About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Discuss anything ZDoom-related that doesn't fall into one of the other categories.
LeCreeperMax
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About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by LeCreeperMax »

Well about the registration on This forums is not really eficcient yes it can block the spambots but why don't put that with reCAPTCHA? It make more easier to register in the forums (PS: I don't know where to put This)

Edit: and there is not another way to do it more easier?
Last edited by LeCreeperMax on Fri Feb 18, 2022 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

If it were "that" simple it would already be done.

reCaptcha doesn't do shit for blocking bots. In fact, the system we have now works only for about a month or two before we have to change the questions up.

Sorry about the inconvenience, but, that's just how it is. The bots are too smart. If anyone really expects reCaptcha to actually work, they've got another thing coming. Sure, it blocks some of the more obvious ones, but it still allows way too many through.
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wildweasel
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by wildweasel »

The worst part is, it's not even because the bots have learned to read captchas.

reCaptcha doesn't come up with its images by itself; the images are, tradtionally, rejects from books and newspapers that machines have failed to convert into computerized texts via OCR. Usually it's scanning artifacts or ink smears. The point of reCaptcha is that, the more people solve these captchas, the better these OCRs can work, until we're no longer needed to help with them.

Problem is, what bots do, is simply copy the image challenge they're given, send that as a challenge on another website until a real person gets it and solves it for them, then forwards the answer they receive into reCaptcha. The real people that solve them don't realize that they're helping a bot, and the bot gets through as if it's a human.

This is also, for the most part, what happens to our own captcha questions. Bots copy the question, post it to an online Q&A site (this used to be Yahoo! Answers until it closed), wait until real people answer it (not realizing that they're security questions for a different website), then enter the answer and skip through. That's why we have the extra approval phase, because sometimes stuff does leak through. And when we notice that's happening, we change the questions.

[edit] I see you've edited your question, so I'll edit my answer.
Edit: and there is not another way to do it more easier?
If there was an easier way, you can bet we'd be doing that instead.
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cowsay
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by cowsay »

For the love of God...

I just spent the last 3 hours trying to make an account. Any wrong answers and you exceed registration attempts and it doesn't tell you how long you have to wait until you can try again. If you try too soon, it presumably resets the session clock for an unknown length of time and it's back to square one.

The questions are TOO HARD. I spent probably 45 minutes trying to find out which Heretic character is mythological+is brown+has spikes.. Centaur was the only one that seemed to fit all those criteria (it has spikes on its armor) and it was rejected. I couldn't get that question to stop appearing, and never did figure it out. The only way to change the question is to submit a bogus answer.. and guess what, do that, and too many session attempts - locked out!

The question "I have two barrels and make a boom sound" ... the answer could be "shotgun", or "double barrel shotgun", or "double-barreled shotgun" or any number of variations. Guess the wrong variation.... attempts exceeded, locked out! I have no clue what the correct variation is, so I got locked out after each try.

Which enemy is bad at shambling + usually the first/easiest enemy? The only answer I could muster up was "zombie", but that was rejected. I still have no clue what the answer to that question is. The question is so vague, it could be any game. I've very rarely heard the term shambling used in my life.. someone whose native tongue isn't English probably would never figure that question out.

The only answer I actually knew the answer to was the red one-eyed enemy.

I understand the bot concern, I really do. I've moderated forums myself. But please make these questions a bit easier so folks don't have to struggle so much to create an account. Also, please be specific about what needs to be typed in (e.g. the shotgun example above) since one mistake can lock you out for a length of time and users have no way of knowing exactly what the forum will accept as correct (double-barreled with or without hyphen, for example).

In any case... hello! I finally made it. 😂
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by SanyaWaffles »

I get that bots are a significant problem but I question how accessible it is when a normal, sentient human being cannot answer these weird ass prompts even a die hard Doom fan like myself would not get right the first time. When bots are more likely to get in than a normal human being that is kind of a terrifying prospect.
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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

I'm not going to make the questions easier, sorry, they were easy once and we had too many problems.

I'll make it easier to bypass the questions though. I'll put up a link to our Discord server - people there usually know how to get past the questions. And if a mod/admin is active they can even just go right into the admin page and look up the question, themselves.

If you're lucky enough to catch me not idle, I can even just bypass the whole captcha process entirely - I can register an account for you and log you into it directly. (But don't @ me for that - that never goes well - just use the ModMail bot for that)
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Kinsie
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Kinsie »

Wouldn't it be easier to just close registration entirely instead of requiring people log into a Discord, fill out the requisite forms (in triplicate) to get through the manual user authentication, message the right staffer (but not the wrong one or it's an instant permaban) to get a forums account, then make X amount of manually-approved forum posts? I'm pretty sure there are less steps involved in getting a security clearance or joining a biker gang then there are to file a bug report in a source port for a nearly three-decade-old videogame.

Alternatively, just add a link to the Doom Wiki. All the questions and answers are taken from there already, why pretend otherwise?
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SanyaWaffles
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by SanyaWaffles »

Kinsie wrote:I'm pretty sure there are less steps involved in getting a security clearance or joining a biker gang then there are to file a bug report in a source port for a nearly three-decade-old videogame.
As someone who traveled frequently, including overseas and across the US-Canada border frequently back in the day, yeah, sounds like it.
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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

Kinsie wrote:Wouldn't it be easier to just close registration entirely instead of requiring people log into a Discord, fill out the requisite forms (in triplicate) to get through the manual user authentication, message the right staffer (but not the wrong one or it's an instant permaban) to get a forums account, then make X amount of manually-approved forum posts? I'm pretty sure there are less steps involved in getting a security clearance or joining a biker gang then there are to file a bug report in a source port for a nearly three-decade-old videogame.

Alternatively, just add a link to the Doom Wiki. All the questions and answers are taken from there already, why pretend otherwise?
Looks like we have a volunteer for processing the hundreds of registrations per day (most of which are bots)! Hey don't worry everyone we have the problem solved completely now. This person knows the easy solution to everything.

Thank you so much for stepping up for this, Kinsie! You are a great person.
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Kinsie
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Kinsie »

I mean, if you want to gatekeep to people who already know how to mod stuff, just take the mask off and go for it. Otherwise, you'll have to admit that the current setup, from the perspective of people outside of the pre-existing community coming in to ask for help or cool stuff, is what popular rapper Tech N9ne once described as "not stunning".
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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

If you're going to go the Fox News route of assuming intent where none exists, and then trying to convince everyone that it's absolutely true and you somehow know more than I do about my own desires, I certainly can't stop you.

But the intent has always been to gatekeep bots away. Sorry that your overly paranoid mind can't handle the idea that there is, in fact, no hidden agenda. That's not my problem, though.

If people need help getting past the registration then we'll help them in Discord. Otherwise, I am not going to open the gate to make it easier for bots to join just to satisfy your ego.
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Kinsie
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Kinsie »

Rachael wrote:I am not going to open the gate to make it easier for bots to join just to satisfy your ego.
I'm already here. This has nothing to do with me and everything to do with helping people who haven't been knee-deep in playing and modding Doom for twenty-something years find the help they need without making us look (or be) unnecessarily elitist.

If you want to paint me as something I'm not as a result, then do as you will. But you have to admit: the current situation is not desirable or sustainable.
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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

With the way things are right now - nothing is desirable nor sustainable. This is simply the only solution that is the easiest to work with, for now, and is certainly more sustainable than anything you're trying to push for.

But if you want to go through every registration with a fine-tooth comb and approve them - we can discuss that. And I will be getting on your ass about every bot you let through, so you can't half-ass it either. If you don't want the extra work though - then try to consider that from our point of view when you're trying to push us into doing whatever the fuck it is you want us to do. And in the future try to consider someone else's perspective before you're an inconsiderate jerk and start demanding shit and go all-out with hyperbole. You certainly can dish out hyperbole but you definitely catch feelings when you take it back.

I'm not letting you off the hook with this one either - if you're going to be an ass about this kind of thing, you better really know what you're talking about, and you better be right. Next time I won't go so easy on you.
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Kinsie
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Kinsie »

Rachael wrote:I'm not letting you off the hook with this one either - if you're going to be an ass about this kind of thing, you better really know what you're talking about, and you better be right. Next time I won't go so easy on you.
I don't think I'm being too unreasonable. Consider that the post that revived this thread has proven that this is a legitimate concern for actual humans, I don't think painting it as otherwise is either helpful or constructive. This community needs fresh, new blood to survive, and the current registration situation is actively warding them off. That's not a healthy situation, bots or not.
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Caligari87 »

It's easy to criticize the obvious problem, but a lot harder to come up with a working alternative solution.

I'm not as dialed-in to the nuts-and-bolts of the forum backend software, but I believe Rachael when she says this is the best solution with the limited and outdated tools we have at hand, and upgrading the software really isn't viable at this time. Adding a link to DoomWiki might perhaps be helpful, but the crux of the issue seems to lie more in the acceptable answers being hard to match exactly, rather than people not being able to figure out what the answer is, since there's not a lot of consistent terminology even in a community this established. Several variations on each answer are already acceptable inputs. Maybe we need more, it's hard to say.

Also the fact that bots will sometimes manage to build a database of answers by asking the question on another site such as Quora... Meaning we have to cycle questions from time to time.

If there's something we haven't considered I'm sure we'd be happy to look into it, but just continuously pointing out "it's broken" doesn't help much.

8-)

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