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Multiple Accounts in an Agency
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Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Sep-27-2004 11:21

I want to open up discussion about whether somebody should be allowed to have more than one detective in an agency, and if so, how many.

The official policy is that no more than one detective from any single IP address is allowed in a given agency. I haven't been particularly clear on the issue, nor have I enforced it particularly vigorously, so it's understandable that a lot of people didn't realise that was the rule. If we continue with that rule, I should probably at least add a more obvious notice to the "Invite Detective" screen.

The argument for having a limit is that it is a competitive advantage to have several agents controlled by a single person, because it makes coordinating on hunts easier.

Some points:

1) No system for identifying multiple accounts is 100% accurate. Some people have accounts at work and at home, some have dynamic IP addresses that switch, some have shared IP addresses, where different people at different locations can look like the same address to me.

2) There are a few instances of where players share a computer. For example, Sunny and I both play from home, and therefore the same IP address.

3) Some people have multiple detectives just for the fun of it, and don't use that to competitive advantage. There are a few of the smaller, less competitive agencies where users have more than one detective. they just enjoy being able to share items and cases between detectives and rarely even get involved in hunts.

4) A lot of agencies share passwords. In those cases, somebody may log in with their teammate's accounts often. If they do that, it can look like they are coming from the same IP address, depending on when I look.

So, let me know. How would you like this issue handled? Should there be a limit to the number of agents from a single IP address in an agency? If so, what should it be? Should the game enforce that limit, or should I do it by hand? Should the limit apply to non-competitive agencies?

Replies

Skyler Michaels
Skyler Michaels
Well-Connected

Sep-27-2004 18:23

As far as giving people my password I think that should be our choice a couple of my agents couldn't work the other day but wanted me to work on their cases because even though they couldn't be there that day they still wanted to help the agency and gave me their passwords. Besides since we have the option to change a password now if it became a problem we can always change our passwords.

As far as having 2 agents the same in an agency. I say why not. I'd rather have the same persons agents in my agency rather then in a competing agency. besides if they do the work whats the big deal. I say we keep as is. just my 2 cents worth.

Detective_Smart_Ass
Detective_Smart_Ass

Sep-27-2004 19:30

I think that most of us have good and honest intentions w/ our multiple characters and sharing our password (just goes to show how close this game has brought so many people!) I also think it is pretty damn sad it is being abused. So I agree w/ Ben's policy.

I also think it is sort of nice that the different ( and legitimate agencies, I might add) are getting closer too. So the evil detectives out there who have wreaked havoc in our little town, have brought everyone together. So thanks.

Dr. Falco Maltese
Dr. Falco Maltese
Well-Connected

Sep-27-2004 20:36

When I first signed on and was not yet a subscriber, I created about six detectives so I could play more than three cases a day and so that I could try out the different types of characters and such. It was all about playing the game and enjoying myself, not about strategy or cheating or anything.

Then I subscribed and joined an agency with my first character, and what I heard, unofficially and through the sleuth grapevine, was that two subscribed, agency member detectives per IP address were ok. So I subscribed another character who also joined the same agency.

My two characters can help each other with their contacts and skills, true, but having control of two characters is less effective than if I could log in as any character in my agency at any time.

We have not been doing so much sharing in that way in our agency. I can see how helpful it would be to be able to use any contact in the agency at any time, or to access a favor someone is saving for a hunt even when that person is not on. I am not saying this is cheating, but I do think it makes the hunts too easy to be so fun anymore, and I also think this has a bigger effect than merely having two characters does.

I would be willing to have just one character, although I would then get to play less. I see that there would be difficulties policing this, however, and it would bother me if I agreed not to have two characters but others with more sophisticated equipment kept doing it because they could get away with it.

I would also be willing to have my two characters in different agencies - I don't think there's anything really worth spying on, and I think I could play honestly with two sets of people. It might be more fair as my two characters could then not help each other on cases, so I would have to wait for someone else with all three of the other evidence contacts, not just for two. I would also then get to know another group of people. So there are a number of positives to this scenario.

Mortimer Brewster
Mortimer Brewster

Sep-27-2004 20:37

I don't see a problem with it. I mean as long as you're operating out of one agency and not being a mole in someone elses agency while working in another. People just like the game and if someone can't get to a case then someone on the team can step up for them.

Dr. Falco Maltese
Dr. Falco Maltese
Well-Connected

Sep-27-2004 20:39

However, for me the real issue is keeping the game honest, challenging and fun. If treasure hunts are the main point of contention at the moment, then what can we do to improve them?



Orbitrux
Orbitrux
Well-Connected

Sep-27-2004 20:51

I agree with many of the points that have already been made. I agree with what Arne said about the hunts--there are other ways to level the playing field than to ban multiple characters--many of which have been suggested on these boards. One option that I don't remember seeing is perhaps having the server activate new hunts 3 times per day. This might help spread the wealth, if that's what's wanted, due to daily case limits.

Perhaps most importantly, though, I agree with the potential downfalls of banning IP addresses.

You see, I live in a rural area in a small town. When my computer dials-up the internet, I'm patched into a network in the 2nd nearest "big" city--40 miles away. As are many other internet users in other small towns around here. All of these people use/share a group of IP addresses that the company uses. So if Ben banned IP addresses, not only would I no longer be able to Sleuth from home, neither would anybody else in the towns around here. Not sure if they do anyway, but my point is that I think it could limit some people from playing.

Orbitrux
Orbitrux
Well-Connected

Sep-27-2004 21:02

I try not to double-post, but I thought of something else slightly more whiny that what I wrote above. For me, none of the cases are very challenging anymore. On the few cases I get clammed up on, I know how to get them solved with the help of the super agents in our agency. I keep playing Sleuth because I enjoy the people I work with, and those in other agencies as well, and because of treasure hunts.

With hunts, I know that my completed cases are working toward more than the agency's fame point level, they're working toward the agency's benefit in another way as well. What I'm trying to say is, treasure hunts are the sparkle in my Sleuth and I am disappointed when I sign on to work my cases for the day two hours after the hunts are released and there are not hunts to work on.

Not saying the game should change to my schedule, I'm just saying. ;)

Slim T
Slim T

Sep-27-2004 23:42

I have two detectives in the same agency and I donít think it should be a problem. After joining the agency with one detective I saw the fun and the great team we have and I wanted to contribute to that in the best way I can, so I asked if my other detective could join as well. Iíd rather put my effort into one agency than dividing it over two. If they were in two different agencies it would only contribute to rumours of spying or stealing from one agency for the benefit of the other agency. And rumours of favouring one agency over the other.
Also, I voluntarily gave my password to my team members because I know I can trust them. I can not be online all the time and would hate to see my 8 cases go to waste.

Avarra
Avarra

Sep-28-2004 01:37

Well, I have 2 subscribed agents on the same agent. Point is, before I did my second subscription, I asked Ben is it was allowed. Got a positive answer for 2 agents, and that was the limit. Not sure if I would have made the second subscription if it was not allowed. I really don't see with good eyes the idea of reducing the limit to 1 agent. Not only regarding the fun I have, but also regarding the money and time I've spent.

Now, being practical. If you reduce the limit, the "bad players" would still have multiple accounts. It is easy to hide under multiple IP addresses. The good players, on the other hand, the people that is here for the fun of the game itself, the people that try to make this a good place, would be restricted.

I'm not here for a long time. I don't know most of you, but I'm pretty sure most players are good players. Talked to Ben a few times, and he sound (read?) like a very nice person. We have a lot of players coming forward and making public they have 2 agents on the same agency. It is pretty clear not one is being sneaky about it.

Now, we have to add to that the "shared password" fact. I really don't see much difference between having 2 agents, or having 1 agent and also using someone else's password. At least from the competitive point of view. Actually, it is less competitive. Yes, you have access to 2 accounts, but you can only play 1 at a time, unless you have 2 brains and 4 hands.

My point is, for all I can, players could have 12 agents on the same agency. That would, first of all, be a very sad and lonely agency. Also, it would have the competitiveness of a turtle when solving cases. Yes, I know sometimes the turtle wins the race, but that is very rare.

If you limit the number of agents, but don't forbid password sharing, nothing will change. If one is worried about competitiveness and "abuse", password sharing is a much more important issue than owning more than 1 account.

jstkdn
jstkdn
Well-Connected

Sep-28-2004 02:20

First of all, I think it is truly awesome, that so many people come forward and be honest about this. OK we know we have all been doing it, but to come clean about it publically is another thing.

Ok, now I am wondering, are there any agencies that do not have double characters, and also do not share passwords? They may have an entirely different take on this.

Inherently, if one person has 12 agents, then they are still doing the work. Even if they slide to number 1, they are spending a significant amount of time playing this game.
And deserve to be at number 1.

However, I too like Orbitrux, have been struggling with the repetition of this game. And the reason why I mentioned for all of us to go back to single characters, is that I would be interested to see what happens. You would not be able to compete because of playing more agents, but being able to compete by taking risks, be forced to do team work etc.

If we were to take away double agents. Then I think we should open case files to be unlimited. Then still an agency that cooperates, and does team work has an advantage. Also additional features to for instance to be able to play with two physical evidence contacts if you play etc.

Avarra is right, password sharing is tied to the multiple agent question. It boils down to the same thing.

My closing words are, those top agencies/players, and top players that are not coming out of the woodworks right now. We know you are doing it, you may as well come clean, to not loose face. :)

Those that do play this game 100% on a single character, and do well, a lot of respect to you.

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