Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Proposal: Co-op No-op [Building Blocks]

Timed out, 1-3. Failed by JonathanDark.

Adminned at 21 Mar 2024 16:53:36 UTC

Reword the Building Block “No Cooperation” (in both the ruleset and the Building Blocks wiki page) from:

In this dynasty, Seekers are expected to avoid co-operating to achieve Victory, except through the use of co-operative mechanisms defined in the Dynastic rules.


If the dynasty has any defined victory conditions, then a Seeker may not take a dynastic action that would directly cause another Seeker’s gamestate to move closer to having achieved any of those conditions. If an action is defined in the rules as being a Bountiful Action then the previous sentence does not apply to it.

Before the final paragraph of Guesses, add:-

Resolving the Guess is a Bountiful Action.

Per comments on Monomethyl-P, an attempt to clarify what the No Cooperation rule might actually mean, or at least prompt some discussion about what people think it should and shouldn’t include.


Josh: he/they

19-03-2024 09:51:25 UTC

Mm, interesting.

“a Seeker may not take a dynastic action that would cause another Seeker’s gamestate to move closer to having achieved any of those conditions” - this feels very broad. Would that include, in this dynasty, posting a photo that other Seekers could respond to and gain Score from? It seems like this rules out any form of player interactivity, which I’m sure isn’t the intent but the broadness may end up having that effect.

Kevan: City he/him

19-03-2024 10:07:50 UTC

I guess not, so let’s tighten that up to “would directly cause”.

In a 100-Score-wins dynasty that would maybe only affect Resolving the Guess right now, which would become impossible to perform, so I’ll mark that up as a Cooperative Action.

Maybe that’s the way for this rule to go: an initially very broad application that forces us to consciously write “except this rule” onto dynastic actions that it would block.

Josh: he/they

19-03-2024 10:24:41 UTC

I don’t hate that, although I think badging it as a “cooperative” action is a little confusing / misleading - there may be some mileage to using this as a springboard to grasping the nettle on imperatives again, though, as there’s probably some way through this that involves distinguishing between optional moves and obligatory ones.

Kevan: City he/him

19-03-2024 10:44:14 UTC

Looking through a thesaurus for words that might suggest a resource entering the economy in a fairly neutral and tolerated manner, how about “Bountiful”? (There’s a mild crash with the concept of “Bounties”, but it seems a pretty good word otherwise.)

Josh: he/they

19-03-2024 11:18:02 UTC

It’ll do for now. (Elsewhere I am tilting at the windmill again.)

Clucky: he/him

19-03-2024 17:17:13 UTC

I think this breaks the spirit of the “No Cooperation” rule

Me going “hey JonathanDark, lets trade private criteria and agree not to guess each other. That way we can each structure our photos to maximize our collective scores” 100% violates the spirit of “No Cooperation”. Yet it would be allowed under this rule


Kevan: City he/him

19-03-2024 17:59:31 UTC

Oh, it’s not intended to perfectly replicate the existing scope of the No Cooperation rule - I don’t know what that scope is, and it’ll be different for everyone. (Is a proposal that benefits a certain subset of players cooperating? Is shouting “look out behind you” cooperating? If I convince you to change your vote, have we cooperated?)

I’m just looking for an agreed definition that we can play a shared game under. I think the current broad-but-forgiving spiritual rule is setting us up for endgame friction - either mild (a player wins by doing something borderline that the second-place player wasn’t doing because they thought it seemed cooperative) or explosive (a few players unidle to pool an easy victory and explain to us that “players are expected to” is not legally binding).

What kind of gameplay are we actually wanting to stop here?

Josh: he/they

19-03-2024 18:02:42 UTC

I think that the No Cooperation rule is first and foremost a flag that says “don’t cooperate this dynasty” - that players are expected to play under board game rules with no kingmaking, no pooling, no favour passing, no nothing. How you want to word that mechanically is the question on the table; this seems to exclude a lot of use cases through overdefinition.

JonathanDark: he/him

19-03-2024 18:33:21 UTC

Here’s a question for the group:

The point of a DoV being a Votable Matter is to get agreement among the players that the posting player has achieved victory according to all of the rules, correct?

If that’s the case, why can’t something like a loose definition of “No Cooperation” be a part of that? If someone has achieved victory according to a dynastic definition, but did it through another player’s cooperation even with “No Cooperation” enabled, couldn’t that victory be voted down in the DoV?

What I’m saying is that the definition doesn’t have to be airtight. It simply needs to be enough that the player base at the time can come to an agreement if someone is seen to violate the spirit of it and happens to attempt to achieve victory through that violation.

Josh: he/they

19-03-2024 18:48:02 UTC

You could go either way on that, I think. Part of the problem with No Coops is that no-one knows how it’s going to play out in terms of the social interpretation of the rule, and that makes people nervous. I’ve had players express to me that they would disregard No Coops in its current form, and it’s hard to know which argument would win if it got tested at DoV.

I relish the thought but it’s not for everyone.

Kevan: City he/him

19-03-2024 19:34:02 UTC

[Josh] I think the first question on the table has to be how we’d word that conversationally, before we can work out how to sum it up in ruletext. I could confidently field questions from a novice board game player asking me what was and wasn’t socially appropriate in a game of Catan, but I couldn’t for No Cooperation BlogNomic, right now.

[JonathanDark] Players can vote how they like on a DoV. They’re encouraged to say whether a legal victory has occurred, but are free to press any voting button for any reason. They’ll just face whatever reaction that gets from other players.

I think if we were to focus people’s minds by ramping up the current No Cooperation rule to a full-on “if at any time you personally feel that a player has done something cooperative with the intent to win the dynasty, you must vote against any DoV they make in future” we’d start getting day-to-day gameplay headaches.

Josh: he/they

19-03-2024 20:05:37 UTC

@Kevan Sure; that’s basically been my position on the current No Coops all along - that we need to live with it for a couple of dynasties and zero in on what it’s doing and how to fine-tune it. But I will say that the image in my head is maximalist: I would vote against any DoV in which a person had leaned on another player outside of the spirit of the dynastic rules.

Josh: he/they

20-03-2024 09:50:49 UTC

against I think that this has advanced the conversation but needs another swing.

JonathanDark: he/him

20-03-2024 21:13:13 UTC