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DrakeMarshall last won the day on February 28 2018

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About DrakeMarshall

  • Birthday 09/03/1998

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  1. Yeah, agreed. I mean, we've both said it before I think designing a game with some assumed number of players in mind is something to be avoided where possible. Although uh. I definitely do it sometimes. It creates more issues than just the illusory volume thing. But enough about that. I-- I don't want to duel Meta Nalthis Huh. That's an interesting thought. I hadn't really considered it. Anti-hammering seems pretty doable if you're okay with having variable-length cycles... Just say that the day can't end if the majority train shifted in the last X hours. Doing it with fixed-length cycles (which are preferable in a number of ways) seems... Slightly harder. Oh, here's an idea maybe. What if you ruled that votes have to be spaced out? All voting has a cooldown. You cannot cast a vote if anyone else has voted in the last 10 minutes. To prevent it from getting tedious, let's just rule that it's actually perfectly fine to post a vote less than 10 minutes after somebody else voted. Your vote will still be counted normally, unless the day ends before the 10 minute window expires. If multiple people are "in line" to have their vote counted, the order their votes is processed is decided randomly, and each one incurs a new 10 minute cooldown. To prevent silly exploits, let's also rule that if one player has multiple votes, you just throw out all the ones but their most recent. Because that's the only one that matters anyway, and people shouldn't be able to DoS other people's votes. With the pacing of most cycles, this is not even a noticeable restriction. You won't ever have to think about it if there are multiple hours left in the day, no matter how much voting activity is happening. It only really affects things if you're trying to do a lot of coordinated votes and you're very close to EoD. Of course, this applies equally to last minute village flash trains as it does to last minute elim coordinated hammers, so there's that to keep in mind. I wish it were simpler and more intuitive, but I think it maybe does what you want? Can you see any problems with this
  2. I’m not sure. There are definitely things that you can’t do if you keep adding players. I definitely noticed it was getting hard to meaningfully read and engage with every other player in the most recent AG due to how many players there were (…at the beginning at least, coincidentally the only part I was around for, but regardless). And something like a 100-player game just sounds unplayable. Going down to the other extreme of really small games, it seems like you get more opportunities to focus on and engage with the fewer players you have. Which is a pretty good segue into the next question, because if the game ends too soon, then you don’t really have the full opportunity to take advantage of that. If the paradigm for progress & winning is based on player deaths, and the rate of deaths is fixed, then small games will be shorter. I see no way around this. Therefore, if you want longer games, there are basically two categories of ways to do that. You can either adjust the rate of deaths or change up the paradigm so that player deaths aren't the de-facto measure of progress & victory. Adjust the rate of deaths. The low-hanging fruit here is that we can and sometimes should probably avoid having there be a bunch of extra kills flying around in small games. Including tertiary kills (ie coinshots, serial killers, etc) above and beyond the standard execution+NK duo found in most games is a Choice, and one you can reasonably just say “no” to. Beyond that, we could take a more proactive approach to fundamentally lower the rate of deaths below the traditional level of 2/cycle. A naive solution might be to give everyone an extra life. I think this is obviously quite a bad solution, and I will duel pistols at dawn with anyone who seriously thinks it’s a good one. I would find it very frustrating. Functionally speaking, it would just make everything in the game happen twice as slowly. However, on further examination and soul-searching, I don’t think the problem with “give everyone an extra life” is actually that it makes the game slower. I don’t think I actually fundamentally have any beef with it taking longer for players to die. The problem with the idea is really that it’s entirely fricking boring and unimaginative, and utterly devoid of interesting tactical or strategical implications. Other than slowing things down, it changes nothing about how you play the game. The optimal approach is literally just, grit your teeth and kill each person twice, rarely-if-ever deviating or turning aside once you’ve committed to killing someone. To put it another way, my issue with “give everyone an extra life” isn’t that it slows down the game, it’s that it JUST slows down the game. That’s it. It doesn’t do anything else, it doesn’t add anything, it doesn’t increase the number of meaningful decisions you get to make over the course of the game. It’s incredibly lazy. If you’re going to stretch a game out to twice as long as it was, you’d better double the amount of content and strategy and meat in your game as well, or else the pacing is going to be shot to hell. <shameless advertisement>As an example of one approach to lowering the rate of deaths in a way that’s actually interesting, I’d like to talk about my Reckoners game. One of the fundamental premises of the game is that many of the players are high epics that possess prime invincibilities, making them very hard to kill. There’s quite a bit of diversity in how different invincibility powers work, ranging from “you always die without any flip and then reincarnate a cycle later“ to “you control two accounts, and cannot be harmed unless both accounts are tapped at the same time” to “everyone around you is subject to a compulsion preventing them from deliberately taking hostile action against you.” The rate at which players die in my Reckoners game is likely going to be noticeably less than average, due to all these crazy powers. But of course, it’s not impossible to kill high epics. Each of these powers has logical drawbacks and potential blind spots. On top of that, each epic has a weakness that makes them completely vulnerable. What this means in practice is that if you try to kill someone and it doesn’t work, well then you did it wrong. It’s a puzzle you need to solve, and one that likely requires you to make social deductions and educated guesses about other players. If you’re clever enough, you can take down a high epic on your first try with no backup, and on the other hand if you turn your brain off and just try to brute force everything, you are going to be less effective. Compare this to the “everyone’s a thug” game where if you fail to kill someone, the only conclusion is “oh well, guess I need to do that exact same thing again.” I would argue that the difference is night and day.</shameless advertisement> Here’s another random thought. I have no earthly idea how this would work, but I bet there’s some kind of interesting SE game premise where each player controls multiple pieces, and a player isn't necessarily knocked out from just losing one of their pieces. Coup is a social deduction game that more or less achieves exactly that, if any of you folks have played it. Of course, Coup is also a free-for-all game, whereas I’d want to try something that preserves the V/E uninformed majority vs. informed minority dynamic common in SE. Another option here, which is pure sleight-of-hand but arguably still pretty effective, is to have mechanics that allow players that have been killed to keep participating somehow. Kas seems to be a fan of this angle, given LG92 or the last BT. Letting dead players keep participating probably won’t make a game actually any longer, but it might still feel longer, because your experience of the game won’t be cut short by dying. The thing is, I would contend that making the game feel longer and more substantial is honestly mostly just as good as making it actually longer. Change up the paradigm so that player deaths aren't the de-facto measure of progress & victory. Imo, this very loosely means imitating games like Avalon or SH. These types of games are still about figuring out who is trustworthy and who is a traitor, but progress is measured by something other than “killing people on the enemy team.” Because of this, you have more flexibility with how long you want the game to last, and smaller games don’t necessarily need to end quickly. I honestly think there’s a lot of depth to these kinds of setups and that they probably haven’t been explored very fully. For that matter, I really don’t believe Avalon/SH is the pinnacle of what games of this type could do. I would be remiss if I didn’t reference Fifth’s Alice in Wonderland game. The game was actually three short-form games in a trench coat, and… It worked. It was pretty great! Imo, that was because each of the three minigames was fresh and creative and really fun and not particularly because the overarching point system was intrinsically very engaging… but it didn’t need to be. This is a practical example of a game where death wasn’t the final measure of progress, and this allowed it to subvert the usual game length constraints. Here's another angle of approach. While the time loop in the BT Kas and I ran was still basically a game where winning was contingent on player deaths (for the village, there was a specific villain that needed to die -- all other deaths got reset, but the loop was still structured around killing and flipping players, with the goal of killing the correct one), one could conceive of other time loop games that don’t work exactly like that. The only hard requirement in a time loop game is that there has to be some way to break the loop and end the game, but nobody says that it has to involve killing someone. If you had a time loop game with a different objective, then there’s no reason it couldn’t last as long as you wanted. The trick of course is coming up with an objective that’s interesting and fun in practice. Conclusion At the end of the day, the real challenge isn’t contriving a way to make the game last longer. The real challenge is making sure players actually have something to do with the extra time. To these ends, I think it’s worth asking, how much hidden information is there for players to find in your game? Information asymmetry is what makes SE tick. It’s what makes any social deduction game tick. I think a valid way of defining the “small player count” problem is actually just that small population games have fewer role/alignment slots, and thus there’s fundamentally less information, less stuff for players to figure out and solve. This is why “give everyone an extra life” simply falls flat in addressing the problem, because it doesn’t change how much information there is to figure out. If you’re going to write a game that runs for a long time with a smaller number of players, you need to address the fact that small games tend to suffer a deficit of hidden role/alignment information. You need to make up for the lack by adding back hidden information in some way, shape, or form. Maybe that’s adding crunchy epic power interactions and secret weaknesses. Maybe that’s breaking the game down into minigames and giving each minigame a separate and fresh distro. Certainly there are other ways to do it that I haven’t covered or even thought of! But I’m quite certain there always has to be something. The kick in the teeth, of course, is that all of this is actual work. The standard formula that works for bigger SE games is well-explored and well-liked, it can be used as a starting point with relatively little effort and yields good results. It’s a genuinely good thing and it’s easy to take for granted how convenient it is, until you try to do something new. P.S. To clarify, I am not saying that I hate Thugs. I think games with 1-2 Thugs can create interesting tradeoffs and tactics, where the Thug is incentivized to be baity and draw more attention from the opposing team. But if everyone’s a Thug then no one is, and you don’t even get any of those juicy tactical considerations. ...Anyways, all 4 of your questions were quite good, but I'm tired and that's enough talk from me someone else can share their thoughts on the last 2 questions ig.
  3. everyone is schrodinger's cat they are in a state of uncertainty most of the time, even if they get attacked or the like, except when you specifically check whether or not a player is alive, then you either get a flip and they are dead for reals or you don't and they're still alive
  4. surely not knowing your own role is sufficiently cruel and unusual even I'm not so deranged as to make a setup like the one you're describing smh this is libel and calumny and all manner of unproven and baseless accusation
  5. hehe wouldn't it be funny if there was a game where you didn't know your own role
  6. It's that time of year, huh? Well, why stop voting for @Amanuensis now I know he'll probably refuse but that's no reason not to have the nomination. @Ashbringer @Sart @JNV if any of you feel like it, have nominations as well. The more the merrier. Anyone else I thought of off the top of my head has already received at least one nomination.
  7. Well, sorry for going after you hard Aman I did my best I uh, tend to swing pretty hard during LyLo. I do think you got pretty unlucky there. My options were that you were evil (a priori a 25% chance that anyone in particular is evil, although actually more realistically sitting at 50% at the time due to existing village flips plus knowing my own alignment -- personal credences can bend this probability up or down absolutely, but it's a good ballpark estimate of the rough neighborhood those credences should typically live around) or that multiple totally independent and pretty weird things happened (only 1 death N1, Kas dying, a priori either one of those two on its own seems significantly less than 25% likely, and when you multiply the two together, this v!Aman world looks even less likely). In fact, the second one was the correct explanation: skimming the elim doc, it seems the elims hit TJ and redirected JNV without particularly intending the consequences of making it seem like there was no N1 elim kill or making Kas vulnerable that night. That happens sometimes. The "most probable answer" isn't always the right one merely the most probable Alas, I don't have voodoo magic and space faeries to divine people's alignments only the more grisly post-mortem kind of divination, so when it begins to look rather overwhelmingly likely that e!Aman, I vote Aman with rather overwhelming prejudice Am I saying the elims didn't deserve the win? Nah, not at all Winning is half creating promising opportunities for lucky breaks to happen and half capitalizing on those lucky breaks when they do happen It's a fair and deserved win if ever there was one. And I'm pleased to see some strong plays from the newer players. GG folks. The stockpile mechanic was fun. The lack of spore explosions was somewhat surprising, but in retrospect, not actually very surprising. It's fundamentally not that different from how breaching Shards worked in LG95, and if we could never seem to manage to all grab the same charges when we were literally trying to in that game, it'd be truly depraved if we started doing it when this game where we were supposed to avoid it Thus we have come full circle and successfully repurposed a deficiency into a skill
  8. Bro what am I supposed to do with that If you're village, then it's clear you've already given up. If you're evil, then this vote is just really quite performative. Either way, you're not giving me much to reconsider Bro you were literally talking smack about Aeoryi self-voting D1 why would you do this if you cared about the village Edit: Anyways @Aeternum @RoyalBeeMage @JNV @The Bald Brandon @Hairybarron I apologize for the call-out but this is a wee reminder that none of you have voted thus far. So that we're all on the same page, these are some facts as I understand them. The elims probably win and end the game if they successfully execute a villager today. There are several ways they can try to achieve this, but one of them is that they can potentially execute a villager by all suddenly voting or changing their votes onto a villager at the last second of the day, giving us no chance to respond if the village votes aren't already strong enough at that point to outweigh them. Not all elim teams are actually able to pull this type of thing off, due to time zones and more generally just life happening preventing people from all getting online at the same time, but it also isn't that rare an occurence. There are probably 3 elims. Do what you want with that information This is my third and final post of the turn so you probably won't be hearing much more from me anyways.
  9. sigh. Amanuensis is evil. Evidence: Kas should not have died. As JNV has already admitted, they were supposed to protect Kas last night. Killing Kas should have been impossible without first addressing this. Could the elims hypothetically have gotten lucky and just randomly blocked JNV, which just happened to make their intended kill target vulnerable? Sure, that's hypothetically possible. Is it likely? Heck no! I don't think anyone has so many spare spore charges to burn that they would randomly interfere with JNV, who hasn't posted much, especially when there are alternatives like trying to interfere with the Crimson Spore shot tonight, and especially since it wasn't common knowledge that JNV started with a Roseite Spore. Anyways, JNV is just one of many players and it's just a lot of coincidence required for the elims to have hit the right target on accident. Therefore, it's much simpler to assert that the elims probably knew that JNV was protecting Kas. To the best of my knowledge, the only people who knew this and could've interfered with it were me, Aman, and JNV themselves. It wasn't me. Furthermore, I really don't think e!JNV kills Kas here: as best as I can tell JNV is literally always reluctant to kill Kas, and they especially had no reason to do it in this game where Kas was actively village reading and defending them. Add to the pile that JNV's reaction over Kas' death feels genuine. Add to the pile that the space faeries told Kas that JNV is village I really don't see how e!JNV works here. As far as I can tell, that leaves Aman being evil as the only plausible option, unless you want to vote for me. There should have been an elim kill on N1. Let's clear the air about something real quick: I didn't kill TJ. Aman didn't kill Raven. It's the other way around. I killed Raven. Aman killed TJ. On D2, Aman privately claimed to both me and Kas to have attacked TJ with a Crimson Spore he started with. And on N3, I attacked Raven with the Crimson Spore I obtained publicly from the stockpile. Why did we lie about this? Why did I claim Aman's kill? 1) So nobody would think to redirect me when I actually used my Crimson Spore and 2) because Aman wasn't claiming it publicly for some reason (Kas found it suspicious at the time tbhhh), and we kinda needed someone to claim it for the thread to make a lick of sense at that moment, so I just did it. Anyways, the lie is no longer useful to the village, hence why I've explained the truth. "Drake this is all very interesting and skillfully conveyed," you might reasonably say, "but why does it even matter? TJ and Raven are both dead," you cry, "who cares how it happened?" Well I'm glad you asked Let me explain why it's actually important: Aman could have lied about starting with a Crimson Spore. He could have killed TJ with the elim kill and only said he used a Crimson Spore that he happened to start with. This would be a bit strange, but it's honestly less strange than any of the other possibilities at this point, because at least it explains why there was apparently no elim kill: there was one, and Aman is just a liar. It's still extremely difficult to explain where the elim kill went if this isn't true. Want to theorize that the elim kill was somehow blocked? That looks pretty much impossible at this point, because nobody's claimed to have blocked it, and now that Aeternum weighed in on taking a Zephyr we know for sure that TJ can't have acted the night he died either. Want to theorize that the elims missed a kill? That's also looking very dubious, because Raven was village, and how many plausible "forgetful elim teams" are even left without Raven? We also have to rule out TBB from any proposed "forgetful elim team", I think. If you go back and reread the N1 thread, he literally posted a reminder to submit your actions less than an hour before the turn closed. I think it just plain doesn't work to assert that he made that post less than an hour before the turn ended and then forgot to have an elim kill. So who's even left? With each person we rule out, the theory looks less and less likely. Again, we are left with Aman being evil as increasingly the only plausible-seeming option. ...I'll also throw in that this isn't just my thoughts. Kas had a similar line of thinking, and identified <Drake, Aman> as the prime suspects for people who might deliberately use the elim kill on TJ, in the world where the elims didn't miss the kill accidentally (and as previously stated, it's looking more and more like that's the world we live in). And, well, it wasn't me If you think it was me, well, that's actually way harder to explain, because Aman still claimed to have shot TJ. If I'm evil, it requires that a somewhat unlikely coincidence happened where I happened to NK the same person Aman vig killed. Whereas if Aman is evil, no coincidence is necessary. Up to you I guess, but I think that's pretty convincing, personally Aman's votes and pushes have been bad. Sure, this is quite probably the point Aman will object most stringently to regardless of his alignment, but sorry bro I'm still gonna say it, because it does reflect on the verdict of your alignment Aman's D1 and N1 look bad: Judging by his claim to have vig killed TJ N1, v!Aman strongly suspected TJ. However, even though TJ was the second-most-voted person during D1, Aman was content not to vote for them, and instead allow someone he professed he thought was village to get executed. While I can sympathize with feeling put out by how the D1 discussion was going (true for anyone of any alignment, I suppose), I really cannot sympathize with not just voting for TJ if you were literally suspicious enough of TJ to vig kill him the next night and meanwhile had v!Aeoryi credences. It doesn't make sense. Maybe Aman developed much more intense TJ suspicions during N1, but I've seen no evidence of that thus far... and any explanation given now would be a little too late. If Aman were village and sincere in suspecting TJ enough to vig kill him, I feel like there would have been no reason not to vote TJ. Aman's D2 looks bad: As the day went on I didn't really love the Faerie push and I was vocal about giving reasons why I thought Faerie was potentially readable as village. Sure, the Faerie push wasn't all dirty (Kas, at least, was definitely village), but I'd be a bit surprised if it was all clean. Villagers push other villagers all the time, yes, but elims still do it more frequently still. I don't think the Faerie execution was good, and Aman's reasons for voting Faerie whilst understandable had nothing to do with Faerie's alignment. Aman's own method of reading people is based on seeing evidence that they are putting in effort to solve the game, and there is fundamentally not much evidence of effort to solve here. Aman's N2 looks bad: It would seem that Aman's favored targets for the N2 Crimson Spore shot were TBB and Raven. We know how Raven turned out, which to be fair is mostly on me. But I also don't really think TBB would have been a hit [edit: reconsidering this particular point...]. Again, sometimes villagers get it wrong, but elims do it more, and a strong read of any player is based not only on one or two big pieces of evidence but also on the accumulation of small reasons to trust and distrust tipping the balance. Aman's D3 looks bad: Simply put, the village is in a pretty unfortunate spot right now If we get today's vote wrong, we are all super dead, unless Hairy turns out to be an elim, in which case we're only probably dead For that matter, if Hairy is village, then we only have the votes to tie against the elims and get a coin toss, and only then if the village stands completely united against the elims, so yeah not great. This is the time and place to bring some urgency to bear, in my opinion. And I think if Aman were village, he would be feeling that. I feel it, even if I'm still abiding by my self-imposed 3-post-per-turn limit. It looks to me like JNV does. But Aman just doesn't feel urgent today. He's suggested an elim team but I'm not sensing any strong commitment or much effort put towards figuring out if his proposed elim team is the correct one or not. I think this is one of the most universal tells for finding eliminators in the final stretch of any game. [Edit: It is also generally Not A Great Sign that while Aman has apparently little investment in solving in the thread, he has been lobbying me hard in PMs today trying to throw shade on a whole host of other players. The agenda I see there is FUD, not game-solving.] Aman could have blocked JNV. Aman grabbed a Verdant Spore N1. This places him in a PoE with everyone else who had the ability to block JNV. This is a rather large PoE, so it's not exactly conclusive in of itself, but it's worth noting. Unless you want to commit to the prospect of e!JNV (which I've already given reasons against), there has to be at least one elim with access to a Verdant or Zephyr spore. I'll note that if push comes to shove, I'm pretty sure I could mechanically prove that I physically could not have interfered with JNV's actions. It remains that Aman is the intersection between "players who knew JNV was protecting Kas" and "players who had the mechanical power to block JNV" and that the elims certainly interfered with JNV's action. Means, motive, and opportunity are all present. The starting spore distribution implicates Aman. Arguments based on distro should always be taken with a grain of salt, I think, but they still exist for a reason, and I think we have enough of a grasp of the larger picture of the distro to make conclusions. Supposing for a moment that everyone's telling the truth about what they started with, this is what I have: Roseite (2) - Aeoryi, JNV Crimson (1) - Amanuensis Midnight (1) - Raven Sunlight (3) - Drake, TJ, Kasimir Zephyr (2) - RoyalBeeMage, Faerie Braids ??? (3) - Hairybarron, TBB, Aeternum There are multiple angles we can approach this from: We know that Raven started with a Midnight Spore. Kas pointed out that the village starting with both a Midnight Spore and a Crimson Spore is somewhat powerful, and while I didn't entirely agree with his reasoning there's still truth in the assertion. Especially in a setup where any player can gain powers (such setups typically tend to be a bit village-favoring, I think), it would be a little odd to give the village such a good starting spread of Spores. Raven was definitely village, so if one of them was lying and/or evil, it'd have to be Aman. We know that two players claimed to have started with Roseite Spores. Aeoryi and JNV. We know that Aeoryi was village, so like with explaining Kas' death, this pits Aman against JNV. If they aren't both telling the truth, then one of them is probably evil. Whereas if they are both telling the truth, then it is still the case that one of them is probably evil, since it makes sense that the kill and the protect would be positioned on different teams. Giving opposing teams opposing abilities so that they counterbalance each other is solid design. Is that enough reasons? ...If Aman is in fact evil, Aeternum and RoyalBeeMage are both decent candidates for evil teammates, although I'll note that if they're both evil teammates that's bad news cuz in that case we're probably done for cuz that means Hairybarron is village and inactive and rn we need every vote we can get. [Edit: TBB is also definitely in the running as a possible elim. Because he said he was going to do a Midnight scan last night, but today has shown very little interest in either sharing that supposed result or catching the elims today. At face value, it certainly looks like the point of that claim was to avoid getting killed last night, not to actually give the village any information. TBB being evil probably makes sense both in the case that Aman is evil and in the case that he isn't, but I still think Aman is the safest vote vis a vis definitely executing an evil person today. In retrospect, TBB is probably a more plausible evil teammate than Royal. For reasons that I will hold my peace about, it is hard for me to believe that evil Royal would claim to have tried to redirect Aman to Kas. Aman and TBB are likely an elim team. If we're lucky, the third is Hairy. If we're unlucky, then the third is probably Aeternum and the elims will probably just outvote us.] Anyways that's my final answer, vote for who you want me mateys but one way or another today will be decisive o7
  10. Everyone it is my opinion that vig shots are sacred if the heavens wanted us to vote on them they'd have give us another exe instead of a vig shot this is a fancy way of saying idk tbh Bro you use too many words it make my head hurt boil your soup! it's a good exercise and internal consistency check~
  11. Ahoy me pirate mateys, please be advised that I'm grabbing Zephyr tonight! This explanation is accurate, but in case you want a shorter one: A "flip" is the official reveal of a player's alignment when they die. When we talk about "flipping" someone, we are talking about killing them. Aye, full sail ahead and broadside the enemy! Don't hoard consumables, death is just around the corner!
  12. I would do what I want cuz a pirate is free. I would stun them with immense panache. I would kill everyone. This is the way. Tomorrow is the day to do or die (3v5), if we make the very reasonable assumption that there are 3 Deadrunners. I'd consider cooking up some kind of gambit to frame someone and secure a misexecution tomorrow, except I'm pretty sure there are people alive who should expect it of me. Anyways, if I were a Deadrunner, then I'd feel my team would be doing rather well at the moment, because I don't appear to be suspected by many, and the late vote swing onto a villager just gave me a terribly convenient reason to push Royal tomorrow (who is presumably an innocent villager in an evil!Drake world, because otherwise why would I have tried to get them executed?). Of course, I'm not a Deadrunner, just a normal pirate, yarr. What an interesting hypothetical! I was gonna make this joke I'm inclined towards the latter being the case, but that isn't necessarily exclusive with it also being the former.
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