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#11

I won my last game through diplomacy as well, it was pretty interesting.

First I allied both my neighbours in secrecy. Then I set them up against each other by supplying false information. This caused a war between them. I built up a lot of troops on my borders telling them I was preparing to assist them. I asked for their war plans and secretly shared them with their enemy.

Because their enemy was being notified about their plans, the war was very destructive for both of them. Once both sides made huge losses, I quickly betrayed one ally and took all his areas. My other ally was happy I was helping him and allowed me to get most of the other’s stars. Then I quickly turned on him and this set me up in a position I was able to easily win the game in.


#12

I gather you fellas are relatively new. Welcome! You have zeroed in on what this game does better than any other, imo: diplomacy. Its why I keep coming back, 4 years after I started playing.

You may find the attached thread to be of interest, if you haven’t seen it already: Diplomacy In Space part II. That thread links to an earlier one, which in turn links to an excellent article Jay posted that is well worth studying if you are interested in the diplomatic aspect of the game.

You have also hit on the biggest problem with NP: the high AFK rate. I think its fair to say that the only solution is a challenging AI, which Jay says is one of his top priorities.


#13

I am replying here to your post about your “experiment”, since I don’t want to be overly negative about a game apparently underway that I chose not to participate in. I think your “experiment” will produce banal results: edge positions are advantageous, and trading groups composed of players who are playing for reasons other than to win can generate a technology outcome that destroys the fun for other players. Your experiment risks the playing experience, and potentially wastes the time, of 54 other players. Not good for the long-term health of the game imo. You get points for being honest about it when challenged, and you obviously are interested in learning about the game. The thread I linked may provide insight about my pov,as it discussed another trade cartel in a 32 player game.


#14

I’ve read your link regarding the discussion of the “trade-cabal” in which a body of players were essentially hijacking wins by trading among themselves alone, then electing who “won” in a series of games by seemingly taking turns taking the win. It is hard for me to make out how many players such a “cabal” existed in 32 player games. The screen shot is of NP1, which appears to be minimally 4 years old at least. I’m not sure I view the two situations as identical as you seem to, nothing like that is being attempted by my group. There will be no monopolization of technology, and none of us are in corner positions. I however see the ease by which groups of players, as few as 5-6 in number, could monopolize victories in 64 player games. I’ve witnessed at least two such groups, that are minimally that size. Of multi-boxing players there are no end, and I’ve almost certainly met a dozen of them. I typically see such players playing 3 positions that can be readily identified, I suspect they are playing more positions then those that even I can identify, and I’ve looked at 12 of the last 13, sixty-four player games played, that such groups are alive and well. Thriving even.

You are correct that results may well be banal to you, but then again this project isn’t being run for your benefit or your entertainment.

Regarding the discussion about edge positions, I think you are getting two threads mixed up, I don’t think any of our positions are on the map edge. Rather then have one thread bleed into another, I’ll leave that discussion on that thread, for others to follow as they please.

Your comments regarding the “fun of other players being destroyed” is noted, but I hardly see a difference between them having their “fun destroyed” by a group of players interested in making observations about different styles of play, which our playing “pacifistic technocracies” is, as opposed to them having their “fun destroyed” to other multi-boxing players whose existence they know nothing about. Players run the risk of having their play experience ruined, their time wasted, and all the rest by simply playing a 64 player game, regardless of my presence or absence from such a game.

Even prior to Jay’s fatwa against us researchers and the resulting jihad that will no doubt result, we knew the likely outcome. Of the 7 positions we started (wanting 8 to start), we expect 4 to be immediately overrun within 3 days of start, 2 to be destroyed in the mid game, a final position destroyed in the end game, and a single position to be isolated and adopted by an alliance simply as another alliance member to be carried to the game end to view the “win” by one of that empires constituent members. That is not much difference then the average players experience, banal as it might be.


#15

brutal.


#16

I’ve thought about doing that but I’m always worried about being found out! It’s amazing how many people don’t bother communicating with the other players though.


#17

If seems pretty clear by now that you are controlling multiple accounts in that 64 game. If you were playing to win that would be a clear cheat, and I think you know that. You are doing it for “science” so your conscience is salved, but you are disrupting the play experience for many others, as we have demonstrated, for a not very convincing reason.

Just because the practice is widespread in 64 games, or that there is little distinction between one player controlling multiple accounts and a trading cartel playing with the objective of a predetermined win, doesn’t excuse the behavior. Perhaps the 64 format is hopeless because that behavior is endemic and irredeemable.

As I said in another thread, it’s not about morality, it’s about quality of gameplay. I take the trouble to point this out not to save souls, or publicly berate, but on the probability that many of the individuals engaged in the aforementioned behavior may not have considered the impact of their actions on the game experience of other players, and thereby on quality of gameplay.


#18

@wfmcgillicuddy gets a big +1 from me there. Ive considered trying to echo these thoughts a couple times but havent attempted it as I dont think I would be able to do so in such a polite manner.

I wish this thread was not disjointed from the other one (Rainbow Trade Alliance: Rainbow Trade Aliance ) where the topic is also at the forefront, but oh well.


#19

I would characterize the both of you as gaming Nazis, who have traded ideas about racial purity for gaming purity, as if such a thing actually existed, or could exist in the current context. Do players really have to conform to the goose stepping model you endorse for no other reason then gaming purity? That’s what it seems like to me. At the core of the game are a few diplomatic, ruthless, back-stabbing a-holes, all of whom ironically expect a “clean slate” the next go around, while those shanked and left dying shouldn’t harbor thoughts of payback. Talk about unrealistic. You build a graveyard every 64 player game, only to erect a dias on that mound of graves for an awards ceremony. Then if someone dares play another way, like NOT playing to win, he’s somehow doing something wrong. Non-sense. Not playing to win isn’t a crime, and if it were, it would be like Indianapolis’s law that a horse shall not be ridden over 10 miles an hour within the city limits, a law that at its best is outdated, unenforced, and irrelevant.

In the same way the German people, the Wehrmacht, and the German military-industrial complex could not provide for the creation of the perfect National Socialist state, this community cannot provide for the utopian NP2 community the two of you minimally appear to want. 64 player games that are in fact 64 player games, not test beds for someone’s PhD, or filled with 16-24 positions that are all multi-boxed. This game is never going to be anything close to what you would ideally like it to be with the ISP warning removed, but that comes with its own complexities. Now I think I understand why the ISP warning was removed, because the second it isn’t, the finger pointing quotient goes through the roof, as does the yelling and general unpleasantness. Maybe it should be turned on. Then again, 64 player games that fill in a week give or take, may take a month to fill.

Regardless, players will not have to suffer the Trade Federation much longer, 4 or 5 positions will not see day 7, with Blue and Red perhaps lasting slightly longer. After that the project will be shelved, as data collection will have told us everything that I minimally wanted.


#20

Comparing game players with Nazis betrays an ignorance that is truely monumental.


#21

Godwin’s Law in action.


#22

Nazis? Gaming purity? Goose stepping? gaming utopia? I am howling! Great stuff! But to make a decent conversation out of some of the concepts imbedded in your rant, some relaxation techniques are perhaps in order. After all, it’s always cocktail hour somewhere. Speaking of…


#23

Take your time, a well worded counter rant is always worth a read.


#24

Trolling the game and trolling the boards.

Good times.


#25

[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.


#26

Yawn. An all together boring reply.


#27

I’m not a lawyer (perhaps someone here is?), but I believe per Goodwin’s Law:
“whoever mentions Nazis or Hitler first has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress”

:wink:


#28

You bring up a lot of interesting points, I hope I will touch on all of them, troll that I am, and a-hole to boot.

Behavior is rewarded as you say, quite correctly, but it is also punished. The emotional difficulty of the stab here may be greater than in Diplomacy, which plays out in a few hours over a board game at a convention somewhere, where here in NP2 two or three weeks of trust might be shattered by that epic, perfectly timed, end game winning end stab. Given the investment in energy and attention that suddenly goes up in smoke, it becomes understandable that someone gets upset when you play the role of Judas to them.

I myself like the “team game” of it, that is gathering enough players to work together to take one of us to the end, or more often then not develop enough strength to take on the local alliance in the 64 player game that that just started attacking someone.

Neptune’s Pride 2 will never be World of Warcraft in terms of its popularity, it would be interesting to know the total player base in raw numbers, and what % of them are identical ISP users. I half imagine the numbers would surprise most players.


#29

#30

Ok Guys, thanks for the spirited discussion. I think it might be time for a new topic.