Self-verification

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Exarion
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Self-verification

Post by Exarion » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:46 am

Looking through our main leaderboards on speedrun.com today, I noticed that a decent percentage of the top runs were verified by the person who did the run. To me, this defeats the purpose of having a verification system in the first place. Any top runner is qualified to be a moderator under the current system; thus, any top run can be self-verified.

I realize that moderators are chosen partially on their trustworthiness, but even the most objective of us have a bias when it comes to our own runs. We're certainly not going to rewatch our own runs to make sure we followed the rules. Also, while I haven't seen a suspicious run in a while, what happens if one appears? A moderator who has WR for that category might reject the run for valid reasons, but many would perceive the rejection as the moderator's attempt to protect their WR.

Obviously, this only applies in the event of a cheated run, which is a problem by itself. But I think we could prevent additional problems by disallowing self-verification.
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Re: Self-verification

Post by RXFADEZ » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:38 pm

I agree 100%. Also if it is a WR or otherwise then the other moderators are more likely to put it under more scrutiny so incidents are less likely to occur.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Dunsparsley » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:44 pm

Quick Question: How do you plan to be able to deal with the implementation of this towards games that are run less. I understand the general idea you have, but keep in mind that while this might work beautifully for games like Red, Crystal, and Emerald, other games, like Colosseum, XD, Conquest, and Rumble as a few examples, don't have the luxury of enough runners and moderators to work around it. Sure, CTM, dabomstew, and werster are mods for every game, but what if it's a game that none of them have run or one they just don't simply have enough knowledge about to correctly moderate the game? As beneficial as it would be for large games, this drastic change could potentially wipe out any possibility of people running the smaller games. Of course, this is all speculation, but I don't believe this would be a step in the right direction regardless of how positive the outcomes may seem.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Exarion » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:15 pm

Dunsparsley wrote:Quick Question: How do you plan to be able to deal with the implementation of this towards games that are run less. I understand the general idea you have, but keep in mind that while this might work beautifully for games like Red, Crystal, and Emerald, other games, like Colosseum, XD, Conquest, and Rumble as a few examples, don't have the luxury of enough runners and moderators to work around it. Sure, CTM, dabomstew, and werster are mods for every game, but what if it's a game that none of them have run or one they just don't simply have enough knowledge about to correctly moderate the game? As beneficial as it would be for large games, this drastic change could potentially wipe out any possibility of people running the smaller games. Of course, this is all speculation, but I don't believe this would be a step in the right direction regardless of how positive the outcomes may seem.
If the only person who can verify a run is the runner him- or herself, what's the point of verification at all? Either those games would have a leaderboard of runs without verification, or the community would have to make a greater effort to learn those games so that multiple people could verify runs. Regardless of the game, it's weird to see "Verified by X" next to a run by X, since no one actually "verifies" their own runs.
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Re: Self-verification

Post by Battle » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:59 pm

Exarion wrote: Obviously, this only applies in the event of a cheated run, which is a problem by itself. But I think we could prevent additional problems by disallowing self-verification.
Well wasn't the community shift towards running on console (at least if you were going to claim a WR) suppose to get rid of the "additional problems"?

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Dunsparsley » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:05 pm

Could you point out for me the portion of my post where I stated there was a single runner? I meant a small group in which only one person who runs the game is mod. Your post provided no explanation for a small group with a single competent moderator. "It's weird to see" when referring to a mod verifying their own run is also a ridiculous argument that holds no water. Can you give me a decent reason to outright ostracize smaller games and their runners?

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Re: Self-verification

Post by RXFADEZ » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:41 pm

If you're the only person with knowledge of a game and are speedrunning it then if you cheat a WR in a game nobody runs I don't see the issue. If I WRed in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia tomorrow then why would it matter? As the only runner of that game I could've had a 3hr of 48hr time and still have got WR so I'd only be cheating myself if I cheated. What I think the point really is is that if someone managed to get a good time and they can grant themselves verification then it may be scrutinised less and therefore it is more likely to slip through the cracks and a cheated run be on the leaderboards of a game with competition. If in my previous example another runner came and ran PR: SoA and looked at my run and knew I had cheated then they could easily report it to one of the series mods with evidence on how it is cheated.

If this makes no sense it's because I'm tired and I can expand and clarify points that may be unclear.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Exarion » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:44 pm

Battle wrote:Well wasn't the community shift towards running on console (at least if you were going to claim a WR) suppose to get rid of the "additional problems"?
"Additional problems" = exacerbating an existing problem (in this hypothetical case, a cheated run). Obviously, we're not seeing as many suspicious runs as before, but they can still happen, which is why we have a verification system in place. If we continue to use a verification system, we should make it honest.
Dunsparsley wrote:Could you point out for me the portion of my post where I stated there was a single runner? I meant a small group in which only one person who runs the game is mod. Your post provided no explanation for a small group with a single competent moderator. "It's weird to see" when referring to a mod verifying their own run is also a ridiculous argument that holds no water. Can you give me a decent reason to outright ostracize smaller games and their runners?
I still don't understand your point (small group = group of mods? group of runners?), so I can't really respond to it.
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Re: Self-verification

Post by Dunsparsley » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:50 pm

Fadez, what you're saying is that it's okay to not have integrity. How would that look to people wanting to run the game, but haven't? Let's see, the only guy who runs this game is okay with cheating, so it must be okay to cheat. You are advocating cheating, which directly contradicts one of the main points that inspired this post in the first place. It doesn't look good to those outside or inside the community, and it questions your trustworthiness for other games you run, Pokemon or not.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Dunsparsley » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:53 pm

Sorry about my lack of clarification there, Exarion. I'm referring to a situation like XD or Colosseum, in which there is a single active, knowledgeable moderator over a small, but existent group of runners (The other runners don't frequent the game enough to become mods, but do enough to be grouped in with the game).

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Re: Self-verification

Post by RXFADEZ » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:01 am

Dunsparsley wrote:Fadez, what you're saying is that it's okay to not have integrity. How would that look to people wanting to run the game, but haven't? Let's see, the only guy who runs this game is okay with cheating, so it must be okay to cheat. You are advocating cheating, which directly contradicts one of the main points that inspired this post in the first place. It doesn't look good to those outside or inside the community, and it questions your trustworthiness for other games you run, Pokemon or not.
I'm not advocating cheating at all. If somebody cheats and it can be proven then I believe they should be banned from ever submitting a new run again. However, if there is nobody in a position to disprove that it has been cheated then what can be done about it? I think innocent until proven guilty is a better way to examine these runs or some of the obscure games would have not times on the leaderboards as nobody could tell if it was cheated. I think that if you're the only runner of a game or the only active runner then you should check with a series mod to see if it's OK, and if it is verify it. But if another fan of this game came along and had the knowledge to prove it was cheated then of course it should be removed. And as this obscure game may have multiple followers now they can check each others runs so that there's a higher chance that the leaderboards are kept clean from cheats. If a new member looks at the run and says "Oh he's cheated, rather than report it I will also cheat." then that's their fault. If people are stupid enough to not realise that cheating is bad you can even put at the top of the page "No Cheating". Taking this all into account, in bigger games that have a collection of mods it should be heavily implied that you should not verify your own run but in smaller communities people should be able to verify their own run as long as they inform somebody that they have done it so that anyone else wanting to look at it should be able to question its legitimacy!

(Wrote all this then saw new post)
Sorry about my lack of clarification there, Exarion. I'm referring to a situation like XD or Colosseum, in which there is a single active, knowledgeable moderator over a small, but existent group of runners (The other runners don't frequent the game enough to become mods, but do enough to be grouped in with the game).
If there is only one person who is active with knowledge of the game then it should be accepted as it can not be proven to be cheated. But if someone with knowledge of the game then examines the run and can prove it's false then it should be removed and the person removed from the group.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Exarion » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:07 am

Dunsparsley wrote:Sorry about my lack of clarification there, Exarion. I'm referring to a situation like XD or Colosseum, in which there is a single active, knowledgeable moderator over a small, but existent group of runners (The other runners don't frequent the game enough to become mods, but do enough to be grouped in with the game).
The single mod could verify any runs except his or her own. If that mod wanted to submit his or her own run, I would say the responsibility should fall on a global moderator to verify the run (and research parts of the game as necessary to do this effectively). The global mod might not know the game as well as the main mod, but they could still verify it more objectively (because again, no one who's verifying their own run is actually watching it back to make sure they didn't cheat).
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Re: Self-verification

Post by Battle » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:16 am

Exarion wrote: "Additional problems" = exacerbating an existing problem (in this hypothetical case, a cheated run). Obviously, we're not seeing as many suspicious runs as before, but they can still happen, which is why we have a verification system in place. If we continue to use a verification system, we should make it honest.
well back before the LB's switched to speedrun.com the only suspicious runs I recall being submitted were the Crystal/2 Emerald runs Starcrytas submitted & your Red run (at that time anyway since you came out of nowhere and set off alot of red flags).

since the switch to speedrun.com (correct me if im wrong) i dont believe a run someone thought was cheated has been submitted or verified i do believe the current verification system works just fine.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by RXFADEZ » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:23 am

Battle wrote: well back before the LB's switched to speedrun.com the only suspicious runs I recall being submitted were the Crystal/2 Emerald runs Starcrytas submitted & your Red run (at that time anyway since you came out of nowhere and set off alot of red flags).

since the switch to speedrun.com (correct me if im wrong) i dont believe a run someone thought was cheated has been submitted or verified i do believe the current verification system works just fine.
The sad part is is that I expect it's only a matter of time before some idiot with a hacked cart or something else decides they want to try to cause tension within the community. I'm not saying that we should be ridiculously strict and forbid people from verifying their own times, I'm just saying that it should be strongly recommended to not verify your own run, especially if the leaderboard you're submitting to has multiple moderators.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Exarion » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:32 am

Battle wrote:
Exarion wrote: "Additional problems" = exacerbating an existing problem (in this hypothetical case, a cheated run). Obviously, we're not seeing as many suspicious runs as before, but they can still happen, which is why we have a verification system in place. If we continue to use a verification system, we should make it honest.
well back before the LB's switched to speedrun.com the only suspicious runs I recall being submitted were the Crystal/2 Emerald runs Starcrytas submitted & your Red run (at that time anyway since you came out of nowhere and set off alot of red flags).

since the switch to speedrun.com (correct me if im wrong) i dont believe a run someone thought was cheated has been submitted or verified i do believe the current verification system works just fine.
The switch to console, which happened several months before the transition to speedrun.com, made the most difference in deterring suspicious runs. I'm don't worry that we'll see more cheating because of the current verification system (because a cheater will be caught eventually), but I worry that, in the event of a potentially cheated run, we won't be able to handle it optimally.
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Re: Self-verification

Post by Battle » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:41 am

RXFADEZ wrote: The sad part is is that I expect it's only a matter of time before some idiot with a hacked cart or something else decides they want to try to cause tension within the community. I'm not saying that we should be ridiculously strict and forbid people from verifying their own times, I'm just saying that it should be strongly recommended to not verify your own run, especially if the leaderboard you're submitting to has multiple moderators.
highly unlikely.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by spitfire » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:30 am

As someone who fought very hard to get a level of scrutiny and integrity into the leaderboards, I agree 100% with what Exarion is saying.

I dont really care how "unlikely" runs may be cheated now we are on console it can still happen. What about for the runners who want to get good times that are on emulator? just because it wont stand for a World Record doesn't mean it should be ignored. The whole point of the leaderboard verification system was so that runs actually get watched and ensured the community rules are being followed.

A Question to any moderators who have verified runs lately, Did you stop and actually watch the runs you are verifying?

And as far as the smaller community's or the games with little to no activity, Is that not the point of the series mods? If you are going to represent the Pokemon community as a series mod you should familiarise yourself with the basic rules of the game at least. i don't expect every little detail to be known but the basic rules and requirements should be a must so you can watch the VOD and then verify it.

In short. Series mods should pick up the slack in the case where it needs to be picked up, and Mods should not be aloud to verify there own run. most popular games have at least 2 other mods NOT including the series mods, so this should not be an issue

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Battle » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:01 am

spitfire wrote:As someone who fought very hard to get a level of scrutiny and integrity into the leaderboards, I agree 100% with what Exarion is saying.

I dont really care how "unlikely" runs may be cheated now we are on console it can still happen. What about for the runners who want to get good times that are on emulator? just because it wont stand for a World Record doesn't mean it should be ignored. The whole point of the leaderboard verification system was so that runs actually get watched and ensured the community rules are being followed.

A Question to any moderators who have verified runs lately, Did you stop and actually watch the runs you are verifying?

And as far as the smaller community's or the games with little to no activity, Is that not the point of the series mods? If you are going to represent the Pokemon community as a series mod you should familiarise yourself with the basic rules of the game at least. i don't expect every little detail to be known but the basic rules and requirements should be a must so you can watch the VOD and then verify it.

In short. Series mods should pick up the slack in the case where it needs to be picked up, and Mods should not be aloud to verify there own run. most popular games have at least 2 other mods NOT including the series mods, so this should not be an issue
So you want CTM , Werster & Dabomstew to pretty much learn 33 pokemon games & the categories that go with them?

Im sorry but that's just not feasible for those 3 people. there seems to be a trust issue with at least mods of a SINGLE game which im not sure why considering they were chosen for not only having alot of knowledge in that game but their trustworthiness as well.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by roushmore917 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:24 am

Exarion wrote:Looking through our main leaderboards on speedrun.com today, I noticed that a decent percentage of the top runs were verified by the person who did the run. To me, this defeats the purpose of having a verification system in the first place. Any top runner is qualified to be a moderator under the current system; thus, any top run can be self-verified.
Now Exarion, I;d like you to think about what you are saying here. Most of the top runs are being verified by the mods who did them, yes. BUT WHY THE FUCK WOULD WE NEED TO WATCH THEM OVER TO MAKE SURE WE FOLLOWED THE RULES!?!?! I believe that if I did that WR run 3 hours after you, I would remember doing it. If the mods of the game were cheaters, or simply without merit, I think that Dabombstew, CTM, or Werster would have SOMETHING to say about them before allowing them to mod. Most of us (mods) are well established within our own games (can you provide an example where you feel that this system doesn't work, for verification purposes), and we should know how to judge ourselves as well as others. Also, I feel that if more people would make COMMENTS ON THEIR RUNS, the process would feel like the runner cared more about their submission. I as a moderator have no problem having someone else verify the run, but I feel like it shouldn't need to be questioned.

Second point:
exarion wrote:The switch to console, which happened several months before the transition to speedrun.com, made the most difference in deterring suspicious runs. I'm don't worry that we'll see more cheating because of the current verification system (because a cheater will be caught eventually), but I worry that, in the event of a potentially cheated run, we won't be able to handle it optimally.
The emulator/console split distressed me greatly as a moderator and a competitor. As I've looked over the last few runs I've verified (note: I'm looking at this from an Emerald perspective), I have but pure disappointment: ONE NEW RUNNER since the split, being you... All the other submissions have been from already existing and submitting people. I want this community to grow so badly (crossing fingers for SGDQ support, but not with high expectations), but at the same time, some of us *cough* helped start the downfall of our own community. This might be a gripe to bring up in a different thread, but I'm just saying that it was people calling out a system that WASN'T BROKEN that caused the great spiral of August 2014... Don't be a dick to the community.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by spitfire » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:28 am

Battle wrote:So you want CTM , Werster & Dabomstew to pretty much learn 33 pokemon games & the categories that go with them?

Im sorry but that's just not feasible for those 3 people. there seems to be a trust issue with at least mods of a SINGLE game which im not sure why considering they were chosen for not only having alot of knowledge in that game but their trustworthiness as well.
Well for one there are only 14 games that have only 1 or no mods. So for other games the series mods do not need to do anything for if they choose not to.

As far as 3 people learning routes, this is also incorrect they would not need to learn the routes or the game at all. they would just need to familiarise themselves with the rules which are listed on the leaderboard page. They would then need to watch the run and make sure it abides to said rules. As for learning how the game plays and how things might not add up, which the series mods would have no idea about, that should be left the the other runners of the game to bring forward if something doesn't look right, since they are the one familiar with the game.

on another note, this has nothing to do with trust. As the community stands I cannot think of a single runner who would cheat or who would want to cheat, however if this did come up i would not like it to slip through under the radar so easily

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Keizaron » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:38 am

spitfire wrote:A Question to any moderators who have verified runs lately, Did you stop and actually watch the runs you are verifying?
Yes. I do.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by roushmore917 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:44 am

Me as well, even though I saw all but one of those runs LIVE... I still go back and look to see if there were issues (again, from an emerald runner's perspective). I treat a few places with more scrutiny than others: Route 116, Flannery fight, Norman fight, post Devon Scope Spinners, Winona's Gym, Maxie 2, The Twins, True Double fight, and the Raquaza fights (including sky pillar) are at least double checked by me (those are the biggest RNG sections, in my opinion).

For an example of a run I wouldn't verify: If Werster submitted his Twitch VOD of his PB. He picknicked at least twice, and one of those was route 116 (before the abra catch, if memory serves), which to me would be a quick red flag.

I may be a fucking nazi, but I don't want my game or reputation tarnished because I was too lazy

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Re: Self-verification

Post by Zetalight » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:35 am

I haven't seen this anywhere else (though I'll admit I didn't do a full scan of this thread), but why not allow users to contest verification? If you see a time that you think is shady, regardless of who ran and who verified, you should be able to do something about it. The forums are right here, so why not just let users contest runs as long as they can specify a part of it that looks cheated? Under that system, every user has some power, but to use it, they'd have to care enough to watch through the run. Mods could verify times like normal and get them up, but if something gets missed or faked it can still be called out. On top of that, you'd have a system under which any cheating by runners/mods or false accusations by forum posters would immediately lower the credibility of whoever was wrong. If the community reaches a deadlock, then it can be brought to a global mod, but I doubt it'd get that far very often. Of course, I'm not a very big part of this community, but I think that suggestion at least offers a little bit toward a solution.

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Re: Self-verification

Post by werster » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:33 am

Ignoring a lot of stupid points that make no sense / already exist...

I 100% can see where you're coming from Exarion. And I agree, to and extent. In further detail,

I feel it's kinda ridiculous that an issue like this has to be brought up. Because the only people who can verify runs are the mods of that game itself, and if you're a mod of a game, you can go back and reject/edit runs that get accepted anyway. So if someone did want to actually look over a new record, there's absolutely nothing stopping them.

For example: Say I get the record in Emerald any%, and self verify it because I know it's fine. But Dabomstew thinks it's a bit suss, he can still look over my run and reject it if he feels it's the right thing to do. Once a run is accepted it's not set in stone almighty can never be questioned type thing

Not to mention, as someone who is a series mod and verifies a lot of runs, it's simply extra time. If someone is extremely trustworthy from past experience, and they are submitting a run that isn't very good, I'm not going to just auto accept, but I'm not going to watch the whole run. If 5upa submits a run thats in like 8th place, I'm skim through it to make sure there are no errors in the rules/timing/video/whatever, and then I'll put it straight up.

One thing I will say for sure though, is people are really, really bad at getting the seconds right. I myself am guilty of this, I start my timer late, finish it late, don't know the exact spots and am all over the place in general. I have verified over 3 dozen runs (not just in Pokemon, though) where I've edited the seconds because the timing was slightly off, and in some cases it has meant position changes. And I know when I get a run, especially if I don't care that much, I just submit the time on my splits, rather than re-time the run itself.

For these reasons I think that the way to handle this issue is as follows: Do not "ban" self-verifying runs, but have the accepted thing to do is to put it through the process for someone else to verify IF it's

1) The best time of the game/category
2) A game that is timed Real Time (you shouldn't be messing up the timer with IGT)
3) You feel you yourself, as a moderator, would watch the entire run through to make sure it wasn't cheated if someone else submitted the time you are submitting

If a mod didn't uphold those standards, and started self-verifying WRs and such, that in itself would be a red flag that would indicate to the other mods to go ahead and recheck all of their runs
Battle wrote:So you want CTM , Werster & Dabomstew to pretty much learn 33 pokemon games & the categories that go with them?

Im sorry but that's just not feasible for those 3 people.
To be fair, I can verify runs for 27 of the 33 Pokemon games currently up. And we don't see too many PBR/Ranger/Rumble/Pokepark/Conquest submissions

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Re: Self-verification

Post by RXFADEZ » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:59 am

Maybe, if you can get this to be programmed in, get a symbol (maybe SV for self-verified) or some other indication. This way when a different mod sees it, they can see it hasn't been examined yet for possible cheating, and if they watch the run and agree that it is legitimate then they can verify it and the indication of Self-Verification would be removed. This way a run can be added to the leaderboards by a mod who has completed it, and then verify it, but until it has been fully checked it should be known that there is potential (no matter how small that potential may be as I trust the mods (especially in the Emerald community) to be fair) that the run may have been cheated and it hasn't been examined by a 3rd party yet.

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