Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 23 Apr 2019, 21:09

I find myself agreeing with your arguments, though from personal experience I’ve found that the glass-chewing frustration of the DSS endgame can be especially ugly when a player with a stopped solo drags the game out as long as possible, convinced they have some magical ability to talk the other players into breaking the stalemate line or voting themselves out of the draw.

I think I would have hated that situation (and others like it) less if (1) the player in question wasn’t able to state blatant, bald-faced lies about how they’d voted or if (2) the option to reduce the draw size without actually draw-whittling was off the table (in this particular scenario, impossible).
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby jay65536 » 23 Apr 2019, 21:47

NoPunIn10Did wrote:I find myself agreeing with your arguments, though from personal experience I’ve found that the glass-chewing frustration of the DSS endgame can be especially ugly when a player with a stopped solo drags the game out as long as possible, (incorrectly) convinced they have some magical ability to talk the other players into breaking the stalemate line or voting themselves out of the draw.

I think I would have hated that situation (and others like it) less if (1) the player in question wasn’t able to state blatant, bald-faced lies about how they’d voted or if (2) the option to reduce the draw size without actually draw-whittling was off the table (in this particular scenario, impossible).


So what you're describing is noDIAS, secret ballot, yes? Where someone is stalemated and wants to use the voting system to induce a mistake?

I agree with you that those situations are completely annoying and frustrating. I'm just not sure that trying to solve them via the draw voting mechanism doesn't create more problems than it solves. In an open vote, any second-place power could call a draw vote very early in an endgame and cause the largest power who voted it down to be targeted. It would basically stymie a lot of solo pushes, which I think is bad for the game overall.

I've been in the hobby a long time and seen my fair share of this kind of stuff, but I think if we want to minimize those kinds of scenarios, there are better ways:
1. Change the scoring system so that board leaders have no incentive to draw-whittle. There are center/lead hybrid and lead-based systems out there already, and I have a thread here where I tried to workshop a draw/lead/center hybrid, but got no feedback on the second draft of it: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=58537 (skip to the last post)
2. Create an automatic draw rule by which DIAS can be triggered if there's no progress in the game state for a long enough time. This one is sort of a pipe dream for me but I tried to get some interest in it here: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=58196 (again, last post--if I recall correctly it was debated in a Suggestions thread as well and people didn't like it)

But to get back to your example...what do you think would have changed in the game with either open voting or DIAS? With open voting, I would think that it would be harder to justify NOT taking a small draw when one is proposed, to the point that the games would end quickly, but they'd also end in boring draws or else with small powers who don't vote themselves out getting crushed--another thing I totally hate.

With DIAS, I think what you'd see is either: more stupid risk-taking to draw-whittle and a LOT more solos coughed up; OR a lot fewer solos because people don't want to make a solo push only to get stalemated and forced into a large draw. Is either of these good for the game? I think that's a lot more debatable than the open voting option, in that there's a case to be made that inducing overly risky or overly risk-averse play is a bad thing either way, but inducing more solos as a result of risky play is a good thing. (Obviously you can tell I'm a fan of DIAS, right?) I guess I just tend to fall back on the prior experience of the FtF hobby--I have never played in a tournament with DIAS draw-based scoring, and I assume there's a pretty good reason for this.
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 23 Apr 2019, 22:06

Dixiecon, which still uses DSS, has an oddball scoring system whereby surviving but still losing is potentially worth points. It uses secret ballot voting with non-DIAS, but there’s actually a slight incentive available for minor parties to vote themselves out (especially since the first round can drag). I don’t mind that combination so much there, though it can still be frustrating.

I certainly agree that a non-DSS scoring system would have prevented that particular scenario, but there’s still a lot of resistance to implementing one here. I do think coming up with a solvable forced-draw state rule would help as well. For the time being I just find having both secret votes and non-DIAS draws, particularly when individual votes have to be resolved after the passage of a whole season, makes for a wholly unpleasant endgame.
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby jay65536 » 23 Apr 2019, 22:17

NoPunIn10Did wrote:Dixiecon, which still uses DSS, has an oddball scoring system whereby surviving but still losing is potentially worth points. It uses secret ballot voting with non-DIAS, but there’s actually a slight incentive available for minor parties to vote themselves out (especially since the first round can drag). I don’t mind that combination so much there, though it can still be frustrating.

I certainly agree that a non-DSS scoring system would have prevented that particular scenario, but there’s still a lot of resistance to implementing one here. I do think coming up with a solvable forced-draw state rule would help as well. For the time being I just find having both secret votes and non-DIAS draws, particularly when individual votes have to be resolved after the passage of a whole season, makes for a wholly unpleasant endgame.


You aren't wrong, but I think that unpleasantness can be chalked up to the nature of draw-based scoring, not the nature of draw voting.

(P.S. If you want to try to brainstorm about a forced-draw rule or if you want to help workshop my draw-hybrid scoring system, I'm down for either, via PM or thread revival.)
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby Mr.E » 27 Apr 2019, 12:20

NoPunIn10Did wrote:
Mr.E wrote:I don't see a link between how a vote is held and whether the type of draw matters. Either DIAS or not, either public or secret ballot or not.

It's all still Diplomacy, so I'm not arguing that the "right" way(s) are the only way(s).
However, all of these differences (how the vote is held, whether it is secret, and whether it can be non-DIAS) do make a difference to gameplay. With that being the case, I just think it's worth having the conversation about which types of draw votes are beneficial to the game.
Absolutely right to have a conversation about it, of course. But everything makes a difference to how people play the game. What I'm saying is that draws are a way to end a game; the more varied they are, the more complex the possible combinations, and certainly saying things should be set depending upon what the combination of how draws are constructed is, removes a level playing field.

The ratings are based, as closely as possible, on like-for-like. The Standard game ratings are based on standard Dip (appropriate name!). And yet there are differences between 'standard' games: whether a game resets after an S01 NMR or not, whether games are protected by surrenders or not, how powers are allocated, deadlines, whether draws are DIAS or not, whether draws are secret ballot or not. Personally, I think different deadlines are fine, so I'm going to take them out of the calculation. But everything else has an impact on how the game plays out. That makes a possible 48 different versions of a 'standard' game. So how standard is Standard?

I know - the ratings label is based on the standard version of the map and rules, including communications, and has nothing to do with power allocation, draws, etc. But when those variations are there, and they all affect the game in some way, then things are overly complicated, for me.

I think that for a rated game, powers should be allocated in a single way, they should be reset or not in S01, they should be protected from NMRs (or not) throughout, they should have a set draw standard. I understand how the variations come in: they may be fun alternatives; they may be the way things "are supposed to be"; they may be the way things have always been done. And then you reach a situation where some people like this way, or that way, or simply having the choice. And then you have too many options and dissimilar games.

As far as which draw structures are the best, well I don't think it matters. DIAS is more true than non-DIAS and, for me, non-DIAS actively encourages draw-whittling. But a draw-based system that allocates points based on how many players share the draw will encourage some form of draw-whittling anyway. So I personally don't have a preference between DIAS or non-DIAS.

Secret or open ballot? Does it matter? It matters if you don't like being held accountable for a decision made openly, such as rejecting a draw. And perhaps secret ballots - as they're structured at the moment - give some unintended information away (it really doesn't matter, though, and could be solved by simply not releasing the result of a secret ballot draw until it had reached it's deadline or until all players have voted). But, again, I don't have a preference.

What would be nice is if there were some decisions made about what the system was in all rated games, rather than having a potential 48 versions of a standard game: one allocation system, one system of protecting games (or not), one draw system. You're not going to please everyone - but that isn't the point.

One additional thought on scoring systems for an on-going series of games: draw-based systems are the only systems that make sense. SC-count doesn't make sense in the context of a full game, rather than one that ends at a certain date. A weighted system, whereby players receive a better result for drawing with one power over another because it's harder to play one power than it is another, are based on an assumption that nobody will leave the game early and is - in the context of online play - much less appealing than otherwise.

It is possible, however, to create a scoring system based on a draw scoring a set amount of points, as a standard, regardless of how many players feature in the draw. In other words, a draw featuring x-players is equivalent to a draw featuring y-players - each player in an x-player draw scores the same as each player in a y-rated draw. This eradicates draw-whittling.
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 27 Apr 2019, 23:46

E, I think you've steered far off-topic.
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby Mr.E » 28 Apr 2019, 11:08

NoPunIn10Did wrote:E, I think you've steered far off-topic.
Hmm... in the last couple of paragraphs, perhaps, but how far off-topic?
Mr.E wrote:
NoPunIn10Did wrote:
Mr.E wrote:I don't see a link between how a vote is held and whether the type of draw matters. Either DIAS or not, either public or secret ballot or not.

It's all still Diplomacy, so I'm not arguing that the "right" way(s) are the only way(s).
However, all of these differences (how the vote is held, whether it is secret, and whether it can be non-DIAS) do make a difference to gameplay. With that being the case, I just think it's worth having the conversation about which types of draw votes are beneficial to the game.
Absolutely right to have a conversation about it, of course. But everything makes a difference to how people play the game. What I'm saying is that draws are a way to end a game; the more varied they are, the more complex the possible combinations, and certainly saying things should be set depending upon what the combination of how draws are constructed is, removes a level playing field.
Specifically about draws, specifically in reply to your comment. Discussing how draws - four versions - affect the "standardised" nature of a rated Standard game.
Mr.E wrote:The ratings are based, as closely as possible, on like-for-like. The Standard game ratings are based on standard Dip (appropriate name!). And yet there are differences between 'standard' games: whether a game resets after an S01 NMR or not, whether games are protected by surrenders or not, how powers are allocated, deadlines, whether draws are DIAS or not, whether draws are secret ballot or not. Personally, I think different deadlines are fine, so I'm going to take them out of the calculation. But everything else has an impact on how the game plays out. That makes a possible 48 different versions of a 'standard' game. So how standard is Standard?
I know - the ratings label is based on the standard version of the map and rules, including communications, and has nothing to do with power allocation, draws, etc. But when those variations are there, and they all affect the game in some way, then things are overly complicated, for me.
I think that for a rated game, powers should be allocated in a single way, they should be reset or not in S01, they should be protected from NMRs (or not) throughout, they should have a set draw standard. I understand how the variations come in: they may be fun alternatives; they may be the way things "are supposed to be"; they may be the way things have always been done. And then you reach a situation where some people like this way, or that way, or simply having the choice. And then you have too many options and dissimilar games.
Following mentioning the level playing field, I discuss what makes a level playing field, mentioning draws - of course - but also at how every other variation in setting up a standard game affects game play. Is that off-topic?
NoPunIn10Did wrote:... these differences (how the vote is held, whether it is secret, and whether it can be non-DIAS) do make a difference to gameplay.

Mr.E wrote:As far as which draw structures are the best, well I don't think it matters. DIAS is more true than non-DIAS and, for me, non-DIAS actively encourages draw-whittling. But a draw-based system that allocates points based on how many players share the draw will encourage some form of draw-whittling anyway. So I personally don't have a preference between DIAS or non-DIAS.
Secret or open ballot? Does it matter? It matters if you don't like being held accountable for a decision made openly, such as rejecting a draw. And perhaps secret ballots - as they're structured at the moment - give some unintended information away (it really doesn't matter, though, and could be solved by simply not releasing the result of a secret ballot draw until it had reached it's deadline or until all players have voted). But, again, I don't have a preference.
What would be nice is if there were some decisions made about what the system was in all rated games, rather than having a potential 48 versions of a standard game: one allocation system, one system of protecting games (or not), one draw system. You're not going to please everyone - but that isn't the point.
Specifically about draws, about which are "right" or not, and how they - along with other variations in the 'standard' game - add a non-standard feel.

Mr.E wrote:One additional thought on scoring systems for an on-going series of games: draw-based systems are the only systems that make sense. SC-count doesn't make sense in the context of a full game, rather than one that ends at a certain date. A weighted system, whereby players receive a better result for drawing with one power over another because it's harder to play one power than it is another, are based on an assumption that nobody will leave the game early and is - in the context of online play - much less appealing than otherwise.
It is possible, however, to create a scoring system based on a draw scoring a set amount of points, as a standard, regardless of how many players feature in the draw. In other words, a draw featuring x-players is equivalent to a draw featuring y-players - each player in an x-player draw scores the same as each player in a y-rated draw. This eradicates draw-whittling.
Admittedly off-topic... but then:
NoPunIn10Did wrote:... I’ve found that the glass-chewing frustration of the DSS endgame can be especially ugly ...
And
jay65536 wrote:I've been in the hobby a long time and seen my fair share of this kind of stuff, but I think if we want to minimize those kinds of scenarios, there are better ways:
1. Change the scoring system so that board leaders have no incentive to draw-whittle. There are center/lead hybrid and lead-based systems out there already, and I have a thread here where I tried to workshop a draw/lead/center hybrid, but got no feedback on the second draft of it: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=58537 (skip to the last post)
Oh, and:
NoPunIn10Did wrote:Dixiecon, which still uses DSS, has an oddball scoring system whereby surviving but still losing is potentially worth points.
So, perhaps, if scoring systems are off-topic, is a fair bit of off-topicality going on.

Now this post if off-topic, having to spend time pointing out the topicality of a previous post, so let's add a bit of spam to it to add to the pain, by repeating what I've said. It doesn't matter - IMO - whether the draw system utilises DIAS or non-DIAS, and it doesn't matter - IMO - whether draws are voted on by open or secret ballot. What matters is that there is ONE draw system in a STANDARD rated game so that the game actually is standardised. But this is only one feature in a non-standardisation of games.

And let me also say (at the risk of going off-topic in actuality) that I think this is the best site I've been on when playing Dip. It's clear that the Mods and Admin actually care about the site and the experience players have when playing here, both on the game side and the forum side. Good job.
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby ColonelApricot » 29 Apr 2019, 08:12

Woolgie wrote:From recent experience I know someone has rejected a draw in a secret ballot since it says rejected but I did not vote. Therefore I know there are 2 people who reject it but everyone else only knows there is 1. I really shouldn’t be allowed to know that. Surely everyone should be told at the end of the draw period - e.g. 2 accepts, 1 reject, 1 abstention.


This is an example of where the house rules are getting tangled up with the game rules. All players should be on the same footing when it comes to house rule-related information.

Another example of this is when an eliminated power is shown disabled in the voting list. In a FOW game not all players are entitled to that information but the house rule of trying to make the UX more friendly is interfering with the game data.

But to get back on topic - a secret ballot should be entirely secret. Someone rejected it. That's all anyone needs to know - and at the end of the phase only. I don't even agree that the number of rejects or acceptances should be published.

The standing draw vote is a good idea (I assume this means that you can indicate whether you will automatically vote in favor or vote against all draws that come up).

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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 29 Apr 2019, 15:12

I do like secret standing vote mechanisms for DIAS when playing online. It eliminates the difference between a “no” vote and not voting.

It’s a little messier for non-DIAS, though it has been implemented before.
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Re: Is there a "right" way to structure draw votes?

Postby jay65536 » 29 Apr 2019, 15:47

ColonelApricot wrote:a secret ballot should be entirely secret. Someone rejected it. That's all anyone needs to know - and at the end of the phase only.


Once again, we had a Suggestions thread about this exact idea, and nothing was done.
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