Friday, February 20, 2015

I’m not enjoying this dynasty

I was enjoying this dynasty earlier, but things are getting increasingly upsetting.

My main problem is that it’s impossible to accomplish anything without the support of several other players, but I’m not getting that support even when it’s in those players’ best interests. For example, we haven’t had a trial pass yet even when there’s overwhelming support. Part of the problem is the artificially inflated quorum; there are some users (Put/Skju) who basically never do anything, meaning that we need far too many of the active players to agree for something to happen. Many of the mechanics aren’t being used much either; I managed to run two Subroutines in a row a while back, we just had the first Drugging ever, etc.

There’s also been a huge amount of use of Proposals for personal gain, which is incredibly exhausting when you’re trying to plot a path to victory. I’m almost convinced that Bucky is in league with Sylphrena at this point (Bucky’s two most recent proposals both effectively read “Sylphrena wins”). Sylphrena’s lead is frustrating enough as it is; he got there through a combination of being lucky, and having good reactions to capitalize on that luck, and although I’m fine with that, what I’m not fine with is all the attempts recently to make it permanent.

Which brings me to the always-online nature of this dynasty. Daily grinds are bad enough. This dynasty is far worse than daily grinds; most of the mechanics come down to hours or minutes. For example, being the first to submit a Subroutine after a Mark-flushing gives a large advantage, because you then know that any Subroutines that resolve before yours must belong to people who didn’t have M4RKs in the queue. Likewise, some actions only make sense if done just before a Trial or Mission deadline runs out, which is a problem if the person who needs to do them isn’t online at the time. This is causing problems for me in Real Life; I don’t have an Internet connection at home, and I’ve been spending all my free time online just so that I can hit important timing breakpoints. This is leaving me short of sleep, among other things.

So why don’t I just idle out? Because the dynasty’s designed to punish idling. I’d lose all the lead that I’ve been struggling to obtain over weeks, and not be able to meaningfully participate in the rest of the dynasty. So it’s a sort of sunk cost fallacy thing.

Anyway, my main argument is just the lack of control over everything. There’s too much proposing to change the rules in a way that hurts me, and not enough trial-Disabling going on. I got really upset and annoyed at Josh saying that there was no rush and we could just wait around for a few weeks with nothing happening, because that’s a) completely unfun and b) would hurt my sleep schedule even more. Waiting for everyone else to get bored is a legitimate strategy in Nomic, I guess, but it doesn’t make things fun for the other players. (Not to mention that an intentional policy of doing nothing makes it impossible to gather information on the other players anyway.) To actually be able to achieve anything, I’d need help from a group of people (minimum size 3 if we were all online 24:7, probably 4 would be needed in practice), and that’s unlikely in a dynasty that doesn’t have actual rules-enforced teams that have a reason to cooperate amongst themselves.

I suspect that much of this comes down to the single-winner nature of BlogNomic. BlogNomic traditionally works around the general plan of “create a game and then play it”, and there are enough people who want to make it a good game (especially the Emperor) that the game improves over the Dynasty and then comes to an end. This is strongly influenced by the Emperor and DEFERENTIAL vote, meaning that some player who isn’t involved in the action can look for good directions to shape the dynasty in.

In this dynasty, proposals are very political in nature; it’s normally obvious what effect any given proposal will have on the race to win (and for the few that aren’t, it’s due to an embedded scam that quickly gets pointed out). This means that the people who it helps vote FOR, and the people who it hinders vote AGAINST. Given how Disabled players have very little chance of winning (due to having basically no game-effecting actions), this in turn translates into “whoever has the biggest alliance”. Part of my problem here is that there are many people who don’t benefit from any given proposal, but who don’t notice why until I spend several comments explaining. It gets very tiring after a bit. BlogNomic’s normal fix for this is the Emperor, but due to the nature of the dynasty, there’s not much Kevan can do but studiously vote DEFERENTIAL on almost everything, so as not to bias in favour of one factor or another.

At this point, I’m not really sure that the dynasty can be fixed, but I’m open to hearing ideas.



20-02-2015 01:23:58 UTC

You’re in a less frustrating spot than I am.  Being Disabled and Exhausted, the only thing I can do is talk and shake things up with proposals.

On the plus side, there won’t be any more meaningful mark-flushes, so you don’t need to worry about that bit of timing.


20-02-2015 01:31:52 UTC

Hmm, is it a case of “all I can do is propose, so I may as well make trouble”? That explains your proposals quite well.

It’s possibly more frustrating from my point of view, because although I have a range of options, most of them don’t really do very much. And the ones that do require hours of negotiation and explanation, with people who might or might not be cooperative.

FWIW, I’d propose to Enable you (and Darknight and ayesdeeef), except that the odds of that getting sabotaged are basically 100%. Huh, perhaps that should have been my restore-Paranoia proposal.


20-02-2015 01:40:11 UTC

Huh, I’m suddenly reminded of the way you interact with Agora. (For people who don’t know, Bucky has never been a player at Agora, but has been trying to do pretty much as much as is possible for a non-player. I tend to have Bucky in mind when writing Agoran rules, trying to ensure that as long as it wouldn’t unbalance things for a nonplayer to be able to do something, or contradict other rules, the nonplayer can do that. As an example, there are several colours of Ribbons (rule 2438) that Bucky could theoretically gain, and at least one doesn’t require any action by someone who actually is a player.)


20-02-2015 02:00:04 UTC

I stopped involving myself with Agora when Rule 101 got gutted.


20-02-2015 04:13:30 UTC

I thought I proposed this fix already! Here’s the link:



20-02-2015 04:14:18 UTC

Also, this thread is a bit rude.



20-02-2015 04:18:56 UTC

I was a bit sad at Rule 101 going just because it was such a fun thing to argue about. (Also, it was interesting to see the opinions on it varying from “vitally important” to “almost worthless”. I assume that Bucky was on the former end of the scale; I was somewhere in the middle.)


20-02-2015 05:11:06 UTC

Among other things, Rule 101 was my only defense against having my Player switch accidentally ratified.


20-02-2015 05:20:55 UTC

That’s a good point, actually. Agora doesn’t have any blanket right to not be registered, presumably because nobody realised it was necessary. (After what Fool attempted to do a while back, I think we added some sort of protection against being deregistered, which players tend to care about more.)


20-02-2015 05:37:22 UTC

Oh, and to add one to the list: this is the first time it’s mattered that I’m not an admin. A proposal timed out at 2-3; _Fox_ then changed his vote (making it 3-2), and Bucky almost immediately (under a minute) adminned it.

I could have adminned it at 2-3 if I were an admin, but I’m not.

Josh: he/they

20-02-2015 07:37:49 UTC

I feel like there are two factions, each of which contain at least one human and at least one Android, and I’m part of neither, trying to interpret the moves they’re making against each other by seeing if I can decipher the shadow’s they’re casting on the wall.

In other words, I sort of agree with ais, but I’m not 100% convinced that ais isn’t also part of the problem - as I’m sure he’d say about me. A part of this is the ambiguous nature of Werewolf, but yes, a bigger part is this monsterous edifice we’ve created. I’m pretty sure we’re at endgame, though, so I’m happy to see how it plays out.


20-02-2015 07:43:26 UTC

You aren’t part of neither.

You’re part of the faction that currently includes Bucky, Brendan, _Fox_, and yourself, based on actions.

If you don’t agree with this characterisation, you should change your actions so that you aren’t perfectly aligning with what the rest of that faction wants.

Josh: he/they

20-02-2015 07:53:55 UTC

I am really not. I have had no contact with any of those three players at any point in the game.

Take that for what it is, an unproven and untraceable statement, but I assure you that I have no faction links of any kind. Certainly not with Bucky, who is apparently certain that I am a cretin.


20-02-2015 07:58:41 UTC

Technically Josh had contact with me. He sent me my GNDT password when I first joined. If he can lie about that… ;)

Josh: he/they

20-02-2015 08:15:08 UTC

Sure, guilty as charged :)

Let’s put it this way, if I’d been on Team Bucky (and looking at the state of the GNDT, it is Team Bucky) then More Emo Texture would not have required an obvious last-minute scramble to enact. It had 4 DEFs on it, after all. It looks increasingly like the Eurphoric victory is his plan, which suggests that either Brendan or _Fox_ is his pet Android, and is in fact the Android with the phaser round.

In other words, ais, I’d let your pet Android know that they’ve probably got a phaser round coming, unless you find a way to block Bucky off.


20-02-2015 08:27:08 UTC

I don’t have a pet Android. This is partly why I’m so upset.

I want one, but I think it highly likely that there are only two remaining Androids (or two plus Put, who is obviously not in any of the main factions because nobody minds disabling him), and most likely they’re in the same faction as each other. (I guess I can buy Bucky+Brendan+_Fox_ as Team Bucky, and you as a lone Android. Your actions haven’t spoken much towards you being Human, though; in particular, your unwillingness to disable Brendan is somewhat out of place in the Josh-not-in-Team-Bucky scenario, as you should want to do that both as an Android and as an independent Human.)

Or to put it another way: if you want to join team ais523, I’m fine with that (and we can take it to PM). However, as long as you claim to me to be Human, I’ll make plans as if you were Human, and if you’re actually an Android, they won’t benefit you much/at all. (And I can see why you wouldn’t want to join team ais523, except for pushback against team Bucky; I’m clearly currently in the losing situation here and as such don’t have much to offer.)


20-02-2015 08:47:18 UTC

Is there a reason why it can’t be a Bucky/Sylphrena?


20-02-2015 08:55:18 UTC

You taking actions carefully timed in the middle of Bucky’s is one of the biggest giveaways.