Friday, June 17, 2022

The gravestone of a city

A post-dynastic discussion thread.


Brendan: he/him

17-06-2022 20:46:58 UTC

Top-notch aesthetics on this one.

Trapdoorspyder: he/him

18-06-2022 00:56:05 UTC

Indeed! Kinda curious how those got pulled off, actually. In terms of other matters, had a fun time playing this dynasty.

lendunistus: he/him

18-06-2022 07:11:58 UTC

I wasn’t really following the dynasty for the first two thirds

mostly because I wasn’t really interested at the time, but also because I discovered the queue removal scam near the start of the dynasty and was waiting for an opening to use it before I decided to try to create one myself via Capitalism Strikes Again

lendunistus: he/him

18-06-2022 07:12:46 UTC

but agreed: theme and logo were top notch, wiki formatting was on another level (it was so ascended that I completely broke the formatting when executing my scam lmao)

great job!

Kevan: he/him

18-06-2022 07:42:31 UTC

Ah, so that’s what Capitalism Strikes Again was about. Very pleased to see that proposals can still win games, here, and a lesson to everyone to be more cautious about scams, particularly when people are adding their own preferred mechanics to speed up endgame - TrapdoorSpyder was right to have a bad feeling about Instant Prayers, but nobody questioned it further.

(For the record, the only scam I’d shared as a prophecy was one that didn’t get used - that “Optionally activate an artifact” wasn’t limited to those held by the player. I also actually had a very clear vision of the next dynasty’s banner and proposals in a dream a couple of weeks ago, but I’ll save that - 406afb106efa4fa63122371118fad3d0 - until the ascension address.)

It was a shame that the around-the-table queue structure ran so slowly at times. The main mistake may have been putting everyone into the queue to begin with, making the lowest-activity players perceive the minimum expected gameplay to be “take a basic turn whenever you can” when it could and should have been “do nothing”, meaning we lost quite a few days just waiting for them to time out. Might have been better if queue moves had had a cost, where making an I-don’t-know guesswork move would be plainly worse than taking no move at all, and it would be perfectly respectable to sit out.

Not sure what conclusions I draw about the whole timing thing: where if a Nomic has a defined timing structure for actions, some players will propose extra actions outside of it (either deliberately or unwittingly), and a minority of players who feel in a good position to exploit that kind of timing will tactically oppose any unification. Maybe it’s inevitable in online Nomic, maybe it just needs a stronger Imperial stance against it from the start.

Josh: Bookie he/they

18-06-2022 08:35:37 UTC

I don’t think it’ll be a shock for me to disclose that I had a very rough time with this dynasty - I hated the condensation of the game into single atomics, and the combination of a swingy, random massive debuff happening once per turn, the emperor nerfing all my scams before I could use them, and massive downtimes just sapped my will to live. I’m happy that I got to steer through a victory on someone else’s behalf but there’s a lot in this dynasty that I’ll argue should never see the light of day again.

As always, though, running a dynasty is work and I’m grateful to Kevan for it; my distaste for several dynastic mechanics should not be taken as antagonistic, nor dismissive of the labour that went into providing this free entertainment for the last month.

lendunistus: he/him

18-06-2022 09:01:57 UTC

fun fact: our initial plan was to pass Prayers and win before we realized that we’d have to make a new building every time we flooded one. that led to “But I don’t want to build, comrade”

Kevan: he/him

18-06-2022 09:02:43 UTC

Will say that I never intentionally overstepped the Scam-Neutral style (“won’t remark on or move to close loopholes”), and any nerfs were inadvertent - apart from the infinite-loop Insurance, I’m not even sure what I hit. Slow-burn scams are always riskier in a Gardener-Emperor dynasty, where a deliberately baroque rule that hides a loophole may end up being simplified for simplification’s sake.

I also found the downtimes disappointing. I think things were starting to pick up once player elimination had come in, which (despite TrapdoorSpyder’s reservations about Instant Prayer) was probably what this dynasty needed, a dynastic way for players to actually act on their frustrations with players who were slowing the queue down.

Snisbo: she/they

18-06-2022 20:09:54 UTC

After raven and I introduced artifacts (yes, they were his idea, I just implemented them in the way I wanted), I was planning to take advantage of the “activate an artifact” loophole, but that’s exactly when Josh came to me about wanting to work together on a beta version of the scam that ended up winning, so I never got the chance.

Raven1207: he/they

18-06-2022 22:07:44 UTC

My reason for wanting to introducing the artifacts was to have less random turn orders and encourage people for going after certain positions. Additionally, was hoping more could be built on.

Raven1207: he/they

18-06-2022 22:14:37 UTC

Also another add on: As someone who had played and watched games that have the turn order change,

Sometimes being in certain places in line can help given the circumstances of the situation and resources.


20-06-2022 15:47:34 UTC

(This comment is a little late but) I think one of this dynasty’s greatest strengths was the Queue/Path; the strict order of the queue eliminated (almost) all timing issues, gave everyone an equal number of turns regardless of free time, and opened up some interesting gameplay opportunities.

On the other hand, the Queue’s slow pace was definitely a huge flaw; we each had to wait for every other player to go before we could do anything, and in the two(?) cases where there were timing issues they basically froze the game for 24 hours.

Overall a good dynasty; Atlantean City-Builder was fun.

Kevan: he/him

20-06-2022 15:58:06 UTC

With the Queue speeding up towards 48 hours by the end, I was beginning to consider a “proposals can only be processed by the Oracle, and at the start of an Augury” rule to remove the final, innate timing issue…