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[Reported] Negative Guild Wars Score Issue

Platform: PC/Mobile

The guild I am in (Rage Against the RFG) ended up with a score of -1,690,587,889 for day 4 of Guild Wars. This is clearly not accurate and is very frustrating and discouraging for the guild.

3 Likes

Wow, interesting. Would you be able to say how much was the actual total of players’ scores for the day? We might be able to figure what the GW maximum score is. I am sorry if I am asking too much of you.

I would like to add that the issue appears to be tied to one particular guild member’s score. Their score is currently -1,690,738,063.

I would kick them immediately before they take your whole guild down. Not sure what they are doing but what ever it is it’s not the correct way to play. Maybe using 1 troop to solo it perhaps thinking more points for the harder battles. Well the Devs were not impressed with whatever it is :joy::joy::joy:

2 Likes

Unlikely to help, the score seems to get locked in, even when a member quits a guild.

I believe they were playing the game like everybody else. Guild Wars is basically an abandoned game mode that never worked correctly. Scoring has been broken for years, with multiple threads documenting how little IP2 cares about the issues. You won’t even get compensated for resources spent whenever the game yet again loses count and cheats your guild out of their victory.

3 Likes

We had the guild member leave and rejoin. The member’s Guild Wars points were reset to 0, but the bug effecting the overall guild score remained.

1 Like

been like this for years but no one cared to start with, and even less now. Gw has been a well sold myth.

This was caused by a cheating player who has since been banned. I’ve reported what happened to the dev team so they can look into how this affected the player’s score and so they can fix up the Guild’s score to what it should be without the cheating players’ involvement.

I would just like to say that just because one player in a Guild is cheating doesn’t mean that anyone else in the guild is a cheater or condones this behaviour. It can be difficult to know when someone in your own guild is cheating, in this case they cheated so hard it looked like a bug, so it was easier to spot.

So please don’t hold it against this person’s Guild mates, 99% of the time the rest of the guild has no idea it’s being done and don’t condone it or want it in their guild.

9 Likes

I’m kind of curious about this one. The scoring formula seems to constrain the individual daily score to a range of 0 to 9750 points. It doesn’t look possible to break out of this range, no matter which advantages you get from cheating. Any chance what happened was actually the other way around, a player was banned for cheating, which then caused the guild score to get messed up? This would be interesting to know for future Guild Wars.

Pure conjecture, random numbers:

Client reports impossibly good battle stats back to the server (0 turns or whatever) →
Server logic was never programmed to handle edge cases →
Max score was set to be an unsigned integer 16 →
Allocated memory can not fit a number larger than 65,535 →
Server computes score, score exceeds limits →
Score rolls over into negatives

1 Like

They were able to leave and rejoin RAR on Sunday. So they weren’t banned until Kafka banned him.

And to Kafka’s points. RAR is one of our more casual guilds… The player wasn’t putting up crazy numbers with gold or trophies that would put up red flags. I think they just got frustrated after a bad GW day in a low bracket and tried to do what cheaters do.
In the 7 weeks he was in RAR he had donated 2 million gold total and earned 4k trophies total.

1 Like

The puzzle pieces don’t fit. There doesn’t seem to be any readily apparent way to achieve that score by cheating. It’s the way score components get calculated, range bound multipliers to the base score.
Even if you were to cheat yourself to 1 billion skull damage the scoring formula on server side would still fit it into the [0…4] damage multiplier range. There might be some overflow issue involved, looking at the result score would probably have to be a pretty weird one.

It’s kind of hard to picture someone getting a bad GW day against a guild that scored a grand total of 13007 points. And to aim for a huge negative score when trying to fudge numbers. Has the player admitted to cheating?

I had this suspicion when I saw that score.
Programmers mind can’t avoid to see it was very close to MIN_INT of integer(32) :slight_smile:

I think you’re over thinking it. The guild opponent could of been at 0 points when he tried to hack the system.

To answer your second question. I trust the devs in regards to cheating. I’ve never known a cheater in Gems of War that would actually admit cheating.

Problem is that it’s no longer the devs that are supposed to identify cheaters:

If anything looks remotely suspicious, kick first, ask questions later. It’s an official guideline, so not following this from now on will likely make support refuse any resulting claims you might have, like correcting your Guild Wars score to prevent you dropping several brackets. Considering how many suspicious scores Guild Wars produces quite naturally due to bugs, it’s the perfect setup for a witch hunt with 99% collateral damage rate. Toxic times incoming.

Is there any way you could put me in contact with the banned player? I’d like to learn the details of what they did, how to reproduce it and possibly how to somewhat accurately identify it. Feels like something I owe to guild members, benefit of doubt based on an educated guess, even when we are supposed to shoot on sight.

Look again, it’s not anywhere close to MIN_INT, 0x9B3BAD0F is way off in the middle of nowhere. The baffling part for me is that I can’t find any reasonable way to backtrack to that value. Usually numbers tell a story if you listen to them for while, there doesn’t seem to be anything coherent here.

1 Like

We can’t provide any specific details about what the player did, but I can say that they really buggered up what they were doing. The only way to achieve what they achieved was by cheating (and doing a terrible job of it), it’s impossible to replicate what this player did without hacking.

The player was banned by myself after I saw the threads about the issue and went to investigate what might’ve caused the issue. I shared all the account and guild data with the dev team as well (it’s important to have multiple people check on new edge cases like this to prevent/correct any human error as well as to prevent this thing from being able to happen in future.)

In this specific case, it was very obvious that the Guild didn’t support or encourage this player’s cheating and that they really messed up the Guild War for this Guild, it’s an edge case that doesn’t usually happen (first time I’ve seen this happen), so I’ve requested for this player’s score to be ommitted if we can do so without breaking something.

If something like this happened on day 1 of Guild Wars and the Guild waited until the next Guild Wars to write to us, then it would be sort of odd and I probably wouldn’t do anything about it (at that stage I couldn’t really do anything about it anyway even if I wanted to).

If it happened and the Guild wrote to us immediately, we’d get it fixed up as quickly as possible so it would have as minimal impact as possible.

While we do have support policies to follow to keep things fair for everyone and treat everyone equally, when it comes to these edge cases we do try to apply some human reasoning to the situation if we can. If we start seeing this in every Guild in Guild Wars then it’s easy to have a blanket statement that no help will be given etc. of course this is also followed up with code that actually prevents the thing from happening.

But when it’s only 1 Guild here and there it’s a different matter and can be treated on a case by case basis with the understanding that we will treat each individual Guild as fairly and as equally as possible until the issue is resolved or becomes a large scale issue that needs a blanket policy to cover.

I usually ask myself questions like this before deciding what to do with edge cases:

  • Is this a once off issue, an edge case or is it going to continue happening?
  • Does the issue affect more than one player/Guild?
  • How do the potential solutions affect other players/Guilds?
  • If I choose a certain solution will it be fair to the player/Guild and to the other uninvolved players/Guilds?
  • If this happens to another Guild do we have the time/resources to use this solution for them as well?
  • Will this solution trigger a change in playstyle in other Guilds/accounts which will worsen the issue or significantly affect the team’s workload?

^ these sort of questions are things I ask myself about any sort of edge case, not just ones involving cheats. We realise that not everything is black and white so more thought goes into things than it may seem on the surface level.

I probably didn’t need to write such a detailed response but I sort of felt like providing some transparency about my thought processes around these sort of issues, especially if there was going to be concern for if this is likely to happen again for other Guilds and concern about what to do if it happens to your Guild.

7 Likes

This feels awfully ambiguous. Direct question, has cheating been confirmed?

To elaborate a bit on this, I’ve been playing Gems of War for quite a while now. One thing that has been a constant the past years is bugs, in all flavors of weirdness. I would have thought it impossible the AI could move two gems at the same time, making two gem matches simultaneously. I would have thought it impossible one could win a level 90 delve and end up with a level 0 delve. I would have thought it impossible one could get credited for playing an entirely different team than the one actually used in battle. And still it all happened, without any cheating involved, some of it even remains an unexplained mystery up to the current day.

Getting back to the question, it sounds like you investigated the issue, couldn’t find a reasonable explanation other than cheating and forwarded it to the dev team for further analysis. Have they figured out what the player did? Or is the ban only on the grounds that a negative score couldn’t possibly ever happen naturally?

It’s appreciated. To share some insight why this is a tricky situation for guilds, we face all kinds of issues during Guild Wars. The number of battles sometimes get counted incorrectly, the total scores sometimes don’t add up, the defense teams sometimes revert to some outdated PvP defense at the start of each day, sometimes we even get matched against guilds from entirely different brackets. A player having some unusual battle result feels like just yet another hiccup we’ve come to expect.

There doesn’t seem to be any guideline as to when exactly an unusual scores becomes a score obtained through cheating. Actually, there doesn’t even seem to be any official information as to which score range is even possible. Could you please share some thoughts as to when we should consider a player cheating? Just when the score is negative? What about scoring a million on a single day? Or one hundred thousand? Or ten thousand?

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The fact that the GW scores could be edited all this time by hackers is my only concern. It sounds like the one we reported on here just made an error that made the score unrealistic. Imagine the others that are able to edit their scores without screwing up.

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Which is one of the reasons I’d like to learn at which score we are supposed to be absolutely certain someone is cheating. Asking us to immediately kick players from guilds isn’t a small matter, given the blacklists the community is maintaining it pretty much kills off the account, even when proven innocent later. I don’t recall any other company ever taking such an approach, I just hope they thought this one through really, really well.