Spam Attacking - Let us begin the conversation here

Discussion in 'Player's Council /Community Discussion' started by Oelyndeus, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Zivico

    Zivico Hekatontarch

    Nov 25, 2016

    that is a good point. had not thought of that.
  2. Rachel.L

    Rachel.L Phrourach

    Apr 26, 2016
    hehe, thanks
    my one good one for the month
  3. Marticus44

    Marticus44 Chiliarch

    Nov 14, 2015
    Strongly disagree. Breaking up an LS nuke into waves of 20 and hitting the same player in different spots tells you a ton about those cities. Easy to see by BP gained and reports if you hit LS/Birs/small number of LS so you wipe and the rest is transports/only transports.

    This tells you a lot about the different city builds of a player and is not the same as sending 50 waves of 4-5 LS at the same player/same city just to spam
    OldDragon, 0ZZZ, Le poto Rico and 3 others like this.
  4. Zivico

    Zivico Hekatontarch

    Nov 25, 2016
    I think that most players know what spamming is, although opinions vary.

    To me, spamming is getting endless pointless attacks with the intention of sounding the players alarm, making them move troops all the time, and draining the enjoyment from the game. Receiving pointless small attacks, or attack and cancel.

    Getting spammed for a day like this is unpleasant, but i feel that the real crime is for players who have to deal with this for long periods of time, and are essentially being driven out of the game, kept up all night, and given little to no respite from pointless attacks. This sort of behavior is fairly easy to evidence, and is far less of a 'grey area'. Players should be able to contact moderators and have this reported and stopped.
    Oelyndeus and Le poto Rico like this.
  5. Fluvisol

    Fluvisol Chiliarch

    Jun 14, 2016
    And soon you have people reporting players for 1 attack every hour/few hours or favour farming. And all it takes then is a moderator being in a particularly bad mood and boom, there's a ban. Even if the player gets unbanned there will be damage done
    Or if I trip an enemy that I know is handing off cities and they keep sending back the trip, making me check if they're in siege
    Then they report me and I get banned because of it, despite it being a valid reason to attack

    I honestly think prevention is a better solution here than simply making it against the rules
    Loves You and 0ZZZ like this.
  6. Zivico

    Zivico Hekatontarch

    Nov 25, 2016

    You make a valid point.

    My point was aimed more towards the cases which are so glaring obvious, the spamming that goes on for more than a day and is relentless. Nobody tripping or HCing can be accused of spamming of this nature.

    As for lower scale spamming, the discussion goes on.
  7. Silver Witch

    Silver Witch Staff Member

    Sep 20, 2014
    To me unacceptable spamming is deliberately sending large numbers of attacks where the aim is harrassment and /or setting off the alarm/keeping others awake and/or slowing/freezing the victims computer.

    Sending extra attacks to confuse/hc/catch troops as part of an op is a strategic move and is completely different. In this case it should be short term - 24 - 48 hrs max but the volumes involved mean that this can also be termed spam.

    Ive read through this thread. I agree that the spamming seen is getting worse and that it ruins the game but i believe its almost impossible to find a set of parameters that will only affect unacceptable spamming. For example:

    Player A - spammer
    Player B - playing the game properly

    1. 100 attacks with most recalled:
    Player A sends 100 spam attacks from 1 or more cities and cancels them all
    Player B sends 100 attacks to conquer a city - he times with anchors, he cancels and resends from 10 cities on average 10 times - 10 attacks are sent but 90 are recalled.

    2. 100 attacks - none recalled
    Player A sits in Ocean 9 with 50 cities and sends 100 attacks of varying strength to 10 different players. Main aim to trigger alarm.
    Player B sends hc to 20 cities and clearing attacks when he finds a good target.

    Ive used 100 attacks in these examples but it doesn't need 100 to keep someone awake each night - 1 every half hour is enough.

    3. Then we have the situation where an alliance attack one player - maybe after mm
    Alliance A receive a mm saying send a few attacks each to x player- 200 attacks sent randomly from a range of players to a range of cities (spam).
    Alliance B receive a mm saying clear x and y cities which are stacked and within the core and keep them clear cs close by - 200 attacks sent from a range of players to 2 cities (not spam).

    There is also the issue that one player may consider hes being spammed because he sees constant attacks for a few days but another may accept that he sends out constant attacks and that this is a war game so its reasonable to expect the same in return.

    So what can we do?
    I think it would be worth agreeing a set of conditions that could be spam. Accepting that none are necessarily spam but that if say 3/6 of these conditions are met then probably we have a spammer. Examples of these conditions could be:

    1. 20+ attacks to one player daily over a period exceeding 48 hours
    2. 40+ attacks to one player from a range of players within an alliance over a period exceeding 48 hrs or occuring regularly
    3. 20+ attacks to one player where the tt is longer than 10 hrs in most cases
    4. 10+ attacks which are cancelled when there is no cs attempt within 24 hrs

    We need more here but this is the kind of situation that needs specifying.

    Then next we need to know how to deal with this.
    Firstly, I believe the community should play a part. Personally i have no wish to play with anyone who I know uses these tactics. In the current scenario I accept spam retaliation but with that exception I do what I can to stop spamming from my own players - i dont claim to be perfect. However if all decent players took a stance then eventually spamming would become an isolating activity.

    Secondly, personally I do think proven serial spamming should be a bannable offence. I cannot see how this can be anything other than a subjective decision but by identifying a comprehensive list of behaviours that could be spamming that will be a start.
  8. supafletch

    supafletch Phrourach

    Sep 8, 2013
    The more realistic answer to spam attacks is to get your whole alliance to spam them back in shifts.... once they felt a few days of barely any sleep they'll soon consider who they spam first.
  9. supafletch

    supafletch Phrourach

    Sep 8, 2013
    The only other option i can think of is reducing the recall time per attack that's sent until eventually they can't recall.

    Not the best example but ... much like trading with market place and how your trade percentages change everytime you trade.

    Recall time first attack sent 10mins
    Send attack again within 10mins and recall reduced to 8 mins so on and so forth
    molinillo likes this.
  10. OldDragon

    OldDragon Phrourach

    Dec 25, 2011
    I got some heartburn reading all these complaints about "spam attacks"

    I know the practice is annoying but that is EXACTLY why you do it.
    It's called "harassing the enemy" which is a widely accepted tactic in warfare.
    When the Alarm App was implemented it became impossible to sneak attack a city that was alarmed.
    Spam attacks offset the alarm, so unless you want to stay awake 24/7, ya gotta ignore the alarm or turn it off.
    You spam the target player for a week or two until he gives up on the alarm.
    Same for the players that garrison his cities.
    Spam is the logical counter tactic to the alarm.
    It isn't evil or unethical... it's a tactic.
    If ya wanna get rid of spam as defined above, then drop the alarm.

    The long range spam attack is also important, and doesn't involve the alarm.
    You want him under attack 24/7 so you can slip in a real attack when he loses his focus.

    Another tactic is sending a hundred decoy spam attacks with a few killer waves quietly slipped in.
    Slows down his client and makes his defensive response difficult.

    Sending dozens of decoy spam attacks to each of the target player's cities is another great tactic to overwhelm and confuse his defense.

    As mentioned above, the anti timer tactic alone can generate hundreds of attacks that look like spam.

    There were other excellent examples of "spam" mentioned by others that are valid game tactics.

    So I do not think you really want to patch out spam, even if we can all agree on a definition and feasible remedy.
    The complainers in this post do not seem to understand basic game tactics or how difficult it is to capture an actively defended city without spam.
    Especially, when the defended city is owned by a more powerful alliance.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
    How Do I Snipe and 0ZZZ like this.
  11. FutbolTango

    FutbolTango Banned Banned

    Mar 29, 2017
    To be honest, I disagree. The problem that I find with many of you guys is that you want to play a "war" game, but then do not want to deal with the issues related to "war tactics". Decoy and spam attacks are part of warfare. No army marches straight ahead to the enemy. They try to confuse the opposing army with fake movements and try to lower the response of the enemy. Alexander The Great used this tactic often to defeat the Persians. March and retreat. Move along the banks of rivers until the enemy gets tired and then cross the river.
    I do agree with the previous poster. Do you want to drop the spam attacks then drop the alarm.
    How Do I Snipe, VIRTUALSELF and 0ZZZ like this.
  12. Djrlol

    Djrlol Phrourach

    Aug 23, 2010
    to1sky has already stated "spamming" is deployed to prevent instant golding of troops normally slings to break a siege -the gold system on Athens world when it 1st came in of halving build times was far superior to insta buy.

    The definition of a spam attack will always be the problem - i have been the victim of spam attacks i have also requested these be retaliated against players whom did it....what constitutes spam...a player sending minimum pop attacks over and over allday no recalling just sending minimum pop over and over....what about players who (usually multi accounts but anyway) set up in ocean 9 or so on the far rim of a world with no one else and then send 100+ attacks with a 30hr TT at a player.....

    Removing the alarm does not work due to grc tools & other alarms you just punish mobile players.

    How did we play before app - we would dodge units when we went to sleep, stack a single defensive city on an island for all team mates...this worked.

    A simple solution would be to give the alarm an additional setting so it can be as it is now or it can be set to only warn of conquest / revolt attacks - thereby a player only receives an alarm if a colony ship is detected - this must be feasible code wise.
  13. Frontierdc

    Frontierdc Phrourach

    Nov 16, 2010
    Stonehail the offender's cities to rubble.
    Rachel.L likes this.
  14. ana perssons

    ana perssons Phrourach

    Oct 20, 2011

    i'm sitting with 22 incoming spam attacks, the same guy who sent the same attacks a few hours ago. all 10 LS. There is no tactic. it is just to annoy.

    We can retaliate, will we do it with spam? if we all send 10 LS attacks AND throw 1k spies and trades into it, we can grind the server to a halt. What purpose does any of this serve?

    Fortunately,most alliances stopped doing that a while ago.
  15. mojosrisin

    mojosrisin Phrourach

    Dec 10, 2012
    How about something like this that will end spam AND replace morale with a more efficient system:

    Nemesis Bonus
    Your troops are invigorated to fight against a hated enemy.
    For every attack an enemy sends against you in a 24 hour period of time you receive a morale like handicap or +1% attack/defense up to a total of 80%, The bonus lasts for 48 hours.

    Most attempts to actually take a city involve less than 5 attack waves. by the time the 5th one landed you'd have a -5 handicap which wouldn't really effect the attacker that much.

    If you catch someone offline and try to clear a bunch of cities we're talking maybe 20 - 30 attacks. In this case the defender is getting a decent handicap for the last few attacks but again it's not completely wrecking the aggressive player's effectiveness.

    If someone decides to spam an enemy then they'd pretty quickly give themselves -80 morale against that player which would make it easier for the defending player and their alliance to stack and defend the city as well as making it easier for the defending player to land and defend a CS in the aggressor's city.

    It won't stop spam completely but it would surely greatly reduce it. It would also be an automated function of the game requiring no input from a mod so could never be said to be biased.

    It would also provide a better system than the current morale system which is regularly abused via LMD. Because it's based on the rate of aggression toward another player and not just on size newer players will get a better bonus against aggressive veterans in the earliest days of a server when they are most likely to get frustrated and quit. Currently morale is barely effecting me when I rim the first dozen noobs most of which quit after losing that first city. By the time it is effecting me I've usually got enough troops that I can just overwhelm the new players anyway. The only effect morale really has right now on a veteran player is as a mild annoyance when taking noob cities and an extreme annoyance when a veteran alliance uses LMD against them.

    And for the sake of realism it makes sense that a defending city would be fighting harder against an enemy that they had a mounting dislike for.

    Anyway, this started as a quick post about a spam idea and then i realized that it would make a good replacement for morale instead of an addition to it and went off on a tangent.

    Kratos Giantsbane likes this.
  16. Rachel.L

    Rachel.L Phrourach

    Apr 26, 2016
    I think if it's turned off for end game attacks (WWs, tho not sure if it could be for dom), sounds like an alternative worth thinking about.
    Like the auto, no human factor.
  17. Fluvisol

    Fluvisol Chiliarch

    Jun 14, 2016
    Yeah I proposed a similar thing earlier on I think (not sure if I actually posted it here - was before I was even running for GPC)
    Downsides are when you get bigger
    I recently participated in an OP on Helio, I had 30 full nukes landing before the CS. This would give me -30 near the last attack, which would be the one that potentially catches the snipe. Combine that with -30 luck, defense buffs and desire and you haven't got much of an attack left
    The only way to then avoid that would be to send less attacks, maybe only keep the ones within 3 seconds which still usually leaves about 10 attacks
    The problem there is that stacking before the CS gets way more effective, as we now have less clearing on top of the reduced strength

    Another thing would be siege breaks
    Say I have 100 odd ls cities as the alliance LS builder, does that mean that near the last attack I wouldn't do any damage anymore? My team counts on over 30k ls but my effective count would be just above 15k

    A possible solution is to only implement it on attacks with less than a certain % of the available troops, but then people will just spam with that % + 1 unit
    I like the idea but it definitely needs some work :)
    Rachel.L likes this.
  18. mojosrisin

    mojosrisin Phrourach

    Dec 10, 2012
    Thanks fluv. You’re right it’s not perfect and needs tweaking. I just spit balled the idea out so if it’s going to get serious consideration it definitely needs more input.

    In the example provided yes you would take a hit to your efficiency as those attacks progresssd and that would suck but I would argue that it sucks far less than constant daily LMD sieges and spam.

    That is a lot for one player to throw at one city so outside of breaking a WW island I don’t think it would happen all that often (compared to how often the deterrent would stop spamming and LMD usage)

    There are 3 big hurdles and I don’t think any fix will get around all 3.

    1. Anything that requires human input or opinion. I don’t think any kind of mod related solution will work because there is always going to be room for error, arguments, appeals etc. if I report you for spam and the incident gets handled in 2 hrs and you get a ban for it but 5 days later you report me for spam and it takes 24 hours for it to be reviewed and I get your city in the meantime one person is still getting an unfair advantage from spam intended or not.

    2. Complexity. One of the reasons grepolis has worked as well as it has and drawn the crowds it has for as long as it has is that the game is simple. Likewise solutions to the spam issue must be simple (this also ties into mod involvement).

    3. Implementation. Any non mod enforced solution will require significant money spent by inno to make the changes necessary. Mod enforced solutions would require an increase in volunteer staffing.

    I’m definitely partial to a coded change and not mod enfocement here. I have no beef with mods and I trust that 99.99% of the time they act without bias but as already explained above there is just no way that mods can perfectly and evenly enforce a set of spam related rules efficiently.

    A coded change is going to cost money but the morale system is broken anyway so why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone?

    Anyway this reply got longer than I expected again. Sorry for the novella.
    Rachel.L likes this.
  19. Fluvisol

    Fluvisol Chiliarch

    Jun 14, 2016
    Agreed. And if you get banned falsely for spam and the mod doesn't see your appeal for hours it only gets worse

    I think the solution can be complicated as long as the result is simple, if that makes sense. Earlier on there was talk about changing the setup time for attacks to be able to delay alarms to when the attack can't be canceled. This can come with a whole lot of math work, but the end result would be simple on the player's end

    From what I heard Inno have shown a lot of interest in fighting spam, so hopefully this shouldn't be too much of an issue

    See the problem is this only fights one type of spam where the spammer actually cares about killing anything. Some people just spam for the alarms and don't care, like 1 ls at a time
    As for stopping lmd sieges, I rather have one siege every so often where we can break but with 50% strength than the whole concept of a person dedicated to siege breaks being thrown out of the window. Even if it's not 100 attacks (my example was from a world I play where I do have 100 odd ls cities, so it's not that far fetched), if I send my 20 myth nukes at a siege the 20th will have -20 attack on it. The last myths to hit are usually grifs which are also the strongest, so that just feels a bit counter productive :p

    I think you need to either make it only decrease on certain pop attacks, or maybe have it not work on allies as this would stop the siege thing. Still leaves turtles with an advantage but I can live with that honestly

    I rather have a book than nothing at all, cheers to take your time to write all this out :)
    Rachel.L likes this.
  20. Kratos Giantsbane

    Kratos Giantsbane Hipparchus

    May 14, 2018
    How about a Hero to reduce the spam.

    Here is a little sample of spam that we receive everyday, It does continue for 21 hours straight in most days except the days when he gets a life.

    If there is a Hero, We can assign to the particular city, It might come in Handy.

    Hero Ability : Provides a peace time against the particular spammer after 20 attacks within certain time limit.

    Increase in level of Hero may increase the duration of peace time.

    Abuse and Prevention:

    This could be put to use on a heavily stacked city, so may not allow more than 20 attacks from the same player within certain time limit but a little help from alliance members will keep the ball rolling.

    If unassigned from the city under-siege by it's owner, no need to worry about siege breaks.

    This is not a solution to all kinds of spams. Just an idea that popped after fighting JFL who do nothing but spam.