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Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 17:27:17


Green Turtle 
Level 61
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To make the issue transparent and open, I hereby publish the exact steps I used to pick fast on small earth.

Step 1: before you begin the game, open autopilot (a feature that are currently available to members only), do not click the begin button.
Step 2: choose "prod 2.0".
Step 3: adjust the position of the autopilot dialog box so that the "run and commit" button is right beneath the "begin" button which is on the begin dialog box.
Step 4: click on the "begin" button multiple times in succession as fast as possible. As a result, your first click will trigger "begin" and close the begin dialog, and one of your other clicks will trigger the autopilot bot. It should take the autopilot bot less than 0.1 seconds to run the picks.

If everything goes well, you could be able to finish your picks in 0.5 seconds.

Someone called me a cheater because of this. I don't agree. I didn't hack the game. I played in the game. I never lied to anyone who inquired into this issue.

I believe that a hardcore warlighter should have the passion to explore and try all combinations of the features the warlight system provides, including the unexpected ones. I was exited to be among the few players who experienced how exactly the seemingly dumb autopilot can enhance performance in high end games. If some other players don't share my value, I can understand.

Nonetheless, I think the system needs to change and be updated to fix this loophole because it should be fixed, regardless of the fact that I am benefiting from it.

Edited 7/6/2016 17:30:50
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 17:31:34


master of desaster 
Level 64
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The issue is clearly on the autopilot. It has been discussed before and having this setting on ladders and coingames is obviously a bad idea.

You abused that flaw but i'm sure you wouldn't be the only one who used that trick. Too easy on a simplistic template like small earth.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 17:55:05


Dogberry
Level 54
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You used one setting (auto-pilot) to completely negate the effects of another setting (no-luck cycle).


To be completely honest, this game has weird and foreign concepts on what is regarded as cheating and what is not (ie: multiple accounts) that I have no idea anymore if what you did is wrong by Warlight standards.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 18:13:56


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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Considering any other member can do it, and you're limited to only taking the picks the AI gives, rather than thinking about counter stratagies, I don't see the problem with this myself.

I used "double A" to get my picks down to a few seconds, would that be classed as cheating too? It's just part of the game.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 18:19:18


Nitr01
Level 46
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"Membership unlocks new features and gets rid of advertisements. It does not increase your chances at winning a game. WarLight does not sell additional armies, cards, or anything that would give paying players an advantage over free players. WarLight is fundamentally a competitive strategy game and it's important that free players have the same chances to win as members."
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 18:32:24


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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They do have the same chance to win. There are some scenarios wherein getting second pick is actually preferable since you can secure the bonus. There have been many games where I was put at a disadvantage due to winning the selection stage.

Never mind the fact that you are now relying on a rather unintelligent AI without any oversight as Fleecemaster pointed out.

Finally, it's not as if this is a lottery game wherein the fastest pick gets the bonus. You still have to play the game out.

My other question is, how often is the quick pick time actually impacting the game? Most of the games I've played on that template have had a wide disparity in selection speed so making someone who is already quite fast that much faster has zero bearing.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 18:40:08


master of desaster 
Level 64
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Richard in small earth it IS often like a lottery. australia is OP if not wastelanded. of course i can only talk from my experience, but on coingames on this template the faster Player normally wins
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 18:46:36


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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I realize Australia is typically the priority but I've gotten burned many a times by gunning for it and thus losing out on easy SA/NA or SA/Afr pairings. It all depends on the wasteland and starting spot locations. I don't know how much I trust the AI to account for such minutiae and pick properly.

That said, I'm nowhere near the player you are so perhaps the issues I described aren't a problem for you. I also never played the higher stakes coin games, only the 5 coin games so often faced less-than-stellar competition.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:06:48


PhucilliJerry
Level 60
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Can you then shut autopilot off and play the game yourself or does the AI play out the game for you?

How is guaranteeing first pick in a no-luck cycle game not an advantage over non-members?

It would be a non-issue if there was a setting to disable it in games/tournaments or at the very least for the selection stage.

@Fleece, what is "double A"?
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:14:22


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Autopilot is a turn-by-turn thing. You have to activate it with every turn and you can either check what it orders and manually commit or roll the dice and have it auto-commit (which is what he is doing).

First pick =/= automatic victory.

"Double A" is referencing the hotkeys to advance from deployment to committing. Same applies to standard games.

Mind you, I agree that it should be removed as an option from coin games if only to force the human element to be a bigger part of the game. I don't see it as an unfair advantage though.

Best option would probably be to incorporate a set delay time between order computation and commitment (manual or otherwise). Perhaps 30 seconds? (I would say 10 but that may be too short in larger maps)
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:24:56


PhucilliJerry
Level 60
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Thanks.

Hmmmm, so you're saying autopilot can be used as an advisor...

Agreed, it doesn't mean automatic victory, but autopilot in this way always equals first pick v. non-members in no-luck cycle games.

If your opponent hasn't committed yet, can you undo the AI's picks if you don't like them in the selection stage?

Ah ok, thanks.

I don't see how guaranteeing first pick in these type of games is not an advantage. Do you think he would be doing it if it wasn't advantageous to him?

I think the best option would be to make it a setting that can be shut off. Members who pay for that ability might not be happy though, but they could make their own games with that as an option I guess.

How do you see turn speed like in his profile picture? Is that a member only stat or am I just not seeing it?
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:44:08

awesomeusername
Level 58
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To see first turn speed:

> Menu (bottom right corner of game) > Players

And I think you can only see it with no luck cycle.

Is there any randomness involved in the autopilot algorithm? If there is, I'm surprised Fizzer was able to include it in coin games due to the gambling laws or whatever. Or maybe it's an oversight?

Edited 7/6/2016 19:45:07
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:47:52


Zephyrum 
Level 60
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I think the biggest problem here is that the pick speed is not based on true speed (i.e. how fast you click begin, pick and commit), but how long it takes AFTER the begin click. This way, using the autopilot won't give you a "free first pick". The timer should be counting just like the boot timer; from the moment the game actually begins.

Is there any randomness involved in the autopilot algorithm?


I'm not sure about P1, Wunderwaffe and Cowzow, but not in P2. In fact, that's why P2Random exists.

Edited 7/6/2016 19:48:51
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:49:32


Semicedevine
Level 59
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Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:49:49


PhucilliJerry
Level 60
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Thanks awesomeusername. For some reason I checked everywhere but there.....
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:52:49

Derfellios 
Level 58
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That would create some problems. Most of the time the player who joined the game at the latest will get his first pick. Also if the option "Automatically start game once all players join" is disabled the host gets First pick.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 19:59:22


Norman 
Level 57
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I don't see how guaranteeing first pick in these type of games is not an advantage. Do you think he would be doing it if it wasn't advantageous to him?


I know of some coin game sharks who only pick 2 picks sometimes in order to pick faster and get their Australia pick.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 20:01:44


PhucilliJerry
Level 60
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I know of some coin game sharks who only pick 2 picks sometimes in order to pick faster and get their Australia pick.


Can they do that as fast as autopilot?

Edited 7/6/2016 20:03:33
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 20:03:27


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Yea, the timer should only start once Begin is selected, not when the game starts. Otherwise it is too easy to game the system one way or another... either for the joiner or the host.

As for changing AI commitments, yes it can be done. The Autopilot is the same as the member performing the orders and committing. Obviously the clock would be running the whole time between beginning and correcting the picks so it would negate the Autopilot value.

As I said before, I can think of many instances where getting first pick actually put me at a disadvantage. It is by no means a guaranteed advantage, especially since the Autopilot member doesn't take any time to review the map, just trusts the unintelligent AI.

Normann, I'd wager those coin sharks lose a decent number of games by using that strategy and getting the randomly assigned second pick.

Edited 7/6/2016 20:04:36
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 20:05:16


master of desaster 
Level 64
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It is basically impossible to be faster than autopilot. Even if you know what territory in australia is pickable and if there is a wasteland in there you will be slower. Definitely an advantage for members
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 20:14:12


PhucilliJerry
Level 60
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Richard,

I interpreted your earlier statement as meaning once the AI was used for picks, it was said and done, my bad. If your opponent hasn't committed, you can double check them, and obviously risk losing first pick. But you always have the option of first pick, always, and can often times double check it to make sure you like it.

Taking Green Turtles word for it from another thread:

The autopilot has an algorithm of first picking the bonus with the best value/territory ratio


Always getting the best value/territory ratio pick is an advantage. If we both determine Australia is the best pick, I can never get it first, ever. As a non-member I'm at a disadvantage.

I don't care if this is a game feature, I just think it should be an option that can be disabled, especially in tournaments/coin games/ladders.

Edit: Eh, I guess it already can be nullified, just change the template from no-luck cycle to cycle or random and it becomes a moot point....

Edited 7/6/2016 20:21:43
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 20:17:39


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Small Earth has two bonuses with identical value/territory ratings. Except one of them is far preferable to the other. Does the AI always pick that one? Or can it go for the less preferable alternate?

As I said before, the easiest solution is to build in a delay between computation completion and commitment being enabled. Making it 30-60 seconds would practically ensure that autopilot is slower than manual selection, especially since computation time is still factored in.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 21:15:52


Benjamin628 
Level 59
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Solution 1: Make the Autopilot slower.
Solution 2: Remove Small Earth from the coin games, replace it with a sensible template.
Solution 3: Connect Australia to Africa.

If one or more of these does not happen, then the problem will not go away.
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 21:18:22


Zephyrum 
Level 60
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Solution 1: Lag everyone's life because of one type of autopilot user. Nope.

Solution 2: It's definetely better than "Tic Tac Toe Reverse" (lol). Small Earth is a great template.

Solution 3: ...
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 21:23:21


Dogberry
Level 54
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2 and 3 only solve the problem as it presented itself in these specific circumstances but does nothing for potential abuses on other templates
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 21:27:25


OxTheAutist 
Level 58
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Oy bae, wut you saying about Tic Tac Toe Reverse? My #1 template!
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 21:41:28


Green Turtle 
Level 61
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Small Earth has two bonuses with identical value/territory ratings. Except one of them is far preferable to the other. Does the AI always pick that one? Or can it go for the less preferable alternate?


The AI is smart: When only one of Australia and South America is a FTB, the AI always picked the FTB. When one of them is wastelanded, the AI always 1st-picked the other one.

But not always: (1) When both or neither of Australia and South America is a FTB, it's unclear to me how the AI decided which one to pick first. So it might choose the wrong one. (2) When one of AU and SA was wastelanded, the AI sometimes stupidly put a 4th pick in the wastelanded bonus:( (3) Also the AI ignores the euro combo. This can cost a game.

Yes you have the option of undo AI's choices in case it goes wrong, if you opponent has yet finish picks.

Edited 7/6/2016 21:44:22
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 22:05:03


LeQuébécois_Benoit
Level 60
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@ Green Turtle. I was the one who reported you to Fizzer on one of my alt accounts because I thought you were cheating. I am glad we can see the truth concerning this issue (meaning, we now know it was an advantage given by the auto-pilot). I can see now that your behavior wasn't illegal but was still unfair to other players as you were taking advantage of what I would call a flaw of the WL autopilot. It was clearly an advantage for players of WL that are members and that knew how to use the auto-pilot to their advantage.

It is nice to see you are taking actions to stop this unfair practice and that you are trying to find solutions to it.

Sincerely,

Ben

Edited 7/6/2016 22:05:53
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 22:29:23


Green Turtle 
Level 61
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@ Benoit. Thanks for your understanding.
Sincerely,
Green Turtle
Autopilot Fast Picking on Small Earth: 7/6/2016 22:37:34


TBest 
Level 59
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@Green Turtle, Good Choice in making this thread. I am still curious through as to how you got 0.055 Seconds. Even if you are next door neighbor to the WL server this seems very fast.

Also, 5C of ToS
C. Robots not allowed for game playing.
Users agree not to use or launch any automated system except via warlight APIs defined at http://warlight.net/api that accesses WarLight's website, including but not limited to systems that attempt to automatically play the game, create games, communicate with other Users, or mine data.
Would make Autopilot cheating in my view. Of course, Autopilot is part of WL, and probably this don't cover Autopilot in WL's official interpretation of Robots. After all Autopilot is part of the website. Nevertheless, as have already been said many times, Autopilot and coin games has a bad taste.

@LeQuébécois_Benoit's report was ignored. However, I was unsure about that moderators decision and personally contacted Fizzer. Basically I asked Fizzer in a neutral way, how it was possible to pick so fast. (Before doing this I had tried what OP's instructions tell you to do. This gave me a speed of more then 1 second. (even on truel) Yes, my wifi is not the fastest, but still...) Thus picking manually was faster for me then Autopilot.

So Fizzer responded that "Half a second seems reasonable to me." He also pointed out that it is important to disable https://www.warlight.net/ChangeAnimations For me this brings me down to under 1 sec. Best I have gotten is .7 something, using Autopilot. (I have a better record on 1 spot pick, without autopilot. But never under .5 personally.)

Anyway, Autopilot explains the ~.47 picks consistent picks. Presumably Green Turtle is close to the WL server so lag and latency is small. Regardless, I still have no clue about the 0.055 second game however.

Edited 7/6/2016 22:40:23
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