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Discussion Topic: Bastard Modding

medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 8:37:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've always thought of a bastard mod as a mod who's information can't be trusted as truth. Figuring out where the line is though, isn't really that simple. If we use that definition then any mod who uses some of our most standard roles, would be considered a bastard mod. Here are just a few of the roles that require the mod to give false information to players, thus qualifying as a bastard mod...

Godfather
Mafia Ninja
Miller
Insane, Naive, and Paranoid Cops
Tailor
Framer
Lawyer

That is not a complete list, just a few that immediately come to mind. As you can see, all mods could technically be called bastard mods because we all use those roles, and frankly, games would be pretty dull without them. So where do we draw the line?? At what point do we say that a mod's actions have gone too far, and he has effectively put himself into the game, helping to decide the outcome??

As town is uninformed, accurate information is critical if they are to have a fighting chance. Many times, we lynch people who might be town so that we can gain information. Because of that, I beleive that the line should be drawn at graveyard pm's. If town can't even trust the info gained by someone's flip, then the entire game just becomes a huge guess-fest. At that point it's no longer town vs. mafia/cult/third-parties, it's town vs. the mod. We can't get to the mafia/cult/third parties, until after we've figured out what tricks the mod has put in place to try and hide scum from us. Having complex game mechanics is fine, and has made for some very fun games by imaginative mods, but if town can't even depend on graveyard pm's being accurate, then they don't really stand a chance.

Barring interference with graveyard pm's, I see everything else as fair game, but everyone's tolerance for deceptive tactics by the mod is different. Complaints of bastard modding have increased as game complexity has increased, so what say you??
Buddamoose
Posts: 19,448
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5/30/2012 8:53:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think the only thing I would truly call "Bastard Modding" would be:

1) Mod info except for tailors being untrustworthy. Such as trivia information. Tailors I see no problem with as from what I've seen alot of the time it's noticed a PM has been faked.

2) A role such as godfather combined with another power role.

Honestly I think most anything is fair game as long as a game remains balanced. Such as with tailors, adding a town role that allows for dead bodies to be truly revealed. Other than that, sometimes in mafia, its only guess-work anyways, and there is always basing lynches off of behavioral analysis.
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OberHerr
Posts: 13,062
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5/30/2012 9:02:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think death should be were we draw the line.

For me, death should ALWAYS be the moment of truth, with the exception of Janitors, and those should be 1x powers.
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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/30/2012 9:07:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 8:37:05 AM, medic0506 wrote:
I've always thought of a bastard mod as a mod who's information can't be trusted as truth. Figuring out where the line is though, isn't really that simple. If we use that definition then any mod who uses some of our most standard roles, would be considered a bastard mod. Here are just a few of the roles that require the mod to give false information to players, thus qualifying as a bastard mod...

Godfather
Mafia Ninja
Miller
Insane, Naive, and Paranoid Cops
Tailor
Framer
Lawyer

That is not a complete list, just a few that immediately come to mind. As you can see, all mods could technically be called bastard mods because we all use those roles, and frankly, games would be pretty dull without them. So where do we draw the line?? At what point do we say that a mod's actions have gone too far, and he has effectively put himself into the game, helping to decide the outcome??

As town is uninformed, accurate information is critical if they are to have a fighting chance. Many times, we lynch people who might be town so that we can gain information. Because of that, I beleive that the line should be drawn at graveyard pm's. If town can't even trust the info gained by someone's flip, then the entire game just becomes a huge guess-fest. At that point it's no longer town vs. mafia/cult/third-parties, it's town vs. the mod. We can't get to the mafia/cult/third parties, until after we've figured out what tricks the mod has put in place to try and hide scum from us. Having complex game mechanics is fine, and has made for some very fun games by imaginative mods, but if town can't even depend on graveyard pm's being accurate, then they don't really stand a chance.

Barring interference with graveyard pm's, I see everything else as fair game, but everyone's tolerance for deceptive tactics by the mod is different. Complaints of bastard modding have increased as game complexity has increased, so what say you??

I was thinking about this subject too, as the term has been thrown around lately with increasing frequency.

At one end, there have been games which, admittedly, were examples of bastard modding (????, whatever the hell FREEDO's game was).

At the other, some people have used the term without really understanding it, such as calling the mere use of the Politician role an example of bastard modding.

http://wiki.mafiascum.net...

Here are my thoughts:

The mod is supposed to be impartial. The mod is not a participant in the game (though it is sometimes hard to remain detached). The mod runs the game, not plays the game. As such, actively deceiving players about the game is essentially the key characteristics of bastard modding.

Yet, if this were it, then, as medic stated, flavors, godfathers, and millers would be examples. These are very common roles, and they are not considered examples of bastard modding, so what is missing? I think these roles and flavors are exceptions as a result of player expectation.

Players are familiar with the concept and mechanics of godfathers, millers, and flavored roles, to a degree. Players anticipate them and factor them in when making decisions. However, other examples of deceit, such as fake graveyard PMs, letting mafoiosos write the OPS, or even masons who are secretly naive, would delve into bastard modding because these aren't mechanics that we expect or are familiar with.

I am a firm believer that all game mechanics issues should be 100% transparent. Players shouldn't have to guess as to how the game operates. Players should know whether or not certain actions take precedence over others (if my target dies, do I still get results? If I die, does my action still happen? Town actions vs. Mafia actions, etc.), time allotments, whether the phase ends when a lynch is reached, if people can talk after that lynch has been reached, etc. This event extends to the exact nature of how roles operate (can a roleblocker prevent night kills, does a watcher visit his target, etc.)

Take Epic. Whatever criticisms you have about Epic, there is absolutely no question about how the game operates. Every role behaves a specific and explicit way, every time. There is no guessing.

Now, I know that mods are free to use whatever mechanics they wish, and I'm not suggesting they don't, but I think the mechanics they decide upon should be made known.

And that's where I think the bastard modding comes in. Players here have a sense of what mechanics are to be expected only through experiencing them first hand. This creates sort of a baseline of how games are run here. Drastic deviations from this baseline, which aren't made explicit to players, results in bastard games because players cannot factor in these deviations in their decisions.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 9:15:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
How can a game truly be called balanced though, if someone who is guilty flips innocent, and confirmation of other players is falsely provided by that false innocent?? In the meantime, mafia is still killing townies, and using those false flips to further confuse the confirmation process.

I do realize that alot of the game is based on guesswork, but to truly have a balanced game, all factions should have a chance of winning. Game complexity inherently helps non-townies, as it serves to confuse the town, however, the mafia still gets to pick a townie off each night, and very little can interfere with that. The only way I could see it as truly balanced, is if town has some mechanism to interfere with mafia kills, thus extending the length of the game, giving town more time to figure out game mechanics.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 9:17:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 9:02:33 AM, OberHerr wrote:
I think death should be were we draw the line.

For me, death should ALWAYS be the moment of truth, with the exception of Janitors, and those should be 1x powers.

Agree. Janitors are fine, simply because the mod doesn't provide FALSE info, he provides NO info, and is thus still neutral.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/30/2012 9:39:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 9:15:06 AM, medic0506 wrote:
How can a game truly be called balanced though, if someone who is guilty flips innocent, and confirmation of other players is falsely provided by that false innocent?? In the meantime, mafia is still killing townies, and using those false flips to further confuse the confirmation process.

As long as it can be countered by some other role/mechanic, then it can be balanced. Take framer.

What are the consequences of having a framer?

1) A townie gets mislynched if they accept the results as valid. Possibly two if they decide to lynch the cop for the fake results.
2) If they don't accept the results as valid, then all the cops results are not taken as seriously, so townies aren't confirmed as much, nor are mafia incriminated as much.

Does this inherently unbalance the game? No. If you include a role or mechanic which is likely to get townies mislynched, then add another role or mechanic that makes them more powerful. That's what it's called "a balance." You must strike "a balance" between all the existing elements of the game.

99.99% when someone says that a single role or mechanic makes a game "unbalanced" is talking out of their ass. Why? Because they usually say this in the middle of the game, without knowledge of all the roles and mechanics, and therefore can't discount the possibility of some other role or mechanic which puts the game in balance.

If someone who is guilty flips innocent, what are the consequences?
The people on the lynch will look more guilty, increasing the chance of mislynches.
The town will overestimate how many mafiosos are left and think they are in a worse position than they actually are. This can manifest in different ways. Some players may view it as being closer to MYLO and play more cautiously. Others may believe that, since there are more mafia, there is a greater chance of getting a mafia through random/semi-random lynching.

To say that such a mechanic (flipping innocent when guilty) is inherently unbalanced is to say that it is literally impossible to mitigate or compensate for the effects of it. I don't believe this to be the case. It may be hard to balance it sure.

In short, I don't believe that any single atomic role or mechanic is unbalanced. You can't even assess it at that level. Games, as a collection of roles and mechanics, are balanced or unbalanced.


I do realize that alot of the game is based on guesswork, but to truly have a balanced game, all factions should have a chance of winning. Game complexity inherently helps non-townies, as it serves to confuse the town, however, the mafia still gets to pick a townie off each night, and very little can interfere with that. The only way I could see it as truly balanced, is if town has some mechanism to interfere with mafia kills, thus extending the length of the game, giving town more time to figure out game mechanics.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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5/30/2012 10:50:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I agree with Ober. Bastard mod games are ones in which the mod decieves the town and gives false information after death. The mafia scum article on Bastard modding (Drafter provided a link) says that Death Millers and including a deputy without a cop are also examples of bastard modding. But I've seen both in Logic's games (death miller, backup tracker, psychologist with no serial killer). While I personally don't like Death Millers, I wouldn't call any of those games bastard modding. In fact, the article says that cult is bastard modding.

Also, I wouldn't say that there is any corelation at all between complex games and bastard games. ???? mafia was relatively simple with regards to roles but in Harry Potter mafia, I put a lot of complex roles and night actions. However, they were all accounted for, and I gave accurate info about roles at the end of the Day Phase.

In short, players by default trust the mod's information in mafia games. This mostly means the graveyard roles. As long as those are not messed with, the game wouldn't be a bastard games. Also, roles should work they are supposed to unless interfered with. Watchers are supposed to recieve watcher results unless the mafia interfered with those results.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 11:14:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I agree with you to an extent, in that counter roles do provide some balance. Rather than say it's unbalanced, maybe I should have just said that it's inherently unfair.

Let's take your framer scenario, for instance, and add a tailor into the mafia arsenal, since changing graveyard pm's is the point I'm arguing against. So the mafia frames a person and gets them mislynched, then they change the role pm to make them appear guilty. Suddenly, any confirmation points that that player had provided previously is out the window and anyone who supported their innocence is automatically suspect. Town is back to square one, with two less players than they had before, and the information available for future lynches has been falsified and guarantees that they will err again.

Changing mafia pm's to look innocent also wreaks havoc, as the ability to use process of elimination is doomed.

Even if we become accustomed to this ability being in the game, it never becomes easier for town, and in fact, helps non-townies wifom the town into mass confusion in every game, even if there is no tailor. Just provide a decent argument for why someone's role pm was changed after their death, even if it wasn't, and you create total chaos if some townies buy your story. Night kills continue, the odds of town mislynching increase, and town has no way of judging what information is true, and what is false. Town's only way of winning is by shear luck, and I don't think that's how the game should be played. Our reads can be right, and our conclusions correct, but we still lose simply because the mod allows critical info to be changed, after we act. To me that is inherently unfair, and is just as bad as a game that is balanced too much in one side's favor.

Bottom line is if you take away the town's only source of true, credible information, then you've unbalanced the game. There is no counter to a role that allows that change to happen.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/30/2012 11:31:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 11:14:13 AM, medic0506 wrote:
I agree with you to an extent, in that counter roles do provide some balance. Rather than say it's unbalanced, maybe I should have just said that it's inherently unfair.

Let's take your framer scenario, for instance, and add a tailor into the mafia arsenal, since changing graveyard pm's is the point I'm arguing against. So the mafia frames a person and gets them mislynched, then they change the role pm to make them appear guilty. Suddenly, any confirmation points that that player had provided previously is out the window and anyone who supported their innocence is automatically suspect. Town is back to square one, with two less players than they had before, and the information available for future lynches has been falsified and guarantees that they will err again.

Changing mafia pm's to look innocent also wreaks havoc, as the ability to use process of elimination is doomed.

I agree - if the town is unaware of the mechanic. Consider EpicMafia Tailor. They are limited to only choosing roles that are currently in the game, the tailored individual is notified when they are tailored (but not what role), and it is countered by the Mortician role, which can target dead players and learn their true role (if tailored or janitored).

So, let's say you have a tailor role in a DDO game, but you also include a Mortician role. The mortician could, via his role PM, infer the existence of the tailor and alert the town. The town is on guard and will now adjust its strategy accordingly.


Even if we become accustomed to this ability being in the game, it never becomes easier for town, and in fact, helps non-townies wifom the town into mass confusion in every game, even if there is no tailor. Just provide a decent argument for why someone's role pm was changed after their death, even if it wasn't, and you create total chaos if some townies buy your story. Night kills continue, the odds of town mislynching increase, and town has no way of judging what information is true, and what is false. Town's only way of winning is by shear luck, and I don't think that's how the game should be played. Our reads can be right, and our conclusions correct, but we still lose simply because the mod allows critical info to be changed, after we act. To me that is inherently unfair, and is just as bad as a game that is balanced too much in one side's favor.

But here's the thing. The Tailor epic mafia role can appear quite frequently, depending on the set-up, yet when it appears it is not an automatic loss for the town.

I assert that the only reason it would be devastating here is because it would be unexpected. If the town knew that a tailor was in a game, then it would not be so bad. It would be more difficult, in and of itself, but, again, this can easily be balanced by roles (such as mortician) and mechanics (such as a smaller mafia) which favor town.


Bottom line is if you take away the town's only source of true, credible information, then you've unbalanced the game. There is no counter to a role that allows that change to happen.

What about the Knowledge game?
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 11:41:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 11:31:14 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/30/2012 11:14:13 AM, medic0506 wrote:
I agree with you to an extent, in that counter roles do provide some balance. Rather than say it's unbalanced, maybe I should have just said that it's inherently unfair.

Let's take your framer scenario, for instance, and add a tailor into the mafia arsenal, since changing graveyard pm's is the point I'm arguing against. So the mafia frames a person and gets them mislynched, then they change the role pm to make them appear guilty. Suddenly, any confirmation points that that player had provided previously is out the window and anyone who supported their innocence is automatically suspect. Town is back to square one, with two less players than they had before, and the information available for future lynches has been falsified and guarantees that they will err again.

Changing mafia pm's to look innocent also wreaks havoc, as the ability to use process of elimination is doomed.

I agree - if the town is unaware of the mechanic. Consider EpicMafia Tailor. They are limited to only choosing roles that are currently in the game, the tailored individual is notified when they are tailored (but not what role), and it is countered by the Mortician role, which can target dead players and learn their true role (if tailored or janitored).

So, let's say you have a tailor role in a DDO game, but you also include a Mortician role. The mortician could, via his role PM, infer the existence of the tailor and alert the town. The town is on guard and will now adjust its strategy accordingly.


Even if we become accustomed to this ability being in the game, it never becomes easier for town, and in fact, helps non-townies wifom the town into mass confusion in every game, even if there is no tailor. Just provide a decent argument for why someone's role pm was changed after their death, even if it wasn't, and you create total chaos if some townies buy your story. Night kills continue, the odds of town mislynching increase, and town has no way of judging what information is true, and what is false. Town's only way of winning is by shear luck, and I don't think that's how the game should be played. Our reads can be right, and our conclusions correct, but we still lose simply because the mod allows critical info to be changed, after we act. To me that is inherently unfair, and is just as bad as a game that is balanced too much in one side's favor.

But here's the thing. The Tailor epic mafia role can appear quite frequently, depending on the set-up, yet when it appears it is not an automatic loss for the town.

I assert that the only reason it would be devastating here is because it would be unexpected. If the town knew that a tailor was in a game, then it would not be so bad. It would be more difficult, in and of itself, but, again, this can easily be balanced by roles (such as mortician) and mechanics (such as a smaller mafia) which favor town.


Bottom line is if you take away the town's only source of true, credible information, then you've unbalanced the game. There is no counter to a role that allows that change to happen.

What about the Knowledge game?

I don't remember that one, was I in it??
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/30/2012 11:47:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 11:41:02 AM, medic0506 wrote:

Bottom line is if you take away the town's only source of true, credible information, then you've unbalanced the game. There is no counter to a role that allows that change to happen.

What about the Knowledge game?

I don't remember that one, was I in it??

It was before my time. Basically, it was a No Reveal game. No roles or affiliations revealed upon death.

http://www.debate.org...
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 11:54:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 11:47:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/30/2012 11:41:02 AM, medic0506 wrote:

Bottom line is if you take away the town's only source of true, credible information, then you've unbalanced the game. There is no counter to a role that allows that change to happen.

What about the Knowledge game?

I don't remember that one, was I in it??

It was before my time. Basically, it was a No Reveal game. No roles or affiliations revealed upon death.

http://www.debate.org...

I remember now, that was why I didn't sign up. The no reveal thing seemed ridiculously hard. Basically, you just lynch the most suspicious person and hope for the best.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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5/30/2012 11:56:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 11:50:28 AM, Apollo.11 wrote:
Nothing will ever top the time that we (mafia) killed 8 people NP1.
http://www.debate.org...

That was definately a bloodbath. I bet Mestari was laughing his butt off. I doubt he saw that coming.