little wilson

AG7: Aftermath - The Father is Merciful

140 posts in this topic

11 minutes ago, Condensation said:

Even me? Congrats!

Well

Yes, after you said you were a pinch hitter. The only other one was Iguana, and I figured that Chameleon was more likely :P 

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4 minutes ago, Lotus said:

I wanted to give a shout-out to Stink, I really enjoyed your playstyle and it was lots of fun to hang out with you in the dead doc. (:

I'm going to second this as well. @STINK I know you probably don't care, but I'm sorry that people were finding your playstyle annoying or frustrating. I thought it was really clever and really fun.

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*rubs eyes* okay so I was essentially a spectator this game, and didn't pay much attention to it after the first few cycles, so I originally thought I didn't have any opinions about what happened in it. And I guess I don't as to what happened in the game, but as someone whose primary interaction with the game was through the spec doc, I would like to say this:

The problems with this game were just as present in the spec doc as in the game itself. A lot of the doc was devoted to discussions, often heated ones, of the players in the game. Now, the discussions part was normal, but I found some of it problematic for a couple of reasons. 

  • The people in the dead doc were often judging others without looking at things from their perspective, or without having all the information, and they were doing it in a space where the people they were talking about couldn't see the comments or respond to them. That's how dead docs always work, I know, but it was worse than usual this game. That's likely due to the second thing.
  • Probably because of the additional temporary layers of perceived anonymity, people were far harsher than in typical dead docs. I've had some less than kind things said about me in dead docs before; usually they were at least somewhat merited but they still hurt to read, were far stronger than was actually needed to convince me I'd made mistakes, and they still weren't nearly as bad as what I saw in this dead doc.
  • This probably belongs with the previous point, but not only were the critiques harsher, they were more universal. My experience with dead docs is that if I screw up somehow, someone whom it affected strongly will point it out vocally, a few others will agree, and then discussion kinda moves on. That didn't happen here. Everyone had a strong opinion, most of them negative. That's a lot to deal with at the end of a game, and if I were Illwei or Ventyl then reading what was said about me would leave a sour taste in my mouth and I probably would reevaluate the whole game, not just in an "okay I should have done things differently" kind of way but a "why did I play this game in the first place" or an "I don't want to play an AN again" kind of way.
  • Look, saying things in the dead doc for future players to reflect on in the future is all well and good, but it doesn't change anything about what's happening here and now. If there's a serious problem with how someone's playing the game, if the way they're playing is ruining the game for you or anyone else, that should be brought up with them first. Tone doesn't carry over text very well, so it's easy for someone to be joking or just having fun and someone to take it as harsh or insulting or to be hurt by it. And that's not something that should garner the reactions of a. ignoring it or b. voting the person in question off, at least not without first letting them know what's going on and giving them a chance to respond to it. Obviously dead players can't do that, but the GMs, the IM, and the living players can and they should

Some of this has already been said before, but some of it hasn't so I wanted to put it out there. And honestly, after this game I'm not sure I want to play another AN either. I didn't survive past D1 this game, but I can't help wondering what I would have found waiting for me in the dead doc if I had. 

Edited by Quinn0928
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Weasel going in my Joe pile. Out of the Danex pile. Definitely out of the Danex pile.

@Illwei :P

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13 minutes ago, Matrim's Dice said:

Well

Yes, after you said you were a pinch hitter. The only other one was Iguana, and I figured that Chameleon was more likely :P 

Well, I only said that once the game was done... and I assume you wouldn't have gotten it had I not said the part about pinch-hitting.

Sorry. I'll stop.

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Just now, Condensation said:

Well, I only said that once the game was done... and I assume you wouldn't have gotten it had I not said the part about pinch-hitting.

Sorry. I'll stop.

...oh lol I guessed Pearl before you subbed in XD

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3 minutes ago, Quinn0928 said:

...oh lol I guessed Pearl before you subbed in XD

Oh my gosh, that's kind of hilarious.

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1 minute ago, Condensation said:

Oh my gosh, that's kind of hilarious.

I'm psychic!

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17 minutes ago, Quinn0928 said:

*rubs eyes* okay so I was essentially a spectator this game, and didn't pay much attention to it after the first few cycles, so I originally thought I didn't have any opinions about what happened in it. And I guess I don't as to what happened in the game, but as someone whose primary interaction with the game was through the spec doc, I would like to say this:

The problems with this game were just as present in the spec doc as in the game itself. A lot of the doc was devoted to discussions, often heated ones, of the players in the game. Now, the discussions part was normal, but I found some of it problematic for a couple of reasons. 

  • The people in the dead doc were often judging others without looking at things from their perspective, or without having all the information, and they were doing it in a space where the people they were talking about couldn't see the comments or respond to them. That's how dead docs always work, I know, but it was worse than usual this game. That's likely due to the second thing.
  • Probably because of the additional temporary layers of perceived anonymity, people were far harsher than in typical dead docs. I've had some less than kind things said about me in dead docs before; usually they were at least somewhat merited but they still hurt to read, were far stronger than was actually needed to convince me I'd made mistakes, and they still weren't nearly as bad as what I saw in this dead doc.
  • This probably belongs with the previous point, but not only were the critiques harsher, they were more universal. My experience with dead docs is that if I screw up somehow, someone whom it affected strongly will point it out vocally, a few others will agree, and then discussion kinda moves on. That didn't happen here. Everyone had a strong opinion, most of them negative. That's a lot to deal with at the end of a game, and if I were Illwei or Ventyl then reading what was said about me would leave a sour taste in my mouth and I probably would reevaluate the whole game, not just in an "okay I should have done things differently" kind of way but a "why did I play this game in the first place" or an "I don't want to play an AN again" kind of way.
  • Look, saying things in the dead doc for future players to reflect on in the future is all well and good, but it doesn't change anything about what's happening here and now. If there's a serious problem with how someone's playing the game, if the way they're playing is ruining the game for you or anyone else, that should be brought up with them first. Tone doesn't carry over text very well, so it's easy for someone to be joking or just having fun and someone to take it as harsh or insulting or to be hurt by it. And that's not something that should garner the reactions of a. ignoring it or b. voting the person in question off, at least not without first letting them know what's going on and giving them a chance to respond to it. Obviously dead players can't do that, but the GMs, the IM, and the living players can and they should

Some of this has already been said before, but some of it hasn't so I wanted to put it out there. And honestly, after this game I'm not sure I want to play another AN either. I didn't survive past D1 this game, but I can't help wondering what I would have found waiting for me in the dead doc if I had. 

You hit a lot of the things I felt reading through that doc on my first read.

—————————————————————

@little wilson, so wait, are we all able to write things to add to the write-up? Even if we died? If so, I’d like to add some last thoughts from Niru Drash.

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2 minutes ago, Quinn0928 said:

I'm psychic!

Do you mean psycho?

Sorry. Long-standing joke in our family.

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Let's see what I can do from the Champion Point of View.

So, we messed up. A bunch. I had no important role as well as a seon, so I volunteered to be the "PM Guy", forgetting that 1) I'd never been a "PM Guy" in my life, 2) an AG is a very difficult place to start that, 3) seon isn't really that helpful when there's free Prudence PMs and Shadesmar, and 4) I wasn't using mobile at all so I could continue with my normal account. So... my expansion into the PM verse didn't go very well, because I had no idea what to say, so I said nothing.

Then Mauve starts getting suspicion. I had a vote cancel item, and resolved to go to bed and figure it out in the morning, likely not voting but intervening. So, I woke up about 7:45 PST, about an hour and fifteen minutes before the cycle had started at 9:00 AM PST. Then, (mess up 2) of course, I learn the cycle's been closed for 46 minutes, because I didn't notice there was a two hour long rollover. To make matters worse, the vote had been tied, Mauve died, and then I figured out Mauve was Quinn, who I'd really been looking forward to playing with, especially as Elims. So... I felt really guilty about that for a while, enough for me to not really do anything for a few cycles.

And then Gorilla, who Taupe had told us moments before was Invention, PM'd me "I take it you are a Champion". Turns out Taupe had accidentally outed me to Autonomy. Not the worst thing in the world, but all Invention and Survival really needed from us was the identity of two of our member. Autonomy could use our help more because they needed the game to last 9 turns without Ruin intervening, but at that point I at least felt it became much less a negotiation and more a list of demands by Invention, which is why no real info flowed in either direction until the literal last minute. Final terms were I give up another Elim once someone agreed, we not attack Azure Mouse (which proved... yeah), we be non-aggressive between Elims and Neutrals, and allow the Neutrals their votes/actions to complete win cons. In return, we got Neutral support from votes if requested (didn't happen), a Soothing item D2, and a Kill item D4.

Meanwhile, Mouse had gathered all but five of the Shards together to claim, three of those Shards being the ones that the Champions held, all largely without our knowledge. The fact we had Mercy was revealed D2, and Odium couldn't really claim at all. Shadesmar blew up, Mercy moved to me so we would be actually able to Invest with Odium and kill things, I moved from 10 votes to 3 in 12 hours and activated Mercy's Shardic. And the rest is history.

 

So... yeah. I did the Investee kill, I got roleblocked by Shadesmar blowing up, and turns out six of the Shadesmar Eight were provable Shards making me and the two most trusted villagers the three suspects. So, yeah I deserved to die there, and that wasn't really the issue.

But I'm fairly sure if not for the need to re-execute Taupe, I would have just been killed then and there because... everyone just claimed to Kas or Illwei, and from my point of view - as someone not involved in the PM networks, and not just as an Elim - Azure Mouse just managed to narrow a group of nine to a group of essentially two without any thought. Which was quite bad for me, seeing as I was in fact guilty, but also very... confusing.

I did like the fact Kas explained to me what claims he had with a nice spreadsheet, even if I was doomed anyway. But it still feels... I don't know. The fact that most Shards were invincible until Odium's release (contrary to popular belief, we had no kills besides Odium's and the one item from Invention) combined with openness of PMs made it really easy for Shards to claim, and so they did, making the game almost mechanically solvable from N3. Whether that's a problem with the rules of Shard games or a problem with general SE rules I'm not sure, but I feel like more should be done (or done earlier) to involve people or at least explain what was going on behind the scenes.

I'll post a few more thoughts on the various discussions in the dead doc and community interactions, but that's essentially my end. Bewildered old Ash. If anyone would like to explain how PM mastering works, I would love to hear it.

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4 minutes ago, Ashbringer said:

Bewildered old Ash. If anyone would like to explain how PM mastering works, I would love to hear it.

Don’t do it! Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny!

So my two greatest mistakes were poisoning Axolotl (who I tunneled on for several cycles without telling anyone), and then poisoning Gorilla. I hit Gorilla for 3 reasons; I thought they were Claincy and it would be funny, I was miffed that they asked me to roleclaim, and I thought it might give me some leverage if people tried to vote me out. I felt bad about this pretty quickly after it happened, and probably wouldn’t do it again, especially when the whole blackmail thing came out of the bag.

Speaking of which, I voted on Dingo, and after hearing from Ventyl in the doc, wish he’d been able to post in thread before we removed him. But I’ll stand by my vote, because I think the issue was time-sensitive. I also felt bad about voting out a confirmed villager, but was able to satisfy myself by trading my vote for an item from Gorilla in the future. I also was on the losing end of another mechanically solvable shard game (one of the first ones), and I figured the elims would appreciate a bit of a break. It’s unfortunate that the whole thing came about right after we had asked for UP to give us a second vote.

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30 minutes ago, Ashbringer said:

To make matters worse, the vote had been tied, Mauve died, and then I figured out Mauve was Quinn, who I'd really been looking forward to playing with, especially as Elims. So... I felt really guilty about that for a while, enough for me to not really do anything for a few cycles.

Hey, maybe we'll both roll elim in the LG! but that would be my fourth elim game in a row so I also kinda hope not

Edited by Quinn0928
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1 hour ago, StrikerEZ said:

I'm going to second this as well. @STINK I know you probably don't care, but I'm sorry that people were finding your playstyle annoying or frustrating. I thought it was really clever and really fun.

I thought it was fun

Quote

From Roshar and the OC doc: Lion on Roshar is sad that Octopus seems to be almost open-wolfing in their PM. I have not checked said PM to verify this, and they don’t admit to doing this in the OC doc, but Swan is saying that they’re probably going to openwolf D8 in the day so they can get shot at night (not sure why they wouldn’t get killed during the day but whatever).

So at first I was talking, and y'all know me, I tell the truth, so I accidentally said (well, like I typed it but wasn't trying to out myself) I only had one item, so I must have been a Shard, so I gave up on being closed-mouthed at that point. 

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4 minutes ago, Mist said:

So at first I was talking, and y'all know me, I tell the truth, so I accidentally said (well, like I typed it but wasn't trying to out myself) I only had one item, so I must have been a Shard, so I gave up on being closed-mouthed at that point. 

I mean... technically you could have had an item and a role. Though of course if the person you were talking to had scanned you for Investiture they'd know you were lying. But then, they would know you were a Shard anyway at that point : P

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3 hours ago, Matrim's Dice said:

Congrats to the pass winners!!! What will it take for you to give one to me :ph34r: 

I'm happy to say that I managed to guess nearly everyone correct that I attempted to guess (admittedly with help), but the ones I couldn't were Sart, Elandera, Eternum, xino, and Books, I believe. So good job to them for staying anonymous :P 

I don't really have any other thoughts about the other issue than what I said as Axolotl. But I do regret calling out Stink so hard in the beginning of the game.

@Kasimir I really do think we're fated to cage-shuffle-squat at the beginning of every game, anon or not. It's happened every single time :P 

I really feel like we are :P Is this why you got it and were chill when I was paranoid of you this game?

Some thoughts of my own from across the game. As the dead/spec doc commented, I had been planning to take it easy and have a chill, relaxed game. Discovering that I was a Forger/Poisoner was interesting as I noticed some fun synergies between the roles, and had pretty quickly worked out a plan to mass enough charges to die mid-to-end game and take out oh, around half the surviving players with me. Kind of as a throwback to LG12's Desolation of Elantris. (Would I really go through with it? More on that later. But it was a fun goal to work towards anyway.)

These plans went quite decidedly out of the window when @Orlok Tsubodai contacted me D2 about being Invention. (For those who haven't seen the exchange in the dead doc, I had constructed a Vietcong grade tunnel on him, and when he claimed Invention, I was so stunned I could only say a flat, ".........what." And scurried off to get a drink to process this. And then proceeded to start yelling in my GM PM. (I'm sorry Wilson, El. I do that a lot, I know, but it entertained you so whatever :P ) About half an hour (I think? Not gonna get that detailed) to a bit over an hour later, @TJ Shade also claimed Autonomy to me. By this point, I was screaming more in the GM PM as I got the sinking feeling my desire to have a quiet, RPful game, was being yeeted firmly out the window. (Wilson and El confirmed Evil: they were cackling.)

Quote

 

Aaand now Autonomy is also on the verge of claiming to Mouse, who appears to be going mildly insane. Poor Mouse trying to enjoy his low-stress game. :P

I probably did go mildly insane and that explains how I ended up going...IDK, halfway serious for this game. I'm tired, I was juggling a heavy work week, and I don't think I have the energy anymore to go full-out kasyana the way I used to when I was much younger >> Which explains why the promised backreading, post, vote, and link analysis never actually materialised. Not that I think this was a bad thing. I don't want to be bringing that kind of intensity as a game attitude anymore these days.

By mid-D2, these plans to chill and amass poison vials had definitely slalomed out the window when I received a PM from the New Prudence, Illwei. :P (They definitely derailed after someone killed Stink, as I was having so much fun chilling with him.)

1. I'm not sorry about doing mechanical analysis - in a strange bookend, the first and only other game Wilson GMed me in was MR1, and in the dead doc, because I was bored, because Wilson was trolling me intensely, because the dead could still influence the game, and because the faction dead kind of figured we were getting played by the 'Elim' faction, we banded together and pooled our information and did a craptonne of mechanical analysis to figure out what was going on. It's something I'm good at, and as a Villager, if the info is there, there's every reason for me to play to my strengths. (It also was less intensive than link analysis, which was a plus.)

Here's the issues:

Spoiler

 

  • How much should I have known at this point in the game? My usual method is to drop a whole bunch of players PMs to glean reads. I do not ask for, or expect role information ("Only you can stop Seon liars!"), and in this particular game, most of the role information I got came from players talking about other players. (In particular, from Illwei's devastating PM Spider game.) I'm in general agreement with El that the openness of PMs - especially the sharing among the Shadesmar Eight - was a massive power-up for the Village as compared to the Elims at this point of the game. I'm in general agreement with Wilson as well that I should not have been able to get as clear-cut results as I did on D3. Being able to narrow possible Elims to myself, Axl (who I'd read moderately Village) and Rhino was not that good. I think what Maili said was the best way of putting it: the Village should be allowed to piece info together from PMs. Players should not be penalised for being better at the PM game than others - after all, it's a skill. Some players are very good at it (Burnt, Illwei, Wilson.) Others are not (me, probably Araris.) At the same time, if the meta has shifted such that roleclaiming is so permissive, then there's less skill associated with 'being better at the PM game.' Then it becomes about opportunity to engage in the PM game, rather than skill.
     
  • What do I do with this information? More to be said about this later. Several issues, in my view, are entangled together here. First: I don't like outing people. Maili used to do it in some of the games we played (2015 era, I think? Maybe?) and not everyone enjoyed getting outed. Not a judgement on Maili (he used to occupy the extreme end of the PM spectrum, but one of those things that formed my view on the ethics of outing another player like that. Second, which is connected to the first point, it takes a series of games to build a reputation, and one game to destroy it. My reputation has always been built on not outing players unnecessarily (sigh, sorry for the slip TJ... :( ), and keeping my word, even when it gives me difficulty with my wincon. (Wilson knows this :P ) One of the reasons I was hardcore gunning for the neutrals to win was precisely because they approached me D2, and I decided to connect Autonomy to Invention, because why not? They could ally with each other if they wanted to. But more than that, I'd promised to help them with heat from the Village (largely me, I'm afraid :P ) and to not out them unless it was to save their lives. This became an open secret later into the game anyway, but having given my word, I wasn't willing to ignore it. Third, I generally regard roleclaims in PMs as an issue of trust. Which is to say, outing people feels like a breach of trust. Roleclaims can be done as part of a phishing lure, of course, but the basic default presumption is one of trust, which is why it always seems to me to be a violation of trust to out someone. Which is why I don't do it lightly. This became a bigger problem when I needed to actually share information with the thread, because there was always the question of: how much? What is necessary to share, and what counts as a trust violation? And so on. In the end, the compromise I went for was for a desensitised version since it seemed Shardic status was the most important factor.

2. Accurate perception. I have had a major issue with this throughout games. Being able to make an accurate assessment of Axl's threat would've let me realise that a doubletap on Axl was unlikely and figure out that Swan was lying faster. (For those who missed it in the Roshar doc or Elim doc: Axl and Swan happened to comment on two conflicting sets of actions, and I may have low-key made Wilson panic when I asked her to clarify if there was a GM error...) Some of it boils down to what I call textual nunchi, which some players like Wilson are very good at, and some like me are rubbish at. And as I told one or two people, the truth is, in my head, I'm still the fresh rando who just finished wetting himself after a stint as an Elim in Maili's LG5. And since MR1, I've always seen myself as the Village renegade: I don't do trust groups actively, I work parallel to them, or even tangentially. I see my job as being that of catching what trust groups miss because of Elim action and manipulation. (There's one or two cases I took part of the Village lead, but I've generally not wanted to work with groups.)

The key problem was: after all the claiming went down, and after I was in contact with Lion, I stopped being the Village Renegade. That was no longer a role I could continue to play. I don't know. I think what I'm saying is - I know the proactive strategies Wilson and other Village leads or prospective Village leads (even in a multiple Village leads scenario) employ. I think that engagement with other players was partly on me but I was still thinking on Renegade level, which is - PM players, talk to them, get reads. So I either have to learn to update my perceptiveness to better understand the role I'm playing in a game, or to fade back to the shadows if I intend to continue as Village Renegade.

3. Dingogate:

Spoiler
  • I see the main discussion here as being tactical. Which is to say, the immediate discussion is about what should have been done on D6. I don't feel I have much more constructive there to add other than two things: first, I agree with Hael about raising the temperature, but I also feel like the bit about giving Ventyl a chance to explain himself kind of misses the picture. Which was that there was no clear elucidation of the issue - such that escalation was sudden and left both Village and Ventyl with little room to maneuver. In my view, though I'm examining the issue from the perspective of a former uni tutor - you don't go from "yeah Dingo can you not" to "Dingo" all of a sudden. You need a clear red line, and a clear establishing of consequences, and just a clear discussion of the issue. The issue was being framed as one of pragmatics (what should the Village do about the neutrals) when it was one of ethics (what sorts of play should be considered unethical.) There was no clear red line, and no clear sense that the Village would employ other means to stop Ventyl if he did not desist. In other words, we failed at a clearly articulated and consistent red line, and the subsequent escalation took everyone by surprise. For what it's worth, I also agree with Wilson and feel on my part as a returning player that I experienced moral failure by not intervening in a clear way, if only to make my position on the issue clear. (If it's not clear, I'm one of the 'community gotta handle meta, mods should not be doing this for us' school of thought.)
     
  • I think, however, there is a bigger-picture strategic failure, in that we need to ask ourselves how is it we even reached the point of needing an execution on D6. How have we gotten to the point that a player who has been with us for more than a year still thinks blackmail is okay? Where has the community gone wrong in communicating or instilling our values? Do returning players, especially, bear part of this failure, due to our having experienced what happens when these norms are not maintained or defended? How did we get to the point that there were no brakes, no off-ramps, no interventions, nothing except a D6 execution? To put it more bluntly: the execution was not inevitable. It was a deliberate choice on the part of Orlok, who set the stage, and every player, myself included, who voted on Ventyl. But more than that, it is a result of every relevant choice that was made leading to D6, such as my choice to listen to TJ mention the blackmail in our PM but not inquire further, the choice of each player who did not want to make the blackmail issue more explicit, and so on. I agree with Wilson but also Striker and Hael in that we shouldn't just question the decision to force the execution on D6, but the decisions that led to us being landed in that situation in the first place. Ventyl wasn't missing on D5. Had the issue been brought up forcefully during the Ostrich execution, where there wasn't much discussion anyway, Ventyl could have addressed the issue and responded, the way everyone wanted. And so on. 
     
  • Special bullet point to apologise to Striker, for the frustration of having wasted his contribution to the game, and to Ventyl, if only because I understand how frustrating it is to get executed yet again while you're away from the computer.

4. Playstyles:

This one's going to be a doozy. First, solidarity with Stink, because I too experienced playstyle flak during this game. Some of it was well-intentioned, about my RP style being difficult to read. Fair enough: while I have fun RPing, I don't want to make life harder for players who just want to play the game. So I started OOC notes. Some of it was less well-intentioned, and I did not appreciate receiving rather aggressive condescension from players like Iguana/Archer just for having a more PM communication heavy playstyle, particularly when they were doing the same thing themselves. After burning a poison charge on Iguana N2, I was moving to get myself executed D3 and talking to Orlok about that. This would have taken both me and Iguana down, due to certain interesting facts about how poison kills work in this game. (More on this later as well.)

So, specifically on chaotic playstyles and ethics...

Spoiler
  • Ethics, in this context, I read as the should questions. There are a number of things you can do in this game, and sometimes we spend too much time asking ourselves about the pragmatic shoulds ("Should I claim to X? Should I Lurch Y?") and less about the ethical shoulds ("Is it right or appropriate for me to do X?") I could amass charges (well actually I didn't successfully, due to Araris's Investment coming in while I had Valor, and due to there being practically no highstorm raves on Roshar), but should I really mass poison kill half the players in the game, just because I can? 
     
  • There were several points in this game in which I considered a slightly more chaotic choice. In the end, I did not go through with most of them. One was at the start of the game, when I was already planning my mass poison kill plan. The GMs did not discourage me, nor did they encourage me, though I did ask if they'd be okay with it first.
     
  • Another point was when I had slapped down a poison marker on Iguana - initially, out of suspicion, but had grown frustrated and considered taking him down with me D3 and giving the Elims a free kill even after discovering he was Honour. (Incidentally, this was why I had become convinced that Scorp, Ivory, and Lion were clean - because you can't listen to a frustrated player ranting about how they don't care about being the kill switch for Honour and they don't mind dying and not exploit this, particularly when I said flatly, "I don't care if you're Elims right now." Also yeah, Elims - as it turns out, the one player you promised to spare had become the kill switch for Honour. I laughed a bit at the irony... >>) I had made overtures to Orlok on getting me killed D3, but they didn't go through in the end. Once again, I asked the GMs repeatedly if they would be okay with this. I would be - in my own eyes - acting directly against my wincon. They agreed I should expect LG4 kinds of backlash from this. But I didn't go through with it. It felt wrong. It felt like a decision I could not look the Village in the eye for. And at that time, we had the Shadesmar Eight issue, and a chance comment from Dragonfly and Dingo made me realise I happened to be in a position to attack this problem. So I moved onto it.
     
  • A third point was when Orlok approached me and asked me if I'd feed him the information/list of Village Shards so he could make the game more fun again. Let's be clear: I knew Orlok wanted back in. I also knew when he said he'd make it more fun, the information would go to the Elims. I also knew I generally owed Orlok, considered him a friend and fun to play with, and at the same time...I hesitated. I talked to the GMs, and once again, they said this was fine and they would neither encourage nor dissuade me. Knowing what I do of the gamestate now, I can see why they had that reaction. (Seriously guys, is there something I could do that would make you say 'Hol' up a second there, Kas'? >>) But I also talked to Stink because as far as I'm concerned, Stink is hella insightful and based, and Stink helped me figure out why I was uncomfortable with this, and so did Wilson. 
     
  • First, I wasn't sure who it'd promote fun for. I mentioned this in a short random essay at the end of the Roshar doc, but what I was feeling towards, I think, was what Stink pointed out to me when he asked me if I thought any of the other Villagers, particularly those disengaged from the game, had any say in what I was considering doing. If I would be going with their wishes, or against their wishes in handing that information together. I think that's the question that hit me the hardest: did my own team approve? Would they approve? Did I have any business in violating their trust, or handing over information entrusted to me, or even in a more abstract violation of trust, just by deciding I knew better and handing the information over? In the Roshar essay, I quoted from Dark that a choice for something is a choice against something. In this case, I feel like it'd have been the case, as Stink commented in the dead doc. I could choose to do something that would increase Orlok's fun and the Elims' fun, probably decreased the fun of affected Villagers, and left a net neutral to those Villagers who weren't involved anyway. I don't think one option was obviously superior to the other: I just wanted to point out that the question of fun was not straightforward to me, and I felt deeply conflicted about what the right and ethical course of action would have been. Someone would've been screwed over either way I chose. I eventually told Wilson I was not comfortable with having to make this decision, or surrendering the information, at which point she recommended I simply tell Orlok that.
     
  • This isn't a condemnation of Burnt or Orlok. This is me explaining the factors behind my decision. I think QF50 and AG7 have shown us that ethical shoulds are just as important. I'm trying to explain, as a result, my decision-making process, or at least my thought process behind the choices I did not make in this game. 
     
  • The last key decision point, in my view, was C6, when the Roshar Eight decided to play for a neutral win as well. It seemed right: we had a decent idea that we would win either way, but we could help Ellie to win with us. Talking to Invention, I discovered that Invention, too, needed an extra Turn. Of course we could try to end the game that Night (we wouldn't have succeeded, but as far as we knew, we believed we would have.) But what was one more Turn, really? At that juncture, Mist had been more or less an outed Elim in her PM with Illwei. And I personally felt obligated, both to Orlok and to TJ, given the help they had extended me, to ensure our factions could win together. Roshar agreed with me - but then there were sticky issues. Alb wasn't as thrilled. Did we roleblock Alb? If we didn't and Alb vigkilled Mist, we might need to sacrifice a Villager to the execution the next day, just to make sure the game ended on schedule. After having executed Ventyl, we were not interested in further Villager executions. And as Devotary pointed out, any attempt to roleblock Alb would be us deciding we knew better than Alb. Did we have the right to do that? It seemed iffy, us stopping a Villager from fulfilling our wincon. Alb could feel rightfully resentful about it as we were supposed to be on the same team. (I'll note here El feels differently about the roleblock and so do I, but I'm reflecting the consensus on Roshar then.) And to complicate matters, TJ had claimed to be carrying Odium. We knew he intended to make a night kill.
     
  • First, we eventually decided we could not roleblock TJ or Alb. Ultimately, our many clever solutions, including hinting strongly to TJ that he should roleblock Alb, were not especially different. it came down to the fact that we were overruling Alb - we had no right or mandate to do this. (Technically, as 8 of the surviving players, we did, but it was still iffy.) The first thing we did, therefore, was to take the issue to the thread. We hoped the thread would agree with us, but we did not feel right running it any other way. Moreover, we had considered redirecting TJ. Here's the issue: you are a Villager, NKed because the Village wanted to extend the game an extra day or longer to try to win with the neutrals. Would you be - to some extent - rightfully upset? I think so. I think they could have perceived us as staking them out for the kill just so the neutrals - the very neutral who had killed them! - could win with us. I think they could feel betrayed. I did not see how this could end well, given the drama that was already in this game. So much for ending the game on a good note. At the same time, TJ had started to think I was looking for the Village win and I tried to explain my position to him. Eventually, we decided we had to trust TJ when he said he was standing down, just as we had to trust Alb when he said he was standing down.
     
  • Truces and trusts are rare in SE in this sort of sense, because it often takes one faction to defect to screw things up. We were very aware that if Mist was struck down that night, things would go astray. Similarly, that the Village might feel hoodwinked or resentful if they learned TJ was briefly Odium and had killed. While we had asked Bard, a Lifeless Operator, if he would be willing to take the execution if need be, it left a bad taste in my mouth. The only reason we were in the position of needing a Villager to go willingly to the execution (and vigkill the last elims N7) was because we were insistent on winning with the neutrals. As one of the more vocal people pushing for this collective win, it did not feel right asking someone to take the consequences of that decision on my behalf. It was my call, and I had one of the less important powers for this stage of the game. Which meant I needed to take the execution. So I said that we should execute me, if not Vulture. Since I knew I was a Villager, this at least meant we would not risk ending the game early. (I had forgotten the Elims did not want the game ended early anyway - Mist had told us that they wanted the neutrals to win, which meant the fact I wasn't facing pushback meant Bard taking the execution would not have created a problem.) I'm relieved that the truce worked. As Illwei notes in the Roshar doc, it didn't in QF46. Someone defected. I'm relieved that Alb stood down, and so did TJ. I think it would have taken one hasty shot to unravel that truce. And I had withheld knowledge of TJ's Odious status from the Village in the process because I judged it would have only increased the temperature, especially when TJ had not openly struck against the Village yet.
     
  • In short, I stand by what I said in that conversation with Wilson, but also in my post in the Meta - SE is a social deduction game. Emphasis social. We do not play alone, with simulacra, or with words on a screen. We play with people. With friends. With the Levinasian Other. People can have their feelings hurt. No one should feel obligated to change their playstyle just because people tell them to. But at the same time, we have to be mindful that our words and actions affect others. We have to be mindful we exist as part of a community of others. I have drifted in and out of SE, and I don't ever feel I truly belong here. Part of me is still the random snarkastic dude who signed up for QF1, and then backed out due to illness, and then LG5 :P Many of my friends are gone now. But SE has been a good part of my life, and when I change myself, or look at my decisions, I try to think about safeguarding what matters to me. And that's what I've got - had? - here. No one forced me to change my playstyle or to flag OOC notes. But I noticed people were struggling, and it wasn't a difficult accomodation to make. So I did it. I've been reckless in my time here, and have hurt many players. In this game, Striker and Ventyl. I feel especially bad about Striker, because he's a good friend, and one of the few I have left, and one of those I wouldn't willingly hurt, but I did. I've apologised, where I'd had to, and then tried to learn, because we go forward, and Dalinar is right about the next step being the most important one. What I'm saying is that ultimately, at the end of it - protect yourself. As my philosophy professor, a wise woman who specialised in Levinas quoted to me:
    Quote

    "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?" - Hillel

    She doesn't specialise in Jewish philosophy so she understands it specifically through a Levinasian lens. And as the student, I have followed my teacher. We must be for ourselves. If we don't defend the right of a player to play the way they want, and to have fun, what is the point of it? But if we exist only for ourselves, if we fail to consider what impacts we might have on others, then we are no better off.

    If not now, when?

Other side thoughts: someone please post, I have wrap-up RP I want to get to :P Thank you for the pass nominations, as I genuinely did not expect to win one. Also, @TJ Shade and I have officially smashed the Gears-Quinn PM record in this game. The new longest one-on-one PM began D2 with a Shadesmar PM that was blessed by Prudence and reached 1277 messages. Thanks, Dark bro. I enjoyed our discussions immensely :) 

Edit: Apologies @Orlok Tsubodai - I felt bad about not being able to offer the support you asked for, but I'm glad you found a villager willing to do so. I apologise for not being able to be as strong an ally as hoped for. And @Ashbringer - I actually felt so bad about not being able to help Orlok out I told him that I'd understand if he rescinded the deal on my protection because it didn't feel right to me I was going in on you guys but you guys were restricted from attacking me... But I admit I'm also surprised you all agreed in the first place, considering I wasn't very subtle about hiding my identity.

Edited by Kasimir
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39 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Stink is hella insightful and based

good post

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3 hours ago, Quinn0928 said:

*rubs eyes* okay so I was essentially a spectator this game, and didn't pay much attention to it after the first few cycles, so I originally thought I didn't have any opinions about what happened in it. And I guess I don't as to what happened in the game, but as someone whose primary interaction with the game was through the spec doc, I would like to say this:

The problems with this game were just as present in the spec doc as in the game itself. A lot of the doc was devoted to discussions, often heated ones, of the players in the game. Now, the discussions part was normal, but I found some of it problematic for a couple of reasons. 

  • The people in the dead doc were often judging others without looking at things from their perspective, or without having all the information, and they were doing it in a space where the people they were talking about couldn't see the comments or respond to them. That's how dead docs always work, I know, but it was worse than usual this game. That's likely due to the second thing.
  • Probably because of the additional temporary layers of perceived anonymity, people were far harsher than in typical dead docs. I've had some less than kind things said about me in dead docs before; usually they were at least somewhat merited but they still hurt to read, were far stronger than was actually needed to convince me I'd made mistakes, and they still weren't nearly as bad as what I saw in this dead doc.
  • This probably belongs with the previous point, but not only were the critiques harsher, they were more universal. My experience with dead docs is that if I screw up somehow, someone whom it affected strongly will point it out vocally, a few others will agree, and then discussion kinda moves on. That didn't happen here. Everyone had a strong opinion, most of them negative. That's a lot to deal with at the end of a game, and if I were Illwei or Ventyl then reading what was said about me would leave a sour taste in my mouth and I probably would reevaluate the whole game, not just in an "okay I should have done things differently" kind of way but a "why did I play this game in the first place" or an "I don't want to play an AN again" kind of way.
  • Look, saying things in the dead doc for future players to reflect on in the future is all well and good, but it doesn't change anything about what's happening here and now. If there's a serious problem with how someone's playing the game, if the way they're playing is ruining the game for you or anyone else, that should be brought up with them first. Tone doesn't carry over text very well, so it's easy for someone to be joking or just having fun and someone to take it as harsh or insulting or to be hurt by it. And that's not something that should garner the reactions of a. ignoring it or b. voting the person in question off, at least not without first letting them know what's going on and giving them a chance to respond to it. Obviously dead players can't do that, but the GMs, the IM, and the living players can and they should

Some of this has already been said before, but some of it hasn't so I wanted to put it out there. And honestly, after this game I'm not sure I want to play another AN either. I didn't survive past D1 this game, but I can't help wondering what I would have found waiting for me in the dead doc if I had. 

If I agreed about anything in the doc that was incorrect or rude, I apologize. In my defense, I rarely actually read the game, so my thoughts were typically based around whatever Illwei or others in the doc told me. However that's still on me. So I'm sorry if I said/agreed with anything wrong/hurtful.

I think this is good to bring up. I also think the dead doc was overly harsh on certain players... Illwei and Dingo specifically (probably a couple others, but the focus was on them)... I think in a developing/changing community, it is rather unfair to have people completely turn on you when you were never given the knowledge or chance to change... This is why, in the doc, I proposed a very specific method of grievance handling. Now, I don't care if we as a community adopt the one I put out or not, but I think it's important to have one. And this should be addressed as a community discussion. For a long time we've relied on protest votes to do this. Should we make protest voting an official thing we are expected to do, get rid of them entirely, or have a combination? We should discuss that. (I'm for a combo, but I don't get a vote).

I think this is very good to mention again, because while advocating for people to go against harmful playstyles and language, we in the spec doc often times engaged in the very thing we were advocating against. I will add though (since the doc is long) there was a point towards the end when the doc turned to solutions. I think in general I agree with you about this doc. But the really important thing for anyone who cares about SE to do, is read the solution conversation. We talked about GM/IM involvement, what constitutes a harmful playstyle, about whether or not GMs can ever be truly impartial, and whether or not they are able to make calls on what is harmful and what isn't. Our discussion is useful, but hopefully it gets us started in a greater SE-wide conversation where we can figure out what rules we need as a community to keep this a fun atmosphere welcoming to new and old players, as well as deciding what is the GMs/IMs responsibilities in these games. Because that was definitely a problem.

I think if we were in a community where GMs/IMs felt they could step in, Dingo and Lion both would have gotten warnings from the GMs/IMs, and then the whole issue would have been solved, as Dingo said they'd have stopped, and Illwei would have explained what they were going for and would have altered how they approach PMs... And very little would have been said about them in the dead doc.

EDIT: Specifically by SE-wide discussion I mean it should happen in meta thread, as this game will fade but that wont.

Edited by Furamirionind
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@A Joe in the Bush You might find these exchanges from the mega Roshar Doc funny :P (I'm assuming you're the Joe in question. =P)

Quote

I am a trustworthy person and you should tell me everything about your PMs. Why of course! This doesn’t raise any red flags at all! =) thats a joe style smiley. 

Quote

 I wonder if Weasel is Striker… pafo =P  another Joe style emoticon :thonk: oe? Definitely not Striker :P Weasel going in my Joe pile.

Quote

You or Os sound like decent Joe guesses.

Oh huh ostrich? Huh. huh. I see that.  Plus, the defenestration. 

Me, pretending I know who Joe is: Yes, definitely. *narrows eyes* My biggest thought with joe rn is the “=P” “=)” which I’ve only seen joe use, and it’s not a...lot of evidence.

Quote

 

You’re still alive meaning ur australian time or whatnot ur staying in my Hael pile. or...I guess you could be Bard as well. ....or...anyone with a terrible sleep schedule. *winks* Your terrible sleep schedule at least technically makes sense. I mean, depends on my time zone doesn’t it? *narrows eyes* no you’re not gonna pull a Tj on me ur Joe you can’t fake me out you can’t make me double guess myself like this no. 

I’m debating between continuing saying that I have no idea who Joe is and going and researching Joe so that I can intentionally act like him. 

No no no you can’t say things like that no no no. I will not second guess. 

Quote

ɢᴏᴛ ᴀɴʏ ꜱᴏɴɢ ʀᴇᴄᴏᴍᴍᴇɴᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴꜱ?

*narrows eyes*

>>

Hey, I do got some song recommendations! How about! We all hop in a vc call! Yeah! 100% legal! And the-

ʏᴏᴜ ꜱᴜʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴡᴏɴ’ᴛ ᴊᴜꜱᴛ ꜱᴜɢɢᴇꜱᴛ ᴀɴʏ ᴍᴜꜱɪᴄ ʜᴇʀᴇ? What type of music you listen to? I recommend anything with bagpipes. >>

I recommend *insert joe’s favorite music here*

See why would Joe know...why would joe know quinn enough to think he could Identify her? Why would joe know Fadran jumping in everywhere?...idk, you’re the one that thinks I’m Joe XD

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Yeah, I am the one to think you’re joe. But I don’t know- I don’t think- hm. You’re staying in my joe pile. If that’s what you think :eyes: *glares* << 

No see you said you’re on mobile all the time why- why would- joe wouldn’t- so- (sigh)

I am having way too much fun. Too much fun tormenting me? Sounds like a Joe thing -_- :thonk:  oh absolutely. Sounds exactly like him. Or me. 

ᴀɴʏᴡᴀʏ, ᴊᴏᴇ’ꜱ ᴀɴ ᴇᴀꜱʏ ᴄʟᴀɪᴍ. ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ɪꜱ ᴊᴏᴇ.

Quote

No you- no you don’t get to say things like that. No. 

ʟɪᴋᴇ ɪ ꜱᴀɪᴅ. ᴡᴇ’ʀᴇ ᴀʟʟ ᴊᴏᴇ.

I should find Joe after this is over, apparently we are very similar. ._. In Emoticons at least.

Quote

 

Which shards died this cycle again?

ᴠᴀʟᴏʀ, ᴄᴜʟᴛɪᴠᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, ʜᴏɴᴏʀ. ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴀᴛᴇʀ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ʀᴇᴍᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴇɴᴛɪʀᴇʟʏ.

Sigh. no u in honor. Sigh. (hah yall thought I was about to talk about the game you be wrong)

Yep, Valour, Cultivautuioin, and Huouounour died.

Ɪᴛ ɪꜱ ᴊᴏᴇ! 

-_-. I will not be bamboozled no more not here now now not any day good sir you are joe and this green guy agrees with me.

Well this Joe guy seems like a rather fine Ol chap.  Of course you’d say that :P. :hypereyes:

I really just want the game to be over now so I can laugh at you when it’s revealed I’m not Joe. XD

>> this is supposed to be some sort of gaslighting huh well I won’t stand for it! Would you like a chair then? I will not sit for it, either!

I’m trying to think if there is any way I could prove that I’m not Joe, but at this point you’re tunneling so hard I don’t think there is. Hrmmmmmmmmmmm

I almost wish I actually was Joe, because then these would be some mad gaslighting tactics. Embrace the Joe.

Quote

No, I’m Joe remember? :P Aghhhh who r u

Things I know about the weasel:

  • Gets on late night PST

  • Uses = in emojis for eyes

  • Knows Quinn

  • Knows Illwei

  • Is devilishly handsome ah yes. How could I forget. <_<

  • Knows Ventyl

  • Apparently doesn’t know kas???? This isn’t actually weird considering how infrequently Kas plays. But kas exists and other people know them Does he though. :eyes:

  • Knows Striker

  • Pretending to know Danex Isn’t it Dannex? See that’s how i know u fake fan. He changed his name recently AHA YOU FELL FOR IT. Now I know that you knew that. Oh no. yes. I definitely did just fall for your trap. :P

  • Leaves a lot

  • doesn’t know who i am. Didn’t I think you were Quinn pretending to be Illwei? I think I’m thinking you’re just actually Illwei now… Dude, I didn’t immediately know who you were either...ofc ofc but that helps me know who ppl are? Like ofc you’re not gonna know who I am I mean I haven’t played much with you, so it lets me know it’s someone that I don’t play with much idk idk. Like, Axl or Gecko or whatnot. Not everyone as in everyone, but everyone as in anyone who has played enough w/ me, so- idk. Can’t figure out someone who won’t let me ;-;

  • Claims to be completely on mobile. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Furamirionind said:

meta thread, as this game will fade but that wont.

*thinks in "unpinned"*

4 minutes ago, Dannex said:

@A Joe in the Bush You might find these exchanges from the mega Roshar Doc funny :P (I'm assuming you're the Joe in question. =P)

I have never seen you use those emojis before!!! but the main thing thinking Danex was because mobile :P.

also WOW someone is reading the Roshar doc???????? :0

Edited by Illwei
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Just now, Illwei said:

*thinks in "unpinned"*

Well, even with it being unpinned, it's easy to remember to look there vs. a specific game the discussion happened in.... But yeah...

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48 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Some of it was less well-intentioned, and I did not appreciate receiving rather aggressive condescension from players like Iguana/Archer just for having a more PM communication heavy playstyle, particularly when they were doing the same thing themselves. 

I said my initial thoughts in the dead doc, and others have analyzed the game better than I could already, so I'll just respond to this comment.

In this game I hooked up with Ruin and Valor through the Shadesmar and spent two days or so pretty much just talking to them making a plan to lure Odium into trying to kill Ruin while Valor was protecting them. (Odium, why didn't you take a shot at Dingo, it would have been so good...) I also ended up talking to NuPru, but beyond that, my PM game was pretty shallow. What I had done however was PM everyone on Shadesmar D2 when I was there, which created the impression that I was a PM Spider. At the time I was fishing for notes, opinions, thoughts, whatever I could analyze. What my PMs got me throughout the game ended up being either role claims or nothing of substance. Anyway, back to D2, Mouse/Kas and I had this PM conversation:

Spoiler

Mouse: I know who the three neutrals are, as do one or two Villagers, though we'd agreed to keep it quiet for the moment. I also know the Elims know who the neutrals are. / But that seems to imply that if you don't know who the neutrals are and are looking for Autonomy, you're either putting up a show, which is kinda pointless since not all Villagers know the Elims know, or you are a Villager genuinely looking for Autonomy.

Iguana: The only ways you could know the elims know who the neutrals are is if the neutrals told everyone who they are, or if Gecko somehow found out. Otherwise knowing they know would be contingent on you knowing who an Elim is, right? / I'm trying to gather information without asking too many questions. I'd rather people stonewall me and everyone else. Once you start expanding your circles of trust, it gets dicey fast. I am concerned about the implications of what you are telling me.

Mouse: Which implications? / I'm info-gathering as well. I've tended to stonewall in the past (single-digit, < LG20, but have developed a different playstyle and approach since then.) As you are a marginally higher trust, I've decided to briefly mention my grounds for this revised trust. That being said, if you do suspicious things, naturally I will revise that judgement again. / I'm not interested in telling you anything that could be seriously exploited against the Village at this point on the offchance I'm wrong about you, but if you're an Elim, none of this is news to you, so.

Iguana: The biggest implications are that people are being careless with their info and the neutrals are playing both sides, and will likely be successful in doing it. Both concern me. I appreciate your trust, but I am naturally suspicious of anyone with a lot of information. You're either playing the game well, are an Elim, or both. 

Mouse: I don't really see how the latter can be stopped, without deciding to play hardball. Also, hard to say people are being careless with their info, if the primary people doing so are neutrals, or if it pertains to neutrals.

Let me get this straight though. You're going around to a lot of people, PMing them, as you hit up almost everyone in Shadesmar last cycle, probing for thoughts and information. Ideally, if your strategy works, you would have: a lot of information, and you would also be relying on people being careless rather than stonewalling you in PMs or ignoring the PMs outright. / Are you a Villager then? Should I take the fact you are in fact seeking to glean and put information together, such as via interaction with Gorilla, as a sign of suspicion? Villagers gotta solve the game. Elims do have more info and that should rightfully be regarded with suspicion. / But kinda rich to pull that strat and then also tell me about PM safety and Villagers not collecting information.

Iguana: I am a villager. And I am gathering information at a decent rate. As I am aware of the risks of trusting heresay and confirming information people present themselves as already knowing when they in fact do not, I am wary. And I intend to stay that way for the time being. 

Mouse: I appreciate your wariness. And you're a villager in my estimation and from what I hear. But you're also a sanctimonious hypocrite seeking excuses to exempt yourself from the very same strategies you sneer at everyone else for. / And I don't really care about having called you on it. I'm gonna work around you. That's all. We're done here.  

At the time I took the emotional response as an indicator of OC alignment, and was pleased I'd gotten a solid lead that I proceeded to tunnel until everyone doing reads said that Mouse is village. Kas, I should have apologized earlier for making you upset, but I'll do it now. In hindsight, my comments were based on an incomplete understanding of how PMs are supposed to be used, how neutral factions interact in the game with others, and how you got your information. (You made some very good reads and breakdowns in the game... too good to be unaided by an elim doc or bluffs, I thought). I apologize. I did not mean to be condescending or abrasive to your playstyle. I also apologize more generally for saying people were being careless. 

Thanks to the GMs. You did good. 

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58 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

And @Ashbringer - I actually felt so bad about not being able to help Orlok out I told him that I'd understand if he rescinded the deal on my protection because it didn't feel right to me I was going in on you guys but you guys were restricted from attacking me... But I admit I'm also surprised you all agreed in the first place, considering I wasn't very subtle about hiding my identity.

Well 1) I had absolutely no idea who you were as I've only played the Ashyn game with you, and 2) at the time I actually wanted to keep you alive because you were my best PM buddy... until you exposed me and Joe. By that point we had bigger problems. And 3)... I didn't really think I could afford to refuse Orlok. We were about to be down two members, and we needed a way to get at Honor. Which does make it ironic but we didn't know that :P

 

And... if you have information that leads to an Elim, 95% of the time that info should find its way to the thread. I'm more worried at how quickly that information flowed, which I think is more a mechanics issue than a people issue.

 

4 minutes ago, Archer said:

In this game I hooked up with Ruin and Valor through the Shadesmar and spent two days or so pretty much just talking to them making a plan to lure Odium into trying to kill Ruin while Valor was protecting them. (Odium, why didn't you take a shot at Dingo, it would have been so good...)

I think we tried to kill Ruin and mis-guessed... although I was rather worried that hitting Valor was a possibility. That's where Lamentation originated, actually: me potentially getting exed for the Shadesmar kerfuffle after Odium hit Valor and passed the Shard to me, the turn after I had gotten Mercy...

 

 

On a separate note: @Dannex! @Haelbarde! I've heard a rumor that the Splintered Shard of Ambition is not incredibly tied down to either of you. Would you be interested in donating it to Lamentation's cause?

I have Honorblades...

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1 hour ago, Dannex said:

@A Joe in the Bush You might find these exchanges from the mega Roshar Doc funny :P (I'm assuming you're the Joe in question. =P)

 

Hahahaha, Everyone is Joe! Those are all quite amusing to read. Thanks!

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Big post incoming. Surprise. :P

Responses, first:

22 hours ago, Gears said:

I'm sure everyone knows my identity since it was revealed to the nexus core [maybe I shouldn't have looked for Bubbles...] but for now, I shall abstain. This was really fun, and thanks to the Game Masters [who I wanted to refer to by another name, but we must remain anonymous, obviously] for running this. It was much less broken than I feared and more exciting than I expected. More relevant thoughts will have to wait for the identity reveal, since my only critiques relate to a core part of my identity, but this game was splendid.

If this was less broken than you expected, you had very low expectations indeed. :P

21 hours ago, Quinn0928 said:

I think it's more that anonymity wasn't maintained among the newest generation of players (myself included). I guessed who several people were right off the bat because I've played with them a lot recently.

Also. I had a guess for Connie. I assumed she'd be playing, since she usually does. I'm... not sure if I was right though XD

It was not just a new player thing. :P Kas/Burnt/Hael knew each other, several people called Joe correctly, and Araris was fairly obvious from the moment he said he didn't want PMs.

13 hours ago, Araris Valerian said:

I do think that being too open with roles PMs can put pressure on the rules/role distribution of a game (which seems to have happened in this game, to some extent). This is possibly a tragedy of the commons situation, where it is fun individually to roleclaim, but if everyone does it, some games start to break. The topic of PMs in general probably deserves a well-thought post in the Meta thread, where I'd be very interested to hear some of the newer players' opinions on them in general. Or perhaps a Google poll like Kas did about what players are looking for in a game.

So, this is somewhat true, but in my mind the way to fix this is a game balance issue, not a player issue. If people want to claim all the time, that's fine! Everyone enjoys that - it's not something harmful, in my opinion. So the fix for games like these, where mechanical analysis is so powerful, is to limit PMs. More on this later, probably.

3 hours ago, Gears said:

Thanks for the pass. I haven't the slightest idea how I'll be using it considering that I've never actually had an idea to run, let along a non-Sanderson idea. Oh well, I'm sure that I'll think of something eventually. 

Now, game thoughts: I think that Survival, as it stands, does not have sufficient opposition. No one wanted me dead. If I wanted, I could have claimed D1, asked for an Investiture scan to confirm my alignment, and then been left alone for the rest of the game. Kas mentioned that in a rerun, there would be no factions, and I think that would help, but there needs to be a reason for my death. Either a win-con that demands it [and makes it more desirable than just killing other people], a bonus for doing it [A temp extra life? A bonus to village/relevant faction? A change in game state?], or something. As it was, I lost interest in the game fairly rapidly, especially since I knew the necessary elims right away. [Thanks Gecko/Lotus for telling me your Autonomy suspects and removing Rhino from the list. That made it fairly obvious. [Reasoning as follows: Only way to narrow candidates down that much was worlds. Must have leak on Taldain. Rhino not on list, elim!Rhino, Autonomy!Elephant.] This is not a criticism of anyone's behavior. Merely a note.] This interest drop is mostly my fault, since I could have chatted people up in the docs or something, but I think I would have remained more engaged if I'd had something to do. Survival had no actions and could not be acted upon, and while I understand why, it was just... boring. Once I voted on the requisite people, I was done. Nothing to do, no reason to act except to vote and stay alive. I was basically a vanilla with extra lives. My [probably terrible] ideas: Give Survival some enemies and [maybe] some actions [they can be as weak as you please].

You don't have to use passes on your own games, you know. :P There are passes that have been sitting around for years - I'd highly encourage everyone to make more non-Sanderson games, and there's pretty good odds someone will have a pass for it!

The funny thing to me is, this is with the changes we made to Survival. :P I agree - Survival has a very hard time staying invested in the game. But in most of the past Shard games, Survival's win condition was literally just "survive". Which is... even worse. I like the addition we made of voting on both teams this game, though that became moot for you very early on when you got in contact with the neutrals and the neutrals had contact with the elims so you didn't have to do any work to figure out who to vote on. But I think you're right that we need more there. And, in particular, the 'survival cannot be targeted by non-kill actions' is something that we ported over from previous games and we shouldn't have kept that bit.

All that aside - ideas would be appreciated, here! If anyone has thoughts on different win conditions for Survival, why anyone would want to kill them, or investment/etc actions that Survival could have, please share.

2 hours ago, Quinn0928 said:

 

  • This probably belongs with the previous point, but not only were the critiques harsher, they were more universal. My experience with dead docs is that if I screw up somehow, someone whom it affected strongly will point it out vocally, a few others will agree, and then discussion kinda moves on. That didn't happen here. Everyone had a strong opinion, most of them negative. That's a lot to deal with at the end of a game, and if I were Illwei or Ventyl then reading what was said about me would leave a sour taste in my mouth and I probably would reevaluate the whole game, not just in an "okay I should have done things differently" kind of way but a "why did I play this game in the first place" or an "I don't want to play an AN again" kind of way.

I think this is a good point, and something I'll be watching for in future docs. It reminds me a lot of when someone is doing something mildly annoying and not harmful (see, in particular, Coda and TGK in LG64) - the problem was that everyone said they didn't really like the thing but it was fine, and all of those voices added up felt like a lot harsher criticism than anyone ever intended.

2 hours ago, Ventyl said:

 

@little wilson, so wait, are we all able to write things to add to the write-up? Even if we died? If so, I’d like to add some last thoughts from Niru Drash.

 

We can certainly edit stuff into the writeup, but you're also perfectly welcome to just add your part of the story here in thread.

2 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

I did like the fact Kas explained to me what claims he had with a nice spreadsheet, even if I was doomed anyway. But it still feels... I don't know. The fact that most Shards were invincible until Odium's release (contrary to popular belief, we had no kills besides Odium's and the one item from Invention) combined with openness of PMs made it really easy for Shards to claim, and so they did, making the game almost mechanically solvable from N3. Whether that's a problem with the rules of Shard games or a problem with general SE rules I'm not sure, but I feel like more should be done (or done earlier) to involve people or at least explain what was going on behind the scenes.

I think you've summarized the mechanical breaks in this game pretty well right there. Which leads into...

PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS 1 - THE BIG STUFF

Problem 1: Odium/Honor. This is something we realized early on was a serious problem for the elims, and is one of the (several) reasons they fared poorly this game. The elims had a lot of vote manipulation, but no kill outside Odium's powers and no way to find Honor. And so everyone avoided the Rosharan system like the plague, and Odium had 1-2 people to choose from, total. This is, obviously, not great.
Solution: Confine Honor to Roshar. This is also, conveniently, the problem with the simplest solution - make sure Honor can't leave the Rosharan system, and the dynamics of the game change dramatically. People flock to Roshar to provide cover for Honor, Odium always has a chance to hit them, and everything makes much more sense.

Problem 2: Open PMs. Very open PMs. As Araris mentioned earlier, if too much information gets passed around and collected, games start to break. That's more true the more complicated a game is, in general. There are a couple other things that made this game even worse for it (Shards being so easy to prove and only being able to invest in the relatively small number of non-Shards), too. Essentially, it comes down to action tracking. The suspect pool at end game was narrowed down to so few people because only those people could have put in a particular kill - if not for that mechanical analysis, I expect Devotary would've been pretty solidly village trust, and was probably at the top of that pool as it was. But when you've got five people and the ability to coordinate roleblocks and scans, there's only so much you can do. This is something we saw even before Prudence was re-made, with Shadesmar D2. I looked at the PMs going around there and already I could tell 'this is a problem, the elims are going to go down if this keeps up' because mechanical analysis is so powerful in this game. And then NuPru came along, when we'd been planning for a Prudence more like Elandera's and hadn't expected one that just granted practically everything. And things broke. :P And that's not a problem player-side - I personally love mechanical analysis and love complex games for that reason. But the fact that it was so easy in this game is a balance problem.
Solution: Very limited PMs. Now, I don't know exactly how limited. This game was so one-sided because none of the elims got in the PM game and there were some very strong village PMers, and so they didn't have a chance to muck up any of the analysis. But even so, I wouldn't want to give the option for PMs to be this open again. I personally might go as far as taking out Shadesmar and Prudence's Shardic, honestly, but there are ways to limit it that would probably work. (Specifically, you get one on-world and one off-world PM on Shadesmar, and Prudence can only open X PMs per cycle / they're temporary / maybe has less choice over which of the requested ones to open?) Just don't leave it the way it is.

Problem 3: Too few non-Shards and too much provability. There were 11 non-Shards starting the game, vs 16 Shards. That ratio is, shall we say, non-ideal - and while we did make ways for the Shards to pass out of the game, that wasn't a guarantee and maybe half the time the Shard stays in. Which lowers the pool of non-Shards even further. This is a problem because it's annoying for the Shards involved, but it's a particular problem because it makes Odium's investee much easier to track down. The second half, the provability, is that claims were very, very easy to prove for almost every Shard.
Solution: Fewer shards, scans, and distinctiveness. Wilson already addressed this in part - have fewer scans, make the investiture actions less unique, and give less information to the receiving player (ie you don't know which Shard invested in you, you just see the effect). I think we should probably do that, but think about going further as well - maybe investments work on anyone, including other Shards, so that the mechanical analysis can't just be split into two categories re: kills anymore. Straw suggested taking away investiture actions altogether, and while I don't think we should do that (since those are specifically designed to make non-Shards feel important/useful, which was a big problem in LG10), but... I don't know. This one might take a fairly substantial game redesign to address properly, is what I'm saying.

 

PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS 2 - THE LITTLE STUFF

There were a lot of smaller balance problems this game. I'm going to list out as many of them as I can remember down below, for the benefit of future GMs, but there will be more that I'm forgetting. If you were affected by something like this, please mention it so it can get fixed if this is rerun!

  • Autonomy and Ruin are both very easily found because they have to take their actions on the planet where they currently are. In Autonomy's case, I'd recommend just letting them target any planet they want; this could also work for Ruin but consider other options. One is treat it kind of like Mountainous Arson, in that you can tag planets and then have a finite number of times where you blow up everything you've tagged.
  • There's some funky rulings around Mercy's redirect and Shard passing that aren't internally consistent. Shard passing more general could use a look - maybe have it so that someone holding two Shards can use neither until one is gone? Also, probably make it so that you can't choose which player gets the Shard you drop - it goes to the last successful investee ala death.
  • Survival, as mentioned above. Take away the no-targeting thing, but ideally also give some actions / reason for engagement with the game. Currently surviving isn't difficult because no one wants to kill them.
  • Cultivation being temporary, as Wilson mentioned. I'm particularly concerned about a potential Cultivation/Valor synergy that could be very bad for the elims. (Making Valor unable to be unsplintered might also be a good idea.)
  • Preservation's investment action either shouldn't be able to target the same player on consecutive cycles or can't target during the day. The current situation makes their investment basically a more powerful Mercy, which thankfully wasn't taken advantage of but is definitely a break.
  • Autonomy should be able to roleblock during the day, probably. Everyone else can.
  • Possibly take away Whimsy's Forger role. That's a bit powerful. (Especially if there's a Forger currently dead.)
  • Devotion's investment and Roshar's ability should be switched. Currently Roshar recharges all items and Devotion recharges one, which makes Devotion a lot less powerful than Roshar. That's not great.
  • This isn't a change based on brokenness so much as simplification, but we're probably going to take out charges for minor roles. As is, they feel very similar to items.
  • It's partly because of how free PMs were that the neutrals had such an easy time, but I think there's still room for improvement on their win-cons to make them a little more engaged in the game. (See also 'half neutrals' below.)

 

BIG ALTERATIONS

There are several ideas we've thought up throughout this game that would make really cool/interesting games! Those are distinct enough from the current ruleset that it'd essentially be creating and balancing a whole new game, which is why I'm listing them separately, but I think they're very cool.

  • All Shards no vanilla - A MR or LG that's capped to 16 players, so everyone gets to be a Shard and you don't have to worry about all the non-Shard issues. You'd be able to simplify the current rules significantly (maybe take out investment actions, maybe take out roles and only have items, etc.
  • Half neutrals - I personally really like this one, though I'm not sure how exactly it'd shake out. Essentially, have a lot more neutral Shards (I know we were thinking Whimsy and Ruin would be great neutrals in particular), but also give them a faction alignment. So they can win by filling their personal win condition or the group's. (Or make them have to do both? I'm not sure which would do better - the complicating factor to all of this is how faction game ethics/norms aren't really well-set and drama tends to ensue.) This would make for an awful lot less "just claim to both sides and work with them" at least, which I'd prefer.
  • SE D&D part II - Run a Shard game like LG49! I noticed in this game that there were a lot of people who wanted to just do chaos and felt constrained by their win conditions. So give people a playground in which to just have fun with Shards and their friends. Two caveats to this: 1) LG49 was hell to run, and 2) it'd have to be much more built out than LG49 was at the game's start. Wilson and Orlok and I managed, because we've run a lot of games between us and are good at balance, but I wouldn't want to it again, and wouldn't trust most people with that kind of responsibility. But hey, it could be really fun!

Oh, and because I don't really know where to put it, I also think that Shard games shouldn't be anonymous, most complex games should avoid being anonymous unless it's important to the fundamental structure of the game, and AGs need to be the standard LG1 ruleset from now on. Shard games can happen some other time.

 

Okay, so I wanted to end with the good stuff but 1) this is really long and 2) I've got to do other stuff, so I'll end here for the moment. :P See you all later, and please remember to add any small breaks you found! 

 

 

 

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