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Darvin
05-11-2007, 02:35 PM
Among the biggest problems in any game with an accessible map editor are map "vandals". These are people who take a successful map idea, load it up in the map editor, and start adding super-powered units to their favourite faction. Then they decide that since they added so much content (cough) they are now the author, and delete the original author's signature on the map. A couple iterations of this vandalization, and the original version is essentially one among hundreds of bastardized ones. The game has been ruined not only for the community at large, which must wade through versions acclaimed by kids who know which unit is the most rigged and mass it before anyone else figures out, but for the author who has not only lost credit for his work, but also all credibility of the real map version.

The solution I've seen in other communities is unfortunate; essentially, the maps are corrupted so that, although they will run in game, they cannot be loaded in any editor. This solves the problem, but it also prevents newbies to the mapping community from learning from the works of others. I think a better solution may well be a "read-only" designation that a creator can give his finalized version (of course, keeping an editable version that will never be released for personal use). This would allow others to see the content of the map and its scripting, but they would have to systematically copy every feature of the map into a new file in order to save their own edited version.

I think this is a simple solution that will allow those who seriously want to learn from the works of others to do so, while still preventing those who want to pervert them from doing so.

Silent_Lamb
05-11-2007, 06:39 PM
I was going to add here that maybe the map could be passworded, so that when you download it and open it in the map editor, if you have the password you could edit it. Unfortunately, the cons out weighed the pros in my mind.

Darvin, I believe this is a must for people (like myself) who enjoy editing maps, so hopefully this idea will be implemented. Nice idea :D.

artyp
05-12-2007, 10:00 AM
maybe a read-only option?
sure, a lot of map makers will make their maps read-only, but some may want to make some open-source maps.
i've found that most people like having options. always having an option means you can make more people happy.

Darvin
05-12-2007, 01:03 PM
Well, I would have hoped that goes without saying. Of course it should be optional to have the read-only designation.

Joseph Visscher
05-15-2007, 06:42 PM
I got a better idea.
Give the creator an option to add a password to his map so that you need the password to resave the map. If you don’t have a password, you are still allowed to view the map and all its scripts and such, but not allowed to save it or export it in anyway; this way noobs can learn but cant use the “Save As” button. ( I am implying that everyone that uses the Save as button to steal credit is a complete noob.)

Konstantin Fomenko
05-15-2007, 08:01 PM
Something we really didn`t think about!

I love the idea of adding the password. I am sure there will come out some sort of hack for it, as password, or any other sort of protection will be stored inside the map file, but it should work at least for mainstream users.

Darvin
05-16-2007, 12:52 AM
At very least it will require a third party program for someone to crack a map. That should mitigate the problem. Unless the map in question is one of those sensational hits (in which case I'd expect fansites will clarify the official versions), it should suffice.

Joseph Visscher
05-16-2007, 12:50 PM
Something we really didn`t think about!

I love the idea of adding the password. I am sure there will come out some sort of hack for it, as password, or any other sort of protection will be stored inside the map file, but it should work at least for mainstream users.

that right there probibly are people that would be able to hack it. although therefore they wouldn't be noobs.
you could probibly have a question answering system also. like "What was your first teacher's name" or "What is your mother's maided name" I believe that those are a lot harder to hack; but don't take my word for it, I have never progamed a password within a 3D program.

Ndition
05-16-2007, 04:28 PM
Can't you lock the first author signature so it can't be removed/overwritten, but people will still be able to edit the map and then add their signature as a "modification" signature so it goes like

Creator:someone
Modded by:kiddie1

Joseph Visscher
05-16-2007, 06:19 PM
Can't you lock the first author signature so it can't be removed/overwritten, but people will still be able to edit the map and then add their signature as a "modification" signature so it goes like

Creator:someone
Modded by:kiddie1

in a way that would be better. but they could still get a lot of credit for doing nothing. they would still get their name on it. as well if they could hack a password im sure they could easily hack somthing of what you stated.

Super Nova
07-18-2007, 01:08 PM
But what if the mapper forgets or loses his pass or Answer ?
Cant u just make it have all that but it lockes onto the I.P. adress of the mapper to...I mean u know how some people are today they cant get organized.

Darvin
07-18-2007, 04:19 PM
The problem with locking to an IP is that a mapper who's IP changes will lose access to his maps. Secondly, it precludes any possibility of a cooperative project.

Javier
07-21-2007, 11:00 PM
I like Darvin's idea. I've seen lots of these 'stolen maps', and adding a password or anything like that would be good. It might get hacked, one way or another, but hey, you wouldn't simply load the map, add some units and click 'Save As'.

Darvin
07-22-2007, 02:01 AM
There will always be people cracking maps; you can't stop them completely, so there's no point in trying. No system will ever be foolproof. The solution I've presented is simple (always a good thing) and it encourages people to join the mapping community rather than the hacking community.

I'm not a fan of the other solutions here (password protection and so forth); none are as simple, and they don't offer any real gains over using the "save as read only" feature.

Hoenir
08-21-2007, 06:18 PM
The question is how to store this read-only option. If you just store it as a flag somewhere in the map file, someone changing this bit could then edit the map.

Darvin
08-21-2007, 10:54 PM
That's a technical decision for Reverie to decide. In any case, no form of "protection" is foolproof.

Hoenir
08-22-2007, 02:48 AM
Yeah but maybe someone has an idea to support them in this decision.:)

Darvin
08-22-2007, 06:27 PM
Frankly, I doubt many of us have the technical expertise to even begin to talk about implementation, and even so for a security feature it is of the utmost importance that the development not be made public.

The Witch King of Angmar
08-22-2007, 07:51 PM
Frankly, I doubt many of us have the technical expertise to even begin to talk about implementation, and even so for a security feature it is of the utmost importance that the development not be made public.

Yeah if word got out to everyone the whole map editor thing would be trashed because of overpowered maps. As for the whole password thing, I think it is a little complex. I think if anyone changes a map they should label the changes the program should label the things they've changed before it saves it so people know what they're in for.

olauwers
08-23-2007, 03:57 AM
How about an encrypted signature? So that the player who made it always can get credit, and it says something along the line: This scenario was originally Someone's, but was edited by Someone_Else.

The Witch King of Angmar
08-23-2007, 11:19 AM
How about an encrypted signature? So that the player who made it always can get credit, and it says something along the line: This scenario was originally Someone's, but was edited by Someone_Else.

Yeah that's what I was thinking. I only would like a list of changes along with the map that people could understand.

LordSlayer
04-19-2008, 03:57 PM
How about an encrypted signature? So that the player who made it always can get credit, and it says something along the line: This scenario was originally Someone's, but was edited by Someone_Else.

That could work, but imagine the length of it if the map was a public built! :eek:

The Witch King of Angmar
04-19-2008, 08:22 PM
It could always be compressed into a seperate file.

Puppeteer
04-20-2008, 03:28 PM
I like the 2 versions of editable and read-only is the best option

Darvin
04-20-2008, 11:10 PM
Despite all the discussion that's gone on throughout these pages, I have to say that nothing of it seems appealing in the least. You want something simple and straightforward, which was exactly what my original suggestion was to be. Don't needlessly overcomplicate the feature.

The Witch King of Angmar
04-21-2008, 02:44 PM
Reading things about a map isn't over-complicating.

LordSlayer
04-21-2008, 03:01 PM
Reading things about a map isn't over-complicating.

But some people are incredibly lazy and will never take to time to read those.

Aametherar
06-25-2009, 03:50 AM
If they're too lazy that's their loss. One of the big problems with passwords is the people who can crack them usually release a program to the public so its extremely simple for anyone to do. So far (like Darvin mentioned) the best protection i've seen is corrupting the file.

The best idea I can think of would be the ability to save some of the maps scripts on an official server (with size limit to prevent it from causing anything like long loads) that requires a password to load them outside actual gameplay, that'd make it much more difficult I think. It'd mean the only way to steal the scripts would be during actual gameplay. But short of that I dunno.

All I know is password protection never works or lasts, it's too easy when people release programs to the public to crack them, plus it can put creators accounts in jeopardy if they're stupid nuf to use the same password as their account. If password protection is decided upon there should probably be a warning not to use any passwords you use for other programs as they can be cracked. Anyways awesome post! Just throwing my thoughts out, like the others here I don't have enough knowledge to speculate on map protection with any authority.

I know this is old so its probably already eben adressed just figured id throw my 2 cents in.

Andy Joslin
06-25-2009, 07:14 AM
As said, we will probably do something simple like 'save as read-only'. No password.

The people that do have a map-cracker will probably release things to the public, yes. But the huge majority of users will not know anything about how to access map-cracking tools or even that they exist.

Aametherar
06-25-2009, 07:26 AM
I suppose you're right, it's not worth an extreme hassle on the devs part and it's something we just need to deal with as fit. I do have 1 last idea though, registering a specific map to your actual in game account, I know some maps will be revised/edited by other players and re-uploaded, but at the very least it gives the responsibility for a maps standards to a certain account when they register it.

I'm not saying ban or punish people who rig maps, but it's something that'd help guide the communities knowledge of mapmakers or know if its authentic or not, and at the very least (even with original authors name on separate area) the new uploader would have to take some credit for making changes and it wouldnt be put ont he original author if something was rigged.

Darvin
06-25-2009, 08:41 PM
but at the very least it gives the responsibility for a maps standards to a certain account when they register it.
Because the map would be modified (and therefor the file non-identical) there would be no feasible way for Reverie to create an automatic system to detect when someone had modified an original work. Maybe a long randomly generated string placed somewhere in the map file at map creation would work, but any hacker with the sophistication to beat a "read-only" flag could also modify those bits.

There was some word a while back about a map database that would be integrated with the online system. Since an author and date of submission would obviously be stored information, this would be all you'd need to verify who published the map first.

Aametherar
06-26-2009, 05:05 AM
There was some word a while back about a map database that would be integrated with the online system. Since an author and date of submission would obviously be stored information, this would be all you'd need to verify who published the map first.

Ahh, that's kind of what I meant actually heh. I guess I worded it badly. Also part of what I meant is that the map has all the usual areas "author" etc. But that it also shows "Uploader" which is based on the players actual MMO game account.

Josh Warner
07-03-2009, 08:35 AM
Will maps be downloaded as needed directly from people that have them like say, battlenet? or will it be a separate database? Or perhaps both If the database is controlled by rev. then all they need to do is connect maps to the uploading account, if a map becomes popular it's up to the community to make sure only official versions are used, and since it will be easy to tell which is the current version An easy way to do this is to make sure the characters used for save files are limited, and the font has no way to make letters appear the same with a bit of cleverness like upper case i and lower case l in some fonts.

The problem with communities with the map theft and such is simple. There is no official database, and map makers rarely if ever dedicate any hosting - so there is never any real way to tell what's official and isn't. If map uploads are hosted officially, it gives us the tools as a community to know which is a legitimate copy and which isn't. When they're scattered across 5+ different hosting sites all under different aliases etc. it's impractical and unreasonable for the player to find out.

That's a bit off tangent, it all comes down to the community being responsible and given the tools so that it can be. I'm not sure I support a read-only file as should a popular map maker for whatever fall off the face of the earth - any subsequent updates/features/etc. aren't nearly as likely to happen. Over the years I've seen many maps carried on when the original creator disappears, faithfully kept up to date and such by fans because the map was open source - and the community knew which to follow and which to avoid. Of course it's possible that someone makes a work around for the read-only, but I doubt it. In a community this small I don't believe that map theft will be as big a problem for many reasons to begin with though. To reference battlenet again, it's easier to get lost in a sea of version numbers and faked updates for sure, but most of that comes solely from volume and again lack of official database.

Sorry for the wall of text but I've seen favorites of mine for various games die off completely because the original creator just up and leaves. I'd hate to see that happen here. Read-only has pros AND cons is what I'm getting at, I believe the pros are unneeded for this small a community, especially if we have some official way of tracking who made what and when it was released.

Kire
07-03-2009, 09:20 AM
I say put just passwords... easy way and it push off the ones that would change it but dont know anything how to pass that. Anyway no matter what kind of protection they do there will always be ppl that will exploit it, unless it harm the flexibility. So why complicate things if can be done a lot easier but little not so good. If they are not criminals they wont hack the passwords and we cant do anything else to prevent the "criminal doing" (tho you can double the guards but there will be always someone that will pass it somehow).
(tho i dont know how much is password hacking in use this days and if every kid know how to do it and they do it ... than this fail =P)

jecjoker
07-03-2009, 10:41 PM
Id have to say map permission being linked to the accounts it should be allowed rather than passwords sounds better. Tht way the only wya to get the map is illegal distribution or accnt hacking. Though I would have ot say this is probably quite a bit harder than passwords but a good game will make it ether way:}
Well this may require a specail link/seperate data base btu im not all fully studied on it so try to make sence of it;]

Darvin
07-04-2009, 12:34 AM
The problem is that every system can and will be broken. This is why I think a read-only flag is the best solution.

The problem with passwords is that once there is a program that cracks the standard protections Reverie builds in (a case of when, not if) it can also tell you what the password is. This makes the password route a potential security hazard for naive mapmakers who use the same password for something important. Heck, that could turn into a legal liability!

The problem with attaching a map to an account is that it will be downloaded by people, and once it's downloaded it can be cracked and then submitted under their account. There is no way Reverie could make a complicated system to analyze a map for similarities to existing ones in its database, so this wouldn't stop people from submitting maps that were functionally identical with only a few cosmetic differences.

These systems don't offer any additional protection over a read only flag. Why overcomplicate this?

Josh Warner
07-04-2009, 12:40 AM
The problem is that every system can and will be broken. This is why I think a read-only flag is the best solution.

The problem with passwords is that once there is a program that cracks the standard protections Reverie builds in (a case of when, not if) it can also tell you what the password is. This makes the password route a potential security hazard for naive mapmakers who use the same password for something important. Heck, that could turn into a legal liability!

The problem with attaching a map to an account is that it will be downloaded by people, and once it's downloaded it can be cracked and then submitted under their account. There is no way Reverie could make a complicated system to analyze a map for similarities to existing ones in its database, so this wouldn't stop people from submitting maps that were functionally identical with only a few cosmetic differences.

These systems don't offer any additional protection over a read only flag. Why overcomplicate this?

You don't make the map connected to the account. You make the upload connected to the account. So when the creator uploads it, there is a permanent and viewable date of last update/first upload/version number etc. there's no way to crack this short of actually stealing that person's account, which is possible, though highly unlikely to happen, especially if it's hosted by rev. And again you're ignoring what happens when a map maker up and leaves, and nobody has an editable version of the map, and it dies. This alone makes read-only a double edged sword, given a database and the system I've described, you have more protection - IE original upload date that can't be changed, irrefutable proof of who the creator is. The first uploader. And no drawbacks, or potentially having the map discontinued because of unforseen real life happenings.

jecjoker
07-04-2009, 01:41 AM
You don't make the map connected to the account. You make the upload connected to the account. So when the creator uploads it, there is a permanent and viewable date of last update/first upload/version number etc. there's no way to crack this short of actually stealing that person's account, which is possible, though highly unlikely to happen, especially if it's hosted by rev. And again you're ignoring what happens when a map maker up and leaves, and nobody has an editable version of the map, and it dies. This alone makes read-only a double edged sword, given a database and the system I've described, you have more protection - IE original upload date that can't be changed, irrefutable proof of who the creator is. The first uploader. And no drawbacks, or potentially having the map discontinued because of unforseen real life happenings.

Thanks thats what I was aiming for in waht I said not word for word of course but I fell better now that someone with some actual facts in it can make a suggestion:}

Darvin
07-04-2009, 12:35 PM
So when the creator uploads it, there is a permanent and viewable date of last update/first upload/version number etc. there's no way to crack this short of actually stealing that person's account
How is this uncrackable? It's anything but! The moment the creator makes his map available for the public to play, they can download it. Once they download the map, it can be cracked. The moment the map is playable by the public, it can be cracked, end of story. Once they've cracked it, they just change the file name and upload it on their own account.

And again you're ignoring what happens when a map maker up and leaves, and nobody has an editable version of the map, and it dies.
I don't see how attaching the map to an account would change this. If the map creator didn't provide his account to someone else the map is still "dead". In both my case and your's, the map maker must provide the unprotected version to his successor in some fashion. In my case, by giving them a version of the map that is not set to read-only, and in your case by giving access via his account.

OrcSlayer
07-04-2009, 01:35 PM
why have read-only maps that way you would get loads of dead maps like somone said and instead have an original uploader and last uploader so people will know that a map is just a copy

Josh Warner
07-04-2009, 11:40 PM
How is this uncrackable? It's anything but! The moment the creator makes his map available for the public to play, they can download it. Once they download the map, it can be cracked. The moment the map is playable by the public, it can be cracked, end of story. Once they've cracked it, they just change the file name and upload it on their own account.


I don't see how attaching the map to an account would change this. If the map creator didn't provide his account to someone else the map is still "dead". In both my case and your's, the map maker must provide the unprotected version to his successor in some fashion. In my case, by giving them a version of the map that is not set to read-only, and in your case by giving access via his account.


You've misread my point I believe. The point is that the map itself is not 'protected' in the sense you are thinking, the method of protection is simply the fact that there is a way to KNOW who the original creator is - as far as continuing afterward if the creator is to disappear, eventually the community will have to decide for itself which map maker that picks up the map if there are more than one.

There is no physical 'protection' it is solely the ability to look up the original creator in a database that is complete that keeps track of dates. Thus the community has the available knowledge to KNOW the original creator, that's all we'll need. It is the then as simple as only playing versions that you know are legit, which isn't terribly hard if you meet all the criteria regarding font/characters I laid out earlier.

why have read-only maps that way you would get loads of dead maps like somone said and instead have an original uploader and last uploader so people will know that a map is just a copy

Glad someone understands my point.

jecjoker
07-04-2009, 11:48 PM
I thought I had this solved! Last post should anser the whole mess the rest is up to the developers:D if osmeoen copies and changes name they just may lose there accnt or something after proven thier map was stolen :cool:

Darvin
07-05-2009, 12:08 AM
the method of protection is simply the fact that there is a way to KNOW who the original creator is - as far as continuing afterward if the creator is to disappear
Then this isn't exactly on topic. This thread is specifically about map protection in stopping people from easily copying a map (ie, a read-only flag). Of course an online database with timestamp will allow for a community-driven authentication process, but it won't stop people from creating their own edited versions of popular maps. I'm talking about apples, you're talking about oranges.

why have read-only maps that way you would get loads of dead maps like somone said and instead have an original uploader and last uploader so people will know that a map is just a copy
A) People can always create their own maps from scratch. User-driven content will always ensure there is something new.
B) Any system will invariably be cracked. As I wrote initially, a read-only flag would effectively keep out thirteen year old kids who want to add cheats or a super-power unit to their favourite map. Anyone with real sophistication would crack it in a heartbeat.

Josh Warner
07-05-2009, 12:19 AM
Then this isn't exactly on topic. This thread is specifically about map protection in stopping people from easily copying a map (ie, a read-only flag). Of course an online database with timestamp will allow for a community-driven authentication process, but it won't stop people from creating their own edited versions of popular maps. I'm talking about apples, you're talking about oranges.


A) People can always create their own maps from scratch. User-driven content will always ensure there is something new.
B) Any system will invariably be cracked. As I wrote initially, a read-only flag would effectively keep out thirteen year old kids who want to add cheats or a super-power unit to their favourite map. Anyone with real sophistication would crack it in a heartbeat.

It IS on topic as it totally supersedes the need for protection. People aren't going to play bootlegged versions over a legit when they know exactly which are legit and which aren't. Using everything I've laid out someone 'stealing' a map and changing it for whatever reason, it won't matter at all. Nobody will play it. The reason people play maps that aren't legit on say, battlenet. Is because there is no clear way of telling which is and isn't, there is no central database, there are 5-6 with different uploaders and names etc. then there's the directly from bnet itself. All that a central database needs is a little bit of bandwidth to host everything and it lets the community know what is legit and what isn't, and gives them an easy way to GET the legit so it's not too much of a hassle that they'll play the bootlegged version anyway.

Darvin
07-05-2009, 02:45 AM
Using everything I've laid out someone 'stealing' a map and changing it for whatever reason, it won't matter at all. Nobody will play it.
The person who "stole" the map will play it, as will those who join his game (either naively or inattentively) and automatically download the modified map. Also people who don't bother to check if the version they're playing is made by the "real" author.

I'm not arguing against you here. I totally agree a community-driven process is the only real solution. However, I still think there are three good arguments why a read-only flag complements it well:

1) As mentioned, it gets rid of little kids with little sophistication who may flood both the database with bootleg versions of the map, a convenience for everyone involved.
2) Regardless of what community-based solutions are approached, some people will want map "protection". If Reverie doesn't offer it in their map editor, they will find a way to achieve this using third party programs.
3) It makes it explicit whether a player approves or disapproves others modifying his map.

Josh Warner
07-05-2009, 09:25 AM
The person who "stole" the map will play it, as will those who join his game (either naively or inattentively) and automatically download the modified map. Also people who don't bother to check if the version they're playing is made by the "real" author.

I'm not arguing against you here. I totally agree a community-driven process is the only real solution. However, I still think there are three good arguments why a read-only flag complements it well:

1) As mentioned, it gets rid of little kids with little sophistication who may flood both the database with bootleg versions of the map, a convenience for everyone involved.
2) Regardless of what community-based solutions are approached, some people will want map "protection". If Reverie doesn't offer it in their map editor, they will find a way to achieve this using third party programs.
3) It makes it explicit whether a player approves or disapproves others modifying his map.

I wouldn't call it arguing at all, there's little to discuss until the new update, might as well discuss this until then.

1) It should get to the point where people get a popular map from the database as soon as it's updated, and only play totally new maps or ones they have. As a rule on battlenet for example, I know all the games I like, and I have the official versions from the original creators for them, if I select a game of one of these and I don't have the map, I simply pass it by knowing it's likely some child's editing. Everyone should be like this, it's part of the community's responsibility to keep rubbish like theft under control.

2) Which is perfectly understandable, if the desire is so strong that they're either corrupting it or they implement this, I'd prefer a read-only of course. However I think the focus should be on making it so that the reasons that people want to protect their map are mitigated. The ability to be able to tell who/when a map is uploaded goes a long way, the inevitably smaller community this game will have will also help.

3) To be fair that takes little more than a little text somewhere in the editor.

I don't believe read-only is needed, the cons for me outweigh the positives. I've seen too many maps discontinued over the years because of people protecting their work.

Aametherar
07-05-2009, 12:39 PM
Haeso I agree on the map theft point. I hadnt played wcIII in like a year+ came back seeing everyone play arena nexus version 1.11 and everyone i joined it tried to download the map, so I just started creating my own, at first everyone had to download it, now its about 50/50, so that's better than 100% rigged maps out there. But there's also other issues to consider I agree, for example there's several maps in wcIII that I liked, but the triggers were buggy/didn't work right so I edited them and fixed them, or even completely rewrote them cause I liked the maps, while giving full credit to original author except bug fixing to myself. That's something to consider too. If there's 1 thing I hate, it's dead buggy maps.