User talk:Kevan

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Kevan, this wiki is literally being overrun with bots. It was a pain enough when there were about 10 a day, now there are sometimes 10+ an hour. There'd have to be something you can do about this? Please? DANCEDANCEREVOLUTION (TALK | CONTRIBS) 00:05, 28 March 2012 (BST)

Kevan, I agree with DDR that something should be done to help minimize spambot edits. Here are some tips from MediaWiki on combating wiki spam. The ConfirmEdit extention we have installed on this wiki could be slightly reconfigured to prevent all non-autoconfirmed users (users with less than 25 edits or one week from user creation) from adding urls. Sysops can even create a whitelist of urls which would be allowed. Use of the expression $wgSpamRegex would also dramatically help reduce spam. It's hard to make spam go away for good but with just a few adjustments to the existing wiki software, it can be greatly reduced. ~Vsig.png 05:34, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Ban the ips guys. 300 bots checked, only 50 unique IPs with an average of three registrations per visit. About two thirds were already banned by other sysops. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 10:44, 28 March 2012 (BST)
*cough*GeneralSpiderzedVapor*cough* --•▬ ▬••▬ • •••• •▬ ▬•▬• ▬•▬ #nerftemplatedsigs 13:58, 28 March 2012 (BST)
Oh well if its only 50 unique IPs, it must not be a problem... Manually blocking spambot iPs is a band-aid fix at best; a knee-jerk process unofficially put in place in response to the fact that some of the current spambots are inexplicably reusing IP adresses rather than proxies. It will ultimately prove fruitless. On the other hand, the suggestions I've posted above have been researched and dicussed by members of this community, and they are suggested setting by MediaWiki devs. The discussion pages for the pages I've linked above are also chalk full of other great suggestions from wiki admins that are suffering the same problems as us. These spam blocking processes are well worth looking into and implementing. ~Vsig.png 15:39, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
This is how spambots generally function actually. Botnets rarely have access to tor or other proxies and generally use userowned servers that are one use in part because it can actually check if it's already banned on an initial test account. We also actually have most of the tools you listed but it's generally irrelevant to botservs what the url is because if they're doing it for profit at this level they normally have enough domains that we couldn't really get an effective list together anyway without just up and up blocking ALL external URLs. The name of the game is backlinging but the bots don't normally check if they're actually getting the backlinks. If you want to effectively target these sites to stop them appearing you could always try reporting them to google but that won't make our spam load smaller. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 19:32, 28 March 2012 (BST)
Blocking all external urls is exactly one of the methods that has been suggested. But only for non-autoconfirmed users and only urls not whitelisted (all commonly used domains like would be allowed regardless of user status). Again, manually blocking spambot IPs isn't something we be should relying on. Not when so many other options are available. It really would just be a matter of adjusting two or three already present regular expressions. ~Vsig.png 04:33, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
My point was more that none of the solutions suggested actually fix the problem. They also generally don't need his involvement. Now adding a honeypot would be a solution that might help and would require action on Kevin's part, alternatively we could try and use the already existing whitelist and blacklist functions which were actually added back when 3pwv was an actual problem but, as I stated above, they wouldn't actually help overly much in this case beyond banning all nicks ending in numbers. Also, as a note, on your link what they actually suggest is a honeypot method in addition to the other methods as those are for additional security for unlisted or advanced bots. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 10:59, 29 March 2012 (BST)
Also worth note: $wgSPAMRegex is nothing more than another whitelist for text. It's not actually any more useful without a generic bot template spamming you. In the end it all boils down to the most inclusive lists and tricking the bot on registration. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 11:08, 29 March 2012 (BST)
sigh...Karek, my suggestions above were the culmination of research, testing and discussion on other parts of the wiki. The community wants stricter spam blocking but its going to require a few minor changes on the server end. Let's just let the man look it over and decide without muddying the waters, please. ~Vsig.png 15:21, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes and my response is from years of this plus dealing with this problem on multiple other wiki's in Kevin's role. The point is to save him time, specifically, what he needs to do to have any real effect is an autoupdated list or honeypot like the lists from stopforumspam. Everything else won't actually do much anything and with the current bots most definitely will not have an effect. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 23:08, 29 March 2012 (BST)

I've added the autoupdated DNS blacklist, and am just putting a honeypot in place now. --Kevan 17:21, 24 May 2012 (BST)

Thanks, Kevan. It seems to be working....maybe a bit too well. I just tried creating a new account and I got a blocked by DNSBL message. Its the same IP I'm using to edit right now, too. ~Vsig.png 01:09, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Odd, I thought it was using the same check for edits as for new accounts. Say if people think it should be switched off, or using different blacklists; it's currently just the Spamhaus and Tornevall DNS blacklists suggested by MediaWiki. --Kevan 09:12, 25 May 2012 (BST)
Yes, it is kind of odd. For me, the culprit is Spamhaus. My IP is part of a range that is on their pbl dnsbl. Apparently its a policy for my ISP. I'll send you a private email with more info. ~Vsig.png 15:30, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

I've now switched to, and have replaced the ReCAPTCHA with QuestyCaptcha. It'll only kick in on account creation, for now (so we may still see some spam from sleeper bots), but we'll see what hapens. If we want to ratchet up QuestyCaptcha to interrogate all edits that add links, let me know. --Kevan 16:30, 25 May 2012 (BST)

The new dnsbl does seem less restrictive. I was able to create an account, at least. Questy worked like it was supposed to. I like that it is based on game related things. In the time since it has changed, we haven't received any spam edits, where regularly we would have had more than a dozen. I'm feeling good that you've foiled a good lot of them and we'll be removed from whichever target lists we were on. Cheers! ~Vsig.png 00:37, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Hey Kevan, perhaps it is time to ratchet up QuestyCaptcha as you suggested above. Looks like the bots have found a way around it. I imagine the Captcha answers were leaked to spam forums. Not sure how else the bots are getting around it. If there is a way to prevent non-autoconfirmed users from adding external links (except those on a whitelist), it might help as well. We're not getting quite as many bot edits as we were before your last updates, but it's starting to get annoying again. ~Vsig.png 20:24, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Before I say anything else, thank you sincerely for the previous measures you took, since I can't imagine how much worse it would be without them. But, of course, I'm not just here to say "thank you" (though I do really mean it; thanks again), since if you check the list of recently created accounts, at least at a glance it looks like around 90-95% of them are spam accounts, and in November alone we made over 300 IP blocks on spammers.
If it's possible to ratchet up QuestyCaptcha to interrogate non-autoconfirmed users whenever they post a link, I suspect that would handle a lot of the actual spam that is still getting posted, though we'd be left with hundreds of sleeper accounts pouring in every month, which isn't exactly desirable either. Unfortunately, I don't have any great solutions at the moment. Aichon 16:34, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Following up on this, we've recently seen what appears to be a fresh start to the mass-spamming, and it's becoming a major problem again, with more bans happening in the last 10 days than in the last several years combined. As documented here and here, we're currently in the middle of an ongoing-at-this-moment spam campaign that's seen about 400 pages deleted and 300 blocks implemented in the last 7 hours alone. And this is a followup from a similar attack that happened a little over a week ago with about as many blocks. The IP addresses seem to be from all over the place, so IP blocks have been of limited use (though they have helped).

Any chance you could take a look at the wiki's built-in countermeasures? I'm not sure what improvements make sense or are possible, but it looks as if it may be time for an upgrade. Aichon 22:14, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

This would be greatly appreciated Kevan. This issue is currently becoming more problematic than ever before as there are sometimes 10 a minute now, and though they have slowed down they are still appearing over the space of about 9+ hours straight. A ZOMBIE ANT 23:02, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
New Questy questions would probably be the simplest and most effective solution, though not permanent. Eventually those would be cracked and posted somewhere. The idea of required captcha on external links by non-aotoconfirmed users would prevent a lot of spam at least, though I don't know how possible it is. ~Vsig.png 01:08, 4 February 2016, The year of our lord (UTC)
Not sure how helpful the external link prevention would be — a lot of the bots seem to be posting no links, just blocks of text clearly intended to boost Google ranking. Also IP range blocks have been minimally effective as the attacks are being run from IP addresses spread across the planet (possibly a botnet?) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 03:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I've just switched out the QuestyCaptcha questions for some new ones. Let me know if there are any particular countermeasures (or extra blacklists for $wgDnsBlacklistUrls) which you think would make a difference. --Kevan (talk) 20:04, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Kevan. These other guys have been staying on top of it. I'm sure they'll let you know if it doesn't improve. ~Vsig.png 22:30, 5 February 2016, The year of our lord (UTC)

One thing we sys-ops could do in the meantime is to update MediaWiki:Titleblacklist. "Mcafee", "telephone", "office" and "antivirus" (and variations caught with regex) should already weed out a great number of current bot pages. Check the documentation for how to. -- Spiderzed 18:30, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I think "phone" and "telephone" are probably bad words to blacklist, given that there is at least one active group with the word in its name, plus the in-game telephone system. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I set it to autoconfirmed. Old users won't notice, and hampered users could always ask any autoconfirmed user to create the page. We could drop those two in a week to check if the bots are still around. -- Spiderzed 18:47, 5 February 2016 (UTC)


I archived your talk page, hope you don't mind but it was starting to get out of hand after almost 3 years. It was getting obnoxiously long, more importantly I was experiencing some noticeable strain on multiple PC's I used when loading this page. You can find the new archive here. -- Cat Pic.png Thadeous Oakley Talk 14:31, 1 May 2012 (BST)

Thanks. --Kevan 09:31, 25 June 2012 (BST)

This is not, the greatest game in the world...

Just wondered whether you used "You search and find nothing" as a tribute to the song of the same name in Beneath a Steel Sky? --Rosslessness 21:53, 21 June 2012 (BST)

Loved the game at the time, but no, just a coincidence. --Kevan 09:31, 25 June 2012 (BST)
Current available for free on Yes. I'm no better than a spambot. --Rosslessness 17:15, 25 June 2012 (BST)


Deadset.PNG Borehamwood

Population: 11058
Current Population
2 standing survivors
4 standing zombies

Now it's dead, can we open up new character creation again?

I'd love to do some three year old repairs. --Rosslessness 15:55, 23 June 2012 (BST) Like.png 3 people like this comment.

Afraid not - the contract with Channel Four specifically involved removing access to new characters once the promotion was over. Same deal for Monroeville. --Kevan 09:31, 25 June 2012 (BST)
Ooh, there's an interesting titbit. As you're so chatty, can I ask how many man hours went into setting up the new cities? --Rosslessness 17:16, 25 June 2012 (BST)
Two or three days, including the research? I wasn't billing it per hour, so I don't really remember. --Kevan 13:30, 29 June 2012 (BST)
Including the layout planning? How did that work? Its not all Randomly generated surely? (Last question I promise)--Rosslessness 14:16, 29 June 2012 (BST)
Partly. Apart from the unique locations and some manual tinkering, the maps were just drawn out as zoned areas, and the urban areas were generated randomly within the spaces assigned to them. --Kevan 14:21, 29 June 2012 (BST)
as you seem to have some time to answer stuff: are we likely to see any new cities or attempts to attract new players? --Honestmistake 23:15, 30 June 2012 (BST)
Dammit, you broke Kevan D: --RadicalWhig 09:35, 8 July 2012 (BST)

Hi Kevan

Would it be possible to get a few wiki-things installed? Namely, InputBox. I don't have a clue how easy or difficult this would be. There was a discussion on this, and people also wanted collapsable tables; I'm not sure if they require installing anything. We gave things a try on our end but couldn't get anything to work. Karek said something about jQuery. I have no idea what that means. Thanks. --  AHLGTG 02:49, 25 July 2012 (BST)

It means he'll have to do a version update to be able to implement that particular feature as it is in standard MediaWiki releases. InputBox shouldn't have this issue and looks to be designed with backwards compatibility in mind up until major version differences. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 06:03, 25 July 2012 (BST)

Actually Kevan, on some Show Preview testing on Wikipedia, I couldn't get it to work the way I wanted to. I wanted to be able to enter text into the field, hit enter, and have it take me straight to that page, in the User namespace, with a particular user name, and as a subpage—say, to User:A Helpful Little Gnome/what I typed in. Doesn't seem to work like that. Oh well. Hope I didn't waste any of your time. Thanks. --  AHLGTG 01:12, 31 July 2012 (BST)

Perhaps I'm overreacting...

But a kiddie diddler has raised his wretched head. Just pointing it out. Perhaps you can track him and introduce him to authorities? Don't know if you can track who puts up spraypaint messages, but it might be a good idea.

Oh, and hi. Nice to meet you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Necrofeelinya (talkcontribs) 05:33, August 5, 2012.

Zerging Countermeasures

Do please tell everyone once again just how effective they are. --Papa Moloch 16:24, 8 October 2012 (BST)

In other news, people tend to die when shot. More at 11. --RadicalWhig 20:13, 8 October 2012 (BST)


Thanks.x --Ross Less Ness Enter Stranger... 01:15, 28 October 2012 (BST)

Come to Hell Rising for fog... er, MIST... candy, and our yearly one-time-only weapon. :P · Amazingphobia 03:17, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Or check out Scroll Wars and kill our Halloween-Exclusive NPCs for Halloween item drops that change every year. :P :P · Amazingphobia 03:18, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Forgive my ignorance, Ross, but just what are you thanking him for? --Klexur 03:25, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I think it's more a reminder to do something for Halloween... --•▬ ▬••▬ • •••• •▬ ▬•▬• ▬•▬ #nerftemplatedsigs 03:39, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Or maybe Stale Candy and/or masks made a reappearance early? I haven't checked, so I couldn't say. Aichon 03:49, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
At least Hildebrand Mall has no stale candy currently, so I doubt that. -- Spiderzedâ–ˆ 12:36, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Err Kevan, it's October not November. Gordon 14:43, 30 October 2012 (UTC)


Thanks!x --Ross Less Ness Enter Stranger... 14:50, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Seconded! --xensyriaT 18:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Third -- →Son of Sin← 20:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Fourth-ed-ed! Really like the disguise feature. --Queen Mum 01:06, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


Merry Christmas you old Devil! Hope the season's treating you well, and you completed your deck of games! --Ross Less Ness Enter Stranger... 00:27, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

A winter wonderland

Happy 2013 good sir. Hope the weather is treating you well and that the server isn't completely frozen over. For the first time in ages we've got a peer reviewed suggestion that looks like it might actually work. After all it's only changing one number. What could possibly go wrong? --Rosslessness 13:42, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

© Kevan Davis, 2005-2012

Every year I remind you about this. You'll thank me in 2113. --Rosslessness 19:09, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

HI MR. DAVIS!!!!!!

Hello I have some questions to ask,

1. Are you planning on making any game updates anytime soon?

2. Are you making a new city

3. If so is it coming out to coincide with WWZ

4. Are you planning on advertising for Urban Dead to help combat the fewer numbers of players in Malton?

5. The copyright thing says 2005-2012 does that mean the copyright is now worthless ?

6. Those are the only questions that i will ask for now

--Founder7 21:38, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

1. LOL
2. LOL
3. LOL
4. LOL
5. LOL
6. LOL?
--Boobs.gifTHE Godfather of Яesensitized, Anime Sucks Yalk | W! U! WMM| CC CPFOAS DORISFlag.jpg LOE ZHU | Яezzens 02:54, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh dear... A ZOMBIE ANT 22:29, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Just to offer a constructive response quickly since you're unlikely to get one from the other wiki folks, the previous cities that Kevan created were done for promotional reasons. He was being paid by the makers of Dead Set to make Borehamwood and was paid by the Diary of the Dead folks to make Monroeville. So, unless the WWZ folks want to pay him as well, it's unlikely that he'll open up a new city for them. As for copyrights, even if the years aren't updated, they still remain effective for the entire life of the artist (Kevan, in this case) plus something like 75 years after his death, give or take a few, for most developed countries. As for the rest, I'm sure we'd all like to know that sort of stuff, but I wouldn't bet on an answer, nor is it really our business. Aichon 23:56, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Griefing / zerg characters

There are several universal characters being used in order to grief. Please delete or ban these characters:

- mypasswordispassword

- mypasswordishowdy

- mypasswordispenis

- mypasswordisgay

- password

- thepassislol

There may be others with a similar bent. If anyone knows of them, feel free to add. In the meantime, please help to use up their AP in random directions. They're currently being used by some of the Raines Hills zergers like William Harrington and Doc Savage. Thanks! --Herr Gerdongerdorf 01:17, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

just chiming in to say Don't Ban mypasswordispassword. We all have good memories of that chap. And anyone who says they haven't is lying. Just like about the fappening. A ZOMBIE ANT 06:20, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Wiki Data Corruption

Hey Kevan, hope all is well. I was hoping you could take a look at this discussion and maybe shed some light on the situation. We think maybe some data became corrupt during a server host change. Looks pretty wide-spread. A project page has been created to help organize efforts to manually fix the corrupted data, but we're hoping it may not be needed if you're able to do anything about it on your end. Cheers. ~Vsig.png 14:14, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

What is the status on the rollback? Up to this point, all pages with new revisions past February 18 have been categorised into Category:Hoddmimis Holt for easy export and import, and all new image files have been saved to be re-uploaded later. All you would need to do would be to put the wiki in read-only mode, export everything from Category:Hoddmimis Holt and then to rollback. -- Spiderzed 16:15, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Should be going ahead soon. A copy of the current wiki will be kept around for public reference for a few weeks if anything else needs to be reuploaded or cleaned up manually. --Kevan 22:24, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
One change I have noticed re-uploading files: Maximum file size has been changed to 100MB, and the non-image formats tar, pdf and zip are now legal. It used to be 2MB and image-files only. -- Spiderzed 12:33, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Have dropped the unneccessary formats. The size limit had to be bumped to support the size of the import; it should be back down to 2MB in practice, I'm not sure where MediaWiki is getting 100MB from. --Kevan 13:01, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing the wiki, Kevan. Ironically, your talk page seems to be one of the only pages that still has data corruption issues. I'm guessing it was exported/imported with errors. ~Vsig.png 15:13, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, definitely thanks indeed! (and Simon too) --  AHLGTG 00:21, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Hey Kevan

New-ish player here. Just joined the wiki, wanted to say hi and thank you. Fun game!


Hey Kevan, we sys-ops have noticed that CheckUser (the special page for checking and searching by IP) is gone, as is the previously existing user group checkuser. That seriously cramps our style for effectively keeping spambots down and weeding out sockpuppets. Mind to take a look at it? -- Spiderzed 13:52, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Sorry about that, I didn't realise it was missing, and just assumed it was baked into MediaWiki these days. I've now installed it and it looks like it's picked up the previous checkuser group correctly. --Kevan (talk) 18:10, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I can confirm it's working. We appear to have lost our checkuser logs which previously stretched back for several years, but it's rare that we ever needed the logs from that far back, so I doubt it will impact us. Aichon 18:42, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Kevan, have a merry Christmas!--Rosslessness 21:16, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Kudos for the quick help. Merry christmas! -- Spiderzed 01:43, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I concur with these previous sentiments. Merry Christmas Kevan and thank you ever-so-much for keeping Urban Dead (and therefore my sanity) going. I'd be lost without Urban Dead. -- TheBardofOld 02:05, 24 December 2014 (UTC)


Hey Kevan, how long will the survey be open? (I may need to dig a bit through old suggestions to find the best ones.) - (Also disappointed in there being no option for PKer as playing style for characters. I guess they would go into survivor, as they try to stay alive?) -- Spiderzed 19:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

At least a week, will see whether it's still getting many replies at that point. --Kevan (talk) 11:32, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

E-Mailing on the wiki

Hey Kevan, the e-mail services on this wiki don't seem to function anymore. A user recently experienced trouble with receiving mails to reset their wiki account. I have tested sending them and myself a mail through the E-Mail User feature, and it didn't result in a sent mail either. I suspect something has been broken on the technical side beyond the reach of us sys-ops. -- Spiderzed 19:23, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

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