subs up while still keeping the people that want to play the game in a normal way happy.

        Yeah, that did cross my mind... but then if they are breaking the 'rules' to that degree, they simply should not be allowed to play the game at all IMO. That being said, I can also see why they are doing it, as in the end the money will keep rolling in from those subs
        Its definitely an interesting idea, thats for sure

          Yeah ultimately I think a ban is the way to go but I am curious as to how this will play out.

            I'm curious as well. For starters, some exploiters/hackers may not necessarily be The Big Bad people assume. Hear me out.

            In the original Everquest, very early on people were exploiting flaws in the game engine to do what they shouldnt have done. Rather than punish the players, Verant/SoE took advantage of the exploits and used them to make better content.

            Feign Death splitting of mobs by monks was an exploit. Complete heal rotations by clerics was an exploit. Twisting more than 1 song at a time by bards was also an exploit. All three of those became class defining abilities, but each of them was originally against what the programmers intended. In the end, they embraced all of those (and others), and used them to make future content easier to balance.

            Hell, go do a google search for Fansy the bard and read up on his entertaining antics. On a no rules server, his exploitation of a rules flaw actually led to the rules being changed. And he did it twice.

            People looking for those flaws, and taking advantage of them, can give insights for the programmers to take advantage of, and that can extend to software hacks as well. So why not put them all in one places and see what happens?

              To me, exploiting and hacking are two totally seperate things. I don't thin exploits should be 'punished', i think if its serious enough, like they gain a heap of cash, then the cash should be removed, but I don't think they should be punished with a ban or whatever. The devs should not have left it in the game if they didn't want us to use it, if you know what I mean?
              An exploit is still playing by the 'rules' that are set by the game, like in destiny there is a boss that if you stand far back he won't shoot at you, but you can shoot at him, thats not how they want me to play the game, but I'm technically still playing by the 'rules' that are set

                Sorry, missed your reply. Hopefully you're still following this :)

                Yeah I know what you mean, was more pointing out that the developers can learn from people breaking the rules. HOW are they cheating and what security holes they are abusing can help in future to shut them holes down. If they're using a third party program, what data is it accessing, what content is it breaking, and what can be learned from that?

                It can be a lesson, so its not the worst thing to use it as one, and the company behind these games has done it before.

          whats to stop them just buying another account and continuing hacking, etc.
          at least with the cheater server it creates some incentive for that to not occur, hell I'd bet a lot of them would like the idea & some people would actually chose to move their account to it just for the experience, it's like a whole new game because you're freed from the previous limits, to a degree

      There's two reasons why you wouldn't just outright ban someone:
      1) To be consistent, the punishment is a one size fits all approach, so you don't get any ambiguous results, and it's easier to defend
      2) The aim to kick them to a subscriber only server means they have to keep paying, so if you can get people to keep paying, without them messing up everyone else who are playing the game normally, then it's for the benefit of the bottom line

      I assume anyone who does something seriously bad could still be banned outright, but now they have a means for combating people who aren't doing something banable, but are still breaking the game on purpose.

        Very true, but then where do you draw the line, and what do you consider 'breaking the game'? Like I mentioned just above, I don't consider exploits as breaking the game, but then others would.

        Will certainly be interesting to see where they go with it, I think its a really interesting idea

    I'm kinda torn.
    GTAV has it's cheaters/badsport pool with a timed sentence so the idea of removing the bad elements from the population while still allowing them access to the game isn't a new idea.
    (Difference being it's a timed sentence)

    I can see the benefits of such systems but at the same time it feels like much of the motivation to not cheat is chipped away and there is a risk that a prison server might actually be more appealing for people.
    What happens to the stance of no support when a massive chunk of your player base ends up on the prison server?

    I dunno

    Last edited 20/08/15 1:02 pm

      For the prison server being more attractive, I think that's why they have a petition thingo that allows you to voluntarily move over.

      For timed sentences, I don't think it's enough of a deterrent. Dota2 has the 'low prio' queue for those that get enough negative reports, and it is hardly a deterrent at all.

        I like the low prio queue; it's always fast to find a game and everyone feeds me <3

          Eh, I'd prefer a challenging game over an easy one. I accidentally queued for limited heroes the other day, went something like 25-0 with Windranger mid... it was like shooting fish in a barrel, not much fun.

            My experience with low prio is that everyone usually sucks except for you and one other guy on the enemy team. It's pretty much a 1v1 between you two with a bunch of riki pickers off to the side...

            It's like a new game mode in itself :O

        I wasn't saying timed punishments were any more of a deterrent, just that removing players from the general population isn't a new idea.
        (But on the subject, I'm not seeing Drunder being that much of a deterrent either, I imagine the PvP side of it will be a mess though)

        It's the implications I'm curious about, not just one small side of it like innocent people being sent to Drunder or those who commit minor offences, but the overall direction.

        Like I said, I'm torn.

        Last edited 20/08/15 1:42 pm

      The bad sports pool doesn't include cheaters from what I know, thats only for douchebags who greif people and play like idiots. Cheaters get a ban outright, they don't get put into the bad sports pool.
      They will need to really figure out who will go to the 'prison server' and who shouldn't, as I don't think bad sports (as much as I hate them) should be lumped with people hacking or using aimbots or whatever

        There is a cheaters pool.

        I am aware of the small differences, but they are both systems that involve removing players from the general population while still allowing access to the game.

    On the one hand I think it's a fantastic idea - segregate the undesirable players and leave them to their own devices. The legit players get cleaned-up gameplay, the devs get to keep the revenue stream from the 'undesirables', and the trolls, griefers, modders and hackers still get somewhere to ply their trade.

    On the other hand, the 'one strike and you're out' approach concerns me. Much in the same way that white collar criminals get thrown in jail with the rapists and murderers, it seems like the punishment, at least for some, might be a bit heavy handed. I don't know how they identify rule breakers, but i imagine some people that get put there for less severe offences are going to be a bit hard done by, particularly because there is no chance of them redeeming themselves and getting back on the main servers, ever.

      And those banned for no reason at all. On RUST the other night, I was banned for using a 'fly hack'. However it was a glitch in the security for when a player went above a certain height (in this case, the top of some stairs and just jumped...) if something like that happens and a ban occurs... damn.

        Exactly this. I can only imagine the abuse this system will get if you introduce some kind of automated community reporting (like in Dota), where if you get enough negative reports you get banned.

        I can see groups (guilds?) just picking someone they don't like (from another guild?), all submitting reports, and getting them banned. Forever!

        See that is a load of crap, you should never been banned for something the devs have left in the game. If they don't want us to do it, then prevent us from doing so, don't punish us for your mistakes.
        That shit always pisses me off, they shouldn't leave holes in the game, if they don't want us to have a look and see whats inside.

          Rust is a game that's in Alpha atm so issues even like this, will arise, and it was on a private server so I was unbanned within the hour. However if this happened on an official server, no telling how long it would take.

    I'm almost more intrigued by opting in voluntarily. If you're down for something a little more.... lively and chaotic, it could be a lot of fun.

    Last edited 20/08/15 1:47 pm

    I believe it's important to note that they will have actual people sending the rule breaking players to the jail server. If lots of people were to report you all at the same time then it should get a GM in to check out the situation.
    Even so, abusing the report function should have consequences.

    A Virtual Alcatraz

    The Arcatraz? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    didnt realise EQ2 was still a thing. seems like i might sign up just to play on this server lol.

    I am just going to wait until they start moving peoples accounts who havent done anything wrong, then a major bug and it bulk sends alot of players who are completely innocent as well.
    Or someones account gets hacked then botted on or disrupts the servers, then what happens? will they get their account back or stuck on the crap server for ever. Anyway i hope someone hacks in steals alot of accounts and sends them all there for a laugh.

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