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Ysim
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Vampiregame 30 Feedback
PostPosted: Thu 21 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

I made a decent amount of role/rule changes and to a lesser extent a philosophy change for Vampiregame 30.

You, probably wrote:
But why? Why have you wrought this chaos upon us"

Because I wanted to!
ebil


But really, because I felt that Vampiregame was unbalanced in favor of the Villager side. Additionally, I felt that the 'First Blessed Reveal' Alliance meta was getting stale fast. I wanted to shake things up and rebalance the game.
To this end, I started with a rule change to remove the 'invincibility' of a revealed blessed person. I changed the night action order:
Debless -> Bite -> Bless

I also considered:
Bless -> Debless -> Bite

In either case the Vampires and Dark Priest can both target the same person in a night to guarantee being able to turn a blessed villager. The Light Priest would not be able to stop it. In my eyes this translates well as "a coordinated attack between multiple players who don't start out knowing each other will overpower a single player's action". In the first model, if both Dark Priest and Light Priest target the same person (but the Vampires don't), the person will remain blessed. In the second model the person will remain unblessed. Which is the better model? I'm still not sure, but I used the former because I thought it may better reward Dark Priest + Vampire coordination, but also give a slight advantage to the Vampires if the Dark Priest is not involved (or dead).
With this new night action order, the very existence of the Dark Priest deters a blessed person from publicly revealing.

Light Priest in waiting...
I didn't like that the traditional PIW role is left to pure chance and luck. Instead, I used it to tie the two priests together. If the Dark Priest is alive when the Light Priest dies, a new Light Priest will be chosen at random (but cannot be a Blessed Villager, to prevent an invulnerable priest). This keeps the Vampires from getting too much of an edge by killing the Light Priest early (especially if it was a lucky/unlucky day 1 vote), but tries to maintain balance if the Dark Priest is already out.

Garlic...
I tried to minimize the total number of times Vampires could hit garlic, as well as minimize the number of garlic in play at a single point. To merely minimize the number of garlic felt like it was TOO much of a nerf, so I made them 'passable'. When an initial garlic is hanged, the garlic moves randomly to another villager. This created an unintended (but maybe not bad) side effect of the vampires trying to AVOID voting out the garlic. A garlic you know is better than having to hunt it out again. I like that this happened, actually. It means for vampires, choosing whether or not to try to get a garlic voted out becomes a strategic choice.

I also liked that roles (new Light Priest, Garlic) could stack with each other or with another pre-existing role. Of course, because of this stacking, I had to be careful with how I displayed the roles when I said who was alive, hence treating Garlic like an item. Perhaps Light Priest should have been displayed similarly?

Inquisitors...
After I nerfed the Villagers sufficiently, I wanted to give them some hope. Making the Inquisitor effectively a single use seer, gave someone the ability to learn one more concrete piece knowledge, without tipping the balance too much. Additionally, this knowledge may fall to the Vampire side anyway, if it isn't made public and the previously inquisitor was turned. My gut said 2 of them was a good number. It being single use also made it a more strategic move, with some risk-reward balancing to do. Use it too early and the information may not be very useful, wait til the end and you may gain a powerful ally in end game...or you may get turned/hanged before you do anything.

Fraud...
The fraud was purely for fun. It gave villagers an extra chance at a 'special role', a chance to do something (maybe), and kept everyone on their toes because they wouldn't even know whether the Fraud was still in or not.

Information...
I told players whenever their role changed. I feel that it's always important to know your own role and be able to make strategic choices based on what you know. Thus, Garlic know they have Garlic, Villagers know when they are blessed and deblessed, etc.

Idling...
I made night actions (except bites) optional. There's really no good reason NOT to bless or debless (except the Dark Priest on Night 1), but maybe in the future there will be. In either case, missing out on the action seems like enough of a penalty that it shouldn't really need to be considered an idle.

So what did you think? How did it feel? Would rather have lynched the GM?



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Zagwyn
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

I enjoyed never knowing anything for sure, ever. Except that there were vampires.

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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

Debless -> Bite -> Bless meant Dark Priest effectively had no power night 1. No one to debless.

You didn't mention Tourist 'role' at first stated role play only and then allowed in real game topic and chat. I felt the real game touristperk was unfair.
How do the players from both sides feel?

Apart from that the rules worked well.



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Marvin
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

Ok, here are some of my thoughts (I should have kept notes about this during the game, I probably won't be able to recall everything).

First of all, I did notice a change in philosophy, too. That's pretty cool, get something fresh going. As Zagwyn already said, never knowing anything really for sure was really awesome and that's exactly what the game is supposed to be like.

As for your balancing, I actually have to disagree that these rules were in favor of the vampires more than usual. I think the vampires mostly won because they were really lucky. Here's when:
  • Not hitting blessed or garlic on accident
  • Not being frauded
  • Not losing the DP early
  • Actually having a good grasp on who the DP is (this information should not have been available to us)
  • Turning 1 Inquisitor in the night he wanted to look at a vampire
If any of those things above had not happened, we certainly would have lost the game (maybe except for the Fraud mob). And getting all those circumstancial things together was quite a lot of luck indeed.

Let me get a bit deeper into the rule changes.

The bite order:
Ysim wrote:
Debless -> Bite -> Bless
This was the key advantage you have given the vampires and it is a really strong one! But also it is the only one, I feel. I think if the other rules can be tweaked to work better in favor of a balanced game, you can also make this rule a bit less favorable for the vampires, but I think it should be the final balancing touch and not the starting point for a new rule set. But that's more a personal feeling than a serious consideration.
Ysim wrote:
In either case the Vampires and Dark Priest can both target the same person in a night to guarantee being able to turn a blessed villager. The Light Priest would not be able to stop it. In my eyes this translates well as "a coordinated attack between multiple players who don't start out knowing each other will overpower a single player's action".
The problem I see here is that the vampires have no tools of finding the DP alive for sure. Not knowing things for sure is kinda nice, but since the DP is working alone most of the time and tries to stay undected, the Vampires also do not have any additional clues as to who it may be over the other villagers. I think they would need some sort of mechanism that supports them forming an alliance. Otherwise the idea behind your philosophy is moot in my opinion.

PIW
Ysim wrote:
Light Priest in waiting...
I didn't like that the traditional PIW role is left to pure chance and luck.
I wholeheartedly agree that the PIW is nothing but a bad bandaid. While at first glance your new implementation seemed very neat, it did reveal to have a serious flaw in it that I did not like: It does not reward good play by the vampires. Keeping your DP alive is a good thing, but if you do and find the LP, you may kill him but then a completely new person becomes LP. And what's worse, they may have garlic! And be a Fraud! Or an Inquisitor too! It is barely worth for the vampires to pick off the LP if the DP is still alive. And we did run into this situation during this game. We had Eilatan already figured out but could not remove her from the game because then there would have been a new, anonymous, possibly garlic-protected priest. The horror! I will come back to the same issue with garlic in a bit.
Now, how else to solve the PIW thing. In the last WG I accidentally sort of fixed the SIW issue with the new rules. I was wondering if an analogous adaptation would work for VG but haven't quite figured anything out so far.

Garlic
Ysim wrote:
This created an unintended (but maybe not bad) side effect of the vampires trying to AVOID voting out the garlic. A garlic you know is better than having to hunt it out again. I like that this happened, actually.
I really disagree. Just like with the new LP rule, this punishes good play by the vampire by essentially removing their true option of how to deal with Garlic if they manage to find one. Normally you would try to get it voted out. Now you don't because it may pass to an even more valuable player! It is the same as voting an unblessed villager: it removes a valid night target from your pool. That is not how voting out garlic is supposed to work from a vampire's perspective. And really, voting the same garlic out twice in a game seems very unlikely to me. So the only efficient way to remove it is by biting it, which is exactly what we did. What I did like actually was the MV rounding rule. This actually also punishes good play by the vampires, but it opens up the new strategy of sacrificing the MV in order to get rid of garlics in a more efficient way. We even went down that path in the game. Still seems like a hefty price to pay to eventually deal with garlic.
I can see why you reduced the overall garlic number though and agree on that general notion. I would like to see a different counterbalance measurement though.

Inquisitors
This was a new rule that I really liked. It is mostly a boost to the villagers' side but it seems far from overpowered due to its single shot effect.
What I like most about this rule is that it adds a lot of vulnerability to the MV specifically. The MV can traditionally only be killed by being voted out. If they somehow manage to dodge the votes (can easily be done by being quiet tounge1), then the inquisitors give the villagers two additionally shots at finding that pesky last vampire that they just don't manage to kill with their votes while the whole town is already blessed and garlicified tounge1

Fraud
A fun role we can repeat. I think it serves quite well as a way to add more uncertainty to the game. Here's another thing I would find really interesting: Give both sides a fraud, so have 2 in total. In WG, I'd just assign fraud to 1 wolf and 1 to the vills. In VG I'd have 1 vill be fraud as long as he is vill and have 1 hidden dark fraud, whose powers activate after being turned. That way, when a fraud is using his power and people manage to identify who the fraud was in the voting mess, they don't automatically know that they were a villager! Might need some balancing tweaks though.

Blessing Notifications
I guess I am still in favor of simply telling everyone if they have been blessed and shut up blessed-reveal alliances that way. The DP is a nice tool and should maybe still be in there, but it should not be the only counter measure. It makes the game too brittle: If the DP is voted on the first day, the villagers have their alliance going from day 2 on and we get the same kind of system that we all have always hated. Your rules do not prevent that. In fact, the new PIW rule probably makes it even worse than before. The priest has a backup but the DP does not. So if the DP is the only tool to stop the overpowered and overly boring alliances, then that's a serious weak spot in the whole setup!

Foregoing Night Actions (Blessing and Deblessing)
We discussed vote idling before in chat and pretty much the same principles apply to not blessing and deblessing. While it is a lot less hurtful to the game on the surface if the priest or dark priest idle, it can still greatly tip the balance of the game due to an individual's blunder. I don't like that. I also don't like to tell people what they have to do, as we discussed very very early in the game (too lazy for logs). So here's an idea: Allow the priest and dark priest to forego their night actions, but force them to explicitly tell you that they wish not to use their powers. If they don't, treat it as idling. We pretty much have the same system at day where people can just vote themself if they don't desire to pass a vote to kill somebody.

Tourist
This is one of the points I am feeling strongest about. Please never allow the tourist to interfere with RG again. This is nothing personal against Q, but I found it super annoying that there was a person meddling with RG and you could not even do anything against it. We do not let non-players or dead players interact with RG, so why have this 1 bystander do it? I went into this experiment with an open mind, but I soon started to really hate it.
If my personal feeling does not move you, here's a more solid reason tounge1 If we allow this kind of role, people may be queueing up to be a tourist rather than actually play the game. And we need players, not people who talk but cannot die and cannot vote. I don't think they keep the game healthy.
But if you cannot be voted out and can say whatever you want and analyze and theorize, it may appeal to a few people more than joining as a normal player.


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Ysim
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

Thank you for the feedback (and I do mean that sincerely). You guys are really a great group to GM for, so

I agree with you on a lot of points, mainly that the singular point of failure (Dark Priest) does make the un-Blessed Reveal Alliance meta brittle. One idea that was suggested (by Eilatan) was that the PIW becomes either Light or Dark Priest, which ever dies first. Again this still has hints of punishing a good play, as you pointed out, but I personally saw these things as attempting to maintain balance. I had been considering a new person in the priest role to be weaker, as they would most likely not have the prior knowledge that the original priest had. I do, however, understand that it also is tricky for the vampires because they have to start the hunt all over again with no evidence. It may be better to implement this without the ability to stack roles, or maybe not at all (and come up with other roles/items to add to the game in it's place).

On Idling/forgoing night actions:
I can seriously argue myself both ways. I'd really prefer to eliminate idling entirely, but I recognize that life happens and people make mistakes. A better system would probably be to directly ping people missing votes/actions 6|4|2|1 hour(s) before deadline or something, but I also don't want to put more work on the GM.
Even worse (in my opinion) is when the idling is used strategically or as evidence! I haven't really seen someone idle intentionally, however I have seen "[PlayerX] is probably innocent, [the other vampires/wolves] would have urged [him/her] to not forget a vote."
An idea was thrown into the ring that we treat idles as self votes. This would be a complete swing to the other end of the spectrum and maybe it's too far. Perhaps a compromise could be that each player is allowed 1 idle, which will show as a self (or random?) vote and thus not particularly visible to other players. On the second idle, the current rules apply and you are removed from the game.
Just brainstorming...


And, yes, I knew it was inevitable that we would come to this.
On the topic of The Tourist...
Admittedly, I expected this to cause some controversy, but I also hoped that everyone involved would be mature about it. And you all were! So, seriously thank you immensely for that.
I have a love/hate relationship with that role as a RP-only role. My initial intention in allowing the tourist at all was in hopes of boosting roleplay, especially late game when other active players died off, but I am also of the opinion that if you want to play, you should PLAY. Of course as the game goes on, people lose interest in RP, run out of ideas, or accidentally kill off their RP partner. So...yeah, there's the tourist, I guess.
I did not, in any way, want this to set a precedent though. Allowing Qu to discuss RG was because I trusted her. There are not many people that I would trust to be in that position, but I did trust Qu. In particular, I trusted that she would remain relatively neutral. I was actually hoping she would cause some chaos that could be leveraged by either side.

To put your worries to rest, I do not intend to create another game with an RG-active tourist (except to plan Role Play). I may be open to allowing some of the best RPers to be RP-only tourists, to help drive RP, but not RG. It's simply too messy and kind of not balanceable. Like you pointed out, Marvin, if they become too villager friendly, vampires can't get them killed or vice versa.



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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

As the tourist, let me put in my thougts,

I asked ysim if i could join vg as the tourist because the vg pull was strong yet, i didnt want to have sleepless nights. I intended to RP only when i asked that. To my surprise i was alowed and I was happy. I wanted to RP for once with a char that could 'live' through the end and be able to develop some story arc/char development.

However, when we started I had a serious loss of inspiration to RP. So I asked Ysim if i would be allowed to post RG stuff too, and to my joy he said yes. So i was happy to be able to participate.

And it is nice, just to think out loud and say who you suspect and all without sleepless nights. But that was the only thing, i felt you all took distance and I was never really part of the game, no behind the scenes messaging and all the things that are part of this

So in conclusion I would say too that tourist may look nice at first sight but not for RG. Maybe not even for RP as well because without that tension of dying/being turned, or putting hints in your RP, it just isnt the same.. so thank you all for bearing with me and allowing me to experience that.


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Re: Vampiregame 30 Feedback
PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

Ysim wrote:
But really, because I felt that Vampiregame was unbalanced in favor of the Villager side.
It always seemed to me that the vampires had the advantage in Vampiregame, because they could increase their numbers. One vampire gets voted out at day, but someone is turned at night, so long as they don't have the misfortune of hitting the "mine" of a garlic or blessed.

Ysim wrote:
Additionally, I felt that the 'First Blessed Reveal' Alliance meta was getting stale fast. I wanted to shake things up and rebalance the game.
To this end, I started with a rule change to remove the 'invincibility' of a revealed blessed person.
However, it still relies on the Dark Priest being alive. I think in most games the alliance only forms up after the Dark Priest dies (or there is no Dark Priest), and this game was very unusual in trying to create an alliance around a garlic instead, and doing it while the DP still lived.

Actually, I feel like, with a Dark Priest, whether the game is going in favor of the vampires or the villagers depends too much on whether that one person still lives. It might be better to not have a Dark Priest and instead make it so that the blessing is lost after the bite -- so a vampire dies of blood loss when they hit a blessed, but they can bite the person again later, so long as the person hasn't been blessed again by the Priest.

Ysim wrote:
I didn't like that the traditional PIW role is left to pure chance and luck. Instead, I used it to tie the two priests together. If the Dark Priest is alive when the Light Priest dies, a new Light Priest will be chosen at random (but cannot be a Blessed Villager, to prevent an invulnerable priest).
I'll echo Marvin's comments in saying that this discourages the vampires from trying to get rid of the Priest at all. I do not like the priests being tied together in this way.

Ysim wrote:
This keeps the Vampires from getting too much of an edge by killing the Light Priest early (especially if it was a lucky/unlucky day 1 vote), but tries to maintain balance if the Dark Priest is already out.
I feel like the "traditional" PIW role accomplishes this better. The later in the game that the priest is voted out, the less likely the PIW still lives. It is true that there is too much of an element of chance in this, though.

Ysim wrote:
I tried to minimize the total number of times Vampires could hit garlic, as well as minimize the number of garlic in play at a single point. To merely minimize the number of garlic felt like it was TOO much of a nerf, so I made them 'passable'. When an initial garlic is hanged, the garlic moves randomly to another villager. This created an unintended (but maybe not bad) side effect of the vampires trying to AVOID voting out the garlic. A garlic you know is better than having to hunt it out again. I like that this happened, actually. It means for vampires, choosing whether or not to try to get a garlic voted out becomes a strategic choice.
I agree with this. I like this rule.

Ysim wrote:
I also liked that roles (new Light Priest, Garlic) could stack with each other or with another pre-existing role.
This, however, I don't like. I feel like a Garlic Priest would be way too powerful.

Ysim wrote:
After I nerfed the Villagers sufficiently, I wanted to give them some hope. Making the Inquisitor effectively a single use seer, gave someone the ability to learn one more concrete piece knowledge, without tipping the balance too much.
It was interesting how in this game both Inquisitors used their powers the same night, and also one of them got turned at the same time. I'd have to see it in more games to know how I feel about the role, though.

Ysim wrote:
I made night actions (except bites) optional. There's really no good reason NOT to bless or debless (except the Dark Priest on Night 1), but maybe in the future there will be. In either case, missing out on the action seems like enough of a penalty that it shouldn't really need to be considered an idle.
What happens if you end up getting someone who just can't be bothered, though? I think if the villagers end up losing and then see at the end of the game that they could have won if just one more person had been blessed, but the Priest was just too lazy to send in a blessing, they would be pretty upset. Same thing with the Vampires and the Dark Priest.


I'd also like to comment on some of Marvin's remarks:
Marvin wrote:
The problem I see here is that the vampires have no tools of finding the DP alive for sure. Not knowing things for sure is kinda nice, but since the DP is working alone most of the time and tries to stay undected, the Vampires also do not have any additional clues as to who it may be over the other villagers. I think they would need some sort of mechanism that supports them forming an alliance. Otherwise the idea behind your philosophy is moot in my opinion.
In this game, of course, we found the Dark Priest by using another vampire as "bait". It reminds of VG 29 with the Vampire Bride. Magnus came up with the tactic of having a vampire say they were the VB and had been turned. Only the real VB would know this wasn't true, but they could trust the person because they had confessed to being a vampire and would be voted out. This only worked out with the VB role, though, because the way that role worked, the VB could actually want to get voted out in some circumstances, so it's really much different from the DP situation.

Marvin wrote:
What I did like actually was the MV rounding rule. This actually also punishes good play by the vampires, but it opens up the new strategy of sacrificing the MV in order to get rid of garlics in a more efficient way.
I like this rule, too. I think it makes a better compromise between the "weak" and "strong" garlic rules than switching it every other game.

Marvin wrote:
Please never allow the tourist to interfere with RG again. This is nothing personal against Q, but I found it super annoying that there was a person meddling with RG and you could not even do anything against it.
Thank you for saying this. It didn't really have much of an effect on any strategy in this game, but it could have. What if the Tourist had been the speaker for the alliance: that would have really disturbed the game! I'm glad this role won't be used this way again.


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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2018  Reply with quote

Quote:
What if the Tourist had been the speaker for the alliance

Qu would never have done this. My fear was that her RG posts could/would have affected some voting decisions and so affected the end result of which team finally won.



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