Party mode - Phantom Players stealing games

Comments

20 comments

  • Avatar
    Prisonnier6

    yep i agreed  with  alots people never connected  and   our ratinf it's impossible ...... very weird

     

     

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Gary, I'm not sure you understood how the party system works. You don't play each quiz against the people who are currently online - there aren't four other people playing the same quiz as you at the same time. You are playing against four "bots" whose performance in the game is based on the performance of other players while they were playing their turn (usually it would be the four players with the closest position in the party to yours).

    Let's say there are four players in the party - A, B, C, D. each of them played several games ("quizzes") and A is very good so he always gets the highest score, while D is the worst - he just keeps guessing. These players are not online when you join, so now you are playing against the virtual representation of these players. In the quiz you will play, A will probably have a high score and D a low one. Your bonus score will be based on whether you were able to achieve a score higher than what the other players did (on average, I assume) while they were playing.

    One more thing - even if the player shows as "offline" it doesn't mean he is indeed offline. Some players turn off the "availability" option in the privacy settings, and then the value in their profile will show when they last logged in, so if a player is active for 20 minutes, instead of showing "online", it will say "last online 20 minutes ago".

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Gary

    Hi, I would like to first say I like the idea of Songpop and for music lovers its great fun.  You are running a business there and people assume that you will need to make money, but is it a business or a gambling house?  You are exactly right in saying I did not understand.  However, there lies the problem for Songpop organisers.  I should understand because it should have been explained at the outset or at least easy for me to find out.  Neither of these are the case.  Information on how the game is played and issues like scoring are not explained up front and are difficult to get information on.  When people are paying for tickets, you are in business with them.  They expect a fair go.  If the competitors are “bots” then you are no longer playing a game of skill against real online people, rather playing against a gambling house that is not disclosing its take, the odds or the scoring rules.  I firmly believe that if you survey your customers the overwhelming majority think they are playing a skill game against real online people.  Perhaps this explains how players are getting impossibly high scores in ridiculously short time spans.  Begs the question, are they real players or bots inserted by the house, to make real players blow their cash on tickets trying to chase them?  On that subject, the free ticket system still has not been fixed despite months of not working.  You should understand that consumer and gambling guidelines in my country would have a problem with these issues and the lack of transparency.  I do thank you for the detailed explanation.   

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Let me just say that I hope it didn't seem like I'm part of Songpop staff or support. I'm just a fellow player like you :)

    And yes, I agree that it should be made clear to everyone that the opponents are being simulated and not playing at the same time as you (although I'm not sure how it can be done without "overloading" the players with so many instructions screens). But I think that in the end you are still playing a game of skill against other people - even if you're not together in the same quiz (which cannot be guaranteed because you will not always be available to play the same time as them), then the simulation does its best to play the same way they would play (or already have played before you).

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Gary

    Well I guess I have been a bit rough on you then Kermi, sorry about that. Point I am trying to make, is if their server is playing on our behalf (or is it?) then we have to take it on faith that it is playing fairly.

    If the game did not involve real money, then everybody would trust that there is no motive to rip us.  However, people are paying for tickets with real money.  Then there is supposed to be free tickets.  However, they are not working and SP will not fix it.  Therefore, you have to buy more tickets with more real money to stay in the game.  All to try to defeat some competitor on the leader board, who may actually be a bot and not a real person.  A bot that is programmed with an unknown algorithm, giving it who knows what information that it can use to defeat us and make us buy more tickets.  It is no different than trying to beat an electronic slot machine. However, the slot machine would belong to a known gambling house that would have to legally and morally tell you the odds, gambling dollar and conform to a code of ethics.

    So back at the start, I asked “or is it”.  Can you clarify does the bot take over our avatar to play against other people, or do they have their own constant or random avatar, which they use?  If they have their own avatar, are bots shown on the leader board?

     Does SP also use bots in the normal SP game play?  I have an opponent who has the same playlists as me and they have identical progress on every playlist.  Now what are the odds of that?  Forty plus playlists out of thousands possible and the exact same progress on each one.  They do not respond to messages on chat either.  Therefore, I am thinking it has to be a bot.  The odds are just too incredible for that situation to be a coincidence.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    I'll try to clarify what I said before. The other players you see in the leader board are absolutely human (you can try to challenge them and then start a conversation if you wish). From time to time I see my own friends competing in the same party (tournament) as me. However, when you start a quiz in the party (a game), the other participants will most likely not be available to play, and therefore SP will simulate their behavior to give you a feeling of a real live game (which I understand you see as an unfair manipulation). From my experience the simulation is very fair and represents the player's real score.

    Also regarding the claim of being ripped off, I can assure you that the points that the players score in your game aren't being counted to their total score. The only way they can advance in the leader board is by playing their own games (which might include you and me as simulated players) and that score would be added to their total.

    As for the normal SP game, I really don't know. I have heard reports of actual fake bots as you describe them (which have been put there by SP so that people won't feel "lonely" and abandon the game if they don't have enough real opponents), but I can't say I have seen one myself.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Gary

    In the SP party mode, I can understand yes not everyone is going to be online 24/7.  So how do you ensure there are challengers for someone who wants to play, use bots.  I do think though the bots should be identified as such, perhaps preface the username with "BT" when your playing a bot.  Its quite frustrating when your in 2nd or 3rd on the leaderboard, chasing 1st for the lead, having not lost a match, then suddenly your getting relegated to 3rd & 4th in the match and losing your bonus score.  You very quickly run out of tickets.  Then you find the players beating you in the matches are not even online.  Regarding "claim of being ripped off" that's actually not quite what I said if you check.  I actually haven't paid for any tickets, not one.  So I really can't be "ripped off".  I am however very frustrated, that I can't spend longer in party mode to win my first badge.  Something that many of my regular opponents have, even though I regularly win in our matches.  I have limited tickets because for months SP will not fix the free ticket system, despite many of us complaining that it doesn't work, at all.  In those support threads about free tickets, you will find many people (who do pay for their tickets) are complaining about the cost of such.  Anyway the important thing your saying is there are no bots on the leaderboard.  Good!

    In the normal SP game perhaps there is a reason for bots as I'm not saying its winning, in fact I usually win that match.  However I have approx 35 regular opponents that I occasionally chat with and things have been that way since I started SP over a year ago, so I have no shortage of challengers.

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Brad Rice

    I'd like to give a what I think is a more accurate description of why the game is setup like it is.   

     

    I've played enough party mode and also have a degree in computers, so I understand their code and how it's working, although they may not like me to give away some of their "secrets." (lol) 

     

    Most importantly, you ARE playing against REAL people and their ACTUAL scores.   You are NEVER playing LIVE with ANYONE at ANY POINT in party mode.  There are SEVERAL reasons for that I will list.

     

    #1.  If you were playing LIVE with everyone in your "group" for a playlist, you would have to wait until the LAST person guessed the song in order to be able to go to the next song.   For instance, if you guessed a song at 2 seconds, but someone in your group guessed a song at 8 seconds, it could not immediately go to the next song without that last persons "dragging behind."  As you will notice, no matter how fast you guess your song, people guessing much slower than you are always RIGHT THERE guessing the next song.  From a logic standpoint that is impossible unless it's their guesses they already made.  Hopefully this makes sense.

     

    #2.  They simply do not have the code setup for it to be a "live" game, as you are thinking it is some of the time (which it never is, whether you see people online or not).  Also as mentioned above, it would cause a delay when people guess slower than you in order to get to the next song, which possible is also why they decided to make it a "non-live" game.

     

    #3.  This is the part I hate.  They automatically match you up with THE WORST guessers in the beginning.  This is most likely (IMHO) to have people think they have a chance to win, and will make some more likely to spend REAL money as they think they are doing "great," whereas in reality once you get thru winning a bunch against the WORST guessers, you inevitably will only have the good players left (that continued to play with LOTS of tickets) and you will slowly start to lose every game unless you are guessing 90% or more correctly (and quickly).

     

    #4.  You can tell you are playing against people's real guesses (IMHO) due to one very big indicator.  If you play a party IMMEDIATELY after it starts, you will have at least a SMALL period where you are the ONLY PLAYER GUESSING.  Yes, that's right, even if you guess ZERO songs correctly you will be GUARANTEED to be first place and get the 1000 point bonus.  It will not last forever.  What's happening is there isn't enough people who have played each songlist in order to put there PRESET scores against yours.   Usually it doesn't take long, but if you are in a room where people don't play much (sometimes things like top hits 1960s - 2010s (for instance) I have played like 10-20 rounds completely by myself (because no one is playing it) and not had a single opponent (1000 first place points no matter what). 

     

    Hope this helps explain it, but yeah, you are NEVER playing against a LIVE person, EVER.   :)

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Brad Rice

    @ Gary.  In regards to your question about regular matches.  My personal take is this (if you care of course, but 99% sure of this).  

     

    Every regular game against SongPop players is real and accurate.  What is not accurate is that sometimes it indeed does list their progress on a playlist EXACTLY the same as your own, even though in SOME cases it really isn't.  I think it's simply a glitch in code sometimes where it can't for some reason pull their stars so it just duplicates your own.  It makes little sense to me how it is happening but I do see it often.  

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Hey Brad,

    Thanks for the analysis. I do have a couple of things to say though:

    Regarding #3: I don't think this is done intentionally as you claim. I think that you're always being matched with the 4 people surrounding you in the ranking, and during your first game you are still considered unranked so by  default you will get the lowest four.

    And as for #4: I'm absolutely sure you're wrong here. The people are real but their guesses are being simulated based on their average scores. I can give two points to support this: First, when you play long enough you start seeing "patterns" in the scores. There are games where a player has 9 perfect guesses, others have 10*98 scores (I even had a quiz once where three players had the 10*98 game...). Second, you need to remember not everyone gets the same playlists in the same order (I believe this is done so that you won't cheat by playing with two players and copy the results of the first player with the second one). So considering this, if you want the players to have opponents you will have to wait for four more players to play the same playlist first which means everyone will play alone most of the time. Moreover, the player who plays quickest will always play alone, and assuming you've won a couple of badges you know that doesn't happen :)

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Gary

    Hi Brad, I do appreciate your thoughts on this however not sure I agree with some of them.  Perhaps Kermi's view is more correct on point #3 and on #4 even though I have also had a few games in party mode where I was also the only competitor, as you say just after the party starts. 

    I like your explanation Brad of the identical progress scores in your post of 05:31.  That’s more plausible than friendship bots!

    Your comment "you ARE playing against REAL people and their ACTUAL scores.  You are NEVER playing LIVE with ANYONE at ANY POINT in party mode" is in itself a contradiction to me.  I believe you are playing the SP servers simulation of what a real player would do modified by the house profit factor.

    All of the above comments though, highlight what I was initially saying in my post of "March 18, 2016 11:08" when I said, "I should understand because it should have been explained at the outset or at least easy for me to find out".  Fact is this thread demonstrates experienced people are guessing about how it works.  We should all know how it works because the SP Admin should have explained it.

    As I was trying to say, the party mode has different moral & business implications.  Normal mode you are competing against real people in a game of skill without interference of the SP server.  Party mode you are playing an avatar run by the SP server that assumes to simulate a real players guess, or so we think.  How it does this is the question.  Does it do it fairly?  There is sufficient motive for it not to, as you have spend money to buy tickets if you want to stay in the game.

    If you were playing the slots at a gambling house, their server would be paying you out at the rate of the house gambling dollar, perhaps set to $0.60c.  Therefore, over the long term, if you keep playing they will take $0.40c of every $1.00c you turnover through the machine.  In the short term, you can randomly get ahead of those odds and win.  However, in the end they will always average out to their gambling dollar.  They have to otherwise the prospect of running that business is impossible if left totally to chance.

    How has this gambling dollar factor been configured in to the SP party mode?  If SP was an online casino we would already know the answer to this.

    In addition, how are people getting impossible scores over 200K in the first 2hrs of a party?

    Footnote:  Finally getting free tickets again in party mode!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phear Phate

    PEOPLE CHEAT EXCEPT IT! Here's some proof! 

    This is a SongPop Glitch that'll get you a perfect score in normal mode (On SongPop 1 & 2 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIdfKvxTjlo

    Here's how ppl cheat getting unlimited everything...

    https://hackcheatsgames.com/songpop-2-music-trivia-hack-cheats/

    When I find out how they use phantom robots I'll post that too! 

    Stop spreading lies when I have proof. 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Dude, you're a bit off-topic here. You've already opened a topic regarding your suspicions of cheating with this proof and I gave my opinion on the subject there. What we're discussing here is if the players in SP2 party mode are real or not. If you have anything to contribute to this discussion, please do.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Davina Davis

    I've often wondered about bots in both party AND regular play. I have played in party mode before & seen my other account "guessing" in the same game when I know I was logged out! I've also seen the "offline" players in the same party guessing even though their score & position never changed.

    I find it unfair to lose my bonus points to a ghost player. Why can they not code the game so you are matched to the next 4 people who ARE online or if no one is, then revert it back to like the beginning of the party and have you play against yourself?

    Also there ARE phantom players in the regular game. I know of one on this account & another on my other account. Their progress evenly matched with mine, they don't chat, their playlist are the same, etc. I have photo proof. "Her" name is Emily S., it says she has 0 (ZERO) mastered playlist but when you check she's mastered the same ones I have. 


    I almost always play the max number of people so I'm pretty sure it's not for lack of challengers. I'm not complaining about it though because at least "she" has similar tastes lol! Just showing that they do exist. 





    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Yeah, I think we all agree about the existence of bots in regular (PvP) mode - I think the reasoning behind this was to allow people to train. I wonder what happens if you remove this player now that you have enough opponents and don't need any fake opponents to train against.

    Regarding the party mode,I think we all agree the games are not in real-time and you are playing against people who are not online at the moment. The question is what to do about it, and I'm not sure what you're suggesting is possible. First of all, each game will take several minutes to start because you will need to be matched with four other people who are online at the moment (and wait for them to finish their previous game). Second of all, currently the game matches you with players having the same skill as you (the assumption is that if you are ranked at #3, then the players at #1, #2, #4, #5, are better competition for you than those at #297-#300). If you want real-time games, you will have to settle for whoever is online right now, which will most likely be unfair competition. If you're still not convinced, I can also suggest the following scenario: Let's say I'm in 1st place and I have a 20K lead over you, we have one hour to go and I know you're way better than me so if we play 60 games in the next 60 minutes, you will probably win. All I have to do to make sure I win, is to waste time (take 10 seconds or more per guess) so that we will only have 10 games during this hour, which gives me the win. This isn't fair now, is it?

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Stacy Martian

    I finally figured out that one of my opponents was a bot. I noticed that she had the exact same amount completed on every playlist that she sent and when I looked at her profile, I saw she had the same exact amount of playlists as I do. I immediately deleted her because there were times when she got ridiculously high scores and I did not feel the need to compete against her super "human" abilities. LOL Deleting a bot is the same as deleting a real opponent. It just opens up a space for a new one.

    Back to the original topic...I noticed right away when I played my first party that I was playing against bots. I am surprised that anyone has obtained a badge at all from these party games. I have played my share and even though I come in first in almost all the rounds I play, I never have enough tickets to even come close to first place on the leaderboard. The last party I played, I came in 2nd with something like 55,000 points, while first place had well over 150,000 points. Talk about an unfair advantage. The game does not make it easy to obtain tickets without spending money and while I might fork out a little for some extra tickets, I am never, ever going to spend the amount needed to obtain a score of 150,000. I do not know if that was a real person who really spent that amount but compared to the scores of the rest of the leaderboard, it seems a bit ridiculous that a person would continue to blow their tickets when they had a huge lead already in order to get a badge which is worth nothing really. The prizes are actually a bit lame considering how many tickets you really need to take first place. The chances of winning are very low unless you buy tickets, in my opinion.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Hi Stacy,

    I can assure you, as a player who's won his fair share of badges, that spending 150 tickets (averaging at 1000 pts. per game) is considered a "reasonable" price to pay. Parties where the first place ends up with a bigger reward than what they spend are very rare. I can't see why you believe this is an unfair advantage? If your opponent has collected hundreds of tickets by watching video ads all week and then he spends 2-3 hours playing to gain a promising lead, then both of you have exactly the same chance from the beginning, it's only fair that the person who put in more effort (and has more talent, of course) will win.

    Regarding the scenario you've described about a player who keeps playing after already having a huge lead, I can offer two explanations:

    1. I know some people play just for fun, so they don't care they've already won, they want to keep going.
    2. Sometimes you need to to maintain a lead that cannot be closed. I've seen people getting a 200K lead early in the day, only to find someone more competitive get a higher score after they've logged off.
    3. Let's take another scenario - your opponent only passes you by 5K points. You see this and believe that playing 10 more rounds will give you a 5K lead and 10 more tickets in rewards to cover this investment. Only problem is that after you take the first place, he does the same thing, and before you know it, both of you start some kind of "bidding war" where everyone loses more tickets than what they've planned to. If on the other hand your opponent would've started with a 50K lead, you would probably give up on playing (as you really did in the scenario you've described), which means there's a chance he was actually saving tickets instead of overspending.

    I know all of my attempts to give explanation based on my experience can never make it up for the disappointment we all feel when losing a game, but if it helps, I can only say that I've won over a couple of dozen badges without purchasing a single ticket, so there is hope :)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Erin Donnellon-Berling

    There are cheat bots in party modes for a fact & Song Pop even acknowledged that they had made "so-called improvement" to the app to hinder these cheat bots in the description on Google Play about month ago. This no relation fact that obviously times you're playing round against real person,but may be"catch-up" round;which why times people's scores can stay static for hours then some point they start to change at correct scoring pace.

    People complaining about fact they seemed have fixed nothing,these cheat bots still very much active doing same thing. Some us are willing&don't mind paying for tickets&power-ups. Get always use more tickets than win back to get badges. Real people can get very high scores(avg 200,000 or so 1st place).

    I noticed bots about month ago when few parties results didn't add up,so looked Play reviews&others complaints too. I scroll up update notes where Song Pop acknowledges last update"better cheat prevention measures". Most parties seem fine&1 or 2 seem only occur sparingly.

    But,Rock one too risky try&pointless waste money or tickets as nearly each party for over a month where most bots are for some reason. Real people can use tix&get 500,000 which how I first caught on that being ripped off. First time I assumed wow most intense game ever, 2nd time 500,000 & lost was legit game, 3rd wasn't. Cheat bot could tell as their score static offline til person got close then actively online playing rounds but score not reflect what score should be in round.

    Say leaderboard final ending 10 song rounds tournament stays like this: 1st place cheat bot score 200,000, real online active players in 2nd score 199,000, 3rd place real online player 60,000 & offline real players 4, 5 scores about 30,000.

    All tournament rounds always same point bonus come 1-5 place (1,000 1st, 500 2nd, lowest 100 5th etc.) So,during last 10 rounds 3rd online active real player leaderboard varies 2nd-4th. Offline real players leaderboard varies too but their scores stay static,final as should so final leaderboard spots stay same & all their scores each round & in end show correctly.Now only focus players 1st & 2nd.

    Final 10 rounds: active online player 2nd leaderboard get 1st for 8 w/1,000 regular pts & 2nd for 2 w/800 regular pts.(13,000 final bonus & 9,600 pts). Online actively playing bot 1st leaderboard wins 1st in 1 w/1200 regular pts. 5th in 1 w/500 regular pts.(1,500 final bonus & 1700 regular pts).

    Actual final leaderboard ranking should be: actively online player cheat bot in 2nd final score 203,200 & actively online real player in 1st final score 220,600.  But, instead the result due to game still having cheat bot issues the final result ended up being the cheat bot won the badge & came in 1st somehow with final score of 222,600 & the real player came in 2nd still with correct score 220,600.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kermit11

    Hi Erin,

    I'm guessing you didn't actually read the above comments, as you're repeating the same claims people have made, and ignoring the explanations for them. I don't see anything supporting your claims except for Songpop saying they are trying to fight cheaters, which they do, but not in party mode (there is a different post somewhere around this forum which explains how cheaters in regular mode were able to get a perfect score).

    I'll try to summarize the above discussion so you won't have to read through it: The rounds in party mode are not played online. Each player, when starting a round, is facing four computer-controlled players ("AI" players) which are supposed to simulate the average performance of four other (real) players in the current party. These people may be offline at that time, or online - but playing their own rounds in parallel, not the same one as you. This is why you will see more than one player getting high scores at roughly the same time - you all play in parallel and can win in parallel.

    And don't pay any special attention to the online indicator - this can be manually controlled from the privacy setting menu so that you may seem offline but you are still lurking in the shadows and waiting for a good opportunity to start sprinting. I personally use this method and I can promise you I'm very much human.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Erin Donnellon-Berling (Edited )

    Yes, I can read & comprehend answers to issues on bots, cheat code uses or glitch discrepancies in regards to both regular game & party modes; both modes are discussed in this thread. But, majority of people complaining across forums, social media & in app reviews are in fact referring to issues in Party mode. I, as stated, am referring similar issues solely in parties like others had.

    There are times when you're playing real-time against a real live person in party rounds, but may be just 1 of 4 others in the round & there are most times when playing 4 "simulated" or "parallel" players only in rounds. 
    Also explained in my post how it's understood that scores can remain static, seem off at times & that can appear playing live player yet listed as "offline" & how I get it's normal/correct way party mode works. I also have no issue winning parties & games, or losing them fairly for that matter.

    Which is why I only referred to few instances I've had that all been in cases where "online" status had/wouldn't have any bearing anyway & merely referred statuses in order clarify both that I'm referring not to "parallel" wins/rounds but to rounds all 5 players are the same (regardless of status)& that the issues in parties were obvious based on fact results mathematically impossible, such as when you see that player has 400,000+ points in party just started less couple hours ago; that number issues may be very minimal compared length time & number games/parties I've played overtime & not caused me to cancel my VIP as those benefits really only apply to game mode that I've had no major issues with.
    But, when you pay VIP & can't even get reply when have issue or if pay extra ticket/coins & use some in many parties with no issues but then lose some when one those rare instances occurs, it becomes a matter of receiving what you paid for.

    Whether player is cheated out of in-app items due to other players using cheat codes, bots or simply cause an app had glitches, they expect get money's worth.
    Statuses "offline"&"online", whether playing simulation of player or live person, nor how parties work those terms have no relevance to when person is erroneously cheated out of items by either glitch or app manipulation. What is relevant is all apps can be exploited, it is ridiculous to think that party mode cannot be exploited or have glitches as well & even more ridiculous that Song Pop can neither respond to, nor rectify, ANY issue when reported to them. I've not been rewarded 100s tickets after watching ads over time & that's glitch I understand can occur in apps so don't bother even reporting or expecting that get fixed for me. But, I just won a party today yet after ended & went collect reward I somehow was listed in 2nd place & not receive correct 1st place badge & number tickets; know more than likely glitch issue but, as I pay for VIP & in-app items on occasion, I expect reply to my message about issue & for them credit my correct number tickets & badge to my account; &, when I more than likely again never hear back, regardless of whether it's say they're/aren't fixing it, then it's obvious Song Pop is more interested in letting people get ripped off than keeping paid loyal customers & fans of it's game.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.