From the GNDT timestamps:
09/11 17:55 (UTC) - ais523
10/11 00:02 (UTC) - ais523
The timing is obviously not a coincidence. I want to talk about daily actions, and in particular, the 6 hour limit on consecutive uses of the same daily action.
First off, the 6 hour limit does nothing to prevent timing scams. It’s not too hard to find a 6-hour period spanning midnight UTC where not a lot of people will be online, and even easier to find one where a specific person won’t be online. (For instance, if you need to do a timing scam but fear intervention from me or from Kevan, you can do it at 11:59 UTC and again at 6:01 UTC, because we both have day jobs and we’re both mostly asleep at those times, given our timezones.) Between the two changes of mine then, the only GNDT updates that were uninvolved with the recent win attempt were from Spitemaster and southpointingchariot, and they were both routine SP claims. (Incidentally, we’d actually planned around the possibility of southpointingchariot claiming SP while we were rearranging the Employments; that’s why I broke the SPC/Chronos employment loop on Tuesday, even though it was reasonably risky to do so, as it left my SP so low I could reasonably be employed and locked down by a separate two-person conspiracy.)
Second, it’s pretty hard to hit timing scam breakpoints, especially reasonably consistently day to day. We could have won a day earlier, but we had to push it back a day because one or other of the group kept missing a potential daily action â€” and that’s with the possibility to aim anywhere in the day! (Then we had to perform more actions than we’d expected because PBURNS registered.) It’s unreasonable to force people to be on at specific times just to make a scam work, but that’s what the rules are doing at the moment; and a daily grind is pretty difficult to keep up.
Third, as an extension to this, when you need to take consecutive dailies, things get much worse. If a daily grind is bad, what about an hourly grind? There are MMORPGs based around success involving being online as much as possible. I don’t think BlogNomic should be like that; it makes the game obnoxious, unfun, and only winnable by a few people (those who have much more time to spare than me). Back in Darth Cliche’s second dynasty, which turned into a dice-rolling contest, I tried to be online as much as possible in order to be able to interrupt Galdyn if he rolled the correct die number to move onto my level. (If I hadn’t managed to take actions within a couple of minutes of that happening, he would have won.) I ended up losing anyway due to bad luck, but what can you do in a dice-based dynasty? I had a bunch more free time back then than I do now, and I definitely can’t reasonably stay online and at the computer eighteen hours a day. In the case of taking two dailies yourself, you’re often going to want to minimize interference from other players between them, which means taking them six hours apart. It might sometimes be better to do 12am and 6am than 6pm and 12am, but I can’t reasonably do that combination nowadays; in fact, this entire win sequence had to be modified so that I could get offline before coppro could get online past midnight, as I had to leave at about 12:40am, and coppro didn’t re-get online until 1:49am, over an hour later. (That’s why comex passed me a bunch of SP via employment earlier in the day; that step, which was somewhat risky, shouldn’t have been needed if we had a sane system for timing actions, but was simply because of timezone trouble.)
In summary, I really don’t see why nomic should be a game about how much sleep you can deprive yourself of, and which country you happen to live in. We can do better than that.
Of course, this just turns up the question of what should be done instead. People who know me know that I’m not opposed to removing daily actions altogether. The argument goes like this: either you’d want to do the action multiple times in succession, in which case it’s grindy, or you wouldn’t, in which case there’s no reason to make it a daily in the first place. (Even a case where the action is rate-limited by something other than realtime, such as the Lawsuits action the end of this dynasty revolved around, breaks down in the case where people have more SP than time, which was the case here.) I was starting to relent on that position, but I’ve changed my mind again after seeing the disaster that not holding it has.
I don’t think removing daily actions from the ruleset would pass, though, so what about this for a compromise:
- Daily Action
- If a game action is a Daily Action, it cannot be performed twice by the same player in any 24-hour period.
This way is much better from the point of view of sleep patterns (although it would be marginally harder to work out whether your daily had recharged or not); a 24-hour recharge means that it’s no longer tied to when UTC midnight happens to fall in your time zone, which means that although optimal play still requires being online at a specific time you choose when that time is and so can more reasonably hit it, and there’s now only the one timing scam breakpoint to hit, rather than three.
Incidentally, I’m still thinking about Bucky’s rate-limit thing where you use a weekly to gain some resource, and then have a daily or twice-daily that spends it. I suspect it still runs into this problem in the simplest case (as it’s optimal to spend the resource as early/late in the week as possible, depending on what you’re doing), but if you got some bonus for using the resource towards the middle of the week, it wouldn’t be as bad. It might be worth running a dynasty with it to see the problems with that method of doing things in practice.
IIRC, I can’t make even Core Proposals during Hiatus, but I want to get my reasoning out here for people to discuss.
Ironically, I think I was the person who suggested Lawsuits should be a daily in the first place (as a scam rate limiter). I’ve argued against that in the past; and in hindsight, my arguments then were entirely correct, and I should never have suggested it this time.