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Reset company and restart on CB 1 month 6 days ago #8225

Hello,

I had an unfortunately unpleasant and for me incomprehensible encounter with an admin on server 12# today.

He complained that I reset my company and restarted.

At this point I would like to emphasize that I did not manipulate a single field or anything else to the advantage of the new company with the old one.

Briefly about my approach, I do not want to hide anything here.
After the server restart, all towns are usually very small, so on average at 250 inhabitants with a few exceptions around 350 or max. 400. The server rule is to claim a town under 500 inhabitants, so I assume that it is fair to claim a town with nearly 500 inhabitants. For this reason I start a company so that the towns start to grow slowly. After some time you have a larger selection of potentially good towns.
Then, when I have found a good town, I restart the company so that the time really counts from my actual start.
In the game in question, I noticed in minute 1 that my 1st choice was actually a terrible town. So I immediately reset again and claimed my previous 2nd choice.
This then brought the admin on the scene.

I won't go into the conversation with the admin here, that's not the topic here. Only so much, I appreciate the "work" of the admins on BTPro very much. It is quite remarkable that someone is almost always available and also promptly on the spot, if you have any concern. (In particular, I remember ST2 which was apparently 24/7 on a few years ago). Even (or especially) games where you pay regularly don't have nearly such a good service.


Now to the topic. I think it's incomprehensible, pointless and sometimes even harmful to consider the above described procedure as cheating. It is perfectly legitimate to enter an already running game and start the company. Conversely, it can't be the rule to have to start the company at the beginning of the server. On the other hand, if you enter a game where there are already other players, you would not gain any advantage.
And this is the point where I see the harm for other players. If I'm forced to enter games that are already in progress in order to get a good starting position, I'm spoiling the fun for the other players. Most players on #12 and #12A finish after 1.5 hours. Many only after 2 or more hours. I end their game with a 40 minute run. The reality is that after the server restart, most of the time no one joins again.

So if I run the game on an empty server, I get to the exact same starting point without spoiling anyone else's fun and without getting any benefit myself.

Why should that be cheating then?

And last but not least. I am certainly not the best CB player, but probably one of the better ones. My times are usually around 40 minutes. (Record was 36:21) All these times are from games where I claimed a town close to 500.
I've never seen Tantum play, but it's inconceivable to me that he achieved his times with companies he started at server launch.

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Reset company and restart on CB 1 month 6 days ago #8226

Thank you for the explanation Capacitor, I will discuss this internally and will come back to you!

Thanks again!

Frank
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Reset company and restart on CB 1 month 5 days ago #8227

My opinion:

Case 1:
Starting from the very beginning and playing to the end = normal game, no cheating.

Case 2:
Starting the game, waiting for city to rise up (or pumping it up asap) to almost 500 inhabitiants, reseting the company + starting the company again = can be considered as breaking the rule #4 (cheating to advance yourself ahead of the competition unfairly), even if you play alone, because finally you will reach the goal earlier than the players who do not use this trick. I personally do not approve it, and there are always some controversy about it + punishments, see for example this thread: openttd.btpro.nl/forum/31-everything-cit...s-for-vladimir-putin

Case 3:
Starting in late year, when the other players are playing: you can make more points is such scenario, but on many CB servers the game is harder:
a) there are less resources (e.g. mines/farms produce less cargo if you don't utilize the resources for many years),
b) you have to beat your competitors who are ahead of you.
That's why I don't see any cheating here.

Note: goals on #12 and #13 are too easy to reach to even see a penalty mentioned in a), but they are clearly visible on other CB servers.


Wider view/other thoughts:
1. Not so fair strategy described in case 2 is sometimes used on long/slow CV games, e.g. on server #5, meaning: start the game, wait for 30 years, reset company and start it again, when faster trains are available. This + some other tricks (which I don't want to mention here) lead to unfair game times on server #5 and #6 (pepe).

2. If you're playing good and you reach the goal faster then many players (see case 3), it is possible that you "harm" them. That's why I usually play solo, or join late games when nobody's playing. On the other hand: they can see what you're doing and improve their gameplay. Some players learn and improve their gameplay, some not, they just leave.

3. My proposition, which improves the situation somehow:
"Fastest 15 games" list should exclude the games not started from the very beginning. And here comes another problem: only game starting year is stored in database, without day and month. And games on #12 and #13 are so short that you can gain big advantage reseting the game in December of first year.
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Last edit: by tomb. Reason: text formatting

Reset company and restart on CB 1 month 5 days ago #8228

Hi Tomb, thanks for your thougts.

Actually, the execution of your last proposition would result in deleting all (yes, every single one) best times on #12 and #12A.

In your case 2 you describe two totally differnt things. Pumping a town, resetting and claiming it afterwards is propably the most unfair cheating in CB you can do.You would save 5-10 minutes. In my opinion worth a temporary ban.
However, just to wait, till towns grow to a certains size is totally different.
Less of but still definitly cheating would be to prepare the road network.

So presuming, that no preparation of any single tile is happening in case 2, what's the difference to case 3? Actually your mentioned factors do not make the game any harder.
a) If you know what you do, you always have enough resurces available.
b) As described earlier, if you go for a good time, those players who need 1,5 or 2 hours aren't any issue.


Concerning your 2nd thought. You join late games. Where nobody is playing. Isn't that exactly case 2? (Obviously without preparation)


I would like to mention another thought.

In a race, for example a bicycle race, where everyone starts at the same time, all participants have the same temperatures, the same weather and the same time at which they start. In the self-contained competition, there is good comparability of the individual performances.

Now you could apply this 1:1 to a single CB-game. If it is only about the single game, nobody would start later than January 1980. (Maybe Feruary if you waste a lot of time choosing your town)

But the fastest times are not about a single game. It's about (personal) records. A cyclist who sets a record would never be blamed for choosing a day with pleasant temperatures and no rain. Nor would he be blamed for not having started immediately after breakfast, but only at noon, with a tailwind, for example.
No cyclist in the world would start a record attempt in stormy weather or thunderstorms. He would wait for a better day. And it is nothing else to let some time pass in CB.
Another example, which is probably less familiar to people, are central gliding competitions. There all gliders get in the air and after the start line opens, everybody has 2 hours to fly off and thus influence his individual personal start time and conditions. Choosing probably the best takeoff time is part of the strategy. As it is in CB with starting cour company.


Now, coming back to the initial problem of the starting year, I would like to think that only CB players can really decide whether to "wait" is cheating or not. If it is judged as cheating, then all times started after January 1980 must be deleted. Regardless of whether you were running the game yourself or other players were playing.
Believe me or not, that wouldn't bother me much. The comparability of the times would be much better. In addition, every attempt would also make sense, because at the moment a start in January 1980 makes just as much sense as trying to set a cycling record during a thunderstorm.

On the other hand, if it only bothers you to run a game with your own account to get to the good starting point, I think you should think twice before really bothering.
Running the game with another account without anyone being able to detect it is as easy as watching your domestically available series abroad.
Not that I would do such thing. Got enough other things to worry in my life.

edit: the thing with the game I would't do, I obviously do watch series of other countries with VPN. ;)

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Last edit: by Capacitor.

Reset company and restart on CB 1 month 5 days ago #8229

Hi Capacitor, thanks for your reply.

Yes, my last proposition would replace all best times on #12 and #12A. It is not deleting (not clearing the list), it is just a slightly different query to the database which will reveal worse times, but obtained in games started in first year (btw: it is not as simple as I wrote here because some servers start in different years).

I agree with you that pumping a town, resetting and claiming it afterwards is the most unfair cheating and worth a temporary ban. Preparing road network + other activities before resetting is also indecent.

Regarding resources, one example: if you're starting on #15 (25k CB temperate) in year 2000 you'll see lot of coal mines with 120+ coal per month and lots of farms with 200+ liv/grain. If you start the game in 2015, lots of coal mines would be in 18-40 range, and farms 100-120. And you have to transport cargo from better mines for longer distances or use more mines/farms with low supplies. Both cases lead to more work which somehow "compensates" high speed trains, banks available, etc., and make the game balanced. Aphid CBs (#27-#29) also have the same situation. My observation is (taking into account all CB servers): if you're going for a good time - start from the beginning, if you're going for good points - start later (e.g. 10 years later). #12 and #13 are too short/too easy to observe it.

Time passing in CB and comparing it to a cyclist choosing a day with pleasant temperatures and no rain to make personal best, sounds reasonable. I like it! Making personal best depends on strating time and also the map + a bit of luck.

Your thought that only CB players can really decide whether to "wait" is cheating or not is correct, but it also shows how hard is to give an objective verdict if rule #4 is broken or not.
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