Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

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Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby James » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi everyone!

So some quick background. You probably remember entering something for the 'captcha' when you signed up? Unless you've been around a long time. Previously members had to enter some kind of words or characters which are displayed on a background or distorted, and recently we were using a service called reCaptcha. But sometime, not long ago, that broke, and members couldn't sign up anymore.

So we're adding a new security feature where members need to answer one of any number of specific questions. For example, temporarily, here are the two questions we're using:

Enter the missing name. Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and ___
Fill in the blank. Cao Pi's father, and the founder of Wei, was ___

Here's the ideal. It would be great to have a question, or questions, which pretty much every legitimate would-be member of our community can answer, but which some kind of script or bot can't find the answer for using the provided sentence.

One example might be:
"Enter the name of a book, historic period, or game upon which this forum is based."

And we can enter multiple answers to cater to different tastes.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
Sanguo Yanyi
Sanguoyanyi
San Guo Yan Yi
Dynasty Warriors
... (etc)

I would love to hear some thoughts and ideas on what you think might or might not work. :)
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:12 am

James wrote:One example might be:
"Enter the name of a book, historic period, or game upon which this forum is based."

And we can enter multiple answers to cater to different tastes.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
Sanguo Yanyi
Sanguoyanyi
San Guo Yan Yi
Dynasty Warriors
... (etc)


I guess my question to the above would be, will it be case-sensitive to ensure whoever is entering the name would have to go through the task of capitalizing certain letters?
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby DragonAtma » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:19 am

RoTK2 has exactly three officers with 99 war, so it's clearly Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Zhao Yun. XD

So it'd be better to go with ___, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.

Do keep in mind that we may get people who know very little about the three kingdoms period, though.

Finally, keep in mind that some people use alternate names -- so (for example) Cáo Cāo, Mengde, Cao Mengde, Tsao Tsao, Ts'ao Ts'ao, Emperor Wei, and Grand Progenitor should also be accepted for the second one. Similarly, any answers involving Lü Bu will also have to accept Lu Bu...
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:32 am

What about spelling mistakes? If you allow answers that are multiple words long, there would be more room for potential typos.

I like the idea, though, as long as we can get around the typo issue. I've never been a fan of captchas--too easy to crack for hackers and too hard to read for legitimate users.

Question: is it possible to randomize the questions to prevent a bot to remember the answer if it gets it right somehow (brute force or dictionary attack or if there's a real person behind it)? Or let users choose a question in case they are stumped by one?

---

I was actually also thinking Zhao Yun for the first question >_>

Some other possible questions:

Which country's history is this forum mostly about? (China, Chinese, Asian, etc.)

How many kingdoms is this period of history about? (three, 3, etc.)

The three kingdoms are Wei, ____, and Wu. (Shu)

In Dynasty Warriors, the colour of Liu Bei's Shu kingdom (Guan Yu, Ma Chao, etc.) is _____. (green)
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby James » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:23 am

So to answer a few quick questions.

Yes, we can have multiple questions, one of which will be presented during signup at random. This is the most secure thing to do, but it means we need multiple accessible questions.

I can add multiple answers to a question, and I can also enable tolerance for certain things like capitalization. For example, if we like a question, but worry that there might be another answer people legitimately give (e.g. Zhao Yun, in the case above) we can go ahead and add that to the possible answers.

And yeah, we really want these to be the sort of questions nearly every legitimate user would be able to answer. The only goals are being answerable for them—the simpler, the better—without being easy for a bot to deduce with an automated Google search.

I'm doing this because our precious Captcha broke registration, because we need some kind of security measure against bots, and because as Lady Wu said, Captchas aren't the most accessible and they really do have a limited lifespan against bots. This strikes me as an effective replacement provided we use the right questions.

In this sense, Lady Wu's question about which country's history this forum is primarily based upon is excellent if we can conclude most potential members would know it. It is a simple question and would defeat any bot as it cannot be converted into a question that can be queried through Google.
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby Jordan » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:30 pm

The second question is good because the answer is specific. As DragonAtma pointed out, the first question is somewhat flawed because there are potentially multiple interpretations to it, even though at first glance most people would think of "Liu Bei" in connection with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. It would be better to phrase the question in a way that mentions the "Oath of Brotherhood" which should be familiar to new members whether they're novel readers, dynasty warriors players or scholars of history.

This is kind of a tough system because there may be new members who play dynasty warriors but do not have much or any historical knowledge. It's hard to think of questions with answers that would be common knowledge to all legitimate members. I guess a decent question would be: Name one of the Three Kingdoms [that succeeded the Han dynasty (220 AD)]? A note could clarify that they appear as the three main kingdoms in Dynasty Warriors for members that are confused by the date 220 AD or the allusion to the Han. An answer set could include: Shu, Wei, Wu, Shu-Han, Shu Han.

Would it be possible for members to be able to choose from multiple questions in case they legitimately do not know the answer to one of them?
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby James » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:07 pm

Jordan wrote:The second question is good because the answer is specific. As DragonAtma pointed out, the first question is somewhat flawed because there are potentially multiple interpretations to it, even though at first glance most people would think of "Liu Bei" in connection with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. It would be better to phrase the question in a way that mentions the "Oath of Brotherhood" which should be familiar to new members whether they're novel readers, dynasty warriors players or scholars of history.

Not to suggest we should keep that question, but if we do find a very good question with one potential off-answer that we want to accept, we *can* accept both answers.

Jordan wrote:This is kind of a tough system because there may be new members who play dynasty warriors but do not have much or any historical knowledge. It's hard to think of questions with answers that would be common knowledge to all legitimate members. I guess a decent question would be: Name one of the Three Kingdoms [that succeeded the Han dynasty (220 AD)]? A note could clarify that they appear as the three main kingdoms in Dynasty Warriors for members that are confused by the date 220 AD or the allusion to the Han. An answer set could include: Shu, Wei, Wu, Shu-Han, Shu Han.

Yes, this is tricky. Unfortunately our other options are mostly useless Captchas (the best of which isn't working for some reason) or no bot check at all, which I suspect would result in 20+ bots posting in the forum each day (or worse).

I think you might be on to something with your question. Maybe we can simplify it to 'Name one of the Three Kingdoms?' And heck, we can even accept Han and Jin if we want.

Jordan wrote:Would it be possible for members to be able to choose from multiple questions in case they legitimately do not know the answer to one of them?

I wish we could. I also wish there was a button to request a different question. We're going to want multiple questions to combat spammers but each is going to have to be sufficient on its own.

I wonder if maybe we should include a Chinese translation of the question and corresponding answers.
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby Ranbir » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:16 pm

Why not algebra?
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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby DragonAtma » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:29 pm

Because spammer computers are more likely to have functions for algebra than to know who Sun Quan's older brother is.

Nothing wrong with throwing in some simple algebra just to mix things up, but...
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Your feedback appreciated! [Member Signup Questions]

Unread postby James » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:03 pm

Ranbir wrote:Why not algebra?

It would be interesting to see what that did to our new membership. :pika:
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