Newbie Setup (Matrix6 implemented)

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Human Sequencer
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Post Post #850  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:54 am

Preface: I'm not very smart.
Preface: My opinion isn't important.
Preface: I'm horrible at mafia and setup spec is new to me.

I think Matrix6 is perhaps too confusing for a new player to reliably get their head around. I myself spent some while (four years in fact) confused by 2of4 followed by Matrix6. I didn't play for those four years because I just couldn't get my head around it and didn't want to let my team down. That table is about as eloquent and descriptive as it could be for new players, but still very confusing nontheless.

Would somebody kindly summarize to me what the problems with the following setup were?
You will get one of the following role distributions:

1 Mafia Goon, 1 Mafia Roleblocker, 1 Sane Cop, 1 Doctor, 5 Townies.
1 Mafia Goon, 1 Mafia Roleblocker, 7 Townies.
2 Mafia Goons, 1 Sane Cop, 6 Townies.
2 Mafia Goons, 1 Doctor, 6 Townies.


If I'm not welcome in this thread, I'll fuck right off, I'm just curious and think I have relevant information as a recent newbie.
JD

Quilford
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Post Post #851  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:03 am

The setup was hard and demoralising for town; after statistics were compiled, it was found that scum won more than 60% of the time. Setup balance is held in high regard here, so it was decided that a setup with a more even win rate for both factions should be found.

Human Sequencer
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Post Post #852  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:14 am

Has the following hypothesis ever been considered:

Surviving is an easier concept to grasp for a newbie, as opposed to scumhunting. Beyond that newMafia have a PT with which they can openly ask how to play and openly communicate with another player whose alignment is known to be the same as theirs. There's no paranoia for newScum.
In theory, the same should be true of newTown with regards to the IC, but that never happened in all the three newbie games I've been in.

Therefore, I put it to you that any setup that has a 50/50 winrate in the newbie queue will in-fact be sided towards town, and beyond that 'game balance' perhaps isn't so important.

What's the priority of this queue?
Is it
A) Creating a low-stress environment for newbies to learn in for their first few games, with the hope of them enjoying themselves and wanting to play more, or
B) Creating a balanced queue where winrates are split 50/50 between scum/town?
JD

Quilford
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Post Post #853  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:26 am

In post 852, Human Sequencer wrote:A) Creating a low-stress environment for newbies to learn in for their first few games, with the hope of them enjoying themselves and wanting to play more, or

This is the priority afaik, but good balance is an important factor in having people enjoy a game. If you create a game that is weighted more towards one faction or the other winning from the outset, the players who have been randomly assigned to the disadvantaged faction will feel unfairly maligned if they begin to lose.

callforjudgement
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Post Post #854  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:18 am

In post 852, Human Sequencer wrote:Has the following hypothesis ever been considered:

Surviving is an easier concept to grasp for a newbie, as opposed to scumhunting. Beyond that newMafia have a PT with which they can openly ask how to play and openly communicate with another player whose alignment is known to be the same as theirs. There's no paranoia for newScum.
In theory, the same should be true of newTown with regards to the IC, but that never happened in all the three newbie games I've been in.

Therefore, I put it to you that any setup that has a 50/50 winrate in the newbie queue will in-fact be sided towards town, and beyond that 'game balance' perhaps isn't so important.

Well, there was the experiment with giving scum daytalk (i.e. the ability to use the scum PT regardless of whether the game was in a day phase or a night phase) in Newbie games. For a while, they won almost every game, although it's widely suspected here that that was at least partly a statistical anomaly.

I think that there's another issue at play, though, rather than just communication issues. In setups where the scum have a relatively free choice of who to kill (such as Matrix6, given that the most commonly seen strategy is to try to keep the town power roles hidden), the scum nightkill is a very powerful weapon when the players differ in strength, as it makes it possible to eliminate the strongest Town players and leave the weakest players alive. (The clearest example of this is to take the following two setups which have similar results from random lynching: 11 Vanilla Townies versus 2 Mafia Goons, with a standard kill; and 7 Vanilla Townies against 3 Mafia Goons, with no nightkill. Both of these are predicted to have a town win rate of around 40% if players lynch randomly. Current belief is that the former setup is too scumsided to run – it's never been won by town on mafiascum.net – and that the latter setup is townsided.)

Now, in most games, we can assume that there's a spread in skill among the players. In the Newbie Queue, though, that's especially true; at least one player (the IC) is chosen specifically for their experience and has requirements to make sure that they have a sufficiently high skill level to teach the game well; meanwhile, new players vary wildly in how skilled they are, as do SEs (some SEs are highly experienced players just looking for a simple game, others are players who feel that they're not very good and aren't ready to play in the other queues). So games with a normal day/night cycle are likely to show more scumsided results in the Newbie Queue than elsewhere.

That said, it's unclear what it means for a setup to be "balanced". In general, I think you have to balance setups against the sorts of players that are likely to play them. The game will be very demoralizing for town if they need to randomly draw a "perfect team" in order to win. (The game's also unfortunately rather demoralizing for scum if a good player replaces into a bad player's town slot, as that can completely change the dynamics of the game and disrupt the strategy they were using; part of the reason the nightkill exists is to give scum a way to counter that.) So if scum have the strategizing advantage, we need to give town a little extra help in order to ensure that both teams have a fair chance. (And of course, a major part of the game is that scum are meant to have an information advantage; that's one of the main defining factors of how scumteams work in Mafia. So if the advantage turns out to be larger than expected, we can give town an advantage that fits their strengths to compensate, such as extra members or power roles.)
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

mhsmith0
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Post Post #855  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:57 am

In post 850, Human Sequencer wrote:
Would somebody kindly summarize to me what the problems with the following setup were?
You will get one of the following role distributions:

1 Mafia Goon, 1 Mafia Roleblocker, 1 Sane Cop, 1 Doctor, 5 Townies.
1 Mafia Goon, 1 Mafia Roleblocker, 7 Townies.
2 Mafia Goons, 1 Sane Cop, 6 Townies.
2 Mafia Goons, 1 Doctor, 6 Townies.


If I'm not welcome in this thread, I'll fuck right off, I'm just curious and think I have relevant information as a recent newbie.


Rb/cop/doc is balanced, as matrix6 stats have shown.
Cop and mountianous is balanced, ditto.

Rb and mountainous is insanely scum-sided, especially since "I got roleblocked" is an easy explanation for why you're still alive after fake claiming.

Doc and mountainous is insufficient town power. You can see this because tracker/doc is near 50%, and dropping tracker hurts town a lot.

As far as why balance is important, I'll +1 to comments already made.

Ps opinions and debate are good and we welcome it so don't feel bad at all about asking why
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Post Post #856  (ISO)  » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:54 pm

So I've actually been mulling over the balance issues associated with A and 3 (i.e. the 1-shot BP just isn't strong enough and/or tends to just get policy lynched forthe claim since it's unverifiable), and I'm actually leaning against the idea of switching to a universal backup. The reason for this is that if the 1-shot BP goes away, then any time a tracker sees someone go somewhere he/she will KNOW that it's a tracker/doc scenario, and I think that may be a bit TOO much knowledge to give the town.

What do people think about making the 1-shot BP into a 1-shot BP/IC? Like, if the BP uses the IC ability, then he loses the BP (and if BP was already used, then the IC won't work). I'm also considering the same but with a fruit vendor instead a BP, where if fruit is vended then the BP is lost (even if it's on the same night). I'm not really sure of those is *right*, but I feel like we ought to be able to do something to bolster that slot, given that A/3 are the two worst town win rate setups (i.e. the BP just isn't good enough on its own) while still retaining the inherent functionality of the role (i.e. passively protective).
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Post Post #857  (ISO)  » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:57 pm

1-shot BP is literally useless when the setup is Row 3. I'd change to something less complicated.
*ignored*

Ether
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Post Post #858  (ISO)  » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:22 pm

F11! Here are some fun facts about F11!

  • We talk about how mountainous games are unwinnable. But at least 72 games of the no-power roles subsetup were run, and obviously town didn't lose every single one of those. Town won 31.94% of the time. With random lynches, the odds would be about 29.84%, soooooo...yeah, it's basically a random shot. I think morale for these games is probably better than the up-front mountainous games towns keep losing, plus scum don't know right off the bat what they can get away with. (Also, the sample size for 2:11 games is pretty low. For good reason.)
  • Town actually won slightly more in the Doctor-only setup than in the Cop-only setup. It's a little less than a 4% difference, but the point is that doctors did hold their own just as well.
  • By August 2015, the cop/doctor/roleblocker subsetup of Matrix6 had town winning at 56.8%; the town rate for cop-only was 51.1%. (The more up-to-date odds listed here are slightly lower for each, but I think the daytalk games are in those, so I'm sticking with the old ones.) In F11, the odds for cop/doctor/roleblocker were 44.7%, and the odds for cop-only were only 35.37--a difference of more than 15%.

I don't have an explanation for that last one. I just like telling it to people.

mhsmith0 wrote:So I've actually been mulling over the balance issues associated with A and 3 (i.e. the 1-shot BP just isn't strong enough and/or tends to just get policy lynched forthe claim since it's unverifiable), and I'm actually leaning against the idea of switching to a universal backup. The reason for this is that if the 1-shot BP goes away, then any time a tracker sees someone go somewhere he/she will KNOW that it's a tracker/doc scenario, and I think that may be a bit TOO much knowledge to give the town.
What? That's already true in the current version with the bulletproof. The odds of the tracker targeting the doctor are low, and while there are fun things the tracker can do with that, it's not really that big a deal.

The odds of a bulletproof getting lynched is around 15%, which isn't that bad. I don't think they need to be ICs, especially since bulletproof ICs aren't a thing anywhere else. Also the newbie queue already has something else called ICs and it would be weird.
As I move my vote
Towards your wagon, town is taking note
It fills my head up and gets louder and LOUDER

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