Monday, August 08, 2022

Proposal: [Core] Play Fair!

Timed out and could not be enacted - 3-2, falling short of the quorum requirements for core rule changes. Josh

Adminned at 10 Aug 2022 14:33:10 UTC

Add the following to the list of rules listed under Fair Play:

An admin should not abuse any powers granted to them as a result of their Admin status, such as performing a scam that another non-Admin Operator could not have performed as a result of not being an Admin. This does not include situations where an Admin quickly performs a scam shortly after enacting a proposal.


Me and Brendan were taking about a scam I could have had the opportunity to do a a result of being an admin, and came to the result that this needed to make its way into the ruleset.


Josh: he/they

08-08-2022 14:25:20 UTC

Oooo there’s a cabal!

I’m interested in Brendan’s implicit co-sign on this as he has historically been against the concept.

I’ll likely be against this on the grounds that what constitutes a ‘scam’ is extremely subjective. Is it a scam if an admin changes their vote to AGAINST on a proposal to delay its enactment to a time that suits them?

This change also seems VERY confused - what does ‘This does not include situations where an Admin quickly performs a scam shortly after enacting a proposal’ mean? Does it mean that they can use a scam they spot in a proposal immediately after enacting it? Because if so then what does this proposal do - literally all an admin does is administer proposals - I can’t conceive of what else this is preventing? If it doesn’t mean that does that mean that an admin who spots a scam in a proposal *can’t* use it? If so, surely they’ll either partner up with a confederate or just refuse to admin it.

Too many unintended consequences on this for me.

Trapdoorspyder: he/him

08-08-2022 14:35:14 UTC

The main reason of this is enacting a proposal in a way that results in something unexpected, such as rather than adding a section ‘under’ a rule, just putting it somewhere below the intended rule, possibly splitting up a crucial sentence.

Trapdoorspyder: he/him

08-08-2022 14:36:00 UTC

Also, no cabal here, I just happened to be talking with Brendan. No point in cabal without mantle passing.

Josh: he/they

08-08-2022 14:57:35 UTC

If that’s the intent then I’d prefer to see the rules around enactment tightened up. The situation you describe is already prohibited (“Unless otherwise specified, a new Dynastic rule shall be placed at the end of the Dynastic Rules” from Rules and Votable Matters in the Appendix) - precise, specific prohibitions feel more effective and less dangerous than something vague and ambiguous in Fair Play.

Brendan: he/him

08-08-2022 14:58:54 UTC

Can confirm no cabal and I certainly make no claims to historical consistency. Sometimes proposals are worded in such a way that the actual enactment instructions are ambiguous, as per the example TDS is citing; I don’t think it’s fair or interesting for an admin to interpret that in a skewed way purely for their own advantage.

It’s one thing to say “I saw this first so yeah, I used it as soon as I enacted the rule.” It’s another to abuse what is supposed to be a responsibility just to ==A New Rule== The Player named Brendan can achieve victory. say whatever he wants without effect.

Josh: he/they

08-08-2022 15:08:43 UTC

Maybe it would be helpful to be more specific about this.

Is this about Proposal:// How To Get Softlocked by RNG, and the possibility to insert its proposed text anywhere in the rule Bouts so long as it is after the specified text?

Because if so: sure, the current ruleset doesn’t prohibit that, but a one-line patch in Rules and Votable Matters would still be a better fix than this, which - I mean, you don’t have to try very hard to read this proposed text in a variety of different ways (as well as being available to the exact same scam that it’s purportedly solving!).

Brendan: he/him

08-08-2022 17:59:37 UTC

Josh, do you really think that “an admin should not abuse powers granted to them” does not at all belong in Fair Play?

Josh: he/they

08-08-2022 19:21:50 UTC

I don’t!  against

(Not, at least, without further definition; I think that generally Fair Play rules should not create more problems than they solve)

Brendan: he/him

08-08-2022 21:13:23 UTC


SingularByte: he/him

08-08-2022 22:56:18 UTC

I’m personally not seeing performing scams as an abuse of admin powers - not when it’s one of the three main ways of winning that exists.

It’s also a somewhat niche issue - the history of victories only lists 6 victories that relied on an admin-only scam.


Raven1207: he/they

09-08-2022 01:23:26 UTC


Kevan: he/him

09-08-2022 09:28:01 UTC

“This does not include situations where an Admin quickly performs a scam shortly after enacting a proposal.” is missing (and thus outlawing) the flipside, where an admin takes an action immediately before enacting an amendment to that action.

This rule is also silent about idling/unidling/joining requests. If there’s a pending request that would impact the game when processed (changing quorum, or triggering a rule that modifies gamestate), is it an abuse of admin powers to choose the most tactically effective moment to process it?

I can get behind the idea of neutral admins in principle, but on the ground it feels a bit of a headache - if there’s a queue to be cleared, an unidle request to be processed and a game to be played, and we’re asking admins to find and chart their most personally-neutral route through that, every day. We would see a general drop-off in admin activity, I think, just through uncertainty (“timing out this inactive player would mean that my proposal would be at quorum, so maybe I shouldn’t time them out”).