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Cheating in the Card Contest

By Sonaru November 05, 2019, 22:15:13
Hello everybody.

As you may be aware, the New Cards Contest is coming to an end. When it was originally announced, people, me included, were excited because it promised us not just new cards, but that the community could actively propose and vote, thus being a part of the whole process. This, by the way, is an awesome concept, and Krosmaga deserves applause for giving this opportunity to its players!
However, during the last weeks, it occurred to some that when it came to the voting, the contest might have been compromised. It is generally very hard to say whether a person is getting their votes illegitimately; maybe they are using alt accounts. Maybe they are a popular community figure and have lots of fans who voted for them by default. Maybe their idea is simply incredibly good. Maybe.

However, across all those points, there has been stuff going on that is, unquestionably, highly suspect. I am talking about 2 players in particular, and I have documented the things that seemed odd to me in order to make an attempt to get this contest back in line with the rules.
Before I proceed: I did not want to make this a public affair at first. I am working with the facts that I've got, and by no means am I implying that those players are terrible persons and should be attacked by anyone in any form. The only reason I am doing it on the forum now is because the contest is nearly over, and all I got from support was that they "do not deal with this kind of player transgressions." That being said, I would be glad if an Admin could maybe give a statement under this post, because there already is a similar post in the French forum, and they are getting new information on it. It would be important for the English forum to also have this discourse without relying on Google Translate (which is, in regards to accurate translation, like playing an Ecaflip Deck, dare I say). 
Also, if any of the players I will be writing about below has explanations or additional info regarding this topic, please join the discussion. This here does not exist solely to accuse anyone. The goal is to salvage what is still left of the competition, in order to get an outcome that actually reflects our communitie's wishes. Also, for everything I will be claiming in this thread, I have made screenshots of the forum, including time stamps. If the evidence is wanted, I will be glad to send them to any Ankama representative who needs them.
With that being said, lets dive into it...

The first player I want to talk about is "oups-jes-bug." They started proposing ideas for the contest around October 30, and almost ALL of their ideas got between 5 to 7 votes within the very first day. To put this into perspective: 7 votes is huge. Many people have 7 views on some of their propositions, with no votes at all. I was very careful to jump to conclusions, but if we look at the facts, we have:
1. Three propositions in (almost) every single category
2. ALL of those propositions got an amount of likes that made them the top 3 of their respective category.
3. ALL of those likes happened within the first day, or even hours of their existence.

With a player base as small al Krosmaga's, and the general awareness and participation in the contest, there is no way that these votes were not manipulated. If oups-jes-bug should have used alt accounts, it would be a definitive rulebreak. However, I do not know if there is a safe way to find this out for sure.
Then, there is the possibility that people "auto-liked" for them, which means that they voted for every proposition, regardless of their quality and compatibility with the game. I actually cannot tell you for sure whether this would be a rulebreak according to the rules of this particular contest (indeed, the contest rules are still only available in French, which is kind of ridiculous in its own right since we all had to accept them anyways); maybe oups is a streamer who has lots of fans, maybe they simply have an overflowing friends list or are an active community member.
Regardless: This, even if not directly a bannable transgression, undermines the entire democratic process of this contest. Instead of having the Devs choose between our community's 5 most supported ideas, we get 3 ideas by one guy, and 2 by the other (whom I will talk about in a second). Many of their propositions are also suspect in that they simply recycle an older idea (which can happen), but where the original got 0 votes, theirs got many.
As an example, there is a post by HChevalier for a Crâ spell (4 cost, 2 damage, 2 healing) from October 26. Since its creation, it got 0 votes. On October 30, oups-jes-bug proposed a very similar Crâ spell (5 cost, 2 damage, 1 healing) - it got 6 votes within the first day. If people had actually liked the idea, HChevalier would have also gotten likes. Additionally, the original idea even makes more sense when you look at the cost/effect ratio. There is simply no way that these votes have been given fairly.
Another one is simply an Enutrof minion for 3 cost with 3/3/4 stats. Some of the ideas are simply basic to a point where it is unbelievable that unbiased people saw them and though: "OMG, you know what Krosmaga needs? This thing!" Yea right, basically a Red Piwi with no effect. Now THAT sounds exciting (it also got 6 votes within hours).

The second person I want to talk about is "ilidiane". Ilidiane started making propositions as early as October 17, and many of them have been high on the list ever since. Because of the fact that her propositions are a bit older, I thought that this was absolutely legit and people just liked her ideas. However, after oups-jes-bug had all of his ideas jump to the top 3 in every single forum, ilidiane kind of did the same thing. Overnight, almost all of her ideas gained a miraculous 2 to 4 extra votes, making them jump to the top spot once again. Had it not been for that incident, I would not have cared at all. But this pattern is simply suspect, to say the least. Once again, there are incredibly basic ideas among them, like an Ecaflip minion for 4 AP with 4/4/4 stats and no effect, which got up to 6 votes shortly after oups posted their own ideas.

Now, around a week later, most of both oups's and ilidiane's propositions have between 6 and 10 votes, and that is true for every single one of their ideas in EVERY . SINGLE . ONE . of the categories. There is just no satisfying explanation as to how this could have happened without some form of cheating, not to that extent and not in that kind of repeating pattern.

So, I wonder, what can we do now? As far as the official English post said, the Devs will examine the 5 most liked cards for each god and then choose from them 3 that they want to implement into the game. At the moment, ALL ideas in the top 5 would be from either ilidiane, or oups (there is also "MickeyVonair", who also got quite a surprising boost to at least one of his ideas in each category - however, I don't want to claim anyone's cheating without being 100% sure).
The problem with the centralization on these 2 players is that we will not be getting the most interesting or most wanted cards, but simply the cards they proposed, whether they're good or not. It leaves the rest of the community behind, making us feel like our ideas were not appreciated and our democratic efforts basically worthless. I do not even understand what these 2 people are trying to accomplish by having top propositions in every single category. Winning just 1 of 39 would give them the price (which is, I mean, you saved 5 bucks, good for you...). What is the rest for? Would you guys truly rather have worse cards and an overall worse game, simply to satisfy your egos? I honestly cannot imagine that.

The contest is almost over, the damage is done. So now we need to come up with ideas how this could still be turned into something that makes our community happy. For one there is the option to simply disqualify the OBVIOUS cheaters. However, personally I would not propose that. Some of the ideas of both ilidiane and oups are actually pretty awesome, and while I think that their behavior was absolutely reprehensible, some of the ideas might still be genuinely liked by the community. Disqualification would maybe be justifiable, but not the most democratic thing to do.
Another possibility, and one that I would consider "fair" within the circumstances, would be to mostly ignore votes. Have the Ankama team look at every proposition, even those which only got 1 or even 0 likes. They are the most knowledgeable and can determine whether a card would be both implementable and balanced. Let them pick their top 5, and then let us vote again - ANONYMOUSLY. Maybe give the prize to the top 5 or something, I don't know about that. I honestly do not care about winning anything at this point, I just want the frustration to end that I and many others feel in regard to how this contest has evolved. I would much rather have the game and community get the new cards that they want and deserve, rather than having my own ideas imposed on them simply for my personal ego and narcissism and saving 5 Euros... If the "prizes" were given before the final vote, there would be no more reason to manipulate the votes. This way, maybe, we could actually have a fair contest and end up with the most liked and interesting cards for each new god. That is what this contest was for, after all.

Thank you all for reading this. I did not plan for this to become so long, but I simply had to visibly address this to people, since many feel frustration and unhappiness about how this whole thing has currently been evolving, me included. If Ankama representatives see this, please do not see it as a rant, but simply as my attempt to give possibilities as to how we could improve our community's experience regarding this particular event. At everyone else, if you have got any additions, criticism etc., please share it below; I will try to keep this updated and fair to the best of my abilities. Finally, if oups or ilidiane read this: if there are actual reasons for the sudden popularity of your ideas, please share them with us. After all, no one here had any malicious intent, as I believe. Everybody makes mistakes, it is just important to stand up and correct them.

Thank you all and have a wonderful evening.
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I really liked how you put things here, we dont know what happened so just explaining your reason was a really good approach in my opinion. I'm impressed how well you did your research and i find it kinda funny how weird it is for someone to have all their propositions equally liked, like, if cheating really was the intention at least make it more believable.

The thing with alternate accounts is that probably everyone that plays Ankama for a long time have them for Dofus or Wakfu, but normally they have no point in Krosmaga so it is hard to determine that. 
In the end i keep my original tought, Ankama will realize that this idea had some holes in it and will do their thing so that it's fair.

I love this game, but if almost every card is from only 2 people i dont see much point in keep playing Ankama games, cause it would show they dont care about us.

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I read(google translate)  the rules for the contest, it dont say anything about that, but it says about fraud, which this can or cannot be considered, in the end everything is up to the organizers to decide and they cant be held responsible for anything, basically a standard contract.

I believe in you Ankama, some things are fishy, look deeper into things. We are just concerned players who wish for a better environment.

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Thank you for the feedback.
Also, I was not even aware of the fact that the other Ankama games require or at least encourage multi-accounting, since I've never played Wakfu or Dofus. That actually explains why people might have been so easily tempted to give themselves votes, since they already had these accounts at hand.
As you said, I am also positive that Ankama kinda knows that things went wrong by now and hopefully will not make the number of votes their primary focus when choosing the new cards.

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