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Shortcut Abusement in maps to get times.

What should be a punishment for this, considering how out-of-hand this has gotten in some maps?

  • Warning

  • Hour Tempban

  • Times reset

  • Points reset

  • Map time reset/knockdown

  • Rebeat map


Results are only viewable after voting.

rmanimal

Space
Op
Jan 19, 2015
731
674
3 months ago, Zatharel posted a thread relating to what greens+ should do when they find a map shortcut/exploit, which I'm recovering considering it seems to have 0 effect on what I've been seeing. It's gotten to the point where a reminder is necessary. The reason why I posted it in the public thread and not the greens thread this time around is because I felt it was relevant for the entire community.

Map 1: Wool Town [FFA-c-zwo]
The map times for this are way too insane for something that would take around 1 minute the normal route. I'm amazed that people are getting times in the 30 second range, let alone that two people got 29 seconds on the map.

Map 2: Funkytown [FFA-c-funk]
This map is an example of when things are exploited so much you can't tell who has the non-shortcut top time anymore. I actually got the no card from an admin when I told them I was making a post of the 20+ shortcuts, which they explained was because so many people have beaten it no one knows who has a legitimate time. Exposing all the shortcuts would make the situation so much worse than it already is being shortcutted. Because if I can speedrun the map in under 5 minutes when doing the actual route takes minimum 15, it's gone over the edge. The abusement of the rule has literally broken this map in the top times aspect.

Map 3: Blockville [FFA-c-blo]
This is the literal definition of what impact the message has had over 3 months ago. Not only is it that people are shortcutting over 1/2 the map in one jump, but they beat a map that was hard to get 1:20 in with times under a minute. Not only that, but there's 4-5 people now that have pushed what the original top 3 times were to 6th, 7th, and 8th. This is a complete disregard of what was expect at the end of the last post before, and most of the people with the new times are greens, the people who are on the end which should be more familiar with the rules.

4. Many different map time spikes.
Whether it's getting 51 seconds in Dusty Dunes, around a minute in Sanitarium, or under 1:20 in Mesa Canyon, admins shouldn't need to delete your time before/during when it's being patched. The fact being that you find a shortcut, beat the map with it, then notify an admin is not what staff want to see.
 

SleeknFoxy

Omnipotent Bat Overlord
Greenie
Jun 20, 2014
348
117
Even though I'm not one for speed running maps, this feels more like something players just take for granted too much of the time. Game breaking shortcuts like those listed feel like as if everyone playing it knows the shortcut's there and no one does anything about it as it is common knowledge, and I hate to admit that I do this as well. Greens should take at least some effort to report on these shortcuts and prevent further abuse. But it takes away from the map and doesn't reflect the actual skill that other players showed while doing the maps in their entirety.
I think a decent punishment for repetitive abuse of shortcuts like these should result in a time reset, not of course without prior warnings beforehand, as the punishment fits the crime. If abuse continues after that, then I'd probably assume that the staff would ban or tempban.
 

Zatharel

Другар
Op
Board
Nov 5, 2013
2,033
1,651
The problem that emerged with the timers and I had just discovered when I became op is that even if we start patching up all those shortcuts, we'll be making the map times impossible to re-achieve. Yes, we can just remove them. But how would we know which used the shortcuts and which didn't?

For the most part, I don't think we should mind small shortcuts like the one around the stair in ANHUR Level 1. It takes off a maximum of 1-2 seconds of your time. No one minds that. But when there are times that as you say have used shortcuts that cut off half of the map, that's completely unacceptable.

Looking back, I was very upset at the time I wrote that post because multiple people had discovered a glitch/bug that completely broke my map to the point where you could complete it by running /kill 16 times and if I hadn't looked into it myself, no one would have even bothered to tell me. That said, the staff and greens are not on opposite sides. Communicate with eachother. What does having a top time matter anyway? If we can't work together on this server, then why are we even working on it?
 

Alphaesia

Maze Connoisseur
Op
Apr 21, 2014
1,557
847
I think a decent punishment for repetitive abuse of shortcuts like these should result in a time reset, not of course without prior warnings beforehand, as the punishment fits the crime. If abuse continues after that, then I'd probably assume that the staff would ban or tempban.
I don't think a time reset is harsh enough. It has no real consequence. It is like you do something bad, if you are caught, it is undone and you are given a strong word. There is no real incentive to not do it.
Removing the points that the map gives (if it is say, orange like blockville, you lose 4 points) but you are still considered to have beaten the map, meaning that you cannot get those points back from that map.

Just throwing round ideas.
 
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Chillers

Administrator
Op
Oct 26, 2013
2,266
1,439
I don't think a time reset is harsh enough. It has no real consequence. It is like you do something bad, if you are caught, it is undone and you are given a strong word. There is no real incentive to not do it.
Removing the points that the map gives (if it is say, orange like blockville, you lose 4 points) but you are still considered to have beaten the map, meaning that you cannot get those points back from that map.
Thing is the timers were added for fun and incentive not to argue or cheat. We can't really force players to report bugs although we do expect it from our membership If the timers continue to create problems then greenies run risk of being removed from timers entirely.
 

Jsnick

Compass Master
Greenie
Nov 15, 2013
126
124
In my personal opinion I think there shouldn't be any legitimate consequence, since it's not like you get any actual gain from timers, just brag rights. You shouldn't lose FFA points for something so minor.

My primary suggestion would be to find, or even make a plugin for replaying runs. By this I mean the second someone hits the checkpoint sign, it begins a POV recording and run until it either passes the 3rd place time, or hit the end sign. If it was slower than the 3rd place time, it is discarded. Else it's placed into a dropbox folder for the specific map, which can only be seen by admins and the map owner.

We could either play it really safe and remove the top 3 from each map, then let the plugin run its course w/ the recordings and such.
OR, if that would be too much trouble, just let the plugin run its course and if anything remove times we know 100% are from skips.


This plugin is a far stretch, but honestly if we want to actually keep the timers, I think we should also have a sort of replay system. Otherwise the privilege of a timer might just be taken away because a lot of us like to keep our mouth shut about shortcuts.

Just personal opinions/suggestions, rebut if you may - I'd love to hear what others think about this as well.
 

Alphaesia

Maze Connoisseur
Op
Apr 21, 2014
1,557
847
In my personal opinion I think there shouldn't be any legitimate consequence, since it's not like you get any actual gain from timers, just brag rights. You shouldn't lose FFA points for something so minor.

My primary suggestion would be to find, or even make a plugin for replaying runs. By this I mean the second someone hits the checkpoint sign, it begins a POV recording and run until it either passes the 3rd place time, or hit the end sign. If it was slower than the 3rd place time, it is discarded. Else it's placed into a dropbox folder for the specific map, which can only be seen by admins and the map owner.

We could either play it really safe and remove the top 3 from each map, then let the plugin run its course w/ the recordings and such.
OR, if that would be too much trouble, just let the plugin run its course and if anything remove times we know 100% are from skips.


This plugin is a far stretch, but honestly if we want to actually keep the timers, I think we should also have a sort of replay system. Otherwise the privilege of a timer might just be taken away because a lot of us like to keep our mouth shut about shortcuts.

Just personal opinions/suggestions, rebut if you may - I'd love to hear what others think about this as well.
ricky can correct me on this one, but that would be extremely laggy. Considering recordings themselves are big, someone's first playthrough of Vares Sert would be hours upon hours.

Also, why would you discard times? If 2nd place is illegitimate, then what is going to fill 3rd?

Also keep in mind if 40 people are playing maps, the server is recording 40 different POVs.
 

Jsnick

Compass Master
Greenie
Nov 15, 2013
126
124
ricky can correct me on this one, but that would be extremely laggy. Considering recordings themselves are big, someone's first playthrough of Vares Sert would be hours upon hours.

Also, why would you discard times? If 2nd place is illegitimate, then what is going to fill 3rd?

Also keep in mind if 40 people are playing maps, the server is recording 40 different POVs.
It's indeed possible, as performed in the video, and explained in the thread here: https://www.spigotmc.org/threads/replay-gameplay.122706/
There also seems to be a replay mod here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1nWzwiv3nc3loqHsFoGDW1-scc6MKo_D

It's all up to admins, specifically ricky whether how much work they want to put into it, but it is indeed possible if effort is put in.
 

Zatharel

Другар
Op
Board
Nov 5, 2013
2,033
1,651
No one is saying it isn't possible, they're saying that it will take up too much of our resources. Imagine if we had 50 people on at a time, each person playing a different map, the server would be recording 50 different times. We just don't have those kinds of capabilities right now.
 

Jsnick

Compass Master
Greenie
Nov 15, 2013
126
124
In the first link I posted it concluded it's easy to compress it to smaller sizes, and works fine for big PVP servers from what I understood.

If you're fairly certain it still wouldn't work well considering then that's alright, merely a suggestion.
 

MeisterXehanort

The best user.
Greenie
Oct 27, 2013
1,061
489
I agree that something should be done about this as well. To be fair though, wasn't that huge shortcut in Funky Town (from the gold building to the final building) always an intended one (I'm assuming that's what you are referring to)?

Whenever I speedrun a map I usually try to stay on the path (Funky Town is probably the only notable example where I used a shortcut, and I'm not even in the top times for that). Sometimes I have noticed these seemingly impossible times as well, though, and I think it's kind of taking the point out of speedrunning to a degree if people just use shortcuts to skip half of the map. When I see times like 15 seconds or whatever on Fire & Ice Maze which actually come to be because people are abusing the way regeneration works in 1.9 (at least I'm 90% sure you cannot be that fast without going through the lava), I feel like it has gone too far.

It's something different when you can prepare a map for speedrunning I guess (*cough* Sra *cough* Departure), as long as you are staying within the limits of what is intentionally possible.

So yeah I second the notion to put in logblocks into some maps, or what Jsnick suggested, to keep the competition fair.
 

henniboy321

Chicken eater
Greenie
Nov 2, 2013
466
295
If the times are so important for them just remove their time on that and make sure they can't get another time.(that's possible right?) We can't expect whities/blues to report the shortcuts but we can expect green+ to report them.
 

creeperTNTman198

Lord of the Creepers
Mod
Nov 2, 2013
914
249
perhaps it would be possible to add something to the timer plugin letting the server know if someone is allowed to record times at all, and if people abuse shortcuts then ricky just flags them so they can't get anymore times for x amount of time, which seems to me like the best punishment for abusing something that only brings bragging rights
 

rmanimal

Space
Op
Jan 19, 2015
731
674
Also just a note to if we keep times up, don't let this disregard you from using shortcuts at all, just be reasonable. If you can shave off only a few seconds it's fine, but if it's obviously not intended (e.g. the shortcut in blockville that took off 30 seconds) the shortcut is unfair.
Another thing, this does not limit to greens alone. Using blockville example again, one of the new 4-5 times was made by a blue rank.
 

Zombie

CEO of Organized Chaos
Op
Board
Jun 8, 2015
478
397
Can we just like fix maps... and clear times... and stuff... we don't need a giant discussion about it. I mean in the end you will fix it or not, so why have a major discussion about it to delay its happening. Why not do it now :-;? (Sorry i was being a bit inconsiderate, i was tired af so this is what came to mind lmao)
 
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MOUTHWEST

Custom title
Greenie
Oct 26, 2013
632
586
Because we need to figure out what we need to do.

Maps cannot speak. If they could, we could diagnose the problems right away and fix them. So we rely on players to tell us what needs to be changed. If players are holding out on information, then we can't possibly know what we need to do.

Sure, the active staff could *try* going through hundreds of maps, looking for major shortcuts that break the intended structure of the map, but they're not all that easy to find. So okay, suppose we find 80% of them. But those 20% of shortcuts we didn't find are still there - and we have to hear that record times are still at impossibly low values for those maps, and we still don't know what's wrong with them? I hope it's clear that we can't just "go fix it" and there's something else wrong. This is why we need to talk about it.

We need the players to bring it to our attention, and not after they (and some others possibly) abuse the shortcut for their scores. Imagine the conversations where a player uses it to set a record time, then brings it up. "Oh we're glad you brought it up, so-and-so, we'll fix up this portion of the map and clear your time from it." You can't expect new players to compete against times that were scored during "easier" iterations of the map. Their times will have to be cleared. But what about second place? They used it too? Oh, we'll clear them I suppose! And what about these people that we can't tell if they cheated or not? What if we leave in an impossible time, or accidentally remove a record-breaking legit run? Should this really on us to just go and fix?

The point of this thread, hence the poll associated, is that there is a player-based fault to all this mess, as well as a map fault. And no, the players' faults aren't super game-breaking or terrible, but it's a heck of a pain when we have hundreds of maps, tens of which are being exploited and we don't know which because players are keeping secrets just for "lol lol F1RST".

We can't simply "fix" other people, and we should never intend to try. We talk to them, and they need to talk to us. This discussion is valuable, and staff should not have to deal with a growing mess formed by players who should know better. It's no one person's fault, nor is it any particular group, but if we see ourselves contributing to the problem, then we should address it and change ourselves. That's what we're trying to do here - get people to recognize what their actions may be doing, which they wouldn't know if we silently went and tried to fix what we don't know in the first place.

Sorry for the rant, but I find it important for all of us to understand why we bother discussing tough issues before attacking them.
 

awkward_hamster

Active Player
Greenie
Jan 4, 2014
215
164
Another problem that follows on from this and that I may as well bring up now is mapmakers who (often intentionally) add shortcuts to their maps and then exploit them in order that they can achieve the top times on their own map. I've seen this happen a couple of times and it perhaps raises another question of how to tackle that. Perhaps mapmakers shouldn't be able to submit times for their own maps.
 

Zatharel

Другар
Op
Board
Nov 5, 2013
2,033
1,651
FYI I've patched the 2 shortcuts in Blockville I know about and wiped all times. I'd like to know if there are any other major shortcuts in that map.
 

TENNK001

New Fish
Greenie
Jun 16, 2016
9
7
Yea I'll let you guys know of any shortcuts I find, I already showed Zatharel 2 shortcuts on Blockville like he mentioned above. I completely agree with ending all shortcuts that skip a major portion of the map.

However, I would like to say that you should allow some smaller shortcuts, because otherwise the top times will be about who lagged the timer the most rather than who actually did it the best.

In addition, to the idea of eliminating shortcuts, I would like to state that you might want to get solid evidence before making assumptions. I say this because a few days ago my timer got reset on Blockville because they thought I took a shortcut, even though I didn't (my time was 1:15.200).

Also, I suggest a time reset only after consulting the player, because sometimes you can underestimate the possibilities of the map, or othertimes a player may lag and get a faster time, without intending to. This is why I would say any bans or point resets to an extreme like that would be a terrible idea.

Last but not least, you need to set a line between what you can or cannot do, because sometimes I find a shortcut that'll skip 5 seconds off the map, for example, the one on Blockville that Zatharel fixed today, and I'll be uncertain of whether or not it's okay to take. In this case, apparently it wasn't.

Another big problem is players not telling the staff the shortcuts. Well, maybe give the players some sort of incentive to tell it. Perhaps give a small reward or something that would encourage players to do so.
 
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