Newbie Guide to Survivor! (Questions + Tips Encouraged)

For large social games such as Survivor where the primary mechanic is social interaction.
animorpherv1
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:30 pm

Newbie Guide to Survivor
by: animorpherv1 ft. JDGA
Reviewed by: CuddlyCaucasian, xofelf & Nicholas1024


Just as a note, each individual section is a bit verbose, but well worth reading! If you're looking to get into the Large Social Queue, here's a good place to start! This guide won't make you a winner, but reading through it will get you out of the early stages for sure! Take what's in the guide and run with it to get far.

Before we start with anything official, remember this is just a game. There are many ways to play, and just as many ways to win! It's up to you to find your skill set and see what works best for you. On top of everything else, make sure you have fun! This is just the opinion of one player, you may even invent a new strategy! Don't be afraid to try something new or risky if you think you can benefit from it. You never know what could happen!

Spoiler: The Forum
The Forum

Congratulations! You just got accepted to "Newbie Guide Survivor"! It's going to be great! Wait, you don't know how to play? I guess I should have expected that. I'll be your guide then! Click the link you were given, log in, and let's start from there. As a side note, if you are interested in looking at any of the Survivors done on this forum in the past, look at the Survivor wiki page!

Image


OK! Here we are, the first day of your Survivor career. There's a bunch of stuff to look at before we start getting into details, so let's start from the top of the screen and go down.

The first thread is always the announcement thread. Anything related to the game that doesn't fit any other category goes here. You'll find the rules, contact information, and any announcements (ex. who gets voted out and when the next challenge will start) normally go here. It's always worthwhile to go here and read everything before you do anything else!

The thread underneath that is where the challenges will be posted. In order to gain the title of Sole Survivor, you and your tribe need to compete in these challenges to win Immunity! If you win Immunity, you cannot get voted out.

Underneath that is your tribal forum. Here you can talk with your tribe! Most of the time it is used to discuss challenges before all remaining players end up in a single tribe (otherwise known as 'merge'), but you are free to discuss with your tribe about anything you want both in this forum and in PMs (aka Private Messages). Make sure to only talk to your tribe unless told otherwise!

Let's go into that forum! It has a message for us! It has a 'Welcome to Your Tribe' topic to look at. Getting to know who your tribe is will be very important!


ImageImage


It looks like Your Tribe has 6 players in it! That's on the small size for a tribe, but that's not a bad thing! We have Your Account, JDGA, and Random Tribemates 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Finally, we have Your Confessional. Here, you can talk about whatever you want! There will be an assortment of spectators watching the game, who may at any time ask you questions. These spectators have access to every confessional forum and any forums except those specifically for mods only, but are not allowed to give away game related information. They're basically neutral 3rd parties. The mods can also ask questions!

There tends to be 2 threads to start off in every confessional, a welcome thread, and a voting thread. If Your Tribe ever loses a challenge, or the tribes merge, you will have to vote out one of the players in that tribe. Make sure this isn't you! Talk to the members of Your Tribe over PMs both before and during Tribal Councils, so you build up rapport with them! Let's check out the welcome thread.

Image


What we just went over, with one vital exception. The PM box is above the logo, in the top right corner. Use it often!


Spoiler: Private Messages and Allies
Private Messages and Allies


The core of Survivor revolves around making allies and using them to get farther in the game. So let's talk about allies next! Eventually someone on your tribe may ask you to ally with them, or you may find someone you really enjoy talking to and want to work with moving forward! Let's talk about getting an ally message before we talk about sending them.

Before we talk about what to do with allies, we need to set a ground rule on what allies are. Simply put, allies are players that you can (somewhat) safely expect to be able to talk strategy with. They may have plans to stick with you until the end, or they may want to only work with you in the short term, but both are allies, and it's up to you to choose allies that will benefit you in the long term.

Now, why do we want allies to begin with? There are a few reasons. Firstly, no one can win Survivor alone, so you'll need some help. Secondly, everyone gets further engaged in the game. Lastly, when you go to Tribal Council, you'll need people that won't vote for you. Let's get back to the forum quickly.

Image


As you can see, you just got a PM! This one is from JDGA, let's see what it says!

Image


Here is where we start getting into the real meat of the game. Most of the game will take place in your Inbox, talking to your tribe mates. Let's start with this:

(ALMOST) ALWAYS MESSAGE BACK WITH SIMILAR CONTENT LEVELS


Yes, this does mean if someone gives you an entire wall that you'll need to respond in a similar length, but the opposite also stays true. If someone messages you a few lines, they aren't looking for a novella. There are occasional reasons to not do this, though. For example, if you need to plea a case to someone, but that PM chain is mostly shorter messages, it's fine to break this.

In this case, JDGA has sent you a relatively short PM asking you what you think of your tribe mates. Since this is the first message we've gotten it's impossible to judge the rest of our tribe, so that's what we want to respond with. However, this brings up the golden rule:

RESPOND WITH A HOOK


A "hook" is something that makes your tribe mates interested in responding back. You could say "I've not gotten a chance to talk with any of them", but that's bland and boring. No one is looking for that. Instead, keep the conversation flowing like you would with a conversation with a friend! I would consider an acceptable response something like "I've not gotten the chance to talk to any of them yet, but I'm very excited too! While we wait for the rest of our tribe to get online, what do you think of the Pokémon Sun and Moon news that was revealed recently? Battle Royale look so exciting!"

On top of that, respond to messages as often as possible! If someone is waiting on your PM for days, people will assume you don't care about them. Most Survivors on this site take around 2 months, and you'll want to appear on the forum and be sending messages at least a few times a day, if possible. Sometimes real life happens, but try to get in what you can! Seriously, don't wait for days to respond to a message.

When someone sends you a message asking to ally, saying no is something that's infrequent but possible. If you keep saying yes to everyone, you may overflow with allies, so everyone has to say no eventually! So, you want to say yes most of the time, but how? By using the first two rules, of course! Respond like you would any other message, but make sure to say that you're interested in working with the player. An appropriate response may look like "I'd gladly ally with you! Who else are you really close too?" but it's dependant on the game and how close you are with that player.

With all that said and done, how do you give an ally message ? Stating the obvious, you want to say that you'd like to ally, but you also want to mention why as well! Endear them to you even further. If you wanted to ally with JDGA, saying "Hey JDGA, I want to ally with you! I've really enjoyed your messages so far, and you're very funny! What do you think?"

A special kind of alliance exists, FX (Final X) alliances. These alliances are meat to hold an alliance of X size together until endgame. Common variations are F2, F3, and F5. Sometimes they work amazingly and everyone works together until the end and that alliance dominates the game, but sometimes they break up due to infighting and other outside circumstances.

The last thing to talk about in regards to allies is the concept of backstabbing. A backstab is when you attempt to vote off or otherwise sabotage someone you’re supposed to be allied with. While this may sound like bad strategy (and when done poorly, it can be), there are a few common and very legitimate reasons for people to backstab. The first reason is if you can’t trust the other person. If you have good reason to believe they’re secretly working against you, it might be best for you to take them out before they have the chance to do the same to you.

The second possibility is if you have conflicting alliances. As the game drags on, you’ll rapidly run out of easy targets to go after at tribal council, and you may find yourself needing to decide which of two sets of allies you want to stay loyal to.

Finally, there’s the problem of the jury vote. As great as it sounds to have a close ally to take all the way to the end… if they can destroy you at FTC (Final Tribal Council), then it’s actively playing against your win condition to actually take them there. In this case, for you to have a good chance of actually winning, you would need to eliminate them beforehand, even if they were planning on taking you to the end themselves

Before we move on to the next section, let's cover mistakes most newbies make in the early TCs, because they're common mistakes and easy to fix. The first of which I've already stated, and it's not messaging people. No one wants a person on their team who isn't putting in the work. The other common mistake is making your tribe upset at you. This sounds obvious, but if people don't like you, they won't want to ally with you, and you'll be painted as a common enemy and easy TC fodder.


Spoiler: Tribes, Rewards, and Common Twists
Tribes, Rewards, and Common Twists


We've talked about alliances and how to PM people correctly, but what happens when the mods throw you a curve ball? That's what we'll get into here.

Let's talk tribes for a second. There are two kinds of tribes in Survivor. Small tribes and large tribes. Small tribes have between 5 - 7 members, and large tribes are tribes of 8 or more people. The important thing to know about small tribes is that you have to stand out in a good way. Alliances tend to form much faster as people are generally more uneasy about their spot in a small tribe, so being well received is much more important in a small tribe than a large tribe. By the nature of there being less people, it is also easier to make big moves in smaller tribes, because it requires less people to do so. It's easier to convince 2 or 3 people than it is to convince 5 or 6 to make a large move.

Meanwhile, large tribes are an entirely different beast. It's actually very possible to float by in a larger tribe simply due to the sheer number of people in the tribe, so you can have a strategy that consists of flying under the radar and being generally unnoticed is more possible if that's the kind of playstyle you desire (this doesn't mean don't PM!). People are much more inclined to make safer moves and target smaller threats and lesser opponents, because you can more easily grab a bunch of people who aren't fond of that guy who only talks about his uncle's pets.

Next, let's talk about the two most common twists, swaps (or shuffles), and shipwrecks (or a fake merge, or a psuedo-merge). A swap is when your tribe is changed, but you still have enemy tribes to compete against in challenges. Once your tribe is swapped, you can no longer PM the members of your old tribe, and can only PM members of your new tribe. Some members of your old tribe and your new tribe may remain the same, but that isn't guaranteed. From here, you want to gain the trust of your new tribemates. As a rule, there will usually be at least 1 swap per game, but there are often 2 or more. This allows you to meet new players, and shakes the game up. Sometimes players will be able to have a hand in how the swap is handled, and sometimes the mods have already predetermined the swapped tribes. Make sure to talk to everyone on your new tribe! A common mistake is to only talk to the people from your old tribe, which makes the other members of your tribe not get the chance to know you at all, and may want to vote you out because of that.

Next, we have shipwrecks (named after the twist in Survivor: Sky Pillar, modded by myself and kloud1516). A shipwreck is a giant (and temporary) merge that is often times followed up by a swap after the shipwreck is finished, and is used as a method to get all players to talk to each other. This twist is extremely good at preventing a pagong (having one tribe only vote out members of the other tribe in a merge), because it introduces many players to each other at the same time. There will not always be a shipwreck in each game, but it is by far one of the most common twists in the Mafiascum mod's arsenal.

Finally, we have rewards. Rewards come in many shapes and sizes and may be passed to or from tribe mates, but here are the most common ones:

• Hidden Immunity Idols (aka HIIs, getting its own paragraph)
• Challenge Advantage (allows you or your tribe to gain an advantage in the next challenge)
• Double Vote (allows you to vote twice in a TC)
• Vote Steal (lets you take someone else's vote and cast it for them)
• Vote Nullifier (allows you to remove someone's vote from play for a TC)

As a note, each reward has a specific time when it must be played, and generally can't be used in ties. For example, a double vote must be used when you're at TC to gain its effect. All items expire at a certain point in the game, and some can't be passed at all. Make sure to ask your mod for any questions you may have about your items!

HIIs are the most common reward and the most powerful. A Hidden Immunity Idol, when played, will make you immune at the current Tribal Council, and will not be revealed until all votes are in and the result is posted, essentially nullifying all votes cast for the target of your HII (either you or the person you targeted, but most mods don't allow you to target other players with it). Most Survivor games will have at least one HII, and will often contain multiple. This is the most powerful reward, but also one of the hardest to use right. In the right situation, it's the tool to get you to endgame and survive a dangerous TC, but if you use it poorly, then you waste it. These are generally very hard to get and often locked behind passwords or riddles and attract a lot of attention for being such a powerful item. If you can find one and use it properly, it makes for a good mention in your FTC speeches!


Spoiler: The Merge, Jury, and FTC
The Merge, Jury, and FTC


Congratulations, you've managed to scheme your way into the merge! This is where the real game begins. The end goal of Sole Survivor is now in sight! But you still have a few things to learn about before you make it there.

The first one is the simplest. Challenges go from being team oriented to being individual immunity challenges. No one else can help you win immunity but you, and immunity means more now than it ever has before.

The second thing is also the most important bit of the entire game. The Jury. The Jury consists of the most recently voted off players (usually there are 7 or 9, but the amount may vary), and they will vote during the Final Tribal Council (aka FTC) to determine who wins the game!

So not only is it important to make it to the FTC with someone you think you can beat, but you need to have a Jury that will vote for you to win! Here are some tips to do such a thing:
#1) Make sure the jury respects you. If the jury doesn't respect how you played, you'll never be able to sell them on anything.
#2) Bring someone that is liked less than you. People will vote for someone just as often as they'll vote against someone. Just make sure they're not voting against you.
#3) Know what your jury wants to hear. If you really are a strategic mastermind, you should know what your jury will want to hear when FTC starts.

It's also worth noting that most jurors have their votes decided before FTC even begins. The Jury get to talk amongst themselves for quite a while, so leaving a good impression is key!

So now you've made merge and you've managed your jury. It's time to start Final Tribal Council! But first let's talk about the differences between a FTC thats a Final 2 and a Final 3. Getting the obvious out of the way first, a Final 2 FTC means you only need to beat one other person, and a Final 3 FTC means you need to beat two. As great as it sounds to have a close ally to take all the way to the end… if they can destroy you at FTC, then it’s actively playing against your win condition to actually take them there. In this case, for you to have a good chance of actually winning, you would need to eliminate them beforehand, even if they were planning on taking you to the end themselves.

NOW you've made it to FTC. What do you do? The first thing you have to do is write an opening speech. Look at your jury, what do you expect them want to see? Make sure to mention as much of that as you can! Now's a good time to discuss how you got where you are, or something else. You want to stand out. Sell your game! Don't be afraid to write something hilariously long if you have to. Have a strategy going into FTC. Take a look at some of the things you really excelled at, and explain why. Stick to the strategy!

Next is the jury questions. Each member of the jury will be allowed to ask you questions. Answer them to the best of your ability, and make sure to never be wishy-washy. There's nothing worse than selling yourself short or going back on something you just said in the eyes of the jury. The key here is consistency.

Finally, there's the closing speech. This is your last chance to mention anything you didn't get to mention that you think needs to be talked about, or dispel any doubts the jury has. Once again, stick to your strategy! You've made it this far, messing up on the last leg can be fatal.

That's all I can teach! Now go out there and win!
Last edited by animorpherv1 on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:21 am, edited 8 times in total.
My faith is my life it's rolling the dice
If you try to push me it ain't gonna be nice

animorpherv1
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:32 pm

Player Tips


Tips will go here as players give them! Feel free to post a tip or ask a question, and someone will get to it!

Spoiler: General Tips
1. If someone suddenly stops talking to you (or is suddenly talking a lot less) for no good reason, they're probably planning on voting you.
2. Even if you dislike or distrust someone, if a vote is legitimately in both of your best interests, you should still work with them.
3. Never burn bridges with someone. It doesn't matter how bad of a position they're in, things can always change. This goes double for people who have made it to merge and will be on the jury.
4. That guy that everyone knows is in charge of a powerful alliance? He's in a bad position in the long term, because he's the first target for backstabs within his alliance AND power moves (such as idols) from outside his alliance.
5. If you can't control the vote, settle for making sure it isn't you.
6. If you can't get into the main alliance, do your best to bond with one or two people on the outside. They'll usually do their best to keep you around just in case the main alliance breaks down.
7. If there's an endurance challenge and you can't allocate at least seven hours for it, you might as well not bother and save yourself the time.
8. Figuring out how you're going to eventually vote off certain allies when the current alliance breaks up is just planning for the future. Actually telling anyone about it before they need to know is probably a bad idea.
9. Never give up. There can be absolutely ridiculous turnarounds in this game.
10. Keeping reward items secret is usually a good idea. That said, telling someone about your reward items is a good way to convince them you trust them, which can be very helpful if you need to win someone over.
11. Remember that the other players talk with each other. Keep this in mind when discussing potential votes, especially if you're trying to sell different stories to different players.
12. If at first you don't succeed, blame CHESSKID.
13. Most games have some sort of theme, so a good way to break the ice is to talk about the theme, particularily whatever character the other person is. If they picked that character they probably like them and will feel good talking about them to you.


Spoiler: Pre-merge Tips
1. Get into the majority alliance as soon as possible. There's always one being made, and while you don't need to make it yourself, you do want to be a part of it.
2. Don't rest on your laurels just because you're in the majority alliance. In tribes where everyone is active, it often comes down to who everyone else likes the best.
3. Backstabbing people for being good players in the initial tribes is usually a mistake. You want strong players for allies going forwards, and actually going through with a stab so soon means very few people will trust you.
4. If you're on the outside of the tribe, put everything you have into challenges. You want to avoid TC for as long as possible, and being seen to be helpful might sway people towards you. It's no substitute for good social play, but every little bit helps.
5. Keep an eye out for idols. Scan the forums frequently (and in particular after every twist), sometimes there's an idol puzzle or link the mods have hidden away.
6. In general, being active and not being seen as untrustworthy is usually enough to make it through the initial tribes.
7. In a tribe swap situation, keep tribal loyalties in mind, but don't let them dominate your thinking. You'll need more allies than just your initial tribe to succeed long-term.
8. At game start and any time there's a new twist, PM everyone you can as soon as possible.


Spoiler: Post-merge Tips
1. There's no guaranteed strategy for dealing with merge. This is when past alliances break down and when the knives come out in force. Don't bother making detailed plans for endgame, because there's the situation almost always changes within a couple rounds at most.
2. If there's no reward items in play, it's easiest to make moves during rounds with an odd number of players remaining. With a double-vote or vote nullifier in play, it's easier to make moves with an even number of players remaining. Hidden immunity idols can make plays happen at any time.
3. Sometimes you have to accept that you can't get a specific target out, and pander to the swing vote's preference.
4. If everyone seems to be in support of multiple status quo votes in a row, you're being lied to and probably backstabbed.
5. Be careful with allies who have been through tribe swaps. It's difficult to tell whether they're truly loyal to you, or loyal to the people they met on the other tribe.
6. If there's a clear majority alliance, the minority will be doing everything they can to break it up. In particular, if everyone in the majority claims they haven't really heard anything important from the minority, then someone is lying.
7. Challenges aren't important except when they are. In short, unless a planned target wins immunity, it won't really affect things much. Of course, as the number of players decrease, the odds of that happening skyrocket. The F4 and F3 challenges in particular are very important.
8. Power players in obvious majority alliances commonly get backstabbed at either F9 or F7.
9. For all people talk about jury management, that won't matter if you don't make it to FTC in the first place. Don't worry about appeasing the jury until you actually get there.
10. If things seem hopeless, then by all means, go for the desperate play. Maybe they'll actually believe the fake reward item, or that person you've never talked to is actually looking for a new ally. There's no reason not to try it.


Spoiler: Face to Face tips
1) Face to face is, in a ton of ways, super different from forum Survivor. Don't come in expecting it to be similar beyond the core fundamentals
2) First impressions are incredibly important, and you make your first impressions with body language. Relaxed, open body language will invite people to want to talk to you and trust you.
3) You are no longer communicating over PMs with people! This is absolutely huge in a ton of ways:
3a) Be cognizant of the fact that people can literally eavesdrop on your conversations. Try to find isolated places to talk, and keep your voice down.
3b) People can see who you are talking with when. Managing how much time you spend with people is a very important skill. Spending too much time or too little time with people can set off red flags (what too much and too little mean are also very contextual).
3c) You can have conversations with multiple people in isolation. This makes organizing larger alliances and plans much easier.
3d) It is much harder to maintain a large set of lies when you don't have a written record of everything you've said, and lying face to face is much harder than in a PM. Limit the lying a bit.
4) People can physically see you idol hunting.
4a) Take a buddy idol hunting with you to keep lookout while you search and area.
5) Challenge threats in f2f are a much bigger deal. In forum mafia, there are a lot more equalizing factors for challenges. In f2f, there are often a few people who are liable to dominate challenges if you aren't careful.
6) Make eye contact with your partners at TC. If they don't reciprocate eye contact, it means something's amiss.
7) It's much easier to take things personally f2f than online. Jurors in f2f are going to be more inclined to vote personally than based on arbitrary metrics of "who played the best game."


Spoiler: Non-Anon Tips
1) Get a way to contact people over IM. Mafiascum tends to use Skype, but other things like site chat and Discord can work too.
2) Seriously. Do tip 1. It is that important.
3) Relationships and alliances form much faster in non-anons than they do in anons due to the fact that many relationships already exist and people will bring their out of game experiences into the game.
4) People are much more likely to play how you expect them too (aka 'meta') when playing non-anon games. That doesn't mean that they will, though.
5) Discussion tends to be much more fast-paced, so activity is even more vital.


Spoiler: Be Aggressive
I think the best advice I can give to any newbie is: Be Aggressive

It's so easy to become someone who falls by the wayside, or is a compromise vote, if you play passively.

It's better to overplay your hand than to under play it, because at least in overplaying it, you have the opportunity to salvage, and you're in people's heads and building relationships.

In essence, while shooting a gun is loud, and will draw a lot of attention to you, at least you're firing shots and some of them might even land. And you can use that attention to your advantage if you play it well.

But just be aggressive. don't be afraid of being voted out.


Spoiler: Confessionals and You
If you don't use your confessional to explain what you're doing, all the spectators will assume you're doing nothing and have no idea what's going on. Even if you're actually playing a great game, no one will have any way to know! They will actively root against you, and you probably won't be happy reading the spectator forums post-game.
Last edited by animorpherv1 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:08 pm, edited 8 times in total.
My faith is my life it's rolling the dice
If you try to push me it ain't gonna be nice

animorpherv1
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Joined: April 12, 2008
Location: Untraveled Road
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:34 pm

Hello everyone! I've been working on this for the day, and it's finally ready to go! I'd like to thank JDGA for helping me make it, as well as xofelf, CuddlyCaucasian, and Nicholas1024 for reviewing it.

I'm hoping this helps clear up some of the "newbie syndrome" many newbies tend to get, so as such, feel free to asks questions if you're new, or leave tips if you're more of a veteran! I (or a mish mash mod) may add them to the above post!
My faith is my life it's rolling the dice
If you try to push me it ain't gonna be nice

xofelf
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Location: Herkimer, New York
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:15 pm

Well I've been saying we've needed one of these for a long time, I've just not had the time or motivation to make it myself. I'm glad you let me give my input in the process. :)
Xalxe: this is xofelf sometimes we call each other names and other times we share emotions
MattyP: Ur an enigma tho when it comes to circadian rhythm and the traditions we hold dear when it comes to the sun and the moon
Xof has a new place for you to ask her questions. Do it upppp

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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:00 pm

Spoiler: General Tips
1. If someone suddenly stops talking to you (or is suddenly talking a lot less) for no good reason, they're probably planning on voting you.
2. Even if you dislike or distrust someone, if a vote is legitimately in both of your best interests, you should still work with them.
3. Never burn bridges with someone. It doesn't matter how bad of a position they're in, things can always change. This goes double for people who have made it to merge and will be on the jury.
4. That guy that everyone knows is in charge of a powerful alliance? He's in a bad position in the long term, because he's the first target for backstabs within his alliance AND power moves (such as idols) from outside his alliance.
5. If you can't control the vote, settle for making sure it isn't you.
6. If you can't get into the main alliance, do your best to bond with one or two people on the outside. They'll usually do their best to keep you around just in case the main alliance breaks down.
7. If there's an endurance challenge and you can't allocate at least seven hours for it, you might as well not bother and save yourself the time.
8. Figuring out how you're going to eventually vote off certain allies when the current alliance breaks up is just planning for the future. Actually telling anyone about it before they need to know is probably a bad idea.
9. Never give up. There can be absolutely ridiculous turnarounds in this game.
10. Keeping reward items secret is usually a good idea. That said, telling someone about your reward items is a good way to convince them you trust them, which can be very helpful if you need to win someone over.
11. Remember that the other players talk with each other. Keep this in mind when discussing potential votes, especially if you're trying to sell different stories to different players.
12. If at first you don't succeed, blame CHESSKID.


Spoiler: Pre-merge Tips
1. Get into the majority alliance as soon as possible. There's always one being made, and while you don't need to make it yourself, you do want to be a part of it.
2. Don't rest on your laurels just because you're in the majority alliance. In tribes where everyone is active, it often comes down to who everyone else likes the best.
3. Backstabbing people for being good players in the initial tribes is usually a mistake. You want strong players for allies going forwards, and actually going through with a stab so soon means very few people will trust you.
4. If you're on the outside of the tribe, put everything you have into challenges. You want to avoid TC for as long as possible, and being seen to be helpful might sway people towards you. It's no substitute for good social play, but every little bit helps.
5. Keep an eye out for idols. Scan the forums frequently (and in particular after every twist), sometimes there's an idol puzzle or link the mods have hidden away.
6. In general, being active and not being seen as untrustworthy is usually enough to make it through the initial tribes.
7. In a tribe swap situation, keep tribal loyalties in mind, but don't let them dominate your thinking. You'll need more allies than just your initial tribe to succeed long-term.
8. At game start and any time there's a new twist, PM everyone you can as soon as possible.


Spoiler: Post-merge Tips
1. There's no guaranteed strategy for dealing with merge. This is when past alliances break down and when the knives come out in force. Don't bother making detailed plans for endgame, because there's the situation almost always changes within a couple rounds at most.
2. If there's no reward items in play, it's easiest to make moves during rounds with an odd number of players remaining. With a double-vote or vote nullifier in play, it's easier to make moves with an even number of players remaining. Hidden immunity idols can make plays happen at any time.
3. Sometimes you have to accept that you can't get a specific target out, and pander to the swing vote's preference.
4. If everyone seems to be in support of multiple status quo votes in a row, you're being lied to and probably backstabbed.
5. Be careful with allies who have been through tribe swaps. It's difficult to tell whether they're truly loyal to you, or loyal to the people they met on the other tribe.
6. If there's a clear majority alliance, the minority will be doing everything they can to break it up. In particular, if everyone in the majority claims they haven't really heard anything important from the minority, then someone is lying.
7. Challenges aren't important except when they are. In short, unless a planned target wins immunity, it won't really affect things much. Of course, as the number of players decrease, the odds of that happening skyrocket. The F4 and F3 challenges in particular are very important.
8. Power players in obvious majority alliances commonly get backstabbed at either F9 or F7.
9. For all people talk about jury management, that won't matter if you don't make it to FTC in the first place. Don't worry about appeasing the jury until you actually get there.
10. If things seem hopeless, then by all means, go for the desperate play. Maybe they'll actually believe the fake reward item, or that person you've never talked to is actually looking for a new ally. There's no reason not to try it.

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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:44 pm

In post 4, Nicholas1024 wrote:Maybe they'll actually believe the fake reward item,


No don't do this, one Master Sword was enough for me thank you very much

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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:46 am

In post 5, Klick wrote:
In post 4, Nicholas1024 wrote:Maybe they'll actually believe the fake reward item,


No don't do this, one Master Sword was enough for me thank you very much


You know, I only included that line specifically because the Master Sword actually worked. :P

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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:21 am

When I first played I was worried about saying anything identifying because the game is anonymous. However there are ways to talk about yourself without identifying yourself if you're worried. When someone asks you something about yourself, don't respond by saying "Oh I can't answer that because it's an anonymous game". You can find something to say that isn't identifying and keeps conversation going. It sort of just kills the conversation when you reply to a PM like that. If you're worried then change minor details or something.

Bad:
"Where are you from!"
"Oh I cant say because then you might know who I am"

vs

Better:
"Where are you from"
"I live in a small town in bumblefuck nowhere :P Theres basically nothing crazy to do but I go hiking all the time and I love the peacefulness of it. After I finish school though I was thinking of maybe moving somewhere cool like NYC or San Fran just to get that experience :) How about yourself?"

That like gives a bunch of different possible hooks for continuing conversation and doesnt risk identifying you by giving your exact location
call me matty

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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:39 pm

I have some questions, maybe some other people have the same ones:

1. Is it very common at all to decline an alliance offer? I was under the impression that nearly all alliance offers were accepted. (perhaps falsely)
2. About how long is an average PM, in general?
3. Do players mostly communicate "live," shooting PMs back and forth over minutes, or is it possible to communicate well if you send a good reply maybe a couple hours after you receive a PM?
4. When is the right time to offer an alliance, and when is it too early?
5. In the middle/later stages of the game, how do you talk to someone you're not aligned with, without the conversation feeling really stiff and awkward? Do you talk about the game only in non-specific ways, or do you restrict the conversation to only non-game topics?

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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:43 pm

In post 8, Crazy wrote:1. Is it very common at all to decline an alliance offer? I was under the impression that nearly all alliance offers were accepted. (perhaps falsely)

By no means is it common, and I was originally going to say that you may as well just say yes to them all, but after I was told it happens on a very rare occurance, I think it's fair to say that not every alliance offer gets accepted.

Crazy wrote:2. About how long is an average PM, in general?

This varies depending on the player, but my experiences with PMs are that they tend to only be a few lines per PM.

Crazy wrote:3. Do players mostly communicate "live," shooting PMs back and forth over minutes, or is it possible to communicate well if you send a good reply maybe a couple hours after you receive a PM?

It's a mix of both. If you and the person are both online at the same time, it's fairly common to exchange rapidfire PMs (especially after you hit it off), but sending a PM and having to wait a few hours is common as well.

Crazy wrote:4. When is the right time to offer an alliance, and when is it too early?

This also really differs depending on the player, but a few PMs are always mandatory. Sometimes you can tell who you'll want to work with right away, and other times it's picking the best of a rather mediocre bunch.

Crazy wrote:5. In the middle/later stages of the game, how do you talk to someone you're not aligned with, without the conversation feeling really stiff and awkward? Do you talk about the game only in non-specific ways, or do you restrict the conversation to only non-game topics?


This is something that I think may be different from person to person as well. If you're not aligned, I'd recommend talking about things not related to the game on a fairly regular basis if you don't already. That may make you feel closer to a person as well as make you seem less like someone who cares less about them as a person and more as an information source. It's a careful balance, but one that's dooable.
My faith is my life it's rolling the dice
If you try to push me it ain't gonna be nice

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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:48 am

I think one of the most important tips is to try to keep low profile.

I mean, in Buy The Bullet, Kappy played the high profile by declaring the Alliance while I intentionally dumbing down when I talk with other players outside the alliance. Thus, I can get away with the betrayal.

Alas, I panicked when Kappy start drawing target and blurt out every move that I played. If only I kept my coolness ><
Wie Is De Mol!

I'm mabye a serious player, but I'm capable of joke. Ok?

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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:46 am

In post 10, Realeo wrote:I think one of the most important tips is to try to keep low profile.

I mean, in Buy The Bullet, Kappy played the high profile by declaring the Alliance while I intentionally dumbing down when I talk with other players outside the alliance. Thus, I can get away with the betrayal.

Alas, I panicked when Kappy start drawing target and blurt out every move that I played. If only I kept my coolness ><

I definitely agree with this! Putting yourself out in the open can definitely be helpful in the right situation, but if you're doing it haphazardly it's probably gonna blow up.
"CC is very [whatever the equivalent of photogenic as it applies to videos]" - racefan12
"CC is an objectively attractive person." - Crazy
"You look like a happy version of Trent Reznor." - LicketyQuickety
"Do you practice sounding like you're high all the time?" - xofelf

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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:57 pm

In post 11, CuddlyCaucasian wrote:I definitely agree with this! Putting yourself out in the open can definitely be helpful in the right situation, but if you're doing it haphazardly it's probably gonna blow up.

"You see what the team wants to do is get the ball down the field to the end zone, otherwise they won't be winning the game!" - John Madden
why doesn't mafiascum support emojis

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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:32 pm

"So here's the options. I can use the power of veto on myself, removing myself from the block and saving myself from eviction this Thursday. I can use the power of veto on the other nominee, effectively saving them from being voted out in the eviction this Thursday. Or, I can choose not to use the power of veto on either nominee, keeping the nominations the same for the eviction where someone will be voted out this Thursday on CBS live. This is a tough decision."
"CC is very [whatever the equivalent of photogenic as it applies to videos]" - racefan12
"CC is an objectively attractive person." - Crazy
"You look like a happy version of Trent Reznor." - LicketyQuickety
"Do you practice sounding like you're high all the time?" - xofelf

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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:58 pm

Would this be an appropriate place to put f2f tips?

Also I may do some jury management tips. Jury management's really hard for a lot of people.

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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:31 pm

All tips are welcome! Heck, with SurvivorMeet 1 finished and another upcoming, it's probably a good idea!
My faith is my life it's rolling the dice
If you try to push me it ain't gonna be nice

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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:47 pm

My F2F tip: DON'T TALK NEAR THE BATHROOM
I HATE YOU SO MUCH PLEASE GO JUMP INTO A FREEZING LAKE - Mr. Freeze
Plan B: it serves you right if i (hug) you in the face though, right?
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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:46 pm

In post 16, Shadoweh wrote:My F2F tip: DON'T TALK NEAR THE BATHROOM

My F2F tip: Pls do
Defined by who I dislike, not who I like~

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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:47 pm

Spoiler: f2f tips
1) Face to face is, in a ton of ways, super different from forum Survivor. Don't come in expecting it to be similar beyond the core fundamentals
2) First impressions are incredibly important, and you make your first impressions with body language. Relaxed, open body language will invite people to want to talk to you and trust you.
3) You are no longer communicating over PMs with people! This is absolutely huge in a ton of ways:
3a) Be cognizant of the fact that people can literally eavesdrop on your conversations. Try to find isolated places to talk, and keep your voice down.
3b) People can see who you are talking with when. Managing how much time you spend with people is a very important skill. Spending too much time or too little time with people can set off red flags (what too much and too little mean are also very contextual).
3c) You can have conversations with multiple people in isolation. This makes organizing larger alliances and plans much easier.
3d) It is much harder to maintain a large set of lies when you don't have a written record of everything you've said, and lying face to face is much harder than in a PM. Limit the lying a bit.
4) People can physically see you idol hunting.
4a) Take a buddy idol hunting with you to keep lookout while you search and area.
5) Challenge threats in f2f are a much bigger deal. In forum mafia, there are a lot more equalizing factors for challenges. In f2f, there are often a few people who are liable to dominate challenges if you aren't careful.
6) Make eye contact with your partners at TC. If they don't reciprocate eye contact, it means something's amiss.
7) It's much easier to take things personally f2f than online. Jurors in f2f are going to be more inclined to vote personally than based on arbitrary metrics of "who played the best game."

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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:48 pm

Spoiler: Non-Anon Tips
1) Get a way to contact people over IM. Mafiascum tends to use Skype, but other things like site chat and Discord can work too.
2) Seriously. Do tip 1. It is that important.
3) Relationships and alliances form much faster in non-anons than they do in anons due to the fact that many relationships already exist and people will bring their out of game experiences into the game.
4) People are much more likely to play how you expect them too (aka 'meta') when playing non-anon games. That doesn't mean that they will, though.
5) Discussion tends to be much more fast-paced, so activity is even more vital.


Just a few non-anon tips, since Magic Kingdom entered signups today. May come up with more later.
My faith is my life it's rolling the dice
If you try to push me it ain't gonna be nice

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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:34 pm

Will edit in links later:

Spoiler: BRO's guide to being a juror
Congrats! You made it pretty far in the game, but now were voted out. Epically blindsided? Pangonged? Idol'd? Doesn't matter, because you are now a member of the jury!

The jury plays the important role of deciding the winner at the end of the game. What makes Survivor a truly interesting game is the fact that the people who are voted out towards the end ultimately decide the winner. It creates a bunch of super interesting social dynamics with how vote-outs work in the post-merge. Being on the jury, however, also is the single BEST place to be if you want to be ~iconic~. Most people don't remember FTC speeches or answers, but those truly iconic jury speeches? Oh, we remember those.

So, how do you approach the FTC as a juror? Well, the first question is how do you decide who you want to vote for to win? A lot of people will talk about trying to "vote for the person who played the best game," which is a load of subjective bollocks. There is, fundamentally, one question that you need to answer to decide where your jury vote will go, which is the following: Who do I want to win this game?

That's it! Every person asking themselves that question and answering it dictates where the jury votes fall! That said, different people also value different things. Some people value personal relationships, others value what they view as "good strategic play." Most value both, to some degree. As a finalist, you have to worry about what criteria each juror will use, but as a juror, you get to make the rules! It's pretty great.

So, then, there is a spectrum of mindsets that a juror can be in going into an FTC that range between the following: "I am 100% voting for X" and "I have absolutely no idea who to vote for." Jurors can fall anyone within there, with most typically leaning towards voting a certain way, but not being dead-set there. Depending on where your head is, you're going to want to craft your FTC speech in different ways.

There are fundamentally 2 parts to a juror's speech: The speech, and the question. Either of these can be omitted outright, and a juror gets to perform these for each of the finalists. You can even do different things for different finalists (at Survivor Meet, for instance, I only did speeches for 2 finalists, but did a speech+question for the third finalist). Each of these two components are fundamentally different, so I'll talk about the different permutations now:

The Speech: This is where you have the most space to be ~iconic~ as a juror - ESPECIALLY if you do a speech with no question. A lot of the greatest Survivor moments are jury speeches: Snakes and Rats, Reality is Reality, and The Wicked Stepmother are all well-remembered jury speeches. There are, fundamentally, two types of speeches.

The first type of speech is the contextualization speech. This is given in conjunction with a question to a finalist/the finalists. It primarily serves to provide context around the question that's about to be asked. John Carroll's speech in Marquesas is a strong example of this type of speech. It gives the juror's a lens through which to understand what you are asking and why. These are a relatively easy type of speech to write, so I won't go into too much detail here. Basically, if you're asking a question, use the speech portion to frame the question so that the finalists really understand what you're looking for from them.

The second type of speech, and the more iconic type, is the tonal speech. These can either be bitter or laudatory. They are designed to apply pressure or relieve pressure from finalists, and to try to sway the rest of the jury toward voting for the juror's finalist of choice. All of those iconic speeches I listed above fall into this category. This type of speech can't be forced, though. This type of speech is best when it's authentic and raw, as it should involve you as a juror pouring some of your heart out in that FTC to make the finalists understand how you REALLY feel. You should absolutely only use this speech type if you are 100% voting for someone in an FTC.

The first step to writing a tonal speech is to understand what you're trying to convey. Use your time in Ponderosa (jury quarantine) to really think through your emotions. Why did X hurt you so much? Why do you want Y to win so badly? Start taking down notes, jotting ideas for talking points. Literary references and metaphors, in particular, can help you come across more strongly. You can also think about the lens through which you want to express your point. Snakes and Rats was a powerful speech because Sue Hawk invoked the nature they were in to invoke her feelings about Richard and Kelly's play. Reed Kelly's Wicked Stepmother speech played off the Blood vs. Water theme of San Juan del Sur for added effect. The lens through which you tell the story can have as much of an impact as the story itself. Additionally, you don't want to speech to come across as rehearsed, so don't practice it in front of a mirror. Know the points you want to hit, and then make it an authentic outpour of emotion after that.

And the final thing: Don't be afraid to be mean, but the lines of human decency are still in play. If the finalist hurt you, they should know that, and they should feel a bit of that pain as well. Obviously don't cross any lines of calling them [bigoted slur] or w/e, but a good bitter speech will have its digs. A good example of a speech crossing the line was Corinne Kaplan's Dead Father speech. Don't do that - that is a speech that is remembered for the wrong reasons. Wicked Stepmother, Snakes and Rats, Eliza's I Don't Envy Your Position in Life - those are all good.

One final note - a jury can't be made up entirely of people giving only tonal speeches. Typically, only 1-2 jurors will feel strongly enough to give tonal speeches with no questions attached. Let those jurors who feel strongest about someone in the final do the pure tonal speech. That said, a lot of questions can be framed by a short tonal speech.

Questions: The second part of the FTC speech is the question. Questions can serve, fundamentally, 3 purposes:

1) To try to gather information to better inform one's vote
2) To troll/attack a contestant
3) To troll the game

Let me start with #3. #3 is Greg Buis's "Pick a Number" (which Kelly Wigglesworth brought back epically in Second Chances). Someone asking this type of question typically already knows who they're voting for, or they are fine getting the requisite information from other people's questions. Typically this type of question is asked by someone who was a ~goofy character~ trying to further that image.

#1 is the most common type of question. Most juror's typically want more information to make their decision. So, what do you ask here? That's on you! Make sure you think hard about what pieces of information you need from the finalists to inform that decision. A good question to ask yourself is, "Is this question going to get me better information that 'Why should I personally vote for you?'" If the answer is no, you need a better question.

Question type #2 is a play on the tonal speech. You're asking a question either to set up a contestant to fail or to succeed. Heidi Strobel's iconic Which Juror question was an early rendition of the "set someone up to succeed" type, and Lisi Linares's digs On Cassandra and Dreamz were meant to make the contestants look dumb (although Lisi's really just made her look dumb because she chose shitty questions!). Much like the tonal speech, this is a question type that you should only use if you know who you want to win. If someone else is giving the iconic big speech, but you still have some emotion/partisanship you want to convey, this is a good way to do it!

So that's a quick overview of how to approach being a juror. As a juror, you have to remember that your job is very important. The game doesn't end when you're voted out!

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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:11 pm

please don't encourage people to make narcissistic speeches and make everything about themelves
"CC is very [whatever the equivalent of photogenic as it applies to videos]" - racefan12
"CC is an objectively attractive person." - Crazy
"You look like a happy version of Trent Reznor." - LicketyQuickety
"Do you practice sounding like you're high all the time?" - xofelf

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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:13 pm

wait BRO has jury experience??????????????
why doesn't mafiascum support emojis

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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:14 pm

In post 22, xRECKONERx wrote:wait BRO has jury experience??????????????


lol - it's funny because I've never made jury on an ms game*

*Survivormeet not included.

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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:15 pm

In post 21, CuddlyCaucasian wrote:please don't encourage people to make narcissistic speeches and make everything about themelves


Would you say Snakes and Rats was about Sue or about Kelly?

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