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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 2:13 pm  Post subject: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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It's been some time since the rules for the SSX scoreboard has been revised, and in the last few years it has become increasingly clear that things need to be addressed in a more clear manner since the rise of emulators. This is a notice to all scoreboard players of a change in the rules and resulting action I have to take as a result.

There has been a Renaissance of sorts in the PS2-era games over the last few years with increasing records being set on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. This is great, except for one glaring thing that myself and other players have noticed. As a result, I feel the need to clarify one particular set of the SSX Scoreboard Rules:

Section 6 of the SSX Scoreboard rules states:
Quote:
6. Merqurycity.com reserves the right to change these rules as the scoreboard grows and new techniques that push the rules are discovered. As of THIS MOMENT, however, there are only these techniques banned.

1) Use of GAMESHARK or ACTION REPLAY or any cheat device for all SSX games.

I want to direct special attention to the phrase "any cheat device for all SSX games."

Emulator techniques providing unfair advantage are banned by this rule.

It's become increasingly clear that emulators and its bag of tricks are behind a LARGE portion of the new record breaking scores in SSX, SSX Tricky and SSX 3. Techniques like Tool-Assisted Runs, Instant Reloads, and other emulation techniques ARE BANNED and are considered cheating by the SSX Scoreboard rules for ALL SSX games. They allow players unfair advantages over others who played the game as it originally was on consoles - meaning one run with no interruptions, using only your skills and not unfair advantages provided by emulators or cheat devices.

These emulators are legal to play on - IF AND ONLY IF you submit scores you achieved fairly. The following techniques are BANNED for use on the SSX Scoreboard:

  • No "instant reloading" to replay sections of a run that is tough until you master it. You must play through one single run in it's entirety. It is okay to use the in-game restart option, but instant reloading is illegal and is banned.
  • Use of any tool-assistance options for any emulator. Specifically PCSX2-rr and any tool-assistance options it uses. Tool assistance in any capacity is banned on the scoreboard. Even using this emulator is grounds for removal of scores.
  • Modifying of an SSX Rom in ANY capacity to allow for an advantage of any sort - meaning longer race times, higher scores, less gravity, etc.
  • Any other emulation technique that allows for an unfair advantage over how players on consoles have played.

As a result of this, I will be instituting a review of all SSX, SSX Tricky and SSX 3 scores submitted since 2011 and will be removing any scores I feel are unfairly achieved. This will take some time, and my decisions are final and not subject to appeal. I will PM users of any removed scores. At this point, the users who have been notified are placed "on review" and all scores that take top scores in any particular track they submit must be subjected to the following requirements:

1) Runs must be "live" - no replays.
2) Runs must be one continuous uninterrupted run - one session, using ONLY your natural skill as a player. In-game restarts are fine - Emulator tricks are not.
3) Runs may be required to be recorded via separate, outside webcam showing both the video screen and yourself playing at the same time. We must see you start the game from the title screen, and play through the record-setting run in it's entirety. If you livecast on Twitch.tv or another service, you may already have a set up capable of doing this. If required, you must livecast yourself playing these runs and the scoreboard administrator must verify that you performed the run or are capable skill-wise of performing the run. No pre-recorded or edited videos will be accepted as final, unconfirmable proof any longer.
3) All runs that do not meet these criteria for "on review" players are subject to removal, even if they are currently confirmed.

If this seems ridiculous, it's because it has to be. The amount of potential cheating taking place at the moment is pretty egregious and I have had enough trying to guess whether or not someone is using emulator advantages to take advantage of our system. The integrity of the scoreboard and our rankings must be upheld or the whole system has no merit. Allowing a small handful of players who have no scruples about cheating is invalidating the spirit and history of the players who achieved top scores in the past using only their skill and hard work.

If you have any questions or concerns about this system, feel free to reply below. But keep it civil - I don't want a flame-fest below or I will lock this topic and ban the offending individuals.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 3:36 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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i knew this day would come. listen gondee, i understand where youre getting at. let me say this:

i dont know if you are targeting me in this whole controversy but if i was actually cheating, why have i shown improvement? :P

what i mean by this is that if i was actually cheating, why wouldnt i have gotten a 4.6 mil garibaldi 10 years ago hmm? ;)

wouldnt i have gotten 1:46 snowdream 10 years ago hmmm? ;)

i have been playing this game for 10 years and it has taken me since then to achieve the kinds of scores and times i have today :mad

and im really curious, what kinds of "people" have brought up this whole "cheating" bullshit (considering that nobody plays these games anymore)

and my message to those people: look, just because youre bad, doesnt mean that the people who are better are cheating. :lol

now i firmly believe that there is corruption in every gaming community, even this one. so this WAS bound to happen someday lets be honest here. :glare

also, gondee, if you really want me to play on my playstation 2 or my wii, i can always do that, ill do it just for you, cause i like ya alot :china :china :china :china

my brother brings this point up: if you emulate a game that is in recent times, then thats bad. if you emulate a game thats completely dead and is old, then who cares, nobody. :no

so yeah, thats my statement. feel free to build upon this if you wish. because i will not put up with my 10 years of work on this game possibly going down the drain. :mad

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 7:06 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Is it ok if i still play ssx 3 on GC but record a replay?


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:07 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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I definitely agree with this. The opportunities for cheating is way broader than ever before, and I think we´ve come to the point where runs are so open for interpretation it´s not funny any longer.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:59 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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This idea is prompting me to create new goals in tricky!

Goals:

LIVE RUN: 4 mil garibaldi

LIVE RUN: 2.5 mil or higher snowdream

LIVE RUN: 4 mil or higher elysium alps

LIVE RUN: 2.8 mil or higher mesablanca

LIVE RUN: maybe a high 4 mil merqury city

LIVE RUN: 5 mil alaska


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 9:29 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:53 am
Scoreboard Honors: 2
  • SSX Tricky: Overall: #2
  • SSX Tricky: Showoff: #3
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 10:04 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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SSX_Nigel wrote:
Is it ok if i still play ssx 3 on GC but record a replay?

Yes, it's alright. I'm only going to require players who repeatedly post top (around first place) scores with suspect means to verify that they have the skill level.

I will give a word of warning though. Using PCSX-rr to get any scores will likely result in your score being removed from the scoreboard.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:25 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Voltron wrote:
This idea is prompting me to create new goals in tricky!

Goals:

LIVE RUN: 4 mil garibaldi

LIVE RUN: 2.5 mil or higher snowdream

LIVE RUN: 4 mil or higher elysium alps

LIVE RUN: 2.8 mil or higher mesablanca

LIVE RUN: maybe a high 4 mil merqury city

LIVE RUN: 5 mil alaska

If you want to make sure these get onto the scoreboard, livestream your attempts at playing them on Twitch, including a camera that shows you playing and preferably shows your hands, for an extended period of time before and after you set a record. I need to see all runs for a session, including restarts. Notify me when you have completed a run that qualifies so I can view it on your Twitch profile before the two week deadline and the session is deleted. No replays allowed, and no emulation tricks of any sort like I mentioned above. I need to be certain top scores aren't achieved using emulator tricks.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:45 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Uuuuuhhhh....

I don't have anything to stream my ps2 on sooooooo....

Also I have a live run of 4.1 mil gari on my YouTube sooooo.....

You also didn't read a single thing I said but alrighty

You realize you're putting me through a lot of trouble doing, right? It took me for fucking ever to put that run on YouTube.

I find this all hilarious because you are implementing this rule when NO ONE competes AND after I'm satisfied with my times and scores and I don't want to challenge rashid khan because his scores are too good so yeah, keep wasting your time doing all of this

I'm just sayin......

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:19 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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I read what you wrote Voltron - it doesn't change anything moving forward. I don't doubt you're a good player. But I have too much evidence of potential wrongdoing to simply blanket approve scores manually turning a blind eye to potential cheating. And yes, I agree, the new restrictions are ridiculous - they're also necessary. Do it or don't, but humongous top scores done on emulator that take top spots via emulator tricks are cheating and won't be allowed. There's just too much suspicion in a lot of these top scores for me to let this slide anymore.

Quote:
my brother brings this point up: if you emulate a game that is in recent times, then thats bad. if you emulate a game thats completely dead and is old, then who cares, nobody. :no

This quote doesn't exactly instill any confidence in me, Voltron. :no It's not emulation that is the problem but cheating via emulator. If you post your top scores on PCSX and can prove you did them fairly, great. And to answer your question - I care and I care because I want the scoreboard, even as dead as it is, to mean something. I'm keeping the scoreboard honest because of all the players who put in hundreds of hours to shave off one tenth of one second off one race. Because the integrity of the whole website is at stake. Because even on a forum as dead as this one there is admiration that comes with real skill. And we measure real skill on the rankings based on honesty. One attempt, one run, playing the game the way it would have been played when it was released on console - not tool assistance, or instant-replaying the one jump someone can't get right a hundred times until they finally land it and then send in a replay of then run like they did it fair and square and didn't cheat.

Voltron wrote:
You realize you're putting me through a lot of trouble doing, right? It took me for fucking ever to put that run on YouTube.

If you can set up a twitch session where you set a crazy record on at least one of these tracks and I can justifiably say you could have gotten these scores fair and square, I'll be satisfied. I need to be convinced you're capable.

Voltron wrote:
I find this all hilarious because you are implementing this rule when NO ONE competes AND after I'm satisfied with my times and scores and I don't want to challenge rashid khan because his scores are too good so yeah, keep wasting your time doing all of this

I think both of you are skilled, but skilled enough to set top records (over scores that had stood for 10+ years in some cases) on almost every single game released in the PS2 era without tool-assistance in an extremely short amount of time? Instant replaying a particular jump 100 times until you get the one perfect trick you need to set a record isn't competition. That's what I need convincing of. If this contest between the two of you was done with emulators making it possible, I wouldn't consider it to be much of a contest. Again, using TAS stuff to see what's possible on a track is okay, but that negates it from being on the scoreboard.

And to answer your "no one competes" point - I would rather no one competes on the scoreboard than have a single score on there from a "competitor" who use emulator shortcuts to take the accomplishments away from the people I know got these scores fair and square. I'm not condemning either of you at this point - but I think the question needs to be asked and it's high time we got around to asking it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:34 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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I see what you mean Gondee

I haven't beaten Rashids scores because they are amazingly high and I have worked extensively to try to beat them but I just can't do it. If I was cheating, I would have beaten ALL of those scores by now. Making TAS's takes way too long to make and I don't have the patience for them. I've tried, but it just takes way too long. I think the thing is is that in reality, it's impossible to tell if someone is cheating in this situation. Rashid could be or could not be cheating, you never know, there's not enough evidence.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:43 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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I kinda just decided to bail cause I can't even beat my own records anymore. Instead I've been uploading my old runs from 8-10 years ago. Short time yes cause I personally play this game nearly 24/7 same with rashid, the other people don't put as much time as we do in the game. If they played as much, they would be breaking our scores, they kinda just give up after a shorter amount of time. But I complely understand what you say.

Another question, since I played on emu, is it cheating if I play the game with different control feel? The emu setting are different from console by default as in the way the controller is programmed. Console: roughly 20-30 dead zone and emu: 0 dead zone

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 3:14 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Those rules were to be done in a way or another to keep the integrity of the scoreboard, nice work Gondee.

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 7:18 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Rastapo wrote:
Those rules were to be done in a way or another to keep the integrity of the scoreboard, nice work Gondee.


HOLY HECK IS THAT REALLY YOU RASTAPO!!! OMG YOUR ALIVE, I SAW YOUR COMMENT ON RASHIDS VIDEO AND I WAS LIKE " OMG HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!" IM NEW HERE, BUT I AM NIGEL, I DO SSX 3 FREESTYLE NOWHERE NEAR AS GOOD AS YOU AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL!


Last edited by nigelcannonball on Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 2:03 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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God of Freestyle in the building!!! *slow clap*


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:15 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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So let me get this straight, the only way to prove a world record from now on is to live stream it with video of your hands? Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I hope I am).

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:28 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Ok, so you basically are telling us something like this is not permitted?


I know this is done with an emulator.
As you can see, this run is nowhere near perfect, the reasons I use the Emulator are listed below:

- I actually have a pretty decent laptop to play games at. Also, I use an PC gamepad and I use the default settings of the PS2 controller.
- If I would record a video, especially in a LIVE run, I wouldn't have to replace the batteries all the time.
--> All I have to do with the Laptop and Emulator is simply to delete the files of the failed runs to save any space on the HDD.
- As listed above, it also makes my hands hurt less when recording. Especially in replays.
- With the issue of my controller settings. I'm practically forced to record LIVE runs.


After all, I'm just a just for fun player.
I don't aim for any World Record run.


Thanks for reading.
If it has any problems, just tell me.
--> Preferred if you add me at Skype: randomderpuser
In all honesty, I have no idea at how it works.


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 12:31 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Voltron wrote:
Another question, since I played on emu, is it cheating if I play the game with different control feel? The emu setting are different from console by default as in the way the controller is programmed. Console: roughly 20-30 dead zone and emu: 0 dead zone

Reprogramming the sensitivity on a particular stick...hmmm... we'll give it the benefit of the doubt until I see evidence otherwise. While it's possible it may give some small benefit to have a more sensitive analog stick, if it's used to accommodate a difference to make the gameplay more similar to console I'm fine with that.

Kubi wrote:
So let me get this straight, the only way to prove a world record from now on is to live stream it with video of your hands? Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I hope I am).

Only if I have suspicions your scores have been achieved using cheating. I will notify a player of my suspicions via PM and then I'll put them "on notice" - at this point they must upload a live run via Twitch that shows both them and the run and can prove they are getting these runs through skill on not emulator nonsense. I may not need a camera directly on the player's hands, but they need to be seen in some obvious fashion. The egregiousness of the scores being submitted the last few months is pretty bad, so I've been researching the background on this for a while.

Emulation makes it ridiculously easy to cheat when it comes to records on old consoles - you can cheat an entire run and then upload a perfectly normal looking video of your "live" run and it will look completely 100% legit - even though you cheated entirely to get there.

◇ エアーマン ◇ wrote:
Ok, so you basically are telling us something like this is not permitted?

I know this is done with an emulator.
As you can see, this run is nowhere near perfect, the reasons I use the Emulator are listed below:

- I actually have a pretty decent laptop to play games at. Also, I use an PC gamepad and I use the default settings of the PS2 controller.
- If I would record a video, especially in a LIVE run, I wouldn't have to replace the batteries all the time.
--> All I have to do with the Laptop and Emulator is simply to delete the files of the failed runs to save any space on the HDD.
- As listed above, it also makes my hands hurt less when recording. Especially in replays.
- With the issue of my controller settings. I'm practically forced to record LIVE runs.

Using an emulator is fine! :no I would use emulators if I submitted any scores these days. I have PCSX2 on my computer and I play on a burned ISO of my SSX discs on my PC. This is essentially the same as playing on the normal console.

The issue comes in, again, in that emulators make it SUPER easy to cheat and make that cheating SUPER difficult to detect. You can "instant reload" any particular jump that you suck at until you get it down after a thousand tries, and when you show a replay it will come across as if you did it in one continuous, uninterrupted run. You can map out inputs by the millisecond and create a completely godly run that you wouldn't be able to do in a million years. It's bad - and so as a result I have to institute difficult rules to make sure that our scoreboard maintains some integrity.

◇ エアーマン ◇, if you submitted this run and it got approved, it's unlikely I would flag it for review. But the possible cheating has gotten very noticeable and it's time to put a stop to it one way or another.

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 1:30 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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gondee wrote:
Kubi wrote:
So let me get this straight, the only way to prove a world record from now on is to live stream it with video of your hands? Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I hope I am).

Only if I have suspicions your scores have been achieved using cheating. I will notify a player of my suspicions via PM and then I'll put them "on notice" - at this point they must upload a live run via Twitch that shows both them and the run and can prove they are getting these runs through skill on not emulator nonsense. I may not need a camera directly on the player's hands, but they need to be seen in some obvious fashion. The egregiousness of the scores being submitted the last few months is pretty bad, so I've been researching the background on this for a while.

But once a run has been uploaded and is found to be suspicious, the only way to go about obtaining further video footage is by doing the run again. The only sensible thing to do in this case, is to record video of yourself anyway.

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 2:57 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Quote:
But once a run has been uploaded and is found to be suspicious, the only way to go about obtaining further video footage is by doing the run again. The only sensible thing to do in this case, is to record video of yourself anyway.

This isn't something I'm planning on doing for every top score moving forward. But I watch all top score movies, and if I see something fishy, I'm going to ask for proof that you have the skill to acquire the score you submitted.

So yes - the answer is to 100% prove you got the score is to show yourself getting the score with indisputable proof that you actually achieved it, livestreaming and showing your hands is probably the easiest way. Is it ridiculous - yeah, it is. But it's also necessary. Emulators make it too damn easy to cheat your way to top scores and easy glory, and make the scoreboard look like a joke when it's intended to be a valid ranking system of all SSX players.

Historically I've always erred on the side of accessibility in scoreboard submissions, and this isn't really changing that. No score is 100% safe by video anymore. :no You can still "prove" a score by screenshot or video, but I have always said that I reserve the right to change rules as new evidence is brought to light. This one took a little longer than I would have liked because I had to research exactly how simple it is to do - and the answer is stupidly simple.

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 8:46 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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gondee wrote:
◇ エアーマン ◇, if you submitted this run and it got approved, it's unlikely I would flag it for review. But the possible cheating has gotten very noticeable and it's time to put a stop to it one way or another.


Thanks for letting me know.
I have sent my score to the scoreboards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:33 am  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Scores will be reviewed and removed sometime this week, as a notice.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:36 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Since Voltron never submitted any proof to invalidate claims made against him and in fact submitted false proof and then deleted videos, I have removed his scores from the scoreboard.

I will be sending individual users notices this week about other scores I have questions about. I will PM users of any removed scores. At this point, the users who have been notified are placed "on review" and all scores that take top scores in any particular track they submit must be subjected to the following requirements:

1) Runs must be "live" - no replays.
2) Runs must be one continuous uninterrupted run - one session, using ONLY your natural skill as a player. In-game restarts are fine - Emulator tricks are not.
3) Runs may be required to be recorded via separate, outside webcam showing both the video screen and yourself playing at the same time. We must see you start the game from the title screen, and play through the record-setting run in it's entirety. If you livecast on Twitch.tv or another service, you may already have a set up capable of doing this. If required, you must livecast yourself playing these runs and the scoreboard administrator must verify that you performed the run or are capable skill-wise of performing the run. No pre-recorded or edited videos will be accepted as final, unconfirmable proof any longer.
3) All runs that do not meet these criteria for "on review" players are subject to removal, even if they are currently confirmed.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:07 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:52 pm
Rank: Sensei
Yo sgood guys, Im trying to get back in the scene and get better, couple new pb's but I don't have live vids of them. Can they be accepted under new rules also hello! o/


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:01 pm  Post subject: Re: NOTICE: SSX Scoreboard Rules on Emulation; Scores Review  
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 1:16 am
Rank: Master
Location: York, United Kingdom
PSN: Kubi-ssx
Sightlessgorgon wrote:
Yo sgood guys, Im trying to get back in the scene and get better, couple new pb's but I don't have live vids of them. Can they be accepted under new rules also hello! o/

I believe that scores and times won't be challenged unless they are competing for top scoreboard spots.

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Last edited by Kubi on Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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