|Frequently Asked Questions|
|Thursday, 07 July 2005|
How do I Listen?
When I click to listen it asks me to download listen.pls, are you installing spyware?
What MP3 Players can I use?
I have Windows Media Player or Winamp installed, why is it still asking me to download the listen.pls file?
If you are still having troubles getting the file to play and have Windows Media Player try this:
This should tune you into w00t Radio.
How do I request a song?
There are several ways of doing this:
Why are you making me download all this software to listen to your station, shouldn't it just work with what ever I have?
Why did you ask for my e-mail address when I created my log in?
Do I have to create a log in on your site to listen?
|The Fight Against Spam #1|
|Written by:Jester Tuesday, January 22, 2008|
Welcome to a new recurring feature here at w00t Studios, The Fight Against Spam. The problem of spam in-game is one that is a constant struggle for players and game companies. Nearly every MMORPG of any size has been a target of this menace.
Where does spam come from in a game? One place: Gold Farmers. The "real money trade" (RMT) industry has sprung up and become big business over the past few years. For those not familiar with this concept, RMT companies setup massive pc farms where people are paid pitiful amounts of cash in 3rd world nations to make money in games as quickly as possible, then sell that money in exchange for real world dollars. The same thing is done with in-game items and some sell 'levelling' services where you give them access to your account and they level your character for you.
Many gamers find this distasteful, yet many others still participate and make this a very lucrative business. The side effects from the RMT Industry is in-game spam. E-mails and random tells soliciting players to use these services bombard players randomly on servers across countless games. FromWord of WarcrafttoLord of the Rings Onlineand recently even games likeCity of Heroeswhere the economy in game barely even exists.
The spam and general practices of RMT are so bad that its begun to eat up serious developer resources combating the practice.
The purpose of this series of articles is to focus on the efforts of various games to prevent or at least hinder the RMT industry in various games.
This time around we'll focus onCity of Heroes / Villains. This is a game that never had an economy to speak of until its Issue 9 implemented the Inventions System. The Inventions System introduced crafting, loot, and a use for the large amounts of influence and infamy collected by the Heroes and Villains of the game.
Soon after Issue 9's launch, the RMT industry descended upon theCity of Heroesuniverse. Spam tells began coming steadily hitting players at random on the more populated servers on a nightly basis. Ignore one character and another one would simply take up its place a short time later with a name made of gibberish.
Now, nearly a year later theCity of Heroesdevelopment team has taken a few steps to hinder these spammers in game. Several months ago they implemented an /ignore_spammer command. This command allowed players to ignore and report a spammer to the GM's with one stroke. After several reports of the same character / account the account would be banned.
Since the implementation of the ignore_spammer command the number of random tells in game have decreased. The amount of in-game mail has increased as players tend to delete and not report the names of the spammers.
On January 21, 2008 the developers have taken their next step, they've limited the in-game mail system's access to characters who are level 12 and higher. Forcing characters to advance to level twelve would take several hours worth of play and at the very least would slow a spammer from recreating accounts after being banned.
How much will this reduce the spam received by players in game? Its hard to say. We'll update this story once we have seen this in action for a few weeks. The ignore_spammer command did nothing to slow the spammers sending messages, it did make reporting them easier which leads to more bannings of their accounts.
Will the change to the in-game mail system inconvenience players? Only minimally, the players ofCity of Heroesuse the mail system fairly in frequently. The in game mail system inCity of Heroesdoes not allow attachment of items, does not send messages to global chat handles, only particular characters so there is no cross server mail. As such it is usually used for offline messages or during player run events so those organizing the events can keep track of messages without them being lost in the scroll of live chat. Both of these usages are practiced primarily by characters of higher levels.
The limitations of the mail system are also going to help make the level 12 limit that much more effective against spammers as they will have to create a level 12 character on each server to send out their spam.
We give NCSoft and its development team a good deal of credit in the fight against spam, they've taken minimal steps in-game to inconvenience players and numerous steps behind the scenes to ban ip addresses, account payment methods (ie. credit cards used by spammers), to prevent the spammers from creating accounts in the first place.