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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?



Sep-28-2004 12:40

OK, first off, I do not have two or more accounts.

I look at it this way - if people are sharing passwords within an agency, then they can take advantage of different contacts - in the same way as someone with 2 ID's.

If someone has two ID's, then they have to do twice the amount of cases - if they want to/have the time to do that - good luck to them.

I think that you should not block IDs based on IP address as more than one person might be coming in on that address. I know my housemate has just staretd playing and is using the same broadband connection, hence the same IP address. And I would be surprised if that whole town mentioned earlier are not all playing this in a few months!! :D

I think that anyone who is caught 'spying' with a second ID, should be penalised in some way. Maybe even chucked out of the game, with all IDs.

I think sharing ID's engenders team spirit and trust. I also think that some agencies would be a lot worse off if they were not able to do this.
One point ot think about though.. if it was a real detective agency, and the agent was on holiday.. would you have access to their contacts/skills. No. But it is not real :)

I personally do not mind the system as it is.

The one thig I do not like - as voiced by everyone else - is how the hunts all seem to be ended by the time I log in.. I know this is one way to tackle this problem. But I like the idea of another favour becoming immediately available by the same faction that has just become completed.. that way everyone will have something to be interested in :D


Sep-28-2004 14:31

I agree! Keep all the hunts at the same value and just had them constantly coming out. There are only so many cases a day, so eventually some teams will be empty, then other teams can make progress. Everyone would benefit in this scenario, but not necessarily everyone would win hunts. But their chances may be better.

Clarice Starling
Clarice Starling

Sep-28-2004 14:39

Let me be the first one to officially "freak out" as jstkdn writes in his previous suggestion. Limiting the number of agencies is an obvious deterrent to any growth for the game ... and I'm sure no one (most of all Ben) wants that. As word of the game spreads, more people will subscribe ... and the recruiting field will be bigger and better.

I'm happy with the status quo of the game ... except for maybe adding a new faction (thus an additional hunting opportunity and new opportunities for spending skill points) ... and maybe adding more hunts throughout the day. It seems like the biggest complaint is that everyone just wants more opportunity to participate in hunts.


Sep-28-2004 15:53

I've been wondering: someone(s) obviously initiated all of this drama through some form of complaint. Why have they not voiced their opinions in this open forum? There's something far more insidious at work here than agencies sharing passwords or having players with 2 agents, and that is a few complainers who seem to be able to wield the power to effect everyone else. I don't know how long this thread will go on before any decision is made, but their silence indicates much about THEIR character!

Old Shoe

Sep-28-2004 16:15

Ok. Here's my two-cents.

Having two persons in an agency is great! It is a way of being able to have your spouse/friend play with you!

HOWEVER, I find it WRONG to have more than two people in your agency. By doing so, you are almost cheating! It is like being able to have more than one favor at your dispossal.

About the password sharing issue:

I find this as PURELY strategy and helping out your fellow man! HOWEVER, it does give you an UNFAIR advantage.

That's my two-cents.


Sep-28-2004 19:55

One thing that might help draw out hunts is make the level of case for favors higher. I know it is capped now, but if the favors were more difficult you would not always be able to solve it just because you got the appropriate favor, the skill in solving, asking the proper questions etc, as well as the element of luck, would be involved.

Also, someone mentioned a potential issue of bringing people into an agency just when they had the proper favor. To get around this maybe if you have a favor, you lose it automatially when you join an agency.


Sep-28-2004 20:03

I say Hooray for having hunts immediately replenished as soon as they are solved. I think there are a bunch of us who just want to be able to play whenever we can log on. Six hunts a day might have worked 4 months ago, but we have outgrown it. Instant new hunts would adjust the play to the number of folks actually working on hunts, so it would allow the game to keep growing.

I vote NO on limiting the number of agencies -if recruiting is a big problem then try to promote the game more widely and get more new folks in (or play a few extra agents ;-). I have no problem with people playing multiple characters or using other folks passwords if that's how they like to play. I think if there were more hunts available, neither of those would pose any major problem. Its just that now there are not enough hunts to go around.

I do think some of the more competitive element would like bigger challenges, though. The tournament idea seems worth exploring.


Sep-29-2004 00:53

I am with Chron on this. Obviously someone complained, and thinks people should not play with double characters.

So far, every single message that is posted here votes in favour of people being able to play more then one character.

Actually that is a great idea, solving the recruitment problems with getting more people in. I recall ones being in a slow period at work, and did not recall the link. I tried to find it, to no avail, and I could not remember how I originally landed on Sleuth.


Sep-29-2004 05:59

Actually not every single message here has been in favour of people being able to subscribe more than one character and put those into the same agency, almost but not every one.

In the general feedback thread, I asked Ben if we could have a discussion about what I think is a perfectly valid issue, namely doubles. I don't know if anyone else has mentioned something similar to Ben about this or any other of the questions Ben also brought forth, but to start lashing out at people for wanting the issue adressed shows a whole lot more about YOUR character!!

We're all here because we love the game, and, I hope, help make it fun and fair for as many people as possible, and so taking a closer look from time to time at some of the grey areas should be possible too :)


Sep-29-2004 08:19

I don't think making favors harder over all is the answer. I can't solve half of mine now. Some of us haven't been playing that long and don't have the skills for uberleethardness cases.

And to be honest, if my agency can no longer share passwords, that's fine too, because their subs are up soon, and they are debating on renewing because they have pretty much done it all. Unlike me. However, if I am left pretty much alone, I will most likely piddle a bit off and on, and then just consider my sub fee a write off and move on. (admittedly, I have spent less on a bad movie) I like playing because I like to play with my friends and this is a game I can do from work. But I do work, and I do go to school full-time and I am close to graduating so it's not a light workload at this point. I can't always be there for my friends, and I still see nothing wrong with us trusting each other enough to share passwords. I view it as teamwork and strategy.

Also, I think having dual/multi/shared agents in the SAME agency is fine. If they were in different agencies then I would be more concerned. Spy is bad. mmmkay?

Sorry if it's not coherent, I am tired.
Have a nice day.

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