?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

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

Post by smoooth » Sun May 24, 2009 11:16 pm

Easy solution to all problems:

Place configuration into the code such that all configuration is done through the GUI only. Release "GU" binaries for each platform (not that many). It could probably be done over a weekend.

Would solve about 98% of all issues.

smoooth

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

Post by red-der » Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm

As I mentioned before, adding the 10 (or maybe 15) most used "config-hacks" to the GUI would make it much easier for beginners. No need to remove the config...

But to "solve" this situation, it should be obligatory to use the newest release for matching in official games. That would avoid some other problems, too.

I dont see the sense in allowing to use 2 or 3 year old releases. Ok, some are used to it, or use some "special features" of it - but that shouldnt be a reason. If you want to have all players the same possibilities, using the same game version is a good point to start with.

Maybe we can have a new release with some more GUI possibilities and make this obligatory for GU (and other league) matches....

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

Post by dexter » Mon May 25, 2009 12:26 am

The release of special league binaries has been discussed thoroughly MANY times and always has come to the same conclusion: too much work. As for including every line from the config in the GUI. It would be completely pointless. My config has over 220 lines - how would anyone be able to find something they needed in the GUI, if there were over 200 different options. And just out of curiosity, what are those remaining 2% made of? I'm assuming there is a difficult mathematical calculation behind the statement...

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

Post by Mucho Maas » Mon May 25, 2009 12:58 am

The current client has restrictions on some of the configuration values. Why wouldn't it be enough to take the configuration value limits as chosen by the developers?

Personally I don't agree with all of their value ranges or default values (for example the default fps limit set to 30 is IMHO a relict from 1.18 times when we didn't have super computers to play with), but I don't have to agree. Still I take the game as they envisioned and designed it. And the configuration file is a part of that.

I think it is very natural to conclude that mastering a game includes getting more skilled and acquire tactical knowledge as well as learning to handle your gear for anything you do, be it sports or a computer game.
And for bzflag, handling your gear includes getting to know the config file. What is the fun if you strip everything from a game that requires time and patience to master.

Also, the GU League is based on the game BZFlag. By demanding different game limitations as set by the game designers you actually want another game that resembles BZFlag, but is not BZFlag.
If there is a dispute about certain values or value ranges for client configurations, it is best discussed with the makers of the game. It may even be that some of the value ranges accepted by the client have already been changed for 3.0. I doubt anything will be changed for 2.0.
But it may be worthy to discuss those before 3.0 gets released.

On the other hand, there are game related values that can be defined server side. To choose propriate server configuration values for league play is something that lies in our hand, we can discuss those and see what changes would improve the league.

edit: changed a formulation
Last edited by Mucho Maas on Mon May 25, 2009 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by macsforme » Mon May 25, 2009 1:06 am

dexter wrote:The release of special league binaries has been discussed thoroughly MANY times and always has come to the same conclusion: too much work.
The more significant issue with having special binaries for the league is actually a licensing issue. BZFlag was GPL for a long time, which required derivative works to also be open-source and was considered incompatible with closed-source libraries (whether or not it actually was is still an ongoing debate). BZFlag is now LGPL, which is more friendly to closed-source libraries, which is essentially what you're making if you distribute a bzflag client with closed-source modifications.

Another problem with distributing binaries without the source code is you alienate users on the platforms you don't build for. BZFlag runs on a wide variety of platforms and architectures, but with the great variety of systems out there it is a logistical nightmare to make binary distributions to run on all computer configurations. It's a lot easier for people to build their own clients when the binary distributions aren't compatible with their machines.

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

Post by ducatiwannabe » Mon May 25, 2009 6:09 am

Getting a tad off topic here. :wink:

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

Post by smoooth » Tue May 26, 2009 6:43 pm

It is not difficult to release binaries for each platform. Just compile on a few major platforms. Windows, linux i386, linux 64 bit, freebsd i386/amd64, mac osx..... Doubt we have people playing on arm, ill even compile a minix version... Kidding.

Just turn the config into a cxx file and we have a static binary distro for gu.

Dexter has said it well. The config is long and complicated and has erratic behavior with various out of range settings. This is why new players are at a disadvantage.

We should be focusing wisdow and experience on game play and teamwork... Not config files.

All this obtainable if we want it to be but as long as we have a mass of naysayers, things will never progess.

Just ask yourself whether you want this league to be about talent, gameplay, and teamwork... Or who knows all the loopholes in the config. Unfortuntely that's what most of it is now. (And I'm one of the ones using all the loopholes)

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

Post by khazhyk » Tue May 26, 2009 7:00 pm

From someone mostly outside of the league, I find it quite silly that something like a few fancy config settings can have a bigger effect than teamwork, skill, and experience. I may be wrong, but is the config really that big of a deal? And is it really that hard to tell someone how to edit a simple-text file if it is?
I honestly don't see why you have to release a special "gu" version of bzflag, over something as silly as this. Or that it was even suggested.

Of course, I'm probably wrong. Enlighten me.


Also, isn't this topic supposed to be about something entirely different? You know, the "suspicious air" and all?
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by blast » Tue May 26, 2009 10:01 pm

It also wouldn't fix the real problem. If the UI has limits, those limits should be forced, even if you edit the configuration file by hand.
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by red-der » Tue May 26, 2009 10:24 pm

@Smoooth:
Unfortuntely that's what most of it is now. (And I'm one of the ones using all the loopholes
Wouldnt it be a great idea to share your knowledge about the config? Why dont you start a topic and give some examples....

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

Post by Quantum Tank » Wed May 27, 2009 4:02 am

ducatiwannabe wrote:Getting a tad off topic here. :wink:
I'd say 2/3 of the thread is more than a "tad". :?

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

Post by ts » Wed May 27, 2009 10:15 am

ducatiwannabe wrote:Getting a tad off topic here. :wink:
It started at http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?p=137867#p137867. It's easy to imagine that discussing rules is more fun than being criticised.
GU league: http://www.guleague.org/
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by Saturos » Wed May 27, 2009 10:40 am

Whats the point in stating the topic went offtopic? And even nailing down the post where it started. Come on... discussions usually dont end where they started, they rather go through a development. I found this topic very interesting because people took the time and wrote more than a few lines. It wasnt the usual "good idea", "I like it" kind of topic - to the contrary, lots of people gave their opinions without getting aggressive at each other. Why do you guys need to pull it down.. imo this is probably the best topic we had in this forum so far.
I didnt find anything offtopic here.. FS tried to encourage people not to question every shot they missed and smooth elaborated on the reasons behind those exclamations and where they might come from. How is that offtopic? :roll:

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

Post by quantum dot » Wed May 27, 2009 5:18 pm

Yes, it might be the "best off topic" we had lately, but it is still off topic. That is how forums are organized, otherwise we would have a blog instead :P
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by smoooth » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:35 am

Let me point out another flaw, which is why we need a standard binary distribution to "fix" the client for for more equal play.

Another situation I just thought of is the ability to use a 2nd monitor to login as a "random" player and the person playing the match would watch the monitor of random "observer." This would allow a player to get the direction of a tank and see other information, such as player name, during an official match. Seeing the direction of a tank is not a capability given to "law" abiding gu league players.

Some may say, well thats just being smart. I say no, it's being cheap. It's an unfair advantage gained by manipulating the intent of the program. There are many ways to manipulate that intent.

The solution to this is to create binaries with many "options" and "text configs" removed. This will give everyone a more equal client and much better representation of skill, and not config knowledge.

Will it ever be perfect? NO. Will it make the playing field more equal, absolutely.

smoooth

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

Post by slime » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:44 am

smoooth wrote:The solution to this is to create binaries with many "options" and "text configs" removed. This will give everyone a more equal client and much better representation of skill, and not config knowledge.
As Saturos has said, tailoring and editing the config to the individual player's game-play-style is part of the uniqueness found in BZFlag, and removing these capabilities would lessen the 'unique' feel one gets from playing BZ.

Besides, if everyone was forced to use the same options in the config, this would be giving an advantage to those who have practiced without any modifications in the config over those who have practiced with modifications (also stated above), and thus giving an unequal playing field.

I have a much simpler solution for this. If you are worried so much about how new players don't know the ins and outs of the config, teach them yourself!

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

Post by blast » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:39 am

smoooth wrote:Let me point out another flaw, which is why we need a standard binary distribution to "fix" the client for for more equal play.

Another situation I just thought of is the ability to use a 2nd monitor to login as a "random" player and the person playing the match would watch the monitor of random "observer." This would allow a player to get the direction of a tank and see other information, such as player name, during an official match. Seeing the direction of a tank is not a capability given to "law" abiding gu league players.

Some may say, well thats just being smart. I say no, it's being cheap. It's an unfair advantage gained by manipulating the intent of the program. There are many ways to manipulate that intent.

The solution to this is to create binaries with many "options" and "text configs" removed. This will give everyone a more equal client and much better representation of skill, and not config knowledge.

Will it ever be perfect? NO. Will it make the playing field more equal, absolutely.

smoooth
Or, you could just not allow people to join as observer from the same IP as someone playing the match. You're making an overly complicated solution for a simple problem.
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Re: ?, thru, what? wtf? etc.

Post by Saturos » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:24 am

smoooth wrote:Another situation I just thought of is the ability to use a 2nd monitor to login as a "random" player and the person playing the match would watch the monitor of random "observer." This would allow a player to get the direction of a tank and see other information, such as player name, during an official match. Seeing the direction of a tank is not a capability given to "law" abiding gu league players.
In theory this sounds plausible and straight forward... but have you ever tried to verify that using two screens is really such a threat? I sure did once and it didnt help me at all - to the contrary. The problem is that turning your head to look at a different screen just takes too much time. You're losing your focus on your primary screen, and by the time you're back into your game, you're dead. It is pretty much useless. A different thing is if you have a friend at your room who can tell you whats going on, so you can stay at your own screen. But that's just part of every game, you cant forbid that. Also thats why blast's solution doesnt work... if you implemented "one connection per IP per server" and you got more than one guy in a room, e.g. at a LAN, you couldnt hang out in observer waiting for a substitute or watching the match. In the end you cant distinguish between a second BZ sitting in observer and another real person sitting in observer. Honestly, I dont think its necessary to invest any time in this because imo there isnt even a problem. Go ahead smooth and try it in a funmatch. Be cheap. I am very sure you'll realize that having two screens with two BZs is just impractible.
I dont get what the "other information" like seeing the "player name" is about, too... I can see that by just right-clicking into his direction anyways? Or hunting one of the opponents on radar.

Also, we should finally get one thing straight: There wont be a closed source GU binary client. Besides it being just too much work, there are legal issues involved because we dont want to break BZs license. So please get over the binary thingie, it just wont happen.
Last edited by Saturos on Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Xell » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:06 am

smoooth wrote: The solution to this is to create binaries with many "options" and "text configs" removed. This will give everyone a more equal client and much better representation of skill, and not config knowledge.
Dear smooth

please repeat that sentence 5 times:

The options menu is just a graphical tool for the text configuration file.
The options menu is just a graphical tool for the text configuration file.
The options menu is just a graphical tool for the text configuration file.
The options menu is just a graphical tool for the text configuration file.
The options menu is just a graphical tool for the text configuration file.

Still don't get it?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Configuration_file wrote:Some files are created and modified using an ASCII editor. Others are created and modified as a side-effect of changing settings in a graphical user interface (GUI) program.
Wait a sec...
http://my.bzflag.org/w/Config_File wrote:BZFlag uses an ASCII configuration file to store user settings. The file is called "config.cfg" and its location is dependant on your operating system.

Oh, alright, i see your point. Changing the config file by using the in-game menu is much less cheating. Text editors are just for H4xX0rz

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

Post by smoooth » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:14 pm

Saturos,

I am saying use JUST the observer monitor. Not both. If you do this you can see the direction of the tank.


Xell,
I said to myself 5 times. What you are failing to see if that there are options not available in the gui. It may not be abundantly apparent to all new players that an edittable text file can do more than the gui. You're also assuming everyone is as technically competent as you. I've talked to many who don't know how to edit the config.

Slime,
I've tried to tell what I can to new players however no one ever told me. Even after 8 years there are new "legal" cheap things I learn.

Its unfair to new players. Which is why most of the game is about learning the cheap legal configs and not about equal playing field. Your saying that playing at the gui style only will give those using the config. Disadvantage? I agree. Which is why the config hax are cheap and clearly give an unequal advantage.

Smoooth

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

Post by FiringSquad » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:07 pm

Well this topic certainly has been popular. :-)

Regarding config "advantages", I haven't bothered to mess in the config at all much.
Disabled F12, set latitude to make sky always black, that's about it.
I'm sure that there are exploits, but I don't care enough about winning to invest the energy in finding them or learning how to use them.
I must say though, when I saw that turning "Energy Saver" on, which can be done from the GUI, allowed you to make impossible jumps, I was disturbed (and disappointed).
I have seen many make such jumps routinely in matches, after a short pause to set it (a little too short, in fact) and it lowered my estimation of these individuals.
I have no desire to win a match because of some config exploit. It just wouldn't do it for me.
In fact, if I kill someone, especially a noob, because of a pyramid-rico, I offer to show them how to do it after the match. I get more pleasure from pitting my dodging skill and accuracy (or lack of such) against another player.

If these things really bother you though, then probably the best solution is to write what you know in the config Wiki.
At least that way it will be available to everyone, including noobs.

A mod to the client could send the config file to the server when joining, to be recorded. This could be queried during the replay and then used to set your display to look exactly like the player you are observing. It could be a cool feature. Some people might think that this is a little intrusive or an invasion of privacy, but really it's no more intrusive then querying a client's version.

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

Post by Saturos » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:21 pm

smoooth wrote:Saturos,

I am saying use JUST the observer monitor. Not both. If you do this you can see the direction of the tank.
You mean you would join as a regular player and additionally as an observer, then play the match by observing yourself? If I got it now... how would that help? Can one enable tank directions when being in observer? I dont think you can. O_o
But even if you could, it would still be unplayable because of the lag you get. Your view would be a full round of lag behind your original tank... I tried this a few years ago and it is not playable at all. Just an impressive demonstration of the impact lag has on gameplay.

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

Post by FiringSquad » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:36 pm

I can just see it now.
"What???? That soooo missed me. H4x0r :P"

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

Post by red-der » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:27 pm

Little Offtopic (or maybe now its in the topic):

@FiringSquad: "...set latitude to make sky always black..."
What do i have to enter?

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

Post by dexter » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:38 pm

Satu: ya, pretty sure that's what he means, but like you said, playing on a different client than the one actually in-game would be of no benefit at all. You'd be hit my shots that missed you on your screen and other things that just do not help. But: when zooming into the radar very far (

Code: Select all

bind 2 down "set displayRadarRange 0.10"
for me ), you are able to see where the tank is pointing. I think this is just going out on a stretch.. if you're so anxious to see another players tank, I'm positive nobody will go out and buy another monitor. They will just go with the build-a-client version. I think you're trying to find things that 'might' be able to be done a lot more, than just focusing on our current problems in the league. Let me know when you think somebody is using two screens to know where the opponent is looking.
smoooth wrote:Which is why the config hax are cheap and clearly give an unequal advantage.
Could you stop using config with the word 'hax'? This thread is over three pages long, I think we've established by now, that editing a simple TEXT file is not 'haxing' or cheating. Seriously, why are you so concerned about other people's configs. I think you know how to edit yours by now and have done so too. And also to the values that suit you best. What's the big deal then? Eventually every player learns about config editing, maybe a week or maybe a month. Sooner or later however, everyone catches on. If you're worried about all those exploits, write them all down on the Wiki and post the link so everyone can know about them from day one. And like slime said, go teach the world about these 'hidden' features. Let it go already.

FiringSquad: I have yet so see a jump that can't be done with anything less than 30FPS. It's not like this limiter is used for that purpose. A lot of players can't get a constant FPS rate. It bounces from 4 0 up to 150 and back again. This can get extremely annoying, I speak from experience. As for people turning it on in matches before a jump? I've never seen that before. I'm not sure how much I like your send-config-to-server idea though. I have no problem with the admins seeing my config, and even a majority of players, but I think there would still be a lot who would abuse this knowledge. Honestly, I don't need every player in the league out there studying my config to try and find something, because I'm sure some would. Not to mention some things would have to be edited out: e.i. passwords.

dex

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