An Active Solution to an Idle Threat

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by tf2.com, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. tf2.com

    tf2.com L11: Posh Member

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    Your time is valuable, and the fact that you choose to spend it on Team Fortress 2 is awesome. When we introduced the Item Drop System back in 2009, one of our goals was to reward you for spending your time with us.


    We recently made a change that helps ensure players are playing TF2, not just leaving their computers on in order to get item drops. As of last week, players can no longer receive item drops unless they are actively playing the game.


    As with any update, this change is meant to keep the game as fair, fun, and rewarding to as many players as possible. We will continue to examine how the Item Drop System is used, and make any adjustments as needed to benefit the players.


    Questions and Answers:


    • What is the definition of “actively playing” Team Fortress 2?
      • From an item drop perspective, a player is considered to be actively playing if they meet all of the following criteria:
        • Is connected to a VAC secured server.
        • Is responding to in-game drop notifications while not utilizing external programs to do so.
        • Is running only one instance of the game.
        • Is not in textmode.
      • A player who meets all of those criteria is earning time towards random item drops (subject to the weekly cap).
    • Will I be VAC banned for not actively playing the game, also known as ‘idling’?
      • No, you will not be banned for just idling. You may be banned if you use external programs to circumvent idle detection. See VAC FAQ.
    • Will I lose my drops if I'm idling? Will it affect my weekly drop cap?
      • No, drops are not lost and the drop cap remains unaffected. Players will simply have their item drops paused. Item drops will return when normal play is resumed.
    • Why are you changing how the Item Drop System works?
      • This change is designed to make the TF2 experience equally rewarding for all players. The previous system had flaws that allowed players to collect rewards without actively playing TF2.
    • I don’t idle. How does this impact me?
      • The new system ensures you won’t become disadvantaged for playing TF2 the way you always have.

    Source: TF2.com
     
  2. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    idlers who play lots of TF2 will now just use two+ accounts to play TF2 since the item drop hours are so stingey per week they'll likely just play on a different account each day of the week and still rack up a ton of items.
     
  3. theharribokid

    aa theharribokid

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    Drop stack over 2 weeks so you can just hit the drop cap for half your accounts 1 week and then rotate over for the next week and everything will be the same. Obviously not for the big time idlers but still.
     
  4. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    i guess metal will go up in value eventually maybe?
     
  5. theharribokid

    aa theharribokid

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    Maybe once they put all these hats from this update craftable/dropable
     
  6. Geit

    aa Geit 💜 I probably broke it 💜

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    Since TF2 for Linux was released there has been a growing underclass of intelligent idlers who were beginning to do it at a seriously massive scale. It's possible to run TF2 so it only uses around 150MB of RAM, which can be reduced even further by forcing the RAM to page out to virtual memory.

    On a fairly standard £30 p/m server with 8GB RAM you would be able to run around 60 instances of TF2 and still have some fairly comfortable headroom in terms of server resources. It is also possible to automate the trading of items between accounts using the Steam Web Trading platform. Once one account hit the drop limit, they'd switch it out with another automatically.

    This move affects those people. These people had 400+ accounts hitting the drop limit on a weekly basis, now they simply can't do that without triggering VAC, and turning off drops while in textmode induces the need for dedicated video hardware, and so on.

    Valve has likely had this on the cards for a long while, but never implemented it because idlers were never a huge issue until it could be done on such a massive scale.

    EDIT:
    This guy had nearly 7000 accounts:
    http://forums.sourceop.com/threads/145300-PSA-Idling-now-a-bannable-offense
     
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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  7. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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  8. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    Here's a question. If these changes effectively kill idling, then why do we still have an item drop limit? The item drop limit was put in specifically in response to idling, so many ages ago.
     
  9. martijntje

    martijntje L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    So basicly the only thing that changed was that textmode idling no longer works?

    Kind of annoying actually. Given how I dont always reach the drop cap with normal playing, I liked being able to idle with minimal impact in the background. (I dont like leaving my computer on at night)

    Now I could just Idle the normal way, but that would actually require some processing power, making my computer heat up, which is really annoying in the summer.
     
  10. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    Just don't idle at all
     
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  11. theharribokid

    aa theharribokid

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    As I said it does have a 1 week roll over, so if you miss a few from the last week you can always pick them up the next
     
  12. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    I was under the impression trading digital property for actual cash was technically illegal. If i didn't think Valve were pretty all around moral for a company i wouldn't have been surprised to have seen legal action threatened over such activity.
     
  13. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    Jesus christ people are fluffy kittens. You aren't entitled to getting the max amounts of items every week. They are supposed to drop as rewards for, you know playing the game. Anyone who thinks this is a negative change can go eat a TI-class supertanker of cotton candy.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2013
  14. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    Completely uncalled for. I'm pretty sure everyone here considers this change no more than a curiousity, and it looked like we were having a reasonable and level headed discussion, but if people are going to start throwing around insults like this...
     
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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  15. drp

    aa drp

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    Please refrain from getting angry. It isn't good for your health or your ban status on the site.
     
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  16. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Here I thought Tarry was really funny saying fluffy kittens instead of pussies until I read on and realized it was actually pepper that was saying hilarious things.
     
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  17. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    If that were true, then the entire Steam marketplace would be illegal for even existing.
     
  18. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    The way i understood the marketplace is you trade items for items/keys, etc. Or at worst, steam cash so that Valve still have that cash. Even though Valve pretty much acknowledge they'd be wasting time better spent on producing a better community/games by chasing after such activity. We've seen in Blizzard's WoW that it's impossible to stop (gold) farmers in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  19. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    P sure you don't trade items for money, rather items for steam credit.
     
  20. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    Stop mixing up "against TOS" with "illegal." Two very different things. :p

    Selling TF2 items is not illegal, but it might be against the TOS. Like grazr said, it'd do more damage than good if they actually went after it.