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What's wrong with stealth lynches?

Discussion in 'Office of Strategic Influence' started by Veedrock, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Veedrock


    Oct 18, 2008
    I've noticed a new rule trend with a vague description that stealth lynches will be overturned "at host discretion." Why?

    Now don't get me wrong, I am all about the village having control of their lynch. Afterall it is (usually) their only source of offense in mafia. That is why I loathe lynch redirection and LPVs. But if the village wants to dilly-dally with their opportunity, why shouldn't the mafia be allowed to capitalize on it? Especially with the ability to No Lynch.

    The rule states that the lynching process is supposed to be democratic and stealth lynching is against that. Democracy by definition is "government by the people" along with "majority rule." Are mafia not part of this people? If a canidate loses an election, there is no way to overturn this under the assumption that the outcome could have been different.

    All this rule does is ensure that if the village is indifferent and/or dgf about the game, they have a guaranteed no lynch. It encourages laziness and indecisiveness (this is why I dislike no lynch as well), whereas the possibility of a stealth lynch will force participation. In addition to this activity incentive, if mafia is successful with a stealth lynch, the village takes a hit but they now know who they need to be after.

    This rule makes even less sense in multi-faction games where there's no one team that's meant to be in control of the lynch. Any one faction cannot muscle their way to majority, so they have to rely on cooperation, or tact. This can include Factions A and B voting C, then Faction A switching to B at the last moment to swing the vote. Would this not be considered a stealth lynch? Another concern in multi-faction games is that a "true" stealth lynch attempt is just going to attract attention and put pressure on that faction for being organized.

    An anti-stealth rule has negative repercussions while standard play has enough going for it that stealth lynching is discouraged enough or difficult to achieve. I'm not trying to get any game in progress to revoke this rule, but I don't want it to become standard. Opinions?
  2. reyscarface

    is a Smogon Media Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusdefeated the Smogon Frontier

    Dec 9, 2008
    I think the deal of Stealth Lynches is that they can make a game turn from who is best to who is on at a certain moment, which leads the game to possibly be based on who is awake / reachable at that certain time (Timezones yeah?)

    I experienced this once with our massive Stealth Lynch in blue lights expert game with Von Karma. We pretty much won the game because we organized ourselves to be on at 7 am (my time) leading to a massive Stealth at the last second of deadline, which Mekkah couldn't stop.

    At least thats what I have understood.
  3. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler Is she still looking at the sunset, now long vanished?
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor

    Mar 22, 2010
    I created this rule after reading several articles by Mekkah and others, and the biggest reason stealth lynching shouldn't be allowed is because of timezone issues. No one should be unfairly punished because they can't get on right before deadline. Combine that my own feelings regarding metagaming (something a computer can't prevent, but a human host can), and yeah, I definitely feel this should be standard, with games that allow Stealth Lynching to be the exception.

    Of course the Mafia are part of the people, they get to vote don't they? I know cheating happens in real life voting, but the mafia does still get to do that through means such as silence and persuade.

    In all the games I've had this rule, the lynch has never even come close to a No Lynch due to no villagers voting. And I don't like No Lynch either, but that's another issue (and not a huge one, frankly).
  4. UncleSam

    UncleSam Leading this village
    is a Forum Moderator

    May 12, 2009
    To be honest, stealth lynching is really only a big deal if you have one of two things:
    1. Von Karma-esque role (e.g. a role that messes with who gets lynched based on how many votes each person has)
    2. Negative voter (only time this has come up was billy's role in We Don't Need No Mafia, I think)

    In other words, stealth lynches are pretty much indistinguishable from normal flip-flopping of votes aside from very specific scenarios, and are tactically useless in most situations.

    I for one don't mind stealth lynches, but I think that the host should make deadlines accommodating to as many players as possible if they allow them.

    In short, I don't see why stealth lynches are much of a big deal anymore (I doubt von karma is getting recycled any time soon), and I also don't think the tremendous backlash against them was warranted. That being said, they can be construed as unfair to certain timezones, and as such need to be taken into account when hosts make deadlines for their games if they plan to allow stealths.

    Oh, and mafia in general discriminates based on who is more active; those who get on more have an advantage. If anything, it is inconsistent to disallow activity around deadlines from being advantageous when activity at all other times is. So I don't really get the "it's unfair to the inactives" argument.

    The timezones argument holds a lot of water though, and is why deadlines need to be chosen carefully if stealths are to be allowed.
  5. wickdaggler


    Oct 13, 2009
    the whole time zone issue is a valid point, but keep in mind that hosts generally give 48 hours for a lynch. that's plenty of time beforehand to get a lynch rolling. failing that, you could honestly just stay up late. I'm sure plenty of people here, especially those playing mafia, have stayed up late before, even all night.
    basically "suck it up" you have had plenty of time to vote, and if it's not your time zone it can be remedied in exchange for feeling like shit the next morning.
  6. billymills

    is a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    Jul 6, 2008
    If all games were 1 v 1, then you may have a point. The village should vote when they have the opportunity.

    The problem lies when you have 3 or more factions. If one team really does care which of the other two factions die, it may be worth while not to take a side so that neither team is out for revenge.

    There have also been a variety of roles for which voting causes other problems. (e.g. if you voted in the previous election you can't use your night role tonight.)

    In general though, voting gives up information. If you vote for somebody, you want that somebody dead and it gives clues as to your alliance. The ideal scenario is to win the lynch giving up the least info possible: voting with as few people as possible, as close to deadline as possible. (See: Pokemon mafia) Unfortunately this means days are often dull at least until the mafia have been outted. (This is for mafia controlled stealth lynches and multi-faction games.)

    Preventing stealth lynches in general forces sides to actually reveal themselves in order to use the lynch to their advantage.

    There are games when Stealth lynching wouldn't be a problem (any 1v1) and games when it would pose a problem (see: rey's post). It all depends on the mechanics of the game.
  7. Staraptor Call

    Staraptor Call

    Mar 7, 2009
    Stealth lynches are only a problem when they swing the game based on users' timezones. Timezones are of course outside people's control, and in order to have games where the good players win and the bad players lose, factors outside of people's control should be minimized. Otherwise, stealth lynches are not problematic. How well a team is able to pull off a stealth lynch is determined by how well-organized that team is, and good team organization should be rewarded. Also, as UncleSam said, there aren't many situations in which stealth lynches are used at all. In my next mafia game, I will be using a system in which users who want to stealth lynch can PM the hosts with their stealth votes, and those stealth votes will be counted at the deadline in the order they are received. This system allows strategic maneuvers involving stealth lynches, but makes it so timezones aren't a big factor.
  8. Thorns


    Feb 17, 2007
    what reyscarface is getting at is that von karma is ridiculously overpowered and ridiculously fun to play. lonelyness understands xD xD
  9. shade

    shade i'm so mean i make medicine sick
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributor
    Social Forums Leader

    Mar 28, 2008
    absolutely fuck all is wrong with stealth lynches. aside from obvious mental roles such as von karma, there is literally nothing that you can legislate against when it comes to stealth lynches. mekkah and co will make it out to believe that its some guy who is just there refreshing a page to win and takes no skill blah blah, when that is not the case. stealth lynches are a part of the game due to the fact of deadlines and shouldn't be removed because some people are sore after losing to them.
  10. LightWolf

    LightWolf lightwoof
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    Jul 26, 2008
    Well I myself never stealth lynched at time that were normal for me, so I kind of view it as a way to test how much someone is dedicated to the game. I see the unfair parts, but that's just generally only for multifaction and mostly in cases of betrayal. If you fear to be hit by a stealth then you can always be on the guard about it. Though some people may have better chance due to having the right time zone.

    Having not exact deadlines with around +/- 30 mins are enough to make it riskier, but I don't like completely stopping it.

    (And when it works it feels soooooooooooooooo good)
  11. Mekkah

    is a Super Moderatoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
    Super Moderator

    Feb 8, 2005
    fun fact, i argued for a stealth lynch ban *before* blue_light's stupid game was ended. before that i actually was on the beneficial side of stealth lynches. anyone who thinks i'm merely against them because i lost that game is wrong.

    i believe that if you want someone lynched, you should be able to rally people to vote for that person. and on the other side of the coin, if someone wants you lynched, then you should be able to defend yourself by having enough time to cast your own vote and getting allies to vote as well.

    "well just vote earlier if you're afraid of getting stealthed"

    no because i may prefer not to be involved in a lynch at all, and would prefer no lynch at all over a full scale lynch war. especially in anonymous games and multifactions where voting gives away who or what you are early on.

    repeating what i also put in the article: stealth lynches have potential to put all of the focus of a day within a couple of seconds rather than the whole day as a whole. by itself that's bad enough (pretty much it means less mafia is played), but then it also fucks over people who live in a bad timezone, have a busier schedule, etc.

    everything above aside, i believe every host can determine for themselves what kind of ruling they want about stealth lynching, especially expert hosts. if you're not a fan of the ruling they implement, sucks to be you, maybe don't play their game if it's that big of a problem for you? i know i don't like stealth in the games i host but if you do be my guest.

    that said i don't think having unclear deadlines is too great of a defense against it, you can still lynch people while they're asleep and the host can pretty much decide the outcome of a lynch if he feels like it. just use smart judgment.
  12. polelover44


    Dec 14, 2008
    Reviving this topic because of something that came up on Cycle 1 of my current game.

    With 2v1 games becoming obsolete, games generally include factions which can all kill. As a result of this, none of them CONTROLS the lynch, and none of them NEEDS it to survive - which is the reason that stealth lynching is so frowned upon, from what I've seen. In games where there is one large faction that doesn't have a kill and therefore controls the lynch/needs it to survive, stealth lynching should be prevented, as it essentially removes the village's ability to win (which the village does by causing the deaths of the mafias, which they do by lynching them). When Staraptor Call decided to go all fuck tiger on the game, I had already decided to remove all the rules I had in place preventing stealth lynching, for the reasons stated above. Fuck Tiger (or really any other stealth maneuver) requires the user to be around at deadline, and is very, very precise. If any little thing goes wrong, then it doesn't work. SCall posted 10 hours before deadline, and there were another 9 hours before I could get on to bring an intermission and godkill SCall, then another hour or two until I could actually update.

    So no, there shouldn't be a concrete rule against it, really. It should be up to the host's discretion.

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