Problem Is Between Chair And Keyboard

This isn't new news, but it is something that's gotten stuck in my craw a bit, so I thought I'd go ahead and post about it anyway.

TCLN-Zenn has written a piece on Team Killing in Halo at BGH; it seems to be one of their favorite topics of late. This one is after the new anti-TK features in the 1.03 release.

For my money, TCLN-Zenn does point out a valid criticism of the system, but then falls into the usual trap, the one that the team killers are hoping everyone will fall into.

The first point:

Only a few months after its release the TKers have easily found a way around the system. "I get booted for killing my teamates 3 times in a session? Well gee, I'll just disconnect, then connect again." It takes them 3 seconds to reconnect, and they can TK as many people as they want, as often as they want.

If this is the way it works-- and I don't know, because I've never been booted from a server for TKing-- then it makes no sense. Since every copy of Halo has to be authenticated through GameSpy to connect, it makes no sense to clear the TKing record according to session. If an automatic system is going to have any decent chance of doing its job, it has to be able to identify players across gaming sessions. Since hardcore griefers don't give a damn about kill counts or team progress, they lose nothing by disconnecting and reconnecting.

Here, however, is where TCLN-Zenn falls into the trap, by asserting that the system hurts "perfectly normal, upstanding players":

Team Killer betrays Joebob. Billy watches Team Killer intentionaly kill Joebob, Billy Kills Team Killer and tells him to stop TKing. Team Killer respawns, fires at Billy as if he's going to kill him, Billy defends himself, Team Killer lets Billy kill him. The process is repeated once more and blam...Billy is banned from the server, and in many cases ALL Bungie servers...and for what? For defending himself, and his teammates.

Guys, this is the trap. DO NOT RETALIATE. Since the TKer can just reconnect and you can't without losing your stats, you cannot risk getting banned yourself. If you're killing your teammates enough to get booted then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. This is not real life. There's no reason to "defend" your teammates. You can't anyway, without killing one of your own teammates (the TKer), putting yourself at risk, and causing general chaos. Don't do it. It achieves absolutely nothing except getting yourself booted or banned. What's more, that is exactly what the TKer is hoping you will do, so he can laugh at your foolishness and proclaim his innocence, since the system booted the other guy and not him.

Don't fall into the trap.

Now don't get me wrong. I think a voting system belongs in Halo. I don't believe in the justifications Gearbox gave (abuse) for leaving it out, because it has been shown that the existing system can also be abused, and since it is entirely automated, cannot be easily overridden by anyone in-game when someone abuses it. Other games have it, and although it may have its problems, works better and I think on a more sound theory than the current system.



I think that human beings are going to be a much better judge of whos a TKer. What is REALLY sad is that the current system can acctually make some game types down right impossible, or impracticle to impliment. Case in point, I had not long back played a server in which there were NO sheilds and everyone had a rocket launcher. The chaos this game type spawned inspired a sort of sick giddy glee at the rampent explosions and death. Unfortunatly the way this game was set up TKing was a very easy, and pretty much inevitable side effect. As a result, and through no fault of my own, I very quickly was booted and banned from the server. I was very disapointed. While this gametype may not be prolific TKing can still be very eaily done accidently. When five people on the same team are zealously defending their flag in a game where rocket lanchers are the starting weapon (we've all palyed this game type i think, and most of us love it) and TKing is very real problem. Bungie may think that the voteing system isn't the best idea, I beg to differ. The only real problem I can see with the voteing system is that people will get voted and quickly come back to annoy all. But apparently that is the case with Halo as Bungie, listen to your fans. Please.

Well, I also have to say.. games like that, where you've got powerful weapons and lower than normal health and/or shields, are really best played as an FFA. That would eliminate the possibility of having the automatic anti-TKing features kick in.

Alternatively, maybe they could have adjustable parameters per gametype rather than per server.

But in any case, I do think a voting system needs to be an available option.

However, don't direct your comments on that to Bungie-- direct them at Gearbox. Despite recent attempts to blame slow patch releases on Bungie, Gearbox is still the one doing development on PC Halo. Bungie is hard at work on Halo 2.

Rampant for over four years.

I think Gearbox made a good decision witht he kicking system. It may not have been the best, but for now we're stuck with it. Personally, I prefer the automated system, at least right now...

If you've ever played Counter-Strike, you often enter a server and find the downfall of the vote-kick system. Talented players are kicked in fear of Aimbots and the like. As for TKing, it does seem to help. I, like most everyone else, has played Halo and thrown that ill-fated nade or sent a rocket on its merry way only to broadside a Warthog encasing three of your teammates. Accidents happen! Unless you can only be kicked once you get several TKs under your belt within a certain time frame, I don't think you should even show up on the "To kick or not to kick" roster.

Perhaps a combination of the two systems might work; say, requiring that a player at least have X teamkills before allowing a votekick, where X is greater than zero but lower than the boot/ban threshold.

That would be to take care of people who clear their records by disconnecting and reconnecting, or just by baiting others into TKing.

Rampant for over four years.

Wow, you must all have a big problem with TKers. I've seen TKers and been a victim, but after a minute or two the TKer is booted and never to return. Also, I thought it was up to the mod to ban the TKer, I've seen TKers that have killed more than 3 or 4 times and still play until they died the next time and were banned. Also, while I'm not sure, I think I've TKed myself accidently with rockets, ghosts and what not, and have not been kicked. What's my point? TKing will probebly happen no matter what system is in play, banning, limits or voting. Unfortunately there is no system to prevent TKing, only to stop it after it has started. I suggest you do what I do, alert everyone that So'nSo is a TKer and then go take your aggression out on the other team.

You do know that there is a feature in the edit gametype section that lets you turn on/offteam killing. If seen it in use many a time and have edited the original gametypes to not allow it...Take a look it will suroprise you at how redundant some things can be if you have the power to just not allow it in the gametype...

Removing frendly fire changes strategy. Lets say there is 3 enemies fighting your flag carrier at close range. You can blast the whole bunch with a rocket laucher and you don't care about your teamate if FF is off, you know he's going to survive and enemies won't. Now, with FF on, you probably don't want to do that, because if you kill your teamate, the flag could be returned by one of the enemies. In FF on games you actualy have to care for your teamates, and that's good.

"Je me souviens"

Right on, narc.

TCLN-Zenn also said that the TK system "has done more harm than good". I disagree.

Since the sv_kick and sv_ban features have been added to Halo, I've had a much better gaming experience. Since its inception, I've not ran into any TK problems.

Just need admins like me who have way to much time on their hands and can kick loosers back to whatever city lost their idiot

On first offence, you get a temporary ban for 5 minutes. On the second offence, you are permanently banned. This is perfect for the gametypes found on the Bungie team servers as they are not very error-prone. Perhaps the most dangerous one is Blood Gulch CTF heavy weapon, but even there, the map is big enough that accidental team kills are rare.

So what do you do when you have a tker in the game? Just like Narcogen said, just let him do. Once he's gone, he'll be most probably gone for good, from all Bungie servers. One less idiot.

"Je me souviens"