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Time Limits on Day Phases

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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11/28/2012 9:42:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
As mods and players, I'd be interested to know the opinions of the majority of mafia players on whether a day phase needs to have time limits and if they do, whether the mod should have the discretion to extend them.

My opinion is that whether or nor there will be a time limit at any point in the game should be predetermined by the mod as opposed to made up on the fly. I'd go so far as to classify time limits on the same level as trivia information where the ideal solution is to decide before the game starts what information will be given.

However, a lot of mods (me included until halfway through my last game) often provide no deadlines for day phases and usually post time limits based on the level of activity in the game. While this makes the game more *fun*, it also makes the game less *fair*. This is because the imposition of a deadline favors scum factions as opposed to the town. Extension of deadlines favor town and punish the scum factions who may have had plans to win the game by stalling, lurking, and no lynching which while anti-town are legitimate scum strategies. For this reason, I'd consider extension of deadlines equivalent to mod intervention since the mod is intervening on behalf of town to help them come to a decision when the haven't been able to do so. That is the same as bastard modding although it isn't usually considered to be as such.

A proposed solution which I intend to use in my next modded games is to have a concrete deadline with no scope for extension regardless of the activity level. Such a deadline however might be better if it the time period is longer, say 120 hours as opposed to the usual 48-72 hour deadline.

What are your thoughts as to whether games are better served with deadlines?

Do you believe extension of deadlines by the mod on request of the players is fair to the game?

If you propose a non-extendable deadline, what is a good time frame?
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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11/28/2012 11:23:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm for time limits on DPs - without a time limit a game can die. Even if inactivity is killing the town via night kills it's possible that some player might get lucky, discover something and so forth.

I'm also for extensions, given player activity. The purpose of a time limit is partially to incentivise activity; if activity exists the time limit isn't quite so necessary. I typically like a significant number of players to demand an extension before one is given - we want a number close to a lynching amount for this to be effective.
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tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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11/29/2012 4:37:54 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Never thought of it like that before (in terms of mod intervention in favour of town). I've always kind of loosely imposed mine but cut it when it seemed right.

I'll be imposing time limits on my upcoming game for DPs and NPs. It will be 72 hours for the DP and 36 hours for NP with a 12 hour extension in the case of replacements.

I also think regular count downs are good. I didn't like spinkos recent game where he auto-lynched the highest vote count. I've done it myself before but being subject to it showed a fatal flaw. I think it could be a potential mafia JOAT ability though, something I've jotted down in my notes.
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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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11/29/2012 7:51:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I believe time limits are necessary. On the flip-side, if you are running a game where you are consistently having your time limits reached, then you, the mod, are doing something wrong.

Time limits are kind of like the death penalty: they work best as a threat than an actual punishment. It instills a sense of urgency and gives the players a deadline to beat. Simply giving them an open-ended, potentially unlimited time to play is detrimental.

As a mod, you should do whatever is necessary to ensure those time limits aren't reached, mostly through repeated reminders. It's easier to do this during the Night Phase, as you can levee the threat of lost night actions.

Regarding what to do when a day phase reaches its limit, there are pros and cons to No Lynching versus Plurality lynching. Inactive players are the worst thing to happen to the Town, and plurality lynching allows the remaining active players to be able to exercise some control.
Zaradi
Posts: 14,124
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11/29/2012 3:24:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This thread brings me back to my most recent game where the time limits were almost always being reached since town was so inactive. The only time town lynched someone was when I basically forgot my time limit and just let them go at it until someone was lynched (They lynched scum). Although that game wasn't exactly an ordinary game, I do think it speaks a bit about what happens when you give town plenty of time.

I'm a fan of time limits, so long as they aren't abusively short or abusively long. A 12 hour time limit would massively favor scum since they could lurk and almost always get a no lynch. A week day phase would favor town since they would have massive amounts of time to get information together and lynch someone before the time limit even came close to running out. The middle ground is, of course, up for debate, but where I would advocate a good place to put the time limit at is somewhere between two to three days. It allows ample time for town to get stuff together and get a majority to lynch together, while doesn't preclude scum's ability to lurk and get out of trouble in the DP that way.
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