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State of BF4DB

March 04, 2019

Hello, everyone. Welcome to our first annual State of BF4DB. In this post, I aim to discuss the current state of BF4DB, our current plans, as well as plans for the future for the community. If you follow us in Discord and the Forums, then you should have a pretty good idea of what's going on. There are a few things I'd like to discuss specifically today.

First of all, we are coming up on our 2nd anniversary since our launch on May 5th, 2017. It's been a fun couple of years and there have been many changes both big and small. We've had new staff members join us, some others leave us, and have made updates to the website to give everyone a better experience.

Looking at the numbers, here's where we stand. In the last two years, we have 5,224 registered accounts on our site. We have 5,468,783 unique players in our database. We have banned 38,636 hackers and counting. We had so many battle reports in our database (8+ million), we had to remove that table to save on disk space. And currently, we are servicing over 491 servers with our plugin. Last but not least, we are running on a staff of 3 Directors, 4 Administrators, 2 Moderators, and 1 Russian Translator.

Over the last 12 months, we've had to make a few infrastructure changes, moving a couple of times between hosts for various reasons. Our current host is stable and we do not anticipate any issues with them over the next year. We have redundant systems in place to assist with downtime as well. On our first anniversary, we were expecting to roll out what we are dubbing "BF4DB 2.0", a significantly overhauled website with improvements across all facets of the website from the reporting process to the Forums, as well as giving Server Admins additional tools. Unfortunately, the timing of our anniversary also coincided with one of our moves, which required significant changes to our systems, and we've had to postpone that. We are now expecting release to be May 5th, 2019. 

BF4DB 2.0 will be a smoother experience for the end-user, and a more efficient workflow for our staff. Part of the reporting process has already been overhauled in the last few months with the addition of required fields and a form for those to submit in order to get a player reported. It was taking quite a bit of time for our staff to clear through simply empty reports that consisted entirely of "he's hacking", which is not actionable from us. Part of 2.0 will involve requiring soldier claiming during account registration, as well as a streamlined report/appeal system which will all be self-contained and not on the forums any longer. We'll also have access to additional tools for verified and vetted server owners, such as the Player History tool, which is already accessible to those in our Clan Representative program for testing purposes. Owners/Admins will be able to check for linked accounts, perform in-depth background checks on players themselves, and better protect their servers.

Another major thing for us this year was related to Punkbuster, and our policy on banning for Violations. We decided after much discussion that Punkbuster was no longer a credible anti-cheat service, based on the numerous false positives that were being detected. For more information about that, I'd recommend reading the forum post by clicking here

After considerable work and effort from our staff, we are happy to announce that we no longer have a report backlog. We worked on clearing the 500+ pending reports, and are now on top of all current reports and strive to have reports processed within 24 hours. Appeals should now be cleared more efficiently now, and we strive for all appeals to be handled within 72 hours. Complicated cases/situations may require more time so that number is not a guarantee.

One of the things that we continue to see problems with, is compromised accounts. Since EA disabled the creation of Game Time accounts, we've seen an increase in ban appeals from individuals who had their accounts compromised. BF4DB always recommends using Two-Factor Authentication. For additional information about that, you can read more here.

We have been working on something called BattleBase. Battlefield 4 is an older game, and while we continue to support it wholeheartedly, we are also looking to the future for ways that we can contribute to current titles as well. BattleBase is not focused on Anti-Cheat, but more focused on the statistics of Battlefield V. Per our agreement with EA, we are strictly stat-based. The website is more or less complete, and we just need to work on the front-end. Development of that has been delayed while we finish developing BF4DB 2.0. For the latest news on BattleBase, I recommend joining our Discord server by clicking here, or by going to the website www.BattleBase.net.

Also in the future, we're looking forward to bringing on additional staff members as well as expand our service. There is a plugin update coming soon as well (yes, actually soon) that we will be recommending to all server owners. An email will be going out when that takes place.

A new custom server browser is in the works that will allow users to find a server of their liking to join, as well as a direct link to the Battlelog page. 

I'd like to take the time to thank all of our supports who have been there with us over the last two years, who have financially supported us through individual contributions as well as through Patreon, and who use our service to keep their servers clean from hackers. Without your help, we wouldn't be where we are today.

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