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PK Appeal -- Cpl. Kate Larson


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Date of the event: 12/30/2021

 

Event runners: Bishop/Twisted Machine

Helper: Senj

 

What happened/reason for the appeal: We were deployed to hold a terraforming plant on Moloch, and had entrenched against the Bugs. After a few waves of Warriors and Tankers, we were suddenly overtaken by a massive wave of Tigers, along with three Tankers. Though we repulse the first few waves, several Tiger Elites were able to break through the horde of Tigers and charge our position. I survived the first stomp, but at this point I was stuck against the fuel container trying to crawl under the pipes to escape and couldn't move, and was also suffering a frame rate drop and lagging from the combination of vfire and bugs. One moment I was standing, and the next thing I know I'm on the ground, having been double-flowed-- one being a normal /it and the other being a PK flow.

 

Attached is a video showcasing the exact moment the flow occurred https://streamable.com/yjff0x

 

I'm submitting this appeal on the basis that I was getting really bad framerates, was stuck from the first stomp attack, as well as several others I was with at the time attesting that they were lagging as well due to overspawning. Many of us were stuck playing Garry's Slideshow with the sudden influx of Tigers spawned practically on top of us, and recordings are present to attest to the case of overspawning. I understand that the roll was valid, but I feel as though the lag, the overspawning with 100% higher caste bugs to counter a GAU-19 and the fact that I was stuck on an invisible wall shouldn't be reason to lose my character. 

 

 

 

Edited by Australis
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Alright, as the presiding admin, my position is naturally going to be biased.

 

The lag caused by VFire, I agree, should not have been happening. We've had rules against giving it out, and I saw at least three people using the flamers on that drop. That is utterly unacceptable. However. No one reported on lag prior to the wave, during the wave, or after it. Every report that did come through was handled swiftly, and a lag report would have too. 

 

As for the overspawning claims - the infantry had several buildings and fences they could use to put barriers and elevation between them and the swarm, which would totally nullify the threat of every bug that came their way. Not only that, but they had a GAU-19, which swiss cheeses even a tanker within seconds.

 

Screenshot (136)_LI.jpg

 

Screenshot (135)_LI.jpg

 

However, in fairness

 

Screenshot (137)_LI.jpg

 

Screenshot (140)_LI.jpg

 

I don't believe this was a case of overspawn, and while I understand the lag issues - it was never reported beforehand. The MI were under no obligation to be on the ground with the arachnids at all. I think this is a case of IC leadership and player choice leading to a death.

 

However, from the footage, and the ending player perspective, I can absolutely understand the position and reasoning behind the appeal.

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After an extensive and lengthy review by an independent third party XA - in this case @Reverend whom I am posting on the behalf of.

 

The conclusion was made that the PK is valid and will be enforced. Odin and I both excused ourselves from the review and ultimate decision so as to not present a conflict of interest, as both of us were involved in the drop as players.

 

 

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In regards to the double flow and delay: Rev himself pulled the logs and reviewed them. Flows run in coordination with server tick rates. When the server starts to go through heavy loads, flows are delayed. What this means is that the time between you receiving the damage and the flow being proc'd is delayed, I'll go into detail on it in my next line. According to the server logs, Larson received a Moderate Fall Flow AFTER receiving 100 damage resulting in the PK flow. This is the only mention of your name prior to the PK. Our long-established rule with these things is that the FIRST flow is ultimately the one that will be enforced. In this scenario, it was unfortunately the PK flow.

 

In regards to the Tiger Elite itself: At 1:12 of Dark's video, we can see multiple nearby Tigers being killed. One Elite seemed to take advantage of this opening, ran through the VFire and hit the piping at the 1:16 mark, where it carried out its AoE attack. Due to server load and how tickrates work in regards to flows, there was a delayed flow proc around 1:24. Between this window, Larson can be seen running toward the pipes - but by then the damage had already been issued and the flow proc pending.

 

In regards to the allegations of over-spawning: Currently, after review and receiving feedback from those involved in the event, there is not sufficient enough evidence to support the allegations of over-spawning in this scenario. Keep in mind that this is a difficult precedent to set. The provided videos clearly show the combined GAU emplacement and VFire doing their job, as only one arachnid really managed to break through the gap - ultimately resulting in the injury we're discussing here now. Spawn rates can be a difficult thing for anyone to balance, especially on large-scale drops that incorporate emplacements. It requires finding a fine balance between what is challenging to the players whilst not being overbearing.

 

Regarding the claims of being stuck / low client-side framerate, lag; I personally play these VFire-esque events with especially low framerate myself and can sympathize with the difficulties. Ultimately, this decision has to be made based off the evidence that has been provided and what we have to work with. The evidence provided does not show you being stuck and we have no way to be able to reasonably verify this with the evidence that we have here.

 

Some takeaways here to consider.

A small handful of Troopers willingly chose to fight the arachnids on the ground instead of making use of elevated positions and available cover. This is perfectly fine, as this is an IC choice on their part and the part of the IC leadership. However, this choice directly impacted the events that occurred here today. 

 

Currently the GAU is capable of gunning down arachnids - including Tiger Elites with extreme ease, to the point that we sometimes often opt for the M134 instead. An unlucky scenario presented itself where one stray one managed to break through the defensive line.

 

This PK will be upheld.

 

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  • Executive Administrator

I've been asked to review this.

 

I have further enquiries to make before I can make a final decision, particularly with the XAs as I'm very interested to hear how they've came to the conclusions they have, but I am leaning towards agreeing with Australis that there was an unreasonable quantity of bugs: I count around 50 NPCs in the video, I have it on good authority that the wave in the video was made up nearly exclusively of Tigers which have 5x as much HP as a Warrior (and do much more damage), and therefore the MI were facing down the equivalent of at least 250 warriors. Further - a field of Tigers is not how the NPC was designed to be used: they are the most minor of boss caste, but they are still a boss caste - and more than 1 or 2 Tiger Elites, particularly in the middle of a field of other arachnids, is patently unreasonable, and was guaranteed to fuck someone up: they are effectively cavalry, designed to break a line, and the only tactics available to the infantry are either to reinforce and emplace further (not practical in the heat of combat) or hope to hell they see it and pump out damage quickly enough to take it down before it reaches them. If 50 tigers, 3 elites and 3 tankers is the answer, what is the question?

 

The players were holding their own because they had made the sound tactical decision to entrench themselves: this should be rewarded, not punished. And by my reckoning there wasn't enough time to retreat to the silo at the point the wave began, and even if they had, the MI would have been trapped with at least 3 tankers bearing down on their position. 

 

Do any of the admins disagree with this assessment? If so, why?

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  • Executive Administrator

I've given it some thought, bounced it off a couple of folks, and have came to the following conclusions:

 

The GAU is too overpowered. It does far too much damage against NPCs - which is why the admin team upped the number of bugs.

 

However, that rebalancing was superficial: whilst the MI-DPS-to-arachnid-health ratio levelled out, it meant that anyone not sat behind a GAU 19 had to contend with an ocean of arachnids where one step could have made the difference between safe and taking 1,000dmg.

 

Gr4ss has also sent me a picture of 5 Tiger Elites reaching the line of the MI: 2 at the same time is pushing it (if a single Elite makes the line you are basically guaranteed a wave of deaths); 6 is unreasonable:

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In light of that, I'm reversing this PK.

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