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Mafia Theory Discussion: Miller

drafterman
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12/9/2011 7:21:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
http://mafiascum.net...

My interpretation (especially considering the labels of "Negative Utility" and "Misleading" in the above link) of Miller is that it is supposed to be a hinderance to the town. Specifically, to reduce the effectiveness of the Cop (along with other roles such as framer, lawyer, and Godfather).

However, as I've seen it used in practice, it almost invariably confirms the townie who has that role, when its purpose should be to make said townie suspicious. SOP is that a person claims Miller DP1, and they basically have a free pass for the rest of the game. Cops won't waste investigations on them (typically), Mafia probably won't kill them (as they likely have no other abilities). So they are essentially a confirmed townie from DP1 on. In a sense, they are a confirmed vanilla townie, which is ironic given that claiming vanilla brings suspicion.

Would others characterize this assessment as accurate? If so, is this a significant problem? It seems to me to be a balance issue if it does the opposite of its function. What possible "remedies" could there be? I don't think it would be appropriate to forbid people from claiming miller, nor do I think we can involuntarily restrict mods from including it in their set ups (not to mention there really isn't a way to enforce this).

Thoughts?
drafterman
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12/9/2011 7:27:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
In reading the link above, one variation seems intriguing: the miller doesn't know that they are a miller, but the group as a whole is made aware that someone is, in fact, a miller.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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12/9/2011 7:27:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think the best solution is to not let the miller know that he is the miller. Just like naive cops and naive docs or paranoid or insane cops don't know about it, it would be a good idea if the miller is unaware that they appear guilty upon investigation. This will be a significant hindrance to town and could balance the game in the mafia's favor. I think the reason it confirms townies is that mods on DDO invariably use self-aware millers as opposed to hidden ones.
drafterman
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12/9/2011 7:30:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 7:27:52 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I think the best solution is to not let the miller know that he is the miller. Just like naive cops and naive docs or paranoid or insane cops don't know about it, it would be a good idea if the miller is unaware that they appear guilty upon investigation. This will be a significant hindrance to town and could balance the game in the mafia's favor. I think the reason it confirms townies is that mods on DDO invariably use self-aware millers as opposed to hidden ones.

Completely hidden is good too. It basically means that person is permanently framed.
PartamRuhem
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12/9/2011 8:16:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
We just need to wait for a mod to come along who will give the miler the ability to do something else....NOBODY will ever think of that, as long as the miller keeps it on the DL. That would be badass...I al ways love twists in roles.
drafterman
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12/9/2011 8:21:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 8:16:07 AM, PartamRuhem wrote:
We just need to wait for a mod to come along who will give the miler the ability to do something else....NOBODY will ever think of that, as long as the miller keeps it on the DL. That would be badass...I al ways love twists in roles.

Beloved Vengeful Bomb that's a Hidden Miller.

Appears guilty upon investigations, kills whoever kills them (or their hammer in the event of a lynch) and can also choose to kill someone when they're lynched. And the town loses a Day Phase.
Chrysippus
Posts: 2,173
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12/9/2011 10:39:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 8:21:15 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 12/9/2011 8:16:07 AM, PartamRuhem wrote:
We just need to wait for a mod to come along who will give the miler the ability to do something else....NOBODY will ever think of that, as long as the miller keeps it on the DL. That would be badass...I al ways love twists in roles.

Beloved Vengeful Bomb that's a Hidden Miller.

Appears guilty upon investigations, kills whoever kills them (or their hammer in the event of a lynch) and can also choose to kill someone when they're lynched. And the town loses a Day Phase.

Unlynchable hidden miller.
Is told he is vanilla. Cannot be lynched. Comes up guilty on investigation.

Coloured cop, hidden miller.
Is told he is a cop. Is actually an insane cop, getting results via RNG. Shows up guilty on investigation.
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
Chrysippus
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12/9/2011 10:44:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
JOAT miller.
Has a night kill, investigate, or protect power each NP. Comes up guilty under any investigation.

Beloved bomb.
Explodes upon investigation. Town loses a DP.
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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12/9/2011 12:04:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There's no problem with the role whatsoever. Nobody has to believe a miller claim automatically just because most people currently do. A mod can make any unsuspecting player come up guilty upon investigation (without their knowledge), but that's not a miller and I don't think I in particular would consider that fair. For the most part it's up to the mod though, to do what they think will balance out the game or what have you. A miller is essentially vanilla, so I don't see a problem with a miller coming out dp1 and people believing them anyway. It's an advantage to them because they might get to live (being presumed an "automatic" townie), but it's also an advantage to the mafia because they know they don't have to waste a role block or kill on that person. Anyway, I think this is kind of a silly post because that's like saying "Everyone who claims cop is considered town. All they have to do is say they are the cop and the doc will automatically protect them and they will be considered townie." Yeah, people are gonna make assumptions. You've got to figure out ways around it. I think lately it seems mods are just trying to intentionally trick people, which is annoying because it takes away from the strategy element of the game (cuz you dunno wtf is going on). That's something I don't like, personally.
President of DDO
drafterman
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12/9/2011 12:10:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 12:04:24 PM, Danielle wrote:
There's no problem with the role whatsoever. Nobody has to believe a miller claim automatically just because most people currently do. A mod can make any unsuspecting player come up guilty upon investigation (without their knowledge), but that's not a miller and I don't think I in particular would consider that fair. For the most part it's up to the mod though, to do what they think will balance out the game or what have you. A miller is essentially vanilla, so I don't see a problem with a miller coming out dp1 and people believing them anyway. It's an advantage to them because they might get to live (being presumed an "automatic" townie), but it's also an advantage to the mafia because they know they don't have to waste a role block or kill on that person. Anyway, I think this is kind of a silly post because that's like saying "Everyone who claims cop is considered town. All they have to do is say they are the cop and the doc will automatically protect them and they will be considered townie." Yeah, people are gonna make assumptions. You've got to figure out ways around it. I think lately it seems mods are just trying to intentionally trick people, which is annoying because it takes away from the strategy element of the game (cuz you dunno wtf is going on). That's something I don't like, personally.

Ok, then let me ask you this: You've used miller before. For example, the Classic Mafia. When you decided to put the Miller role into that game, what was your intention with that role?
drafterman
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12/9/2011 12:19:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the role. What I'm doing, is opening discussion about the purpose of the role (from the point of view of what people think the role was intended to do as well as from the point of view of what mods intend when they include it in their cames) and whether or not it actually fullfills that purpose in pratice.

You allude to the "Follow the Cop" strategy and that certainly is a viable strategy, though more so in games in which roles are less common. As I've seen the term used here, "power roles" seems to indicate "powerful roles" though in the strict terminology, any role other than vanilla/goon is technically a "power role" (depending on your source of information). The games that I see typically played here would be called "Role Madness" which reduce the effectiveness of the "Follow the Cop" Strategy: the cop may be Macho, the Doctor may be even/odd, the cop can still be role-blocked, redirected, etc.

How people actually use and abuse roles I think is a valid discussion, especially if the use of a role makes it work opposite of its intended function. As you say, it's the mod's job to balance the game which, to me, means they have to take into account how the games are played in practice.

If you're a mod and you want to put in the Miller roll in order to reduce balance one way, but it is used in a manner that actually balances another way, don't you think that's a topic worthy of discussion?
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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12/9/2011 12:19:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 12:10:58 PM, drafterman wrote:
Ok, then let me ask you this: You've used miller before. For example, the Classic Mafia. When you decided to put the Miller role into that game, what was your intention with that role?

There are no intentions, really. I think you're reading far too much into it.

If the miller chose to stay quiet, they could have been investigated guilty and probably lynched. If they chose to come forward, people would have either believed them (and left them alone) or not believe them (and lynch them). If they were believed, it is advantageous as it sort of "confirms" a townie (though again, not really -- they will always be under suspicion). This is also advantageous to the mafia because they knew who not to waste a RB or kill on. It hinders the mafia because they know they have to waste a kill on the miller at some point (because they might be considered "confirmed" by the town), but at the same time it's a completely useless role that is essentially vanilla which does nothing pro-active to HELP the town. So I think it's a neutral role that doesn't really favor one side or the other.
President of DDO
drafterman
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12/9/2011 12:23:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 12:19:24 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 12/9/2011 12:10:58 PM, drafterman wrote:
Ok, then let me ask you this: You've used miller before. For example, the Classic Mafia. When you decided to put the Miller role into that game, what was your intention with that role?

There are no intentions, really. I think you're reading far too much into it.

If the miller chose to stay quiet, they could have been investigated guilty and probably lynched. If they chose to come forward, people would have either believed them (and left them alone) or not believe them (and lynch them). If they were believed, it is advantageous as it sort of "confirms" a townie (though again, not really -- they will always be under suspicion). This is also advantageous to the mafia because they knew who not to waste a RB or kill on. It hinders the mafia because they know they have to waste a kill on the miller at some point (because they might be considered "confirmed" by the town), but at the same time it's a completely useless role that is essentially vanilla which does nothing pro-active to HELP the town. So I think it's a neutral role that doesn't really favor one side or the other.

Ok then, this is the type of discussion I'm talking about. You don't see that really hinders or benefits either side. It's a neutral role put in for ... flavor? That's fine. If that's your intention (or lack of intention) when you include the role, then so be it.

But what I've heard and read suggests different interpretations.
Danielle
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12/9/2011 12:26:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 12:19:08 PM, drafterman wrote:
Also, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the role. What I'm doing, is opening discussion about the purpose of the role (from the point of view of what people think the role was intended to do as well as from the point of view of what mods intend when they include it in their cames) and whether or not it actually fullfills that purpose in pratice.

You allude to the "Follow the Cop" strategy and that certainly is a viable strategy, though more so in games in which roles are less common. As I've seen the term used here, "power roles" seems to indicate "powerful roles" though in the strict terminology, any role other than vanilla/goon is technically a "power role" (depending on your source of information). The games that I see typically played here would be called "Role Madness" which reduce the effectiveness of the "Follow the Cop" Strategy: the cop may be Macho, the Doctor may be even/odd, the cop can still be role-blocked, redirected, etc.

How people actually use and abuse roles I think is a valid discussion, especially if the use of a role makes it work opposite of its intended function. As you say, it's the mod's job to balance the game which, to me, means they have to take into account how the games are played in practice.

If you're a mod and you want to put in the Miller roll in order to reduce balance one way, but it is used in a manner that actually balances another way, don't you think that's a topic worthy of discussion?

There is no "purpose" of the role. It simply is what it is. It doesn't serve a specific purpose other than carrying out its role function, just like any other role. I don't see how these roles can be "abused," really. Also, I don't think it's a topic up for discussion because only the individual mod of a particular game would know if they used the role for its intended "purpose" or not. Like I said, nobody has to believe a miller claim. You have no idea if the mod told the mafia which roles are in the game or not (like I did in Classic Mafia). If the mafia knew there was no miller, that's a legitimate fake claim for them, so it would be irresponsible for the town to automatically believe it. Even if other mods didn't do this and people still automatically believed the claim, like I said, it's advantageous to the mafia because they know not to waste certain abilities or kills on them. It also means the player is simply vanilla, and I don't see you having problems with vanilla roles in general lol do you?

I also think it should be noted that on Epic Mafia and other forums, this game is played in sort of a chat room style (at a much faster pace), and every player knows which roles are in the game. They know someone is a miller, but they dunno who - and so they don't automatically believe the first person who claims miller as obviously some mafia will probably claim it at some point upon being investigated guilty. I dunno, it's something to consider, but like I said I think it's up to the individual mod. Experienced mods have a feel for game dynamics and usually adjust accordingly. I simply refrain from playing in games modded by people I consider n00bs or relatively inexperienced for this very reason.
President of DDO
drafterman
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12/9/2011 12:35:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 12:26:47 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 12/9/2011 12:19:08 PM, drafterman wrote:
Also, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the role. What I'm doing, is opening discussion about the purpose of the role (from the point of view of what people think the role was intended to do as well as from the point of view of what mods intend when they include it in their cames) and whether or not it actually fullfills that purpose in pratice.

You allude to the "Follow the Cop" strategy and that certainly is a viable strategy, though more so in games in which roles are less common. As I've seen the term used here, "power roles" seems to indicate "powerful roles" though in the strict terminology, any role other than vanilla/goon is technically a "power role" (depending on your source of information). The games that I see typically played here would be called "Role Madness" which reduce the effectiveness of the "Follow the Cop" Strategy: the cop may be Macho, the Doctor may be even/odd, the cop can still be role-blocked, redirected, etc.

How people actually use and abuse roles I think is a valid discussion, especially if the use of a role makes it work opposite of its intended function. As you say, it's the mod's job to balance the game which, to me, means they have to take into account how the games are played in practice.

If you're a mod and you want to put in the Miller roll in order to reduce balance one way, but it is used in a manner that actually balances another way, don't you think that's a topic worthy of discussion?

There is no "purpose" of the role. It simply is what it is. It doesn't serve a specific purpose other than carrying out its role function, just like any other role. I don't see how these roles can be "abused," really. Also, I don't think it's a topic up for discussion because only the individual mod of a particular game would know if they used the role for its intended "purpose" or not.

I don't get this mentality. The entire reason I wanted to bring this up is to see wheter or not mods think the role, in practice, is yielding the results they intended when they included it in the game, on average. I don't see how this can be done without discussion. So I'm ... sorry, I guess ... for wanting to discuss something you think is silly? I'm a bit confused here.

Like I said, nobody has to believe a miller claim. You have no idea if the mod told the mafia which roles are in the game or not (like I did in Classic Mafia). If the mafia knew there was no miller, that's a legitimate fake claim for them, so it would be irresponsible for the town to automatically believe it. Even if other mods didn't do this and people still automatically believed the claim, like I said, it's advantageous to the mafia because they know not to waste certain abilities or kills on them. It also means the player is simply vanilla, and I don't see you having problems with vanilla roles in general lol do you?

Not at all. Ok, so you have your view of the Miller role. Now consider this. Let's say, at the very least, for the sake of argument, that the overall intention of the Miller role is to reduce the effectiveness of a cop, and that is why, on average, mods include it in their set-ups. Now, if, in practice, the state of the game is such that including a Miller actually either A) doesn't do this or B) does the opposite, then I think that's something that can make for an interesting discussion. A discussion that could lead to a change in how games are set-up, or to brainstorm ideas about how that goal (reducing the effectiveness of a cop) can be achieved. Anticipating how people are likely to use the roles, as well as unlikely scenarios that are potentially game breaking, are valid considerations when designing a game, and valid topics of discussion about the game in general.


I also think it should be noted that on Epic Mafia and other forums, this game is played in sort of a chat room style (at a much faster pace), and every player knows which roles are in the game. They know someone is a miller, but they dunno who - and so they don't automatically believe the first person who claims miller as obviously some mafia will probably claim it at some point upon being investigated guilty. I dunno, it's something to consider, but like I said I think it's up to the individual mod. Experienced mods have a feel for game dynamics and usually adjust accordingly. I simply refrain from playing in games modded by people I consider n00bs or relatively inexperienced for this very reason.

I intend for my game to, at least, be semi-open with only a few roles, as my first mod experience.
bluesteel
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12/9/2011 1:23:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I really respect marauder for trying to exploit this SOP and fake claiming survivor and miller.

As a mod, when townies always tend to do the same thing, even though it can be somewhat illogical, it's easy to exploit that weakness and challenge the town. If I was going to do that, I obviously wouldn't say when or how though.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
BlackVoid
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12/9/2011 1:37:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree that it basically confirms a townie (at least, the vast majority of the time) but thats not necessarily bad. In all the games I've played, the mafia has won like 75% of the time. Town needs all the help they can get.
bluesteel
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12/9/2011 1:48:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 1:37:45 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I agree that it basically confirms a townie (at least, the vast majority of the time) but thats not necessarily bad. In all the games I've played, the mafia has won like 75% of the time. Town needs all the help they can get.

lol, play more and that win ratio will go waaay down. Some of the games you've played in have been pretty unique and mafia has *barely* won in most of them.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Danielle
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12/9/2011 1:49:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 1:37:45 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I agree that it basically confirms a townie (at least, the vast majority of the time) but thats not necessarily bad. In all the games I've played, the mafia has won like 75% of the time. Town needs all the help they can get.

This was my point. Even if it confirms a townie, congratulations - the town has a confirmed vanilla. Big deal. They've got no useful role to help the town, and they'd probably be thankful that since they don't have a role, at least they'd probably get to live a little longer. Sometimes I wish I were miller so the mafia wouldn't waste a night kill on me (or if they did, haha too bad so sad for them - not).

In response to drafterman, there's no need to apologize. You bring up a legitimate point: that the role might not be working the way the mod wants it to. However that's completely up to the mod to decide, and that's why I said there wasn't much to discuss. They may each have their own reasons for putting it in there. I've done it because I think it has (or can have) a neutral effect. Or perhaps it IS an advantage to the town, and maybe I think they need it. Perhaps that's part of the balance. Who knows. The point is, only a n00b or inexperienced mod would not consider the dynamics of particular roles. If a mod chooses to include the role, I trust them. If I don't trust the mod, I won't play the game cuz it'd probably just be a waste of my time. I always die early anyway so it's no biggie.
President of DDO
Danielle
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12/9/2011 1:50:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
About the mafia winning more recently, I think it's because

a) the mods are starting to specifically favor the mafia, either by overpowering them, underpowering the town and/or giving them helpful hints;

b) a lot of new roles are being included that are making it easier for the mafia to fake claim, and harder for the town to discern who is telling the truth.
President of DDO
bluesteel
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12/9/2011 2:00:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 1:50:42 PM, Danielle wrote:
About the mafia winning more recently, I think it's because

a) the mods are starting to specifically favor the mafia, either by overpowering them, underpowering the town and/or giving them helpful hints;

b) a lot of new roles are being included that are making it easier for the mafia to fake claim, and harder for the town to discern who is telling the truth.

Yeah, I think better modding has evened the win ratio out. It used to be like 70/30 town wins, if not worse. I've won many times as mafia, in spite of this, but it usually involves a combination of dumb luck, massive daring, and townie stupidity. All I care about is that all the games feel close, and you'd have to massively overpower the mafia to make games not feel close.

I think drafter has a point though. The last 10 games or so have all had millers, I believe. The role has become SO standard that it's more confirmed than a vanilla. I fake claimed a vanilla in the recent mob wars game and everyone thought I was really suspect for it. I've seen two vanillas lynched in a row (Pirates...) just for claiming vanilla, but I've never seen a miller lynched immediately upon claiming.

This doesn't mean mod's can't use it, but reading current play styles, a vanilla is more of a hindrance to town than a miller. ironically...
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Homo_Sacer
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12/9/2011 2:04:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
We could do something like conditional flavoring. That is: we could grant the miller some kind of one-shot ability, but tie it to a condition: if the player claims miller, then he loses his ability. If he uses his ability, he can no longer claim miller (without being mod-killed/forced to commit suicide).
Logic_on_rails
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12/9/2011 2:49:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The thing with millers recently is that they're expected. They are seen as often as say, vigilante (Blue showed something with 10 previous games...) in recent times. The point is that millers used to be relatively rare; vanillas used to be quite common. Furthermore, hated and popular townies used to be popular variants of the vanilla role, yet now it seems the main (if not only) variant of vanilla is miller.

Many easy fixes to the problem exist. 1, accept that a confirmed vanilla isn't really that useful. 2, increase the severity of millers (like overeager miller or death miller) to again bring into question miller claims. 3, stop using millers. 4, hide their miller condition from the player. Other solutions exist.

On recent Mafia wins, mods are definitely giving Mafia a fighting chance in recent games. You might have had close games in the past that could go either way, but about 1/3 of games always were easy town victories without too much effort. Definitely some good modding work (on a side note, is there some sort of person to send draft Mafia games to for rebalancing? Want to make my game properly balanced) recently.

Drafterman, I agree, millers aren't really serving as a weakening of the cop's powers, but it's not that big a problem - there's many solutions.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
bluesteel
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12/9/2011 4:49:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
One reason why mafia is winning more is that you need to have few enough confirmable roles that mafia can win with weak claims. It's town job to guess based on behavior which roles are fake.

I used to see games where it was sooo easy for town. They'd lynch all the vanillas and unconfirmable roles, almost by default, and be left with a doctor, vig, cop, and bulletproof, all confirmed, and there were like 2 mafia left. Mafia has no chance at that point.

logic, I'll help balance your game if you want.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
drafterman
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12/9/2011 5:44:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 2:49:46 PM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
The thing with millers recently is that they're expected. They are seen as often as say, vigilante (Blue showed something with 10 previous games...) in recent times. The point is that millers used to be relatively rare; vanillas used to be quite common. Furthermore, hated and popular townies used to be popular variants of the vanilla role, yet now it seems the main (if not only) variant of vanilla is miller.

Many easy fixes to the problem exist. 1, accept that a confirmed vanilla isn't really that useful. 2, increase the severity of millers (like overeager miller or death miller) to again bring into question miller claims. 3, stop using millers. 4, hide their miller condition from the player. Other solutions exist.

On recent Mafia wins, mods are definitely giving Mafia a fighting chance in recent games. You might have had close games in the past that could go either way, but about 1/3 of games always were easy town victories without too much effort. Definitely some good modding work (on a side note, is there some sort of person to send draft Mafia games to for rebalancing? Want to make my game properly balanced) recently.

Drafterman, I agree, millers aren't really serving as a weakening of the cop's powers, but it's not that big a problem - there's many solutions.

What's overeager miler?
Logic_on_rails
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12/9/2011 5:52:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2011 5:44:46 PM, drafterman wrote:

What's overeager miler?

This was the role description I had in Blue's no NP game:

Overeager miller – for some reason, right before someone dies, you decide to pay them a visit and will be seen by others (watchers/trackers/JOATs/etc) as the last person to see that player alive. You appear guilty to cops as well. You win with the town.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
Ore_Ele
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12/9/2011 6:01:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There will be a power miller role in my Planets game, but by the time we get there, everyone will forget that I said this [instert evil laugh].
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"