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Stoofer's 3rd Law & Discussion

drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/13/2012 9:35:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Interesting article on Wikiscum (http://wiki.mafiascum.net...).

The law is: "Because the more complicated a game is, the more difficult it is for the Town, there comes a point where increasing the number of pro-Town power roles may actually tilt the game balance in favour of the Mafia."

The points of complexity are summarized thusly:
1. The more power roles there are, the greater the degree of unpredictability with regards to their interaction among each other.
2. Stemming from 1, this confusion only hurts down, as scum can more easily work out what is going on.
3a. This inhibits the ability of Town to make accepted claims.
3b. This increases the ability of Scum to make accepted fake claims.
3c. This eliminates the ability of anyone to be confirmed to any significant degree.
4. Before understanding the complex nature of the game, complex townie roles are less likely to be believed, increasing the odds of mislynches.
5. After understanding the complex nature of the game, town simply becomes more paranoid.
6. Complex town roles are also disbelieved on the basis of assumptions of imbalance.
7. Complex mafia fake claims are more likely to be believed, decreasing the ability to find scum.

I've pretty much seen all of these in action in various games. Given the fact that this rule was coined by its author in 2007, on a different site, shows that this isn't something native to DDO, but rather something inherent in Mafia. Rather than merely being sour grapes, the Town Underpowered/Mafia Overpowered complaints may have some merit, even if for different reasons.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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3/13/2012 9:53:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's interesting that other sites are having similar problems.

But I disagree about some of the things it says, at least in regards to this site. Handing out more power roles to town ensures a town victory since each "power" role has something that can confirm itself.

This also must be a site that still lynches all liars. In my experience on this site, when townies have multiple aspects of their roles, they often lie completely or only claim one part of the role when pressured. This leaves mafia with *no idea* what is going on throughout the game and who to target.

Examples:

the JOAT in F-16's Mob wars game doesn't tell mafia that he needs to get targeted by them to gain powers
KFC Mafia - mattrodstrom is a 50% chance PGO but lies and says he's a PGO. Mafia's only chance to win on the last NP was by targeting him for a NK, but instead chose not to because they thought he was a PGO
Role Keeper in Danielle's game - this role is super overpowered because it can check all fake claims. It's only balanced because mafia will try hard to kill it. But F-16 lies and gets three NP's of free results.

So complex roles give townies a provable partial role to claim AND additional powers. If played well, mafia will be in the dark all game.

I also disagree about how it's easier to fake claim complex roles. I don't get why royal fake claims three roles all the time. My best fake claims are always simple - like forensic investigator, and require only one thing to "prove" them true.

The only way complexity helps the mafia is if it underpowers (not overpowers town) - i.e., you are a cop that can only investigate someone on the nights after a mafia has been killed. THEN it's easier for mafia to fake claim because they can claim things that are easier, not harder, to prove. But if mafia are going to have to fake claim being an LD/vig/politician because everyone else has 3 roles, that's gonna be impossible to prove.

I think logic's complex claim in Pixar was believable because it was so strong whereas there were a bunch of roles I put in the game to specifically underpower town, so people thought there needed to be strong roles to balance.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
PartamRuhem
Posts: 1,559
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3/13/2012 10:10:26 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've had this problem a number of times. It's either my real claim, and nobody believes it, or my fake claim, and nobody believe it.

Maybe people just don't believe me. Anyway, I feel like lying is a pivotal part of the system, though it makes it impossible to convince townies otherwise after the fact. I've lied in games before in order to preserve my claim. Once I even faked a cop investigation and got a "guilty" on a hunch that someone was mafia. Lying can really be beneficial, because then you KNOW what the mafia are going to be thinking about your role, while you know the truth.

Blue's examples are pretty good. I was actually that JOAT in F-16's game.

When I mod my Breaking Bad game, I want to have like 2 really interesting roles, but everything else could be pretty basic.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/13/2012 10:14:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/13/2012 9:53:59 AM, bluesteel wrote:
It's interesting that other sites are having similar problems.

But I disagree about some of the things it says, at least in regards to this site. Handing out more power roles to town ensures a town victory since each "power" role has something that can confirm itself.

This also must be a site that still lynches all liars. In my experience on this site, when townies have multiple aspects of their roles, they often lie completely or only claim one part of the role when pressured. This leaves mafia with *no idea* what is going on throughout the game and who to target.

Examples:

the JOAT in F-16's Mob wars game doesn't tell mafia that he needs to get targeted by them to gain powers
KFC Mafia - mattrodstrom is a 50% chance PGO but lies and says he's a PGO. Mafia's only chance to win on the last NP was by targeting him for a NK, but instead chose not to because they thought he was a PGO
Role Keeper in Danielle's game - this role is super overpowered because it can check all fake claims. It's only balanced because mafia will try hard to kill it. But F-16 lies and gets three NP's of free results.

So complex roles give townies a provable partial role to claim AND additional powers. If played well, mafia will be in the dark all game.

I also disagree about how it's easier to fake claim complex roles. I don't get why royal fake claims three roles all the time. My best fake claims are always simple - like forensic investigator, and require only one thing to "prove" them true.

The only way complexity helps the mafia is if it underpowers (not overpowers town) - i.e., you are a cop that can only investigate someone on the nights after a mafia has been killed. THEN it's easier for mafia to fake claim because they can claim things that are easier, not harder, to prove. But if mafia are going to have to fake claim being an LD/vig/politician because everyone else has 3 roles, that's gonna be impossible to prove.

I think logic's complex claim in Pixar was believable because it was so strong whereas there were a bunch of roles I put in the game to specifically underpower town, so people thought there needed to be strong roles to balance.

I think these are some good points, but I don't think there is any denying that, the more complex or unconvential a game is, the more paranoia it causes. I mean, I've seen very simple, open setups run here where people continue to hypothesize about roles and flavors that are explicitly not even in the game.

Also, it is easier for Mafia to fake claim. Complexity here isn't just in terms of roles and abilities, but also in terms of unconventiality. Take, for exmaple, the current Harry Potter game. I know we shouldn't talk about games in progress but it's the best example I can think of. The first townies to claim Marauder Map and bludger were heavily suspected. Don't you think that hurts town? Mafia knows they're probably telling the truth, but can deliberately exploit the inherent suspicion of the town. Now, it didn't result in a mislynch, but it was able to keep focus on townies rather than scum. Furthermore, don't you think that openned the door wide open regarding mafia fake claims?
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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3/13/2012 10:44:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/13/2012 10:10:26 AM, PartamRuhem wrote:
I've had this problem a number of times. It's either my real claim, and nobody believes it, or my fake claim, and nobody believe it.

Maybe people just don't believe me. Anyway, I feel like lying is a pivotal part of the system, though it makes it impossible to convince townies otherwise after the fact. I've lied in games before in order to preserve my claim. Once I even faked a cop investigation and got a "guilty" on a hunch that someone was mafia. Lying can really be beneficial, because then you KNOW what the mafia are going to be thinking about your role, while you know the truth.

This might be why you always get lynched. If you lie about an investigation and its wrong, that's an autolynch.

If it's not an autolynch, that means mafia can get away with doing that.

Blue's examples are pretty good. I was actually that JOAT in F-16's game.

When I mod my Breaking Bad game, I want to have like 2 really interesting roles, but everything else could be pretty basic.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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3/13/2012 10:46:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/13/2012 10:10:26 AM, PartamRuhem wrote:
I've had this problem a number of times. It's either my real claim, and nobody believes it, or my fake claim, and nobody believe it.

Maybe people just don't believe me. Anyway, I feel like lying is a pivotal part of the system, though it makes it impossible to convince townies otherwise after the fact. I've lied in games before in order to preserve my claim. Once I even faked a cop investigation and got a "guilty" on a hunch that someone was mafia. Lying can really be beneficial, because then you KNOW what the mafia are going to be thinking about your role, while you know the truth.

Blue's examples are pretty good. I was actually that JOAT in F-16's game.

When I mod my Breaking Bad game, I want to have like 2 really interesting roles, but everything else could be pretty basic.

Some of your claims have been absolutely nonsensical; in the Gangsters Game, for example, you hastily claimed Janitor-Vig and argued that you slaughtered me on NP1 even though there had only been a single kill.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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3/13/2012 10:50:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
@drafter

I guess, yeah. I see what you're saying.

I wasn't remotely suspicious of Marauder's map though, since chrysippus' game did the same thing - used objects instead of people to confuse the town.

I like the paranoia though. It's too hard to be mafia without it and too easy to be town without it. When people post really crazy theories now, I usually just ignore it, focus on the lowest hanging fruit (most obvious scum), and wait until night actions or further info disprove that theory.

It's fun in a sense to be playing against the mod as well. Mafia make it too easy by themselves.

My problem with the completely un-complex games is that in 99% of games, I get the feeling that if everyone mass claimed character and role DP1, I could always figure out all the mafia within 5 DP's.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/13/2012 11:02:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/13/2012 10:50:48 AM, bluesteel wrote:
@drafter

I guess, yeah. I see what you're saying.

I wasn't remotely suspicious of Marauder's map though, since chrysippus' game did the same thing - used objects instead of people to confuse the town.

I like the paranoia though. It's too hard to be mafia without it and too easy to be town without it. When people post really crazy theories now, I usually just ignore it, focus on the lowest hanging fruit (most obvious scum), and wait until night actions or further info disprove that theory.

It's fun in a sense to be playing against the mod as well. Mafia make it too easy by themselves.

My problem with the completely un-complex games is that in 99% of games, I get the feeling that if everyone mass claimed character and role DP1, I could always figure out all the mafia within 5 DP's.

It's interesting you say that. I wish I could just run some short experimental games just to test out some theories such as massclaiming to see how they work.

Take, for exmaple, epic. Mass claiming in epic is frowned upon, usually, even though it's much more feasible and harder to fake claim. All games are, at the very least, semi-open because there are a fininte number of possible roles, the functions of which are all known. So a mass claim would immediately identify people with scummy claims. However, there are mechanisms that prevent this. For example, the Werewolf (WW) role can kill people if he correctly associates a player with a role and, if he does so, is immune from death that night and the following day.

But even without WW, I generally don't see mass claims unless 1) the game is at LYLO or 2) there is a confirmed role and whispers are enabled.

So, take that an translate it to DDO where 1) we don't make use of whisper capability, 2) we never know when the game is at LYLO, 3) roles are at the discretion of the mod, and not pulled from a predefined list, 4) we have a forum environment where people are not all on at the same time - and the feasibility and utility of fake claiming drops singificantly.

Despite that, this is all theory. And while theory is fine, there is some level of satisfaction that comes from seeing something proved or disproved in practice.

I'd say a quick run of, say, 3 Classic games, back-to-back, using the same players (but a different random selection of roles each game), and a mass claim each DP1 would provide some useful information.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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3/13/2012 11:43:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Stoofer makes some good points that I really hadn't considered. For instance, I tend to add roles for town in anticipation of power roles being killed off. I always thought of that as being pro-town, but as he points out, it can actually work against them in the long run. I definately find myself being more paranoid in the complex games, and not giving confirmed status to those that I probably should accept as pretty much confirmed.

One other aspect of complexity that Stoofer doesn't mention is that the more complexity you have, the more people are likely to not follow all the info as closely as they should. This leads to inactivity and an increased likelihood of people just voting with the majority, even if mafia is leading that majority. There is, of course, a small core of active players who keep up with the game and all the info coming out, but many times those core players are scum of some sort, and when townies follow them it hurts the town.

Stoofer probably doesn't see that problem because he's on mafiascum, where day phases average 3 weeks in length. Every word you post there, and the possible motivations for posting them gets hyper-analyzed, ad nauseum. I played a "Lightning Game" a couple months ago where we only had 1 week to complete a day phase. That almost seems laughable after being use to playing here. Here on DDO though, where days are 24-48 hours, there isn't alot of time for extended analysis like there is on mafiascum. In my games I always say 48 hours, but I freely give extensions so long as there is some activity. However, there seems to be a hurry up and finish the day kind of attitude after you get about 36-48 hours into the phase. I wonder if allowing more time in complex games would encourage players to be more involved, and give them time to follow things more closely. Would it be advantageous to town for mods to allow up to, say, 5 days for a day phase, in complex games??
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/13/2012 11:54:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/13/2012 11:43:09 AM, medic0506 wrote:
Stoofer makes some good points that I really hadn't considered. For instance, I tend to add roles for town in anticipation of power roles being killed off. I always thought of that as being pro-town, but as he points out, it can actually work against them in the long run. I definately find myself being more paranoid in the complex games, and not giving confirmed status to those that I probably should accept as pretty much confirmed.

One other aspect of complexity that Stoofer doesn't mention is that the more complexity you have, the more people are likely to not follow all the info as closely as they should. This leads to inactivity and an increased likelihood of people just voting with the majority, even if mafia is leading that majority. There is, of course, a small core of active players who keep up with the game and all the info coming out, but many times those core players are scum of some sort, and when townies follow them it hurts the town.

Stoofer probably doesn't see that problem because he's on mafiascum, where day phases average 3 weeks in length. Every word you post there, and the possible motivations for posting them gets hyper-analyzed, ad nauseum. I played a "Lightning Game" a couple months ago where we only had 1 week to complete a day phase. That almost seems laughable after being use to playing here. Here on DDO though, where days are 24-48 hours, there isn't alot of time for extended analysis like there is on mafiascum. In my games I always say 48 hours, but I freely give extensions so long as there is some activity. However, there seems to be a hurry up and finish the day kind of attitude after you get about 36-48 hours into the phase. I wonder if allowing more time in complex games would encourage players to be more involved, and give them time to follow things more closely. Would it be advantageous to town for mods to allow up to, say, 5 days for a day phase, in complex games??

I think it's a cultural thing. In mafiascum, if you don't post for a set period of time, you get pinged, then you're replaced. It's as simple as that. Here, it usually depends on whether or not you're gone for a day/night phase cycle.

I think there is a large discrepancy between the most and least active players here that results in the active players getting all of their thoughts out immediately and then petering out. Unless some arguing is brewing, the active players say what they have to say and then ... that's it. Their wad is shot, so to speak. Inactives come around, ask for a summary, but that's about it.
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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3/13/2012 3:19:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This law seems pretty accurate, if Mafia have roles that can mess things up (roleblocker, role switcher, framer etc. Something that interferes with accurate role results) .

Probably the prime example of this law is Medic's games. Medic's games have a whole wealth of town roles, and Medic himself has noted surprise when town has lost despite their seemingly overpowered roles. Furthermore, we saw rampant inactivity in his most recent game.

Personally, I try and focus on what is obvious. Guilties are guilty, being the only person to visit a dead person is grounds for a lynch etc. It always amazes me how easily people forget the big picture and the obvious lynch.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it