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Discussion: Border Crossing, aka "The Block Glitch"

Discussion in 'Turf Wars' started by Retrospectacle, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Hey all. My name is Retrospectacle. You might have seen me play Turf Wars quite often (it's pretty much the only thing that I play at this point), and while I am not a diehard player, I have racked up quite a few hours of playtime. Today I wanted to open a discussion on this, since I've seen it discussed many times in-game, and I believe that the issue may be a lot more complicated than it seems and I'd like for some more player input on it. I hope you can see this from my perspective and lend a productive discussion. Thanks!

    What is border crossing?
    Border crossing is an action taken within Turf Wars to gain access to the other team's turf without using the Infiltrator kit. How this is done is by placing a block at the border, and exploiting a delay in the system that automatically prevents you from gaining access to the other team's turf. This delay allows you to sneak into the other team's turf or even their spawn, giving yourself a massive advantage which has no practical way of being countered.

    What advantage does border crossing give?
    If you border cross, the advantages are numerous. If a player or even multiple players are able to border cross, they can quickly gain multiple kills which cannot be countered. Even more, if someone gains access to the other teams spawn, they can repeatedly spawn kill, leaving the other team nearly defenseless as they cannot leave their base.

    What about the infiltrator kit?
    The infiltrator kit is one of three kits available in Turf Wars. It gives player a sword and does not hinder the players ability to border cross, albeit with some debuffs. The player's arrows respawn slower, the player gains slowness after a period of time on the other team's turf, making so that a player must return to their own turf to remove the slowness. Infiltrators are also not allowed on the other team's turf during build time. However, the effect of border crossing completely negates the use of the infiltrator kit. Why use the infiltrator kit when you can use the marksman kit (the preferred kit of the majority of players, due to the high arrow respawn rate), and gain access to the other team's turf with no debuffs? And do so during build time, so you have an immediate advantage once combat time beings?

    Why does this matter?
    Well, I believe that the act of border crossing goes against three main topics involving Turf Wars.
    • New Player Retention. Imagine that you are a new player. You have never played Turf Wars and decided to join one day to see what the game is like. You have read the description and see that you must shoot other players to gain turf. That is all of your knowledge on the game. You join, using the default kit. You wander out of spawn, building a small platform on which to shoot the other team from. Suddenly, you see multiple players from the other team somehow crossing onto your side, before the game has even started! You're quickly killed before you have time to process it. This goes on a few more rounds until your turf area is so small, that players can gain access to your spawn and kill you before you can even leave spawn. The game ends, and you're frustrated. You might play another game, and try to cross yourself. Not knowing how, you're greeted with the message in chat "You cannot walk on the other team's turf!". You, confused, is killed endlessly until you inevitably lose to a team who uses the border crossing. By now, why should you continue? You quit the game, and probably never play it again. You might not even play on Mineplex again. With a server so concerned on player retention, allowing this to continue is completely detrimental to new player retention. Turf Wars used to be much more popular, along with the whole server itself, and as the server has gotten smaller, so has the player base of Turf Wars. However, any attempts to grow the player base are limited by the border crossings, and as players continue to quit without new players joining, the player base of Turf Wars will continue to sink.
    • The Infiltrator kit. As I discussed above, with the border crossings, the infiltrator kit becomes nearly useless. A higher level player is rarely ever seen using the kit, since, like I stated, why use the kit when you can just border cross and gain more kills? Only newer players and those more accustomed to melee use the kits, and even then they are mostly ineffective. By rendering the kits ineffective, the use of gems in the game is also largely ineffective. When a glitch renders one of the kits as practically useless, it is an issue worth looking into.
    • The game structure in general. Turf Wars is meant to be a game primarily focused on marksmanship. Attempting to cross the border gives the message "You cannot walk on the other team's turf!", presumably from when the game was developed, showing how the intention of the game was the keep players on their respective turf, aside from the infiltrator kit discussed above. The crossings ignore that aspect for the game, and hinder the experience for those who are new to the game. Build time is also an inherent part of the game, yet players take the time to cross over to your side of the turf and gain an advantage before the combat even starts. Even the infiltrator kit cannot cross the border until the combat time has begun, showing that players should be restricted to their side during build time, Overall, the crossings go against the whole premise of the game, and ruin the experience for new players and veterans alike.
    Mineplex response
    For quite a while, the border crossing was actually against the rules as game-breaking behavior, showing that initially, the crossings did go against the game. However, the rules committee or "RC" ruled that it is actually a "strategy". This has been confirmed by multiple mods in-game. However, moderators cannot answer when asked how to prevent the border crossings. Surely if it was a strategy, there would be a counter-strategy to balance out the game? Unfortunately there is not, and I have seen newer players banned by blocking spawn in an attempt to curb spawn-killing. Their reason for being banned was hindering gameplay by not allowing players to leave spawn. Is spawnkilling also hindering gameplay, as players are not allowed to leave spawn? This confusing response by the RC and mods is negatively affecting newer players and veterans and many have questioned the decision to allow the strategy, but have been told "the RC has decided". There is a vocal group of players, not a minority either, who dislike the border crossings, yet their input has never been considered by the rules committee. When a server does not listen to it's players, even if it is on an issue such as this one, the negative effects are numerous, as mentioned above, player count will continue to decline.

    What I believe should happen.
    While this may come off negatively to many players who do border cross, I stand firm in believing this. The RC should reconsider it's decision to allow border crossing, as the effect on the game is very negative. Player retention, fairness, and playability in general, are all brought down by the border crossings. The code that enforces the knockback on the player if they attempt to cross should be reexamined to ensure that if a player is not an infiltrator during combat time, they will not be able to cross the border at all, neither during build time nor combat time. Surely with a server as large as Mineplex this should be an easy fix? Hopefully these changes will make Turf Wars a much better game for veterans and new players a like and the game can keep it's focus on it's original intent, instead of focusing on a glitch as a "strategy".

    Common rebuttals.
    These are some common things that some might say in response to my post.
    • "It enhances the game!" As I stated above, it really doesn't. It frustrates new players and veterans, and goes against what the game was meant to be. For this reason the negatives outweigh the positives.
    • "The RC already decided, it's a strategy!" A rules committee should be flexible with rules. Rules are never meant to be cast in stone. If the RC does not take player input into account, they risk alienating themselves from the player base and on a server that is already losing players, this is not a good sign.
    • "You're just bad / jealous!" Why would I be jealous of people who use an exploit to gain kills? I wouldn't say I'm one of the best at the server, I don't play often enough to be a serious player, however my W/L ratio is fairly good. Also, regardless of my skill level, my input should be considered as a player of the game. Even if I was a level 1 player with three turf wars games, two of them losses, my opinion should count.

    I hope that this post can start a discussion that is well-needed in this game. I have seen too many discussions in-game that have gone nowhere, and by posting this on the forum I hope to draw eyes who may not have considered this issue at all. I welcome all discussion and I hope players from all skillsets and playtimes can come together to discuss this issue civilly. Thank you for reading!!
    Posted Jan 8, 2021
    Tanish_, Paladise, Fusafez and 2 others like this.
  2. Yes, a ton of leaderboard players use the technique of exploiting onto enemy turf. I ran into some leaderboard players and they said that Toki allowed it. I highly doubt that.
    Posted Jan 8, 2021
  3. Hello! I am a Bedrock turf leaderboard player. While I know this post is able Java, I will clarify something I learned a while back because of how much I play. I dug up a post from about 2 years ago and a post from about a year ago about this issue, (You can find them here, here) and it is not punishable.

    Basically, it's not really a bug, and while it can be annoying to deal with, it's a strategy. The RC has talked about this numerous times, and every time they have decided that it is not punishable, so I don't think this will be changed anytime soon.
    Posted Jan 8, 2021
  4. Rather than bug or map exploiting; it's kind of its own thing. I kind of consider it more of an "abuse of faulty game features" exploit. I used to do this when I first played and then felt sympathy for the new players or players who didn't know about the game. I realized that the advantage was kind of scummy in a way, so I stopped. The real solution though is to make it so that the delay is very short, and/or to give damage in a fast way (think water damage) if you are detected to be on the other teams turf WITHOUT the infiltrator kit. Thanks for making this thread though; it's an extremely underrated problem that I think is seen as so normal that it's essentially okay for something to be unfair.

    One add-on I would like to throw in is that this problem makes it so that the infiltrator kit is deemed useless, with the addition of not having slowness and even less predictable movements. Essentially giving the other kits the same advantages but in an even better way.
    Posted Jan 8, 2021,
    Last edited Jan 8, 2021
    Tanish_, Paladise and Fusafez like this.
  5. As a competitive "Pub" Turfie, I can tell you that border crossers are pretty damn easy to counter, unless I'm directly under them and they just shoot first, or I miss entirely...... which may or may not happen a lot..........

    However, scale it(skill level) down to newer players, they're usually completely oblivious to even the existence of said person crossing behind them (especially if said border crossers go above and beyond and hide allllll the way in the back of our turf) as they're building their forts and get completely annihilated. It's already hard and annoying as it is to face the experienced players normally, but seeing them just walking around your fort makes it even worse: "Why even have forts then?"
    You also see them constantly complaining that these players are hackers/cheaters, so even if it is a legit tactic, it isn't conveyed to the players properly making the experience still feel like you're facing cheaters.

    I can also give a scenario that affects even the pro players that yet again feels unjust and miserable: Consider there's less than 8 turf left and it's build time, then you see 2-3 people just cross into your spawn. There's is literally nothing you can do there, as even if you manage to 1v1 one of them, the other crossers are in the middle of your teammates (who block your shots) killing off 2-3 of them in the blink of an eye. If they were outside your turf, you have a greater chance of chaining them and your teammates can hide in whatever makeshift wall they have. Sure, randoms are still vulnerable even behind wool and spawn entrances, but having pro players easily walk behind our lines is so much more unfair.

    The skill gaps are already so wide; border crossing just makes the stronger players stronger, and the weaker players have less fun.
    Posted Jan 9, 2021

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