How would you improve the website?

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A_Tin_Can
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#22 Post by A_Tin_Can » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:22 am

Vom Kriege wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:53 pm
Here is one that I'd find interesting - statistics!

It's likely not that tough to add in statistics for various countries regarding solos, draws and losses for each map. Much more complex but much more juicy... robust/detailed statistics with filters so that I player can analyze, for example, opening moves versus eventual results (e.g. 'Russia moves to Black Sea x% of the time', or even as sophisticated as 'when Russia employs opening X, England finishes in 5th place or worse Y% of the time').
Good analysis tools for Diplomacy would be a huge feature for the community.

It's not particularly simple (there are no universally good openings for the individual powers).

In the old forum I posted some analysis of pairings of powers - thinking that eg if France did well, then maybe Italy isn't doing well (etc). It looked promising, but no clear results beyond things that were obvious to experienced players.

I also looked at "preferred openings" - like, if I am definitely going to open to the channel (as France), what do I want Germany to do to give me the best result? Doing this on past games suggested that a lot of the time, we want other powers to NMR. Which, while interesting from an analysis perspective, wasn't particularly useful for informing play.

There were some dumps of moves published for analysis a while back - but I don't think many people did much with them
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orathaic
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#23 Post by orathaic » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:44 pm

@ATC did you try removing games with NMRs from the analysis?

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#24 Post by A_Tin_Can » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:12 am

It's actually really hard to know which games have NMRs (since all holds isn't always an NMR, and we only started tracking NMRs correctly recently).

orathaic
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#25 Post by orathaic » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:49 pm

Hmm, I wonder could you fudge the analysis by treating all hold as an nmr, and losing some possibly good data but getting a clean set (if it is still large enough).

Or possibly only apply to countries which enter more than 3 holds. (so assume that if a user is down to 2 or 1 unit, them entering all holds isn't going to significantly alter the game).

I actually consider NMRs to be part of gameplay (war is unpredictable, and who knows when a Russian civil war will throw the entire country into disarray...) and while I can unbalance a game, usually it doesn't guarentee a solo, except when it does... But you'll have me digress into alternative classic scenarios in a minute... (like imagine a 'variant' where you take a mid/late game with 4/5 players left, and give them different victory conditions, like 3 players may 'win' if they stop the solo, 1 player has to merely survive, and the final player needs 18 to win it... Not a balanced game, just a part of a game of diplomacy with differing starting conditions and end goals...)

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#26 Post by mhsmith0 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:42 am

I think it'd be cool if the search feature allowed to search for particular usernames - for instance, if I want to find all of the games I played against a particular opponent, it'd be really neat if I could search for my name and said other player and get the results in one set instead of manually going through my own outcomes and searching for that player, or vice-versa (going to his page and searching for myself on each page that pops up)
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#27 Post by ziran » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:50 am

Vom Kriege wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:53 pm
Here is one that I'd find interesting - statistics!

It's likely not that tough to add in statistics for various countries regarding solos, draws and losses for each map. Much more complex but much more juicy... robust/detailed statistics with filters so that I player can analyze, for example, opening moves versus eventual results (e.g. 'Russia moves to Black Sea x% of the time', or even as sophisticated as 'when Russia employs opening X, England finishes in 5th place or worse Y% of the time').
https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid ... 5D9F%21176
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Senlac
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#28 Post by Senlac » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:21 pm

Hi Folks,

I’m a visiting PlayDipper, getting some practise on your use interface before ODC. After just a few days I have to say first that I like it. I don’t suffer from colour blindness difficulties & love that everything is colour coded.

So far I have only one suggestion for an additional feature. Allow more than one recipient for an in game message. In both games I am playing I have wanted to message 2 participants with a single message & couldn’t. It’s only 1902!
It maybe just that I’m used to being able to do it, that makes it a particular issue for me.

Other than that it’s great & I look forward to meeting some of you during ODC,

Best Regards Senlac
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#29 Post by jmo1121109 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t aware until recently that was a feature playdip offered. We’ll have to give some thought into how feasible adding that would be. I see the benefits but it would also be a big change.

And just a note, with the color coding we do have a few different color blindness options available in the settings tab to accommodate anyone who needs it.

Hope you enjoy your games on the site and good luck in the tournament!

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#30 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:37 pm

On the topic of messaging multiple people, there are a few sites that do it much better than either PlayDip or webDip. I think no matter what, we want to keep an instant-messaging–style system and certainly not switch to PlayDip's email–style.

There are two game apps that I think do instant-messaging well—the Conspiracy Diplomacy game, and a game call Subterfuge. Both work in a similar manner. Instead of having pre-created one-to-one chats, they allow the creation of chats. Similar to modern messaging apps, one can start a message and choose which recipients they want to receive it. Once that first message is sent, the group is created, and functions as a group chat with all of those recipients able to talk in it. This method allows for the creation of chats with any number of players in it, from all players in the game, down to pairs, or even just oneself.

Of course, implementing this would not be simple. It would require a complete restructuring of the webDiplomacy messaging code. It also probably couldn't be implemented gradually; given the magnitude of the differences, it would be all or nothing. It also would make the messaging code significantly more complex, by requiring the capacity to create any combination of chats. From my limited knowledge, don't think it would significantly increase server load, but it would require database restructuring, which is never fun, especially for backwards compatibility.

It also would significantly change how Diplomacy is played on the site. webDip's messaging system currently disproportionately encourages 2-way alliances. Having the capacity to make group chats would allow for the easier creation and maintenance of multi-power alliances. Yet, I don't think this change would be for the bad. FtF dip certainly allows getting together in groups to talk. This would be no different. I think it also allows for more interesting play, by encouraging more varied alliance structures. So while I think this would be a great improvement to the site, it certainly isn't an easy one to implement.
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Re: How would you improve the website?

#31 Post by Senlac » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 pm

I’m too old to be techy enough to understand all the implications discussed by Peregrine, but I completely agree with his summary of benefits.
I’m already reviewing how to best accommodate the “easy 2-way alliance vs other possibilities” situation into my play in advance of ODC.
It certainly makes a difference to the diplomacy part of Diplomacy, to get the best out of a given situation.
Good luck to those younger & smarter than I, that have the delightful task of making such changes happen.

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#32 Post by jmo1121109 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:11 pm

So allowing any combo of messages in a 7 person game means there are 21 possible 2 person chats, 35 3 person chats, 45 4 person chats, 15 5 person chats, 7 6 person chats and 1 7 person chat. So around 125 chats total up from 22 total now. Then do that for a World game with way more people and that number skyrockets. Ignoring database options even displaying all those chats on a drop down would be absurd. Also I did 5 seconds of mental math so those numbers may be off base but you get the idea of the challenge that comes in designing a system to handle that much increase of distinct chat combos and how to display those in the limited space allowed on mobile

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#33 Post by BananaFang » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:48 pm

Backstabbr also has multi-recipient messaging if you want to look at their UI for it. Messages are sort of done as threads regardless of how many recipients there are. I'm not crazy about it, just an FYI.

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#34 Post by Octavious » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:00 pm

I will say that I find webDip's current messaging system infinitely better and easier to use than Playdip's. The simplicity of the system is a great plus point. The multi person chat option in Playdip can make it at times damned near impossible to work out who has said what to whom and in what order. In webDip you have no such issue, and copy/pasting the same message to more than one person takes a handful of seconds at most.
Peregrine Falcon wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:37 pm
It also would significantly change how Diplomacy is played on the site. webDip's messaging system currently disproportionately encourages 2-way alliances.
This doesn't tally at all with my experience. Do you have evidence to support it?

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#35 Post by bo_sox48 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:12 pm

Perhaps I am just a fan of 3-way alliances, but it seems to me that 3-way alliances form in most every press game I play.

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#36 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:00 pm

Oh man, I should have created a new thread before I started this topic...

jmo1121109 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:11 pm
So allowing any combo of messages in a 7 person game means there are 21 possible 2 person chats, 35 3 person chats, 45 4 person chats, 15 5 person chats, 7 6 person chats and 1 7 person chat. So around 125 chats total up from 22 total now. Then do that for a World game with way more people and that number skyrockets. Ignoring database options even displaying all those chats on a drop down would be absurd. Also I did 5 seconds of mental math so those numbers may be off base but you get the idea of the challenge that comes in designing a system to handle that much increase of distinct chat combos and how to display those in the limited space allowed on mobile
You're right; this is a real issue. However, a lot of those chats would obviously never be created in each game. My experience in the apps with this typeof messaging system is very limited, so take generalisations from them with a grain of salt. Yet, I don't think the multiplication of chats would be as extreme as you suggest. In one game with 7 players, I had only nine chats. In another with 8 players, I had 13. So while the system must be able to handle the creation of any chat desired, I don't think creating extreme numbers of chats would be anywhere near the norm.
As for display, again, 125+ chats would almost never be created. In fact, for a world game, I almost imagine that a lot of people would create less chats than the 17 the game currently automatically starts with.
So again, while implementing this type of system would require a few rethinks and a lot of work, it's by no means impossible or impractical from a game-play perspective.

(And yes, I recognise that development for a project like this is hard to come by, and that we don't even have the developers to complete simple yet important tasks. This argument is primarily outlining an ideal, as part of making the site the best it can be. If I was being honest, however, given the complexity of the implementation, this is not something I find likely to see implemented any time soon.)


Octavious wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:00 pm
This doesn't tally at all with my experience. Do you have evidence to support it?
None, other than anecdotal. I think it's a hypothesis that makes sense, but I should probably rephrase it. webDip's messaging system currently disproportionately encourages 2-way coordination.
Of course three-(and more)-way alliances happen. They're quite vital for the game. However, in my opinion, webDip's interface creates multi-power alliances by tacking together a number of two-way alliances rather than creating true n-way coordination.

Here's an example, which is simplified and trying to prove a point, but also has a basis in my experience:

DMZing Tyrolia in one 3-way chat:

Germany starts a chat with Italy and Austria
Germany: "Hey, what do you think about DMZing Tyrolia between the three of us?"
Italy: "Sounds good."
Austria: "Works for me."
Germany: "Great!"

DMZing Tyrolia in three 2-way chats

Germany — Italy chat
Germany: "Hey, what do you think about DMZing Tyrolia with Austria and I?"
Italy: "Yeah, that could work. Let me talk to Austria about it."
some while later...
Italy: "Austria seems up for it. I guess we're on."
Germany: "Great!"

Italy — Austria chat
Italy: "Germany seems interested in DMZing Tyrolia. What do you think? Did they message you about it too?"
Austria: "Yes they did. It should work."
Italy: "Great!"

Germany — Austria chat
Germany: "Hey, what do you think about DMZing Tyrolia with Italy and I?"
Austria: "Yeah, Italy messaged me about it. It works for me."
Germany: "Excellent. What did Italy have to say about it?"
Austria: "They seemed interested."
Germany: "Great!"


This is almost literally the simplest example there is. I think it makes it pretty clear that just the act of having 3-way coordination across multiple chats adds complexity. Now, if you scale this up to stop-the-solo alliances, this extra format-created complexity becomes even more apparent.

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#37 Post by Octavious » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:17 pm

Interesting thoughts. In fact I'd say that for live games I'm probably inclined to agree with you. For longer phase games I'm less convinced as the more dynamic messaging experienced when all the players in a conversation are present seldom takes place. Instead you will more commonly see Italy and Germany have a back and forth in 3-way chat, followed by a further private conversation in a 2-way chat, followed by Austria saying Hi in the 3way chat half a day later. More often than not having the 3-way option will add nothing but an extra level of complication.

But yes, for live games you've convinced me.

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#38 Post by VillageIdiot » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:20 pm

I’ve spent a fair deal of time on both sites, and personally consider this as a trivial nuance difference. It’s been interesting being able to carry group discussions but I can’t say I overly miss it or consider the hassle of the individual catch up as a significant burden. There’s some opportunity for mischief in the PlayDip format (“accidentally cc’ing a message or intentionally forwarding) that people may enjoy or detest, but again it’s an individual preference and nuance that shouldn’t heavily impact your overall Diplomacy experience or lead anybody to turn there nose up at the omission. There are some features I think all dip sites should have (preview, game pause, etc) but the little differences like this or PlayDips anonymous shoutbox I simply appreciate as site flavour.

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#39 Post by jmo1121109 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:42 pm

Are there any features you think all dip sites should have that none do or that we specifically don't VI?

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Re: How would you improve the website?

#40 Post by Josafina » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:26 pm

I'm not an expert coder or anything - but know enough that I can totally understand the monumental pain creating multiple player chats would be. But, I was thinking could a possible work-around be creating a "private" forum post that only the 3 (or however many) players can access? Just thought I would throw that out there...

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