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Proposal: method neutral regulations (request for STM as the official WCA metric)

lerenard

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So I remember when there was a proposal about fixed orientation for blind and people rejected it in part because it wasn't method neutral. This got me thinkng more about the WCA's stand on slice moves; namely that they don't exist as independent manipulations of a single layer containing four edges and four edges, but rather two moves of opposite faces combined with a cube rotation. Because of this they count as two moves rather than one. This is a disadvantage to users of Roux not only in FMC but also in speedsolving. When a CFOPer fails to AUF properly there is a +2 penalty. However, if a Rouxer is off by an M2 the solve if DNF'd.
Overall I think this standpoint is a remnant of when cubes were so stiff you really couldn't independently turn an inner slice, but the change is now long overdue, not only because it logically makes sense but also because it is a disadvantage to Rouxers and a violation of method neutral regulations.

tl;dr: WCA should use STM as their official metric.

EDIT: after hearing the opinions of various people, I have reached the following conclusions:
I no longer support +2 for being off by an M slice, because I originally misunderstood the reasoning behind the regulation, and apparently most people disapprove of the existing regulation.
While I still believe STM is the most natural and logical metric, for whatever reason other people don't. Therefore this must be a matter of opinion, as reasoning has failed to convince people and I trust that a good portion of you at least are marginally open-minded.
My argument was based off the assumption that STM was the most logical metric, but if people don't agree with my assumption I can't hope to convince them of my conclusions.
I now understand why HTM is used, even if I still believe it's inferior.
As people were introducing things about handicaps for LBL and other things, let me say this:
Those "pseudo-arguments" were like this:
LBL is not effective (given)
It should be more effective in the interest of method neutrality
It should be given a handicap (conclusion)
My argument was as follows:
STM is more logical than HTM (given)
Some methods (mostly Roux) are hindered by the use of HTM rather than STM
This is unfair, because if logic were followed, the handicap would be gone and there would be more method neutrality
STM should be used (conclusion)

BUT, as I said since arguing that STM is more logical is a hopeless cause, I have given up the desire to convince others of my point of view.
 
Last edited:

obelisk477

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Let me sum up all of the arguments that will follow right here:

The supporters: The +2 is meant for people who drop their *solved* cubes, which can then land in such a way that a layer becomes misaligned by more than 45 degrees. They believe that the fairness of this outweighs the advantage gained by those who simply fail to execute the final turn of their solve (which, not considering the +2 penalty, would be a DNF) and stop the timer still having not executed the final turn.

The opposition: Because CFOP users sometimes 'abuse' the +2 penalty by simply not finishing their solves, other users (Roux, mainly) want the ability to have failed to execute the final turn of the solve as well (which is more likely to be an M or M'), and still only be penalized +2 instead of DNF. If CFOP users can benefit from this, why can't Roux users do so more easily?



The reason the regs haven't changed: While it may be unfortunate that some people just fail to execute the final turn and stop the timer anyway, there should still be a way to keep people from DNF'ing simply from the way they drop their cube on the table, and it is simply too problematic to determine whether the layer was misaligned by the drop, or whether the competitor was off by a single turn. Because it is nearly impossible to drop a cube on a flat stackmat in such a way that causes an M layer to be misaligned, any instance of M moves being unsolved must (almost) necessarily be caused by a competitor failing to execute a final turn, which is in principle a DNF without the +2 penalty
 

lerenard

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CFOP users also have this issue if they use MU PLLs :p

I highly doubt the WCA will convert to STM for one method.
Whether or not they will, they definitely should. Maybe this isn't as widespread a sentiment as I thought, but I feel that the WCA should not give an advantage to any one method, and by extension they shouldn't discourage the use of any one method simply because it's tradition and they don't feel like changing.
The blind orientation argument wasn't an argument about method neutrality, more that orientation shouldn't be consider as part of the solve because it adds nothing to the 'solving' aspect.

Some nice pre-reading before this escalates.
That was one argument. It was not the only argument. There were people who argued for method neutral regulations.
 

DeeDubb

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The blind orientation argument wasn't an argument about method neutrality, more that orientation shouldn't be consider as part of the solve because it adds nothing to the 'solving' aspect.

Some nice pre-reading before this escalates.
Listening to Noah's CubeCast, they did focus on method neutrality as a big reason why fixed orientation shouldn't be implemented, so method neutrality was an argument against changing blind orientation.

As for changing to STM for FMC, it completely changes the "M". Current methods are intended to work with the current definition of "moves" and get that as low as possible. Changing to STM wouldn't assist method neutrality, it would change how every serious FMCer would solve the cube.

It would be nice for me, as a Rouxer, but only because I'm too lazy to learn a decent FMC method.

I'm fine with how it is now, however, I'd say that if now it were QTM or STM. How it is is fine. The definition of "move" dictates the method. Sure it "hinders" some methods, but only because they don't fit well into the current definition. If it were shifted to QTM or STM, it would shift the hindrance rather than creating equality.

EDIT:

As for the +2 or DNF thing for M slices, that's a totally different bag of worms that I'm not even ready to delve into.
 

tseitsei

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WCA should use STM as their official metric.
That would kind of ruin FMC...

Edge insertions would become too effective IMO...

Also why should we choose STM as "method neutral metric"?

Why not choose something else like ATM or SQTM?

I think HTM makes most sense to be the "as neutral as possible metric".
It only uses outer layer turns that are the turns that most (if not all) people consider to be one move. I mean if you do an R move and give a cube to anyone and ask how many moves it takes to solve it they would instinctively say 1. BUT if you do M instead some would probably say 1 move but many (probably most) would say 2 moves.

If we start using more "artificial" and not so intuitive metric we could as well choose something like ATM to be the chosen metric and that doesn't make sense to me at least...
 

Dene

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The reason the regs haven't changed: While it may be unfortunate that some people just fail to execute the final turn and stop the timer anyway, there should still be a way to keep people from DNF'ing simply from the way they drop their cube on the table, and it is simply too problematic to determine whether the layer was misaligned by the drop, or whether the competitor was off by a single turn. Because it is nearly impossible to drop a cube on a flat stackmat in such a way that causes an M layer to be misaligned, any instance of M moves being unsolved must (almost) necessarily be caused by a competitor failing to execute a final turn, which is in principle a DNF without the +2 penalty
Actually the real reason the regs haven't changed is because too many people will whinge about it. Almost everyone that has influence over changing the regulations wants to remove +2 for misalignment.
 

lerenard

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That would kind of ruin FMC...

Edge insertions would become too effective IMO...

Also why should we choose STM as "method neutral metric"?

Why not choose something else like ATM or SQTM?

I think HTM makes most sense to be the "as neutral as possible metric".
It only uses outer layer turns that are the turns that most (if not all) people consider to be one move. I mean if you do an R move and give a cube to anyone and ask how many moves it takes to solve it they would instinctively say 1. BUT if you do M instead some would probably say 1 move but many (probably most) would say 2 moves.

If we start using more "artificial" and not so intuitive metric we could as well choose something like ATM to be the chosen metric and that doesn't make sense to me at least...
It would definitely make some methods more viable, but whereas you see those methods as inherently inferior, I see them as merely stifled by unfair regulations. Why are corner insertions inherently better than edge insertions?
You say M moves are intuitively two, but I couldn't disagree more. Do an M move with your ring finger in front of your family/non-cubing friends and ask them how many moves you did. They will almost all say "one."
As for ATM and SQTM, ATM would count R L as one move, which doesn't make sense. Again, non-cubers would obviously see this as two moves, and so it is counted. SQTM would be more fair than QTM, but most people (myself included) already agree that face turns of 180 degrees are one move, so why change that now?
You say HTM is more intuitive, I say STM is the most intuitive metric. It would benefit some methods, but it would simply be restoring them to the viability they should already have rather than artificially creating some.

As for the +2 issue, I was unaware of the reasoning behind it. I would say either get rid of +2's altogether or extend them to M slices, although it would not be a huge deal if they were to remain as they are.
 

mDiPalma

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yeah, i've always been fond of ATM or whatever that snyder metric is with regards to +2s and movecounts.
 

~Adam~

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Proposal: method neutral regulations

Get rid of the +2 rule for misaligned layers altogether and make them DNFs since it isn't solved.
 

Kit Clement

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You say M moves are intuitively two, but I couldn't disagree more. Do an M move with your ring finger in front of your family/non-cubing friends and ask them how many moves you did. They will almost all say "one."
When I do FMC, I do it as two moves. Colors of the centers determine the letter of the face I am turning, so I need to track that.

Sure, we could change it so that we can track M moves for FMC, but as others have said, that completely changes the event. I mean, the world record itself should technically change!

Okayama's 20: L2 U2 L F' U' F2 (U D') B' R2 F2 D B2 (D' U) F D F' U' F
Now an 18: L2 U2 L F' U' F2 E L' B2 R2 D L2 E B D B' U' B

The game clearly changes for FMC -- edge insertions are significantly more powerful. This is definitely not "method neutral" in the sense that that methods after this change would be significantly different.

As for whether we should consider M-slice misalignments for penalties, I'm indifferent. However, logistically, we'd have to define multiple metrics in the regulations, which adds complexity, and makes it more difficult to have consistent interpretations and translations. In reality, if we were to make any changes, I feel like we'd rather remove misalignment penalties than expand them.
 

TMOY

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As for changing to STM for FMC, it completely changes the "M". Current methods are intended to work with the current definition of "moves" and get that as low as possible. Changing to STM wouldn't assist method neutrality, it would change how every serious FMCer would solve the cube.
So what ?

Sure, we could change it so that we can track M moves for FMC, but as others have said, that completely changes the event. I mean, the world record itself should technically change!
So what ?

I have already seen this argument (it would change the event) being given countless times and I still don't see why t would be a bad move (no pun intended).

And for current results, that's simple, just don't change them. After all, L2 counts as 1 move but L L counts as 2 even though they are equivalent, you can apply the same rule to E' (not E) and U D' for example.
 

tseitsei

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It would definitely make some methods more viable, but whereas you see those methods as inherently inferior, I see them as merely stifled by unfair regulations. Why are corner insertions inherently better than edge insertions?
I think that if BOTH edge insertions AND corner insertions are too efficient in FMC the end part of the solve is too often solved quite optimally by just doing efficient F2L-1 and then inserting all the rest of the cycles somewhere in the skeleton.
That would be bad IMO since now FMC (and especially the end phase) requires deep understanding of how cube works and various more or less abstract concepts. I feel that changing metric to STM (or ATM or something like that) would make FMC more luck based (lucky cancellations with insertions) and less skill based (1 method is most of the time very effective compared to others so you don't need that complex and wide understanding of the cube anymore that FMC is and IMO should be all about).

You say M moves are intuitively two, but I couldn't disagree more. Do an M move with your ring finger in front of your family/non-cubing friends and ask them how many moves you did. They will almost all say "one."
How about we do it fairly and don't show them how we "scramble" the cube but instead just give them a cube that is already scrambled with R and then a cube that is already scrambled with M. I can guarantee that literally ALL of them will say that R is only a 1-move away from solved. And some of them will probably say that M is 1-move away also, BUT I'm quite sure that ALL of them will NOT say 1 but some will also say 2.

As for ATM and SQTM, ATM would count R L as one move, which doesn't make sense. Again, non-cubers would obviously see this as two moves, and so it is counted. SQTM would be more fair than QTM, but most people (myself included) already agree that face turns of 180 degrees are one move, so why change that now?
You say HTM is more intuitive, I say STM is the most intuitive metric. It would benefit some methods, but it would simply be restoring them to the viability they should already have rather than artificially creating some.
So you say that R L' counted as 1 move will make perfect sense but R L counted as 1-move doesn't make any sense at all? Non-cubers will definitely say that R L is 2-moves yes, but many of them will say that R L' is also 2 moves so that is not so good point for your case...
As for (S)QTM you say that most people will agree that 180 degree turns are only a single turn (I actually agree with this. I just mentioned (S)QTM because I wanted to show you that there are other as "legit" metrics as STM). Just like I say that most people will agree that R L' is 2 moves (myself included).
Also you say it would benefit some methods, but it would only restoring them to viability they should already have. Restore to what exactly? Something they never ever used to have? Also another question is: Why isn't using HTM as metric "keeping those methods at viability they should have rather than artificially giving them more viability"? That's essentially the same argument that you used but in the other direction...

As for the +2 issue, I was unaware of the reasoning behind it. I would say either get rid of +2's altogether or extend them to M slices, although it would not be a huge deal if they were to remain as they are.
Looks like we agree with something at least :)
I think that +2 is quite OK how it is, but removing it all together would be good decision also. However allowing M to be +2 wouldn't be good IMO
 

Kit Clement

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I have already seen this argument (it would change the event) being given countless times and I still don't see why t would be a bad move (no pun intended).

And for current results, that's simple, just don't change them. After all, L2 counts as 1 move but L L counts as 2 even though they are equivalent, you can apply the same rule to E' (not E) and U D' for example.
Of course, I wouldn't suggest changing the results to match this change, that wouldn't even be possible. I feel like I did give a great reason though -- allowing slices to count as one move would significantly change the event and how people would practice for it, and would thus make new results inconsistent with old ones. It would be like changing inspection on 2x2 to 10 seconds, as it significantly affects how competitors would practice and what scope of methods would be useful. I'm not too knowledgeable on 2x2, but I think it would devalue learning extra methods as there would be less time to check for them -- but if not, it would definitely change the event greatly and make results inconsistent.

I realize that nothing is ever perfectly consistent, given that we change the regulations frequently, but I don't think that making a fairly arbitrary change would be worth the inconsistency it creates.
 

tseitsei

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So what ?



So what ?

I have already seen this argument (it would change the event) being given countless times and I still don't see why t would be a bad move (no pun intended).

And for current results, that's simple, just don't change them. After all, L2 counts as 1 move but L L counts as 2 even though they are equivalent, you can apply the same rule to E' (not E) and U D' for example.
I already told my opinion in my previous post just below yours but short version: It would make FMC more luck based and less skill based because you wouldn't need to know so many tricks/methods/concepts to be good at it anymore and luck with insertion cancellations gets a bigger role also.

And as for the last part (E' = U D' part): We could as well just start using ATM (or some other stupid artificial metric) and just say that A equals "clockwise axis turn around E-layer" so A would be same as U D but counted only as 1 move (similarly A' = U' D' and some other letters mean axis moves around M and S-layers...)

HTM is as little artificial to me as any metric can ever be and that is good
 

lerenard

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When I do FMC, I do it as two moves. Colors of the centers determine the letter of the face I am turning, so I need to track that.
Just do M x instead of R L'.

I think that if BOTH edge insertions AND corner insertions are too efficient in FMC the end part of the solve is too often solved quite optimally by just doing efficient F2L-1 and then inserting all the rest of the cycles somewhere in the skeleton.
That would be bad IMO since now FMC (and especially the end phase) requires deep understanding of how cube works and various more or less abstract concepts. I feel that changing metric to STM (or ATM or something like that) would make FMC more luck based (lucky cancellations with insertions) and less skill based (1 method is most of the time very effective compared to others so you don't need that complex and wide understanding of the cube anymore that FMC is and IMO should be all about).


How about we do it fairly and don't show them how we "scramble" the cube but instead just give them a cube that is already scrambled with R and then a cube that is already scrambled with M. I can guarantee that literally ALL of them will say that R is only a 1-move away from solved. And some of them will probably say that M is 1-move away also, BUT I'm quite sure that ALL of them will NOT say 1 but some will also say 2.


So you say that R L' counted as 1 move will make perfect sense but R L counted as 1-move doesn't make any sense at all? Non-cubers will definitely say that R L is 2-moves yes, but many of them will say that R L' is also 2 moves so that is not so good point for your case...
As for (S)QTM you say that most people will agree that 180 degree turns are only a single turn (I actually agree with this. I just mentioned (S)QTM because I wanted to show you that there are other as "legit" metrics as STM). Just like I say that most people will agree that R L' is 2 moves (myself included).
Also you say it would benefit some methods, but it would only restoring them to viability they should already have. Restore to what exactly? Something they never ever used to have? Also another question is: Why isn't using HTM as metric "keeping those methods at viability they should have rather than artificially giving them more viability"? That's essentially the same argument that you used but in the other direction...



Looks like we agree with something at least :)
I think that +2 is quite OK how it is, but removing it all together would be good decision also. However allowing M to be +2 wouldn't be good IMO

I'm honestly curious as to what methods you're referring to as I've searched and all I can find is "just make skeletons" and "do insertions" so I actually have just been trying the same thing with NISS and different blocks and waiting to get lucky. Could you direct me to a source of information? I asked a similar question in the fmc thread but no one responded.

Back to the matter at hand: essentially this a question of which metric makes more sense. You say HTM, I say STM. You say moving one layer should sometimes be considered two moves, I say a layer is a layer and anything you can do in one movement (don't bother saying M2 is two movements because it uses two consecutive movements, because that's the same thing with U2) is one move. You're trying to clutter the discussion by playing devil's advocate with other metrics, but no one wants those. I stand by my position that the only reason HTM was adopted was because at the time stiff cubes couldn't do M moves in one movement, and so that's how people viewed them. Now that we have better cubes we can see that logically slice moves are actually just moving the inner slice... We're still stuck with dated rules that people don't change simply because they don't want change. They don't want to have to relearn something they're already good at, and it just seems stupid that some methods will never be as viable as they logically should be (based on what a move logically is) because of tradition.

ATM/STM FMC and HTM FMC are two different events that should not be compared in this way.
And yet only one is official. One option would be to make STM FMC and Classic FMC, but people always say "there's no time" when people want to add a new event, so I'm not seriously lobbying for that. If only one can be official, people will obviously want HTM because they're already good at it, but I still say it's the less logical option and hinders some methods that are only being held back by tradition in spite of logic.
 
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