NMR Protect, is it working?

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NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby diploguy » 04 Dec 2017, 05:41

[I would have posted this in "Change to Protected Games option (Withdrawn)" but it's locked]

Just got out of a NMR Protect game that featured 3 surrenders and turns that moved along without a player. In fact the solo win came on a turn with a crucial nation to prevent the solo non-existent. These situations are exactly what those of us that prefer NMR Protect games want to avoid. The unfair advantage of knowing your opponent will be ordering all his units to hold. I'm not sure the reason to make it a compromise. I'd prefer it to be all in. Meaning it never goes to the next phase until there's a replacement. Two surrenders and you're kicked out is good.

So I guess I'm saying I'd advocate for a "Super NMR Protect" option; the game won't proceed without a replacement. This is the way I played it exclusively (I mean I don't think there was a different option) when I used to play on adjudication judges through email. So it's not like some wacky idea. It's common enough.
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby super_dipsy » 04 Dec 2017, 07:26

I'm not sure about your terminology :) Normally, NMR Protect on this site means games with the 1st turn NMR Protect feature turned on; this means that if a player NMRs in the 1st turn, that player is booted and the game restarts when a new player joins, from the beginning.

But I suspect you may be talking about Protected games - in these games, if a player NMRs the turn is extended to give the player extra time, covering for a player simply missing the deadline accidentally. If a player causes a deadline to be extended twice by failing to meet the deadline, that player is kicked out.

But regardless, you're suggesting an option for additional level of protection for games. First, can I check I understand what you mean properly? You said
diploguy wrote:I'd prefer it to be all in. Meaning it never goes to the next phase until there's a replacement. Two surrenders and you're kicked out is good.

Did you mean "until there's a replacement" or "until orders have been submitted"? The difference being that if you meant the first, a game with a full set of players could move on even though one person NMRs. Or the second is sort of like we have today in that if a player fails to submit orders on a turn the deadline extends, and if they fail again then they are kicked out and the deadline is frozen until a new player joins.

I think you mean the second. So you would never have a turn process where any country had failed to submit orders (although of course they could order Holds). Assuming that is right, my main concern is that if you have a ranked game where one country is down to one SC for example, would it not be likely to just sit there for weeks and weeks? Even, if someone does pick up the spot, will all the players still in the game be around and available to continue playing? It might also be difficult for non-premiums because these 'frozen' games would take up one of their free slots.

I do understand the frustration though. But these sort of concerns are why we ended up adopting a compromise approach. How did it work where you used to play? How did you get slots filled where there was a country with perhaps one unit and no future?
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby Eleusinian » 04 Dec 2017, 07:48

super_dipsy wrote:How did it work where you used to play? How did you get slots filled where there was a country with perhaps one unit and no future?


If I may make a suggestion: what if such positions (either identified by some heuristic, or manually confirmed as such by a mod after X days of not being picked up) went into a queue of "hopeless positions to be filled." Dependable players (maybe limit them to Ambassadors only?) would be able to pick them up, in return for an automatic shield (which would not count towards their usual ratings shield). And to motivate them a bit, you could gamify it with a new Ambassador honorific, a la Star Ambassadors: "Ambassador Silver/Gold/Platinum" (as you pick up more of these positions) or something.

In summary:
  • identify these kinds of hopeless positions, either automatically or with manual approval
  • put them into a special pool only accessible to dependable players
  • eliminate all of the potential costs of picking up such a game (other than the time)
  • reward people with Magic Meaningless Internet Points™ that acknowledge their otherwise-thankless job of keeping these games moving

I believe people would volunteer to help in such a service. I would.
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 04 Dec 2017, 07:57

reward people with Magic Meaningless Internet Points™ that acknowledge their otherwise-thankless job of keeping these games moving


I like. :P :D
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby super_dipsy » 04 Dec 2017, 09:21

I love the idea of an honorific for players that pick up a lot of surrendered positions! We could do that, and I think we should. Maybe count the number of positions picked up with SC < 3 or something.

Eleusinian wrote:identify these kinds of hopeless positions, either automatically or with manual approval

Aye, there's the rub ;)

I don't think manual intervention is going to work. At the moment, we have a specific process for resolving 'deadlocked' games for example. Even though this is only a tiny subset of games, the Mods have to put up with a lot of time consuming hassle because often a player will regard the situation as deadlocked when it isn't, or more often a player gets frustrated and tries to get the game unranked to avoid any hit. If we opened this up to a process for players to suggest that their game should go on the list of ones with hopeless positions, I suspect this would be many times worse.

The automatic approach would have to be very simplistic to make it at all practical. So for example, we could say that a power with one SC automatically qualifies as a 'hopeless' position.

But stepping back, would they get picked up? Today, we have many unranked games with surrendered countries. Players could pick these up to help get the game finished already with no risk to their ratings, but many remain open. I guess therefore the only difference is that in a ranked game you would be offering the carrot of an automatic shield but for a 1SC position. I'm not sure how much of an extra swinger that would be. I actually think the honorific idea would be a bigger swinger! So what we could do is to simply say that if you pick up a 'hopeless' (eg 1 SC) position, you get no effect on your rating either way (win or lose) but you do get a score towards being a Really Useful Player badge. How does that sound?
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby Eleusinian » 04 Dec 2017, 17:24

Maybe the hopelessness criteria should include the game year? A 3-SC surrender in fall '01 is probably in an okay position (if not great, cause the player was probably bad). A 3-SC power in '13 is probably not much of a factor.

But stepping back, would they get picked up? Today, we have many unranked games with surrendered countries.


I think the honorific would help, as you suggested. They could also be easier to find. Today I'd need to go to the search tab, clear our whatever search criteria I've entered (for finding "real" games), and enter in the hopelessness-game criteria. If you provided just a link straight to the relevant search, and called it something like "Adopt-A-Country," maybe that would help?

So what we could do is to simply say that if you pick up a 'hopeless' (eg 1 SC) position, you get no effect on your rating either way (win or lose) but you do get a score towards being a Really Useful Player badge. How does that sound?


I think that sounds good!
Last edited by Eleusinian on 04 Dec 2017, 22:07, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby NJLonghorn » 04 Dec 2017, 21:23

I like the idea of rewarding helpless pickups, and would be an avid participant if it got off the ground. I've already subbed into a somewhat weak position once (and actually managed to salvage a draw :D ).

In terms of what is considered a helpless position, the formula could be simple but I think it needs to be a bit more intricate than just "x supply centers is helpless, x+1 isn't". It could vary by what year the game is in, as someone suggested above. Alternatively, it could be based on how consolidated the other SCs are. As an example:

[list=][*]If the game's top player has 10 or more SCs, then 3 is helpless.[/list]
[list=][*]If the game's top player has 7-9 SCs, then 2 is helpless.[/list]
[list=][*]If the game's top player has 6 or fewer SCs, then 1 is helpless.[/list]

I don't know how hard it would be to automate these things, but if it would be easy it seems worth doing.

-- Jeffrey
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby NJLonghorn » 06 Dec 2017, 19:53

I just picked this game up. http://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play.php?game_id=136711 Whatever formula you come up with, it should count as hopeless.
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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby NJLonghorn » 06 Dec 2017, 19:54

I just picked this game up as Italy. Whatever formula you come up with, it should count as hopeless.

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Re: NMR Protect, is it working?

Postby Eleusinian » 08 Dec 2017, 18:12

Looks to me you've got them right where you want them.
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