Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

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Hindu_Warrior
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Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#1 Post by Hindu_Warrior » Mon Jan 30, 2023 2:45 pm

Hello ,
I am playing this game from 2016 mostly at playdiplomacy.com . In last 5 years I have seen Play activity and Forum discussion to come down drastically on that site . Has the same kind of downturn in activity seen on this site also ?

Is this a across the board change or only certain site specific downturn ?
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#2 Post by Jaguar » Mon Jan 30, 2023 3:05 pm

In my experience, yes. I returned to this site after a nearly ~ 10 years absence and it was much less active than before.

Whether it's a site-specific thing with Backstabbr etc. rising in popularity, or whether it's a demographic change in older players not being replaced, I'm not sure.

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#3 Post by Chaqa » Mon Jan 30, 2023 4:31 pm

From what I remember, the pandemic era was the most traffic and users the site had ever seen, but I suspect two primary reasons:
1. People returning to the hobby online in lieu of in-person activities.
2. A large influx of people competing against bots.

Anecdotally, I agree it seems the game is losing popularity, but perhaps it's only live games that have died off en masse.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#4 Post by VillageIdiot » Tue Jan 31, 2023 6:46 am

There's still plenty of activity out there but some of the online players have migrated over to Discord based communities or the relatively new virtual FTF scene plus there's always a dip in public online games whenever there's tournaments going on and right now there's three running simultaneously across different sites and servers (not to mention a tonne of league activity).

Diplomacy in general has never been hotter thanks to the spike during the pandemic, all the Diplomacy themed social media channels and newsletters popping up, community and format cross promotion, and many players dipping their toes in the different versions of Diplomacy (online, ftf, vftf). I'm finding fewer players just sticking to one site like they used to, those that are really into it tend to do the rounds.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#5 Post by PinguPingu » Tue Jan 31, 2023 4:30 pm

i've only got into it over the past year or so but am inclined to agree with VI. Though blitz games have been rather difficult to organise
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#6 Post by Bonatogether » Wed Feb 01, 2023 4:45 am

The pandemic changed the nature of the hobby to become substantially more discord-oriented
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#7 Post by Chaqa » Wed Feb 01, 2023 12:58 pm

When you guys do F2F or discord games, do you have someone manually adjudicate? Are strict rules on how to write orders required?

Because I remember back when I played F2F people would get pissy if you wrote like the wrong capitalization.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#8 Post by VillageIdiot » Wed Feb 01, 2023 5:56 pm

Discord communities just use Discord for organizing and for community discussions, but the games themselves all take place on the existing sites. Backstabbr is most popular for them but many have also taken place on WebDip, PlayDip, etc.

I believe all vFTF takes place exclusively on Backstabbr and F2F is still as it always has been with manual written orders although these days they do often run a live Backstabbr sandbox for player's to be able to use as reference so they no longer have to memorize board states prior to negotiations.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#9 Post by Yonni » Wed Feb 01, 2023 6:15 pm

"there's three running simultaneously across different sites and servers"

I think this really hurt the ODC. Would be nice if things got more centralized and less fractured for the online community.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#10 Post by Bonatogether » Wed Feb 01, 2023 8:09 pm

The variant discord servers are hand-adjudicated on discord, but some of the larger games there are transitioning to using bot adjudicators.

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#11 Post by wulfheart » Wed Feb 01, 2023 11:28 pm

@Yonni What do you think if the existing sites would be technically able to interoperate? So that everybody can play with the user interface they prefer. Just thinking loud ofc.

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#12 Post by Yonni » Thu Feb 02, 2023 12:21 am

That would be amazing but I'd imagine a feat of engineering far beyond anything the community is capable (plus one site is, to some extent, pay-to-play).

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#13 Post by JECE » Thu Feb 02, 2023 3:14 am

Hmm, so the silence on the Forum of the last few years is because discussions have moved behind the shroud of Discord?
See my full Profile:
http://www.webdiplomacy.net/profile.php?userID=17421

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#14 Post by Hindu_Warrior » Thu Feb 02, 2023 8:11 am

Yes that's what I have also concluded ....

Sadly does it mean No future for webdiplomacy and Playdiplomacy ?

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#15 Post by wulfheart » Fri Feb 03, 2023 7:54 am

Yonni wrote:
Thu Feb 02, 2023 12:21 am
That would be amazing but I'd imagine a feat of engineering far beyond anything the community is capable (plus one site is, to some extent, pay-to-play).
I have actually a draft of a spec lying around. In my opinion this isn't too hard.

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#16 Post by kestasjk » Sat Feb 04, 2023 3:17 am

wulfheart wrote:
Wed Feb 01, 2023 11:28 pm
@Yonni What do you think if the existing sites would be technically able to interoperate? So that everybody can play with the user interface they prefer. Just thinking loud ofc.
With the API allowing almost all operations except user creation/updates, game creation, game joining, and moderator functions it wouldn't be too hard (especially for webDip based sites where the API and capabilities are fairly symmetrical, it'd be trickier for others where they might be subtle differences)

But it'd take a concerted effort across multiple sites, that'd be the biggest challenge rather than the technical challenge.

This is the usage over the last 5 years:
Untitled.png
Definitely down by a third or so since 5 years ago I'd say. Probably several contributing reasons, for the main site and the forums.
I think the online hobby (and hobby in general) as a whole is as active as ever though, though it is hard to gauge.. In terms of all the different sites available, the translations, the upcoming new board, the reddit and Discords etc; I think the player pool is as large as ever, but webdip's share is lower.

Based on the reddit I'd guess Backstabbr is the main competition.. but really if the player pool is healthy and there's competition and new developments for people to choose from between the sites that's the main thing, and things will just shift around to wherever is best.
I'd rather see Backstabbr thrive than playDip frankly, which used to be the main competition but was based off plagiarized webDip code which was pretty hurtful at the time.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#17 Post by Yonni » Sun Feb 05, 2023 2:08 pm

Do you have stats for active press games over time? It feels to me like WebDip has a disproportionate increase in gunboat (and bot, of course) games over the years. The decrease in full press games may be even more pronounced than the drop in site activity.
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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#18 Post by Chaqa » Sun Feb 05, 2023 10:05 pm

I think webDip's adjudicator is a strength and if we opened it up to an API we could become the de facto backend even if others used their frontend.

Idk how the $$$ would work though

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#19 Post by wulfheart » Mon Feb 06, 2023 6:50 pm

Chaqa wrote:
Sun Feb 05, 2023 10:05 pm
I think webDip's adjudicator is a strength and if we opened it up to an API we could become the de facto backend even if others used their frontend.

Idk how the $$$ would work though
I don’t think that it would be so trivial to open it up for API access. The webdip adjudicator alone would be lovely and I even tried to extract it but in my opinion it is tightly coupled to the database and so not so easy to extract unfortunately.

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Re: Has Diplomacy activity come down in last 5 years ?

#20 Post by VillageIdiot » Sun Feb 12, 2023 5:30 pm

Speaking for myself, the main reasons WebDip doesn’t have the draw at the moment as it once was is due to a few things.

- The appeal of discord live discussions elsewhere
- Other communities are more tightly integrated with some of the Diplomacy media outlets this have better hype
- Not as much organized games going on at WebDip
- WebDip doesn’t highlight its ranking lists like it used to with the Ghostrating lists which used to help drive some competitive spirit. Hall of Fame isn’t categorized enough and the stats on the profile isn’t giving us access to where others fall on the list which was often a good motivator.
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