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Kevik70

Clan Wars Review: Dishonest, Underhanded and Borderline Cheating Gameplay

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Well season 1 of Clan Wars has effectively come to an end for both good and bad. Congratulations to all those who fought honorably, there was some absolutely great battles out there and I am glad I got to take part in as many of them as I did. For most of the season I played for SALTY, who held first place throughout much of the season but unfortunately only ended up third at the end. However I believe we still had a great season, with special thanks to  @Pulicat, and @InzaiJack (and yes Jack I'll change my joke of the week just for you) for being amazing callers for the team I played on. Sadly my work schedule prevented me from playing more than 1 night a week but I still managed to get my Stalingrad  by the end. Also Special thanks to all the guys at SOUR who put up with my potatoness for the 2 days I was part of the clan just so I could get my final wins in. :Smile_medal:

 

Now on to my review of Clan Wars Season 1 and as the title suggests I am going to be focusing more on all the underhanded, dishonest and borderline cheating game-play that I saw occur during these past few months. Or rather, I am going to go over all the underhanded, dishonest and board-line cheating game-play that could have occurred under the current mechanics of Season 1 CW. In all honestly most of what I am about to describe by no means took place on a wide scale, or at least nothing that I have definitive proof of occurring on any meaningful scale which would have resulted in a different outcome. Merely what I am describing is all the ways clans could have "gamed" the system should they have chosen to do so. In addition I am also going to be suggesting some improvements to WG on how to make sure these "underhanded" actions may be discouraged in the future if not eliminated outright. 

 

There are two main ways that I believe clans could have really gamed the system. The first can generally be called queue sniping and the second was sub-clan farming.There was the one incident during clan wars that has the forums up at arms as you may be able to tell from various threads and I will be discussing it in greater detail. More specifically what is known to have happened, what we believe was the reason and what it all means in the end. I am doing that just so that people are more aware of what actually happened during the whole affair. Obviously I don't want to be breaking any rules so there will be no naming and shaming on my part and I will just refer to the whole event as "the incident.":etc_red_button:

 

 

Queue Sniping: :cap_rambo:

Much like stream sniping is the act of trying to join the same game as a Twitch/ YouTube streamer, queue sniping is the act of intentionally trying to drop into a game with another clan that you purposely joined queue to match up against. Kind of like the act of sync dropping where two or more groups purposely try to get into the same game together,  except in this case one of the clans did not intend to play the other. How is this done you might ask? Well WoWs has long ago added a feature that allows you to see who is currently in a battle or not, more specifically a little icon of 2 crossed swords next to an individuals name. This symbol will be shown next to any player in your contacts list that is in a match or has even queued for a match. For clan wars, someone would only have to add top players from another clan team to their contacts and they can see exactly when said players drop into queue. Then the person watching can click battle for their own team and in more cases than not end up facing whichever team they intended to snipe. This is especially true considering the long wait times some clans faced while waiting for a match.

 

Why do I think this is underhanded? Well it could have been quite possible for a clan to purposely try to drop against weaker clans that they know they could beat on a regular basis. Such a  top typhoon 1 league clan sniping a  typhoon 2 or even typhoon 3 team. The reward for beating those teams may not have been all that great but a win is a win.

 

Now while I am positive queue sniping occurred I do not believe it occurred  in the scenario I described. In most cases I think that queue sniping was more of a queue avoiding, as in instead of purposely trying to get a certain clan, some used the same system to avoid getting stronger teams or a team that they didn't have as much certainty of beating. Like why face the #number 1-5 clan if I can see that they just entered queue, better to wait a few minutes so that we may face a team we have a better shot against.

 

Either way queue sniping or queue avoiding is a bit of a dishonest approach to competitive game-play in my opinion. What I suggest  as a fix is that instead of a battle icon next to a players name, instead it should show a special clan wars icon which will be displayed when a individual joins a clan wars division. This icon will be displayed as long as that player is part of a clan wars div  while in battle but also sitting in port/ queue. That way someone can see who is playing in clan wars but not when they are in battle. It will make queue sniping/ avoiding impossible and add a greater sense of randomness in a battle.

 

 

Sub-Clan Farming: :fish_viking:

The second form of underhanded, and dishonest game-play is what I call sub-clan farming, which is the act of a clan purposely sync dropping into clan wars with a sub-clan in the same community. Then the sub-clan will effectively throw the match so that the main clan can get more points without the threat of losing points in a loss. This quite frankly was pretty easy to do if someone wanted to game the system in that way and everyone else would have been non the wiser. It doesn't necessarily have to be a sub-clan but really any clan that willingly submits to this sort of tactic.

 

Why do i think this is underhanded? Well this is quite frankly one of the most obvious underhanded methods large clans could have used to gain an upper hand in the points standing. Clan wars was designed to be a competitive mode against other teams in a  7 v 7 match-up. Throwing games goes against the entire spirit of the competition because there is not competition if one teams just gives away a win on purpose.

 

I am quite positive that this did not occur intentionally among the top gaming communities in WoWs. I don't know for sure and the only people who could figure that out would be the guys at WG looking through the logs. Though @JetF0x did pass me a link to this site which will allow people to view which clans faced who. It is a new site and it seems to be quite buggy and hard to navigate but hopefully the creators get that all worked out by next season. However sometimes  a sub clan did end up against the main clan at I believe that in most cases both sides did their best to win. I know for a fact that SALTY's sub clan SOUR, on at least one occasion ended up in a game versus SALTY. Both teams played their best but in the end SALTY won, as came be expected from one of the top gaming clans at the time (RIP SALTY). It was a total accident and for almost the entire season we had tried our best to avoid matching up against each other, so we didn't club each others progress. If we really wanted a match-up we'ed go into training room and duke it out there and we did on several occasions.

 

The fix to this even though it wasn't really a problem involves a rather sizable overhaul of the clan system. Currently each clan is treated as a completely separate entity even though it is quite obvious that several of these clans are affiliated. SALTY now O7 has SOUR/ whatever they are going to rename themselves into, OPG has OPG2/3/S and STW has STW-A/B/C/D/E/all the letters in the alphabet it seems. :Smile_teethhappy:  This is like that is for the most part due to the limited size of clans and some internal organization typically based on skill level. I think WG had made it clear they didn't intend to increase clan sizes more so than you can with port facilities, so my solution is that WG creates a system that will allow for some clans to join together is some sort of affiliation in game. Maybe some sort of port building that allows a clan to form diplomatic ties with other clans, like a level 1 Embassy allows for a clan to have 1 affiliated sub clan as part of the main group. There of course would be bonuses for both groups but that discussion would be left for a later date, perhaps if anyone actually takes this suggestion seriously. Regardless a way to allow affiliated clans to join up will also mean that WG can detect which clans should not be matched up in queue, much like how two teams from the same clan didn't end up facing each other in clan wars. Of course partaking in this would be totally under the discretion of the leaders of individual clans but I would still like to see this be a thing in game. Most likely what will occur is some sort of official policy from WG that will severely punish this sort of cheating if they haven't already done so.

 

 

The Incident: :Smile_izmena:

So many of you probably by this point know something happened that has many of the top level players up in arms, if the small number of Cheaters in Clan Wars threads/ posts wasn't obvious enough. I will do my best to explain the event as it happened and all the ramifications that followed to the best of my ability. Now I will say that I am slightly partial to one side of the incident as I am a member of the clan/ community that this happened against. Before I get any further I will mention that my clan O7/SALTY unofficial reaction at this point is that this whole incident was not that big of a deal and I will do my best to explain that as well. What is a big deal is the principle of the matter and I will explain that too. Once again I will not be mentioning which clan was accused of dishonest play but I am sure by now that many people already know.

 

What Happened: Approximately 2 weeks ago one of the top level clans in typhoon 1 moved their main clan wars players into a sub-clan of their community. Said sub-clan at the time had no active  members and was only populated by a placeholder account with no battles of substance. (ie just an account to sit at the commanders helm) Following the move, these players took part in clan wars and proceeded to play games, said sub-clan manged to get up to the league of Gale/Storm (most likely Storm, and most likely over the course of several days prior to that week).  In one of their battles they managed to end up facing SALTY one of the other top clans in typhoon league 1. SALTY ended up winning in the end for a gain of 8 points.

The Controversy: Now several top tier players moving to a clan in order to play clan wars in and of itself is not very controversial, in fact many players in many clans probably moved around in order to help out or gain some wins for those rewards. I personally moved to SOUR during the last week to get my last 6 wins I needed  and I know others in my clan moved much earlier. The problem was that in this case there was no clan mates to help out in an otherwise empty clan, in addition, each and every player that made their move had by this point in the season already gained more than enough wins in typhoon league for their Stalingrad flag. Even if they hadn't moving to a Storm level team would not have helped, and said clan had actual sub-clans in typhoon league by this point that would have better served that purpose. Other defenses was that these members were farming oil, which doesn't make sense for an empty clan or that they were farming free xp (base 2500 xp for a win would net some good returns). Now that last one would have been a good reason if not for the fact that the accused players just so happened to end up against SALTY. (Also seal clubbing Storm level teams is quite sad) Well in most cases it is quite rare for a Storm level team to be matched up against a typhoon level team  and a top level one at that, unless said storm team was very unlucky or one of those teams was queue sniping. (See above for description if you just skipped that part.) Worse still the accused team was known for queue sniping, or at least we at SALTY knew that the accused clan have tried to queue snipe us in the past, which means the likelihood of something underhanded was quite high.

Why is this a problem: Well, queue sniping as I discussed earlier was a rather underhanded method but in this case it was seemingly quite nefarious. (ie bad) While in the scenario I described earlier was a stronger clan preying on weaker clans this case it was a "weaker" clan preying on a stronger clan. Except in this case it is two evenly match teams in terms of skill facing off against one another. Both of these teams were competing in the highest ranks in typhoon 1 where points make all the difference to who was in first or not. A win against another top level team at this point in the season was worth around 20 points and a loss against a top level team cost about 25 points. However as I mentioned before SALTY only gained 8 points from beating the accused clan, and that is because the points gained from winning against a lower league  Storm team netted a reduced reward. On the other hand a loss would have easily cost SALTY or any other top level clan around 30 points. Meanwhile the accused clan faced no such repercussions in terms of points lost to their main clan, where had they been playing their in their main clan they would have lost about 25 points instead of nothing. The main problem was that SALTY had far more to lose with relatively nothing to gain, when the stakes should have been about equal for both teams.

Was this Intended: Clearly this posses a bit of a problem and the matter really all comes down to intent. As I stated before, the problem was not that these guys went to lower league in order to seal club. (Well some of the lower league teams may think otherwise) The problem was that these guys happened to run across another one of the top team competing for first in typhoon 1, and as I also stated before this was likely intentional  by a queue snipe. The real problem comes from whether or not the accused clan intention for initiating that game was to manipulate the points should they have managed to beat SALTY. I really don't know if that was the case or not, unless one of the accused clan steps forward and admits to wrongdoing we will likely never know for sure. However by this point in the season it was highly unlikely that the accused clan didn't know that a lower league team could take a larger chunk of points from a top level clan. So while it may not have been the accused clans intention to club SALTY/ other top level teams I am positive that they at least knew SALTY/ other top level teams would have lost far more points than normal. While maybe not their intention it was almost certainly a known side benefit had they actually won.

Why doesn't really matter (for SALTY): Well SALTY won their measly 8 points from this incident but in the end we still lost the overall race by 100 or so points, so an additional 12 points wasn't really going to help us out. However we did hold the lead for most of this first season of clan wars and we are quite happy about that, I don't speak for the entire clan but we are generally satisfied with our performance. It was a tight race and lots of great competition was to be had. 

Why it does matter: While this incident doesn't really matter for SALTY, that does not mean that it doesn't matter overall. Besides breaking the spirit of competition this incident could have had far more reaching consequences that could have undermined the whole season.  Now it is hard to say whether or not the incident had any impact over the end of the season, and messing with what-if scenarios can be especially difficult. Perhaps, had the accused team been playing in their main clan during that match the loss would have sent them into a death spiral of points, or maybe they would have changed up their strategy and still ended up where they did. I can't really say for sure what would or could have happened but I would like to point out that the difference between the first placed team and the second was only 18(19?) points which was well within the margin for a single loss for either of these two teams. Had it been either of these two teams that participated in the incident and then ended up winning because of that,  well it would have seriously de-legitimized their win. 

 

Well I think its about time to wrap this thesis up, I honestly felt like I just wrote for a doctorates degree. The whole thing is a bit of a long read so hats off to anyone who actually read it all the way through, hopefully my grammar wasn't too atrocious. Absolutely feel free to discuss anything that I brought up in my thread, just remember that forums rules are still in place. (I hope I didn't unintentionally break any myself) If you thunk any other form of dishonest, underhanded, and board-line cheating accrued during this season of clan wars be sure to point it out (just don't name names) and we can discuss all of that as well. Anyways I hope everyone had a great season for those who played and got lots of good rewards.

 

Good Luck and Fair Seas! :Smile_honoring:

 

(Also props for anyone that actually reads the tags, I tend to at least try to make them a bit humorous) 

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Kevik70 said:

There are two main ways that I believe clans could have really gamed the system. The first can generally be called queue sniping and the second was sub-clan farming.

the latter, possibly widespread.

Excellent write up, and clarification. thanks to the author.

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4 minutes ago, nuttybiscuit said:

the latter, possibly widespread.

Excellent write up, and clarification. thanks to the author.

Thanks, I tried, hopefully my grammar wasn't all that bad.

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Well, that was informative and well written, thanks.  I wondered what all the fuss was about.  I'm confident that WG will make changes.  One question though.  Why was it allowed for clan members to move around during the CW period?  That's not something I could imagine happening at the collegiate or professional team level.

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9 minutes ago, surratus said:

Well, that was informative and well written, thanks.  I wondered what all the fuss was about.  I'm confident that WG will make changes.  One question though.  Why was it allowed for clan members to move around during the CW period?  That's not something I could imagine happening at the collegiate or professional team level.

I don't think WG really considered anyone doing that for the purpose of manipulating the points. In addition there was no real reward for placing in the top beyond just winning 30 games in typhoon league. I think that had their been a large reward for placing first than WG would have been far more serious about the incident and anything similar.  

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" the problem was not that these guys went to lower league in order to seal club"

That people think this isn't a problem in a competitive event is a larger issue. 

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I can see the need for individuals to move clans. There are clans that simply gave up about halfway through. Players interested in playing in clan battles have to move clans to continue to play. 

On the other hand, a mass move of a top-tier clan into a new clan specifically for the purpose of crushing low- and mid-tier teams is not cool. That severely (and purposefully) limits other players from acquiring prizes. Maybe the Stalingrad will be super rare... not because only the best get it, but because the people who get to the top first can control (and prevent) others from getting it. 

Much like Ranked, I think that, once a clan gets to the top every member of the clan gets the prize (individual rewards in clan battles is silly) and then they are not placed in the same queue with the teams who are still trying to rise. 

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What's the point though? All you get from being in the top 3 is bragging rights. No prizes, no consolations, just the ability to say you had a larger ding-dong than that other clan.

Personally, -QP- could have made a run for the Top 5; we were at #4 for almost two weeks. We literally didn't play for the entire last week and only had four clans pass us. But what was the point? Everyone in QP who was active had already gotten their flags, and continuing to play CB was just... a waste of time.

Are bragging rights really that big of a deal that clans are willing to "cheat" to get there? Bunch of babies.

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This is why I don't play in Clanwars, I've got enough stress in my life and I don't wanna pick up chain smoking again. 

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4 minutes ago, _Fantomex_ said:

What's the point though? All you get from being in the top 3 is bragging rights. No prizes, no consolations, just the ability to say you had a larger ding-dong than that other clan.

Personally, -QP- could have made a run for the Top 5; we were at #4 for almost two weeks. We literally didn't play for the entire last week and only had four clans pass us. But what was the point? Everyone in QP who was active had already gotten their flags, and continuing to play CB was just... a waste of time.

Are bragging rights really that big of a deal that clans are willing to "cheat" to get there? Bunch of babies.

Yep pretty much, there was not reward for being top so the whole incident was rather stupid and pointless.

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4 minutes ago, OgreMkV said:

On the other hand, a mass move of a top-tier clan into a new clan specifically for the purpose of crushing low- and mid-tier teams is not cool. That severely (and purposefully) limits other players from acquiring prizes. Maybe the Stalingrad will be super rare... not because only the best get it, but because the people who get to the top first can control (and prevent) others from getting it. 

 

The problem with this is that it just isn't a thing without a dodgy MM system. When clans are moving players who have their flag from a Typhoon clan to a subclan of a lower rank, they're doing it (almost always I'd wager) to help that subclan get to Typhoon themselves, where they'll just be mostly fighting other Typhoon clans to get their rewards. Obviously there would be a few games on the climb against lower ranked teams, but clans with bigger membership aren't going to be gatekeeping smaller clans, they just have more people they need to get to Typhoon to spend the majority of their time in Typhoon playing against other Typhoon ranked teams. 

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Well written Kevik. It certainly sheds light on what could have happened, not saying it did or didn't. 

 

Also, I find the timeline of clans in your sig amusing.

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29 minutes ago, Doomlock said:

Well written Kevik. It certainly sheds light on what could have happened, not saying it did or didn't. 

 

Also, I find the timeline of clans in your sig amusing.

I do try to be somewhat amusing when I can. 

 

Also I was quite confused why we got locked for a moment but I'm glad we can continue this discussion.

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1 hour ago, surratus said:

Why was it allowed for clan members to move around during the CW period?  That's not something I could imagine happening at the collegiate or professional team level.

trade deadlines for professional sports is way into the season in some cases.

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7 minutes ago, Kevik70 said:

I do try to be somewhat amusing when I can. 

 

Also I was quite confused why we got locked for a moment but I'm glad we can continue this discussion.

It was locked so Mods could move it to the correct sub-forum....:Smile_teethhappy:

Thank you MOD!:Smile_medal:

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3 minutes ago, Cruiser_TakaoKai said:

I think we get the point by know 250 threads later

stop.gif

I don't think anyone really fully understands the whole event and the the consequences and such. That and there is more to the thread than just the whole incident even if that was the majority of the thread.

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Many people don't understand the issues that have caused concern

2 minutes ago, not_acceptable said:

trade deadlines for professional sports is way into the season in some cases.

Formula 1 rules don't allow pilot transfers mid season. Soccer has very strict rules on transfers (number 1 sport worldwide).

only 2 sports that really matter.

(edit the Olympics don't allow competitors to change team/nation in the middle of the event either)

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1 minute ago, awiggin said:

It was locked so Mods could move it to the correct sub-forum....:Smile_teethhappy:

Thank you MOD!:Smile_medal:

Makes sense, I just wished this was a more active part of the forums but it is what it is. I'm just glad I'm not getting in trouble for anything.  :Smile_hiding:

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Just now, nuttybiscuit said:

Many people don't understand the issues that have caused concern

Formula 1 rules don't allow pilot transfers mid season. Soccer has very strict rules on transfers (number 1 sport worldwide).

only 2 sports that really matter.

according to WG forum rules, we are not allowed to post about religion, politics or insult anybody, or suthin, I don't know, really wasn't reading it all that closely. but it's a GREAT policy, and I not only endorse it, but follow it to the letter.

succer is not a sport, it's a religion for those that can actually stand it. therefore, you can't mention it or talk about it here.

formula one does not have pilots, with the recent ground effects, the cars rarely leave the ground enuff to warrant a pilot's license. they are still referred to as drivers, here in NA. so nutty, I am sorry to have to correct you on this, but unless you are correct once and a while, you really can't afford to be opinionated.

in real sports, with real seasons, real coaches, real admin offices, real commissioners and real fans, players can be traded well into seasons. there is no way to present facts to contradict this that I won't be able to disprove thru lack of logic, applied intelligence or any other means I deem usable if needed.

(ed. note: please disregard any and all parts of this post you might find offensive, it was not intended to be taken that way. not.)

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When I noticed this was from a member of Salty, I almost passed it up.  You guys have posted some really strange crap sometimes, but this was great.  Good job and I hope you continue to be more informative and less trolly (yes I just made that word up) as the years pass.

Half way into Clan Wars our clan made a  sub clan, we did that not to game the system, but to have unit cohesion for the players that where competitively focused.  We did not have time to roll others in or transfer to our other clan tags.  Ended in lower part of typhoon I and we all did get the flag, with the last player getting it on the last night.

Now I'm off to my psycho therapy to get rid of Clanitus and be ready for Ranked Battles.

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5 minutes ago, Turbotush said:

When I noticed this was from a member of Salty, I almost passed it up.  You guys have posted some really strange crap sometimes, but this was great.  Good job and I hope you continue to be more informative and less trolly (yes I just made that word up) as the years pass.

Half way into Clan Wars our clan made a  sub clan, we did that not to game the system, but to have unit cohesion for the players that where competitively focused.  We did not have time to roll others in or transfer to our other clan tags.  Ended in lower part of typhoon I and we all did get the flag, with the last player getting it on the last night.

Now I'm off to my psycho therapy to get rid of Clanitus and be ready for Ranked Battles.

Out of the fire and into the meat grinder it seems. Sigh maybe this season of ranked will be less of a grind. 

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