- 2 years, 6 months ago
Rovio just banned/deleted quite a lot of players from the final results list of the just finished ME Boot Camp season.
This banning may (or may not) be justified in the single case, BUT: The final results list still contains a lot of players with minimal star rank and maxed out flock power, which clearly indicates that these players have cheated or have taken advantage of (well known) exploits in one or the other way at same (earlier) stage!
Apart from that: Why did Rovio wait until the very end of this event, before they started this massive banning? It seems very unlikely that Rovio identified all these ‘cheaters’ only within the last 24 hours. Could it be, that Rovio wanted the ‘cheaters’ to stay in the top positions until the very end or the event and thereby motivate the ‘honest’ players to spend more of their (hard earned) gems to keep up with leading bunch?
To me, Rovio’s banning policy seems to be either totally random or totally arbitrary (or both). If they wish to have reliable customers, they need to be reliable too, especially in their banning policy.
From what I saw and heard since I started this thread one week ago, it seems that many players, that were banned by Rovio at the very end of first MEBC season had (only) applied the so-called ‚backup/restore‘ technique in the past (this technique was eliminated with the update early February 2018).
It is highly questionable, whether using this technique can be qualified as a ‚cheat‘ or ‚exploit‘ of the game, because that would conceptually require taking advantage of either an error or unintended malfunction of the program (cheat) or taking advantage of an unintended weakness of the programming (exploit), which obviously does not apply in this case, since Rovio had decided to program this app in way that it also makes use of the storage of the end user’s device (probably to save capacity on their own servers) and therefore must have always been aware and have deliberately taken into account, that any game content being stored on the end user’s device would/could be subject to a restoring (to an earlier state) of that device. You can hardly call this an ‚unintended‘ weakness (or malfunction) of the programming, but rather need to call this a ‚calculated or (at least) consciously accepted‘ weakness of the programming of this app.
Whatever one may think of this technique in legal terms, one thing is very obvious (and should also have been obvious to Rovio): Anyone who took the effort to (repeatedly) run through a backup and restore process of his device just in order to speed up his progress in this game, must be (or have been) a dedicated/addicted player of AB 2. So, one should think that Rovio – with the backup/restore technique finally eliminated – would be happy to see all (or at least many of) these dedicated/addicted players become (sooner or later) ‚normal‘ – paying – costumers of Rovio (again).
But NO: Rovio decided to ban these players (or at least those, who may have been to slow in resuming to make payments to Rovio again) at a moment, when they could do no more ‚harm‘, and thereby missed a good chance of (re)increasing their base of paying customers.
Maybe Rovio follow the principle ‚Once a cheater, always a cheater‘, BUT: There is quite a difference between applying a technique in gameplay, which cannot be clearly qualified as a cheat (or exploit), and using a hack or any other method, that is clearly illegal.
Another possible explanation for that – I believe unwise – decision by Rovio may have been their urgent need to give some sign/prove of determined dealing with cheaters to their (other) customers (Look here: We are actually catching and banning cheaters!), BUT: It is quite obvious to everyone that the (true) cheating and hacking merrily goes one (just look at MEBC!) – with Rovio seemingly helpless in defending the integrity of this game.
The chances that anyone who has been banned and remains banned on such questionable grounds will simply open a new account and start to play this game all over again, seem to be pretty low.
To sum this up: Rovio’s recent banning campaign against players, that have applied the (now gone) backup/restore-technique in the past, but have evidently been playing this game with great dedication and would therefore very likely go on playing this game as ‚normal‘ (paying) customers, appears not only questionable from a legal point of view, but also counter-productive to Rovio’s naturally given desire to increase their customer base.
Maybe it’s not to late yet for Rovio to review their decision!
I think the backup restore is clearly an exploit. Intentionally seeking it out to use again and again for benefits outside of intended gameplay is exploiting the system and cheating. How it should be handled could be up for discussion but these people chose to make gains in an unfair manner. Leaving them as is would continue to make it hard for legit players to score well in the Bootcamp, now just need to find a way to keep clearing up the Bootcamp and getting those banned to stay banned or start new accounts. They could have closed the exploits a lot earlier yes, worked more on securing their data, but it is still the players choice how they act.
I’m personally more in favour of reseting their values to below exploiting levels, though that can be difficult they could reset them to the level of the average legit player or some predefined level.
DisAB.ed Thanks for this post because it’s spot on for me. I had used that exploit in the past. When the new update happened one of the devices that I play on only had a few gems I think 69 to be exact but the other device had well over 92000 gems on it that I had saved since the game came out. After the update it took the larger amount of gems on that device away so I sent a ticket to rovio and low and behold they restored the gems back to that device with a warning that after looking through my gaming profile that I had opened over a thousand legendary chests and not to exploit the game.
After the update I’m thinking this will put everybody on the same playing field now. The next day when I opened the game I was indeed Banned. After some correspondence with the same support guys they told me to create a new Facebook page and reinstall the app and give them the new gaming ID and they would restore my purchase, but they couldn’t help me get my old game back.
After thinking it over for a few days I chose not to reinstall the game. I had been playing religiously for three and a half years. I have been through a lot of ups and downs with rovio and to be treated as a malicious cheater was a complete insult. Rovio should be reported to the consumer protection agency for the things that they do to manipulate the average user into spending money.
The Tower of Fortune might as well be a slot machine in a virtual casino. They are also obviously manipulating the outcome of certain games so we have to spend money to be successful, which takes away the game of skill. And finally something that I have complained about for years is on the chests page, if you accidentally hit one of the 80 or 900 gem chests it does not give you a confirmation of purchase so that you can say no one last time before you are charged. That is also intentional.
I say, who are the real cheaters Rovio, when you treat your customers in such away.
@Davetv and @Disab.ed
“who are the real cheaters?”
You. You really are. You might try sophistry, but you definitely are. This “backup restore” or whatever is clearly not an intended feature of the game. You have clearly been getting a massive advantage over others by exploiting it. And now that this has been “fixed” you are NOT on the same playing field, because you’ve already banked that massive advantage. Cry me a river.
Do I think the “banning” approach is too heavy handed? Yes. Instead, Rovio should have simply set your gems, BPs and hats to zero along with a warning. But are you morally superior to someone who’s hacked the code to get the same advantages you did? Not at all.
Think of it this way if there is a flaw with an ATM and it keeps giving you double money withdrawn by typing in certain keys, and you keep going and doing it over and over, would you get in trouble? Of course, otherwise you’d be expected to report the flaw or not use it, to seek it out and abuse it is cheating the system, getting money for free. Same end result as hitting it with a crowbar. Yes you can blame the makers for leaving the flaw in but it is also you who sought it out. Two wrongs don’t make a right, simply because they have bad programming doesn’t mean it’s not cheating to abuse that.
I respect your different view on this topic, but It is neither you nor me, who decide what is to be considered as an exploit of this game. It is up to Rovio – but unfortunately they remain absolutely silent (Finnish style?) and don‘t offer any guidance (before-hand) or support/explanation (after having banned a customer) in this respect.
As long as Rovio refrain from giving such guidance, there will always remain a risk for both sides, a risk for Rovio’, that their customers take a different view on what is allowed and not allowed in this game, and a risk for Rovio‘s customers, that they get punished/banned for reasons, that have never been and never will get explained to them.
In my view, it is Rovio‘s responsability to establish a customer relation that is not dominated by uncertainty and distrust!
I agree their handling could be better. When they give a temp ban or perm and tell you to make a new account but almost never tell you what you did, how are you supposed to avoid doing it again? A lot of people don’t realize what they did wrong and Rovio won’t say, I think because they are worried the player will seek out a different work around.
But like a police officer stops you, they tell you why, you were speeding, tail lights are out, something. So you know what not to do and fix it.
@rippiggies The back up and restore glitch was reported at least two years ago. Why was it not corrected immediately? As for my “huge advantage”, as soon as an update came out there were players who’s FP & hats were immediately maxed out. My view was that they had the advantage and I wanted to be able to compete with them instead of being rolled over with no chance. Rovio new about it and did nothing for over two years. To me they have cheated everyone who has played and paid for this game. I originally spent hundreds of dollars trying to compete with the so called cheaters and then I decided what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. By the way it’s not a game of skill. You can purchase your way to the top if you have enough money to do so. From what I’m reading the “cheaters” are still playing away as usual. I can’t justify getting back into a game that is and it seems will always be riddled with cheating.
I definitely prefer the policeman situation: There is a full set of explicit (and well-known) rules behind his actions …. and the meaning of terms such as ‘speeding’ (in contrast to terms like ‘exploit’ in the context of a gaming app) is absolutely clear to me. In addition, I have the opportunity to speak to the policeman before the ticket gets issued, and/or to complain about him and/or his ticket afterwards.
This all does not apply for Rovio resp. their game. It rather feels like living in a tyrant state: You wake up one morning and find yourself banned and exiled. No more word about it!
Are you saying you “weren’t sure” you were cheating? You just “didn’t know”?
A couple of things about that backup and restore exploit, and yes I will call it that. I did not seek it out, it was discovered by accident and would not have ben discovered, at least not by me, if Rovio hadn’t made a mess of the Easter update a couple of years ago. As far as I know nobody else, at least not here, had discovered it. It was immediately reported and kept quiet.
I let it go through a few updates, and kept contacting Rovio about it. It wasn’t until Rovio finally just blew me off that I started advertising it, and even then it still took over a year for them to do anything about it.
The bannings are simply wrong. It is one thing to download a hack program, another to use exploits tat have been reported and given plenty of time and opportunity to fix. What is worse is that if a player gets banned during a battle Rovio wil kick them from the clan, no choice for the leader or co-leaders. I still think that is an abuse of the Report button.
I will side with DisAB.ed on this issue.
I think kicking them from the clan is a perfect deterrent to leaders to make sure their players are legit, give players less and less places to hide. It’s one thing to have a glitch happen accidentally to you, but to seek it out over and over is exploiting it, them not fixing it is not a reason not to keep ignoring it. Making it public to put pressure on them to deal with it I can see, but using it yourself is your choice still. If it happens a few times, accidents happen, but when these players use it to open thousands of chests there is clearly nothing honest about it. Sure Rovio could have done more, but the players also could have just not sought it out again and again.
@rippiggies By the way I’m sure you know that just because you are banned does not mean you can’t play the game and make purchases. You just can’t play the clan events or MEBC. Oh! And at the end of a streak you still get the advertisement that for $49.99 you can get X amount of gems, feathers, etc. So I can still spend my money with rovio but I can only have limited access to the game. Is that an ethical business practice in your mind?
I’m under the impression from other comments that I’ve read that you may work for rovio. You have been on the angry birds nest threads for awhile now. You should have been reporting all of the chatter about exploits for awhile now. Do you have any thoughts to share on what took them so long to close the exploits that have been known for years?
In my opinion rovio was the creator of the “Cheating” environment that they are dealing with today. There is no way anyone will ever convince me that they didn’t know what was going on & so that’s why they kept creating the unreachable legendary hats etc. I remember a time in the game where I was always out matched in FP and would have to bring in spells to have a chance at winning. Low and behold by having the max FP meant I would be evenly matched with my opponent. Then if they brought spells I would bring spells to match. But when you intentionally match players over & over against each other that are not equal you have now created an unfair advantage. That causes animosity because it makes the player feel like they have to spend money to compete.
If I’m at max FP what ever that is at the time of the last update I was not getting placed with opponents who were way under me. They were always equal or maybe 2 or 3 points below me. But there were some instances where you would get that opponent who was 100 FP below you and you knew to take in all of your spells because that opponent was going to have the game of their lives and even with all your spells you would get beat by whatever margin and if you got the free video it gave you a useless bird anyway. Also when playing the cosiderably lower opponents your birds would not do the normal damage that was expected. At that point after it has happened hundreds of times over the years and is still happening the same today it becomes pretty obvious that the game was manipulated to force you to spend gems(money) to keep your progress.
How many times have you seen comments on these threads about rovio being a greedy money grabbing corporation? Again my point is when you create an environment by allowing an exploit to continue for years and you manipulate the outcome of games you have created a hostile environment.
The problem started with the way rovio conducted themselves a long time ago and is conducting themselves now.
Many of the members of my clan that got banned and kicked were not using it, Ryan. They had been playing the game since it came out and earned decent flock powers. It only happened while playing one battle with my clan, but I have heard it happening to other clans in other battles, honest players getting banned and kicked. People that played and played and spent quite a bit of real money on this game.
@captsternn I wonder what happened to the clan that I created? I did not get banned because of the report button. I got banned because when they did the last update I had a customer service issue over lost gems and “after looking at my game data they determined that I had opened too many legendary chests. And trust me I spent plenty of money in the the early days playing this game.
Your clan is probably nothing more than a shell now, Dave. I imagine the members started leaving once your bird was banned. If you didn’t have any co-leaders nobody would have been allowed to accept new members. Unless maybe it was an open clan, then I don’t know. Still probably just a shell though without a real leader position.
I have three devices and play three different birds. Sometimes I would petition to join a clan we had played to check them out, nothing sinister. I came across one that put up a good fight, and a week later it was just a banned leader with two co-leaders. I stayed a day and then one of the co-leaders left, so I bailed.
I’m not sure what other comments have made you think I work for Rovio. Rest assured I have nothing to do with them, other than being an AB player. My view on this issue is that you can both be wrong – just because Rovio have been (inexplicably!) foolish, doesn’t somehow mean you weren’t cheating.
I agree that Rovio has directly contributed to the cheating environment. Not fixing exploits they were told about; not communicating clearly on what they saw in terms of cheating; not sending messages about plans to crack down that might have reduced cheating; setting up the game mechanics in way that quite directly encourages people to cheat etc. I also empathise with those who DID choose to cheat. I would have been tempted, but basically a bit too lazy and not competitive minded enough to bother. For a brief couple of weeks a long time ago I was even maxed out on bird card levels! Now I have just a bit over 500 FP by the way, so a massively long way from being maxed out. I figured there would always be people cheating better than me, so without heaps of work I was never going to be top of the top anyway. For most game play, it also didn’t seem to matter – no impact on trail levels and arena provided fairish match ups anyway, so why bother. Of course, that’s changed and CVC as well as MEBC provide massive advantages now. The arena is a joke, where I regularly get opponents with infinite spells and +100 FP. Clearly set up for you to fail. Presumably, if you’re maxed out it’s a lot harder for the arena to match you with impossible opponents, but I’m sure they manage. And yes, I’ve also experienced the miracles of a lower FP opponent having a perfect run and getting 7 million per bird / room. Am I annoyed that Rovio has manipulated the game in these ways? Sure. I’m also realistic enough to realise they HAVE to be “money grubbing”.
So for your own reasons, you decided you WOULD cheat. Fine. You can justify it however you want – and as per above I can understand why you did – but that doesn’t change the fact that you did. If you’ve now been banned, well, that’s the consequence.
Rovio’s being really silly with this banning business, but it is their choice. It’s incredible how easily many cheats have clearly evaded and avoided the bans – so I again empathise with your frustration; you’ve been picked on and other more “blatant” and “worse” cheaters have got away with it. Rovio should have:
– announced crack downs a long time ago, to warn players off exploits
– developed much better algorithms to identify cheats
– for a first offence, removed all the loot from players
– changed features in the game to NOT reward and incentivise cheating
There are so many complaints in the various angrybirds forums about how Rovio is cleaning up cheats, it is evident that they are also taking advantage of cleaning up a maximum number of honest players, but that they have a level where they no longer need to go through the box to buy gems, which makes them a bad business for Rovio.
In any case, there are already players who have brought together and submitted all together a complaint to the committee which is responsible for regulating the payment games within the EU to Brussels. From what I have been able to read, many of them have presented as evidence, videos and screenshot, which clearly demonstrate how the game cheats in order to force the player to use more gems.
On the other hand, gambling constantly advertises casino games, something absolutely forbidden in games open to minors. In addition, according to comments in other forums, Rovio’s regulations are not in accordance with European regulations. Among them, the fact of being a paid game, a player cannot be sent off without prior notice or clear explanation.
Rovio’s behavior towards his players is very similar to that of a casino slot machine, with the difference that they do not have the license to act as if they were illegal without respecting any of the rules imposed on casinos by law.
In an honest game, there are no cheaters.
“In an honest game, there are no cheaters”, you claim. I think you’re suggesting people are only cheating because Rovio is crooked. What utter rubbish. You clearly know nothing about (e.g.) poker, bridge, backgammon, mafia wars…
People have cheated because they wanted to get ahead. All this hand-wringing about “but Rovio made me do it” is just BS.
I think it’s funny that there is now a sudden upsurge in complaints – oh no, they’re advertising gambling; oh no, Rovio needs to make money. Just because some cheaters have now been banned. And, of course, they’ve only been banned from the social aspects such as clans – i.e. technically still able to play.
What a bunch of whiners and conspiracy theorists. The game defies the laws of physics sometime? Well gosh, how could that possibly be. I can see how the warm glow of smug satisfaction for these cheat-whiners will be just perfect if they can make Rovio bankrupt. Now, that really WOULD ruin the game…
Yes if anything they should be happy they are only banned from the multipler aspects of the game, they can still play on otherwise. Yet they complain about that even. That would be best solution, thry can still play if they actually enjoy the game and not just being top bird and besting everyone. That need to be #1 or not try.
Forgive me, but the complaints don’t come from now, it’s been a long time since people have complained about Rovio’s bad practices, the cheats and the meaningless way in which they eliminate players. And the banned is total, not partial.
I insist, if Rovio didn’t do the cheating he does, there wouldn’t be the cheaters that exist today and I’m not defending them.
How many times have I seen my children (who are the ones who play) cry helplessly to see that after winning by a comfortable advantage, in the last stage their birds make a ridiculous score, making them lose their advantage and their opponent take a huge advance using a single bird, which normally is not able to destroy three towers arranged in different levels on its own. If that’s not cheating is what?.
What do the kids have left in their heads? That cheating is normal.
What your kids are seeing, juan-luis, is that the other player watched a free vid bird and then probably bought continues. Sometimes, that’s just what you’re matched up against. It’s super annoying at the time, but hey, part of the game.
You can insist the sky is green and that people wouldn’t cheat if Rovio didn’t “cheat”. Your claim is delusional and ridiculous – there are always those who want to cheat and find ways to cheat, no matter what the game is. Your insistence suggests you’re completely unfamiliar with centuries and millenia of history, games and human nature…
@rippiggies @ryan-kochie Keep spending your money and defending the actions of a corporation that in all reality is a sinking ship. The only ones left that are really cheating are the hackers. Hide and watch the game get even worse now. It’s ashamed that they didn’t get out in front of the issues sooner.
I have treated you with respect and it is not you who will teach me what games have been in the course of history, do not be presumptuous.
That Rovio is eliminating once and for all the cheaters, who otherwise have been good years without being disturbed, we all agree. I don’t agree with the cleaners taking honest players.
For you to defend Rovio, it is your full right, as I am in mine to criticize him if I consider it so. And especially when it turns the game into a trick for the player.
I give you some examples of how right this game is,
From the moment you buy gems, for Rovio you have become a captive client, from that moment on, your score changes, no matter how well you play, your birds do not achieve the score they previously achieved, so you have to spend gems to finish.
Likewise, if you have been lucky enough to accumulate more than 3000 gems, you must spend them anyway, so your score is penalized.
In the Arena, your opponent always spends the first four stages of each floor, only using a single bird and achieving a score much higher than yours.
Your opponent will always get extra birds, even if your score is ridiculously low.
Your opponent’s birds can break all kinds of obstacles, your birds each have a specialty, e. g. blue can’t break rocks or wood, only ice, like Chuck can’t break ice or stone, and so on.
What about playing the tower, a pig will necessarily come out on the 12th floor, 16,21,27,29 and so on until you reach 60, cost? 1800 gems minimum, prize?: really ridiculous.
It’s true, that no one makes us play, but it’s not easy to give a child reasons why he shouldn’t play this game.
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