Secure the game voting feature

#1

Roblox has a vulnerable voting system.

For your game to be voted on, you must meet two loose qualifications

  1. You must play the game

  2. You must have a verified email attached to the account voting

While these were a somewhat reliable screening process back when the voting system was originally released years ago… There has been no additional contingencies implemented to keep up with the times.

Last night on 5/6/19 at 8:00PM EST, my game Koala Cafe hit 1K+ concurrent players, although to my dismay they were actually bots programmed to dislike whatever game they’re playing.

Below is a screenshot of the inflated player count, example of what the bots looked like, and my previous like ratio.

As you can see, 1.2K players and a 61% dislike ratio.
23%20PM

This is what the accounts looked like, it looks similar to the front page bots that have been plaguing the games page.

This can severely impact medium level developers like myself, due to recent changes on Robloxs side that put so much emphasis on the like ratio of the game, its the first thing players see when they are on the games page.

If they continue to offset my like ratio even further, this could prevent players from even joining my game… thinking its a bad game in general. The ratio is to allow transparency, aiding players on which games are great and which games are bad. If the ratio is so easily spoofed, it needs to have more checks and balances in it.

Here are some possible solutions I’ve thought of that could help secure the feature, making it harder to spoof.

  1. Roblox recently released “Funcatpcha” a feature which adds an extra layer of security to automation, this feature helped reduce group wall spam, and bots joining groups. This could possibly be implemented to help add an extra layer of security to the Voting system.

  2. Use an algorithm which looks for multiple things, games played… how the game was played… if they interacted with a game like an actual human would ect… and then allow them to have the ability to use the Voting system.

  3. Youtube has a feature where if your videos hit 300 views or so, all views are automatically checked to ensure they were not inflated by a fake source. You could implement this for the voting system and do a manual review as well.

Most importantly work with developers to help support them and remove the botted dislikes or likes to ensure a fair playing field for everyone

I currently have my game set to group only, this is costing me money and players. I made this post to help spread awareness and start the discussion so that the Roblox team can take action accordingly.

Thanks for reading,
Logan

127 Likes
Bad past game performance causes irrelevant ratings to negatively impact player's expectations
Comment request
closed #2

This topic was automatically closed after 1 minute. New replies are no longer allowed.

opened #3
#4

I must agree. One of my games became a victim of bots for a while ago and therefore got more dislikes than likes, which makes people play another game than mines. And that again makes me lose revenue and possible players.

10 Likes
#5

This is a smart way of controlling player votes. There are alot of games that in the past, have been dislike botted beyond compare, and people would be surprised how much this effects people’s opinions of a game or platform.

I hope Roblox introduce this!

10 Likes
#6

I can see how botting the voting system can be a huge problem now. This game created just yesterday is now on the front page as #1 popular sort for me https://www.roblox.com/games/3158851680/4-Player-War-Tycoon

If they can bypass the new captcha with 8000 bots I’m sure we will be seeing plenty of games start to get dislike botted very soon.

4 Likes
#7

I wonder if they’re just bots made before the captchas?

Either way this needs to be dealt with. I’m sick and tired of bots ruining everything.

7 Likes
#8

Start adding captchas for when a rating is filed in, just like posting a group wall comment

4 Likes
#9

Game voting would slow to a crawl if captchas were implemented. Nobody wants to fill out a captcha to give an impulse opinion on a game.

Playing devils advocate for a minute - what if voting was only enabled for users that have spent at least $5 over the lifetime of their account? This would permanently render bot services unprofitable. I know steam does something similar.

5 Likes
#10

There is already 100% captcha on login. If they got past that, plastering captchas elsewhere on the site won’t help.

1 Like
#11

If they’re using the RobloSecurity cookie it bypasses the captcha.

Just because you secure one gate doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add captchas elsewhere on the site.

2 Likes
#12

Surely just make voting only do-able by veteran accounts :man_shrugging:

Yes, they could create all the accounts and wait a year to dislike your game, but by that time the persons probs forgot about you and your game anyway.

2 Likes
#13

@BuildIntoGames That suggestion could possibly work, maybe requiring a user to have made a purchase of robux or builders club over the lifetime of an account, could greatly reduce bot activity but punish every game overall, as feedback would be limited to only paying users.

I think a better solution would be Roblox having a system which would flag bursts of 1000 dislikes all within <5 minutes, and set them for a manual review to check the accounts.

@EchoReaper I think it would nice to see it implemented for the time being… if it happens to make an effect great, if it doesn’t curb the botting then it could be removed just as quick as it came.

On a side note;

Summary

I’m also not sure if likes are actually aesthetic, or if they are accounted for in the sorting algorithm when you search for a game.

As seen here it sparked the question in my mind if likes play a role with sorting.

#14

There is no such thing as a quick feature implementation. I encourage you to read this post which explains all of the planning, preparing, and standard corporate bureaucracy that is necessary for any change. Things like captcha especially have to be thought out thoroughly, as they can have a drastic effect on user engagement – higher friction = more opportunity for real users to not bother.

Why don’t we leave this up to professionals to determine. Captchas always have been and always will be a request out of desperation from the community – it doesn’t have enough information to determine the negative impact they will have on real users, whether it will actually stop bots, or if Roblox is already working on something that will solve this.

2 Likes