Self-upvoting - Infinate XP

So, I am fairly certain most of people are aware of this, it is not much of a bug as it is, in my opinion, a design flaw. Using which allows people to generate infinate XP and reach level 50.

It goes like this:

  • A user creates a contribution
  • A user can get experiance by receiving an upvote [ 10XP per contribution, 1XP per comment ]
  • Similarly to the Prophet achievement, where a user can create alternative accounts with fake emails and “invite” people, here he can do the same and upvote himself.

The proccess is so simple and can be done incredibly fast*:

It takes somewhere around ~7400 fake acounts to reach level 50. And although I am fairly certain noone will do such foolish thing, especially after considering that XP does not have any impact on your ranking, I do not think such a possibility should remain.

Clearly this is a problem and if it is not, because it has been ignored for such a long time - I think it should be. I am here to make my short case for it by saying this:

XP, levels - this is a great tool to showcase someone’s knowledge and capabilities, especially when you are trying to find someone capable of helping you in CG. It makes sense to have it, when it serves that purpose, next to being a great tool to motivate people to program. However, what is the point of having such a system if it can be cheated, botted and faked? Althought it is all for the bragging rights now, it still may mislead people, and I am sure it will seem weird when one will encouter a user of level 40+, much greater, than for example - Magus’, yet way below in the rankings. This flaw also encourages people to make fake accounts, take up existing emails and mess up the actual statistics. Furthermore, it actually can damage CG as people may level up to level 20 and above and completely - “rip” so to say, the CoC system. Once, again I do not think this exploit it should be here and I have some simple ideas how it could be fixed:

  • Adding a level cap to access Contributions - I think this one is the most realistic one and the simplest to impliment. Yes it does not really solve the problem, but just the same as you grant the ability to accept or reject puzzles in level 20, I think level 10 should be the level that you gain access to making your own & voting. It all relies on trust, but I think that’s exactly another great example on how to use levels.
  • Adding an email verification before accessing Contributions - although this does not need to be so specific, I understand that from a company’s stand point - this will not be implimented. CG leaves the impression that the first steps a new user takes have to be fairly easy. This does, however, lead back to the first sugguestion, because what can you expect from users that are completely new and are just taking their first steps on how to program - would not be much of a loss to the puzzle maker community. Reaching a certain level cap would be a great way to prove they are ready to make new puzzles for the CG community themselves. However, this is a bit more difficult to impliment. Therefore, moving on.
  • Removing experiance from upvoting - this is the most debatable one, I presume, compared to the current situation. You would still gain experiance from approved submissions, but not from upvotes. In my opinion, this would completely solve the problem. And you technically have to consider this - are the people that make contributions (of any sort) stimulated by the XP gained from upvotes? I know I am not. So this would not be much of a loss.

All in all, I think this problem should be given the neccessary attention. This has existed for quite some time, and although CG community is sensible enough to not use it, this is an open door to sabotage some areas of the website. I did make a report and contacted the CG mods - or I think I did, the contact section is … cold, to say the least. It felt like talking to a wall, plus I ran out of characters to make my full case. One of the users in the general chat has said: “Post it on the forums, however it will probably only make people abuse it more…” and in some way I hope it does, so that you would consider solving it. However, if you truly do not care - then it is not much of a loss if more people continue to do this. I personally just tested to see if it works. I take no pride in having an account with experiance that was gained in non-legitimate ways.

I enjoy this website and love creating content for it even more. I hoped this will at least be looked at.

*P.S. New users can not post images in the forums [I had great gifs to showcase], but they can use this bug. Logic.



I agree that this a problem. A small problem, but a problem none the less. Another idea would be to use a similar system to StackExchange, where you unlock the ability of up-voting. In CG’s case it could be that an account have to complete a number of puzzles before being able to upvote.

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