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From the creators of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, HEX is a TCG / MMO that combines the best of both for your PC & MAC
17,765 backers pledged $2,278,255 to help bring this project to life.

Keeping HEX Secure

Hello! Cory here, so it must be SUNDAY!

I will dispense with the "mind blown" talk, I am sure you’re sick of it and describing how surreal this experience has been is getting old for you. That said… IT’S TOTALLY SURREAL!

I wanted to take this chance to talk about the security and integrity of the systems we are building and why it is critically important for us to protect them. If I were to prioritize and identify our 3 keys to success it would be:

1. Great Game Design
 2. Security
3. Accessibility 

Now, 1 and 3 are easy enough, just hire great people, work your ass off and make smart decisions. Done! But that number 2 slot is a bit trickier. 

As many people as there are signed up to play this game, that love the vision of it and the promise of what it can be, there are a small number of people that want to take advantage of what we are building. And when I say "we" I don’t just mean the people here at Cryptozoic, I mean YOU also. Without the community we have been blessed to establish so far, there is no game. Make no mistake, HEX is your game as much as it’s ours. And that’s why I take the security part so seriously. 

Any game that wants to combine community and collectables is only going to be as good as its ability to protect the integrity of those collectables and insure the core systems of the game are not exploited. 

What I am more concerned about is the outside world that wants nothing more than to profit from your passion for this game. And I will tell you now, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for systems or exploits that take advantage of our game. Any action that breaks the intent of our design to financially benefit individuals at the expense of our community will be identified immediately and vigorously extricated from the environment. All efforts will be made to undo the damage and close the holes that allowed the abuse to take place. 

When I imagine bots churning through our PVE experience to farm drops and flood our auction house, my blood boils (we have powerful analytics in place to stop bots, so this really isn’t a threat). But the idea of someone taking advantage of this labor of love and the people that support it is totally unacceptable. 

 I will say it again: we will have a zero tolerance policy for exploits, we WILL undo the damage (we have built the system to handle this), and we will remove you from HEX … period (the period spelled out sounded good in my head, but looks weird written out). 

I have been super impressed by the passion and creativity on the HEX message boards. I do read most of it (the constructive stuff, anyway). There have been some great ideas posted, such as card designs, dungeon concepts, and even the tournament ideas are cool. I know we have all been totally inspired by these ideas. 

In a thread about the stretch goal, Digital_Aether mentioned an idea to have a sealed deck style dungeon with packs as rewards as you get deeper and deeper into the dungeon so you modify your deck as you go. That’s a super cool idea, we may have to give that one some serious thought. 

Well, that’s it for now. I have said it a million times but I will say it again, thank you! 

… And please, if at all possible, give us the benefit of the doubt, we have been making hard decisions every day, and I promise we have the best intent. We have been very transparent and I think you’re probably starting to get a feel for where our heart is. 

Before I go, a couple quick answers 

1. I imagine the “alpha” will be several weeks long. We want to balance “what is polished enough” to show you, with giving you a bit of time in HEX before anyone else.
2. No more tiers, under any circumstances.  

Comments

    1. Creator Kevin Bates on June 5, 2013

      @Craig. I certainly hope the actual policy will be more moderate and fully developed. It definitely needs exceptions for anyone who reports an exploit as a bug, and clear definitions of what counts as an "exploit." (Bots, duping, being able to cheat the core game etc)

    2. Creator Vien on June 4, 2013

      the sealed deck dungeon is an awesome idea, i would love to see it implemented

    3. Creator brandon bratkowski on June 3, 2013

      ok i am goimg try to explain my idea amd hopefully some one likes it you have a turn you got a card in you hand it cost you 3 and you play if face down your opponent attacks and all of a sudden you turn over your face down card and get 3 1/1 flying bees to block with that die at the end of the turn.

    4. Creator Craig Brooks on June 3, 2013

      Happy to hear the firm stance on cheaters and exploiters. And, to those worried that verifying an issue 1-2 times before reporting will be an issue, I HIGHLY doubt that. If you verify 10+ times, though? Probably more likely to be an issue. This is coming from a software QA guy, once you confirm the issue once, just report it. Just make sure to explain the issue, give steps what you did to cause it, and let their QC/Devs investigate it.

    5. Creator Michael Zwirlein on June 3, 2013

      @ Niedar:

      Ok, thanks for the clarification :)

    6. Creator Chris Dashiell on June 3, 2013

      @Michael Zwirlein - Yes there will be a complete wipe at the end of alpha but I am not sure how much progression there will be as it sounds like we will probably just be given all the cards to play with.

    7. Creator Chris Hawkins on June 3, 2013

      @brandon bratkowski - I'm not completely sure what you mean by "traps", but they did describe some elements in the PvE experience that manipulate the game board (like the instance where The Kraken flings your creatures off the board and then they're out for the remainder of the dungeon). Alternatively, if you're talking about trap cards... there are some cards that place cards into your opponent's library that have various effects. It's very easy to see that the realm of game mechanics is much less limited in an all digital TCG.

    8. Creator Chris Hawkins on June 3, 2013

      @Digital Aether - Your idea rocks! I love how they are building on this game WITH the community. Keep your thinking cap on. =) Well done.

    9. Creator brandon bratkowski on June 3, 2013

      has anyone thought of addind traps to this game at all?

    10. Creator Michael Zwirlein on June 3, 2013

      Concerning Alpha:

      Is their a complete progression-wipe when alpha ends?

    11. Creator In Digital Aether on June 3, 2013

      Wooo!! Cory said my idea was super cool! I feel suddenly special. I would just love to see limited format play come strong to PvE. The deck building challenges are fun even if you're not a competitive player or if you don't have time for a tournament. Plus, more ways to play boosters never hurts.

    12. Creator Timothy Smith on June 3, 2013

      Seriously guys people need to open their eyes and realise that these are Limited Edition and creating more tiers just devalues these Limited Editions hurting everyone.

      Yes people got to hord up to x4 of tiers like the Pro Player but this is just life. If this was released online or in a shop away from Kickstarter I could have bought the lot if I wanted and had the cash allowing me to sell on eBay etc (What is done so often now with Limited and Legendary Collector items etc) so at least they limited it to only 4 and tried to allow some balance.

      plus to play Devil Advocate there are some illusions that if you bought more than one copy you are hording to get better stuff and give you an advantage. This is not always the case, for example I chose to back Collector (Even before Pro ran out) but initially I did so x2 as I have a younger brother without a credit card making me an alleged horder but in actuality that is so far from the truth (Later managed to avoid this and get him his own account but the situation still has the intended meaning). I'm not naive to think this is the same for all who got the tiers but taring everyone with the same brush leads to hostilities that should be avoided to create a good game community.

      I agree this could have been done better e.g. Only 1 of each tier per person etc bit it wasn't and as such is now a mute point.

      This is going to be a great game and they are trying their best to even things out but they can't please everyone all the time as there are always people who enjoy a good moan.

    13. Creator Kevin Bates on June 3, 2013

      @Carl. Oh I agree. To clarify, I don't think its a good policy, but its what their rules specify. Probably bad for the game, assuming they don't clarify what counts as as "exploit" (ie: duping cards, someway to cheat at the actual game, somehow generating free packs, etc) or have some sort of bug reporting loophole. Because they should want people to test their game for exploits hard, and reproduce them to find out what the issue really is.

      I mean, the policies listed are more bullet points, hopefully the actual rules have a little more thought but into them.

    14. Creator Christian Breitenstein on June 2, 2013

      @Crypro:

      Don't worry, your decisions feel like having been the right ones! Our first stretchgoal was the certificator, which may have been the one best decision you can possibly have made. *double thumbs up*

    15. Creator Christian Breitenstein on June 2, 2013

      Morning :)

      I have read some concern about the zero tolerance policy. Whereas I am one of the playing half of HEX and not on the decisionmaking end, I strongly believe that if we stumble across an exploit and maybe even use it one or three times more to verify it and then report it we won't be banned.
      In Guildwars 2 there was an exploit with a typo in the price of a highlevel Item (the Item cost a tenth of the intended price) that could be reforged (or something) into something very rare and powerful that again could be sold for much, much ingame money. Once that exploit became common knowledge many people used it once or thrice and very few hundreds of times. The first group faced no ill consequences, the second however was sat upon. I believe that Crypro's zero tolerance policy will likely be interpretet this way.
      :)

    16. Creator W. H. on June 2, 2013

      I came back to delete my comments (well the negative parts of them,) only to find out that I can't. sigh - anyway - pretend like all I said were good things please!~ :-) I'm really pumped to get to play the game! It looks AWESOME! thanks for letting us be a part of it!

    17. Creator Chris Hawkins on June 2, 2013

      @Christopher Kaul - Thank you. I've actually read all the released lore that I've been able to find (including that history section). However, your willingness to speak up and attempt to help in a constructive manner reassures me that the community we're building here is going to be full of awesome people.

      What I'm actually interested in is how they determined what each resource would be. Diamond, Ruby, and Saphire make sense to me, but I'm slightly confused as to why "Blood" and "Wild" were chosen. For example... Let's take MTG as an example (please understand that I'm not judging by comparison). MTG has the 5 basic lands (Forest, Swamp, Plains, Island, and Mountain). They're all geographic regions. Now, imagine that instead of Swamp and Forest... WoTC decided to use... ?... Spit and Faith. It would seem a bit odd or out of place. This is basically my point in asking why "Blood" and "Wild" were chosen. I get the sense that "Wild" represents the natural magic that existed on Entrath prior to HEX crashing through it and I think "Blood" basically represents the "evil" magic that existed in the same manner to provide balance in the pre-HEX world. That's simply speculation though and I'm just looking for a bit of clarity for curiosity's sake.

      @Symbios - Nicely said. It's always good to see rational thinking expressed. I may need to jump over to the HEX forums. Is there any chance that their's less begging for more free stuff over there?

    18. Creator Gutris on June 2, 2013

      Cory, keep being awesome!

    19. Creator W. H. on June 2, 2013

      honestly, I should be happy, about 'no more tiers, under any circumstances' as that just makes my account super valuable when I get done playing - I'll be able to make WAY more than I spent on it I imagine. but the truth is, I'm NOT happy, I'd rather that as many people that were willing to spend $500 on a kick starter could get the same awesome package that I am getting. no hope in that now though it seems.

      Either way - the whole 'no new tiers' thing aside what an AWESOME game that you are making! I haven't been this 'frothing at the mouth' crazy to play something for a long long time. Thanks for creating so much excitement behind your project! I wish you well!

    20. Creator Symbios on June 2, 2013

      Here we go again. They set the 250 and up tiers to be limited editions. Limited means they will only sell that number and stop selling. If they put out additional copies, it wouldn't be limited and it would mean breaking the promises they made to the customers who bought it.

      This happens for all kinds of limited edition goods, be it watches, toys, jewellery etc. You just don't go to the shop with your stack of money and demand they release another limited edition product for you because you have the money and want to buy it now.

      Sorry if I sounded harsh or anything but I just don't think people understands that Cryptozoic isn't dumb about not releasing more tiers. Think about it, they had already spent enough of their own resources to bring this game to a playable state. They do not truly need our 300k to finish the game. This isn't a kickstarter where it truly depends on us to fund the project. Without the kickstarter, I'm sure they can release the game too. So stop making it seem like we have a right to demand anything from them. We could suggest and they could choose not to listen. Just like this post.. Well, i guess I have to stop reading negative posts anymore..

    21. Creator W. H. on June 2, 2013

      I'm super exited about the game! it's going to be AWESOME! I just know it.

      and ya, I understand you will not create any more Tiers, 'under any circumstances' I mean, seriously, there's really no way to go back after that.

      But Basically, it does strike me as odd that you also mention in this post that you hope that we are starting to get the feel for 'where our heart is' as you said. Sure your passionate about the game, and providing a great experience, but the whole 'no more tiers' deal - that also shows that your hearts are set on the acquisition of wealth - that you have said, " I know we can get more from them at retail." and that part is sad.

      Your customers, many of whom didn't find out about this until after all the GK's and PP's were gone, justly feel sadness and confusion over this obvious grab for more cash at the retail side of things - I know I certainly did. I was one of the lucky one's and used that 'chrome refresh extension thing to get a GK, but I know I experienced the same emotions that others are now, and there was just a tiny bit of 'resentment' in the mix. Anyway - I just wanted to say - ya, the game looks great! and your passion and commitment to excellence seems incredible!

      The whole 'business' stance on 'no more GK's or PP's' so that you can make more money at the retail side of things is a bit 'off putting' but hey, a business needs to make money, I guess we'll just have to deal with that 'corporate' side of things and move on.

      You have been so generous in so many other ways, I guess that's why we kept holding out hope that perhaps your need for extra retail cash from the people that want to support you during the kick starter campaign with the purchase of GK's would fall in the same category and you would make GK's available to who ever wanted to fork out $500 - that's a lot of money for some one to spend on a kick starter.

      - I guess you figure that if they are willing to spend that much, that they would spend more at retail??

      maybe - but, I think there is as much of a chance that with the 'weekly draft' for life, that you'd actually have more of them coming back more often and dropping more cash, than by excluding them from the GK's -

      oh well, I don't think you can really change course now - after such a shut down that statement #2 made.

      I'll stop my whining, and just be super happy that I was one of the lucky ones that got the 'good Tier'.

    22. Creator Carl on June 2, 2013

      @Kevin Bates: Yes, that's the opposite of a security policy. A *security* policy is about encouraging behaviors that make the system more secure. A "zero tolerance of anything" policy does *not* make the system more secure. It doesn't prevent blackhats from finding problems and exploiting them, quite possibly damaging systems in ways that are incredibly disruptive. It does prevent whitehats reporting the problems they find.

      So, it's an insecurity policy. People who don't understand the difference between fake security and real security cause more problems..

    23. Creator PHOENIX Interactive on June 2, 2013

      Yup, well, would love to get a GK as well, wenn I noticed Hex, they were already gone. IMHO it limits the Kickstarter. I'd estimate the opportunity cost at around $100,000 to $250,000 for the Grand King Tier alone.

    24. Creator Andy on June 2, 2013

      While we're talking about security, I have a few questions.

      Do you have a policy in place for responsible disclosure?

      We got authenticators as part of the first stretch goal, could you give us more information on those? Will every account get them or will we have to buy them separately? Will they be something like Yubikey or maybe Google Authenticator?

    25. Creator Kevin Bates on June 2, 2013

      @ Carl. Its pretty complete actually. "Zero Tolerance." You think you found a glitch by accident, and perform it a second time to very how to reproduce it? Double banned.

    26. Creator Kevin Bates on June 2, 2013

      I'll second the sadness on no more tiers. The part that's irksome is like John said: you allowed people to horde up to 4 of the limited tiers. Its pretty crappy to think that there's actually only 250 people who have gobbled up those 1000 tiers.

      Don't understand why you wouldn't just limit all the $250 tiers to during the KS only and let as many people buy them as they want.

      Whatever, I'm sure people just making like 4+ HEX accounts is fine.

    27. Creator Carl on June 2, 2013

      This policy is incomplete. What's your policy for responsible bug reporting? You need to *also* publicly specify exactly what someone who discovers an exploit should do to report it without consequences. If you don't do that, all you have is a policy of scaring your users, not a security policy.

    28. Creator Jeffery Madson on June 2, 2013

      If I get my son a account also, but use mine to give him cards since I don't want my credit card attached to his account, will your system mistakenly think I am a bot/exploiter? I've had weird issues in the past with things like this so I want to make sure upfront.

    29. Creator ivan on June 2, 2013

      @Xavon no basic resources in boosters and as said they are unlimited supply when constructing decks etc

      ..and note to those not already aware, it's been announced no KS rewards for alpha and yes a wipe between alpha and beta.

      @ CZE definitely get the underlying feeling of community conscious design and mechanics . Of course you can't always please all but the decisions you make can all be traced to a desire to do right by your product and vision and your not afraid to open yourself up to some criticism at the cost of that openness, well done! Remain proud and confident of my commitment to the Hex journey. Thanks for the tidbit on alpha it would be great to get something to pacify the hunger for sept. I'm after the goals reached and your able to define the boundaries of it you will announce a suggested date.

    30. Creator John on June 2, 2013

      Thanks for the update. Happy with the security update. Very happy to hear you are taking a proactive stance on bots. I agree that it is vital in a collectors game.

      Though, "2. No more tiers, under any circumstances." makes me sad.

      You have enabled a select few to hoard and 2x, 3x, and 4x the choice tiers meaning fewer people get to share in the same level of joy in the kickstarter. (numbers don't lie, the other tiers are perceived as sub-par based on demand).

      Sure, I was late. My fault. Dead horse. No rage quit. I'm not mad bro, just disappointed. I'll stick with my disappointing collectors tier and play the game. I understand if it is a business decision, but I hope facilitating greed of some to exclude people isn't an example of where you want your 'heart' to be.

    31. Creator Christopher Kaul on June 2, 2013

      @Chris

      Read this for more information regarding the origin of the types. Also since the game is called Hex I speculate that Artifact is the 6 type.

      http://hextcg.com/story/history/

    32. Creator Tim Jones on June 2, 2013

      This may be weird, but this was my favorite update! Thank you for keeping the integrity of the game so high! Absolutely can't wait wait to get into this game!

    33. Creator Chris Hawkins on June 2, 2013

      I have some questions that are a bit off topic. Any chance someone @Cryptozoic can run us though how you arrived at the 5 different types of resources in the game? My main curiosity stems from the fact that there are 3 mineral/gem resources and then 2 seemingly random (blood and wild). Personally, I would have tried to stick with the whole mineral/gem theme and opted for something like emerald and obsidian or created a new element. Then again... that's just me. I'd like to know how that discussion went down. Thanks for any feedback anyone can offer.

    34. Creator Chris Hawkins on June 2, 2013

      @Cory - Well said. I'm comforted by the fact that not only do you guys understand how important security is for these types of game... but that you are focussing resources to monitor and dispatch those that would attempt to find ways to exploit the system. Many of us know what bots do to a game economy and community. You have my support. Keep up the good work.

      Now, I'm not saying we should all get married... but there sure is a lot of love in this room. How about we all mutually agree to stick with the simple "what's up?" head nod every now and again and that way I won't have to explain myself to my wife whenever I bump into a stranger on the street and go into one of my "This game is going to f@cking blow your mind!" sales pitches. Deal?

    35. Creator Grey on June 2, 2013

      I got up groggy from a nice midday nap to this in my email. I was so in my face I had to go get some caffeine to wake up before reading more. You can really feel the malice and spite Cory holds for cheaters and thieves. Gold farmers and people that use exploits for personal gain can really ruin or degrade the game experience for others. Also I am sure many of us who have played TGCs for awhile have had nasty experiences with stolen cards or decks, it is a horrible feeling. I like this stance of proactively protecting the community.

    36. Creator Jarred Brown on June 2, 2013

      I really like the attitude you have. It's very nice to see people as passionate about making a game as we are about playing your game:D Your anti exploit/botting is heart warming to see. We're with ya! ...now hurry up and get the game done we wanna play this fantastic game:)!

    37. Creator Dr. VanPorcine on June 2, 2013

      Will multiboxing considered an exploit?

    38. Creator Qorsair on June 2, 2013

      Great update again, Cory. Every time I hear you/read what you have to say, it always inspires confidence in your ability to give this project some legs and really take over the market.

    39. Creator james paysse on June 2, 2013

      Thanks Corey . I was thinking about security yesterday and wondering about it. I appreciate your commitment to this project.

    40. Creator Matt on June 2, 2013

      @Stok3d: Consider it marked.

      @Christopher Mahen: I wouldn't mind seeing them stack the drafts for $250 tiers. Why not? People will just Kickstart with multiple accounts and just have two Hex accounts.

    41. Creator JusticeBolt on June 2, 2013

      Thanks Cory! Can't wait to play this game!

    42. Creator Pariahzkope on June 2, 2013

      @Xavon: I believe basic resources are unlimited, so they should not be in boosters. I don't have the confirmation handy, though, so if anyone else knows which article this was mentioned in, that'd be great!

    43. Creator false0start on June 2, 2013

      I'd be interested in seeing some sort of race system through PvE content a la Path of Exile. In this environment, every class/race combination starts with the same deck and is ranked based on XP after the allotted time (hour, 3 hour, etc.)

    44. Creator Xavon on June 2, 2013

      A suggestion that might have come up earlier or already been addressed, but please don't put basic resources in the boosters. It would be simpler, cleaner, and a lot more popular if every player has a functionally unlimited supply of each basic resource. No one likes opening a booster and seeing a basic resource. Special resources maybe (like dual threshold resources that as a trade off don't charge your champion), but not the basic ones.

    45. Creator Kevin Bates on June 2, 2013

      Any idea how you distinguish between an "exploit" and "out of the box solutions"? There's s lot of potentially insane combos in this game, between character powers and card interactions. Is it save to assume anything accessible using only the game itself (not external macros, data loggers or something else outside the client) is fair game? Anything doable within the engine seems more like balance issue than exploit. (Barring glitches or bugs that are mass exploited before the patch fixes the bug)

    46. Creator Yohann T on June 2, 2013

      I'm glad you talked about bots and security, but i'm still a bit sceptical. blizzard have the same response to hack & exploit but i'm still seeing maphackers on sc2 and several bots in Wow. I hope your system is strong enouth.

    47. Creator Pariahzkope on June 2, 2013

      @Matt: I don't see a problem with it, primarily because they indicated from the start that they would not be adding extra tiers.
      I do realize some may see this as "not listening to the community", but I feel - and I believe the vast majority of backers do as well - that this is more a case of Crypto sticking to their original statements, and not bowing to the vocal minority.
      Having said that, I also feel it's important to remind everyone that they have listened to the community here - the t-shirt poll, and decision on the extra card related to that poll, is a prime example.
      I understand there are a number of disgruntled people; some found out later, some waited too long, some simply wanted to stack more on and couldn't: however, the stance has remained the same throughout, and even those disappointed have given gruding respect for Crypto's firm decision here.
      I'm not saying this to start an argument, just trying to provide another perspective - I will say that I'm extremely excited to see so many backers, regardless of the level they pledged - it shows that the core for this game will be strong, and I expect great things for Hex moving forward. :)

    48. Creator Stok3d on June 2, 2013

      @Matt: At this moment in time, you still have the opportunity to get a Primal Tier. That will be gone by KS end--Mark my words.

    49. Creator Jeffrey Kahn on June 2, 2013

      Good to hear you have security in mind already, I hate when hackers and cheaters ruin online games.

    50. Creator Mayu Polo Wieja (Rapkannibale) on June 2, 2013

      @Glich and @Michael I tweeted TB as well. Hope he picks it up. I know he would like it! :)