Alts

So, what is the official ruling on what is permissible with alts? I’ve seen the terms and conditions which state:

Failbetter Games may suspend the accounts of any users it deems to be engaging in malicious or inappropriate conduct. Such Conduct includes but is not limited to:
use of secondary accounts to harass other players or gain competitive advantage

I’m not really sure anything in this game could truly be considered competitive. That aside, the only way I can think of that would allow a secondary account to provide advantage would be through social actions and K&C. Both of these don’t provide any opportunities presented by another player, barring speed of acceptance. So is using alts to gain second chances kosher? Is using an alt to win at K&C allowed? If that is not permitted, is coming to an agreement with another player to win K&C then also not allowed? Or am I missing something entirely?

I’ve always taken the “better safe than sorry” approach, and told everyone I know to never interact with their alts at all.
I’d be interested to hear if there are some interactions that are allowed.

I think K&C counts as competetive advantage, second chances do not.
AFAIK, even marrying your alt is allowed.
For advantages, almost everything costs actions, and social actions are usually not significantly better than what you can do in the same number of actions (counting all used accounts) alone - especially if you play them all as fully realized characters (you have them all benefit roughly euqally - i.e. no dumping scandal on one whose only purpose is to get rid of other characters’ scandal).

Well, for example, if you used an alt to grind truly competitive social actions, like gifts of 1st city coins, maybe those 10-echo packages, the dreams opportunity card available only at your lodging, etc. You could theoretically give one main extremely high echoes per action with enough feeder alts. Not to mention using them to bleed off menaces.
Edit: 7.5 Echoes per action, if you just use alts to grind &quotgift 30 coins&quot over and over.

Obviously there is a line somewhere between &quotjust a little&quot and &quotoutright abusive&quot, but for fuzzy cases like that, I’d say it’s generally better to just leave it out entirely.

It’s not like it’s terribly difficult to find real players to exchange social actions with anyway.
edited by Ian Hart on 6/18/2015

I generally send social actions to myself for things that require semi-precise timing, such as Newspaper interviews. One account benefits while the other basically wastes an action. I don’t think it’s abusive since I’m just as likely to use my main to benefit an alt as I am to do the opposite.

If you relatively easy can find a different person to do the same action with in the same manner, it’s usually fine. But then again, you might as well find someone else… If a friend allows you to win in a contest; that’s within the limits, but might look suspicious if repeated over and over. If you’re using an alt, that’s abuse.

Been using alts forever - second chances, occasional nightmare swap, dinners.

It is more about convenience and less about advantages, though. &quotI want to stock up some second chances before tackling this fate-locked story I just bought and don’t want to wait a week to play chess.&quot

I think some of the SMEN crowd was churning out alts to betray (very high requirements and definitely not grindable in a week) because the only way forward is to invite non-participating players (that become ineligible for further invitations), so the FBG response is to give them alternative way to progress instead.

I once had an alt that had a few other alts feeding it First City Coins. It was just an account for giving away coins though - and the coins are still sitting there.

K&C is definitely a no, because you are definitely gaining an advantage that regular players won’t have playing normally.
Purposely having alts lose to you is almost certainly not ok.
Making a lot of alts to stab one player specifically (in Iron League) is very definitely absolutely no.

Chances are, as long as you don’t try to run circles around Fate or PvP or open 10000 alts all cherry-picking Neath’s Mysteries to feed your main you should be fine.
edited by Estelle Knoht on 6/18/2015

Hmmm. I can definitely see where first city coins could be used to provide unfair advantage, and thus I guess surprise packages and eyeless skulls as well. Forgot about those. Still, it seems like the accepted definition here is as long as there is reciprocity it isn’t really forbidden?

For instance under this definition, the second chances are fine, and you could exchange gift packages between alts. But the coins and K&C wouldn’t be okay. Though if K&C isn’t okay, I would think purposefully losing to someone would also not be okay, but I don’t think anyone has suggested that.

Seems like a big can of worms, when using alts for some purposes is considered okay and the presence of an alt is acceptable to explore other story options.

There’s nothing wrong with purposefully lose a K&C match to help a friend. They would need to talk to you about it, you would need to consent to it, and there’s no potential for abuse there. Creating an account strictly for K&C abuse isn’t okay, however, regardless of whether you’re creating it for yourself or for a friend.

I suppose the clever, if cruel, way to handle it would be if there are simply secret automatic checks that look for obvious abuse (like continuously passing skulls, coins, or gifts) and using those markers to identify accounts to investigate or ban.
Hopefully anyone who would exploit the game at least gives that some thought…

Well, I was more aiming for things not to do as a player as to remain within the terms and conditions, as I didn’t find the terms and conditions on alts very clear. But yes that might be a way for FBG to handle abuse. Could set up a quality that increments for gifts sent and drops when gifts are recieved. Could do a separate counter for each. Once it gets high enough, it could send a notice to investigate. Not sure if it would work on K&C, with winning being so random.

Though barring K&C, the convenience and speed of response resulting from using an alt could be argued to be an advantage.

To be frank, while it would be ideal that such exploits were not possible I believe that Failbetter would be severely hampered attempting to enforce any rules regarding such. This especially so if they fear angering paying players that simply want more characters to play with.

I admit to coordinating my characters for benefits such as leveling, assistance with stories, gathering First City Coins and, in my most egregious offense, acquiring a Waxwail Knife by skimming the tokens gained by my alts. I listed that last part as one of my great failures back on one forum and so rarely use the weapon.

That said, I have not gained any benefit that another player could not have attained on their own. Indeed, many of these efforts were mundane and boring and stuff I would not want to bother another player with. The only time exploiting alts was a serious danger to Failbetter was back when all new players got 10 Fate and said Fate could be sent to another character. One intrepid soul (who subsequently got on the train to Hell) used this method to buy Sunless Sea back when we could do that with Fate. Now? We cannot transfer just 10 Fate, it has to be 100.

What I am saying is that Failbetter’s top concern is ensuring players cannot use their alts to gain access to things another player could not - primarily Fate Content. For a free to play game, this is vital. As long as that line is not crossed, feel free to have alts and to have them send valentine gifts to each other if you’re a lonely cad like myself just because it’s convenient.

If you wish to absolve yourself of guilt, try buying fate for new content on your alt so that you and Failbetter both benefit from the alt’s use. That is simply all you would need to do.

In the meantime, I get to have fun with more Ambitions. Word on the street, your Heart’s Desire may yet be at hand…


edited by Owen Wulf on 6/19/2015

Honestly, I find it easy to play devil’s advocate for myself on this topic. Which is why I threw the question to the forum.

However, it sounds like, barring a single incident of fate transfer which is no longer possible, officially FBG has ignored whatever anyone has done with alts. So there really isn’t an official position outside of a single case of abuse.

As a player, I’d think writing new content is probably a better use of their time - unless you are ruining gameplay for others or depriving them of their revenue.
edited by Estelle Knoht on 6/19/2015

i created my alts mostly to pursue different ambitions and storylets based on stats other than dangerous/watchful. but otherwise i also use them to help keep making wave up, or reduce scandalous which a menance that is harder to get rid of without the “dupe” option. anyways the duping helps in increasing making waves for the “duped”, so it balances out?