List Server Usage Policy Suggestion: 'Autopilot' Bots Limit

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alfa1
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List Server Usage Policy Suggestion: 'Autopilot' Bots Limit

Post by alfa1 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:42 pm

"Server owners who (...) use "bot" clients to artificially inflate their list position (...) may be removed from the list and/or have access to other BZFlag public services revoked" (bold format added by me; https://wiki.bzflag.org/List_Server_Usage_Policy).

Since this rule doesn't seem to be very clear, or its interpretation, (*1) but, in the other side, I agree that this situation would be hard to control otherwise (I understand that these bots are, nowadays, publically forbidden), I suggest to make an intermediate decision: allowing 'autopilot' bots on public servers until a specific maximum; in example: 5. If an user was caught running more than that, they could be punished in some ways. This, also, could be automatically managed by a plug-in.

This could add to the game activity too since would add fun, i.e.: it would help players to enjoy different maps. Even there could be some maps with some fixed bots on some areas as a new playing style idea.

* Note: the best approach to allow public bots, at least for now (*2), would be improving the 'solo' bot code, which doesn't make the server go up on the list. But, as I have researched a bit, 'solo' and 'autopilot' codes seems not to be very or easily compatible each other.

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*1: I understand that some people could run lots of bots to make other people join quickly the server, which would be bad, while some other people could just run few of them to wait for players (then turning them off), to have fun if there were not many or any other players or by other good-intentional reasons.
*2: I know that developers' plan is to make server-side bots at some point in the future, instead.
Last edited by alfa1 on Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: List Server Usage Policy Suggestion: 'Autopilot' Bots Limit

Post by blast » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:33 pm

The rule is pretty clear. Don't run bots on public servers that result in the list position being inflated. So, if the bots get reported as players to the list, it's in violation of that rule.
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Re: List Server Usage Policy Suggestion: 'Autopilot' Bots Limit

Post by alfa1 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:16 pm

It is not very clear in the sense it says "server owners", then what if a player wants to run bots, in example? Also, it says "to artificially inflate their list position"; an owner could run 1 bot, i. e., to improve the playability of a map (good intention).

If the intention of the rule is to forbid 'autopilot' bots absolutely, it should be completely clear: "'Autopilot' bots are totally forbidden on public servers because..." and give the reasonable reasons.

May I ask what are the negative consecuencies of using 'autopilot' bots publically? And if those bad consecuencies can't be compared with good ones about improving activity on servers in general?
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Re: List Server Usage Policy Suggestion: 'Autopilot' Bots Limit

Post by JeffM » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:59 pm

The intent of the rule is to use bots or server modifications to artificially increase player counts for the purposes of getting a higher rank in the server list. Any method, player or server initiated that works to change where a server should be in the list, can and will be dealt with by the list server owner. The action taken will most likely depend on who did the offending action (owners get servers banned, players get themselves banned). It's a pretty easy rule to understand.

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