Saturday, August 07, 2021

Draft community guidelines

After reviewing the Break thread, holding discussions on various fora, and taking contributions on the wiki, I’ve drawn up a rough draft of what our community guidelines could look like.

They are here; please do take a look and review.

I think that they should be linked to in fair play (“All players should be aware of, and commit to, upholding the [[community guidelines]]” or similar) and should be linked to somewhere in the sidebar.

These are not presented here as finished work - I hope that reviewers will continue to have input and won’t put it up for proposal for 48 hours at least, so it has the opportunity to be discussed as needed. I would particularly welcome the thoughts of those members who are sceptical about this effort - whether they think that the document can add value, and how to construct it in a way to ensure that it does meaningfully help the game and the people playing it.



07-08-2021 10:01:21 UTC

My review:

Statement of Purpose: I like it.

Guidelines for play:
- Rhythm point: I like it.
- Optimizing point: I also like it but I also don’t know how we could realistically solve it for some situations. For example, the moment a Proposal is enacted is sometimes incredibly important.
- Health of the game: I like it and I agree with it.
- Respect other player’s plays: I agree with where it’s going, that we should be civil with stuff like this, but not how far it seems to go in that direction. I believe discussion regarding this should be allowed to be pretty open, because given how the air of BN varies a lot depending on what players are active at the time, I don’t believe that it’s going to be realistically possible to have everyone agree on what is noble nomicing, and what isn’t.

Basically, I don’t want people to shy away from pointing out plays that make them uncomfortable our of fear of ‘not respecting other player’s plays’.

For example, I find Core Rule scams to be admirable displays of finesse and skill that should be around, but there are some that disagree and believe that they aren’t healthy for the game. And that’s fine.

- The BlogNomic community is largely competitive: I also like this one.


07-08-2021 10:05:19 UTC

* I don’t believe that it’s going to be realistically possible to have everyone (active during a certain dynasty) agree on what is noble nomicing, and what isn’t.

For example, frequently bombing the Ruleset with scams can be seen as exciting for a certain crowd who’d enjoy the fireworks and roughhousing, while others may find it tiresome and distracting from ‘real playing’.

Janet: she/her

07-08-2021 15:25:12 UTC

No objections from me.


07-08-2021 16:29:03 UTC

On the subject of the rhythm point: I think a) this is important, but b) 12 hours is going to be much too low a value, and c) enshrining a particular value in a document with legal force is likely to pull the pace of all dynasties towards that value. (Indeed, 24 hours has also been discovered to be too fast for many players.)

I feel like the guidelines are to some extent contradictory with each other. For example, “pace” versus “optimisation” is introducing a huge tension between playing fast and relaxing to allow others to relax; competitive players will want to skirt close to the limit on this in order to gain an advantage, but the guidelines leave it subjective where the limit is, which seems likely to lead to arguments as to whether players have crossed the line or not.

The “optimisation” guideline in general, while I agree with the sentiment, a subjective document seems like a bad place for it – I think that it might be preferable for it to instead discourage proposals that introduce this sort of overly-addicted optimisation potential (and encourage proposals that reduce it). For example, the current definition of “daily action” effectively creates 10-hour “daily action interruption” windows around midnight UTC; if you’re trying to get in between someone performing a daily twice in a row, you need to be online twice, 10 hours apart, either side of midnight. As Emperor, I’ve often had a style statement “I will veto daily actions” – these guidelines effectively codify that, but in that case, we may as well just remove the definition from the ruleset.

“Be respectful of plays and approaches” also seems likely to lead to trouble. For example, there are some players who think that certain types of play to gain advantage in a very overt way (e.g. large pools and infinite resource scams) a) are acceptable but b) also make similarly overt retaliation acceptable (e.g. making a proposal to remove the advantage, or using a late-reveal scam in which you point out that significant parts of the dynastic gameplay have been illegal). Some players are likely to agree with a) here but disagree with b); at this point, is the “remove the advantage” proposal or wide-reaching scam acceptable or not? If you say it is, you’re being disrespectful of the players who take the overt actions and are now having them reversed by proposal or overwritten by a scam. If you say it isn’t, you’re being disrespectful of the players who feel that powerful actions can legitimately be opposed by even more powerful actions. (This specific example has directly lead to trouble in at least two dynasties I wasn’t personally involved in, in addition to one where I was, and as far as I know, has never actually been resolved.)

I do agree with the sentiment behind all this, though; my issues are primarily just with the details. I’m not particularly confident that it’s possible to find a set of details that everyone is happy with and which avoid significant unintended negative consequences, though.


07-08-2021 17:12:56 UTC

On the subject of pace, I just stumbled across this proposal from 2011. There was a unanimous 17-0 consensus at the time that 24 hours was too fast a pace of play.

I assume that people’s attitudes towards pace have changed somewhat since, of course. That said, 48 hours does seem like a sensible pace value for the “heartbeat” / main update actions of a dynasty (we were using it two dynasties ago, for example). The main pace issue is therefore about the “window to react” to what other people are doing, which is a problem that I’m not sure we ever did find a satisfactory solution to, despite over a decade of trying.

Vovix: he/him

07-08-2021 18:57:24 UTC

I do think pace of play is a big part of why I haven’t been able to really get into BN during past dynasties. It felt like any time I miss a day, I will come back to a huge backlog of enacted and proposed rule changes to understand, which could be too much to process on a given day, but putting it off just exacerbates the problem as the ruleset drifts further and further away from my previous understanding. And that’s before considering dynastic actions at all. Dynastic rules that incentivize checking in daily indirectly create the feeling of “I missed a daily Apple Picking action, I might as well drop out of the dynasty since now I’m permanently behind on Apples”. Regardless of how much impact the missed Apples actually have on a player’s chance of winning, humans are loss averse and bound to overstate the impact of missing out on something.