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Community Response on Recent Bans

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 accountrather 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






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Comments

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    You're full of it! I play from my phone how the hell to I run an automation .... I can't win a one on one fight with a live player at all . this was unjust and utter bullshit!

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    You're full of it! I play from my phone how the hell to I run an automation .... I can't win a one on one fight with a live player at all . this was unjust and utter bullshit!

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    You're full of it! I play from my phone how the hell to I run an automation .... I can't win a one on one fight with a live player at all . this was unjust and utter bullshit!

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    You're full of it! I play from my phone how the hell to I run an automation .... I can't win a one on one fight with a live player at all . this was unjust and utter bullshit!

  • Avatar
    Penelope307

    Im scared to play....

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    I further add that I am insulted humiliated , again I stress I play from my Damn cell phone and go in through the browesr please tell me where they have such apps for that.

  • Avatar
    Evil Alias

    Why are there so many freeze-ups, boot out's and captcha's suddenly appearing? Is this an app-wide situation or am I currently monitored account? I give my permission for you to answer this question directly; without concern for my security and privacy.

  • Avatar
    Pam Van Weelden

    Y'all need to stop smoking crack & get back to working on the game.....Seriously.....How about finishing the prowling feature, instead of illogically & without reason banning people.

  • Avatar
    Tamara Williams

    Don't be scared to play. Refuse to play. Here is the thing, they probably won't ban you. But I can promise you that if you work hard to build a successful vamp without spending 10,000 dollars they will come up with some new way to trip up the people who have surmounted the road blocks put in place to cripple the last batch of free play pack leaders.

    Their excuse usually sounds something like, we thought you would like a challenge!! Which if that was really their plan, how about new content?? No I don't mean just promising, but delivering. Oh yes you want to make prowling better before you release it. Hey ding bats! If you put it out there bare bones, you could keep adding to it and then give us *GASP* more content on a regular basis. Once again, your lack of foresight is showing. But then you are probably too busy thinking of ways to force players to spend more money to be successful, so it's unlikely you've done anything but made a few pictures anyhow.

  • Avatar
    Cerise

    Hi, Evil Alias. Thanks for your question! We've been told that the tracking systems do not incur unstable gameplay in any way. No changes have been made to the game in regards to captchas. You shouldn't be being ejected from the game. We would recommend that you please open a new ticket for tech support and explain your technical issues, and an agent should be able to help!

  • Avatar
    Evil Alias

    It's okay, I'll probably be removing this app since it is so unreliable. And, the developers choose to insult the gamer's that were banned and then, the people who dare question it.

    Edited by Evil Alias
  • Avatar
    Samantha Jane Sale

    I spoke to one payer who was on a smoke break and playing on her phone whilst logged in on the computer indoors, did your 'data collection' allow for anything like this or for the fact that some players just don't sleep and play your game through their insomnia and that is how they rack up such great numbers NOT by cheating? The rest of us probably look super slow in comparison because we are over our days of playing relentlessly and got bored shitless waiting for prowling *sighs*

  • Avatar
    rozena davis

    Sorry to tell you but your methods ARE flawed. The process needs reviewed. It is without a DOUBT compromised. I have never used automation ever. Your review seems to show I have. Your review was incorrect. Please have your professionals recheck all this information. It is important to all the players (not just us banned players) to know the integrity of game is intact

  • Avatar
    Eric Northman

    While I cannot comment either way on these developments I do have another comment and a question.
    Comment:
    It appears there are quite a few missing from being banned for obvious automation, so I hope you still are reviewing
    My question :
    I believe gaming mice are allowed in game? If so are all kinda or certain ones? Seems they give an unfair advantage if some don't use them or are playing by device.

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    @evil alias
    Dont believe them cuzz I got the same thing a nd now I'm banned. I play from a freaking cell phone I didn't even know what automation was until I was accused of it

  • Avatar
    Allyson Billiel

    To the devs..Rozena Davis and Mandi Chamberlain are both super fast players...have them play...if they set something off...ask them what they are doing at that moment..it might give you information that can be fixed on either your end or theirs ..If this has been going on for months..it is something that the game is allowing them to do

  • Avatar
    Tamara Williams

    @ Eric
    Gaming mice give advantage just like having a better computer or a faster internet connection. The only thing unfair one can do with a gaming mouse can also be done with a computer. Automation programs are the cheat, not the physical equipment.

    Edited by Tamara Williams
  • Avatar
    Rachael Lopez Talavera

    To the Devs I agree with Rozena Davis I have had her & Mandi Chamberlain in gaming for a very long time agree they are both fast players & can not see them using automation. What is considered automation at what speed in hitting another player by clicking so fast, self claiming or hit listing is considered in your software to be automation? We hope to see a resolution & reinstating all the players you banned a few days ago. This by far is creating many players not wanting to play the game anymore very sad!

  • Avatar
    Daryl Habbershaw

    So Devs you should ban everyone for this automation program they are referring to, because every player was born with it. Its called great eye to hand coordination and a damn quick finger, some are way better at it then others is all I see !!!!! Ive played this game for 6 yrs and have had my share of battles,some not so pretty :(,,,but you have made a mockery of the game now with this so called automation BS...Why not have a CHALLENGE with your best player or even the one in charge of this so called programmer ,,I bet you would see things different,,, I bet none of you could keep up with these players !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW ABOUT IT ???

    Edited by Daryl Habbershaw
  • Avatar
    Twistedsista7

    "A Flagged Account is any player account that has tripped our internal security measures" ~ do your *internal security measures* include reports by players about other players....? ...a simple yes or no will suffice...

    "...over the months we've been accumulating and investigating data on all flagged accounts..." ...why would u wait so long? why not suspend the player immediately after a week or so of *collecting your evidence* so that you could discuss specifics with them?...

    "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..." ...is this the same senior programmer who during the previous *group banning" later admitted there were problems with the software?

    "On a related topic, we were disheartened to learn that there are some in our community who are now fearful of losing their accounts..." excuse me, but what did u think would happen...we play with some of these players daily, day after day, for hours on end...we watch stats...and WE DO KNOW ~ they aren't using automation...on the other hand, i sure notice vamps who do use it, however, weren't banned...so much for *internal security measures...guess ur system doesn't detect people who can list 6 people at the same exact time...hmmm ~ kinda makes me wonder...

    And i pretty much have to agree with Tamara Williams....*that if you work hard to build a successful vamp without spending 10,000 dollars they will come up with some new way to trip up the people who have surmounted the road blocks put in place to cripple the last batch of free play pack leaders..."

    I'm quite aware that in the current gaming world, there is an extensive problem with automation(s)...you're the devs...you have the right to ban anyone from your gamez...guess i just would have expected more respect towardz playerz instead of the way it waz handled...

    Thx for taking the time read this and possibly respond to a couple of the questions i have...

  • Avatar
    Trickiki

    It is shame , that those of us, who have played your game for a substantial length of time , can see the players that are actually using some kind of automation's , and have for some time , are actually still here in game, and you seem to think your security measures work correctly. Knowing one player on a personal level, who was banned, I am appauled at you for even thinking she is/was using automation. I cant speak for those I dont know, only those I do, and Rozena Davis is one of the most upstanding players you have and you should be honored ,by having her here and loving your game , as do a lot of us ! the honest thing to all of this is, if you dont get this problem resolved, you most likely will see an Exodus from your Game and I may be one at the front of the line !

  • Avatar
    Eddiewoodstock

    you can boast about your software and detection all you want,i no longer believe anything any of the so-called devs say ,you have fed us with so much BS when it comes to Prowling that it has become a joke ,the game is laughed at,we're laughed at,i have friends that say "you still play tnat stupid game ? your detection software is laughed at,your words carry no merit .you said the same EXACT thing last time and your stupid blunder did in fact cause 1 wrongfully banned player to attempt suicide.Those who know me know i speak truth and it was not shared with others at their request ,but i speak it here just to let each of who hide under the title dev,know that just because you say doesnt mean its true ,because your record sucks and you have totally screwed up before yopu called them cheaters ,treated them like shit when they contacted zendesk ,then after your blunder did not give them any compensation for missing 1 round of necroreaping.,you could not give those you treated so badly by you (devs) a virtual gift that would have cost you nothing? Its no wonder the game is dying and players are leaving ,its poor leadership at the highest level ,

  • Avatar
    ŦĪRЄ ЩØɱ₳Ɲ

    W0W! I'm shocked! I Don't play as much as I used to, in fact, it's rare that I play at all but what if I were to decide to play continuously all of a sudden, for like 3 months straight. Will I be flagged? Will I have to worry about triggering a trip security measure just because I was on one for a while?  Will I be banned because of a judgment call you made based on recorded data and not actual proof that I could be using an auto-program?  I don't know much about automation programs so these type of questions are my concerns.

    Edited by ŦĪRЄ ЩØɱ₳Ɲ
  • Avatar
    Keta

    Your staff seriously needs to review their skills. I know l never used automation in that game.

  • Avatar
    Pam Van Weelden

    More people? Really?? Y'all are off the sane train onto the crazy train....

  • Avatar
    Vaglia Davis

    So can someone tell me playing from a cell phone how do you implement automation?

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Brown

    You banned John Fish- all of VDS knows he's a lister. Your document here says you've been monitoring for months, and your "expert" says there is NO way anyone can "trip our security using normal game methods".
    Did your "expert" factor in people who do nothing but list? Every rage they have? I bet that answer is a fat NO.
    But,
    John hasn't played since the TEAM event. Please tell us how you've "monitored him for months", when he hasn't been here?

  • Avatar
    Tamara Williams

    He was just swimming below the radar Jen. They had their trusty automation detecting submarine on the case.

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Brown

    LOL Tamara- those darn submarines.
    Eric- you're hilarious. You've been reporting me for automation along with many others for a really long time. I use a cute little mini Logitech, it's purple. :3 Most importantly, it's WIRELESS. Best Buy 15.99!
    Because others are faster than you, doesn't mean anyone cheats. You play from a phone. How fast do you expect to be? :D

    John Fish.. cheater. LOLOLOLOL

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Brown

    Coming in 2017.....the all new.....even better...... unfinished Prowling! Get ready, Vampires! :D

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