The Ultimate Solution to the Boot Dilemma!



I consider myself to be a fairly reasonable person. I play video games because I like to. Heck, I love video games! I enjoy being able to play with my friends in friendly competition. However, one thing I cannot stand is players who can’t play nice. I’m not talking about “trash talking”… I am talking about people who intentionally betray their team mates and get away with it.

Story: While playing Invasion on Spire yesterday, I was in possession of the sniper rifle. I know that I am not the best sniper, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I was running low on ammo and went to get some in order to be able to better assist my team in the capture of the core. Arriving at the sniper spawn, I picked up the ammo, reloaded and turned to return to my sniping location when I started getting shot at by the team mate behind me with a DMR. He apparently wanted the rifle. NEWS FLASH to all you who think that is acceptable, if you didn’t pick it up first, too bad. The whole game is centered around “getting there first”. Capture the Flag, get the flag three times first. Oddball, get to designated possession score first. Headhunter, capture the designated amount of flaming skulls first. Race, get to the checkpoint first! Amazing how that works, huh? If you don’t get there first, you don’t win. If someone gets the weapon you want first, tough crap.

Continuing on: The player pursuing me for the sniper rifle almost killed me when I went into armor lock hoping he would stop. Instead, his spawn buddy came to assist in the betrayal using an AR. They unloaded on me until I died. Did I get the betrayal option? NO! WHY!? Then, because I did not receive the option to boot, the betraying duo continued on their way to attempt the betrayal of my spawn buddy, who had taken the core and nearly captured it. The spawn buddy of my betrayer started shooting my spawn buddy, forcing him into armor lock and automatically dropping the core at the steps of the capture zone. What happened next? That’s right: the betrayer took the core and captured it. Did he deserve it? Absolutely not. Is it a earth-shattering deal? No, I realize that this is a game, but games are meant to be played and enjoyed. If you didn’t enjoy Reach, you wouldn’t be reading this! If you didn’t want to see Reach become even better, you wouldn’t care to look at this!

HOW DO WE FIX THE BOOT DETECTOR? Well, I am certainly no professional, but I am studying programming in college and I tend to imagine that there are certain definition that could be placed within the “boot protocol”. First, implement the Line of Sight (LOS) definition. If a betrayal occurs, the protocol could quickly analyze the LOS of the betrayer at the time of betrayal. Analyzing this area, it would scan for threats (enemies) within that LOS. If there was no threat within that LOS, the betrayal was intentional and the boot option should be given. We all know that some weapons are more accurate than others. Therefore, this protocol should be enforced more strictly on precision weapons (DMRs, Sniper Rifles, etc) and more loosely on spray weapons (ARs, Plasma Repeaters, etc).

Also, a Friend-to-Foe Impact Ratio (FtFIR) could be implemented that would track, for example, how many AR bullets actually hit the enemy versus the friendly. FtFIR could be another variable considered in the boot decision.

Second, implement an Effective Area Marker (EAM) definition for explosives such as grenades, rockets, fusion coils, etc. The EAM for an explosive would start at the epicenter (point of impact) and define a radius for evaluation. The protocol would scan this EAM for threats. If any enemy player is detected within the EAM, then the betrayal was more than likely an accident. If there is no threat detected, then the boot option should be offered. Now, there should also be an additional scan to determine whether or not there were threats in the area before detonation (i.e. the threat was terminated prior to detonation). This exception should only be valid for 2-3 seconds. This would protect players who were truly attempting to assist their team mate but help arrived late and was possibly poorly placed.

Third, there should be a Career Betrayal Tracker (CBT) for all players (matchmaking only). If a player comes up for review in a game and has an abnormally high CBT, then the boot option should be given. If the players CBT is low or non-existent, then the LOS and EAM definitions would apply to determine the outcome of the boot option. I believe that players can learn lessons and stop being jerks. Therefore, if a player is booted due to their high CBT, they are put on probation and any further betrayal is an immediate boot and even suspension from matchmaking for a certain period. If during their probation, however, the player participates in so many games of matchmaking without further incident, their CBT is lowered and continues to degrade with each passing matchmade game that results in no betrayals.

Couldn’t this be abused? Probably could, however, the amount of gaming the player would have to engage in to clean their CBT would be substantial. And even if they get their CBT clean and try to revert to betraying team mates again, the LOS and EAM definitions would be there to catch them.

If a player is booted for betrayal, that players CBT increases. However, if the betrayed player forgives the betrayer, the betrayer’s CBT increases by a fraction of the normal increase, and the betrayed player’s CBT is reduced as a reward for sportsmanship. If the game ends before the betrayed player has an opportunity to vote Boot or Forgive, then the CBT of the betrayer increases as if they were booted.

I’ve put a little thought into this and I hope that if you take the time to read it, you will like what you read. I’m open to feedback and I would like to hear back from any Bungie representative if they read this as well. Thanks guys, and remember, Reach still rocks!

Here is a link to the clip that shows the first part of the duo’s betrayal: 85

Here is a link to the clip that shows the second part of the duo’s betrayal: 59