The Overload Teams League has started off fairly well. We've played 26 games in the first month, completed a small one-day tournament, and have had five teams play each other at least once. But there's one issue that's come up that's been really tough to call. There was a player disconnection issue that recently came up where a player BSOD'd and there was some confusion on what to do. I wanted to put something in writing before this happens again.
First, some background.
In Descent 3, Heat aside, all servers were private. Players could come and go as they pleased, and you could always rejoin a game after crashing out. Game parameters were also much more open. Kill goals and time goals were text entries, not selections from a menu.
Revival confusingly bucked this trend in Overload, removing server browsers and opting for monolithic servers that can run multiple games at once. However, the only way to access these games is if you have the password AND you join before the game starts. There's no way to see what games are running, and even if you had the password you can't join a game in progress.
The Descent 3 Teams League pretty much ignored any issues with disconnections. DCs could simply be met with a substitution (subs were common in D3TL matches!), or by playing shorthanded until the disconnected player returned. Only a full server crash would suspend a match (in the D3TL Tournament, this only happend once ever, but was in the semifinals!), but players would pretty much just restart from the prior score and amount of time left with little fuss.
Disconnections in the OTL cause bigger problems.
Players can't reconnect to a game in progress, leaving their team short-handed.
If you wish to suspend the match, you have limited options to select time parameters in game.
Because of the above, disconnections can be seen as gaming the system, depending on many factors.
In short, in Overload, we as a league have to deal with a situation that's less than ideal. We are aware of the fact that games online are not nearly as flexible as they were with Descent 3, and we have to adjust as a result.
In the OMG/PTMC Terminal match, PuDLeZ BSOD'd and disconnected with approximately 2:30 remaining in the match while his team led by 5. Teams immediately stopped playing and agreed on starting a new game from the current score and time remaining (they had suggested 5 minutes, until I stepped in and asked for 3 to more match the time remaining). The stats from both games were combined for the final match score.
From my standpoint, that was awesome. Both teams came together to finish out the match despite the circumstances. And, this is the kind of model I want to encourage... work out a solution that both teams can agree on. However, teams will have different ideas on how to do this, so I think it's good to have a set of guidelines available along with what to do should teams NOT agree on a way to go forward. Here's what I came up with:
Should a player disconnect or a game end prematurely due to a crash or network outage, every effort should be made to get the current stats from the game up to that point in the match. Teams should then agree on what to do next, within the following guidelines:
- Teams can agree to restart a Challenge if 10 minutes or more remained on the clock at the time of the issue, or if multiple issues happen within a single match. - Teams can agree to end a game with the score as is if less than 3 minutes remained on the clock at the time of the issue. - Teams can agree to play a 2nd game, combining the scores of both games for the final score of a single match. The second game's time limit should be as close to one of the time options available in game as possible to the amount of time remaining when the issue occurred. For instance, if there was 6:23 on the clock, teams could agree to play the 2nd game with either a 5 minute or 7 minute time limit.
In all cases where a match is suspended and resumed, the same pilots must fly for both teams, as substitutions are not normally supported in Overload games.
If teams cannot agree on what to do, an administrator can be asked to decide how to proceed, and they will make the decision. The administrator may also opt to adjudicate the match accordingly in extreme cases.
If one player is repeatedly having these kind of issues, they may be suspended from the league until their issues are resolved. If it is deemed that the player is acting maliciously, they may be banned from the league.
I don't want it to feel like I'm ignoring the momentum argument, so I'll address it here. Momentum is a very real thing, and it sucks to have it taken away by an extraordinary circumstance. However, examples of leagues or competitions that put extra time on the clock because of such an issue is exceedingly rare. In fact, more often than not, you end up LOSING time. Here are some examples of what other leagues do, where, surprisingly, many take place in the sport's biggest games of the year.
Generally, MLB games will either be restarted at a later date if 4 1/2 innings haven't been played, end early if one team or the other is in the lead, or be resumed at a later date if tied.
I'm sure there are plenty more examples to put forth, but overwhelmingly the concept of momentum is not given much thought in any of these cases. Either they drop the rest of the game, pick up where they left off later, or they start over. Nowhere is something arbitrary like 5 extra minutes given just to facilitate a possible comeback or to restore momentum. And I think this makes sense, especially in an environment like the OTL where we have individual stats and want them to mean something instead of having them skewed by stats where matches were far too short or too long.
In an extraordinary circumstance, you need to make a judgement call that someone somewhere is not going to like. As long as we deal with these circumstances with consistency and with good intentions, that should be all anyone can ask of the league. I also strongly like giving teams options, and them letting them agree on which option to take, only calling in help when they can't agree.
Hopefully this will address the situation, but leave it open to discussion for now over on the OTL Discord. Apologies for not thinking of this sooner... I had a lot of situations planned out, and this was definitely not one of them!
https://t.co/40yzlOfRR0 <-- I don't want to be on a platform run by an abusive leader and overworked staff. I'm so dependent on twitter for my work though, I've got an essential part of my contact network here, but every second I'm here I feel I'm betraying my morals.
Competition anxiety is the only type of anxiety I get, at least with any regulatory. It doesn't happen when I play 6DoF games (at least not anymore), but almost any other competitive game I play, the anxiety can strike at any time, and it affects me greatly. I have become much more aware of it lately, and I think that's helped result in days like today where, for a moment, everything seems to be falling apart... but then I understand what is going on and don't let it ruin the rest of my day.
At the chess club, I played 5 games between two opponents that I have losing records against. I confidently won all five games, even declining a draw because I didn't think I could lose and had a passed pawn.
Later, I got productive, finishing the week's math homework and doing a video presentation for business in one take. And now I'm feeling really good about how the day went, despite that one hiccup early in on.
An hour later, I played in another Tetris match against an opponent with a lower best score and was playing buzzed. It was a league format where I am not getting eliminated if I do poorly. I got trounced, lost 6-1 over two matches, and couldn't get to level 19 more than one game.
Competition anxiety stuck hard in the second set, and I have no idea why. It tried to frame the remainder of my day. I did not let it.
Today was a reminder that competition anxiety is fickle and strange.
I played in the events today. The first was Classic Tetris Monthly's tournament, a knockout bracket where I have had mixed results. Today I was up against a maxout player, someone who can score a million points. (my best is 740k). I swept the match 3-0 no problem, and felt good the whole way through.
Tumblr may become relevant again, but probably not for a while. There are a number of non-creative projects ahead of it that need doing, so it'll be a while before I regularly put out stuff again. That said, look for something new there in the next few days. 👀
Caveat on Tumblr: I've been there for about 9 years, back when I decided to split my blog between my creative endeavors (Tumblr) and everything else (Blogger). While I still have the account, I'm not very active on it since my creative endeavors have taken a back seat.
[This post contains an error in the number of Twitter users. Check the new one here: https://mastodon.social/@estebanmoro/109302968305953555 ] Something big is happening in Mastodon over the weekend. Here is my graph, updated. Right now Mastodon is growing ~3 times faster than Twitter.
Make the net weird again. Hand write sites like it’s the 90s. Pick interesting domain names and make fan sites or random knowledge known to everyone. Don’t monetize anything. Spearhead new protocols like Gemini. Make mods for games on your site. Make FAQs for obscure games no one knows about. Make public software services available to anyone. Make a news site about a really random subject. Create music in all kinds of different formats. Most of all, do it because you want to!
I was today years old when I learned that the M in CPM - a term I recognize as "cost per thousand impressions", stands for the Roman numeral 1,000, and now I feel like an idiot for not realizing this for TEN YEARS. 🤦♂️
Pacific Daylight Time ends November 6th, so I imagine what's happening is it's interpreting the time with daylight savings because that's what it is now, and not accounting for daylight savings ending before the date.
Apparently this includes FAILED requests. For an application with 95 commands, @discord slash command development has really been a rather awful experience. Guess I wait until tomorrow to test this? Is there a better way to deal with this? https://t.co/WmW37dSosS