Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Proposal: Golden Handrail

Fails 3-4 / Skju

Adminned at 10 Aug 2013 08:07:33 UTC

In Rule 1.2.1 (Idle Players), replace “Admins may render themselves Idle at any time provided they’ve made a post or comment declaring their intent to do so in the past four days.” with:-

Admins may render themselves Idle at any time.

This unnecessary line of bureaucracy was quietly enacted a few dynasties ago. There’s occasionally some unclear concern over the dangers of “silent” idling (“Just look at Purplebeard last Dynasty”), but whatever this means, it doesn’t seem worth the ongoing risk of quorum drifting invisibly out of synch when a self-idling admin forgets this step of the paperwork.

Comments

Kevan: HE/HIM

08-06-2013 15:05:36 UTC

I also hereby declare an intent to idle myself at some point in the next four days.

Clucky: HE/HIM

08-06-2013 15:27:27 UTC

against

its not for quorum purposes, its for everyone being aware of who is/isn’t idle without checking the player list.

it was added during a dynasty where all players could only have 110 things in total. So if someone with things went idle, everyone else could now get more things.

an admin silent idled and it was kind of a pain because I had to go through the steps of ensuring that yes, he idled himself and wasn’t just inadvertently idled by something else; and also it turned it into ‘now you need to check all the time if someone has suddenly idled’ instead of just being able to read the blog.


idling is relevant enough information that a log of it should be on the blog, and its easy enough to post that I’m not concerned with it.

yes, the current system has problems (like how you can announce you’re idling and then not do it for a while) but I’d rather fix/ignore those than go back to something that was even more broken.

Kevan: HE/HIM

08-06-2013 15:49:42 UTC

So it was added during a dynasty which had a couple of automagic “when a player idles or unidles, the gamestate instantly updates itself” effects. But if you have a dynasty that temporarily cares about game mechanics which are otherwise silent, it seems better to address that with a dynastic rule, rather than making those same mechanics loud for every future dynasty. If a dynasty outlawed CoVs in some situations and we decided that CoV votes should always be clearly marked as such, we wouldn’t make that a core rule.

(My quorum concern is that an admin who absent-mindedly but innocently idles themselves today under the old silent rule will not become idle. The sidebar might say “9 players, quorum is 5”, but the invisible truth will be “10 players, quorum is 6” and unless someone is very eagle-eyed, we will never notice that this mistake has been made.)

Is there anything broken about silent idling, outside of dynasties that explicitly have “when a player idles, the Emperor has to update X” type rules?

RaichuKFM:

08-06-2013 16:05:54 UTC

against Kevan, really, is a post or comment REALLY “unnecessary bureacracy”? Also, yes, Quorum could drift out of synch if an admin idled themselves without making a post, now. It can also drift out of synch if they idle themselves and don’t update quorum. Is it really so much to ask that admins have to make a post “I idle” before they can idle, when non-admins have to do basically the same? And I don’t see how the issues with Purplebeard were “unclear”; all of a sudden several Titles were vacated, several Parcels became available, and the endgame was changed by it. A fix, as opposed to broken vs. broken, would be allowing an Admin to idle any admin who silently idled themselves. Still not perfect, but we really shouldn’t have to worry about something so trivial.

Kevan: HE/HIM

08-06-2013 16:31:16 UTC

It’s unnecessary because it provides no benefit to the current dynasty, and would only have helped one or two past ones. It’s bureaucracy because it’s adding an extra step of paperwork which can invalidate the whole action if skipped - and it’s dangerous to put that kind of tripwire on an action that most other players won’t notice someone taking, and which affects something as fundamental as a player’s idle status.

Our view of the gamestate is by no means foolproof, but it’s easier to notice and fix a miscalculated quorum than it is to notice that an admin has silently idled themselves without making the required blog comment. (Ironically, I see that the current sidebar has miscounted the number of active players.)

The issues with Purplebeard were unclear to me because I wasn’t a player in that dynasty. I now see that silent idling interacted badly with a rule in that dynasty, but I don’t see why that means we should ban silent idling from all future dynasties.

RaichuKFM:

08-06-2013 16:39:46 UTC

It has always been a pet peeve of mine when someone just appears/dissapears with no mention. I know it won’t help this Dynasty; the point was to prevent it from causing harm in future ones, as well as it just being convenient to have a record of all idlings and unidlings without having to go into the revisions of the Playerlist template.

Clucky: HE/HIM

08-06-2013 16:57:11 UTC

> (My quorum concern is that an admin who absent-mindedly but innocently idles themselves today under the old silent rule will not become idle. The sidebar might say “9 players, quorum is 5”, but the invisible truth will be “10 players, quorum is 6” and unless someone is very eagle-eyed, we will never notice that this mistake has been made.)

This is a valid point. I’m not sure if making it completely optional is the proper fix though. Maybe make it a ‘should’?

Silent idling doesn’t have as strong of an effect in most dynasties, but there is still the momentary “wait, quorum dropped? when did xxx go idle” that occurs from time to time.

Clearly there is probably no way around the gamestate getting messed up. But I think what we should strive for is having idling information posted to the blog when it happens if possible. Clearly we don’t currently have that, but this doesn’t get us any closer either.

Tavros:

08-06-2013 17:28:55 UTC

I do like the idea of saying that admins “should” announce when they idle themselves. Or perhaps we could even say that it’s mandatory for admins to announce when they idle themselves, but also say that if they forget to make the announcement, they still become idle.

Purplebeard:

08-06-2013 19:06:58 UTC

for I like being able to quietly disappear into the night.

RaichuKFM:

08-06-2013 19:11:18 UTC

...Purplebeard, come on. At least Kevan has legitimate worries.

Larrytheturtle:

08-06-2013 19:38:21 UTC

against

Kevan: HE/HIM

08-06-2013 23:24:59 UTC

“Should” seems a bit toothless. I think it’s significant that there are no “shoulds” in the core ruleset apart from Fair Play and a bit about Ascension Address content - we tell players exactly what to do, and I’d argue that keeping that to a minimum makes for a healthier game.

Maybe it’s worth someone writing a third-party script to build a historical record of players, scraping the sidebar once a day and keeping precise track of who has arrived and departed. It’s always a bit sad that wiki histories have to make a bit of a guess, if anything, about who played each one.

But the occasional and painless surprise of “wait, quorum dropped? when did xxx go idle” does not seem worth the potential chaos of “wait, xxx didn’t post a comment when he went idle in June, this means he’s still active and the last two months of proposals and/or gamestate changes should have been processed differently”.

Spitemaster:

08-07-2013 05:06:18 UTC

against If an Admin idles someone else, they must post a comment stating that they did so.  I’d say that we should just change:

“An Admin may render a Player Idle if that Player has asked to become Idle in an entry or comment from the past four days, or if that Player has not posted an entry or comment in the last seven days. In the latter case, the Admin must announce the idling in a blog post. Admins may render themselves Idle at any time provided they’ve made a post or comment declaring their intent to do so in the past four days.” to

“An Admin may render a Player Idle if that Player has asked to become Idle in an entry or comment from the past four days, or if that Player has not posted an entry or comment in the last seven days, or if they are that Player. In the latter two cases, the Admin must announce the idling in a blog post.”

Kevan: HE/HIM

08-07-2013 07:11:18 UTC

[Spitemaster] No, they only need to make a blog post if it’s because the player idled out due to inactivity - this needs to be loud so that the player in question realises that it has happened.

Wakukee:

08-10-2013 14:07:08 UTC

for