Competitive Gaming

From Wesnoth

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Contents

For those interested in competitive multiplayer games on a more formal and organized level there are some unofficial options that are made available by the Wesnoth Community. Have a look to see if anything fits your shoe, and please help us keep the list updated by adding/removing alternatives.

Ladders

A 1 vs 1 ladder that uses an Elo rating and allows the Default era.

Recurring Events

None at the moment.

Cheating

The Facts

The following is true for all games that are played remotely & multiplayer in Wesnoth.

There is currently no method to guarantee that a persons doesn't cheat in multiplayer. Some of the more obvious ways to cheat are:

  • The editing of save files, granted they're used to load a game.
  • Observing the opponent with another instance of Wesnoth running, which of course only matters if you play with fog and also allow observers into the game. (Or if you save the game and reload it on a local instance to get vision.)
  • Creating and using a version of the game that gives any kind of imaginable noticeable and unnoticeable advantages (e.g. by having an AI assist in your decision making). Since the project is open source this only requires some programming skills and the will, as there is currently no way for a normal and official version of the game to know for sure that it's connected to another official version.

Knowing this makes you able to take it into account when participating in or arranging competitive events. As explained, the system as it is today doesn't offer a 100% certainty that your opponent(s) don't cheat. With that said it's perhaps also true that most players you'll come across don't have the skills to deal with the more advanced ways of cheating, and it might be the case that most cheaters are easily discovered if you watch a replay, know the rules of the game and have a decent idea of what the opponent is up to on the map. After all, the game math is known by all of us and all large deviations will get noticed.

Effects on competitive play

It's hard to know the exact effects that these kinds of problems have on the competitive gaming. For some players this is more than enough to not engage in competitions. For others it doesn't matter, since they themselves don't cheat and trust that most players don't. There are only two sure and interlinked things we can say about the phenomenon:

  • There are a few who cheat.
  • A great majority doesn't.

The logic behind those statements lead us to the conclusion that competitive gaming is fully possible in Wesnoth and that it should be considered a serious option by those interested in it. Most games will be legit because of the following reasons:

  • Discovery - The most common ways of cheating can be spotted and/or prevented.
  • Knowledge - A really small minority of the players have the knowledge and will to alter the source code in order to cheat.
  • Your psychology - If you stumble across a cheater and don't discover her/him, it's not certain that this will really affect you since you're not aware that they cheated.
  • Cheaters' psychology - There are very few people that play a game for a long time if they're in the need to always cheat when things get rough. Their victory is almost a paradox - they cheat to win, but know them self that they didn't. Most cheaters quit the game pretty fast because of that and other self-evident psychological facts.
  • Effect - Even if you don't discover cheaters the number of times you'll play against them are relatively limited, making their overall impact on your gaming experience small or non-existent in the long run.

Resolving Cheating Disputes

These are two suggested actions:

1) Submit your replay to the administrator of the competitive framework (ladder or tournament admin, etc).

   If an RNG cheat was used, speak with Dave about implementing the anti-cheat code.

2) If your replay is different from your rivals: One of you altered a replay, and its impossible to know who. As the admins of the competitive framework can not tell for sure who is being honest in this case, they can simply record that the game's winner was disputed by both parties. While this gets you nothing as the victim, anyone cheating in this manner more than once will effectively be "caught". As his or her disputes pile up no one will accept matches with them. If the competitive framework uses some kind of identification the cheater will have to create a new account and spend spend time on getting their rating back. 3) Don't make a mess if you can avoid it: If this has only happened to you once it might be an idea to just ignore it as it may not be worth all the hassle, depending on the specifics in the case.

What not to do

If you know your opponent has cheated please make sure that you really have evidence that can prove it 100% before claiming that you know that he/she did. Keep in mind that real evidence would prove something. If, for example, both of you have a different version of the save file there is no way to prove which one of you faked his/her, hence, the files are not proof of who the cheater is - they only prove that there is one.

Don't ever give an impression about you knowing the facts if you can't prove them! It matters a lot what words you use since the allegations are very serious and could destroy a player's reputation which he/she has invested a great amount of time in building within the community.

Reasonable questioning

In most competitive frameworks you are probably entitled to question something which you don't fully understand, in order to learn more about it, or something which seems odd and could possibly be a bug and/or a cheat. If you suspect that there is something strange going on then please start by talking with the person you suspect is cheating, if there is one. If the answer doesn't calm you down or you get even more suspicious and still don't understand what's going on, you would be best of contacting the admin/mods for the competitive framework you participate in, if any. If the framework is the Ladder of Wesnoth, then please don't post in the Wesnoth forum about it.

If you're not participating in a competitive framework and just played a casual game then you could post your questions in the official Wesnoth forum along with as much info as possible and preferably a replay.

Remember that if you go public with your questioning, wherever you do it, you're expected to do it like an adult and in a mature manner. Try to be objective and calm, and present your case and thoughts in a way which doesn't insult or in any other way harm the supposed cheater. If you just had a fight with the person it is always a very bad idea to post right away. It could perhaps also be a good idea to not mention the other player's name until some kind of conclusion had been reached if keeping that player anonymous would help protect his/her integrity. After all, it can't be very pleasant to be accused of something in the open.

Keep in mind that there is no "Wesnoth Court Room" and that nobody is expected to deal with your problems. Players who choose to discuss the matter with you do it as representatives of them self and there are no official rulers, unless of course, this all happens in a competitive framework which happens to have some. You ask for help to get more clarity into what has happened. Some times the answers will be of help, other times they won't.

Warning

If English is not your native tongue and you want to express complicated arguments or be sure to be understood correctly but feel uncomfortable using the English language please ask a friend to help you write it all up in proper English.

Finally we'd like to warn you once more about the act of accusation: For many people it is very stigmatizing and unsettling to be accused, and would maybe become even more so if the person happened to be innocent. Please think things through thoroughly before presenting an accusation of something. Especially what language you use, what you claim, where and why.

Also understand that players who have been around for longer than yourself will usually have much greater credibility than you, especially if they've been a part of the Wesnoth community for several years.

With all this said, there can still arise situations that need the extra attention and that a healthy questioning could help resolve. Questioning something is, if done in a proper way, nothing dangerous or harmful at all. Done wrong however it could start tearing apart the community piece by piece. Keep that in mind of moderators react.

This page was last modified on 9 April 2014, at 01:49.