How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

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jasnah
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#121 Post by jasnah » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:26 pm

PRINCE WILLIAM wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:00 pm
Same way in diplomacy, if I cannot win why not to play for the draw? And I know that I cannot win if I play with Octavious, or Mercy, or Durga, or Dargorygel to name but a few excellent players that I have played with. Why is bad to make an alliance and keep it to the end?
The only way you can start a game having literally 0% chance of winning is by... going in believing that you can't win. Veteran players lose to beginners all the time just due to how the board shapes out; anyone who has a bare minimum level of tactical competence has a chance of winning. And I'd say even that isn't required if the player is able to Google lines or follow the instructions of another player who has incentive to aid their solo run.

I play only Gunboat but these games are solo'd all the time by relative beginners facing experienced players with knowledge of how to prevent solos. Admittedly solos come more easily in Gunboat, but I imagine they're not as unreachable as you think them to be. How will you know unless you give yourself a chance and try? Counting yourself out before the game even gets going is a sure fire way to never improve or solo.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#122 Post by cdngooner » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:06 pm

Prince: Once again, we are not talking about the same thing. There is nothing wrong with settling for a Draw, if winning is impossible and a Draw is the best result based on how the game plays out. We are talking about making a Draw your ultimate goal, even forgoing the chance to solo just to maintain the Draw.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#123 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:24 pm

Jasnah: It is a realistic approach to know who can and who can't defeat. I named players that even in my best I cannot surpass. So then the logical thing is to start with a draw as a goal.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#124 Post by David E. Cohen » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:41 pm

This makes me so sad.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#125 Post by ubercacher16 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:05 pm

qrzy wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:00 am
2 ways draw is an exam for your cold blood. :)

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameI ... #gamePanel
I hate this result with a fiery passion. Germany has ten units holding away from the front line doing nothing. TEN! That is horrendous.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#126 Post by qrzy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:52 am

ubercacher16 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:05 pm
qrzy wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:00 am
2 ways draw is an exam for your cold blood. :)

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameI ... #gamePanel
I hate this result with a fiery passion. Germany has ten units holding away from the front line doing nothing. TEN! That is horrendous.
Fortunately this match is not for making you happy. ;-)

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#127 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:03 pm

So to the collective opinion in here is a bad thing to reach the end and forfeit the solo respecting the co-player who helped you to this point.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#128 Post by cdngooner » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:10 pm

So to the collective opinion in here is a bad thing to reach the end and forfeit the solo respecting the co-player who helped you to this point.
Couldn't have said it better myself. You're not "respecting" anyone by "letting" them have a Draw when you could Solo. You're "patronizing" them.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#129 Post by jasnah » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:27 pm

cdngooner wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:10 pm
Couldn't have said it better myself. You're not "respecting" anyone by "letting" them have a Draw when you could Solo. You're "patronizing" them.
Worse yet you disrespect the players who have to sit there being slowly whittled from a draw knowing that there's nothing they can offer to either ally to turn, not even a guaranteed solo. Unless their alliance is sniffed out early and met with a countering coalition, an overwhelming advantage accrues to players who know that neither will ever backstab the other and can therefore coordinate as one super country.

Not against the rules to do this and you can argue that these players deserve the advantage for correctly identifying each other as this type of player and/or building up the necessary trust, but it makes for a totally bland game for the opponents.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#130 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:21 pm

PRINCE WILLIAM wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:03 pm
So to the collective opinion in here is a bad thing to reach the end and forfeit the solo respecting the co-player who helped you to this point.
There is a vocal majority who have said as such. And although to an extent I agree with them, I think it is just as important to respect the minority who disagree. It is overly contemptuous and intentionally ignorant to presume that everyone must agree on a singular hierarchy of goals in Diplomacy.

Yes, there are the goals outlined in the rulebook: Solo wins, or equal shares in a draw.
Yes, there are the goals rewarded by the particular scoring system in use.
And yes, I would say these are the first goals to pursue when starting a new game of Diplomacy. But I would not say that they are the only goals worth pursuing, nor that they should always be pursued above all others.

At the end of the day, the main reason I play in everyday games is not to prove I'm the greatest strategic mastermind of all time, or even generally to increase my GR (although both of those would be nice).
I play to have fun. To spend time meeting, and talking with and—to some extent—getting to know some new people. Is that inherently at odds with the external goals of the game or scoring? Not necessarily. Yet, sometimes they are. As much as it's part of the game, stabbing people is not something I enjoy. Of course I will sometimes, but I won't always choose movement towards a solo over avoiding the unpleasantness of hurting someone else.
Does this hurt my score? Probably. But do I prioritise my happiness over ensuring a good score? Absolutely. At the end of the day, that's why I'm here.

But that's just me. Each person is going to have a different conception of what's important, or to what extent 'winning' is worth it. And I think that's fine.

People are not so cut and dry as some here have tried to argue. Out there in the real world, you're always going to encounter people with different value systems and different modes of thinking. Tolerance for diversity—for people who think and act differently than you—is what creates strength in any group of people. I think that carries over to our own community too.

To me, the fact that different people value and prioritise different things in different ways is what makes this game so interesting and endlessly playable. It is the diversity in our player base that allows for variety in gameplay. Watching people in this thread try to beat out that diversity makes me sad. Those who insist there can only be one goal makes this game much less compelling or insightful for everyone. I think solo purists miss the point by arguing otherwise.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#131 Post by gimix » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:32 am

Great post, PF
I just want to add, i believe all of us are a bit more "carebears" or a bit more "assassins" in different games, depending on how that game has developed but also on a lot of other things: other games, especially in a tournament, or something IRL. At least that is what happens to me.
So probably the practice is a little different from the theory and even our good Prince William will stab a loyal ally and go for a win some time in the future, and maybe a solo purist will once in a while waive a possible solo :-D
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#132 Post by teccles » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:56 am

Peregrine Falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:21 pm
To me, the fact that different people value and prioritise different things in different ways is what makes this game so interesting and endlessly playable. It is the diversity in our player base that allows for variety in gameplay. Watching people in this thread try to beat out that diversity makes me sad. Those who insist there can only be one goal makes this game much less compelling or insightful for everyone. I think solo purists miss the point by arguing otherwise.
I agree with this, and your whole post, to a large extent. Many different ways of valuing and prioritising things make the game interesting; for example being solo-driven, wanting to reach a draw, playing to a particular scoring system, seeking revenge when wronged, and doing any of those some extent while having lots of fun. So I'm not arguing at all that there can only be one goal or hierarchy of goals (and I actually think there's very little of that argument in this entire thread).

But not *every* goal is interesting and makes the game more playable. An extreme example of this would be something like "playing to lose as quickly as possible" - clearly, that is going to make the game less fun. If someone enjoys that way of playing, they probably still shouldn't play the game that way, because no-one else will have any fun.

So, the question then is: does this particular way of playing make the game interesting and fun to play? For me, the answer is a very strong no. Alliances which will never break under any circumstances are contrary to everything I enjoy about the game, because they leave no opportunities for interesting play after they form. I'm not saying that makes them "wrong", but I wouldn't play a game where I expected them to happen; and I think people probably generally have less fun in such games.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#133 Post by qrzy » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am

teccles wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:56 am
Peregrine Falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:21 pm
To me, the fact that different people value and prioritise different things in different ways is what makes this game so interesting and endlessly playable. It is the diversity in our player base that allows for variety in gameplay. Watching people in this thread try to beat out that diversity makes me sad. Those who insist there can only be one goal makes this game much less compelling or insightful for everyone. I think solo purists miss the point by arguing otherwise.
I agree with this, and your whole post, to a large extent. Many different ways of valuing and prioritising things make the game interesting; for example being solo-driven, wanting to reach a draw, playing to a particular scoring system, seeking revenge when wronged, and doing any of those some extent while having lots of fun. So I'm not arguing at all that there can only be one goal or hierarchy of goals (and I actually think there's very little of that argument in this entire thread).

But not *every* goal is interesting and makes the game more playable. An extreme example of this would be something like "playing to lose as quickly as possible" - clearly, that is going to make the game less fun. If someone enjoys that way of playing, they probably still shouldn't play the game that way, because no-one else will have any fun.

So, the question then is: does this particular way of playing make the game interesting and fun to play? For me, the answer is a very strong no. Alliances which will never break under any circumstances are contrary to everything I enjoy about the game, because they leave no opportunities for interesting play after they form. I'm not saying that makes them "wrong", but I wouldn't play a game where I expected them to happen; and I think people probably generally have less fun in such games.

We dont know what makes a game more playable, while we dont try it. And come on, you really want to play on exactly the same situation every time? Please, let us to play as we want! This is not only your playground.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#134 Post by Aristocrat » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:28 am

qrzy wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am
teccles wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:56 am
Peregrine Falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:21 pm
To me, the fact that different people value and prioritise different things in different ways is what makes this game so interesting and endlessly playable. It is the diversity in our player base that allows for variety in gameplay. Watching people in this thread try to beat out that diversity makes me sad. Those who insist there can only be one goal makes this game much less compelling or insightful for everyone. I think solo purists miss the point by arguing otherwise.
I agree with this, and your whole post, to a large extent. Many different ways of valuing and prioritising things make the game interesting; for example being solo-driven, wanting to reach a draw, playing to a particular scoring system, seeking revenge when wronged, and doing any of those some extent while having lots of fun. So I'm not arguing at all that there can only be one goal or hierarchy of goals (and I actually think there's very little of that argument in this entire thread).

But not *every* goal is interesting and makes the game more playable. An extreme example of this would be something like "playing to lose as quickly as possible" - clearly, that is going to make the game less fun. If someone enjoys that way of playing, they probably still shouldn't play the game that way, because no-one else will have any fun.

So, the question then is: does this particular way of playing make the game interesting and fun to play? For me, the answer is a very strong no. Alliances which will never break under any circumstances are contrary to everything I enjoy about the game, because they leave no opportunities for interesting play after they form. I'm not saying that makes them "wrong", but I wouldn't play a game where I expected them to happen; and I think people probably generally have less fun in such games.

We dont know what makes a game more playable, while we dont try it. And come on, you really want to play on exactly the same situation every time? Please, let us to play as we want! This is not only your playground.
Strongly disagree. We know that certain things make the game less fun and playable - as teccles aptly put, trying to lose, or in other situations (which anyone on this site has encountered), simply entering holds to avoid the RR penalty instead of even doing support holds: these situations simply aren't fun. I would put unbreakable three-way alliances up there. I am in one game right now that is ending in 1903 after a Sealion because the France-Germany-Russia refuses to stab, and Austria/Italy/Turkey correctly recognized the three-way, ceased their wars, and formed a southern stalemate line to counter it. It isn't fun.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#135 Post by Sploack » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:12 am

qrzy wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am
teccles wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:56 am
Peregrine Falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:21 pm
To me, the fact that different people value and prioritise different things in different ways is what makes this game so interesting and endlessly playable. It is the diversity in our player base that allows for variety in gameplay. Watching people in this thread try to beat out that diversity makes me sad. Those who insist there can only be one goal makes this game much less compelling or insightful for everyone. I think solo purists miss the point by arguing otherwise.
I agree with this, and your whole post, to a large extent. Many different ways of valuing and prioritising things make the game interesting; for example being solo-driven, wanting to reach a draw, playing to a particular scoring system, seeking revenge when wronged, and doing any of those some extent while having lots of fun. So I'm not arguing at all that there can only be one goal or hierarchy of goals (and I actually think there's very little of that argument in this entire thread).

But not *every* goal is interesting and makes the game more playable. An extreme example of this would be something like "playing to lose as quickly as possible" - clearly, that is going to make the game less fun. If someone enjoys that way of playing, they probably still shouldn't play the game that way, because no-one else will have any fun.

So, the question then is: does this particular way of playing make the game interesting and fun to play? For me, the answer is a very strong no. Alliances which will never break under any circumstances are contrary to everything I enjoy about the game, because they leave no opportunities for interesting play after they form. I'm not saying that makes them "wrong", but I wouldn't play a game where I expected them to happen; and I think people probably generally have less fun in such games.

We dont know what makes a game more playable, while we dont try it. And come on, you really want to play on exactly the same situation every time? Please, let us to play as we want! This is not only your playground.
This is not only your playground as well. The other players who have played with you didn't choose to play with two players with a "never stab, 2-way draw mentality". They assumed to be playing with an alliance that, like any other, would break apart when one of the two approached the solo (or even before). I can guarantee you, if they would have known you had a differrent goal in mind at the start of the game, they wouldn't have joined a long boring game in which any diplomacy doesn't matter at all and you can only be slowly destroyed by the unbreakable 2-player alliance. If you want to play with a different goal in mind, no one is stopping you from creating private games and advertising them on the forum, "no stabbing, 2 or 3 player alliance from the beginning until the end themed".
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#136 Post by PigInZen » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:46 pm

I love the fact that 60+ years after the commercial release of this game that we're still having this debate. In fact, I feel like I'm reading dueling articles in a 1970's Dip zine.

Diplomacy is, at its core, based on tactics, with stalemate lines littered across the landscape. While I seriously enjoy Diplomacy tactics, however, I also recognize that there is another component to the game: the strategic component.

I want my potential allies to believe that I am competent at tactics while also being aligned with their strategy. Sure, we can reduce the point of the game to the objective of "winning," i.e., obtaining 18 centers. If everyone else in the game is following that objective (don't kid yourself, people aren't rational), then what we have are multiple sets of the prisoner's dilemma occurring, meaning that risk taking had better be worth it. I've seen my share of stabs that resulted in a worse tactical position than prior to the stab. I enjoy those, they're education on many levels.

Strategy can mean multiple things, however, in Diplomacy. I might value an ally's play so much and believe that they should be rewarded for their competence and reliability. That's rational. I might also personally enjoy their press. That's rational, too. In addition I might also be seeking to cement a reputation for reliability and faithfulness, much as a poker player weighing the downside of being busted attempting to bluff would factor. The only difference with the analogy to bluffing in poker being that other poker players don't trust you regardless, but in Diplomacy trust is essential, especially in the early and mid games.

Online, however, there is another factor: tournament play.

Essentially all these web Dip sites with player ranking metrics are tournament play. Some people care about the overall metric and some don't. I do not, and it shows LOL but I digress. But if you DID care about the overall metric then you would care that the OP joined the game late and would take every step possible to deny them a part of the draw. Replacement players have no "skin" in the game and thus no downside from losing.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#137 Post by Octavious » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:48 pm

PigInZen wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:46 pm
The only difference with the analogy to bluffing in poker being that other poker players don't trust you regardless, but in Diplomacy trust is essential, especially in the early and mid games.
I don't think that difference exists except in the sense that poker players tend to be a lot more skilled at their game than diplomacy players, purely because of dedication and weight of numbers. There is indeed trust in your average poker game. You trust the other players to be competent, to not giggle with delight if they're dealt a pair of aces, to be aware that a flush beats a straight etc etc. In the same way trust in Diplomacy is primarily trust in your fellow players to act in their self interests, and to know what their self interests are. On the foundations of mutual self interest mighty alliances are built.

But trust of the "he seems a nice chap and he's promised to watch my back. I don't need to worry about him stabbing me" kind is really only for very new and the ace gigglers of this world. The best thing you can do to help these beginners to develop is to stab them.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#138 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:10 pm

Poker players tend to be more skilled because there is money involved. Sometimes VERY LARGE amounts of money. There are no professional Dippers.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#139 Post by Octavious » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:24 pm

David E. Cohen wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:10 pm
Poker players tend to be more skilled because there is money involved. Sometimes VERY LARGE amounts of money. There are no professional Dippers.
It certainly helps. But even your typical £5 pub night poker player has probably dedicated far more effort to mastering poker than his equivalent diplomacy player. I like to think of myself as pretty good, but aside from stuff I've picked up during games the amount of time I've dedicated to improving my play over the last decade could probably fit into an afternoon. And a good chunk of that was reading the rulebook until I got bored :razz:

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#140 Post by qrzy » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:57 am

Sploack wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:12 am
qrzy wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am
teccles wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:56 am


I agree with this, and your whole post, to a large extent. Many different ways of valuing and prioritising things make the game interesting; for example being solo-driven, wanting to reach a draw, playing to a particular scoring system, seeking revenge when wronged, and doing any of those some extent while having lots of fun. So I'm not arguing at all that there can only be one goal or hierarchy of goals (and I actually think there's very little of that argument in this entire thread).

But not *every* goal is interesting and makes the game more playable. An extreme example of this would be something like "playing to lose as quickly as possible" - clearly, that is going to make the game less fun. If someone enjoys that way of playing, they probably still shouldn't play the game that way, because no-one else will have any fun.

So, the question then is: does this particular way of playing make the game interesting and fun to play? For me, the answer is a very strong no. Alliances which will never break under any circumstances are contrary to everything I enjoy about the game, because they leave no opportunities for interesting play after they form. I'm not saying that makes them "wrong", but I wouldn't play a game where I expected them to happen; and I think people probably generally have less fun in such games.

We dont know what makes a game more playable, while we dont try it. And come on, you really want to play on exactly the same situation every time? Please, let us to play as we want! This is not only your playground.
This is not only your playground as well. The other players who have played with you didn't choose to play with two players with a "never stab, 2-way draw mentality". They assumed to be playing with an alliance that, like any other, would break apart when one of the two approached the solo (or even before). I can guarantee you, if they would have known you had a differrent goal in mind at the start of the game, they wouldn't have joined a long boring game in which any diplomacy doesn't matter at all and you can only be slowly destroyed by the unbreakable 2-player alliance. If you want to play with a different goal in mind, no one is stopping you from creating private games and advertising them on the forum, "no stabbing, 2 or 3 player alliance from the beginning until the end themed".
The players have the right to form a 3 way alliance against the two way alliance, then after they beat them, can stab each other freely if they want.

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