[quote=“uberpenpal, post:19, topic:4314”]
At the core of the game are a few diplomatic, ruthless, back-stabbing a-holes,
[/quote]As the great Curley once said: “hey, I resemble that remark!”. http://youtu.be/tEM7I5VSVjY
The fact that that behavior is rewarded is a key aspect of the design of this game, I think it’s fair to say. However, receiving, and delivering, the backstab is emotionally difficult for many. This reality is well discussed here: Diplomacy - The Board Game of the Alpha Nerds
It as also fair to say that the emotional cost of the backstab, plus the time commitment required, may limit the appeal of this game, as you have intimated. I would urge everyone to get over it, give it a try, learn to love those who backstab (and vice versa), but I am an an a-hole, easy for me to say.
“Not playing to win isn’t a crime”. True. This is a game, it should be fun. What i suggest is similar to the central assertion of classical economics: when economic actors maximize their personal welfare, the general welfare is maximized. Pursuing your own self interest will maximize the fun of all, in NP terms.
Subject to constraints, of course. Number one: one account per player. There is no valid reason to have more than one account under your control in a game. Period. Perhaps impossible to enforce, but true nonetheless.
Otherwise, it is reasonable to expect that different players may define fun maximization differently than me. There are many players who prefer the technical aspects of the game to the diplomatic aspects. There are also many games available far more technically challenging than this one. Many of those have player counts in the tens of thousands. I find them boring. But that’s me. This game is easily unbalanced technically. Proving it may turn your crank. Great. Do it in a custom game with like minded players.
Many players are by their nature cooperative gamers. They would prefer to compete in the context of a team. I love team games, but all players should be in teams, and each team should be playing to win.
That was more like a dissertation than a rant. Sorry. The Jameson has made me mellow this time. You just never know with that stuff.