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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 09:31 PM UTC (Read 13082 times)  
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Okay folks, there's been some dickishness involving alts lately. Time to discuss what we can do about it.

Right now I'm leaning towards something like this in a player's Bio:

>This character probably has 2 alts.

Or, perhaps,

>This character probably has 2 alts, of which 1 is in a clan.

Obviously saying outright who's an alt of who isn't gonna go down well, so that's my proposal. Any other ideas?


 
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Maniak
 Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 09:57 PM UTC  
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Is there a way to see which is the main account, and which isn't?

>This character is most likely an alt.

Or perhaps mute players that are alts, for their first week or DK? I think most alts are made willy-nilly, for the lulz. Some cool down period might help. Some ideas just aren't fun after a nights sleep.


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Hairy Mary
 Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 10:32 PM UTC  
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Not sure about that Maniak, a lot of alts are created for (perfectly legitimate) role playing, and barely ever get played up at all. Making people spend ages playing them up a level might not go down to well in some places.

As for 'main account', well I'd have a hard time saying which is my main account. The character who I game play most, and who generally channels my SP, and is signed up for the world community grid thing isn't the same as the character that I first made.

I'm afraid that I don't have anything constructive to offer as an alternative though.


 
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hajen
 Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 11:15 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Okay folks, there's been some dickishness involving alts lately. Time to discuss what we can do about it.

I guess first question is: it's not bad enough for the ban hammer then?

and since i don't really pay attention to how others are playing the island (in other words: i have no idea what the incident is), all i can offer is my feelings about alts in general.

Fair usage:
role playing (everything else is unfair or cheating)

Unfair usage:
using an alt for anything HoF related or measured (includes defending outposts)
using an alt for crate hunting
using an alt for titan slaying
using an alt to build any dwelling, except for its own personal dwelling (if it has one) (meaning no alt army gang building a dwelling for the main or a friend)
having an alt in a clan (there are clan related HoF items)

Doesn't really hurt me or my game play, but I only have one character and it only has 100 stamina per day. Going against someone who has one alt working on travel HoF items, another alt doing titan killing and another alt doing fighting HoF items makes it very difficult for me with my one character to get first place in any one of those HoF items. If I'm trying to make money by crate hunting, my ability is seriously compromised in comparison with an alt that uses it stamina exclusively for travelling the map.
The HoF is a part of my game experience, but it's not the main reason why I play; I don't let unfair play affect my enjoyment of the game.


Cheating:
gifting between alts or alt to main
regifting for your buddy's alts (middle man/ laundering)
having an alt in the same clan
using an alt to spy on another clan
using an alt to scope out eBoy prices in other outposts

Ban hammer stuff


to return to the question asked:
institute a regimen of using only one alt per game day or per one 24-hour period (more severe).
spouses, siblings or friends sharing an IP would need to contact you and convince you that they are two or more different people playing different main characters to get the characters unlocked for same game day usage.


"tis better to be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt"
 
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Ashtu
 Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 11:17 PM UTC  
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Require a valid email address, and a response from that address, before character is allowed in?

Or maybe a new level of account - the "RP Special" account, requires XX supporter points for each extra alt?

I dunno. All in all, I'm in favor of alt-visibilty, like HM.


Thank you.
 
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dizzyizzy
 Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 11:43 PM UTC  
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In my opinion, the no alts in clans rules can bend... I am both in GERM with my main, and have an alt that is in a (much) smaller, lesser-known Clan. Marly, Piper, and maybe Teh Dave know about it from GERM, as well as all of the officers and the founder of the other clan. I don't pass along any specific information on the inner workings of the clan, and as long as the leaders on both side are fine with it, I don't think there;s a problem.


However, I'd be more than willing to add a line "This character is an alt."

If you do implement the line, perhaps there could be a choice on how it's worded...

"This Character probably has x alts." for default, or...

"This character is one alt out of x linked to a character."

"This is the main character, with x alts."

for some reason, I'm somewhat insulted by anything that could make dizzy seem like an alt. He's my main.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 12:20 AM UTC  
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Before this goes further I should point out that we're not differentiating mains from alts, because programs can't do that.


 
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Matthew
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 12:25 AM UTC  
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(STUFF THAT DOESN'T MATTER, DERP)

Back to the topic: the original suggestion ("This character probably has 2 alts."), well... I don't see what that would solve, exactly. I guess it would help to know (in vague terms) what said dickishness involved. What are we trying to prevent?


 
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Hairy Mary
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 01:02 AM UTC  
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Quote by: hajen


institute a regimen of using only one alt per game day or per one 24-hour period (more severe).



I don't like being the one that puts down everyone else's ideas without giving any themselves, but...I have been known to play Biggs and Skronky in the same scene. I haven't role played much recently, being rather short on inspiration for some reason. But if and when I do again, I'd like to be able to use both of them at the same time sometimes.

Also, I sometimes swap things between alts. Largely because one alt (Alexander Quandle) gets all my SP. This is only for Hunters Lodge things, and almost always role playing things at that. Most recently, I made a memento, a Skronky Pot Protectors Society badge, with an 'innit' attribute, to give to people who I see playing particularly good midgets in Squathole (or elsewhere, but I'm much more likely to see them in Squathole.)

Alexander made them, as he's the one with the SP, but it should really be Skronky that gives them out. So AQ made a few, and then dropped them on the map for Skronky to pick up.

If people feel that I'm being cheaty here, then please let me know. I certainly don't do anything that I wouldn't be perfectly happy telling everyone about here in the forums say.


 
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Kes
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 01:59 AM UTC  
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I'll happily admit to having two alts on here. The first, Kagero, is used first and foremost for roleplay, and second for wandering about outposts and dwellings and the island in general. Since his creation, I've sent him over a title-change document, levelled him up to a point where he's comfortable travelling - gotten a tad carried away with that - and avoided building materials and similar like the plague.

The second alt's no more a blank face, used only for reading roleplay and the occasional dwelling-peeking if Kestrel and Kagero are both knackered and/or failboated.

I am... quite fine with alts in clans when those involved (leaders and such) know about it, but a little less fine and rather warier of this new system Dan's suggested. I can think of a few alts who stand alone perfectly as genuine characters, never interact with the main account in any way - but for perhaps main-to-alt gifting of Hunters' Lodge items - and even give the players a certain amount of writing-confidence from the anonymity. For them to be at risk of losing that (thinking along the lines of ooh, look, both of these people have the same number of alts. How did I never see it before?) due to other people being dickish would be an awful shame.

But maybe necessary?

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

...I'd like to be able to use both of them at the same time sometimes.

Seconded. Fervently.


 
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Ashtu
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 01:59 AM UTC  
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I was gonna post some long thing about non-dickery alts, but HM beat me to it. Yeah, what he said. Whenever you see one of the Ashtu twins, the other one is somewhere nearby.

And as far as what kind of dickery is going on - I neither need or want to know. That's what the Mods are for. If they say it's dickery, then it is.

Remember that the Island is NOT a democracy - it is a benevolent dictatorship, by necessity. CMJ runs this server and the Island because he can. The rules he enforces are to keep himself legally clear, and to keep a few individuals from messing up a good thing for everybody else. The happier he keeps us, the more we hit that PayPal button.


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Rosin
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 02:04 AM UTC  
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TLDR; Alts for RP, even in clans, perfectly fine by me. Alts are personal responsibility, should stay personal. Moderators already know who is who, can deal with situation according to how they see fit.


Quote by: hajen


Unfair usage:
using an alt for anything HoF related or measured (includes defending outposts)
using an alt for crate hunting
using an alt for titan slaying
using an alt to build any dwelling, except for its own personal dwelling (if it has one) (meaning no alt army gang building a dwelling for the main or a friend)



These, I totally agree with. Unfair usage that turns the island into a game of 'who has the most free time/alts'.

Quote by: hajen


having an alt in a clan



This, I disagree with as unfair/cheating usage in a lot of circumstances. Spying on another clan? Bad. Boosting your own clan's numbers and using the alt to funnel extra ciggies into your clan? Also Bad. Having an alt in a different clan than your main because it is an RP alt? Totally okay.


Back toward the main topic, saying a player possibly has alts.. I don't see what that fixes, really. I mean, I personally have 2 alts that are entirely for RP purposes, one of whom is a bit dusty and the other is practically a ghost by now. Does it warrant putting me up for special scrutiny just because I have alternative characters I like to bring into stories on occasion? I don't think so.

If there is a dickish alt, then the mods (and of course the admin) both know who all of that player's characters are already. The dickish alt could be punished and all of that player's characters could be delivered a warning against future behavior. Right? I have no clue how the moderating situation is around here, but that's my best guess.


I think Alts are a player's own responsibility. Their decision to reveal it if they want, to whom they want. That shouldn't change I don't think, because as stated in another thread (I am hopeless with forums so pardon the lack of link), it very well might change how characters interact with each other and that might lead to A ) Bad Drama, and/or B ) Big Problems between players and potentially players leaving.


Sorry for wall of text.


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Tyr
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 03:56 AM UTC  
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My concern about having a line in people's bios is that someone trying to RP a rookie alt will never get treated like a rookie again.




.


 
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Agelmar
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 05:20 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Kes

I'll happily admit to having two alts on here. The first, Kagero, is used first and foremost for roleplay, and second for wandering about outposts and dwellings and the island in general. Since his creation, I've sent him over a title-change document, levelled him up to a point where he's comfortable travelling - gotten a tad carried away with that - and avoided building materials and similar like the plague.

The second alt's no more a blank face, used only for reading roleplay and the occasional dwelling-peeking if Kestrel and Kagero are both knackered and/or failboated.

I am... quite fine with alts in clans when those involved (leaders and such) know about it, but a little less fine and rather warier of this new system Dan's suggested. I can think of a few alts who stand alone perfectly as genuine characters, never interact with the main account in any way - but for perhaps main-to-alt gifting of Hunters' Lodge items - and even give the players a certain amount of writing-confidence from the anonymity. For them to be at risk of losing that (thinking along the lines of ooh, look, both of these people have the same number of alts. How did I never see it before?) due to other people being dickish would be an awful shame.

But maybe necessary?

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

...I'd like to be able to use both of them at the same time sometimes.

Seconded. Fervently.


Uh, off topic, but still addressing this seconded notion:
you can be on two accounts in the same browser, as a sure thing, by going through both improbableisland.com and www.improbableisland.com

you can do more alts with multiple browsers (Though I don't like to do that, even on my beefy processor), or by using a private tab. I know for a fact I can use a couple accounts on one domain with one being in an open tab and the other in a private tab.

[IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT]

On topic; really, difficulties with alts depend upon the person. If problems arise, I don't know a viable, safe workaround that protects roleplay and gameplay for the user in question and the users who may be affected by any abuse of alts.

There's either put a bunch of restrictions down and make it a total pain for fresh accounts or -probable- alt accounts, or have something so light it may as well not even be there. To my eyes, at least.
[EDIT:] second post yeah! And I'd like to just mention that I use Opera browser, as an addendum to my blathering about using multiple accounts and all. One could probably use several more accounts in one window using the browser masking tool (Maybe, I don't know crap about browser-shenanigans) maybe masking the browser as FF would do the trick, I don't know.


They all think I'm crazy, but I know better. It is not I who are crazy. It is I who am MAD!
 
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Rosin
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 05:32 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Tyr

My concern about having a line in people's bios is that someone trying to RP a rookie alt will never get treated like a rookie again.




This too. Partly an example of ruining someone's fun (no one would be able to RP a rookie unless they WERE a raw rookie. Even then, sometimes people create a testing account to get their toes wet before they start a proper account for writing) and also an example of how showing alts changes how people would treat you.


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Rosin
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 05:57 AM UTC  
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Double posting because the edit time limit ran out while I was writing this. Massive wall of opinion text, sorry no TLDR this time.


Also, imposing restrictions on alts or possible alts like having them reach a DK before being able to write... One of the most attractive things to me about any sort of alt writing right now is that there is no title for 0DKs. I could make an alt called 'The weather' and have it post such shenanigans as;

The weather in Kittania today is cloudy with a chance of rain. Kittymorphs have abandoned their usual sun basking locations in favor of the shelter of trees.



But if I had to DK that alt once, I'd end up with 'Contestant The weather in kittania today', and that just doesn't work. And yes I know I could buy a custom title and blank it out for that alt, but that would mean I'd have to donate money on that alt.

Speaking of which, if we could send items that weren't game-related between alts again that'd be awesome. No eboys items or cards, but if I bought a bag full of req from the Lodge on Rosin and sent it to The weather, then I'm still the one paying for the req bag and it would only benefit the alt anyway. Same with non-game-changing lodge items like custom titles and the like. And what about mementos? Sending those from one character/alt to another (for RP purposes, just like title change documents etc) would be fun too.

I bring that up because I have $300 worth of supporter points on Rosin but those can ONLY be used on Rosin, not any of my alts or potential alts. I was the one who chipped in the donation, does it matter which of my characters gets the item?


ANYWAY BACK TO THE TOPIC YES.

Infinite possibilities with raw 0dk alts. 'The weather', 'The sandbox', 'A lost fish' (swimming in some fountain or another after a big rainstorm of course). IMAGINE THE VERSATILITY OF AN ALT CALLED 'THE' OH MY LORD IT'LL BE GONE BY MORNING WON'T IT. Actually, I have an idea based on that premise but I'll get around to that later shan't I.

BACK ON TRACK AGAIN, I'M RAMBLING AREN'T I.


Having limits set on when an alt can RP? Bad. What if it IS a rookie (just on a computer or IP used by some other player before, or however we track alt accounts)? Then they might just see the restriction and say "Oh hell, is it even worth it?" That spells ill for a whole mess of things, rookie retention being the biggest. No one wants to go somewhere that immediately says "You can't play with the other kids until you spend perhaps a week slogging in the jungle and getting used to how things work around here game-mechanic wise."

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE I WAS GOING WITH THIS AND THE ALLCAPS ARE HURTING MY EARS.

Right. So. Um. I don't like the idea of putting RPing restrictions on alts. I personally can see a whole vast future of potential with alts for RP now that the 'Rookie' title has been nixed, which I'm sure others can see too.

I also realize that some people will use this for dickish purposes, already have, and probably will for quite some time unless harsh restrictions are placed on it. I just don't like the idea of punishing (yes, that's what I'm thinking of it as) everyone for the actions of a few ne'er-do-wells whose other accounts are already known to the mods and admin.


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Makiwa
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 05:58 AM UTC  
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Tricky isn't it? If only there were no dickjerks it wouldn't be an issue.

Making a players alt(s) visible to everyone doesn't help anything. From another thread I've realised that this would actually be a bad thing.

In general I agree with hajen which reflects this
elsewhere in the Enquirer.

I think alts used for RP are fine, no problem there. As disposable characters used for the lulz or perma ones like the Skronkys and Ashtus - fine. I mention these last two because they are voluntarily visible.

So enforced alt visibility I say no. However, having players belonging to more than one clan via alts is another matter. I had always thought that clans were kind of a privileged 'secure' haven for players. Having a 'lurker' in the clan undermines that. Clans can, of course have 'no alts' policies. May I suggest this? Alt visibility is only enforced if the player is in more than one clan? After all, why wouldn't the player want this knowledge to be public - I can't think of a good reason. Having a main and an alt in different clans so your alt can interact in different social circles doesn't stand up. Your alt doesn't need to be in a clan for this to happen.

Sorry for long post and hope it's more or less coherent.

Caffeine still trying to kick in. Mornings Confused


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hajen
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 06:13 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Ashtu

Remember that the Island is NOT a democracy - it is a benevolent dictatorship, by necessity. CMJ runs this server and the Island because he can. The rules he enforces are to keep himself legally clear, and to keep a few individuals from messing up a good thing for everybody else. The happier he keeps us, the more we hit that PayPal button.

Quoted for truth. My previous wall o' text and what follows should not be viewed as an attempt to impose my will on the island, rather just offering my thoughts to CMJ and also enrich the discussion on the subject.

Quote by: hajen

institute a regimen of using only one alt per game day or per one 24-hour period (more severe).

I suggested this, but I don't support it. This would devastate a few of my friends and other legitimate role players. The weathervane players would have been non-existent under it. We or I (more correctly) don't know what problem CMJ is trying to fix. Did a small clique with their 12 to 20 alts circle around a poor character and pummel him/ her with put-downs and insults? what I offered is what I considered the nuclear option; something we can work back from, so we know what we are trying to avoid. Also so the total global thermonuclear war option wasn't used: making the "no alt" rule actually mean that.



Further refining my alt unfair usage statement.
Either enriching the discussion or horseshit, reader's choice.

I can boil it all down into this statement: Alts should not use stamina.

Exceptions that prove the rule:
>you want your alt to RP a kittymorph, midget, joker, etc. Well, it's going to have to do a few DKs to make that happen, isn't it.
>you don't want to RP in just NewHome. It takes stamina to travel to other outposts and dwellings so you can RP there also.
>your alt wants its own home sweet home. Trees don't magically fall down and then go back up as walls, stone doesn't grow out of a quarry and then join together to make a foundation...
>OSTs are not free. You need to make some req for living expenses (don't forget rides and toolboxes also have costs).

and clarifications:
Main character and the character with the SP account are synonymous in my mind; I see nothing wrong with the main gifting anything it wants out to the alts, or to friends or to rooks. The possible badness is when the alts farm req and send it back to the main or to another alt (the hidden main character).
example: an alt to titan slay, another alt to crate hunt. Convert crate goodies into req. Both alts convert req into OSTs and gift back to main. Main receives gifts after DK and instantly has SPS armor and kitty launcher.
I also mentioned gifting to a buddy (middle man/ launder) and then the buddy gifts it back to one of your alts, thus helping to obscure the connection between alts.

and some back pedaling on my no alts in clans:
Let me start with an analogy - about bees.
the clan is the hive
the main-player clan mates are the workers
alts are drones, they only have one purpose in life... to role play (spice up the life in the clan)
if it's a purely role playing hive, then I find that copacetic.
if however, some of the workers want to enjoy the benefits of the clan buff or see their clan climb up the "clan DK" chart, then the drones are filling up a slot that could be filled with a productive worker.
So, I don't think that alts in clans are "bad" unfair, rather just the possibility that they could be a hindrance to a clan quickly reaching some goals (if the clan feels as a whole that such goals are worthwhile).

The preceding has nothing to do with reality, but I had fun mashing keys - random keys on my keyboard.
Smile


"tis better to be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt"
 
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Rosin
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 06:27 AM UTC  
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Snipped from Newhome banter:


[23m31s] The most versatile alt ever has just been created. "Apologies in advance, folks," says its creator, "I just made this to.. I actually don't know! I suppose it was for proving a point, but I can't be sure anymore."

[21m40s] The best thing about it is, the creator is willing to tell everyone who she is. "Hello, I'm Rosin's writer too."


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Temper
 Monday, March 28 2011 @ 06:32 AM UTC  
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I would say, if alts are being used for dickish purposes, couldn't the mods take it up with that alt's main character?

Of course, this puts more on the mods, which might not be entirely fair. But I don't think putting a thing in a character's account, telling the world they have alts, is a good fix either.


 
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