Surrendering

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Re: Surrendering

Postby Goldain » 12 Jun 2017, 14:50

Chess is purely tactical. It is all about the moves. Also you only have one opponent and no help in chess when you get into a bad position.

Diplomacy, on the other hand, is actually less about tactics than communication. When you are in a bad position, unless the entire board is equally out to kill you (possible, but unlikely) you usually have a chance to turn things around by pitting other players against the person/people trying to take you out. I've come back from three centers before to be part of a three-way draw. I was England and France and Germany were pounding me, until I convinced Russia and Italy to join me in a three way alliance. Turkey was busy with Austria and vice versa which left Italy free to crawl up France's backside and Russia was fairly stalemated but I offered to hand him Norway if he would send forces west. That only left me the three centers in England.

Soon France and Germany found themselves in a two-front war. They couldn't focus on taking me out but had to defend their eastern fronts which allowed me to grab a foothold in the lowlands and force my way into the English Channel. I was talking my behind off and coordinating moves between Russia/Italy and myself. They were getting gains so were content to let me play "field marshal". It worked brilliantly and Turkey crushed Austria right about the time we had Germany and France on the ropes. I convinced my "partners" to turn their attention and cooperate on Turkey while I mopped up the remnants of F/G.

Many players, faced with F/G coming at them and beaten back to their island with French and German fleets in the water might have surrendered that as a "hopeless" position. But remember, you are never alone in Diplomacy as long as you can convince someone else that it is in THEIR best interest to help you.

That's why I agree with the above poster who cringes at the comparison of Diplomacy to 7 person chess. Chess is still about tactics. Diplomacy is about strategy.

All that aside, it also really does unbalance the game if you have several centers and surrender. Whichever country in in the best position to overrun your zombie forces has a decided advantage in the rest of the game. Actually, I have strengthened my position and gotten TWO opponents to back off me just by threatening to "kingmake" the other. If two nations both think you will fight them tooth an nail while handing your SCs over to one of their opponents, it can be a way to buy some breathing room while you figure out a way to turn things around.

The options are manifold to turn a bad situation around, but if you surrender, you eliminate those possibilities. Honestly, for me, turning a bad situation into a share of a draw is a much more satisfying result than bulldozing a solo.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby ColonelApricot » 12 Jun 2017, 23:15

asudevil wrote:Cause for people who DO know the game..that sucks

And complete...if I can just lose real quick (move out of all my home SC I can be eliminated by 02)...then I can go to ranked games...If I play well...and its a longer deadline...that game could take 3 months.


Asu - with respect - those are legit concerns - yes a new joiner that is already dip-experienced will indeed find that to be a barrier. But only a very minor barrier given that the site stands ahead of all others on its merits and the attraction of which should be sufficient to overcome it (compliment to our builders and mods here!).

As to the non-experienced, they have a choice between joining a Mentor game (that should automatically qualify them) or completing a non-ranked game. I realise this can be gamed fairly cynically as you describe, but this behaviour actually requires some of the kind of thinking that is needed to play the game itself. So I am saying set the bar very low such that it is a slight deterrent, but enough to deflect the hopelessly unsuitable that can't be bothered to understand the rules enough to even participate. Then we eliminate many of the Spring 01 surrenders which surely would be a significant improvement. And we actually provide a service to those newbies who decide this game is not for them after all.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby asudevil » 12 Jun 2017, 23:19

If we set up all games to be 1st turn NMR protect...that salvages a lot of those 1st turn NMRs
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Re: Surrendering

Postby WHSeward » 12 Jun 2017, 23:20

But Col. what we have done instead is create Ambassador-only games. If you don't want to play with noobs until they have completed 1 game, then play them. (Or Classicist games, or invitationals). I don't think we need any more barriers to new players on site. New players are the life-blood, and anything we do that would give them a bad first experience would be a mistake.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby asudevil » 12 Jun 2017, 23:51

WHSeward wrote:But Col. what we have done instead is create Ambassador-only games. If you don't want to play with noobs until they have completed 1 game, then play them. (Or Classicist games, or invitationals). I don't think we need any more barriers to new players on site. New players are the life-blood, and anything we do that would give them a bad first experience would be a mistake.


That's the answer I forget about.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby ColonelApricot » 13 Jun 2017, 00:19

Ambassador-only is really good, I agree with it totally. I am not coming to this from a personal perspective, just aiming to get overall game quality up a notch.

What about new members, life-blood etc? Well it's a bad experience for a right-thinking new member too, to encounter NMR and surrender-oriented behaviour first game up. Maybe it's deterring some that we'd like to have on-board.

First turn NMR is good too, but it's frustrating to go back to start and lose the hard work of the first round.

Let's say a newbie (Newbie X) joins a rubbish game first up. Surrenders galore first year. Well he might go on and get a result and experience some decent game play after the dust settles. Then he joins a ranked game with a bit of helpful experience behind him. Meanwhile Newbie Y in the same game bailed in the first year, decides he can't be bothered making the effort required for Dip and heads off to fresher fields. Both outcomes are good for everyone concerned.

OK I know we are taking positions on this, debate ad nauseum. Is there some stats to help inform? How many players play 1 game, surrender and never return? How did those games split between ranked and non? Might tell us how important it is to newbies that their first game is ranked (if they are even aware).

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Re: Surrendering

Postby asudevil » 13 Jun 2017, 02:21

ColonelApricot wrote:
OK I know we are taking positions on this, debate ad nauseum. Is there some stats to help inform? How many players play 1 game, surrender and never return? How did those games split between ranked and non? Might tell us how important it is to newbies that their first game is ranked (if they are even aware).

..CA


Almost all players first games ... are ranked...but that's mainly because there are so many more ranked games anyway...and I don't know the exact percentage...but there is a good number of people who either never finish their first game...or never come back for a second. But I think that's similar for all sites/games/experiences.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby ColonelApricot » 13 Jun 2017, 03:23

It would be bad to restrict first-timers to non-ranked if there were a lack of games available for them to join. Absolutely they should have easy access to their first game. What if we somehow ensured that there was always a non-ranked game available with vacancies? With some guidance directing them how to find it - similar to the Home page guidance to mentor games.
Another advantage of starting with a non-ranked: if they bailed or NMR'd and only then realised the consequences then it shouldn't hurt their record. But they'd still have to complete another game properly.
It'd be good to get some feedback from them - but it's the great unwashed so good luck with that.
I guess this is overlapping a bit with Classicists because only 1 completed game is need to become a casual. But I suspect these accounts are mostly oblivious of Classicists anyway.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby Bromley86 » 13 Jun 2017, 13:55

If we're talking surrenders in a pool of new joiners, I'd wager that it's not a big deal. It makes it easier to win for those that don't surrender. I'm assuming that works for people who didn't start of playing offline Dip, but those that did will possibly think that's lame. Now, if there was no hope of anything better, then Playdip might as well be Backstabbr (which I loved dearly, but which is, IMO (and that 2 years out-of-date), beyond saving). But there is, via the relatively-low Ambassador bar that avoids serial surrenderers.

I do think SD is unnecessarily strict on players that might want to surrender a position that they could easily fill, but that's not really what we're talking about here. (For the record, in the exceptionally unlikely event I need to use the non-functional sub process, I'll instead vacate my SC: one's play is governed by the environment.)

But I suspect these accounts are mostly oblivious of Classicists anyway.


Server-generated games! In addition to the idea that there should "always be a non-ranked game available with vacancies", which I took to mean there should always be such a game advertised on the Home page, there's scope for the Classicists to always have a Casual game on offer there. And an Ambassador game. The only downside I can see, aside from real estate, is people joining games that they haven't really thought about, but I'm scrabbling for cons here.
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Re: Surrendering

Postby ColonelApricot » 14 Jun 2017, 03:25

Bromley86 wrote:Server-generated games! In addition to the idea that there should "always be a non-ranked game available with vacancies", which I took to mean there should always be such a game advertised on the Home page, there's scope for the Classicists to always have a Casual game on offer there. And an Ambassador game. The only downside I can see, aside from real estate, is people joining games that they haven't really thought about, but I'm scrabbling for cons here.

Agree with this totally. But in the meantime how about some tweaks in the Quick Start tab:

"Otherwise, in the Games tab, select “Join Game” to see all the games with openings.
We recommend you choose a “Not Ranked” game for your first game, if you have not played Diplomacy before. Click the “Join Game” button next to the game you want to play, and you are in."

Suggested improvements:
-- Make "Join Game" clickable.
-- Explain why Not Ranked is recommended, and how to choose it.
-- Explain how to choose New games only.

Or better (someone suggested this before) give them a preset filter that does:

No rank/ New game/ /Classic/ Standard map/ Regular game type/ Random countries/ Exclude password

I tried this just now and got 20 joinable games - mostly with no joiners yet though - so even better sort them in descending order of number already joined.
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