Author Topic: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management  (Read 6489 times)

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Offline wolfman24

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2021, 08:54:44 pm »
I still can't believe we are discussing this lol, if you don't like the decision you could always make your own scoreboard  ROFL
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Barra [11|Jul 04:57 PM] Barra: I'll be happy with whatever wolf decides, but will still do my fair share of whinging
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Offline datagod

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2021, 09:05:50 pm »
While there is something to be said about meeting the challenge and retaking the thrown.
There's also something to be said about setting a score so high that you don't have to retake the thrown for over a decade.  8)

If this is a *segway*  (can't spell it, damn the french) into DK3 skills.  Contrats.  If you are referring to Billy's scores from the 80s not being beaten...well...uh...ok then.
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Offline Snowflake

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2021, 10:01:48 pm »
sorry bro, love you and all, and dkf still resepcts billys scores with no vid, but to me no vid no did, so i dont know what you're talking about
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Offline Rev John

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2021, 03:13:43 am »
Was the game played on unmodified hardware?  No.

On that basis alone I can understand why a decision may be made to reject the submission.  Robbie is an AWESOME DK player and he hasn't tried to hide anything, but did he stick to the expected norm of playing the game on unmodified hardware?  Apparently not.

Do the following reasons allow for an exemption to playing on unmodified hardware?
  • "He was trying to cheat", or
  • "He was trying to cheat, but it didn't work"

I think it's disingenuous to provide a special exemption for someone trying to cheat, when they can simply opt to play on unmodified hardware.

5.  DKF members as well as players from across the world claimed outright that it is IMPOSSIBLE to affect gameplay by lowering voltage.  The code was analyzed by a great young man (Tanner) and it was confirmed. 
6.  Nobody knows the affect that power voltage could have on the inner physics of the electronics on these 40 year old machines.  Not unless they take multiple machines and study them forensicly, running test code through them over and over.  I would seriously love to take part in that.

I would LOVE to read/watch/hear about Tanner's analysis!  I figure I have missed out on this so please fill me in.  I must admit I would have thought the processing of a DK board would fail spectacularly if voltage was altered beyond a certain point, however this video - https://www.twitch.tv/videos/469199132 (the 20M+ DK game) suggests that meddling with the electronics can create multiple glitches but yet allow the game to be playable.

Point 6. above seems to contradict point 5.  We don't know if changing the voltage has an effect.  I don't think it is reasonable that a player should be allowed to meddle with the hardware and then move the onus of proof (that it didn't affect gameplay) onto the community.  As you say, no one knows.  It is like Billy Mitchell demanding that every possible DK hardware setup in the known universe has to be tested to show that it doesn't show "the finger".

I think the basic suggestion is "How can changing the voltage effect just the RNG on barrels?"  Well, I am a total noob at this but have done a bit of analysis myself (using the popular disassembly).  I'm not sure who else has looked at what but I am happy to learn and happy to be corrected if I am mistaken anywhere.  The RNG is DK is quite interesting.  It's not consistently applied, but locations #6018, #6019, #601A are used in various situations to provide RNG.  For example #6018 is used for blue barrel smashes (300 Vs 500 Vs 800) and wild barrels, #6019 is used to animate the oilcan fire,  whereas a subroutine from #0057 (below) combines the lot for pie production -

Quote
; #6018 = constantly changing ... timer of some sort?

; #6019 - constantly changing timer - very fast

; #601A - Timer constantly counts down from FF to 00 and then FF to 00 again and again ... 1 count per frame

Quote
; this subroutine takes the value of #6018 and adds into it the values from #601A and #6019
; it returns with A loaded with this result and also #6018 with the answer.
; random number generator

0057  3A1860    LD      A,(#6018)   ; load A with timer
005A  211A60    LD      HL,#601A   ; load HL with other timer address
005D  86        ADD     A,(HL)      ; add
005E  211960    LD      HL,#6019   ; load HL with yet another timer address
0061  86        ADD     A,(HL)      ; add
0062  321860    LD      (#6018),A   ; store
0065  C9        RET         ; return

I think the fireball / ladder RNG is determined by #3221 in the code:

Quote
; fire is moving left or right, not on a ladder

3216  DD7E19    LD      A,(IX+#19)   ; load +19 value.  has 2 when random event occurs when firespeed > 2
3219  FE02      CP      #02      ; compare with 2.  has this fire been targeted with reversal ???
321B  CA7E32    JP      Z,#327E      ; if equal jump away, check for firefox change direction, returns to #3229

321E  CD0F33    CALL    #330F      ; call check to change direction.  randomly reverses direction if timer is correct
3221  3A1860    LD      A,(#6018)   ; load A with random number
3224  E603      AND     #03      ; mask bits, now between 0 and 3.  is it zero?

So this particular aspect (fireballs changing direction up a ladder) appears to rely solely on #6018.   But what is #6018?  I suspect it is the Z80's refresh register, which increments with every line of instruction / machine code.  This seems to me to be a terrible overhead, but it does provide a great source for semi-random numbers.  So as the game plays and loops through various lines of code the last two bits of #6018 will provide a decent RNG.  If, for example, #6018 was affected by a voltage change and reset several times a second we could end up with a quite non random RNG, which WOULD affect gameplay.  I see no way we could rule this out as a possibility (unless of course the game was played at a standard voltage).  I would suggest that #6018, #6019, and #601A are not mere memory locations in the code but are key memory locations tied to the essential operating of the chip.

We can't test every possibly in the known universe, but I would be interested to know if the function of memory registers #6018 and #6019 change when voltage is altered.

PS.  I love Datagod's question of whether praying would be cheating!  I guess if it was phrased as "I sold my soul to the devil for an extra 5% in points!" there would be devout people saying "No!  Deals with the devil are not allowed!"

TLDR: Was the game played on unmodified hardware?  No.
DK PB: 219,500 (MAME 7/10/19)
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Offline datagod

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2021, 06:16:20 am »
Thanks for the great post, Rev John.  You make great points.  I don't know how active Tanner is here anymore.  I'll reach out to him on facebook and see if he is interested in commenting. 

Thanks for also showing your findings.  I love seeing people dig into the code like that.  :)
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Offline TheKD

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2021, 08:37:40 am »
Rev John, thank you for your well thought out answer.

The piece that seems to get lost in this whole drama is that point of Robbie doing this WASNT just to get another high score. For some time Robbie has claimed he felt other top players had been doing something to affect their RNG. When he first posed the voltage theory EVERYONE said it would have zero affect on gameplay. Robbie publicly lowers the voltage on his game, sets a new world record, then gets blackballed by DKF.

This is the big picture of this whole experiment.
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Offline Scoundrl

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2021, 12:30:17 pm »
Was the game played on unmodified hardware?  No.

This is technically not correct. The hardware was not modified per se, the hardware's built in adjustments we used to lower to voltage.

Datagods 'Prayer' analogy is perfect here.

He used the hardware as it was intended. That adjustment is used to set the +5VDC and -5VDC levels. Different hardware draws different current so there is a built in mechanism to address that. My +5vdc is 4.83 right now and its turned all the way up. It needs rebuilt. It's not 5.0V, Am I cheating? Like I told Robbie, if the logic is working to the extent you cannot tell it cannot be effecting RNG in your favor somehow. All he did was prove that. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. I understand he was trying to test the RNG and though it was effecting it, but it didnt and he knew that was a possible outcome to.

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Offline Rev John

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Re: Discussion about moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2021, 02:52:46 am »
Was the game played on unmodified hardware?  No.

This is technically not correct. The hardware was not modified per se, the hardware's built in adjustments we used to lower to voltage.

Datagods 'Prayer' analogy is perfect here.

He used the hardware as it was intended. That adjustment is used to set the +5VDC and -5VDC levels. Different hardware draws different current so there is a built in mechanism to address that. My +5vdc is 4.83 right now and its turned all the way up. It needs rebuilt. It's not 5.0V, Am I cheating? Like I told Robbie, if the logic is working to the extent you cannot tell it cannot be effecting RNG in your favor somehow. All he did was prove that. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. I understand he was trying to test the RNG and though it was effecting it, but it didnt and he knew that was a possible outcome to.

Thanks Scoundrl.  I was going to edit my post above but can't, so I hope anyone who reads my post goes on to read yours.  I was under the impression that something external to the proper hardware had been used, which is why I felt a strict line had been crossed.  I apologise for my ignorance!  I should try to fix up the old cab (not a DK) I have downstairs and teach myself a few things   :-[

I had read someone saying something like "it would be impossible for the game to be affected in such a specific way as to only affect fireball RNG on barrels" so I was interested to look at the code to see if there might be a possible mechanism for such RNG.  Hence my speculation above.  I'd also speculate that the game may well just stop with a dead PCB if the voltage was low low low enough?

Has Robbie's game been run through the Kongtracker?  The stats could only help inform this discussion.
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Offline TheKD

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Re: Discussion about moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2021, 08:43:18 am »
Has Robbie's game been run through the Kongtracker?  The stats could only help inform this discussion.

 No, he has been refused. Blackballed.
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Offline Snowflake

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2021, 09:12:37 am »
the "strict line" wouldnt actually have been so strict as jeremy has said he has no interest in enforcing power supply/votlage rules on others.  noone is expected to do anything to prove their power supply is operating properly, the rule to original hardware in that regard is completely unenforced.  Its only when someone explicity admits to it it becomes enforced.
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Offline Mitch Mitchell

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Re: Discussion about moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2021, 08:33:57 pm »
Was the game played on unmodified hardware?  No.

This is technically not correct. The hardware was not modified per se, the hardware's built in adjustments we used to lower to voltage.

Datagods 'Prayer' analogy is perfect here.

He used the hardware as it was intended. That adjustment is used to set the +5VDC and -5VDC levels. Different hardware draws different current so there is a built in mechanism to address that. My +5vdc is 4.83 right now and its turned all the way up. It needs rebuilt. It's not 5.0V, Am I cheating? Like I told Robbie, if the logic is working to the extent you cannot tell it cannot be effecting RNG in your favor somehow. All he did was prove that. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. I understand he was trying to test the RNG and though it was effecting it, but it didnt and he knew that was a possible outcome to.

Thanks Scoundrl.  I was going to edit my post above but can't, so I hope anyone who reads my post goes on to read yours.  I was under the impression that something external to the proper hardware had been used, which is why I felt a strict line had been crossed.  I apologise for my ignorance!  I should try to fix up the old cab (not a DK) I have downstairs and teach myself a few things   :-[

I had read someone saying something like "it would be impossible for the game to be affected in such a specific way as to only affect fireball RNG on barrels" so I was interested to look at the code to see if there might be a possible mechanism for such RNG.  Hence my speculation above.  I'd also speculate that the game may well just stop with a dead PCB if the voltage was low low low enough?

Has Robbie's game been run through the Kongtracker?  The stats could only help inform this discussion.


Here's some of Robbies stats from that game.
VS Duck Hunt - 3,502,900
DK - 985,400
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Offline TheKD

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2021, 07:28:41 pm »
Thanks for the work Mitch!
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Offline Ohrami

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2021, 05:14:26 am »
A very major oversight in the arguments of Rev John and Snowflake is that they are missing a major point, that being that Robbie Lakeman did not have his score rejected because he used modified voltage. He had his score rejected because he used modified voltage and was of the belief that it would give him some advantage in-game. Whether or not you think modifying voltage should be allowed is certainly a valid discussion, but it doesn't address the issue at hand, which is that Robbie Lakeman was rejected from this leaderboard because of his opinion regarding something about the game and then his action based on that opinion. It's purely based on his supposed intent (something only a mind-reader could truly know regardless), and not based on the modification of gameplay or hardware whatsoever.
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Offline Snowflake

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Re: Discussion about poor moderation and leaderboard management
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2021, 07:32:19 am »
wasnt an oversight on my part at all. in fact i heavily explicilty hit on that point before.  This time to avoid buzzwords i slightly softened it but my comment still adressed it was not just about the voltage.

i've largely been on your side, perhaps with a different tone, as well as more resigned and ready to move on at this point, dont confuse my lack of reiteraton of every detail as being unaware of it.
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