Also, due to popular demand, I have increased the number of turns in a TBG that you can miss before being kicked from 3 to 6.
Could I suggest that the AFK limit be just 2 turns for the first 10 turns of a game. This will get rid of those people that don’t like their starting position and don’t have the courtesy to quit.
After that this change seems reasonable. One can always send polite messages to slow-coaches asking if they would quit if they really don’t want to play this particular game any more. New discussions get sent to their email address so can also act as a reminder.
That’s a good change!
But I agree with leonardebaker as well.
AFK’s are the scourge of NP … so the real solution is not have players sign up for games and then bail (often) right away. But there probably isn’t a solution to that!
I’m sympathetic to RL stuff, but there needs to be a balance so that the game isn’t held up for all of the players. Quite the bummer if you are in a 24 hour (or 48 hour!) submit game and someone bails, but as leonardebaker correctly said, don’t have the courtesy to quit … so now everyone has to wait SIX turns … which then probably just encourages more AFK’s because people lose interest in the game.
I like the simplicity of X missed turns and you are out … but wondering if you should factor in the time to submit? I.e. maybe 6 turns OR 72/96 RL hours?
P.S. What about showing the numbers of times a player has AFK’ed?
Maybe for user created games, the game creator may be allowed to adjust game settings for the number of turns to kick players for AFK ?
Maybe there can be two settings ?
One setting for the early game until 10 or creator defined number of turns, players are kicked for AFK for missing 2 or creator defined number of Submits.
The second setting is used after the early game setting, the creator defines kicking a player to AFK for 3 or creator defined number of Submits.
I really think this should either be relative, or an admin option. By relative I mean games a 24 hours deadline, 6 for a game with 12 hour deadlines.
6 in a game with 24 hours deadlines is almost a week before going AFK.
yes, I was reluctant to make this change, because I think if you miss three turns you are not paying attention.
The code needs more options or needs to be time based but I wanted to get a fix in quickly. I had three angry players afk by accident over the last week.
I know one of the players who complained because he was in a game I created. Honestly, he seemed a little new and he didn’t even seem to know or understand the 3 missed turn rule. His knee-jerk, flip-out reaction was a bit overboard in his mail to us in-game and I assume to you @JayKyburz (he said he was mailing you).
Ours was a 12 hr turn submit game and he missed 2 days over a weekend. If he didn’t know the 3 afk rule, you can bet he does now and won’t do it again. I don’t think he has much case for complaining. We explained to him that if he can’t check the game for 1.5 days then he has no business signing up or a 12hr TBG.
Which brings me to my opinion/point - we all state a problem with the game is AFK’s…but the real problem is players committing to a turn submit structure that they can’t honor. If you can’t be responsible to login and submit your turns for a game because its too quick, you have no business committing yourself to that game because you owe a responsibility to the other players. I’m not saying they are bad people or they are wrong. RL gets in the way and some folks just can’t check that often (I get it) – thats what the 24 and 48 hr submits are for.
Giving players 6 turns to miss could make the real issue worse because now players have to respect their commitment even less. If I’m playing a 12 hr turn submit game, I’d rather suffer some more AFK’s here and there than condone the actions of players who are only going to check in once in a couple days (4-5 turns) whenever they feel like. Is the latter any better than an AFK? And do we want to encourage that behavior? I can live with it if we go with this because I’ll just beat them, but I’m not sure reducing AFK’s by less stringency is a clear cut solution to making the real issue any better.
In the example of the player in my game, I can assure you he now respects and understands the importance of how long he has before he goes AFK and to avoid quick turn games. He got burned once, but in my opinion thats better than allowing him to continue to miss days at a time in all his games from now on. Jay mentions we have a lot of players who try the game out and may not completely understand the AFK rules. I think it would also help to clearly state this in the help section at least, if not make it more prominent elsewhere.
Thanks for the feedback and notes @Valhallan, I agree with you which is why I was persisting with 3 turns for so long, but on the other hand, I can empathise with people who just have a crazy weekend and can’t get to the game within 36 hours. (3 turns at 12 hour deadlines.)
I myself would join a 12 hour deadline game, but every now and then there just are those crazy weekends when traveling or on holidays where I might not get to the game at all on Saturday and then not have internet on sunday morning, or just be chasing the kids around and not have a quiet 10 minutes to submit.
I think perhaps the solution is a time based system rather than turn based because life that gets in the way an I want it to be ok for you to be away from the game for 48-72 hours without being punished too harshly.
I do realize it’s a tough thing to balance. I guess my concern would be this appeases the AFK’ers, but doesn’t solve the problem and I fear it could even make the problem of suffering unreliable/uncommitted players worse for the rest us.
Honestly, I’m firmly in the don’t cater to potential AFK’s camp…But, I could be in the minority too. I have very little trouble checking a few times a day and I haven’t gone AFK in 20 or 30 games I’ve played - queue the “you don’t have a life jokes”
What we really need is some better social / friend features so you can easily find enough hard core players such as yourself and don’t need to have open games that new or uncommitted players could stumble into.
Absolutely agree and you strike a nerve I hadn’t considered as the best way to really fix the problem. This way the more casual, potential AFK’er types can have their cake, while more committed/active players can eat it too. The game really should be accessible to both camps.
Maybe an idea is that after 3 turns the turns simply “won’t wait till the person log in” yet he isn’t replaced?
How about this as a compromise:
- 3 (or perhaps even 2) consecutive missed turns gets you turned into an AI
- If you return within 72 hours (or whatever you think is fair) you can regain control of your AI - but you only get this let-off once per game, so next time you miss 2/3 consecutive turns that’s it
The problem is the second someone gets announced as AFK, it affects other players in the game. Strategies are immediately revised and usually action begins happening right away. Letting them come back will throw hings into a lot of choas.
Well but then isn’t that actually better: people then don’t directly change strategies if someone is afk and continu as normal? At least for a time being
Jay, I agree with the turn based AFK extension, as this has affected me with work, family, sickness before.
The issue with repeat AFK offenders is that they do it on purpose. Your social tools would be good but I think there is something that would be an important addition to this. Each player’s account should have stats. Amount of games played, number of games won/lost, amount of AFK kicks, % of AFK in first x turns.
The game admin should have access to this and be able to contact and kick AFK repeat offenders before game starts. The spot is made open for new players to join.
What do you think?
I had previously done a limited study, that somewhat shows most ( not all ) AFK players are new players who might need help learning the game.
I think it can be less intuitive for new players when the SUBMIT button is hidden behind the “First Time Player Tutorial Video” reminder.
I suggest this feature request that the SUBMIT button should be always visible,
and the “First Time Player Tutorial Video” reminder is also visible until closed by the gamer.
If the new gamer does not watch the videos or clear the tutorial suggestions, then he does not realize there is a SUBMIT button hidden from view.
My PAINT job is only a suggestion. Some space must be allocated to show the “missed submit 2 of 3” warnings.
This could partially solve some of the AFK problems with new players.
Rather than just simple submit tracking, I think NP2 should track EIS and carrier
2 trades / gifts
3 Fleet direction changes and/or
4 mail messages over 2 production cycles before applying the 3 missed submits for AFK.