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Hydras signing off with regular screennames

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 1:33:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Should hydras sign off with their regular screennames? I strongly think that they should. I am talking about this purely from a town perspective. I think it is more beneficial to town overall.

Let's start with the concept of "readability." Readability as I define it means the ease with which a player can be read and their affiliation determined. For example, FT and Danielle are difficult to read players. Tulle and HCP are easy to read. Being easily readable hinders a player as mafia because people would easily figure them out. Yet, as town, it can be invaluable. If players are read as town, they will likely not be lynched. This means that instead of mislynching them, town lynches someone else leading to a higher probability of a scum lynch and eventual victory.

Readability is not necessarily a good thing in the long term since it makes it easier to be caught as scum. However, in each game, whenever you receive a town role PM, the most pro-town thing to do is to be readable. Even if this may not be good for you in the long term, it is good for that town in that game. The best way to have a good scum game is to constantly evolve or come up with good fake claims. For instance bluesteel is generally easy to read but wins a lot of games as scum. I digress. My point is that every game you play as town, you should strive to be as readable as possible.

Now that we've established that, let's consider the "unified voice" argument as mentioned by FlippantBouyancy.

"I have a very specific reason for believing hydras shouldn't have to sign their name. I imagine your reason for wanting us to sign is because you think it makes us more readable. I disagree, I think it makes us less readable. If we're forced to discuss reads and come to a consensus, then it becomes much more difficult for mafia hydras to fake the act of figuring the game out and developing a consensus. If a mafia hydra signs their name, they don't have to worry about reacting in the right way because one head can take one position and the other head can take the other position. The notion of internal consistency is totally worthless if hydras sign their name. Simply put, I find hydras much harder to read when the heads do not agree with each other. I think there is much more accountability when the heads unify their voice, and when if necessary they make compromises with each other and take unified positions."

First, FB says that if hydras are forced to discuss reads and come to a consensus, it makes it more difficult for mafia hydras to fake that act. This doesn't take into account that hydras can speak with a non-unified voice even without signing off their posts.

I am not arguing that hydras shouldn't be unified but rather than unification has nothing to do with signing off names. A hydra can speak with a unified voice and still sign off with the name of whoever is posting. On the flip side, each hydra member can make their own posts without signing off as Flippant have been doing in the Romance game.

Drafterman argues that:
One of the points of a Hydra was to have a single face. Forcing people to sign off defeats that purpose and we might as well just do away with the Hydra accounts and simply have people double up on the sign-up sheet. Both of the individual players already include themselves in PMs; the Hydra account itself is merely used for posting purposes.

I disagree and have never used a hydra to "have a single face." The point of a hydra is to discuss reads or plan strategies with another player.

The single major argument that I hear in favor of not signing off is that they have a "unified voice" which is not prevented by signing off their screennames. Unified voice and signing off are two different things which are being conflated.
Maikuru
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5/28/2013 1:50:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I prefer signing off, too. Tulle and I use the hydra account to discuss reads, strategize, and bounce ideas off each other, but in the end we still have unique voices and perspectives. As such, I think it's helpful for everyone to know what posts are coming from which of us.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 1:55:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
One thing I forgot to elaborate on is meta.

Each player has a distinct style of posting, and a distinct way of thinking. What is a scumtell for one player isn't for another. What a scumtell is for Yraelz isn't a scumtell for FourTrouble and vice-versa. By knowing who made a post, other townies can figure out what each member is thinking and determine their affiliation based on that.

While it can be argued that "Flippant" will have a unified voice and what a scumtell is for Flippant is a scumtell, it ignores the fact that you can't get inside two people's heads at once. You can't meta Flippant. Flippant isn't a person.
drafterman
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5/28/2013 1:55:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 1:33:48 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:

Drafterman argues that:
One of the points of a Hydra was to have a single face. Forcing people to sign off defeats that purpose and we might as well just do away with the Hydra accounts and simply have people double up on the sign-up sheet. Both of the individual players already include themselves in PMs; the Hydra account itself is merely used for posting purposes.

I disagree and have never used a hydra to "have a single face." The point of a hydra is to discuss reads or plan strategies with another player.

You misunderstand. I wasn't talking about the point of the Hydra "concept" rather the point of the Hydra "account." Indeed, you don't need a Hydra account to do anything the Hydra's do, except to appear to the other players as a single player, which you negate when you force them to sign off.

So why not just have two people sign up for the same slot without the Hydra account? Given how cumbersome it is to have a hydra account in the first place, combined with the fact that you negate it's only use if you force people to sign off, why have it at all?


The single major argument that I hear in favor of not signing off is that they have a "unified voice" which is not prevented by signing off their screennames. Unified voice and signing off are two different things which are being conflated.
drafterman
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5/28/2013 1:58:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 1:55:23 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
One thing I forgot to elaborate on is meta.

Each player has a distinct style of posting, and a distinct way of thinking. What is a scumtell for one player isn't for another. What a scumtell is for Yraelz isn't a scumtell for FourTrouble and vice-versa. By knowing who made a post, other townies can figure out what each member is thinking and determine their affiliation based on that.

While it can be argued that "Flippant" will have a unified voice and what a scumtell is for Flippant is a scumtell, it ignores the fact that you can't get inside two people's heads at once. You can't meta Flippant. Flippant isn't a person.

Which makes Hydra's a losing bet. If you're scum then you're twice as likely to get caught as scum, since you have two people with two metas to analyze and if you're Town you're still twice as likely to get mislynched since there are twice as many opportunities to do something that can be portrayed as scummy.

The only thing the Hydra negates is inactivity, since the other player can fill in. But I stand by my assertion that this completely defeats the point of having Hydra accounts.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 2:00:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 1:55:32 PM, drafterman wrote:

You misunderstand. I wasn't talking about the point of the Hydra "concept" rather the point of the Hydra "account." Indeed, you don't need a Hydra account to do anything the Hydra's do, except to appear to the other players as a single player, which you negate when you force them to sign off.

So why not just have two people sign up for the same slot without the Hydra account? Given how cumbersome it is to have a hydra account in the first place, combined with the fact that you negate it's only use if you force people to sign off, why have it at all?

It looks pretty. It also is less confusing than having two screennames occupy the same slot. It makes votecounts easier. It puts people in a frame of mind where they can associate the hydra account with the game rather than remember that FT and Yraelz have one spot, that Maikuru and Tulle have one spot etc. If not remember, then constantly check the OP to make sure.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 2:04:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 1:58:54 PM, drafterman wrote:

Which makes Hydra's a losing bet. If you're scum then you're twice as likely to get caught as scum, since you have two people with two metas to analyze

Sure. So, in any game, it is in town's best interests to demand that they post their screennames in that game.

and if you're Town you're still twice as likely to get mislynched since there are twice as many opportunities to do something that can be portrayed as scummy.

How so? Twice as many metas != twice as much chance of being lynched.

Rather twice the meta == twice the accuracy of a regular read.
drafterman
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5/28/2013 2:09:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 2:00:32 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 5/28/2013 1:55:32 PM, drafterman wrote:

You misunderstand. I wasn't talking about the point of the Hydra "concept" rather the point of the Hydra "account." Indeed, you don't need a Hydra account to do anything the Hydra's do, except to appear to the other players as a single player, which you negate when you force them to sign off.

So why not just have two people sign up for the same slot without the Hydra account? Given how cumbersome it is to have a hydra account in the first place, combined with the fact that you negate it's only use if you force people to sign off, why have it at all?

It looks pretty. It also is less confusing than having two screennames occupy the same slot. It makes votecounts easier.

I agree, but the difficulties of others is not the concern of the Hydra pair. A Hydra account is already an additional level of effort, and now you are adding additional arbitrary demands. If you make the effort to be a Hydra too high, people are going to stop doing it.

It puts people in a frame of mind where they can associate the hydra account with the game rather than remember that FT and Yraelz have one spot, that Maikuru and Tulle have one spot etc. If not remember, then constantly check the OP to make sure.

Except ... no. The entire reason you want people to sign off is so you can disassociate yourself from the notion that they are a single individual. You want to remove yourself from that frame of mind so you can explicitly remember that they are FT/Yraelz or Maikuru/Tulle. You want to be able to do that so you can read them separately.

So, yes, I agree that having a singular account does what you describe, and forcing them to sign off negates it.
drafterman
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5/28/2013 2:17:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 2:04:16 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 5/28/2013 1:58:54 PM, drafterman wrote:

Which makes Hydra's a losing bet. If you're scum then you're twice as likely to get caught as scum, since you have two people with two metas to analyze

Sure. So, in any game, it is in town's best interests to demand that they post their screennames in that game.

But that's not what you're proposing. You're not proposing a tactic for Town to use against Hydras, you are proposing a rule that Hydras have to follow, which is different.


and if you're Town you're still twice as likely to get mislynched since there are twice as many opportunities to do something that can be portrayed as scummy.

How so? Twice as many metas != twice as much chance of being lynched.

Rather twice the meta == twice the accuracy of a regular read.

I'm not talking about meta, here. Take two people, P1 and P2 who are a hydra. Let's say that, during any given game where they are town, the odds of P1 doing something that leads to his own mislynch is M1 and the odds of P2 doing something that leads to his own mislynch is M2. Thus, the odds of P1 not getting mislynched is (1-M1) and the odds of P2 not getting mislynched is (1-M2). The odds of them both not getting mislynched is (1-M1)(1-M2).

Now, each of M1 and M2 is less than 1. Therefore each of (1-M1) and (1-M2) is less than 1. Since they are each less than 1, their product is smaller than either of them. [(1-M1)(1-M2) < (1-M1); (1-M1)(1-M2) < (1-M2)]

In order for the Hydra to survive, they both have to avoid doing anything to get mislynched which, as shown above, is harder to do. Their odds of getting lynched increases with their combination.
Yraelz
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5/28/2013 2:19:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 1:55:23 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
One thing I forgot to elaborate on is meta.

Each player has a distinct style of posting, and a distinct way of thinking. What is a scumtell for one player isn't for another. What a scumtell is for Yraelz isn't a scumtell for FourTrouble and vice-versa. By knowing who made a post, other townies can figure out what each member is thinking and determine their affiliation based on that.

While it can be argued that "Flippant" will have a unified voice and what a scumtell is for Flippant is a scumtell, it ignores the fact that you can't get inside two people's heads at once. You can't meta Flippant. Flippant isn't a person.

First off, nobody knows what a scum-tell for me is. When do I play scum? =P

My point about a un-signed hydra has to do with the excuses they have available when being heavily FOS'd. I believe, that if the Hydra is permitted to sign, then it opens up a massive tactical advantage for the mafia. For instance, a mafia hydra can literally split reads on players. Check out the last game with Yin.Yang where Tulle openly admits, in chat, that their reads on some players are disparate. This enables a mafia sided Hydra to become unreadable in regards to a flip. Considering that a flip is probably the most useful piece of information available to the town, the strategy can tend to inhibit the town irrespective of the hydra's affiliation.

Think about it this way. In a world where Hydra's sign, every time they get FOS'd they can just say, "oh, we were just disagreeing about that issue." It's a plausible excuse for the action and so it immediately decreases their scum read. In a world where they don't have that excuse (i.e. no signature) then the hydra is forced to maintain a semi-unified stance.

Finally, unsigned hydras improve your game. They make you consider what two players (who you probably know something about) would do together. You can bet the two players are going to help each other censor their respective scum tells anyways. Without knowing who they are, you are forced to consider more nuanced tells.
FourTrouble
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5/28/2013 2:32:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
F-16 claims, "every game you play as town, you should strive to be as readable as possible." I could not disagree more with this statement.

What does it mean to be readable? It means it is easy to locate the differences between a player's town play and scum play. This is the only coherent definition of the term. And as such, the only way to do what F-16 would have us do, "strive to be as readable as possible," is to establish clear differences between your town play and scum play, and that means playing against your win condition as scum. You should never play the game this way. It not only doesn't work, it is unethical.

Here's the truth: everyone is readable. Every singe player can be read. The fact that scum are more informed and have a different goal means there will always be differences between any player's town and scum game. The issue at stake in any discussion about strategy in mafia should never be about readability because the issue is never readability. You can't make yourself more readable without intentionally sacrificing the success of your scum game, and that is simply unethical. The issue here, as always, is how good you are at hunting scum. If you are really fvcking good at reading people, then everyone should be readable. If you suck at reading people, then you'll always have people down as nulls. You might even let your paranoia get the better of you and call more people scum than you should. It will have nothing to do with those players not being readable. It will have to do with your inability to read them.

For example, I can locate major differences between my town play and scum play. It just so happens very few players ever trust I'm town because they can't locate those differences themselves. It doesn't mean I'm not readable. It just means many players here don't see the differences. I can easily point some of them out. When I'm scum, I typically have more posts filled with lengthy analysis. The Mentalist is where I first noticed myself doing this. Why does it happen? Because I spend more time trying to convince people I'm town, and that means contriving a thought process and justifying everything I say. I recognize the problem so of course I try to put in a few characteristic one-liners every now and then but the problem nonetheless remains: I will justify more things I say as scum than I will as town.

From town perspective, your goal should always be figuring out who the scum are. It should not be placed on making yourself easier to read. That ideal of being readable simply does not exist. When you are town, you will be read as town by anyone good enough to see you are town. It has to do with the fact that you will be trying to lynch scum, whereas when you are scum, you try to lynch townies. The differences will always be there. It is just a matter of others being able to locate them.

--

Regarding hydras, F-16 says "unification has nothing to do with signing off names." While this is technically true, it nonetheless makes it clear that the hydra consists of two voices, not one. And that affects the way you attempt to read the hydra. I don't believe hydras should be read as two separate voices. It should be read as one voice. I said this before, a hydra functions as a single slot with a single vote, and having two voices is not the purpose of a hydra. The purpose of a hydra is to be able to discuss reads together with another player, but ultimately, these reads are more effective when they are unified.

F-16 wants players to sign their names because it allows him to use meta. The problem with that argument is that individual player meta does not apply to the analysis of a hydra. After reads are discussed in a hydra, meta changes. I say different things when I hydra with Yraelz then I would if I were playing alone. Here's an example: in Logic's game, I was suspicious of Skep but not enough to push for his lynch. I asked Yraelz what he thought, and Yraelz saw pure scum in Skep, which gave me confidence to follow through. I would not have followed through with that so early if it weren't for Yraelz. There are many other examples. Yraelz often suspects people who are my top town reads. Yraelz would end up suspecting a lot of people he ultimately holds off on. Our collective reads are pretty good but they are clearly different from the reads we would have if we were working alone. The sorts of reasoning we use also changes, as I borrow things from Yraelz and he borrows things from me.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 2:51:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Flippant's argument in the game actually supports my side. They say that the thought process of coming to a agreement is difficult to fake as scum. Yet, when they make their own posts, them coming to an agreement is actually on display for everyone to see. When they post as one, their internal thought processes are a mystery.

Drafterman: I am in fact proposing that it is pro-town for hydras to sign off with their regular screennames. I was talking about this purely from the POV of town. I must not worded my proposal well enough; my point is that if hydras sign off with their screennames, this is good for town regardless of the hydra's affiliation. If the hydras are town, this benefits that hydra as well.

I don't think that singing off with a screenname is difficult. I signed off nearly every post in Castle in the Sky with my screenname. It doesn't take much effort. Hydras could also sign off with their initials like -Y or -F for instance so we know who made that post. I think hydras are worth it for the bouncing of reads and having to type my initial isn't going to discourage me from it.

I want to be able to know who made a post but I also don't want to have to remember that player X and player Y are hydras. If people post with a hydra account such as Yin.Yang, I will remember that it is a hydra and I will examine each of Maikuru's and Tulle's posts to evaluate my read on the hydra. On the other hand, if they post with their usual accounts, I would have to remember "Maikuru and Tulle are playing together", "Drafter and Budda are playing together" "FT and Yraelz are playing together" and base my reads on what I remember or what I keep checking from the OP everytime I post reads. However, if it is a single account, I base my reads on that account from my reads of each individual player.

Your mislynch equation can be applied to townslips as well. What makes mislynches special? We could apply it to townreads and being "confirmed" as well, can't we? For instance, if we replace mislynch with being "confirmed" and eliminated from suspicion (until nightkilled or the game ends), we get the following equation. Why is this any less valid?

"The odds of P1 doing something that leads to the majority reading him as town and defending him is T1 and the odds of P2 doing something that leads to being the majority reading him as town and defending him is T2. Thus, the odds of P1 not being townread is (1-T1) and the odds of P2 not being townread is (1-T2). The odds of them both not getting townread and eliminated from suspicion is (1-T1)(1-T2).

Now, each of T1 and T2 is less than 1. Therefore each of (1-T1) and (1-T2) is less than 1. Since they are each less than 1, their product is smaller than either of them. [(1-T1)(1-T2) < (1-T1); (1-T1)(1-T2) < (1-T2)]

In order for the Hydra to not be townread and therefore be on the lynch table, they both have to avoid doing anything to get townread which, as shown above, is harder to do. Their odds of being townread increases with their combination.
"

Yraelz: The "excuses" give an insight into the way each player is thinking. So, if you think someone is scum, but FT thinks they are town and you come to an agreement, your entire thought process is there for the town to see. However, if you shroud it in mystery, then it isn't.
Yraelz
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5/28/2013 2:57:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 2:51:32 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Yraelz: The "excuses" give an insight into the way each player is thinking. So, if you think someone is scum, but FT thinks they are town and you come to an agreement, your entire thought process is there for the town to see. However, if you shroud it in mystery, then it isn't.

My point is that it can contrived. A contrived thought process only convolutes reads for the town.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 3:03:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 2:57:09 PM, Yraelz wrote:
At 5/28/2013 2:51:32 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Yraelz: The "excuses" give an insight into the way each player is thinking. So, if you think someone is scum, but FT thinks they are town and you come to an agreement, your entire thought process is there for the town to see. However, if you shroud it in mystery, then it isn't.

My point is that it can contrived. A contrived thought process only convolutes reads for the town.

If it can be contrived, does it not provide an additional scumhunting opportunity for town to try and figure out affiliation based on whether it is contrived?
Logical-Master
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5/28/2013 3:06:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
IMO, hydras are a bad idea entirely. Mafia's job is to outwit the town, not the town + 1 guy who can't vote. Town's job is to find the mafia, not the mafia + 1 gal who can't vote. Hell, may as well allow dead players and people otherwise not in the game to contribute. I can almost agree with this "adopt a noob" methodology, but that's about it.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 3:32:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
@ FT:

Readability: This is true to a certain extent only. I am not saying people should be perfectly readable as in say "I am town" at the beginning of every game where they are town and not say it when they are scum. This would result in them being lynched every time as scum and being confirmed every time as town. Definitely against the spirit of the game.

I am saying that when you are town, try to make it as obvious that you are town as is possible while still protecting your scumgame. For instance, if you post a lot of deep analysis as town which you have never done as scum before, the correct move is to post all that analysis as town therefore making yourself an easy town read, and then improve your scumgame so that in your next game as scum, you post the same depth of analysis. A scumgame needs to constantly evolve. I would never suggest holding back as town to protect a future scumgame. Rather, if you've done something (like lead a scum-lynch DP1 that gave you away as town), make sure bussing isn't out of the question in your next scum game. But don't ever think "I wouldn't do this as scum" and proceed to not do an action when you are town.

Changes in meta: Yraelz mentioning in Castle in the Sky that he had a scumread on Skep helped differentiate what each of you were thinking and made you easier to read. If you had kept it in mystery, it would have harder to read you as town.
FourTrouble
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5/28/2013 4:33:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 3:32:54 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I am saying that when you are town, try to make it as obvious that you are town as is possible while still protecting your scumgame.

I disagree with this. You never should attempt to protect your scum game when you're town. The only thing you should think about when you're town is figuring out who the scum are, and subsequently getting the scum lynched.

For instance, if you post a lot of deep analysis as town which you have never done as scum before, the correct move is to post all that analysis as town therefore making yourself an easy town read, and then improve your scumgame so that in your next game as scum, you post the same depth of analysis. A scumgame needs to constantly evolve. I would never suggest holding back as town to protect a future scumgame. Rather, if you've done something (like lead a scum-lynch DP1 that gave you away as town), make sure bussing isn't out of the question in your next scum game. But don't ever think "I wouldn't do this as scum" and proceed to not do an action when you are town.

Yes, we agree here. If you are town, you post the highest level of analysis you can. You do your best to find scum. I always do these things yet I'm not readable. Why? Because you cannot make yourself more or less readable. What you can do is be more or less active. I agree that inactive or passive townies cannot be read because there is nothing to read. But in terms of how someone plays, they are always readable. You cannot make yourself more or less readable. It will always be a function of how your scum game compares to your town game. If you're really good at scum, then only the best players will be able to notice the differences. There will always be differences if you are an active player, so every active player is readable. The correct prescription for townies is: be active, figure out who the scum are, and don't worry whether people think you're town or not. The focus needs to move away from being readable and towards active pursuit of scum.

Changes in meta: Yraelz mentioning in Castle in the Sky that he had a scumread on Skep helped differentiate what each of you were thinking and made you easier to read. If you had kept it in mystery, it would have harder to read you as town.

Huh? It didn't differentiate what we were thinking. We thought the same things. It was just a matter of having the confidence to pursue what we were thinking. Or in other cases, when we disagree, choosing not to pursue things we otherwise might have if alone. We don't post our back-and-forth discussion in the DP. It happens in a PM.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/28/2013 4:38:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
We agree with most things so I'll keep this short. This is where we disagree.

don't worry whether people think you're town or not

You need to lynch scum, not yourself. You can only avoid being lynched yourself if people think you are town. If they think you are scum, they will lynch you. Figuring out all the scum in the game isn't going to win you the game if you don't also convince everyone that you are town.
FourTrouble
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5/28/2013 4:49:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:38:58 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
You need to lynch scum, not yourself. You can only avoid being lynched yourself if people think you are town. If they think you are scum, they will lynch you. Figuring out all the scum in the game isn't going to win you the game if you don't also convince everyone that you are town.

You cannot convince people you are town. It is not as simple as saying, "I'm town," and suddenly people think you're town. You convince people you are town by looking for scum, making things happen, and voting for the people you think are scum. If people think you are scum even though you've been active, figured out who all the scum are, and are doing your best to get the scum lynched, then that is a failure on the their part. It is not your failure. You did what a townie is supposed to do.

I speak from personal experience here. I am active in most games, I try to make things happen, I post good analysis, I figure out who the scum are, I vote for the scum, I try to get others to lynch scum with me, yet I am consistently read as null or scum. Is this my failing? No. It is the failure of others who need to get better at reading. It is not my failure for not making myself readable.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/29/2013 1:50:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Making things happen" is quite vague. A lot depends on how you try to make things happen.

For instance if providing one-liners make people think that I am scum, I would stop providing one-liners in future games.

You need to approach the game and the players in a way that will make them view you as town. If that means being less confrontational and explaining your reads, then so be it.

Since you gave yourself as an example, I will elaborate:

Let's say you play a game where you provide lots of one-liners and very definitive statements like "Yraelz is so town that anyone who suspects him is scum" just to give you an example. Not saying you actually made any such statement.

You believe that people will ask you why you think Yraelz to be town. You would then be able to open a conversation with that person and discuss their reads.

However, let's say that when you implemented it in a game, it went horribly wrong. No one "opened a discussion" with you. Instead, suppose that their thought process went like this:

-> FT is so sure Yraelz is town.
-> FT provided no backing for that statement beyond a single line.
-> Maybe is scum! Let's lynch him! VTL FT.

and let's say that eventually you are lynched. Rinse and repeat for game two.

Now, let's say that you begin game 3. You have a townread who others are suspecting.

The big question: what do you do?

Do you 1) continue to provide a one-line defense and expect people to engage you in discussion or do you 2) change your methods and give a detailed analysis?

I'd go with 2. For me it makes no sense to continue to believe people will engage me in discussion as oppose to lynch me when personal experience has proven otherwise.

I am guessing you would pick 1. I am not sure that you would but it would be the wrong choice. Perhaps you believe that 1 is "pro-town" and leads to better discussion. Yet when experience shows you otherwise, why pick 1 at all?

You are often read as "null" or "scum" because in most given situations (not necessarily one-liners), you would pick what you personally believe is pro-town as opposed to what your experience tells you is pro-town. For instance, if making overly certain one-liners cause you to get a scum-read, you say after the game that it wasn't scummy and then do it the next game. Rinse and repeat for every game. However, if you analyzed what people found scummy about you and do not repeat those behaviors, you will likely be read as town.

You are a good scum player so you are in general harder to trust than most average players. Yet players of similar skill to you as scum are often trusted as town so it can't be just skill although skill is a major contributor.
Scythe
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5/29/2013 2:31:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hmm, my comment got deleted. Am I not allowed to post even if this is my main account?
Decommissioned Hydra
FourTrouble
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5/29/2013 3:57:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
F-16, I disagree completely with the way you are approaching this issue.

You're shifting the burden from the scumhunter to the mislynched. Lucky fake-claimed in AQ Mafia. His real role cannot be confirmed. He has done nothing to help the town thus far. His play is pro-scum, through and through. If I were a more inexperienced player, I would push his lynch, but I'm at the point where I look past the effect of Lucky's actions. I focus on his motivations. I have the benefit of previous experiences which inform the development of my read. I know he has fake-claimed as town before. I know he doesn't put much effort as town. I know when he does put effort, he gets into endless arguments with terrible reasoning. I take all these experiences, and I use them to evaluate whether Lucky's pro-scum behavior means Lucky is scum or not. I determine that he's probably town. This is what good players do. They learn from past experiences, and they use that knowledge to become better at reading. The issue here is not readability, it is reading skills.

The idea you have that I don't change the way I play is very mistaken. I have probably changed the way I play more than any other player. If you look at my games prior to my experience with mafiascum, they are very different from the way I play now. I could say the same about the way you play. I've actually been lynched by you, multiple times, because you thought my play was different. So much for meta arguments. I've done new things as both town and scum, so now changes in style are also part of my scum game. It becomes null. What a player is capable of obviously has to be taken into account when evaluating them. Likewise, you also have to take into account behaviors that a player does as both town and scum.

If you know someone posts one-liners as both town and scum, then it becomes null. If you know someone is confrontational as both town and scum, then it becomes null. You don't lynch someone for posting one-liners if the last time you played with that player, they posted one-liners and were town. You don't lynch someone for being confrontational if the last time you played with that player, they were confrontational and town.

You don't keep lynching someone for a behavior that has been proven, through experience, to be consistent with town meta. The correct response is to learn. You learn, from your experiences, that behaviors you once thought were scummy are in fact null. I've gone through this process many times. I used to think calling someone town without explanation was scummy. I now engage in that behavior more than any player here. I used to think buddying was scummy. I now engage in that behavior more than any player here. You learn things as you play the game, and eventually you realize that certain behaviors you used to think were scummy are actually pro-town.

This is why I think readability is not the issue. It isn't the issue because you can't know what others will call scummy or not. If they are good players, and if they've played with you before, then you should expect them not to call you scummy for your playstyle choices. If you haven't played with the players before, then you have no basis for knowing whether they will interpret your playstyle as scummy or not. What you can do is work on your reading skills. You can work on your ability to catch scum. If you get stuck with a bunch of townies who think you are scum for engaging in behaviors that are null (or in some cases, town-tells), then there is nothing you can do about it. If you get stuck with the same townies again, then at least this time they know those behaviors aren't scummy anymore. Or at least that is what you should expect from them.

Talking about personal experience, I've been called scum for taking the lead. It turns out that's arguably a town-tell. I've been called scum for trying to lynch scum. It turns out that's arguably a town-tell, too. I've called people scummy for all sorts of things that, in the end, are null. I learned, so now I know how to call people scummy for those behaviors anymore. This is why I think, when an active townies is mislynched, it is more often than not the townies lynching that person who need to change, not the person getting lynched.

I want to address these quotes of yours:

You are often read as "null" or "scum" because in most given situations (not necessarily one-liners), you would pick what you personally believe is pro-town as opposed to what your experience tells you is pro-town.

This is a false dichotomy. What I personally believe is pro-town is determined by what my experience has shown me is pro-town. I also think you're still approaching the issue wrong here. When I play, I don't think to myself what the most pro-town thing is to do. I think about only one thing: "Who are the scum?" This question drives all my actions. I ask questions, vote, and push for lynches, all on the basis of that question. I don't do anything to appear town. I don't do anything to appear scummy. I do things to figure out who the scum are. If those things don't work, I won't do them again. I tried a gambit recently. It didn't work. I got lynched. I won't try it again. I still think I shouldn't have been lynched in that game but that isn't the reason I won't do it again. I realized the gambit was ineffective at catching scum, so for that reason, I won't do it again.

For instance, if making overly certain one-liners cause you to get a scum-read, you say after the game that it wasn't scummy and then do it the next game. Rinse and repeat for every game. However, if you analyzed what people found scummy about you and do not repeat those behaviors, you will likely be read as town.

If the people who found one-liners scummy realized that one-liners aren't scummy, then I will likely be read as town the next game. This is the correct way to approach this issue. You can't place the burden on the player who got lynched.

You are a good scum player so you are in general harder to trust than most average players. Yet players of similar skill to you as scum are often trusted as town so it can't be just skill although skill is a major contributor.

I don't think that's true. Which players are trusted with similar skill? Lucky is mislynched nearly every game he's town. bluesteel has a weak scum game (there is a huge difference in the quality of his analysis). BV isn't trusted as town. He was even lynched in 5ds and The Mentalist, and nearly lynched in a few other games. TV isn't trusted as town. The only person who is trusted as town is you, and I think that's because players here don't realize how good your scum game is.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/29/2013 11:30:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I am not pushing the blame onto the mislynched although it should be noted that players on mafiascum often do. They keep track of how few times they have been mislynched etc. I don't entirely agree; I think it depends on the circumstance. I don't think you can be faulted if someone like Lannan votes you at MYLO without hearing what you have to say - but if you claim a guilty on a townie and then say that you were testing reactions, then you can be. It really depends on the situation and most of the time, I actually wouldn't blame the person who got mislynched.

If Lucky fake-claimed (not saying that I think he did), then if he gets mislynched, the responsibility for getting mislynched lies on him. The people voting on the mislynches are only responsible for a town loss if the mislynched players played optimally, or the very least played like town. Then you can fault them for not realizing this and voting for them instead of scum. Again, steampunk would be a great example. But if Lucky (or anyone else) fake-claimed and played anti-town (again, I am not aware of whether he did), then you can't fault yourself if you don't realize that he is town.

This is because townies have a responsibility to play like town. The game of mafia at its core is lynching the most anti-town players. The goal of mafia should be to play more pro-town than the town. In this case, the townies are lynched and the mafia survive. If the mafia fail to do this and all the townies played pro-town and are more pro-town than the mafia, then the mafia will be lynched and game will be won by town. You know in mafiascum, most lynches happen by conensus and no one sheeps. Note how the person that most people think is scum is eliminated.

Townies have two goals: hunt for scum, and look like town. They need to succeed in both of those in order to win the game. If you are confrontational, people are less likely to believe you or want to sheep you. It is in a townie's best interests to be polite and friendly because it increases the likelihood of people voting with you. This is playing to your wincon.

You say that if you are confrontational, people should take it as a null-tell in the next game. But that can't always be the case. Some tells are objective. It is always better to be amiable than confrontational. If being confrontational is causing you to be read as scum and causing people to not follow you, perhaps being more pleasant would be playing to your wincon more. This contrasts with saying that you would always be confrontational and people should learn that it is a null tell for you.

You can't control how other people play and think but you can control your own. This applies to the one-liners. Whenever I lose a town game, I consider what I could have done to win the game. Most of the time, this involves approaching situations more diplomatically, being open, and adapting my playstyle. I am not always successful but I try.

If the question "who are the scum" drives all your actions, then your scumhunting method is incomplete. Shouldn't you be thinking "who are the scum and how do I lynch them?" Victory should be the ultimate objective. You do not win when you figure out all the scum. You win when you lynch all the scum. There were plenty of games where I figured scum out and still lost either because I was lynched or people didn't listen to me and lynched somebody else. So, I started focusing more on how I was going to get the scum lynched.

I mentioned in PM to another member before and they agreed: it is very easy to figure out who scum is while you are getting lynched. In fact, that is the easiest time to figure out who scum is. Personal experience has proved it true. In Madness in Delderra, I figured out all the scum right before the game ended and posted my guesses to Logic. But it was of no use because I didn't get the scum lynched. Knowing that TV was scum did jack to win us the game. That's when I started analyzing the previous day phases to see what I did wrong. I know what I could have done better to establish myself as more pro-town than TV so that when the scum was found and the battle began, the scum gets lynched.

Who with similar skill is trusted, you ask. Drafterman is often trusted as town with a page of every game he is in regardless of affiliation. BlackVoid and Logic rarely get lynched as either affiliation so they are trusted as well. bluesteel is also trusted as town and has led town to victory multiple times. His scumgame isn't weak. He is an expert fake-claimer. I agree that his behavior as scum is very different but consider the number of times he has actually been caught and lynched as scum - it is fairly low.

You rarely get lynched as scum. You have a plan, you strategize, you use your persuasive ability to fool the town and in almost every scum game, you lead your team to victory. You have a near perfect scum game. Your scumhunting is also great. Maybe planning is good to try as town too.
FourTrouble
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5/29/2013 6:45:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I disagree about being faulted for pulling a cop gambit. I've seen it done on mafiascum, and I've even seen games were scum get caught through such means; they post a simple "Go mafia!" and vote themselves. It should be considered null as a behavior. If you think about it properly, it doesn't say anything about the player who pulls the gambit. It has a clear town motivation (attempt to catch scum) with no clear scum motivation. When you lynch someone, it should be on the basis of actual tells, not on the basis of things that you personally wouldn't do. This seems to be the biggest problem I see. When players see a behavior that doesn't immediately make sense to them, a behavior they personally wouldn't ever do, then they assume it must be scummy. It turns out, players play differently. They do different things. They think about the game differently. What matters is evaluating each player individually.

I do agree that there are objective tells. I spoke about them in my thread on catching scum. They have to do with the objective fact that there are differences between the mafia and town. The main difference is that mafia are informed, town aren't. This produces a set of behaviors that are objectively more likely to come from scum than town. If a townies engages in one of these behaviors, it will be circumstantial. It won't be that player's fault. This has happened to me before. Your gut tells you someone is scum on D1, you push for their lynch, they flip scum, and then everyone thinks you are scum for knowing more than you should have. This kind of stuff happens. It is ultimately circumstantial.

Lucky has fake-claimed as town multiple times. What has to be realized is that fake-claiming is not an objective tell. It does not occur because the mafia know more than the town. In fact, it is sometimes advantageous for the town to lie or fake-claim. What matters, and what needs to be evaluated in these circumstances, is the motivation behind a player's actions. When Lucky has fake-claimed as town, there has always been a clear motivation to do so. For example, he avoided the night-kill in Battlestar Galactica when he had one of the most important roles in the game by fake-claiming a useless role. He also knew he could confirm his actual role at a later date.

I agree that it is would be a player's fault for getting mislynched if that player is not playing like town, but this begs the question, what does it mean to play like town. You say that townies have a responsibility to play like town, and I agree. The problem with this statement is that there is no core set of behaviors that is associated with playing like town. Townies are united by one thing and one thing alone: the fact that they are trying to figure out who the scum are (and get the scum lynched). That means players who are totally inactive, passive, are not playing like townies. They deserve to get lynched most of the time. Even then, it could be you are a power role who wants to avoid the night-kill, so it can even be strategic to lurk sometimes. The circumstances have to be evaluated within the context of each game. What can be said is that an active townie who is doing his best to figure out who the scum are should never be lynched. If he is, it will be because the other townies were not very good, or because the mafia outplayed simply outplayed the town. It will be circumstantial, not the player's fault.

You say the goal of mafia is about lynching the most anti-town players. I disagree. The goal of mafia is about lynching the scum. Townies have one goal: lynch the scum. You can't play the game hoping to look like town. That's the way scum play the game. Town play the game by figuring out who the scum are, and in doing so, getting read as town and lynching scum. There is no other way to appear town, as far as I'm concerned, then by trying to figure out who the scum are. If you are self-consciously trying to appear town, at the cost of not figuring out who the scum are, you are not playing pro-town. You are simply doing what the scum are also doing, trying to appear like town.

I think the mindset you are advocating here is really bad for the mafia community, so that's why I'm fighting it so vehemently. It is something I care about quite a lot. If more people think their primary goal is acting like town, then no one is ever gonna get better at catching scum. The primary goal is to lynch scum. That is what it means to be town. It is that simple. You're creating a false dichotomy when you separate the two. You figure out who the scum are and lynch them. That's what it means to be town. That's what makes you play like town, and that's what every townies' responsibility is. If other players read you as scum for trying to figure out who the scum are and lynch them, then that is because those players haven't developed their reading skills yet. If it comes down to process of elimination, then the town just got outplayed by the mafia. I measure success in terms of how good your reads were in a particular game.

The idea that being confrontational is an objective tell is a massively stupid argument. I'm shocked you're even pushing that idea. It is not always better to be amiable. Perhaps we're talking about two different things when we talk about being confrontational. drafter is what I think of when I think of confrontational. He relentlessly engages you in an argument that seems like it's never going to end. Is it pro-town? Sometimes, not always. Is it a scum-tell? No. It is a playstyle choice. The idea that one-liners is a scum-tell is equally stupid an argument. You can't call a playstyle choice a scum-tell or town-tell.

I agree that victory should be the ultimate objective. How is that achieved? You do your best to figure out who the scum are. That is what it means to be town. Victory is not always possible.

I don't get lynched as scum because I post whatever I imagine other townies are thinking. When I'm town, I don't post what other townies are thinking. I actually try to figure the game out. You cannot compare the two methods. I cannot play the way I do as scum as town because it requires an entirely different mindset. If I'm scum, I use the fact that I know who the town are to emulate their thought process. I can't appeal to people as town by emulating their thought process. Why not? Because if I'm town, I have no clue who the town are. I have to figure that out for myself. And even if I did know who the town are, I'm not gonna then try to copy their thought process. I'm gonna continue to try figuring out who the scum are. This leads to far less orchestration in my posts. It is the kind of difference in play that can be located; I am as readable as anyone else if you know what to look for.

To sum up, readability is a non-issue. Reading skills are what people need to be focused on improving.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/30/2013 1:03:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
We do indeed have different definitions of "confrontational." Drafterman isn't confrontational by my definition. In fact I think he plays fairly conservatively. For the most part, he is perfectly logical and his thought processes are often easy to follow. There is not a lot of mystery behind his reasoning when he goes all out to lynch a player. That is why when he pushes a lynch, it almost invariably happens and the number of times he gets lynched is also very low. Sure, always following drafter's rules will sometimes get sucky and illogical townies lynched in addition to scum. However, the fact that certain townies are sucky and illogical is their fault. I even debated drafter on Lynch all Liars but nowadays, liars just irritate me so I'd probably lynch them anyways.

For my part, if a townie acts like he is better than others or has convoluted modes of thinking that makes little sense, I'd lynch them right away. I call this "acting too smart." Like Maxx for instance in Logic's two games. I saw no reason why town wouldn't lynch him. He got nearly lynched in Madness and got lynched for a town loss in Quaint. I fully believe that the rest of the town isn't to blame.

Fake-claiming is stupid (unless your role requires you to fake-claim). Town does not need to fake-claim. If someone is lynched because they fake-claimed, they are a liability and their lynch is fully deserved. This falls under the category of acting too smart. If someone refuses to claim under significant pressure, lynch them. Considering that they have town motivations for not claiming is ridiculously convoluted and pointless.

So, we agree that winning is the ultimate goal although you also said you measure success by how many scum you got right. I completely disagree with the second part. If you led your team to victory, you played well. If you led a lot of lynches on scum before being night killed, then you played well. I wouldn't say that just naming the scum is a measure of success. Mafia as a game requires two skills - scumhunting and persuation. One without the other will not win games. By "persuation," I do not mean argumentative capability but rather the ability to get town to follow your lead and vote for your scumreads. For instance, Danielle is a good scumhunter and also a top debater on the site but isn't usually effective as town and doesn't win games. At the endgame, the usual comments are "I called the scumteam on this page and no one listened/lynched me." But that beats the point that calling a scumteam is worth nothing if you don't get them lynched. Victory is the criteria to go by.

Contrast for instance with bluesteel who consistently leads town to victory. He claimed once that every game he was town and was left alive close to MYLO/LYLO, he invariably won the game for town with a single exception (HvV Movies). I checked his games and was surprised to see that he was right. Also, consider all the games that I modded (7), town won only once (Harry Potter). That was when he was the town bulletproof. Mafia were powerful and the night actions were confusing but town never reached MYLO. They won before that happened. So, it is possible. It is possible to get town to believe you and follow your reads while also lynching scum and leading town to victory. I wouldn't say that naming the scum is of any use at all. If you don't lynch scum, naming them is absolutely worthless. As I mentioned, I named the scum in Madness in Delderra in a private PM. I named the scum in plenty of games that town didn't win. But it is always the ones where we successfully lynched the scum that I'll say that I was successful. There are always exceptions. Royal in Death-in-Mystere and Lannan in SteamPunk for instance. But for the most part.

Victory is achieved by figuring the scum out and then lynching them. Watch how people with high win rates like drafterman and bluesteel do it. Victory may not always be possible but if you are not aiming for victory but instead aiming to "name all the scum" you will be even farther from victory because people either didn't listen to you or because they lynch you instead of the scum that you named. Mafia is a game of persuasive ability.

You say you post what other townies are thinking when you are mafia. When you are town, you can use this ability to predict what other townies are thinking to get on the same page as them. This will help build a connection so that they too are on the same page as you. Why not find scum as town while posting like you post as scum? This will ensure that your scumread gets lynched and not you.

One-liners combined with definitive statements are a turn off. Consider for instance saying "1E's thought process is clear, he's developing reads, trying to figure the game out. He's town." This is a definitive statement. The "he is town" at the end leaves no room for disagreement and if anyone disagrees, they would be more likely to oppose you and lynch you. The reasons are also not clear. They are very vague. "His thought process is clear" is very abstract. When I look for town, I consider concrete analysis over abstract ones. Perhaps explain which part of OneE's statement you found town and why.

Consider another two statements you made in Logic's Madness in Delderra.

"FOS'ing TV after this post is as a good as a scum-tell. Seriously, TV is town as fvck." http://www.debate.org...
This is also a definitive statement. a) It discourages people from FOSing TV, b) It makes people wonder whether you are scum that knows TV is town, c) It makes people wonder if you and TV are scum together. All of these outweigh any positive thing you could have gotten out of it. It isn't the one-liners I find scummy, it is the definitive reads that are posted in those one-liners. If you had elaborated on those reads well, you would be more likely to be considered pro-town. On a side note, your intense FOS on me that DP in the link above just shows your reads on me are as bad as my reads on you. :)

You say that "If more people think their primary goal is acting like town, then no one is ever gonna get better at catching scum. The primary goal is to lynch scum."
I agree that the primary goal is to lynch scum. Looking like town is essential to lynching scum. If you look like scum, you will be lynched, not the scum that you want to lynch. I agree that lynching scum makes you look like town. No arguments there. Scumhunting also makes you look like town. But fine-tuning your scum-hunting methods isn't a bad idea. For instance as town, I often edit my posts before posting to make sure they look good, and are coherent. I do this so people don't find contradictions and that they flow smoothly. I also try to hide excitement when I can. There was an example in Madness in Delderra on DP3.

Another note is that saying things like "F-16, I am not getting lynched Today. Are you gonna make a case for Danielle? Or are you gonna go back to the POE scenario I suggested earlier?" (http://www.debate.org...) is also disconcerting. Saying definitively that you won't get lynched. Psychologically it is almost as if you were issuing a "lynch me" challenge. Makes people confrontational. I knew that I at least did not take to it positively.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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5/30/2013 1:20:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It is interesting that we have very different playstyles. As a point of interest and discussion, here are a few things that we do differently and I disagree with:

1) Definitive one-liners (calling someone town or scum without explanation)
2) Confrontational statements
3) Pushing people outside their comfort zone by forcing them to spit out their reads (not asking, but forcing)

I don't believe that any of these things are more likely to open discussion than to earn you a scumread.

Also, when you were fairly new, you were actually mislynched very few times. In fact, we often read each other as town. The high mislynch rate came with a corresponding shift in playstyle to all of the above. You were always good at scumhunting. You caught scum in your very first beginner game so playstyle didn't affect scumhunting ability.

After you started playing on mafiascum, you used some of those techniques on DDO. Some worked, others didn't. For instance, players on mafiascum sometimes make definitive statements and I think you were once surprised at them. This doesn't work on DDO because the environment is different. To get people to townread you, you should also adapt to the environment. Sometimes it is frustrating when noobies look at town leaders as scummy but I am not referring to noob standards but rather the standards of most active and experienced players.
FourTrouble
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5/30/2013 1:28:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/30/2013 1:20:15 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Also, when you were fairly new, you were actually mislynched very few times. In fact, we often read each other as town. The high mislynch rate came with a corresponding shift in playstyle to all of the above. You were always good at scumhunting. You caught scum in your very first beginner game so playstyle didn't affect scumhunting ability.

This is not true. I was mislynched a lot at the beginning. I asked bluesteel for some advice to stop being lynched and he gave the only advice someone can give: be active.

After you started playing on mafiascum, you used some of those techniques on DDO. Some worked, others didn't. For instance, players on mafiascum sometimes make definitive statements and I think you were once surprised at them. This doesn't work on DDO because the environment is different. To get people to townread you, you should also adapt to the environment. Sometimes it is frustrating when noobies look at town leaders as scummy but I am not referring to noob standards but rather the standards of most active and experienced players.

I think making definitive statements is pro-town. BV used to make definitive statements. He had the right idea. I try to improve my play, and with that, the play of others on DDO. Part of that means introducing better ways of playing the game. We both tried RVS and D1-lynches. It has slowly been taking, and that's a good thing. I've also noticed more players making definitive statements. This is a good thing.
FourTrouble
Posts: 12,759
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5/30/2013 1:33:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think part of the problem here is that you make a distinction between looking like town (what does that mean?) and actually being town. I want you to consider: What do scum do? They try to look like town. What do town do? They try to lynch the scum. If you are trying to lynch the scum, your behavior will look like town because it is town. You are pursuing your win-condition. If you are trying to look like town, your behavior will look like scum because that is what scum try to do.

I agree with you that persuading people to lynch the people you find scummy is important. It can't always be done. What could I have done differently to get people to lynch Lucky in Castle in the Sky? I made a pretty strong case that should have convinced any decent townie. I put effort into that. It didn't take. I can work on my rhetorical skills, but ultimately, the ability of other players to make the right decisions needs to improve. You can't convince people who can't even lynch scum when scum are handed to them on a plate.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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5/30/2013 1:36:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
By beginning, I was talking about beyond the first few games before you changed your playstyle i.e. your old playstyle which I always used to read as town. The one you referred to here: "I'm actually very rarely mislynched. I was mislynched in my first few games as town..." http://www.debate.org...

In what way is making definitive statements pro-town?