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Thoughts on the hacker solution

Discussion in 'General Idea Discussion' started by JeAtteint, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. This post is a continuation of this post. I personally feel that a lot of complexities weren't discussed, so I'm going to provide my knowledge / opinion on the matter, and leave it for anyone else to add onto.

    To start off with the overall solution, it's a great idea. I personally feel that the three pronged attack of implementing ip bans to hackers that are banned by a staff member (probably mod+), implementing a vpn firewall, and improving gwen will work great to combat the issue of people continuously hacking. With that being said, I feel like a few more steps need to be taken into order to improve the QoL of the average player, and mitigate hackers in a whole.

    Now, to start with the complexities:

    I'm fairly certain that Mineplex already has a system to block common vpn providers in place. Now, I know that there's been a way to bypass the firewall for a while now. I did it personally in order to join the server on a closed network. Therein lies the overall issue with a vpn firewall: there will always be a way to bypass it. There are many methods that these firewalls implement to forbid the use of a vpn. The most common method is just simply blocking known addresses of vpn providers. I won't delve too much into the technical aspect of it, all you should know is that there will always be ways to bypass it. With that being said, I feel like improving the firewall alongside the other two solutions will work wonderfully. The good majority of your hackers aren't going to have the knowledge, or desire, to bypass the firewall. Thus mitigating the overall effect they have on the player population.

    To end this section off, I'd like to talk about the argument of having a legitimate purpose for using a vpn. For example, my purpose of accessing the server on a closed network. While this argument is fair, it doesn't outweigh the fact that vpns are more commonly used for nefariously bypassing an ip ban.

    One of the biggest reasons why Mineplex has never implemented a solid system of ip banning is the common argument of fairness to its players. IP banning works by simply preventing any connection from the banned IP. Let's say there's a family who all plays Mineplex, and the brother decides to hack. With this system of ip banning, the entire family would be indiscriminately banned from the server, even though the rest of his family didn't break the rule. This issue is further expanded if someone decides hack on a public network, like airport wifi.

    I'll first give my personal opinion on this, and then expand on potential solutions to try and appease both sides of the argument. I personally feel that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in this situation. In this case, the many are the players who aren't able to enjoy the server due to hackers being able to continuously hack without solid punishment. Every other majorly successful server has ip banning in place, and they're all doing fine. This is because in combination with dedicated staff, a decent anti cheat, and solid punishments, the hacker populations are kept to a minimum. I would have no problem with indiscriminate ip bans, but I can see where people would.

    The first solution would be to implement an appeals process. Provide information on how to appeal an ip ban that you were falsely issued. In terms of this appeal process, there would be a lot of metrics that could tell you if the appealing player is legitimately trying to play or just appealing to continue hacking. If it can be determined that the player appealing is legitimately appealing an ip ban issued to someone in the same household, or issued over a public network, the ban would be removed for that player. The IP ban would remain in place, just the appealing account would be permitted to join the server, and wouldn't receive the punishment on their history.

    The second solution would be to provide limited amnesty to a specific address. This may sound confusing, but it's simple. Provide a small number of appeals to a specific IP, the same way that players are given limited appeals now. I would suggest against unbanning an ip if a player simply says "sorry", but rather unbanning if legitimate proof can be provided that the ban wasn't legitimate or, affected more than one person. In reality it works a lot like the first solution, but simply limiting the number of appeals an ip can have. This prevents abuse of the system.

    Now that the complexities are out of the way, let me add onto the ideas provided by Sven.

    It is no secret that closet hacking has always been an issue on Mineplex. I'm not here to call out names, I'm here to simply address the issue at hand. In total honesty, everyday I have games where people use various closet hacks and there's nothing I can do but complain about it. This is because, to my knowledge, not many people on the staff team can ban for these cheats. I understand why this wouldn't be accessible for lower levels of the staff team, but I've always been confused as to why the ability to ban for closet hacking wasn't provided to Sr. Mod+. Even if you still kept with the argument that a lot of players could get false banned, it simply doesn't stick. Simply provide the necessary training to the staff members that it would open up to, and closely monitor their bans to ensure that they're doing their job properly. I would also suggest requiring the staff member to record their evidence for these bans.

    Now, there's the argument that you can forum report the user and get them punished for whatever hacks they're using. The whole idea behind revamping the punishment system is to try and improve the QoL of the in-game player. This argument is contradictory to the overall goal. When I'm playing against a closet hacker, or a blatant hacker, my game is always improved if they are banned by a staff member. Opening up these bans to more staff members, would allow this to happen more commonly, and thus improve the experience for players. There's also the claims that if these players are blatant, they can still get forum banned. This segues into the second suggestion.

    Even if these players are forum banned it's usually fairly easy to appeal the ban and get the punishment overturned, even if the appealing player isn't legit. This is where a stricter punishment system is put into place. There's many ways to implement a stricter system, but it simply just goes by making it harder to get unbanned if you're not a legitimate player. I'll leave this point up for discussion as there are many ways this can be done, but only a few that it can be done in which falsely punished players aren't impacted.

    This stricter system should not be implemented with gwen bans until it is improved. I was false banned a few months ago for simply hitting a guy two blocks away from me.

    The final issue I would like to address in this post is concern that Sven showed regarding the time constraints of the Mineplex devs. To quote him:
    If the community is onboard with this, and all of the complexities are worked out to be possible to implement, I feel like the time constraint shouldn't be a concern. Hacking is one of the biggest reasons why people stop playing this server, so sooner or later a punishment rework like this needs to be done to ensure the longevity of the server itself. It is in the leadership's best interests to improve the overall QoL of the Mineplex players, because if not the playerbase will keep steadily decreasing.

    Overall, I feel like these five changes to the server itself would significantly mitigate the hacker presence on the server, and thus increase the quality of life for the average player.
    @Sven I would love for you to provide your feedback on this, alongside anyone else.
    Posted Oct 19, 2020
    illum, Valucia, 8350 and 4 others like this.
  2. Amen to this. Hacking is quite possibly the biggest problem on mineplex. Many hackers could spend hours ruining games because they have hundreds of alts and won’t get IP banned. This isn’t to mention closet cheaters, many of which go for a long time without getting banned. Mineplex definitely needs to do more to address this problem. The only thing I disagree with is your solution to ban closet cheaters. Many staff want to join Sr. Mod teams that have nothing to do with closeting, it wouldn’t be as simple as “provide the necessary training.” Currently, only QA can ban closeters, which needless to say, is very ineffective considering how many known closeters we encounter daily. Banning closeters isn’t even the main function of QA, and that’s the issue. I believe that the best course of action pertaining to this would be to create a team dedicated to banning closeters.
    Posted Oct 19, 2020
    LegendSavedXmas and Fusafez like this.
  3. I mean if having a good VPN firewall was so easy Mineplex would have a good one.
    Posted Oct 19, 2020
  4. Mineplex needs a /report feature as well its annoying that bedrock edition don't have it i love playing on mineplex but theres just so many hackers it gets annoying to go to report online and having to clip the person hacking as well yea there may be limitations but at least give us the /report (player ign) (reason)
    Posted Oct 19, 2020
    Greyhound10 and TheArrow'sShadow like this.
  5. I understood almost nothing of this, it’s just way beyond me. Could someone please try to dumb it down to my language? I will say that what I could understand sounded like a good idea, and I appreciate all the thought that was put into this!
    Posted Oct 19, 2020
  6. Having a team dedicated to banning closeters is essentially what QA already is. While "banning closeters" isn't their entire job, it's a good portion of it as they are the only people on the server that can do so. What I've proposed here is to increase the number of people that can ban for closet cheats in an effort to mitigate the issue. The ideas thrown out don't necessarily have to be what's implemented. Furthermore, the skepticism shown here is why I attached the suggestion of requiring closet bans to have recorded evidence. So in the case that a staff member is wrong in their judgement, there's physical evidence for other staff members to review. There would obviously need to be a more concrete system put into place to prevent abuse, and prevent people from being false banned.

    That's the point, it's not.

    I'm not sure how bedrock edition works, but I know that there's a report feature on the java edition of the server. There's also a community called StaffRequest that is designed to allow players to request staff for assistance. With that being said, I personally can't recall a time where I used /report on a hacker, and got a successful punishment message.

    To simplify it as much as possible, I expanded on potential issues and solutions to Sven's punishment overhaul suggestion. In this expansion I explain the potential bypassing of a vpn firewall. A vpn firewall is essentially something that prevents players from joining the network while being connected to a VPN. I then elaborate upon potential solutions to players getting false banned from an ip ban.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Oct 19, 2020
  7. I've had several problems with that command even on Java edition. So if they add the command to Bedrock, and you need to report someone, I would make sure to be as detailed as possible. When I've just entered /report (username) and then say, reach, and thats all, it almost never gets accepted unless GWEN has already dealt with them by that time

    I agree. In the last couple days, I have encountered around 8 different speed or reach hackers. It ruins the game for everyone when there is someone with such an advantage.
    Posted Oct 20, 2020
  8. All I got from vpn was NordVPN... I may be sorta good at math, but this is just... waaay over my head.
    Posted Oct 20, 2020

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