Dear VDS Community,
We appreciate that there are those of you in the community who are maintaining support to those who have recently been banned. As we've replied to some in their comments, please know it's our responsibility to follow through with our promise to you to maintain a secure playing environment.
So it is that over the months we've been accumulating and investigating data on all flagged accounts. A Flagged Account is any player account that has tripped our internal security measures. Once flagged, all gameplay activity on the account immediately undergoes recording.
The recording process accumulates the account's data, which we (and only we) developers then manually review. Part of the review process is to ensure that there are not any bugs present that could result in the data findings.
While the data that is recorded is quite large, the process itself is fairly simple: We account for all ingame actions which cannot be enacted by human interaction with the game.
Our senior programmer, who specializes in software security, has assured that there is no way that a player can trip our security measures via normal gameplay. While each case in our recent ban wave remains individual, this is not a consideration of a one or two time security trip.
This is also not a situation of someone being 'too fast', 'too good', poor coding on our behalf, or any other conspiracy theory currently floating around out there. This is a consideration of high-volume, continuous security trips happening over a great span of time.
From our data-only perspective, the evidence is undeniable and as such we are obligated to follow through with bans.
We're sure many of the people of whom you're supporting are wonderful personalities in our social community, but an important part of our job is to keep the game secure. We cannot rely on the merits of an account-holder's personality to define the final decision on an account—rather we must rely on the objectivity of the actual data.
We can't think of a time when a ban wave such as this isn't as unfortunate as it is shocking. We hate it. It's our least favorite part of our jobs. It's a very difficult thing for us to follow through with, and it becomes even more difficult when the community reels at it happening. However, until we can find a better alternative method for dealing with automated, scripted, or other methods of unfair gameplay, bannings are the best we can do.
While we would love to offer the data gathered on these accounts and explain it as obviously as we see it, we're unfortunately in a position where we're unable to discuss our security protocols with the public. Doing so would only compromise the immense amount of work we've put into it. There is also the issue of player privacy, which we hold in as high regard as we do security.
Going forward we intend to continue to actively investigate all flagged accounts and treat them accordingly, by the results of the data.
On a related topic, we were disheartened to learn that there are some in our community who are now fearful of losing their accounts. We'd like to assure you that the decisions made on these bannings were thoroughly investigated and deliberated on, and are specific to those accounts.
There is no 'phantom bug' lurking in the game that might flag your account. Provided you're interacting with the game as you normally would, you should remain confident in playing with us.
We hope that after some time you see that your gameplay environment has become improved, and we can continue to grow the Darkside together.
Thanks from all of us,
—The VDS Dev team
Dear VDS Community,