These two known missions have now been removed from the galaxy, but they have highlighted an important issue: what should be done with the progress already gained through exploitation? Should players be allowed to keep that progress, or should it be “rolled back”?
As a reminder, there is a difference between cheats and exploits, and exploits are not punishable. Read more here: Exploit & cheating policy
How should exploited progress be handled?
Roll back progress
Note: In the particular case of these two exploits, it appears that a total of 21 players took advantage of them. The top player has gained 42 billion points, 3 million food, 4.5K keys (+ approx 210K more keys from selling food).
This is unfair for other players
Taking an advantage of this exploit and abuse it like that would be unfair for all players
Rolling back would be a better idea
Since it got abused so hard
Let the players that played the mission as intended keep there progress
It is absolutely unbearable to collect all the food and keys and finish many tasks It is a new method but the precautions We do not deal with symptoms and with the tasks that exist in all galaxies We keep progress without any problem and some players are not active they do not deserve to finish the progress and this is unfair
Rolling back progress in any way would be ugly experience for players involved. But because it’s still Early Access, I’m fine with that.
If I really want to farm:
waves to be the most active recruit, I would go to an easy Squawk Block mission with Chicks and surrender 1000 times.
food to get a lot of keys, I would go to another Squawk Block with full of normal Chickens and play repeatedly.
I don’t do that because it’s boring, but doing the above is still acceptable to most players. But to players that exploit waves with very large amounts of food (food is both points and keys, the biggest burger is 38,400 points), here are some possible solutions:
Set an artificial limit (soft cap) of how many times the player can get normally from the same mission in the same day. After the soft cap is reached, each time the player plays, every drop probability is reduced by half and so is the score. However, this is not a good idea because some players are determined to try many times in the same day to complete a really hard mission.
iA suggested that there could be a limit (hard cap) of how much food you can get in each wave, after that enemies no longer drop food. This is good, but I still have problems with unnecessary “artificial limits” in so many online games and mobile games. The limit should be your dedication, but only if you are dedicated correctly of course.
The best solution unfortunately is to check each and every wave in the game, here is the list of all waves that can appear: Chicken Invasion/Waves | Chicken Invaders Wiki | Fandom. Check if there are any waves that are potentially broken if you use Absolver Beam, or farming food from Slobs.
Epic waves with Chickenauts or Eggships are usually acceptable because it’s really hard to get full advantage from them, and because it’s a hard wave, they deserve more points.
Dazzling Coordination: If this wave appears at the beginning and you have Absolver Beam, is it acceptable to players? Because they are still far from the player’s position and less dangerous in farming with it, but is it completely broken? I think not, it’s just the weapon.
Heavy Metal give large amounts of points its hardest variant (egg barriers) is on the first wave. But I don’t think players complain much about points only, because they make little difference after the tier needed for Retro missions and no difference at all after tier 99. Same goes for Shoot the Core. But because egg barriers only give 12,500 points, which is less than the new alien UFO in total, there is no major problem with this wave.
Tangled Mess: Absolver Beam breaks everything. How about let the group enters the screen already tangled (like later in the wave) instead of all of them entering at the same time?
The above are only examples of how I analyze a wave, I don’t have enough experience playing extra-hard missions. I don’t think that many waves have problems either, some missions like food-farming Squawk Block you can easily “exploit” from, but it won’t even be called exploits because it is an acceptable normal way of playing.
Just 1 question
Why are you singling this one out of all the times that players have exploited?
For example, some players in the older versions have made an even crazier amount of keys by selling stuff for Shady Dealers for huge profit.
Looks like this is a hot take, but let them keep it.
There are a multitude of reasons I think this is the wiser approach, so I’ll elaborate on a few below. As the policy says, they’re playing by the rules of the game, and the game needs to change the rules if they aren’t working. This isn’t “cheating” or “unfair” as people seem to think - everyone has equal opportunity here. There’s no hacking or anything below-board. Someone just found a clever method to make a lot of income quickly.
Also, while these have been some extreme cases with large key turnovers, what would happen for a more “borderline” situation? Not all exploits will be immediately obvious to the people “abusing” them. They can be discovered accidentally, and learning that your progress got rolled back because “oh, that’s actually an exploit” sounds like a bit of a Nasty Surprise (pun not intended). At what point does behaviour qualify as resettable exploitation? This is sort of what @Helios mentioned above.
21 players is not a huge count. If an exploit appeared that was difficult to fix quickly, and really did start to become a wider issue, I’d recommend making a forum post (and perhaps even sending UHF mail around to the players) informing them that the particular exploit will have its progress rolled back, in order to stop an edge case like that from spiralling out of control.
But I don’t think it’s a good general rule to rewind player progress because they found an clever and efficient way to play the game, even if that method gets removed because it wasn’t intended. After all, how is a player to know what the “intended” approach is?
It’s also worth keeping in mind that having the progress get rolled back will only encourage more stealthy behaviour, and attempts to exploit undetected, which is exactly what we don’t want (especially during EA where it’s good for this stuff to come to the surface). It seems better to me that this stuff gets caught quickly and fixed, rather than creating a system where some people will no doubt try to conceal the exploiting behaviour for as long as possible.
How long is two days of progress? It’s not a steady metric, unless you mean two days of exploited progress, in which case people would just stop at 47 hours instead.
I don’t think anything in the title post suggests this change is just for Early Access, but correct me if I’m mistaken. My understanding is that this is a long-term policy adjustment.
But the point is why they get to keep the keys while in this case, we have to do a poll to decide and maybe even lose our keys
Can you see the difference when we are singling this case out?
It is unfair because they exploited and get to keep the keys while that we don’t, let alone the fact that some of you guys can just create a lot of accounts to vote completely one-sided
Honestly I.A, if the progress was rolled back, some of the exploit players may get even greedier and find more ways to exploit silently without being detected.
Still, this is Early Access and exploits are meant to be found to make the game fully inexploitable.
So I will tell you another exploit that I found and it goes like this:
Using a H&C 101 and flying the first wave of a 100% difficulty Retro mission with the Absolver Beam and then surrendering will result in a ridiculously short time of 3 seconds and will give the players 7-8 keys based on the location fluctuation. After that, players can repeat this to farm keys.
I suggest the first wave of all types of missions that drops keys at the end should not drop keys (just the first wave) so that I and the exploit players cannot get a lot of keys in a short amount of time
I initially voted yes because that’s my standard for all kinds of cheat or xploit. But after seeing that video, I switched to keep. From the video helios sent, that’s just a balance issue to me. Perhaps a good counter to it would be increasing unoriginality penalty as some other user suggested, or having more of a bespoke aproach of, for example, massively drop your income from an early abandoned mission (before third or 4th wave, perhaps, or before the first boss, to a max of 6 waves?).
In the cheating/exploiting policy, I.A stated that exploits are encouraged to be found and reported but rolling back their progress which they made will make them feel unsatisfied and initially ignite the motivation for more exploiting silently for their own good. This has happened to me and now I just want to spit out all the exploits I have like this one
In my post above I also said about whether some small exploits are acceptable like Squawk Block missions. But what you said here is a normal way of playing, because Retro first wave is just a classic rectangle.