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In principle, it's a better system than PPSC because it encourages winning at all costs. I, however, have noticed some of its shortfallings, and they mainly have to do with the question of how minor powers ought to play. If you have no chance of actually winning the thing, why play rationally? It's so much more fun to go completely berserk in hopes of messing up the ultimate outcome.
I have noticed that when I am badly stabbed early in a game and have everything come crashing down, I tend to simply go on a rampage until I'm eliminated. I guess it keeps my interest in the game - it's better than going CD, I suppose. I would think I would have the same attitude in a WTA even when I'm just so far behind I have no chance of winning. That's why I prefer PPSC - it keeps me from going insane!
I disagree cteno about having nothing to play for... in WTA games, the #1 priority is actually not to win... its to NOT lose. (at least in game-theory terms). when you become small - your objective becomes even more specifically to create a stalemate line or a draw.
this is how I see it: A diplomacy game has 3 stages... early game. mid-game. and late-game or end-game.
the early game in both PPSC and WTA are pretty much the same... usually by 1903, 2 players are either eliminated or pretty much done - if this happens to you, you can only blame your own diplomacy. this early game is where truly diplomacy is so key... you have to make sure you are not one of the two that go out first...
then comes the mid-game... this phase usually lasts for 3-4 years and 1-2 players also become eliminated or reduced to minimal dots... and this where the difference between WTA and PPSC is starkest...
in a ppsc game - the players will try to form (or keep) an on-going alliance that will last them through the end game... this is where the imbalance comes in... if you dont have such an alliance, it becomes tough to survive... in fact, if you get reduced to 2-3 dots, there is even more incentive for the other players to gobble you up for your 'points' instead of keeping you alive so that a 'winner' or 'solo' does not emerge.
in WTA games by contrast - players start to think in terms of getting themselves into position to be able to solo or to make sure one of the other 'big' players does not... in essence, players will start gravitating towards the main stalemate lines of the board
by the time one player hits 13-14, in a WTA game, if you have survived that long, even with one dot, the other 20 dots will try to team up to prevent the lead player from getting to 18... or at least they should... whereas in a ppsc game, who cares if someone is at 13/14... if you are 9-10 go for the last few 3-4 dots so you get maximum points...
anyways - my point is that ppsc is not a panacea for surviving while small... in fact you have a higher chance of surviving in a wta game if you are small...
and at the end of the day - if you are a 'bad' player - you're going to lose under either system...
truly - i think the fear of WTA is very misplaced on this site... i dont think enough of the new players even understand the main conception behind the game.
>>>Babak: "in WTA games, the #1 priority is actually not to win... its to NOT lose."
Says The Great Babak, the recognized Last Arbiter of all things ppsc and wta. How rich.
Babak, first you complained that I didn't play ppsc games right be offering gamelong alliances. Then you claimed that all ppsc games are a crappy variants not worth spitting on, because there people didn't really go for the win. But noooowww, you claim that the real goal of wta isn't to win, but to avoid losing?!? I honestly think you don't really have a clue what you really think, but you just like to argue and complain when people don't play the way that makes you happy in any given game at that moment.
As further evidence, our current game, where you claim that anyone and everyone knows that suiciding out against someone who stabs me is very poor form and ruins Diplomacy. I'm still laughing my ass off about that one. Do you really think that the entire Dip community agrees with you on that? Or on anything at all? Or does the fact that others disagree with you just not matter, because you're so damn certain that you have some special insights on the truth and realities of Dip, and the "right" way to play the game?
WTA means that all the players have an incentive to not let anyone else win. Because of this, even someone who is reduced to minimal centers is key, and there is always a chance to rebuild. No one wants to give the biggest power an edge, so alliances always shift. Sometimes being weak early serves a good purpose.
My experience on this site is that little guys give up too easily in WTA. Someone gets big, a few say well that's that we've all lost. The little guys should instead band together and threaten to destroy the big guy unless he agrees to a draw. If he does they get part of a draw, if he doesn't, they carry out their threat, then the game goes on and they will have opportunities.
@ caviare - part of that is a 'culture' that gets cultivated over time... giving up being 'bad' and playing a game out being 'good' are functions of 'social norms' that come with 'organizational culture'. if you notice in the higher level games (higher points is the usual arbiter but not perfect), there is FAR less of that type of attitude.
@ iMurk - and getting zero points (since points are supposed to be the goal) means banding together to NOT allow a solo (when you are small)
@ DipperDon - I am not the 'decider'... but I do have a very strong opinion that i've tried to defend on this forum... that WTA is a 'superior' and 'right' way to play the game of Diplomacy as compared to 'ppsc' (the BEST way is FTF)... I stand by that claim. I have also conceded (on many occasions) that I am unlikely to change the mindset of this entire site nor will I succeed in getting Kestas to change his code and get rid of PPSC. BUT I do think by continuing to reiterate what I feel is "right" I will help make the players here better Dip players and this a 'better' Dip community. you seem to have some personal issues with me, but I'll do my best to ignore your emotive utterances and address your substantive ones...
1) my quote ("in WTA games, the #1 priority is actually not to win... its to NOT lose.") - which you referenced incompletely since it also included "(at least in game-theory terms)" was particularly related to the scenario that cteno outlined in the original comment regarding 'minor' powers.
Though I do think in rational and logical terms, 'not losing' includes 'winning' but is broad enough to include 'draws'. another words my statement is true and completely consistent... one's goal in a WTA (even in this point system) is to 'not lose' first and foremost, and if possible 'win' or solo... so yes, a Draw is a GOOD outcome whereas a solo is a rare but GREAT outcome.
2) your first charge: "first you complained that I didn't play ppsc games right be offering gamelong alliances"
- actually if you were being intellectually honest you'd say that I said you were not playing "Diplomacy" 'right' irrelevant of ppsc... which is to say, I do think anyone who plays this game and expects (or even genuinely offers) game-long alliances, has a warped understanding of what the game is supposed to be.
BUT - after our semi-public rift on that point... I did, on this forum, state that it was DUE to the PPSC 'variant' that such a mindset was taking hold... and that the ppsc model created a mutated reward structure whereby doing so (expecting and offering game-long-alliances) was normal and rational. So our disagreement in that game was the catalyst that made me realize and recognize the 'evil' that the ppsc model is inflicting on this great game and great hobby. in fact, since that game, I have not played a single ppsc game and have joined or created wta games only. so I do owe you a thanks for enlightening me through your ill-advised game-play.
3) your second charge: "Then you claimed that all ppsc games are a crappy variants not worth spitting on, because there people didn't really go for the win"
- exactly right on my view on ppsc (maybe my language would be stronger) - but only partially right on the reasoning. My main contention continues to be that its because people dont go for the 'draw' instead of the 'survive'. the reason WTA is superior is because inherent in its reward structure is its promotion of the 'draw' as FAR superior to the 'survive' (b/c a 'survive' = 'elimination' in wta)
4) DD's third charge: "But noooowww, you claim that the real goal of wta isn't to win, but to avoid losing?!?"
- I'm sorry to have confused you - I do confess that for some people logic is a bit more difficult to follow. But in point (1) above I laid out in more excruciating detail my reasoning. hopefully you were able to follow it. Also note that I never said the "real goal" - I said the "#1 priority" (In this case, semantics matter quite a bit)... so once more, a bit of intellectual honesty would have made you realized that your statement here was baseless.
5) more from DD: "I honestly think you don't really have a clue what you really think,... argue and complain when people don't play the way that makes you happy... "
- besides the rhetorical flourish of this sentence, which I give full credit to, there is little substance here. I guess I should point out that I do indeed have a 'clue', and though I enjoy 'arguing' (or debating/discussing) its not simply to 'complain' its to 'improve' what I see as some problems in the game culture on this site.
6) and your closing argument: "... you claim that anyone and everyone knows that suiciding out against someone who stabs me is very poor form and ruins Diplomacy. I'm still laughing my ass off about that one. Do you really think that the entire Dip community agrees with you on that?"
- I'm particularly tickled that i've provided you with such entertainment that even your kiester is laughing... but indeed... I do think that 'suiciding out' is indeed 'poor form' and being a 'bad sport'... instead of playing the game out which is 'good form' you simply held with 4 units and moved 2 (mind you - I said this to you despite the fact that your holds greatly helped me)...
first of all, anyone worth their salt will tell you that having 6 units with R in 1904 is nothing to be churlish about when F leads with 8, E has 7, T has 7, and I has 5 (not to mention no clear alliances). what you SHOULD do is to play it out... try to make new alliances, and defend your other borders... play like a man instead of like a temper-tantrum-ridden 5 year old who doesn't get his favorite flavor of ice-cream.
On this last point - Yes, there are things called 'social norms'. For example, a social norm in the Dip community is that when you are losing, you should not just drop out of the game... that is 'bad form' and it makes the game less enjoyable for the 6 others you committed to play with... now I fully understand that on this rather new community with so many new players, this is not yet a 'standard' and its not yet a normalized 'social norm'... but it is an ideal to be tried for... it is a goal to be achieved... it is something that is 'right'.
For a 40-something 17-year-veteran of the game (as you claimed to me previously) you certainly are not acting nor behaving the part.
As I said in my in-game message to you - it is your choice to hold 4 units and move 2... it is your choice to give up in A1904 w/ 6 dots in a WTA game... it is also your choice to stomp your feet and pout - but dont then be offended that someone calls you out for being childish, churlish, and quite annoying.
now my turn to complain about you... after our first dust-up, I though you made it quite clear that you did not want to play with me and that you did not believe in WTA games. I then went on to create a WTA game a few weeks back and you promptly joined it... fine. but then I created a 2nd game and very specifically asked that 'people i'm playing in other games with' do not join... (which was directed at YOU)... yet again, you promptly joined THAT WTA game as well.
so what gives? do you enjoy stalking me now? does it pleasure you to join games I start to then 'suicide' me just to prove a point and to ruin my experience on this site? Can you please do me a favor and steer clear of my games in the future since I do NOT enjoy playing with you and I do not consider you a serious player nor even a considerate human being. We can continue our disagreements and conversations here on the forum and I will engage you as respectfully as I know how... but I ask that you stay out of my games... can you promise me that?
Babak, you have your memory poles reversed, I think. I never said I didn't want to play in any more games with you. That was you who said it to me. I said that when we met again I would probably try to ally with you, as I do with anyone I've had a conflict with, because I don't like to create permanent enemies. And that is what happened. I made an honest and sincere effort to ally with you, but you stabbed me, and now you tell me you want me to avoid your games.
You talk of social norms, and how they take precedent over what you individually think. Well, in my other thread, I'm hearing from others who say I should not limit my games by avoiding people who tell me to stay away from games they are in. So, by your logic, I should ignore your request, and play in any game of the pot size and game type I'm looking for. Which is what I do look at, Babak. Don't flatter yourself to think I'm trying to find games you're in. You just got enough points and courage to invest in a higher pot game for once, and when you do that there's a pretty good chance I'll be in the game also. See you around.
Also, Babak, you again bring your penchant for lying and manipulating into the forum. Not only do you lie about me saying I didn't want to play with you again (I've never told anyone that), you lie about me saying I don't like or play wta games. Complete fabrication. When you attack ppsc and game-long alliances, I defended the way I play the game, and that's all. I never said that wta shouldn't be played, or that I wouldn't.
I'm really starting to think you're just a pathological liar. Nobody's memory is that bad.
Haha Centurian, since when are people satisfied with that?
cteno4, even as a minor power you might find yourself in a powerful position if you're needed to prevent someone else from winning. I've seen one center powers come back to win and even more come to a draw, and Edi has taken quite a few seemingly hopeless CD's to an impressive draw. It's fun to kamikaze, but it's much more satisfying to make a comeback or organize a grand alliance.
I wouldn't say the objective in WTA is to not lose... I would say that you can't win if you lose... and you can't win if someone else wins... therefore, you don't want to lose or let anyone else win, because then you can't win!
1. Win. 2. Don't let anyone else win.
I've outlined my theory regarding soft draws... there's always a sucker. There's always someone who is losing out by accepting the draw if the balance of power is asymmetric. If there isn't and the board is somehow perfectly balanced, then why draw? Why not play? You wouldn't draw at the start of a game...
Hey all, I started a new game, but acciddentally included a pasword, not knowing it would thus be a private game (yes, I should have read better). Anyway, if you like to join, the bet is 143 points (making the total 1001 points), the pasword is 'tomcatje' and the link is