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Legality Melee Recommended Ruleset Update v1.1

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by DarkDragoon, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. DarkDragoon

    DarkDragoon
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    Hello friends! I'm DarkDragoon from MIOM here to report on the latest updates made to the "Melee Recommended Ruleset" that debuted a few months ago.

    The master document has been updated and you can click here to see the full, updated ruleset.

    The changes this time around mostly addressed a few concerns with the initial wording on some clauses and also served as a 'demo' of how the system works for all involved, making sure to address any problems in how the amendment pipeline is handled before getting to the more hot-button topics in the community.


    List of Changes:
    • Amendment 1: Coaching Between sets of Grand Finals
      • Change: Section 3.4: Coaching

        to:
      • Votes:
        Voted Yes:
        Duck, SleepyK, Emilywaves, Hax$, Tafokints, Reno, Anibal, Watch, Cactus, Gtown Tom, KirbyKaze, MacD, Vro, PracticalTAS, D1, Marc Hagen, HugS, GIMR, Druggedfox, Hungrybox
        Voted No:
        Armada, Leffen, PPMD, Wobbles, Amsah
    • Amendment 2: Clerical Changes
      • Change: 3.1.4: Match Procedure

        to:
      • Change: 3.1.7 Stage Bans
        to
      • Change: 3.1.9 Mutual Agreement
        to:

      • Votes:
        • Unanimous "Yes"
    • Amendment 3: Colorblind Clause
      • Add: 3.1.14 Colorblind Clause
      • Votes:
        Voted Yes:
        Duck, SleepyK, Hax$, Tafokints, Reno, Anibal, Watch, Cactuar, Gtown Tom, KirbyKaze, MacD, Vro, PracticalTAS, PPMD, Wobbles, HugS, GIMR, Amsah, Leffen, Armada, Hungrybox, D1
        Voted No:
        Emilywaves, Marc Hagen, Druggedfox

    Currently being voted on is the 7-minute gameplay timer, with more to come after that!

    Since this entire process is about iteration, please feel free to provide feedback in terms of how the information and formatting was presented in this post (in addition to discussing the content of the post itself).
     
    #1 DarkDragoon, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  2. Royal Cool

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    Why would anyone vote against the Color Blind Clause?
     
  3. Rococo

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    Not sure if this is the cause, but there's a typo that's super confusing in that amendment:

    "or if their color is indistinguishable from either the other team color"

    They might be opposing the wording of the amendment rather than the amendment itself.
     
    #3 Rococo, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  4. Overswarm

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    I wrote the rule for the Brawl recommended ruleset; it was the first iteration of the rule that I've known of. At the time, a few were against it because:

    • There were no recorded incidents of this being an issue (this later changed due to Lucario in teams)
    • The suggested potential incidents (like lucario in teams) were considered to be targeting a specific character not because of color blindness, but because people just didn't like that his color scheme wasn't "red/green enough" in teams; Lucario is primarily blue and it was difficult to discern which Lucario was which normally, let alone when vs. red and green lucario with a color blind person.
    • It was suggested that this would impact player performance and would be called not for color blindness, but to change a player's character color to mess with that team and potentially make team kills more likely

    All three of those reasons were stupid.
     
  5. Squid Kid

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    Mostly due to wording/vagueness.
    On that note, does this force Ice Climber players to wear tags if elected, or is it solely restricted to costume color?
    I ask this because of fear of potential issues such as buffing elemental moves and character discrimination.

    eg, forcing an Ice Climber player to wear a tag would situationally buff Fox or Falcon's fire-elemental moves. See this screenshot of Popo getting hit by Falcon's raptor boost for example:
    [​IMG]
    He looks exactly like Nana now. Do note this is shown with the default climbers skin. It's easier to differentiate with Green/Yellow or Red/White.

    The same tag issue could arise for darker-colored Sheik skins. Forcing a Shiek to wear a tag if elected would nerf her recovery.

    I'm still advocating for the clause, but I think it needs to be a bit more inclusive.
     
    #5 Squid Kid, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  6. Meester Tweester

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    I would like to say as a colorblind person I appreciate the efforts to not make someone colorblind being held back just for being colorblind, or really anyone who wants colors easily distinguishable. I know the rule isn't something most people would object to, but it's still a good thing we have this rule. The wording could be better, though.
     
  7. Overswarm

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    @melee voting people, be careful about lowering the timer from 8 to 7 minutes.





    I don't have any data on how most melee matches go, but lowering the timer can sometimes increase the length of the tournament.

    The general rule is the lowering the timer will decrease the amount of time for matches that already go to time... but increase the amount of time it takes for matches that already go near the natural time limit.

    If you have 10 matches in a tournament that are already naturally going to time, lowering the timer from 8 to 7 minutes will save you roughly 10 minutes, +/- some based on how much it improves or ignore bottlenecking.

    But if you have 10 matches that normally end at around 6 minutes, decreasing the timer to 7 minutes will add about 10 minutes! This occurs because the probability of a player going towards a timeout increases the closer to the end of the timer you get. The "magic time" for most players is about 1 minute, or at least it was for Brawl and Smash 4. I don't have any memory of melee timeout data.

    Basically what happens is that if a player is given the following conditions, they will go for a timeout:
    • Tense situation (e.g., last stock or last game, in some cases late tournament matches like top 3 or 5)
    • Have a slight lead (e.g., % or stock lead with high %)
    • An adequately low timer (~1 minute for most players in Brawl and Smash 4, likely the same in Melee, rarely more)
    • Belief that they have an opportunity to camp (PS1, Jigglypuff on Dreamland, Jiggs on the ledge, Mew2King on the ledge, Sheik on the ledge, vs. ICs, vs. a campy player, a Fox on DL that can laser camp to gain a % lead, etc.)

    So when doing your vote, review matches that make you consider a timeout rule. If your most matches take 5 minutes or less and you have a decent number that just go to 8 minutes almost every time, lowering the timer will save you some time. If that is not the case and you inadvertently create the above situation, you'll end up making timeouts a more viable strategy -- and thus increasing the time spent in-game.
     
  8. Mithost

    Mithost
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    Is there any status update about the situation regarding alternate control methods? Many players have been unable to play the game with a Gamecube Controller due to disability or hand injuries, and are weary about investing in or building an alternative knowing that they may not fit under future guidelines set out by the MIOM Ruleset Committee. The lack of communication regarding this topic to the public (and seemingly between TOs) has made it near-impossible for a portion of the community to have a reasonable timeline or path to take to properly play the game again (outside of learning how to play the game with our feet).

    I understand if there are potential roadblocks with creating a ruleset that legalizes a brand new type of controllers. Regardless of the current landscape however, a lot of people (including myself) would very much like to establish some communication on the subject. I am prepared to either buy or build any controller that allows me to play the game again, but I don't want to commit $200-400 CAD, hours of building time, and potentially months of developing muscle memory on a control method that will not be allowed in future tournaments.

    Myself and many others are currently unable to play the game for any extended period of time. I've tried playing different characters, holding the controller differently, and even deliberately slowing down my play. I've tried temperature control, splints, inflammation/pain relievers, stretches, frequent breaks, and ergonomics. I feel like I've explored all of my options while fitting in the current ruleset and guidelines (gamecube controller) and to quote an old movie...

    "The winning move is not to play"
    .

    I am no longer active in my local region. When the next PR comes out, I will no longer be on it. I did not attend GOML or Canada Cup, and I cannot risk traveling to the US to attend the majors I would love to attend (TBH7). I have been absent from my locals and am not considered when rankings or skill levels for the region are discussed. I have $400CAD in my paypal account right now, ready to purchase (or build) a controller that allows me to play this game again. All of this is just waiting for the green light from this committee.

    If there is currently no timeline for the legalization of alternative controller types, or the current discussion on the topic is not leading to any sort of positive conclusion, please make this situation known to the affected parties. While I want to play this game and be a part of this community, I can't keep holding on if it's going to take 1-2 years of silence/cryptic responses to reach that point.

    Thank you for your consideration.
     
    #8 Mithost, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  9. Ithilmarin

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    For what it's worth, there is a small mistake in the newly-changed rule 3.1.4 on Match Procedure, which seems to have made it into the new official document.

    At the end of the clause it says "Repeat steps 4 through 9 for all subsequent Games"; this should read "repeat steps 5 through 9". Step 4 is "play the first Game of the match"; this obviously cannot be repeated. Step 9 is already "play the next Game", so it should just jump to step 5.
     
  10. Bones0

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    Even if the committee agreed to allow custom controllers tomorrow, it would be a long time before they are seen in major tournaments. TOs would need to decide what limitations are necessary, how those limitations can be articulated in a ruleset, and most importantly, how those limitations can be enforced at a live event with thousands of entrants. The logistical problems with allowing people to compete with their own controllers are daunting, so I wouldn't recommend holding your breath if you're waiting for a green light to use a custom controller.
     
  11. Mithost

    Mithost
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    My intention from posting my original reply was not to immediately unban the controllers, but to get more information from those in charge on what the current barriers are. If you don't mind me asking, what are some examples of the logistical issues you mention?

    Outside of Smash, I am an active member of the wider fighting game community. At both local tournaments and large scale events, I have seen people play with everything from a PS1 gamepad with a converter to a pizza box with 20+ buttons on it without any issues. Controller configurations that prove to be problematic from a logistical or competitive point of view are banned when they prove to be problematic at an event (most wireless controllers, turbo buttons, and certain buggy platform converters). If a community so similar to our own in terms of logistics can run well with very lax controller rules, what is different about Smash that changes the logistics enough to warrant banning the controllers?
     
  12. Bones0

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    The main difference between Melee and other FGs, as I'm sure you know, is the use of analog controls. Replacing left, right, up, and down with digital buttons is not a huge change for the average FG. For Melee, being able to hit precise angles is obviously a very powerful technique. Whether it's for perfect up-B angles, airdodges, wavedashes/wavelands, or DI, hitting specific angles is a skill that has been an inherent part of the game since its inception. If you have a controller that can do all of this for free, you're removing skill from the game and creating an unearned skill gap between the players who use a custom controller vs. the standard. Hax himself has admitted that his perfect wavedash angles were obnoxiously good, so he has attempted to mitigate this advantage by preventing perfect angles on the B0XX. There are plenty of other issues, such as multiple SDI inputs. Due to the nature of a button vs. a stick, you can easily double/triple tap fightstick buttons to get multiple SDIs. I'm not very experienced on a fightstick, but it still only took me a few minutes of testing to get 3 inputs in a 5 frame window. This kind of capability would result in people triple SDIing shines in the same direction, and would greatly ruin the integrity of the game.

    All of these advantages that make custom controllers able to perform things that are normally difficult or impossible would have to be limited before these controllers could be allowed. That means TOs have to decide how good of an angle can your controller do? Is 1 degree off perfect too good, should we increase it to 5 degrees off of perfect? How many frames does it reasonably take to get multiple SDI inputs on a stick? How do we prevent custom controllers from doing that kind of input?

    Then the real kicker is, how in the world do you enforce these limitations in tournament? If someone does a really good angle and you suspect him of using a box with angles that exceed the permitted limitations, you would have to somehow check to see how the box works. How do you prove someone's controller is doing unfair things when they built it themselves? Even if they let you open it up (which is an arduous process in its own right), how do you check the code of the arduino or whatever they are using? Even if you are able to access the code of their controller, how are you able to ascertain what exactly is going on without pouring over the code for hours? Custom controllers can't work for all these logistical reasons, and if you want to establish some sort of "second standard" for a different kind of controller that uses a specific codeset, you still need a way to check it. The community was largely up in arms against the recent attempt to allow arduinos inside GCCs, which would have been just as impossible to check as custom controllers. Basically it comes down to the fact that if your custom controller has macros or some other unfair element, the only way TOs can even tell is to somehow look at the code of your controller.

    You also need widespread agreement from the community as to what is acceptable and what isn't. Our community is grassroots, so we don't have a committee the same way every other major sport does. This is what the ruleset committee that has recently been formed is trying to solve, but they have no authority other than the fact that they run most of the majors. Even within their group, MDZ went ahead and ran UCF at Shine and GTX despite the fact that the ruleset committee hasn't made a decision on it. There's no accountability, and any TO can run any ruleset they want. A simple example is the recent ruling of coaching being allowed between GF sets. If you are running a major, you can ban coaching between GF sets and there's nothing anyone can do about it. When you extend this problem to controller standardization where there are virtually infinite variables with what is acceptable and what isn't, the idea that the community can agree on specific angle or SDI limitations is very unlikely.

    I'm only really familiar with traditional FGs from online so I've never been to a tourney with traditional fighters. I don't know how much people think about it, but don't they ever worry about people using macros in their controllers? Is there any sort of method for checking them? It seems ridiculously easy for that guy with the pizza box to switch one of his buttons to an instant DP or instant 720 motion. I've only really played 3rd Strike, but even from a relatively small amount of time playing it, I can think of tons of ways to abuse macros or other custom programming to gain a significant edge. All I would have to do is reprogram one of my end buttons that may not be needed, and I could even include a tricky button combination (eg. up up down down left right select LK+HK) to turn the macro on and off so anyone playing on my stick would think it works normally.
     
  13. Preusse

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    The main difference between ice hockey and other types of hockey, as I'm sure you know, is the use of a puck. Replacing flat bladed sticks with curved ones is not a huge change for the average field hockey game. For ice hockey, being able to hit precise corners in the net is obviously a very powerful technique. Whether it's for perfect high glove, fivehole or blocker shots, hitting specific corners is a skill that has been an inherent part of the game since its inception. If you have equipment that can do all of this for free, you're removing skill from the game and creating an unearned skill gap between the players who use a custom curved stick vs the standard. Mahovolich himself has admitted that his perfect shot placement was obnoxiously good, so he has attempted to mitigate this advantage by reducing the size of the curve on the stick. I'm not very experienced on a curved stick, but it still only took me a few minutes of testing to get 3 corners in a 5 shot window. This kind of capability would result in people scoring hat tricks constantly and would greatly ruin the integrity of the game.
     
    #13 Preusse, Nov 17, 2017 at 5:21 PM
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 5:22 PM
    Mithost likes this.
  14. Mithost

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    There is the potential for abuse in the FGC, much like there is already the potential for abuse with official gamecube controllers. There is nothing currently stopping a player from going to a smash tournament with their Y button set to always shorthop and their d-pad down set to perform a clean waveshine. We have blanket rules in both the FGC and the Smash community that says these are banned, but the reality of the situation is that these things can (and do) happen regardless of what shape the controller is in, and checking every single controller for these modifications and turbo buttons is already a near-impossible task.

    In terms of controller performance on a competitive level, where there are pros with one controller there will also be a lot of cons.

    Imagine a theoretical scenario where the box was the only legal controller for this long and we were debating on legalizing this new 'analog' controller known as the Gamecube Controller. If the tables were turned and we were to compare the benefits the GCC has over the box, you could probably formulate an even better argument to keep the GCC banned than you could to ban the box in the situation we are in now. To name a few, variable shield sizes, all 352 angles, easy moonwalks (in comparison to the box), full speed control both in the air and on the ground, better/easier combo DI, and lower overall APM are all factors you could argue would make the GCC an unfair contender in a box-centric metagame.

    There is a world where using a modified or custom controller is considered better than using a stock gamecube controller [1]. There is a world where to compete at the top level, you will need to use a specific configuration of controller (potentially custom tailored for the specific player, character, or playstyle) in order to properly compete [2]. There is a world where players will complain about the benefits an optimal controller has and how not having one is like playing another game [3]. There is a world where players take this concept too far and can abuse it knowing that they will not be caught [4]. This world already exists, and yet the logic so many people have that banning box controllers prevents these issues from existing remains.

    --

    The performance argument of box controllers is potentially a valid one, and is half the reason why I am asking for more dialog or communication from the ruleset committee on the subject. If there are specific things that the committee believes are worth banning/excluding a subsection of the community in order to protect, this is something that should be communicated clearly and promptly. If there is a technique that you can do on a box today that immediately makes you 10x better than everyone else in your local scene while still not breaking the "macros are banned" rules, shouldn't local TOs be told what these are so when committee members encourage them to be lax with the rules they would be able to make an educated decision?
     
    #14 Mithost, Nov 17, 2017 at 7:54 PM
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 8:01 PM
  15. Bones0

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    What exactly are you arguing for by mocking my post? If you're comparing box controllers to a curved stick, you should keep in mind the fundamental difference between the Melee community and the NHL is that the NHL is a governing body that has authority over the players. There are committees that determine what kind of sticks are legal and what kind are not. Players aren't permitted to bring whatever they want onto the ice. Let's take a look at some of the basic rules.

    As you can see, there is indeed a specific rule about how curved your stick can be, and this is a rule that is enforceable by the refs and NHL as a whole. Don't believe me? Well as a Canadian who seems fond of the sport, perhaps you've heard of the time when Marty McSorley's stick was deemed illegal in the Stanley Cup?



    Comparing this situation to Melee's, not only do we lack a central governing body like the NHL, but we lack any way to enforce specific modifications when people are using custom software in custom controllers. The closest thing we have to a governing body is Nintendo, which is all the more reason to continue limiting entrants to the official, unmodified controller that competitors have been using for over a decade and a half.



    There is the potential for people to mod their GameCube controllers, but at the end of the day, all you have to do to check a competitor with a GCC is to open it up and look for an arduino. This is way more simple than any controller which has custom programming which wouldn't be immediately apparent to the naked eye of a TO. I have a ton of reasons for being against new types of controllers, but even if I were in favor of legalizing box controllers, you still have to explain how you plan on dealing with the inability to check what people are playing on. If you can't verify whether custom controllers have macros and other things that we both agree should be illegal, then you can't allow them at all.

    You expressed frustration with why the committee hasn't legalized custom controllers, and I did my best to explain why without arguing for or against them. Unless you're okay with people using any kind of controller, you have to have concrete rules about what is allowed, and then you need to have a way to enforce those rules. This logistical problem is just as apparent, if not more so, than the problem of people not thinking it's fair to have custom controllers in tournaments. It seems like a waste of time to discuss the fairness of custom controllers when there's no viable way to introduce them into competition without easy accessibility to cheating.
     
  16. Mithost

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    The ability to check the firmware on the box is something that has been addressed by almost every manufacturer of arcade sticks and the manufacturers of the Arduino/similar controller boards long before smashbox became a thing. All it takes is a phillips screwdriver to take off the back panel and a laptop/phone with a USB input to check what the arduino/controller board is running. Even with custom built arcade sticks, there is no way to circumvent this verification process without making it painfully obvious that you are hiding something (obfuscating code past human legibility, doing EVERYTHING through wires, etc). This is something that the FGC has been doing for over a decade and is something that TOs that allow boxes are already knowledgeable on. This is something TOs are already prepared to do at any time where cheating is suspected, and it takes roughly the same time as finding a tri-wing screwdriver and disassembling a gamecube controller.

    Regardless of how easy or difficult it is to confirm if a controller is maliciously modified, the issue of undetectable cheats is still at large. Tournaments do not have the equipment or resources to run every single controller through x-rays or do random pre-game controller checks, and modified gamecube controllers look the exact same as unmodified ones even during play. Even in cases where players have blatant macros or angle correcting software/hardware put into their official gamecube controllers, the likelihood of them being detected during a tournament and selected to have their controller checked in the first place is very low. The only controllers that would be detected under our current ruleset and logistical standards is one that is so blatantly full of macros that it could be detected without having to take it apart at all (hold button to multishine).

    Our current situation is one where players can bring a heavily modified official gamecube controller into the venue with almost zero fear that they are going to be subjected to a controller check, and one where on the rare occassion that a TO actually does a controller check, it has nearly the same difficulty/logistical baggage regardless of if it's in a pizza box or an official gamecube shell.

    You have not convinced me that there is an insurmountable or 'impossible' logistical barrier that prevents ergonomic alternatives to the gamecube controller to be allowed in tournaments. Every smash tournament that has allowed boxes up to this point ran just as well as the tournaments that banned them. The FGC has been allowing literal cardboard/tupperware controllers for well over a decade without a single instance of the logistical nightmares you are suggesting occuring.

    While the performance imbalance is one that can be discussed and debated further, it would be illogical to continue saying that there is a logistical issue with ergonomic controllers like this that are not also present, more prominent, and harder to initially detect in the official gamecube controllers that are used in tournaments every day.
     

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