The Day After
Over the weekend I attempted to switch to using Session variables to better restrict cheating. Session variables require cookies to maintain the SessionID, which I thought surely 99% of the visitors would be ok. Unfortunately it was closer to only 75%.
I'm unsure why it was unable to maintain session with so many users, but it has also made it more clear to me not to rely on session with a large expanse of unregistered users. At any rate, as of this morning's final tweaks, I think I have everything finished, though there may be a few fixes remaining.
First of all I'd like to thank Rick from over at Dreadnought, it was his thorough research that made me realize that we'd been infected with a cheating problem, and ultimately was the inspiration behind me redoing the vote gateway which had remained the same for nearly 2 years. I think its better, in many ways its not as clean, but I think its more fun, and more avatars get exposure now than before, which I think is good.
Then I'd like to thank a slew of fans who not only fought to make sure their vote for their favorite webcomics was counted, but helped me to diagnose the issue with session cookies (whether they knew they were or not) and another odd issue with those who vote on multiple comics at the same time. In particular, Jerry A. and Lilorean helped me through several emails to pinpoint the problem, thanks Jerry and Thanks Lilorean!
To Tina, Aaron, Michael, Kirstin, and everyone else who helped, thanks a lot!