Process Exceptions vs Finalize Orders - don't get caught out

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Process Exceptions vs Finalize Orders - don't get caught out

Postby super_dipsy » 03 Jan 2012, 09:59

We get quite a few issues around processing exceptions and finalize orders. This is intended to clarify the situation. As a reminder, processing exceptions (eg no play at weekends) are specified at game creation time, and finalize orders is the default option used in most games allowing users to vote to process the next phase early.

1. Processing Exceptions are GMT+1 (server time)
Some players in timezones consideably offset from GMT have been caught out because the processing exceptions are calculated on server time (GMT+1) (or + 2 in summer). Sadly there is no obvious way around this - a timezone has to be chosen, and the only alternative (to have a variable decision based for example on game setup) would introduce even bigger confusion. So remember - the processing exceptions may not be based on your time-zone.

2. Finalizing Orders is optional
You do not HAVE to finalize (no matter how much other players may shout at you to do so ;) ). If you do not finalize, the phase will process after the full deadline and your orders will be processed whether they are finalized or not. But there is an exception to this - if you do not have any actions, then you are assumed to be finalized immediately. So a phase CAN progresss early without you voting, but ONLY if you did not have any actions to take.

3. Exceptions vs Finalized orders
This has been the source of some confusion, particularly since finaliize orders was made available to all and is now the default.
In the days before Finalize Orders, everything was simple. Process exceptions allow players to specify that no new deadline should be allocated within the Process Exception period (eg Weekends, Christmas Day etc). Therefore in the days of fixed deadlines this equated to no phase ever processing in the exception period. However, the situation is different with the finalize orders option active.
The way this is dealt with on this site is as follows:-
- Process Exceptions mean a deadline is never set within the specified exception period
- If all the players who have actions in the phase finalize, then the phase IS processed, even if this is within the exception period

The result is that sometimes phases might process within an exxception phase, which may seem a little odd. However no player can EVER have a situation where they miss out on actions because a phase processes in an exception period. Take the following example.
- The game was set up sa 12 hour moves with processing exceptions for weekends and also with finalize orders active
- Player A has some orders to make
- It is Friday evening and the deadline, which would have been for Saturday evening, has been moved to Monday because of the processing exception on weekends
- Player A makes his or her moves and decides they are good to go, so finalizes (saying 'I am happy for the phase to progress as soon as everyone else is happy')
- During Saturday morning, all other players with actions finalize. THE PHASE NOW PROCESSES.
- The new deadline is once again shifted from Saturday evening to Monday to the weekend exceptions
- If all players with actions finalize again, then the same step is repeated, with the phase moving but the new deadline always being set outside of the weekend

So the best way to avoid confusion is to remember the following three maxims:

"Processing Exceptions tells the game: Do ot set any new phase deadline in this period"
"Finalizing Orders says: I am happy for the game to progress (even if this means progressing during a processing exception period)"
"If for any reason you do not want the game to progress early, do not finalize"
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Re: Process Exceptions vs Finalize Orders - don't get caught

Postby Subotai45 » 07 Dec 2012, 23:53

This was a big help. Thanks for clearing this up, I was a little confused.
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