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Hax In Pokemon Battles

Discussion in 'Smogon's Greatest Hits' started by X-Act, Mar 12, 2009.

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  1. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    Exciting news!

    After deliberating with the other admins, we have decided to add the Anti-Hax Clause into the Order of Operations, effective almost immediately. The private testing feedback has been extremely positive, the code is virtually bug-free, and we think it's time to let the general public see what it is like to play competitive pokemon without the fear of being screwed over by extreme swings of bad luck. And like they say, "There's no time like the present!"

    I had already planned to upgrade the Smogon University server on March 29th, in order to put in several move fixes - most notably a fix to Trace which will remove a glitch that prevents Trace from being used effectively against Swift Swim pokemon in the rain. This Trace fix, gained additional importance with the advent of Manaphy testing. I have most of the fixes in working order (they have been on the private Anti-Hax server for a while now) -- and I want to get them on the main server before Manaphy testing is completed.

    So, in order to make all the changes in one fell swoop... a new "Anti-Hax Ladder" will be added to Smogon University on March 29th! This new ladder will allow the general public a chance to play with the new Anti-hax formula that has everyone so excited! The ladder will be put in after the close of ratings (11:30pm PDT) on the 29th. If testing goes well, we will add the clause to all ladders in the future.

    Since this clause is unlike any other "suspect" we have tested or considered testing -- we do not know how long we will conduct the test, nor do we know how we will structure the requirements for voting privileges. We'll post more information here, as it becomes available. Also, expect to see a "np: Anti-Hax" thread in Stark mountain on March 29th, for community discussion.

    In the meantime, I still encourage the private testers to continue battling on the anti-hax server. Let me know if we need to tweak anything before moving this whole party over to SU.

    Good luck!

    Actually I guess I don't need to wish you good luck -- the clause guarantees your luck won't be TOO bad! ;-)
  2. Syberia

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    Sounds good; after reading the experiences of users on the private server, I am quite anxious to try this out. Forget everything I said before.

    Is a suspect test for this necessary? It can't break the metagame in any form, so all it would really be testing is "is it fair," and from what I gather so far, it seems to be.
  3. Lorak

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    Wait a second. I'm not one who usually even plays on Shoddy, but doesn't this seem to be... a bit hasty? I mean it in both senses of the word, the actual meaning, and the Pokemon one. We're really going about this too fast, and making the process of decision-making too vulnerable (+Speed, -Def :V). Isn't there supposed to be some sort of approval process before we make fixes? What about the weather glitch situation? Isn't something game-breaking more important to work out the kinks on than tinkering around with this "anti-hax formula"? It's a nice idea and all, but still, why can't we come to a conclusion on more important issues?
  4. maddog

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    I disagree with you. Its a formula that we have been working on for some time and it has been perfected over the last couple of weeks. After I asked Doug for the private server information a few days ago, I checked out how the formula worked by battling on the server, and I was impressed. This isn't something that is like the weather glitch, where we have to figure out what to do, but it completed, done and ready to go. I don't see why testing it quickly as an entire community is as big of a deal as you seem to think it is.
  5. TAY

    TAY You and I Know
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    OK now that I'm back from NYC I got a chance to try this out and...

    it's pretty cool.

    I can't say it is absolutely perfect - in fact there is one (maybe two) very pressing issue which I will address shorty - but in general, the better player won most of the matches I played. In most cases the better player did wind up being the one who took out the opposing team. I think that a lot of players are greatly overstating the effect this is having on the game, because honestly it has not been horribly different from what it was before.


    The one major problem I see with the formula's current state is that it weighs early and late game hax equally. In any battle, this is absolutely never the reality of the game. To take an example which is familiar to me: On my suspect team, my main counters for Gyarados are Passho Berry Claydol and Skarmory (it is my team's worst nightmare x_x). If Claydol gets critted on turn two, I still have Skarmory to deal with Gyarados if it shows up later in the game. However, if Claydol feints in the regular course of the match and it comes down to me having a 4-1 advantage against my opponent's Gyarados, then obviously the fact that it flinched my Skarmory twice in a row is much more vital than if it had happened early game (since I would have known to save Claydol in that case). Since the ability to predict the opponent's team is fairly limited, this absolutely needs to be accounted for. I imagine it wouldn't be horribly difficult: the "weight" of the hax could be increased if it occurs when the player on the receiving end has fewer Pokemon left, though it would also need to take into account each pokemon's remaining HP, and whether certain Pokemon are "essentially KOed" (e.g. an 11% Scizor with SR down and no spinner).

    Another possible problem - possible in that I am not sure if it is already addressed - is how to deal with "useless" hax. Obvious examples are CB Tyranitar critting Azelf with Crunch or (in most cases) a critical hit from Rapid Spin, but there are other more infrequent situations which should be taken into account. For example, if a Gyarados with 5% health misses a Bronzong with 5% health with Ice Fang and subsequently faints, we need to be sure that this hax is not considered if Hail is going, but is considered if there is no hail. Also, in certain situations hax can be beneficial, but as this forumula is really still in its developmental stages, I think we can ignore that for now (those situations are extremely rare anyway).

    So yeah, I know those last two paragraphs sounded pretty critical, but this is actually a really cool endeavor. I think the biggest thing that anyone could take away from what I am saying is that this win formula affects the outcomes of games a lot less than you might think. In most cases, the player who eliminated the opponent's team won anyway.
  6. Lorak

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    I'd also say the people are being naive (+Speed, -Sp.Def) about the situation. Isn't testing supposed to go on a bit longer than this, if the thing's worth testing in the first place? I can't see why anyone would be so adamant (+Atk, -Sp.Atk) about wanting an anti-hax clause to overturn wins and losses. A battle is just a battle. It might knock your rating for a little bad luck, but skill should allow you to bring it right back up, unless you just have a large number of unlucky battles in a row.
  7. maddog

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    Why are you being so sassy (+Sp. Def, -Speed) about the entire situation? (I don't mean your actually sassy, i just wanted to use the natures like you did lol). In my view, as long as the formula is working correctly, what is the reason we need to wait? If its doing what it is intented to do (which I would say it is, based on my experience), then there is no real reason to wait a long time. If its working well, then it should be added on to the server quickly, so that we can start seeing the benefit of the anti-hax formula sooner rather than later.
  8. Lorak

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    I can't help but be defensive about the situation. It's just a shame that other people are being quiet (+SpAtk, -Speed), slow to act about this, but probably just as willing to attack the situation, and indeed quiet by being unable to post in Policy Review.

    The key words are, first, "doing what it is intented to do", and second, "based on my experience". Just because a bunch of people can't hit a bullseye on a dartboard doesn't mean that it can't be done.
  9. Lemmiwinks MkII

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    I'm with you here Lorak, so no need to feel Lonely (+Atk, -Def) anymore. The point isn't that the formula is a bad thing necessarily, it is that everyone is so blindly supportive of the idea that they are choosing to plainly ignore all the legitimate concerns that us skeptics have rather than seriously discussing them with us before making any firm decisions. Isn't this what Policy Review is for?

    That said, I won't completely lose my respect for Smogon's policy makers as long as they do not remain stubborn about the formula in the same way that Gamefreak were with the EVs / nature system back in ADV. That being, if we're going to introduce a new game-changing mechanic, at least make it completely public for everyone to see and abuse as they wish.

    One question though: is this new ladder going to be for OU only, or will there be an "Anti-Hax Ladder" for Ubers and UU as well?
  10. Tangerine

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    Let's stop with the silly Pokemon jokes - This really is serious and I feel like you guys are essentially mocking it and ridiculing it with those kinds of exchange...

    From my few days worth of experiences in the server... I think it's a very good thing in that it promotes more thinking. Luck based strategies aren't as viable anymore... mostly because in the long run they lose. I think with this clause on, I would be 100% in support of Evasion and OHKO being unbanned... simply because it allows statistical expectations to do their job... and in the long run, relying on such moves are unviable strategies. It definitely makes you think more in that you have to think of actual strategies and outplaying your opponent, instead of just bluntly attacking stuff until they die.
  11. Articanus

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    Someone apparently isn't very jolly(+Speed, - Sp. Atk)

    And yes, I think this is a joke. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL guys. While playing on the test server I won more battles than ever. Of course, it's Charlie's Angels, and generally it loses when something retarded happens(aka gets Flinched by Gyarados[ahem BLUE KIRBY ._.]), but it's changing the original way the battle was intended: critical hits and flinches were put into the game so that people COULD be lucky, so it shouldn't punish them to be so. At least when you get haxed, you can come back, but when you actually hax the opponent what do you do? the way the formula is set up you can't do anything: if you knew you wouldn't have won, you might as well give up compared to being haxed since all you can do is ask the opponent to hax you back.

    Seriously fuck you all. Battling with this has only shown me how more opposed to this fucking idea.
  12. kd24

    kd24 yo daddy musta been a drug dealer? why, cuz you're dope
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    x= i think this is an awesome idea personally.

    Articanus, this isnt going to be implemented into ladders right away, there will be a seperate ladder to test it before we decide.

    I think this is a step in the right direction of turning the game as competitive as possible.

    this isnt true, you must take into account all of the little things like damage percentages and early game crits as well. also, if you hax a player extremely but you still would have won, it recgonizes this and still gives you the win (or at least thats how i heard it was set up).

    i think its about time skill was the central focus of the game rather than luck changing the course of a match every single time x=.

    and if you cant beat players because you cant rely on luck anymore, its about time for you to get a team change. pokemon is meant to be a game where you should carefully and soundly construct your team, not just use a happy go lucky team and ease your way up with hax.
  13. Articuno64

    Articuno64 1 to 63 were taken
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    Even though I don't play pokemon anymore (things can't have changed that much since ruby and sapphire), I almost wish I did because this is a truly monumental leap forward in competitive pokemon.

    Right from the game's release, luck has been the one thing that held pokemon back. Sure, I can catch 150 pokemon and trade them with my friends. But can I play pokemon as a serious, competitive game? We've tried. Ever since Blizzard's PBS was released in 2000 (or was it 1999?), we've been trying to make this game "real". We carefully banned moves like Double Team and Horn Drill to craft this game into what it was... but there was always something missing, something that caused great players such as myself to eventually drop off one by one. No matter how much you prepared, no matter how well you played, you could never master the game. Luck stood in the way.

    And it was humiliating. How many times can you have your Tauros frozen by a Cloyster's Blizzard and still keep a cool head? And the lucky newbies were just unbearable. The way they sarcastically say "lol gg :)" at the end of a match where your Exeggutor's Sleep Powder just missed twice in a row. It was not uncommon for me to quit for weeks at a time during events like this, and I eventually had just had enough.

    But now we've fixed all that. Thanks to the brilliance of the collective Smogon mind, the pokemon franchise can finally become what we've been trying to make it all these years. This was certainly a long time coming.

    If you disagree with this formula, you must hate innovation. Plain and simple. Smogon has a history of innovation with this game, and this formula was an inevitable move. OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE! THIS IS BIG! Trust me, I've been playing a lot longer than you have.

    In fact, this is so big, that I'm even contemplating returning to pokemon. What do you guys think about that? It would probably only take me a few days to get caught up. I've heard about that new Sneasel evolution and I'll bet I can subtract some serious hit points with it.
  14. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    I highly recommend it. As I'm sure some people have noticed, I've been on Shoddybattle again recently. This just so happened to coincide with the arrival of the hax test server (I was on both =) ). You shouldn't get your hopes up too high just yet: right now the hax formula doesn't seem strong enough. In fact, I haven't seen it overturn a single battle yet, and although I wasn't in a particularly hax-filled battle, I did lose to a couple of early-game flinches. It was an uphill battle the rest of the way, but I couldn't quite overcome it.

    In other words, I think we'll need to beef up the formula a little bit before we can really declare victory, but yes, we are well on our way.

    Have fun using Weavile! :toast:
  15. Blue Kirby

    Blue Kirby Never back down.
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    After the amount of time I've spent on the private server testing away, I feel it's time to give my opinion as it stands. I do tend to agree with Obi - although the formula has overturned haxy battles, I'm somewhat surprised at how much still slides. What I'm talking about here is something that people seem to overlook far too much - and that is the classic damage rolls I know we have them included them in the formula, but I do not feel that they are being given enough weight when determining the amount of hax that took place in a battle.

    As I found out when I looked into one of my battles with RB Golbat, although a particular match was overturned in my favour as a result of an accumulation of hax (flinches, critical hits) - there was a ridiculous amount of damage rolls that went against me in terms of how much damage I was dealing. I have now begun keeping track of the damage I'm dealing and receiving (and chatting with my opponents after a game where I'm not 100% sure of the EV spread I was facing). I have come to the conclusion that damage rolls are not being given enough weight at this point - it seems to take 7 or 8 near minimum damage rolls for me/near maximum damage rolls for my opponent to even have a bearing on the outcome. I do not believe you factored this into our battle you referred to earlier, Articanus. Luck was clearly against me in that instance.

    Of course, I say all this without a complete understanding of the formula - at this point this is just a speculation of mine. Have any of you guys been noticing the same thing?
  16. AvatarST

    AvatarST HACKING TO THE GATE
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    Arti, you're the last person I thought I'd hear this from.

    I'll go make another alt and test this, but I doubt I'm going to like it since I disagree with the very concept itself.
  17. DM

    DM Ce soir, on va danser.
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    I think that would be a great thing Arti, for you (to get back into something that you enjoyed for so long) and for Smogon (to have one of the oldest figureheads active again).

    I've been following this formula discussion quietly up until now, but I would like to come out and say that I am very intrigued by the idea, and if implemented correctly it will definitely improve the pokemon battling experience for everyone. I myself have tried numerous times to get into pokemon (going all the way back into early Netbattle days), but it seems like every time I battled I got discouraged because of hax.

    I distinctly remember a battle against Skarm, who was then an admin; if I won the battle I would gain halfops in #smogon (so I obviously had more than the usual motivation to win). In my corner I had alex/LordS, Roy and Brain walking me through the battle, telling me which pokemon to switch to and which moves I should use. Even then, with three great pokemon players in my corner, I still lost.

    And it wasn't solely because Skarm was a great battler, though he was. At least three times in the battle something negative would happen (my move missing, his hitting, etc.) where the guys in my corner said "oh man, that shouldn't have happened." After the battle was over, even Skarm told me he really shouldn't have won. As a novice pokemon player trying to get into the game, how do you think I felt about sticking with it?

    It's now a couple years later, but I still have the itch to get into pokemon for real. With a new game coming out the interest is at a fever pitch, and I think releasing this anti-hax formula to coincide with Platinum is a fantastic idea and will do wonders for Smogon.
  18. the_artic_one

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    I'm not sure I like that the exact details of the formula are being kept a secret. This implies that the formula is easily abusable and if anyone managed to reverse engineer it, they could dominate the ladder. Are the details only going to be kept secret for the duration of the test? Or do you plan to keep them secret forever?

    If the formula is so weak that it requires security through obscurity, I'm don't think I want to have anything to do with it.
  19. Elevator Music

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    I'm guessing you don't like the suspect test's hidden requirement then?

    Because they are both the same principle.
  20. Lemmiwinks MkII

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    I don't see how. AFAIK, the hidden requirement on the suspect tests is just an extra condition to allow for a greater voting pool, i.e. does not negatively impact anyone making the real requirements.

    This is clearly different, as this formula potentially decides whether you win or lose a match, and therefore has a clear competitive influence on a match-by-match basis. The problem with such an unknown formula is that whether you win or lose becomes dependent not on a fixed condition that you can consciously aim to reach, but effectively dependent somewhat on chance, which defeats the initial purpose of the formula itself. If extra knowledge of such an obviously influential factor gives you a competitive edge, then it is clearly your duty as a competitor to seek out that knowledge. Keeping the details of the formula secret doesn't completely prevent exploitation anyway, it just makes the process more time-consuming and uncertain. I'm talking about cross-referencing and analyzing a significant amount of logs with both real and overturned outcomes. It is certainly something that I'll be looking in to once this is implemented on a ladder that I play regularly, to see if any competitive gains can be made. Such scrutiny might actually help to improve the formula as well, so do not think that it would be a way of ridiculing the process, not at all. In fact I find such rash assumptions to be both insulting and demeaning.

    That is all I'll say about this matter for now until I actually battle with the system first-hand, as it is abundantly clear that this discussion is making the people involved extremely aggravated. I'm quite frankly shocked at the level of immaturity currently shown by the senior members regarding this issue. All I wanted was to have my concerns addressed and discussed in an intelligent and polite manner.
  21. DougJustDoug

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    I am posting the script here, so I can link to it from the Curtain Call thread.

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