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Watch the Reloads

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by superslug, May 1, 2005.

  1. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    This is intended to be read by ALL HOF players:

    Hail fellow Emperors and Empresses!

    As many of you know, I won't openly discuss the game verification process....normally. Regretfully, I must break with that a little today in order to address something.

    Typically, when a player gets their game excluded for excessive reloads, it's new players that have never submitted HOF games before. It's sometimes intentional, more often lack of familiarity with the rules and standards.

    However, lately we've having to decline some games from regular submitters for reloads. Now of course I will not mention who they are, but this development naturally bothered me and caused me to investigate further. As I dug into it, I noticed that even though many games were still within the acceptable reload limits, the overall rates of reloading had gone up while minutes and turns per reload had gone down. This overall "community" progression has occured consistently for several months, and there have been days we've rejected more games than we've accepted.

    Based on this, I've decided it's time to adjust the reload policy. At the same time, however, I want to give everyone time to adapt and have fair warning.

    So, the policy will shift according to the following schedule:
    • For the days of May 1-14, games will still be judged by the old standards.
    • Beginning May 15th, games registering average reloads more often than an half an hour will be excluded.
    • Vanilla games (which do not have a game clock, hence no minutes/hours) will be judged against similar games of PTW/C3C.
     
  2. EMan

    EMan HOFer: Milk-Cow?

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    Does this mean that after May 15, you have to average 1 hour+ per playing session? (Assuming you reload the game at the start of each session.)
     
  3. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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    I am not sure how this is counted. Does this count the number of times I load from a save file?

    Saving the game at the end of every turn does not affect the reload count does it?

    Is it safe to assume I will get a PM from you if I have too many reloads on a HOF attempt?
     
  4. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    That's correct and the base point of this thread.

    Note that this does not mean that averaging 2 hours earns you "free" reloads (and yes, I know you didn't imply that). One of the reasons we're more likely to clear games with five files submitted instead of two is because we can look at the reloads throughout the game and know they follow the typical curve/dispersion.

    I've gone with the GOTM public standard, as it already exists and many players are likely familiar with it. (Furthermore, a good number of players are 'naturally' well above it.) Despite going with the GOTM standard, this is an HOF issue, so I'd rather not see anyone quizzing the GOTM staff about this.
     
  5. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Correct.

    No. The sheer act of just saving the game does not increase the count. Otherwise I'd be screwed, since I save manually every turn, in addition to CRpSuite's autosav folder.

    When we know someone is a forum regular, we prefer to PM them. If not (or if we're not completely sure of the name spelling and don't want to dig through the member's list) we send an email. Some attempt at communication/notification is made for every rejection notice, although the decision is instantaneously viewable from "My Submissions" if you're logged into the HOF.


    While it might mean a good deal of PM's for me, I'll at least throw this offer out: If you want to know what your past average times are, send me a private message and I'll let you know. (That offer could mean a few hours in the database for me, but you all are worth it.)
     
  6. EMan

    EMan HOFer: Milk-Cow?

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    3 Points/Questions:

    1. I guess if you're traveling (i.e. By plane), and thus playing short sessions, you'll be okay providing the reload count is, on average, < 1 per hour of playing time?

    2. If you're playing sessions of less than 1 hour, you should try to keep the game "active" (viz. don't end the session), to avoid a PM from the GM? ;)

    3. If you load a saved game and just look at it, without making any moves, does that count as a reload?
     
  7. bed_head7

    bed_head7 Deity

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    Well, I know you aren't talking about me here. Both of my games were playing without reloading once. I imagine I have one of the best hours/session averages of anyone with a game submitted.
     
  8. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    I'm afraid not. Travel/laptops/playing at work is a very common excuse for HOF reloaders. Hearing this in an email or PM from a player is usually the kiss of death for their game.

    I do realize that this policy will impact when some people can play, and/or how much, and it also might discriminate against some legit games, but it's a price I've obviously decided worth paying.

    The intention here is that everyone plays a minimum of an hour when they play. I consider artificial clock inflation a dishonarable tactic, and if I suspect it strongly enough, I'll dump a game based on it, even if the files meet the numbers. On the other hand, I know fully well that sometime people leave the game running while they have to take care of something. I myself have fallen asleep with the game running on more than one occasion. Those circumstances are certainly acceptable.

    Nope. As long as no changes are made to the game, map study and strategy plotting are okay.
     
  9. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    I'm not talking about anyone in specific here. I'm not even talking about the majority of players.

    What I am doing is trying to make sure everyone has fair notice so that games in progress don't get rejected due to the policy shift.

    But yes, you're right, your reload counts are pretty low. :)
     
  10. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    I don't play HoF right now, but as a GotM player I have gotten unnervingly tedious. I will load the game, stare at it awhile - play maybe 5 minutes, then save and quite. Load the game up and stare - then quit. If I get lucky, I'll play for 30 minutes.

    Right now, until I get to the point in the game where it is "in the bag" then I am having extremely stagnant play sessions. Once I am the dominant force, then I can play for hours :mischief: .

    Totally wrong forum, but since you brought it up I thought I'd ask whether this is fishy. I guess there is a rule about longer playtimes...
     
  11. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    I'm not at all qualified to answer that, as it's a GOTM issue.

    To be honest, I couldn't even really give an HOF opinion on that. For one, HOF players can abandon a map at any given time and start a fresh one. And given Mapfinder's presence/use, most players know pretty quickly whether or not a particular map will work.

    Speaking of Mapfinder though, I should point out a few tidbits. We look hard at BC reloads, especially on Tiny maps. However, we are aware that Mapfinder itself causes an individual 4000bc reload, and that's accounted for. We also know that some players like to sort their maps by playing to 1000bc and then save to sort later, this is also accounted for.

    Basically, we won't be likely to reject a game because we spot an individual session under an hour. The decision will be based more on the average session, as well as the various comparison curves.

    EDIT: My apologies to the HOFr's if my complexity seems overwhelming, but I'm trying to provide comprehensive answers. There's a lot of variables we have to take into consideration when vetting games.
     
  12. Moonsinger

    Moonsinger Settler Retired Moderator

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    I myself too have fallen asleep with the game running more than one occasions. I'm not really sure if I have more than one personalities, but when I waked up the next morning, the game had advanced another dozen turns. Appearantly, I was still playing while I was sleeping. :eek: I thought that was weird, but now I have scientific evidence that may explain it.

    You see...I was watching the news a few weeks ago about heart and organ transplant. Basically, many people who received organ transplant from other people do inherite the donor ablity and memory too. Therefore, it may be proven that the human memory isn't stored entire on the brain. Our memory may be stored primary at our brain, but our body part do act as a secondary or a backup memory storage. This probably would explain why the game was played while I was asleep. My eyes may be sleeping, but other parts of my body weren't. Yes, that must be it!
     
  13. EMan

    EMan HOFer: Milk-Cow?

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    IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you read this post, I want to assure everyone that I play by the current HOF Rules 100%. As one of only about 20 U.S. National Squash Referees, Rules are very important to me and need to be adhered to. Squash, like HOF Civ, is also a Game Of Honor.

    @'slug: While I APPLAUD your vigilance and sense of Honor and humor........(most Admirable, BTW), our philosophies differ:

    1. I think Rules should ONLY be made if they can be ENFORCED!
    2. A "Level Playing Field for All Players" is Top Priority, EVEN at the risk of allowing "dishonorable tactics".

    It seems to me you are trying to "discourage" the "Reload Cheat" by saying, arbitrarily, "You can't play a session for less than an hour." The GOTM is a different animal in that you have to complete the whole game within a month.......so, you're gonna have to average 1+ hours/session if you want to finish it.

    What I've always liked about the HOF is the lack of a time limit. (Just the other day, I loaded a work-in-progress game and tinkered with it for maybe 10 minutes........and then decided I'd better get back to work!)

    Now I feel like I've got to play for at least an hour when I start a session.............Unless, I fall asleep at my desk.............then it's okay!? :crazyeye:
    And, is Moonsinger really asleep when she plays all night? :lol:

    All because I have to "show" that I'm not reloading the game "too much"(?), which might mean I'm cheating by replaying a turn!?
    ........Or am I missing a more significant point here? :)

    Probably 99+% of all HOF participants are Honorable Players. When I saw the other day that a player had his game rejected because he played too many sessions, I felt bad for him! :sad: :sad:

    If Honor is required, then let Honor Rule!

    _________________________________________

    @Moonsinger: You left me totally "speechless"..........again! :lol:
     
  14. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    I'm going to respond to these out of order.
    Thank you.

    Apples and oranges my friend. Given the sense of fair play, sportsmanship and honor that of HOF'rs play with, the simple act of making a rule means it's usually 95% automatically enforced.

    Who knows, it could be 100%. Quite often rejected games are just players that didn't know the rules/settings, or played a "normal" game and submitted it on a whim.

    So do something about it. ;)

    To this date, I've accepted/declined games for reload amounts based on previous games of the same victory/difficulty/mapsize. As the database grows, these comparisons take longer and longer. It's especially difficult with Quartermaster's now, as people target empty tables and there's nothing to compare them with.

    A flat acceptable play session rate is the best answer to this problem (in addition to the recent upswing in reloads). I didn't choose an hour arbitrarily, I did so actually out of consideration. I assumed that since many HOF players were also GOTM participants, they were already used to an hour.

    An hour is too much you say? Okay, throw me a different number.

    When this place was dead in the water last fall, it was your passionate grassroots movement that convinced me to volunteer for the job. So why not do it again? Start a thread, a conversation, a poll. Rally your fellow players and give me a number you all can live with and I'll consider it.

    You often say the HOF is not a democracy, but then again, that shouldn't stop you from trying to convince me. If people aren't playing and having fun, what's the point of my function? If you start said conversation, I'll even stay out of it, and if you need more time, I can delay the first-post deadlines for the reload adjustments.

    EDIT: Also keep in mind that whatever flat-rate gets instituted may very well carry over into IV-HOF.
     
  15. BlackBetsy

    BlackBetsy Chieftain

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    I'll out myself as someone who got busted for a high reload count recently (think it was 10 as of 1000 bc), losing a #1 Small Mon Dom game (#1 by 200 years) in the process. :sad:

    And I'll warrant to anyone that it was a clean game...but there's no question that I did reload it a bunch. I started the game at work, got a bunch of maps I liked, saved the 4000bc files, quit, played one I liked for about 5 turns, found that it had a great starting position, labeled it "Many Cows Sm Mon Dom" or something like that and quit it to go back to work. Came back to it, got a SGL, was really excited by that, saved it again ("Great SmMonDom SGL start"), closed out to go back to work, and picked it back up again...wash, rinse, repeat as this happens. This stuff happens when you get excited about a game and are playing at work....somehow I got to 10 reloads by 1000 bc...an absurdly high number for a Small game. So it happens.

    It got excluded, of course, and I pleaded with the slug (2 PM's worth) to accept it, offering up intermediate saves ... and he ruled against it. Argh. But rules is rules.

    But the important thing to me (I'm a lawyer) is that the rules simply be known. Had I known that the game would have been excluded for the reload number, I would have simply played through, or played the initial good start later at home.

    So I applaud the slug for coming out, and making the rule open. I won't sit down to play a HOF game any more unless I can dedicate some time to it, now that I'm aware of the rule. It's a simple of that...the rules are supposed to foster good game play, and having them be open does exactly that.

    Good for you, slug. Whether the 1 hour rule is ultimately a good one, I can't tell you, but I think it's best to put it out there and have it known.
     
  16. killercane

    killercane Deity

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    Its a good rule. Is it going to be enforced THAT strictly, e.g. you only played 45 minutes, you're out? If it is I would make it 45, but its all arbitrary really. If you make it hard and fast, the people will follow and adapt. Keep an open line of communication with us minions so we can make suggestions/corrections if such things will carry over to civ 4 (I think the communication thing is already really well done; I submitted only one game last period, a monarch aztecs conquest in PTW, a version i never play, and it was excluded bc random seed was off which I didnt even check, Dianthus PMed me very quickly, and I was able to correct that before I had played too many maps, it was much appreciated). You have the power though SSlug, I think I speak for everyone when I say thanks for the (voluntary) work that you do.

    @BB- Its good to see another legal mind on here, Im not alone.
     
  17. EMan

    EMan HOFer: Milk-Cow?

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    What Problem? The only problem I see is people getting their games rejected because they didn't play long enough sessions!

    Zero.....what other number did you expect from me!? :lol:
    Why discourage people like me, BlackBetsy and others from playing short sessions?
    This would be a good time for other HOF Players' opinions on this subject to be heard.....Thanks killercane.

    Yes, and I'm glad you did! In fact, I'm glad you still have the time & passion to do the job.

    'slug, I think you and the Team have raised the level of the HOF beyond ANYONE'S expectations.......AND, although we joke about it not being democratic, you really DO care what the majority thinks and I believe you want to accommodate that majority..........so, perhaps Paternalistic is a better word from now on! ;)

    We have been friends a long time.........you let us say what we think.......you make your decisions...............we all abide by them...........you let us say what we think.....wash, rinse, repeat! ;)

    The Goal is common......We ARE on the same team! :)

    The State Of The HOF is good.

    Best regards, EMan.
     
  18. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    If it's worth anything, your pleading didn't fall on entirely deaf ears. I couldn't let that particular game in, but the situation was among several that prompted me to deal with this with a bit more intensity.

    And you're right, a flat open standard is better than variable unknown standards.

    EDIT: First time I've ever hit 5000 posts here, if that's worth noting. :rolleyes:
     
  19. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Once there's an established line, it's going to be adhered to fairly strictly. You see, we could easily make an exception for 59 at 60, but then if a 58 comes in, we could think well 59 was okay, so why not? It's not like driving a car where 10mph over is okay, but at 20mph you instinctively know you're going too fast.

    Do you know about the 4000bc.sav setting check page? If logged into the HOF you'll see the link and it can confirm your settings. I share your pain, though. I once had a 100hour+ milkrun declined due to PRS being disabled.... :( ;)
     
  20. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    In regards to extracting factual data from .sav files, we can't tell the difference between malicious reloads and legitimate reloads. What we can do is compare reload levels to the typical distributions and if the numbers are too far outside the spectrum, chances are it's a bad game.

    Is it a perfect system? Hell, no!
    Has it resulted in the exclusion of clean games? Occasionally.
    Has it resulted in the exclusion of bad games? Judging by private confessions, quite often!!!

    Actually I was expecting one with a negative sign in front of it. :D
    One vote for zero and one pitch for 45. I have to rule the zero out though, as I can't go that low.

    On this we are in total agreement.
     

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