Neil Kerman

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

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It's cheating when you think it's cheating. It's not cheating if you don't think it's cheating.

Personally I don't care if mr. Zealot McRightous in Ruleville, WI thinks I'm cheating or not. It doesn't affect me, and it's his problem, not mine. At best I'd be wondering why he'd care, or how he knows in the first place.

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1 minute ago, Kerbart said:

It's cheating when you think it's cheating. It's not cheating if you don't think it's cheating.

Personally I don't care if mr. Zealot McRightous in Ruleville, WI thinks I'm cheating or not. It doesn't affect me, and it's his problem, not mine. At best I'd be wondering why he'd care, or how he knows in the first place.

While I agree with this it's more fun playing forum logic games.

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37 minutes ago, regex said:

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.

So you are tryng to tell that cheating only exists if it is explicitly declared to be it? Like "There's no sign stopping me from taking anyhing from the shop via the back door, so I'm not stealing". Come on!

 

49 minutes ago, regex said:

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.

Agreed.

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Just now, Ser said:

So you are tryng to tell that cheating only exists if it is explicitly declared to be it?

By your definition:

Quote

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

and the explicit rules of KSP (modding is not only allowed but provided for), anything added by a player via assets, code, and configuration cannot be considered cheating. Mods cannot go against or around the rules as the model explicitly allows itself to be modified. You may end up with a new game but that's besides the point; the rules have changed and there is nothing preventing new rules from being written (in fact, it is encouraged!)

Quote

Like "There's no sign stopping me from taking anyhing from the shop via the back door, so I'm not stealing". Come on!

Do the developers take measures to prevent that sort of behavior or do they implicitly allow such emergent gameplay? There is no code in KSP preventing me from creating and using a 1,000,000 isp engine with ridiculous thrust through mod assets. The game allows this and will correctly interpret the given stats to provide me with a running engine. Therefore it cannot be cheating because I am allowed to add or modify the game as I see fit. I can even change the physics calculations (FAR, Principia) as I see fit because the game allows and provides for it.

If the developers (or me, in my own gameplay) classify a particular action as a "cheat" or "exploit" then I can see your point but KSP's model is explicitly designed to allow for changes in the rules as the player desires. While the actual "cheat" menu defines some actions as cheating if the player introduces Hyperedit, or hell, even a mod that changes that GUI heading away from "cheats", then it is, by your definition, not cheating as the rules are explicitly allowed to change.

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1 hour ago, Ser said:

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?

Precisely, 100% agree. But it contradicts what you just said:

1 hour ago, Ser said:

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.

 

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@p1t1o, I don't understand you. Where does it contradict?

 

58 minutes ago, regex said:

By your definition:

and the explicit rules of KSP (modding is not only allowed but provided for), anything added by a player via assets, code, and configuration cannot be considered cheating. Mods cannot go against or around the rules as the model explicitly allows itself to be modified. You may end up with a new game but that's besides the point; the rules have changed and there is nothing preventing new rules from being written (in fact, it is encouraged!)

Do the developers take measures to prevent that sort of behavior or do they implicitly allow such emergent gameplay? There is no code in KSP preventing me from creating and using a 1,000,000 isp engine with ridiculous thrust through mod assets. The game allows this and will correctly interpret the given stats to provide me with a running engine. Therefore it cannot be cheating because I am allowed to add or modify the game as I see fit. I can even change the physics calculations (FAR, Principia) as I see fit because the game allows and provides for it.

If the developers (or me, in my own gameplay) classify a particular action as a "cheat" or "exploit" then I can see your point but KSP's model is explicitly designed to allow for changes in the rules as the player desires. While the actual "cheat" menu defines some actions as cheating if the player introduces Hyperedit, or hell, even a mod that changes that GUI heading away from "cheats", then it is, by your definition, not cheating as the rules are explicitly allowed to change.

The model allows the game to be modified. But once it happens, we are playing another game, the modified one. My definition is based on that rules should be invariant. If you take two guys competing who gets to the Mun faster and one of them uses Hyperedit, would that be fair? In my definition no, it's cheating. You say if it isn't explicitly forbidden than it is allowed, I say that competition supposes equal conditions and if you're going to use something you should discuss the standard rules alteration. Thus if it isn't explicitly stated that KSP + Hyperedit is used then using Hyperedit is cheating.

Of course, while you're playing alone you define for yourself what is cheating, and that doesn't contradict my definition because in other words you define the rules, all other simplifications are considered cheating.

Also In case of Hyperedit the act of cheating is reaching a certain point momentarily without using up any resources, thus doesn't matter if it is done with the menu or with the mod. Like you cannot say that it's stealing if done with right hand and not if dine with left one.

Edited by Ser

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6 minutes ago, Ser said:

Of course, while you're playing alone you define for yourself what is cheating, and that doesn't contradict my definition because in other words you define the rules, all other simplifications are considered cheating.

Then there can be no cheating unless you are competing with someone else and said competition needs to be mutually agreed upon. In other words, a game needs to be defined; KSP is a toy, as @Nikolai rightly points out. While we can create games from toys there are no inherent rules with regards to toys.

Edited by regex
stupid damn forums

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1 minute ago, regex said:

Then there can be no cheating unless a player is competing with someone else.

So why do you keep playing in a certain way? Say, you build a rocket and then go to the parking orbit, then create a maneuver and fly there when your goal is to reach Mun? Why don't you use Hyperedit to achieve that goal?

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Just now, Ser said:

So why do you keep playing in a certain way? Say, you build a rocket and then go to the parking orbit, then create a maneuver and fly there when your goal is to reach Mun? Why don't you use Hyperedit to achieve that goal?

Because I enjoy playing with the toy in certain ways. There is nothing preventing someone else from inventing their own rules to play with the toy in a different way, but if we want to come together and define a game for competition purposes then hard rules will have to be agreed upon.

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1 minute ago, regex said:

Because I enjoy playing with the toy in certain ways.

In other words, playing the game by certain rules. So you don't do play another way because it breaks the rules set by you. But in some cases you may break those rules. For example, if you get tired of flying to Duna after 75 efforts because you just can't land on it properly (assume saves are not allowed). And you go against your own rules and hyperedit yourself to the orbit just to skip the boring stuff. And that's going against the rules, i.e. cheating. Noone will cry in this case or call his lawyer but if you imagine that you compete with someone by the rules you set for yourself that obviously is cheating. So since we are asked for an absolute definition, I think that's a good one: going against the rules for simplification.

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5 minutes ago, Ser said:

And you go against your own rules and hyperedit yourself to the orbit just to skip the boring stuff. And that's going against the rules, i.e. cheating.

No, because I'm playing with a toy, which has no inherent rules. I can change the rules as I desire, create new ways of playing. There is no cheating if i am playing with a toy by myself.

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2 hours ago, regex said:

 

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

 

In other word, you refuse to provide a single evidence that it hapenned. Fine, I don't need to provide any evidence that it didn't happened.

2 hours ago, Ser said:

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

If you say so...but I still don't get what you meant. Starting to suspect that you don't want to make it clear. 

2 hours ago, Ser said:

Rules are there.

No evidence.  Nothing in the code, nothing in the game license, nothing in the official documentation that rule out the use of mods of any kind. 

Quite the contrary,  there is an API that allows for a lot ot customization,  a section of the official forum dedicated to modding and game mechanics developed to be easily expanded by mods.

2 hours ago, Ser said:

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.

I wonder what @RoverDude would say about that idea that some of his mods aren't in touch with the official idea of the game. 

2 hours ago, Ser said:

By modifying the game you get another game. It's very different to play stock game and KSP with TAC LS.

Ahh see your own words.  It's still KSP if you add a mod. It may be a different KSP, or a variant ot KSP,  but KSP anyways.

The original question was "what os cheating in modded KSP?" ...is using the unmodded variants cheating?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, regex said:

No, because I'm playing with a toy, which has no inherent rules. I can change the rules as I desire, create new ways of playing. There is no cheating if i am playing with a toy by myself.

Well, you may call it "blablaing" if you like. That's just another name for the same thing.

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Just now, Ser said:

Well, you may call it "blablaing" if you like. That's just another name for the same thing.

It's not, actually. In order for there to be cheating there needs to be rules. If I define the rules as I please then there are effectively no rules and no cheating. By comparison, if I intend to compete with someone, to construct a game, then we need to mutually agree upon some rules and there can be cheating because if someone defies the rules in the competition there can be no meaningful comparison to determine an outcome.

The only meaningful outcome to playing with a toy (that I can see) is "Am I satisfied with my play?" If I am, then it matter not one whit whether I followed my own rules to the letter or altered them as I saw fit.

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1 minute ago, Ser said:

Well, you may call it "blablaing" if you like. That's just another name for the same thing.

How about: one of his rules is "any rule can be changed at any point" ? 

But the point is that any rule will be added to the game that use the toy, not to the toy itself.  

I may use a ball to play soccer for a while and at some point just decide to play basketball instead.  I'm still playing with the same toy ( ball),  is just a different game. Off course I can just throw the ball around and watch it bounce and roll.

 

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When I'm on a Single Player game, when I'm bored and when i do know the game in every details, I do usually cheat a bit ! Just to see how bad I can break a game ^^

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44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

In other word, you refuse to provide a single evidence that it hapenned. Fine, I don't need to provide any evidence that it didn't happened.

You got me wrong. The devs said that they are not going to implement dV readout because the game was meant to be played in a way of trial and error way and encourage players to create some crazy things instead of mathematically ideal rockets. I don't need to lie to you and you may find evidence yourself in the forum if you want. For me it would take just too much time.

44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

If you say so...but I still don't get what you meant. Starting to suspect that you don't want to make it clear.

OMG, just forget it.

44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

No evidence.  Nothing in the code, nothing in the game license, nothing in the official documentation that rule out the use of mods of any kind.

Do you write code?

44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

Quite the contrary,  there is an API that allows for a lot ot customization,  a section of the official forum dedicated to modding and game mechanics developed to be easily expanded by mods.

So what? There are means to alter the game, i.e. make another game with the rules you want. Does that mean those rules cannot be broken, i.e cheated?

44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

I wonder what @RoverDude would say about that idea that some of his mods aren't in touch with the official idea of the game.

If they aren't, why they are not an official part of the game? And any developer may decide to write a completely different game. Will you still call it the same KSP just because it is written by the same developers?

44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

Ahh see your own words.  It's still KSP if you add a mod. It may be a different KSP, or a variant ot KSP,  but KSP anyways.

That's it, you got the point. Different KSP, a variant of KSP, modded KSP, i.e. another game with another rules. One variant of KSP cannot be a cheat in context of the other. We should speak of the same one.

44 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

The original question was "what os cheating in modded KSP?" ...is using the unmodded variants cheating?

Thanks for pointing me out :) I've written two pages of arguments while having forgot that the question is about a modded game. But that doesn't make much difference. We just take modded KSP as a base set of rules and define cheating as above in relation to it. For example, if we speak of KSP with TAC LS, then we should take into account that it supposes that the oxygen is limited. And if someone makes himself infinite oxygen and still says that's he is cool at KSP with TAC LS, then we can say "Go away, My Friend, you cannot say that, dirty cheater".

34 minutes ago, Spricigo said:

I may use a ball to play soccer for a while and at some point just decide to play basketball instead.  I'm still playing with the same toy ( ball),  is just a different game. Off course I can just throw the ball around and watch it bounce and roll.

What does it mean to "play soccer" or "play basketball"? Is it applying one set of rules or another? So if while playing soccer you help yourself with a hand and say "Wow! What a goal I just made!" then you'll be cheating because you broke the rules of soccer, unless you say "I've played some unknown game and just put the ball in the net".

Edited by Ser

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14 minutes ago, Ser said:

if we speak of KSP with TAC LS, then we should take into account that it supposes that the oxygen is limited

Well, no, we make no such assumptions because every player defines their own rules and may have other mods installed as the game toy allows and provides for that to happen. If you speak of playing with certain rules in a mutual competition and we construct a game from the toy, and someone uses infinite oxygen against the stated rules, then we most certainly have license to call them a filthy cheater.

Edited by regex

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1 minute ago, regex said:

Well, no, we make no such assumptions because every player defines their own rules and may have other mods installed as the game toy allows and provides for that to happen. If you speak of playing with certain rules in a mutual competition and we construct a game from the toy, and someone uses infinite oxygen against the stated rules, then we most certainly have license to call them a "filthy cheater".

I've told you above that it's not neccessary to have a competitor. I can't say about you, may be you change your rules every second while playing but when I start to play there are certain rules that I set. I don't write them or define explicitly, but they exist. And there are things that I avoid, like quickloading. And when I quickload to get an accidentally killed kerbal or stupidly failed mission back, I cheat. And those rules stay everytime I play KSP. Of course you may think of that as you change the rules for a second and then change them back, but when playing alone you have noone to fool besides yourself calling that blabla if you don't like the word "cheating" :)

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26 minutes ago, Ser said:

I've told you above that it's not neccessary to have a competitor.

In order for there to be a game, rules, and "cheating" there very much does. That competitor can be yourself, peer shame, a challenge, or whatever else you may think up, but there must be a competitor in order for rules to be defined and defied. In other words, someone needs to determine whether you have cheated the defined rules, and whether those rules are malleable based upon circumstance.

Quote

I can't say about you, may be you change your rules every second while playing but when I start to play there are certain rules that I set.

So what you're saying is that cheating with a toy is a very personal sort of thing. So basically this

Quote

If while playing with a toy truck on the ground a kid sees that he have to drive around the room to get to another corner and decides "My truck has a special ability to fly across the room", that's cheating.

is an incorrect statement because we all define our own rules by which to play with the toy. Your definition

Quote

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

works when we agree that the "model's developers" include the single player and their whims when discussing a toy.

Edited by regex

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My main reference frame is our Reality. KSP is cheating our Reality by offering us a smaller version of the Solar System. There are good reasons : making spaceflight easier and funnier, allowing very empirical problem-solving. In reality it's more like working years behind computers and loading the right data into the spacecraft computer, then hoping for the best, which is moderatly fun.

That being said, here the 'Red Lines' I stick to :

- Reaction Wheels. OK to use them at 5% Authority on big orbital stations, else off. My spacecraft use RCS. It makes the reentry a bit tricky during the early game, before you get the RCS thrusters.

- Heating : 120%. That setting forces you to care seriously about reentry corridors and trajectories.

- RemoteTech or equivalent : no way you can control probes as if they were sentient beings. Delay is essential too : it's the reason why we can't control deep space probes directly. You have to define a set of orders (a program) and transmit it to the probe. It's how it works.
- I try to avoid too much launches a same day, especially when the pilot is always the same Kerbal.

- All other parameters set to "Very Hard". Makes the financial management of the Space Program a real issue. Depending of the contracts rewards, the rockets have to be cheap enough to make a profit. Makes airplanes and surveys missions on Kerbin very interesting. It's very nice to launch huge Saturn-V style Mun missions with bells and wisthles, but contracts like launching commercial satellites are the bread-and-butter of the Space Program (as you get no 'Government Funds').

- Parts adjustment : I consider as cheating having parts cutting into each other.

- Life Support System : I use TAC LS, which fills that gap very efficiently.

Edited by N_Molson

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1 hour ago, klgraham1013 said:

Can you cheat at solitaire?  The philosophical discussion of the ages.

Yes. I was going to bring this up myself, actually. The game of Klondike solitaire has defined rules. If you do something outside those rules, despite not having a competitor, you are not playing Klondike solitaire, but rather something else. You can call it "solitaire with house rules" or whatever, but it's literally not the same game.

So is calculating dV on a calculator (or spreadsheet?) cheating in vanilla KSP?  I would say no, but it's not that black and white. Blackjack is made easier if you can count cards and calculate the odds in your head. Casinos probably throw you out for cheating if you came in with a smartphone app that calculates it for you, but if you can do it in your head, they might never know, but is then still cheating?

If I think about rocket designs for KSP while I'm not actually playing KSP, is that cheating?

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If you are participating in a challenge, then everything that goes against the rules of that challenge is cheating. Otherwise nothing is cheating since you are only playing by yourself...

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8 hours ago, Ser said:

I don't need to lie to you and you may find evidence yourself in the forum if you want. For me it would take just too much time.

Quite the opposite, if there's no such evidence I need to check the entire forum to be sure. OTOH you just need to point at a single post where it exist.  

I may search for that evidence myself, but why should I make the effort to prove your point? Is just not in my interest (either because I'm silly enough to want to 'win' the discussion,  or I'm reasonable convinced I'll not find the posts you refer to.)

 

8 hours ago, Ser said:

OMG, just forget it.

Forget what? (Just to clarify,  the remark I did was uncalled for,  it  come out as an awful acusation.  Accept my apologies, because I failed, epicaly, trying to express the confusion with you comment. A catastrophic choice of rhetoric.) 

8 hours ago, Ser said:

Do you write code?

Did it matter?  The fact that mods can be installed is enough evidence to me that there is no code blocking it. Even assuming that is in some way difficult/impractical/impossible to code there's still the other ways to create such rule (license,  modding rules). 

8 hours ago, Ser said:

So what? There are means to alter the game, i.e. make another game with the rules you want. Does that mean those rules cannot be broken, i.e cheated?

I can do a lot of things,  still it doesn't mean I'll do. Nor that I had the compromise to refrain from doing it. Without the compromise to follow a given rune there is no cheating when the rule is ignored. 

To use a previous example,  and  make it extreme: I challenge regex for a challenge: which one can reach the surface of the mun first. He is interested and ask what are the rules.

I say "lets say nothing is forbidden unless expressly stated and work from there" (because I think I'm so smart that I can deceive him so he will not notice a way I'm planning to use and complete the challenge really quickly)

Regex noticed there's something devious in the way I setup the challenge,  but decide to play along.  We discuss for a while about what is forbidden,  the whole time I try to maintain the discussion about factors that are meaningless for my strategy (what parts can be used,  vessel weight,  forbidden parts from various mods, etc) at some point he mention the cheat menu and I say "infinite fuel, infinite electricity,  no crash damage, hack gravity. ...all forbidden.  That go without saying for me"  We  move to other subject, no one said set orbit is forbidden,  and seems like regex didn't noticed it.

We are satisfied about the rules and start the challenge itself. I promptly open the cheat menu and set orbit around the mun. Just after I point my craft towards the mun with engines at full power regex anounce touching down the mun surface.

Congratulations,  you beat me. And also made me feel dumb since I didn't forbid hyperedit.

Under a more traditional KSP challenge that would be blatant cheating.  But we decided that everything was allowed unless expressly prohibited.  Set orbit wasn't prohibited,  hyperedit wasn't prohibited,  using vague/misleading language to induce adversary's error wasn't prohibited.

We even decided to prohibit arguing about the result after the mun's surface was reached.   Cheater is anyone claiming regex's victory is not legit, fair and square...at least anyone that made the compromise to accept the rules as we defined it.

 

8 hours ago, Ser said:

If they aren't, why they are not an official part of the game?

The stock KSP is a base for the mods build upon it. Not every player want to have a submarine or a crane, the parts for this don't need to be in the stock game (cluttering the VAB of many people that see no reason for that)  but is nice to have it a few ckicks away for those that want it.

8 hours ago, Ser said:

And any developer may decide to write a completely different game. Will you still call it the same KSP just because it is written by the same developers?

Example given:

KSP with toy solar system.

KSP with stock solar system,

 KSP with real solar system.

Yes, I call all those KSP.  Not the same unless the distinction become irrelevant in the context. (E.g. KSP plus visual mods == KSP stock in the context of many challenges. KSP + MJ == KSP stock when asked if "my vessel have enough deltaV to reach duna?"....)

8 hours ago, Ser said:

That's it, you got the point. Different KSP, a variant of KSP, modded KSP, i.e. another game with another rules. One variant of KSP cannot be a cheat in context of the other. We should speak of the same one

We dont even need to add mods to have different set ot rules. We just need different  setting or even different compromises with a given set of game settings.  E.g we can both play with commnet enabled but one of us think is cheating to disable it at any time while the other is okay in turning it down to deploy antennas because " was supposed to be already deployed as soon it got out of atmosphere " . 

One can argue that in the context set by the first, the later is cheating. But" if he didn't had the compromise with this context,  it make no sense to analyze him in that context.

In that regard we can't choose a single one as a "base case" , we need to consider each one separately.  Why? Because not everyone had the compromise to play with those base rules

 

8 hours ago, Ser said:

What does it mean to "play soccer" or "play basketball"? Is it applying one set of rules or another? So if while playing soccer you help yourself with a hand and say "Wow! What a goal I just made!" then you'll be cheating because you broke the rules of soccer, unless you say "I've played some unknown game and just put the ball in the net".

The fact I can break the rules is not enough.  Matter of fact I "played soccer" for a while and no rule was break, then I stopped to play soccer.  At this point I cannot cheat at soccer, I'm not playing it anymore.  I just felt like to "play basketball".

Using my hand was against the rules of the game and kicking the ball was totally acceptable under the previous rules,  but now is the opposite. I'm still using the same ball(in the same field, with the same other kuds.. ), but I decided to play along a different set of rules. As long I stay within the current agreed set of rules  I'm not cheating.

And if I break some rule (which I didn't) that'd be cheating in the game I was playing at the time (e g. soccer) but not cheating in the stuff I'm using to play the game (ball). In fact there is stuff against the rules that I will not do while playing the soccer game (using my hands) that are perfectly ressonable, non-cheating, ways to handle my toy. 

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