Anti backpacks/spoof ideas

edited January 16 in General

Removing qcaps will probably remove ~20% of the existing player base to already diminishing numbers.

In order to save the player base and maybe bring back older players while keeping newer, clearly 2 things need to happen. Remove backpacks, remove spoofers. For each, you have to add features that specifically harm them.

Backpacks. Hilariously, the fix is to make the player play the backpacks more. First, you need to detect backpacks. Any account that doesn't remove or add a reso in a full score cycle (upgrading resos/mods do not count) is flagged. Cmon, you have a week. This way the Intel board will show you what account is actually playing. Any account that is flagged has 1 full scoring cycle to remove or add (17 minus thier current level) resos or be set to inactive. Any account inactive for a month gets all their items deleted. The multi account players run out of room caused by their own backpacks. Any account that has recursed is excused from the last item deletion part, except for keys, so recursed inactive mules cannot hoard keys. Inactive accounts cannot play and can only be restored by Niantic. They can flag all the problem accounts

Spoofers is mainly based on keys. And there are way too many keys and whatever baf/blocking links is created, so it's too late. So you have to find spoof accounts and attack the portals they are spoofing. Using the flagging method above, if an account is flagged, it cannot hack for keys. Any portal owned by an inactive account, also cannot be hacked for keys by anyone. After 25 hours plus whatever portion of 5hr mini cycle is left, any field with a link over 10km can be underfielded. So for areas permagriefed, hey, at least you can field, unless they take down and put up their field every other day.



  • Every capsule has a unique identification code, just track the capsules and take the opportunity to start deleting the items from the account that is picking up items from the backpack account.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 17

    Delete gear from accounts that dont do comm visible action for 12 months should be fine.


    Flag accounts that only hack n drop caps. Send please please explain emails.

    Flag the primary collecting the caps. If you get a lot of reports on the primary, further pls explains.

  • edited January 17

    Lol under my plan, adding or removing 1 reso a month is too difficult? Removing items is needed to reduce lag and improve the game. Niantic said it. Beep, that literally is the main point of removing qcaps. Exponential item generation by backpack accounts. Removing cheaters and spoofers reduces lag and improve the game. Niantic said it. These have to be your top priorities.

  • Would point out, under my plan, you have 2 to 4 weeks to add 1 plus (17-level) resos. And essentially have 6-7 weeks before you lost your items. I don't get how 2 resos every 18ish days, then 38ish days is that difficult.

  • VenomousToadVenomousToad ✭✭✭✭✭

    Inactive players shouldn't be able to drop gear. Forcing people to play with their backpacks in order to drop things to their main account will expose the cheaters. If they are brave enough to do it

  • edited January 17

    You can always add a function that allows a player to set status to pre inactive. Their items/accounts are removed from the game and stored in a database. Upon request, Niantic can restore their accounts/items.

    And if you get into that deleted pile. Guess what, your account/items get removed and put into yet another database. But these are highly visably flagged. My plan above was I thought obviously only the first step.

    Removing cheaters, items, and backpacks will reduce item duplication on an exponential level far more productive lagwise and player basewise than anything else than Niantic will do.

  • When qcaps are gone, the power in the game will exponentially tilt to backpack/cheater accounts and even more packs will be created. Niantic has basically already said we won't address these accounts. Your existing player base already knows this.

    The problem isn't qcaps, it's that you have tens of thousands backpacks who have been using the qcaps for years. When qcaps die, you will give these accounts I guess a 2-3 year head start above the average ingress player and because the cheater is always going to hack/store more items and the difference will only widen, which is why I estimate you will lose 20% of your players when they go away

  • VaskinCallVaskinCall ✭✭✭✭

    What started it? And we have two countries that might want to play, but can't.

    Why should my items be removed?

  • But how will the backpacks that actaully plays from time to time be detected by this system?

    several of backpacks in my local area both put out resos, modds, link and even sometimes fields. They also shoots and hack.

  • edited January 17

    If they play, they play. New system can't fix that. When backpacks play no discerning different way than the main, they should be reported. Problem is Niantic does nearly nothing on reports and no followups. Any decent already knows who the backpacks are.

  • HosetteHosette ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it's 100% reasonable that players who don't play regularly don't earn benefits like capsule duplication. Not only do I think it's reasonable, but I think it's an excellent idea. I don't think it's at all reasonable to wipe out a player's account if they become inactive for whatever reason.

  • Under my plan, All the account info and items are removed from the game, but is moved to a database just not in game. It's restored, if they come back and notify Niantic.

  • HosetteHosette ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GuerrillaGabbo Wow, that's a lot of back-end work and seems to undermine the concept. Wouldn't backpacks just notify Niantic and get all their gear back too?

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 18

    I really like the idea of a "Flag my account as inactive".

    When Inactive, no walking duplication, no dropping gear, no picking up gear. Doing a COMM visible action marks the account as Active again. Accounts which take no action for 30 days get auto flagged as inactive. Recharge allowed.

    I know Niantic don't have to see COMM visible action, and at risk of being branded "Ingress Police" the only real way we can fight backpack accounts is if we know the IGN of the account, which is not possible, unless there is a COMM visible action, at least occasionally.

    One guy sent me a screenshot of his accounts, there were more than would fit in one screen! I would have had no idea unless they admitted it other than "this guy seems to have too much gear" which is pretty lame thing to put on a Help Ticket.

    Like IGNKeys1, IGNKeys2, IGNKeys3, IGNXMP1 etc.

  • That's part of the point. Repeat offenders get banned. And they also linked to other accounts having already been reported by other players should all be banned. The main point is making them play backpacks and risk all accounts banned

  • Last month I took a screenshot of a p8 farm that had at least 50 drones. Hilariously, I found out a portal can only have 8 drones, cuz I couldn't put my Drone on it. I'd guess at least 95% of them were 1 person

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭


  • I think you missed the bit about you have to add or remove 1 reso. Upgrading resos and or mods does not count. So no, you can't add silently. You clearly missed that. So all backpacks show up on comms.

    We can also always switch to the softer set of inactive. Any account flagged as inactive cannot dupe, recharge, upgrade, hack, drop or pickup items until it becomes active by adding or removing 1 reso. There, now old players still have all their stuff.

    Lol, spoofers doing the 1 reso will still show up on comms somewhere. It's literally step 1 of anything. And if they are flagged as inactive, they cannot hack. If they are set as inactive, they get flagged. Multiple flaggings equals banned.

  • edited January 18

    "Make them do things on COMM" is a "I am the Ingress Police" nonsense that Niantic has never signed on to. Because they know exactly every action an account does, and don't need it to appear in COMM for them to see it happen. You are not the Ingress police. If your system is purely to make people visible to other people, then it's already failed because it would swamp Niantic with yet more reports they'd continue to ignore. I thought you were trying to fix the problem with automation, not make it worse by "outing" players to be harassed?

    Lol, spoofers doing the 1 reso will still show up on comms somewhere.'

    Sure. But you're not watching a random monastery in the hills of Romania, or a set of monuments in the Atacama Desert. This is again "I need to force them to show themselves, so I can report them" which has nothing to do with automating the process for Niantic.

     It's literally step 1 of anything. 

    It's LITERALLY not the first step of any automated spoofer detection. It's the first step for people to find accounts to report, which has nothing to do with an automated flagging mechanism.

    It's not automated if you need players to see it before anything happens.

  • Backpacks that don't play get made inactive automatically, get flagged. Backpacks that get flagged repeatedly, get auto escalated. Escalated accounts are now auto watched for patterns. Pattern like pickup x or drop x that are repeated go higher up the chain until system bans.

    Backpacks and spoofers that are minimally played as you suggest. If they are only adding or removing a reso a cycle, literally shows up on a spreadsheet as such are auto flagged. You don't even need a human to report that account or watch intel. Any AI and analytics can tell that account is likely a backpack within guessing 8% chance, in the same way they can tell you next pitch has 73% chance of being a curveball. The regular AI used vs poker players in limit poker is nearly undefeatable currently, even though it has never seen or know how the opposing poker players play.

  • Backpacks that don't play get made inactive automatically, get flagged. Backpacks that get flagged repeatedly, get auto escalated. Escalated accounts are now auto watched for patterns. Pattern like pickup x or drop x that are repeated go higher up the chain until system bans.

    None of this requires COMM visible activity? So you don't need them to "deploy or destroy", thus 'upgrade' is completely viable as an anti-flagging activity.

  • VaskinCallVaskinCall ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 18

    I play when I go on vacation to another country. It's rare these days. How many flags would I have in that case? What for? I don't have backpacks. But my account fits the rules you made up.

  • I didn't make the rules, or find them acceptable. Just pointing out the gaping holes in an attempt to "I want to be the Ingress Police" by other means.

  • KhatreKhatre ✭✭✭✭✭

    Drop button only available when at leat 1 link / field on week stat.

  • HosetteHosette ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GuerrillaGabbo Allow me to start by establishing my bona fides for what I'm about to say: I am a former professional poker player. I have also been the fraud specialist for an internet company, and I've also spent some time chasing down cheaters on a game server that I run and studying their patterns. I'm a software engineer, and although I've done some work with machine learning I'm far from an expert.

    You are correct that there are some poker variants that have a game theory optimal solution (GTO) for certain situations, they have been "solved" for specific cases. This is completely unrelated to the problems associated with fraud detection, and I will explain why. GTO solutions exist for some games in which the potential moves are reasonably simple. Heads-up jam-or-fold nolimit holdem is a fairly trivial one because each player can make one of two moves, and I believe heads-up limit holdem is essentially solved. Backammon is another game where AI plays at a world-class level-- I've been watching them for three decades now and they've evolved to the point where they have a significant advantage against me and all but the top players in the world. These are all simple games in terms of the move structure, and thus they are reasonably easy for computers to develop strategies for.

    Cheating can't be solved in the same way that games can. There are far too many complexities, and the things that cheaters can do to evade detection are nearly unlimited. Fraud/cheating detection is essentially a perpetual game of cat-and-mouse-- as soon as the game shuts down one form of cheating the cheaters figure it out and quickly adapt so they can work around that block. You have to take one comm-visible action per week? No problem... they'll alter their behavior so they go out and play in some area a couple of times a week. Any simple solution you propose will be easily exploited by dedicated cheaters. (If cheating was easy to solve Niantic would have done it a decade ago.)

    I understand how machine learning can help detect cheaters, but developing a model isn't a one-and-done solution. Abuse-detection models are the cats in the cat-and-mouse game, and since mice are constantly evolving the cats need to keep evolving in order to keep up. No model is 100% perfect and there needs to be a way to handle both false positives and false negatives... and that means human intervention, which is expensive. (Compare that with developing high-quality machine learning models, which is also expensive.) It's a never-ending cycle, and it's a cost center rather than a profit center for Niantic. Also, "literally shows up on a spreadsheet" isn't going to happen because Niantic isn't going to dedicate human time to examining a spreadsheet of potential cheaters.

    I have a simple trick that I use to test my ideas for reducing cheating-- I think like a mouse. I pretend that I'm a cheater and ask myself, "If Niantic made this rules change how would I adapt my cheating?" It's pretty rare for me to come up with an anti-cheating mechanism that doesn't have a fairly simple adaptation.

Sign In or Register to comment.