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Mafia Discussion - Third Parties

drafterman
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6/13/2012 11:10:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Third Parties are, without a doubt, the bastard, ginger-headed step-children of the Mafia universe. At least here on DDO.

Why is that?

1. It is disproportionately hard to win as a third party. There have only been a handful of third party wins that I'm aware of (maybe 2 in the ~40 games I've been in) but third parties are in a fair amount of mafia games. By definition, a "fair" game should be one in which all factions have an equal chance of winning. Clearly this standard is not met with third parties.

2. People despise them. Jester/Fool is the biggest victim here. The general philosophy is to not count them at all. How cruel is that? Consider being in the shoes of the other person. Basically everyone else has decided that, even if you put forth the effort to win, everyone else is going to rob you of the credit. Winning isn't just about personal satisfaction, it's also about being recognized by your peers as having done something worthy. Now, some may say this doesn't count for Jester/Fool, as it doesn't require any effort to win, but I've seen this philosophy starting to creep out to encompass third parties in general.

3. In designing games, most Mods generally don't include them as players in their own right. What I means is that they are put in the game in order to hinder/empower one of the other factions (Town/Mafia). They are akin to a mechanic, rather than a faction. This is similar to #1 as it is probably the leading cause of #1, but also a problem in its own right as, from the get-go, there really isn't a consideration of them being an entity with a win condition, except as an after-thought.

Am I guilty of the above? Certainly #2, to some extent. I don't really think so for #3. Of my games (Batman, CYOA, Heroes) I think all of third parties had fair shots and were included as entities in their own right.

How to fix this? Several ways, I think.

1. Don't include them as much. The more they are included the more they are devalued and treated more and more like a mechanic and less like a player.

2. Allow joint wins. Basically, if more than one faction achieves their win conditions at the same time, all such factions get a win. For example, if the mafia lynch the fool to achieve majority power, both the fool and mafia win. Some might say that this overpowers certain third parties, such as the Survivor, but I disagree. It is a challenge in and of itself to survive a game, and that should be the challenge of the Survivor, winning with whichever faction also achieves its goals.

3. Have third parties investigate innocent. One of the reasons third parties can be so disruptive to a game, and so hard to win as, is because they offer up technical mislynches, which invariably favor the mafia. There are few things greater, as a mafioso, when a third party is outed. By having them investigate innocent, then they no longer need to fear that. This doesn't make things too easy, as they still have to balance their play: play too pro-town, and they risk getting NKd; play too discretely, and they risk looking scummy and getting lynched. By having them investigate innocent, the outcome is more dependent on their ability, rather than whether or not a cop happens to investigate them or not.

4. End the game when they win. This is irrelevant for certain third parties, such as SK or survivor, who only win at the end anyway. Instead this is directed more at Fools and Lynchers, who can achieve their win condition independently of other factions. By ending the game as soon as they achieve their win condition, other factions are forced to take them seriously. Jester/Fools are treated in a cavelier manner because mods generally don't end the game if they are lynched; They just get "First Place" and this is robbed from them through group disdain. If the game would end, however, this would force people to seriously consider them.

5. Be open and clear about your stance on Third Parties. Merely doing the above is not enough, at least not at first. If you adhered to all of the above, people would still treat third parties the same, because they wouldn't know that you implemented the above. This would be the case until the general paradigm regarding Third Parties shifted as a whole. Until then, I think mods should note when and where they deviate from the expectations of the players (and not just in regards to this topic, either).
UnStupendousMan
Posts: 3,475
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6/13/2012 11:24:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Drafter, there is a reason why people hate the Jester. All a Jester has to do is to troll the game such that they get lynched, and they win. Nothing to it. In any case, ending the game when they win would just make people hate the jester more. They ended a perfectly good mafia game by just trolling it just enough to be lynched. Otherwise, I see your points as valid.
Buddamoose
Posts: 19,450
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6/13/2012 11:26:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:24:21 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
Drafter, there is a reason why people hate the Jester. All a Jester has to do is to troll the game such that they get lynched, and they win. Nothing to it. In any case, ending the game when they win would just make people hate the jester more. They ended a perfectly good mafia game by just trolling it just enough to be lynched. Otherwise, I see your points as valid.

Its called a vig, nice tool to take out fools.
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
Buddamoose
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6/13/2012 11:27:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Although to have them investigate guilty is rather OP. investigating innocent balances the role nicely
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
UnStupendousMan
Posts: 3,475
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6/13/2012 11:28:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:26:23 AM, Buddamoose wrote:
At 6/13/2012 11:24:21 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
Drafter, there is a reason why people hate the Jester. All a Jester has to do is to troll the game such that they get lynched, and they win. Nothing to it. In any case, ending the game when they win would just make people hate the jester more. They ended a perfectly good mafia game by just trolling it just enough to be lynched. Otherwise, I see your points as valid.

Its called a vig, nice tool to take out fools.

But, otherwise, my point still stands. The way to win the game as jester is to subtlely troll the game enough to be lynched. That's not fun for anyone who takes mafia seriously.
UnStupendousMan
Posts: 3,475
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6/13/2012 11:32:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:27:21 AM, Buddamoose wrote:
Although to have them investigate guilty is rather OP. investigating innocent balances the role nicely

People could assume that the jester's GF, and is acting scummy to be investigated.
TUF
Posts: 21,310
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6/13/2012 11:32:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
On fixing the problem with 3rd parties, I feel 1-3 will suffice. The rest not so much. I always though about making my third parties investigate innocent but though that would be bastard modding.
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
TUF
Posts: 21,310
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6/13/2012 11:35:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:24:21 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
Drafter, there is a reason why people hate the Jester. All a Jester has to do is to troll the game such that they get lynched, and they win. Nothing to it. In any case, ending the game when they win would just make people hate the jester more. They ended a perfectly good mafia game by just trolling it just enough to be lynched. Otherwise, I see your points as valid.

Actually, getting lynched takes effort. The town has to take into consideration whether or not someone is purposely trying to get lynched or not. Sometimes people will try so hard that they will be vig killed (like Spinko in QuickFire 18). I think there is some skill to being a jester. And of course for lynchers, survivors, and serial killers there is definitely some skill.
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 11:37:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:24:21 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
Drafter, there is a reason why people hate the Jester. All a Jester has to do is to troll the game such that they get lynched, and they win. Nothing to it. In any case, ending the game when they win would just make people hate the jester more. They ended a perfectly good mafia game by just trolling it just enough to be lynched. Otherwise, I see your points as valid.

I don't view that as something inherently bad with the role, but rather a combination of the role with the culture of Mafia here at DDO. I encourage anyone that thinks it is inherently easy to win the game as Jester to go play a few games of Epic that has the "Fool" role.

The issue is:
Since the game doesn't end if a Jester wins, there is no incentive for the town not to lynch him, especially when combined with a general agreement not to "count" the Jester win as a win, or, rather, not to count the loss to the Jester as a loss.

The reason why Fool wins are not so easy in Epic is because the second you start overtly acting like you want to be lynched, including being a Troll, people will immediately think you are a Fool and ignore you. If there is a vig, you will die, otherwise you will basically be ignored, guaranteeing a loss. This happens in Epic because the people are aware of the role and, more importantly, aware of whether or not it is (or is possible to be) in the current game.

Since games in DDO are almost always closed, you can't tell if there is the possibility of someone being a Jester. This, plus its relative rarity results in the situation we have today. I agree that, given the environment, Jesters are an easy win. I think we can fix that by changing the environment.

You can be guaranteed that the set-up for my EpicDDO includes Fool as a possible Third Party slot, and players would be wise to keep that in mind.
Buddamoose
Posts: 19,450
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6/13/2012 11:42:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:28:33 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
Its called a vig, nice tool to take out fools.

But, otherwise, my point still stands. The way to win the game as jester is to subtlely troll the game enough to be lynched. That's not fun for anyone who takes mafia seriously.

thats not the only way to win as Jester, and if Jester's were taken seriously, it would be a terrible way to play one. Look at the quickfire game last night. The fool was handled perfectly. Its really a difficult role to win as if town is cautious.
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
Buddamoose
Posts: 19,450
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6/13/2012 11:43:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:32:47 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
At 6/13/2012 11:27:21 AM, Buddamoose wrote:
Although to have them investigate guilty is rather OP. investigating innocent balances the role nicely

People could assume that the jester's GF, and is acting scummy to be investigated.

The goal is to balance the role, not make it impossible to win.
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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6/14/2012 1:56:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
3rd parties are most definitely unfairly attacked on DDO, although they have their place.

The thing is that on DDO right now 3rd parties are the bane of both the Mafia and Town. That means that everybody is out to get them. I was killed in Walmart Mafia despite being the clearest voice of reason, the other 3rd party just decided to up and kill me in Countries Mafia and the recent lynch of mine is something which I'll discuss after the game is finished as it's poor conduct to talk about ongoing games.

Third parties really need lots and lots of power to win in their own right. Otherwise they must win with the town.

I think as a mod I've been relatively fair with my third parties. An inquisitor is a powerhouse cult, plus I gave innocent upon investigation. If I added bulletproof (which I didn't) it would be nigh on impossible to take down, so my original design was fair. My blackmailer role was a bit weak I'll admit though. As for a cult reviver with semi-bulletproof status and a lawyer power, I think that's fair enough. Indeed, F-16 was only 1 day away from winning, and all protective roles abandoned him for some reason in the hour of need.

Winning as a 3rd party currently requires evading detection as the Mafia do, but without any of the assistance the Mafia have. Also, sometimes the Mafia can find you out (ie. role cop) which makes the job doubly hard. Most definitely people need to re-evaluate how they treat 3rd parties.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
OberHerr
Posts: 13,062
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6/14/2012 8:31:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think my Zombie role does a good job of making a powerful TP.
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Official Enforcer for the DDO Elite(if they existed).

"Cases are anti-town." - FourTrouble

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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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6/20/2012 12:33:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think the key to making a third party role successful in its own right is to give it anti-town powers and make it anti-town. There is really no point in roles like survivor where if outed, town will try to lynch them and mafia will try to kill them before they can take the win. Also, it is conflicting whether they should play pro-town or anti-town.

If however, we have a role like Serial Killer who needs to be the last one left alive (Logic's role in Action Movies), then it creates more incentive to hide. Giving them other powers like being innocent to investigations and bulletproof balances the game in their favor slightly as well.

Another frustrating thing about third party players is that they often claim to be third party which causes huge disagreements amongst the town as to whether they should be lynched. This can be solved if third parties fake-claim and pretend to be town. That is what the game of mafia is about: everybody says that they are town, but not everyone is actually town.

A problem often encountered is that third party roles are often much weaker than mafia roles. Third parties don't have a roleblocker/lawyer etc. A simple way to solve this is to put their powers on the same level as that of the mafia. In MTorres's Interwebz game, the third party was a roleblocker. In Logic's Golden Garded, the third party was bulletproof when not reviving and also had a one shot lawyer power. In my Action Movies game, the third party could choose to be either BP or appear innocent to investigations after which he would get both powers. The game would be a lot more balanced if third parties have powers on par with the mafia.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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6/20/2012 1:58:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
1) drafter, I always liked the idea of mods agreeing on one set of rules to use. That said, I don't like all the rules you listed, particularly the one about jester lynches ending the game. Although I think if you made that rule, almost no mods would use jester, which I'm fine with.

2) Jester wins are easy. It's my understanding that on Epic, all the roles are listed, which changes things. Here they aren't. The easiest jester win is to fake claim something and get cc'ed or fake claim an investigation and bus a townie. In Misfits, I accidentally bussed a mafioso, but town almost let me bus a townie after that. In fact, I could have hammered the watcher if I wanted (except I had to win in the first three DP'3). Jesters can cause massive mayhem by doing this.

3) It is only rational for town to ignore third parties when mod's don't count them in game balance. If you want town to take them seriously, you have to pretend they are part of the mafia. 12 townies vs. 2 3P vs. 3 mafia is the same as 12 townies vs. 5 mafia because town has to lynch the 3P's to get rid of them. But most mod's don't do this. Without a vig, the scenario above is already MYLO. If you mislynch a townie, then either a 3P or the mafia will win because you don't have enough lynches (unless you kill all 3 mafia in a row and stop the NK). Since it's more gratifying to beat the mafia and since they have a killing ability, it makes sense to ignore third parties as a matter of policy.

This leads to the annoying scenario where 3P can fake claim and if caught, claim to be 3P and town still won't lynch them. I'd rather see more games that don't need 3P's to make them more interesting. Most 3P's don't add anything to the game, except cult and SK, imo.
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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6/20/2012 2:08:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 1:58:28 PM, bluesteel wrote:
1) drafter, I always liked the idea of mods agreeing on one set of rules to use. That said, I don't like all the rules you listed, particularly the one about jester lynches ending the game. Although I think if you made that rule, almost no mods would use jester, which I'm fine with.

2) Jester wins are easy. It's my understanding that on Epic, all the roles are listed, which changes things. Here they aren't.

Part of my point was that Jester's aren't inherently easy, they're are merely easy here, given the current environment. Also, there are set-ups in Epic which are only semi-open (you know what roles are possibly, but not necessarily, in the game).

The easiest jester win is to fake claim something and get cc'ed or fake claim an investigation and bus a townie. In Misfits, I accidentally bussed a mafioso, but town almost let me bus a townie after that. In fact, I could have hammered the watcher if I wanted (except I had to win in the first three DP'3). Jesters can cause massive mayhem by doing this.

3) It is only rational for town to ignore third parties when mod's don't count them in game balance. If you want town to take them seriously, you have to pretend they are part of the mafia. 12 townies vs. 2 3P vs. 3 mafia is the same as 12 townies vs. 5 mafia because town has to lynch the 3P's to get rid of them. But most mod's don't do this. Without a vig, the scenario above is already MYLO. If you mislynch a townie, then either a 3P or the mafia will win because you don't have enough lynches (unless you kill all 3 mafia in a row and stop the NK). Since it's more gratifying to beat the mafia and since they have a killing ability, it makes sense to ignore third parties as a matter of policy.

This leads to the annoying scenario where 3P can fake claim and if caught, claim to be 3P and town still won't lynch them. I'd rather see more games that don't need 3P's to make them more interesting. Most 3P's don't add anything to the game, except cult and SK, imo.

I agree and most of the newer games I'm adding don't include them.
OberHerr
Posts: 13,062
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6/20/2012 2:18:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I wouldn't be against some people coming together to come up with some sets of rules, or perhaps some types of rules.(Like, there can be multiple rule sets, but everyone knows what they are)

It always annoys me when mods refuse to answer questions on how they would make some actions work, or in a hypothetical situation, this would happen.
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Official Enforcer for the DDO Elite(if they existed).

"Cases are anti-town." - FourTrouble

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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/20/2012 2:23:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 2:18:01 PM, OberHerr wrote:
I wouldn't be against some people coming together to come up with some sets of rules, or perhaps some types of rules.(Like, there can be multiple rule sets, but everyone knows what they are)

It always annoys me when mods refuse to answer questions on how they would make some actions work, or in a hypothetical situation, this would happen.

I'm planning on doing something like that for my own purposes. A detailed explanation of the mechanics I employ and the roles I use.