FF Logs Rankings Policies
When you find exploited logs, you can either post about them on the forums, or you can send me email privately to inform me of the problem.
The way a typical exploit is handled is when requests start coming in to deal with a problem, I take a look and see if there really is an exploit. I then classify the exploit as either being possible in-game or impossible in-game.
Bringing Trash into a Boss Pull
It has always been WCL's policy that any log that involves pulling trash with a boss in order to pad numbers on that boss will be considered invalid. A log will always be considered invalid for rankings that involves the use of trash, either directly or indirectly.
If the exploit is possible in-game, then I consult developers and see if a hotfix is imminent. If a hotfix is planned for the exploit, then at that point, I try to come up with a code fix that will automatically invalidate all the ranks that used the exploit.
If a code fix is possible, then I put it in place and go back and try to find the old logs that have the exploit and flag them with a gold background.
Flagging of Ranks
Ranks will be flagged when players use in-game exploits that include any buffs that should not be possible given the gear/talents/specs that players are locked into once in combat. In other words, a rank will always be considered invalid if any lingering bonuses from gear, talents or specs are used by a player once in combat. Gear swapping for unintended bonuses is always going to be considered an exploit by this site.
Other examples of in-game exploits include using abilities more often than intended, using old equipment whose interaction with current content had not been considered, etc.
As long as the log was not hacked, i.e., the player used the exploit in-game, then the player will not be banned. The rank will simply be flagged.
Once a code fix has happened, the rank is then removed.
For outside of game exploits, I first determine if the log is invalid because of a bug, e.g., the logger's system clock was messed up, and/or the logging itself bugged out somehow. If that is the case, then the entire report will be blacklisted. Blacklisting a report removes all of the ranks for that report. You can see whether or not a report has been blacklisted by viewing the Rankings page for that report.
Sometimes blacklisting will be used temporarily when a new exploit has been discovered in order to get those reports out of the ranks quickly. This blacklisting will typically be temporary and will be undone once a code fix is in place to disallow ranks only for those using in-game exploits.
If a character repeatedly uploads hacked logs or commits many repeat violations, the character will be blacklisted and all of his ranks will be taken away. Character blacklisting is a "last resort" measure reserved for when rank removal code fixes are impossible and for when there is a clear and established pattern of log abuse.
Although this feature exists in the code, I have never been forced to use it. An entire guild would be banned from the site only if the guild as an entity set out to produce hacked logs as a group. Thankfully this situation has never occurred. :)
Ranks are frozen when a new tier of content arrives. For ranks that are patch-based (e.g., FF Logs, challenge modes in WoW), the ranks won't freeze, but new patch numbers will be added allowing you to filter the ranks to a specific patch version.
For raid tiers in WildStar and WoW, ranks will always be frozen when the next tier arrives (thus rendering the old ranks obsolete).
Ranks are always frozen when an expansion that raises a level cap arrives. This is true of WoW, FF and WildStar.