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 Mega Corping 
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Hammer wrote:
Is there a difference with botting now to duping? Let's be honest, many of our "players" barely issue a command themselves, there just running scripts or being botted to run scripts. I know no one shares my thoughts on that one.


If you bot a real player that is at the keys, that is not duping. If you get a player that is too busy to be at the keys, or even a friend that has never played TradeWars, to run a bot for you, then that is a dupe.

It is generally acceptable that red cashing is fully automated by one player. I do not necessary agree with this, but it is currently accepted by the community. I prefer to play red because I have little key time.

It is not foolproof, but I have written software that can detect vps/proxies. The problem is that players like Hammer and Star killer have a legitimate reason to use a proxy because there home internet is too slow and unreliable to play otherwise. Other players use vps/proxies to shave a few milliseconds off that photon firing script. Even on V2 this make a huge difference. So banning vps/proxies will ban some legitimate players, and a few will still slip through the cracks.

I always wonder when pairs of traders always play together if they are real players or not (i.e. Xanos/Cruncher, Sharow/Rider, Zip/Zep, Frenzy/Polaris, TBH/MD, Star Killer/Micro)...

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Last edited by Micro on Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:28 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:
rider2 wrote:
Is there a difference with botting now to duping? Let's be honest, many of our "players" barely issue a command themselves, there just running scripts or being botted to run scripts. I know no one shares my thoughts on that one.



I always wonder when pairs of traders always play together if they are real players or not (i.e. Xanos/Cruncher, Sharow/Rider, Zip/Zep, Frenzy/Polaris, TBH/MD, Star Killer/Micro)...


lol
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Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:34 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro, above you have quoted me saying most players don't play. I knew i hadn't typed that!
That was actually Hammer who said it.

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Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:51 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Duping is a longstanding taboo among sysops. Mega corping (multiple game Corps coordinating, either as a single team or pursuit of a common objective) also has a history of being banned, or at least frowned upon. Neither of these is inherently disruptive to the game. But unbalanced teams is. It's just that these two things I mentioned are ways in which players have attempted to get around team size limits.

We have had conversations in the past regarding duping in this era of so few active TW players. If a game or tournament allows 5 or 6 on a team and there are just not enough players to fill the slots then either an unmanned bot or an outright dupe would actually balance the game. In the Big Game last summer the short team was allowed a bot to even out the team sizes.

It seems so ridiculous that we are debating team size limits. When we use the terms "Dupe" or "Mega corp" the debate loses its focus and these terms enter the discussion with all their historical baggage. But without balanced team size there is no game, it's just an online bar fight. Boards end up being dominated by gangs of 8, 10 or more players and without competitive play, the game dies.


Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:17 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
rider2 wrote:
Micro, above you have quoted me saying most players don't play. I knew i hadn't typed that!
That was actually Hammer who said it.

Ooops.. Fixed.

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Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:53 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
So, it seems we have a bit of a terminology problem where most people assumed that the corp size limit was also the size limit of your team. We need to define a clear "Team" size limits in future tournaments.

What I am taking away from this conversation so far is that organizing your "Team" into multiple corporations is perfectly acceptable behavior as long as you are not exceeding the team size limit. By this definition, having multiple corporations in and of itself is not Mega-Corping.

So what is Mega-Corping?

1. When a single team uses multiple corporations to exceed the team size limit, which for practical purposes is the corp size limit unless otherwise specified.

In other words, it is acceptable for a team to run two corps of 3 if the corp size limit is 6 or the game-op has declared a team size of 6. Sharing of data and resources between these corporations is acceptable.

2. When a team shares data with another corporation, regardless of the nature of this data.

I don't know anyway to track or enforce any rule against this since communication is done outside of the game. A team should not share warpspecs, port reports, player/base locations or any other data with another team. I would like to hear opinions on this, as to how it should be handled.

3. Sharing resources with another Team.

Some of this can be tracked in game. If you use a planet to exchange cash it will show up as a planet capture in the logs. If you capture/destroy another players ship that could be a ship exchange. There is no clear way to know if these were really attacks against another team, or a resource exchange. I am sure there are also ways to exchange resources that do not appear in the logs. How do you enforce this?

4. When a team aligns itself with another team.

Many will argue that this is normal game play, but there are different levels of alignment from non-aggression to coordinated attacks. What levels of alignment are acceptable?

If I find a base and attack it and then I blow the port in the door, that is a universal announcement something is going on in that sector. Another team decides to check it out and finds a base in shambles and finishes the invasion. Has ether team broken the rules?

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Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:36 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:

If you bot a real player that is at the keys, that is not duping. If you get a player that is too busy to be at the keys, or even a friend that has never played TradeWars, to run a bot for you, then that is a dupe.


It's such a fine line and we all put it somewhere.

By this definition when your corp mates afk and you guys are finished up for the night, you can't even put them on say cannon reset or photon duties. Perhaps there is a server issue, some people come back and don't resume their duties. I can't trigger their bot? What if they step away and you start their SST, oops, we just cheated.

It's impossible to police regardless.

I'm of the opinion if it's a real player intending to play a significant amount of their time, then bot at will. I agree with Deign, and I've stated this before, fairness in turns is a priority (in low turn games at least).

A friend who's never played, that's clearly duping. However, to balance a tournament numbers in a corp I'm happy for the opposition to do this at any point vs me. However, having a friend go in, you bot them not part of your corp, maybe get some cols and you invade them later to get those resources. That's megacorping and cheating.

I'll go with the concensus and sysop rules of course.. However, bot'ing is just an extension of "Should people use scripts or not" argument. Some people it's meant to be for tedius tasks, others write them to get an advantage to win (i.e. me).

oops this is probably way off topic in parts too.


Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:47 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Hammer_2 wrote:
It's impossible to police regardless.

Since all bots communicate over SubSpace, I can see the bots talking in spy mode, but I rarely spy on players, and I can only spy on one player at a time with TWGS. At some point in the future, some guy (probably me) is going to write a mod to TWX (called QwkLink) that will allow bots to communicate outside the game and it will be untraceable.

Hammer_2 wrote:
However, bot'ing is just an extension of "Should people use scripts or not" argument. Some people it's meant to be for tedius tasks, others write them to get an advantage to win (i.e. me).

Well. that depends on what you consider to be a "tedius tasks". I am of the opinion that a single player botting a blue and 3 reds to run SDT is cheating. In reality i prefer to play red so that i do not have to be at the keys (yes, I am a hypocrite). You do not have to use a bot to do this, as there are other scripts out there, but using a bot it easier with multiple players involved. So colonizing is a tedious task that few would say should not be scripted, red cashing is a grey area (for me anyway), and proton scripts are the Holy Grail. No one will ever share a good photon script with you. They are what makes "Grid Wars" possible, and do not necessarily require the use of a bot. It is my opinion (hypercritically), that "Grid Wars" was never the intended method of game play and thee scripts should be outlawed. Also, that script Shadow used to capture our photoning planet in the Christmas Tournament should be outlawed. This script photons under one of your figs and then waits for your planet to appear and hops on the shields before it has a chance to move.

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Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:05 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:
I always wonder when pairs of traders always play together if they are real players or not (i.e. Xanos/Cruncher, Sharow/Rider, Zip/Zep, Frenzy/Polaris, TBH/MD, Star Killer/Micro)...


Phew... not in the list --good to know I'm a 'real' player 8) LOL

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Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:42 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
LoneStar wrote:
Micro wrote:
I always wonder when pairs of traders always play together if they are real players or not (i.e. Xanos/Cruncher, Sharow/Rider, Zip/Zep, Frenzy/Polaris, TBH/MD, Star Killer/Micro)...


Phew... not in the list --good to know I'm a 'real' player 8) LOL

i.e. Means for example... Def not a complete list... You could be an AI and you wouldn't even know it!

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Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:56 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Quote:
This script photons under one of your figs and then waits for your planet to appear and hops on the shields before it has a chance to move.


The really funny thing was watching them do this manually. To my knowledge the only scripted part of that was landing the planet.

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Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:34 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:
i.e. Means for example... Def not a complete list... You could be an AI and you wouldn't even know it!

Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you seemed so sure it was real? But if were unable to wake up from that dream, how would you tell the difference between the dream world & the real world?


Ohhhh.. I thought i.e. meant Internet Explorer :P

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Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:38 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
rider2 wrote:
Quote:
This script photons under one of your figs and then waits for your planet to appear and hops on the shields before it has a chance to move.


The really funny thing was watching them do this manually. To my knowledge the only scripted part of that was landing the planet.

slackers.... lol

Just kidding, i was impressed with the ingenuity here.

Since the photon script is using a single macro, you would never be able to land fast enough without a script. Photon script will be modified to avoid these kind of traps in the future, and your script will be modified to set better traps, and probably automate the setup portion as well.

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Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:10 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:
...

So what is Mega-Corping?

1. When a single team uses multiple corporations to exceed the team size limit, which for practical purposes is the corp size limit unless otherwise specified.

In other words, it is acceptable for a team to run two corps of 3 if the corp size limit is 6 or the game-op has declared a team size of 6. Sharing of data and resources between these corporations is acceptable.


Yes, when we played the HVS MBBS version (the first MBBS multiplayer) we discovered the stiff alignment penalty for a mixed corp, so running two corps as one team was the norm. The corp names were also complimentary so everyone knew which team a corp was on.. I.E. "Thing One", "Thing Two".

Micro wrote:
2. When a team shares data with another corporation, regardless of the nature of this data.

I don't know anyway to track or enforce any rule against this since communication is done outside of the game. A team should not share warpspecs, port reports, player/base locations or any other data with another team. I would like to hear opinions on this, as to how it should be handled.


This is Mega Corping and cannot be controlled. Discord makes this so much easier.

Micro wrote:
3. Sharing resources with another Team.

Some of this can be tracked in game. If you use a planet to exchange cash it will show up as a planet capture in the logs. If you capture/destroy another players ship that could be a ship exchange. There is no clear way to know if these were really attacks against another team, or a resource exchange. I am sure there are also ways to exchange resources that do not appear in the logs. How do you enforce this?


This is Mega Corping and cannot be controlled.

Micro wrote:
4. When a team aligns itself with another team.

Many will argue that this is normal game play, but there are different levels of alignment from non-aggression to coordinated attacks. What levels of alignment are acceptable?

If I find a base and attack it and then I blow the port in the door, that is a universal announcement something is going on in that sector. Another team decides to check it out and finds a base in shambles and finishes the invasion. Has ether team broken the rules?


In multi-team games this has always been a part of the game. Back in the day when 50+ players were playing a game, we did have non-aggs with the weakest corps. We would reserve our resources for the larger corps, and once they were defeated the non-aggs would drop and we would clean up the rest. Some people are very good at covert wheeling and dealing.

Unless you have a two team limit, there will always be some sort of megacroping going on, there's no way to prevent it.

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Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:56 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:
rider2 wrote:
Quote:
This script photons under one of your figs and then waits for your planet to appear and hops on the shields before it has a chance to move.


The really funny thing was watching them do this manually. To my knowledge the only scripted part of that was landing the planet.

slackers.... lol

Just kidding, i was impressed with the ingenuity here.

Since the photon script is using a single macro, you would never be able to land fast enough without a script. Photon script will be modified to avoid these kind of traps in the future, and your script will be modified to set better traps, and probably automate the setup portion as well.


I have been doing this for years. Ask Farley, he has died many times because of it, though he won't admit it.

I do have a good bit of it scripted but it requires a little work to find the right spot to "set up" the foton/pdrop script to make it work the first time. I can make it work regardless, but if I set it up right, I only have to try once to land the planet.

The problem is - you can't modify the foton script to avoid it. It's not possible. If you have a script that pwarps and fires a foton at the adjacent sector, it will always be possible to do this, and generally speaking easy to do it. You guys tried to make it harder to guess when it would happen by randomizing the amount of fig hits before it fired or adding delays etc, but it was still easy enough to figure out.

The physics of the game state that if you pwarp a planet somewhere, it can be landed; and if you want to use a planet to foton someone adj to a fig hit, you have to pwarp there. That is not going to change, ever, and as long as that is the case, I will land your planet, in any game, any time. You could make your script only pwarp to one-ways and fire from there, but that is probably not going to help your objective of making it harder to grid. Your only defense against it is to have enough ore and high enough cannon settings that i run out of pods before capping your planet. In a low turn game, that's hard.

Long and short, run a pwarp based foton script against me, and I will land your planet; and if I have the figs to survive the cannon and cap it, I will take it. 100% of the time. I did it to you three times in the Christmas tourney (taking 3 of your 4 planets that way.)

Sure, you could pwarp two hops out and fire fotons at the adjacent sector to try to catch someone doing this, but if they're using a fast scripted gridder and they're not there, they are going to grid a lot quickly while you try to catch them doing something they aren't doing. Then it becomes a guessing game and I still like my odds of this working more often than not.

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Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:21 pm
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