Proposal: Bot games are not rated

It might seem worthwhile have bot games be not be rated. There are ways to win against a bot that are just utilizing some blind spot/glitch. The false wins will throw off rankings/ratings for the person exploiting and have ripple effects on others rankings/ratings that they have played.

See for example:
https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?p=256352#p256352

We all know newer bots such as LeelaZero, KataGo, etc. are beyond humans and there seems to be little gained by having them effect rankings/ratings.

8 Likes

Running a bunch of bots at SDK level, I see people exploiting them sometimes. All that happens is their rating is a bit lower on OGS than in bot vs bot play. If people want to increase their rating this way, they’re welcome to it.

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Also people use bots to quickly get a roughly correct rank. That’s actually useful.

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Also, deliberately exploiting a bug to play the same game against a bot multiple times is cheating and will get you kicked, this is very different to just knowing the bot has a general weakness, which you’ll find most players have if you play the same one often enough

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Is that also disallowed in unranked games? What if I lose all of those unranked games?

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it’s fine in unranked, though I fail to see where the joy would be in such an endeavor…

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I can imagine someone curiously seeing if they can force a bot into a ladder it can’t read, or discover other “programming weaknesses”. Definitely an activity - a technical challenge - for unranked games.

However, a solid purpose to have bot games being ranked to provide newcomers with a quick way to get a rank. It’s definitely the case that some people like to do that with a bot before getting into ranked games with people.

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Allowing newcomers a low pressure way to instantly get in some games to figure out their rank is too useful. Although the OPs point is certainly valid.

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We have ways of detecting and rectifying people bot-cheating in this way.

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Community (by which I mean “chat”) is in consensus that losing 10 games to even ranked bots in a row, then beating low ranks is fine. Moderation is fine with statue of limitations on people having lowered their ranks with thrown games and now playing unranked with those, to lure low ranks and beat them easily. I’d like these things to change. I have omitted to report botters and sandbaggers in the last months because I didn’t feel my judgement of the situations regarding sandbagging/airbagging and bot-games overlap with that of most, in general.

I strongly agree that bot games should be taken out of ranked. If it is possible, give new accounts 5-10 slots to play bots -to get their rank- since that was the main reason given as bot-ranked games being available. This is one of the things that makes ogs ranks completely discredible for me.

I also have a word or two about (7sec or lower) blitz’s effect on ranks, but I’ll save that for another thread.

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Lol, well in that case OPs concerns are not valid.

I feel like the rank becomes weird when you play all your games with one bot

Perhaps there should be a lower weight assigned to games played with the same opponent.

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I am fairly new here, for many years I only played on KGS. On KGS I think ranked games against bots were completely essential to get yourself a ranking, or to make your ranking firm again if it got a ?, otherwise hardly anybody would play you.

In any case I think it is nice for new players / beginners to be able to play bots to help them get an initial rating.

Any established players who throw games to reduce their rating, or use games with bots to manipulate their rating - what on earth is the point or fun in that? If this behaviour can be detected then presumably some action could be taken.

2 Likes