October 8, 2013
As far as I understand, it's always been within the rules to let the game sit, logged in, until being automatically kicked. It's always been common to do this, especially when standing at a cactus or other farm that you've built.
Since the reset, people have been making the claim that this is now against the rules, yet the rules haven't changed. Can we get an official stance on this please?
June 13, 2013
The rules for afk are the same as they've always been. You're allowed to afk, but if you do so for an extended period of time, you'll draw the attention of staff, at which point you may be tested to see if you are paying attention to the game at all and not using scripts or similar to prevent getting kicked or automatically rejoining.
one additional thing I want to make clear to everyone: You do not get claimblocks if you are afk. There's a built in checker that tests if you are away, and if it senses that you are, it won't deliver the claimblocks to you.
October 8, 2013
Thanks for the clarification. With an official stance set, you should probably let your mod team know. RKKC and Blob have been telling people for two days that afking will get you banned. Posting how the activity checker functions and the rates of claimblock gain might also help you achieve some level of transparency with the player base.
Banning people for not responding to moderator provocation is also a pretty questionable policy. It's completely ineffective, and only proves whether the player happens to be looking at the screen or not. Instead, write scripts that look for consistency. In my work as a professional game programmer, a couple of the studios I've worked for have had scripts like that; I can't comment on exactly how they worked, but checking the time between logout and login is a pretty easy place to start searching for patterns. Checking which colors are being clicked, mouse movement speed (often instantaneous), window focus, and organic mouse movement patterns are also easy to set up and effective.
It would also help if a rule were added, or at least clarification, on whether you must be at the computer for your afking to be allowed. By definition, being afk means you're not at the computer, or at least not looking at that specific screen. If afking is allowed only when you're looking at the screen, it should be written in the rules if you want any ethical ground for enforcing it that way. Otherwise, having mods ban people for not responding can only be considered abusive. Considering that policy is much more likely to hurt legitimate players than catch cheaters, it's easy to see we have a problem.
I understand that you're doing your best with limited resources, and I appreciate the work you do to keep the server running, that's why I take the time to let you know about problems. If you do decide to try and improve things and would like some help, let me know. It's never been my job to write anti-botting scripts, but I know a few talented people that have, and I know a fair bit about how to get it working.
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