RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

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WhoCares
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by WhoCares » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:29 pm

Smitty wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:37 pm
Personally the change I want to see most is for RAGL to take the lead on banning the obvious use of third party macros. Nothing has been more frustrating for me than facing off against players that have jumped from minions level to masters level play without putting in the same amount of work.

This rule would be easy to define and enforce. If someone's APM has obvious spikes, especially when their full time infantry production kicks in, it's clear they're using a third party macro. We're talking APM jumping instantaneously by more than 30 at a time. I'm sure there are ways for these players to muddle the waters and get around rules by toning down their macros, but all of these methods as far as I know involve pressing macro buttons more often ... like the rest of us.
As i diden't have the time or time in wrong timeshift to keep practicing and raise my skill competitively, I transfered my brain power into scripting/macro. I came up with pretty strong things but also faced the limitation of external scripting. (wich would be my next step in trying to do better stuff)

My goal is not the make cheap cheat and try to claim myself better than my opponent but to explore that territory to find pretty much all about it (and why not code some nice feature and demonstrate their usefullness hoping to see them included in the game itself). I'll open a thread later when i'll have more interesting stuff and more result/proof about the impact in game.

So far from the games I played : macro make things more confortable but does not make you win the game. If you forgot to queue unit, could be 1 key or 100 key, it's the same. Worst than that, I lost lot of games trying to use "on paper over powered" macro. By focusing on "how, when" and try to analize the effect of the macro; I totally let down the rest of the gameplay and lose like i have a handicap of some sort. Well, not writing more about the subject itself, i'll make my own topic in time (and i'm exited about it).

To get back on ragl and macro; when the subject came up, it appears that some of the best openra players were using it and still as blackend claimed, masters this season have been toe to toe for most games, macro or no macro (excluvely infantry prod macro anyway). from my own observation of cast, replay, events and ragl master games, coupled with my growing experience in coding and (when i have time) trying macros, I hardly doubt about them having a significant influence on a match up outcome. More than anything, there could be the psychological pressure/frustration of thinking that you opponnent has a secret weapon (uber macro). But that would be the only real danger from the macros currently used by players. (exept for my experimental ones but it will be another topic).

Conclusion, for now, starting a witch hunt on the apm would only damage seriously the fragile good mood/ambient of the competitive scene for no real benefit.

Blackened
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Blackened » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:01 am

I agree with Smitty that macros are advantageous and go against the spirit of the competitive scene, however I also agree with WhoCares that any attempt to outright ban macro use would result in witch hunts and spiral out of control. If Smitty, Whocares, or whoever can come up with a definite way to identify macro use then we can discuss that further.

@JamesBong. Something we can definitely talk further on ;)

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Smitty
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Smitty » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:39 am

Definite way to identify 3rd party macro use: Their APM spikes from 20-30 to 50+ in a second. (This is usually laughably high like 80-120)
Like I said, there are probably some work-arounds. I'm sure the craftier types will find a way to tone their macros down. But if we can't ban them entirely the next best thing is to ban the OBVIOUS use of them. It's complete bullshit to play against a guy whose macro can set infantry production for the game and start dinner for them.

My theory goes like this: If someone has to tone their 3rd party program down to the point where they have to intermittently use it throughout the game instead of press it 1 or 2 times, this give them the chance to forget their macro and lose the game ... like the rest of us. It won't be an even playing field, but it won't be as big of an edge as it gives now.

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anjew
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by anjew » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:51 am

Blackened wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:13 pm
Although for 1 player strikes I'd find it unlikely the other side would agree to play. There's a lot of complications with 1 player strikes replaying matches.
Im curious what the complications are if 1 player gets the strike but they both agree to play it out?
Not everyone is like Ganon and will take a free win without batting an eyelid.
Smitty wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:37 pm
This would likely require players to be able to get everything done in a weekend tournament format for group play. Then switch to weekly matches for the single elimination rounds.
Not against this idea but what often slips peoples mind is this is an international community and I can forsee a weekend tournament not being put on at an acceptable time for European players, American players and Australasian players (because no time exists). I had to play a lot of the original tournaments for OpenRA at like 4am on a Monday and I'd hate to be pushed out of RAGL purely because of where I live.
Smitty wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:37 pm
Nothing has been more frustrating for me than facing off against players that have jumped from minions level to masters level play without putting in the same amount of work.
You are implying here that those players would not be of that skill level without the macros while also echoing the Frank Grimes syndrome of humanity. Most people use these programs out of sheer laziness with no intent on illegitimately influencing a games result. I understand some players are traditionalists that have honed their index fingers to proficiently queue units in ORA and are probably mad that it's in vain but is it really worth banning players over and splitting an already quite fractured competitive community?
Also, its quite a contradictory statement when the founder of macro usage in ORA (at least most successful macro user) has also been the top player of RAGL for however many seasons. He definitely put in a lot less work into ORA to get to his position and I'm certain it has nothing to do with the fact he used macros. I mean, look at the final players for RAGL. All 4 top players, are players who have actively spoken out against macro's or stated that they have no interest. I remember barf saying somewhere that he felt he didn't need them. It seems he was right.
Smitty wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:37 pm
This rule would be easy to define and enforce. If someone's APM has obvious spikes, especially when their full time infantry production kicks in, it's clear they're using a third party macro. We're talking APM jumping instantaneously by more than 30 at a time...
It really isn't that easy. During how much of a time period must the rise be? How many rises would constitute this? Where does this figure 30 come from? Have you actually analysed matches with macro usage and without and seen that this is average APM rise of a player with macros?
I literally just went into a game and spammed f1+f2 as I would and was able to achieve an average rise of ~30APM per second. How can you guarantee that false positives like this would be completely avoided under your rules?
Blackened wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:01 am
go against the spirit of the competitive scene
This is something that should actually decided as a community. Its entirely subjective to each person and just saying something is against the spirit, doesnt make it so. There are currently quite a few people who use these programs and a lot of them are people who have been apart of this community for a very long time. You are implying these people are actively seeking to hurt the competitive scene of OpenRA and I feel that in most cases, this couldn't be further from the truth.

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Happy
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Happy » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:03 am

Okay so macros. As a pioneer of the macro I will put in my two cents as one of the founding macroeers.

Firstly, I agree macros should be banned however I do not think they're as big of a deal that they are made out to be and I think that is because a lack of the actual use of a macro by the opposition. Like when people were discouraged not to comment on play test changes if they didn't have 20+ games, a player who has not used a macro at all should be discouraged from calling it black magic. The opinion of many are is that a normal player is using a Honda and the macroeer a Ferrari but in reality the Ferrari has the Honda engine but the car is automatic.

From a player who actually uses macro's and can give an insight into their effectiveness and just uses JUST infantry queue macro's; macro's give me a single edge in that my queues are neater - I can have a perfect ratio of rifles, rockets, mechanics and medics. That is the only observable advantage it has given me which I consider cheaty. Macro's do not make me better because I can multitask, if you are queuing units in high pressure scenarios and not queuing up when there is no action then YOU are playing the game wrong. At minute 4 before and after macros I would always queue a lot of units leading to APM spikes. This goes along side queuing 5000 pillboxes.The difference is instead of me pressing "shift + f1 f1 f2" over and over for 1 minute I will hold a button for one minute, at high level play I have done the "shift click and f1 f1 f2 routine" so many times it is ingrained in my brain just as much as the double ref build order. It's an automatic reflex and I can think about what is happening in the game just as clearly doing the manual way and the macro way. It's like microing ore trucks, I find myself doing it without even thinking and catch myself in a trance. If you are so distracted by queuing the manual way then you need to play more to make it a reflex than a conscious action, in fact I found the manual way much better for warming up my fingers for the match. Since using macro's I have not noticed any increase in skill level because of it nor have I found any other players who have switched over to it any harder and the notion that it does raise players skill levels by recognisable skill tiers alone I find is laughable.

Now onto detection. It's impossible. APM spikes can be caused by so many things. I spike it by manually queuing 5000 pillboxes. You can reach up to 3000 APM by doing this.

So the solution: to make this an even playing field then macros should be added into OpenRA as a repeat queue feature or any other suggestion. The only way to solve the problem is this as detection is impossible.

To reconfirm however I do agree they should be banned. However I will continue to use them. Why? Because I'm lazy and I want to make life easy. I am an engineering student - my entire purpose to the system is to improve on the old and make everything more efficient. I take this ethos to life and OpenRA. Why should I do this manually when I have invented the power of automation? I advise every player to macro until it's made into the game, why live in the dark ages? Even if it's banned it will never be stopped or detected.

Blackened
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Blackened » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:31 am

Smitty wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:39 am
Definite way to identify 3rd party macro use: Their APM spikes from 20-30 to 50+ in a second.
I'm not sure this is as definite as you think it is. I've run some of my own tests and I can easily spike my apm by holding down a single build key. Spamming click orders can further increase that. Therefore I'm not sure someone with a legit higher apm couldn't reproduce such results.
anjew wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:51 am
something something macros
While I agree with a lot of what you said, I would like to point out my playoff match up against Smitty as an excellent example of where macros would have made a huge difference. Whether it was rust or inattention there were quite a few times Smitty lacked in production and because of that I was able to come out ahead. Macros would almost undoubtedly have ended that advantage.
Happy wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:03 am
some drivel with foam at the mouth or something idk
It's almost funny that people are just caught up on infantry queues for macros. Yes, that is a primary and extremely beneficial function of macros but there is so much more people can do to utilize them. The things people haven't thought of yet are the real unnerving ones.
Happy wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:03 am
To reconfirm however I do agree they should be banned.
k
Happy wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:03 am
However I will continue to use them.
so banned? :? :lol:
Happy wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:03 am
Why should I do this manually when I have invented the power of automation?
I'm not going to say ORA is as important as the Olympics or anything nor will I say everyone agrees on this, but there is a reason why athletes doping get disqualified from the Olympics. And it is precisely because for both macros and doping, they are increasing their inherit skill through artificial means. Which leads me to my response to Anjew:
anjew wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:51 am
This is something that should actually decided as a community.
More so it is arbitrarily based off what we (the officials) decide. Which is pretty standard for any league of any sort. It's all subjective on what is allowed and what isn't.







to try and get away from the macro black hole is seems literally everyone is in favor of a shorter season at the very least and possibly a restructuring as well. Hopefully more people continue to chime in their thoughts and in the meantime we'll pull some strings behind the curtains and see if we can create a magic show. Stay tuned. 8)

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Happy
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Happy » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:15 pm

Blackened wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:31 am
I'm not going to say ORA is as important as the Olympics or anything nor will I say everyone agrees on this, but there is a reason why athletes doping get disqualified from the Olympics. And it is precisely because for both macros and doping, they are increasing their inherit skill through artificial means. Which leads me to my response to Anjew:
The difference is doping can be detected, macro's cannot. Doping can cause massive chemical changes in the body and can be detected with many different methods for example to combat blood doping you take a sample of blood and use antibodies to see if there is blood with different antigens from different humans then crosscheck their medical records for any transfusions. For macro's all you have to go with is an APM spike that may or may not occur and may or may not be caused by multiple things. If I recall correctly the APM metre is already kinda bugged?

This is just for infantry queue macro's which is the main type that got everyone into a frenzy. The only way I see to combat it is to give it to everyone. A repeat queue in the game.

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FiveAces
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by FiveAces » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:51 pm

Smitty wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:39 am
Definite way to identify 3rd party macro use: Their APM spikes from 20-30 to 50+ in a second.
The problem is that this will give you a lot of false positives. My APM spike from 20 to 60+ as soon as I reach T2 every single game
because I use Hinds to target-micro rocket soldiers and Yaks to perma-scout (plus going from 2 to 4 control groups),
and I'm someone who has never used macros in the past and doesn't intend to ever use them in the future.

Back to the original topic of this thread: It seems I'm the minority here, but I quite enjoy the current RAGL format (minus the dropouts).
One match a week is sustainable even with real life being busy; the playoff/Swiss style tournaments that were suggested earlier would require a lot more
time commitment and subsequently drive away many players like myself who love the game but can't afford to dedicate large chunks of time at once.
Shorter seasons might be the answer here, and keeping divisions limited to 10 players would definitely help.

Another great subject that this thread brought up briefly was the separation between the website and forums:
I still believe there's huge potential in merging the two, especially with great content like the weekly frontline reports.
Are there any php-savvy lurkers who might lend a helping hand here?

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netnazgul
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by netnazgul » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:31 pm

The question of macros seems to be big enough question to have its own discussion, so I've raised a separate thread.

james.bong
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by james.bong » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:09 pm

Blackened wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:01 am


@JamesBong. Something we can definitely talk further on ;)
Just give me a pm here or on discord 👍

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Smitty
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Smitty » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 pm

The fact that we can't even agree that cheating is indeed bad is disheartening. I've lost any and all desire to play this game competitively primarily because of this issue. People are way underselling how much impact these macros have. I can't begin to count the amount of games I would have won if I was cheating and thus not floating ever.
FiveAces wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:51 pm
The problem is that this will give you a lot of false positives. My APM spike from 20 to 60+ as soon as I reach T2 every single game
because I use Hinds to target-micro rocket soldiers and Yaks to perma-scout (plus going from 2 to 4 control groups),
and I'm someone who has never used macros in the past and doesn't intend to ever use them in the future.
Promise we could tell the difference. By spike I mean the APM gets there instantaneously. Your apm would reach 60 but it would 'climb' up to that number instead of 'spike' in an instant. These macros also usually end with 80+ APM every game.

My personal best was 63 in a game against barf, but 40s would be the average. It'd be hard for a cheater to go from using cheats to not, so we'd be judging off of several games instead of one.
FiveAces wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:51 pm
Back to the original topic of this thread: It seems I'm the minority here, but I quite enjoy the current RAGL format (minus the dropouts).
One match a week is sustainable even with real life being busy; the playoff/Swiss style tournaments that were suggested earlier would require a lot more
time commitment and subsequently drive away many players like myself who love the game but can't afford to dedicate large chunks of time at once.
Shorter seasons might be the answer here, and keeping divisions limited to 10 players would definitely help.
If we did keep the weekly format, I think we'd need to do more to ensure games are played on schedule. Encourage people to play games early instead of delayed if they know they can't play on a certain week. Obviously life happens so we'd need to allow for a delay or two, but delays need to not be allowed for months at a time.

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Happy
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by Happy » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:43 pm

Smitty wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 pm
People are way underselling how much impact these macros have.
Have you actually used a macro yourself to see its effects though?

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WhoCares
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by WhoCares » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:43 pm

Smitty wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 pm
The fact that we can't even agree that cheating is indeed bad is disheartening. I've lost any and all desire to play this game competitively
You lose desire to play competitively each time a game doesn't go as planed. You became a meme of "ok, i'm done forever with this game" every single time you get unexpectidly outplayed by someone you were suposed to win or had a shot at winning. From that behaviour your drama for the macro just look like personal and unjustified. If at least you had a more open minded approach and let the space to gather fact and data to back up your claim people would maybe take you seriously on that one.

Even some atempt of balancing from your part look like they came from the fact you lost some game to some strategies. (Damn, diden't see that shoockie rush coming, shookie are op, lets nerf them).

Making a drama for something that does not seem to bother much more people than yourself is kinda misplaced in my opinion.

Game would lose a great player and a competent contributor to the game if you really decide to quit but if you continue with that attitude i really beleive it could damage the competitive community eventually.
Last edited by WhoCares on Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawANDorder
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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by lawANDorder » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:24 pm

Another great subject that this thread brought up briefly was the separation between the website and forums:
I still believe there's huge potential in merging the two, especially with great content like the weekly frontline reports.
Are there any php-savvy lurkers who might lend a helping hand here?

I see a lot of pential here too and would like to write a forum extension for competetive openra. I learned a lot during writing the user accounts extension and think I could handle this.

I already talked with netnazgul about the information I would require (diagram of all processes tge managers and players are involved in, how these interact, depend and vary). Contrary to my last statement that I would only have time for this in the next week, due to a sudden and probably longer lasting hospital stay I would now have more time for this.

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Re: RAGL Season 5 Post Season Discussion

Post by netnazgul » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:45 pm

Smitty wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 pm
The fact that we can't even agree that cheating is indeed bad is disheartening. I've lost any and all desire to play this game competitively primarily because of this issue. People are way underselling how much impact these macros have. I can't begin to count the amount of games I would have won if I was cheating and thus not floating ever.

Promise we could tell the difference. By spike I mean the APM gets there instantaneously. Your apm would reach 60 but it would 'climb' up to that number instead of 'spike' in an instant. These macros also usually end with 80+ APM every game.

My personal best was 63 in a game against barf, but 40s would be the average. It'd be hard for a cheater to go from using cheats to not, so we'd be judging off of several games instead of one.
If any anti-macro policy is to be implemented, just "hey, that APM spike is suspicious" cannot do, as Anjew has pointed out already. There needs to be a definitive threshold of APM spike steepness and amplitude, which requires software measures either via replay parsing or inside the engine itself. Otherwise it becomes subjective with officials forced to call names on assumptions.

And then, there is no clear opinion on the matter. It's even less defined than stances change influencing the skill ceiling.
FiveAces wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:51 pm
Back to the original topic of this thread: It seems I'm the minority here, but I quite enjoy the current RAGL format (minus the dropouts).
One match a week is sustainable even with real life being busy; the playoff/Swiss style tournaments that were suggested earlier would require a lot more
time commitment and subsequently drive away many players like myself who love the game but can't afford to dedicate large chunks of time at once.
Shorter seasons might be the answer here, and keeping divisions limited to 10 players would definitely help.
Smitty wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 pm
If we did keep the weekly format, I think we'd need to do more to ensure games are played on schedule. Encourage people to play games early instead of delayed if they know they can't play on a certain week. Obviously life happens so we'd need to allow for a delay or two, but delays need to not be allowed for months at a time.
Currently the most probable way for RAGL development is to compact the season to 2 rounds per week, leaving the player count per group same as before or slightly increased. So with 12 players that would mean 6 weeks group stage to play against 11 opponents (still 2 games per match). If we leave the delay count at 3-4, this will essentially shorten the maximum delay period for player to 2 weeks max. Also the season will be only 1.5 months + playoffs, which is more than doable in case the player doesn't plan vacations on this period.

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