Overclock.net banner

[Youtube] Activision Accused of Hampering Skilled Players By Altering Aiming In Real Time

12349 55


Content Customization Based on Player Skill Level

[0075] In a first implementation of the present specification, the system enables players of different skill levels to play together, in the same level of a gaming session, by providing players of different skill levels challenges tailored to their particular skill level. In embodiments, a multiplayer game environment is simulated by a computing system. The gaming parameters are adjusted within the gaming environment according to skill levels of the different players participating in the game. Adjustments result in each player in a team experiencing a different degree of difficulty or challenge while still experiencing the same content within the same level of the gameplay session and while still being able to cooperatively play as a team. In embodiments, the skill levels of the players are different for at least two or more players.
[0077] The modification of the gaming parameters is based on the skill level of each player. In embodiments, the modification of gaming parameters is executed in real time during a gaming session. In embodiments, the modification of the gaming parameters are executed on a player-by-player basis, based on their skill levels, which may be different for different players. Therefore, the online multiplayer gaming environment generates a gaming environment within which two or more players can play cooperatively as a team within the same gaming environment of the same level of the same game and tailors the experiences in that gaming environment to the specific skill level of each player.
[0081] FIG. 3B illustrates a table providing an exemplary list of parameters of a gameplay session that are modified based on a player's skill level and the corresponding experience for players of different skill levels. For example, in a first-shooter gaming environment, when a first player aims his weapon at a target, a parameter defining the tolerance for how accurate the player's aim must be to hit the target is modified based on the acquired skill level of the player. The computer assigns the tolerance for how accurate the player's aim must be to hit the target differently based on the skill level of the first player. A player having a higher skill level will be assigned a lower tolerance parameter and therefore, will have to be more accurate in aiming in order to hit the target. A player having a lower skill level be assigned a higher tolerance parameter and, therefore, could be less accurate in aiming in order to hit the target. As shown, column 310 of Table 1 lists modifiable parameters such as degree of accuracy required to hit a target, column 312 lists the experience of a player having a high skill level, which may be high degree of accuracy required, column 314 lists the experience of a player having a medium skill level, which may be medium degree of accuracy required, and column 316 lists the experience of a player having a low skill level, which may be low degree of accuracy required. Similarly, the table lists other modifiable parameters, such as likelihood of being targeted by enemy, where the experience of a player having a high skill level may be high degree of likelihood, the experience of a player having a medium skill level may be medium degree of likelihood, and the experience of a player having a low skill level may be low degree of likelihood. Another example parameter is difficulty of an in-game puzzle, where the experience of a player having a high skill level may be high degree of difficulty, the experience of a player having a medium skill level may be medium degree of difficulty, and the experience of a player having a low skill level may be low degree of difficulty. Another example parameter is bonus chance of finding powerful treasure, where the experience of a player having a high skill level may be medium degree of chance, the experience of a player having a medium skill level may be high degree of chance, and the experience of a player having a low skill level may be very high degree of chance. Yet another example parameter is number of challenging enemies in a single encounter, where the experience of a player having a high skill level may be a high number, for example 10-20, the experience of a player having a medium skill level may be a medium number, for example 5-10, and the experience of a player having a low skill level may be a low number, for example 1-5. Still another example parameter is gold earned multiplier, where the earning of a player having a high skill level may be high, for example 1.5.times., the earning of a player having a medium skill level may be medium, for example 1.25.times., and the earning of a player having a low skill level may be low, for example 1.times.. One more example parameter is friendly-fire damage amount to team-mates, where the experience of a player having a high skill level may be high degree of damage, for example 100% of damage, the experience of a player having a medium skill level may be medium degree of damage, for example 50% of damage, and the experience of a player having a low skill level may be low degree of damage, for example 0% of damage.
[0093] As a result, instead of having people of the same level teaming up, embodiments of the present specification enable people of differing levels to work together within gameplay. Therefore, even though the players may all be in the same environment, the various parameters that define death and success, among others, will change depending on the player's skill level.
Ok folks it's a lot of information. But the truth is I believe this is going on. With the game altering your aim while you are playing in combination with SBMM is alleged to hurt skilled players.

One example mentioned by another youtuber, murdashow, states that you get 25 kills and it becomes increasingly difficult to get those last 5 kills in free for all.

At least one other person spoke out and says he believes it's single player. However, the patent doesn't limit use of this mechanic to single player.
41 - 56 of 56 Posts

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Start at 13:56. At 16:09 he shows it in slow motion. As you can see his bullets don't register. At 17:21 you see the patent forces him to look away from the target.
The important part of this is there were no server error related icons to indicate packet loss, etc. If it were just packet loss or a ping spike an icon would have appeared in the lower left side of the screen.

Here is a perfect example of this patent in full effect. As you can tell by Dr. Disrep. reaction he cannot believe what happened. As you can see he clearly should have won that engagement. Someone climbing up a ladder will always lose the gun fight to a decent - skill player - just waiting for you. Yet as you see, as he was told, his aim was swaying left/right from target and his bullets weren't registering. Both of those are the best example of Activision Patent working in real time in a multiplayer, online game.


Here is another example. Again, no packet loss or ping spike icon to indicate a server/internet communication problem. But yet we are seeing the same thing again (but done differently). This time you can see the ping spike around 0:50 mark just before he engages the enemy. But there is no indicator present. That's because there isn't a problem with his connection. But the algorithm interfering with the game overriding the communication trigger to let you know there is some sort of communication problem. Because the algorithm is causing it. He is not having an "issue" communicating with the server.



Look at the score so far. As you can see 8thoughts was already on a team that was curb stomping the other team. As his best teammate had a 7.00 k/d (7 kills, 0 deaths). The algorithm kicked in to "level the playing field" by improvising hit registration/ping. But the important part of this is that the algorithm is effecting the entire team. Not just the player who is doing well. Had there been no algorithm his entire team should have been above 2.0 k/d while the other team would have a negative k/d. Perhaps causing some to rage quite. However, that is Activision's fault for placing those group of people together into teams like that.

So in these 2 videos the algorithm can effect:
-Ping
-Aim
-Hit Registration

All in real time. It's not limited to using just ping. It's not limited to just hit registration. It's not limited to swaying your aim. But a combination of any and all of these. And it's not limited to just that. It can cause you to move slower too, etc.

And Dr. Disrespect reaction to it when it happens is the typical reaction when it happens too. When it happens to you when you know you have the advantage you will also say, "WTH just happened!!!"
 

· Newb to Overclock.net
Joined
·
5,172 Posts
It's disgusting, but it was headed this way ever since server hosting was ripped from the hands of communities. The kinds of bs they have to come up with to replace an active community admin is atrocious, because it's doing way more harm than good. In a multiplayer game, you DO NOT mess with a player's responsiveness -- it breaks down all confidence in the experience. That is why we pay good money for low-latency broadband internet.
 
  • Rep+
Reactions: EastCoast

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
It's disgusting, but it was headed this way ever since server hosting was ripped from the hands of communities. The kinds of bs they have to come up with to replace an active community admin is atrocious, because it's doing way more harm than good. In a multiplayer game, you DO NOT mess with a player's responsiveness -- it breaks down all confidence in the experience. That is why we pay good money for low-latency broadband internet.
It's completely unbelievable and do wonder if there is any recourse reporting this to the FCC and FTC just for kicks and giggles.

If you have BO4 I ask that you reinstall that game and lobby surf a clean match (no cheaters). And I can almost guarantee you that the experience is 100% different 5 matches in a row. I know because I've tried it. The only problem is, on pc, there are bit more cheaters clustered in that game.

The game play experience with SBMM and that algorithm between BO4 to MW to CW is a progression in severity. With CW being the strongest offender.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
Here is a new one. Gamer Tags above the players head are "disappearing" on lower skilled players.
Start at 2:15
It reappears at 2:32

Here is the profile of the player who's gamer tags disappears:
As you can see this player has a k/d of 0.46. And is in the bottom 2-3% of the entire player base. Oddly enough, he's in the 44% win/lose bracket. So more often then not this user is SBMM'd on winning teams who can carry him. This is how EOMM and SBMM works and who it's intended for, IMO.

As you can see, this player is being chaperone with brief intervals of a disappearing gamer tag. Now you may think, "How is this an issue?" Red Gamer Tags are pivotal in identifying enemies. Unless you play a lot of Hardcore, those gamer tags are a crutch in quickly identifying who's friend or foe.
When you are playing a gamer mode where RGT is in effect you are completely relient on it. To disable it, randomly, during a fire fight is completely disorienting because it makes you believe that it's a friend.
 

· Newb to Overclock.net
Joined
·
5,172 Posts
Here is a new one. Gamer Tags above the players head are "disappearing" on lower skilled players.
Start at 2:15
It reappears at 2:32

Here is the profile of the player who's gamer tags disappears:
As you can see this player has a k/d of 0.46. And is in the bottom 2-3% of the entire player base. Oddly enough, he's in the 44% win/lose bracket. So more often then not this user is SBMM'd on winning teams who can carry him. This is how EOMM and SBMM works and who it's intended for, IMO.

As you can see, this player is being chaperone with brief intervals of a disappearing gamer tag. Now you may think, "How is this an issue?" Red Gamer Tags are pivotal in identifying enemies. Unless you play a lot of Hardcore, those gamer tags are a crutch in quickly identifying who's friend or foe.
When you are playing a gamer mode where RGT is in effect you are completely relient on it. To disable it, randomly, during a fire fight is completely disorienting because it makes you believe that it's a friend.
That was confusing... thought that the intent was to disorientate low skilled players, possibly to disengage from fights with higher skilled players. After connecting the dots (bit slow here), the disappearing tags are to "hide" low-skilled player characters from higher-skilled player perspective. Digital social engineering in a private environment... hard to believe it's not happening.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
That was confusing... thought that the intent was to disorientate low skilled players, possibly to disengage from fights with higher skilled players. After connecting the dots (bit slow here), the disappearing tags are to "hide" low-skilled player characters from higher-skilled player perspective. Digital social engineering in a private environment... hard to believe it's not happening.
I've have it happen on the regular now that didn't happen 2 months ago for me. It only started to occur when my overall k/d went up by .40 in the last month or so. And it's the low skill players that are also EOMM/SBMM as well. They don't get away but are given moments of "help" through those disappearing name tags.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
Warzone is one the biggest offenders in the Activision franchise. They have strict SBMM in force and I've experienced it first hand, as I've played this game from its launch. Myself and my clan mates, used to regularly drop double digit kills and started to rack up wins. However, no sooner had we got into our groove, our KDR also started to climb. I believe KDR is just one element, all be it the most significant, that goes into the SBMM algorithm which determines the types of lobbies you get put into. Believe it or not, once your KDR goes above 1.00, you are classified as a top level player and you will be put into tougher lobbies.

Warzone is a huge money spinner for Activision and the SBMM protects the casual, lower skilled players. If you think of it from a business perspective, its actually a very sound mechanism in which to maximise profits. If it was just random matchmaking, with people of all skill levels, the lower skilled players would easily get frustrated with the game and leave it all together. This would result in a huge loss in revenue for Activision, especially as so many people make in game purchases.

If you are in any way competitive and fairly decent at the game, you will eventually find that your games are tough and getting high kills and wins become quite obtuse. Sadly, the strict SBMM in turn gives rise to players looking for ways to level the playing field with cheats and network hacks to get into the lower skilled player lobbies.
 

· Newb to Overclock.net
Joined
·
5,172 Posts
I've have it happen on the regular now that didn't happen 2 months ago for me. It only started to occur when my overall k/d went up by .40 in the last month or so. And it's the low skill players that are also EOMM/SBMM as well. They don't get away but are given moments of "help" through those disappearing name tags.
I have noticed this myself and do not realize that I was killed by an enemy until it was too late. Then I'd be scratching my head why that "ally" did not have an enemy tag.
 
  • Rep+
Reactions: EastCoast

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Warzone is one the biggest offenders in the Activision franchise. They have strict SBMM in force and I've experienced it first hand, as I've played this game from its launch. Myself and my clan mates, used to regularly drop double digit kills and started to rack up wins. However, no sooner had we got into our groove, our KDR also started to climb. I believe KDR is just one element, all be it the most significant, that goes into the SBMM algorithm which determines the types of lobbies you get put into. Believe it or not, once your KDR goes above 1.00, you are classified as a top level player and you will be put into tougher lobbies.

Warzone is a huge money spinner for Activision and the SBMM protects the casual, lower skilled players. If you think of it from a business perspective, its actually a very sound mechanism in which to maximise profits. If it was just random matchmaking, with people of all skill levels, the lower skilled players would easily get frustrated with the game and leave it all together. This would result in a huge loss in revenue for Activision, especially as so many people make in game purchases.

If you are in any way competitive and fairly decent at the game, you will eventually find that your games are tough and getting high kills and wins become quite obtuse. Sadly, the strict SBMM in turn gives rise to players looking for ways to level the playing field with cheats and network hacks to get into the lower skilled player lobbies.
It's good to know that we are not the only ones that noticed this stuff. And it needs to be brought to Media attention in my opinion. And, I agree with you that a kd of around 1.00 is where things start changing. From my experience that's when you're out of the "kiddie pool".

There are several tiers to sbmm and eomm in non warzone matches from my experience. For example; I know that around 1.2 KD it does change again becoming more difficult. However if you back out one or two games you get those easy lobbies again.

However, at around 1.5 KD you have to exit out of more lobbies in order for you to get normal lobbies. This is where I noticed Kronos Zen users with sniper rifles doing "no scope one shots".

Now, you back out of lobbies because you will let the algorithm know that you're not happy with your gaming experience. Doing so does appear adjust the skill level that you are forced to competing against, most of the time. This comes in two forms. The 1st is your team-mates are Bots (below 1.00 kd). And your opponents are average pubs. The 2nd is your opponents are on a higher skill bracket then you. Be it because of cheating or otherwise.

At around 1.7 KD you will start to notice cheater lobbies. I'm talking blatant silent aim cheats. Yes, bullet bending cheats. And a KD higher than that you are backing out of straight, blatant, cheater lobbies. I am talking full fledged Discord teams getting gratification out of seeing people back out.

Now in the examples above this has been my experience. Going back to the beginning of Modern Warfare 2019 to Cold War. There is no way around having a below 1 win loss ratio unless you back out of these cheater lobbies. Something that has to happen quite a few times during a gaming session.

There are a lot of players complaining about a below 1.00 win/loss ratio because they have to back out so many lobbies. Be it because of cheaters or just not at that skill level to compete. That is the Smoking Gun to eomm/sbmm, imo. For example, players with a 1.8 or higher overall k/d but a win loss ratio of 0.8 or lower. But don't cheat.

That's their dirty little secret. Because they will penalize you from backing out of cheater lobbies.

Having said that this is why there business model is none of my concern as a consumer. That is the nature of being a consumer.

They could care less about player retention. They are releasing a new version of cod every year. Making player retention moot.

I have noticed this myself and do not realize that I was killed by an enemy until it was too late. Then I'd be scratching my head why that "ally" did not have an enemy tag.
This is getting a bit ridiculous from them. I didn't notice this until recently. And it makes me wonder if I have been put in that position as well. Because there were times where opponents didn't shoot at me. Which had me wondering why they were so slow to fire all of a sudden.

So, I'm going to be honest about this. It is not a good mechanic when it's being done to you. And it's no more a good mechanic when you are designated as "no tagged". Gameplay should be fair for all. Regardless of skill set. How else will one improve.
 

· I Love this Hobby!
Joined
·
7,943 Posts
Seems like Activision/Blizzard and EA are well on their way to implement their draconian patents that frustrate game mechanics enough to encourage more player spending.
 

· Newb to Overclock.net
Joined
·
5,172 Posts
Just an idea... how about leaving the actual player alone but matching up the overall team? So Sum of KD for Team A = Sum of KD for Team B.
 

· BOINC Cruncher
Joined
·
1,972 Posts
I understand why they do it. They are trying to ease the noobs into the game.

I'm old school. I don't like any sort of indicators. You should learn what friend and foe look like.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
I'm old school. I don't like any sort of indicators. You should learn what friend and foe look like.
They have hard-core for that. Tags shouldn't random be disabled on bot players. Who are put into regular pub lobbies because the algorithm couldn't find a kiddie pool for them.

This artificially compromises game play. Which fuels the belief that matches are rigged.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
@ 7:28 - 7:31 time mark you see once again that a player's tag is invisible. Yet he kills him with ease. However, my focus is to show you that TI (tag invisibility) is an actual thing. Even he was puzzled after he killed him saying, "Yo!!" Pay attention to his attachments. He's using the 40% Reveal flashlight, I believe.


Player is killed by chopper



Player respawn right in front of CF but cannot kill him. And his user name it invisible.



Player is found on mini map going towards Buses




Player is moving in front of bus headed towards teammate Magia.



Player is meet at point blank range of teammate Magia who cannot kill him.



CF about to meet player. However, cannot reveal tag with flashlight. Only teammate's name is visible.



Player tag is still invisible. Only teammate player tag is visible. However, CF still takes him out. But is shocked after the encounter, IMO.


Asslin_Delcid: asslin_delcid's Multiplayer Overview - Cold War Tracker
0.67 k/d. It remains to be understood under what circumstances does TI kick in? Is it because CF killed him multiple times? He's doing really bad that match? Who knows exactly.
Edit (IMPORTANT):
After further review at 7:16 user Asslin_Delcid was killed by CF's chopper at his spawn point on the other side of the mape. He respawned shortly after and "ran around the map" with spawn protection until CF killed him again at 7:28. But here are the details:
If you look at the minimap at 7:19 in the upper left corner you can see him spawn back into the map He is right in front of CF with just the red dot above him. He is TI'd (tag invisible) and CF is experiencing a bit of aim resist so he can't get a lock on him . He moves perpendicluar, in front of CF towards the school buses were they meet again at 7:28.

However, at 7:22 watch the mini map. You see him as a triangle moving towards the buses (along with a teammate). At 7:23 his teammate is killed but he still lives. Moving in front of the bus. At 7:26 CF's teammate Magia confronts Asslin_Delcid head on, point blank range but cannot kill him. This is because Asslin_Delcid has SPAWN PROTECTION. And it appears it latest 8-9 seconds for him. Until CF kills him again at 7:28. So we are talking. Aim resists is now disabled but TI is still active. So all you see, again is the red dot above him.



Edit 1:
Just in case some don't know. The flashlight is specifically designed to reveal enemy players. Here's Drift0r's video about it.

Therefore, when the flashlight fails to reveal enemies, IMO, I consider it a smoking gun as another example of how players are actively sbmm'd//eomm'd while playing COD. This is my opinion though. It is not presented as "fact" but incidental evidence.

Edit 2:
At 15:57 CF kills a user called reddog (his stats are private. I cannot link his k/d but at a guess it's probably below 1k/d).
At 16:02 he's attempting to kill him again do to line of sight. However, CF is experiencing not only TI (tag invisibility) but also aim resist. In which he refers to his aim as "tweaking" at 16:15 mark of the video. Now note, he already got a nuke and still hadn't died yet when he faced reddog the 2nd time during the time frame.

It appears to me that aim resist and TI is part of spawn protection. Which might explain how and when certain players maybe able to obtain this "abilities". If so, it's in addition to what we know about spawn protection inwhich you can absorb hits and take little to no damage during that time frame. Again, if true, it doesn't explain why spawn protection was "tweaked" when the original method was fine and most vets of COD knew what it was and how it worked.

Now I want to be clear I've seen spawn traps work. So, at a guess, it would appear to me that your k/d plays a factor if you get SP or not.
 
41 - 56 of 56 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top