file Regarding the Theodore Situation

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04 Sep 2021 19:26 #1 by Doomblah
Regarding the Theodore Situation was created by Doomblah
Hello everyone,

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but we’ve uncovered another cheater in our midst. Recently, we Moderators have been giving Theodore’s runs a more serious vetting, and we have found multiple clear signs of cheating. Just like with the last cheating situation, we will not disclose details about what we have found for the same reasons as last time. We confronted Theodore with our evidence and he hasn’t given any satisfactory answers to explain what we have found. We do not accept Theodore’s runs as legitimate and he will be banned from the Leaderboards permanently. We have reason to believe that Theodore is a legitimately skilled player, but skill does not excuse cheating. He will still be welcome in the Discord but his time on the Leaderboards is over.

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04 Sep 2021 22:51 - 10 Sep 2021 21:32 #2 by Enzone
Replied by Enzone on topic Regarding the Theodore Situation
While this doesn't hit as hard as Nockess' situation with cheating, it is pretty disappointing, especially since I thought that Theodore wasn't someone who wouldn't cheat.
I think people do this because they see it as being too hard the normal way, or so they can get a WR faster, but it's more trouble than it's worth overall, and creates fear about who in a community can be seen as a cheater. It isn't easy getting a WR, and I've had to deal with that pain on the MBG webport with stages like Leap of Faith, and I still haven't gotten the WR yet, but I still think it's a better option to get records in a legitimate way, rather than cheating your way through it. It's a cop-out, and it accomplishes nothing.
Let's just hope that in the future, we can see more players with legit skill rather than cheaters.

Enzo Caretto
Last edit: 10 Sep 2021 21:32 by Enzone. Reason: rewrote some of it

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  • Battlecube314
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07 Sep 2021 00:05 #3 by Battlecube314
Replied by Battlecube314 on topic Regarding the Theodore Situation
Personally I was unsure about Theodore's runs when I noticed how he was able to not only beat WR's on IC levels, but to get such times repeatedly in such a short timespan when far more experienced veteran speedrunners couldn't even come close. Though I figured it wasn't impossible at first, as his early WR's were all on short MBU levels, and I guessed that maybe he found some technique that was missed in MBU because everyone was too fixated on MBG techniques to discover it. And then there was Random it Up, but not many players had tried to get that WR recently and most would not want to try because of the RNG. And his videos looked legitimate - even if those were examined frame by frame it would probably have been impossible to catch him, unlike Nockess' videos which had several dead giveaways. In fact, I'm amazed that the mods were able to catch him as quickly as they did, since his runs seemed (at least to me) much more difficult to figure out than Nockess'.

While this cheating scandal does hit hard, I still think it could have been a lot worse...

1 - This happened after the Nockess scandal. Before that Marble Blast never had any major cheating scandals (yeah there was TylerDC but his cheating was ridiculously obvious) and Marble Blast speedruns were never intensely examined before.
2 - If Theodore did this several years ago, he likely could have never been caught, since there were no TAS tools yet for measuring natural bounce latency and other things that proved his guilt. As far as I know, all his MBG .rec's did complete and his other records were all done online, unlike with Nockess who used colmesh and had some runs that were completely impossible even in TAS. Personally my best guess as to how he cheated natural bounces was by using modded or programmed keyboards, if not speedhacking.
3 - Nearly all of this WR's and other best runs were done on IC levels and only beat the legitimate times by milliseconds. So there probably won't be as much pressure to beat his invalidated times for future WRR's as there was with Nockess, when the old paths from valid WR's at the time were nowhere close. Not to mention his cheats (at least what's known to the public) probably wouldn't have been helpful in complex levels.

However, there is one concern I have - from here on out, falsified runs could become even harder to detect from here on out. For example, with scripted TAS people could create runs that avoid anything that is known to be impossible. Hopefully we will never see anyone cheat online ever again, but most likely the best we can do is examine future WR's as closely as possible.
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