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Dobbler

What is collusion?

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dcdennis said:

HoyaLawya said:

 

We can agree that what was done is done.

 

 

That's a semantically null sentence.

dcdennis said:

HoyaLawya said:

 

We can agree that what was done is done.

 

 

That's a semantically null sentence.

 

I thought the grammar police on homophones would recognize an idiom. Fyi, it means we can leave the past behind and let the thread die. Then again, with who I'm talking to I should know better than to expect that to happen.

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@Dobbler - I agree that intent to cheat is the issue.  But how does FFG respond and write an adequate rule that is enforceable and clear to all players?  I recommend that the player community write the rules for them.  One person from each meta could act as lead.  I'll draft up the approriate rules; route them for concurrence and comment, and then we can submit them to FFG. 

If new rules get made, they should be moved out of the sportsmanship section and into a new section called something else (e.g., cheating).  

If I am at a table with a friend, I will take actions that make me win first and foremost.  But given the choice between 2 actions that both make me win equally--1 that hurts my friend, 1 that doesn't--I am going to select the one that doesn't hurt my friend (is that cheating?--I don't see how they could effectively regulate that if it is cheating).

As far as sportsmanship (or, respect for one's opponent) goes, there should be warnings and penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct (like in football).  For example, if I would have taunted you in our joust Top-8 match, a judge could have come over an slapped me with a warning.  Another taunt or flipping the table, and I get disqualified.  You should be able to be a "bad sport" in competition (with varying degrees of penalty, of course); you should not be allowed to cheat. 

In the end, getting the right melee rules should be an iterative approach.  We should start with a set of defined rules and incrementally change them until people stop finding holes in them.

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 Well that sounds fun. Then I could stab my opponents for the win.

It's sad to point out, but for any game to be competitive, there must be rules that generate a common and equal playing ground for competitors.

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What really worries is not how to define a collusion, but how to recognize a colluder and what to do if I encounter one? Should I inform local authority, start a new thread at these forums about the colluder in question or warn him that they cut off one finger per collusion in Japanese AGoT community?

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BBSB12 said:

What really worries is not how to define a collusion, but how to recognize a colluder and what to do if I encounter one? Should I inform local authority, start a new thread at these forums about the colluder in question or warn him that they cut off one finger per collusion in Japanese AGoT community?

 

Actually, I think you skip straight to actually cutting the finger off. :P

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finitesquarewell said:

DCs proposed set of rules for regulating competitive melee behavior:

 

<rules>

 

</rules>

 

Crystal clear, easy to enforce, unlikely to create much controversy once people accept them for what they are, and extremely likely to work out in practice.

 

So in other words, victory to the biggest cities with the largest player bases who can turn out the largest and most interlocking contingents to dominate.  If you're from a small town in central Illinois with only 3-4 people who can make the trip, screw you, go play X-Wing. Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?

 

Unacceptable.

 

 

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I think they should identify the colluders, allow them to play through the whole tournament, and then surprise them with a 3am disqualification after four hours of playing just before they are about to take the winning power.

Or would that be too cruel?

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Traitor said:

 Well that sounds fun. Then I could stab my opponents for the win.

It's sad to point out, but for any game to be competitive, there must be rules that generate a common and equal playing ground for competitors.

Grimwalker said:

finitesquarewell said:

 

DCs proposed set of rules for regulating competitive melee behavior:

 

<rules>

 

</rules>

 

Crystal clear, easy to enforce, unlikely to create much controversy once people accept them for what they are, and extremely likely to work out in practice.

 

 

 

So in other words, victory to the biggest cities with the largest player bases who can turn out the largest and most interlocking contingents to dominate.  If you're from a small town in central Illinois with only 3-4 people who can make the trip, screw you, go play X-Wing. Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?

 

Unacceptable.

 

 

+1 to both of these; there needs to be as even a playing field as possible for those playing melee. Collusion makes things tough on those without a large or well-organized meta. The fact that it's difficult to enforce the rule against collusion doesn't make it not worth enforcing.

Dan, the ruling may have been implemented poorly, but from what I've seen/heard, it was the right ruling, except perhaps on Rick. 

As far as the act of collusion, I'm with Greg on this one; when 10+ metamates bring the exact same deck; some allegedly admitting their intent to collude, that's pretty clear cut. 

HoyaLawya (and all the rest of my fellow members of the bar) let's turn back to our first semester of Criminal Law. For a crime, we need both the criminal act and the intent. The act here is the 10+ members of the meta bringing the same deck that interacted with additional copies at the same table so well (even if people want to argue that the metamates weren't actually helping each other during the tourney, this much at least is beyond denial). The intent need not be admitted or even deliberate. Intent can be reckless or even just negligent, and more importantly, intent can be presumed.  This seems to be what FFG did, and considering the meta's very public attitude towards collusion, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

Is comparing collusion within a multiplayer card game to a crime a bit much? Definitely, but it seems to fit the tenor of the conversation. The denials of culpability have been many, vociferous, and often tangential, and that's fine. They've been well matched by those who seem to think this was the right call and that collusion, however difficult to weed out, needs to be eliminated.

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Twn2dn said:

I think they should identify the colluders, allow them to play through the whole tournament, and then surprise them with a 3am disqualification after four hours of playing just before they are about to take the winning power.

Or would that be too cruel?

 

Sounds fair to me. I like it.

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Shenanigans said:

Traitor said:

 Well that sounds fun. Then I could stab my opponents for the win.

It's sad to point out, but for any game to be competitive, there must be rules that generate a common and equal playing ground for competitors.

 

Grimwalker said:

 

finitesquarewell said:

 

DCs proposed set of rules for regulating competitive melee behavior:

 

<rules>

 

</rules>

 

Crystal clear, easy to enforce, unlikely to create much controversy once people accept them for what they are, and extremely likely to work out in practice.

 

 

 

So in other words, victory to the biggest cities with the largest player bases who can turn out the largest and most interlocking contingents to dominate.  If you're from a small town in central Illinois with only 3-4 people who can make the trip, screw you, go play X-Wing. Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?

 

Unacceptable.

 

 

 

 

+1 to both of these; there needs to be as even a playing field as possible for those playing melee. Collusion makes things tough on those without a large or well-organized meta. The fact that it's difficult to enforce the rule against collusion doesn't make it not worth enforcing.

Dan, the ruling may have been implemented poorly, but from what I've seen/heard, it was the right ruling, except perhaps on Rick. 

As far as the act of collusion, I'm with Greg on this one; when 10+ metamates bring the exact same deck; some allegedly admitting their intent to collude, that's pretty clear cut. 

HoyaLawya (and all the rest of my fellow members of the bar) let's turn back to our first semester of Criminal Law. For a crime, we need both the criminal act and the intent. The act here is the 10+ members of the meta bringing the same deck that interacted with additional copies at the same table so well (even if people want to argue that the metamates weren't actually helping each other during the tourney, this much at least is beyond denial). The intent need not be admitted or even deliberate. Intent can be reckless or even just negligent, and more importantly, intent can be presumed.  This seems to be what FFG did, and considering the meta's very public attitude towards collusion, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

Is comparing collusion within a multiplayer card game to a crime a bit much? Definitely, but it seems to fit the tenor of the conversation. The denials of culpability have been many, vociferous, and often tangential, and that's fine. They've been well matched by those who seem to think this was the right call and that collusion, however difficult to weed out, needs to be eliminated.



Agree with you here. Many people on the forums are demanding the level of evidence comparable to a video tape of a murder, with collaborating testimony from several witnesses, the murder weapon, the body, DNA, GSR, and a testimonial confession.

Murderers have been convicted with far far less evidence than that. All we are talking about here is collusion.

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Shenanigans said:

Traitor said:

 Well that sounds fun. Then I could stab my opponents for the win.

It's sad to point out, but for any game to be competitive, there must be rules that generate a common and equal playing ground for competitors.

 

Grimwalker said:

 

finitesquarewell said:

 

DCs proposed set of rules for regulating competitive melee behavior:

 

<rules>

 

</rules>

 

Crystal clear, easy to enforce, unlikely to create much controversy once people accept them for what they are, and extremely likely to work out in practice.

 

 

 

So in other words, victory to the biggest cities with the largest player bases who can turn out the largest and most interlocking contingents to dominate.  If you're from a small town in central Illinois with only 3-4 people who can make the trip, screw you, go play X-Wing. Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?

 

Unacceptable.

 

 

 

 

+1 to both of these; there needs to be as even a playing field as possible for those playing melee. Collusion makes things tough on those without a large or well-organized meta. The fact that it's difficult to enforce the rule against collusion doesn't make it not worth enforcing.

Dan, the ruling may have been implemented poorly, but from what I've seen/heard, it was the right ruling, except perhaps on Rick. 

As far as the act of collusion, I'm with Greg on this one; when 10+ metamates bring the exact same deck; some allegedly admitting their intent to collude, that's pretty clear cut. 

HoyaLawya (and all the rest of my fellow members of the bar) let's turn back to our first semester of Criminal Law. For a crime, we need both the criminal act and the intent. The act here is the 10+ members of the meta bringing the same deck that interacted with additional copies at the same table so well (even if people want to argue that the metamates weren't actually helping each other during the tourney, this much at least is beyond denial). The intent need not be admitted or even deliberate. Intent can be reckless or even just negligent, and more importantly, intent can be presumed.  This seems to be what FFG did, and considering the meta's very public attitude towards collusion, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

Is comparing collusion within a multiplayer card game to a crime a bit much? Definitely, but it seems to fit the tenor of the conversation. The denials of culpability have been many, vociferous, and often tangential, and that's fine. They've been well matched by those who seem to think this was the right call and that collusion, however difficult to weed out, needs to be eliminated.

 

The problem here is vision had been defined by FFG (the law in your analogy) to pre determining match results before rounds and playing outside your best interest. 10 people playing the same deck isn't an act of collusion. When the meta is known to bring the same deck to tournaments, it can imply they thought it was the best deck. What if the meta split into thirds playing that deck, hyperkneel, and gj uo? Those decks all work well together b/c they all have some form of control. Is that an act and implied intent to collude? You need an act of deciding results or deal making before a round or actions outside one's own best interest to have an act. Bringing similar decks is not deal making. For something like collusion, to simply imply bad intent when you don't like the behavior is dangerous. That leads exactly to where a situation like Derek's 2nd round table he and Dennis can be dq'd implying intent to collude in their deal making b/c they know each other and Derek comes down to all the DC tournaments. They made a deal in round at the table for 1st and 2nd. Dennis even sacrificed himself to uo military to take 2nd. B/c they're friends we'll imply intent and say the deal was made before the round started.

 

Last point, final table deal between Dennis and Erick was no different than the 2nd table deal between Derek and Dennis except Dennis knew Erick wasn't as trustworthy and wanted to make sure Erick couldn't screw him out of 1st.

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HoyaLawya said:

The problem here is vision had been defined by FFG (the law in your analogy) to pre determining match results before rounds and playing outside your best interest. 10 people playing the same deck isn't an act of collusion. When the meta is known to bring the same deck to tournaments, it can imply they thought it was the best deck. What if the meta split into thirds playing that deck, hyperkneel, and gj uo? Those decks all work well together b/c they all have some form of control. Is that an act and implied intent to collude? You need an act of deciding results or deal making before a round or actions outside one's own best interest to have an act. Bringing similar decks is not deal making.

Wrong.

Players are expected to behave in a mature and considerate manner, and to play within the rules and not abuse them. This prohibits:

  • intentionally stalling a game for time,
  • abusing an infinite combo to unnecessarily lengthen the game,
  • inappropriate behavior,
  • treating an opponent with a lack of courtesy or respect,
  • scouting,
  • predetermining the results of a match (i.e. determining a result before the match is played),
  • premeditated collusion,
  • etc.

Predetermining results is a separate item on the list of what constitutes unsportsmanlike behavior. Building decks that are designed to reinforce one another and flooding the standings with as many copies of that deck as possible is collusion.  It is an act of cooperation between ostensible adversaries designed to create a competetive advantage which other opponents cannot match.

In simpler language, "cheating."

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Sorry, Dennis. I can't let it die quite yet.


We have eight pages of posts and does anyone really have a better idea where people stand on Greg's original question? What is collusion? It's clear from last weekend that FFG isn't quite sure what it is either, and I'm sure they're watching this discussion to get a feel for what the community wants.

Consider the following pre-tournament scenarios:

1) Members of a large meta all bring the same deck, a control deck that includes a combo that works significantly better when paired with another copy of the deck (think scourge/engineer).

2) Members of a large meta all bring the same deck, a control deck that has some synergy when paired with another copy of the deck (think dragonpit/burn).

3) Members of a large meta bring a collection of different control decks, all of which have some loose synergy simply by being control decks.

4) Members of a large meta bring a random collection of different control and rush decks. The control decks still synergize as in 3).

And consider the following in-tournament possibilities:

A) When paired at the same table, members of the large meta make every effort to ensure one of the members wins the table and, if possible, the other gets second.

B) When paired at the same table, members of the large meta make every attempt to win the table, but when that is no longer possible, do everything to help another member win the table.

C) When paired at the same table, members of the large meta do everything to improve their own placing at the table regardless of a meta mate being at the table.

My preference would be to not have any collusion rules. In 20 or so games of competitive melee, I've been paired with a friend once (you might have heard about it) and paired against a close pair of friends 4 times (once in a 3-player game… ouch). All of those games took on a different dynamic because of the outside relationship. But so what? In some cases, the other two players were able to work together to overcome the two friends. In others, they weren't. For me, that's just part of melee. Sometimes you're Littlefinger, sometimes you're Ned.

But, I understand most people don't feel that way, and that we are inevitably going to have some sort of anti-collusion rule. Given all the above scenarios, where do people draw the line between strategy and collusion? If we're going to have collusion rules, it's inevitable that FFG is going to have to make judgment calls. So what do we want them to be judging? Do we want them to draw a line?

Where in 1-4 do you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable levels of planning? Are pre-tournament or in-tournament decisions more important? Which scenarios definitely qualify as collusion? Does the round of the tournament or the size of the meta change the judgment? Can any pre-tournament action combined with C) really be called collusion?

I don't think any answers to these questions are necessarily right or wrong, and FFG is obviously going to have the final say. But we should at least tell them what we think and what we want.

 

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 Thanks for the great thoughts Corey.

 

Basically, I see one of three scenarios unfolding:

1) There are no collusion rules at all.

 

 However, considering that the majority of the Thrones community doesn't seem to want this, a lack of collusion rules seems to drive people from the melee game.  I've already heard several people say they aren't going to play again because of playing a melee game where collusion or pre-game teamwork was obvious.  

 

2) We continue to have ambiguous sportsmanship and collusion rules.

 

However, then we have a case like Worlds this year where nobody quite knows what the target is, the judge (or whoever declares the DQ) becomes the "bad guy" and potentially hurts friendships, and anybody who is DQed feels unfairly treated because they can argue they didn't break the ambiguous rules.

 

3) More defined parameters for collusion and unsportsmanlike behavior

 

However, as Baragwin pointed out in his 1-4 scenarios and A-C possibilities, depending on where those parameters fall, players now feel like they are walking on eggshells in an actual game.  What happens if I make 1 deal with a player, then another, then another?  What happens if it is my friend?  What happens if the two of us get a lead for first and second and are able to lock out the other two in order to secure first and second?  What happens if a judge isn't watching the game and I suspect collusion?  Am I actually going to call over a judge to watch over it?

 

There are going to be consequences no matter which direction FFG decides to proceed.  Hopefully the proceed in a manner that will help the melee game grow and allow for the most enjoyable experience by the most players possible.

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baragwin said:

Consider the following pre-tournament scenarios:

1) Members of a large meta all bring the same deck, a control deck that includes a combo that works significantly better when paired with another copy of the deck (think scourge/engineer).

2) Members of a large meta all bring the same deck, a control deck that has some synergy when paired with another copy of the deck (think dragonpit/burn).

3) Members of a large meta bring a collection of different control decks, all of which have some loose synergy simply by being control decks.

4) Members of a large meta bring a random collection of different control and rush decks. The control decks still synergize as in 3).

Another problem is how do you define a meta? We already have examples of players on OCTGN or Skype influencing each other, helping each other deckbuild; we also have examples of players not within a meta per se, being lumped in to the same "meta" (like WI, OK, MD, DC). 

We've seen a sort of public outcry against players (although they have stated that they played the deck because it was best) who have brought the same deck because, they say, it must have been collusion, and the evidence posed is the "broken" combo. So does this boil down to a feeling that players, in order to be considered "good sports", must concoct their own deck, and that deck must be different enough to be beyond suspicion? What's the point of being a meta if there is not some level of influence in deckbuilding and tournament preparation? Haven't there always been elements of both teching against decks and the "can't-beat-em-join-em" mentality? How can this line be realistically determined without questioning the very nature of meta-game analysis and play groups?

baragwin said:

And consider the following in-tournament possibilities:

A) When paired at the same table, members of the large meta make every effort to ensure one of the members wins the table and, if possible, the other gets second.

B) When paired at the same table, members of the large meta make every attempt to win the table, but when that is no longer possible, do everything to help another member win the table.

C) When paired at the same table, members of the large meta do everything to improve their own placing at the table regardless of a meta mate being at the table.

I think FFG has clearly said that A would be considered collusion, as you should be "playing for first". The bulk of the community seems to be saying that as well. And the general consensus seems to be that there is this (arbitrary?) line when it is okay to take less than first if you can't reasonably take first. The problem there is how can anyone know for sure what "reasonable" is in this case? Only that player makes that decision. The judge can watch, but when we have at most 2-3 TOs even for large tournaments, that is an unrealistic burden to put on them. Is this something that someone should call out in retrospect? "All right, game's over. Everyone show their hands so we can analyze if any player gave up the game." That why I think in a system where anything other than first wasn't incentivized, everyone would be trying to get first. If you don't get first after 2-3 matches, you're cut. We keep narrowing the field after each double or triple elimination. I have no idea how that would work. It's just an idea.

Another alternative is we could have a strict code of honor like in France, but then the deal-making aspect of the game would be lost, I think. ~And we know that Americans honor individualism more than ethics.

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 So I'm still mulling this over. Should people be allowed to utilize decks that create infinite loops when paired together?  As I've been getting into the game, it's pretty obvious from the FAQ errata that I've read, that FFG doesn't want inifinite loops to be available in game. Sure, it's one thing if some random player finds one, but if multiple people bring a deck that includes the key pieces for one which can only work when someone else utilizes those same pieces and then utillizes that combo with the other people from the same play group, doesn't that telegraph quite a bit of foreknowledge? It seems that if we're going to define collusion, that we need to take a look at that particular issue, rather than dancing around it.

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