KGS Issue - Escapers

    Keywords: Online Go

KGS is really wonderful, but the way it not deals with escapers is frustrating. This means that some players escape easily AND are & feel protected by the too weak KGS-policy on escapers.

KGS has features to deal with escapers. See escaping for tips how you can deal with escapers.

Users who leave a game first get marked as the escaper. A user is not allowed to escape more than 10 % of his/her rated games or not more than 10 games. Games which exceed this limit are automatically forfeit. A minimum of 3 escaped games is allowed. A player with >=10 forfeits ("chronic escaper"), loses all escaped games by forfeit immediately.

Proposals & wishes from the wishlist pages

Escapers: they are a problem, and only KGS has them


The Escapers FAQ says "Every Go server has them". This is not true. Only KGS has them, because its method for dealing with them is so lame.

isd: The above statement is misleading. Every Go server has escapers and sandbaggers. Both have sort of personality disorder in my opinion. The difference from server to server comes from how these two groups are handled. KGS has a system that forfeits games from regular escapers, its effectiveness is evidenced from the fact that the percentage of games that remain unfinished is low. It is not totally accurate - but then neither is a 5 minute forfeit.


The excuse for not dealing with escapers properly (e.g. like IGS) is that "nobody should be forced to finish a game against a rude opponent". But rude opponents are very rare, much rarer than escapers. And is it so difficult just to ignore what they type? Just play the game, ignore rude comments.

"Escaper problem": doesn't need special "solution"

  • Recognize that the "escaper problem" is nothing more that a bad etiquette issue and does not need any special "solution". All attempts at technical fixes to this "problem" are far more annoying that what they are attempting to fix. The ranking system itself is more than adequate for making escaping a useless endeavor. Please enlighten me as to why I am wrong about this.
    • KGS blocks people who are stating in private chats that a player escapes! It is really not ok that a company with it's origin in Japan let this happen.
    • You're wrong about this because escaping does affect the ranking system. There are at least two mechanisms: 1. a player can systematically get higher rank by being careful not to escape more than 10% of his games in a 6-month period. 2. Games which are counted as losses after several weeks have very little weight in the ranking algorithm (because of age weighting).
    • blubb: Have you ever played at dashn, for example? There ARE better ways than merely to disavow the problem people obviously do have with escapers. (No matter if I understand why it's a problem to them or not). An even less restrictive way than "the dashn one" would be to avoid a player to start a new game as long as s/he rejects to resume more than N unfinished one(s) (while not playing) for e. g. 24 hours. Hardly any account would (nor could) ever escape more than N times anymore. Heck, what's the catch of this proceeding? +
    • Neil: People who get fixated on the "problem" with "escapers" (and I used to be one of them) seem to miss the reason wms doesn't do anything about it: It is desired that someone is not required to complete a game against an ill-behaved opponent.
    • Hu: Your point is good Neil, but additionally, wms implemented first the automatic loss of rank, and then replaced it with automatic Forfeits beyond 10 escaped games.
    • blubb: I have heard about that 10 games limit already but not read it at any official place (changelog, kgs site). Anyway, if it's right, I won't ask for any further "solution" attempt.
      • glue : see [ext] KGS help page about rank (rank cheating paragraph) or owl's info on the server (it is mentionned on 2.5.6's changeLog too).
      • blubb: Thanks for the hint. Actually, that criteria is quite harsh, and I'd rather see it "going my way", since
        • easily 10 games can happen to get unfinished with one-day fool account opponents, whilst fools hardly bother you asking to resume so many sick games that you have to reject 10 of them
        • to forfeit games which would have been lost anyways, sounds a little weak for being a reason not to escape
        • furthermore, to a person who plays 10 games a month and escapes 3 of them, the automatically forfeited games are about 100 days old, which means that those losses weight less than half as much as they'd weight if being ranked immediately.+
  • However, I'll stop concerning myself with this now. :)

Adjourn game: both users need to agree on a time to resume, time displayed in the rooms window

  • Resuming a game:
    I think that instead of having a leave game feature there should be a resume game later feature this would make it impossible to escape. I think kgs could make a clock that appears on the game room window and game window and the users could set up a "kgs time" which would be what the clock is for and both users could agree and fill out a thing saying the agree to resume at a certain time on a certain date. This way if someone doesnt show up they automatically lose and also it avoids the problem of not being able to find the player again. It wouldnt be a complete failsafe but maybe the admins could improve it a little.
    I also have a similar idea. What about letting the person escape but if he doesn't return within 48 hours to make his move, he would automatically lose the game.

Mechanism to deal with people escaping from free games

  • Some mechanism to deal with people escaping from free games... just something like forfeit after X weeks or something.

Game, escapers: never close a game when it is unfinished, allow opponent to close the game

  • Against escapers: never close a game when it is unfinished. To resume a game later you will have to make a compromise with your opponent.. by hitting a button like resume. (just like undo). when someone has network problems and is kicked of the server well then you probably have to put the game in the resume. Don't think many escapers will close internet to escape from a game. It's now too easy to escape.. --> close the window and hit ok
    • (Sebastian:) This is too severe, IMHO. But it leads to a good idea: How about handling close like an undo request: Display a message "Your opponent wants to close the game. What do you want to do: Close and forget; Postpone; Ask opponent to resign" ++
    • This goes against the principle of forcing people to play games they don't want to.
    • [ukiyo} With newer players I may try to get the message across at the end of a game when I sense they may just vanish or even send a message after they do explaining that it is considered rude and that kgs will track them as escapers. How about a message to the user who "escapes" that reminds them of this and the potential consequences (from a bad rep to kgs sanctions) that offers the chance to return to the game for an honorable exit. Users who ignore this message and chose to escape in spite of it identify themselves as knowledgeable, willful. intentional escapers. These users should be sanctioned more quickly and more harshly than the current process provides for. (v. 3.4.1)

Escaper handling: (? DONE / SOLVED ?)

  • TJ: I'm rather disturbed to note a "better" system for handling escapers on KGS as of 2.5.6. This disturbs me because I remember a lot of discussion about this a while back. Now, if what folks are saying is true, if you leave 10 games first, you automatically resign any other games you might leave. Why is this instituted? Before there's a chance for an answer, here's why I've always said such measures shouldn't be.
    1. People aghast at the system previously in place generally were new to the server or people who really liked rules for the sake of rules. Several times I've had to ask "You've 3 (or less) unfinished games on your games list...out of 200. Why are you worried about escapers?" This basically means that
    2. There is currently no problem with escapers on KGS. Or rather, maybe it happens, but rarely enough that there's no PROBLEM with them. Why trouble the rest of us with some threat when no problem will be solved since:
    3. People who are jerks about escaping will just start a new account once they're branded. They're JERKS.:)
    4. The rest of us might now have an account for a few years and have left games first due to adjournments, some yutz deciding to take the dog for a walk in an untimed/slow-play game and sticking us until their client auto-disconnects (who's the real escaper there?), people swearing at us (yes, that's happened to me) or otherwise being a jerk, or for any random reason that occurs RL or online which doesn't mean the person is a habitual escaper (read JERKS). With an absolute number set, eventually we're forced to sadly retire old accounts we've had for years or be permanently flagged as escapers.
    5. New people don't know about escaping, and get strikes against them before they have learned how to/that it is necessary to resign.
    6. More rules and regulations and penalties means less freedom to just be nice because we're nice instead of because we'll be given a lethal injection if we don't toe the line. KGS is a nice place to visit most of the time because folks there are nice folks for the most part. (here, here - even ex-Jerks...) here, here
    • Also emphatically agreed. Although I would argue that the system ought to *explain* resignation to new users - especially if they are playing games in the Beginners' Room.

Register: deny registering multiple accounts from the same machine

  • ukiyo? There is the capability to identify a user's browser, ISP, internet address, and who knows what else. Therefore, users who try to establish new accounts from a pre-identified point of access could be intercepted and denied access. This does not solve all problems but it would probably discourage some and make extra work for the ones who insist on finding a workaround.
    • There is no problem with persons having more than one account. I registered 8 accounts on one day, because I prepared a pupils group for playing online. Others use a second account for playing blitz games. Pros use a second account for playing normal rated games. Some admins like to play without a sheriffs star. And the KGS admins have ways to deal with abuse of multiple accounts.
    • I've seen a place (a "cyberspace") go bad before because all the nice people got fed up with being constrained because there had to be "rules" made and enforced. wms runs KGS, and the admins...if someone isn't nice, chase them off the server. If they are nice, don't bust their chops for an accidental infraction. It's easier to find decently just admins/assisstants (and toss out the ones who turn out to not work well) than to make a legal system work without crushing the spirit of a culture. We've all been invited to play in your yard, if we don't play nice, send us home! If we don't like how you run the place, we can take all our toys and go home, right? It's not a country.^^ Not threatening to take all my toys and go home or anything...more like I'm suggesting certain other guests in your yard do so instead of bossing the host around and wrecking a good thing for all of us. Maybe that isn't what really happened here, but it just seems like a vocal minority called this shot. If I'm wrong, I'll eat a go stone or something.

Escaper: fix return time limit during game offer

moved from unsorted

  • xin421?:I suggest to add a check box and a input box in "new game" create window that let user check it to open "time limit to back", if checked, user can input a time period that allow disconnected user come back to continue play in that period, if exceed, that game will be won by the waiting guy. User can select use it to avoid escape or just uncheck it and play like before.
    • Mef: 2 problems here - 1: Sometimes people get disconnected for long periods of time. 2: wms likes to maintain the policy that no one must finish a game if they don't want to (in case of an extremely rude opponent. With this feature pestering your opponent into leaving would earn you a victory).

Escapers (wbaduk like solution)

moved from unsorted

  • tar88z? there is too many escapers that the system dont handle well at all, its happen to me a lot, and i fear that im not the only one. some of them are smart and know when ther close to become a chronic escaper, this way they can escape 10 game in 6 month, that a lot and very annoying, I thought about it a lot and i think i have the perfect solution:

I suggest that if someone left unfinished game, and if the game is after 100 turns, then if the person who left dont comeback after 5 minute he will loss the game but only if the other player stay in the game for all the 5 minutes.

that way if u have an internet problem or the computer reset its not a problem and u can come back to the game, its the perfect system against escaper who truly starting to piss me off. plz give this one a thinking time and i m sure u will agree with me.

thanks. and sorry for all the English mistakes, not my mother language.

Escaper: Forfeit not by number of games unfinished but by time passing without continuing it

moved from unsorted

  • Gzperi: Improve the anti escaping system: A person who leaves a game has 1 month to finish it else he is declared as looser (or, in case his opponent is not online, to play a move in it) then the website will be able to see what games are really postponed, and what are just forgotten escaped games. this can be good
    • Tapir: Looks like a nice proposal, but contradicts the stated policy that you should be able to flee a rude opponent without being punished.

Collective warning system

moved from unsorted

  • ESCAPER SOLUTION! I know there is always talk of escapers, and it drives everyone nuts, but i think i have a possible solution to escapers. now i am not a programer of any kind so i dont know what it would take to accomplish this, but (if you are familiar with AIM) AOL instant messenger has a button on the IM window that says warn, so if somone does somthing annoying you can warn them, and after a couple times of being warned their use becomes more and more restricted. A system like that for escapers ( i think) would be convienent. Also it would make the escapee feel at least a tiny bit better about getting escaped on. Also i always see the claim win button, but i think it needs to serve as a better option, such as clicking it might send and email to the escaper saying they have 48 hours to complete the game or the win goes to the other person. i dunno if that makes sense but i was sitting thinking of how to torture escapers over the internet and didn't come up with anything good, so this is all i got.

Vlad: Hmmm, what about people abusing this and warning innocent players as some kind of practical joke?

Incentive: Give forfeited games a higher weight

adapted from KGSEscaperDesign

  • tapir: Giving a forfeited game a higher weight (slightly higher if for both or significantly higher if only for the loser) is a charming idea. It is still possible to flee rude opponents without being punished, but habitual escapers will have an incentive to resign instead of escaping, which they now have not if escaping from a lost game even if they are in the auto-loss mode already.
  • Proposal A: Slightly higher weight for both (say 1.1) as proposed by KGSEscaperDesign +-
    • Tapir: Too small effect.
  • Proposal B: Double weight for the forfeiting party (normal weight for the winner) +
    • Tapir: Less forfeited and unfinished games will make up for the slight distortion of the ranking system. If not this introduces just a small deflationary countercurrent to the overall inflationary trend.

Escaper's motives

Most of escaper's motives related to mentality. As we know Go game is a psychological/mental warfare. So, it is common to find mentality related issue

  • Following are several of mentality issue:
    • people that feel unmotivated to continue the game either because of receiving shock from severe attack or commiting critical blunder.
    • people that have a lot of concern toward their "rank". They somehow cannot afford to admit losing.
    • etc. (continue/edit this list)

As better and wiser go player, we need to be more mature towards escapers. They are children that need guidance from wiser people like you. Let's hope someday those children can be adults.


See /discussion


KGS Issue - Escapers last edited by 80.100.200.221 on March 1, 2017 - 17:07
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