How much commitment do we require?

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MichelSableheart
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Wed May 30, 2018 4:59 pm

Hobbies take time, but not every hobby takes the same amount of time. If you start a boardgame with your friends, you're committing yourself for the hour it will take that game to finish. If you become a member of a sports team, you're signing up for one evening of training each week, plus a match every weekend. In the same way, playing a game of mafia on this forum takes time. But how much time exactly? On the one hand, it is clear that 5 minutes a week simply isn't enough, as you wouldn't be able to make the one post every 48 hours most rulesets require of their players. On the other hand, it is also clear that we can't expect players to be available 24/7, as people at the very least require sleep. What time commitment do we expect from our players?

There are various reasons for me writing this post.

The first is that I'm considering playing a game of mafia again, after a 2 year break. I took that break after I noticed that I had overcommitted, and didn't have the time available that I needed to play in the game I was in. My available time still isn't great though, so I would like to make sure that I can commit the time that games require.

A second reason is that I searched mafia discussion for the reason why current games reach such higher postcounts then they did in the past, and that as a result of that search, I found the Mafia Game Posting Frequency Discussion. A recurring point of discussion in that topic was the disagreement between users saying (my paraphrasing) "I'm trying to be active, but I can't keep up with the post counts of some games" and those claiming "those postcounts are part of the current meta, if you can't deal with them, you shouldn't be playing mafia". I noticed that "what kind of time investment should be enough to play mafia on this site" was never explicitly discussed.

So I would like to open discussion on what kind of commitment a player makes when they join a game of mafia.

The following is a list of questions that can function as a starter for discussion.

  • What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game? (to what extend should they read the thread, what kind of quality of posting do you expect, what quantity of posting do you expect, how aware should they be about what's going on, how much do you expect them to think about the game, etcetera)
  • What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game well?
  • How much time would you expect a player to spend on each of the points above?
  • How would you expect that time to be distributed throughout a week?
  • To what extend do the answers to these questions differ between individual games?
  • Is there a difference between what you would like the site to require, versus what games on this site actually require?

I have some thoughts on the subject, but I will forego them for now, as they are mainly theoretical without current site experience. It's bad form for someone who hasn't played in 2 years to start telling everyone how things should be run.
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Wed May 30, 2018 5:53 pm

This is a worthwhile discussion and I will be following along. I don't really have much of an idea as to how to answer this, as I haven't been able to find a personal balance myself in recent years.
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Wed May 30, 2018 6:34 pm

1 - Posting some kind of content. TBF, I don't read every single post because not all of it interests me, and you most certainly don't need to. Only the things that stick out. If you're posts a short, you should be able to post more because 1 short post and then going away is going to get you lynched. If your posts are lengthy, then you can afford to post less, however check back in an hour or two to see if anyone has given you a response and/or is trying to engage you.
2 - This is a playstyle question not a "can I keep up question"
3 - Again, this depends on your schedule.
4 - 6-10 hours per week? Again you can split this up into chunks so it isn't as scary.
5 - Depends on the pace. For smaller games, there's less urgency to do stuff. For bigger games, theres more urgency to do stuff.
6 - /shrug
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 1:39 am

I often can't stay on the site constantly so I go into "a wall a day" mode where once a day, I try to read through what's been posted since my last post, post replies and followups, and then move onto a description of my current understanding of the gamestate, often with related questions. It works, although it often annoys some of the other players. This probably works better in a game with a lower player count, though.

Normally you want to stay online for a bit after your wallpost, though, so that you can respond to any questions people might ask.

An interesting tip is to remove as many vertical distractions from the page as you can (e.g. I turn off signatures and use an ad-blocker to hide the "PM, wiki", etc. links at the bottom of people's posts). That lets you fit more onto the screen at once when people are spamposting and thus makes skimming the spam to see if anything's worth responding to easier.
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 2:49 am

Thanks for the replies! In particular, "make sure to check in after a post in case someone has questions/replies" is useful to keep in mind.

@Alisae: even though "playing the game well" is dependent on playstyle, I think the question is relevant to the discussion at hand. After all, a player who constantly feels they would be playing better if they spent more time on the game, but who can't afford to spend that time, gets easily demotivated. I would assume that the commitment we require from our players would be such that every single day, they spend at least enough time to play the game, and that on their good days, they spend the additional time required to improve from that baseline.

The alternative, a player who spends enough time to play the game on average, falling behind on their bad days and catching up on their good days, seems at very high risk of burnout when a string of bad days happens and their good days are no longer enough to catch up.
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 5:42 pm

What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game? (to what extend should they read the thread, what kind of quality of posting do you expect, what quantity of posting do you expect, how aware should they be about what's going on, how much do you expect them to think about the game, etcetera)

I try to keep a very broad definition of what 'good' participation looks like when I'm involved in a game since play styles exist. It's why we have a word for it.

If a player is doing nothing but naked voting, then that's participation. Granted, it's not how I would play, but it's a type of participation and that's how they're going to play. I can't change that, so why bother stressing out?

I think where I would draw the line of 'bad' participation is if the player isn't keeping up and does nothing but "catch up" posts e.g. [after being prodded] "caught up. what's going on? I think X is scum and I think Y is town." [gets prodded again] "haven't caught up yet. what's going on? still think X/Y are scum/town, etc. etc.".

In that case, it's clear that you don't have the time necessary to commit to the game, so please just recognize that you can't commit and replace out. Let someone else play who could commit more than you could.

What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game well?

Again this is a very broad and subjective question. And again, there's the factor of different play styles coming into play. Haha~

Anyway, I think that a player is 'playing well' as long as they aren't purposefully throwing the game or creating a toxic atmosphere for the rest of the players.

Posting something like "fuck you all, I'm going to prodge the rest of this game LOL" is obviously not very sportsmanlike and I would say that people like this aren't playing the game "well". I would say that this type of attitude is borderline between 'not playing well' and 'not playing/just wasting a slot'.

If you really hate the player list, or anything else in the game, don't make it a nightmare for everybody and simply replace out. I can guarantee you'll be happier that you won't have to "deal" with whatever it is. You'll be happy, the rest of the players will be happy, the mod not be happy that they have to replace a slot... so mostly everyone wins. Sorry mods.

How much time would you expect a player to spend on each of the points above?

I would say as long as the player isn't consistently being prodded, then I'm fine with it. There are some days when I can't commit well thought out and magnificent wall posts because I'm either too tired, too lazy, or I don't have enough time.

The most important thing to remember is that mafia is just a game and there are more important things in life than playing a game. On the one hand, if you've signed up to play the game, then I would expect - in the something (this word escape me ATM) of sportsmanship - you recognize that you have the ability to commit to this game. If not, then why did you sign up in the first place?

How would you expect that time to be distributed throughout a week?

I expect people to do the best they can.

Shit happens. That's life. It's not predictable when we want it to be. All I expect from people is to give a good effort if they've decided to play and to replace out if they recognize that they can't.

To what extend do the answers to these questions differ between individual games?

I'd say that some the answers to these questions actually differ between individual players, rather than games.

Is there a difference between what you would like the site to require, versus what games on this site actually require?

I don't think so?
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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 5:49 pm

In post 1, Korts wrote:This is a worthwhile discussion and I will be following along. I don't really have much of an idea as to how to answer this, as I haven't been able to find a personal balance myself in recent years.

I thought the point of the Geriatric Style was in recognition that some players had less time commitment and therefore would enjoy games where people wouldn't be posting so often as to create pages of backlogs of material to sort through a day?
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 5:54 pm

@Kublai - MathDino summed it up in the Geriatric ruleset discussion thread. Open 715 - the most recent finished/completed Geriatric game - was riddled with lurking from the town. Two out of three of the scum - myself included - were the highest posters in the game. MagnaofIllusion has said, and I find myself agreeing with him, that there should be no excuse to get prodded in a Geriatric game because it's not "spam central".

In post 139, Mathdino wrote:i should note that there are a few players that i would consider the "perfect-world" geriatric player

Kmd4390 is a major example

to summarise:

- due to real life, he literally can't keep up with too much posting since it takes that much longer to read the game

- despite real life, he still checks in whenever he can and puts thought/effort into his play

- he never replaces out or lurks out, and there's never the sense that he's dead weight

appealing to players like Kmd is the stated goal of the geriatric ruleset, and i think that goal is a noble one

the problem is that in reality, it appeals to players who shouldn't really be playing mafia anymore anyway

there aren't many players like kmd and there certainly aren't enough kmds to fill a geriatric game

In post 142, Mathdino wrote:i would consider AGhost to be another Kmd

what i mean by "shouldn't be playing mafia anymore" is "their heart isn't really in the game of mafia and they think that getting rid of the newfangled spamposters will make mafia what it once was to them"

or they think that geriatric games will be easier

AGhost and Kmd are some of the highest effort players i've ever seen despite the fact that they're less active/online than average
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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 5:58 pm

In post 7, AnonymousGhost wrote:@Kublai - MathDino summed it up in the Geriatric ruleset discussion thread. Open 715 - the most recent finished/completed Geriatric game - was riddled with lurking from the town. Two out of three of the scum - myself included - were the highest posters in the game.

That's the fault of the town posters, not the ruleset.
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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 6:04 pm

In post 8, Kublai Khan wrote:
In post 7, AnonymousGhost wrote:@Kublai - MathDino summed it up in the Geriatric ruleset discussion thread. Open 715 - the most recent finished/completed Geriatric game - was riddled with lurking from the town. Two out of three of the scum - myself included - were the highest posters in the game.

That's the fault of the town posters, not the ruleset.

I mean.. If the ruleset wasn't there, would the town have been more active? How?

We'd need an exit interview of the lurkers. Did they lurk because they didn't have the time to play the game? Did the ruleset make the game less engaging? Did they just lack the ability to scumhunt and just waited for scum to make mistakes?
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Thu May 31, 2018 6:06 pm

I'm not blaming the ruleset.

However, I think MathDino does have a point when he says that Geriatric has the potential to attract a crowd of players that should reexamine whether or not they have the time to commit to a mafia game.

(Actually, I think that all players should ask themselves if they commit to a game, regardless if it's Geriatric or not. But that's my opinion. /shrug)

Is that the ruleset's fault? Absolutely not. That's on the players and that's where I think a "correction" needs to be.

Taking a moment and asking yourself "Do I have time to play this game?" is the sportsmanlike thing to do. It's like reading the ruleset. You do it because it's what's expected, yet not required, of you. You do it because it's fair to everyone else in the game. Examining whether or not you have the time or commitment to play a game is basically the same thing. By asking yourself that question, you may have saved yourself and everyone else the time and effort of having to examine a nearly absent slot.

Pedit:

That. I don't know for sure.

On the one hand, maybe the town wouldn't been more active. On the other hand, maybe they would've been more active. I think it depends on the players, rather than a game by game thing.

That'd be an interesting and worthwhile thing to see.

Off the top of my head, there was only one town lurker - who eventually got replaced - who gave off the impression that they "lacked" the ability to scum hunt? Granted, they were a newbie to the site and have since then site flaked, but that's probably a whole other can of worms. Or maybe not. I don't know. /shrug
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:46 am

@AGhost: I completely agree that a player should ask themselves if they have time for a game before signing up. Part of my reason for creating this thread is to help players with that assessment. Ideally, after reading this thread, a player can go "ok, I know I have about this much time, and can log in this often, so I should have/probably don't have enough time to sign up for a game."

But isn't "All I expect from people is to give a good effort if they've decided to play and to replace out if they recognize that they can't." a bit contradictory to that? If a player honestly asked themselves if they had enough time to play, then barring major changes in their schedule, they should never end up in a situation where they can't put in the effort required?
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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:11 am

Perhaps it is a good idea to go into my expectations from a player. I'll go into the first, second and fifth questions, as those can be answered without knowing too much about the time requirements of the current meta.

For me to consider a player to be playing the game, I expect them to:
  • Read enough of the thread to have a general idea of what's going on in the game (claims, bandwagons + the reasons for them, the general gist of arguments being made, etcetera)
  • Put some considerations behind their votes
  • Post often enough to avoid being prodded
  • Have their posting be something others can respond to.

In order to play well, a player can improve on several of these basic requirements. The details would vary with playstyle, but they generally involve putting more time and effort in the game. Examples could include, but are not limited to:
  • Reading the thread in more detail to catch nuances you would otherwise have missed
  • Actively consider arguments from others, checking them against the events in the thread
  • Perform analysis on events in the game to determine their implications for who's scum
  • Engage others in conversation to get a better read on them
  • Spend time improving the quality of your posts to make them easier understandable

Both in my lists of basic things to do, and in my list of possible improvements on that baseline, there is one point where I would expect the time requirement to fluctuate between different games. Reading the thread in enough detail to have a general idea of what's going on, and reading the thread in more detail to catch nuances, will probably take more time when there is more content to read. Because of this, the time requirements of a game with lots of active players are probably higher then those of a game filled with players who don't post as often.

As I mentioned in my reply to Alisae, I would like to see that a player who signs up for a game has enough time available such that on their bad activity days, they have enough time to meet the basic standards. That way, they won't fall behind, and can use their days with better activity to improve the quality of their play.
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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:46 am

@Michel

Barring major changes from their schedule, a player theoretically shouldn't have to replace out.

Does that always happen in practice? Not necessarily.

A player with no major changes to their schedule might get bored or frustrated, for instance, because no one's listening to them in the game. Hence, they give low effort. Obviously the fact that no one's listening to them is a bit out of their control, since you can't force someone listen to you. They could have a number of reasons for sticking around despite this environment and may or may not put forth a good effort depending on how everyone else is receptive to their posts.
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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:37 pm

Well, it depends.
There is always the possibility that you get ill. This is a valid excuse for having to be replaced out. And it will happen to everyone long enough on the side.
If a type of game has an unexpected post frequency, way more than normal then people might get problems(e.g. 1000 posts per day).
If you are new to mafia/to a certain type of game then you don't have the experience and can fall into a pitfall by misunderstanding how much time you need, but this should not happen more than once, ideally not at all.
The schedule of people changes sometimes in unexpected ways, but this should not happen too often.

All of this means that some, infrequent replace outs, just happen.
If people want to replace out for the wrong reasons, or replace out too often, then something should be done.

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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:25 pm

The problem comes with perceived flooding. I have time to read a thread, even an active one where players are posting a few times a day. I might not post on every given day, but if the thread is 5 pages ish per day long, thats fine. (excluding day 1 where I expect it to be more) where I was having trouble playing and modding was there was players who were getting into 30-40 page arguments over the dumbest shit. Then there were the players who just voted and nothing else. And both playstyles got away with it. When modding I was tampering with playstyles, telling people to calm down and accused of favouritism when A. they didn't know what I was doing in regards to other players, B. in my view the other players weren't being nearly as bad, C. were the cause of others acting out and D. were the recipients of more complaints than others. (it wasn't a good game)

This makes it no fun for me. Especially when I come in from work and within 24 hours I have 40 pages to mod over. Who has time for that? With a full time job (at the time) and other hobbies, I can't afford more than a couple of hours of Mafia a day, and nor should I. It's a hobby, I blame MS partially for causing me to get lesser grades in uni because I did all-nighters. (time check - 4.13am at the moment) It's not good or healthy. People usually spend a few hours a week on a hobby, not approaching a day a week! Remember that was in 08/09 and I was in at most 4/5 games which were posting significantly less frequently. (albeit with significantly more analysis and content per post - rightly or wrongly)

What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game? (to what extend should they read the thread, what kind of quality of posting do you expect, what quantity of posting do you expect, how aware should they be about what's going on, how much do you expect them to think about the game, etcetera)

My opinion changed on this as the meta changed. I used to think every post should be read. But having been through those multiple long page arguments and the occasional page of one liners from one poster - skipping those parts are fine. I expect insightful posting, not masses of content but enough to know they are interacting meaningfully with other players.

What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game well?

Posting insightful content. (a one liner can be insightful) Responding appropriately to questions and posting enough to avoid being prodded.

How much time would you expect a player to spend on each of the points above?

Depends on a number of factors - enough time to read the thread, comment, start a new topic if the ones being discussed don't interest... if the other players have been active then it may take longer, but as I am adamant it's a hobby no longer than a couple of hours at most, and furthermore less time if you have spent more time on it recently.

How would you expect that time to be distributed throughout a week?

Again depends on the activity of players, the type of game, etc. A few hours a week seems reasonable.

To what extend do the answers to these questions differ between individual games?

Answered above

Is there a difference between what you would like the site to require, versus what games on this site actually require?

Absolutely, otherwise I'd still be playing. Games currently require more of a time commitment than I can give, and unless it's changed recently more of a commitment than most should be able to give. Thats due partially I think to stricter deadlines and posting rules and partially to do with the really active players being allowed to dictate the pace of the thread.
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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:04 pm

AnonymousGhost wrote:I think where I would draw the line of 'bad' participation is if the player isn't keeping up and does nothing but "catch up" posts[...]

AnonymousGhost wrote:I would say as long as the player isn't consistently being prodded, then I'm fine with it.

AnonymousGhost wrote:[...]there should be no excuse to get prodded in a Geriatric game because it's not "spam central

if I'm understanding these quotes correctly, you expect players to be active enough to generally not require prodding and to be caught up enough to be able to participate. Given that prodding generally happens after 48 hours without posting, that implies a commitment at least once every two days, and more likely daily, correct?

So combining that information with Alisae's estimate of 6-10 hours a week, I should expect to spend about an hour each day on a game. Given a player with that type of activity, what kind of playing style would you expect them to have in order to keep up with the game?

@Porochaz: I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're saying. On the one hand, you claim that you were doing all nighters on mafiascum in 08-09 already. On the other hand, you seem to say that the commitment requirement became bigger in recent years. If you were doing all nighters, then surely you were spending more then a few hours a week? To what extend is the problem that you currently have less time available?
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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:43 pm

In post 16, MichelSableheart wrote:@Porochaz: I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're saying. On the one hand, you claim that you were doing all nighters on mafiascum in 08-09 already. On the other hand, you seem to say that the commitment requirement became bigger in recent years. If you were doing all nighters, then surely you were spending more then a few hours a week? To what extend is the problem that you currently have less time available?



The commitment I was spending on site was too much back in the day, doing all-nighters was all sorts of wrong. I did it because I was in too many games, analysing probably too much, I spent hours ensuring I had written posts correctly. etc. etc. I directly attribute my failure at uni somewhat to what I'd call an addiction to this site. I'd spend time here rather on study, I'd stay up late analysing what Yosarian2 said on page 45 rather than sleeping. Stay talking to people on scumchat than socialising outside. Not blaming anyone else here, but myself. But it's easy to get lost in this site, I'd be certain that Im not the only person who feels that way.

---

The few hours a week is what I'd say is a reasonable amount of time to spend on site. Not what I was doing. Mafia is a commitment, so there does need some time devoted to it. I think a few hours is plenty. I think the commitment has become bigger in the last number of years and I attribute that partially to the fact that deadlines and posting frequencies were more relaxed back in the day, and I think one of the side effects of sorting this was to push people into posting a lot more volume, requiring the commitment to be greater. Not that Im shitting on deadlines and prods, the site has(/had, I've not been paying attention) a huge flaking problem. But a constantly looming deadline does mean there is a clock forever ticking and pushes players to post more frequently. Also the fact that playing on your mobile has become a bigger thing means that wallposts are now a thing of the past.

---

I don't have a problem right now. I don't play. Partly due to burnout, I also realised that my analysis was being viewed as scummy, because the site had developed a hatred of meta, which made my commitments a waste of time, site meta evolved - I didn't. I spend a lot of time writing posts, I always have, yet it's very easy to get lost in two players arguing over why they hate each other rather than playing the game - something that happened a surprising number of times. I'd get told I never posted yet I was, you just couldn't find them sandwiched in the 50 posts in a row from Furcolow. It's a very demoralising experience.

I could have gone a couple of ways, I could have reverted back to that person who stayed up all night, trying to keep up and playing with those players who flood the game, usually with contentless void or I could do something different. So I solved the problem and stopped playing. I haven't played a game in years, so I don't really know how things have evolved further, but when I left the playing part of the site behind, I really did so with no regrets.
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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:54 pm

In post 16, MichelSableheart wrote:Given that prodding generally happens after 48 hours without posting, that implies a commitment at least once every two days, and more likely daily, correct?


That's correct.

As long as the only time you're involved in the conversation isn't "USERNAME is being prodded.", I'm overall fine with their play commitment. Why stress out over something you really don't have control over?

In post 16, MichelSableheart wrote:Given a player with that type of activity, what kind of playing style would you expect them to have in order to keep up with the game?


Like I said before, I'm not particularly picky about what type of play style they bring to the game since that's something that's entirely out of my control.

Stress less, you know?

If people gave an hour per day on a game, that could bring in a wide variety of play styles. It also would depend, I think, on how much - quality and/or quality included - you can get done in that amount of time. A wall poster might post two to four big posts, but a one line poster might post twenty to thirty times. The amount of activity during that hour would probably also depend on whether or not the individual is catching up or interacting with other players online at the time. I'm much more active when I'm engaging with someone in real time, versus when I'm 'catching up' to answer questions or offer comments.
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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:29 pm

@Porochaz: thank you for the clear and honest answer. It's enlightening.

@Aghost: the reason I ask about playstyle isn't so much preference, as it is to get an idea of what's viable. That you believe a wall poster should be able to write two to four big posts is pretty telling in that regard. Even on a short post such as this one, I spent about 10 minutes thinking about exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. If I wanted, I could easily spend several hours on a longer post, double checking information, linking to what's relevant, rewriting to be as clear as possible. And that's not counting the time it would take to read the thread thoroughly. Given your reaction here, I get the impression that such a style would be considered huge overkill.
There is no 'a' in Michel.

Brian Skies
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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:04 pm

What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game? (to what extend should they read the thread, what kind of quality of posting do you expect, what quantity of posting do you expect, how aware should they be about what's going on, how much do you expect them to think about the game, etcetera)

Generally speaking, most rulesets have a prod system in place. So it depends on the game. I'm usually fine with a player as long as they're checking in regularly and doing more than just constantly 'prod dodging'.

We are all provided wincons, so play to them. I don't expect town players to be expert scumhunters or scum to be master manipulators. Just do your best to help your team win. If you can get away with doing less, then it's okay to do less.

What are the things that a player should be doing for you to say that a player is playing the game well?

It depends on how much they've contributed to their team winning the game.

This is very subjective. Obviously, a town player who had good reads and helped drive scumlynches would be considered to have played well. But even if your reads aren't spectacular, it's okay as long as your teammates were still able to figure out your alignment and you weren't an active hindrance to lynching scum. But really, you should be trying to figure out who the scum are and lynching them.

For scum, this means doing what was needed for your team to win the game. How well did you fool or manipulate the town? How well did you capitalize on their mistakes? Were they able to lynch you? When you got lynched, how easy was it for them to figure out your partners? Ideally, you want players on the other side to say 'wow, I can't believe it was you' or 'wow, you really got me this game'. But if they're all playing poorly and you can get away with less and still win, then it's okay to do less.

How much time would you expect a player to spend on each of the points above?

I don't know how I would be able to make this distinction, and I don't particularly care. Real life comes first.

I've spent anywhere between 1 hour and 6 hours making a case or analyzing people's posts. But that's because I've had the time to spare and cared enough to do so.

Other players are not me.

How would you expect that time to be distributed throughout a week?

Most rulesets have prod systems, and I pay attention to these. If a player is constantly having to 'prod dodge', then they probably shouldn't be in that game.

To what extend do the answers to these questions differ between individual games?

I generally look at the same criteria whenever I'm thinking about joining a game. As far as your questions are concerned, I look at the following:

-Who is the Moderator?
-Do they have a prod system in place? What are the activity requirements?
-How mechanically complex does the setup look? Can I handle it? Can I handle other players not being able to handle it?
-Who are the other players that have signed up for this game?
-How much of my personal time can I commit to this game? How much do I want to commit to this game?

Is there a difference between what you would like the site to require, versus what games on this site actually require?

Absolutely. But the beauty of this site is that we don't have a universal ruleset for moderators and players outside of the side-wide rules that should always apply always.

So there is always the chance that a game will come along that will suit your needs as a player. Or you can request a someone to mod a game for you.

Personally, whenever I've felt like joining a game but didn't want to make a huge commitment, I've looked to join smaller games, such as those in the Micro or the Newbie queue. And people have already mentioned the Geriatric Ruleset.

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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:02 pm

It's worth mentioning here: in most (but not all) rulesets, prods are normally a "backstop" / safety valve for allowing the mod to replace a player who's disappeared, and the desired activity rate is faster than the prod rate. (For example, I tend to be clear in my rulesets about expecting a post "most days", but outside Micros, the prod rate would normally allow skipping every other day; it's reasonable for players to miss some days, so the prod system has to allow for that.)

I use a rather different prodding system in Micros, where inactivity from a single player can have a large impact, and in which even expected amounts of inactivity are marked with prods. That's very unusual as rulesets go, though, and it took some difficulty in getting player expectations into the right place.
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

Brian Skies
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:20 pm

Yeah, I like to think of prods as the bare minimum of activity.

Personally, I think being near the median in terms of postcount is where you want to be. Although this is still not a great measurement of activity as a single post from a Wallposter could provide more readable and useful content than several pages of spamming from a hyperactive player. And activity from other players will vary from game to game. It's usually the extremes in activity and posting that tends to draw the ire from the other players.

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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:07 pm

In post 19, MichelSableheart wrote:Given your reaction here, I get the impression that such a style would be considered huge overkill.


There is no kill like overkill. ;)

callforjudgement wrote:I use a rather different prodding system in Micros, where inactivity from a single player can have a large impact, and in which even expected amounts of inactivity are marked with prods. That's very unusual as rulesets go, though, and it took some difficulty in getting player expectations into the right place.


Do you think your prodding system would be effective for games larger than micros?

A single player's impact could theoretically be 'bigger' in a smaller sized game, but depending on the player that impact could either grow or diminish regardless of game size.
Talk Fast, Think Faster

BE LOUD! BE PROUD! BE ANTI-TOWN!

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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:01 am

I think it might be, but I haven't tried it out so I'm not sure.

My guess is that the general idea would still work but the numbers you'd need are probably different from the ones I'm currently using for Micros.
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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