Bots on ECC - Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JamieSinn, Jun 5, 2018.

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  1. JamieSinn

    JamieSinn Retired Lead Administrator/Developer
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    Since we're in the middle of expanding ECC, and content is hard to push out as fast as I'd like to - I've decided to open the floor to discussion regarding bots on ECC.
    Currently, bots are effectively banned, there's far too much administrative things to work on behind the scenes to allow them.


    Now, I'm open to changing this if I can be assured that there's good reason to do so. So, I ask this question.

    What would you do with bots on ECC? Why do you want them?

    I'm very open to discussion regarding this. Feel free to post as long as you want, as I'll be reading every post.
     
  2. Gluupor

    Gluupor Builder
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    no. i dont see any use for them other than spamming the chat (im assuming this is about chatbots). if this indeed includes automating things using bots then NO please dont, if you cant be bothered playing legitely then why bother playing at all.
     
  3. 314

    314 Irratioπal President, former ServerAdmin
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    Speaking as a long-time bot owner: Data. That's pretty much the #1 reason why I still run Pivillean at this point, except for occasionally watching chat on my phone via an SSH client because Minechat takes up too much of my monthly data plan.

    (Also, I appreciate Pivillean's Reverse Polish Notation calculator [/w Pivillean !rpn expression].)


    Reference:
    https://pi.epsiloncode.com/voting.html

    Addendum:
    I have to admit that the usefulness of bots for statistics has greatly decreased since the launch of the lobby and especially Skyblock because bots:
    1. have to focus on a specific server for data collection because you can't log Skyblock and Main plugin messages at the same time and
    2. tend to get thrown around servers when they restart, which leads to incomplete data (although it's up to the bot owner to figure out a way to solve that problem).
    Bots are not (and should never be) exempt from automation/alt account rules.
     
    #3 314, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  4. JamieSinn

    JamieSinn Retired Lead Administrator/Developer
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    This is about bots in general. Chat bots are included.
     
  5. JamieSinn

    JamieSinn Retired Lead Administrator/Developer
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  6. OinkyOverlord

    OinkyOverlord Builder
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    Just to clear this up, are you talking about user-created bots or bots run by administration?
     
  7. oxwood2

    oxwood2 EcoMaster | Former Supermod | Former Troll
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    No thanks. Trade chat was already unpleasant to be in because of macro-automated messages, and to have that in any other chats would be a disgrace. Data collecting bots is ok, bots to do anything but collect data are not
     
  8. Aqua_Luna3

    Aqua_Luna3 Moderator
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    I agree with @oxwood2. I don't think bots should be able to post trade messages, however, if people want to collect data that's fine. Bot owners: what data do you collect with your bots?
     
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    #8 Aqua_Luna3, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  9. strongpelt

    strongpelt ~*Alaskan Builder..?*~
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    I'm not the most experienced on bots... the only ones I really know of are data collecting ones.

    That being said, I know of some problems with macros that if a bot used It could be pretty annoying. Like if a bot is designed to say something in chat if something particular is said, what if the thing goes haywire and spams chat suddenly? What if a restart breaks a bot and chat fills up with some weird code gibberish. Also I can see some automation abuse happening with bots, maybe in a way to get around our alt rules.

    Also some bots I know can end up messaging a user if you message it a command. That could be abused pretty badly if the bots key word got released.

    I really don't see a need for bots other than maybe data collecting.
     
  10. Frostystorm1

    Frostystorm1 BulletClub ︻╦╤─ | Former Senior Super Moderator
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    A while ago when I was on staff my bot had a really odd glitch that caused it to relog on ECC at odd intervals. This caused huge join spam and I have no clue what causes the glitch and I don't play enough to dedicate the resources towards fixing it, but here is what cloutmachine was able to do at one point or another:

    - Log global/local chat channels
    - Allow multiple users in a party to have the abilities of party owner (kick/invite players)
    - Allows any member of the party to come and go as they please by requesting invites from the bot
    - Allows any party member to see who is online in an allied party (usually only available to the party owner)
    - Award tokens to users for certain actions
    - Automatic transactions even if the owner of the bot is offline
    - Search for certain keywords across multiple weeks/months worth of chat logs
    - Grief protection (Only a proof of concept due to @JamieSinn's concerns about abuse)
    - Logs user interactions and pms with the bot in separate files.

    TLDR: Bots are cool af and can be used for a wide variety of purposes so long as we are allowed. Currently I can't really dedicate much time towards my bot, but if ECC's main server was revived again at some point, I would definitely get back into bot coding.


    Also to respond to @strongpelt above, no bot should really ever be spamming actual chat, spam is usually a result of macros being used by actual people. Bot programs usually just crash the moment anything goes wrong. Also, bots should be designed to have enough security to prevent other people from having access to them, if not, you probably shouldn't be developing bots in the first place.
     
    #10 Frostystorm1, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  11. 314

    314 Irratioπal President, former ServerAdmin
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    The TL;DR is "all chat messages and the data they contain". I then used a command line tool (grep) to filter specific datasets. Here's a short and incomplete list:
    • Player joins/disconnects (which, unfortunately, are indistinguishable from /v).
    • Star crate statistics.
    • Voting statistics (see https://pi.epsiloncode.com/voting.html)
    • Player count (although I now use a different script that simply queries the server status instead of actually logging into the server).
    • Lotto statistics: Tickets purchased per player, total wins per player, earnings per player, total money removed from the economy, etc).
    • Usage statistics of commands (back when /worth was broken for a while, Pivillean saw frequent use of its !worth command.)
    • Whatever data I need to make a post on a forum suggestion (e.g. frequency of trade ads, lotto purchase behavior, etc).
    Pivillean does that. It usually answers via /r, so only the command sender will receive messages. Also, a command cooldown mechanic and a permissions system (especially one that tends to deny anyone with a /nick) have proven to be some of the most important features of any command-based bot.
    1. A cooldown mechanic should prevent that (see above).
    2. The server's anti-spam kick and the staff members should be able to handle that situation. It already happens with players and their macros.
    Macros usually send code to global chat because someone forgot an opening or closing token. Most bots are unlikely to send actual code.

    Correction: Without proper try ... catch handling.
     
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    #11 314, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  12. JamieSinn

    JamieSinn Retired Lead Administrator/Developer
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    User
     
  13. ajp79

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    This all started with an idea of maybe a trivia bot of some kind.. A bit in the /ch trivia that asks random trivia and offers small rewards to the player who answers correctly first..

    I have seen similar things used in other chat formats.. although not in a MC setting.

    Thought it would be s cool addition and a way to keep some excitement in chat. My suggestion was for it to be run by the admin team though not a player...but I guess both could work.

    That’s kinda where this came from.
     
  14. cheese_ball_3

    cheese_ball_3 Çhêê§ê lðrÐ
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    :p u guys at bots when i just figured out how to download macro mod, but i think it would be cool to have bots on ecc. Would probs make it easier for lots of stuff
     
    #14 cheese_ball_3, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  15. Hackney_Builder

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    Reserved
     
  16. lambielove

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    I feel that bots should be allowed, but after being reviewed and accepted by staff.
     
  17. OinkyOverlord

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    I totally agree with that, but there's a slight problem.

    There's nothing stopping someone from submitting legal code to staff, then running illegal code instead.

    Bots can serve many valuable functions, but there's always a security risk. I'm not opposed to having them on ECC, there just needs to be some sort of validation system to make sure bot developers are using the code they submit (if that's even possible).
     
  18. 314

    314 Irratioπal President, former ServerAdmin
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    It isn't.
     
  19. Nicit6

    Nicit6 Likes Shiny Things
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    Bots aren't really a security risk unless
    a) they're given powers normal players don't have (which won't happen)
    b) there's already a security flaw elsewhere (which presumably normal players can exploit too)

    imo there's no need for separate rules for bots, they simply should be subject to the same chat, automation, and alt-accounting rules.
     
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  20. Jdawger

    Jdawger Littlepip Ex Mod |ECCMuseum| Fallout: Equestria
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    When I was on a staff team on another Semi-big server, we tried the use of bots, starting exclusively for the staff team, then for a short while for public use (which was later revoked due to abuse).

    When it was exclusively for staff, we used it for data collection primarily (similar to how @314 uses Piv). The problem arose when a world (or in ECC terms, a server) had to go down for an update or a quick bug fix/test.

    Compared to ECC, we had at least triple the amount of worlds (servers) and the more that we added, the harder it was to keep track of the bots/keep them running correctly.

    In short, my opinion is if we are planning on expanding our server count, maybe bots are not the best idea.
     
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