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Rule clarification : turn timer

Discussion in 'Civ4 - BTS Multi-Team Demogame' started by DaveShack, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Moderator

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    I'm against limiting the number of pauses at this point. We already have a mechanism in place to handle it any pauses that the majority of teams disagrees with. The last thing we need is yet more rules for people to worry about enforcing :rolleyes:
     
  2. dutchfire

    dutchfire Moderator Moderator

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    For what it's worth, I'm completely fine with the current pace of the game and I don't think additional rules are needed to ensure faster playing. While it may be annoying having to wait for someone to complete their turn, having some time to discuss is more important. Not all of us can be online 23 hours a day, I think most casual players (like me) are quite happy if they're able to read the forums every other day.
     
  3. Methos

    Methos HoF Quattromaster Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    I also think the current setup is fine. Nor do I have a problem with the 26 hours. Leave it the way it is and let the timer figure it out. We're going at a good pace.
     
  4. Niklas

    Niklas Fully Functional GOTM Staff

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    I would be more likely to support a suggestion asking for a change of the turn timer to 48 hours. Anyone? :)

    I agree completely with what General_W wrote. The fact that we have a turn timer at all should be seen as a simple mechanism to avoid abuse and long pauses - not as a way to speed the game up in general, which I think goes completely against the spirit of an MTDG. If a team took more than 24 hours, it's because they needed that time, and I would in all cases be willing to give it to them.

    Ok, having said that, I would actually seriously like to suggest that we set the turn timer to 48 hours (or maybe 36 would be enough?). Add to this a strong recommendation that teams complete their turn within the first 24 hours, but that they are allowed to take the full 48 (or 36, in-game timer) hours if they need, without having to ask for a pause. I honestly think that such a rule would be far more in the spirit of an MTDG than any attempts to speed the game up.

    I also (personally) strongly support DaveShack's proposed amendment. I think it's really silly to care about the wall clock in a game where we have a more accessible clock to go by. That's regardless of whether we extend, keep, or even diminish the current timer length.
     
  5. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Moderator

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    I'd be fine with a longer turn-timer. Especially as we take over more cities. Can't speak for the rest of my team, though.
     
  6. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    The issue with a long time between turns is that team participation levels start to drop, because many of the casual players (and indeed some of the more regular ones also) simply lose interest. There's a fine line between keeping the "D" in the MTDG games by having a decent time for discussion, and alienating all but the most devoted players because the others simply get bored with the slow pace. (Several members of team Saturn have already expressed some frustration with the game's pace at times, for instance, while others have disappeared in recent times.)

    Just thought I'd point out that there are significant drawbacks to increasing the turn timer. Several people seem to be focused on the negatives of shaving a single hour off the present turn timer, while overlooking the negatives that a longer turn timer can bring to the game. Figured it was worth bringing some balance to the discussion. :)
     
  7. Memphus

    Memphus Chieftain

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    Parkin has it right.

    Too Fast and you lose the Democracy aspect.

    Too Slow and players stop playing. The Last MTDG lost many players when the game stalled and I know teams had to fight to even get a turn player.

    So my preferance would be to shave the 1 hour, but leaving things exactly as is, is fine by me. that said going to 48 hours IS NOT an option as teams will lose players, and that in itself seems very non-democratic.
     
  8. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    If you meant to switch "slow" and "fast" around, then I completely agree. ;)
     
  9. Memphus

    Memphus Chieftain

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    Ahh the power of editing. fixed. :D
     
  10. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    Honestly I think the game has been going great. How bout we just table this discussion and continue on in the current format. ;)
     
  11. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    That is what most of the people were basically suggesting...
     
  12. Krill

    Krill Chieftain

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    nevermind.
     
  13. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    Yeah, I agree. There's nothing that drastically needs to change.
     
  14. Memphus

    Memphus Chieftain

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    I Propose the Following Rule Clarification:

    This is based on 4 out of 5 teams agreement found here:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=302504&page=23

    Please Comment.
     
  15. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    Not completely sure about the "lack of diplomatic response" thing. In the majority of cases, sure, I agree - but I can think of a few cases where someone might be justified in delaying due to waiting for a diplomatic response. For instance, if they log in to notice a significant rival force near their borders but also near a barb city, and they want to clarify whether or not the force is headed for them before they play. (A couple of days should be enough in this case - no response would clearly mean war, but only after the other team has had sufficient time to respond.)

    Otherwise, yeah, I agree.
     
  16. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    Seems like you disagree with the second point entierly... I think diplomacy can certainly be a reason to pause the game.

    As for a team not having turn players... They should recruit someone(or someone should recruit someone), to play for them...
     
  17. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Unfortunately, active players tend to be active together, and end up on the same team.
    Poly has had the exact same problem, with one or more teams per game ending up short of people.

    I wouldn't want to "win on time" if the situation was reversed, but that's just me. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Niklas

    Niklas Fully Functional GOTM Staff

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    I certainly wouldn't want to "win on time" either - but that's hardly what we're looking for. It wouldn't be much better with an inactive team, that's just as much "winning on time". Better to try to recruit now, than to wait for this to become a far worse issue.
     
  19. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure no one is interested in "winning on time" however I would also contend no one is interested in "winning by stamina". Pitboss does a fine job of keeping the pace of the game and a 24-25 hour clock doesn't really make a difference versus two hours less. That said, what will kill any MTDG is lack of interest. This is what really needs to be addressed.

    On a sidenote: Maybe I'm a little sensitive having moderated OT for awhile but using the rolleyes smiley with humans is quite a bit different than when you're discussing AI behavior. Let's keep things civil since these discussions can often become heated. Thanks. :)
     
  20. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

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    As map creator and an unofficial moderator for this game, let me give you my take on this issue. My word should not be taken as binding law, however I hope that the five teams can together work on fixing this issue. Ultimately, I believe that the best course of action is to come to a group consensus on this topic, by vote or whatever.

    First of all, the Pause command has definitely been getting overly used over the past six weeks or so. Furthermore, teams have most certainly not been acting in accordance with the stated rule:

    Memphus correctly points out we have seen teams in the past pausing the game, without bothering to wait for an extention to be granted. Now it's one thing to pause the game without waiting for approval in a true emergency, but that has often not been the case here. (I have been reading the individual private forums, and I am not at all convinced by the rationales that I have seen offered.) This is not the place to assign blame, and indeed the rules in this area could have been better defined originally. Rather than go back and forth over assigning fault, let's just all agree that we would like to see the game continue to move forward in timely fashion, alright?

    Stepping back for a moment, I'd like to remind the Demogame's participants why we chose to use the Pitboss format in the first place: the whole purpose was to keep the game moving along from team to team in timely fashion, without long pauses in between turns. I'll be frank here: Pausing the game defeats the entire purpose of having a timer in the first place. Currently, there are no penalties associated with pausing the game, and no one is policing these actions, so inevitably teams are playing a bit fast and loose with this gray area. It's in everyone's best interest not to keep pausing the game, as delays lead to frustration and players walking away from teams. I would rather be the bad guy, have the teams hate me, and keep the game moving along than see it wither due to endless delays.

    I suggest that the teams hammer out two things here about the Pause rule:

    - An agreement that teams will not Pause the game without getting approval of some kind here in the public forum (as written in the existing rules!)
    - An agreement on what grounds an extention should be granted.

    SANCTA has some preliminary thoughts on what should be acceptable and unacceptable rationales for pausing the game. Without getting too involved in the matter, I'll say that by and large I agree with their suggestions. Pausing the game to conduct diplomacy does *NOT* seem legitimate to me; messages should be going back and forth with the ebb and flow of events, just like in the real world. There have been cases already in this game where teams paused the game just to wait for a diplomatic message to come back from another team, which (IMO) is an egregious misuse of privilege. Pausing the game is supposed to be an extreme measure, only used when "OMG, we're at war, there are cossacks pouring over the border!" situations. It should not be a regular tool of policy or negotiations. Else, why have a clock in the first place if it can be rendered meaningless any time a team feels like it?

    I hope we can all agree that not having a Turnplayer lined up ready to go, or suddenly realizing "we have 30 mins left and no one has logged into the game yet!" are not acceptable reasons for pausing the game. We're playing about one turn every 2-3 days right now. This is PLENTY of time to decide what actions to take as a team, plus each team has a further full 24 hours once they are actually "up" to make further adjustments. Failure to organize properly does not grant permission to hold up everyone else with Pause requests. (My team in the Apolyton Demogame is fighting a two-front war at the moment, and we have a mere 16 hours to make our moves. We are handling this quite well, so I have zero sympathy on this issue.)

    If the teams can't agree on a definition of what consists of an acceptable rationale for Pausing the game, here's one off-the-wall last suggestion:

    It's a bit extreme, but it would stop flippant Pauses dead in their tracks, and each team would have to stop and think whether the current situation is really bad enough to warrant using up one of them. And the game would keep moving along steadily. (April was just a disaster for this game, and we should all work to prevent a repetition from occuring, for any reason.)

    Those are my thoughts. Now let's put our heads together and come to an agreement. :)
     

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