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Changing the Game Maximums for Beginner and Standard?

Discussion in 'Office of Strategic Influence' started by UncleSam, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. UncleSam

    UncleSam

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    I would like to propose something very simple: Changing the number of Beginner and Standard games running at the same time to two for each. In many ways this change is a simpler, easier to implement version of the changes I proposed a while ago for Standard (which can be found here). For whatever reason those were largely disregarded, and although I still support those, I think this would be much easier to implement and achieve roughly the same effect. Allow me to explain how I see this change affecting the Beginner and Standard tiers:

    Beginner:
    -There seems to be an influx of Beginner game ideas recently, and this would ease that.
    -It would allow the multitude of Beginners who have been pushed into Standard play due to lack of Beginner games to play with more people of their own skill.
    -It would provide more opportunities for Expert or Standard players to just sign up for a "casual" game.

    Conclusion: The level of play and interest in this tier would increase greatly.

    Standard:
    -There has been a lag in game quality recently, and many of the current Standard hosts would have an enticing reason to make their game a Beginner game rather than a Standard game: they wouldn't have to wait in line for as long.
    -It would allow for a more thoroughly check of each game, meaning that many of the bad games of recent memory would either never happen, or be moved to Beginner.
    -It would attract better players to sign up, because many of the true Beginners will be able to play in the Beginner tier again.

    Conclusion: The quality of Standard would increase, many of the current problems would disappear, and it would become largely what I believe it was meant to be: a middle ground.


    Let's also look at this numerically:
    -Before the changes in the tiering system, there were three total games in what would now be the Standard and Expert tiers. Afterwards, there was expanded space for four. I realize this was because there was an anticipated influx in the player pool, but what I think was overlooked was that many of these new players would not be experienced, or necessarily ready for Standard. However, these changes would reduce that number back to three between the Standard and Expert tiers, allowing the Player List in every game to be of a higher quality as a result.
    -Standard is supposed to be something of a middle ground, but right now it is really not there at all in terms of the quality of games being hosted there, in a mathematical sense. Allow me to explain; there are 6 games that can be run at any given time, 1 Expert, 1 Big (More or less an Expert game), 3 Standards, and 1 Beginner. What this means is that Standard encompasses the range from the 2nd to 4th games, out of six. It should have been expected that the overall quality would decrease dramatically. If this were to change to the proposed format, however, the Standard tier would encompass the 3rd and 4th games out of six, clearly the mathematical middle ground in the current six-game system.

    I would also like to bring up again one of my previous propositions, as I feel it would work wonderfully with this change:

    "A new user is required to play in at least one Beginner game before joining a Standard game."

    With two games going on concurrently in the Beginner tier, a new user shouldn't have to wait too long for the next sign-up thread to pop up.

    Now, for my main concern with this: Not enough Beginner hosts. Sadly it is human nature that hosts want their games to be Standard rather than Beginner. Of course, chopping off a Standard game also means that many of the lower Standard games should be hosted at the Beginner level, and hopefully people will figure this out soon enough. There are easily enough games between the Standard and Beginner queues to fill the four spots that are currently available, and I am not suggesting cutting spots; in essence, what I am suggesting is partially redefining what a "Standard" game is and what a "Beginner" game is. Here is one last possible change to the rules that could help with this, although I realize that it is contingent on too many other propositions in this post to reasonably be considered at this time:

    "In order to qualify for hosting a Standard game, one must first host a Beginner game, except in rare cases. The definition of "rare cases" is up to the discretion of the Moderators."

    To be honest I didn't expect this post to turn into as much of a mammoth as it did, but I felt it better to outline all of my thoughts here rather than just one. I feel that changing the number of Beginner and Standard games is an incredibly easy change to make, one that could be made smoothly, and one that would greatly help both the Beginner and Standard tiers.

    Thanks for reading, and looking forward to any comments!
  2. jigglypuffers42

    jigglypuffers42

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    I support this.

    E: What everyone said is fair enough

    E2: What Unclesam said was a good point too.

    E3: I'm out of ideas
  3. Rayquaza2233

    Rayquaza2233

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    I think it should be mandatory just to make sure they know how to play mafia. If they've played it before, it's one beginner game to allow them to acclimate to the Smogon style of mafia play.
  4. UncleSam

    UncleSam

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    Any reasoning behind that opinion? I can't think of any reason not to make Beginners play in a Beginner game first if there are enough Beginner games.
  5. Acklow

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    I think that sometimes, out of my own opinion, people take part in a single mafia, then believe they have all the experience in the world to work in the world of standard.

    Now I'm not saying that about myself. I, personally, made a game that was too experimental in my mind, to be a beginner game. Nonetheless, I still try to take part in Beginner games because I am trying to build my skill in manipulation.

    Mafia is a game of secrecy and manipulation. Those who don't get those basic concepts, or just lack the skill in those areas should work on building their experience. The best way to do it is in a beginner game. However, I believe that any learning process deserves a mentorship. Just like Battle 101, mafia should have a "mentorship" program. It shouldn't be huge or anything, but perhaps 3 of the more experienced mafia players (or more, on basis of how much demand and supply there is) would like to help "younger" or "less experienced" players in building that skill. I liked an idea that was said earlier on about a beginner mafia game in which beginners were paired up with an experienced player. This could be a possible solution to building skill.

    In terms of the 2 Beginner-2 Standard game plan, I am in full support of this. Though I would like to see 3 Standard as a possibility also, so that more is available to play. But the 2-2 idea also works because the increased rarity of Standard games mean an increase in the quality and build of the games (as long as the hosts are willing to put more effort into it).


    Anyways, yeah, I support this idea.
  6. Aura Guardian

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    I'm going to play Devil's advocate (at first) and say things are fine as they are. Expert games are designed to have experiments, but Standard games can have them, too. And experimenting is what keeps the game fresh. Who cares if you experiment with the theme, or if you tweak the numbers? Those are just same old, same old.

    We need the moderate experimentation that Standard brings, and lowering the number of Standard games does not help that. Without those games, would various experiments being done now be being done, or would those that have been done in the not-too-distant past have been done? So, it is fine as is.






    Now, my real thoughts: I think 2 beginner and 3 standard would be best, actually. This would go well with new users being required to play in a beginner level game before advancing to standard. And that could help make the player pool be a good one. Just my 2 cents.
  7. UncleSam

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    I don't understand your argument for why there needs to be 3 Standard games at all. In any given three games that occur simultaneously, there has always been one game (since the tiering change) that would have been a good fit in Beginner. How does decreasing the number of Standard games do anything other than encourage people to make their games as memorable as possible? Also there are definitely not enough mafia players to support an extra game without a ton of people going P3. Also, if there were three Standard games, no one would sign up for Beginner, or want to host a Beginner game, since there would be ample room in Standard. In short, I really don't see any positives to simply increasing the number of Beginner games.
  8. Staraptor Call

    Staraptor Call

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    I fully support requiring players to play at least one Beginner game before they can play Standard games. If you watched my game, Lord of the Flies Mafia, you will remember how swamped it was with new players. In a partially experimental game, I had to give important roles to some untested players. While some of these new players played well, many were inactive or made terrible descisions. If the players in any experimental game play badly enough, they put the whole experiment in danger of failing (although thankfully mine did not). This is why the Expert division was created, and it applies to Standard games as well. To avoid having bad players ruin Standard hosts' experiments, it would be best to require new players to play in Beginner first.

    I also agree with UncleSam when it comes to changing the game maximums to two Beginner and two Standard. To add to what he posted, it would improve the quality of not only the players in Standard games, but also the hosts. Most of the users who have hosted Beginner games have been new hosts who want to get into hosting mafia. Increasing the number of Beginner games would give Standard more hosts who have already hosted games rather than jumping right into hosting Standard games.
  9. UncleSam

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    I touch on this in the last part of my post, and is why I proposed that third and final addition to the rules. The Players List will never be good if the host is bad, and forcing new hosts along with new players to host in the Beginner tier first could greatly reduce the amount of poorly thought out games that Standard has been riddled with recently.
  10. Exarius

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    I fully support these suggestions. I was a bit iffy on the 2 standard games, before I realized that nobody likes being P3, especially when there are 3 games going on at the same time that you want to play in.

    And what did happen to the suggestion you asked me on IRC about?
  11. UncleSam

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    That was concerning the older thread I created about the Standard tier specifically, which really didn't seem to garner much attention, although they also hardly got any negative feedback.

    Given what happened to my last thread, it would really be nice if people actually commented on these. Even if you disagree, state why; if you agree, just point to the argument that convinced you. Speaking up could well help the mafia scene as a whole; saying nothing really doesn't help anyone.
  12. vonFiedler

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    It'll make the wait time longer to run standard games, but if it really makes the player base better than I'd be all for it. However, nothing short of forcing beginners to play beginner games is going to encourage all of them to do so.
  13. Mekkah

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    Okay, this time I will actually respond with concrete points!!!!

    First off, I agree Standard is "shit" right now. But, I think this has the following causes, and I don't think they are easily solved by these changes.
    - Good players like to play with other good players. Therefore, they'll go with Expert or Big games.
    - Most people don't like to dedicate to more than one game at a time.
    - Throw a few good players into a standard game, and they're surrounded by no-names, fuck-ups, and alright players. This makes them likely to get name-targeted (if not killed, then probably inspected, etc). Not just because they're so fabulous and famous, but also because hosts rig good roles on them so often.
    - Many good players no longer care about mafia much. I could name like 5-6 people that used to play at every opportunity but are simply MIA now.

    I think 2 Beginner rather than 1 Beginner might be a good idea because of how many people apparently still don't know what they're doing in Standard. But, that doesn't mean there should be less Standard games.

    I...guess. To be honest the difficulty level of your game should probably be decided before you do anything else. Modifying one type of game to another is bound to get you something in between, and that's bad.

    How? Both Beginner and Standard require a balance check by one of the mods. I guess Beginner games are less complicated, but...less standard games at a time doesn't make people make less standard games, unless they modify their difficulty level, which I think is undesirable.

    I don't think so, for the reasons in my first paragraph. Standard will have less absolute beginners, but there's about a hundred people who played plenty of games to be no longer a "beginner" but are still considered exceptionally poor players (hailflameblast anyone).

    then there's a part of your post that i cba reading right now and probably isn't anything to argue about anyway

    This is possible, but only reasonable if Beginner is increased to 2. To make this go as smoothly as possible, people should state which Beginner game they played in in their sign-up post if applicable.

    I kind of like this idea, except the deed is already done on bad standard games, mostly. I think for the most part, this can be remedied by assigning an experienced co host. I would never trust jigglypuffers42 to host well on her own, so I offered to help.
  14. UncleSam

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    -That first point I definitely agree with. But, if we make people play in a Beginner game before moving to Standard, and the good players in Standard are now distributed between two games rather than three, wouldn't that be likely to attract other good players, by that same principle?
    -I think you would be surprised how many people are willing to play in two games at once. For instance, 8 of the 26 players in Free for All mafia played in Standard games concurrently with the Expert game while still alive in the Expert game, even with the current state of Standard. I feel sure that this number would go up further if the player pools in Standard weren't so godawful. (I am counting Thorns (Inventions), Billymills (NOC), askaninjask (FF3), LightWolf (FF3), Veedrock (NOC), Altair (FF3), Eo Ut Mortus (Ampharos), Exarius (Subbed into FF3 while still alive in FFA, although the game was winding down by this point)).
    -I completely agree with this point, but I feel like the number of below-average players in Standard would decrease quite a bit with these changes.
    -Some players that are very good have "retired", yes, but new players are coming in and learning constantly. I feel that the overall quality of play has definitely improved in the long run. Thus, I don't feel this is a cause, or at least not a significant contributing factor.

    Well, as I said, I don't think there are enough players in total to support an extra game without a bunch of players going p3. Plus, because new players could no longer fill in the spaces in the every-third Standard game (seemingly one out of three Standard games just fills up with almost entirely new players), the slightly below average crowd that should be filling that second Beginner game will instead want to fill that third Standard game, resulting in exactly what we have now.

    Well, with changing the number of game maximums also comes a slight redefining of what a "Beginner" game, player, or host is and what a "Standard" game, player, or host is, just on the mathematical redistribution. Besides, right now at least one out of three games that are being submitted as "Standard" games could easily be hosted in Beginner (I won't name names unless someone really wants me to, to avoid sounding insulting to anyone).

    This point I will definitely concede as both ill-phrased in the OP and not quite reality. My thinking was that with fewer Standard games, the Mods could take a little longer approving each Standard game. I didn't phrase this well (or at all) in the OP, and I don't consider it either an important point in my argument or an meaningful change.

    This is true, but many of these players will sign up for Beginner games, because what they are really looking for, in my opinion, is more mafia play. What most of these poor players have in common is that they like playing mafia, and are willing to play in as many games as are avilable to them.

    I agree, which is why I proposed it as part of this change.

    I really don't agree with this. First of all, let's say the deed was, in a sense, "done" for Standard. Does that mean we shouldn't still try and fix it? Also, in my experience, Cohosts in general have little control over any given game, it is almost entirely up to the Main Host to send out results, make important decisions, post updates, etc. Plus, the Main Host comes up with the majority of the game design (if not ALL of the game design), as well as most or all of the Role PMs. I agree that an experienced Cohost can help, but honestly it's the quality of Main Hosts, above all else, that I believe is responsible for the current level of quality in Standard. The Host makes the game, and if the game sucks (again not going to name examples to avoid being insulting, but I could), no quality of player list will be able to save it. On top of this, most good players won't sign up for a new player's game in any case, meaning it will likely have what amounts to a Beginner's Player List in any case, just hosted in Standard.
  15. Exarius

    Exarius

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    To enforce this part, I also played Ampharos and was subbed into Inventions.

    I disagree with this part. The biggest thing that sticks out is the Main Host bit: That is a problem of lazy co-host, overworking main host or both. If your co-host is genuinely interested in working on that game, the results are extreme. Perfect example: MGS.

    Originally I got the idea, and wanted to try my hand at hosting it. I asked Mekkah to co-host (since I knew I would fuck it up without one), but he was too busy to host with me. Got told I should ask Accent. And he turned the whole thing upside down. He designed most of the game, talking with me about it though. Role PMs we wrote together, checking each others work and discussing if it could be written better.
    During the game, I wrote the updates on Google Docs, before he looked over it, corrected grammar and rewrote parts that were clumsy, etc. All decisions that had to do with the game, we decided together, except when he was away for a week. I did send out result PMs, yes, but if there were a huge load of them (N0, anyone?), he helped me out (though this was because I had told him I will do the work during the game, since he had done most before it). So even though in a sense he was the "co-host", in reality we were pretty much equal. You could even argue he did most for the game.

    Now, before people butt in, I will say one thing: This is my experience. People will have different experiences regarding co-hosts/main hosts, and I have only hosted a game with 2 hosts once. The point is that if your co-host wants to host and work on the game, he will. IF he doesn't, he will not do much. And that can't be done much with.
  16. Amelia

    Amelia

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    Yeah i admit... i always overrule my co-host in almost everything in both games i hosted (WDNN, B_B_M), apart from several decisions ><
  17. FinnRagetti

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    From my limited hosting experience, will say that the host either needs to work on building a game with a co-host or make sure they're active enough during the game. Co-hosts helpish, but the main host has to be there and take charge (or at least clearly mandate exactly what they want out of the cohost aside from the general broad answers)
  18. Spiffy

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    As some of you know, I recently hosted a Standard game entitled Redwall Mafia, and as some of you know it failed epicly. :)

    I realize my mistake was too many information roles for the village making a lot of nobb host mistakes, and giving UncleSam a perfect village leading role. Since I messed up pretty bad, I've been thinking of making the next game I host a Beginner's. The key word being considering. I'm only hesitating because of the many limits I would have in the game design, when I could be free to do as I wish in the Standard games.

    What I'm saying is that two Beginner's games and two Standard (which I believe should be the case) will only really work if there are more hosts for Beginner's. And the only way for there to be more Beginner's hosts is if some of the limits were eliminated such as role variety and faction design; meaning not just the generic mafia vs. mafia vs. village. If some of the restrictions were removed I believe UncleSam's entire plan will work.

    Feedback is appreciated. :D
  19. Ace Emerald

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    For what my say is worth, I think this is a good idea. I recently began my mafia playing in a standard game because I had narrowly missed the beginer game, and me being impationt I joined the standard game. I learned a vauge concept of the game from guides and other players, but there were still a ton of little things that I didn't understand. I made a fool of myself a few times, and I might again. I didn't really understand the way the game is actually played (ie people pretty much just following the leader, the concept of claiming to the inspector, ect.). I really wish there was a beginner mafia going that I could have signed up for so I could have learned some of the finer points of playing mafia before I joined standard. Coming from a beginner, I think it should be a rule to go through a beginner mafia before joining standard.
    On a different subject, I agree with spiffy about the limits. Beginner would be a lot more fun and have more hosts.
  20. jigglypuffers42

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    I say that to open up beginners more, you are allowed to have 2v1 or 1v2 in beginners games.
  21. auramaster

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    So...is it being changed to 2 Beginner games? Or staying the way it is? There was plenty of discussion, but no mod decided either way.
  22. jigglypuffers42

    jigglypuffers42

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    Please don't think i'm bumping the thread by saying this.


    The only problem with the idea you proposed, unclesam, is that it requires that there are sufficient hosts to host such games. I agree that if we make it so that you have to vote a begginer before a stadard, that would draw in more hosts, I'm not sure it would bring in quite enough hosts to get the job done. In addition, look at the current situation. We don't have 1 beginner game in the game listings, so how are we gonna get 2?

    EDIT: Agreeing with mekkah, i say we need another game with priority system in circus maximus. More and more people keep joining mafia, and it's reached a point that for each game, only p1 people seem to be able to make it in. By adding more games, we can change that.
  23. coolking49

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    diplomacy? Other than that I dont think any strategy games are played here. Honestly, what else is there outside of competitions like Karaoke, chess, i sketch (not really), etc.
  24. jigglypuffers42

    jigglypuffers42

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    I always thought that Veedrock's "Be Unpopular or die!" was cool, or Rock Paper scissors infinity, but the problem with having a non mafia game would be that the mafia players wouldn't be draw to that, and would only sign up for mafia, not changing the problem
  25. UncleSam

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    The reason there are no Beginner games in the queue is...well, several reasons really.
    1. Beginner games have developed a terrible reputation, and no one wants to put time and effort into something that turns into a farce.
    2. Everyone just joins Standard games anyway.
    3. Games which should be hosted as beginner games end up being hosted as Standard or even (lol) "Experimental" Games. Honestly if I thought I would have started a fad I wouldn't have labeled Metroid Prime as such.

    In other words, we have tons of Standard games in the queue, some of which should just be hosted at beginner. Honestly there is no difference other than (supposedly) in game design between Beginner and Standard: the same players are free to sign up, they run off the same priority system, etc...

    Honestly it might be better if there was a list in Circus of people allowed to play Standard games (people who have demonstrated basic cognitive function and IRC use), while we had a series of experienced hosts whip up standard 2v1 games with little flavor (wouldn't take very long or be difficult to update) so that there could be a reliable "training program" of sorts for mafia. Of course, the problem with this is that people in the mafia community in general are inactive as hell, even "experts", and although we have the sheer numbers of people who want to play, there simply are not enough reliable, experienced players who have demonstrated any semblance of a desire to help the lower tiers of players.

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