Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

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Dr.MonaLisa
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Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Dr.MonaLisa » 03 Jan 2019, 02:36

On 18th of March 2010 we legalized the the "Scout Glitch" with the Amending Act projects, then a democratic Poll: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1692
It was mostly accepted, because the Ministry of Game Affairs was unable to control and punish players at that time. The Multiplayer server was powered by Gamespy. I could kick players out of the lobby using unauthorized methods, but still that would require to verify a lot of reports and playbacks everyday.
With time, after Unofficial Patch 1.5 release I realized how bad the Scout Trick is for the Multiplayer community, and started fighting with it by adding all possible fixes to prevent players from using it.
The "Act I: LoSG - Legalization of "Scout Glitch" - Scout trick" has been officially cancelled on 13 of July 2017.
Legal basis:
$1.5 The act applies since 1st April 2011, until it's removed by any other Act.
Gov. Act III: UP1.5 - Unofficial Patch 1.5 Act : viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1716
$3.2 b) The information about rules is included in the description of Unofficial Patch 1.5's install program and is visible in the Official Patch 1.5's Download Topic.
$3.3 Unofficial Patch 1.5 includes changes and new features described in the Official Download Topic.
Unofficial Patch 1.5 versions history with Anti-Scout-Glitch related changes:

[156011] (13 Jul 2017):
- Partially fixed "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch"). Scouts are now forced to move out of the construction site area. Unfortunately Scouts can still block or delay buildings construction if the opponent spams the move orders on the construction site area. This fix causes crowns powers affecting Spies to also affect Scouts. The "Scout Trick" was legal in Empire Earth 2 Multiplayer, since 1st of April 2011, legalized by: 'Gov. Act I: LoSG - Legalization of "Scout Glitch" - Scout trick': viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1692
[156013] (12 Sep 2017):
- Improved the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch"). Scouts have no longer the Patrol ability. It's to prevent abuses in Multiplayer games (issue claim by the Department of Control).
[156014] (25 Sep 2017):
- Reverted the last partial fix for the "Scout Trick", because it sometimes caused AI players to hang when scouts were unable to Patrol.
[156017] [156018] (07 Nov 2017):
- Improved the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch"). Scouts have no longer the Patrol ability. It's to prevent abuses in Multiplayer games. The similar fix was added to Minor Update 156013, but was reverted in 156014 because of AI players hang problems.
- Improved the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch"). Players who use the Scout Glitch will now be punished (building and repairing time for all constructions will be significantly slowed down). It's to prevent abuses in Multiplayer games.
[156019] (07 Dec 2017):
- Improved the last patrial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch") - punishment effect radius reduction.
[156031] (01 Sep 2018):
- Improved the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch"). Reverted scout-related changes from updates: 156019, 156018, 156017. New anti-glitch method, without "punishments": The normal Scout unit will be temporary replaced with a non-blocking "Temp Anti-Glitch Scout (1.5)" unit with aircraft move ability (and no attack ability). The normal Scout will be automatically recreated, after player produce a new citizen. It's to prevent abuses in Multiplayer games.
[157000] (26 Oct 2018):
- Improved the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch"). Replaced the fix effect "EffectIncredibleDeath" with "EffectCauseDamageOverTime" due to detected issues with the previously used method.
[157003} (11 Dec 2018):
- Removed the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch") and reverted scout-related changes from all previous updates (excluding 156011).
* Old fix data is still present in game files for compatibility reasons (old game saves, playbacks), but not used in new matches.
* Kept the change: "Scouts are now forced to move out of the construction site area".
* Fixed a bug where "Scout" and "Temp Anti-Glitch Scout (1.5)" units could respawn multiple times (reason unknown, area effect fixes didn't work as expected).
* Fixed a huge performance degradation (game mouse lag) when a group of citizens or scouts was selected.
- Added new "Starting Forces" -> "Basic" Citizens options: 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100 with "no Scout" suffix.
* It allows you to start a game without the first Scout which was used for the abusive "Scout Glitch" in Multiplayer games.
* The player who hosts the Multiplayer game can now choose if "Scout Glitch" is allowed in his game by selecting the "no Scout" Basic Citizens option.
As you guys can see, I took the Scout Glitch problem seriously, but my patience has limits. When I detected that the newest Anti-scout-glitch method reduces game performance (a bug where many citizens were selected) it was the best signal to cancel it. I care about performance issues the most, that's why all fixes (except forced-auto-moving) were reverted. Motivated and "pissed off" I explored a method to add new Basic Citizens options without the scout. Long story, but it was done by assembly of the game .exe file with extremely hard methods.

Why is Scout Trick still bad? Look at the video:


It shows KayOne using it AFTER update that disables the Patrol ability for scouts. It means that scouts were forced to move out, it was impossible to set the patrol on the building, and still this rule was broke by mouse clicking spam.

At the moment we have no law regulations for the Scout Glitch, except that host can decide to not start game with the first scout.
A while ago I added a notification on the Multiplayer Lobby join:
✔ Update 157003: Anti Scout-Glitch fixes have been removed due to detected performance degradation. It's now required to host the public Multiplayer fast pace games with ceasefire enabled, using the "Starting Forces" -> "Basic" -> "Citizens" -> "no Scout" suffix option selected.
Seems like most of players respected this rule. There were no scout-glitch usage reports directed to the Department of Control and Complains.

However, I still think we need to regulate this problem with a new Amending Act.
First of all I would like to get opinions of players in this topic, especially from the Ministers.
What are we going to do with the Scout Glitch?
Possible solutions:
- Allow in all games where Scout is allowed in Basic "Starting Forces Citizens"
- Force players to host fast-pace games with ceasefire using the "no Scout" suffix.
- De-legalize totally, even punish for using it in medium pace games.
etc.

I personally have no clue what option is the best. One thing is sure - whole 2018 with Anti-Scout-Glitch fixes was much better for the community. Games were much more friendly, without territories-grabbing, and even worse players were able to enjoy games.

All posts are welcome. Please remember this is just a discussion topic, the Amending Act topic will be created later, when we know what to stand on.
Best regards,
Dr.MonaLisa
Ministry of Game Affairs
Department of Control and Complains


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Matty
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Matty » 03 Jan 2019, 04:29

I personally have nothing against Scout-Trick. I feel it as a skill despite it is one of my weak points.
However I understand that it may be irritating for other players different from me, and if Mona, who has always been there, believes that using this trick goes against the fun of the average player, damaging the game, then that's what I believe as well.

A smaller side of myself would like to solve it letting players decide, game after game, which settings they want to use, but I feel like in the long run it would be better to standardize games into unique ones. I wouldn't like some fast-pace games with scouts and others not with them.

I wouldn't de-legalize it in medium pace. Generally players who play medium pace are more used to these kinda of irritating things (rams, poison spies, rushes...) and, above this, in medium pace it is much less predictable when opponent is ready to build cc (difficult to check every time) and very often you cannot contest it anyways (not enough resources). Indeed there is much more variance in medium pace games compared to fase pace ones. This variance brings to different choices from each player since the start of the game. That's why it's very unlikely in medium pace games that players build cc in similar times in the same territory, having a contest on it.

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Tojo
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Tojo » 03 Jan 2019, 12:19

My opinion (as we usually played without scout in fast pace games since 11 Dec) is that taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd CC without scout actually requires quite a bit skills. You have to be really careful to have just enough citizens building CC and to have enough resources to do it. In case of losing terr smartly redirect citizens. Trick is that you can't see who will win the territory fight and it's actually thrilling to wait who will get it.

So I think that public fast-pace games with casefire should be hosted without Scout. We will finally have 1 problem less to care.

For medium-pace games I would leave it as it is. Scout is there used to distract citizens gathering resources or exploring the map and not really for preventing building CC. And no Scout would degrade med-pace games because it's the only unit that can protect your citizens in the start.

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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Coo1 » 03 Jan 2019, 18:23

In my games scout glitch is not that important. I always play 1 vs. 1 games, where it is important to watch what is going on. In case of scout glitch, it is easy to delete that building footprint and start another right next to the old one. Usually scout is NOT in time to occupy the new spot. Scout glitch IS annoying in multi-player games, where the map is explored, resources are easy and players are sending one or two villagers to build city_center+one_farm like there is no tomorrow. In these kind of games, with explored map, crazy easy_fast pace and zillion units, it IS important to have those city centers to be built extremely fast. That is the name of the game -- expand+quick_press_keys+think_later. Once I had a case when anti-scout measure generated 10-15 scouts. As I was watching what is going on, I highlighted all scouts and moved them out of the building footprint -- VOILA!!! I had 10-15 scouts live and kicking. I did not mind...
In my 1 vs. 1 games, and by my standards, scout glitch is useful though low level tactics which is easily beaten with simple building relocation. This trick is actually endangers the scout because it is vulnerable at this point standing still. Scout is far more valuable exploring areas (alas on NON-EXPLORED maps). Real good players, in my humble opinion, play non-explored, low resources, 1->15 age, no startup resources games. Kids who want plenty of action and exciting sounds, play 5-5 all explored, easy gathering_resources games which end up with zillion catapults and two zillion archers. Just my humble opinion.
Come to my "Very Coo1 Game" to play my "difficult" sets! If I see that the player is not very experiences in these sets, I usually dont attack and let the game last to age 15. It is like who gets to age 15 attacks first game! That is why I have plenty of hours played, but less games count. I let others learn and try to beat me. Very seldom the game gets heated.

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lukwerty
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by lukwerty » 04 Jan 2019, 23:22

First of all, before giving my specific ministerial opinion about this topic, there are some points that must be clarified to me with all certainty :

1) - Are now two options enabled: a) scout trick allowed, and b) scout trick not allowed (considered as glitch then) by selecting "no scout" option?;

2) - Besides perfomance related issues, are there any other existing problems relating to the same event of enabling and unabling scout trick/glitch's dynamics? ;

3) - Based on what was patently said here, scout glitch was adopted, among other reasons, as a way of protecting ee2 community from possible damages and or unsportsmanlike conducts. Considering that statement, I'd rather have access to those precedents and problem-related cases to bind or influence conclusively my decision about this once and for all in accordance with the principles and rule of law.

Faithfully yours,

Minister of the Department of Justice.

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Dr.MonaLisa
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Dr.MonaLisa » 04 Jan 2019, 23:31

1) - Are now two options enabled: a) scout trick allowed, and b) scout trick not allowed (considered as glitch then) by selecting "no scout" option?;
That's the "unofficial" interpretation. A while ago I added notification:
✔ Update 157003: Anti Scout-Glitch fixes have been removed due to detected performance degradation. It's now required to host the public Multiplayer fast pace games with ceasefire enabled, using the "Starting Forces" -> "Basic" -> "Citizens" -> "no Scout" suffix option selected.
To "force" fast-pace players to use the new option.
2) - Besides perfomance related issues, are there any other existing problems relating to the same event of enabling and unabling scout trick/glitch's dynamics?
As in the first post:
[157003} (11 Dec 2018):
- Removed the partial fix for the "Scout Trick" (aka. "Scout Glitch") and reverted scout-related changes from all previous updates (excluding 156011).
* Old fix data is still present in game files for compatibility reasons (old game saves, playbacks), but not used in new matches.
* Kept the change: "Scouts are now forced to move out of the construction site area".
* Fixed a bug where "Scout" and "Temp Anti-Glitch Scout (1.5)" units could respawn multiple times (reason unknown, area effect fixes didn't work as expected).
* Fixed a huge performance degradation (game mouse lag) when a group of citizens or scouts was selected.
- Added new "Starting Forces" -> "Basic" Citizens options: 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100 with "no Scout" suffix.
* It allows you to start a game without the first Scout which was used for the abusive "Scout Glitch" in Multiplayer games.
* The player who hosts the Multiplayer game can now choose if "Scout Glitch" is allowed in his game by selecting the "no Scout" Basic Citizens option.
It means there currently is no performance loss caused by scout fixes, because they have been removed as fast as I detected issues. This actually caused the "issue" where we are without law regulations regarding scouts usage.
Considering that statement, I'd rather have access to those precedents and problem-related cases to bind or influence conclusively my decision about this once and for all in accordance with the principles and rule of law.
The Legalization of the Scout Glitch was made as one of the first Government Acts, so we had no issues with players reporting it.
I think most of cases from that time are present in the old subforum: viewforum.php?f=18

However, for now it's good to know the opinion of all players. Based on that we will prepare the Act which will be voted as it's described in "RULES of the Polls": viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1700
Best regards,
Dr.MonaLisa
Ministry of Game Affairs
Department of Control and Complains

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Dr.MonaLisa
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Dr.MonaLisa » 05 Jan 2019, 05:51

Thanks for all opinions. I very appreciate them and hope for more.

This part is especially useful:
Matty wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 04:29
A smaller side of myself would like to solve it letting players decide, game after game, which settings they want to use, but I feel like in the long run it would be better to standardize games into unique ones. I wouldn't like some fast-pace games with scouts and others not with them.
I didn't know how to call the current issue and Matty found the best words for it. We need to standardize games, otherwise it will be a big mess and confusion. Some games with Scout Glitch, some without will make people quit games in first minutes of the game.

Some more of my thoughts:
- If we forbid the scout glitch in fast pace games, the MoGA already has power to ban players from hosting games, without limiting the other rights (joining games, sending messages). So the Act should contain standard hosting-ban periods (for example first time 24hours, second time 7 days, third time 30 days, etc.).

- Some updates ago I've added the "Welcome" message for Multiplayer and Singleplayer games. It looks like this:
EE2_ScreenShot501.jpg
EE2_ScreenShot501.jpg (340.24 KiB) Viewed 88 times
If we allow the Scout Glitch in games where "no Scout" suffix is NOT used, then I can modify this message to add a short information about the current Scout Glitch status. The question is, is this message currently useful? Do people read it to check for the crowns status? If it's going to get ignored by 90% of players, then it's easier to simply forbid it.

- If we disallow Scout Glitch usage in fast-pace games with ceasefire enabled: Should the Ministry of Game Affairs only react on players reports, or detect it and "prosecute ex officio"?
* The inactive 'Legalization of "Scout Glitch" - Scout trick' Act: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1692 had the following point:
$1.3 Using the other glitches as revenge for "scout trick" is strictly prohibited and "prosecuted ex officio" by Ministry of Game Affairs, Department of Control and Department of Justice.
*The active Team Protection Act: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1699 claims that:
$2.9 For breaking the rule described in $2.4, $2.5, $2.6, $2.7 - the ally that was "hurt" in the game, can report the terrorist act to the Ministry Of Game Affairs of The Empire Earth II Community. The Department of Control and the Department of Justice will check this case. You'll need to prove your pleading, please read: $2.10 for more information.
So we never interfere in games, until a report is created.

Beside those confusions I'm not sure about, here's the processing plan:
- We discuss in this topic for the whole January to get opinions of different players.
- Based on opinions, some time in February we will prepare the new Act (internally, with Ministers).
- After that the new Act project will be shared public awaiting potential feedback from players.
- Based on feedback from players Ministers will review the Act one more time and decide to modify proposed changes or not.
- The final Act topic will be created with a Poll. Then we follow Rules of the Pools: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1700
- If accepted, it goes into force, if denied we return to discussion and start over.
Best regards,
Dr.MonaLisa
Ministry of Game Affairs
Department of Control and Complains

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Tojo
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Tojo » 05 Jan 2019, 13:00

Regarding message shown when the game starts, I noticed it but never read it.
Maybe would be better that there is not the whole sentence: "Crown System and Leaders are enabled in this game" but shortly in new row under Game mode: "Crowns: Enabled". Even bigger letters would help i think. Message about Scout is somehow useless because you can notice him among citizens.

My opinion about actions related to Scout Glitch usage is that the Ministry of Game Affairs should only react on players reports as it can happen that someone will forget to disable Scout.

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Dr.MonaLisa
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by Dr.MonaLisa » 05 Jan 2019, 14:10

Tojo wrote:
05 Jan 2019, 13:00
Regarding message shown when the game starts, I noticed it but never read it.
Maybe would be better that there is not the whole sentence: "Crown System and Leaders are enabled in this game" but shortly in new row under Game mode: "Crowns: Enabled". Even bigger letters would help i think. Message about Scout is somehow useless because you can notice him among citizens.
But what about new players who don't know what the Crowns System is? I think full sentence is better than quick details that would require additional searching for information.
Tojo wrote:
05 Jan 2019, 13:00
My opinion about actions related to Scout Glitch usage is that the Ministry of Game Affairs should only react on players reports as it can happen that someone will forget to disable Scout.
Good way of thinking, but also gives a chance that some players will never learn to set this option, or that they will be switching intentionally (since no-scout was updated in favorite settings, so when they load 5-5 it should be set).

I'm thinking now more and more to maybe leave the freedom of choice, and let host decide. If players don't want it then should not click ready and ask host to change.
I think it was similar with the "Disable crowns system" option, and with time everyone learnt that it's better for balance. Now even crowns fanboys, fangirls and fantransgenders are using this option.
Best regards,
Dr.MonaLisa
Ministry of Game Affairs
Department of Control and Complains

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lukwerty
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Re: Neverending Story - Scout Glitch / Trick. What's your opinion about it?

Post by lukwerty » 06 Jan 2019, 10:18

Ok, so I've got one personal opinion and one ministerial opinion about this subject.

1) My personal opinion, as a player, is that scouts are one of the main components of this game and it should be optionally decided if one player might use it - ie, we should simply make an option able or unable for scouts to be used or not for all players just like what happened with crowns.Detailed justification: 1) originally ee2 was included with scouts at start and I particularly believe it'd cause possible damages in our game characteristics and in a few players if it were disabled and banned completely ; 2) Some players consider scouts trick a skill above all and use them for many other reasons besides preventing other near players to build city centers - also, if city centers is a problem, why not simply make map bigger? ; 3 ) Even though most part of the players - of our new ee2 community more specifically - are accostumed to not using scout trick for practical and personal taste reasons, I wouldn't take this as a total give way to forbid its usage. First because norms are classified upon specified criteria of value (a) fair/unfair ; b) valid/invalid; and c) effective/ineffective), that is to say that norms not necessarily must be regulated coercively to make them applicable in some times. If we already have a new ee2 community made of players discordants and disgusted of its usage, whats the point of regulating negatively (forbid) this? I mean, sometimes a norm is effective yet not valid. In other words, social norms of common sense and good manners in a society are generally not prescribed by law but still are adopted by many people and won't be less effective only because of this. Validity and effectiveness of a norm, even if connected in certain cases, are not concepts dependents on each other and why? because a) a social norm wouldn't let to exist even if not prescribed or regulated and b) people wouldn't let to make a reprimand or to censure those who disobey those rules of good ee2 new conducts (don't use scouts for personal petty gains) - and this, more specifically, would already suffice as a sanction to this specific wrongdoer and would serve as an example for potential other transgressors.

2) Now, my ministerial opinion:

Once having read everything so far, this makes me raise some important must-do questions before giving conclusively my opinion and judgement as a minister of justice: 1) how many are pro and against this measure (criterium of quantity) ; 2) which reactions are caused by using or not scouts (criterium of consequence) ; 3) whats our purpose on prohibiting or not scouts (criterium of teleology) ; 4) What was written/regulated about this subject so far? (criterium of gramatical/legal historicity) ; 5) which are our current social/psychological conditions and situations for this to be needed to happen and regulate? (criterium of social historicity) ; 6) which are the other people opinions about this subject? (criterium of quality) ; 7) whats the morality and fairness behind so? (criterium of justice) ; 8) what are our possible dos and don'ts in such a case? (criterium of deontology) and at last 9) whats the logic of a regulating? (criterium of validity).

For that reason, I must for now postpone and waive temporarily my responsability to judge this case as a minister in order to obtain more needed information for a future better decisory opinion, endorsing what was already came up with by our rapporteur on case Sir minister of game affairs Dr.MonaLisa. Until there, I sincerely hope everybody gives your valuable and needed contribution.


Dr.MonaLisa wrote:
05 Jan 2019, 14:10

I think it was similar with the "Disable crowns system" option, and with time everyone learnt that it's better for balance. Now even crowns fanboys, fangirls and fantransgenders are using this option.
Although it makes sense, I don't agree with that because I haven't learned anything about its importance for balance between players - it's quite the opposite, I am TOTALLY against this as a way of unbalancing and demeriting other good players skills. Today I am forced to face 2, 3 and even 4 players at once for more than 30-50 minutes without using crowns and I feel myself obliged to make population bigger (to my own and others disgust) to re-balance it again. Or then, today it is all about timeline... before army timeline wasn't all that important provided that we can win in the end, but now it is - either you get an excellent army and building or you will lose and this makes precisely my point because new players will NEVER reach good timelines. Anyway that's completely another story out of topic...

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