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Modding Games - Randomizing roles?

Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
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5/2/2012 2:24:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I was thinking of distributing roles randomly for my next modded game. What are the pros and cons of randomizing roles and distributing roles personally?
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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/2/2012 2:30:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
If you believe that different roles are more or less valuable than others, then you risk unbalancing your game if more valuable roles are under or misused by less skillful players. This isn't a problem for the mafia, who can collaborate, so only hurts town.
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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5/2/2012 2:33:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Pros:

Mod psychology doesn't work
Mafia can't guess power roles based on experienced players

Cons:

Mod psychology doesn't work
Possibly unbalanced teams
Bad players might get the strongest role(s)

I'm not sure if this really qualifies as a Con, but its harder to find the Godfather if randomized because its almost always an experienced player with it, but if roles are randomized,an inno result on *anyone* has a higher chance of being false.

Imo, the best idea is to change up your modding tendencies from game to game. you can still pick roles, just do it in an unpredictable way. Give like one newb a power role and one experienced player vanilla, or something else like that.

Or you can assign 4 specific roles and randomize everything else.
Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
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5/2/2012 2:45:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/2/2012 2:30:36 PM, drafterman wrote:
If you believe that different roles are more or less valuable than others, then you risk unbalancing your game if more valuable roles are under or misused by less skillful players. This isn't a problem for the mafia, who can collaborate, so only hurts town.

yes but mafia would be chosen at random as well so it's possible that would keep them from being overpowered.

If i were to not risk giving newbs, or less experienced players, powerful roles, mafia would kill off the best townies and roles at the same time, making the game highly at their advantage anyway.

maybe randomization with some tweaking if necessary.
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bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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5/2/2012 2:45:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
If you don't randomize at all, a good player can figure out way too much based on mod psychology.

Giving power roles to good players has pros and cons. Pro: good players know how to use the role. Con: good players die sooner.

I'd recommend randomizing and then re-randomizing if you draw a completely n00b mafia.

Other cons to non-randomizing are people will eventually get pissed at you. I know I, for one, don't appreciate it when mods all make me mafia all the time because they think that will be interesting. It thankfully hasn't happened to me too much recently.
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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5/2/2012 2:49:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/2/2012 2:45:14 PM, Lickdafoot wrote:
At 5/2/2012 2:30:36 PM, drafterman wrote:
If you believe that different roles are more or less valuable than others, then you risk unbalancing your game if more valuable roles are under or misused by less skillful players. This isn't a problem for the mafia, who can collaborate, so only hurts town.

yes but mafia would be chosen at random as well so it's possible that would keep them from being overpowered.

If i were to not risk giving newbs, or less experienced players, powerful roles, mafia would kill off the best townies and roles at the same time, making the game highly at their advantage anyway.

maybe randomization with some tweaking if necessary.

This is the route I take. That's why you see n00bs getting power roles in my games.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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5/2/2012 3:01:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Pros - People can't use mod psychology to determine how the mod "balanced" the game; It's fair insofar as no favoritism in role distribution.

Cons - A complete imbalance of skill between the teams; Inexperienced or inactive players having important roles or vice versa.

I've done a completely random role assignment game before and it was a disaster. However if you have a game where most people are fairly experienced, it shouldn't be a problem and in fact is probably preferable. I usually assign roles randomly to numbers and have people choose, but make very minor changes if I feel it would significantly better the game. Otherwise I'll take my chances.
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Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
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5/2/2012 3:11:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/2/2012 3:01:11 PM, Danielle wrote:
Pros - People can't use mod psychology to determine how the mod "balanced" the game; It's fair insofar as no favoritism in role distribution.

Cons - A complete imbalance of skill between the teams; Inexperienced or inactive players having important roles or vice versa.

I've done a completely random role assignment game before and it was a disaster. However if you have a game where most people are fairly experienced, it shouldn't be a problem and in fact is probably preferable. I usually assign roles randomly to numbers and have people choose, but make very minor changes if I feel it would significantly better the game. Otherwise I'll take my chances.

I agree with the PRO point. Because both town and mafia can speculate about mod psychology, taking that element away doesn't harm anyone. If anything, it makes it more balanced.

The CON can be accounted for with minor tweaking. Inviting a sufficient amount of experienced players to the game probably helps as well. Any game with too many newbs can easily go haywire, even with role personalization.
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Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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5/2/2012 4:14:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I tend to favour a strong degree of mod control of roles, but I make sure that important roles don't get dunces, not necessarily power roles. That said, my games tend to have highly skilled players, so the issue of me giving roles to beginners is a non-issue.

Clearly, it depends on the players you have. Secondly, if you hand select roles make sure to add an element of randomness - ie. Don't put all the best players in the Mafia or the town's best roles; make 1 or 2 of them prime mislynch targets. The main mislynch targets in-built into a game are of the same importance as the investigators.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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5/3/2012 2:01:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/2/2012 2:24:18 PM, Lickdafoot wrote:
I was thinking of distributing roles randomly for my next modded game. What are the pros and cons of randomizing roles and distributing roles personally?

Let's face it. You like me and I like you. So, we usually end up giving each other good roles. I wouldn't like this to change. I'd much rather you pick out a role for me. :P

Jokes aside, I usually assigned roles semi-randomly. Don't take it as indication of how it will be in my next game as the roles will be based on movies chosen by the players themselves. I would generally hand-pick the most critical roles and usually give them to people I like/active people (yeah, blatant mod favoritism). In my beginner's game for instance, I gave Medic the star town role (Don Corleone) and Bluesteel, the mafia godfather role. In Aerial Warfare, I gave Drafterman the mafia leader role, BlackVoid the most powerful mafia role, and TV, the best town role, although this is debatable, you could say Spinko's or Andro's role was the best too. In Harry Potter mafia, I gave LDF the Voldemort role, Royal and TUF, the most powerful townie roles. I also gave a lot of then newer players like Xerge and Airmax better roles to balance out the effect of mafia killing good players.

@ Bluesteel, in the Harry Potter game, I made you town on purpose after reading your comments in some thread that you prefer being town and that mafia feels like work.

I like BlackVoid's way of changing up mod role assignments. I always give different players good roles in each of my games.

So, I would say, strike a balance between random and non-random and make it semi-random. If it is completely non-random, it can end up unbalancing the game quite a bit.