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Tell us what you want!

For all things regarding the website and forum, like suggestions, support, or just pointing out all our terrible mistakes.

Moderator: Dream17 Staff

Tell us what you want!

Postby SupSuper » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:49 pm

As you may be aware, this year we've started working on a brand spankin' new design for Dream17. Now, we're putting in everything we want, and what we think you want. But just to be on the safe side and to make this site the best it can be, we want you users to tell us everything you'd like to see in the new website: what's missing, what could be better, what annoys you, what would reduce the page loading time by 0.00001secs, anything you can come up with, just tell us and we'll consider it. With your help, we'll make Dream17 the best Team17 fansite it can be!
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Postby K^2 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:44 pm

How about a better bot protection?
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Postby SupSuper » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:21 pm

I don't see how much better I can make it without adding human verification, which I don't find very user-friendly, plus it currently keeps away all the the annoying / threatening posts.

If you got any specific suggestions for the bot protection, feel free to tell me.
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Postby K^2 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:33 pm

Turing test is the only way, and enter-letters-from-distorted-text method is the most efficient of these. I don't see why you'd find it non-user friendly.
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Postby SupSuper » Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:48 pm

For one thing, you screw over all the people with disabilities that can't use CAPTCHA. For other, people that use comment forms instead of forums or such are looking for the least hassle possible, that's why you rarely see CAPTCHA used in comment forms.

In any case it's not foolproof. Our forum has a CAPTCHA and it still gets the occasional bot every now and then. And the new spam protection is pretty beefed up. :)
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Postby K^2 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:52 pm

1) People with disabilities can e-mail administration to set up an account. Not a big deal. There aren't a lot of people who can read a forum, but not CAPTCHA anyways. Granted, some people do use voice synthesis software to read things off the screen for them, but these are very, very few.
2) Bots that have been spamming D17 have been doing so as registered users. Typing in a few letters during registration is not hassle.
3) Yes, you will always get bots, but D17 gets more new threads made by bots than by real people. That's ridiculous.
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Postby AndrewTaylor » Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:37 pm

K^2 wrote:There aren't a lot of people who can read a forum, but not CAPTCHA anyways.

Do those people even play computer games? I don't see how they could.

The problem with the CAPTHCA here is that it's (presumably, I haven't registered lately) the default PHPBB one or one of the more common mods. The problem there is that bots are designed specifically to break those.

A better idea is to have a special Dream17-only Turing test. Nobody's going to design a bot to get past that, so aside from the very occasional lucky guess, you ought to be fine with that.

Most security issues stem from everyone using the same code. The quite arbitrary addition of a "website name" field on the ApathySketchpad.com forum (and the requirement that anyone entering a URL entered a different, non-blank name for their site) cut down on forum spam far more than anything else I ever did -- the bots don't know how to fill it in and most of them get stopped by that.

Dave Gorman stopped a lot of spam on his forum by adding a mod that blocked any user who tried to fill in profile fields when registering -- obviously there was an instruction to this effect, and the information could be added after registration. But that killed a lot of bots.

The way to catch bots is to make them jump though a hoop they're not expecting. Anything they expect they can do.

Edit: Just checked the D17 CAPTCHA, and I could break it. Although I suppose that since my job is to extract information from digital images I probably ought to be able to break it. But I man, break it easily.
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Postby SupSuper » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:09 pm

Well I thought the problem was the spam comments on the site, but if your problem is the forum, how's this for a Dream17 CAPTCHA? A random Dream17 boxart is shown and the user has to type in the respective game title. Since every boxart has the game title but never in a constant pattern that a bot can recognize, it should work.

http://www.dream17.co.uk/captcha.php
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Postby Pooka » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:09 am

I like that idea.
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Postby K^2 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:20 am

Andrew wrote:Do those people even play computer games? I don't see how they could.

Believe it or not, there actually was a first person game for the blind, based on sounds alone, but I've only ever heard of that one.

@Super, yeah, that will work. It's easy to break, but as Andrew said, no one is going to bother just for D17.
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Postby Squirminator2k » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:53 am

SupSuper wrote:Well I thought the problem was the spam comments on the site, but if your problem is the forum, how's this for a Dream17 CAPTCHA? A random Dream17 boxart is shown and the user has to type in the respective game title. Since every boxart has the game title but never in a constant pattern that a bot can recognize, it should work.

http://www.dream17.co.uk/captcha.php

You'd need to assign multiple names to boxart, though. WormsDC, Worms: Directors Cut, Worms - Directors Cut, Worms Directors Cut, Worms Director's Cut, Worms: Director's Cut, Worms - Director's Cut, Worms The Directors Cut, Worms: The Directors Cut...

And so on. That's the only problem I can see with it. ALternatively the Gorum suggestion works wonders.
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Postby AndrewTaylor » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:30 pm

SupSuper wrote:Well I thought the problem was the spam comments on the site, but if your problem is the forum, how's this for a Dream17 CAPTCHA? A random Dream17 boxart is shown and the user has to type in the respective game title. Since every boxart has the game title but never in a constant pattern that a bot can recognize, it should work.

http://www.dream17.co.uk/captcha.php

That's good. I like that it's pretty tolerant of formatting and omissions. One problem:

the speris legacy
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Title is wrong.
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Postby SupSuper » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:23 pm

AndrewTaylor wrote:
SupSuper wrote:Well I thought the problem was the spam comments on the site, but if your problem is the forum, how's this for a Dream17 CAPTCHA? A random Dream17 boxart is shown and the user has to type in the respective game title. Since every boxart has the game title but never in a constant pattern that a bot can recognize, it should work.

http://www.dream17.co.uk/captcha.php

That's good. I like that it's pretty tolerant of formatting and omissions. One problem:

the speris legacy
speris legacy, the
Title is wrong.
Cheers, it's fixed now.
I coded it so it's pretty lenient towards human mistakes. It takes care of whitespace, non-letter characters, written numerals, roman numerals, "the", partial entries, etc.

Now I just gotta figure out how to integrate it with phpBB.
Squirminator2k wrote:
SupSuper wrote:Well I thought the problem was the spam comments on the site, but if your problem is the forum, how's this for a Dream17 CAPTCHA? A random Dream17 boxart is shown and the user has to type in the respective game title. Since every boxart has the game title but never in a constant pattern that a bot can recognize, it should work.

http://www.dream17.co.uk/captcha.php

You'd need to assign multiple names to boxart, though. WormsDC, Worms: Directors Cut, Worms - Directors Cut, Worms Directors Cut, Worms Director's Cut, Worms: Director's Cut, Worms - Director's Cut, Worms The Directors Cut, Worms: The Directors Cut...

And so on. That's the only problem I can see with it. ALternatively the Gorum suggestion works wonders.
See above.
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Postby Squirminator2k » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:26 pm

Well... er... the font's too boring!

*runs*
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Postby K^2 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:19 pm

Erm. Super, now if you enter just one letter that appears in any of the words in the title, it accepts it as correct. Therefore, by simply entering e, you'll get it right most of the time. I suppose, just the fact that it's different will throw bots off, but this is a bit weak.
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Postby SupSuper » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:55 pm

Fixed. Now it just checks if the typed words are in the title, so you can even completely mix up the word order and it's still acceptable.
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Postby SupSuper » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:53 am

New CAPTCHA integrated into the forum.
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