Monday, August 09, 2021

Proposal: Worker Compensation

Unpopular - CB

Adminned at 11 Aug 2021 16:23:08 UTC

Add 1 Energy to all Workers except the Worker named Josh.

Josh has used Admin Advantage to do a timing scam (Enact, do stuff, then start a new cycle so that they’re the only person who got to make use of that first cycle) to get extra Cogs. This should even things out for the rest of Workers.

Historically, midgame scams are taken down by stuff like this (I have had my non-Admin scams frequently taken down, eg: Kevan XII, Pokes I, Viv I) and I have stopped trying them because of that. Apparently they are OK now? If they are, I want to know so that I can also start doing them for my own benefit too. If not, then this Proposal will do what should be done.

That aside, I just don’t like Admin Advantage because it’s something Admins have that layman Players, don’t. And having Josh abuse timing in a way that only an Admin could for their personal benefit feels bad to see happen. (But if the rest of you guys feel that it’s OK, then I won’t hold myself back at doing it myself too.)


Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 17:00:58 UTC

against Firstly, it wasn’t a scam. The rule had a first mover advantage built in and I was the first mover; yes, being admin have me that opportunity but if I hadn’t used it, somebody else would have.

This was a legitimate play that gave me a tiny amount of additional output, in a way that currently means nothing. The proposed remediation is unfair on its face, as energy currently has value while cogs don’t; a fair remediation would be to give everybody 5 cogs, or to do this while giving me the option of reverting my own cog-for-energy exchange.

I believe that the purpose of this is not fairness, though; it’s to punish me for making use of a first mover advantage. I would encourage everyone thinking of voting for this to consider the precedent of a proposal simply removing an edge, legitimately earned under the rules, because one player dislikes that they didn’t get to make use of it. If this passes then any player with a lead could find themselves on the receiving end of a proposal to “equalise” their margin away. While voting for this might make strategic sense for players on the individual level it remains profoundly unfair; the purpose of a game isn’t equity, and if I got a tiny, one-off advantage from a proposal then I don’t believe I should be punished for that.

On a final note: if this is a sincere, good-faith objection to admin advantage then it should attempt to legislate away the risk of admin advantage. As it is, this leaves the possibility (likelihood?) of future admin advantage wide open, while arbitrarily punishing me for having taken an opportunity that, again, someone else would have got sooner or later had I passed it up.


09-08-2021 17:02:38 UTC

I’m up for changing what compensation to give, I really don’t mind. No need to votelock so soon.

Lulu: she/her

09-08-2021 17:06:51 UTC

against would be opposed to all forms of compensation, as we knew about this and didn’t bother to try and fix it

Kevan: City he/him

09-08-2021 17:08:22 UTC

Now that I pick it apart, didn’t Josh successfully spend 2 Energy here?

He spent 2 Energy to create a 4 Box and a 5 Box, converting the second box into Cogs. He then used his Clink machine a second time on the 4 Box, which was reversed. The outcome of all that is that he gained a 4 Box and 5 Cogs, and has a full 2 Energy right now. His first-mover advantage above a player who hasn’t yet taken a game action is that he has a 4 Box and 5 Cogs, having spent 2 Energy to do so.


09-08-2021 17:14:41 UTC

@Jumble: It’s still something that only an Admin could do, though.

Kevan: City he/him

09-08-2021 17:26:26 UTC

If the enacting admin hadn’t done it, the next player along could have.

But I don’t think we can paint it as an easy fool-not-to-take-it windfall: it’s a choice for anyone to refresh the Cycle early after taking their actions, knowing that other players will react to being shut out - and react more strongly the more of them that there are. That reaction could be anything from a rebalancing revert, to a milder fool’s-golding of whatever resources the first-mover gained, to simply forming early alliances without the first-mover in them. Josh choosing to grab some resources and shut out ten other players is a decision with consequences, just like any big move in a game.

I’d be happy with giving everyone a 4 Box and 5 Cogs, if that’s what the effective outcome was.

Vovix: he/him

09-08-2021 17:32:18 UTC

I think the play was valid, but I’m really not a fan of Admin Advantage as a concept. It’s usually discussed as a theoretical “well, Admins could take advantage of enactment timings”, but this provides a very clear demonstration of the numeric effect on the gamestate.

against at least for now, because I do agree that it’s unfair to punish Josh for making a play that was well within the scope of the rules and his powers as admin, but I am absolutely on board with banning future admin shenanigans. It seems weird to me that a group of players is just arbitrarily given a persistent gameplay advantage, especially considering that said players are likely to be the more experienced and don’t need the extra help.

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 17:33:04 UTC

@Kevan Oh, I shouldn’t have the 4 box either, as the Cycle action includes removing all boxes. I’ll fix gamestate

Kevan: City he/him

09-08-2021 17:44:32 UTC

[Josh] Ah!

[Vovix] The difficult thing about regulating admin advantage is that something like “can’t be first-mover on a newly-enacted rule, nor alert accomplices to this” would put admins in a worse position than regular players - at which point, why be an admin?

Lulu: she/her

09-08-2021 18:19:57 UTC

if you want admin status then you can just ask for it!  i feel like people think the requirements for admin are higher than they actually are

Vovix: he/him

09-08-2021 18:37:22 UTC

I was just thinking about that. The easiest fix is obviously to avoid having mechanics that explicitly benefit the first person to react, but that’s not always going to be the case. It’s hard to set a cutoff of what’s a “fair” amount of time for the enacting admin to wait before they’re allowed to act, given that the time it takes other players to react will vary wildly. I think in this case at least, what would have prevented the issue is something like “may not take advantage of their ability to enact proposals for gameplay benefit”, rather than forbidding actions altogether. In that case Josh could have enacted the proposal, then immediately started a Cycle, preventing anyone else from using the Cycle timing loophole either.

I do think that Admin Disadvantage would be a mostly self-correcting problem. If a proposal is explicitly disadvantageous to the enacting admin, then no one would enact it until the issue is resolved, drawing attention to the existence of a timing issue and likely causing the proposal to be failed or amended. Right now, the best play upon noticing a timing scam is to keep quiet and then take advantage of it as the enacting admin. However, that play is not available to half the playerbase, which just feels unfair.

Janet: she/her

09-08-2021 19:36:48 UTC


Raven1207: he/they

09-08-2021 21:16:27 UTC


Clucky: he/him

10-08-2021 00:55:48 UTC


lemon: she/her

10-08-2021 06:52:02 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 08:07:09 UTC

against as +1 Energy does tip this into actively punishing Josh for jumping too quickly, which is a bit much.

Darknight: he/him

10-08-2021 10:02:07 UTC


Raven1207: he/they

11-08-2021 13:32:07 UTC