Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Proposal: Cog in the Manger

Timed out / antiquorumed 1 vote to 7. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 12 Aug 2021 08:08:20 UTC

Add 5 Cogs to all Workers except the Worker named Josh.

Per comments on Worker Compensation, +1 Energy is likely to be a more useful resource than Josh’s 5 Cogs, and it’s unclear whether the four silent votes on it were “+1 Energy is too much” or “low-to-medium power grabs should only be reacted to with non-proposal gameplay”, or something else again.

So a vote on Josh’s remark in comments there that “a fair remediation would be to give everybody 5 cogs”. I share Cuddlebeam’s interest in knowing whether the spoils of midgame scams are now regarded as sacrosanct.


Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 09:13:35 UTC

This is fairer but still not really fair.

Again, I’ll insist that this isn’t a midgame scam - it was a simple application of the rules as written, and taking a first-mover advantage after the last dynasty (which was so full of first-mover advantages that we had to build a whole complex timing system around it!) doesn’t feel like a massive violation against the spirit of the game.

But I must admit that it’s getting hard not to take this a little personally - this is now the second proposal dedicated just to taking away my five crummy cogs, a first mover “advantage” which has already been almost completely erased due to eg Jason just rolling better than me (at time of writing: Jason 14 cogs to my 15). If you’re looking at the gamestate right now, where do you see a massive advantage that requires two proposals worth of direct attack to remedy? This proposal doesn’t bring us to a neutral state - it puts me in just shy of dead last amongst players who have used their Clink machine!

I’m going to keep opposing this because I still think that punishing legit plays without changing the rules to make them impossible is unreasonable. I’d consider abstaining on a version of this that also proposed to make admin advantage impossible, or at least highly discouraged. I don’t think that the veiled threat in this proposal, or in Cuddlebeam’s, that voting this down opens up a world of mid-dynasty scams is serious. I hope that players will play their scams and trust that the unreasonable ones will get voted down. I don’t think what I did was a scam, nor do I think it was unreasonable. So   against , then.

Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 09:51:38 UTC

“this is now the second proposal” because you votelocked the first one and explicitly said that you thought 5 Cogs would be a fair remediation.

The current situation is “every Hot Worker has about 10 Cogs, except Jason who’s at 14 from some lucky die rolls and Josh who’s at 15 from choosing to pull the Cycle lever early”, and you are against putting every Hot Worker at “about 15 Cogs” to be level with you. Of the players who have yet to roll, half will roll worse than average and still be behind you.

We all explicitly agreed to play a game where lucky die rolls get a player ahead; we only implicitly (and some more than others) agreed to play a game where being first to react after a proposal enactment does so. I think this is on the age-old scam axis of “grab a small advantage or share it around and you’ll get away with it, grab a larger one for yourself and people will ask you to put it back” - if there’s a button marked “free cake, but nobody else gets any”, it’s not necessarily the optimum move in a social game to immediately run over there and hit it.

I think Cuddlebeam is understandably frustrated that they’ve had games where player response to a power grab has been to propose simple countermeasures (like the SCP Dynasty where they cleverly locked everyone else out of an important location, only for players to propose to weaken that location). If the mood this dynasty or this year is that a power grab like that should be respected and not unpicked by a mere proposal - that once somebody has pulled a scam or performed a surprising move, it can only be challenged through existing dynastic play - that’s fine, but worth making clear while we’re getting started here.

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 09:55:46 UTC

like the SCP Dynasty where they cleverly locked everyone else out of an important location, only for players to propose to weaken that location

Didn’t those proposals fail?


10-08-2021 10:02:55 UTC

No, it succeeded, and you were actually the one to Propose it: https://blognomic.com/archive/unstable_matter

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 10:13:48 UTC

Oh, I know that I proposed it. I didn’t remember it passing though; I think you beat most of my more bampamy proposals in that dynasty.

I do note that you hated it, though, so I’m curious as to why you’re now swinging in the opposite direction.

Either way, I find that there’s a material difference between goosing the rules to one person’s favour and another’s disfavour, and simply taking stuff away because you don’t like that they got it. Even that proposal didn’t take any of your stuff away; it just made it harder for you to generate stuff in the same way in the future, which I stand by as a decent approach to nomicing.


10-08-2021 10:24:37 UTC

against I don’t think there’s a rule banning admin advantage, so I’m going to base my decision on this based on what the rules say.

I also think the playerbase as a whole should bear some responsibility for allowing buggy proposals to pass. As this incident shows, “pass and fix” is not always possible because players may be able to exploit the bug before the fix passes.

I do think that what Josh did was a scam, but I don’t think that that is, in its own right, reason to disallow it.

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 10:36:53 UTC

Fwiw if there had been a fix in train then I wouldn’t have exploited it.


10-08-2021 10:45:31 UTC

@Josh: I don’t think it’s odd to start to question when you’re punished for something, but when someone else does it, they aren’t punished as well.

Lulu: she/her

10-08-2021 12:00:08 UTC

against live with the consequences

Clucky: he/him

10-08-2021 13:30:38 UTC


Janet: she/her

10-08-2021 14:27:40 UTC


Raven1207: he/they

11-08-2021 13:29:03 UTC


Vovix: he/him

12-08-2021 04:05:51 UTC