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Hydras

TUF
Posts: 21,297
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4/21/2013 2:29:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hydras are obviously still new to Mafia, and I've seen them only used twice so far, but while they are in a experimental phase right now, I want to hear some pros and cons to them.

What do you think are good about them, and what do you think are bad? From my own thoughts, I can only see negatives to using them.

Cons

1. It reduces the amount of active players in a game.
2. compatibility with the other players reads will screw up others reads on the hyrda
3. Mostly, good active players like to hyrda together. In both games I have played as mafia, this has only benefitted me as a good NP1 kill target, getting rid of 2 great players in one shot.

Pros

1. double strength mafia team
2. Easy for mafia to hit, for a great kill
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
TUF
Posts: 21,297
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4/21/2013 3:57:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also having a hydra is an excuse for less actvity, if you just expect your partner to pick up the slack, when you are busy or un-interested.
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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4/21/2013 4:18:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. It allows players new to mafia to play alongside better and more experienced players. I suspect this is why yraelz and I are hydraing now; it's a great learning experience.

2. It allows players who would normally not post as much to still participate.

3. It allows players who would normally choose not to play to still participate. Take, for example, me and tulle. We've chosen not to play individually because the game would force us to lie to each other.

4. Fewer replacements are necessary. Losing one half of a hydra still leaves that slot filled.

5. It essentially creates a new player. You may be familiar with fourtrouble and you may be familiar with yraelz, but you are not familiar with them playing together.
- 5.a This adds variety to an otherwise stagnant player pool.
- 5.b This allows seasoned players to approach the game from a new perspective.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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4/21/2013 4:23:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Pros:

1. Ability to bounce reads of each other. For instance, understanding the perspective of another good player and why he believes what he believes can help improve your game and be more discerning.

2. Emotional detachment: let's say for instance, Royal and IFLY hydra together. Hypothetically, Royal could emotionally get worked up into an argument, flaming and spamming and making the player slot look scummy. IFLY comes in and offers a whole new perspective and calms her down. This can be seen to a lesser extent in real games. Consider a game where you were fully emotionally invested in getting a person lynched who was actually town. Wouldn't it be nice to have an impartial observer giving you a different perspective, and taking over the reigns while you cool off?

3. Ideas: If either drafter and I were alone as the role we had in FT's game, we wouldn't have been able to play it off as well as we actually did. We flipped the role of a dead person that we would choose that night. We executed it perfectly hinting that the OP shouldn't be trusted and then chose Tulle so it was really obvious Tulle was town. If we hadn't been able to strategize and picked a random townie, that townie might have been lynched on our flip. If we picked scum, no one would have taken our analysis seriously since we would have flipped scum. It required some thought and analysis.

4. Time constraints. I want to be in a game but if I have a final tomorrow, I don't want to have to make massive posts of analysis and not want to defend myself against being scum because of inactivity. I am never inactive. If I don't have the time, I don't sign up for games. If I do sign up, I give it my all. That's the way it should be. People who don't have time shouldn't be signing up for mafia games. Hydras allow you to have your cake and eat it as well.
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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4/21/2013 4:28:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
6. Fewer missed night actions.

7. Hydras decrease the likelihood that talented players who are playing by themselves will be killed or investigated as early.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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tulle
Posts: 4,445
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4/21/2013 4:36:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/21/2013 4:23:38 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:

3. Ideas: If either drafter and I were alone as the role we had in FT's game, we wouldn't have been able to play it off as well as we actually did. We flipped the role of a dead person that we would choose that night. We executed it perfectly hinting that the OP shouldn't be trusted and then chose Tulle so it was really obvious Tulle was town. If we hadn't been able to strategize and picked a random townie, that townie might have been lynched on our flip. If we picked scum, no one would have taken our analysis seriously since we would have flipped scum. It required some thought and analysis.


I didn't realize that happened. Interesting!
yang.
Yraelz
Posts: 4,056
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4/21/2013 6:48:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
For new people the ability to play with someone experienced is a pretty solid pro. In the game I hydra'd with FT, albeit short lived, I had the opportunity to ask various questions pertaining to our strategy. Even more valuable, I think, is the ability to watch how a more experienced player approaches situations. My traditional approach to getting good at video games is to emulate what high level players do. In a hydra situation the same approach can be used since the new player gets to experience the thought process behind a good players actions.

There is something to be said for thinning the pool of available players. However, in the case of FT and I, our schedules seem to compliment each other. I was active during the day time while he was active later at night. I'd argue the synergy increases the quality of the game via more frequent posts. Also, even for the more experienced player it's a new experience, so it probably increases their interest in the game.
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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4/21/2013 8:57:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm ambivalent about hydras. It's something that I'll probably never want to do, but I suppose others get some benefits from. Since most people are arguing in favour of hydras I'll balance the discussion by posting negatives; a few comments:

I don't think new players get as much benefit from a hydra as is commonly thought. A beginner series combined with a few advanced games (of decent quality) should be enough to make anybody ready for Mafia. As to becoming extremely skilled, that's primarily a matter of experience and ingenuity among other factors. This isn't to say that viewing Mafia through the lens of another's experience doesn't help, but that it's not as useful as is argued.

I also side with TUF on the idea that hydras result in less activity. Players who put in significant analysis by themselves significantly reduce their output in a hydra; this is true to such an extent that the hydra is often less active than the more active of the individuals in the hydra. That is based on my very limited observations of hydras though.

My biggest quibble is on overall player quality though. Over the past month (since late February in particular) we've seen a drop in the number of active players. We're getting 'proper' games full of veritable beginners at times. If there are 6 capable players and they form 3 hydras then there are less capable players viewing different roles - this is what contributes to analysis. The lack of different roles and viewpoints means that 2 players are approaching a game from the viewpoint of one role (and set of information) as opposed to 2. The game suffers. Again, this isn't a problem so long as the other participants in a game are good. If they are good then hydras make for an even higher standard of play. It's a matter of what will assist in raising the standard, and that depends on the quality of the game before hydras come into consideration. Suffice to say, I've been struggling to get the creme de la creme in the current environment.

There are positive aspects to hydras, yet I feel that the current dearth of activity renders these positives inapplicable to the present Mafia environment,
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it