Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Suggestions on improving the site or comments in general?

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby jay65536 » 27 Sep 2018, 19:06

NoPunIn10Did wrote:
jay65536 wrote:The point of the first 3 conditions is not that anyone who holds for 3 years should be able to declare a draw. The point of all 4 conditions combined, though, is that the game should be so deadlocked (as per 4a or b) that one player is ALLOWED by the other players to play identical moves for all that time while simultaneously there are few or no centers changing hands. And the proposal needs to have some kind of automated trigger condition for someone to declare a draw, so I think that's as good as any.


What I'm saying is that the no-moves condition isn't a good measure of whether the stalemate has happened or not. It'd be too easy to get into a scenario where the stalemate is never called. I'm less worried about someone exploiting it.


Ahh, OK, I see your point. I guess I'm stuck on 3 things:

1. I can't imagine a scenario like the one you were talking about upthread. It's not the same as what in my head I call an "active stalemate"; it's something weaker but still a stalemate-type scenario, I guess? Can you give me an example?

2. I think if people wanted to force a draw, the position was truly so deadlocked that it should sensibly be a draw, and this rule was in place, people would be able to position their units in such a way that they could fulfill this rule. I wonder if there is any way to get actual evidence of this--if dipsy is still following the thread, maybe there is some sample of games where DGP was called that we could analyze to see how big a deal NoPun's point is?

3. In order to have this kind of rule, there needs to be some trigger where a player may unilaterally declare DIAS. What would be a better trigger to base the rule around, than a position that is so deadlocked that someone can go several years without having to change their moves?
jay65536
 
Posts: 289
Joined: 10 Sep 2016, 18:13
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1124)
All-game rating: (1130)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 27 Sep 2018, 21:33

jay65536 wrote:Ahh, OK, I see your point. I guess I'm stuck on 3 things:

1. I can't imagine a scenario like the one you were talking about upthread. It's not the same as what in my head I call an "active stalemate"; it's something weaker but still a stalemate-type scenario, I guess? Can you give me an example?

2. I think if people wanted to force a draw, the position was truly so deadlocked that it should sensibly be a draw, and this rule was in place, people would be able to position their units in such a way that they could fulfill this rule. I wonder if there is any way to get actual evidence of this--if dipsy is still following the thread, maybe there is some sample of games where DGP was called that we could analyze to see how big a deal NoPun's point is?

3. In order to have this kind of rule, there needs to be some trigger where a player may unilaterally declare DIAS. What would be a better trigger to base the rule around, than a position that is so deadlocked that someone can go several years without having to change their moves?


  1. Active Stalemates
    1. It might be less likely on the classic map, but whatever rule we come up with here would need to work on any map implemented.
    2. Potential classic example: In the Portugal+MAO+(Iri/NAO/Eng) stalemate line (Britain v. an alliance of two southern powers), whereby some players can't get ships out of the Med, the blockading British player only needs 3 units to maintain the line but will likely have 4 units total, meaning they can send a ship roaming about and testing other parts of the stalemate line.
    3. In that example, it might be possible for at least one player to not change their moves over time, but they'd have to be the one actually wanting the stalemate.
  2. I'm not sure the goal should be to make a condition that people will deliberately attempt to meet.
  3. I still think that the current standard, which is based on SC control and Moderator review, is probably the best.
    1. The problem, in my opinion, is a lack of education and understanding on the part of the players as to what is and isn't a forceable stalemate.
    2. I think the point about having a button that spams mods when such a condition is reached is indeed a bad idea
    3. However, it would be a much better user experience than the current status quo if something showed up on the game page that informs players that a stalemate may have been reached, with a link to information about how to contact the moderators (and what other "soft" requirements may also need to be met).
NoPunIn10Did
Moderator (Forums only)

Variant GM, Designer & Collaborator
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1000
All-game rating: 1401
Timezone: GMT

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby jay65536 » 27 Sep 2018, 23:39

NoPunIn10Did wrote:
  1. Active Stalemates
    1. It might be less likely on the classic map, but whatever rule we come up with here would need to work on any map implemented.
    2. Potential classic example: In the Portugal+MAO+(Iri/NAO/Eng) stalemate line (Britain v. an alliance of two southern powers), whereby some players can't get ships out of the Med, the blockading British player only needs 3 units to maintain the line but will likely have 4 units total, meaning they can send a ship roaming about and testing other parts of the stalemate line.
    3. In that example, it might be possible for at least one player to not change their moves over time, but they'd have to be the one actually wanting the stalemate.


1a. That's a fair point, but I'm still confused as to how something like that could happen. What kind of scenarios like that could arise on variant maps that the standard map doesn't allow?

1c. Yes, the whole point is to allow someone who actively wants the stalemate to have a list of conditions--that are meant to be hard to meet, of course--under which they can trigger DIAS.
jay65536
 
Posts: 289
Joined: 10 Sep 2016, 18:13
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1124)
All-game rating: (1130)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby condude1 » 28 Sep 2018, 19:48

jay65536 wrote:The point of the first 3 conditions is not that anyone who holds for 3 years should be able to declare a draw. The point of all 4 conditions combined, though, is that the game should be so deadlocked (as per 4a or b) that one player is ALLOWED by the other players to play identical moves for all that time while simultaneously there are few or no centers changing hands. And the proposal needs to have some kind of automated trigger condition for someone to declare a draw, so I think that's as good as any.


But why do we have the first three rules? What purpose do they serve apart from confusion? Back to the chess example, it's like the 50-move rule having a clause about the king moving at least 20 times in that time. Sure, it might be present in some draws, but it's not indicative of a draw, nor is it only true in draws (neither specific nor sensitive).

That's the point I'm making - your method is needlessly conplex.
Telleo wrote:I don't think I've ever met someone who more perfectly embodied Chaotic Neutral than Condude1.


Moderator of the Mafia Subforums!

Silver member of The Classicists!
User avatar
condude1
 
Posts: 6936
Joined: 06 Feb 2013, 03:41
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1368)
All-game rating: (1307)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby jay65536 » 28 Sep 2018, 23:39

OK, so I think I get your point better now.

Here is the thing with my idea. A simpler condition like "nothing changes hands for X years" is a simple, good* rule for when one power is pushing for a solo, has been stalemated* by a coalition of powers, and everyone wants a draw except for the one big power. I think we agree on that, right?

But the DGP as currently written applies to more situations than just that. For example, let's say that England has stalemated an I/A alliance with a line from Portugal--Den--StP, so 8 centers. I/A have split the other 26, so it stands at 13/13/8. England wants a draw, but I/A want to cut him out and go for a 2way. If I/A refuse to stab each other, the "nothing changes hands for X years" rule will not apply to this situation, even though the current mod-based DGP could potentially be applied. The reason is because they can dodge the simpler rule by swapping centers, forcing England to continue the game even though they have no intention of doing anything to change the situation.

I'm trying to think of a rule that could encompass both of these scenarios, not just the first one. That is why condition 4b is there. The problem is that in order to have 4b, there needs to be a specific time period to check how many unique centers have changed hands. In the version I wrote, the time period to use is one that begins just before the power trying to trigger a draw started playing the same set of orders. If you want to alter my idea so that "same orders" isn't included, then 4b needs to be altered to use a different trigger and a different time period. What would you propose to replace it with that still includes the above situation and others like it? I'm not saying I'm sure my idea is the best one possible, but I do think it's at least pretty good and I can't personally come up with a better one.

Having the trigger be "same moves for 3+ years" doesn't really seem confusing to me; in my mind I feel like the ability of one player to make the same orders for 3+ years and not be disturbed (i.e. have a unit dislodged or feel the need to change anything) is fairly well correlated with a deadlocked position, and combined with condition 4 I think it describes a very good deal of the kinds of positions that a mod would stop the game for. Do there exist deadlocked positions where someone didn't make the same orders for 3+ years? Yes, of course--but the point I've been making to NoPun is that if this became the rule, I think a lot (perhaps all or almost all) of the positions that a mod would call deadlocked are also positions where someone COULD trigger this rule.

(* That rule would perhaps unfairly encompass situations where one power has almost soloed, has a guessing game to get the last center needed to solo, and has been outguessed for X straight years resulting in an identical position and repeated guessing game every time; but honestly I don't think that's a big enough deal to worry about.)
jay65536
 
Posts: 289
Joined: 10 Sep 2016, 18:13
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1124)
All-game rating: (1130)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby super_dipsy » 29 Sep 2018, 09:14

jay65536 wrote:OK, so I think I get your point better now.

Here is the thing with my idea. A simpler condition like "nothing changes hands for X years" is a simple, good* rule for when one power is pushing for a solo, has been stalemated* by a coalition of powers, and everyone wants a draw except for the one big power. I think we agree on that, right?

But the DGP as currently written applies to more situations than just that. For example, let's say that England has stalemated an I/A alliance with a line from Portugal--Den--StP, so 8 centers. I/A have split the other 26, so it stands at 13/13/8. England wants a draw, but I/A want to cut him out and go for a 2way. If I/A refuse to stab each other, the "nothing changes hands for X years" rule will not apply to this situation, even though the current mod-based DGP could potentially be applied. The reason is because they can dodge the simpler rule by swapping centers, forcing England to continue the game even though they have no intention of doing anything to change the situation.

Ahah! :D NOW I see your point. Like others, I could not understand why you were making things needlessly complicated (apparently) but I see what you are struggling with now. I always think of these situations as Big power trying to wait out the little ones, but I had not thought of the opposite.

Sadly I don't really have any ideas though. To me, the nub of the problem is that the software cannot understand a player's motivation. It can't tell the difference between player(s) desperately trying to find a way to break an alliance through extended negotiations, and player(s) simply waiting for someone to give up or NMR through boredom when a draw is the only realistic conclusion. I do not like ANY sort of automatic process interfering with the former, but it is the latter that is detrimental to the site. Hence at the moment we bring in a human who can consider the situation.
User avatar
super_dipsy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11632
Joined: 04 Nov 2009, 17:43
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (956)
Timezone: GMT

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby gsmx » 19 Oct 2018, 10:22

I love this quote from NoPun...

“The problem, in my opinion, is a lack of education and understanding on the part of the players as to what is and isn't a forceable stalemate.”

So true. The button idea is horrible, it would get pushed every game and WAY too early by desperate players drowning in thier lack of vision.

I fully admit to being guilty of trying to squeeze every solo attempt as far as it’ll go. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. I like the idea of having a human being involved to make a judgement. Getting a solo is damned hard, if I got within a hairs distance from it I’d be heartbroken if I got locked out of it due to a technicality.

If you’ve an opening you can’t cover, its quite possible it takes me more then a few rounds to get to it. That’s not a stalemate. Nor is a weak spot you manage to cover for three rounds due to lucky guesses, if the competition has to rely on luck to hold their line then the games not locked and should be played on. If we go too loose on the definition of a stalemate it’s only going to diminish the level of game play as players may opt to try to find ways to run out the clock for these technical stalemates. That’s losing sight of the point of the game in my opinion.

I fully appreciate the sourness of cases when board leaders try to hold a game hostage or win-by-misorder, but I don’t think automating is the right way to go here.
The first quality that is needed is audacity.
User avatar
gsmx
 
Posts: 1447
Joined: 22 Aug 2011, 14:50
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 2097
All-game rating: 2475
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby jay65536 » 20 Oct 2018, 18:31

gsmx: the reason why I initially put my own idea in the Lore forum as opposed to here is because my main concern is not the games that are played on this site--I think the mods do a fine job--but instead I was thinking of "hostage-taking" in games without a moderator.

Diplomacy is supposed to be played without a moderator or GM. (Or at least, you're supposed to have the ability to do so.) My interest in this discussion is not to change the site's rules, but instead to come up with a good house rule for FtF games so the players can police themselves and have a guaranteed game end in finite time.

I have played FtF games where people have, consciously or unconsciously, tried to leverage their ability to stay awake and alert longer than their competition to get what they want. I actually think this is usually a perfectly fine tool to have at your disposal, but if all you're doing is sitting on your centers waiting for a misorder when you've already been stalemated, and/or if your only negotiating tactic is "stab your ally or the game won't end", that to me is crossing a line. And the "you" in that sentence could be singular or plural.

So I think the game itself would be better if there were some kind of draw rule other than "agreement". The mods on this site agree with me in the abstract, which is why DGP exists. I just want to create something that doesn't require a game to have oversight to be used.
jay65536
 
Posts: 289
Joined: 10 Sep 2016, 18:13
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1124)
All-game rating: (1130)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby blazebbc » 22 Oct 2018, 17:42

I've played this game for a long time - mostly not on this site...Here is my preference for how to handle all this....

1. All draws should include all players who still have pieces on the board. Period. If some of the players don't want to go through the monotony or risk of removing a player, then they should simply accept him as a part of the draw and move on. It's just a game. Who cares if it is a three or four person draw? This is a game about the solo victories, not "ties."

2. There should be an automated draw (including all surviving players) for all remaining players if no supply centers changes hands for three years. If somebody wants to pull a stunt like mentioned above (trading centers for the purpose of elongating the game), whomever objects should ask for help of a moderator.... Or, there could be an "admin" public press that shows up notifying all players that three years have transpired with no exchange in centers and that should any one player wish to demand a draw (and others do not agree) that the player may request the assistance of a mod.

3. Sometimes players prematurely want a draw, not realizing that there is still a shot at a win. Sometimes players don't have the skill to enforce stalemate lines in order to get the draw. When I am working for a solo, I am going to continue to push against a potential stalemate line until the other players can prove they have it. If an alliance has control of 18 centers and the 16 center power does not wish to accept the draw, the players with 18 should be pushing forward and shrinking the player at 16. Knock the 16 down to 12 and then there might be a more interesting outcome available. The game is designed such that, if you have 18 centers as a group, you can get more . In other words, the game is NOT stalemated. Were I the power with 16, I would not accept the draw at this point as, if the players do not understand that they can push me back, they might not be able to hold me back either. I'd want them to prove that they've earned a draw. The three year rules seems about right to me.

In over 30 years of play, I have had ONE game where I was working for a solo, but needed more than the three years. The issue was that there was a potential breach in the stalemate line around Spain where the three players holding the line had too many armies and needed one more fleet to prevent me from being able to break into MAO. I had to maneuver a couple of units from the Turkish homeland to the front without disrupting the line. It took four years. It was a different site. The game master sent me a private message and asked what I was doing. I explained the scenario and said I that I needed one more year. He looked at the board and said that if I did not break through in two years, he was going to force the draw. The other players were upset, but they did not understand the stalemate line well enough to earn the draw.
Ally Extraordinaire
Intermational Medal of Honor Recipient
blazebbc
Premium Member
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 13 Jul 2012, 07:09
Location: Seattle, WA
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: 1010
All-game rating: 1010
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: Proposed - Timing Out Stalemates

Postby jay65536 » 22 Oct 2018, 21:10

blazebbc wrote:The game is designed such that, if you have 18 centers as a group, you can get more


Unfortunately this is false. Very false.
jay65536
 
Posts: 289
Joined: 10 Sep 2016, 18:13
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1124)
All-game rating: (1130)
Timezone: GMT-5

PreviousNext

Return to Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests