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Alternatives to Godkills

Discussion in 'Office of Strategic Influence' started by Daenym, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Daenym

    Daenym

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    This is mildly prompted by everyone going suicidal at the end of the latest Experts, but only a little, because it didn't really matter at that point. That just got the topic of godkills on my mind again :P

    If the idea is to punish a player, then is killing them the only thing worth doing?

    I forget the exact way it worked out, but in Handicapable (yes, using my own game as an example because it's what I know) AG got himself godkilled by breaking persuasion, which ended up being the kingmaker move that gave another faction the win.

    And then there's the FUCK TIGER approach, though that's definitely a special case.

    Anyway, godkills are supposed to be used to remove players who are really hurting the game, not as an extra gambit for players. For instance, in Turnip (surprise, surprise, me talking about my other game :O) there was a role that turned off cardflip. Some players said they would have just gotten themselves godkilled (by posting role PM) to remove the role and help the village. That's the kind of potential abuse of godkills that isn't punishment for bad play, but just giving an extra dimension to their roles.

    Possible things worth doing instead of godkills for things like breaking PR/silence/persuasion:
    • Hooking - If a character has a night role, then turning them into a vanilla for the night. In the case of someone with no night action, their role's effect can be negated during the next cycle it would be useful (Mayor would have a vanilla vote that day, BPV would be able to be killed at night).
    • Vote effects - Similar to the previous thing, a player's vote would be nullified. In WDNN Mafia, the Silencer role turned a player's vote into -1 if they broke silence.

    Now, of course either of these options would arguably render a Silencer role pretty useless, since people would still be able to talk if they didn't care about the penalty. But unless the game is NOC, it's not like Silencer is good for anything but negating a vote anyway.

    Pretty much the same deal for a Post Restrict role, which is really only useful in that it can cause a godkill or out someone in a game with aliases. Or be utterly infuriating, like some of the stupidly complex post restrictions in recent games. But that's another story.

    Persuaders and Kidnappers would get it worse, because their effects are actually still meaningful. But if negative effects from breaking persuasion are strong enough then it's almost the same as someone being killed. And the persuader would know what effects he's causing if persuasion is broken, while the target may not.

    I'm not including Freezers because I find them to be obnoxious roles. And also not exactly easy to prove a breach of the restriction all the time.

    Repeat offenders (someone who completely ignores a restriction and carries on normally) could have negative effects that stack, eventually resulting in that role becoming useful for nothing but talking strategy if vote/ability become permanently negated. Which is essentially the same as a godkill anyway.

    Also, if the target is unaware of what the effects of him breaking restriction are, but the restrictor is, then the effects can be even more. Using the WDNN, for instance, the target's vote could be reduced by 1 every time he posts, but he wouldn't know it was happening, just that there is a penalty. So if he posts 3 times then his vote is suddenly worth -2, and, should he vote, it could mess up a lynch considerably.

    Anyway, godkills being eliminated isn't something I ever really expect to happen. But I also think it should be used to remove players who are maliciously trying to ruin a game, not just use their sudden death to their advantage. So if people are going to try and use the penalty for strategy anyway, then it's worth trying out something different as the penalty.
  2. ginganinja

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    I think the problem with this is that it "doesn't go far enough". For example having a -1 vote can easily be used to another players advantage. Seeing as your punishments are not too harsh, if I was a village announcer or something, id prolly paste my role PM N0 (against the rules but why do I care, I have an average role so its cool), take the weak penalty, and go on and try and lead the village.

    Personally, if you are actually intending to break the game, id rather kill them and prevent them from continuing what they are doing, than give them a light punishment (which might not even effect the too harshly) and end up having them still do it if the benefits outweighed the positives.
  3. Tortferngatr

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    While I have very little idea how Mafia works outside of the general concepts (so take what I say with a grain of salt), reading this, why not simply have the factions whose players violate rules automatically take on an additional or expanded lose condition after each violation? (In classic, for example, the Mafia would lose at 1 Mafian left, villager support roles lose if there are fewer than 2 non-Mafia left, etc.)
  4. Blue_Tornado

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    I don't get the problem here. Godkills are being used tactically, so what? If you get yourself killed to work towards your WC, they can be considered a positive effect on the game. Of course, when people do it intentionally and DON'T do it for their WC, it's bad, which is why I suggest that hosts simply do not let them die if they're doing it for the wrong reasons (i.e. defeatist alliances, whatever) and sub them out instead, or something.
  5. Daenym

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    @ ginga:

    Just based on the situation you gave, if you posted your PM of announcer N0 then figure you'd be hooked and unable to announce. If "ginga is penalized" isn't publicly announced by the host, then it just looks like you pasted up a fake and you end up possibly getting lynched and screwing up the faction, thus looking like a derp for breaking the rules. Meanwhile the mafia just doesn't bother with him anyway.

    But it's more about "if people are going to use godkills as part of their strategy, then making the penalty an unknown variable messes that up." The penalties themselves can also be anything negative, and can be up to any degree, really. But at the same time, someone who figures out the penalty can use it as strategy, just like someone who strategically godkills himself.


    @ Tortferngatr:

    I sort of read that as just the same overall effect as a godkill anyway.


    edit @ BT:

    It's not necessarily a "problem," so much as something that's always been done the same way that could be changed. It's just thinking of new ways to approach stuff.

    And if a host "doesn't let" players godkill themselves because of a defeatist alliance but do allow it as a "good" tactic then the host isn't being as objective as a host should be.
  6. Tortferngatr

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    Briefly explain strategic uses a la godkills.
  7. Daenym

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    I gave 3 examples in the OP ?_?

    1) Killing yourself to avoid persuasion when it would result in lynching someone else
    2) FUCK TIGER approach, which was a stealth godkill to exploit a role that proceeded to kill a huge chunk of the game.
    3) Insta-suiciding because you have a role that is "bad" in some way


    And what I meant in reference to your post was that, in the event that village wins if only one mafian is alive, it's the same as just killing one mafian via godkill, since it's just one less kill the village needs to make.
  8. Acklow

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    In other words, how does one deal with party poopers?

    Sadly, there's always going to be at least one in the group.
  9. Yeti

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    i feel so honored my game got two complaint threads about its mechanics.

    success.

    If people want to godkill themselves, and a whole team does, you can either sub an entire team if you have enough people who will then have 0 info and insight the people before them did, or just plain not let them, but then, what will they do to the game if they stay in?

    "Weak" punishments for breaking the restriction/posting/etc are pointless because it's not THAT big of a deal. Losing a full person, and being down an entire vote/body/target/action base is a lot more impacting to a player than being hooked for a night, especially if your role is trash.

    Maybe having a No Contact restriction for the rest of the game so you're essentially unable to do anything after being a scrub except target. But then you'll probably start idling anyway because you're cut off from the game which gets boring.

    The rules are there for a reason - if you break something like claiming N0, gtfo the game noob. If you are just plain suicidal or stupid, I would consider subbing first, especially if it's like Shining Latios and he's just a blockhead, but it's unfair damage to his team who would otherwise never be put in the position of losing a player because nobody will do something stupid like that.

    The game actually wasn't over, after wickdaggler forgot he was silenced, it was 5 vs 5 vs 4 vs 3 vs 2 vs 1, which, as the game was, made it 10 vs the rest in varying combinations, so it was actually 10 vs 10 and the M@DS had no kills for a while. However, the godkilling ended the game, leaving it at 10 vs 5 once the lynch ended, and the 5 were all enemies of the 10. Thus, mass suicides, don't do them.

    Maybe we should just give a 1 point infraction or something to the next blockhead who suggests half the remaining game off itself.
  10. Walrein

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    This is the second time that I have witnessed a "defeatist alliance" in a game - and both in expert games, no less. I will say, I think the suicide pact in Yeti's game reflects the fact that people will always try to take the easy way out when it's offered to them. I'm not criticizing the fact that everyone had post restrictions - I think it made the game hilarious and was a pretty interesting uniting mechanic. However, people need to realize that as long as it is possible to be godkilled, people CAN and WILL find a way to exploit it.

    NOC is a different factor entirely. Someone who intentionally tries to suicide in an NOC should be subbed out immediately, as in NOC it just undermines the integrity of the game, considering it is generally used to gain an extra lynch. In OC games like SANDSemonium, the suiciding was just those factions giving up. The fact that they did it when they were in a winnable position is stupidity, but if they wanna do it, it's their loss.
  11. Aura Guardian

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    IIRC, I was persuaded, ran the numbers, and found that if nothing was done, the Staff would win. I decided that the other village winning was better than a mafia win. I should probably note that I checked beforehand with the hosts on that strategy
    If the punishment were, say, unknown, even to the persuader, or beneficial to the persuader if the person tries to violate it, would that make it go far enough?

    (I'm thinking for the latter: violate persuasion = auto-persuaded next day and your vote counts how you were persuaded regardless)
    In Peace NOC, after the first suicide by OC, I decided to just say it doesn't work. Of course, this was for just off-the-wall OC, like telling someone they intend to suicide by OC, etc... For game-relevant, information-based OC in NOC... if there are subs, I agree completely. In an absence of subs, I'd say have some creative punishments or just godkill, ending the day if necessary, depending on the severity.

    (Just FYI, I'm really I was tired when posting this.)
  12. jumpluff

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    JOSHUA <3

    I like godsubs a lot, but the problem is there's always a sub shortage and you can't always get someone in the team to take over. Honestly just remove the player's ability to win. It doesn't solve lategame subs but for things like breaking post restrictions / PRs earlygame, there's no way you should be killing. Silencer and persuader shouldn't be backup killers.

    I agree with Yeti about mass game destructions. I find it hilarious but it's not funny as a host; organising this kind of plan, if it can be proven, should be infractable, and if its not, then deliberately flouting the rules should just be mass infracted... I honestly feel like most people won't care about being infracted though, especially since the CM community is somewhat insular. Rules exist for a reason, and not as mechanisms for killing yourself. But I must admit that I wouldn't really care if it weren't flaring up in popularity lately; suicide plans have been around forever. I remember people tried to ruin Simpsons but then LN and blue_light got there first, but the item they planned to use to blow themselves up (and of course some people planned to betray and take the win) was a fake item EW put in to fuck around. It's mostly a problem because people may begin to give up when it's not over yet.

    That's just how the game is; the rightful winners don't always win. Godkilled players don't win, but that's only in the letter. If you godkill yourself to win then you'll just consider it a win anyway. In general the best way to deal with it where godsubbing isn't viable other than just accepting it / forcibly giving the win to someone else is probably just removing things like post restrictions / altering the effects of roles like silence, persuasion, and kidnap.

    A way of partially nerfing the exploitability of the rules is leaving the punishment up to host discretion, which is kind of awkward because it introduces unnecessary subjectivity and potential for unfair decisions into what was previously a clear rule, but many things in the running of a game are left up to host discretion anyway. That way, a person won't know if they're going to be killed, subbed, or given some kind of nerf (the problem with these weak punishments is, aside from their weakness, they still mess with game balance), and it's up to the host to decide what's more appropriate.
  13. zorbees

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    walrein umad?
  14. Walrein

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    Mad about what?
  15. CiteAndPrune

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    How long it's been since this topic got attention...

    But I was thinking of alternatives to godkills, and so, it's more proper to revive discussion here than to make another topic, right? At least I hope it is.


    I really like Mafia games with post restrictions, so long as they aren't too obnoxious, but the problem with these is that a godkill for breaking them can be exploited strategically. I remembered reading this topic before and on re-reading I saw that Daenym came to a similar conclusion as I thought was neat: Hooking as the punishment for breaking the restriction. (Or, more accurately, the action failing but you don't know it does until you send in the Night PM and get feedback it failed).

    This way the player can still vote or talk as necessary, but their overall usefulness is diminished, and if you are for example an inspector, not following rules => not being able to inspect => not obtaining vital info to share => not being able to prove your role and clear yourself => catching suspicion and getting lynched. That's similar to a Godkill, but more drawn out and not as unbalancing to the game, and the village can prioritize who to focus on. Players who care about winning will follow the rules so they can be useful in some way.

    There is another benefit to this, as it blurs the line when faking a restriction, since the others cannot know for sure if a user is useless for ignoring their restriction or is being obstinate and not following orders on how to use their ability, like not using it on the agreed-upon target. It opens up room for faking and counter-claiming without revealing alliances too early into the game.


    Still, for certain behaviours that wouldn't be enough, and from reading what's been posted above, I agree that suicidal players should be godsubbed out instead of godkilled, whenever possible. OR... they could be godkilled without their Role PM getting revealed until postgame, introducing an element of uncertainty as the Village doesn't know if they lost one of theirs or a Mafian to take down, and the Mafia can't find out which role the godkilled player had (notwithstanding a previous inspection). It even opens up more room for strategic play if the godkilled was the real Role that's been counter-claimed and now there is no CC to oppose the faker.


    Just some thoughts I felt like sharing, what do you think? Would that be worth trying in the next games?
  16. askaninjask

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    I ran into this problem in my beginner as well. Godkills are just so damn HARSH. Especially on a village-type faction, godkills can really wreck the balance of a game in ways the intentional-godkillee can't always see from his or her position.

    CAP, what you suggest is equivalent to what Daenym suggests in the first post of having an automatic role block (hook) in place of godkills. While it's a decent idea, it nerfs the role of a silencer or persuader into that of a hooker, which is often a severe downgrade.

    Maybe you could take away a person's role entirely when they break silence or persuasion. I don't know if that's too harsh or too lenient, so it's probably neither. The problem with that though is that people will just troll your game after being perma-vanillified.
  17. CiteAndPrune

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    IMO using the Silencer as an extra killer, as a strategy in and of itself, is too powerful right now. So that kind of downgrade might be for the best actually.

    The other way around, the Silencer could cause godkill when it's broken even if other posting restrictions are penalized with power fail (I'm still looking for a good word for it instead of Hooking as the two are pretty different).

    I'm sure there are other options too... maybe if a Silenced player breaks the restriction, it makes the village give up the day's lynch and the host randomly selects a villager for that day's lynch, and Night falls immediately? That'd be quite the punishment, arguably worse than godkill, as the villager stays but they can't lynch post-godkill, at better (usually) odds of hitting a Mafia, and it doesn't reveal who the Mafians voting that day are.

    ......... I already see a problem if the rule were worded like that, since Mafians could silence themselves and steal the lynch that way. So to aim it right, how about if silence were broken, a random member of the offender's faction is lynched instead? It can be the same player if the rolls permits, or the last member of their faction (the wolf would have it hard). It's about as severe as a godkill but it doesn't let more than one player die during the day (barring kill-on-lynch roles or something). Also it kind of prevents mass suicides because the day ends and everybody gets another round of night actions to use.
  18. jumpluff

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    Previous games have had rules where you can't use the silencer and persuader together to create a godkill. I greatly prefer godsubs to godkills, though both disrupt a game significantly, and it is, effectively, a silencer and a persuader nerf.
  19. Minwu

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    stop abusing rules in a casual game hosted out of other people's charity you dumbshits
  20. vonFiedler

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    Silencer and Persuader are not "alternate kills" and it's some huge bullshit that this game ever evolved to a point where not allowing them to be kills is considered a nerf. Preventing people from posting and controlling one vote are exactly what these roles are supposed to do. Before complaining about that being weak consider that Circ is really odd as far as mafia is concerned to begin with due to the general lack of vanilla roles. Silencer/Persuade should never be allowed to combine.
  21. Aura Guardian

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    IIRC, back in Overkill Mafia II, there was an interesting modification to silence/persuade. The persuader/silencer had to use a power to invoke the penatly for violating it, which cost him his next night action. Sort of a balance between punishment and strategy.
  22. askaninjask

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    Alternatively, you could take godkills completely out of persuasions and silences. For a silencer, just make a user's vote not count. For a persuader, post in the day update that there was an extra vote and make the targeted user's vote not count. This is probably the best way of implementing these roles, if you feel they are necessary in your game.
  23. dak

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    It's up to the dungeon master to decide how they want to implement these rules, in my past games I created a carefully balanced method to allow persuaders and silencers to act in tandem with one another, and it did work fine. You just have to put some thought into the roles your create, how they interact with each other and what the consequences of introducing some particular abilities are.

    It's only natural that you will miss some of the powers true potential when you introduce them, I did so in my most recent game when the last-minute filler role I gave to zorbees ended up being one of the most important ones on the village team.

    Godkills are not a problem, they function just fine. The Fuck Tiger incident was in my opinion perfectly legitimate and an ingenious use of the rules. If a player comes up with something that works perfectly and abides by the rules, then let it happen. If you didn't consider it beforehand, then be proud that your player base is smart enough to come up with it.

    The problem does not lie within the punishment of godkills, but in the inability of most dungeon masters to adapt to the circumstances. Yeah, someone is exploiting a rule that meant to be a punishment for their own benefit and lose a player for doing so. This is perfectly fine, they are risking something, after all. Everything they do is legitimate and the outcome of their actions should in no way influence your decision to not enforce any rules or the like.

    Long story short, the status quo is perfectly fine and a problem is being made out of nothing. Before bringing out your game, spend a few days carefully reviewing everything you introduce and how it works in tandem with your other creations - if you find something ingenious that is possibly very strong and not what you intended to make this role do, don't just kneejerk and remove it but carefully consider if it maybe isn't so bad after all - the Fuck Tiger thing was brilliant and is perfectly fine imo. The Von Karma incident with the tie killing everybody on the other hand, was a bad oversight that should have been caught and removed before the game started. The mistake happened and the person owned up to their mistake and let it happen in the end - as it should be, as it was a direct consequence of the rules they created themselves.

    The moral of the story is that you have to be very careful in post-production before you get the game out and try to catch as many flaws as possible - anything you oversee is something you should blame yourself for and not the playerbase for being ingenious with the tools they were given. People learn from mistakes, so let them happen.

    If two roles aren't supposed to work with one another, mention it in their role description - they should know this way in advance. I don't particularily believe in what askaninjask is saying re: just nulling their vote, I think that's pretty boring and a bit of a cop out, but you should do as you like best - after all it's your own game and nobody should know better than yourself.

    (Also, godsubs are beyond retarded in my opinion and never make any sense, they are more of a punishment to the team rather than the player because introducing a new player into a battle that is already halfway done usually ends up putting more of a burden on the entire team and the newly subbed in guy rather than the guy who gets subbed out, he's gonna be pouting for a day or so and then just move on while everyone else has to pick up the shards of his mess.)

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