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Topic: Permanent IDs for internet players

Notabilis
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Joined: 2016-11-03, 20:37
Posts: 32
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-18, 20:19

Hi,

I am currently considering adding semi-permanent IDs for players using the internet-gaming option. Since this affects the privacy of players, I would like to get some opinions about it.

The idea is to create a random number when starting the game the first time and storing it in the configuration file. When the player connects to the metaserver (i.e., clicking on "Internet Game"), this number is combined with the entered player name to form an unique ID and transmitted to the metaserver. (This will probably only be done for unregistered players, since registered players can be recognized anyway.)

The problem with that is, that the metaserver is able to recognize and track the user over multiple gaming sessions as long as the same player name is used. This would allow to create some kind of profile about the user and, e.g., tracking when the user is online. Using another player name would result in a new ID, though. Reusing the old name would result in the old ID again.

So much for the bad part. The advantage is, that the metaserver can recognize players which have been disconnected due to errors (game/computer crash, connectivity problems, ...). Currently, the old player name is still considered in use and the player has to select a new name. With the IDs the metaserver knows that the same player is connecting again and can remove the old (broken) connection.

Any opinions?


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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1802
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Posted at: 2017-09-18, 20:32

Notabilis wrote:

Hi,

The idea is to create a random number when starting the game the first time and storing it in the configuration file. When the player connects to the metaserver (i.e., clicking on "Internet Game"), this number is combined with the entered player name to form an unique ID and transmitted to the metaserver. (This will probably only be done for unregistered players, since registered players can be recognized anyway.)

Are so called 'registered players' needed anymore then?

The problem with that is, that the metaserver is able to recognize and track the user over multiple gaming sessions as long as the same player name is used. This would allow to create some kind of profile about the user and, e.g., tracking when the user is online.

Is such tracking planned?

So much for the bad part. The advantage is, that the metaserver can recognize players which have been disconnected due to errors (game/computer crash, connectivity problems, ...). Currently, the old player name is still considered in use and the player has to select a new name. With the IDs the metaserver knows that the same player is connecting again and can remove the old (broken) connection.

This would be an improvement, i think.


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Notabilis
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Joined: 2016-11-03, 20:37
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-18, 20:47

Registering still has the advantage that no-one else can use your registered name. With unregistered names multiple players can use the same name, just not at the same time.

At least by me no tracking is planned. But who knows what the future might bring? There might even be legitimate reasons, e.g., collecting statistics.

Oh, what I forgot to write: We could add an option to enable this ID instead of always using it.


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trimard
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Joined: 2009-03-05, 22:40
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Posted at: 2017-09-18, 23:07

Oh, what I forgot to write: We could add an option to enable this ID instead of always using it.

Why not an option the first time you click on "multiplayer" ?


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Notabilis
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Joined: 2016-11-03, 20:37
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-19, 08:41

I was thinking about adding it to the dialog where you can set your name for internet gaming. It is normally only shown once on first log-in, but can be opened again later on. Do you mean something like that or do you mean offering this choice only once at all?


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trimard
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Posted at: 2017-09-19, 12:45

It is normally only shown once on first log-in, but can be opened again later on.

Yes exactly, sorry I wasn't clear face-tongue.png


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GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
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Posted at: 2017-09-19, 13:22

Yes, I think that the login dialog would be a good place for it.

Also, inactive IDs could be deleted after a day or so.

Registering also allows us to have admins/moderators in the lobby, which we might need in the future if we ever get problems with trolls.


Busy indexing nil values

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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
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Posted at: 2017-09-20, 01:12

I can see one problem here: sometimes I use more than one multiplayer client. If I would use the same "random number", I can spot an error then (two the same names on metaserver).


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/
backup website files: http://kartezjusz.ddns.net/upload/widelands/

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Notabilis
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Joined: 2016-11-03, 20:37
Posts: 32
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-20, 21:25

@GunChleoc: Deleting/Regenerating IDs after a day is an interesting idea, I will consider whether that is possible.

@einstein13: Actually there are two kinds of random IDs here: A local one, which is constant, and a different one that is send to the metaserver. This second one is calculated based on the first one and the current nick name. Since your two clients will use different nick names (right?), different IDs will be send to the server.


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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
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Posted at: 2017-09-21, 14:48

Notabilis wrote:

Since your two clients will use different nick names (right?), different IDs will be send to the server.

Not really. Usually I start widelands and don't change the settings. So metaserver has 2 (or more) the same nick requests. Last time I used two nicknames: one as official one (registered), and one unofficial (not registered). But for a while I used even third nickname, because there were some multiplayer game issues


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/
backup website files: http://kartezjusz.ddns.net/upload/widelands/

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