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Thread: “Combat Logging”: Update

  1. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #1
    Sandro Sammarco is offline
    Lead Designer- Elite: Dangerous
    Frontier Employee

    “Combat Logging”: Update

    Hello Commanders!

    This is a quick update to let you guys know what we’re looking at regarding the issue of “combat logging”.

    For clarity’s sake, “combat logging” is when a Commander ungracefully exits the game (e.g. using ALT + F4 then shutting down the game process) to avoid defeat, destruction and damage.

    Commanders might use this exploit the moment they are interdicted or the moment before they are about to be destroyed.

    Although this is flagged primarily as a multiplayer concern, the issues (and solutions) apply equally to the single player game.

    First things first: we do consider this an undesirable exploit. It’s not “part of the game”.

    Because we don’t have an all powerful server running the moment-to-moment game play simulation, there is no infallible arbiter to take control of a player’s ship when they ungracefully exit.

    So what we’re doing is logging telemetry that will help us detect when this exploit is explicitly being used.

    Right now, all we’re doing (and have already started doing) is looking at and implementing methods of collecting and analysing data.

    At some point, however, we will start to take action against Commanders using this exploit. I can only suggest that you should avoid using this exploit if you want to avoid any penalties issued for its use. I'll just repeat: please avoid combat logging - we're taking this issue very seriously.

    On a related, but separate track, we’re looking at introducing benefits to Commanders that persevere and stick it out through dangerous encounters, as well as general credit costs and rewards balancing.

    I’m not quite ready to talk about these in more detail just now. Obviously though, they can never counter the potential costs of ship destruction, but we want to look at a range of disincentives and incentives both to counter this issue.

    I hope this helps clarify our position a little.

  2. #2
    Cheers for the update Sandro

  3. #3
    Thank you for the update! Keep up the good work Dev team

  4. #4
    ummm...... how exactly are you going to take action against these people?. On a case by case basis?. What if they disagree with your findings due to technical errors?. etc etc

    You are opening a can of worms for yourselves with this approach. Much simpler to count interdictions as being in combat and keep "In Combat" players visible for 30 secs after server disconnect.
    ---- Space Trucker ---- i7 920 @4ghz, GTX Titan, 12gb RAM, 240mb SSD

  5. #5
    Glad your looking at this Sandro, it might be a good time to look at the 'submit boot jump' exploit too

  6. #6
    A very simple solution.

    Bind the Alt+F4 in the game with self destruct.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by SpionKop View Post (Source)
    ummm...... how exactly are you going to take action against these people?. On a case by case basis?. What if they disagree with your findings due to technical errors?. etc etc

    You are opening a can of worms for yourselves with this approach. Much simpler to count interdictions as being in combat and keep "In Combat" players visible for 30 secs after server disconnect.
    I agree they're opening a can of worms with that approach. Trouble is, their options on this are severly limited due to the P2P nature of the game client.

    On your second point - that's actually a bigger can of worms. If I've got ED's methodology correct - your game client connects with another player's game client, which is how you can see them, interact with them and fight them.

    Your proposed solution would entail one player's game client to begin 'simulating' the othe player's ship for 30 or seconds. This is inherently open to abuse, as the evil player could DoS the other player such that it appears they disconnected from the game. Then as this evil player's client is simulating the other player's ship for an amount of time, they could destroy that ship and it be counted as a 'win' by the FDEV arbitration server.

  8. #8
    But how can you filter out people who geniunly disconnect because of a bad connection?

    Also what about slowing down your connection to the point where nothing works, but technically your still online (this can stop people from being able to damage you).

    On the single player side... You can avoid AI interdictions completely once you figure out that NPCs only spawn when a player is present (and they take a while to actually populate, happens around stations too). So you can drop out of SC every so often to "reset" it and never get interdicted :/

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by SpionKop View Post (Source)
    Much simpler to count interdictions as being in combat and keep "In Combat" players visible for 30 secs after server disconnect.
    As Sandro says, there is no "server disconnect" in this context, because the moment to moment gameplay is handled by the client peers that make up the island.

    They would have to repurpose the code which hands off control of NPC entities upon player disconnect to also handle player disconnects, and somehow convert the entire disconnecting player's state (which peers only have a partial view of, obviously) into an NPC ship state.

    It's a case of choosing the less squirmy can of worms here.

    EDIT: Hey. G-H, maybe we should open a distributed algorithm consultancy?

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by SpionKop View Post (Source)
    ummm...... how exactly are you going to take action against these people?. On a case by case basis?. What if they disagree with your findings due to technical errors?. etc etc

    You are opening a can of worms for yourselves with this approach. Much simpler to count interdictions as being in combat and keep "In Combat" players visible for 30 secs after server disconnect.
    As Sandro said: "there is no infallible arbiter to take control of a player’s ship when they ungracefully exit.". I guess this means handing over control of opponent's ship seems undesirable and potential avenue of exploit. However I personally think it is still worth the shot.
    Peteris Krisjanis
    Call sign: Eagleboy | Will play: All Online | Federation | Trader and Explorer, with a little of everything else
    Please support call for ED Linux port https://www.change.org/p/frontier-de...-linux-desktop

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by bonsek View Post (Source)
    A very simple solution.

    Bind the Alt+F4 in the game with self destruct.
    People already have macros and batches that disconnect their actual internet

    Nothing to do with alt-f4 mostly.

  12. #12
    But this simply cant be true, there were hundreds of people in the other thread who said it was simple to fix, oh no wait they had no idea what they were talking about!

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Genar-Hofoen View Post (Source)
    I agree they're opening a can of worms with that approach. Trouble is, their options on this are severly limited due to the P2P nature of the game client.

    On your second point - that's actually a bigger can of worms. If I've got ED's methodology correct - your game client connects with another player's game client, which is how you can see them, interact with them and fight them.

    Your proposed solution would entail one player's game client to begin 'simulating' the othe player's ship for 30 or seconds. This is inherently open to abuse, as the evil player could DoS the other player such that it appears they disconnected from the game. Then as this evil player's client is simulating the other player's ship for an amount of time, they could destroy that ship and it be counted as a 'win' by the FDEV arbitration server.
    To be honest, I can't believe no one at Frontier raised the issue of combat logging in the very early design stages of the game. Not as if combat logging is a new tactic among online gamers is it!.
    ---- Space Trucker ---- i7 920 @4ghz, GTX Titan, 12gb RAM, 240mb SSD

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Sandro Sammarco View Post (Source)
    Hello Commanders!

    This is a quick update....
    Good to know, thanks.


    " Experience is a hard mistress, she gives the test first, the lesson after... "

  15. #15
    Good, this needs cracking down on as a matter of urgency. Whilst a technical solution should be sought, removing the ability of these people to play open if they are caught to be consistently abusing is a fair reprimand, as long as they can still play in both solo and group play.

    You can usually tell by the traffic whats a legitimate disconnect or something deliberately executed.

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