Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Proposal: Testing Times

Vetoed. -Purplebeard

Adminned at 30 Jul 2015 07:10:14 UTC

In “Tests”, replace “At any time, the Head Scientist may set a Test” with:-

If there are no Tests which have not reached their Completion Deadline, the Head Scientist may set a Test

And add to the bulleted list:-

  • A list of Specimens (being a list of every Rat, chosen in a random order)

And add a paragraph after the list:-

Once the Acceptance Deadline has passed, any Specimens for that Test who did not Accept the Test are no longer considered to be Specimens for it. (The Head Scientist may edit the blog post to reflect this.)

In “Movement”, replace “As a Daily Action, a Rat may Progress exactly X times, where X is the amount of Cheese that Rat has.” with:-

If a Rat is a Specimen for a Test which has passed its Acceptance Deadline but not its Completion Deadline, and if every Specimen listed prior to that Rat for that Test has Progressed since its Acceptance Deadline (or if the Rat is listed first in the Specimens list), then that Rat may Progress exactly X times, where X is the amount of Cheese that Rat has.

Replacing the daily-action timing trickery: rats instead get one set of moves per Test, taken in an order defined by that Test.


Darknight: HE/HIM

07-28-2015 16:43:03 UTC


Josh: HE/HIM

07-28-2015 18:36:20 UTC



07-28-2015 20:10:27 UTC


Tantusar: HE/THEY

07-28-2015 21:42:08 UTC

Sorry, what?

First of all, this seems a little creativity stifling. One of the ideas I had was to have two Tests which directly opposed each other, to the point where accepting both would cause you to fail both on the spot. This stops that.

A Specimen List. Really? I don’t want to be going to random.org every I want to make a test just because the test has to be in random order. In any case, it seems a little extraneous, doesn’t it? I mean, for one thing, it precludes people who have unidled during the acceptance window from accepting it, and for another, it’s just extra work to do.

If we do have a Specimen List, the third change seems reasonable. This is possibly the only part that makes sense to me.

The fourth change, though, oh my. Would like me to set a really long Test? Would you like to not set Tests at all? I’m sure that would be fun. /s The reason it’s a Daily Action is so that people actually end up moving. Moving is fun, I like moving, let’s do that.


Too many broken things at once for my taste. (So much for not using that again.)

Ienpw III:

07-29-2015 05:26:55 UTC

This is quite a significant change to the Testing mechanic so I wouldn’t argue that it’s not veto-worthy, but your desire not to randomise a list would be a poor excuse… being emperor does come with some responsibilities, particularly in dynasties where you’re not also a regular player.

Tantusar: HE/THEY

07-29-2015 05:38:32 UTC

I get that, I really do. But does it need to be random? I’m the only one who can make Tests, and I’m unlikely to make one that would take advantage of a random list of Rats. If a Specimen List becomes required, and I make a Test that requires it to be random, then, and only then, would I randomise it. Until that point, an alphabetically sorted list would suffice.

Kevan: HE/HIM

07-29-2015 08:05:52 UTC

The current testing rules have the kind of timing issues that BlogNomic tends towards - a rational player should always take their actions after everyone else, and as closely to whatever deadline as possible. (It looks as if I lost out by not checking BlogNomic between 8:11pm and 9pm last night, when Purplebeard rationally moved away from a rat who hadn’t moved yet.) It becomes a game of setting alarms to take actions, and can hit players hard in unfortunate timezones.

Having players take their actions in a particular order was intended to reduce this. There are undoubtedly more interesting ways to shake it up, but random seemed a simple one to start with. (If the list was always alphabetical, then any natural advantages or disadvantages in going first or last would keep hitting the same players.)

Tantusar: HE/THEY

07-29-2015 08:11:31 UTC

Still, what if the first player on the list (who has accepted the test) decides they aren’t gonna do squat?

Kevan: HE/HIM

07-29-2015 08:34:23 UTC

Depends on the test. If it leaves that player in a solid position and disadvantages everyone else in the queue, I suppose the other players should have realised the risk of that when deciding whether to accept.

But this is Nomic, we can fix things as we go along, if they turn out to be problems. (It actually still has the same issue of a rational player waiting until 8:59pm to take their action, to a lesser extent.)