Banning (or Restricting) Alternate Accounts: Y/N?

  • Amerlain
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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #561 by Amerlain
While the idea of banning alternative/alt/multi accounts has been discussed before on the DSE boards, I have yet to find anything about that on these boards so...I'm posting this here as a way of summarizing the idea and relative positions as they were before (and hoping more people will contribute to this oldest of BP controversies). I'll also throw in a couple new compromise proposals related to allowing, but restricting, possible extra accounts. Considering this issue again may be useful for those working on the BP 2.0 project, as one of the reasons cited by some for why the original BP was closed down was alt-related abuses.

The Argument for a Ban:

Alts/multis tended to be used disproportionately by relatively experienced players (and those with more time/money on their hands), and thus would put new players and players with only one account at a disadvantage. Overall, it could be argued that the prevalence of multi usage doesn't just impact game balance directly in that way, but also affects it more indirectly by way of the abuses that take place when it comes to things like trading, alliances ("spy" accounts, relations-60 blockade running, etc.), and new player systems (while never proven as linked to alt usage, there were several instances of spawn systems being unlocked by supposedly new players who had rather deep ties with certain players and alliances for so early in the game). Banning alts would solve these issues; a ban could be carried out and enforced using IP address screening and other methods. By banning alt accounts, some additional income from dedicated players would be lost, but this would be more than made up for by higher new player retention (and new player entry due to BP 2.0/BP Resurrected gaining the reputation for being more new player friendly).

Options Restrictions as an Alternative to a Ban:

An alternative to banning alternative accounts outright would be allowing them, but restricting the game options available to those suspected of running alt accounts. This has been the favored method of at least one MMO firm, and perhaps was chosen due to the potential for the same IP address to be used by different members of the same household (and the possible unfairness that banning accounts associated with the same IP address would have for certain, legitimate players). In effect, a person would be able to run more than one account without fearing having their accounts shut down/blocked, but the options available on those accounts would be limited in some ways. Limits might include the following: not being able to direct and/or indirect trade, not being able to bid on the same mine as a suspected alt account, not being able to be in a different alliance from another account with the same IP, a default score of 40 (War) between new contacts and possible alts, and/or not being able to vote the same way as a possible alt on a Senate proposal (if there would exist a set of 3 or more possible alts, then perhaps senate chamber voting would be disallowed completely for those 3).

A Stepped Payment System as an Alternative:

Charging more for any additional accounts is an idea that I haven't seen used by any gaming company, but that might work in this case as a compromise measure. The way this would work is that, for each additional account associated with an IP (or perhaps declared by a player), there would be an increase in the subscription fee by some magnitude, say by a factor of 2. In other words, each additional account would cost a player (or an individual who happened to share another player's IP) twice in subscription fees what it costs the previous linked account (chronologically-speaking). So, the first account started on the same IP (or by the same player) would cost the usual periodic subscription fee, the second would cost 200% per payment period, the next 400%, and so on, increasing twofold for each additional account. The downside of this is that it would allow alts, but would deter players from having many alts, and would force any aspiring alt keepers to dig deep and contribute significantly more towards server maintenance (keeping things in proportion to the possible impact their alts might have on game balance).

Not banning alternative accounts:

This was the status quo in BP 1.0. While I was heavily against a player having more than one subscription account on the Live server (and always will be...just my opinion), there were arguments for this, and it wouldn't be due to finish this topic starter without summarizing the main points for this (as I understand them...not being for it, I may leave some things out, so feel free to add more, or to correct me). The main arguments for not banning them were: 1) It helped out DSE financially, especially as they started to struggle to keep the game up, 2) it allowed players a wider range of gaming experiences than would have been available otherwise.

Well, I know this was probably a clutter to read, but I hope it got ya'll thinking about how BP 2.0 can be a success when it comes to the issue of whether to allow or not to allow alts. Look forward to seeing more ideas (especially if they're ones I might disagree with), and I'll try to clean this up a bit when I have the chance.
Last edit: 9 years 5 months ago by Amerlain.

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9 years 5 months ago #564 by Trifler
I also disliked the multi-accounts. I think either the Stepped Account Fees or the Outright Ban would work. Situations involving two people in the same house subscribing could be handled on a case-by-case basis, getting the individuals on the phone, a copy of each person's Driver's License, etc.

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9 years 2 months ago #825 by Apophis
Alts and the ensuing metagaming were one of the prime reasons I left.

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9 years 2 months ago #827 by Cyrusblack2
it should be noted that Alt Acounts are monitored for and are banned on the Afterprotocol server. official policy is that since the game doesnt cost anymore, that Alt accounts have no financal value for the developers, and are too much an advantage.

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9 years 2 months ago #857 by Jesfr

I don't know if is the best place for ast that, but i don't find any mail support on the website of after protocol.

I think i was ban because i can't connect of the game server.
That's true, 2 day ago, my son wanted to play the same game that is father and i make an account for him, just some building et some fighter for he little play with.

I just play since one week and i didn't know that was not possible to create other account, when yesterday i saw a message who say that is not possible, in the same moment i send an ingame email for explain my case and ask what i can do for delete the second.

I say my mea culpa, i really like that game and didn't wanted to make something who can give me an advantage, i'm not an hardcore gamer who just want to win without care about the consequence.

So i ask you again, is this possible to reactivate my account ?

Thanks for your answer

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9 years 2 months ago #865 by Cyrusblack2
server was under maintenance, if the issue persists, its possible that you should delete your EXE file and re download the game

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