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Cases are anti-town?

FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 9:57:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well, I've said this quite a few times in games recently and I think it needs some qualification. I got the idea from a player on mafiascum who called cases scummy, and while I wouldn't go as far as to call them scummy, I did agree with some of the points he made. I don't think cases are inherently anti-town but I do think in practice they cause more harm than good. The basic premises are:

1. They often reflect more on the rhetorical abilities of the player making the case than on the alignment of the player being cased.

2. They encourage the person you suspect to respond instead of letting others make up their own opinions about the case, which leads to an endless back-and-forth, hence the pervasive problem of excessive clutter and flame wars. The Wire is still the best example, in my mind, of how a case-off can totally shatter a Town.

3. They are biasing, not only for the player making the case via confirmation bias, but also for those reading the case by encouraging people to focus on the points you find relevant, often leading players to miss relevant points about a suspect's alignment.

What's the alternative? I think explaining why you think someone is scum or why you think someone is town is enough. This can usually be done in 2-3 lines and a well-placed quote. Example: "F-16 is scum because his reads are inconsistent with his commentary, and he's tunneling excessively," and then you quote something that looks fake and point out why it's contrived. If F-16 were town in this imaginary scenario, ideally 2-3 lines should be enough to defend himself and he should then do his best to avoid getting into excessive back-and-forth walling/quoting that ultimately leads nowhere.

The real problem I've run into, both here and on mafiascum, is dealing with your target when/if they respond to your 2-3 lines and well-placed quote. Usually, they'll dismiss your points by saying you haven't made a case and then they'll respond in aching detail to every word you've written. Worse, they then expect you to rebut their rebuttal, and so-on back-and-forth until you're engaged in a fully-grown flame-war case-off. What can be done about that? I dunno. I think the problem can only be addressed by bringing more attention to the way cases harm the Town.

I also want to make sure now you guys don't get me wrong; explaining why you think the way you do is good. Having reasons for believing someone is town or someone is scum is essential to the game. I'm not talking about abandoning all logic/reasoning. I'm talking about cases and their inevitable byproducts. I'd love to hear what you guys think.
drafterman
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4/26/2013 11:51:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't get it. You spend the majority of your post explaining why cases are bad, then suggest the alternative is to, make a case! Yes, you don't call it a case, but that's what it is. Explaining why someone is scum and should be lynched, regardless of how many lines you use to do it, is a case.

What I think is completely and utterly detrimental to town is this notion that crops up that certain people should simply be listened to unequivocally, and act as though they are mod-confirmed townies rather than people of unknown affiliation.
Lucky_Luciano
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4/26/2013 12:50:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I absolutely agree; however, until we have enough competent players in one place (such as in Logic's games) we will be forced to write page-long cases to convince the people who sign up for mafia but don't actually play to vote for people we think are scum.
"Age is not important" - Airmax 2014
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Buddamoose
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4/26/2013 1:49:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 1:45:04 PM, drafterman wrote:
Reads are too numerous and too transitory to base lynches off of.

Then what should lynches be based off of?
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
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drafterman
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4/26/2013 2:15:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 1:49:06 PM, Buddamoose wrote:
At 4/26/2013 1:45:04 PM, drafterman wrote:
Reads are too numerous and too transitory to base lynches off of.

Then what should lynches be based off of?

Cases, results.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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4/26/2013 2:26:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
FT makes good points. I agree with a lot of his points. The best players don't make "cases." I'll explain by pointing to one example: bluesteel.

I've never seen bluesteel write a post which he titles in bold "The case against X." I've never seen him continue to harp on about a case the way I've seen some others do.

I used to make cases a lot before but now I try to restrict cases to just meta-reads. If it is an in-game read, better not to actually make a full-on case. Take bluesteel for instance, usually he is sympathetic with X (the guy he wants lynched) and keeps questioning X and trying hard to figure out X's affiliation. In general he takes very long to make up his mind and usually wavers a lot. During the time, town usually comes on his side and agree with the points he is making. He also doesn't often coax reads out of the town or put them too much out of their comfort zone if they aren't his scumreads.

One of the most important things about leading lynches is to:

a) Not give it your all - this leads to you taking the blame whenever the lynch goes bad. Rather stay on the same page as the town and keep winning more people to your side by asking directed questions to your target.

b) Don't make people frustrated - While asking questions to your target, keep an open mind. I was honestly surprised by how open bluesteel was when he was trying to figure out my affiliation in Slaves of Time even after the Mason recruiter died trying to recruit me (it was basically a guilty result). He kept considering the alternatives. When someone leads a lynch against player X, player X is usually frustrated with that person. bluesteel is usually exceptional in that player X usually wouldn't be frustrated.

To answer the OP, don't make a bold title stating "THE CASE AGAINST FOURTROUBLE!" or something like that. I for instance wouldn't presently do it unless it was based on meta (although I used to do it more in the past). Reason is that if you make such a case, the target would respond and you will get into a back and forth. I am still trying to determine how to incorporate meta into posts without making a "case." Learning from the Pro's is a great example. Compare bluesteel with say Royal who would make a "case" very frequently and note who people get frustrated with. Another advantage of not frustrating people is that if you change your mind and you think they are town, you will still have them on your side.
drafterman
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4/26/2013 2:37:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. They often reflect more on the rhetorical abilities of the player making the case than on the alignment of the player being cased.

This is a contradiction. A person's rhetorical ability is directly proportional to their ability to convince someone of something. You can't have a high degree of rhetorical ability while, at the same time, fail to convince people of your argument (in this case, the alignment of the player being cased).

2. They encourage the person you suspect to respond instead of letting others make up their own opinions about the case, which leads to an endless back-and-forth, hence the pervasive problem of excessive clutter and flame wars. The Wire is still the best example, in my mind, of how a case-off can totally shatter a Town.

This is ironic from FT, who regularly exploits certain players typical mindlessness to have them vote for people rather than make up their own minds, but I digress. Having the target respond is usually good, because A) it is the only way they can save themselves if they are truly innocent and B) if they are guilty they will usually dig themselves deeper, often convincing others of their guilt that wouldn't have with the case alone.

Regardless, this is more of an issue with people being repetitive without actually adding anything to the conversation and doesn't really have anything to do with the case itself. This issue would be fixed if people simply stated their case and left it at that.

3. They are biasing, not only for the player making the case via confirmation bias, but also for those reading the case by encouraging people to focus on the points you find relevant, often leading players to miss relevant points about a suspect's alignment.

LOL. Yes, people often feel very strongly about the alignment of others, and that is the source of confirmation bias. But it isn't going to go away by forbidding them from voicing their case. The confirmation bias comes before the case, not as a result of it.

And, yeah, it encourages people to focus on the points I find relevant. That's the point! I want them to be convinced the person I'm casing is scum and vote accordingly!
drafterman
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4/26/2013 2:40:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 2:26:00 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
FT makes good points. I agree with a lot of his points. The best players don't make "cases." I'll explain by pointing to one example: bluesteel.

I've never seen bluesteel write a post which he titles in bold "The case against X." I've never seen him continue to harp on about a case the way I've seen some others do.

I used to make cases a lot before but now I try to restrict cases to just meta-reads. If it is an in-game read, better not to actually make a full-on case. Take bluesteel for instance, usually he is sympathetic with X (the guy he wants lynched) and keeps questioning X and trying hard to figure out X's affiliation. In general he takes very long to make up his mind and usually wavers a lot. During the time, town usually comes on his side and agree with the points he is making. He also doesn't often coax reads out of the town or put them too much out of their comfort zone if they aren't his scumreads.

One of the most important things about leading lynches is to:

a) Not give it your all - this leads to you taking the blame whenever the lynch goes bad. Rather stay on the same page as the town and keep winning more people to your side by asking directed questions to your target.

b) Don't make people frustrated - While asking questions to your target, keep an open mind. I was honestly surprised by how open bluesteel was when he was trying to figure out my affiliation in Slaves of Time even after the Mason recruiter died trying to recruit me (it was basically a guilty result). He kept considering the alternatives. When someone leads a lynch against player X, player X is usually frustrated with that person. bluesteel is usually exceptional in that player X usually wouldn't be frustrated.

To answer the OP, don't make a bold title stating "THE CASE AGAINST FOURTROUBLE!" or something like that. I for instance wouldn't presently do it unless it was based on meta (although I used to do it more in the past). Reason is that if you make such a case, the target would respond and you will get into a back and forth. I am still trying to determine how to incorporate meta into posts without making a "case." Learning from the Pro's is a great example. Compare bluesteel with say Royal who would make a "case" very frequently and note who people get frustrated with. Another advantage of not frustrating people is that if you change your mind and you think they are town, you will still have them on your side.

Guess I won't be one of "the best players" then. Almost exclusively I try and build cases against scum and I believe that all of my best catches have been a result of of that. I'm not sure your assessment of bluesteel is correct, but I only have a single counter, and I'm not sure about that.

I'll continue to give it my best. After all, we WANT people to be held accountable if they mislynch, don't we?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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4/26/2013 3:44:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
@ Drafterman, most of the time that I've seen you destroy scumteams involved just going after them by responding to their posts. I don't remember times when you actually made a "titled" case with bold/underlined headings indicating that it was a "case" to the same degree as I remember you picking up things about players that are scummy and probing into them with the player digging himself deeper into hole each time you did that.
Logic_on_rails
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4/26/2013 5:35:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm going to take the line that cases aren't a horrible idea; I'm going to agree with Drafter.

What makes a case? Is it all those headings and underlines? Ridiculous I agree. Fine, let's remove them - no 'case' . That's a patently ridiculous definition. Is it long paragraphs stringed together? Then let us cry against lengthy analysis; increase the post exponentially!

I get the counters to 'cases' being raised. I understand that without my persuasive rhetoric I'd probably be a fairly average player. Should we nail rhetoric to death? No. As to a back and forth argument, that shouldn't occur if the participants act in the right frame of mind and are willing to give ground to each other; they are reasonable. And bias? Why, Drafterman pointed how it exists prior to the case.

So what's my solution? Write your paragraphs, yet don't be myopic. Cases do tend to restrict one's analysis of the situation in practice... but it's not a feature inherent to a case; it's player excitement leading to shallow views. Write the paragraphs, construct a holistic analysis and move from there.
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Buddamoose
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4/26/2013 5:38:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
F-16 I think Drafter is just referring to a case as any post that states reasons why a person is scum. At least thats what I got from it.

Doesnt matter if its, "X is scum because his posts are contrived, he has been bandwagon'ing, and he has defended two flipped scum"

Or

"Case Against X

10K characters later..."

And I'd have to agree, a case is a case no matter how small or large, and they fit a purpose in causing scum to further dig themselves a deeper hole as they either contradict themselves, show previous posts to be lies, or belie their true motivations.

@Drafter- i want to Hydra with you XD
"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
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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4/26/2013 5:52:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think there are more disagreements as to the definition of case and whether it is underlined and bolded as opposed to other aspects.

I stand by my view that bolding and underlining headings and calling it is a case could perhaps do more damage than the actual case itself. It is ostentatious and puts the target in a defensive frame of mind. If someone made a "case" against me, it would require quite a bit of effort from my part to trust that person as town - mostly discarding emotions and giving way to reason.

@ Drafter, Logic, and Budda, you bring up good points that cases need not be bolded and underlined. Yet I believe that is one of the most important things that can be used to categorize a piece of analysis as a "case." Without headings and without calling it a case, it ceases to be a case in the first place. It would merely remain a piece of analysis especially if other people are also mentioned in that analysis. By "case," I refer to outright displays like the ones Budda has done against Lucky in the beginner game.

I agree that analysis that isn't a case is good analysis. It beats one-liners any day. I often disagree with that strategy. For instance, FT merely stating that someone is town or scum and letting others come to their conclusions. Because the conclusion they often come to is that FT himself is scum!

I favor long posts of analysis with detailed references to behaviors and claims of multiple people while zoning in on scumreads without referring to this attack as a "case" or using bold, underlines, or caps to convey the message.
Sui_Generis
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4/26/2013 6:33:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
FourTrouble, do you have me in mind as one of the players guilty of this?

I call it consolidating many single posts spread over ten pages into one post on one page, but FourTrouble derides it as a wall of text. See the first two posts on this page 8: (I hadn't posted for about 10 pages)
http://www.debate.org...
"Mundus vult decipi--the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire."
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Sui_Generis
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4/26/2013 6:34:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Socratic method, guise. :P Lead them into answering questions such that they contradict themselves without thinking. If they disagree with you, town read! haha.
"Mundus vult decipi--the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire."
-Martin Buber, I and Thou
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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4/26/2013 6:40:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 6:33:26 PM, Sui_Generis wrote:
FourTrouble, do you have me in mind as one of the players guilty of this?

I call it consolidating many single posts spread over ten pages into one post on one page, but FourTrouble derides it as a wall of text. See the first two posts on this page 8: (I hadn't posted for about 10 pages)
http://www.debate.org...

The problem with your posts is the quoting. If you made the same post without quoting, that would have great.
drafterman
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4/26/2013 7:03:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 3:44:47 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
@ Drafterman, most of the time that I've seen you destroy scumteams involved just going after them by responding to their posts. I don't remember times when you actually made a "titled" case with bold/underlined headings indicating that it was a "case" to the same degree as I remember you picking up things about players that are scummy and probing into them with the player digging himself deeper into hole each time you did that.

I don't think the issues FT has with cases is the fact that they have bolded titles.
drafterman
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4/26/2013 7:04:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 5:38:12 PM, Buddamoose wrote:
F-16 I think Drafter is just referring to a case as any post that states reasons why a person is scum. At least thats what I got from it.

Doesnt matter if its, "X is scum because his posts are contrived, he has been bandwagon'ing, and he has defended two flipped scum"

Or

"Case Against X

10K characters later..."


And I'd have to agree, a case is a case no matter how small or large, and they fit a purpose in causing scum to further dig themselves a deeper hole as they either contradict themselves, show previous posts to be lies, or belie their true motivations.

@Drafter- i want to Hydra with you XD

The game after Logic's, sure.
Buddamoose
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4/26/2013 7:09:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 7:04:29 PM, drafterman wrote:

@Drafter- i want to Hydra with you XD

The game after Logic's, sure.

http://youtu.be...
"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
Yraelz
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4/26/2013 7:17:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 7:03:35 PM, drafterman wrote:
I don't think the issues FT has with cases is the fact that they have bolded titles.

Untrue, this is actually FTs only problem with cases. He once told me, while hydra-ing, that bolded titles make him irrationally angry.
FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 10:47:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 5:52:12 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I favor long posts of analysis with detailed references to behaviors and claims of multiple people while zoning in on scumreads without referring to this attack as a "case" or using bold, underlines, or caps to convey the message.

I like long posts analyzing behavior, setup, psychology, etc. as well but to me that's something inherently speculative and typically engaged in conversation with others. We can talk about things we agree with or disagree with, make observations, bring up points that someone else may have missed, establish different theories, work on a consensus, slowly trying to figure out the game. I love that.

When I talk about cases, I'm not talking about analysis. I'm talking about presenting an extended argument intended to convince others - often the person you suspect - that they are scum. It has nothing to do with labels or underlines. If people disagree with the entirety of your analysis, you're best bet is to begin compromising, and that's achieved through open conversation and analysis, not argumentative cases. I guess my main point is to not treat mafia like a debate. That's why I favor the approach of simply stating "X is scum" and voting them when I'm pushing for a lynch. My previous analysis/commentary speaks for itself, and if someone doesn't understand the thought process behind my vote, I'm happy to explain it to them. Explanation/analysis is not a case.
FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 10:56:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 2:37:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
1. They often reflect more on the rhetorical abilities of the player making the case than on the alignment of the player being cased.

This is a contradiction. A person's rhetorical ability is directly proportional to their ability to convince someone of something. You can't have a high degree of rhetorical ability while, at the same time, fail to convince people of your argument (in this case, the alignment of the player being cased).

You're missing the point here: good rhetorical abilities are not related to the ACTUAL alignment of the person being cased. If you can convince people that player X is scum, that doesn't mean your player X is scum, it just means your rhetorical abilities are better than anyone presenting a counter.

2. They encourage the person you suspect to respond instead of letting others make up their own opinions about the case, which leads to an endless back-and-forth, hence the pervasive problem of excessive clutter and flame wars. The Wire is still the best example, in my mind, of how a case-off can totally shatter a Town.

This is ironic from FT, who regularly exploits certain players typical mindlessness to have them vote for people rather than make up their own minds, but I digress. Having the target respond is usually good, because A) it is the only way they can save themselves if they are truly innocent and B) if they are guilty they will usually dig themselves deeper, often convincing others of their guilt that wouldn't have with the case alone.

Regardless, this is more of an issue with people being repetitive without actually adding anything to the conversation and doesn't really have anything to do with the case itself. This issue would be fixed if people simply stated their case and left it at that.

I said cases aren't inherently a problem at the start of my post so you're not really addressing the issue here. I'm not talking about cases on a purely theoretical realm, I'm talking empirically about the observed effect of cases, and it's a problem that occurs not only on DDO but also on mafiascum. The chances you are playing exclusively with exceptional players who won't fall victim to this is highly unlikely; for the vast majority of games, cases lead to case-offs.

3. They are biasing, not only for the player making the case via confirmation bias, but also for those reading the case by encouraging people to focus on the points you find relevant, often leading players to miss relevant points about a suspect's alignment.

LOL. Yes, people often feel very strongly about the alignment of others, and that is the source of confirmation bias. But it isn't going to go away by forbidding them from voicing their case. The confirmation bias comes before the case, not as a result of it.

I disagree. If you're engaged in an open conversation with someone, you are much more likely to compromise and change your mind. I've seen you tunnel on one person (who happened to be town) for the entirety of a game because you refused to engage in conversation and open analysis and just kept pushing your case. Town lost that game.

And, yeah, it encourages people to focus on the points I find relevant. That's the point! I want them to be convinced the person I'm casing is scum and vote accordingly!

Yea, but maybe you are wrong and someone would have noticed a different point about the person that shows why they are town. Or maybe the person notices something you didn't that further reveals them as scum, a point that is more likely to convince others. It's fine to bring up what you think are relevant points as part of a conversation/analysis, it's not fine to push it down people's throats in a case.
FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 10:57:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 6:33:26 PM, Sui_Generis wrote:
FourTrouble, do you have me in mind as one of the players guilty of this?

Nah, your problem is formatting + commenting on totally irrelevant stuff. I've yet to see you make a case, you're doing fine on that front.
FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 10:59:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 5:35:53 PM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
I'm going to take the line that cases aren't a horrible idea; I'm going to agree with Drafter.

What makes a case? Is it all those headings and underlines? Ridiculous I agree. Fine, let's remove them - no 'case' . That's a patently ridiculous definition. Is it long paragraphs stringed together? Then let us cry against lengthy analysis; increase the post exponentially!

I get the counters to 'cases' being raised. I understand that without my persuasive rhetoric I'd probably be a fairly average player. Should we nail rhetoric to death? No. As to a back and forth argument, that shouldn't occur if the participants act in the right frame of mind and are willing to give ground to each other; they are reasonable. And bias? Why, Drafterman pointed how it exists prior to the case.

So what's my solution? Write your paragraphs, yet don't be myopic. Cases do tend to restrict one's analysis of the situation in practice... but it's not a feature inherent to a case; it's player excitement leading to shallow views. Write the paragraphs, construct a holistic analysis and move from there.

Logic, you don't really make cases though. You post in an extremely speculative way that is much more like analysis engaged in a conversation with the town. When you defend yourself, you rarely get involved in a case-off.
FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 11:01:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
bluesteel is a good example of someone who rarely makes cases. Danielle didn't make a single case in Logic's last game either yet made long posts of analysis. This is the distinction I'm talking about here.
Sui_Generis
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4/26/2013 11:03:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 10:57:23 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 4/26/2013 6:33:26 PM, Sui_Generis wrote:
FourTrouble, do you have me in mind as one of the players guilty of this?

Nah, your problem is formatting + commenting on totally irrelevant stuff. I've yet to see you make a case, you're doing fine on that front.

I quote the things to which I am responding, which are several pages back at times when I don't post for a while. Rather than waste time waiting for them to say "where." I just quote them, then respond. Quote, respond. Quote, respond.

Irrelevancy is subjective until the endgame.
"Mundus vult decipi--the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire."
-Martin Buber, I and Thou
FourTrouble
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4/26/2013 11:07:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Sui, your problem is focusing the vast majority of your posts on things that are not relevant to figuring out a player's alignment. You spend more time telling people how they should be playing, in itself strange since you are new to the game, instead of trying to figure out who the scum are.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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4/26/2013 11:59:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
FT, I don't agree with one-liners because they convince no one. Based on the response from the DDO community, why do you still think it is a good idea? Maybe I am paranoid about you but even in the games I have not played, you get the same response.

I observed that few people responded positively to your one-liners. Usually they would turn on you. Articulating exactly what you are thinking without being prodded to do so might make them more trusting of you.

As a skilled scum-player, the worry is that you will lead lynches on them while leading the mafia to victory. No one as town wants a repeat of Once Upon a Time or The Mentalist. They will be apt to suspect you and aggressive one-liners are inherently fishier than explanations of thought processes.

While playing, I generally find it important to project myself as a townie just as it is important that I catch scum.

Presenting extended arguments to convince vs one-liners isn't a dichotomy. Ideally, you'd want to incorporate a "case" into a massive post of analysis which also analyzes the game state and explain not why someone is scum but why they are more likely scum than all other players.

Rhetorical abilities are important. After all, this is a team game.

Danielle made plenty of cases against Maxx which she constantly updated. Her analysis on game state was much more valuable than her multiple "cases" on Maxx so I agree with the distinction.

Point is FT, I agree with what you are saying in this thread. I don't agree with what you do in games (not all parts of your playstyle, just the one-liners).