Killing the Golden Goose

in Splinterlandslast year

Killing the Golden Goose

Obviously the moral of the story is, don't do it. You have all read it as a kid, so don't do it.



The premise of some of recent discussions at the mav chaneel is regarding human vs bot and how it is hurtful to the economy of the Splinterlands. There have been a lot of argument about how do we identify bot (not easy at code level), to how to nerf them (again not easy, depends on the good will of bot-maker), to how to make them less profitable. Splinterlands team have actively tried the last point over the years.

What people have often fail to recognize that the Splinterlands team has done significant efforts to flight against bots and improve manual play. CP, ECR, clipping bronze rewards are all examples. It’s just the other side can do magic too, and since they don’t have a game to run and only have to find exploits; they are faster than the team. But all those efforts have also hurt low level human players who are new to the game. It is rather difficult for them to climb of the novice to bronze to silver against highly optimized bots with ideal decks.

ECR also sometimes proven to me a challenge for Diamond-Champion league level human players. For example, this is thanksgiving week, and I have a lot of time on hand for the next 9 days, but my ECR is at 55%! I want to play now, but I can't too much!

This is something Simsahas#7958 said on the mav chat today. I am recording it as is, there is some editing needed but I am keeping it as is, so that you can appreciate how we often type on mav chat!

I know its not something new. But just today again it makes me pretty mad: I really hate this 50% ECR mechanism. It was meant to prevent bots from leeching the rewards pools. But in fact it keep players from playing the game. In my case - and I know its the same for many others - it leads to the situation that I am only playing every third day. And why is this? Solely due to the bots issue. And frankly speaking, I cannot hear this "we cant disallow bots because this is decentralized" agrument anymore. Its 100% nonsense. There is absolutely no connection between botting and decentrality. There are only three real reasons why bots are still allowed in SL: 1. During the hype they helped to provide incredible traffic allowing to prentend a massiv user base, 2. there is a fear that they have meanwhile become necessary to keep the game eco working and 3. no really effective efforts have been taken to find ways for differenciating between bots and humans (however 3. is rather a consequence from 1. and 2.).

This brings us back to the start: Instead of really facing and eliminating the bot issue, we had stupid stuff implemented like the ECR cap that prevents human players from playing - while bots just keep playing at exactely 50% 24/7. This is nothing else but ridiculous. And it is one of the major reasons why no new players join (or are leaving after a few days only) and why active player loosing the interest in the game. And yes, we are also in the middle of a bear market. But the bear market cant be held accountable for self-made problems. It just makes such problems worse.

Point of this is damn if you do, damn if you don't!

Policing is often not a solution. Solution need to come from moral ground from the bot makers. If bot makers for a second stop and think that exploits are actually hurting the game and helping their pocket book now, but won't do it in the long run.

Maybe don’t make the bots so strong!

This is your personal choice as a bot-maker. If you kill the golden goose, which is the community and game; and there won’t be any bot to run. It’s a deep thought actually, please think about it.


The Splinterlands


Bot makers aren't going to weaken their bots, it is an arms race. I have very, very little faith in people acting in the best interest of the ecosystem over their own short-term gains.

Oh yeah? In that case we have to do it for them :)

Remember how we stopped the vote selling as a community? We will do it again. Funny they are so busy optimizing that they don't have any stake. We do. I say I have a fighting chance at this arms race ;)

Remember how we stopped the vote selling as a community?

Too well.

The difference is that it was possible to stop them earning with the stake through DVs - not possible in SL.

Yes, but some of us now has deeper political roots and influence compared to back in 2018-19 in steem back then.

If we start a campaign, I say we will have a voice and a fighting chance. Deep bear market will be a great time to start as we will gather more stake and strength while they will leak capital :)

100% agree with this take Azircon. If the bot-makers really care about the health of the game, they need to make sure there is still a fun gaming environment available for the human players or the game will cave in under the pressure of all the automated accounts it has running.

Undue advantage of bots and draining the reward pool is not acceptable. They can stay and be used as needed if they are not used for farming or direct competition.

They can decide the change their way willing or be forced. We have done this before and will do it again.

It probably cost them next to nothing to deploy the bots, so they are perfectly okay for short-term profits over long-term sustainability.

Mostly yes. Once it’s created it’s basically zero maintenance

The problem is, bot coders and those that run them often don't care if the goose dies. It's just another goose and they move on.

You can code against them though, is not the easiest but it isn't impossible.

yes, unfortunately you are correct. At hive we typically call them leech.

Fortunately, some of the bot-makers I interact with are quite nice and keen about seeing the game and economy to grow better.

That is really good that you can and do speak to them. They obviously are more of the white hat kind of variety and don't want to suck the game dry

Hmm 🤔 yeah your entering the arena from the wrong angle. Bots are strong because they have worked though all the required data to optimize win chances.

I‘m just waiting for a Champion Select like page for Splinterlands and it‘s even ground or preferring humans.

they indeed are, and that's the problem

agree with your thought on champions select and expect that has a different rewards pool, and bots have a much smaller reward pool

Yes, if you can’t beat them, join them - collaborate.

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I quit playing when I couldn't get to bronze league anymore.
I wasn't doing too good before whatever change happened, either.
But, at least I could get bronze rewards.
Not now, so I just rent out the cards.

It's a problem and we are trying to find a solution. However as I explained that we are between a rock and a hard place

Hm, some decisions were bad for casual players. That's why I stopped playing it and even don't know what ECR is !LOLZ

@tipu curate

Some of the decisions are rather difficult with no right answer. Team and the community chose lesser of the two levels

IMO game needs to become more complex and random at some points so humans can get an "easy edge".

like decision-making at some points in the battle that are set up based + on some RNG/unknown components.

IDK, that comes in my mind to fight bots.

Yes, multiple people have some good suggestions along that line

If they only made billions of captchas for better gameplay instead of RUNIS for aesthetics. The Goose would then be spared for thanksgiving.

That's a cool way of saying it. Honestly I hate captchas though. We won't do it.

IMO, the bot situation is a very complex situation as if you totally remove all the bots from the game, it could potentially destroy the whole rental market and significantly devalue all the cards we have. The domino effect is still very much an unknown.

A potential solution is to bring back the account points system used for the SPS airdrop whereby your held assets will give you a daily score. This daily score will determine the multiplier that will be added to your RP calculation. I dislike penalising people for being able to use lower value cards to attain a certain rating whatever the game design is meant to be. This multiplier will encourage people to hold assets in their playing account and not sell them cheaply on the market. Just my 2 cents.

Bots can exist, but at a lower ability and lower ROI.