?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

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ts
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by ts » Mon May 18, 2009 12:07 pm

The rules were made because of reasons. Not everyone can be happy, thus a compromise is the target.
smoooth wrote:In my opinion it is desirable to know when something questionable stands out so we can evaluate what is going on. I think people misinterpret "?" as a "you're cheating" but really I believe its just questioning a shot... How did it miss? Doesn't necessarily imply cheating or anything.
What I think is that when you yell "thru" all the time it certainly looks like accusations.
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dexter » Mon May 18, 2009 2:20 pm

smoooth wrote:It's an unequal game because you are doing things outside the standard limits of the game, which is the GUI. You are limiting the effect of true skills of common players by that which is only achieved by knowledge of long time players who manipulate the config file to maximum.

What I am asking for slime is a standardized "This is how we play" list.

This is actually turning into a completely different topic than what FS mentioned in his first post, but I feel I have to comment on what you've said.
You basically feel that players have too much freedom concerning the config file 'manipulation'? Let me start off by asking, why you think it's manipulating? The config file is nothing other than a text file where all your settings are saved. It's harmless. You can find where it's located on the forums and the wiki. Editing your config is also not something that should be frowned upon or restricted. Please.. there are hundreds of players in the league, everyone is different and plays the game differently. What's the problem with people changing and tweaking their settings a bit to get a feel for things. There really isn't anything BAD you can do in the config. Oh no, player X has radar shot line shotlength 60 and mousebox 50! So? Let them play how they enjoy the game best. The config can also be accessed by every player and as mentioned above, the path how to get their is also posted in many places. How is that unequal? How does that come anywhere near close to cheating? And if you think that there isn't a big difference from changing your font size in your config to coding your own cheats and compiling a client, you are mistaken. And FYI, you can change your 'config' settings in game at all time by using the /localset command. So please stop going on about how players who use shot length 60-90 have an advantage. Some players with short or no lines at all are a lot better than those with very long ones. I hope you know that one of the main reasons the config is even accessible to players, is the fact that there are tons of settings, and having all of them in the GUI would just be chaotic. Also you can usually enter a variable number in the config, which just wasn't implemented for the GUI options. It's just the same different. It comes down to the SKILL of a player, not the config. Everyone should be allowed to change their settings and not be considered a cheater.
smoooth wrote:We'll be able to "tell" who the cheaters are


I'm assuming you're referring to the people who have none the less edited their config? So because somebody is a very good or as you say 'perfect' dodger, they cheat? I think you desperately need to accept the fact, that some players are just gifted and have been playing this game for many many years. Long lines or not. And having these long radar lines is not anything close to shot path either, random comparison. You also said that it's just about enhancement and config and manipulation. Why are there still great players, good players, mediocre and bad players? By your logic, everyone should be more or less ranked the same; I'm sure even you would disagree there.

I don't know what you mean by inside knowledge and frankly don't believe in such a thing and as slime already mentioned above, the ME speed topic has been heavily debated and discussed in the past and was deemed 'legal'. One thing I do agree on however, is having people use the most up-to-date client. The tolerance of 2.0.2 remains a mystery to me.

Let's please not make this into another huge 'is config cheating' debate. I think it obviously isn't.

dex

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Mon May 18, 2009 4:55 pm

"Let them play how they enjoy the game best." Then how can you say you want 2.0.2 illegal then?

Until the league standardizes on a set of defined settings there is no correlation between skill and score.

Everyone is not playing on an equal platform. That is why when a new player logs in he is pwned immediately, everytime by "skilled" (not necessarily, just experienced with config) players.

If you ask around you'll find there a various levels of knowledge of the config files concerning what
you can and can't do. The game, at best, is 80% knowledge/config and about 20% skill.

Noobs log in and I pwn them -- but it's mostly just their configuration that leaves them behind. The same is true with the best top players, the next top, and mediocre. Little has to do with skill. I always used the setting that are in the GUI which won't allow a 90 shot length BTW. That is the only reason some "looked" like they were better than me. But in reality they were playing a different
game. Don't be fooled, a shot length 90 is no different, in practice, than having a radar path. Yes it doesnt rico BUT it is the same effect. You can see where the bullets go before they get there. Thus reducing the need for hand eye coordination.

smoooth

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by AlliedArmour » Mon May 18, 2009 5:47 pm

I think I'll start with the simpler "cheats" being proposed here.

Lined radar shots, having long radar lines is not at all like radar path. Radar path shows rico-path and shot duration. Long radar lines go straight through buildings and move with the shot. Merely makes a cluttered mess except in ducati. Some people prefer it and can work with the clutter, some people prefer joysticks. That's personal preference, that's unfair.

Next "cheat", large radar. Some people play by radar alone, makes sense for them to have a full screen radar. Others play with some HUD but majority radar, makes sense to have a halfsize radar. Others play by HUD, makes sense having a miniature radar for basic guidance alone. That's personal preference, that's unfair.

The last "cheat", mouse-enhancement, has been discussed in detail. Pointless to bring it up on a public forum, take the decided policies to the admins and ask for discussion to be opened again.

So some people use 2.0.2, just happens there is no FPS limiter built into that version. FPS limiter can be used to create artificial lag at a small personal loss. That can be classified as a cheat. 2.0.2 is thus a known non-cheat client. 2.0.2 doesn't have support for mousewheel, some people prefer mousewheel and since that's personal preference and not a standard - that's a cheat. Again, 2.0.2 non-cheat client. 2.0.2 doesn't support anisotropic filtering and some people prefer sharp textures at distances, another personal preference and another cheat - again 2.0.2 non-cheat client. So 2.0.2 allows one gamestyle preference and forbids 2 preferences and one semi-cheat. 3 minus 1 is 2, thus 2.0.2 is more non-cheat than cheat.

There is no such thing as an equal playing field. Somebody is always going to be better at one type of setup than another. If you restrict this setup to your favourite setup, that just gives you the "cheat". Penalizes anyone else who would be better with another type of setup. That's not fair playing. Fair playing is when everyone can have a setup, within the game style confines (eg. radar path is not within the game style confines) that they're most comfortable with that does not hurt anyone else.

Next I might add that there is a big difference between editing a config file and compiling a cheat client. Try it someday, you will admit it.

You'll never stop cheaters with the current setup of the game. If you remove personal preferences you'll make it harder for cheaters to be beaten. Eventually you'll have a strict set of standards and a large set of cheaters. You can't accuse someone of cheating just because they play well. All people who don't like disobeying rules and want to play the league will just get smashed by the cheaters.

Finally, smooth - in the time you've played GU you have single handedly made the most complaints and unpleasantness than any other person. You have accused more people of cheating than anyone else in the league. Not only have you personally accused me and grand slam (primarily) of cheating to our faces, but you have made sure to tell anyone else who would listen. Including newbies who didn't know any better. This just increases the amount of unpleasantness you have introduced to the league. If you cared about making this a pleasant playing environment you'd start to look at your own behaviour.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by Saturos » Mon May 18, 2009 6:03 pm

I get the impression you, smooth, never really saw a radar path. Having long shot lines is nowhere close a radar cheat. Seriously, the comparison is ridiculous. Far more ridiculous is the statement about 20% skill and 80% knowledge. Have you ever considered that league-skill is far more than dodging? How do you boost your teamplay, your overview, your communication or your teammates by changing your config? If you got a clue, I'm heavily interested because that would be awesome.

The config is open space for everyone... for me changing the config is part of the fun of this game. Tweaking every line until it feels just right, skimming through the file looking for more parameters to adjust... it adds to the experience, the immersion of BZ. I always found it great that basically no 2 players share the same config, I LOVE this part of the game because it adds to BZ's uniqueness.

You also have to see that every config change has its pros and cons... long radar lines are sometimes good for dodging, but suddenly shots get in your view that arent even close to you. A huge radar improves dodging, but it blocks your view... I could never play with fullscreen radar, I'm not even using the biggest thats possible in 2.0.12. Everyone has to find the settings that are best for him because everybody is different. A setting you consider an illegal advantage is probably an equally big disadvantage for somebody else.

I see your point and if you boil it all down without the emotions I think you arent entirely wrong. It is a fact that veterans have an advantage based on knowledge about the config over beginners. But seriously, you cant go out and say editing the config is illegal... people are used to their setups, for example you could never get everybody to play with just two shot keys, just to name an example. The far better way to go is writing an extensive guide and link it prominently into the league page (or the wiki) with the most important config values and how to change them.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by quantum dot » Mon May 18, 2009 10:34 pm

Let me remind you something that should stop the discussion about the config file right away: the config file of any software, whether bzflag or OpenOffice, contains adjustable parameters for the user to choose, in many occasions many of those parameters have not made their way into the "main menu" but they are thought to be user configurable. That is why it is call a config file. Should the devs had the time or had found it useful they would make a extended menu preferences as in many other software where more advanced settings can be tuned. I guess they would even be grateful if anyone took the time to make such a extended preferences menu to be included in the main client.

When I find a new player willing to learn how to improve my first tip is to edit the config to add firing buttons and several radar zooms.

Also, this is already off topic.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dereliction of duty » Mon May 18, 2009 11:25 pm

yeah I know, the guy who never talks nor people listen to (Defman)

but I gotta laugh...I receive alot of what the OP was about all the time.

I deal with it wrong some times, my bad.

But I gotta laugh because the only config change I did *versions* ago was to increase my radar size. Since then I can do it thru the GUI.

I'm trying to take what "?, thru, what? wtf?" when said as a compliment - but after seeing it so much I'm one of the people who now perceive it as someone coming right out and accusing me of cheating.

'pose after being around since the early 2000's hasn't somehow magically caused my skin to grow any thicker - but this type of you know what gets old.

My vote is to leave the config file open to change and just make server variables that would allow or disallow any settings.

K key for all complainers in game.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Mon May 18, 2009 11:42 pm

Saturos -- great points. I will no longer harp on the configuration file. It is a neat and unique part of the game and makes it interesting. You convinced me. I think I was trying to make philosophical point about the beginers having a disadvantage but making config changes illegal is no way to solve that. I am just brain storming a way we can make the process of understanding the full capability of the config file changes to newbies. Maybe that means a suggestion to the bzflag programmers to incorporate "max" settings in the GUI. So people can easily go in there and set their shot length to 120 or whatever.

Allied -- as far as you claiming that I bring unpleasantry to the game. I am sorry. However do note that there have been many I have complained about that are now permanently banned. So think back when you saw those complaints and maybe they were legitimate. The point I was trying to make with you and GS is that you should consider upgrading your client from 2.0.2. I think there is a large general consensus that everyone SHOULD upgrade -- 2.0.2 is a bad client. Why not do it? I have "harassed" many players and they have upgraded. I can count 6 that I directly effected. That is progress. You and others may hate me but I'm getting things done from the enforcement side without ever having to ban anyone and without any admin rights.

I'm sure most could probably tell that the number of "?" "Thrus'" and "complaints" from me have be dramatically reduced. Many of the people that were causing the suspicions have been banned which also makes other players clean up their act because they see that enforcement is real. I think the admins are doing a much better job. I'm just a user but I would like to also provide that positive feedback when, as a piddly user, things appear to be getting better.

Going back to the original topic: I don't see "?" as offensive. If anything "thru" is more offensive. Why not just add it the "banned word" list?

smoooth

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by snick » Tue May 19, 2009 1:18 pm

smoooth wrote:It's an unequal game because you are doing things outside the standard limits of the game, which is the GUI. You are limiting the effect of true skills of common players by that which is only achieved by knowledge of long time players who manipulate the config file to maximum.

What I am asking for slime is a standardized "This is how we play" list.

Example, but not complete:
1. Shot Length = max 14
2. Radar size = max 30
3. FPS = min 30
The maximum GUI-settable radar size wasn't always 30. I remember, when I
started playing BZFlag, the maximum was 10, which is ridiculously tiny. So it
made sense to change it in the config. Maybe it makes sense to change other
things in the config now. (E.g., my mousebox is now size 17, larger than you
can set in-game).
AlliedArmour wrote:So some people use 2.0.2, just happens there is no FPS limiter built into that version. FPS limiter can be used to create artificial lag at a small personal loss. That can be classified as a cheat. 2.0.2 is thus a known non-cheat client. 2.0.2 doesn't have support for mousewheel, some people prefer mousewheel and since that's personal preference and not a standard - that's a cheat. Again, 2.0.2 non-cheat client. 2.0.2 doesn't support anisotropic filtering and some people prefer sharp textures at distances, another personal preference and another cheat - again 2.0.2 non-cheat client. So 2.0.2 allows one gamestyle preference and forbids 2 preferences and one semi-cheat. 3 minus 1 is 2, thus 2.0.2 is more non-cheat than cheat.
At least one of the earlier 2.0.x lients had jitter compensation. That is, it adjusted
the position of an opponent's tank taking into account their jitter. I'm not sure
whether its removal was a good or bad thing.

I think it is regrettable that major client changes were made between 2.0.0 and 2.0.12.
Saturos wrote:I get the impression you, smooth, never really saw a radar path.
He must be the only one who didn't :)

I'm astonished by the number of people who have told me in private they have tried out
this mod. Only only private servers, never in matches, etc etc., of course. I do not wish
to imply that any of these players have cheated. Many of them I trust almost completely.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by snick » Tue May 19, 2009 1:23 pm

smoooth wrote:However do note that there have been many I have complained about that are now permanently banned. So think back when you saw those complaints and maybe they were legitimate.
If you complain about everyone, when someone is banned,
they will be someone you complained about :)

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dexter » Tue May 19, 2009 1:37 pm

Funny how everything can turn right round within a couple of hours.. :)

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Tue May 19, 2009 9:33 pm

Dex -- Well, no I still think the game is generally unfair to new players because the configuration options are not readily knowable to all players. When a new players logs into GU League the first time they don't say "Hey, I wonder if I can open the .cfg file and put a size 50 mouse box instead of the max in the GUI." So this puts them at an immediate disadvantage. In addition I suspect that there are "config" options that can generate undesirable results in game play. I doubt that the bzflag code filters config input for all possible combinations; which means the person who finds a stategic error in the config code could have super advantage over one who doesn't. The race is on to who can figure it out. You guys would be screaming bloody murder if I find a way to do something "super" with just a modification of the config file and I don't tell everyone about it.

I have given up the fight however because
a. everyone thinks config changes are fun and interesting
b. the is no reasonable way to fix the issues anyway, so there is no point discussing.

In other words, it is what it is.

smoooth

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dexter » Wed May 20, 2009 12:55 pm

And what would those super variable powers be? Please try /localset tankSize .00 and see what happens. I'm sure there is absolutely nothing in the config that could harm somebody.

As to the whole advantage thing. Skill comes with experience. I had a crappy config for about two years of my BZFlag playing and one day somebody helped. It's just how the game works.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Wed May 20, 2009 5:48 pm

Dexter what you have just said reiterates my point exactly.

You had a "bad" config and you sucked until 2 years later someone showed you how to get a "good" config and you got really good. Were you "unskilled" the first two years? No. Same skill. New config. Config makes all the difference.

This is the flaw in the league which is why there should be a standard so that hand eye skill can be compared and not configuration ability.

Most people have both but if someone doesn't have the config there is no chance for their own skill.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by kierra » Wed May 20, 2009 6:29 pm

Hate to burst your bubble, smoothie. I have the barons' config - always have....doesn't translate into higher skill level....esp in gu. :)
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by red-der » Wed May 20, 2009 6:33 pm

In my opinion, the better point to start would be explaining what is in the config, what does it do.

For a lot of new players - not only GU - the oldstyle GUI in bzflag is hard to handle. No tooltips, no explaining, no help. Its 80ties style.
But "manipulating" the config is even harder; a lot of variables you can change - but no one explains to you how you have to do it, and what the variable does.

In GU, there isnt everything about personal skill - you have to learn the map and the tactics... and these awfull glitches everywhere (btw, a big advantage for the long time players).

@smoooth: you always talk about hand-eye coordination. But please consider, that not everybody has the same good hand-eye coordination. Others are just older and have a way bigger reaction time, some others need an extrem big, or little mousebox or shot lines.

So if you standardize this all - without the possibility to change things in the config file - you dont find the one with the best hand-eye-coordination. You only find the one who fits this! settings best.

The best idea in my opinion:
Make a little FAQ about the config file and what the variables do. And for the - maybe 10 - most used variables, they should be added and be completly adjustable in the GUI.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dexter » Wed May 20, 2009 8:21 pm

Smooth. It's not like you start playing BZFlag and somebody just decides "you're going to be this good no matter what you do". I was a horrible bz players two years ago, because I had the wrong config. I was also a horrible bz player when I first got my new config, and even a month or two after that. It took about 120 days of pure online time to get where I am now, regardless of everything.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dereliction of duty » Wed May 20, 2009 10:55 pm

Sticking with OT,

while I don't play in leagues, what about something like this (I'll admit, it might be difficult to do)

Someone "admins" the matches, ie, doesn't play (again, I don't play in matches so I have no idea if an admin exist now or now)

This "admin" is given what ever is needed to be able to connect to everybody's computer over the net and be allowed to compare all config files thru some sort of text editor or something (I know, multiple O.S.'s to contend with is one issue) to be sure nothing is out of bounds and everybody is playing fair? Obviously the admin would not have any "write" permissions on any bodies computer but their own.

This wouldn't work for general public servers obviously. But for a match, everybody would have to agree to the admins ability to monitor the config files while in play.

While I don't know of any easy solutions to be able to connect to any computer, it seems there has to be something available for at least the major 3 O.S.'s, being MS, Mac and Linux.

Long day and I'm just thinking outside the box some would say.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Thu May 21, 2009 12:40 am

Dexter and Redder you have some really good points. Dexter I agree that you have to have practice with whatever config you have but the point is: If you don't ever "get" the advanced config you could be a horrible player forever. Redder is pointing out that it isn't easy or readily explained about the config. He is correct in saying that there are discrepancies that give the experienced players who know about these things an advantage.

Kierra -- you are correct, just having a good config won't make you superman but not having one will keep you from ever becoming superman.

smoooth
Last edited by smoooth on Thu May 21, 2009 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Thu May 21, 2009 12:43 am

ttkfad I think you are looking for a solution to the problem. I also think allowing admins to look at configs or do remote screen caps would be nice but it's just too much work to realistically implement. They actually could make binaries and incorporate the config file into the binary executable. This would make everyone standard.

This isn't about the experienced players -- it's about the new ones. We're actually forcing people out of the league by making it too hard for people to become competitive because the advanced players have super skills by their configurations which new players give up before they find out those settings.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by doc holiday » Thu May 21, 2009 10:04 am

it is possible that the config makes a difference.
but personally, the only thing i changed in the config using the editor was the font (when 2.x was introduced and this new font looked horrible)
thus i'm not the worst player in the league :)

anyway, in my opinion it should be enough to give only the possibility to change settings in the client so that everyone really has got the same options.
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by blast » Thu May 21, 2009 12:41 pm

ttfkad wrote:This "admin" is given what ever is needed to be able to connect to everybody's computer over the net and be allowed to compare all config files thru some sort of text editor or something (I know, multiple O.S.'s to contend with is one issue) to be sure nothing is out of bounds and everybody is playing fair? Obviously the admin would not have any "write" permissions on any bodies computer but their own.
And why would you trust what the client says? You could just modify your client to send the default configuration.
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by red-der » Thu May 21, 2009 8:26 pm

.......And why would you trust what the client says?

I would more think: Why the hell should I give someone access to my pc? Even someone I dont know? Maybe its read only, but I dont want someone reading my pc. Sounds oldschool, but i dont have facebook, myspace, twitter... And I dont want it.

I want my stuff private - And please dont come with the phrase: "If you dont have something to hide..."

If you want to clear the problems with config-"modifying", add those things to the GUI, so everybody can easyly modify it. And maybe have a FAQ where those things are explained.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by dereliction of duty » Sun May 24, 2009 12:19 pm

blast wrote:And why would you trust what the client says? You could just modify your client to send the default configuration.
I'm looking at this with naive eyes - I'm looking at this as a "allow <admin> read access to /home/<username>/.bzf/2.0/config.cfg.<hostname>" only.

I'm assuming the path of my config file is shown above but I'm not sure since I haven't modified it for yrs now.

If there is a way to "trick" this to say read /home/<username>/.bzf/2.0/FAKECONFIGS/config.cfg.<hostname> instead of the default config, then my suggestion wouldn't work.

To tell you the truth, I would not allow someone else to read or see anything on my system like red-der expressed, unless I knew for certain they only would be able to see just my config file and nothing else.

I know I've read somewhere before or seen somebody post something that stated a checksum idea would not work either (like md5sum) to confirm an unmodified bz client code.

As usual this stuff is above my head and I'm just throwing "outside the box" ideas around to see if something would work.

Edit: This is a topic (original post as well as where this topic as gone) that I'm very interested in being that I receive *alot of grief*, practically every time I play, where someone questions whether or not I am cheating. It has gotten to the point that I don't play as much anymore because of this issue the OP stated.

It would be nice if there was a way for people in my situation to be able to prove *somehow* *someway* to any and everybody who comes into bzflag and accuses others of cheating because of their lack of knowing the game and what is all possible.

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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by JeffM » Sun May 24, 2009 4:52 pm

You can never trust a client. It has to send data over the network. Software has to send that data. Software can be changed. So yes, there is a way for the game to send any file it wants in that situation, the cheater would simply modify his software ( the game), to send whatever file it wanted when asked.

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