Forum What to do about the point cheaters

What to do about the point cheaters

Tony-S10

Tony-S10

This is getting ridiculous and it is beyond a joke, it is childish, beyond stupid and only setting back the people doing it.

POINTS CHEATERS

We see the same names every day with BS amounts of points that no normal human being could possibly accumulate in a 24 hour period. Each language has its own cheater who comes to this site on  daily basis to game the site to keep their name at number one on the board.

Come on seriously like 90,000 points in a day from member ron-antibes - professional points cheater, probably cannot hold a sentence in French, then there is Joe-C4 another points cheater - 64,000 points in a day. Again probably some geeky kid who failed the class in school and is only coming on here to cheat by accumulating points to keep their name at the top. Then there is Ignecxy in Japanese 18,000 points in a day. Another cheater and that persons only goal is to get their name at the top of Japanese list. How modest, lets not aim for all courses but just for Japanese. Another cheater. Probably cannot understand any Japanese at all and probably has never studied the language for the past year.

I know how you are all doing it. You are building massive flash card lists and filling it with like 100 or more cards then going to the list and keep repeatedly hitting "enter" and "1" that way you blitz the cards in rapid succession and accumulate mass points in minutes. You probably have multiple tabs open on your browser just to increase the effect and block out the system that is attempting to stop this behaviour. 

Then when you get sick of flash cards you "create your own hidden flash cards" You open multiple tabs on your browser and create like 20 new sets in a number of minutes. At 100 points per set of flashcards you create that is like 20,000 points in a matter of minutes unless the system stops you.

This is childish, this is stupid, the people doing it probably have some form of mental illness or social disorder where they cannot lead a normal life. It is not healthy, it is not helping you learn and when people check their progress all they see is the same losers at the top of the list. The top of the leader board is not the best person. It is actually the biggest loser who wasted the most of their time cheating on points. How sad and pathetic.

In the last year I have passed 2 levels of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. I have studied hard for this and know my stuff. I know how much work you need to do to pass an official government sponsored test. What the above people and their friends are doing is cheating. I would bet my house that none of them would be able to pass an officially recognised test of the language they are studying. They are just miserable sad people cheating the points system with their ultimate goal to have their names at the top of the leader board. How sad that their entire day consists of nothing more than sitting on Rocket Languages acquiring points. I wonder how they manage to find time to eat and go to the toilet or even sleep.
Peter--252

Peter--252

To be fair, I think there has been a problem with the points as displayed in the "My progress" section for the last week or so, in that they are inflated by a ridiculous amount. For instance when I look at my progress in Rocket French, it gives me 5000+ points, supposedly for the last 24 hours, and I know I've only accumulated about 700 (since I noticed this I've been keeping a record).
If you look in the Feedback and Comments you'll see a thread about this problem. (Sorry I don't know how to link directly.)

So it's almost certain that there is a glitch and it's perhaps accumulating all the points over the last two weeks or something.
Anyway, at the end of the day, if you are here to learn the language (which we both are) then I agree that cheating would be a bit daft.
Tony-S10

Tony-S10

They are definitely cheating. There is a points discrepancy over a 24 hour period how they don't just reduce in the correct time but still in a 24 hour period it is a ridiculous amount.

These losers have nothing better to do with their life than sit on a website and accumulate points just to get their name at the top of the board. It is the same losers on a daily basis.

I have been using this website for 4 years now and have seen the same thing for the past 4 years. We are here to learn the language. It is certainly not an intensive for parents to sign their kids up to this website when all they see is a long list of people gaming the system. They will go elsewhere.

I am an adult and have been studying Japanese for some time. The website is useful but for the amount of time that these people sit and accumulate points it is not learning anything at all.

Generally the number one name on the point board is the biggest loser on the site and also the dumbest person who cannot speak a word in the language they are studying. Its pathetic.
teacup

teacup

The Rocket team has been quietly making changes to the site and a few users have reported wacky points totals: 
https://members.rocketlanguages.com/members/forum/feedback-and-comments/points-total-in-my-progress-not-working-correctly-again
Site programmers are the only people who can access the information to know for sure if a user is gaming the system or not. 

Even if people are gaming the system, who does it hurt besides them? If someone can say they're at the top of the Leaderboard but can't speak the language that's a waste of their money, not mine. Point farming by some users does not affect other users' ability to learn. 
Tony-S10

Tony-S10

I hope they do deal with it, perhaps I should start writing the admin emails so that they can get on top of it.

I have done some calculations of my own. It just took me 5 minutes to gain 200 points by the simple "hear it say it", "know it", "write it" exercises. In one hour at that pace it would gain 2,400 points.

At that rate it would take over 8 hours of study to gain 20,000 points.

With the likes of some on here it means they are studying in excess of 24 hours inside a 24 hour period to gain the points they have. No normal human being could do this.

For the likes of igneczy who is continually cheating the rocket Japanese board whose main goal is to get to the top, that person would have to be going over 8 hours a day to get the points they want.

On the other hand if I go to lesson 10.2 At the Pharmacy to the flash card section and constantly hit "enter" and "1" on a deck that I know has 50 cards. That is going to give me 50 points in under 30 seconds.

That is how these cheaters are doing it. They are finding flash card decks with multiple cards or even creating a deck with 1000 cards and opening multiple tabs. Then in a matter of minutes they can accumulate 1000's of points by blitzing cards and not learning and keeping their name at the top of the board.

I am going to write to the Rocket team and suggest that the best option is to remove points from flash cards altogether. 
Peter--252

Peter--252

I have to admit that I was originally of a similar opinion to 夫婦茶碗 above - who does it hurt besides them? I just want to learn the languages I'm interested in, and if people want to gain false kudos, what do I care?

But I think Tony-S10 has raised a valid point: parents who would like to sign up their children could well be put off by the gaming of the system.  And not just children. If someone, adult or child, has genuinely put in the work, he/she deserves a sense of pride in their achievement, which is spoilt by the cheaters.
So it is certainly something the admins ought to address.
teacup

teacup

"If someone, adult or child, has genuinely put in the work, he/she deserves a sense of pride in their achievement, which is spoilt by the cheaters.
So it is certainly something the admins ought to address."

I will agree to disagree.

Can I understand what I hear or read in my target language? Do I recognize vocabulary? Can I pronounce it correctly? Can I make sentences? This is what matters to me. Where I rank in an arbitrary points game that doesn't measure anything of significant value is of no concern.

By the way, the order of ranking is probably correct, but I can confirm that Rocket is overreporting some totals. On the leaderboards it's showing more than double the points I earned yesterday.
CatherineB52

CatherineB52

This thread is hilarious.  I had noticed that there are some high scores.  But I will just plod along.  It is very sad to me that the only sense of a learning community is threads like this one.  It feels like we are all in our own little bubbles, a bit like lockdown…..

sebongela

sebongela

I am highly competitive and have wondered how they achieve those amounts. But at the end of the day, does it really matter. If it gives them the pleasure of doing that, so be it. Really in the bigger picture who cares. You are still getting your points and stars. Thrills me every time I advance, and to me that is what counts. How I am doing, not what the rest of the Rocket world are doing. After all our aim is to learn a language
Dean V

Dean V

Maybe the reason they have so many “daily” points is because if you log in every day, the system saves your points from the previous days. Some of these guys have ridiculous streaks, like 1000 days,(how do you do that? Who has that much time?). So back to topic, the giant “daily” points count might be because of their streaks, and you just think they are cheating when they aren't.

ChrisM108

ChrisM108

Many - not all - have the time to invest in 15-30 minutes of language learning per day, I did, even when holding down an insanely busy job. That would support your theory re points accumulation.

EarleyGrave

EarleyGrave

Leaderboards that are based solely on spam-able points do tend to have this problem. Either you cheat to bring attention to yourself, or you get upset by those who do. Who is being served by that system? Is there any conceivable way that such a system wouldn't end up being this way?

 

Personally I'd be happier to have Achievements that are unlocked a single time each by actualizing real goals (completing all lesson activities, getting 100% on practice drills/tests, achieving perfect pronunciation, etc.). The sky is the limit to the way this could be planned out. That would let you feel a sense of accomplishment but stop it from getting out of hand. 

 

Leaderboards seem to be there to encourage people to spend a lot more time on the site/app, but not necessarily in productive ways. Anything you can spam to achieve is no real achievement, after all. 

 

I'ma just keep studying and trust that they improve things eventually. They have been updating the courses and the app. Cheers!

Dean V

Dean V

I think Achievements would be a great idea, I love collecting them in video games, and it would get me motivated to collect them all.

Jefluz

Jefluz

Oh well, no system is perfect.     I ‘googled’ Ron-Antibes and found this thread which I've enjoyed reading. 

For fun,  as of this post - Ron's profile shows 3,133,739  points in the last 12 months - averaging ~8686 points every day for the last 365 days as well as a login streak of 1246 days.  That's over 3.4 years w/o a break?  No vacation, no illness, no boredom, no job even?  Impressive.

 I was thinking perhaps some type of automation – perhaps a screen scraper app or similar that runs on a system timer or something - logging in on the user's behalf and simulating mouse clicks. 

Gamification and learning theory are both interesting topics.     Maybe some type of challenge system – you get points but can't unlock a level  ( continue to accumulate ) without passing a truly randomized test of some type. 

I wonder if the application development / product owners read these threads.   Not sure what priority is given to improving the system for the existing ( locked in users ) versus attracting new revenue streams while controlling the cost of system maintenance. 

** That said ---l actually like the leaderboard and find it motivating, at times anyway.   I ignore the impossible scores and get motivation from the people who are actually trying to learn. 

 

jason-oxenham-ceo

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi all - I just thought that I would pipe in here… we are aware of individuals who have consistently high points tallies. With the previous version we had difficulty knowing for sure how these points were being obtained. However, in the 2021 Edition we have much better tracking capability and will be looking more closely at this sort of thing once we get the new android and iOS app out!

Dean V

Dean V

Thanks for that info Jason, it is good to know that the dev team cares about the users. I have had some bad experience with dev teams before, and i am glad that yours cares.

sebongela

sebongela

If someone wants to waste their money, and go to the effort of spending time cheating who cares at the end of the day. They will never learn the language and surely at the end of the day that should be your goal. I get that we want to be the best I am very competitive by nature. I have been doing my Italian daily now for almost 60 days. MY daily goal is 400, but if I have the time try and do more. Most days I do. Even though there are point cheaters and I may never get to the top (annoying in principle) hopefully my Italian is and will improve and I have seen myself go up in stars and on the board. So my stance is just keep going, surely the point cheaters will eventually get tired of the ego trip. As they said in "finding Nemo" just keep swimming"
EarleyGrave

EarleyGrave

Right on sebongela! If people aren't trying to actually learn more, to get better at the language, what's the point right? We can take the tiniest of steps each day, but as long as we keep moving forward it'll add up to something.

ChrisM108

ChrisM108

I agree with sebongela.  I compete against my own standards and goals, and know what i want to achieve, so where others are placed on the table is of interest but not motivational as such.  Also, there is a limit to the resources and time Rocket have, so I would rather they are able to focus on product enhancements and important systems bugs than this issue.

Jefluz

Jefluz

Although the point system helps several of us as a motivational aide --- I agree in general with  the comment(s)  about what's important - e.g. product enhancement.  Of course, what's an enhancement from some perspectives may be a detriment from others.

I would like them to consider a broad survey ( not weighted towards the desired response )  of all the consistent users ( actuel existing learners who frequently use the tool  ) to help determine which enhancements to focus on - and what could be added that would be useful for this group.   Sadly, the last couple rounds of 'enhancements' have  each actually removed useful functionality that I leveraged - perhaps with the goal of making an even more mobile friendly product .   

There are certainly many different types of users with different learning styles and needs enjoying Rocket - I may be an outlier in terms of usage --  but have purchased several products and use them frequently. 

My apologies as my response drifted slightly towards a different topic and should possibly be a different thread.



 
jason-oxenham-ceo

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Jefluz - Can you give me some examples of useful functionality that has been removed? You are right in that we have to consider how all components work on mobile devices, and that does influence decision making. However, we also look at usage patterns and if 0.1% of people are using a particular feature then it may end up on the chopping block!
Jefluz

Jefluz

Hello,

Thanks for your response.  I appreciate it. 

I really like Rocket Languages and nothing has changed that!  Best product of its class.

Here's a few items that have been removed or changed so that they don't work as well in my usage pattern.  * Note that I normally study at a computer  connected to a good sized monitor.  I've completed all the French courses ( more or less )  and am reviewing all the lessons for details.   -- I bet this puts me on the wrong side of the equation :)

1.  Removal of the ability to flag phrases for review i.e. the 'star'.   I used this to flag phrases that had elements of pronunciation that were hard for me or exhibited natural pronunciation rules - liaisons, elisions etc.     Storing them in the vocabulary section isn't equivalent ( at all ). 
2.  The various changes to the 'notes' section.   I had added copious notes in a few lessons for grammer details not covered in the course, descriptions of food items, and information about places to which the lesson referred.    The current layout in both the existing and  new versions is too narrow for this purpose and requires excessive scrolling.  I reformatted the notes last time it changed and removed a lot of content.   The 2021 version is wider but I cannot change the height.  I have a lot of available screen space that's wasted 
3. The new vocabulary review seems to have less sorting options.  I could have used more sorting and filtering.   I have several products, and over time, have saved a lot of vocabulary.   There's no easy way to review and clean what I now remember easily. 
4. Travelogue:   The French Travelogue course includes the speakers transcript in addition to  phrases and exercises.   Most of the vocabulary I didn't already know is included in the transcript.     I marked that vocabulary for review and hovered over the underlined words / phrases Ifor definitions and additional details I added.    In the 2021 edition, as of yesterday, the saved vocabulary in the transcription wasn't marked ( underlined ) which meant I would have had to jump out of the lesson to find my notes.

Would have liked to have had more time to proof read and rewrite this but hopefully its at least marginally legible. 

Regards,

Jeff

 
Lee Rudnicki

Lee Rudnicki

I don't know why anyone would cheat on this.  But, today the 2021 version stopped recording points completely, my 300 day streak is about to end on its own.   Bummer.

EarleyGrave

EarleyGrave

I've had it do that to me too drumlaw80. My suggestion is try another platform, just to make sure something registers points. Mine stopped on PC but didn't on Android, and it turned out to just be a temporary thing.

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