Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

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LienRag
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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#76 Post by LienRag »

o01eg wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:15 pm
LienRag wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:05 pm I'm not part of this game (still having connection issues) so in a way it's none of my business,
Which connection issues do you have?
Internet connection issues at home, nothing specific to FreeOrion.

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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#77 Post by LienRag »

Oberlus wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:59 pm
I don't see why it is unfair tp anyone that some players sometimes/always stick to an alliance against their own interest (being those players noobs or not).

Because in a multiplayer games the odds are stacked against you ? You're one against many, aren't you ?
What makes it both fair and interesting is that it's stacked against everyone else too, exactly in the same way...
Except when a player doesn't understand what's a diplomacy game and puts another player's interests in front of his own.
Usually such a player is quite noobish and as such easy to defeat, but if he puts his loyalty towards an experienced player who doesn't share his naiveness, this experienced player gets an advantage that's hard to overcome, or even impossible to.



Oberlus wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:59 pm As a side note, I don't think that, in general, one can expect players' emotions and memories to influence their new personas in each game.

Isn't there some mistake in this phrase ? You say one thing and seem to mean the opposite, I get confused.


Oberlus wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:59 pm
I don't see why it is unfair tp anyone that some players sometimes/always stick to an alliance against their own interest (being those players noobs or not).
While I agree to the general idea of separating out-of-game morality from in-game diplomacy, the thing is players will remember if you can be trusted through the thick and thin, or only when it is on your interest. Players that tend to stick to their words can get easier diplomacy (more durable and reliable pacts), even when the other partners are not bound by their words.
(...)
Seasoned players, quite grown up, can never again trust you because you betrayed them once, and they can even state openly that you are in fact as liar and unreliable as in their last game with you. :roll:
Yes, that is why I consider that "free diplomacy and shared victory" is a combination that makes absolutely no sense and is an abomination to be wiped out of playerkind.
With fixed teams and shared victory for each team, teams are one entity, so the diplomacy between teams is quite similar to diplomacy between players in a no-team game.
With non-fixed teams and no shared victory, there can only be one at the end like in Highlander, so everybody knows from the start that it's betray or be betrayed¹, which means nobody can tell you that you can't be trusted because you betrayed them (of course you did, it's the rule of the game).
With non-fixed teams and shared victory, you're not playing a game anymore, or at least not a game with fixed rules that makes it autonomous from the real world (since if we stand by the rules, the obvious move in a shared victory game is for all players to ally and them immediately win together) - it becomes some weird social game with no real in-game relevance.
And that's not only theoretical : I've seen it in MMOGs where it becomes an invitation to bullying as stronger players ally to crush the weaker ones.


¹ Technically it's possible to not betray your partners and rather stop the alliance on fixed terms (and actually I played a game of Risk where I was able to convince the other players that for my own good I had to slowly assimilate their territories and that for their own good they couldn't really resist), but the difference is not so important as to make betrayal infamous since you'll still end up at war with your former allies.

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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#78 Post by Oberlus »

We agree to disagree.

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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#79 Post by wobbly »

I also disagree with most of your post Lienrag, though to a degree its a matter of taste/preference. An alliance where 2 players have each others back is always stronger then an alliance where both players are constantly sharpening the knives. Both are valid strategies of course & trying to read what type of player you are allied with is a big part of the fun. Plenty of players have a preference for the former & plenty of those players aren't Noobs.

As far as "highlander" victory conditions go this is the least interesting option to me. Leads to the least varied range of diplomatic options. There is no real diplomacy here because eventual betrayal is baked into the rules of the game. No loyalty, trust, deception, betrayal. Boring. Boring, boring, boring. It often leads to a problem where playing well can get you punished, as your ally can't let you get ahead. That can be ok in a game with true fog of war, its an interesting challenge to grow while hiding your strength. Its crud with the type of communal vision FO alliances have. No real way to hide your progress.

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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#80 Post by LienRag »

wobbly wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm An alliance where 2 players have each others back is always stronger then an alliance where both players are constantly sharpening the knives.
True. That's what makes it much less interesting gameplay-wise if it's supposed to be kept to the end of the game rather than played "highlander-style" when each player always has to balance the advantage of being in a strong alliance and the need to watch his back.

wobbly wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm eventual betrayal is baked into the rules of the game.
Indeed. That's what "Diplomacy" means.

wobbly wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm That can be ok in a game with true fog of war, its an interesting challenge to grow while hiding your strength. Its crud with the type of communal vision FO alliances have. No real way to hide your progress.
That may be something to address in the game design, at least as an option.


I don't want to prevent other people to play as they want, I just (as I explained earlier, with rigorous argumentation I believe) don't understand how it can make any sense to have shared victory with variable teams.

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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#81 Post by Ophiuchus »

wobbly wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm I also disagree with most of your post Lienrag, though to a degree its a matter of taste/preference. An alliance where 2 players have each others back is always stronger then an alliance where both players are constantly sharpening the knives. Both are valid strategies of course & trying to read what type of player you are allied with is a big part of the fun. Plenty of players have a preference for the former & plenty of those players aren't Noobs.

As far as "highlander" victory conditions go this is the least interesting option to me. Leads to the least varied range of diplomatic options. There is no real diplomacy here because eventual betrayal is baked into the rules of the game. No loyalty, trust, deception, betrayal. Boring. Boring, boring, boring. It often leads to a problem where playing well can get you punished, as your ally can't let you get ahead. That can be ok in a game with true fog of war, its an interesting challenge to grow while hiding your strength. Its crud with the type of communal vision FO alliances have. No real way to hide your progress.
+1, great points made
LienRag wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:06 pm I've seen it in MMOGs where it becomes an invitation to bullying as stronger players ally to crush the weaker ones.
Depends on the game layout - if you need to absorb power in order to be able to face other opponents this might make sense. Else, if the player levels are too different, crushing weaker players does not prove anything - what a waste of time.
It makes for more interesting games if teams are mixed. For a small player community where everyone is aware of the levels, the more senior players can shape the game in that direction (e.g. by declining alliances because the game would become boring).
LienRag wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:06 pm I don't want to prevent other people to play as they want, I just (as I explained earlier, with rigorous argumentation I believe) don't understand how it can make any sense to have shared victory with variable teams.
"winning"/"playing a game" means different things. "winning" can mean to fulfill the winning conditions. "winning" can mean to have a challenge and overcome it. Stupid example: I almost never play past turn 140 in single player game as the only way for AI to win would be to band together (which our AI is not able to). In the last game I was slightly in the lead and in a good position and then finally got my ancient ruins - missiorla and death rays while everybody else was on laser-2 or something. Game over. As a side note, since the RP nerf giving death rays for free is way waaaay overpowered. Either we rig the gift to the current tech levels (e.g. one weapon level type higher than the best weapon tech) or simply make weapon type unlock research cheaper (Laser-1, Plasma-1, Death Ray-1 all for half the RP or Arc Disruptors-1,2,3 for half the RP). Also missiorla pilots should get a weak spot, e.g. only fighting if certain policies in effect, or a targeting condition. For example: targeting only monsters, good or better pilots (which means average and bad pilots are immune to the missiorla pilots).

So I think the obvious move of "everybody allies and sais: we won" is not considered winning by anybody. So it is NOT a move to win actually. And also if you restrict the number of allies as we usually do it is also not technically a winning move.
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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#82 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am
LienRag wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:06 pm I've seen it in MMOGs where it becomes an invitation to bullying as stronger players ally to crush the weaker ones.
Depends on the game layout - if you need to absorb power in order to be able to face other opponents this might make sense.
Indeed.
Is there any 4X game where this isn’t the case ?


Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am past turn 140 in single player game as the only way for AI to win would be to band together (which our AI is not able to).
That is really, really a problem that needs to be adressed and the sooner the better. Even a hackish way to have AI banding together once some threshold is reached should be on the top list of things to implement (at least on « maniacal » level).



Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am Else, if the player levels are too different, crushing weaker players does not prove anything - what a waste of time.
It makes for more interesting games if teams are mixed. For a small player community where everyone is aware of the levels, the more senior players can shape the game in that direction (e.g. by declining alliances because the game would become boring).
"winning"/"playing a game" means different things. "winning" can mean to fulfill the winning conditions. "winning" can mean to have a challenge and overcome it. Stupid example: I almost never play past turn 140 in single player game as the only way for AI to win would be to band together (which our AI is not able to). In the last game I was slightly in the lead and in a good position and then finally got my ancient ruins - missiorla and death rays while everybody else was on laser-2 or something. Game over.

So I think the obvious move of "everybody allies and sais: we won" is not considered winning by anybody. So it is NOT a move to win actually. And also if you restrict the number of allies as we usually do it is also not technically a winning move.

To me all the emphasized part show clearly the issue : you’re talking about playing, not gaming.
A game has rules that differ from the outside world, and only the game rules apply.
All the thing you mention here are, maybe not metagaming, but exogaming : rules that are not in the game but come from some common understanding of what is good and fun by all the players. That is, shared social expectations.
I recently watched a TV episode where kids declared in a playground « boys chase girls » and then one girl answered « and what happens if you catch us ? » to which the boy answered « only one way to know !».
I understand how playing like these kids, or how you want to play FreeOrion, can be enjoyable and as I said I don’t want to deprive anyone of their fun, but you have to admit it’s not really a game, a game has fixed rules (even Nomics), these kids are obviously making rules as they go based on socially accepted assumptions in their social group, and what you describe of the way you want to play FreeOrion implies too making some rules as you go, which is the opposite of what a game is.
This also means that you can’t play a game which includes exogaming with people who do not share your implicit social norms (cue the bullying, by the way).

One can play Chess, Go, StarCraft with family, friends, rivals, enemies, strangers, koreans, girls, horses, aliens, strong AI, whatever ; because the set of rules is well defined and nothing matters outside these set of rules : that’s what a game is and that’s what we should aim for.



wobbly wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm As far as "highlander" victory conditions go this is the least interesting option to me. Leads to the least varied range of diplomatic options. There is no real diplomacy here because eventual betrayal is baked into the rules of the game. No loyalty, trust, deception, betrayal. Boring. Boring, boring, boring.
I’m not sure if that’s what you’re refering to here, but yes the second level of noobishness is often that, after having been burned by betrayal on their first games, second-level noobs don’t want to enter an alliance anymore, or they do betray their allies immediately, which indeed makes for less interesting games.



wobbly wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm It often leads to a problem where playing well can get you punished, as your ally can't let you get ahead.

That is indeed the third level of noobishness, when players immediately attack any player getting even a little bit stronger.
This one is a little harder to tackle, as there is some rationale behind it (they're third-level noobs after all, they make more complex mistakes) : obviously the stronger player has more chances to win if he goes unopposed or if he stays allied with weaker players (who basically forfeit their chance to win if they stick to this alliance without a good plan on how to defeat the stronger player later, when he’ll be even stronger).
If there are many experienced players, some of them can still get the game out of this stagnation by allying together long enough to change the lines of strength (betting that along the way they’ll find a solution to strengthen themselves so as to not let the stronger player win).

But you’re wrong on a point : playing well in a strategic multi-player game is not only mastering the rules of the game (getting ahead in Production, Research, strategic expansion and the like) but also mastering how this interacts with diplomacy.
Someone playing really well will know how to not get too much ahead so as to not force his allies to turn their coats, while still preparing his path to victory (which doesn’t mean playing any less well, but being graceful to its allies, while trying to not give them too much either). And there’s no punishment for that – there can be punishment for failure, which is what a good game is supposed to have.

The thing though is that good diplomacy takes time, so computer games may be less suited to that than boardgames. Rule-wise, a turn in a Diplomacy game (the 1954/59 game) takes at most a few minutes ; why time limits are often extended to one hour or more is because of all the diplomacy taking place between players.
I’m not sure whether real diplomacy could occur between players (especially those having IRL activities) on a three-turns per day FreeOrion game, especially after mid-game. I know that diplomacy on MMOGs I played nearly turned to a full-time activity when wars were raging on – quite an enjoyable one, but still not really compatible with anything else IRL. Of course in any game a good diplomat knows how to adapt to the time limit, but there’s a lot of non-verbal communication that can’t happen in a computer game and makes it harder (and probably less fun).

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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#83 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm
Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am Depends on the game layout - if you need to absorb power in order to be able to face other opponents this might make sense.
Indeed.
Is there any 4X game where this isn’t the case ?
You mean game theory wise? In every 4X game where a peace or alliance might give greater benefits. Probably that means games with a high communication ratio and level of trust.
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pmsecond-level noobs..
Out of curiosity, which level did you reach?
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm
Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am past turn 140 in single player game as the only way for AI to win would be to band together (which our AI is not able to).
That is really, really a problem that needs to be adressed
I can implement a button for you to press "I have won!" and the following turn you have victory. You can do that on turn 1 if you like. It means you can win about a hundred games per hour. Great achievement :mrgreen:
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm To me all the emphasized part show clearly the issue : you’re talking about playing, not gaming.
Of course I am talking about playing - gaming is as far as i know a narrower term. I do not get any money if I win.
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm One can play Chess, Go, StarCraft with family, friends, rivals, enemies, strangers, koreans, girls, horses, aliens, strong AI, whatever ; because the set of rules is well defined and nothing matters outside these set of rules : that’s what a game is and that’s what we should aim for.
Yes, I imagine you explaining somebody the chess rules for the first time (assuming you know how to play). And than do a crushing defeat. And be proud of it. :oops:
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pmBut you’re wrong on a point : playing well in a strategic multi-player game is not only mastering the rules of the game
Thanks for killing that strawman for me
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Re: Twelfth game on the multiplayer slow game server

#84 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm
Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am Depends on the game layout - if you need to absorb power in order to be able to face other opponents this might make sense.
Indeed.
Is there any 4X game where this isn’t the case ?
You mean game theory wise? In every 4X game where a peace or alliance might give greater benefits. Probably that means games with a high communication ratio and level of trust.
Yes, that could be a path to follow with FreeOrion, why not, I didn’t really think about that.

But getting a huge bonus by conquering an enemy’s Homeworld is also quite fun, and makes for interesting strategies, we shouldn’t lose that along the way.


Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pmsecond-level noobs..
Out of curiosity, which level did you reach?

In FreeOrion ?
I don’t know, maybe second-level noobishness if I’m as good as I hope to be, maybe still first-level noob (but at the end of it) if I’m not. I do recognize some noobish reflexes in my game, so I can’t pretend to be more advanced than that.

If you meant in diplomatic play in general, I wouldn’t know either, especially since it’s been a while that I’ve had high-level opponents. At least third-level noob, since I’m at least able to identify the problem of « punish the leader » which occurs at this level.
Am I a fourth-level noob then ? Or may I have transcended noobishness ? How could I know ?

Obviously, I know that « noob » has a pejorative meaning, but my non-native English had me at a loss for a better word, so I thought that I could use it for its descriptive value : a noob is not a beginner, it’s someone who stopped learning.
In Go we say that everyone makes mistakes, but a player should not be allowed (I mean, morally allowed) to make a move he knows is bad (and believe me, many players do ; it’s quite hard actually to resist making a bad move when this move would be so nice if it worked).
So yes, the path to learning, as Piaget brilliantly summed it up, resides in un-learning something else. And if obviously players should be free to not learn and not progress in their game capacity, I don’t think that’s what we should encourage.
It’s not because someone is going to betray you that you can’t trust him ; that is the fundamental maxim of diplomacy. A diplomatic game begins when every player understands this maxim and learns from it, we should try to help players reach this level (if they want to, of course), not encourage stagnation.


Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm
Ophiuchus wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:52 am past turn 140 in single player game as the only way for AI to win would be to band together (which our AI is not able to).
That is really, really a problem that needs to be adressed
I can implement a button for you to press "I have won!" and the following turn you have victory. You can do that on turn 1 if you like. It means you can win about a hundred games per hour. Great achievement :mrgreen:

I don’t understand ?
What does this have to do with the problem of AI being currently unable to band together ?



Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm To me all the emphasized part show clearly the issue : you’re talking about playing, not gaming.
Of course I am talking about playing - gaming is as far as i know a narrower term. I do not get any money if I win.
Yes, sorry, still my limited English at work here.
Indeed, there are separate terms for a play and a game in English (cue the Role-Playing Games, which do not exactly translate in other langages), but not for the act of playing a game and of playing socially.
Yet, all real games if I’m not mistaken have a sacred origin, they were recreating the world (which is still an expression used in Go and – I think – in Chess), that makes them different from other types of play, even if the religious aspect has mostly faded.
Maybe now they should more be related to a Temporary Autonomous Zone ? I don’t know.
But the idea that they exist by their rules, rules that need to be complete, and that games keep everything else apart from the inner world that the game creates (social relations, especially) is paramount.


Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pm One can play Chess, Go, StarCraft with family, friends, rivals, enemies, strangers, koreans, girls, horses, aliens, strong AI, whatever ; because the set of rules is well defined and nothing matters outside these set of rules : that’s what a game is and that’s what we should aim for.
Yes, I imagine you explaining somebody the chess rules for the first time (assuming you know how to play). And than do a crushing defeat. And be proud of it. :oops:
Maybe I'm actually that horrible a person - nobody's a good judge of oneself.
But you know, that's the point actually : in a real game, it's entirely irrelevant.
A player is proud or ashamed of playing well or badly according to his own level ; social interaction is kept outside the game (not that it can’t happen, nor that good and friendly social interactions are not a good thing of their own, but it’s a separate thing). A sore loser or winner can’t ruin a game, he just makes the aftergame less pleasant : the lessons learned in the game are still there.
Bobby Fisher was AFAIK not a very nice person ; yet he created beauty on the chessboard, half a century later it still illuminates the universe : that is his legacy, not the pettiness he showed sometimes.
Maybe you shouldn’t play with someone as horrible as me – and definitely, you shouldn’t play with someone you don’t sympathize with a game where rules have to be made on the get go rather than being defined once and for all before the game.
Or maybe, if we find a real game (fixed teams or highlander-style victory then), playing a good game with me will make it enjoyable for me – oh, the humanity ! - but also, since it would be a game, and as such my awfulness would not be the point, make it enjoyable for all the other players and that could make it okay ?
And that would actually be the point ? Not that someone on the internet is mean ?


I guess that you’re pointing at a lack of empathy from my part ?
Indeed, empathy is not compassion ; it’s not a moral virtue by itself.
AFAIK, bullies have very strong empathy for each other ; that’s how they can relate to each other’s bullying of their victim.
Empathy is something that can essentially happen between people sharing social mores ; as a free software, open to all humanity, that is not what we should strive for.


Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm
LienRag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:36 pmBut you’re wrong on a point : playing well in a strategic multi-player game is not only mastering the rules of the game
Thanks for killing that strawman for me
I don’t get this answer, actually : do you think that that’s not what Wobbly meant by « punished for playing well » ? Because I never saw someone getting punished for playing well diplomatically, though I saw many times players being punished for getting ahead of others through mastery of the ropes of the game without sufficient diplomatic preparation for it.
Or is there a flaw in my argumentation ?

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