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Author Topic: Preventing users from commit suicide (disabling /kill command)?  (Read 5804 times)
Gig
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« on: October 14, 2016, 04:14:21 am »

It has been a lot ot time since I read such complaints (probably due to many few players actually writing on the forums), but in the past I remember there were players complaining of lamers who commited suicide for negating a score to their attacker.

At that time, I replied to one of such complaints in this way:
I find nothing humiliating in arriving second in a DM, no matter the reason.
This is just a game, play for fun!  Smiley

By the way, what happened? A guy killed himself just before you managed to kill him? The game already discourages this, by lowering the score of who commits suicide... what else should the game do? Disable the "kill" command? But somethimes it is useful (e.g. if you get stuck in a badly designed map)... and however one might find other ways to suicide (e.g. jumping into lava or into a pit of death, or rocket-jumping while having low health).
In recent OA versions (from 0.8.5), IIRC, if there are only 2 players in a deathmatch (and also in Tournament mode), if one of the two suicides, instead of having his own score lowered as usual, the opponent's score goes up instead (in a head-to-head 1vs1 match, you cannot suicide to prevent the opponent from scoring the final frag). Of course this rule change does not apply to old mods.
In short, I said the game already discourages such behavior.

However, if people who actually play the game online feel this is still an issue, maybe a new "DMFLAGS" value could be used to let server admins who really want to disable "kill" command do it (I don't think it's worth an entire dedicated CVAR).
I can guess making the server just ignore that client command should be easy enough... maybe providing a text response to the client "Kill command has been disabled on this server", avoiding the risk of flooding if one pushes it repeatedly/continuosly, may require a bit more work... (well, maybe that may be managed more efficiently making it completely client side instead... I can guess the client knows the server's dmflags value!).

What do you think about that?
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 12:13:12 pm »

Disabling suicide is a bit tricky. Not only because it can be necessary but also because it sometimes happens as a side effect.
A solution I have seen is the 10 seconds limit (used in Codename Eagle) or require a second push after 2 seconds.

In addition to the VQ3 things OpenArena already have the following extra:
  • Using kill after being sent airborne will still award a kill to the attacker. ( requires g_awardpushing != 0. Default 1 in 0.8.8 ).
  • Suicide in a two player game always gives a point to the other player.

This does not make any difference for 0.8.1 servers or any mods.
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Gig
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 02:34:09 am »

Disabling suicide is a bit tricky. Not only because it can be necessary but also because it sometimes happens as a side effect.
Excuse me... happens after a side effect of what? Do you mean that e.g. a player leaving a team actually sends a "kill" command to the server?

Quote
A solution I have seen is the 10 seconds limit (used in Codename Eagle) or require a second push after 2 seconds.
I do not know about Codename Eagle, do you mean you have to keep the button pushed for 10 seconds there? A technical issue would be that "/kill" is a standard command, thought for be also typed in console (it's not even binded to any key by default, IIRC)... unlike movement commands like "+forward" which are meant to be binded to keys which will be hold...

Quote
In addition to the VQ3 things OpenArena already have the following extra:
  • Using kill after being sent airborne will still award a kill to the attacker. ( requires g_awardpushing != 0. Default 1 in 0.8.8 ).
  • Suicide in a two player game always gives a point to the other player.
I didn't remember about the first one...  Smiley

Quote
This does not make any difference for 0.8.1 servers or any mods.
True. If servers stuck with old versions, there is nothing we can do.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2016, 10:48:05 am »

Excuse me... happens after a side effect of what? Do you mean that e.g. a player leaving a team actually sends a "kill" command to the server?
No but there is technically very little difference between killing yourself with a rocket and typing "/kill".

I codename Eagle after typing "kill" a message would appear: "Ok, you will die in 10 seconds".

It is a lot of code required to prevent a player from typing kill. I would rather make the g_awardpushing much more aggressive. Like killing yourself will reward the kill to the last person hitting you in the last 5 seconds even if you have touched the ground in the meantime. 

Some people think it is a bit wierd. Being killed and moments later being awarded a kill because your killer took a wrong turn shortly after.
Personally I wouldn't mind.
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Gig
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 01:48:35 am »

Maybe a more aggressive way of "awardpushing" may be enabled by g_awardpushing "2"? On one hand, that would give more control to server admis; on the other one, sometimes just keeping things simple is better.

I don't know. I hoped some more players expressed their thoughts in this thread...
Is there someone?  Undecided
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 01:50:59 am by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2016, 08:22:29 am »

I have noticed this diff:
https://github.com/OpenArena/gamecode/commit/cb6f540bfbeb8ea6c86f5ac0c697b90fe54600fc

So, now if you set g_awardpushing 2, dying rewards the last one who hit you (in the last five seconds) even if you have regained "ground control" in the meanwhile, and that applies also to suiciding with a weapon, other than using "kill" or voluntarily jumping in a deadly place? Even if just due to standard falling damage?
On the other hand, the classic awardpushing 1 does work only if you are actually "pushed" in a deadly place (without having ground control) or in case you use kill (independently from ground control? Or not?) within 5 seconds after being shot, right? The "weapon suicide" does not apply to 1, right?

Re-reading my post, I see I have not used "clear" phrases, sorry. I hope you get what I wanted to know...
-If your changes modified something also in mode 1.
-If the anti-kill, in mode 1 (in 0.8.8 and after the changes) does apply only if you air airborne or not)
- Etc. To sum up, what's useful to know about the feature.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 12:13:27 pm by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 05:59:26 am »

Okay, I did a few tests with nightly build... but it's not very easy to do not all alone, I'm not been able to do effectively do some tests (e.g. I wanted to try to suicide with a rocket against a wall while mid-air, but that's not so easy to do while changing pc on the fly, so I have not been able to do such test and I still don't know if that applies to 1).

It looks like that:
- g_awardpushing 1 is unchanged: it does award the attacker only if the dead one was pushed "airborne" in a deadly pit/trap, or in case he used "/kill" while still airborne. If within 5 seconds.
- g_awardpushing 2, the more aggressive one, awards the attacker in any way (more or less?) the other one dies within 5 seconds after being shot. So, this includes not only "/kill", but also other kinds of suicide. And does not care if the guy is sent airborne or not.

Is this correct?
Do you think that in the aggressive mode, also going to "spectate" after being shot should be punished/rewarded, too? Maybe it's better to do not mess with such stuff?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 11:06:14 am by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 12:41:45 pm »

The spectator thing was actually something I thought about a few days ago as another way to deny a player a kill. Today it should already be that a team change trigger a suicide and act like a kill. After OA got the PlayerStore functionality fast switching teams is like a "/kill" command.

So yes, I do expect going spectator after being hit will award a point. And switching team while falling to your death will do it for g_awardpushing 1 as well (and should do so today).

Testing suicide with a rocker launcher and quad damage is not that hard. I used oa_pvomit for testing. It is one of my favorite maps but a lot of people hate it because it is too easy to kill yourself.
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 01:33:01 pm »

IIRC, time ago (before 0.8.8) some small change has been done to team switching scoring... I think it was a fix for a bug for which changing team caused your old team to score a point in tdm... maybe that bug has been fixed (probably oax b47) by making a player change team  do not affect teams scores in tdm.

This morning I did some test by switching to spectate, but I'm not so sure about the results (also due to the "no negative scores" and "shift score in case there are only two players" rules get in the way)... Maybe I tested it with "2"  and it did not trigger the thing, but I'm not sure.

I tested suicide with a weapon with "2" (works as expected)... Testing with "1" is not so easy, because shooting from a PC and taking the controls on a second pc while the character is still airborne to shoot a rocket in the wall before reaching the floor is not so easy. Maybe I'll try in oa_pvomit next week.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 02:58:02 pm by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2016, 07:30:19 pm »

/kill is VERY bad cheating in Capture The Flag where no one gives a flying [*ahem*] about frags, the only thing that matters are team flag capture scores.

1. It allows for *extremely* aggressive defense when a bunch of defenders keep machinegunning anyone who grabs for their flag. They will never run out of ammo and they can keep killing themselves until they spawn in a position to blindside attackers or have a simiilar tactical advantage.

2. It could be used to quickly pass the flag to a teammate when the carrier's health is running low

3. It allows immediate return to home base if the cheater sees most of the action migrating there.

4. It allows drawing enemy players out in pursuit, then respawining back to base defense without waiting for them to finish you off.

5. It negates the tactical element of delaying enemy players by pushing them into abyss, as there is no delay between "AAAAH" and "splat" anymore. May be quite significant for maps with deep abysses. I often see the pushed-off cheaters /kill as soon as they see no chance to land anywhere.
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 01:24:30 pm »

Then maybe a server-controlled feature to (optionally) add a delay between pushing kill button and its effect (after a fixed or cvar-controlled time in seconds) may still be a solution?
I don't know how much code it would require... judging from previous responses from Sago, it's not a quick modify as one might think...

However, let's wait for his opinion...
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 02:15:15 pm by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 09:11:44 am »

Now that I think about it, respawning in waves feature may have the side effect of discouraging a bit "/kill" abuses, due to adding a (variable) delay before respawning.

I know it's not a real solution (it's not the real goal of the feature, and it affects all kinds of deaths), but at least it's something already available in 0.8.8.

A "real" countermeasure would be better...
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 07:31:18 pm »

/kill is VERY bad cheating in Capture The Flag where no one gives a flying [*ahem*] about frags, the only thing that matters are team flag capture scores.

1. It allows for *extremely* aggressive defense when a bunch of defenders keep machinegunning anyone who grabs for their flag. They will never run out of ammo and they can keep killing themselves until they spawn in a position to blindside attackers or have a simiilar tactical advantage.

2. It could be used to quickly pass the flag to a teammate when the carrier's health is running low

3. It allows immediate return to home base if the cheater sees most of the action migrating there.

4. It allows drawing enemy players out in pursuit, then respawining back to base defense without waiting for them to finish you off.

5. It negates the tactical element of delaying enemy players by pushing them into abyss, as there is no delay between "AAAAH" and "splat" anymore. May be quite significant for maps with deep abysses. I often see the pushed-off cheaters /kill as soon as they see no chance to land anywhere.

Honestly, I don't see how any of that is a problem or a hindrance to gameplay, since players from both teams are allowed to do it. It simply adds another layer of strategy and, in my opinion, is a perfectly valid element of the game. The same is true for multiple gametypes, such as FFA, where it also has its share of tactical advantages and disadvantages.

Limiting it would be limiting the game.
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Gig
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 01:43:50 am »

Honestly, I don't see how any of that is a problem or a hindrance to gameplay, since players from both teams are allowed to do it. It simply adds another layer of strategy and, in my opinion, is a perfectly valid element of the game. The same is true for multiple gametypes, such as FFA, where it also has its share of tactical advantages and disadvantages.

Limiting it would be limiting the game.
Also this is a point. In case Sago may decide to do something more against suicides, I suppose it should be optional, disabled by default. (By the way, it was my opinion also before your post... simply due to the general rule of "preserve Q3A gameplay").

PS: Just a couple of random thoughts for Sago:

- In case you will decide to implement a "kill delay" feature, I guess a "You will die in n seconds" text may be placed in the same place of the respawn counter: they would never appear at the same time, so there should be no overlapping problem. Maybe it may use a different color.

- How does g_awardpushing (2, and to a lesser likelihood, 1) deal with Kamikaze?

« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 07:25:51 am by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 12:46:42 pm »

Also this is a point. In case Sago may decide to do something more against suicides, I suppose it should be optional, disabled by default. (By the way, it was my opinion also before your post... simply due to the general rule of "preserve Q3A gameplay").

I agree about not wanting to change Q3A gameplay. Seeing as how pretty much any element of the game can be annoying if it's abused, trying to solve all these problems through the removal, limitation, or dramatic alteration of those elements would be either counterproductive or downright impossible. Aside from favoring one opinion on the matter over another, trying to address them that way would also undoubtedly lead to even more problems and abuses farther down the road, not to mention more headache for the developers.

That's why I also agree that "sometimes just keeping things simple is better." Retaining a feature's current functionality while allowing it to be enabled or disabled on a server-to-server basis would probably be the ideal approach in most cases, including this one.

From my perspective as a player and lover of Open Arena, it seems to me that (to whatever degree possible) if something doesn't clearly and unfairly benefit one player or team over another, and if it doesn't violate any server or gametype rules without consequence, it should be left alone. Generally speaking, people enjoy the game for what it is now, not for what it could potentially become in the future. 

...aaand I lost another cake. Sweet. giggity
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 01:51:38 pm »

Generally speaking, people enjoy the game for what it is now, not for what it could potentially become in the future.  

...aaand I lost another cake. Sweet. giggity
While that is probably true, one should not take it too literally, otherwise working for creating new versions would lose meaning...

About cakes, do not care too much about them. I just gave you one to compensate.
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 02:51:33 pm »

Indeed. I guess I should have made it clearer that I was speaking specifically in regards to the aspects of the game that people find annoying, not to improvements in general.

The cakes thing is strange. It doesn't bother so much as puzzle me why I lose one every time I post. Zero is fine, but -1 just seems close to "troll" category. Or at least that's the impression I get, anyway. But oh well.

By the way, I don't know if it's worth mentioning or not, but Quake Live has a g_allowKill cvar that disables suiciding by default, which returns the message "Not allowed on this server" (or something to that effect) to the player who attempts to use it. EDIT: I see where this approach has already been addressed for the most part.

If that's still inadequate, perhaps awarding a health or ammo bonus to the last player to damage someone who kills themselves would satisfy. Those seem to be the biggest concerns of people who criticize the use of /kill, at least in gametypes like CTF where individual scores are mostly insignificant. That might be preferable to removing it outright anyway, because some maps (like wrackdm17) do have glitches making the use of /kill the only way out of certain locations, aside from joining the spectators or disconnecting altogether.

Mainly, I'm just concerned about unforeseen problems these workarounds, such as delays, can cause. Such a thing happened with spawn protection; I remember hearing that it helped some players at the expense of others, and that's probably why I'm hesitant to recommend a similar course of action here.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 03:01:19 pm by EvilDrBrain » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 09:33:22 pm »

I don't think it's appropriate to open a poll about who really even likes/dislikes the /kill suicide command. But I'm quite curious about how many people don't like the use of /kill. In my opinion people don't like it's use when it's not in their favor. If anyone can remember C++ (in game) or Jakash3 from the OpenArena boards.. he felt that people were using /kill as a way to prevent him from winning. In reality you need the /kill function for many parts of the game and the hidden strategy within it.

For example you may be on a map where everyone has already taken the available health/armor and you are now stuck waiting 25s/35s to heal yourself. In some cases during a FFA/DM match the goal is to gain as many kills as possible. Now having low health in FFA/DM you are subjected to being killed by anyone and perhaps giving up a lead or losing position on the score board..

In other situations you may get stuck on a position in the map that you need to suicide to get from. It's rare but it does happen.

A lot of defrag maps require you to /kill to begin the map over again.

All in all.. it's a negative to yourself at the end of the day.

Note: The bigger issue is spawn protection. But I do understand why it does exist.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 09:55:08 pm by DILZNIK » Logged

Gig
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2016, 02:32:54 am »

About spawn protection, I'm not sure about the reason why it has been enabled by default, despite not being a baseq3 feature... probably it was not tought to be a problem.

The way the feature is currently implemented in baseoa (no visual feedback about "protected" players, and protected players capable of shooting, although that immediately ends protection) actually may give some real advantage to the respawned person, in modes such as instantgib. I thought the default duration of just 0.5 seconds would not have been a problem... but reading your posts, it looks like it is, at least in instantgib...

I just added a note in Spawn protection description on the wiki to suggest that server admins may like to disable it in modes like instantgib. (This, of course, opens the way to spawnpoint campers again).

I have no problem in discussing more about it... maybe in OA3 the feature may be disabled by default, or reworked to (optionally?) behave like some mods do (visual feedback and/or protected player not able to shoot at all). But this is not the right thread for that.
If you wish, you can open an apposite thread for it, where interested people may put their own thoughts about it, and then Sago may decide whether to make some change to it or not.

Note: also the current "no visual feedback" behavior has got sense: in "standard" modes a colored overlay over the player would be like a sign "Look here! I'm a newly respawed player with just a machinegun and no armor. You will be able to attack me soon!"...
Finding a way to make everyone happy does not seem so easy...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 02:44:26 am by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2016, 03:39:33 am »

For example you may be on a map where everyone has already taken the available health/armor and you are now stuck waiting 25s/35s to heal yourself. In some cases during a FFA/DM match the goal is to gain as many kills as possible. Now having low health in FFA/DM you are subjected to being killed by anyone and perhaps giving up a lead or losing position on the score board..
Also this depends from the point of view you look at things...
Also "resource control" is a tactical aspect of the game (if you are good at it, you are often more healthy than your opponents, but that's not so easy).
And if you have only one frag of difference against another player, he will reach you anyway, because using "/kill" lowers your score by one. Now that I think about it, it's even worse... because lowering your own score for you is a disadvantage against all opponents, while letting an opponent killing you for you is a disadvantage only against that specific opponent.[1]
Quote
In other situations you may get stuck on a position in the map that you need to suicide to get from. It's rare but it does happen.
Yes. So I think a delay of the kill would be better that completely disable it.

Quote
A lot of defrag maps require you to /kill to begin the map over again.
I guess this would be a gamecode thing, not an engine thing... so it would not affect any existing mod.

[1] Now that I realize this... killing yourself just for negating a score to another player is a more stupid move than what I thought before!  topsy
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 03:45:34 am by Gig » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2016, 06:12:03 am »

An idea: there is already "you have been mined, internal combustion in..."
Why not make /kill add, like, 5 mines to the player?

Quote
In my opinion people don't like it's use when it's not in their favor.
I don't like it because it allows the side using it to use brute-force respawning strategies instead, say, planning for failure in advance (balancing between attacking and defending your base) or having to find a RL to suicide.
Where frags matter, suicide is losing a frag.
Where frags do *not* matter, suicide is, in fact, insta-heal combined with base defense buff. Especially on maps where shotgun is given automatically at spawn.

In short, it makes CTF in particular much less sophisticated. While CTF is the most tactically complex of (widely used) game modes.

I don't mind other modes, suicide is simply pointless in deathmatch.
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2016, 06:18:29 am »

An idea: there is already "you have been mined, internal combustion in..."
Why not make /kill add, like, 5 mines to the player?
I think it's not feasible:
IIRC, those mines, when exploding, would still have a blast radius which would harm players near you. That would result in a sort of "free Kamikaze" feature.
Also IIRC, mines do only deal "splash" damage and no normal damage, so they do not harm you at all if you are wearing the "battle suit".
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2016, 06:25:47 am »

Quote
That would result in a sort of "free Kamikaze" feature.
BAD  Sad

Hmmm... Then, maybe, find how it is done and copy-paste that code just replacing the damage type? Lips Sealed
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« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2016, 06:52:14 am »

Quote
That would result in a sort of "free Kamikaze" feature.
BAD  Sad

Hmmm... Then, maybe, find how it is done and copy-paste that code just replacing the damage type? Lips Sealed

From players' point of view, looking exactly the same but having a different effect than real mines may be confusing...

Also, I'm not the coder, but I feel that it may still be more complicated or may have more unforeseen drawbacks than just applying a delay (and a message) and then executing standard "kill" code...
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« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2016, 01:01:03 pm »

Also "resource control" is a tactical aspect of the game (if you are good at it, you are often more healthy than your opponents, but that's not so easy).
And if you have only one frag of difference against another player, he will reach you anyway, because using "/kill" lowers your score by one. Now that I think about it, it's even worse... because lowering your own score for you is a disadvantage against all opponents, while letting an opponent killing you for you is a disadvantage only against that specific opponent.[1]
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In other situations you may get stuck on a position in the map that you need to suicide to get from. It's rare but it does happen.
Yes. So I think a delay of the kill would be better that completely disable it.

Not to argue, but losing a frag rather than giving one to an opponent is just an option that players have to weigh when using the /kill command. The player must decide, often in a very short period of time, whether its more advantageous to risk being killed by another player (while at the same time leaving the opportunity available for finding more health/armor/ammo) or to kill himself, respawning in an unforeseen location, with replenished health but no weapons or armor and one less frag. The answer will not be the same for every situation. That simple fact alone seems enough to validate the use of /kill in OA as a legitimate strategy rather than a cheat or method of abuse.

By the same token, adding a delay would negate any such strategic use and make whatever gametype (especially DM) that much more straightforward (i.e., uninteresting).

The /kill command can be abused just like any other weapon, item, or technique out there, but its nature as a risk/reward tradeoff makes its in-game use both fair and justifiable. It's not purely beneficial for the player nor purely harmful for his opponents. Removing it or nullifying its usefulness, then, would be detrimental to both and would unnecessarily eliminate an entire dimension of the game.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 01:08:32 pm by EvilDrBrain » Logged

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