Ten Designs against Bots (NBP)
We consider that all blockchain games should publish their "NBP", meaning their "No-Bot Policy" (or, when they want to support bots, their "FBP" for their "Favored Bot Policy") and detail how their design actually works against bots, and for the same reason, against advantages to multiaccounts. This is a strong point. Bots and multiaccounts can scale and destroy an economy and make players and investors "victims" of a bot and a minting scheme, turning a game into a ponzi situation with many players left behind. The differences between bots and regular players is that bots are based on scalable and multipliable exploitative power, meaning they will identify a position to exploit and scale on it, multiplying this exploitation until the economy can no longer sustain it. ARE BOTS THE SAME AS PLAYER GROWTH? For a simple game one could argue that player growth is identical to bots, considering there is no diversity in how a user interacts with the game itself. For regular games now, there are very different behaviors and market behaviors as well, with bots extracting the maximum value and "making an input" of the minimal amounts whereas players can be swayed in more versatility, opinions and tactics. Player growth can scale on an issue too, but must use different players to do that, different human persons with their own wallets and time frames and allowed time to play, and who can all be easily recruited into other sectors of gameplay or pushed into more activities just like all regular players are. This means someone with less available time and more wallet power could use our staking gameplay, whereas someone with more available time could launch more games. The different growth trajectory between player growth and bots will not be discussed further in this article, though an interesting topic, to focus on our NBP below. OUR NBP (No-Bot Policy) In many games there could be regular technical points (such as detecting bots on server or filtering activity by IP). You may trust these points for their pretended effectiveness. We think these technical points are extremely important, but could easily misinterpret situations (such as mixing up a family for multiaccounts) and target innocent players, and act also as intrusive methods. In addition, we have observed many games where the developer stance about it actually fails to address bot farms. Usually when you see that the game users scale a lot with no market activity, this could mean it does not work. That is the reason why a NBP is required to explain how a game also naturally works against bots. This means that in addition to regular technical points, or even a FAQ or an announcement mentioning where the developer or publisher stands, there are also natural things that make the game solid. EXODE is one of the very few blockchain games at the moment to actually ensure a no-bot policy thanks to its core design. We hope that this will be a model in games to come, for any game where their economy could be thought as vulnerable to bots (there could be games where bots are contributive and we also encourage that). This inspired us to suggest this "NBP" normalization where games have to put a page explaining how their design really works against bots. Games which would like to favor bots and use them as a contributive power, could instead post their "FBP" for their Favorable Bot Policy. To speak again about EXODE, in order to propose a fair environment to players and a sustainable economy, EXODE has been designed with core features against bots and multiaccounts. There are some understandable, human-readable design rules, which make the game not quite interesting or valuable to bot ; some of which are detailed below. Against multiaccounts: (1) EXODE accounts are not created empty and for free ; they are created when you purchase a starter. (2) EXODE does not give any special advantage and incentive to play multiaccounts. Referral bonuses are bound to account, which means they cannot be sold to other players. EXODE also allows multiple games launched from one same account, and will even encourage this with multigames bonuses and evacuation fleets bonuses when used from same account. This means that for all purposes, playing from one account is the method preferred. Against bots: (3) The first valuation of EXODE happens on the ownership part. These are your collection cards. They are located aside from the game part. Their value cannot be touched by bots. The game world generates assets which are different from the collection cards, and which can then be sold on a separate market called "the colony market". This means that games played can affect the colony market, and mint new items there from games played, but not your collection value. This is as if your collection controls the minting power, but is not affected negatively by the value of what will be minted, because they can't "mint collection cards" easily. The rule of supply means your collection cards are in demand. (4) When entering the game, you will notice EXODE is not a "direct minting game" but a game where you make many decisions depending on your current dynamic situation. Bots are more profitable with direct minting games where a single click or broadcast are required to make to get an output, instead of this. (5) EXODE is separated into several game scenes, each working differently and with different interface and goals. In the first scene, Evacuation, you can't actually do anything more than having a fully loaded ship ; and this fully loaded ship can't be sold into anything at that moment. Even if bots could work in evacuation, they will have to get to further scenes to actually find anything to exploit and sell. This considerably reduces the incentives for bots which must get even further to even extract any value. In addition, any new game requires an Origin card, a Ship, but also crew members cards. The bot investment to get any game running and selling is really present, which should be factored in points #6 to #9 below. These situations mean that EXODE is really not the favored option for bots. (6) EXODE next scenes, such as Colonization, involve dynamic situations with action reports and decisions to make regarding a lot of possible events, and even dialogue to read. This is not the usual playground for bots, as they will have to understand natural language or pick decisions blindly... until their colony dies! . (7) If a bot survives some events by luck or by reading natural language, he will still have to survive many planetary dangers, but also famine, disease, lack of energy, rebellion, and aliens, and diverse causes related to his unique planet. Aliens are also here to actually put games in danger and destroy colonies which cannot be stealthy, thus destroying bot games easily. (8) All players who evacuate receive a unique planet, and can land with their ship and cargo and receive generated assets, called 'colony assets'. But then they have to unlock "trading license" for the generated content. This trading license is unlocked with surviving, picking the right decisions, and researching and collecting the proper wildlife and vegetation. Having to read dialogue and make decisions (#6) and having to survive diverse and unique dangers (#7) is even more problematic, because you can only extract value after successfully unlocking a trading license, which is a longterm objective. (9) If a game survives evacuation and colonization, it will then produce assets, but the colony market evolves dynamically from player needs. Making a new productive colony takes many days and may require to change what you produce, whereas you can't decide on what your planet gives. This means you can't exploit a given situation immediately, as your plan is opposed to the unique conditions on your planet, and the dynamic changes the market had until you come to mature production. For a bot, this means the exploitation it aims at may actually no longer be available on the colony matures. The dynamic market means even when making bots working toward a longterm objective, that objective may have changed at any time, jeopardizing any artificial intelligence programmed before. (10) EXODE developers are well versed in the knowledge of bot programmation. They have an active policy against bots and against exploits and will deploy: - baits (code which invites bot programmers to dare try some stuff), - direct bans (permanent bans of accounts and assets when someone is detected), - 'wall of shame' (mentioning detected bot accounts on public pages). - in some cases, we will also share these account names to other game holders . Please note that we may freeze accounts and assets without warning whenever we detect bot activity! However, contrary to other games, our design will protect against most bot attempts, meaning players should not be targeted by an account freeze by mistake. Also rest assured that player support will be there in case you feel something has been wrong; you should not be worried if you play a normal game and don't use multiaccounts or bot programs.