What could be done about cheating hosts?

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Zepherian
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What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Zepherian » 31 May 2013, 01:57

We have all been there...

Sometimes they put ghost players on other teams to unbalance the games (could identical IPs for multiple players have a warning?), sometimes they disrupt communications so other players time out and drop game (tough one to deal with, fortunately probably very rare), sometimes they use custom maps which give them the edge (I guess here players have to have their eyes open) but, most irritating of all, a few people on the server will kick players when they find themselves in a losing situation. I call this the tomato_cat syndrome, and it is surely a sign of mental retardation. Short of actual medical care for the people considered, what could be done about this one. I am not a fan of banning, perhaps the host kick feature could be tweaked, so as to only work above certain pings?

I like a fair game, and some hosts don't want one. What could be done to ensure fairness in starting paramaters and stability during the game? It's common enough to be irritating, although not a game breaker. And yes, I do know that sometimes it is me interpreting wrong, and yes, I do know that I could do locked games for trusted players. And yes I know that I half answered some of my own questions above.

I like big communities where we can play new and unknown people (or known people in unknown names...). How could warzone be made so the hosting is more community friendly and weeds out the dweebs? Sometimes the only game up is hosted by someone who cannot and will not lose, because he is a weoponised host, researched to autokick level III.

And yes, it did just happen to me again :augh:

Edit: use instead of lose, dyslexic messup corrected.
Last edited by Zepherian on 03 Jun 2013, 13:00, edited 1 time in total.

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montetank
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by montetank » 31 May 2013, 02:23

You are not alone, Zepherian. Thats the reason i`m leaving the adventure to play against "REAL"-players.
In case the WZ-game ends in a draw , the game winner will be determined by penalty shoot-out.

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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by NoQ » 31 May 2013, 06:45

As i said over 9000 times, do not play with anonymous people, cause it is suffering.
Make friends, eg. on the IRC channel mentioned on the front page, and play with them. Maybe you will play much less often, but that'd actually be good games rather than a waste of time.

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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Zepherian » 31 May 2013, 13:50

NoQ wrote:As i said over 9000 times, do not play with anonymous people, cause it is suffering.
Make friends, eg. on the IRC channel mentioned on the front page, and play with them. Maybe you will play much less often, but that'd actually be good games rather than a waste of time.
Thats a bit of a cop out imho. Yes I could, and sometimes do, do that. I do log on to IRC sometimes and know a lot of the players there. But over time it makes the game stagnant to stick to the same groove. This game has survived with a decent mp community since 1998. Maybe the hosting issues could be worth some atention and effort?

It's nice to play with someone with fresh ideas and I like to see new base designs and weopon/unit combos. This happens more often with more players. The opposition is half the game, so how we interact is important.

One thing that just crossed my mind is extendind the medal system so we get medals for good hosts based on games finished. This would give bad players a skull and crossbones in games hosted section of the medal system :twisted:

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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by NoQ » 31 May 2013, 21:30

One thing that just crossed my mind is extendind the medal system so we get medals for good hosts based on games finished.
Medals cannot make sense without deanonymisation.
Currently users can draw whatever medals they want by simply editing a file.
To get fix this, we need to store medals on the lobbyserver. This means making users login to lobbyserver for claiming the right for medals, which is a particular form of deanonymisation.

This applies to any community, not even to only gaming: you either deal with non-anonymous people that accumulate reputation over time or deal with fat green bastards whom you will never trace down and punish for their sins, there is nothing in between.

What we ultimately need is a login system for the online games, probably tied to forum login, being able to discriminate between anonymous users and authorized users. Many games, including many open-source games, implement that. It was discussed and tried already, but certain gui code limitations of our project do not allow it to be implemented securely; yet there is still hope. Until it is done, deanonymization IRC chat is the best replacement for this we have.

I will not repeat the above message again. I'm tired of repeating it over and over again dozens of times. Please do not create any more such threads, or at least use the forum search.

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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Zepherian » 31 May 2013, 21:55

We need both imo, a ranked tournament like login based mode on the server and an open server for newer players and more casual games. It's a bit palaces and ghettos but I think it would serve this game well to consider both an open warzone and a login based closed warzone, where the game level is higher but the rules are stricter. To force deanonymisation is a no no, but I agree that it is the solution for the type of problems this thread is an example of, ie, missbehaviour of users.

Deanonymisation would allow for a supreme commander type player ranking system, which, if implemented right would be interesting. However it also needs to track timeouts and quits, so as to accurately portray both the yin and the yang of the top players and not allow exploits like disconnecting to avoid losses. This is a bit envolved as some sort of standard has to be found around what is the normal percentage of disconnects, perhaps based on connection type (phone modems disconnect more than cable for example).

That way I would happily find myself out of the top 100 and cry myself to sleep at night.

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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 31 May 2013, 22:47

@Zepherian: Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars had a matchmaking mode that automatically pitted players against random opponents, on a randomly-selected map (that's always a balanced tournament-worthy map, and never a custom-made map). You might be the kind of competitive player that may be interested in this kind of multiplayer matchmaking mode. For example, in one game, you'd be playing on 2c-Vision, while in another game, you'd be playing on 4c-Pyramidal.
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by vexed » 01 Jun 2013, 04:20

NoQ wrote: What we ultimately need is a login system for the online games, probably tied to forum login, being able to discriminate between anonymous users and authorized users. Many games, including many open-source games, implement that. It was discussed and tried already, but certain gui code limitations of our project do not allow it to be implemented securely; yet there is still hope. Until it is done, deanonymization IRC chat is the best replacement for this we have.
We had this before, and it didn't really fix anything, besides adding a extra layer for users to go through to register a forum account, and some even did multiple accounts. :annoyed:
People aren't going to run to the forums and check out how active they are, before joining a game.

Medals are really meaningless at this point, and I suppose we should get rid of them.

IRC arranged matches are one way of fighting some issues, but, lots (and lots) of arguments still happen, and people still get called host quitter / cheater / blah / blah so... it just is a part of the online community that most games have.

There just isn't a good system that we can come up with, until all matches are hosted server side.
You can't have server side matches until the code is rock solid.
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by NoQ » 01 Jun 2013, 06:23

We had this before, and it didn't really fix anything, besides adding a extra layer for users to go through to register a forum account, and some even did multiple accounts.
I'm for optional registration, but with a way to discriminate between registered and unregistered users (and maybe also showing forum stats in-game).
people still get called host quitter / cheater / blah / blah so... it just is a part of the online community that most games have.
But then reputation starts working. Other users would have a word. It works great for a small community.
IRC arranged matches
Should ultimately be replaced with built-in pre-game chat.

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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by The Overlord » 01 Jun 2013, 06:45

I think League of Legends, another rts I play on the computer does rank/multiplayer matching well. (http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/)

They match people with others of similar strengths, have a leader board and levels within the game you could achieve by both games won as well as kills and other factors. It has a login system, but making other accounts is useless because of the leader board and achievements that they already earned that they would have to re-earn. They don't have much in the way of medals other then badges you can earn that will show before games that are achieved by other players honoring you by saying that you were a good teammate, nice person, or helpful by telling them more about the game (an icon that they can click after games).

There is also two versions of games you can play: ranked in which after you reach a certain level in the game (which takes quite a bit of time to get to) you can compete for the leader board and normal in which you just play to get enough experience for ranked games and for fun.

I hope this may be of some use. :ninja:
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Ezio » 01 Jun 2013, 08:30

i'd say we add another table to mysql database which save in-game username, old username, rank and maybe other stuff and linked to forum account. this way we can have our old login while everyone can have a same name which become trouble back there. maybe we might need to make phpbb mod which could show ingame stats in forum or change ingame username. something like steam did.
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Terminator » 01 Jun 2013, 10:56

vexed wrote: Medals are really meaningless at this point, and I suppose we should get rid of them.
Plz dont. What about just store it in hashed form (not in open text-like, that everyone may change it easily) :geek:
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by bendib » 01 Jun 2013, 10:57

I think encoding them would be best. base64?
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Terminator » 01 Jun 2013, 11:10

bendib wrote:I think encoding them would be best. base64?
well that's what I've meant. :)
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Re: What could be done about cheating hosts?

Post by Cyp » 01 Jun 2013, 15:20

Medals are currently meaningless. Even if noone could edit the stats files, medals would still be almost meaningless, since they're only updated at the end of the game, if the host or player doesn't quit before the game ends.

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