Issue 6 - "Automated Accounts Influencing BGS and Powerplay": Omission from the Top 20 Issues Report

Bruce G

Senior Community Manager
Frontier
Greetings Commanders,

On Tuesday we released our second Top 20 Issues Report, accompanied by some commentary on our Supercruise News livestream. In this second edition of the report, we were pleased to confirm that many of the listed issues will be fixed in Update 7 which is scheduled for next week.

Following the report, several of you rightly pointed out that the currently sixth highest-voted open issue, “Automated Accounts Influencing BGS and Powerplay”, on the Issue Tracker was not present in the table. We’d like to take this opportunity to clear the air around this point.

To give some important context on how the Issue Tracker works, when an issue is submitted it remains in the system for a certain amount of time before expiring. During this time, if it gains enough confirmed reproductions (to prove the issue is legitimate), it will remain on the tracker until it is closed. This is the “confirmed” state. Confirmed issues are investigated by our QA team, and if they are confirmed internally, they enter the “acknowledged” state. From there issues are further investigated, prioritised, and worked on by our QA and development teams.

Why is this important? In this case, the issue of automated accounts (we’ll call it “botting” from here on) is one we’re fully aware of but is handled differently than “standard” issues like graphical bugs. Bot detection and account moderation is an ongoing effort, and while we know botting is a problem, it has not been processed on the Issue Tracker the same way a typical issue would be. Botting cannot be “reproduced and confirmed internally” like a typical bug and therefore has not entered the “acknowledged” state. For our Top 20 Issues Report, we gathered the issues list from those marked as “acknowledged” which is why it did not appear.

To show that we acknowledge botting as an issue, this will be marked as such on the tracker moving forwards. In the meantime, our continuous efforts to mitigate and punish botting will continue. We’re limited in our ability to share details on this progress as doing so can inform players who choose to bot on how they might avoid detection.

We hope this sheds some light on why the issue did not appear in the table. We welcome any questions and thank you as always for your support!

O7
 
Greetings Commanders,

Yesterday we released our second Top 20 Issues Report, accompanied by some commentary on our Supercruise News livestream. In this second edition of the report, we were pleased to confirm that many of the listed issues will be fixed in Update 7 which is scheduled for next week.

Following the report, several of you rightly pointed out that the currently sixth highest-voted open issue, “Automated Accounts Influencing BGS and Powerplay”, on the Issue Tracker was not present in the table. We’d like to take this opportunity to clear the air around this point.

To give some important context on how the Issue Tracker works, when an issue is submitted it remains in the system for a certain amount of time before expiring. During this time, if it gains enough votes (to prove the issue is legitimate), it will remain on the tracker until it is closed. This is the “confirmed” state. Confirmed issues are investigated by our QA team, and if they are confirmed internally, they enter the “acknowledged” state. From there issues are further investigated, prioritised, and worked on by our QA and development teams.

Why is this important? In this case, the issue of automated accounts (we’ll call it “botting” from here on) is one we’re fully aware of but is handled differently than “standard” issues like graphical bugs. Bot detection and account moderation is an ongoing effort, and while we know botting is a problem, it has not been processed on the Issue Tracker the same way a typical issue would be. Botting cannot be “reproduced and confirmed internally” like a typical bug and therefore has not entered the “acknowledged” state. For our Top 20 Issues Report, we gathered the issues list from those marked as “acknowledged” which is why it did not appear.

To show that we acknowledge botting as an issue, this will be marked as such on the tracker moving forwards. In the meantime, our continuous efforts to mitigate and punish botting will continue. We’re limited in our ability to share details on this progress as doing so can inform players who choose to bot on how they might avoid detection.

We hope this sheds some light on why the issue did not appear in the table. We welcome any questions and thank you as always for your support!

O7
Well you could at least send reports about moderation in general to show us that you are actually doing something about it. Many other companies do that. Like: "this month we banned "X" accounts for botting, "X" for abusive behaviour" etc.
 
Well you could at least send reports about moderation in general to show us that you are actually doing something about it. Many other companies do that. Like: "this month we banned "X" accounts for botting, "X" for abusive behaviour" etc.
Those who feel they are affected can report & then through their own monitoring of in-game events see whether what they thought was botting actually was or not (if it was the behaviour will change, if it wasn't it will carry on).

I generally agree reporting on the numbers would be interesting but I can certainly see why FDev haven't done, for them reporting is a lose/lose situation (ie those frustrated by this will be unhappy either way).

I do think the damage done by casual accusations of botting should be moderated more effectively on these forums though.
 
Welcome news about the botting, but I'm sure you've heard this before. How about stop treating issues like a popularity contest and instead evaluate reported issues yourselves based on impact/priority/severity?

I've never heard of a company before ever leaving it up to the users to decide in what order things get fixed. I spent many years in various IT support roles from helldesk to second and third line support.

The only times where the users could influence our assessments were negative. This was usually something like one of the big bosses, having left his laptop in the sun all day causing it to melt, insists on a priority 1, all hands on deck, drop everything else until its fixed, level of support, and who cares if there were other issues actually affecting the productivity of many people?!

Never, ever, let users determine in what order things get fixed, and certainly don't make it a popularity contest.
 

Bruce G

Senior Community Manager
Frontier
Welcome news about the botting, but I'm sure you've heard this before. How about stop treating issues like a popularity contest and instead evaluate reported issues yourselves based on impact/priority/severity?

I've never heard of a company before ever leaving it up to the users to decide in what order things get fixed. I spent many years in various IT support roles from helldesk to second and third line support.

The only times where the users could influence our assessments were negative. This was usually something like one of the big bosses, having left his laptop in the sun all day causing it to melt, insists on a priority 1, all hands on deck, drop everything else until its fixed, level of support, and who cares if there were other issues actually affecting the productivity of many people?!

Never, ever, let users determine what needs to be fixed, and certainly don't make it a popularity contest.

You're completely right, and we do prioritise issues according to our own assessments rather than peel off the top votes list. There are many issues outside of the top 20 list that are worked on and show up in each update. That said, it's still useful for us to have an idea of what the community generally considers to be the most pressing/current issues as a factor in that assessment.
 
You're completely right, and we do prioritise issues according to our own assessments rather than peel off the top votes list. There are many issues outside of the top 20 list that are worked on and show up in each update. That said, it's still useful for us to have an idea of what the community generally considers to be the most pressing/current issues as a factor in that assessment.

Hmm.. maybe that could somehow be communicated more clearly then. (sorry, you probably hear this sort of thing a lot).

But then, i can also see people getting salty they their issue was highly voted for but then didn't get worked on, while something with less votes did get worked on.

Really, i see nothing good coming from a visible voting system at least.
 
Greetings Commanders,

On Tuesday we released our second Top 20 Issues Report, accompanied by some commentary on our Supercruise News livestream. In this second edition of the report, we were pleased to confirm that many of the listed issues will be fixed in Update 7 which is scheduled for next week.

Following the report, several of you rightly pointed out that the currently sixth highest-voted open issue, “Automated Accounts Influencing BGS and Powerplay”, on the Issue Tracker was not present in the table. We’d like to take this opportunity to clear the air around this point.

To give some important context on how the Issue Tracker works, when an issue is submitted it remains in the system for a certain amount of time before expiring. During this time, if it gains enough votes (to prove the issue is legitimate), it will remain on the tracker until it is closed. This is the “confirmed” state. Confirmed issues are investigated by our QA team, and if they are confirmed internally, they enter the “acknowledged” state. From there issues are further investigated, prioritised, and worked on by our QA and development teams.

Why is this important? In this case, the issue of automated accounts (we’ll call it “botting” from here on) is one we’re fully aware of but is handled differently than “standard” issues like graphical bugs. Bot detection and account moderation is an ongoing effort, and while we know botting is a problem, it has not been processed on the Issue Tracker the same way a typical issue would be. Botting cannot be “reproduced and confirmed internally” like a typical bug and therefore has not entered the “acknowledged” state. For our Top 20 Issues Report, we gathered the issues list from those marked as “acknowledged” which is why it did not appear.

To show that we acknowledge botting as an issue, this will be marked as such on the tracker moving forwards. In the meantime, our continuous efforts to mitigate and punish botting will continue. We’re limited in our ability to share details on this progress as doing so can inform players who choose to bot on how they might avoid detection.

We hope this sheds some light on why the issue did not appear in the table. We welcome any questions and thank you as always for your support!

O7
Mitigating and punishing botting is fine but this has been done already for a while (right?) and it's clearly not enough. Frontier should acknowledge that while for a lot of players Elite is a game about exploring and taking screenshots, there's also a portion of the player base who mainly enjoy the competitive aspect of the game, be it supporting their BGS or Powerplay faction against others or just doing PvP.

Botting is still an issue, Powerplay is plainly abandoned, and the PvP aspect of the game haven't had a very much needed balance pass in years. Please Frontier, show us who see Elite as a competitive MMO some love.
 
To give some important context on how the Issue Tracker works, when an issue is submitted it remains in the system for a certain amount of time before expiring. During this time, if it gains enough votes (to prove the issue is legitimate), it will remain on the tracker until it is closed.

So issue reports that do not get enough votes and/or expire are not considered legitimate. Got it.
 
Really, i see nothing good coming from a visible voting system at least.
I see two things: One, it allows the player community to have a measure of collective agency in telling FDev what it thinks the most important issues are, which helps them feel like they've actually done something to see the game improved. Two, FDev ranking and updating the status of these issues, as well as providing feedback about their status to the community via Supercruise News/these forums, allows players to see that an issue is being acknowledged and is moving.

For example, my personal bugbear on that list is the 32 button controller limit, because that directly affects me. Seeing FDev acknowledging that issue in their top 20 tells me that a lot of other players also have that problem, and that FDev has seen it. Seeing the issue (slowly) moving through the process from acknowledgement to investigation tells me that, even if it is not able to be fixed, that FDev at least is looking at it as a problem.

Without the issue tracker in place, all I'd really have to go on is a nebulous sense of "this is broken and I hope they fix it someday". And my only recourse besides that would be to pester them with support tickets about it, which nobody wants.
 
I see two things: One, it allows the player community to have a measure of collective agency in telling FDev what it thinks the most important issues are, which helps them feel like they've actually done something to see the game improved. Two, FDev ranking and updating the status of these issues, as well as providing feedback about their status to the community via Supercruise News/these forums, allows players to see that an issue is being acknowledged and is moving.

For example, my personal bugbear on that list is the 32 button controller limit, because that directly affects me. Seeing FDev acknowledging that issue in their top 20 tells me that a lot of other players also have that problem, and that FDev has seen it. Seeing the issue (slowly) moving through the process from acknowledgement to investigation tells me that, even if it is not able to be fixed, that FDev at least is looking at it as a problem.

Without the issue tracker in place, all I'd really have to go on is a nebulous sense of "this is broken and I hope they fix it someday". And my only recourse besides that would be to pester them with support tickets about it, which nobody wants.
But if I recall FD on the previous stream talked about the 32 button issue. This was ignored and people took umbrage.
 
But if I recall FD on the previous stream talked about the 32 button issue. This was ignored and people took umbrage.
They stated on the previous stream that they acknowledged it as an issue but were not currently investigating, because there were bigger issues to deal with at the moment. Which is fair, and not really ignoring the problem, just being honest about what their priorities are. It's also fair for people to push them to make it a priority, which is part of why the issue tracker exists.
 
They stated on the previous stream that they acknowledged it as an issue but were not currently investigating, because there were bigger issues to deal with at the moment. Which is fair, and not really ignoring the problem, just being honest about what their priorities are. It's also fair for people to push them to make it a priority, which is part of why the issue tracker exists.
But they acknowledged it- here is was totally blanked. There is a big difference.
 
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