Feature Request: Restrict players who have recently timed out


Let me restrict people who have recently timed out from accepting my game requests.


Around the same time as the implementation of the new matchmaking system I’ve begun to experienced more and more players just leaving games instead of resigning when they appear to have lost.

Much of the time this is fine because main time has been mostly used up, but it becomes really obnoxious when they play overly fast in a live time game, mess up, and leave with many minutes left on the clock.

Very very rarely I will an escaping player return to the game briefly with a small amount of time left on the clock, only to have them leave without playing a move again. This feels really shady like they’re checking to see if I’ve left the game as well. This means that I can’t leave the game (or risk losing on time) and I can’t start a new one (risk playing a simul if they return).



Many timeouts are completely innocent, especially among those playing fast games. This proposal would unjustly penalize them. You can, of course, block those who escape on you, and if you ever watch games, you will quickly notice additional escapers and can preemptively block them.


I agree with Conrad. Many of the issues people complain about here can be resolved by blocking people, both reactively and proactively. Block rude people, block escapers, block sandbag/airbaggers, block trolls. Heck, block people who’s playstyle you don’t like if it really bothers you that much. You can block anyone who bother’s you and it doesn’t harm them one bit, and you have a better time


I can’t evaluate and block players before the game begins so blocking doesn’t solve my annoyance.

I’m not proposing this to be enabled by default. I just want to be able to turn it on occasionally. I also do not advocate this existing for matchmaking games, only for custom games.

Since the timeout flag is fairly temporary I don’t see it as being unfair to anybody. At least not more punishing than rank restrictions.

Is it only unfair due to the duration the flag sticks around? If so that could be improved as well and shouldn’t necessarily negate my experience/annoyance.

That said if this is too unfair another option would be to allow custom game creators to approve game requests. We already automate this for rank, why not for other attributes?

It would be important to clarify if we are talking about real time or correspondence games.

I think it is legitimate to time out of a real time game. You simply ran out of time to think - that’s part of the challenge.

And note that we don’t get a “T” for that?

I find it utterly rude to time out of a correspondence game, and totally agree with this proposal for correspondence games.

I don’t agree that “many timeouts are innocent”. It’s just lazy and rude - often trying to avoid having to press that awful “resign” button.

Yes yes, I know, you can lose internet connection, and real life can strike (divorce, storm etc). Those are legitimate, but how often does that really happen? And when it does, (a) there is ‘vacation’ mode if you can turn it on and (b) you could apologise later when you get connection back. Never happens.

So yeah - I would like not to have timer-outers be able to accept my game request.

If it was an option, then people who don’t mind it could play each other unimpeded :slight_smile:


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Yes, you can, if you ever watch games. If you see someone escape in a game you are watching, you can go to the search, find their name, and block them (or click on their name in the game window). You don’t have to be in a game to do this. Though slow, this would in time reduce the number of potential escapers you might encounter, especially if you play with rank restriction. Of course, if you don’t watch games, then my comment is irrelevant.

That seems like a bit of a silly suggestion: “if you don’t want to play with timer-outers, you personally must survey the whole population of players to find out if they time out and block them”. Or did I misunderstand?

However, I do grant that when someone accepts a correspondence game, you can check out their record and cancel the game if you see they either are or have timed out. I think I’m inclined to do that, now that we’ve mentioned it.

But how much better to save everyone the trouble - even the timer-outer who accepted and is going to get cancelled out - save the trouble by letting us say we don’t want acceptances from timer-outers in the first place…


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I was speaking of real-time games, not correspondence. I’ve seen many timeouts in speed games. There are a couple players on OGS (I can’t remember their names) who play 7 seconds per move absolute time. Virtually all of their games end in timeout.

This could have an adverse affect. If I’m reviewing a player’s profile I would judge much more harshly a string of “lost due to cancellation” than “lost due to timeout”

Especially since almost all correspondence players play multiple games at once… I’d almost not even notice if an opponent timed out TBH. Just take the win and move on to one of your other 28 active games :stuck_out_tongue:

I forgot about that, but I saw a discussion in the chat awhile back in which several people mentioned doing exactly that. Moreover, they do it at the beginning of a real-time game as well, and if they see a timeout pattern, they cancel the game.

This is what makes pleasing everyone so difficult eh - the different styles of play. For example, I don’t have multiple correspondence games - 2-3 at max - at any one time, so I find it more irritating than you do when my “main game” is held up not knowing if the opponent is going to continue or drop.

Oh yeah. The “people cancel after 18 moves” thing. I forgot about that.

It would be painful to be tarred with that brush, just because you are trying to avoid timer-outers.

Another reason why you should be able to simply not have timer-outers accept your challenge!


You guys are slowly discussing your way to my point. Why should I be forced to spend main time in my live (not blitz, not correspondence) games in order to figure out whether or not an opponent is going to waste my time?

What it comes down to for me is this. There is no incentive system in OGS to punish players from repeating this kind of bad behavior, but there are stats/information I could use to avoid these people if I was given the opportunity to.

On the contrary this bad behavior creates an incentive for me to not list games and not use automatic match making, and quite frankly that’s what I’ve started doing. I will generally avoid listing games because joining games gives me a way to screen the person I’m playing first.

I shouldn’t be punished for choosing to create game listings, and I should not be required to add a cancellations to my game history just to avoid a problem that I could have avoided before the game starts if given the opportunity.

If restricting players with recent timeouts seems unappealing that’s fine, but in that case my alternate suggestion would be that OGS should allow me to screen players before they accept my games, since they are given the opportunity to screen me.

I thought you do have that opportunity: you can cancel out after they accept…

Yes but they can screen before they accept at no consequence. If they accept then his record will show an annulled loss due to cancellation.

I never would have though as having cancels on your history would be a bad thing. It shouldn’t be.

So it would be good if the underlying cause of that was fixed :wink:

I think it depends. Cancel after 1-3 game moves no problem. Cancel after 18, problem.

Unfortunately game history doesn’t show moves played.

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I would disagree here. Individual timeout might be innocent, however repetitive timeouts usually indicate an abusive player, with few exceptions. Considering the fact, that this setting would NOT prevent timeout-ing players from finding games (and fixing their stats) being able to exclude notorious time-outers from your opponents pool, feels like a fair request.

I do not have the opportunity to inspect before the game starts because I am not always black. I let the system pick my color based on rank. This means my opponent often instantly starts the game once the board is shown.

According to the suggestions in this thread I should change the way I play to include:

  1. Not start playing at the beginning of my game
  2. Always play black so that I control when the game actually starts
  3. I should inspect their profile (even if I don’t do #2 and even if the game clock has started)
  4. If their profile has a series of cancellations I should evaluate those cancellations to see if they cancel in 1-3 game moves
  5. If their profile has many timeouts I should try and evaluate if it is enough of a trend to continue playing
  6. Once I’ve made my determination I should cancel my game if I don’t want to play this person (forcing others to evaluate my cancellations) or I should play them (and maybe risk my time being wasted).

Alternatively I can just never list games and never use matchmaking and get the ability to do all of the above before the game starts with no extra time penalty on myself.

I honestly can’t understand why these steps seem reasonable to anybody. I should not be required to do anything but play Go once a game has started. I consider it started once I’m shown the board, since I don’t always have control over main time start at that point. If I’m being told I should do other things, then I should be able to do those things before the board is shown to me.

I feel like this thread has diverged quite far from its intent. It seems like everybody here understands that there’s a problem. How about instead of telling me (the frustrated player whose time is being wasted) how many opportunities I have to solve the problem if only I would completely change how I play, we could shift the conversation back to suggestions about how to actually solve the problem?

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Actually having option to filter opponents based on timeouts might be good idea.

Just looked at my last 50 games (mostly 20m+5x30s) and statistics are:
40 normal results
7 cancelations (5 looks normal, 1 might be dodge, 1 special case)
2 timeouts on my side (both difficult positions, one better for me, other for opponent)
1 opponents timeout (he had cca half of main time and left in hopeless position, might be dc, but probably abuse)

I think I am kinda extreme when it comes to number of legit timeouts (lack of experience?) so if we double that number its kinda safe to assume (nearly) noone will get hurt by accident. Thats 8 or 10% of “max allowed timeouts” depending on whther or not we count canceled games. Can someone check whether or not 8-10% “catches” abusers?

Blitz games might need bit bigger number - not sure about them.

Btw from my experience frequency of abuses drops significantly as your rank up. Might be statistical variance, but I believe it is not.

EDIT: 2 interesting stats to monitor might be how many times was player present in room when he timed out and how much time he had left after his last move before he timed out (last 1-2 byo-yomis vs 5+ mins of main time)