THIS IS THE FOURTH PART in our five-part series of articles guiding you through the technicalities of playing Emlyn Hughes International Soccer online on your PC. By now you should be able to run EHIS on your PC with CCS64, as well as Online via Kaillera, and you should also have become an active member with some other users' MSN IDs in your MSN Messenger.

In this part, we will talk about how to play soccer online in our League, and especially what the rules and regulations are.

Once you see someone online (on MSN), you may send him or her a private message and ask that person to play with you. Please be polite, and understand if that person actually has to work or do something else, and cannot play right now.

Most of the time, playing is totally voluntary. These are called "friendly matches". However, we do have special types of matches when some of the Leagues or Cups are being played. We expect everyone to take part in those, and therefore if you are scheduled to play with someone in one of these competitions, you should try to arrange a time for a match together.

Although it still is Emlyn Hughes International Soccer, playing the game online isn't exactly the same as when you play it offline. Basically, there are two reasons for this. One: you will most probably be playing with someone whom you have never met, and you may have got used to different settings. Two: your connections to the server are most probably of different quality.

Because of the first issue, we have created the ehis64.net tape image, which has everything set up, so all you need to do is choose your teams. Most crucially are probably the following settings:

Duration - 10
Skill Level - 10
Equal Skills - yes
Backheels - yes
Kick directions - 5
Auto-goalie - yes
Auto reselect - no

Note that although "substitutes" is set to "2", you are actually not allowed to substitute players during a match. Not only does it confuse and waste time, but with Equal Skills it in fact doesn't even matter if you change a player.

Meanwhile, note also that the delete key can be used to skip the animated parts in the game, i.e. the entrance to the field and the running after a goal. Either player can use this key, so be ready to play right after the game is set up!

Other special keys should not be used. You are not allowed to cancel the match, except at the very beginning if you are controlling the wrong team. (After that, you can change the joystick port with ALT + F10 and restart.) Similarly, you cannot use the keys that end a half, even if there are just a few seconds of the playing time left remaining.

The exception to this rule is the pause key, which is left control on your PC board. We do not comment on the match while playing, so you should not pause the match just to write a message to the other player, unless you need to make a remark about having lost the controls or that the match is unplayable due to server conditions. The only other occasion when you can use the pause button is if you have to answer the phone, or something else which is unexpected takes place while you are playing. In case this should happen, instantly write to your opponent on MSN so that he or she knows why you have paused the match.

Apart from this, there are no real extra rules to the game. This means, for example, that if the game allows you to stand in front of your opponent when he or she is taking a penalty shoot or a free kick, it is ok. However, even more important than the actual rules is sportsmanship, more of which you can read in the next section.

We play to have fun, and not to fight. Because of this, please read the following guidelines and follow them:

Help newcomers. This means both playing practice matches with them, as well as not scoring 10 goals against them to boost your own ego. Be nice.

No trashing results. In fact, unless you are playing in a league or other competition where goal differences matter, there is no need to score 10 goals against anyone. Note that goal difference does not matter when it comes to World Rankings. Hence, if you are in a nice two or three goal advantage, consider trying fancy passes, headers, and backheel goals. It is much more enjoyable both for you and your opponent than it would be if you just kept scoring all the time. Moreover, we as a community despise players who are vain enough to take pride in scoring a lot of goals over clearly weaker opponents.

Don't quit. Once a match has been started, you are not allowed to quit it. If you do, you not only automatically forfeit it, but we will also consider sanctions against you for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Don't change the rules. The next section will give you some ideas about how to combat against ping differences. If you decide to follow any of those rules, you cannot simply come to think that they are unfair in the middle of a match (even if they are), and stop playing or following them.

Be friendly. This is the ultimate rule of the community. We don't like people who are not nice. This doesn't mean that you cannot disagree with us about something, but when you do, you should still do it in a friendly manner.

To make it even more fun, it is best to give everyone an equal opportunity to show how good they are. This is where combatting against ping differences comes to play. (Remember, we talked about that in in the second part of this series.)

There are times when it is impossible to find servers where pings are reasonably balanced (i.e. their difference is not greater than 60 or so milliseconds). That is why we have devised several ways of handicapping a player with a significantly better ping. The actual decision of which rule to use is completely up to the two players, and should be decided before the game is played. One or several of the following measures may be applied:

Two-leg matches. Sometimes you cannot find servers with even pings, but you see two servers with pings that are reasonably symmetrical (meaning that each player has an advantage in one and a similar disadvantage in the other). In these cases, two matches can be played (one in each server) and their results added up. Often it is a good idea to play a little bit shorter matches here, like for example 6 minute ones.

The "no-cheap-shots rule". When agreed upon, this rule applies to the player with the better (lower) ping. He/she is not allowed to shoot high balls from the side or the middle of the field to score easily, and neither can he/she do it hoping that the goalkeeper would bounce the ball and leaves it served for the forwards. Please notice that not all high kicks are disallowed, only those that aim at the opponent’s goal. Two-leg matches are most of the times combined with this or the next rule, so as to make the individual matches more interesting.

The "no-shots-from-outside-the-box rule". This is a more extreme version of the previous rule. Not only cheap shots, but all shots to the goal from outside the box are disallowed for the affected player, including those tight-angled high shots from the top or the bottom of the screen. If the difference in pings is big enough, players may agree on using this rule instead of the previous one.

The "dotted players rule". If the ping difference between the players is really big, one of the players can make his/her players worse with the team editor. Note that in order to use this rule, the "Equal Skills" option should be set to "no"!

The Ping Compensator. This is a program that you can find in our downloads section. For more information about how that works, read through the manual provided with the program. Basically, however, what the ping compensator does is that it gives those players with worse connections (and thus pings) more credit for the goals they score. The formula used is rather complicated and is still in its beta testing phase, but the core rule is that the bigger the ping difference between players, the more emphasis the goals scored by the player with the worse ping receive. A ping difference of 30 or less does not change anything (i.e. the result is exactly the same as the score result).

You may also come up with your own rule, as long as both players agree on it.

NOTE that handicaps are not given to players who are worse than you are, only to those whose ping is worse. It is not our intention to give everyone an equal chance to win, but rather to make playing as fair as possible!

You have now finished the fourth part of our instructions. If everything went fine, click here to proceed to the last chapter where we will talk about how to enter new results.

On the other hand, if you had problems, contact us either on the mailing list (eh@yahoogroups.com) or via this form.

CONTENTS

The sections on this page are: