My opponent did nothing and got a win because my game was auto-resigned even though I had some minutes on my timer which would allow me to finish game in time, after connecting was restored.
My proposal is:
After no move is played in certain time, do not immediately auto-resign, instead the game should be paused and then other player should get options to assign win to either side by resignation, or to keep game paused until the other player returns, which is likely to happen if the reason for timeout was related to connection problems.
Also shouldn’t game status be marked as timeout instead of resignation?
I think this idea can be improved even. My idea about what server should do after a disconnect is detected:
Lightning timer is displayed like it is normally
Player gets new buttons along with existing Undo and Resign: Pause and “Anti-escaper Pause”, which work like this:
a) Resign works immediately like in normal game.
b) Pause freezes time for both players.
c) “Anti-escaper pause” freezes time for you until you return to game but let opponent’s timer tick.
So, if you think your opponent has genuine connection problems, then you put game on normal pause. Yes you can do it in existing implementation, but for now it’s necessary to know what does lightning icon mean. I didn’t know that when I first seen it. This is beneficial if you like the game and want to continue it later.
If you think your opponent is evil escaper, then you put the game in special mode, which is only available after certain timeout (same as one which triggers resign currently). Then if you were right and escaper never turns up, their timer runs out completely and they lose on timeout.
But if you were wrong, then the disconnected player guaranteed at least as much time as there is on game timer. And after player makes the move both timers are stopped so the other player does not have to watch the whole time whenever the opponent has returned or not.
I am sorry. I like the idea, but would hate to see this implemented to be honest if that makes any sense Having too many buttons and pop-up alerts is usually a bad thing.
If I saw correctly the “escaper” time-out is now 5 minutes. I thought 3 were ok, but people complained so I guess it got raised. Fair enough.
To me 5 minutes in the 21st century is enough time to restart your router, boil a cup of tea and still have enough time left to find your phone and connect via that when you realize the router is still down.
Imagine if suddenly 3 more buttons appeared out of nowhere on the screen. People would be confused up the roof. Why is there another pause and another resign? What is auto escaper pause? that’s crazy.
If you think your opponent is honestly having issues, you can pause the game or resing just the same with the already established buttons, it’s as simple as that.
Maybe it would be enough if a small text appeared beneath the lighting bolt. Something like your opponent lost connection, you can pause the game to give him more time, otherwise you will be declared a winner in: (worded better by a native speaker of course)
Resign button should just remains where it is. It simply should not go anywhere and remain available.
Actually, what I described as “Anti-escaper pause” could simply turn on automatically after disconnect and timeout. Then the other player has options to switch to normal pause, resign or let anti-escaper pause mode stop their timer and resume it only after notification.
Either way I’m not satisfied with existing solution. How are you supposed to know that you only have 5 minutes to reconnect if your timer had 20m remaining when you disconnected?
Existing behavior was implemented to counter escaper tactics who waited until their time was almost over and played a move in hope that their opponent forgot about the game and won’t get back in time. Anti-escaper pause which I have proposed solves this problem, but doesn’t hurt people who were not able to reconnect within 5 minutes for technical reasons. People will have at least as much time as their in-game timer has.
Also you say it as that router is only possible cause of the disconnection, but it could also be provider fault or loss of power supply or whatever. And you don’t necessarily know in advance when you are going to lose the connection.
This form of cheating still occurs (I’ve seen it several time in watching games), because now some people leave before waiting out the lightning bolt. However, cheating is far more rare than simple escaping. The lightning bolt was instituted primarily to reduce the waiting time when an opponent escapes. That waiting time can run anywhere from 5 min. to 20 or more. There was a lot of wailing about these long waits, leading to the lightning bolt. Therefore, allowing people to have their game-timer time defeats the main purpose.
This is not a problem with the system; it is a problem with the lack of adequate documentation for new users.
Again this is a problem with the documentation, rather than the system.
This is the idealistic scenario (no criticism meant), but I have seen it occur only once or twice, and then between friends. Most players will take the win, making this whole issue moot.
No. A timeout is an honorable loss as the result, typically, of running out of thinking time. Escaping is a dishonorable form of resignation and should not be whitewashed with the term “timeout.” Unfortunately, some losses by technical disconnection will be misidentified as “resignation,” but I believe the number is much smaller than the number of escapes, which are very common. An escape is usually obvious because the escaper has a losing game, or just made a bad blunder, and typically has not had any intermittent disconnections preceding the permanent one. In such cases a coincidental disconnection is not credible.