Neil Kerman

Cheating; A meditation on it's definition in modded KSP

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31 minutes ago, Nikolai said:

Under that definition, every new rule added to a sport to simplify it becomes cheating, even if the players follow it.  For example, this year has seen a new rule added to professional American football: Players can no longer jump over the line of scrimmage to attempt to block field goals or extra points.  This certainly simplifies the scoring of those points for the team attempting a field goal or an extra point.

What justification do you have for using this special and singular definition for "cheating", as opposed to a word that is clearer and already accurately reflects the definition you've chosen (e.g., "simplification")?

No changing the rules in an game is not cheating by default, exploiting the rules are cheating if determined is cheating. Typical playing as game is not intended. 

I play elder scrolls online, in PvP taking structures like farms from the enemy give you xp and a currency: alliance points. 
Some smart players found that if you had two enemy groups one could take an farm, then move out and the other group moves in and take it back, repeat every minute.
This was judged cheating, you are not suppose to cooperate with enemy in PvP. Same in Playerunknown's battleground, multiple groups are not supposed to cooperate. 
On the other hand its legal to cooperate with enemies in ESO if purpose is not direct profit like set battles for training or testing strategy. 

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For me it depends entirely on the situation.

In general if it means going into ALT+F12 and clicking on that wee section called "cheats" then it's cheating. But it also depends what I am doing, if I am just messing about for kicks then there is nothing I would consider cheating. If I am playing career (which I take seriously) then using the cheat menu if I run out of fuel etc is cheating. To some extent using the quick save/load system on a user error is also "cheating" because you are by passing the consequences of your actions. Using it because of the Kraken is fine.

That said I sometimes cheat contracts as Completed because of bugs preventing them from otherwise completing. Currently I have an issue with ore related ones, the system doesn't recognise that I acquired the ore, but does recognise that my ship now has all the ore on it. So once all other contract requirements are fulfilled I will mark it completed manually. The bug is probably mod related, I do have a lot, I'm just too lazy to look into the exact cause.

Do I cheat? Sometimes. Depends on my mood. As serious I am about career there are times where if I run out of fuel I will just reload and do it again or use infinite fuel. I'm fully capable of doing orbital rendezvous and I find it quite easy, so sometimes if I make a mistake that leaves a mission stranded I will just cheat my way home and consider it a rescue mission. Other times I will do it properly. Once you get to a certain level of career you can spend so long doing certain missions that you end up litterally playing for one mission so it's those instances where I will just say "forget it" and cheat to finish. 

Is cheating harmful? It's a single player game so no. It just by passes something that I might find a chore in that particular moment.

 

Much like GTA, I like to cheap weapons or invincibility, because sometimes I find in just causing mayhem. But I won't use cheats in the story mode as I feel it cheapens the experience for me.

I'm old enough to remember games were you had to put in lengthy codes as a form of level save/load. Heck I'm old enough to remember when you had to type out the game code yourself from a book, so all this "omg he cheated he did this and that in his single player game" is just so trite, pointless, and childish to me. I've always had the opinion that what you do with YOUR game in your room is your business. So long as it doesn't harm someone else's experience, in multiplayer, then who really cares? I mean in my youth "cheating" meant looking at the other half of the screen to see where your friend was. :wink:

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2 hours ago, Nikolai said:

I think this is only true if one embraces your unique definition of "cheating":

Under that definition, every new rule added to a sport to simplify it becomes cheating, even if the players follow it.  For example, this year has seen a new rule added to professional American football: Players can no longer jump over the line of scrimmage to attempt to block field goals or extra points.  This certainly simplifies the scoring of those points for the team attempting a field goal or an extra point.

What justification do you have for using this special and singular definition for "cheating", as opposed to a word that is clearer and already accurately reflects the definition you've chosen (e.g., "simplification")?

I thought that's quite obvious. Well, my definition of cheating is

Whatever that intentionally goes against the rules or "around" the rules, explicitly or implicitly defined by the model's developers, in purpose of simplification.

Thus your example is not cheating as the rules were simplified. So the justification is just in going against the rules or the intended use of the model. If KSP developers implement a dV reading someday, having it would stop being a cheat. Sometimes game developers intentionally implement ways to circumvent their own rules but they call it explicitly the "cheat codes", so that's not an exclusion too.

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47 minutes ago, Ser said:

I thought that's quite obvious. Well, my definition of cheating is

Whatever that intentionally goes against the rules or "around" the rules, explicitly or implicitly defined by the model's developers, in purpose of simplification.

Thus your example is not cheating as the rules were simplified. So the justification is just in going against the rules or the intended use of the model. If KSP developers implement a dV reading someday, having it would stop being a cheat. Sometimes game developers intentionally implement ways to circumvent their own rules but they call it explicitly the "cheat codes", so that's not an exclusion too.

Using a calculator, or even estimating, to figure your delta-V based on the values given within the game is cheating.

Nice.

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On 9/4/2017 at 1:34 AM, Xavven said:

Any parts, income, control schemes, etc. available to the player have to be counter-balanced with problems to solve that are sufficiently challenging for a player with those tools. Ergo, any time you introduce an outside advantage to a player, perhaps through mods, you unbalance the game in some way.

I wouldn't say someone who completed an Eve surface-sample return mission in KSP vanilla had to face the same design challenges that a person with a modded 1000 Isp (atm) engine faced, for example.

Well, clearly, using the cheats menu is cheating - by Squad's definition.

Giving an advantage through mods may not be cheating by your definition if the mod introduces a challenge to balance it, no?

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15 hours ago, regex said:

Using a calculator, or even estimating, to figure your delta-V based on the values given within the game is cheating.

Nice.

That's a question is that much of a simplification over the trial and error method to manually estimate dV every time. But using a mod that does it automatically is a cheat.

It's like using an aimbot: it does nothing more than you can do manually but times quicker. So it's a cheat even in a single player game.

 

Edited by Ser

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16 hours ago, Ser said:

I thought that's quite obvious. Well, my definition of cheating is

Whatever that intentionally goes against the rules or "around" the rules, explicitly or implicitly defined by the model's developers, in purpose of simplification.

Thus your example is not cheating as the rules were simplified. So the justification is just in going against the rules or the intended use of the model. If KSP developers implement a dV reading someday, having it would stop being a cheat. Sometimes game developers intentionally implement ways to circumvent their own rules but they call it explicitly the "cheat codes", so that's not an exclusion too.

You are seeing implicit rules that may well only exist in your mind.

Squad's stance in regard mods is pretty clear. Mods are supported with a section on  the official forum, nodding tools and often game mechanics are developed with mods in mind. Stock elitism is not a vision the devs have for the game.

 

Well, more general to the broad subject of the thread:

Cheating implies attempt to obtaining an unfair advantage.  I point can be made that someone that can play for several hours daily have a clear advantage over someone busy with work/family/whatever ane only have a limited time at weekends. Some people play in low performance computers that struggle to keep the game playable. Or that one can have impaired vision, poor motor skills or some kind of medical condition that add a difficult that most of us don't even imagine.   The list goes on but the fact is there is a lot of reason one can be in a much worse conditions to extract enjoyment from the game, and hardly any of those reason can be called 'fair'.

Calling those people cheaters just because they made some adaptation to enjoy a game is mean. Let alone the waste of time and effort.

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Having a higher resolution monitor than me is cheating by a lot of these definitions...

So is having a joystick or a faster CPU or more RAM.

There are no cheats that, in a different context, are not cheats.

Even the unlimited fuel cheat is not a cheat if you are investigating the simulation of a hypothetical torch drive.

Context Context Context.

"I challenge you to get a kerbal to duna with as little user input as possible, use any and all tools at your disposal."

In that context literally everything is allowed, cheating is not possible.

Ergo, all cheats are subjective, nothing is objectively cheating and a discussion of what constitutes cheating in general, becomes meaningless.

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1 hour ago, Spricigo said:

You are seeing implicit rules that may well only exist in your mind.

Squad's stance in regard mods is pretty clear. Mods are supported with a section on  the official forum, nodding tools and often game mechanics are developed with mods in mind. Stock elitism is not a vision the devs have for the game.

....

Cheating implies attempt to obtaining an unfair advantage. 

May or may not. Your words "unfair advantage" may also exist only in your mind.  One of the implicit rules is the game balance. If you mod an engine to have 10000 Isp, that's definitely a cheat. You may pretend and not call it so but everyone understands that it by far out of the intended balance of the game. And I just call it cheating.

Who talks about stock elitism? I use tons of mods, though most of them are making the game harder, but I use KER also which I've called a cheat a pair of posts above. Yes, I'm cheating against the idea that has been put into the game by developers, just because I want to play according my own rules. And in my own rule system having a dV readout is not a cheat, but having infinite oxygen or a closed cycle life support is. But to call them so I must admit that I'm playing a different game. Obviously, we should talk about the same game to tell what is cheating, right? That's why I'm talking in relation to pure stock game, which is Kerbal Space Program.

1 hour ago, p1t1o said:

Even the unlimited fuel cheat is not a cheat if you are investigating the simulation of a hypothetical torch drive.

"I challenge you to get a kerbal to duna with as little user input as possible, use any and all tools at your disposal."

In that context literally everything is allowed, cheating is not possible.

You talk about playing a different game with altered rules.

1 hour ago, p1t1o said:

Ergo, all cheats are subjective, nothing is objectively cheating and a discussion of what constitutes cheating in general, becomes meaningless.

Cheats aren't subjective, subjective is our understanding of rules. But there are some common and obvious cases of cheating, not so obvious and really hard cases to judge. The most obvious are the ones that break explicitly expressed rules like "not to have a dV readout".

Edited by Ser

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1 hour ago, Ser said:

...explicitly expressed rules like "not to have a dV readout".

Since when was that explicitly expressed as a rule?

1 hour ago, Ser said:

You talk about playing a different game with altered rules.

And?

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4 hours ago, Ser said:

That's a question is that much of a simplification over the trial and error method to manually estimate dV every time. But using a mod that does it automatically is a cheat.

It's like using an aimbot: it does nothing more than you can do manually but times quicker. So it's a cheat even in a single player game.

It's nothing like an aimbot.

An aimbot is there to remove the couple tenths on seconds you need to aim at your enemy, giving you superhuman reactions and a very unfair advantage over your enemy, whether it is a person or a bot. In a game where the difficulty is based on your abilities to properly aim at enemies, it is very much a cheat.

A dV readout is there to save you a few minutes of calculations whenever you're adding or removing a part from your rocket. Sure it does things automatically in your place and a lot faster than a human could, but who cares? KSP is not about sending a rocket before your enemy, it's about sending rockets to wherever you want. Giving you information to help you playing the game properly is not cheating*. Now, a wallhack also gives you information to help you play the game, but it's a cheat because you're not supposed to have access to that information and it's giving you an unfair advantage over an opponent; in KSP you have all the information you need to calculate dV, so why would calculating it be cheating? If the devs didn't want you to do it they would remove any mentions of Isps and fuel masses, then you could argue that having a dV readout would be cheating because you would not be supposed to have access to that information. 

The trial and error method pushed by the devs in their early PR only gets you so far. Getting to Eve over and over again to see if your lander can make orbit is not "good" gameplay, it's just annoying. In every game with thought-out gameplay, there are techniques and knowledge to learn to achieve a better level (weapons, maps, enemies, equipment, strategies...); in KSP it's learning how to properly fly and design your craft, this includes using proper engineering to optimise your rockets. Since the devs are so opposed to giving us any piece of useful information in the game, we either have to calculate things ourselves (which gets old really quickly) or use a mod that calculates these things for us.

 

* It's a game about flying rockets and the devs would be against using any kind of proper engineering while playing? In my opinion the only reason there isn't a dV readout in the stock game is because the devs can't program one properly (burn times have been broken since they were implemented), and in no way because their "vision" of the game forbids it. Remember that manoeuvre nodes are specified in terms of dV but that the game never explains what it is or how to calculate it.

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5 hours ago, Ser said:

That's a question is that much of a simplification over the trial and error method to manually estimate dV every time.

Very much so. Using a calculator vastly reduces the game time I must spend "implying" my delta-V, the "trial and error" is essentially removed. In fact, the mere knowledge of how to calculate delta-V, by your definition, automatically makes me a cheater since I can simplify my gameplay to a great extent.

45 minutes ago, p1t1o said:

Since when was that explicitly expressed as a rule?

It's explicitly expressed by the absence of a delta-V readout within the game.

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20 minutes ago, regex said:

It's explicitly expressed by the absence of a delta-V readout within the game.

Criminy! How does that change the multiplayer argument?!

Edited by p1t1o

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18 minutes ago, p1t1o said:

Criminy! How does that change the multiplayer argument?!

I don't follow. What specific multiplayer argument?

As I see it, when two or more players agree to use the model as a challenge additional rules are added in a mutually satisfactory manner. The game is thus altered for the purposes of the challenge. It's worth noting though, that any simplification of gameplay by one of the players, through outside knowledge or experience is, by Ser's definition, cheating. For instance, if one player knew how to calculate delta-V by hand and used that knowledge to simplify the gameplay, given that a rule was not already agreed upon to allow that.

Edited by regex

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1 hour ago, Ser said:

May or may not. Your words "unfair advantage" may also exist only in your mind.   

And what exactly you want to say with that? That cheating is not about attempting to gaining a unfair advantage or that the examples I provided are not unfair advantage/disadvantages ?  Either case I can't see what your reasoning may be.

Nonetheless,  if we are talking about going against rules or intended use is necessary to know which rules are those.  

You talk about implicit rules as if that was a incontestable  reality but there is no evidence squad think the same way.

And, while the onus to provide evidence of your claim should by on you, let me talk about a guy know as Roverdude. He happens to be a dev that helped to create the 'implicit rules of KSP', he is also a modder that created stuff to make the game easier/simplier* than stock is. 

That idea you have about the vanilla game being in some way a better (non-cheating) way to play the game is nothing else than stock elitism.  

*construction docking ports, ballast tank, water propulsion, articulated parts. ...

 

 

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On 9/7/2017 at 9:18 AM, magnemoe said:

No changing the rules in an game is not cheating by default, exploiting the rules are cheating if determined is cheating. Typical playing as game is not intended.

Precisely my point.  Cheating has nothing to do with simplification, and everything to do with following rules.  Toys have no inherent rules, so one can't cheat with them without agreeing to play a game with rules in it.

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11 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

That idea you have about the vanilla game being in some way a better (non-cheating) way to play the game is nothing else than stock elitism.

Well, to be fair, Ser's definition of cheating is basically useless for KSP because one of the implied rules is that modifying the game is not only allowed, but encouraged. Even Squad use the methods that players use to modify the game and the fact that the model gets better at supporting mods every update backs up the fact that it is an implied rule.

Essentially, any modification allowed by the API to the game is implicitly allowed.

E: Although I find it amusing that even allowing for mods, using a calculator outside the game for determining delta-V, by Ser's definition, is still cheating.

Edited by regex

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22 hours ago, Ser said:

I thought that's quite obvious. Well, my definition of cheating is

Whatever that intentionally goes against the rules or "around" the rules, explicitly or implicitly defined by the model's developers, in purpose of simplification.

That definition requires knowing what the developer's "model" is.  Since SQUAD hasn't explained precisely what their "model" is, and since we're not telepathic, no one is cheating when they use the game in novel ways.

This also ignores my point that toys don't have to be models.  Whether Kerbal Space Program is a model or not can be debated, but the very fact that it can be debated reveals that it's far from clear.  Since it's far from clear, it seems a bit of a stretch to insist that someone can clearly cheat with it.

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I don't get any of this discussion. there are cheats in the stock game (the debug menu), there are mods that add cheats (e.g. hyperedit), an der there are a lot of mods that are just mods, man you of wich actually make the game harder.

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2 minutes ago, Physics Student said:

I don't get any of this discussion. there are cheats in the stock game (the debug menu), there are mods that add cheats (e.g. hyperedit), an der there are a lot of mods that are just mods, man you of wich actually make the game harder.

Interestingly, by the definition we're talking about now Hyperedit is not a cheat as it is a player mod, whereas the orbit editor under the menu heading "Cheats", is. Funny how that works.

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1 hour ago, regex said:

I don't follow. What specific multiplayer argument?

As I see it, when two or more players agree to use the model as a challenge additional rules are added in a mutually satisfactory manner. The game is thus altered for the purposes of the challenge. It's worth noting though, that any simplification of gameplay by one of the players, through outside knowledge or experience is, by Ser's definition, cheating. For instance, if one player knew how to calculate delta-V by hand and used that knowledge to simplify the gameplay, given that a rule was not already agreed upon to allow that.

Nevermind, I was being obtuse.

What I was getting at, was a feature missing from KSP is not a "rule". 

My car does not come with a blood alcohol readout either, but if I install one, Im not breaking any rules. Implied or explicit.

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6 minutes ago, p1t1o said:

What I was getting at, was a feature missing from KSP is not a "rule". 

It depends on who determines it to be missing. If the developer agrees that it is missing then it would be a missing rule that just needs to be added to the model.

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2 hours ago, p1t1o said:

Since when was that explicitly expressed as a rule?

I won't start searching for all the dates when the developers refused to implement dV readout in the game, explaining that it would go against the idea how the game is supposed to be played. But they did for several times.

2 hours ago, p1t1o said:

And?

You play your own game, I play my own one with its own rules. How can we can tell who is cheating and what cheating is if the rules are different? It's obvious that we should talk about the same game to apply my definition of cheating. Or else what is "going against the rules" in that case? Whose rules?

 

1 hour ago, Spricigo said:

And what exactly you want to say with that? That cheating is not about attempting to gaining a unfair advantage or that the examples I provided are not unfair advantage/disadvantages ?  Either case I can't see what your reasoning may be.

I say that you just replace one word with the other, talking about same thing.

1 hour ago, Spricigo said:

Nonetheless,  if we are talking about going against rules or intended use is necessary to know which rules are those.

Rules are there. They are harder to break than card board game rules and that's why don't need to be explicitly written because the developers limit the things that we are able to do (i.e. implementing rules) by the program code. But not all of the possible scenarios can be/are feasible to be limited by the code.

 

1 hour ago, Spricigo said:

And, while the onus to provide evidence of your claim should by on you, let me talk about a guy know as Roverdude. He happens to be a dev that helped to create the 'implicit rules of KSP', he is also a modder that created stuff to make the game easier/simplier* than stock is.

You see, when Roverdude creates unofficial mods that aren't in touch with the official idea what the game should be, he creates means to alter the game, so using those mods you don't play the same KSP game. It's another game with its altered rules and it's another question what would we call "cheating" there.

1 hour ago, regex said:

Well, to be fair, Ser's definition of cheating is basically useless for KSP because one of the implied rules is that modifying the game is not only allowed, but encouraged.

E: Although I find it amusing that even allowing for mods, using a calculator outside the game for determining delta-V, by Ser's definition, is still cheating.

By modifying the game you get another game. It's very different to play stock game and KSP with TAC LS. And it doesn't make sense if you make yourself infinite food in stock game because it just doesn't matter, but it's cheating in TAC LS modified game.

And yes, using calculator is cheating to some extent, as I understand the developers meant KSP should be played. But it would be better to ask them.

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I'll take a different tack: Cheating constitutes any action taken in such a way as to intentionally make a task whose completion could have been fun not fun. The purpose of rules in multiplayer games is to keep the experience as fun as possible for as many people as possible. Mapping these rules onto a single-player game, you get the purpose of rules being to make the game as fun as possible for as long as possible. Therefore, cheating is any action that turns something that could have been fun into not-fun.

This does mean that everyone is going to have a different set of rules, but that's okay. The point is to have fun, and within the context of a single-player environment there's no "wrong" way to do that. Any quibbling about "developer intent" and "rules" is moot.

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Quote

And it doesn't make sense if you make yourself infinite food in stock game because it just doesn't matter, but it's cheating in TAC LS modified game.

It's actually not cheating in a TAC LS-modified game because it would have to be a player mod and simply changes the rules (unless I'm missing a universal infinite resource switch under Cheats, in which case one could avoid "cheating" by simply coding their own). By your definition modding the game is an explicitly allowed rule (not implicit as I said earlier). Nothing a player adds via mod code, assets, or configuration can be a cheat because the game explicitly allows that (and even provides for that). Going into the orbit editor within the game is cheating because it is under the heading "Cheats" but using Hyperedit, a player-added mod, is not cheating.

Quote

And yes, using calculator is cheating to some extent, as I understand the developers meant KSP should be played. But it would be better to ask them.

It is cheating until, and if, the player adds a delta-V readout through a player mod. At that point it doesn't simplify the game.

Edited by regex

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