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Booster discussion: is it boosting?

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Tranquility. †'s picture
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Booster discussion: is it boosting?

Hi everyone,

There are a lot of recent cases on high profile users where they are being accused of "rank boosting". They are all based on the rule:

1.3 and 1.6: Playing only against significantly lower ranked players, with no effort to compete against players of similar rank level - limited to ranks 1900+ or top 50 in the rankings (please give matchlinks).

As moderators some of these accusations leave us in a tough spot. Users expect punishment in the form of bans but this isn't always the best way. There are also a lot of things the mods have to consider. For example:

  • What time of day were the matches played?
  • Are there any matches against high ranked players?
  • Can we be sure this user isn't just playing with friends?
  • Do they just enjoy dominating games?
  • Are they playing regular games on other accounts?

My thoughts

As the community manager, I think it is not going to be acceptable for moderators to ban users simply for playing with low ranked users. The community should not be split by rank. If you are 2100 rank and have friends who are 1200, you will want to play with them! We encourage this. A wider community is a good target to aim for. 

On the other hand, what if the top 50 in the rankings are filled with players who don't compete with other high ranked users? It looks poor and it takes the competition and enjoyment away for the users who want to play seriously.

This discussion

This discussion is open for you guys to give your thoughts and suggestions. We only want the community to be better, so let us hear your ideas on this.

I personally have suggested that a simple filter could be added. If (rank-600) is more than the average rank of the room, then no rank change for that player. The rest of the players will get rank as usual.

Failing this, do we just state that it is the responsibility of users to understand that we can reduce their rank a bit to preserve the image of the ranking system? Where do we draw the line here? It puts a lot of work and pressure on the mods.

 

Looking forward to your ideas,
Tranquility.

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I just can agree with Tranquility.. There are many similiar cases in the cheater section in the recent time which lead to the problems named by him, distorting the rankings. When is it boosting? When should a ban be applied or is rankdecrease enough?
Me - as moderator for cheater cases - I look forward to your ideas and thoughts about it.

Greetings

TheGordon

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Boosters can't maintain their rank in regular games. Everyone knows they are boosting and no one respects them. That's enough punishment.

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still waiting for action in case of slovakpro

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Tell why me wrote:

still waiting for action in case of slovakpro

we are aware that this case and others similiar cases are open. We already investigated this case but we also want to see where this general discussion leads us. Nevertheless this case won't (like all other cases) go by the board, regarding also the outcome of this discussion.

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LLight.'s picture
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In my opinion you should be able to play with whoever you wanna play, like in any other games where pros can play against less skilled players and reverse. I've never understood why curvefever never encourage "pros" to play with "noobs". We were all once noobs who didn't know how to play the game. How did we learn playing on a higher level? By playing with high skilled players and watch how you can improve. I get that 2k players wants to improve and play with people on their level, that's fine,  but why are they not allowed to play with less skilled players when they want?

I've seen cases where the person who's reporting clearly abuses this rule out of personal reasons, as in they want the player banned for good. Let's face it, is there any other reason that someone would care who you play with? I've always felt like it's really ridiculous and found the whole drama stupid and funny as it is. Never really stood in a situation where I got punished for playing with whoever I want, but if I did I would find it funny af. 

All in all, being punished for ruining the fun for others is acceptable. Like logging in with 2 accounts in a team game, one of them in the opposite team, just to cheat oneself into winning. Playing against your own team. Always targetting a specific player without wanting to win at all. Etc. 

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Genius IQ wrote:

Boosters can't maintain their rank in regular games. Everyone knows they are boosting and no one respects them. That's enough punishment.

+1.

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Hello,

"If you are 2100 rank and have friends who are 1200, you will want to play with them!"

^ I agree with this one. But think about 1 step above, what's going then? The player 2100 rank playing with friends who are 1200 rank currently, but their skill is like 2000 rank or something like that. So that means that barely who would play against them, cause it's not fair. Smile But yes, the point of topic is that I don't see it as boosting.

 

What you should to do in case that someone violating the rule: 

"♠ 1.3 and 1.6: Playing only against significantly lower ranked players, with no effort to compete against players of similar rank level - limited to ranks 1900+ or top 50 in the rankings (please give matchlinks)."

 

---> tell me about this bolded word - Playing only against significantly lower ranked players. How much significantly? 1000- ? 1100- ? 1200- ? 

Solutions:

1. Increasing ban duration. Cause it's easy to catch someone boosting anyways, so this would be good option to do, so booster should probably learn to be more mature than inmature.

2. Decrease "limited to ranks 1900+ or top 50 in the rankings" to 1800+ at least. Because everyone wants 2k team rank and then stop to play serious games and they will start to play only unranked games, that's for sure, anyways, there would be 200+ points difference from 1800 to 2000 to get it. It will be obvious to catch someone easier and faster(cause we players will have time to see it), if he try to boost that 200 other points. 

3. Setting or changing the rule above^ - "time limit" ; to play against low ranked ppl. Example, You can only play against low ranked ppl in time from 7am to 12am, and 1am to 7am something like that, everything else would means breaking the rule. 

Greetings!

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It's rule for long time now, and whatever you decide, we spent our time to report them, it is one of 'boosting' rules so you should punish that players what are reported. It's still rule and they broke it.
Finish all cases that are waiting for answer with present rules and then change rules if needed and it will be okay!But anyway,I think it is boosting, players that are reported by me obviously broke that rule and they deserve punish. There are hundred of players who play against low accounts because they have fun or they play with friends, but reported players are wittingly abusing rank and breaking that rule, they are not on cheater forum witout reason.

You can check time when game is played,if it is late when there are just few players or if they have many games against high ranked players then they are not boosting and then just wanna play, no matter against who, they just wanna have fun or they're playing with friends.
Are they playing regular games on other accounts?~That doesn't matter, you never ban all accounts, you do it just for account that is breaking rules, and that is right and continue with that, that rule is good and if you remove it, there will be even more '' players who play only against weak opponents, only when they are sure that they will win.''
You already punished many players who broke that rule and they didn't complained about it, maybe try to imagine how will it look like if you remove that rule.But cmon guys, you're not moderators witout reason, you can see who is cheater and who is not, you have all what you need just give decision and it will be always good. 

I hope you will make the right final decision,

Kizza00232Jera

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This is ridiculous. Why argue over this issue again and again?

Solution: Make custom play unranked. Add a quick-play 4v4 playlist where you are randomly assigned 3 team mates and 4 opponents. Whoever has the highest rank in this playlist is clearly the best.

...There is too much drama in team. Hence why the leadboard is pointless. I'd much rather play quick team games to 5 points (FFA quick play goes to 35 points) with anonymous people and then be rematched again with other anonymous people rather than having to deal with issues like this that simply can't be resolved. 

Can't climb a ladder effectively In a game like this unless you get involved in the toxicity of the team environment. And still no sense to climb ladder through custom play because too many methods to cheat the system hence why nobody cares about the leaderboard in the first place. So why make rules?

 

 

 

Tranquility. †'s picture
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Incred,

The point is we (the moderators) have to deal with things right now to keep CF2 players happy. CF3 is another game with another system that Geert will work on. Your proposed system is very unlikely to be considered for CF2.

This is why we ask users if they have any nice solutions. There is no harm in that.

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Tranquility. wrote:

 

I personally have suggested that a simple filter could be added. If (rank-600) is more than the average rank of the room, then no rank change for that player. The rest of the players will get rank as usual.

Honestly I have suggested it very long time ago but from what I have seen my suggestion has come unseen and totally missed. Where my idea was 300 rank points difference (than averange rank of the room) - to me 600 is definitely too much. That makes a 2500 player gain much less points against 1700 people (where let's say average rank room is 1800). However, it's not like they wont gain any points. Its just that they would gain less points than a team. If we set this limit to +/- 300 it decreases points after game for each 100 points difference. 

We can also go a little bit further and compare the best player in the room with the highest rank and someone with the lowest rank in the room - if the difference between them is too high (like 2500 and 400 - we know there have been such games), it will be impossible for 2500 player to gain anything more than 1+ (because of too big difference and the limit). I haven't really seen anyone going that far to break a record by playing on 2k account against 700 except Mepik and its super easily seen plus he risks losing -39 just to win +1. Just like in FFA, nobody with 2k will gain more than +1 playing against significantly lower players (with 1200-1300 rank).

As to second accounts and playing on 1200 account while the specific player has 2k account  - surely they will gain a lot of points at the beginning but with time and progress it will be harder for them since their rank will be increasing plus we already talked about rank difference between the highest player in the room and average rank of the room. If anyone repeated 2500 guy with his 2k friends playing on 1200 accounts it would be pointless anyway since 2500 guy would gain +1-3 every time and his friends would just increase their ranks and eventually it all comes back to the some point.

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that is not boosting wtf 

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Meechanpie's picture
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For me the issue is not around the punishments, whether players receive a ban and/or rank decrease should be based on the individual case and therefore a Moderators decision only. 

I think the rule itself does not cover all the aspects of boosting, let me give an example of what I mean.

As mer players of the game we only have access to a certain amount of information that we can use if we think a player is boosting.

Player Info

  • A 2200 ranked player plays 4-5 games in a row against players of his/her own rank and level. Said player loses all those games with their rank now being 2050.
  • The player then moves onto playing games with players all under 1000 points, playing again maybe 4-5 times in a row, making his/her rank increase back up to the 2200 mark.
  • The said player then goes back onto playing games with those his/her own rank.
  • This is all happening over the course of 3-4 hours playing time on one given day.

Note: Example has to relation to anyone who plays this game, it is just made up.

This to me is a form of boosting, the player cannot maintain their rank with players their own rank so chooses to boost his rank back up by playing with players of lesser rank.

Actually though according to the rule 1.3 , 1.6 they would not be breaking the rule as it clearly states

' Playing ONLY against significantly lower ranked players' - Look at example above they have played with players their own level.

'with NO effort to compete against players of similar rank level' - Again looking at example above this player has made some effort to do this.

So like I said, I see this example from the information I( mer player) have access too as boosting the account to a higher rank. But the rules state differently. 

 

End of a long story, the punishment side of things is not what has to change but the rule itself could do with a bit of modification so that players who are making reports are clear on what boosting actually is and the Mods and players are then on the same page making things easier for those making reports and those taking the report case on.

 

What time of day were the matches played?
Are there any matches against high ranked players?
Can we be sure this user isn't just playing with friends?
Do they just enjoy dominating games?
Are they playing regular games on other accounts?

Above is quote from the OP on what mods take into consideration on cheater cases, I have some questions on this if its not too much trouble for a Mod to clarify things for me?

The third one about playing with friends I do not understand, are you saying that if a player tells you they were ' just playing with friends'( who happen to be low ranked) this goes in their favor?  If so I am confused as there is a little setting in game that allows you unrank games, thus removing the factor of cheating all together as they gain no points. 

Also the fourth point I am struggling to understand, I enjoy dominating games also ( who doesn't?), but why would this be a factor in a cheaters case?

 

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The point of the 3rd and 4th points was that we shouldn't simply ban them. You can't ban people for playing legitimate games against their friends or just because they like being first all the time. Nice post though Smile

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Of course I completly agree you can't just ban people willy nilly if they are being reorted and that is why other things have to be taken into consideration like you said. 

Could you possibly be a little more clearer though, I was asking more along the lines of why are these things taken into consideration when they are avoidable by the players. From my point they seem to bear to relevance to a case because like I said they are avoidable.

Sorry if I wasn't clear what I was asking the first time.

 

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I get your point. If we have it as an excuse then it's an easy escape. Maybe the best option is just to keep an eye on things until it gets completely silly and then decide on what to do.

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My CF sense is tingling. Sarcasm detected.

But I wouldn't go as far to say that it gets used as an excuse, unsure why you are tip-toing around the questions though. If I didn't make it clear enough again what I was asking, I will dumb it down.

  • Why is wanting to dominate games relevant to to a cheaters case?
  • Why is playing with friends relevant to a cheaters case when there is an unranked setting?

Heres hoping asking this way will get me a straight answer ^ ^

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Quote:

Why is wanting to dominate games relevant to a cheaters case?

It's my opinion that this "playing only against low ranked users" is not cheating. I am debating whether it should be considered to be something else. It is currently relevant because people are reporting users as cheaters based on this rule which we are discussing. The referred text is a plausible reason to why someone would be doing such a thing.

Quote:

Why is playing with friends relevant to a cheaters case when there is an unranked setting?

I think we all know that the unranked setting is unappealing to a lot of people. If there are 3 friends with ranks 1900 1200 and 1100, they probably have to find 3 other people to play with. Will those other 3 people want to play unranked? Unlikely...

And yes, the thing is avoidable. But the user isn't focussing on "is this cheating". They just want to entertain themselves as quickly as possible. It's up to us to decide if that is cheating. The whole subject I'm discussing here is complicated with a large number of possible scenarios. I'm looking for a "one way suits all" solution. I am not intending to tip-toe around anything or be sarcastic, sorry if it seemed so.

 

 

 

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Ok thanks bit clearer now Smile

Correct me if I am wrong here, but for the first one are you meaning because of the low ranked(Like +1 to +10) gained if say a 2k player is playing in rooms with all players being 800 but him/her for example you do not (personally) consider it as cheating?. 

If yes, I hadn't actually thought of it like that, but that being said it still seems to me like boosting that account, irrelevant of the rank gain, the rule is being abused by a little loophole there. I guess not every player who does it boosts intentionally though.

 

Yeah I get your point about people not wanting to play unranked, but again it is still a little loophole in the rule that at the end of everything the higher ranked player would gain rank from it, to me this means boosting. 

I personally have suggested that a simple filter could be added. If (rank-600) is more than the average rank of the room, then no rank change for that player. The rest of the players will get rank as usual.

Your solution from the OP would seem to be an airtight option that would render what we have been talking about irrelevant.

Thanks for being clearer there. I too would suggest this solution to the problem of is it boosting or not. What kind of work and how easy/hard would it be to implement such a solution?

Also how would the community ( if in agreement) go about making something like this happen. 

I only ask as I know CF3 is taking priority atm.

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Well, my solution is something that only the devs can implement (obviously). Given their priorities there is no guarantee that it will be looked into. I made this topic to see if there were other ideas from the users which may be even better or something that the devs won't be needed for. 

You are correct btw, I don't consider it as cheating. My definition of 'boosting' is someone gaining rank through illegitimate games (like putting your own accounts in the other team and playing against them). These guys play legitimate games against other people...it's just really unethical how they get such high ranks from it. How to deal with them without driving them away from the game can be a bit tricky!

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Tranquility. wrote:

You are correct btw, I don't consider it as cheating. My definition of 'boosting' is someone gaining rank through illegitimate games (like putting your own accounts in the other team and playing against them). These guys play legitimate games against other people...it's just really unethical how they get such high ranks from it. How to deal with them without driving them away from the game can be a bit tricky!

+1

It's not cheating at all, just a less competitive way of playing which some people might enjoy. Besides, it's obvious to tell when someone is overranked or not so I see np at all. 

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Based on the recent cases I believe the mod team decided to give only rank reductions? Best choice you could make in this situation, given that the developers are too busy to improve the rank system. It's not so great to see many "fake 2ks" inside the game and false ranking in the leadership board.
You can't really ban them for this because each time they went for that little additon of rank was purely for the sense of achievement, which is not wrong. Its the flaw in the system that allows people to gain more and more rank to the point it becomes completely futile and boosted.
Rank reductions can help "boosters" realize how its rather meaningless to gain rank in such way and strip peoples motivation to do so. At the same time, it restores the leadership board.

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Nvm what I wrote up there, nobody will think in that way Lol

But basically what I wanted to say was the rank reduction is the best way to deal such cases cuz it's def wrong to have "boosted" rank everywhere and banning them feels pretty wrong too esp if it's their first time. I mean who hasn't played a few ez games just to get that magical 2k number. Rank reducing them a few times would help most of them to start playig normally again. Ban them if they r really stubborn.

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Dear community,

thank you for your input. We also discussed it few days in our team and we decided to set up following guideline for us how to handle it.
First of all we want an unbiased ranking. There won't be an automatic filter Alan suggested in the headpost, which leads us to how we want to handle it:
1. Most of the time rankdecreases will be applied: rankreduces will be 1x, 1.5x, place 51 or even a bigger decrease, depending on prehistory of the players, rank gained, clearness of intention and of course the server where and the time when the match was played. As you see we will consider everything we have to come to a fair result.
2. A ban will be only applied if the player has a bigger prehistory or other circumstances leads us to it.
3. When will we react: Well that's a tricky question and we will watch at each case individually according to the points above. Our main intention is not to reduce or even ban players just for playing such games, but on the other hand we want a competitive leaderboard and we don't want players exploiting the rank system. We won't jump in if we see a low intention of getting rank in these games just to reduce every single of them. Nevertheless we want to give you a certain help:
a) It's only for the Top50 ranked players
b) Our range will be around a difference of 500 points of the highranked player and the average of (1) the opponents team and (2) the rest of the room. For the few players over 2100 rank average above 1600 is enough for (1) and (2). In ffa our range will be around 400 points for the opponents and for players over 2100 at least 1700. These are just guidlines, we will see how it works and will decide anyway when in doubt, for the accused. We also reserve the right to change this by taking a look on the invidual cases.

Nevertheless I want to point out one more time: We will only react if the intention is clear and if most of the games fall out of the range. We will try to moderate and handle these cases as good and fair as possible for the community, but especially for the defendant. Furthermore we will also keep on checking the Top50s by ourselves but feel free to contact us or report suspicious players and matches.

Kind regards

The cheater staff

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Recently I've read in many rooms that the same players are "boosting" again and soon "someone" will decide to make the report. Also I've seen moderators joining to their rooms and probably they have read the same or people have been talking to them. My question is why the moderators don't warn or take actions before someone make the topic and the players involved get a ban/rank reduce? I think moderators can avoid this situation (sometimes) if they talk directly with the player about the susspicious behaviour. If the player concider he is not doing anything wrong he will keep doing it and then the case will be over but if they player know he is doing something wrong (again) he might stop it... Anyway I think cf need an active moderator in game who warn or takes actions at the moment and not to wait for a report and players get punished for it.

 

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Tranquility. wrote:

Incred,

The point is we (the moderators) have to deal with things right now to keep CF2 players happy. CF3 is another game with another system that Geert will work on. Your proposed system is very unlikely to be considered for CF2.

This is why we ask users if they have any nice solutions. There is no harm in that.

Yes, I understand. It's nice to see that you are working on improving the current system's flaws.

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Let's all play on Asia servers where there is no rules and it's every man for himself. I once saw a guy curve against himself there. Very wild. :x

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ELyx0 wrote:

Let's all play on Asia servers where there is no rules and it's every man for himself. I once saw a guy curve against himself there. Very wild. :x

So sorry about that, I was drunk and seeing double

 

Well its nice to see the community having some input into actual changes I-m so happy congrats