Monday, October 12, 2009

Proposal: Death to grinding

Timed out 2 votes to 7 (DEF deferring to Arthexis). Failed by Kevan. -2 to ais523.

Adminned at 14 Oct 2009 03:24:23 UTC

Remove the following text from the Glossary (reformatting it if necessary):

If a game action is a Daily Action, each Player able to perform it may take that action once per day, but not more than once every six hours.

OK, I know this is heretical and all that, but I think BlogNomic would be better off without this definition. Having Daily Actions in the glossary makes people want to use them. However, supposing there’s a daily action in the ruleset, there are two possibilities: either people might want to use it multiple times in a day, or they wouldn’t. In the second case, there’s no reason to have the daily restriction; instead, you can just make it an anytime action. In the first case, next-best would almost certainly be to do it once per day until all the uses of it needed had been done (or worse, every day all dynasty); and this is pretty much the definition of grinding. Therefore, removing this definition should reduce or even eliminate rules that provoke grinding, removing a major source of negative fun from BlogNomic dynasties in the future.

Comments

Kevan:

10-12-2009 10:51:07 UTC

I’m with you against the grinding. But I think you’re oversimplifying the cases - there are situations where a multiple-per-day action would be too powerful or annoying, but the same action at one-per-day would be too slow (or too obvious to other players) to be effective. Being able to say “as a daily action” instead of “at any time” seems a useful, default cap to pre-empt action-spamming exploits and to stop the game from changing too much overnight.

ais523:

10-12-2009 11:49:26 UTC

The closest recent rule I can think of to what you’re describing was the daily action “change who you’re Watching” last dynasty; although that mechanic would have been too powerful without the one-a-day restriction, it nevertheless felt slightly grindy. (Basically, the issue was that changing it during a day let you do things watching two different people that day; and so there was a strong incentive to change it every day…) The probable only reason it didn’t feel more grindy was that there was so much grinding going on anyway that dynasty.

Kevan:

10-12-2009 14:09:39 UTC

I’m thinking of rules like “as a daily action, attack someone” - the kind of thing that could lead to a carefully-stockpiled massacre if it was “at any time”, but which a daily limit slows down enough for retribution to start kicking in.

Even if this repeal passed, I think future players would either bring it innocently back (“huh, how come we have weekly actions but not daily ones?”), or just write their own broken “once per day, a player may…” mechanics from scratch.

I think we’d achieve more by writing a “ten reasons why dynasties stop being fun” essay on the wiki.

Bucky:

10-12-2009 16:09:17 UTC

against .
Daily Actions are basically for stuff that shouldn’t be performed several times in a row without giving most players a chance to review it, but which would slow the game down if it were a Weekly Action.

Weekly Actions are for the grindy stuff.

There’s a category in the middle where players can refresh a resource as a Weekly Action, then spend the resource for more frequent actions (perhaps daily).

Kevan:

10-12-2009 16:22:38 UTC

In practice, though, there’s always a lot of grinding in the daily actions. If there’s any action that has, on average, a net benefit for the player, then it’s a no-brainer for them to perform it every day, and it gives a big advantage to the few players who can be bothered to keep doing that.

Wooble:

10-12-2009 16:38:32 UTC

for

ais523:

10-12-2009 16:40:38 UTC

@Bucky: when’s the last time we had an action that shouldn’t be performed several times in a row without the chance to review, but is fine if performed several times in a row with the chance to review? Besides, if it’s a good strategy to review everyone else’s actions every day, that’s still grinding.

Kevan:

10-12-2009 16:48:38 UTC

against Because it’s useful as an easily-referenced minimum game speed, and because the sort of player who proposes “as a daily action, gain 1 point” is still going to propose it anyway.

Ienpw III:

10-12-2009 17:09:32 UTC

imperial

Bucky:

10-12-2009 17:31:27 UTC

@ais: by the ‘review’ comment, I meant that it shouldn’t be performed several times in a row without giving other players a chance to act in the middle.  Examples would be Misvoting during your dynasty, Advancing Time during my first dynasty and adding to a Good Deed in Qwazukee’s dynasty.

Darknight:

10-12-2009 22:37:15 UTC

against

Qwazukee:

10-13-2009 00:19:48 UTC

against I like our definition.

arthexis:

10-13-2009 00:23:23 UTC

against

Excalabur:

10-13-2009 01:23:26 UTC

Kevan: We discussed automating this type of thing in the GNDT at some point.  (Every day, all players gain one point kind of things.)  How much work would that be on your end, or should we just hack on the GNDT’s database with a cronjob?  We may be able to build a cute frontend for it, that way, but if it’s GNDT-native code then it can just go in the config.

against  this definition is at worst not unhelpful.  We used to have a lot of issues with people taking ‘once per day’ actions just either side of midnight, for instance.

Kevan:

10-13-2009 14:27:49 UTC

I’m not really interested in developing the GNDT any further, at this point - I think once we have a new MediaWiki install on BlogNomic, a simple wiki page could replace the GNDT entirely (and it would be trivial for users to go through and add 1 to every player’s grind-stat, in one go).

arthexis:

10-14-2009 07:06:28 UTC

Going 8-2, Failing