A question on the definition of points leeching

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I have a question on how far we take this points leeching concern.

I notice - well JoustGod informed me actually since I currently have all messages turned off at MARP - that my scores for WiseGuy/YamYam have just been trimmed for leeching.

Did I deliberately die on a certain level that is worth a large number of points? Yes.

Did I gain any extra lives doing this? No.

Did I then have to go on a complete the remainder of the game? Yes.

Ok, literally speaking I did die more than once on the same level trying to get the most points out of this game. However, I did take the risk of having to complete the remainder of the game on my last remaining life - ie: no room for future errors for the remaining levels.

The question is, for a limited level limited life game like this where the only way to improve the final score once you can complete all 38 levels at full speed without losing lives is to find ways of maximising points per life by deliberately losing lives on the screen in question where I "wasted" all my lives.

I'm not worried about the loss of score - I still hold 1st place on both these games - but what I am worried about is the precedent this is setting for other games. Are we next going to ban using up all remaining lives at the end of Black Tiger and clones to maximise the scores on those. If we are, I will be less than impressed because I think anyone who can complete the game on hardest difficulty deserves to be allowed to maximise their score at the end of the game.

Blatent and outright leeching on games like GNG, NZ Story etc deserve to be banned, but I think there is a significant difference between that and trying to maximise the final points for a game with an ending so long as the ending is reached.

I'm happy to accept whatever the majority decides, it's just that if we take away the ability to find points here and there and these games that have endings then we will lose something of the essence of MARP as well. What essence? Watching a true master of a game wringing every last possible point out of their game.

I will now shrink back into the background and await people's responses.

BeeJay (Retired but considering a come-back sometime in the future)

-- BeeJay (brianjohnstone@jade.co.nz), April 09, 2000


"I'm happy to accept whatever the majority decides, it's just that if we take away the ability to find points here and there and these games that have endings then we will lose something of the essence of MARP as well. What essence? Watching a true master of a game wringing every last possible point out of their game."

Bravo, BeeJay. I couldn't have said it better myself.

I just watched your Yam Yam recording with the alleged "points leeching" on Round 22. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. I DID notice that there are two extra lives that can be earned in the game through score, but you had that last extra before you reached 930k - meaning that this 120k figure that you got docked would have made no difference.

In a game with a forced ending and limited extra lives, point leeching should never be an issue. Period. If you're given no end-of-game bonus for remaining lives, then of course it's wisest to sacrifice those lives in the area where you can earn as many points as possible before dying. Figuring out the best area[s] to use those lives is another element that separates the masters of the game from everyone else that plays it. Besides, if you DID speed through the game, what's to keep someone else from doing what you did, sacrificing lives on a high-scoring level? When someone beats your score on a game with a forced ending, you have to figure out ways to squeeze every last point you can find out of the game.

IMO the only leeching that should ever be banned are ones like GNG where you can earn enough points for a free life on the current life evey time. On the other hand, if you're maximizing points by not making forward progress (like the ones that got penalized in Kung-Fu Master on T2), so what? Again, what's to keep someone else from doing the same thing? A skilled player could spend his lives increasing score there, and then having to risk playing through the rest of the game on that last life. (although Kung-Fu Master loops after completion) I really think some people (*cough*) have gotten too carried away in penalizing people for the remotest possiblity of "leeching".

If this keeps up, eventually so many people will be pissed off over getting their scores lowered that soon there won't be any new recordings to criticize anymore. I say give BeeJay back his 1 million+ scores and let's get a true definition of point leeching.


-- BBH (lordbbh@aol.com), April 09, 2000.

You know what? That's my fault - I've reinstated the scores to their original value. I seemed to either be in a bad mood or had a real strict sense of points leeching - or both.

Is there anything else where I do that? I think there is... let me know.

I think this should be the definition at this point:

If you leech to get extra lives every time or leech with no time limit - then yes - that's points leeching(so yeah... I guess I'll have to conceed the wardner argument and allow the next to 10 million values - but I still say four lives, one extra there)

I don't mind one life of points leeching with extra lives - but two is a bit overboard, no?

Again BeeJay, my apologizes for the error :(

-- Gameboy9 (goldengameboy@yahoo.com), April 09, 2000.

I'm currently studying yamyam , and I completely agree with you , Beejay ... yes you used 2 lives for leeching , but taking the risk to die before end of game ; I think this risk is part of game and your "million" scores are completely valid for me

-- phil (plamat@club-internet.fr), April 09, 2000.

The definition is flawed and GNG is a bad example because you DO run out of lives after leeching long enough - a life every 70,000 until you get over a million I think. But I think most of us agree that the GNG leeching is one the most painful ever witnessed on MARP. I don't have a suitable definition for leeching either - I've long since put that in the 'too hard' basket. I like to see a games where a player juices as much out of the game as possible pointswise and still finishes it - provided I don't fall asleep waiting for them to kill a million zombies like in GNG.

Maybe we should define leeching as being proportional to how hard/long the average person leans on the F10/frameskip keys when playing back a recording. We could call it the leech rating - every inp should have one :-) Hey, I've got a great idea. How about

leech_factor_p = points_leeched / total_points_in_game


leech_factor_t = time_spent_leeching / time_spent_in_game

leech_factor = (leech_factor_p + leech_factor_t) / 2

Then all games with a leech_factor over say 0.75 are banned. I am being facetious but it's really not such a bad idea if you think about it. After all what pisses me off is when most of the inp is spent leeching and when almost all the points obtained in the game are leeched. Hell you could even weight your p and t factors if you felt one was more important than the other.

I do know I would not like to see games banned because players hang around juicing the points where they can. My favourite sort of game is where points leeching can be done but is difficult and risky and can't be sustained for long - this way a players skill really shows. Unfortunately not all game are amenable to this. It then becomes a fine line between acceptable/unacceptable points leeching and I suspect most cases should go to a vote (we spend too much time voting - not enough playing).

-- Tim Morrow (tjmorrow@bigpond.com), April 10, 2000.

I agree that there is a fine line betweeen "accepted/unaccepted leeching" I think that games where you can earn more men than you dying is the real problem-Just like yhe GNG leeching on level 3.

When I play GNG i always gather some points at the leeching spot but i do it on ONE men then I go on to the next part of the level.. I don4t call that leeching at all. It is called getting points!

It helps me to get maybee 30000 more pionts and to get an extra much earlier than without. It is called strategy in my oponion.

I think that this talk about leeching has gone way to far! Ban those scores like GNG when they leech all the time and never goes on to the next stage etc (GNG scores like that already banned I think) I think that BeeJays score is not a real leeching, more a sorrt of gathering great points and risk the hole recording by finishing the game on his last men..

Great stuff BeeJay!



-- QRS (qrs@telia.com), April 10, 2000.

I think that it is too difficult to determine what is leeching and what is not so I see two possible solution: 1) The first way is to permit leeching only if you finish the game (like Bugfinder' s record on Psychic5)

2) Create two entries for games with leeching like psychic5 and psychic5-leeched so if someone want to transform a game in a marathon game nobody will take damage of it.

-- A.D. SAKURAGI (adeidda@libero.it), April 11, 2000.

Your definition of 'gathering points with ONE man' is sensible for GNG but it doesn't work for games like Commando where there is no timer counting down and there is an infinite supply of enemies. In Commando on one man you can sit in certain spots and stay there forever killing enemies. Everyone would agree that this is an abuse of leeching and not just strategy and maximising points. I still like my leech factor formula :-)

-- Tim Morrow (tjmorrow@bigpond.com), April 11, 2000.

I agree with you Tim. In games like Commando there should be a ban of the leeching. What4s the point sitting behind a tree and kill men forever?? Points yes but dead boring gameplay and no sense of "honest" playing...

ps Your "leech factor formula" seems ineresting Tim.



-- QRS (qrs@telia.com), April 11, 2000.

The only problem I see with leeching is when:

1) Infinite from a safe positoin

2) Infinite due to Score Gained > Lives Lost

These are what we need to protect against. Otherwise, I say let people wear their fingers to the bone.


p.s. BBH, could you post info on the board about that game you switched to US settings and had a much easier time with? This is something that I would definitely like to look into when I get my cable back, as I know that some players have done this either honestly or dishonestly. Settings hsould always be at default (as everyone knows) or else TG.

-- Q.T.Quazar (qan@home.com), April 11, 2000.

Sure thing, Q.T.. The game in question is Aero Fighters 3 / Sonic Wings 3.

All Neo-Geo games default to European mode by default. Country code hardly ever makes a difference except for language or blood color or whatever, but AF3 is one of the few exceptions. For some reason, when the game is in European mode, it is noticably harder than either the American or Japanese counterparts. Why? I really don't know... if you play the 1st level in US mode, then switch to European and play, I'm sure you'll notice that many more bullets are being fired at you.

Despite this I submitted a recording in European mode, and all was ok... until The Ace Man decided to submit a score on US settings. So of course I'm not going to take that lying down, if he can get away with easier settings than I'll do it too. I'm not stupid. So I beat his score on US mode.

Personally, I think default settings should be upheld, tougher or not. I'm rather indifferent when it has no effect on gameplay (I'm just saying this to defend my turning blood on in the Metal Slugs), but when game difficulty is changed it's an important matter. I *think* I've left the country code unchanged in all Neo-Geo recordings I've done with the possible except of Zed Blade, I think I did it in Japanese mode (which only changes two things - the name of the game, Operation Ragnarok, and a longer "intro". Gameplay and difficulty wise it's identical)


-- BBH (lordbbh@aol.com), April 12, 2000.

All right, I'll change Ace's score when I can watch it (when cable < sigh> finally comes back) US is by far easier than European mode. I wonder if it affects difficulty on Super Bomberman at all? I hate playing in Spanish.

Thanx, Q.T.Quazar

-- Q.T.Quazar (qan@home.com), April 25, 2000.

First, in response to the last post here, by Q.T., I don't think that country setting makes a difference on Neo Bomberman (I *assume* that's what you meant).

Second, I think that the Magical Drop games should be required to be recorded in Japanese mode, just because this lets people play some of the "locked" modes.

Third, I want this (which can definitely be considered a points- leeching trick) to be made illegal for Neo Bomberman in VS mode:

Start up a game in VS mode and play on any map EXCEPT 2 (it's impossible to do it on purpose in 2, really). As soon as you can trap your last opponent such that they are behind a bomb, move in with them. You get credit for all but half of a win (9 on the first go, 29 on the next two, and 49 on the last two), and it doesn't count that round at all towards the "scoreboard". Net result: You can repeatedly pull off last-out-draws and just rack up points this way.

Now, I'll grant that this is hard to do consistently, but it's still not fair to those of us who play legitimately. I'm also not saying anyone HAS done it yet; I just want to ensure that nobody DOES do it yet.

Anyway, there's my rant.

Ashuime Rainflower

-- Ashuime Rainflower (peng@demongate.ath.cx), October 26, 2000.

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