Player timeout discussion

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Zakken
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Player timeout discussion

Post#1 by Zakken » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:15 am

This has been a heated topic of discussion lately in the WDL, and what do you know, it has found its way here on the GFA as well. The reason for that is, as you may or may not know, when STB vs 666 took place yesterday, STB's D'Sparil timed out as round 2 ended, going into round 3. After some discussion, Dragon decided to nullify the round where STB was down by one player, and decided to wait until D'Sparil's connection was stable once more. After that happened and a proper round 3 was played, STB managed to clutch a win and close out the game with a tie against 666, effectively securing a different outcome than what would've happened if Dragon instructed both teams to play out the 2v3 situation. Now, I don't know what's going to happen with a possible complete rematch but that will be unrelated to this one topic.

Enforcing teams to play in cases where teams are down by any amount of players and don't have anybody else to sub in had been commonplace since the IDL days, because by the way their rules were written, once a game starts, there is nothing that should be allowed to interfere with the progress of a game outside of extreme circumstances. As of late, however, the people at WDL and IFL have been confronting these situations differently, as to provide unfortunate teams with better chances at playing fair matches. Each of these procedures come with their own sets of pros and cons, so let's see how they measure up.

"No pausing, must play even if down by n amount of members"
Pros:
+ Ensures that games end on time (30 minutes max in regular season matches and 40 minutes on average in playoff matches);
+ Encourages fair play by preventing players from intentionally timing themselves out, as there would be nothing to gain from doing so.

Cons:
- If anybody in a team times out and doesn't return within the next 2 minutes, that team is pretty much guaranteed to lose no matter how good they are or how much they practised for the game -- it's the equivalent of forfeiting, pretty much;
- Also encourages malicious people to attack vulnerable players' connections (via DDOS and other means) during gametime, as doing so would mean certain victory to their opponents.


"Void a given round if a team member times out or faces unplayable levels of lag and the team has nobody else to fill in; start it over once they're good to go again"
Pros:
+ Prevents teams from getting screwed over if one of their members faces an untimely short-term connection problem;
+ Effectively reduces the casualties resulted from connection attacks, as their influence on game results is reasonably diminished.

Cons:
- Malicious players could time themselves out intentionally, as to provoke a round nullification so they get another chance at getting favourable results;
- Might prolong matches indefinitely, up to the admins' discretion;
- Subject to ridicule from certain players asking for a restart if they face even the shortest moments of lag or packet loss, meaning there would need to be a "lag scale" upon which to fairly judge this ruling on.


With the direction that competition has been going, most of the community figureheads are in favour of the latter ruling as it ultimately allows for better, more competitive games. Yet, its cons are still quite troubling and most certainly will rear their ugly heads eventually, so we must seek out a new solution that prevents these loopholes while still maintaining the fair nature of this rule.

The idea for a solution I have is actually reminiscent of one clause from the IDL/WDL rulebook: the one that addressed server crashes during games. These are the aforementioned "extreme circumstances", that the IDL approached in a very interesting way. It reads:

WDL Rulebook wrote:Server crashes are handled at the league's discretion and on a case-by-case basis. However, these are guidelines the league generally follows.

In the event of a server crash, games are replayed from the last benchmark. Scores and statistics up until the last benchmark will be carried over and recorded respectively. Other information (flag possession, player positions, etc.) as well as all events occurring after the benchmark will be discarded. Each game has eight benchmarks:

1. 0:00
2. 2:00
3. 3:00
4. 4:00
5. 5:00
6. 6:00
7. 7:00
8. 8:00

Should a team feel that something extraordinary happened very close to a benchmark, they can appeal to the commissioner to have it included in the game replay. For example, if a player is imminently about to score, a team can have the commissioner or review the demo to ensure there was no possibility of the player not scoring (within the realm of normalcy), and award the flag capture.


The suggestion I'd like to pitch in is pretty much to apply this clause to player timeouts. It resolves the current ruling's most glaring problem, and mitigates the other issues decently enough. So, if the GFA were to implement it...

"Stop the current round if a team member times out or faces unplayable levels of lag and the team has nobody else to fill in; start over from the last benchmark once they're good to go again"
Pros:
+ All of the pros of the second ruling;
+ Gives no clear advantage to players who time themselves out midgame;
+ Prolongs matches less than the second ruling would.

Cons:
- Consistent player monitoring would be necessary to notice when exactly a player has become unable to play in order to properly implement this;
- Could cause problems for stats;
- The "lag scale" would most likely still need to be a thing.


If you were to ask me, the main issues concerning the idea I proposed are pretty much workload-related (especially on the stats department since I dunno if whoever made them would make such a workaround so quickly), but it does leave a lot less room for exploitation or unfairness, so I feel it is overall a much better alternative than what we've seen. Lemme know your thoughts!!
Last edited by Zakken on Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player timeout discussion

Post#2 by Razgriz » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:48 am

There is a reason why you are allowed 4 people per team, for instances like this. You don't need to hand hold, things happen and you can't control everything. When you start regulating that's when you get exploitable cons, which is worse than just having a team tank for a round. It sucks, and starting over genuinely sucks, because you lose everything, the momentum and control you previously had. There is no competitive spirit if you have to restart a round because someone lagged out.

And if people are that paranoid about ddos attacks, register and identify on IRC, it'll save you more trouble than not. If you don't, that's your fault, you run that risk.

Also to note I disagree with the way that whole scenario with DSparil timing out was handled, that was stupid and shouldn't have happened. Dragon fucked up by forcing a rematch by interpreting Edd's actions as wanting a rematch, that's retarded.

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Re: Player timeout discussion

Post#3 by Dragon » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:20 am

Razgriz wrote:Also to note I disagree with the way that whole scenario with DSparil timing out was handled, that was stupid and shouldn't have happened. Dragon fucked up by forcing a rematch by interpreting Edd's actions as wanting a rematch, that's retarded.

I did not force a rematch, I voided game 3 because edd broke a rule and misbehaved, one does not join the opposing team in an official game no matter what happens. The rematch was allowed because there were no objections to it. 666 could clearly refuse the rematch of game 3 and walk away with a 2 - 0 - 1 win, but instead played the game from start to finish.

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Re: Player timeout discussion

Post#4 by Zakken » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:57 am

Razgriz wrote:There is a reason why you are allowed 4 people per team, for instances like this.

Ah, I knew I was forgetting something. For the record, I do believe a team's 4th should fill in as not to interrupt the game if they're available. Convincing captains to do that instead of attempting to invalidate all matches where they have to play with their 4ths in emergency situations might prove troublesome though...

Razgriz wrote:You don't need to hand hold, things happen and you can't control everything. When you start regulating that's when you get exploitable cons, which is worse than just having a team tank for a round.

Could you give examples of how one can exploit the idea I proposed?

Razgriz wrote:It sucks, and starting over genuinely sucks, because you lose everything, the momentum and control you previously had. There is no competitive spirit if you have to restart a round because someone lagged out.

There is no ounce of "competitive spirit" if you're forced to play (and face imminent loss) in a 2v3 situation. It's literally objectively worse than having to start over at a certain point in the game with insignificant losses in the way of scores (if things are played out how they're written out in my suggestion). Only players who prefer cheap wins over well-fought matches would claim otherwise.

Razgriz wrote:And if people are that paranoid about ddos attacks, register and identify on IRC, it'll save you more trouble than not. If you don't, that's your fault, you run that risk.

True, but giving malicious people less reasons to do their thing is always welcome and shouldn't hurt.

Razgriz wrote:Also to note I disagree with the way that whole scenario with DSparil timing out was handled, that was stupid and shouldn't have happened. Dragon fucked up by forcing a rematch by interpreting Edd's actions as wanting a rematch, that's retarded.

In my opinion, the rematch should've happened anyway because of D'Sparil's timeout, but I suppose the old ruling is still in effect. :/
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Re: Player timeout discussion

Post#5 by Samurai » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:28 pm

I timed out in the LPN game yesterday and they scored but I didn't bitch about it...














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