Let's start with the communication through sockets. Clearly, some
communication through sockets should be allowed.  For example, if I have one
master brain process and all of the bots communicate with that to determine
strategy, that should be completely legal.  A perfect analogy is that INL
teams can sit in one room and maybe somebody else is watching what is going
on and yelling out things (like F5 just picked up!)

Now, let's talk about communicating cloaker positions (I think this is what
bothers you).  Surely, anybody can type into the message board the position
of the cloaker.  If I type in the position over the regular message board,
can't others read it?  So what if the "mere" humans can't do anything with
it?  Now, any bot can read the message board and use that information in
helping to decide where the cloaker is.  Since we are using the regular
message board and providing information that everybody has access to, is
this now illegal?  Just because the bot can process the information faster
and actually do something with it makes it illegal?

Now, if we combine the two, does that make it illegal?

Here's some other ideas...

We are engaged in a heavy dogfight of 3 vs. 3.  I know that I'm about to run
into a stream of torps that I can't possibly avoid.  Unless... perhaps if I
use some communication method to ask my fellow bots to help tractor/pressor
me.  We calculate that if my fellow teammates pressor me, I can avoid being
hit by the torps.  Would that be illegal?  How would that be different than
a friendly human SB noticing that I'm in trouble and giving me a friendly

The bots keep track of enemy damage (calculating it shouldn't be too
difficult) and communicate that so that the bots always know how much
fuel/damage an enemy player has.  Is that illegal?

I think there's many things that the bots can do that most humans either
can't or they would have difficulty communicating that to teammates.  Who's
to say which is illegal and which aren't?

What I find fascinating is that if the messaging is done right, the strength
of the bot team is greater than the bot parts.  In other words, an
individual bot would pretty much have to rely on the same restrictions that
a normal human would because it would have no one to communicate with.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Damouth" <ddamout1 at san.rr.com>
To: <vanilla-list at us.netrek.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 2:51 AM
Subject: Re: [Vanilla List] the rules of netrek

> From: "Mark Mielke" <mark at mark.mielke.cc>
> > On Mon, Dec 10, 2001 at 08:09:58PM -0800, Daniel Damouth wrote:
> > > From: "Brian Paulsen" <brian at thePaulsens.com>
> > > > Why would messaging through sockets be cheating?  Surely, we don't
> > > > consider INL teams sitting all in one room to be cheating, do we?
> > > > Why should they be allowed to communicate outside the normal
> > > > messaging system, but bots can't?
> > > Sophisticated methods of communicating, such as beeplite, are
> > > cheating/borgish.  And what he's suggesting goes way beyond beeplite.
> If I
> > > built any special socket code into my team's clients, it would not be
> > > INL/WNL legal.  It would be blatant cheating.
> > >
> > > There is no way humans can do what he describes.  Even sitting right
> next to
> > > someone doesn't come close.
> > >
> >
> > By the same token, it would be impossible for a robot player, given
> > current technology to truly adapt to situations whose variables could
> > not be determined at compile time.
> No, it's not impossible, not even with current technology.  But it's also
> not necessary, if all you want is a robot team that can beat humans.
> > Does this make the human player a cheater?
> >
> > You may be able to swivel your hand to torp in one direction, and phaser
> > in another, faster than I can. Does this mean that you are cheating,
> merely
> > because I am incapable of having as quick reflexes as you do?
> >
> > The 'rules' of Netrek are quite well defined. They can be found in the
> > vanilla source code maintained by this list. The only additional
> > rules, as configured by server administrators, is that the computer
> > cannot be used to 'aid' a player in such ways as may be considered
> > 'cheating' by the server administrator. As it is, it is a *given* that
> > a server administrator that chose to allow a fully automated robot on
> > the server, would do so under the full knowledge that server rules
> > will be exploited to the best of abilities by the robot, and as
> > implemented by the robot designers.
> Well, sure, if you're going to change the rules, or find a server god
> willing to do so, then the bots won't be cheating.  But why not play the
> same game the humans are playing?  I.e. use INL rules.  Not only is it a
> more interesting challenge, but it also would make human vs. bot games
> meaningful.
> Are you interested in pitting your bots vs. human teams?  If so, do the
> human teams get to modify their clients to instantly exchange information?
> There are tons of advantages to be had that way, but no real point in
> so because on any normal server, and in any human league, it would be
> considered cheating.
> > In a 'robot league', I would consider the intervention of a *human*
> > player, potentially 'cheating'.
> I'd agree, although it might potentially be interesting to have a "no
> barred" league, with any combination of human/bot/borg players.  (This
> reminds of the strategy/simulation game "empire", in which players are
> allowed to write any kind of client they want.)
> > Those who play the game according to tradition, are restricted by
> > tradition. Those who exploit the rules to their advantage, have the
> > maximum potential to win.
> I agree, but changing the rules to favor the bots just doesn't seem
> interesting to me, unless you let the humans play under the same rules,
> the community realized a long time ago that allowing client developers to
> automate functions  was not a good direction for netrek to evolve in.
> Generally speaking, making the clients smarter dumbs down the game.
> > The robots won't be snivelling and crying because they don't have the
> > mental capacity to adapt with as much potential as a human player. What
> > gives humans the right to snivel and cry, because they cannot match the
> > reflexes, or organization potential, of a computer?
> >
> > Consider the true tradition of Netrek. It is based off Star Trek. What
> > is the greatest enemy of all non-Q entities in the galaxy? :-) The
> > borg.  Why? Because they do not live by the same rules as the rest of
> > the species in the Universe. Where humanity thrives on independence,
> > the borg thrive on the collective.
> >
> > In the true sense of the word, and the concept, the implementation I
> > am suggesting truly is a mirror of this 'collective' as defined by
> > Star Trek. The abilities of this 'collective' strongly match
> > technologies that are described in Star Trek.
> Most commercial human-vs.-computer strategy games take the some approach,
> which can be described as "the only way to challenge the human player is
> play under different rules".  For example, in Civilization, the computer
> to cheat extensively to challenge the human player at higher difficulty
> levels.  Nobody really likes the fact that the computer has to cheat.
> > Do you fear the borg? :-) Starfleet certainly does...
> The Borg were one of the few actually alien aliens in Star Trek, before
> writers gutted the concept by introducing individuals and/or turning them
> into insects.  The day I saw the movie with that stupid Borg Queen was the
> last day I ever went to a Star Trek movie.
> Dan Damouth
> _______________________________________________
> vanilla-list mailing list
> vanilla-list at us.netrek.org
> https://mailman.real-time.com/mailman/listinfo/vanilla-list