New rules regarding emulators


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Offline Don

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #180 on: April 07, 2014, 09:19:46 PM »
To go back to SDM's argument that: 'You cast aside this kind of methodology as if convenience is something you want to ban because "heaven forbid we used an emulator!"'

I just don't see the point of the rule. I've already said time and time again, that if we're going to put proof on emulator and emulator ONLY, just to see if some runs were fake, TASed, or whatever else, we might as well ban emulators. Convenience was never a point I made, it was on SDM's side in this second part of the discussion, that I had to point out in order to show the flaws of the logic behind it. Which, he still hasn't responded why it's impossible to get a 3 dollar version of an official emulator that adds a minor extra inconvenience.

But I digress.

It's to directly take away the tools to make fake, maybe unobtainable stats from the current "herd of black sheep" you were talking about way earlier in the topic.

I am merely extending your own logic rather than using my own. My personal opinion is that emulators should stay as is, we've been catching BSers lately, and that means that we have been able to discern fake from real stats without any addition to the competetive system.

If our concern is not being taken seriously as a competetive site, then we need an entire new proof system rather than a sub-optimal rule that targets just a certain group of people instead of keeping the playing field even.


Offline Starlight_Glimmer

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #181 on: April 07, 2014, 09:24:41 PM »
I am merely extending your own logic rather than using my own. My personal opinion is that emulators should stay as is, we've been catching BSers lately, and that means that we have been able to discern fake from real stats without any addition to the competetive system.

I swear if I see this stuff suggesting this rule is to catch a bser one more time...

Its a not a bser we are after, period. its emulations flaws.

If a byproduct of the rule is that people purposely TASing stop competing, good!
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Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #182 on: April 07, 2014, 09:25:01 PM »
The "flock" refers to what Parax already clarified upon:

edit: Also what SDM just said here^ is extremely relevant. We have a couple examples of how emulators can affect competitive players in a negative way, but to really understand why this is important, you need to realize that that's just what we know about. Imazor could just as easily have not posted a video and we would have no idea that he saved time by having his emulator lag. (Mind, this still is not an issue of trust - he very likely didn't realize it either, and no  one's accusing him of doing it intentionally.) Take into account how many charts and games we track and you can probably realize that this is potentially a very big problem precisely because we don't know how many charts are actually affected by things like this.

We're not trying to stop "fake" or unobtainable stats here (Though that is always nice to do so). We're trying to catch goofs with inaccurate emulation (in the case of Wii), and prevent TASing in many forms (on the Genesis-era games).

Neither of these things are easily detectable at the moment, which is why we want to request video. It will help us verify the run wasn't TAS-ed in the case of Genesis, and verify that nothing on emulator was done that couldn't on console (Wii).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 09:33:21 PM by SpinDashMaster »

Offline Don

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #183 on: April 07, 2014, 09:27:46 PM »
So...

how does banning emulators not do that?

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #184 on: April 07, 2014, 09:28:40 PM »
To reiterate:

Both rulings attempt to accomplish the same goal. Why not implement the lighter sanction first and revisit the heavier one later if we still need to?

Offline Thorn

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #185 on: April 07, 2014, 09:39:50 PM »
I tried typing three different posts about the way this topic has progressed, but not one of them sat right with me. So instead of writing a nice, logical post that somehow sifts through the bickering and creates a nice resolution, I'm going to say what I actually want to say.

SDM, you argue like an asshole. The posts you made in the past few minutes are sedate, and I appreciate that. However, the majority of your posts in the topic are not. Making claims that you have no official stance on things and accusing individuals of misconstruing what you're saying even as I and several people I talk to interpret your words the same way without us influencing each other, telling us what is and is not "competitive" and saying it relies just on what's done in the level when you know full well it takes competitive skill to set up runs in the first place (e.g., carrying slope glitch from Act 1 to Act 2) and a savestate makes it much easier, saying that convenience isn't a factor when your vouching for Parax's ruling clearly oozes of "it doesn't inconvenience me, so let's not go any farther because that would", personal attacks aimed at people while you yell at them for making personal attacks, Latin just for the sake of making people have to go look it up... every post you've made lately has infuriated me to some extent, and if you didn't mean for them to be that way, then I need you to stop typing until you can express yourself properly.

sonicandamy posted a valid concern about an emulation issue with Dolphin. The fact that we so quickly moved to "all emulators likely have serious problems" blows my mind. Dolphin and Bluestacks are clearly a different case than a Genesis emulator due to the processing power needed to run it. If we want to insist on accuracy for emulating weaker systems, then we should be pushing for usage of accurate emulators instead of creating extra hurdles. For example, we could insist on Regen instead of the more inaccurate Gens variants for applicable games. Beyond that, sonicandamy has been allowed to do more than present his valid point and what he thinks should be done; he's been allowed to actively debate in one of the most argumentative threads on the forum. Granted, his behavior hasn't been terrible so far, but allowing somebody who has repeatedly bandodged and has even posted to YouTube that Parax takes bribes of boob pics for TSC decisions and that I stole the $4000 we raised for charity is basically letting him know that it's okay to make the staff look like fools if he occasionally does something productive. I'm rather sickened that he's still being allowed here to argue a situation that is evolving beyond the issue he presented, but I guess that concern ultimately doesn't solve this debate. I did have to get it off my chest, though.



Here's the deal. If you want to post here, you get to say what you think TSC's stance on emulation should be and why another ruling would have problems. That doesn't mean to find exactly what your debate opponent has said and knock it down point by point; this isn't about saying your opponent's reasoning is faulty. It means you should mention the issues that matter to you the most and say how they get addressed with your desired ruling. You get one post from here on out, and you can edit it to add points/concerns if you think of them on your own or by reading another post, but you are not to say "addressing the post below, I disagree because..." or similar because it's been quite the argument starter so far. I want to see people argue a point without playing some sort of psychological game. If I can teach high school students to do it, then the twenty-somethings that are currently arguing can do it too.

Any personal attacks, either directly or indirectly, will lead to a tempban. Do I make myself clear?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 09:55:15 PM by Thorn »
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Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #186 on: April 07, 2014, 09:54:30 PM »
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, Thorn. I won't sit idle while people make rash claims and personal attacks. You can't deny several people actually did the same thing well before I jumped into the fray, and you certainly can't blame me for taking the same infuriated attitude as I had while I was reading the same types of attacks from others.

So you can take this forum and shove it. I'm done worrying about this crap if this is the attitude you're going to take, when all I've done is counterpoint and defend.

Offline Don

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #187 on: April 07, 2014, 09:57:58 PM »
In this one post, I will say exactly what I think:

This rule is bad. It creates more loop holes than there are right now, it just straight up ignores that some emulators are better than others on a competetive level, as they don't actually have capabilities to TAS, and are simply more viable than others.

We're basically making this rule to avoid trusting our competitors using them. We would want to catch people that abuse emulator functions for their own good and stray away from using them without any rule breaking.

While emulator "hiccups" that change how games work might be a thing in certain  games, I must say that the emulator experience I have had with Fusion made it rather hard for me to cheat anything, or TAS anything, and it always went at full speed.

The current active rule with emulation is that "If the game doesn't run at full speed, the stat is void." Making a rule such as the one proposed in this thread has a greater effect on the competition as a whole; But an emulator ban would have the same effect.

My reasoning is that if we think we're ready to distrust the emulator users as a whole, we might as well make consoles and official re-releases (for the most part) be the only acceptable way of competing. It would get rid of all possible distrust in emulators that there is.

Personally, I would prefer keeping the current rules intact, because it keeps an even competetive field, over this new rule. I would even go as far to say that an updated proof system would be an even better solution.

Yet if we're arguing that emulators bring advantages that, I assume TSC has known for at least a couple years, and change it now, then getting rid of single emulators that are known to do such things would be the most logical conclusion. Yes some people will be forced out of their comfort zone, some people might not want to actually use console, but that's not what should be relevant.

What should be relevant is that there are emulators out there that only rely on processing power to slow the game down, which would already be covered by the overall rule stated earlier. Now If we don't trust people to at least not abuse savestates in their runs, then we should ban all emulators, no exceptions.

The trust system here is at risk. If you're willing to give up some of it, it's inevitable that all of it is questionable. However if we ban emulators, it means that we at least trust people to be legitimate on their consoles. If we target-ban emulators, then we can get rid of the variable that is "TASing" with more extensive tools than just savestates.

EDIT: By keeping the current rules I mean the rules before this topic.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 06:30:37 PM by Thorn »

Offline Thorn

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #188 on: April 07, 2014, 09:58:17 PM »
SDM: I've received complaints from several people about your posting style, and I'm inclined to agree. If you think somebody's attacking you personally, then as a former forum admin on two different sites you should have the sense to tell an admin instead of countering it. When I get zero complaints from you about others but get many from others about you, then I have to examine you, not them.

Way to spend your single post, btw.
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Offline Starlight_Glimmer

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #189 on: April 07, 2014, 10:41:49 PM »
Well~ I guess that leaves me then.

Though I like what you said in the first half of the paragraph directed at me, the 2nd half is pretty unfair. since ive even made an anti bertin WR run and him and me are best friends. but I understand we all have different senses of humor; thus I understand if anyone was offended.

I kinda addressed it, and at the same time I for the most part dodged this when sdm, and don brought it up. (because its off topic.) this isn't about me. I full on plan to go back to that "special place" yall put me after this is done with.

but I also mentioned we all can agree that we love competition, and that's my only drive here, and I think the rule is very important to achieve this goal. Now since I don't know how much time I'll have left. I hope people keep pounding on and defending this rule, and because we all still trust in the trust system (at least those who understand tsc founding all the way back in the ole rolken days), this rule is perfect for us. before an all emulator ban. which for the final record: im against, IF this rule, (and because I believe in the foundation of tsc) it CAN fix this, without compromising the trust system.

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Edit to the thorn post: nah, I think your post is fair enough were I don't need to post a rebuttal. other then fairly new tsc members challenging sdm's stances. Im kinda bias cuz he seemed to be on my side. but I understand its kinda annoying for some one whose been around as long as sdm (actively or inactively) for a 1 year old member; or just a couple of years members, to tell sdm how it should be. back to what I said before ( angry ppl are the loudest lol)

edit3: I guess my point is saying... do you earnestly believe someone who is purposely tasing and sumbitting, knowing that they shouldnt, is gona stop because of an emulator ban? when they can just say lol console
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 06:30:25 PM by Thorn »
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Offline Thorn

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #190 on: April 07, 2014, 10:56:23 PM »
^ By all means, please express your opinion to the fullest in your post. I know that my rant did take a shot directly at you, and honestly I'm glad to hear that you acknowledge the video was a joke you made that me and some others found in bad taste. I did phrase something poorly in my post; it's not necessarily you that I was a bit disgusted with, but more the idea that it was suddenly okay to let a bandodger slip by when there were other ways you could have gotten your message to us. It's the fact that bandodging is "okay" despite your past offenses that I'm disgusted with, not your points or that you did something to try to help the site. That said, since you've been here, you've been posting very reasonably and I'm in no rush to send you "back to that 'special place'", so please keep on keeping on. I've gotten my small grudge off of my chest and don't intend to hold anything against you while you make your point.

I do know that you care for TSC as a competitive platform even if we don't always see eye to eye. The same goes to SDM; I believe that he really does want to help with the things he said, even if I think much of it was uncalled for. I do hope he comes back and makes a clear post explaining his views without using other people for context. I just want such things expressed in a civil manner, and I needed to bring up two things that went wrong very quickly.
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Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #191 on: April 08, 2014, 09:57:43 AM »
That's former admin on 3 sites and current on another (WoW's my main competitive gig at the moment). But you had no way of knowing. (Well, a small chance. I did make a re-entry post about 5 months ago.)

Just FYI Thorn, ceteris paribus was totally relevant where I used it. I was referring to two situations regarding setup time and holding all else equal. :(

In seriousness though, I felt like nothing was going to be done, so I took several recent matters into my own hands. For that I apologize.

Rather than argue, I just want to reraise a rhetorical question I've stated before. It's really all there is left to discuss.

Emulation isn't taken at face value on this site anymore, and there are causes for this coming from two broad areas of the field: one where emulation is inaccurate but unnoticeable to the player (for which they would be trying to obey the rules in good faith but still break them nonetheless, all-the-while not even getting a call-out for it because no one knows about the issue), and the other where games are so old that some players seek a competitive edge by TAS-ing their stats and recording a passable video.

That lead us to the emulation thread which sparked up in Rules Revisions forum, where several of us expressed our views in the same manner as we did in here (complete with my bitchiness at weird remarks too), where we ultimately resolved on two choices: Either ban all emulation or require proof for emulated stats.

That means we have two options on the table which roughly attempt to accomplish the same goal. One sanction is far, far heavier than the other. Why not try the lighter sanction first before trying the heavier one? Just because we would implement the lighter rule first, doesn't mean an emulation ban is off the table entirely.

To say that we are intent on targeting emulation users when applying the proposed rule is completely accurate -- they are the only ones that need to be targeted in regard to the two issues in the paragraph above, since these complaints scope only the domain of emulation. But an emulation ban targets emulation users too, infact in a more profound way!

We could revisit the topic of banning emulation later. After all, there's a lot in valid support of that. But, I think an outright ban is a bit hasty considering there's a lighter sanction we can try first.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 10:30:03 AM by SpinDashMaster »

Offline Luxray

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #192 on: April 08, 2014, 07:24:03 PM »
The trust system is dead; People lie and this site needs to accomodate that we have integrity to uphold above all else.
Quote
We're not trying to stop "fake" or unobtainable stats here (Though that is always nice to do so). We're trying to catch goofs with inaccurate emulation (in the case of Wii), and prevent TASing in many forms (on the Genesis-era games).

This has to be the most misunderstood point about all this. It is the sole reason why this rule is being implemented and some people can't seem to understand that. As far as I'm concerned, that's a step in the right direction. The next step would be requiring proof on every platform, which would make this site uniformly valid. The issue that comes up with that is 10+ years of stats don't have proof. So we either start again, grandfather them in or reuqest proof else nuking. However that's a discussion for a later date when that issue becomes more pertinent.

Emulation Banning i'd be for as well since every mother and their pets can play the old Sonic games anywhere through the various reports. Obviously some games can't, but you can't win everything.
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Offline Diamond

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #193 on: April 09, 2014, 07:07:32 PM »
I believe that nobody should really have to rely on emulators, to be honest; they should just play on console.
That's just my opinion, and it might be a bad one.
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Offline InferSaime

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #194 on: April 09, 2014, 07:12:42 PM »
Quote
We're not trying to stop "fake" or unobtainable stats here (Though that is always nice to do so). We're trying to catch goofs with inaccurate emulation (in the case of Wii), and prevent TASing in many forms (on the Genesis-era games).

Ok if you're trying that, then you could trust some emus like VBA.I'm most familiar with that emu out of any so I take that as an example. From my experience it is quite accurate, unlike dolphin. So my suggestion is doing this rule case-by-case, which don has said many times already. Imo Dolphin and ds emus and any emus that use a lot of processing power and that you need to a good computer for or are just inaccurate to begin with. Should be banned from competition which in the case of dolphin has been shown that it's inaccurate. And I guess for genesis era you could  state an emu that doesn't have TAS abilities. This way the casual competitor who gets a lot of greens or yellows doesn't have to bother to provide a video and can still use an emu.

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #195 on: April 09, 2014, 08:11:04 PM »
Okay, I’ll start off by quoting myself here from page 2:

“Working out which emulators cause problems and implementing some kind of changes, with the identified emulators, may be a way forwards?”

I’ll elaborate this a bit more and make myself more clear......

Identify accurate emulators. Identify the emulators that aren’t.

The emulators that aren’t accurate? A straight ban, no exceptions. If we know that an emulator is inaccurate and suffers from frameskips/lag……then there’s no way that its legitimate for competition. Its too complicated of an issue to even consider exceptions.
 
By banning inaccurate emulators this addresses what the key issue is, in the first place, which is “inaccurate statistics submitted by timer mishaps caused from an inaccurate emulator”.

If we ban inaccurate emulators, going any further than this, such as requesting proof on ALL accurate emulators no longer addresses the issue of inaccurate submissions…..it does go into the issues regarding trust/catching BSers. This is entirely a different matter and should not be attempted to be addressed at the same time, when we need to focus on inaccurate submissions.

Therefore, my thoughts its that the rule should be removed, and with a bit of research and expertise from emulator users, ban the inaccurate emulators and we can move on from this.
Well, that’s my say/opinion on this, if it provides any constructive use.


Offline Bilan

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Re: Dumb rules regarding emulators
« Reply #196 on: April 09, 2014, 08:13:39 PM »
I KNOW I SAID I ONLY GOT ONE OBLIGATORY SHITPOST BUT I THINK THIS WHOLE IDEA IS DUMB ANYWAY SO HERE YOU CAN HAVE ANOTHER.

For the amount of MAYBE POSSIBLE POTENTIAL cheatering you stop with this crock of shit proof enforcement, you are probably turning away way more actual legit competitors because what's the point in contributing to a dying competition site when it's so much hassle.

Also exactly what is stopping anyone from obtaining stats with an emulator and just saying they did them on console because you have no way to prove otherwise and it is approximately 100% less fucking hassle than recording the entire process and also if you aren't even allowed to use savestates you might as well just pretend you did it on console anyway because there was absolutely no difference between what you did on the emulator and what is possible on console. Except use a keyboard I guess. Unless you have a PC gamepad. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE NEVER ENDING.

I GUESS YOU BETTER START REQUIRING PROOF FOR 100% OF STATS FROM THIS POINT ON OR THE WHOLE SITE IS DOOMED TO GIANT PILES OF CHEATERY. IT'LL BE BLACKJACK AND HOOKERS BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.

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Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #197 on: April 09, 2014, 11:50:00 PM »
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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #198 on: April 10, 2014, 04:45:04 AM »
I'm very much on the side of the case by case rules for emulators. Since this rule is primarily for preventing accidental BS because of emulation failure I feel the proof requirement rule for any and all emulators is way too widespread, inconveniencing the use of emulators that have been proven to be accurate. As such I feel that the rule should only target emulators that have been proven to be inaccurate and since we'd only be targetting a few specific emulators I'd say an outright ban of those emulators is a much more realistic possibility and in my opinion the better option.

As for grandfathering old stats, well I'm usually the type of person that thinks "Don't punish people for breaking future rules", but in this case it concerns possibly unobtainable stats. As a result I think at least the records or the top x stats on charts that may be dealing with an inaccurate emulator should be investigated. Of course if there's an issue with the stat there should be no big consequences for the person who got it, but the stat itself should be removed.

Offline Inuyasha

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #199 on: April 10, 2014, 05:13:22 AM »
Why the hell are you guys continually dragging "emulator accuracy" into this argument?  It has nothing to do with this rule whatsoever, and is in fact missing the entire goddamn point of the rule!

If someone plays a game on Regen on a computer slightly overburdened such that Regen runs at 55 fps, thus giving them a reaction time advantage, does that make the emulator "inaccurate"?  Fuck no.  If you said yes to that, then essentially you'd have to ban all emulators because all of them can be inaccurate with a poor enough setup.  As far as I'm aware, the rule is in place to help enforce that the game is actually running at the proper pace -- you know, something that's been in the rules for ages, but hasn't been able to be properly enforced.

The issue with Dolphin is not that it's inaccurate in this specific case.  It's doing exactly what the hardware would do if it ever lagged in that exact place.  The game, for whatever terrible reason, decided to time a prompt to a voice sample ending, which isn't affected by lag.  Calling the emulator inaccurate for doing exactly what it's told is complete nonsense.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 06:28:41 PM by Thorn »

Offline TimpZ

Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #200 on: April 10, 2014, 02:53:47 PM »
I believe I'm mostly responsible for this whole endless discussion since I created the Gens/Bizhawk thread earlier this year. The reason I made that topic was because the past year I had seen that pretty much every single cheater I came across used emulators in some way, specifically emulators with TASing functions (though that might just be because people who lie about non-excellent stats don't get caught as much). For every single case we had to gather a few "experts" to scrutinisingly and painstakingly analyze every bit of whatever videos there was in order to determine how likely it was that it was unjustly made.

After a lengthy discussion, we came to a democratic agreement that requiring videos in some form for emulators would be the best solution for the time being since recording them is a very small inconvenience but provides a better sense of security in the legitimacy in the site. Lack of this might encourage more stat-submitting in the short term and I admit I'm personally not the 690-stats-in-69-days type but I really believe it will hurt the site as time goes on. Quality over quantity. Twin Galaxies has a very different system than ours but I do think that there's a few things we can learn from them. First off even having to send a recorded VHS tape by mail to another continent doesn't stop people from competing. Secondly they have a single "verifier" per console who doesn't know anything about half the games he's verifying and thus potentially lets many cheats through, but the proof is not publically available and therefore most people have no faith in their stats. This is part of their demise.

What I would really like is for proof on this site to become more standardised to a list of emulators and video formats. This has a bunch of advantages to proof-calling and generally making sure that the emulation is adequate. To be completely honest, I wouldn't actually mind if people used TASing emulators at all if they recorded and submitted input files, since they're dead-beat easy to analyse. To use Genesis as the example, there's a few really good emulators and a number of terrible ones. Fusion is alright, but at least has a recording function. Gens11b is also alright and Gens+ is pretty bad, but they have excellent input recording features. Regen is really good AND has an avi recording function, wonderful! This covers the whole spectrum of computers today and these are all distinct emulators that with a decent quality recording could be distinguished between. This provides a few benefits if we say that Gens runs requires input files for example. If someone used gens but said they used fusion and submitted a YT video (to avoid having their L+R's visible or whatever), we could call them out. If someone said they used console but have a few suspicious stats we could ask for a photo of their setup like this:



Banning specific emulators is not unknown to the speedrunning community, for example Project 64 2.0 is banned on SRL. But in general, emulators have advantages compared to console speedrunning. Setup between attempts is non-existent and switching from left to right can consistently be done frame perfect. Therefore imposing a small inconvenience on it to encourage the use of consoles to me seems like a good start. Of course you could argue to ban all emulators, but I haven't seen anything in the discussions so far that would sway me from my opinion. First off it would kill all competition for a few games here, secondly it provides an excellent alternative, at least for beginners that are just starting to try out this whole "competitive gaming" business which is growing every day.

Some say this is against the spirit of TSC. VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN! No government or entity can start out perfectly nor stay perfect for all eternity. Technology changes society and changes need to be made to accomodate the new demands of tomorrow. I don't see how this would be different for The Sonic Centre.

Yes I wrote centre. Sue me.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 03:02:07 PM by TimpZ »

Offline Thorn

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Re: New rules regarding emulators
« Reply #201 on: April 10, 2014, 06:27:24 PM »
Tempbans have been delivered to those who broke the rules. Attacks/arguments directed at specific people have been edited out of posts. Feel free to continue discussion in a civil manner.
<RPGnutter> Well I think your reasoning was dumb, so you get sassed
<RPGnutter> Thats how it works

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