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Flag Expoit - Alts for Portbattle Activities


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The purpose of this tribunal is not to get someone punished. It is aimed at pointing out a flaw in the new "unexploitable" flag mechanic, and suggest a solution to it. Hence I will not point fingers at the names of any that may have utilised this "exploit", and I will have to describe the issue without giving specific examples. I also, with this, seek to get clarification that what I describe actually is to be considered an exploit by developers. While I would argue that it most likely is an exploit, the mechanics involved were discussed prior to the release of the new mechanic without being flagged as exploits, and those who have used it so far could argue that it was not clear to them that they were using an exploit. 

 

The "exploit" works like this:

You make a fleet to farm Home Defence Fleets.

You bring an alt that you have in another nation along.

This alt joins the HDF-battle. This alt can join either side in the battle. He can join the AI side, and thus avoid any risk of being sunk by the AI as long as his friends on the opposite side make sure not to accidentally sink him. With this he can cruise around in any ship he would like, like a lynx or snow for convenience and speed. Or he can join on the player side, and stay out of trouble till there's something to loot that's free of enemies nearby.

In either case he can wait for the players fighting the HDF to find a flag on one of the ships they loot. As long as they leave the flag on the wreck and do not touch it, they can call out the location and let the alt cruise over and pick up the flag.

Your alt, which as mentioned is in another nation, now has a flag.

This flag can be used for any of the old business that hostility missions, and the old-old flags, allowed to do, which was shady and which the new flag mechanic was specifically introduced to end. The flag can be used to take a port with your alt-clan. Preventing the enemy nation where your alt is placed from getting that port, as they cannot attack a port that is already in their nation. The flag can be used to trade one of your own ports into an attacking nation, preventing the enemy clan from taking possession of their spoils of war and keeping control of your port even if you have to hold it in another nation. The flag can also be used to plant a flag on your own port, creating a cooldown, and preventing your enemy from attacking your port on the day that they planned.

Not only are these tactics gamey and shady. They specifically break the "Alts for Portbattle Activities" -principle. That alts in other nations should not be used to contravene, circumvent, avoid, delay or sabotage RvR. 

My reason for posting this topic now, specifically, is that I've come up with a suggestion for a solution to fix this exploit.

Here's how a flag looks after you've picked it up from the hold of a HDF-ship.

unknown.png

But before you pick it up, the nation & the owner name is unassigned. 

My suggestion is simple: That flags are assigned to a nation even before they are picked up, but to a player only after he picks it out of the hold. So once a HDF fleet starts, any flags found in any of the holds of that HDF, will be already assigned to the nation starting the fight with the HDF.

Case in point:

A Russian player-fleet engages a French HDFleet (Russian player attacks HDF-fleet or vice versa makes no difference). A French player joins on the AI side and a GB player joins on the Russian side.

Player X is Russian. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player X - Russian Empire".

Player Y is French. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player Y - Russian Empire"

Player Z is British. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player Z - Russian Empire".

The first player, player X, can use his flag, no hiccups. Player Y & Z on the other hand will be in possession of two flags that are entirely useless - unless they move their character to the Russian nation. The flag is assigned to each of them respectively, but it is also bound to the Russian nation, and can only be used to set a Russian PB.

Edited by Anolytic
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i would like add on this post one related question more, and which is the new mission "Port battle attack". This mission is so exploitable for alts when you participate in port battles against neutral ports. Yesterday i join a PB vs neutrals with my main account, but i could join with 3 more accounts (on this type of batlles there are a lot of room always), which mean that i can reward 4 missions making 3 PBs versus neutrals. I guess that this needs a fix.

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I would like to have flag connected to nation and the clan of the player, who loots it, not the player himself.

But the suggestion is good, connect the flag with the main nation fighting the HDF.

 

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3 hours ago, Anolytic said:

The purpose of this tribunal is not to get someone punished. It is aimed at pointing out a flaw in the new "unexploitable" flag mechanic, and suggest a solution to it. Hence I will not point fingers at the names of any that may have utilised this "exploit", and I will have to describe the issue without giving specific examples. I also, with this, seek to get clarification that what I describe actually is to be considered an exploit by developers. While I would argue that it most likely is an exploit, the mechanics involved were discussed prior to the release of the new mechanic without being flagged as exploits, and those who have used it so far could argue that it was not clear to them that they were using an exploit. 

 

The "exploit" works like this:

You make a fleet to farm Home Defence Fleets.

You bring an alt that you have in another nation along.

This alt joins the HDF-battle. This alt can join either side in the battle. He can join the AI side, and thus avoid any risk of being sunk by the AI as long as his friends on the opposite side make sure not to accidentally sink him. With this he can cruise around in any ship he would like, like a lynx or snow for convenience and speed. Or he can join on the player side, and stay out of trouble till there's something to loot that's free of enemies nearby.

In either case he can wait for the players fighting the HDF to find a flag on one of the ships they loot. As long as they leave the flag on the wreck and do not touch it, they can call out the location and let the alt cruise over and pick up the flag.

Your alt, which as mentioned is in another nation, now has a flag.

This flag can be used for any of the old business that hostility missions, and the old-old flags, allowed to do, which was shady and which the new flag mechanic was specifically introduced to end. The flag can be used to take a port with your alt-clan. Preventing the enemy nation where your alt is placed from getting that port, as they cannot attack a port that is already in their nation. The flag can be used to trade one of your own ports into an attacking nation, preventing the enemy clan from taking possession of their spoils of war and keeping control of your port even if you have to hold it in another nation. The flag can also be used to plant a flag on your own port, creating a cooldown, and preventing your enemy from attacking your port on the day that they planned.

Not only are these tactics gamey and shady. They specifically break the "Alts for Portbattle Activities" -principle. That alts in other nations should not be used to contravene, circumvent, avoid, delay or sabotage RvR. 

My reason for posting this topic now, specifically, is that I've come up with a suggestion for a solution to fix this exploit.

Here's how a flag looks after you've picked it up from the hold of a HDF-ship.

unknown.png

But before you pick it up, the nation & the owner name is unassigned. 

My suggestion is simple: That flags are assigned to a nation even before they are picked up, but to a player only after he picks it out of the hold. So once a HDF fleet starts, any flags found in any of the holds of that HDF, will be already assigned to the nation starting the fight with the HDF.

Case in point:

A Russian player-fleet engages a French HDFleet (Russian player attacks HDF-fleet or vice versa makes no difference). A French player joins on the AI side and a GB player joins on the Russian side.

Player X is Russian. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player X - Russian Empire".

Player Y is French. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player Y - Russian Empire"

Player Z is British. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player Z - Russian Empire".

The first player, player X, can use his flag, no hiccups. Player Y & Z on the other hand will be in possession of two flags that are entirely useless - unless they move their character to the Russian nation. The flag is assigned to each of them respectively, but it is also bound to the Russian nation, and can only be used to set a Russian PB.

Yep this exploit is used a lot actually.

 

Maybe another option.

Take a mission " sank HDF ship" where you need sank "X" hdf fleet ( 10 for example). Mission can be reward only on the port you take the mission.

+ You need  sank HDF of the nation the closest to you port. If you are  are in aves , the mission need to sank HDF fleet from sweds, in la tortue , Pirate , ect ect

Edited by Lt Sekiro
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55 minutes ago, Lt Sekiro said:

Maybe another option.

Take a mission " sank HDF ship" where you need sank "X" hdf fleet ( 10 for example). Mission can be reward only on the port you take the mission.

+ You need  sank HDF of the nation the closest to you port. If you are  are in aves , the mission need to sank HDF fleet from sweds, in la tortue , Pirate , ect ect

No. It's frustrating enough as it is to do HDFs to have a chance of getting a flag. Forcing you to do HDFs with certain nations through a mission just adds more complication and takes up a mission slot. Lets keep it simple.

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At the end of the day is this exploit really any different than people having a complete alt clan in another nation and doing the HDF's themselves for the same outcomes?

I hear more and more stories of people acting in two nations with clans of alts.

But I agree with the suggestion that the flag should be locked to the nation that is attacking the HDF's before it is picked up.

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I think if we already have to do PVE to get RVR or PVP, the flags should only be bound to the nation. Some players like PVE and why should they be forced to do PVP. Of course, the whole thing also applies vice versa.

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6 hours ago, Anolytic said:

 

A Russian player-fleet engages a French HDFleet (Russian player attacks HDF-fleet or vice versa makes no difference). A French player joins on the AI side and a GB player joins on the Russian side.

Player X is Russian. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player X - Russian Empire".

Player Y is French. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player Y - Russian Empire"

Player Z is British. He loots a flag. It is assigned to "Player Z - Russian Empire".

The first player, player X, can use his flag, no hiccups. Player Y & Z on the other hand will be in possession of two flags that are entirely useless - unless they move their character to the Russian nation. The flag is assigned to each of them respectively, but it is also bound to the Russian nation, and can only be used to set a Russian PB.

@Anolytic 

I come down to Islamorada (or brign an alt)

I get tagged by HDF - all flags are now being bond to Pirate nation.

You bring big boi ships and sink all the AI and I loot all the flags. 

So whats the difference?

 

Time to bring back Hostility Mission where player has to come and sink AI in order to get flags.

 

PS I thought someone said "there will be no exploits"

tenor.gif

 

 

PSS Its also would be nice if we could trade flags to players within our nation

Edited by Beeekonda
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dont see much of a difference to grinding a hostility mission for an alt in another nation but yep both sucks

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Solution is fairly simple.  Have flags given as rewards for hunt missions.  Kill x amount of HDF 1st rates and you turn the mission in for a flag.   Would also increase the amount of flags given out and hopefully increaset he amount of port battles.  

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3 minutes ago, Christendom said:

Would also increase the amount of flags given out and hopefully increaset he amount of port battles.  

OMG no please, im very happy with no RvR 🙃

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7 minutes ago, Christendom said:

Solution is fairly simple.  Have flags given as rewards for hunt missions.  Kill x amount of HDF 1st rates and you turn the mission in for a flag.   Would also increase the amount of flags given out and hopefully increaset he amount of port battles.  

Hey that was my idea wtf Chris

 

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Brief general note on the problem. If there were perhaps several ways to get such a flag, then perhaps some of the players would not think so desperately about bypassing (exploit) the only available option. It would certainly satisfy more different types of players if they weren't forced to do something (here PvE) that they don't like

Edited by Georg Fromm
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2 hours ago, Liq said:

dont see much of a difference to grinding a hostility mission for an alt in another nation but yep both sucks

So imagine if we took our swedish alts to HDFs with a lynx, picked Up the flag and flippede English Harbour before EAR.

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3 hours ago, Beeekonda said:

Time to bring back Hostility Mission where player has to come and sink AI in order to get flags.

yep, but against much more stronger fleets and with a lower percentage increase ( so you must really earn it) and only one port per nation per day.

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21 minutes ago, Nixolai said:

So imagine if we took our swedish alts to HDFs with a lynx, picked Up the flag and flippede English Harbour before EAR.

wouldn't be able to plant the flag on english harbor on the russians account though right? So would have to be in the swedish alt clan. That scenario seems oddly familiar

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27 minutes ago, van stiermarken said:

yep, but against much more stronger fleets and with a lower percentage increase ( so you must really earn it) and only one port per nation per day.

I didnt ment old hostility mission..... nobody wants that back for sure

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There should be still a way to get a Coallied HDF killing... Exploiting is just that the guys can join on the AI side and just collect the LOOT (Chests and Flags).

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6 hours ago, Liq said:

wouldn't be able to plant the flag on english harbor on the russians account though right? So would have to be in the swedish alt clan. That scenario seems oddly familiar

Yea, this is what GA and EAR/CNS did at Selam and Vermiou with alt clans, that had below 300 crew.

But i know you think of Trux ;) 

Edited by Nixolai
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