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Annual State of BF4DB

May 05, 2020

Welcome to our second annual State of BF4DB address. This also happens to be our third anniversary. This is a long post, so it’s been broken down into sections for you. 2019 was our best year so far across all fronts, and we’re excited to share with everyone what we’ve been working on. Before proceeding, I want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication including our awesome staff of volunteers.

Thanks to our developers pmkevinrudd and skulls for creating and maintaining our servers and websites. Thank you to our Administrators and our Moderators for working through appeals and reports tirelessly as well. And last but not least, thank you to all of those who use our service. Quite literally, without you we wouldn’t be here. Without further ado, here’s everything that’s happened.

As I said, 2019 was our most successful year to date. From a user base perspective, we grew 21% during the 2019 calendar year. To date we’ve banned more than 49,300 hackers, have over 6.5 million players in our database, and have served 642 servers since we launched. In the last 30 days, we processed more than 40 million requests. Our servers have done really well keeping up with everything, thanks to skulls.

2020 has been a productive year so far. In January we experienced our first hardware failure, when one of our hard disks failed. Thanks to our Patrons, we were able to replace the failed drive with two brand new disks in RAID to prevent issues going forward. Our servers are running great now and show no signs of issues going forward.

Starting February 1st, we made our monthly budgets available to Patrons to increase our transparency and so they could see where their money is going. Having just released April’s report, I’m happy to announce that we are not only paying the bills but also saving quite a bit away in the event of another failure down the road.

COVID-19 has had an impact on our operations this year so far as well. As the pandemic affects practically everyone either directly or indirectly, it’s also affecting our staff to varying degrees. I’m happy to report that none of our staff has contracted the virus at this time, however as everyone is adapting to a “new normal”, their availability is changing. We made a policy change that Moderators are now able to process Appeals as well to assist in the clearing of pending appeals since some of our Administrators are not available at this time. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this hard time, and know we are doing what we can to keep up with the demand while also taking care of real life demands and obligations, which always come first.

I’m happy to announce that with our third anniversary today, we are rolling out the first wave of what we’re dubbing BF4DB 2.0. It consists of numerous tweaks to our website, policy changes, as well as new features that you can read more about in section 5 below. 2020 is going to be a year of change for us as we continue to adapt to the current community and work on providing better service to those who use our plugin and website.

BF4DB is committed to providing players a hack-free gaming experience. That’s never changed from the day we opened our doors three years ago. We’ve made changes over the years as new challenges have arisen. But today we are recommitting to providing professional, efficient service to all members. One of the ways we are going to accomplish that is by treating each player the respect they deserve, hacker or not. We are not perfect, and we make mistakes. However, we will continue to learn from these mistakes and move forward.

Another way that we can accomplish our goals to be better is to maintain and increase transparency wherever possible. Starting in March, we started making our monthly financial reports available to all Patrons. We are continuing to do that. We have a few other policies that we routinely refer to, including our Banning Policy, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy. These are going to be simplified wherever possible, and made more prominent on the website, so players can quickly find what they need instead of looking in the footer. With this announcement comes a revision of our Banning Policy, Terms of Service, and Staff Standard Operating Procedures documents. Please refer to the appropriate documents for a list of what’s changed, as well as read the full content.

In short, we are taking a more helpful stance on those who have had their accounts compromised through no fault of their own, and were later banned because of cheats that were used on the account during the time it was being used by someone else. We are committed to helping those obtain new accounts, secure those new accounts, and continue to enjoy the game that we are all here for, Battlefield 4. Obviously, the account used to cheat will remain banned, but we will flag that account as stolen so that they are not going to be flagged in the future for having a linked account. Our linked account policy is being revised as well in accordance with the aforementioned policy on hacked accounts. While “your account is your responsibility” is accurate, there’s more that we can do to help instead of slam the door shut. We are creating a number of resources to help players affected by this, which will be available later this month. You’ll see more on these resources in the next few weeks.

In a gesture of maintaining transparency, we will be making our development roadmap public soon so you can see what’s up next for release as well as a projected release date. We’ll be trying to ramp up our development this year, as much as we can given the circumstances in the world.

Without further ado, I’d like to announce our new features that are now live. A lot of these have been in the works for a while now and these lay the groundwork for other features that are also in development. One of the biggest changes is how our Patreon works.

Up until now, we’ve relied on the generous contributions of our Patrons. For those who are not yet Patrons, we have a brand new page that you can find by clicking the Patreon button on the homepage once you've logged in. That will tell you all about the different tiers, and link you to our Patreon page for checkout. Plus, if you’re an existing Patron, you can link your BF4DB account directly to Patreon to sync your rewards.

Some of the perks that we’d offered include a discount (50% for Plus members, 25% for Preferred members) off of the future release of “Admin Tools”. Well, we’re starting to roll that out now. All existing supporters have had their tiers modified to their reduced rate of $3.75/mo for Preferred (now called Silver) and $5.00/mo for Plus (now called Gold). Thank you so much for your support!

We've also released our public API for those who wish to use it, complete with documentation. This is available for certain Patreon tiers, and will give you various information from our database. This will continue to evolve over time as feedback is received. 

Many of you may have heard about, or even used our Player History tool in the past while we were testing it out. We are happy to announce it’s been released for our Patrons to varying degrees based on the level of subscription.

There have been a lot of behind the scenes tweaks and changes as well to lay the groundwork for the next set of feature releases including some major overhauls to the report and appeal systems to name a few. Please see the full changelog on a separate post for everything that's changed by clicking HERE.

In conclusion to a very lengthy post, I’d again like to say thank you for all of your continued support and vow that we will work tirelessly to improve our anti-cheat service, as well as our customer service this year. We have a lot of great things planned and I hope to share them with you soon. Be safe out there. Thanks for being part of our community, and having us be a part of yours. Stay safe out there.



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