Why does "restrict rank" allow ? players?

I do not want to play ? players when I use the “restrict rank” button…why is there no way to prevent this!?


To play with (?) Is part of OGS as everyone including you before needs to get his first ranking… Logical, no?
Besides every (?) has a rank assigned but hidden, which evolves with each game and become visible as soon as the system gets a sufficient trust in it.
With a little search in this forum you can read more on how all this works and why.


True :slightly_smiling_face: but this illustrates the reason behind my point in those other topics, e.g. (Glicko-2 does not require accounts to start at 12 kyu. So why do we do that? - #62 by dragon-devourer)

Although in this case (with default initial rating, rather than declared initial rating as proposed and discussed in that other topic) it’s to allow players of any level to avoid games with [?] accounts that may be backed by an incorrect rating due to the default initial value being way off for that player.

The point is, some players don’t mind playing [?] opponents. Maybe they do it to support new accounts in getting a stable rank. Maybe they just don’t know or don’t care.

But some players do mind, such as the OP of this topic. And there may well be valid reasons for this. Maybe they’re sick of getting trolled by sandbaggers / airbaggers if their level is particularly susceptible to that. Maybe they are generally anxious in the face of uncertainty so would prefer to know their opponents’ ranks. Maybe they are working hard on their own Go playing development and don’t want to waste their time on games that will not give a decent rank boost if they win (which is true of games against [?] accounts as the high deviation means the rating change is relatively small compared to a game against an opponent with an established rank).

Whatever the reason, players should be able to avoid games with [?] accounts if they wish. I suspect that, in reality, it is likely that only a relatively small proportion of players would use this option if it existed. In the unlikely scenario that so may players use this option that it becomes difficult for [?] accounts to get games so they become stuck in the [?] stage:

  1. This would be further evidence that there is a problem with the current [?] system, so it needs to be changed anyway

  2. The [?] accounts can just play a few bot games to get a non-provisional rank and then they can play games at the correct level

As for the OP, as a workaround, you could try to restrict rank such that 5-7 kyu are excluded as new accounts are initialized at ~6 kyu. This won’t avoid games against [?] accounts completely, but it will reduce the probability of getting games against them. Not so useful if you’re looking for opponents in this range thought :slightly_frowning_face:

It isn’t a part of OGS really; I dont think anyone should have any responsibility to play any ? players, since bots are being kept in the rank pool specifically for this reason. Let the ? people play bots and find their rank before they start playing people. Otherwise we are polluting the ranks with bot games for absolutely no reason.

As for OP’s question… There is a way to prevent this. You can cancel any game before move 2 and it will not count towards your rank. So, if you get a ? player, just cancel the game and search for a new opponent. It’s only a small timeloss.

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I see it as a small concession that we expect from every member as a way of giving back to the community in the same way that others have helped us gain our initial ranks.

This is definitely not the reason for bots. I think it’s very unwelcoming and condescending to suggest that our newest players should be forced to play bots - in line with suggestions that they should solve Tsumego, fill out questionnaires and anything but possibly slightly inconveniencing the established base who have already got theirs.


What is then? That was the answer I got from the team every time I asked about why OGS has bots in their rank pool.

I don’t think it is a bad thing to not consider the feelings of ? people on OGS since ? doesn’t mean “new player”. I assume most of the ? accounts around all alternate accounts of seasoned players. It might be unwelcoming to not play ? people but it is deceiving to say they are “new players” and community members should “play and welcome them”. It is a loss of plot.

In my very humble opinion, even Cho Chikun has feelings and would appreciate some welcoming in a new environment.


Again, not “new environment” for many of those ? players. They already have accounts on OGS and these are alts.

Based on what exactly.

Based on what people from the mod team say in other topics. Alt sandbagging has been discussed repeatedly.

So, “be hostile to everyone, they might be an existing player”?


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How is not wanting to play someone “hostile”?

Anyway, I answered OP’s question the best I can; not sure I wanna discuss this any further when you want to make implications like “hostile”. I think it is hostile to not answer someone’s question and shove your own culture down their throat. If people don’t wanna play ? people, it makes sense give them that choice, as a feature-rich server.

Well then the team is wrong too. :slight_smile:

OGS has bots because it is a feature-rich server that offers more functionality than other servers, especially KGS.
Also bot owners enjoy providing them as a service to the community.

They are not a benefit to beginners as they promote bad style. When I see a 10-kyu with 1000 bot games and no human opponents, I cringe. And encourage them to play real Go.

  • Don’t consider their feelings
  • Don’t welcome them
  • Don’t play them, in a community made for playing.

I consider this hostility, but let’s agree to disagree.

ETA since I see there’s an ETA: I don’t mind people who prefer not to play ?. I thought there’s a “no provisional players” in challenges, but it seems there’s only in tournaments. Surely there’s enough people who don’t mind playing new players anyway.
But “I prefer to play established ranks” and “those ? are probably alts, don’t welcome or play them” are two different things.


You’re putting words in my mouth. I didn’t tell someone new on the server to not play newcomers. I told a seasoned 2kyu who wants to restrict ranks that he can cancel his game and get his wish.

Saying “it’s not anyone’s responsibility” is not the same as saying “don’t play them”.

I play ? players, therefore saying “I prefer to play established ranks” wouldn’t be true.

Anyway, adding a “no provisional players” in challenges should be a feature, if it not existing causes lots of cancelations.

A newbie ? getting cancelations here and there without explanation would have a better experience by getting fewer games and actually get to play them, I think we can all agree on that.


Actually, it is part of OGS.

Whether or not you think anyone should have the responsibility is a separate issue.

OGS wants to encourage everyone to be able to get a game, which means encouraging everyone to play [?].

This is not an accident, it is by design - it’s part of OGS.


I don’t think we do all agree with that.

Sure, it might be true if they got enough games this way and if they experience lots of cancellations how it is now.

I am not aware of any evidence that this is the case.

The current hypothesis is the opposite: the theory is that new users get a better experience by the default being that people will play with them, so they get games. An occasional cancellation is expected to be the exception.

We’re not having this conversation because new people are having a bad experience.

We’re having this conversation because the occasional established person doesn’t want to play [?] .

If you don’t want to do your bit for the community … just cancel, and live with your guilt :wink:

Hm, I don’t know about that sentiment either. Playing unknown newbies isn’t the only way someone can contribute.

"How OGS can attract more :sparkles:Dans :sparkles: " is a constant theme, after all…

Surely I never want anyone to feel forced to play with me, it sucks all the fun out of it. I’d rather play a bot.

Instead of slapping reasonings on why someone might not want to, the option to not play ? could be considered on its own merit (technical reasons that might make it difficult also factor in). Probably statistics will prove sooner or later if people opt in or out.

All that of course unless anoek wants to not implement this option, because he wants to run a site where the only restriction available is established rank, because whatever, I wouldn’t even dig in. His rules :woman_shrugging:. I can also respect that and go on, it matters not to me.

I did put a smiley/winkie there. I don’t fully support that sentiment either, it’s kind of the extreme position.

I think the more reasonable ground is that most people literally don’t care about playing [?], or if they do they find other ways to chose their opponent.

I believe that the “issue” is largely hypothetical, except for one or two people who do care, and do complain. Then we all end up delving into hypothetical problems just to try to make one or two people happy about a system that is designed to make lots of different people happy…

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