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Messages - Parax

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1
News and Updates / Re: Administrator Title Change
« on: April 30, 2015, 03:09:22 PM »
For me, it's been a while since I really did anything on TSC so I can't totally remember. But this community was fantastic to me for the first few years after I joined. Since then the site's been in decline and everyone knows it. As an admin what I really wanted to do was bring back the community feeling we had years ago, but it became plainly apparent over time that that wasn't going to happen. Far as I'm concerned, the site is past its prime. TSC is ostensibly about competition, but the site's biggest pieces of functionality are being replaced by ingame leaderboards and YouTube videos. Speedrunning is getting more and more competitive and video-based (between YouTube and Twitch), but TSC still operates purely on the honor system using a system that was implemented in 2003 (twelve years ago) and nobody is willing to change it. It is easier than it's ever been to cheat and falsify proof, yet nobody wants to strengthen proof requirements. TSC is never going to be a competitive hub as long as it sticks its head in the sand and ignores what the world of competition actually looks like in 2015. Site updates are direly needed but the only person with knowledge of the existing codebase and the skills to make it happen is GerbilSoft, and I really don't blame him for not taking on such a gargantuan task by himself in service of a dying community.

In any case, the good I can do personally as an admin is limited. I proposed a lot of ideas, but I don't have the means to make them happen. I can't make this site into what it needs to be, and as of late I've lost interest in trying. I started appearing in IRC less frequently last year because things were getting busy for me, in between other major personal projects I was working on and moving several states away. My nick on IRC ended up expiring and was snatched up by someone from pokemon-lake. SurrealChat staff did not want to help me get it back and decided to freeze the nick so no one could use it instead. At this point it barely seemed worth being on IRC, because outside of TSC, a community I was losing interest in and not visiting very often anymore anyway, I had other ways of contacting everyone I knew on SurrealChat. I let everyone in the IRC channel know I wouldn't be coming by IRC anymore - which limits a lot of what I can do as an admin because a lot of site functionality is not accessible through the site itself and can only be used through CodeGirl - but that people could contact me if I was needed for anything on the site. And nobody ever did. I had flying fox poke me on Skype to ask questions or ask for advice a few times, but that's it. I kind of figured people would at least be upset with me for up and disappearing on TSC, which I did feel a bit bad about, but nobody ever expressed anything like that to me. So I ended up with the impression that no one really cared that I wasn't doing anything as an admin.

At this point I don't think there is much good I can do for TSC. I've lost interest in the community. I'm much more focused on modding and development, something I find more rewarding and interesting than speedrunning, and something I see more of a future for myself in than this. I'm less and less a part of the speedrunning community and of TSC as time goes on, and I've been out of the loop long enough that I don't really know what's going on anymore. I have no idea what the community issues Thorn is talking about are.

For anyone interested in taking up the torch and trying to reform TSC into a competitive site suitable for competition in 2015, here is my advice: don't. TSC has too much baggage accumulated over the years for any meaningful change to happen. It needs a full redesign from scratch and a relaunch, to the point that I feel like that time would be better spent designing a new site entirely from the ground up rather than trying to shape TSC into what it needs to be.

Anyway, those are my two cents. Like I said I'm out of the loop, so apologies if any of what I said is incorrect or outdated.

2
News and Updates / Re: Administrator Title Change
« on: April 30, 2015, 12:08:25 AM »
You guys may as well remove me from admin status too. I haven't really been a part of TSC since dropping out of IRC which isn't really fair to the community, and honestly I feel like I've gotten to the point of moving on from this site.

3
Beef / Re: Why am I banned from the IRC Chat?
« on: October 11, 2014, 06:35:33 PM »
probably because I put a blanket ban on Mibbit the other day thanks to someone using it as a way of dodging bans. Try it now.

4
Wikkity! / Re: How you came up with your username!
« on: October 05, 2014, 05:45:31 PM »
Was trying to come up with a new username, tried to find something cool by picking a word and typing it over and over really fast to incite typoes. One of my typoes of "parade" came out as "paraxde", so I added another A and got Paraxade. Later shortened to "Parax".

5
SDM, this is really the kind of thing you should have asked FF for approval on -directly- before you started to work on it. You seem to have a pattern of coming up with ideas and starting to work on them without asking anyone, then getting upset when people don't like it. I agree it's not a good idea for a marathon, and I didn't say anything before because I never saw the previous thread, but regardless this could have all been avoided if you'd made sure to get express permission to do it beforehand instead of just assuming it was fine because no one specifically said it wasn't.

6
Gaming and Grazing / Re: Friend Code and ID Megathread
« on: May 19, 2014, 08:47:25 PM »
Stickied... like you said, we don't really need two threads for this, especially with WFC shutting down.

7
I'm pretty sure some of the stats you were talking about were removed at one point because of their usage of 99 lives codes. They are indeed not allowed.

8
Leaderboard Disputes / Re: ATTN : Werey
« on: May 04, 2014, 11:02:53 AM »
Since Werey's posted proof, I'm locking the thread.

DarkGravityFlames, it's been posted quite clearly in multiple places on this board that you are not to post in this forum without admin permission. We decided to leave this one up because Werey wanted to respond, but next time we will remove the thread and give you a tempban.

9
Leaderboard Disputes / Re: ATTN: Brainstorm
« on: May 02, 2014, 11:46:02 AM »
Brainstorm, we've suspended your account, and we're going to give you another two weeks to respond here. If we haven't seen the requested proof by then, we're going to nuke your stats.

10
Proof will not affect your standings on overall charts, the only thing that's being considered is a bonus to sitewide.

s&a: I think we'll be open to more feature suggestions later, but for now I wanna just get this stuff taken care of first. One thing at a time.

11
Wow, I wasn't even aware Gerbil was working on the site any more. The copyright notice (2003-2011) suggests the code hasn't been worked on in three years. :P

haha, we should fix that.

Obviously I think all of these proposed features are fantastic, but I'd suggest one more: that the rules for any given chart are displayed on the chart's page. I don't remember if the rules page is coded this way - I remember you could set rules on the division level, but I don't remember for individual charts. But you could have volunteers filter out rules specific to certain charts of course.

Yeah, I would want to take it a step further and show the rules on the submission page too, so there's no way people could possibly miss them. One thing at a time, though; let's focus on the chart filtering for now and after that we can think about changing more things on top of that.

Just to clarify, will there be a multiple edit page with proof upload from PC/internet link option and version choice so you can edit all of your stats one at a time?

The exact page layouts haven't been determined yet but we will definitely need a way to edit version data in bulk. I don't imagine the page will look all that different from the current submission page, honestly. (On that note, if anyone's got any ideas how the pages might look and wants to put together a mockup, that would be a great help.)

What will be the proposed file size limit for picture proof, and what file types will be supported?

Not sure yet, but I imagine most any image format will be fine. The file size limit is probably going to be pretty low to save on space/bandwidth; there's enough external hosting options that we shouldn't really worry about killing our servers over this imo.

Also, if you have Photoshop, it's not too hard to set up an action batch to automatically crop and resave your pictures for you.

The current leaderboards for the game and related scoreboards for each player will be the same points as now though right by default, or will you be able to filter the whole complete game scoreboard too?

We're likely not gonna have filters on the overall charts. It'd be nice, but I don't think it would really be fair unless we could also allow multiple submissions to one chart, and I can see that being very tricky to implement properly. It's up to Gerbil on this one. If he thinks it's doable, awesome. Otherwise, no big deal.

To be clear, filtering stats only permits one to show/hide stats based on their preferences, but does not affect their official standings (e.g. what one's rank would mean towards sitewide). Is this correct?

Correct.

12
compromise of a compromise of a compromise.

Actually I like this though, because this action still pushes a user more towards console considering that their stat can be(and will be by me) disabled and outcast. While at the same time streamlining what stats may need to be looked into thoroughly and thrown out.

Perfect; this is perfect good job.

I guess the only question I have is will there be a way to link proof to stats that have already been submitted?
also will there be an option to update your current stats to what console you used?

I think the only con I have is potentially giving site wide points to submit proof, up to 10% seems high just to prove your legit. :/ but I understand that's not set in stone if anything just make the % lower.

This isn't a compromise at all honestly. The only reason I didn't suggest this much earlier is because I didn't think we could do it, but since Gerbil's said yes, this blows all the other options out of the water imo. :P

Both of your questions are answered in the first post. Yes to both.

As for the percentage, that's one of the things I wanted some feedback on. Could always tweak it to be in increments of 0.5% instead and max out at 5%? I don't think a set rate would be a good idea, because then you might end up with a situation on some less popular games where submitting a full chart with proof would get you more site points than being the champion, which is dumb.

edit: At a 10% rate, most popular games would grant you 10-15 sitewide points for a full set of proof. A lot of the less popular ones would be around 5.

13
My suggestion for previously posted stats is that if there's stats that are easily version specific (Green Forest M1 on DC, for example) is that you get together with some of the most knowledgable runners for those games and check out the charts, or relay the information on what would be an obvious version-exclusive submission.

Yeah, for stats where it could only have possibly been performed on one version, we could do that. Would definitely need some volunteers to help with that though. The other thing we could do is go through the videos pages and attach any videos from there onto their respective stats as proof where possible.

When setting the version for a stat, will we be able to set the game's region?

(E: Or would this just complicate things? I suppose only a few Sonic games have any real differences, except for PAL games on 6th gen / older consoles.)

I thought about that, but I don't know if any Sonic games have significant region differences. If there are some like that, we could potentially add another region field.

14
We're looking at implementing some new features onto the site: a system for handling proof and version differences, and the ability to filter the charts. Gerbil says these are feasible to add onto the site, and further, that he's willing to code them in sometime soon, so I'd like to push forward on this and make it happen. This will be a fairly big change, so I wanted to get a discussion going on the forum first to get everyone's feedback on this before going through and adding anything.

There are three components here:

1. Version differences - When you go to submit a stat, after selecting your game, you will be asked what platform you played the stat on. You can select any of the systems the game was released on, or emulator (where applicable). If you played on an emulator, you'll be asked to enter which emulator specifically you used. These will be displayed on the charts in the form of an extra column listing what version the stat was performed on.

2. Proof - You will be able to attach proof to a stat on the stat confirm screen, in the form of either a video, a picture, or an emulator input file. Small files (pictures/input files) can be uploaded to the site directly. Larger ones (like videos) will need to be uploaded to an external site and linked. This'll be shown on the charts as an extra column with a small icon linking to the proof. Any stat with any proof attached to it will be considered a "proven" stat, regardless of the type. Proving stats is not required. However, unproven stats will be displayed less prominently on the charts (similarly to how it works on the ZSR leaderboards).

3. Charts filtering - This is what makes the above two features worth it. All stats will be displayed by default. However, there'll be a few new controls on chart view pages, allowing you to filter what stats you want to see and which you don't. Here's a few of the controls I have in mind:
a. Version - You can filter the charts so that only stats played on a particular version of the game are shown.
b. Emulators - You can choose to hide stats performed on emulator.
c. Proof - You can filter to only display stats with proof, or filter out picture proof as well to only show videos.

Other things:
  • Old stats submitted prior to these new features being implemented will be treated as unproven versionless stats by default. They will still display on the charts and they will still count, but they will not display if version or proof filters are applied. To remedy this, we'll have a stats edit page, where you can go back and apply version data/proof links for your old stats without having to resubmit them.
  • Total charts will only be marked as proven or with a certain version if every single stat submitted in a given division has those tags.
  • Overall charts will be determined by all stats submitted to a given game, regardless of proof status or platform.
  • All stats submitted to the site are still expected to be legitimate, proven or not. We will still call out players who are suspected of either posting false unproven stats, or of creating fake proof.
  • This would be implemented instead of any of the emulation rules that have been being discussed over the last couple weeks. Personally I think it solves most of the issues that were brought up much better than any of the other solutions that have been suggested. You will also still have the option of calling BS on stats if you suspect they were done unfairly, so this is not a free pass for inaccurately emulated stats to stay in first place.
Here's the benefits of implementing this:
  • Anyone can compete however they want. Casual, hardcore, link proof, don't link proof, use emulators, ban emulators, whatever. Filter the charts to your liking. Only compete with proven stats if that's what you want. Hide emulated stats if you don't think emulators are legitimate. Don't bother with any of this if you don't really care and just want to submit some stats for fun.
  • This will finally settle the long-running version differences issue. Charts that have a significant advantage in one version or another, like Final Egg in Sonic Adventure (DX), can now be filtered by version. If you're stuck with the Gamecube version, now it's easier to simply only compete with other Gamecube times.
  • The extra layer of verification will attract new players to the site without negatively affecting anyone already here.
  • Having more media available will make it easier for new players to learn strategies and techniques.
  • We can basically get rid of the videos page entirely, as it'll be easier to find videos by browsing the charts themselves. :P
Some things that could potentially be implemented, but aren't currently in the plan, either because I'm not 100% sure on them myself or because I'm not sure if they can be reasonably implemented:
  • You can get a small sitewide bonus for proving stats. Nothing huge - just small tiered bonuses based on how much proof you've submitted for a given game, maxing out at 10% of the game's total sitewide worth. So say a game is worth 100 points, and 100% of your stats are proven; you get a 10-point sitewide bonus. If you've proven 10%, you get one point; 70%, 7 points... etc.
  • Filtering overall charts by platform, so we could have separate leaderships/championships for different systems, particularly in games with significant version differences.
  • Similarly, site announcements for new records/leaders/champions for specific platforms would be cool.
  • Being able to set default filters in your profile.
  • Being able to submit multiple stats from different platforms on the same chart.
  • Picture proof will probably have to be disallowed for some games; for example, there's some GameGear games where the results screen doesn't show any indication of what level was actually played.
Essentially, what this system does is incentivize proof, but not actually -require- it. That's not a compromise or anything; I think it's the ideal way the charts should be set up. I definitely see this as being a big step up from the system we have right now and will hopefully alleviate most concerns about legitimacy.

To reiterate one particular point, the proposed emulation rules from the last couple weeks will not be enacted with this system, since the additional data on whether a stat was emulated or not as well as the filters render it moot.

Anyone who has constructive feedback, feel free to post. However, do note that we will be moderating this thread a little heavier than usual. Being insulting towards others, derailing the thread, etc. will net you a warning or a tempban.

This thread will stay open for one week, so I want to encourage everyone to make the most out of it. Anyone who has an opinion and can express it well, please post.

15
Honestly I think S13D would be overkill.

16
That's already covered by a general rule.

17
So anything else that needs to be discussed first or are the charts good to go now?

Also, any rules?

18
Leaderboard Disputes / Re: ATTN: Dale2e1
« on: April 06, 2014, 03:53:07 PM »
Issue has been solved privately. Dale did not realize the Team Blast Glitch was against the rules for Team Dark. Stats have been removed.

19
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:21:29 AM »
I don't think you can really discount the setup time as part of obtaining the stat, either. If it takes a long time to set up for a stat, and you just savestate after the setup, how is that not an advantage over console players? If you couldn't reset as easily, there's a higher chance you would decide the time you're putting in isn't worth it and accept a worse stat. You could probably make the argument that the setup time is part of the run, too, albeit a lengthy and easy part.

20
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 05, 2014, 12:58:00 PM »
Sonic Jam has charts, though, so it is a factor to some degree.

21
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 05, 2014, 12:47:16 PM »
^ Was about to post something like this. As I've stated earlier, we're not making rules against loading Wii games from a hard drive unless someone can come up with definitive proof that it can have a negative effect on gameplay -in a Sonic game-. Consider that an official ruling on the subject. If you wanna debate it further, start a new thread for it, but it has absolutely nothing to do with emulators. I'll be removing any other posts in this thread on the subject.

To get back on topic, there seems to be a couple options up in the air right now, and I'd like to hear from everyone on which one would be the best one to proceed with. Aside from limiting the scope of the rule to merely top 5 stats, a few people on IRC the other were in favor of banning emulators outright, because they saw it as a more consistent and ultimately more effective ruling.

22
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 05, 2014, 11:57:43 AM »

23
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 05, 2014, 10:40:46 AM »
I'd honestly be surprised if any of those games actually loaded anything mid-level. Emulation can potentially affect anything about the way the game runs. Running the game off an HDD should only impact loading, and there's no obvious way that it would affect how the game runs otherwise. I'm open to reconsidering if it's shown definitively that there are advantages gained by running the game off a hard drive on a system that offers no legitimate way to do that, but until then, this is just speculation.

Actually, I seem to recall Shadow the Hedgehog doing some collision streaming type stuff, but I don't know the exact details of how that works or any instances where that's problematic in a run on standard hardware.

24
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 05, 2014, 09:48:16 AM »
When you look at other games like Unleashed or Generations, such mid-level loading could make a difference.

I don't know about Colors, but it definitely does not make a difference in Unleashed or Generations; those games only stream terrain data. The collision data for the entire stage is always loaded into memory. Faster loading wouldn't allow you to do anything that couldn't be done otherwise.

In any case, since Unleashed and Generations can both be installed to the 360 hard drive and both have digital versions available, and Generations is available on PC, I would chalk up any minor advantages gained due to loading off the hard drive (which would be strictly visual) as essentially a version difference. As far as Wii games are concerned, that is a bit murkier, since there is no legitimate way to do that, but I don't think this subject has come up before, so I wouldn't want to make a ruling on it unless someone comes up with an actual example of something like this affecting competition.

I wouldn't call it an emulation issue, though; it ultimately just comes down to however that particular game works. So I think ruling on whether that would be allowed on a case-by-case basis instead of having a blanket rule for it makes sense.

25
Why no special times? I don't know anything about them, but "too fast" hardly seems like a good reason not to include them?

26
List of charts?

27
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 04, 2014, 03:00:11 PM »
We are not talking about making things convenient for the top 5 players. We are talking about preserving the integrity of the charts.

I really think you're completely missing the point, Don. It is not and never has been an issue of trust. I'm not really sure how else to explain it though, it's been explained multiple times across this thread.

Also no, this doesn't affect everyone. Anyone who doesn't use emulators isn't affected by this whatsoever.

If we are going with the top 5 thing, I'm kinda thinking we should drop the requirement for tied non-time stats. Seems kind of silly to mandate proof for something trivial like a ring max.

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.

28
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 04, 2014, 01:18:05 AM »
Let's try not to be condescending towards each other please, I would rather this thread stayed productive

29
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 03, 2014, 10:53:18 PM »
I actually agree that we should require proof for consoles as well, not just emulators, but when I've brought up the subject before it tends to get shot down by the same people who are arguing against the emulator rule. I seriously think we need more verification of stats if we want to be taken seriously as a competitive platform. Maybe we don't, and hey, maybe that's fine. Maybe that's just not what TSC is. I don't know anymore.

In any case, I think proof on emulators is more important than proof on consoles, because there are a lot more variables on an emulator than there are on console. Standardized hardware is actually important here because it guarantees a level playing field. For instance, the Unlimited Colors thing s&a is talking about would not be an issue if it happened on console, and happened consistently at the same time for everyone. But it doesn't. I think, considering things like this are possible, having a layer of verification where people are able to go look at the video and say "hey, that's not supposed to happen" is a good idea. If Imazor had chosen not to post a video, s&a would have no idea that he had a .20-second advantage (or something like that), and that can absolutely make a difference when a record is close to optimized.

Given that it's likely only going to affect stats in small ways, would people be satisfied if the rule was only required for stats in the top 5? Sorry if you suddenly get a top 5 stat when you aren't expecting it while playing on an emulator on your GameBoy Color, but that does not seem like a common enough situation to really be a factor. At higher levels of gameplay I think for the most part you will know when you're on track for a good stat.

30
News and Updates / Re: New rules regarding emulators
« on: April 03, 2014, 02:19:42 PM »
"Everyone is going to stop competing if x change is implemented" seems to get brought up every single time a rule change is suggested. I have yet to see any evidence.

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