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[BW2] Dealing with infinite battles

Discussion in 'Gen 5 Discussion' started by eric the espeon, Dec 19, 2010.

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  1. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon is an espeon.

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    As discussed in this thread it is currently possible to have an infinite battle. For reasons which should be clear, this is far from ideal. Several solutions have been proposed:

    1) Grant moderators the power for force ties (or prevent rating change from the battle ending) in the case of truly infinite battles.
    This is my preferred solution, since it is fair to both players, does not alter the win conditions for normal play, is relatively simple to implement, and intuitive. Risks are abuse (other mods will keep tabs on the use and we should be trustable with this. I will personally castrate any mod found misusing it.), and it would be a bit of extra work for mods to check infinite battles.

    2) Have the match decided by a scripted or mod coin flip, with the mod kicking the loser if they do not forfeit.
    Very easy to do, but entirely unfair to one of the players.

    3) Ignore it. Let the player who has to leave first lose.
    Letting a player win because their foe had less time to spend mindlessly switching back and forth does not seem like a measure of their Pokemon skill in any way, so should not influence their ladder score.

    4) Chesslike solutions which force a tie if a certain situation occurs a set number of times in one battle.
    Complicated to implement, could happen in a non-infinite battle (e.g. a prediction war with lots of double switching), hard to decide limit.

    5) Call a tie after a set number of turns.
    Has an impact on non-infinite play, which is not ideal for reasons my post here, hard to decide a limit for how many turns is too many.

    My preference is for the first, but I would like to hear the opinions of the community before we make any decisions about which would be best to implement. You are also welcome to suggest alternative solutions. Try to keep comments reasonably intelligent :)
     
  2. ladysalamence

    ladysalamence Member

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    Scripted tie after... well, let's ask popular stall team makers how long their battles usually take. 300 turns, maybe?
     
  3. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon is an espeon.

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    Please try to justify or explain your choices and consider the advantages or disadvantages of them, just stating which you prefer is of little help. I did ask for intelligent comments in the last sentence in the OP.
     
  4. Blue Harvest

    Blue Harvest Banned

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    We could have infinite battles in the previous gen. Recycle + Leppa Berry. Theres also nothing new about some defense combos "switching forever". Eventually one player will get bored and leave. I vote option three, since this is nothing new. No point adding rules that won't ever matter.
     
  5. Slipperjeans

    Slipperjeans Loose pants

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    I think the best solution would be creating script functions that could end battles and force results.
    This will help not only in this case but in other possible ones such as cancelling tournament matches.

    Coyotte or Mystra please?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  6. Blue Harvest

    Blue Harvest Banned

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    Seriously, why are we bothering with this now? We had the possibility of infinite turns since first gen, I don't understand why people are bringing this up 15 years later. Has infinite turns ever been a problem? Has anyone EVER been forced into infinite turns before?

    **It was possible in R/B to have infinite turns. Miss with Rage (1/256 IIRC chance of miss) and you will be locked into infinite Rage. Do this against something incapable of killing you (lol, two Pokemon who can't actually hurt you, perhaps PP stalle or something) they could switch forever while you Rage-miss forever.
     
  7. coolguy31337

    coolguy31337 Amor Fati

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    Well, I'm assuming guessing it's partly because of new pokes with improved healing (Poison Heal, Regeneration, etc) such that switching is more advantageous than actually attacking. I don't know enough about Gen 1 mechanics to actually say anything about Rage, but if PP is still consumed each time Rage is used, then it wouldn't be truly infinite, unlike now.
     
  8. Blue Harvest

    Blue Harvest Banned

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    PP for Rage is used once, on the first attack. After that its free. I missed in-game Rage against Gary's fucking Abra who had unlimited Teleports. I had to restart back to Pallet town because of that asshole.

    I guess Regeneration is a legit claim (for UU mostly, I can't think of any bulky Regenerator in OU) but I still don't see whats wrong with our current plan of "play until you get bored". I mean how often have you been stuck in infinite turns? In 12+ years of Pokemon I have only once, that being against the afore mentioned douchebag Gary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  9. Emagatem

    Emagatem New Member

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    Simply tying the game after a certain number of turns is an extremely inefficient solution. I don't trust mods to force ties fairly, and, of course, just flipping a coin kind of defeats the purpose of fairness. The 'chesslike solution' of ending the game in stalemate after a certain number of consecutive switch turns seems most feasible, if stalemates are indeed a problem. The new, standard clause would go something like this:

    ---
    1. If 5 consecutive turns are spent during which no Pokemon has experienced a net drop in HP or PP:

    -A message appears in the battle log saying "After five more turns of switch stall, the game will end in a tie as per the Stalemate Clause."

    2. If 5 more turns go by and no Pokemon has experienced a net drop in HP or PP for the whole 10 turns:

    -The game ends in a tie.
    ---

    If neither HP or PP are dropping, then it's obvious a switch stall is taking place to avoid PP loss and, if there are any switching hazards, they're being outweighed by some healing effect. In other words, this chesslike stalemate clause goes into effect if and only if the kind of endless stalling described in the OP is in fact taking place.

    The only drawback to this new clause would be the way it changes the status quo; some players might deem it overly complicated. As such, players with far more stalling experience than I do should confirm that infinite switch stall is an actual, significant problem before the programmers change anything.
     
  10. Mattstah

    Mattstah Emotional Sickness

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    The chances of that happening are a bit slim to be honest.

    But in any case, you could a coin toss, which seems...luck-based, which is Pokemon, I guess.
     
  11. Blue Harvest

    Blue Harvest Banned

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    I see no reason why the game wouldn't end in a tie in tournament purposes. Just save the log as the game is obviously a tie when neither player can win.

    As for ladder matches, who cares. When does this actually happen.
     
  12. Galblade

    Galblade FAT PRINCESS

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    Slowking/Bro teamed up with Tangrowth while both having regen could cause this to happen. Though people don't usually run them, so if the Regen person starts attacking as the opponent switches, it means the regen person will win anyway.
     
  13. cosmicexplorer

    cosmicexplorer SWAG

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    Infinite switch stall, while not common, is an actual problem and should be addressed. The main reason I'm quoting this is because you suggest that the stalemate solution is the one best used to combat this situation.
    ete brings up the point here that double-switching could easily happen for an extended number of turns, which could trip this "stalemate clause" that you propose (I've had this happen to me, by the way).

    Of course, the number of turns required for this proposed "stalemate clause" to activate could be extended. However, that would make the first option better, as it's much easier to just inform a mod that this situation is occuring and have them fix it, rather than wait an arbitrary number of turns for this clause to activate. It'll be obvious when they see it that a switching stall is occuring, and could easily just end the match.

    Why not? Moderators are chosen not only for their ability to perform their job, but also their integrity; it's incredibly unlikely that such a person would abuse this power. Also, ete will bite their heads off if any start to do that, so it's really not going to happen in any extensive manner.
     
  14. Galblade

    Galblade FAT PRINCESS

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    I think that these situautions will occur so rarely that it won't end up coming down to a mod decision..
     
  15. cosmicexplorer

    cosmicexplorer SWAG

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    If it occurs so rarely, then why not implement the idea that takes the least amount of work to use, and can easily resolve such situations when they do occur? Allowing a moderator to implement a force tie when necessary doesn't have the same problems with identifying a match in this situation that an automated solution does, and it's really not that hard to just PM a moderator if this situation occurs, which, as you mentioned, it hardly ever does.
     
  16. Umbrellacorp495

    Umbrellacorp495 Member

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    This is kinda a good idea but...

    Yeah that's it, it's kinda a weird idea but I'm gonna go with Harvest and vote for #3 I say just leave it be and just say if you can't take the stall get out of the ladder battle so to speak. Cause it's true that this could've happened last Gen as well, also these types of battles don't happen that much really, or at least not as much as you would think.
    If I saw someone with both on one team I would laugh...alot...

    Thats dumb, you need to have faith in the Auths. They really do know how to do things fairly, unless you pissed them off, but even then they would still probably do the right thing.

    Hahaahah, so true.

    EDIT: Oh shit I got double ninja'd!
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  17. Galblade

    Galblade FAT PRINCESS

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    I guess you'd be laughing at my team then. Though I replaced Slowking with Milotic ;)
     
  18. Umbrellacorp495

    Umbrellacorp495 Member

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    lol, not a bad idea really, but if I saw that in DW OU (Even though they are both UU) Is when I would lose it. Sorry to get off topic :/
     
  19. Archerknight

    Archerknight Legends

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    In chess, we have such things as:
    Stalemate
    3 move repitition.

    The 3 move repetition could be changed to switching, where players keep switching to the same pokés back and forth (includes patterns like Heatran - Blissey - Skarmory - Heatran etc...). There could also be an 'offer draw' button, like chess. The opponent can choose to accept or decline.
     
  20. Slipperjeans

    Slipperjeans Loose pants

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  21. cosmicexplorer

    cosmicexplorer SWAG

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    The offer draw button could be abused by players playing friends on the ladder and not wanting to change their rating.

    The main thing is that the stalemate from move repetition that you describe would have to entail a long enough number of turns to make sure that the match was actually a stalemate, and not a bunch of switches to try to gain an advantage. But if it's made that long, then it's just easier to contact a Auth on the server to force tie the battle. And again, this situation rarely ever happens, so it makes sense that the solution should be one that takes the least time to implement and has the smallest effect upon the game at large.
     
  22. Picklesword

    Picklesword Member

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    Draw button would be most likely, but like a draw in chess ratings the player with lowest rating would get points. And if there is no point gain or loss, if top players fight each other they can simply avoid battling to lose points


    And yes there is a draw button ingame, it is if both players run
     
  23. Slipperjeans

    Slipperjeans Loose pants

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    If there is a pseudo-draw ingame it should definitely be present on the sim
     
  24. evolutia

    evolutia Member

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    My comments are in bold. Overall, I think it's best to have a mod or admin handle situations like this, on a case by case basis. Infinite turn situations are extremely rare to begin with, so rare that I don't think "implementation" of a clause of sorts is necessary.
     
  25. Umbrellacorp495

    Umbrellacorp495 Member

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    It's an idea, but how would something like that work? If there was a Run button then one player could doop the other and just not use the button, I think one player should just either forfeit or ask for the help of a mod if the battle reaches around +250 turns.
     
  26. Emagatem

    Emagatem New Member

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    That's why players are warned after five turns. If neither HP nor PP are dropping, then it's clear no progress is being made; one or the other player has got to give. The text message serves to let people know to make some progress. If anything, 10 turns is too many.
    I'm seeing a lot of trust in mod decisions in this thread, and I'm not convinced it's not complete BS. If we can't agree on the kind of exact definition of switch stalling that the programmers would implement into some hypothetical new clause, then the mods would have a pretty subjective definition of switch stalling as well, and the system would be heavily biased, just as it is now. The fact is, mods "abusing power" happens all too often; for instance, mods often kick their opponents on the ladder when a match isn't going their way.

    Mods are arguably necessary to have around, but let's not give them extra responsibilities when the programmers could fix the problem in a fair, even, and nonsubjective way.
     
  27. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon is an espeon.

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    What advantage would that have over a command? The disadvantages are that it probably significantly more complex to implement and would be far less customizable on a server by server basis, I can imagine that not all servers want to give that power to their mods.
    Unlikely to be abusable in any way, they don't exactly gain anything for it. And if they wanted to play without rating change.. they can do it anyway.

    Pokemon is about skill, knowledge, and risk management. While you could argue that directing the game towards a coin flip is in a sense risk management, it does not seem like something most players would want. Adding more elements of luck (especially in the form of an external coin flip) would not improve the game in my opinion.

    I think you've got the right idea in a way. If we were to give mods the power to call ties, we need perfectly watertight rules on exactly when they can use those powers, and to make sure they will follow them. I trust the mods on the PO server to follow the rules given to them, and have this as proposed wording: "If both players are able to make a series of moves which will guarantee that they will not lose but neither can force a win the game ends in a tie.". It is fairly easy to write down the clause in a way that humans can understand, much less so in a way that the program will always get right.

    Your first point, that we did something different (i.e. nothing) in previous generations is largely irrelevant when deciding which is the best ruleset. We should not take precedent to have much weight if said precedent was not arrived at by some form of discussion or agreement. This is especially true given that infinite battles are more common in major metagames in gen 5. There being "nothing new" about the situation being possible does not mean that we should not decide on a solution.

    Your second point, as expanded on in later posts, boils down to "who cares". I think that being stuck in an entirely repetitive battle with no possible end other than the foe getting bored, knowing that if you quit first you will lose ladder points (which most players don't care much about, but some do) is counterproductive if we are aiming to make an interesting game. Additionally, rewarding the player who could stay on for three hours clicking the same button over the player who had to go to school after only an hour and a half seems a little unfair. Both played the game to a stalemate, neither player could win through normal means. Surely a tie is a better result for ladder? Even you agree that it makes more sense in tournaments.
     
  28. Umbrellacorp495

    Umbrellacorp495 Member

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    What kind of server are you on? I don't think thats ever happened unless it was a joke. So you should just stop.

    Again, what ideas do you have to make a Programmable thing that is fool proof enough so that it couldn't be bypassed by someone to be abused just so they won't lose ladder points? And even then you would still need an Auth to supervise something like that. But of course if you have some brilliant idea, I'm sure we'd all like to hear it.

    EDIT: If I get Ninja'd again I'm gonna lose my mind O_O
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  29. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon is an espeon.

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    Indeed. If anyone can prove a single case of this on the main PO server (others have to take care of their own staff, but I trust they will also take it seriously), I will do everything I can to make sure the mod responsible is removed from their position of authority. Power abuse is not tolerable, especially when it is for personal gain in ladder points.
     
  30. Emagatem

    Emagatem New Member

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    That was an excellent post, and you raise an interesting point about the programmers. Considering the near-complete lack of bugs in PO, I have a lot of faith in the skills of the programming team - but still, if mods can indeed handle these situations objectively, it might not be worth the programmers' trouble to add a new clause.
    Read my earlier post. ; )
     
  31. cosmicexplorer

    cosmicexplorer SWAG

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    The thing is, it's quite possible to have a game in which such switching is occuring, but the "infinite stall" scenario doesn't happen, and the players are simply trying to get an advantage by switching. Although it's unlikely, it's not impossible. In such a situation, both players would not like to have the rating changes undone automatically. I believe that when it does occur, it should be dealt with by contacting an Auth, as the human can ensure that the match is actually an infinite stall scenario. Because of the incredible rarity of an infinite stall situation, I believe that it should probably be dealt with the right way when it does happen, rather than a possibility of a non-infinite-stall battle being force-tied automatically. It might take a bit more work to implement, but the rarity of the infinite stall scenario and the possibility of an automated system force-tying a non-infinite stall match means that simply contacting an Auth makes more sense.

    The force-tie button, if implemented, wouldn't fix the problem; it would just lead to the same situation as #3, where the player who stays the longest wins, because there's no motivation for them to hit the button if there's a possibility of them winning due to simply outlasting the other player.
     
  32. coyotte508

    coyotte508 Well-Known Member Administrator Server Owner Administrator Server Owner

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    It's funny seeing people make such a big deal on something like that o.o.

    For info PO auto-ties after 1024 turns. But the limit can be removed and a propose draw button would be OK - I don't see how it would be abused @cosmicexplorer, and by the way @Slipperjeans in a draw people don't win/lose points though that could be changed but you should have seen it if you ever tied a ladder battle.

    Anyway you can continue to argue on the subject if you want ^^

    Why? The only time it really matters is in tournaments, and mods can always /cancelbattle.
     
  33. pokemonnerd

    pokemonnerd Only uso listens to pnerd. Devo too. Article Contributor Article Contributor

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    I can't add that much to the discussion by now, but if you distrust the moderators that much, can't there just be a message in the main chat akin to "Cosmicexplorer was muted by Xavier Final"(random example)? That way, you know when a mod forces a tie, and can easily gauge if they're abusing it to avoid losing points.

    With that said, I think #1 is the best way to deal with it; you can easily PM a mod, and even if there is bias, there's no net gain on either side. Although they should probably watch the battle for a little bit before forcing the tie, like Cosmic said indirectly.
     
  34. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon is an espeon.

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    It's not a huge deal, but something that may as well be solved. Interesting to know PO already has an auto tie. A propose draw button would solve this in virtually every case (and require less mod intervention, they'd only have to step in to tell one party to accept the tie if for some reason they refused initially).

    The reason that it's not ideal follows the same reasoning as the way it should be a tie in tournaments. The match has reached a stalemate, it is in a state where neither player can win within the game itself (they can wait and outlast the foe, but this is outside the game and extremely boring for both). Ladder matches matter a lot less than tourney ones, but they still matter. It's not very important and does not occur in more than a fraction of battles, which is why I was suggesting a simple script command, though the offer draw button would be an almost entirely better option. Having nothing more than "wait for your opponent to quit" without considering the alternatives seemed like a flaw in the ruleset to me, even if it was not a major one.
     
  35. cosmicexplorer

    cosmicexplorer SWAG

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    The idea of abusing the draw button was kind of stupid, I'll admit, and I see it has no basis in fact. Regardless, I don't see how implementing a draw button would make anything different than not caring about it; either player would have no incentive to click the button when they can win by simply outlasting their opponent.


    That's an excellent suggestion.
     
  36. Slipperjeans

    Slipperjeans Loose pants

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    I don't understand what you're saying
    Let me rephrase my post: I was support a "propose draw" button

    Also I really wanted a function to end a battle between two players and force a result :(

    actually I wanted other things too
    but they are all pointless according to Mystra
     
  37. coyotte508

    coyotte508 Well-Known Member Administrator Server Owner Administrator Server Owner

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    Slippers i meant @Picklesword :x
     
  38. Archerknight

    Archerknight Legends

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    Another ChessLike thing on Mods calling ties.

    In chess, we have 2 minute rules. (Obviously doesn't apply here)

    An arbiter (Mod in this case) watches over the game for 2 minutes. If he thinks the position is drawn, it is a draw. If he thinks the position is lost, then we can play on. If after continuing, it looks drawn, because something has happened, then he can call the position again.
     
  39. Umbrellacorp495

    Umbrellacorp495 Member

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    Now there's an idea! That way a good Admin/Owner could get to that mod/admin that used this unfairly twice as fast. And no work for the programmer(s) either.

    Exactly, and it wouldn't matter if it was biased if no one lost or gained points. And it could be determined by that mod if such a decision was necessary. I don't see any more need for discussion because this is a good idea.
     
  40. Drigger

    Drigger Fabula Nova Crystallis

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    Solution 1 and 5 seem like the best options however:

    Solution 1: At what point in time is the moderator called in (e.g after a set # of turns, one of the battlers call in the moderator) so you still need a count to estimate when a battle maybe infinite in nature. This seems similar to Solution 5

    Can there be a way to possibly implement the strategy as in the Battle arena in Pokmem Emerald at a set count of turns eg 350 The battle then becomes a 3 turn match up of the active Pokemon. Who are judged on Heath, Offense, and Move Effectiveness. The winner is determined after the 3 attacks and neither pokemon can switch out. Though this method will problably take alot of work on the Development Team's end
     
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