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Inactivity

Discussion in 'Office of Strategic Influence' started by vonFiedler, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler GAMG GRGAK
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    With two standard games recently finished, it seems like any day now my latest game with polelover44 will be given the okay to begin. But frankly, I'm freaking out and you know why? Inactivity.

    It seems like a few people get subbed in any game, and it was something of a problem in my last game. But recently a game was abandoned due to inactivity. Then you have Metroid Prime mafia, with no shortage of people offering to sub and so much interest. Yet, there have been several subs already and a turn just had to be extended.

    The icing on the cake? Seven missing pms on the second turn of Pokemon TCG mafia. Seven missing pms in an EXPERT game.

    There is an epidemic of inactivity at the moment. What do we do?
  2. Acklow

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    Inactivity is a pain in the ass. Seriously, if people plan on signing up for a game they need to make sure that RL issues don't affect their own gameplay, and if something comes up, the substitute needs to be sure they can handle being active. I had issues with that during Final Fantasy 3 Mafia. People would sub out left and right. Honestly people need to think ahead of time before actually signing up for a game.
  3. jigglypuffers42

    jigglypuffers42

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    the problem with it is the number of people playing mafia. It's okay if, once, your RL stuff gets involved and you have to sub out. But if everyone has to do it once in their time playing mafia on smogon, that amounts to alot of subbing.

    I'm not defending people who get subbed out, I'm just saying.

    If we don't want to have to instal a rule or a database of people who were subbed out, then we have a few other options

    1) In CW, when someone subbed in, I gave them the results of all past nights. I would suggest doing this, and if they were moling, include their fake pm, and maybe even give them people they were in contact with. This gives a reason for hosts to be more involved in a game

    2) From where i stand, i can't see a way to stop the need to sub. What we can do is sub out the people that need to be subbed out. In CW, there were people that were inactive enough to hamper the play of the game, but were never inactive enough to be subbed out. Raise your standard of activity, so that you can sub out the people who you need subbed out. Not a single night did I get all night actions.
  4. wickdaggler

    wickdaggler

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    I'd suggest implementing one or both of these systems:

    1. An infraction system where every user who is subbed out (or, using the second system, without warning) will be given an infraction, which would last indefinably, or for however long the host wishes it. Get a total of two or three infractions and have your mafia playing privileges revoked.

    2. Have people who know that real life stuff is gonna come up talk with the hosts beforehand in order to make subbing seamless, or at the very least less of a pain in the ass for the person on the other end.

    And honestly guys, if you know you're gonna be inactive, don't join a game. I know that sometimes things are not preventable, but at the very least try to have some foresight.
  5. Ace Emerald

    Ace Emerald Horsing around
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    Yeah it's very frustrating to team mates who need someone who is inactive. Agreeing with punishment for those who don't help out.
  6. Fatecrashers

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    In other words, get sick twice and never play mafia again.

    Some system of warnings might be in order I agree but what you're proposing sounds much too stringent. Is a warning system even feasible?
  7. undisputed

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    I agree with wickdaggler. An infraction system would be viable, but maybe you could setup a system where you can redeem yourself? Like if you sub out you get 1 infraction point, but if you complete a full game, you can erase an infraction point. If you get 3 infraction points with this system, it seems perfectly reasonable to be banned for a good amount of time.
  8. polelover44

    polelover44

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    The major problem with inactivity is when it appears in people without night roles (i.e. mayors & moles). In my most recent game, Awesomeness Mafia, Mayor AlphaBravo's lynch cost the village the game, and he was lynched because he was inactive - he never voted, was never on irc, etc. However, I failed to sub him out because he was not missing any night actions, due to the fact that there weren't any to send in. If there was a "system" for defining inactivity, AlphaBravo (or his sub) would not have been lynched and the village would not have lost a great lead. There's no real way of defining activity by irc, but perhaps a rule should be added stating that "if you miss x lynch votes over the course of the game or fail to send in x night actions (or a combination of the two), you will be promptly subbed out." In addition to dealing with the activity problem, which is huge, this system deals with the problem of stealth lynching by the mafia, which is another problem recent hosts are having to deal with.

    Edit: I like wickdaggler's suggestion, but maybe put it at something a little less harsh, like "get three infractions and you are banned from Standard and Expert games for a certain amount of time. I also think it should be different for people who approach the host and say "sub me out" than for people who just go inactive.
  9. wickdaggler

    wickdaggler

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    Looking back, yeah, that might be pretty damn harsh. Maybe 4 games where you're subbed out leading to a punishment would make it so an unfair ban wouldn't be in place. But I'm worried that it might be to lenient, which would make it pretty much useless.
    I have a similar issue with undisputed's solution, as well, maybe we could make it two or three games to get a point removed?

    Honestly, I've been able to play a mafia game while sick before. As long as it isn't something serious, and you have to be out of the house for a while, (in which case an online mafia game would be the least of your issues) I don't think it's a big deal, although some people may find it harder than others.

    I think the best solution would be to have the warnings put in place for a short amount of time (say, a month or two) which would mean you're only getting subbed out if you are away consistently in a short period (meaning you're probably lazy as opposed to getting sick), or having bans and such put in place at a moderator's discretion.
  10. Ace Emerald

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    Maybe an appeal system where you can appeal your infraction to see if your excuse is vaild. Enough inactivities and you get infracted regardless.
  11. danmantincan

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    I agree with undisputed, about an infraction system with some way to remove any infractions you receive from subbing. I'm sure that everyone has had something happen in their life where they have had to drop everything, and to be penalized for something that is out of your hands seems completely unreasonable, especially when you don't have the chance to redeem yourself. I would say that every two/three games that a person is able to complete (whether they sub in or are in the starting roster), they get one infraction removed.

    However, I dislike the fact that many people just drop out because they got bored of something. If they have the attention span of a flee, they shouldn't bother joining anything that will last any length of time. So maybe there can be different steps that go into removing infractions, depending on your reason for being subbed out.
  12. Aura Guardian

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    Instead of a circus-exclusive mafia infraction system, why not have a mafia blacklist, of sorts? (Depending on how it's done, it could be like a Wi-fi blacklist, or similar to a profile warning, or a cross between the two). I know this has been mentioned before, and I think it could work. Inactive players, players who break the rules, or players that just plain mess it up for everyone could be put there, and their priority would never be greater than 2 until they redeem themselves, etc. Or some other method. Wick's suggestion would probably work with this well.

    As for the "inactive mayor" problem: why not a power to activate it, like "Glare at USER", which gives no results to anyone, but does activate the power? That would allow inactive mayors to be subbed out, and would add a little bit more strategy.

    Also, why not give worthless roles to the players most likely to slack off? That's what I did in (I wish I didn't have to be reminded of this bluneder of a game) Ender's Second Game with Raverist, the mute meatshield. Also, in Pokemon Lynchpin Mafia, I gave some of the less useful roles (like village BPV) to players I thought more likely to idle (generally).

    Also, a system for determining inactivity would probably work fine. Say, 2 night actions in a row, 2 votes in a row (barring silence, etc.), or action + vote both missed then another missed action, etc. Just throwing a possible "formula" out there.

    One final alternative: Just godkill the slackers.
  13. UncleSam

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    I think what people are forgetting is that there is a big difference between people "getting sick and subbing out" and being subbed for activity reasons. If someone alerts the host beforehand obviously they should not be punished, but if someone is subbed for inactivity why not punish them for a first offense? I mean it could be something minor at first (like P2 for two weeks or something), and a second or third offense would lead to a lengthier or permanent punishment/ban.

    I also would like to see an official banlist/list of player's hosts never have to let into their games if they so choose, based on repeated occurrances of inactivity or just plain stupidity and ineptitude. Such players clearly drag down the experience for everyone else.

    Honestly not many roles lack night actions anymore so I don't really see people being inactive as a villager or mayor as a huge problem. If it is that big of a deal just sub someone for not coming online over a period of 24 hours...this seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    In fact, players should be required to get on either IRC or post in the thread or send in an activity PM every day in order to show they are keeping up with the game, because anything less than being on once a day really is not an acceptable level of play for Standard mafia, or even Beginner.

    Ultimately there are just not enough detriments to being inactive for people to fear it/have the basic respect for others to let them enjoy the game and not just be selfish and take roles that they clearly do not have the time to enjoy or play properly.

    Godkilling slackers is an incredibly terrible idea as it will ruin balance and permanently screw up entire games over one person being inactive.
  14. Yeti

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    Mafia idlers can be worked around, more or less, because one member of the team can submit all their night actions. Unless their votes are crucial generally a mafia can work with one super active person.

    When my team stopped replying to PMs and giving night suggestions, and when Flamestrike subbed out, I just sent in one PM with everything so all our roles were dealt with.
    In Hoenn Mafia. I pretty much did every night action on my own because the rest of my faction was MIA/busy. It's ok guys we were gonna win anyway.
    Mafia can do this as they know everyone's role, if the host will allow one PM to be sent in, but the village doesn't have this same advantage, and one idle villager can tank the game for the village.

    There should definitely be some sort of punishment or discouragement for idlers in place. When games are abandoned because nobody bothers to send in a PM, even an idling one, that's messed up.

    Is it really that hard to type Night # - Idle, if you don't have some real life emergency?
  15. coolking49

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    I think that this is a symptom of the village leader system. If you just listen to the leader, the game gets boring and its like your not really playing. Until the BG gets killed, nothing really happens unless you lead or have spreadsheet access. I think at that time the game gets uninteresting, and people forget to send in PM's. There was a thread about how to get rid of the village leader system earlier, and I think if that wasn't around inactivity would decrease. Some people would still go inactive, but I doubt it would be as much. Just look at the recent NOC game. I think 2 people were subbed out, which is alot less than the average game.
  16. FinnRagetti

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    I think an infraction system should be used for those subbed out that should work like this:

    1. Players forcibly subbed out due to inactivity recieve an infraction point per the level of game they are playing (1 point for beginner, 2 for standard, 3 for experimental/expert).
    2. The points shall be kept over a their previous 5 games or 4-6 months (depending on how active they play). Any games outside of the timeline are erased, so if I went inactive after playing Console Wars, I would have to wait until Feburary-April 16th until that game has no bearing on my infraction record.
    3. Players with IRL issues should tell the mod IMMEDIATELY and should leave a message to their sub about what they have done/who they have talked to/who to trust/etc. to make the transition as seamless

    Personally, whenever I decide I want to mod a game, I want to make my game so that:
    A. Everyone has to send in a night action.
    B. If a player doesnt send in an action, I will just replace him on the spot.
    C. For votes, every player must post something in thread, through IRC, or through PM each phase, to ensure action.
  17. Mekkah

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    I should note that every time I post that a bunch of PMs are missing, I receive like four. !
  18. jigglypuffers42

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    And that's why we're expanding away from 1v2 and 2v1 mafia. There are much more active players in a multi-factional game
  19. Exarius

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    I wouldn't count on that. See: MGS. We were almost cancelling it twice, and we had inactive fucks throughout the whole game. 1/8 nights we got all PMs in without reminding anyone. Though otherwise, it seems that your theory is correct. Point being, inactive people will be inactive, be it multi-faction or normal.
  20. Staraptor Call

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    The more complex a game is, the less likely people are to get their PMs in before the deadline. This is because in highly complex scenarios, people need more time to decide on their actions and discuss strategy with their teammates. Also, users might have questions for the hosts, which take time to answer. Complexity is the real reason for the inactivity in MGS and TCG Mafias: in a complicated game, people have to sort through a lot of complex rules before making my decisions.

    Also on the level of roles, complexity causes users to have difficulty getting their PMs in on time. When a player has a very complicated role, that player will have to discuss his next move a great deal with the village leader or mafia teammates. With simple roles, it is usually easy to decide whom to target, especially if the village leader or the rest of the faction already has a plan. Complex roles require more discussion, and since timezones often keep people from being on IRC at the same time, this discussion often takes the form of slowly PMing back and forth. I know from experience that players with complicated roles often fail to get PMs in; the highly complex Prisoner's Dilemma roles in LotF Mafia were some of the worst idlers.

    The way to fix complexity-caused inactivity is for hosts to only include complex roles if those roles have a reason to be complex. If a particular purpose in a game would be better filled by a simpler role, use the simpler role. This is not to say complexity is always bad; simple games often become boring because the host and players don't do anything new. Also, hosts should give complicated roles to players who are more likely to be active.
  21. FinnRagetti

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    Maybe we should then edit the rules in complex games to where deadlines are a little longer initially to compensate for the complex roles/mechanics/etc. That way everyone has a chance to communicate and finalize actions. Maybe 48 hr period to submit an action and an additional 24 hr to adjust as necessary (then if the player changes their mind or still hasnt set everything in stone, the mod has something to go by)
  22. UncleSam

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    That is basically what I have in Metroid Prime and everyone is bitching about it. Honestly longer deadlines only promote inactivity and stalling and should be avoided where possible. Inactive people will be Inactive, period. Deadline changes won't affect when people get online.
  23. billymills

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    Less games, and more penalties for getting subbed out.

    More penalties discourages getting subbed out. (Host's choice whether or not to accept your entry if you're a known idler)
    Less games increases the available sub pool and increases the punishment.
  24. dak

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    deal with it
  25. Raikage

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    Not having PMs in is normal, it happened for PokeMafia too and that wasn't a very inactive game. Often hosts simply get PMs very close to the deadline.

    DON'T PANIC!!

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