In recent months, and particularly since the new rules changes went into effect and the Expert tier was created, it seems to me that the overall level of player quality and play quality in Standard Mafia has deteriorated at an astonishing pace. If you take, say, the Player's List from Bad Character Mafia (my first mafia game, only 6 months ago): Bad Character Mafia Player's List (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Bad Character Mafia Player's List (open) Bad Character Mafia Player's List (close) RB Golbat askaninjask blue_light Yeti UncleSam Mekkah Altair moot Nook Veedrock Umbreon Dan FinnRagetti evan jumpluff Kannon Igor (now Rodan.) THE_IRON_KENYAN Fishy KnightoftheWind Da Letter El Jimbo Coronis ...and you compare it to the Player's List from the recent Lord of the Flies Mafia... Lord of the Flies Mafia Player's List (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Lord of the Flies Mafia Player's List (open) Lord of the Flies Mafia Player's List (close) ABT620 Acklow Fangren Game Freak201 Itchni Nook --> BlackHatGuy Pidge StevenSnype TPM vonFiedler UncleSam zorbees hailflameblast GTS FreakOfNature Blue Tornado Millon De Floss / Darkamber8828 theangryscientist KnightoftheWind shuckles my hero BunnyMaster Raverist Johann DaLetterEl ...I think you will see what I mean (no offense intended to any of the players on that second list/the hosts of that game). Now, this was a foreseeable result of adding in the Expert tier of games, but I believe the extent of the change was not intended. True, Expert games are supposed to be far more interesting for Expert players to play in, but it seems as if Standard games are now being designed for beginners, just with a slightly more experienced Player Pool than the Beginner games. Remember, one intent of the adding the Beginner's tier, if I understand it correctly, was to make it so that, while Standard would lose some of the top players, it would also no longer be as error filled--new players could learn to play mafia with each other, and when they felt they were ready, could "move up" to Standard games! Doesn't that sound perfectly reasonable? The truth is, the idea itself was reasonable, but it has not been put in practice. Standard is drifting more and more towards the Beginner's end of the spectrum, both in terms of game design and who plays it. Now, I have several slight rules revisions I would like to propose, and although I am well aware I am not the most experienced player out there, I would still request that everyone keep an open mind to these ideas and evaluates them objectively. I also understand the rules changed in recent memory, but it also seems to me that, given the nature of such a radical rules change, it should have been inevitable and expected from the start that a few of the rules changes would have to be altered slightly, as theorymoning what will work for the entire community of mafia players is hardly an exact science, and indeed, it seems as if most of the changes have worked out very well, for which I commend the Moderators who worked on them. Now then, to what I would like to propose: 1. Make some kind of experimental idea a requirement when designing a Standard mafia game. -Many Standard games could just as easily be hosted for Beginners, and because of this, they attract Beginners. If Standard is supposed to be midway between Beginner and Expert, wouldn't it make sense to require some form of experimental theory behind a game? This doesn't need to be an integral new game design, but it would be nice if every game included new Roles, Alliance breakdowns, or something along those lines, if hosts do not want to go for more radical changes. It just seems like 2v1 with a Wolf has a formulaic feel, and whoever manipulates the formula best wins. 2. Make Beginners play one Beginner level game before joining a Standard game. -This goes hand in hand with the experimental ideas proposition-if players don't know the basics of mafia, how can they effectively strategize when the basics are altered? This is as much to help new players as anything, because the trial-by-fire method, while somewhat effective, is not fun for most, and I have to believe that Beginners would rather learn in a less competitive setting, where they can make mistakes and not earn permanent reputations because of it. I picked the number one because, while some users are not ready for Standard after one game, I realize we can hardly go on a judging basis, and most users know the basics after one go-around. 3. Allow more reserves per game, or have a variable number of reserves based on the game type. -This proposition is to help differentiate the wide array of Standard games. First of all, reserves only really matter if the reserved users are not currently playing in any games (otherwise they get in after all of the P1s), so it is not like more reserves are taking away spots from people who are not playing for people who are already playing in other games. What I am proposing is that, when the Moderators approve a game, they also set a limit on how many reserves the game is allowed, based on how much the Moderator believes the game needs experienced players in order for the concept to work. There would have to be a cap and a minimum that would have to be worked out, such as 15 as a cap (for a game like Metal Gear Solid mafia, where experienced players are needed for the concept to work), to 5 (for a game that hardly qualifies as a Standard game). Of course, these are arbitrary numbers I picked, I am sure this would have to be tweaked. Note that this would allow users to see approximately how experimental a game is at a moment's notice, based on an objective observation from a Moderator and not a subjective method based on new rules or talking to the Host, which are the only current methods of figuring out how experimental a game is that I am aware of. This proposition needs tweaking, but I believe it is also the best way to attract better players back: giving them an experienced rating from a Forum Moderator on how experimental a game is. Also, this would encourage Expert hosts to host Standard games, as they could still attract a good player base, without having to wait in line for Expert or worry about having a Player pool of Beginners to try out their newest game ideas. As it stands currently, I believe most Expert hosts want to host Expert games because, though the wait is long, it is now the only reliable way to ensure their game is played strategically. I will reiterate here again, I mean no offense to anyone involved with recent Standard games-I am only trying to improve Standard to the point where it is actually a reliable middle ground again, although I accept the inevitability of the wide range of games in the Standard category, and believe I have proposed certain changes to take this into account. I am also aware I have made a variety of assumptions throughout this post, and I urge anyone who feels I have assumed wrongly to correct me. Many thanks for reading, and I look forward to any and all responses.