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Somberbrero
Feb 14, 2009

The Pit Awaits


EccoRaven posted:

There are two different kinds of balance. The first is what you mention - the odds of one team winning over another - but the second is how much order there is to the game. If a game has too many power roles and too much "stuff" happening, the game becomes unbalanced because the mod has no idea how things are going to play out. You mention that things could have happened really badly for the town and the scum, but that's exactly part of the problem. If things go badly for the scum, it should be because the town was so unified and good at scumhunting (which includes power roles and night actions), and vice versa for towns going belly up. Too many roles just make things way too chaotic.

Well, your assessment is correct but your conclusion is subjective. Each power action you create in a game increases the amount of variance, with differing amounts dependent on the kind of action. Personally yes, I am a fan of Mafia where the majority of the play happens during the day phase. However, the day phase informs the night phase. You seem to be saying that as well, so I'm not sure how you get to your conclusion that too many roles make games dysfunctional. I've run several 'role madness' games and role heavy games that were well received.

Mafia with more than two main teams is always going to be tricky and everyone's favorite. However, I think Exakt's implementation was thoughtful and fair.

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Asiina
Apr 26, 2011

No going back


Grimey Drawer

EccoRaven posted:

There are two different kinds of balance. The first is what you mention - the odds of one team winning over another - but the second is how much order there is to the game. If a game has too many power roles and too much "stuff" happening, the game becomes unbalanced because the mod has no idea how things are going to play out. You mention that things could have happened really badly for the town and the scum, but that's exactly part of the problem. If things go badly for the scum, it should be because the town was so unified and good at scumhunting (which includes power roles and night actions), and vice versa for towns going belly up. Too many roles just make things way too chaotic.

Disagree. I think it's fine for the mod to not know exactly how it's going to go. Town and scum are always going to do their own thing, and sometimes that's completely contrary to what you had planned, which I think is really interesting.

EccoRaven posted:

It's also a little rude for Asiina to bring my own modding history into question.

I think you're misunderstanding here. I'm not criticizing you. You're known for pushing a lot of standard mafia boundaries to the point where people say "well normally I wouldn't think that's possible, but this is an ecco game." I think your games are a lot of fun because the elements are usually quite different from standard. Telling Exakt to reel it in when you're known for not doing so and for making fun (if not traditionally "balanced") games is bizarre to me and definitely worthy of an ironicat.

EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now



You're thinking my problem with it was night vs. day; my problem was too much stuff, too many separate mechanics that conflict (what happened with Chic and the vampires, for instance).

You also bring up a good point - a game can be unbalanced (or even crazybroken) and still be fun. I'm not in any way saying he didn't make a fun game. I'm saying the game wasn't balanced.

Of course someone might say "well then if people still have fun what's the point of balance?" which is a philosophical question not really suited for this place right now.

Somberbrero
Feb 14, 2009

The Pit Awaits


I'm still not clear as to what you're saying, sorry. You seem to be arguing from a perspective of mechanical eloquence rather than game design. To me, if all factions have an equal chance of winning, that's a fair and balanced game. Is there another example of conflicting mechanics you can point to?

I didn't run the game so I can't say that there weren't things I wouldn't have done differently. I do agree that Chic leaving was surprising and was probably not a decision I would have made. I do think that the conversion timing was a little awkward and maybe should have been tied with Roleblocking as a first priority action, but that introduces other problems. I do stand by my setup assessment though. I think traditional Fire & Ice setups drastically favor the scum and this was a pretty good attempt to improve upon them.

Asiina
Apr 26, 2011

No going back


Grimey Drawer

I brought up the more general balance discussion in the discussion thread, cause I think it's interesting and worthy of....discussion.

fiery_valkyrie
Mar 26, 2003

I'm proud of you, Bender. Sure, you lost. You lost bad. But the important thing is I beat up someone who hurt my feelings in high school.

Rarity posted:

I wasn't sure if you'd realised you'd win if you chose my side but I didn't wanna be too pushy by telling you.

Let's run off into the sunset, wolf buddy

e: Wolf Doc

I can't believe you killed me N1. I thought we were friends.

Abyssal Squid
Jul 23, 2003



This was a really fun game, but man did things go crazy. That's probably part of what made it so fun!

I do think that the weird scum setup really biased the game against town (although there was a ton of awful town play) because not only was there a ton of weird stuff going on, but nobody knew what to make of it and it sent us down false trails over and over again. I think it could work again, but town's ignorance of basic setup facts worked to make a lot of people look a lot scummier than they would have in a normal game.

Also, what the hell did I do on Day 2 that made me seem townie enough for both sum teams to try to take me out? D:

Abyssal Squid
Jul 23, 2003



Oh and when I say that hiding the nature of the scum teams biased the game against town, I still think the overall balance of the game was pretty pro-town considering how many mistakes we'd made and how close town came to winning anyway, but it also led to a lot of those mistakes, like seeing so many power roles and going "jhmm that seems like a lot of power roles they're probs scum."

Also sorry Ecco for thinking you were clearly scum from the start, I felt pretty smug when you flipped scum on Night 2, and then that smugness melted away into embarrassment when it became clear that you were a recruit. :{}

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

Excuse me, I'm a gamer!!




fiery_valkyrie posted:

I can't believe you killed me N1. I thought we were friends.

There's no way I would have got to the end if we hadn't!*

EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now


Somberbrero posted:

To me, if all factions have an equal chance of winning, that's a fair and balanced game.

Imagine a game's mechanics as a set of scales. You're going to want to make sure that the "scum" side of the scale is equal to the "town" side - that's a balanced game, a game where each side's chances of winning are player-neutral equal, where nothing in the setup itself favors one side or another. To do so, you're going to want to take many different pebbles of different sizes and weights and try to get just the right combination on each scale.

Then imagine, rather than placing pebbles, you just grabbed a handful and threw them at the scales and hoped for the best.

That's the problem. That both sides had an equal chance of being completely destroyed through no fault of their own / essentially random chance doesn't make it balanced. It makes it fair, I suppose, in a weird use of the word fair, because who knows where the pebbles will land. But it doesn't make it balanced.

I'm not disagreeing that the first level of balancing is making sure every side has an equal chance of winning - obviously that's the case. But if you make a game that's too busy, you as a moderator have no idea what's going to happen to it. If your game is too chaotic, you can't have a balanced game from a design perspective.

I also really, really don't think the town had a reasonable chance to win this game, but that's beside the point.

Retro Futurist
Aug 8, 2007

Yesterday's Tomorrow,
Today!


And if we played this game in a vacuum that would be a good way to run things.

EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now


The way a game actually plays out will often be different than a moderator expects. Players will behave in ways that the moderator never imagined, or do things that are fun for them but not advancing their alignment, etc., and those choices may affect how much a side has a chance at winning. Likewise, there are always circumstances and happenings in games: town might randomly vote off scum day 1 and then another scum dies night 1 while the scumkill gets redirected from a player who the cop confirms is town and a watcher saw the whole thing, and scum are pretty much hosed before day 2 even begins.

These things happen in a game, it's stupid to have to even acknowledge it in this conversation. But if they happen, it's because of the players and their decisions - not because a moderator weighed the scales poorly (or didn't bother weighing the scales at all).

I'm wondering why there's such resistance to this idea - there were two cults, and the town knew nothing about them! Why are we even pretending like I'm the bad guy for pointing out that maybe this isn't a balanced game?

ShadowGlass
Nov 13, 2012



Btw VampDoc here.

You can witness my mini meltdown on D5 . I don't know if it's a general first game experience, but the game was a bit too intense for me. Not sure if that's the right word, but I was like stressed out about the game sometimes, and kept thinking about it while I should have been working and stuff.

ShadowGlass
Nov 13, 2012



Abyssal Squid posted:

Also, what the hell did I do on Day 2 that made me seem townie enough for both sum teams to try to take me out? D:
You were actually scummy, that's why we tried to kill you . Your scumminess also made you a less likely target for recruitment by the other team. They obviously had a different opinion about you

EXAKT Science
Aug 14, 2012

8 on the Kinsey scale


ShadowGlass posted:

You were actually scummy, that's why we tried to kill you . Your scumminess also made you a less likely target for recruitment by the other team. They obviously had a different opinion about you

I hope that you play more. You were pretty lurky, but did alright for yourself anyway. Please don't judge mafia just based on this game. Did you have fun?

Abyssal Squid
Jul 23, 2003



Okay yeah, I saw that once you posted the vampire doc :{} It was just weird to have found out I was the negated target.

EXAKT Science
Aug 14, 2012

8 on the Kinsey scale


Ecco, I very much respect what you have to say about balance. I did appreciate what you had to say from your perspective, and I admit that not informing everyone about the cults was a misstep on my part. I do that when I run it in person, and it's a very important piece of information.

I'm very sorry if the lack of balance contributed to your not enjoying the game. I was honestly more concerned about constructing a narrative than delivering a balanced play experience, but it's my first game; I wanted to do something weird that would stand out, and I feel I succeeded there. I also wanted something that was fun to play, because it was a lot of fun running it and seeing all of the weird interactions play out from a god-like perspective.

Epsilon Plus
Dec 30, 2006







EXAKT Science posted:

I also wanted something that was fun to play, because it was a lot of fun running it and seeing all of the weird interactions play out from a god-like perspective.

This is how I picked a couple of roles for Mega Man Mafia, by the way.

EXAKT Science
Aug 14, 2012

8 on the Kinsey scale


Abyssal Squid posted:

Okay yeah, I saw that once you posted the vampire doc :{} It was just weird to have found out I was the negated target.

Yeah Squid you had a really good role. I was hoping town would hammer scum, and that you would get some of the boons.

AnonymousNarcotics
Aug 6, 2012

we will go far into the sea
you will take me
onto your back
never look back
never look back


Exakt I really enjoyed this game. I get that not knowing about the cults may have made things more difficult for town in theory, but it still seemed pretty balanced bc if town hadn't lynched all their power roles, they had a good chance of winning. Especially since our werewolf conversions failed every single time

Abyssal Squid
Jul 23, 2003



EXAKT Science posted:

Yeah Squid you had a really good role. I was hoping town would hammer scum, and that you would get some of the boons.

I'm kinda surprised that of all the power roles town had this game, we got the most mileage out of the inventor! Also I had really bad judgment and gave two out of the four inventions to scum. At least I didn't give them anything they could have used against town. :/

Speaking of town's power roles, I think the biggest weakness in the setup was that town only had one daily execution and one scum-killing power role. Once Opopanax died, town was at a huge mathematical disadvantage. Giving town some roleblocking (beside a one-shot given out by the inventor) would help out with that, and splitting the vigilante into two people would help, too. Either they get to shoot on alternating nights, or they can only kill one flavor of scum, or something along those lines, though that's getting into role madness territory.

I wouldn't want to swing things too much in town's favor because things went pretty badly for werewolves too, but having half of town's scum-stopping power concentrated into in person is awfully swingy.

Retro Futurist
Aug 8, 2007

Yesterday's Tomorrow,
Today!


Abyssal Squid posted:

I wouldn't want to swing things too much in town's favor because things went pretty badly for werewolves too, but having half of town's scum-stopping power concentrated into in person is awfully swingy.

To be fair I would have won this game if town had just shut up and done what I told them

fiery_valkyrie
Mar 26, 2003

I'm proud of you, Bender. Sure, you lost. You lost bad. But the important thing is I beat up someone who hurt my feelings in high school.

Opopanax posted:

To be fair I would have won this game if town had just shut up and done what I told them

I didn't pay a lot of attention after I died, but weren't you the guy that was killing townies?

Retro Futurist
Aug 8, 2007

Yesterday's Tomorrow,
Today!


I killed 1 town, 1 vampire, and 1 werewolf. And I probably would have killed Rarity if I'd lived another night

Asiina
Apr 26, 2011

No going back


Grimey Drawer

Not worth it

Abyssal Squid
Jul 23, 2003



Opopanax posted:

I killed 1 town, 1 vampire, and 1 werewolf. And I probably would have killed Rarity if I'd lived another night

Maybe you shouldn't have turboed our cop :{}

Retro Futurist
Aug 8, 2007

Yesterday's Tomorrow,
Today!


No, that was funny

Straight White Shark
May 16, 2009



Fun Shoe

Opopanax posted:

No, that was funny

The funniest part was that he had information that could have cleared you.

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Abyssal Squid
Jul 23, 2003



BUT AT WHAT COST. WAS IT WORTH IT (yes)

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