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Discussion in 'Forum Games' started by NinjaPenguin, Feb 25, 2019.
The reasoning truly was the icing on the cake. c:
Nice game guys! I enjoyed it as a spectator and I'm surprised Lorde was the final scum!
Congrats NP for another good hosting!
Congrats mafia, and thanks for hosting NP! It’s been great to see so many returning faces step up to discuss leads and reads, even if didn't catch Lorde out in the end.
I reckon the game was a nice experiment, but I don't think it felt like a game of mafia and so I admittedly didn't enjoy it as much as I should. It's probably because the voting stage felt mostly insignificant - the Head of House election didn't have much stake because mafians only needed to elect someone who would nominate at least one townie. When mafians were nominated, they didn't need to commit to their choices, because they could nominate a scumbuddy and still have a townie lynched, or they could just go with the mob. The Eviction Stage didn't occur in the open, which also hampered the ability to scumhunt because mafians didn't need to explain their vote nor commit to that explaination.
It seems that the lynch mechanic is such a crucial part of the town's scumhunt strategy and so I'd advise hosts to leave it alone in future.
Postgame Part 1: General ThoughtsThis part of the postgame will go a lot more theoretical and general, while the competition opinions/player evaluations will be given in the second part. (Mandatory Disclaimer: I have a tendency to assert these opinions in a way where they come off as trying to be facts. My way of thinking of things is by no means the only correct way to play mafia, and me asserting things that way is not intentional. Please don't take anything here as personal because it's 100% about this game and never you as a person. Also I'm not actually that mad at this game so it will probably not happen much ).
There were a couple of main factors behind the design of this game: I wanted to have a game which didn't rely on rolehunting while still giving town mechanical ways to gain evidence and choose specific players to place under the microscope, force influencing others to be the only way to succeed, and rely on mechanics which would require players to commit, be online, and post fairly frequently, as they needed to at least be online and see competitions. I think the two contrasting thoughts given by BB and Vom in postgame perfectly sum up what happened in reality. The kingmaker style of the game got players under a microscope and Heads of Household were critically evaluated consistently. Scum also could not passively push a buddy, as being HOH forced a player to truly commit to their reads, which was an interesting change to see. The two scum HoHs reigns ended up with the scum getting lynched the next week and scum bussing, showing the real threat that this attention gave to their ability to survive (this scrutiny also passed to nominees, to the point where surviving replacement nominees just got evicted the next week a few times). Influence, however, was less crucial. For the majority of the game (until Blink's HoH reign probably), the game was simply able to be ruled by the couple of active players who inserted their voice into the conversation (additionally, the two nominations system was basically irrelevant because of this, leading most votes to be unanimous and unimportant, which means I can't really draw conclusions from the anonymous vote system). Technically that meant influence was important, but it wasn't the power struggle I envisioned in any way. The concept of motivation to post from being online to play competitions clearly didn't work out on here, as there were many times where people submitted for competitions but posted literally nothing while they were ongoing. I think the closest moment to the setup working as I had designed was Week 6, when it was a power struggle between Marl, Blink, and others, and for once this game, almost everybody was posting and trying to get the HoH reign to work as they wished and catch scum. But at the end of the day, most of the time this setup failed and definitely this concept not be run again, at least not here.
In terms of the competitions themselves, I thought this was the section of the game that got the most positive feedback. This is probably more interesting to BB hosts than mafia hosts, but I think the swap from brute force competitions to quizzes and other diverse Forum Games with twists that meant the person with the most time didn't automatically win is a way to inject a lot more uniqueness and complexity into games and add parity by requiring a person to have a larger skill set to become a competition beast. The concept of a live competition with many players simply didn't work, since synchronizing schedules was impossible for the live double eviction and thus half the people in the game weren't even present. I do think that during lategame, however, live competitions could work well in the future, as happened in this game's Final 3.
As for balance, I think this setup ended up on the side of being significantly townsided. The scum had the possibility to control lynches, but it came at the price of high amounts of scrutiny, and they still had to have six players get mislynched, while town only needed to lynch three players correctly to win. All this in itself would still probably be fine and balanced well enough for this site, but the fact that the scum could only nightkill every other night really hurt. In the end, scum could only kill 3 players over the course of the game, which wasn't enough at all to eliminate threatening town voices. Though this made the game healthier and had less players being killed off to silence discussion, I think that the scum definitely needed at least one more kill over the course of the game, and that if the game contained 14 players as intended but gave scum an extra nightkill (also as intended), balance could have been a lot closer to being achieved.
I don't think I put nearly enough time into hosting this game. My dedication to it varied very directly with the activity levels and that led updates to constantly be delayed by hours (like this postgame lol), making the game drag along even more than the quite long phases (4.5/7 day weeks without breaks was ridiculous and games need night phases and short-ish days for a reason) would suggest. Though I got through most competitions effectively, prepped for future weeks in advance, and didn't made any hosting errors, the fact that I dragged on the plodding phases any more was a huge mistake, and giving deadline extensions wasn't the right way to deal with massive inactivity throughout the game (though I'm not sure what the right way would have been). The flavor also was quite underwhelming and phoned in, as my attempt to have a lack of AI flavor and lack of full dedication to hosting the game led it to simply be boring. Honestly, with the lack of attention I paid to writing it, I think the flavor simply didn't need to exist at all this game (though Boogie/Erika making F2 I guess made it worth it in the end haha).
The first thing I want to note is that despite their loss, I didn't think the town played badly this game at all. They did a lot of things right, from having complete thread control from the beginning to the end against a mainly inactive scum team, picking up on HOH reigns that were suspicious while not immediately suspecting people for a mislynch during their reign, and nailing one of the scum in the inactive pile out of nowhere. In fact, scum were lynched on two of the first four days, which is really good, especially considering scum won HOH two of those weeks (and felt pressured enough to bus once) and a townie seemed to confess they were scum in another. That was really an amazing start for this site, bolstered by a team of townies with good reads, from BB nailing Vom's agenda on her strange Nick push to Violet dominating in competitions and saving herself to cause Vom's backdoor and nominating Nyora, sealing her inevitable demise, to Blink having perfect reads at the time of the live double eviction to a bunch of townies who made themselves very obviously townie.
Simply put, Lorde knew the exact time to bus and why. Instead of making a useless bus to gain towncred when she had plenty, she knew her posting wasn't great and neither was Nyora's. If somebody else won HOH and Nyora got out, in fact, she'd probably be following soon after. So she just ended up bussing there and was able to coast on that towncred for the entirety of the game (helped by the nature of the setup where Nyora's presence wasn't adding a power role to the team). And even then, it almost didn't work out. Marl had scum narrowed down to her/Jade and Blink thought she was scum (and Jade had that gut feeling), but they all just happened to not gain power at the right time.
I think the biggest problem this game was simply inactivity. Town couldn't get everybody to have consistent posting and thus scum didn't need to be contributing to the discussion at all. Lorde's posting was barely solvy and concentrated almost solely on defending herself, but there were enough townies with that general attitude that she didn't stand out and could float to the end on the back of her HOH week. That, when combined with typical town mistakes such as never reading back through Vom or Nyora's posting or actually the game at all, ended in the town's eventual demise (though notably the paralyzing focus on mechanics was gone because of the vanilla setup and most people stuck to a PoE in their heads at least, even if they never communicated what theirs actually was nor worked together to decide who should be on there and who shouldn't). Not only that, town ended up so inactive that players were making cases on dead players and townreading flipped scum and nobody was correcting them. If town was able to use more time to interact with each other and actually make sure everybody knew what had happened this game, they definitely could have won. As it stands, town's loss didn't really stem from bad reads and terrible mistakes (except Nick's mislynch where he was suspected for basically nothing and then confessed he was scum for no reason which was just pure ridiculousness) as much as having the wrong conditions for players to make reads and work together as a team. A group of strong town leaders is almost never strong enough unless they are making effort to work together and be a true team. Lorde had very little influence the whole game and scum as a whole never had thread control to mislead town (the fact that two scum subbed out on D1 certainly did not help); they just simply let town be inactive and attack themselves and hope to make it out alive.
My only critique on the reads this game was the fact that there were some occasional moments where players were certainly targeted for reasons that were more playstyle differences than anything and town got into confirmation bias a couple of times. It felt to me like people neither understood how Marl's interaction focused style worked nor accepted it as a differing style, and there were other moments where the presence of "scumtells" was given more attention to what the actual scum motivation would have been to do these things. Simply put, when everybody on this site understands what bandwagoning or other level one scumtells are, they aren't going to be effective methods to catch scum because scum know how to avoid them (and a few that people cite, like AtE, aren't even scumtells at all). Instead, I'd suggest you concentrate on the questions "why are they doing that?" and "are they actually trying to find and lynch scum?" as they can allow you to think more flexibly and get the motives behind the post, which is the exact key to alignment. Additionally, there was a moment where Geyde was being pushed instead of Vom because people suspected Nick and thus thought Vom was town. Without the evidence that Nick is scum, that's a very shaky conclusion to make and leads to dangerous confirmation bias. Judge players on their own scumminess and their interactions with dead players, not alive ones whose alignment you don't know, or else scum can easily insert their agenda and get you to lynch somebody for a incorrect pre-flip read. Neither of those two things actually led to the demise of town here, but in the future, they're important to look out for.
Thank you to everybody for playing this game, engaging in this experiment along with me, and being fun and interesting players, making this a quite interesting game to spectate if nothing else. Special thanks to everybody who was active, tried their hardest, and stuck around for the whole time. Again, please don't take anything I've said too harshly here and I apologize in advance if anything I've said here is hurtful to you. Postgame Part 2 should be up some time when I'm not as busy (maybe this weekend but probably midway through next week).
-Setup gave interesting scrutiny to HOHs and forced players to commit to what they say, but didn't have nearly enough motivation to post
-Competitions in these types of games could be assisted by being more varied and emphasizing different skill sets
-The setup was townsided and needed more opportunities for scum to kill off Houseguests
-Hosting wasn't dedicated enough and phase extensions were too common, leading to the game going at a sluggish pace
-Town had good reads, thread control, and a great start, but inactivity plagued them from being a team
-Occasionally, however, town got caught up on easily avoidable scumtells and pre-flip association reads
-Lorde's bus was very well calculated and in the exact right spot to bus