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2020-09-01, 02:21
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On the heels of Bogojoker's teamoverlay discussion, I'd like to start a new thread about the necessity of rulesets in QW. As a community I believe we are collectively lying to ourselves about the value and effectiveness of these "rules," and it is of my opinion that they're actually detrimental to the competitiveness of the game.

For one thing, many features that are allowed in the smackdown ruleset are rather contradictory to those that are not. Fullbright items, enemies, and projectiles are okay, for example, but colored backpacks are not. That's just too far. Your walls and floors can be dark gray and enemies bright white, grenades can be bright yellow, and you can see a spawned RL or megahealth from across the map thanks to simple items. But purple backpacks? Hell no. GTFO, you dirty cheater.

The other point against rulesets is that they're completely unenforceable. Is it lost on everybody that we operate entirely on the honor system in Quakeworld? If there's a feature in ezQuake that is truly illegitimate, then it shouldn't be in the client to begin with. Rulesets don't prevent anything, and actually encourage the opposite. It's much easier (and tempting) to spoof a ruleset than it is to write in new functionality to give yourself an advantage.

But despite all of this, we can't resist the charade of typing f_ruleset before matches and pretending it makes any sort of difference. We get that warm fuzzy feeling in our bellies seeing "proof" that everyone is using smackdown, and thus cannot possibly be using cl_rollalpha or cl_idrive, which everyone knows are such dangerous cheats. So why don't we all stop fooling ourselves and get rid of these dumb rulesets, and possibly remove the "bad" features as well?

(Edited 2020-09-01, 20:37)
2020-09-01, 11:42
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I'd need time to form an opinion on the broader topic of rulesets, but I don't see why coloured backpacks should be prohibited (providing it's a single colour for all packs rather than conditional based on contents). I don't think having poor visibility on packs adds much to the game, although I do appreciate teammates who are more skilled in guiding me to packs (e.g. paniagua) than others.

Packs are a bit different from simple items / coloured textures on static items because they appear in random locations - however that in itself I don't think is a good enough reason to obfuscate their location. Player models are even more extreme, both random locations AND the ability to move, yet we are allowed fb skins for those.
2020-09-01, 18:09
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Sep 2013
dust0r wrote:
The other point against rulesets is that they're completely unenforceable. Is it lost on everybody that we operate entirely on the honor system in Quakeworld? If there's a feature in ezQuake that is truly illegitimate, then it shouldn't be in the client to begin with. Rulesets don't prevent anything, and actually encourage the opposite. It's much easier (and tempting) to spoof a ruleset than it is to write in new functionality to give yourself an advantage.


I agree whole heartedly with this. Having built my own client for bug fixes years ago (macOS at the time) I realized just how easy it is to spoof and exploit. I even made jokey ruleset and system check response messages in my development client to promote how ridiculous it is. Ruleset check is just a string the client sends to the server when requested, it doesn't need to have verified anything at all. The server is the only trusted entity unless you're at a LAN event that can enforce something otherwise.

---

I think many of the restrictions are arbitrary.
https://github.com/ezQuake/ezquake-source/wiki/Rulesets
  • cl_iDrive lets players movement slightly better match their intentions but we restrict it because we want the game to be harder? We realize that players still need to master bunny hopping anyways right?
  • shaft alpha / different beams may help some players shaft better but we restrict that because we don't want those players to play as well? Why are we allowed to disable all kinds of other screen occluding features I recall from single player mode...
  • fullbright packs are not allowed but pretty much everything else can be fullbright. Heck it may even be that the default settings on nQuake's ezQuake may not even show quad glow as so many people need to be told about r_dynamic...


Yet we've made it as easy as possible in other areas to get an advantage. For example weapon hide scripts as easy as a few commands to help reduce dropping packs in team games. Was that not a skill worth preserving, eliminated by client features? It all just feels so arbitrary.

EDIT: Added link
2020-09-01, 18:21
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The advantage of rulesets is that it allows you to have 'illegal' settings in your config, but then just setting the ruleset will make you road legal for the tournament you're playing in (or at least, should). So it's a feature for you as a (non-cheating) player to make sure you're within the rules, not just something for your opponents to report, and so forms part of the honour system.

The most recent (and disagreed with) brush with the rulesets seems to have been when I banned gl_outline based on a tournament admin (VVD) giving evidence of being able to use it to wallhack on his own PC (it's now allowed again in thunderdome only) - something that had already been banned in ruleset qcon but we didn't have any evidence was still valid. As different tournaments aren't going to agree on the rules, we'd end up with multiple ezquake versions instead, and I'm not sure that helps...
2020-09-01, 18:26
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I never use f_ruleset because I don't care whether somebody uses any of the cl_idrive or rollalpha or purple packs because those things don't seem to give any advantage. The only f_ command I use is f_scripts when I suspect somebody is using rocket jump scripts.

I think the underlying issue now is that if these features are removed then people will simply refuse to use the latest clients. Client developers naturally want everybody to appreciate and use the latest clients because they've spent many hours working on them. Why would anybody develop the client further if nobody is going to use it?

Also, you would end up with a situation where people start typing f_version instead of f_ruleset and then assuming that you're cheating if you're using a older client. So should we then remove f_version to prevent people from getting a fake warm fuzzy feeling that their opponent isn't cheating?..

And looking at the bigger picture: Worrying about cheating online is kinda pointless when half your opponents are often on drugs/muscle relaxants..
2020-09-01, 19:12
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Apr 2006
dust0r wrote:
For one thing, many features that are allowed in the smackdown ruleset are rather contradictory to those that are not. Fullbright items, enemies, and projectiles are okay, for example, but colored backpacks are not. That's just too far. Your walls and floors can be dark gray and enemies bright white, grenades can be bright yellow, and you can see a spawned RL or megahealth from across the map thanks to simple items. But purple backpacks? Hell no. GTFO, you dirty cheater.


I disagree with the overall suggestion of eliminating rulesets but I agree to this part. The drawn lines are very arbitrary. Coloured backpacks and movement scripts were no issue in the Qizmo days, but the straight/coloured shaft and visible gameclock on the screen were. Nowadays it's the other way around.

My main concern really is that it seems to be simple to use whatever one likes anyway with some skills, therefore the whole f_checks seem to provide some feeling of anti-cheating security that actually doesn't exist. I would like to have proper standards close to what is allowed/banned by ruleset smackdown today but some sort of security this is actually applicable to everyone.

Regarding the 'trust-based self control' system, I have to admit that I like the old card players' saying: Trust everyone, but always cut the cards.
2020-09-01, 20:06
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Andy, if you agree the rules are arbitrary, then why do we need the rulesets to begin with? What do they accomplish? I disagree that rulesets keep people honest or are a form of "cutting the cards" as you say. They're a false sense of security and the lowest hanging fruit for someone to exploit. F_version is equally exploitable but at least there's no assumption that features are being limited.

Meag, why have "illegal" settings in the client in the first place? Why not simply make everything in the game acceptable, and take out anything that people agree is particularly bad? Issues like that with gl_outline (for example) are unfortunate but come with the territory of not having a full time development staff fixing problems. Thankfully those issues only happen in specific situations and don't seem to have a huge effect on the game.

People will always want to use the latest versions of clients because they will want to take advantage of the latest improvements and features. Hanging on to an outdated client just for a questionable setting will have its own drawbacks and I doubt many would bother.
2020-09-01, 20:51
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dust0r wrote:
Andy, if you agree the rules are arbitrary, then why do we need the rulesets to begin with? What do they accomplish? I disagree that rulesets keep people honest or are a form of "cutting the cards" as you say. They're a false sense of security and the lowest hanging fruit for someone to exploit. F_version is equally exploitable but at least there's no assumption that features are being limited.


Let's split this into 2 parts:
1. I think some restrictions are good for the game, my personal opinion is not "everything that could be done, should be allowed". I don't agree with all the restrictions (or what's allowed - that's the arbitrary line) in the 'standard' ruleset smackdown by my personal preference, however I oblige because I accept rules and would prefer everyone to follow the same standards
2. The f_checks are insufficient to provide this security, therefore 1.) cannot be assured.

f_modified in the "Qizmo days" before the Quake source had been released probably was safer when it comes to assuring everyone follows the limitations.
Maybe removing all rulesets as you suggest is one way to approach the shortcomings in 2.) but my personal preference would be some limitations + assured equality at the same time.
2020-09-01, 21:14
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dust0r wrote:
Meag, why have "illegal" settings in the client in the first place? Why not simply make everything in the game acceptable, and take out anything that people agree is particularly bad?
(emphasis added)

I don't think people will agree, and we'd simply end up with ten different clients. Bogo here makes perfectly valid points but I don't think I can follow his advice and yours at the same time (cl_idrive is mostly banned, so ... remove it?). Do we tell the few people who still use ezquake for Team Fortress to bugger off?

dust0r wrote:
People will always want to use the latest versions of clients because they will want to take advantage of the latest improvements and features. Hanging on to an outdated client just for a questionable setting will have its own drawbacks and I doubt many would bother.


I'm still trying to move people away from 2.2 (and sometimes even worse) which was released in December 2013, itself a security patch for 2.1.1 which was December 2011...

I definitely agree that 'smackdown' is very old, seems weird now and we should update the rules. I'm just not sure what removing rulesets would look like, without forking ezquake to produce thunderdome-quake, hammertime-quake etc...
2020-09-02, 12:24
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Feb 2012
I just typed a wall of text for an hour to get logged out in the process and lose it all. Fuck me.

dust0r, people will not agree. They have already agreed when smackdown was created. Going through all the holywars again is simply unfeasible and extremely dangerous for an old and small community. We will have tournaments where half or less the potential people sign up because they don't agree with what is allowed or not. It has already happened to thunderdome. I have tried to have some sort of community-wide discussion on this very forum back then and faced the reality of people simply not wanting to waste time discussing or reading about it .

Couple of bullet points from that wall of text gone forever:

1) Allowing everything that exists puts pressure on everyone to learn every single option available and their implications on balance to level the playing field (something that rulesets did before for them). You are at a huge disadvantage if you don't use cl_idrive and your opponent does, if you don't have fullbright map, if your shaft is not transparent, if you can't see through water e.t.c e.t.c e.t.c.
Look at modern competitive games. CS has vast majority of console commands disallowed for competitive play or their values restricted to certain threshold. QC doesn't even have a console, its "ruleset" is its settings menu, precisely for the reason that people should spend time improving their game, not hours upon hours researching which commands exist, which does what, in which situation it might give an advantage, e.t.c. e.t.c e.t.c. (let's not go into "QC is shit" debate. Yeah, it is, that's not my point and it's not shit because of the absense of console ). It's an easy way to level the playing field.

2) It is extremely divisive to start all the holywars of old again. We have an old standard ruleset - smackdown (or qcon, which is an odd one out and was created accidentally more or less and isn't very different). It's a lesser "evil" (if you consider it an evil at all!), to abide by its perceived inconsistencies (which exist in every single game, video or not, because all rule systems are historical and their original logic is almost always lost with time) then to create chaos and potentially push people away from the game with this upheaval of all standards and traditions. All rule systems are historical and all acquire rigidity and resistance to change with time. It's how the games survive. "This is the way the game is played now". Can it be further changed? Sure, but not worth the hassle. MAYBE if all the "top players" agree to form some sort of council and agree to vote for new things to allow/disallow, but I cannot see such a thing happening realistically.

3) Meag is right, "rulesets" will just move to different clients which is even more chaotic and dangerous.

4) Sure, let's remove all the rulesets from the game except for smackdown .
“If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.” (c) Johan Cruyff
2020-09-02, 12:59
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dust0r wrote:

Meag, why have "illegal" settings in the client in the first place? Why not simply make everything in the game acceptable, and take out anything that people agree is particularly bad? Issues like that with gl_outline (for example) are unfortunate but come with the territory of not having a full time development staff fixing problems. Thankfully those issues only happen in specific situations and don't seem to have a huge effect on the game.

People will always want to use the latest versions of clients because they will want to take advantage of the latest improvements and features. Hanging on to an outdated client just for a questionable setting will have its own drawbacks and I doubt many would bother.


People will always want to use the latest versions of clients you say? I have seen the total opposite happening for as long as I can remember.

You speak of "false sense of security" yet at the same time you propose removing features from the client so that people wouldn't use them. Do you really think that it would stop cheaters?

Where would you draw the line? Fullbright backpacks are apparently fine and so is everything else disabled by any of the rulesets. I'm getting old and don't have the motivation to play as much as I once did. May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

Cl_idrive isn't apparently an offense either. How about forward rocket jumps scripts? Other movement scripts? Should everyone be allowed to have a set of movement scripts ready for each spawn to have that perfect start in 4on4? Is for example the ability to move fluidly from dm2 low button spawn to low rl before the low rl spawn gets there one of these 'antiquated' skills that deserve to be removed from the game?
2020-09-02, 21:44
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Milton wrote:
You speak of "false sense of security" yet at the same time you propose removing features from the client so that people wouldn't use them. Do you really think that it would stop cheaters?

Nope, but at least the cheaters would have to write their own functionality. Right now, all they have to do is spoof a ruleset (one line of code).

Milton wrote:
Where would you draw the line? Fullbright backpacks are apparently fine and so is everything else disabled by any of the rulesets. I'm getting old and don't have the motivation to play as much as I once did. May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

I have my opinions, and they were largely stated above. But mainly I just want us to stop pretending that rulesets do anything. They do nothing. I can use any features I want, and still report "smackdown". Even at a LAN you would likely have no idea (excluding obvious visual things like colored packs). The only reason reporting "works" is because most of us have been playing together for years and already trust each other to a reasonable degree. So if we already trust each other enough to not fake their ruleset, then why have the ruleset in the first place?
2020-09-02, 22:12
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Milton wrote:
May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

If you were able to do so without getting caught, then nobody would complain! If people do start to catch on and games are ruined in the process, then I imagine players would refuse to play with you in the future. No ruleset necessary.
2020-09-03, 07:31
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dust0r wrote:
Milton wrote:
You speak of "false sense of security" yet at the same time you propose removing features from the client so that people wouldn't use them. Do you really think that it would stop cheaters?

Nope, but at least the cheaters would have to write their own functionality. Right now, all they have to do is spoof a ruleset (one line of code).


You do understand that all the removed features would be still available in version control and that the cheaters wouldn't actually need to write anything, don't you?

dust0r wrote:

Milton wrote:
Where would you draw the line? Fullbright backpacks are apparently fine and so is everything else disabled by any of the rulesets. I'm getting old and don't have the motivation to play as much as I once did. May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

I have my opinions, and they were largely stated above. But mainly I just want us to stop pretending that rulesets do anything. They do nothing. I can use any features I want, and still report "smackdown". Even at a LAN you would likely have no idea (excluding obvious visual things like colored packs). The only reason reporting "works" is because most of us have been playing together for years and already trust each other to a reasonable degree. So if we already trust each other enough to not fake their ruleset, then why have the ruleset in the first place?

You are wrong. Rulesets provide an easy way for tournament admins to tell participants what settings are allowed and what are not. It also makes it a breeze for the non-cheating players to make sure they aren't using any settings that are not allowed in said tournaments. Additionally, removing all but tournament-legal features is not the way forward. I'm sure, if you stop for a minute to think, you can think of scenarios where features can be useful and needed even if they aren't allowed in tournament games (hint: frag movies, casting games, playing casually etc.).

(Edited 2020-09-04, 11:57)
2020-09-03, 08:45
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Milton wrote:
You do understand that all the removed features would be still available in version control and that the cheaters wouldn't actually need to write anything, don't you?

Yes. It's still (slightly) more effort than modifying a single line of code. A passive cheater likely wouldn't bother looking for old code to restore, whereas if the setting was already in the client ready to go, he might be inclined to fake a "smackdown" ruleset.

Milton wrote:
You are wrong. Rulesets provide an easy way for tournament admins to tell participants what settings are allowed and what are not. It also makes it a breeze for the non-cheating players to make sure they aren't using any settings that are not allowed in said tournaments. Additionally, removing all but tournament-legal features is not the way forward. I'm sure, if you stop for a minute to think, you can think of scenarios where features can be useful and needed even if they aren't allowed in tournament games (hint: frag movies, casting games, playing casually etc.).


Your argument might makes sense for rulesets as an internal setting only. However, reporting via "f_ruleset" is primarily used for security/cheat detection, which leads me to believe that players don't realize just how simple it is to hard code any string you want into that response. It gives people the wrong idea, and unless there is some kind of server verification or closed source security tool, f_* checks (or any appearance of client/rule validation) should be removed.
2020-09-03, 20:40
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Client side checks will never be trustworthy indeed, by definition. I think it might be a better idea to educate people about what f_checks does and doesn't. I think you should see it more of a "did everyone remember to set the correct ruleset for this game" rather than trying to detect if someone's cheating.

Simplified: There is no cheat protection in QW. It's somewhat based on trust, logic and the community knowing the (reasonable) skill level of individual players.
Luckily QW is such a high skilled game that even if a low skilled player is using wallhack, a skilled player would most likely kick his butt anyway. Aimbots are pretty easy to spot and then there's not that many cheats left, not useful ones anyway if you don't master the game already.

As with everything related to f_checks and the likes; they are (no matter the original intention) just a way to make sure honest players has made the necessary adaptions for a game.

As for the technical discussion: there are way better ways of implementing rulesets than hardcoding them in the client
2020-09-04, 04:39
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Milton wrote:
Additionally, removing all but tournament-legal features is not the way forward.


FWIW I think meag convinced me of this with his arguments. Though I haven't heard a convincing argument to relaxing some of the seemingly arbitrary or inconsistent rules in existing rulesets.

Milton wrote:
You do understand that..., don't you?

Milton wrote:
You are wrong.

Milton wrote:
I'm sure, if you stop for a minute to think, ...


I do not find these quips to be helpful to a discussion.

Milton wrote:
Where would you draw the line? Fullbright backpacks are apparently fine and so is everything else disabled by any of the rulesets. I'm getting old and don't have the motivation to play as much as I once did. May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

cl_idrive isn't apparently an offense either. How about forward rocket jumps scripts? Other movement scripts?


I think "where do we draw the line" is the most important question for a ruleset discussion (setting aside the issue that has been repeatably pointed out that rulesets do not discourage cheating but an agreement between trusted individuals). For existing rulesets presumably someone drew a line many years ago and I at least do not understand that line and want to push back on some of the decisions.

In my head, I want to play my best against another person playing their best within the spirit of the game. I draw the line at a feature that fundamentally changes the game from being a battle between players and becomes a battle between two configurations.
  • Would an item clock fundamentally change the game? I'd say Yes. I'd consider item timing to be in the spirit of the game and a skill unique to this game. I enjoy it for QTV but would discourage it for competition.
  • Would voice communication fundamentally change the game? Yes. So much richer communication. Voice communication significantly enhances team performance in my experience (NA region).
  • Would team overlay fundamentally change the game? No. Not nearly in the way that voice has changed the game. I understand the argument that "not knowing team status" can be considered a fundamental skill of qw teamplay. I do not consider it to be so, especially now that we are in an era with voice.
  • Do fullbright skins fundamentally change the game? Probably. It seems to make aim, a critical part of the game, easier. But that ship has sailed...
  • Does fullbright packs fundamentally change the game? No. I'd argue that it is far more important to the game that players communication about a pack to begin with, then it is to see a pack on the screen. A fullbright pack doesn't inform you that there is a pack in the ra room. In fact, other settings affect item visibility as well but people don't restrict those settings.
  • Does cl_idrive fundamentally change the game between players? No. Yes bunny hopping is a fundamental aspect of competitive play and in the spirit of the game, but enabling iDrive may only allow someone to move slightly better, and in a way that actually matches the player's intentions, it did not fundamentally change the game.
  • Do rocket jump scripts fundamentally change the game? Maybe. Even basic scripts are not banned by rulesets today. I enjoy scripts for casual play and manually disable rj scripts for tournaments that disallow it in their rules (which is most these days). I don't think the ability to simultaneously press two keys is a skill that is in the spirit of the game as much as an arbitrary dexterity restriction. I understand though that success or failure of the trick does change games but balance that with the intent of the player. I want to fight someone's "best" and if they failed a rocket jump I didn't get their best.
  • Do forward rocket jump scripts fundamentally change the game? No. If rocket jumping is allowed then I think the angle of your mouse doesn't fundamentally change the player's intention when using it. A player is still performing a movement skill, but just aiming differently.
  • Does weaponhide fundamentally change the game? Yes. I considered a fundamental aspect of the spirit of the game being weapon selection. Weapon selection affects teamplay pack drops which commonly swing games. Client side weapon scripting eliminated an important aspect of team play games (in my opinion) in a more fundamental way then rj scripts.
  • Do aimbots fundamentally change the game? Yes. The game is no longer between player, it is between bots.
  • Do wallhacks fundamentally change the game? Yes. A fundamental aspect of the game today is game sense for enemy location.
  • Does seeing through water fundamentally change the game? Yes. A fundamental aspect of water fights today is the visibility barrier.
  • Does allowing 100% vertical look change the game? Yes. This restriction has always existed and relaxing the restriction will let players do something never before possible.
  • Do movement scripts fundamentally change the game? Yes. I would qualify anything that controls player movement for more than a few frames as a movement script and that is no longer a game between players/bots, and instead configuration.
2020-09-04, 07:24
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Great summary, Bogojoker. Interestingly enough, if all the "acceptable features" that you mentioned were allowed in tournament rulesets, you'd basically just have default ezQuake, and thus wouldn't need rulesets, which was kind of my original point. The "unacceptable features" like wall hacks and aimbot fall into the realm of common sense, and don't require any kind of special mode for players to know they shouldn't use them.

I completely disagree with the idea that rulesets are an "agreement between trustworthy players" in a tournament setting. That may be the intention, but it's far from the reality, which is that rulesets are little more than an elitist tool for players to judge others and assert how hardcore they are. I haven't played in a league or tournament in 10+ years, and yet I hear commentary about my "default" ruleset on a regular basis. I've also been pressured into changing rulesets at game time, when I'm not in a position to push back without wasting people's time or being viewed as a poor sport. That kind of stuff backs honest players into a corner and isn't very attractive to newcomers.
2020-09-04, 09:26
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dust0r wrote:
Milton wrote:
You do understand that all the removed features would be still available in version control and that the cheaters wouldn't actually need to write anything, don't you?

Yes. It's still (slightly) more effort than modifying a single line of code. A passive cheater likely wouldn't bother looking for old code to restore, whereas if the setting was already in the client ready to go, he might be inclined to fake a "smackdown" ruleset.


I think you make it sound a bit easier than it is. The would-be cheater needs to not only modify that single line of code but to compile a new client as well. There are more steps to take than just opening a text file and editing it. If one is ready to take those steps then I think adding a feature or two by copying old code wouldn't take that much more effort in comparison.

dust0r wrote:

Milton wrote:
You are wrong. Rulesets provide an easy way for tournament admins to tell participants what settings are allowed and what are not. It also makes it a breeze for the non-cheating players to make sure they aren't using any settings that are not allowed in said tournaments. Additionally, removing all but tournament-legal features is not the way forward. I'm sure, if you stop for a minute to think, you can think of scenarios where features can be useful and needed even if they aren't allowed in tournament games (hint: frag movies, casting games, playing casually etc.).


Your argument might makes sense for rulesets as an internal setting only. However, reporting via "f_ruleset" is primarily used for security/cheat detection, which leads me to believe that players don't realize just how simple it is to hard code any string you want into that response. It gives people the wrong idea, and unless there is some kind of server verification or closed source security tool, f_* checks (or any appearance of client/rule validation) should be removed.


I think the scene is very aware of how easy it is to cheat in the game. Like I said, rulesets are a good quality of life feature easy tournament admins and honest players.

Would you like to address my argument about frag movies, casting games and playing casually regarding removing features from the clients?
2020-09-04, 09:28
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dust0r wrote:
Milton wrote:
May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

If you were able to do so without getting caught, then nobody would complain! If people do start to catch on and games are ruined in the process, then I imagine players would refuse to play with you in the future. No ruleset necessary.

Are you saying that cheats are only a problem if the cheater is caught? If so, I strongly disagree.
2020-09-04, 13:05
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Sep 2006
BogoJoker wrote:
Milton wrote:
Additionally, removing all but tournament-legal features is not the way forward.

FWIW I think meag convinced me of this with his arguments. Though I haven't heard a convincing argument to relaxing some of the seemingly arbitrary or inconsistent rules in existing rulesets.

While I agree that many of the existing rules are very arbitrary indeed I haven't seen very convincing arguments the other way either. I have, on the other hand, seen a bunch of half-truths and misinformation (or lies). I also think that almost any set of rules would be more or less arbitrary anyway.

BogoJoker wrote:

Milton wrote:
You do understand that..., don't you?

Milton wrote:
You are wrong.

Milton wrote:
I'm sure, if you stop for a minute to think, ...


I do not find these quips to be helpful to a discussion.

The last one was perhaps a bit uncalled for but I stand behind the first two. It seemed to me that dust0r was trying to mislead the readers on purpose to make his argument seem stronger than it actually was. I also think spreading lies like "I just want us to stop pretending that rulesets do anything. They do nothing." deserves to be called out. If replying "You are wrong" to that makes me look like an ass, so be it.

BogoJoker wrote:

In my head, I want to play my best against another person playing their best within the spirit of the game. I draw the line at a feature that fundamentally changes the game from being a battle between players and becomes a battle between two configurations.

I can very much agree with this. The problem might be that different people can have very different understanding of the spirit of the game. I for example agree with most of your list (we should note that this list is far from exhaustive) but there are a couple of things that I disagree with. Teamoverlay is being discussed in the other thread and I hope Drake will save me the trouble of arguing there.

I'll pick another example off your list:
BogoJoker wrote:
  • Do rocket jump scripts fundamentally change the game? Maybe. Even basic scripts are not banned by rulesets today. I enjoy scripts for casual play and manually disable rj scripts for tournaments that disallow it in their rules (which is most these days). I don't think the ability to simultaneously press two keys is a skill that is in the spirit of the game as much as an arbitrary dexterity restriction. I understand though that success or failure of the trick does change games but balance that with the intent of the player. I want to fight someone's "best" and if they failed a rocket jump I didn't get their best.
  • Do forward rocket jump scripts fundamentally change the game? No. If rocket jumping is allowed then I think the angle of your mouse doesn't fundamentally change the player's intention when using it. A player is still performing a movement skill, but just aiming differently.


  • Only within these two bullet points I already find at least three things that I disagree with. This is not to say that I'm correct and you are wrong but to demonstrate that it's very difficult if not impossible to define the spirit of the game.

    BogoJoker wrote:

    I don't think the ability to simultaneously press two keys is a skill that is in the spirit of the game as much as an arbitrary dexterity restriction.

    While pressing two keys simultaneously seems trivial, it's been proven to be anything but over the years. Even the best players (e.g. gt, locktar and reload) fail rocket jumps regularly and in my opinion it's very much part of the game and it requires quite a lot of skill and/or concentration to not fail a single jump for example in a 20-minute 4on4 game. In the same vein one could argue that having a bad lg aim is just an arbitrary dexterity restriction and should be compensated by aim assist like in many console fps games. I think most qw players would disagree.

    BogoJoker wrote:

    I want to fight someone's "best" and if they failed a rocket jump I didn't get their best.

    You argue that aimbots should not be allowed because the game would become a game between bots yet you wouldn't want people to fail rocket jumps because you wouldn't get to play against their best performance. I find that inconsistent. Why these two mechanical skills are not treated equally? To be clear: In my opinion it's just part of the game if a player is nervous in a tournament final and can't perform as well as in practice games. The same goes for any other reason to not perform well. We are humans and you don't always get to play against one's best performance.

    BogoJoker wrote:

    Do forward rocket jump scripts fundamentally change the game? No. If rocket jumping is allowed then I think the angle of your mouse doesn't fundamentally change the player's intention when using it.

    There might be a misunderstanding here on my part but I'll share my thoughts anyway. Forward rj scripts were allowed and widely used for a while in the scene and in my opinion they changed the game very drastically. Suddenly people who didn't put almost any effort in honing down their movement skills were able to pull of rocket tricks most players can only dream of without scripts. Some 1on1 games looked downright comical when people abused their scripts during fights. Once again one might think that turning 180 degrees, aiming slightly downwards and shooting a rocket is extremely trivial but in the heat of the moment it really is not. It takes quite a lot of practice and even seasoned players fail with forward rocket jumps quite often. Now that I think of it I think allowing and later banning forward rocket jump scripts were actually one of the most impactful rules decisions I've seen in the game.
    2020-09-04, 20:41
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    Milton wrote:
    Would you like to address my argument about frag movies, casting games and playing casually regarding removing features from the clients?

    Certain features are already limited to demo playback and qtv/spectator mode. Rulesets aren't needed for those purposes. However, I do think care should be taken before adding some of those features as you'd basically be providing a cheater with code to copy/paste. But I don't know how big of a problem that really is. To be clear, I only suggested removing game settings for the purpose of eliminating rulesets. Many already regard the "default" ruleset as a cheat (even in casual games), so I said why not pull them out. My personal opinion is that none of those settings are a big deal and really worth removing.

    As for casual play, I already stated above that casual players do not escape ruleset pressure, as f_ruleset has basically replaced f_modified as the standard pre-game "cheat detection."

    Milton wrote:
    dust0r wrote:
    Milton wrote:
    May I start using just a bit of wallhack or aim assist whenever I might feel the need?

    If you were able to do so without getting caught, then nobody would complain! If people do start to catch on and games are ruined in the process, then I imagine players would refuse to play with you in the future. No ruleset necessary.

    Are you saying that cheats are only a problem if the cheater is caught? If so, I strongly disagree.

    My point was mainly that we don't rely on the client to prevent that kind of cheating anyway. We're a small enough community that we can police ourselves fairly well. But to directly address your question: if you're careful enough to not get caught, then of course nobody would have a problem (because they wouldn't know). I'm not saying cheating is okay. I'm saying we currently have no method of detecting those cheats, so we trust each other until they give us a reason not to.

    (Edited 2020-09-04, 20:51)
    2020-09-04, 20:50
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    dust0r wrote:
    I'm saying we currently have no method of detecting those cheats, so we trust each other until they give us a reason not to.


    Honestly, that's the way it is in any other game as well. There's simply no such thing as a cheat-proof game. And there are numerous examples in other games when people are under suspicion for years on end basically with no hard proof and despite having "anticheating" measures in place.
    Personally, I never even understood rulesets as "anticheat" measure, it really currently is just a way to make sure (with a huge degree of trust) that people play under the same convention of tournament settings. Tracking these settings separately is just too much of a hassle, thus the "ruleset". Again, it's pretty much the same in CS:GO, for example, though there just 1 "ruleset" and of course VAC probably wouldn't allow fiddling with setting values that aren't allowed (though it would "allow" a metric fuckton of different aimbots, wallhacks, speedhacks and whatnot).

    Should we maybe create a more reliable way of checking the settings? Suppose so. But not in a way of getting rid of all setting restrictions, however feeble they might be technically.
    “If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.” (c) Johan Cruyff
    2020-09-04, 21:15
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    Milton wrote:

    This is not to say that I'm correct and you are wrong but to demonstrate that it's very difficult if not impossible to define the spirit of the game.


    Agreed, and thanks for sharing your perspectives. In this end this is all subjective. I'm sure my views on weaponhide do not match the majority and thats fine.

    Milton wrote:

    While pressing two keys simultaneously seems trivial, it's been proven to be anything but over the years.
    [...] In the same vein one could argue that having a bad lg aim is just an arbitrary dexterity restriction and should be compensated by aim assist like in many console fps games. I think most qw players would disagree.


    I'll expand a bit on my view of rj scripts because it comes up a bunch. I think the potential for rj failure to me mostly boils down to pressing two keys at the same time, because otherwise the rest of the human input gameplay execution (aiming, positioning, approaching) are all the same. So I can tape a stick between two keys and press the stick to get what would probably be a pretty good hardware inspired rocket jump key. To my original statement of "drawing the line", if I can change my keyboard (which I think of as configuration) I could get this feature with seemingly little effort. Not unlike upgrading a ball mouse to an optical mouse or someone putting a chess clock on their desk to behave like a game clock. Heck a joystick can allow for movement that a keyboard and mouse do not have today. I'm not aware of restrictions on things like this, such as foot pedal inputs, customizable keyboard layouts, or other hardware innovations that still require primarily human driven input. If someone has 6 fingers on their hands would they be banned from competition =O?

    I do not see the same being true of aim assistance. I understand that at some point they both boil down to dexterity, but in my opinion it doesn't boil down to the something as trivial as the rocket jump case does for me. Does someone have such an aim assist that isn't "bot" driven as opposed to human driven? I've even seen folks who change their fov while firing lg, which I thought of as a clever innovation since the human input aspect was not diminished.

    I'm open to other people's views on this though. I appreciate the discussion.
    2020-09-04, 21:15
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    Drake wrote:
    Honestly, that's the way it is in any other game as well. There's simply no such thing as a cheat-proof game. And there are numerous examples in other games when people are under suspicion for years on end basically with no hard proof and despite having "anticheating" measures in place.


    Agreed. The difference is that the size of our community means we have fewer unrecognizable faces. If Milton started playing suspiciously then people would be less inclined to play with him, and if a fakenick player started coming around with Milton's skill level it wouldn't be super difficult to guess who it might be. This allows us to be less heavy handed in general than other (larger) communities. I always laugh at the f_* checks because it's not like we don't play with the same people every day.
    2020-09-05, 00:41
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    Obviously I didn't expect unanimous agreement to abolish rulesets, but I DID hope to achieve the following:

    1. Improve the way the reporting works so that it is not abused or used for the wrong purposes.
    2. Reassess what should be allowed in tournament play moving forward with a serious effort to be consistent and "with the times."

    - While I have no issue with RJ/Movement scripts, they seem to be the most controversial of game tools and should probably remain disallowed. Fine.
    - cl_iDrive seems to hurt no one, but help inexperienced players. However, there's a LOT of disagreement about it, so keep it disallowed.
    - Other settings, like shaftalpha, should not be forbidden, as the LG debates ended a long time ago with antilag and fakeshaft. The damage has been done, so just let players customize the bolt however they want.
    - Simple packs, while I understand the concern, don't really seem to be an issue as long as you cannot differentiate their contents. Packs already stand out with solid wall/floor colors, and virtually every other item can be fullbright/colored. This is mainly for consistency, as the fullbright player/item ship sailed a long time ago.
    - Weapon hide scripts should probably be disallowed, but we've allowed them for so long I wouldn't argue against leaving them in.
    - Rollalpha: does anyone really feel that strongly about this one?
    - gl_outline: I guess there are certain situations where players can be seen through walls with this. Obviously that's not good, but the feature should be fixed or removed altogether, not just restricted from competitions.

    What do you guys think? What compromises would you be willing to make with these newer features?
    2020-09-06, 16:29
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    Quote:
    Reassess what should be allowed in tournament play moving forward with a serious effort to be consistent and "with the times."


    You may think that fullbright backpacks are fine, and you may have very convincing arguments for it, and the elders of QuakeWorld may give you their blessing, and a new version of client may be released that allows this, but if the next big tournament's admin says that fullbright backpacks are not allowed, then that's what it's going to be. I mean, trying to convince the whole community about a rule change that's supposed to apply across the board might not be the most effective way to go about things.
    2020-09-06, 18:11
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    JohnNy_cz wrote:
    ... but if the next big tournament's admin says that fullbright backpacks are not allowed, then that's what it's going to be. I mean, trying to convince the whole community about a rule change that's supposed to apply across the board might not be the most effective way to go about things.


    This is one reason I started with overlay in a different thread, since the players vote on it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that some tournament admins (NationsCup) have already been receptive and have more modern rules. Unfortunately others have not been as receptive (Hammertime).

    I don't know how ezQuake maintainers feel about updating a ruleset that has existed for a while... if there was overwhelming support we could just relax the ruleset in a client update and then tournament admins wouldn't have to do anything but keep saying "use X ruleset"... Sadly I suspect the only way forward would be adding a new, "modern" / "modern-thundersmackwhatever", ruleset and encouraging admins / players to accept that; much like how "qcon" is well accepted today even though it doesn't verbatim match tournament rules, but it is known to be accepted.
    2020-09-07, 01:36
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    Apr 2017
    dust0r wrote:

    What do you guys think? What compromises would you be willing to make with these newer features?


    Before discussing which dodgy features need to be removed you should look into having the server only accept clients above a certain version. Otherwise people will just use older clients.
    2020-09-07, 08:31
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    Aug 2020
    JohnNy_cz wrote:
    but if the next big tournament's admin says that fullbright backpacks are not allowed, then that's what it's going to be. I mean, trying to convince the whole community about a rule change that's supposed to apply across the board might not be the most effective way to go about things.


    I suppose that's true, but if the latest clients had a single tournament ruleset that the community agreed on and uses, admins would probably not want to create additional friction and work for themselves by adopting non-standard rules. But yes, it's a possibility.

    Either way, I don't think there's much harm in "updating" the standard a bit to allow some of the more modern features while still restricting the egregious ones (like RJ scripts and iDrive?). Which would you want to exclude?
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