Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

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lawful neutral
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Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#1 Post by lawful neutral » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:37 pm

Hi!

I used to play on a website (R.I.P. diplomatie-online) where there was no draw button. Nor obvious DSS nor SOS: stats were about ranking and mean count of centers.

The obvious use of the draw button is to end the game when stalemates lines are already formed. During my first few gunboat games here, when people voted draw, I mistaken its meaning for: "Alright. We admit you won. Please spare us the humiliation of finishing us off. Let's just end the game at this point now". I realized afterward my mistake and the implications of DSS. But have I really captured all the conventionnal uses of the draw button in gunboat?

Now I understand it is consider fair play to use the draw button for meaning:
- "Look here! This one may solo win. Please stop every thing and help me form the stalemate lines to force them split the pot".
- "I come help the stalemate line.Don't mind me. Come on, of course I won't steal your centers given the occasion".
- "I am about to be defeated. Let's pretend my agressor is about to solo. Some fool may come save me".
- "There are only neutral and allies left around me. I fear they would gang up against me if I backstab any".

Is there more communication through the draw button that I am still missing? For instance, could the draw button be used to generally express that the move I just made was meant to be defensive, not offensive?

Could there be any conventionnal meaning channeled through pressing the "cancel" button in some given situation? Like "stop attacking or I will help the chip leader to solo and/or I'll sacrifice myself making sure you die with me"?

Am I missing something else?

Many thanks if you could enlight me.
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nesdunk14
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#2 Post by nesdunk14 » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:27 am

Using the votes to communicate in gunboat is against site rules.
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RoganJosh
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#3 Post by RoganJosh » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:58 am

I think using the draw button to communicate is allowed by the site rules, but the pause and cancel buttons are out of boundary? I could be wrong.

You can play with hidden draw votes, if you want.

Claesar
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#4 Post by Claesar » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:29 am

Nesdunk is correct.

The only allowed use of the draw button is to signal that you wish the game to be drawn when everyone else votes that too.

teccles
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#5 Post by teccles » Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:14 am

I couldn't find that in the site rules - please could you point me to it? There is a similar rule about Pause and Cancel buttons, though.

In practice, I think that rule on draw votes is unenforceable and pretty odd - if someone is allowed to communicate "I want this game to draw", it's weird that they can only communicate that if it's true. If this is the rule, I'd suggest making Hidden Draw Vote mode compulsory for gunboat.

You do occasionally see what looks like tactical use of the Cancel and Pause buttons, but I've never seen it affect a game (whereas draw votes do).
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Claesar
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#6 Post by Claesar » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:58 pm

You are correct; there's no specific rule (yet) against using the Draw button in weird ways. Perhaps we weren't creative enough. Still, the general rule applies: Do not break game messaging/press rules.
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RoganJosh
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#7 Post by RoganJosh » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:09 pm

So many questions.

Conflicting messages here. You're telling us there is no rule against it, but we shouldn't do it because it's not allowed?

It's also a rule that's impossible to enforce. Since voting for draw cannot be against site rules, the only thing that could be against site rules is the intent. I don't think you, as a moderator, wanna run around and make judgement calls on players intent.

There is the option to hide draw votes. Why is there even an option to play with public draw votes, if voting draw publicly is against the site rules?
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teccles
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#8 Post by teccles » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:29 pm

I think the general rule ('Do not break game messaging/press rules.') is very hard to interpret here, because voting draw always communicates quite a bit of information. My own interpretation would have been that this rule does not cover the draw vote at all, as it's a game action not a 'message'. I'm pretty surprised by an interpretation that would make it illegal to vote draw when you want a draw rather than a solo, but want to do some whittling first.

It's worth noting that this isn't some theoretical edge case. If this is the rule, it's routinely broken in most non-HDV gunboat games, and I expect the majority of players do not understand it.
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teccles
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#9 Post by teccles » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:39 pm

To answer the OP, the two main meanings I've used/seen for draw votes when not actually wanting an immediate draw are:
1) I've given up on a solo, let's whittle a bit then draw.
2) This fight is bad for both of us, and I'm ready to stop.

Of course, if the rules turn out to make such signals illegal, I will stop using them (and probably stop playing non-HDV games, since I neither want to break the rules nor have a disadvantage when others inevitably do).
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jasnah
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#10 Post by jasnah » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:58 pm

Extremely stupid. 'Can't use draw vote unless you genuinely want to draw' is declaring a thought crime that can never be proved or disproved. I vote draw all the time in HDV or PDV, I vote draw whenever I like, whether the position is drawn or not, because I want to draw. Draw votes exist to be used.
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MerryBBuck
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#11 Post by MerryBBuck » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:46 pm

I agree that the draw vote is often used as a signal. OP and @teccles interpretations match mine, so there is consensus on how to interpret that signal in certain situations. Plus, new players searching the Forum for "what does a draw vote mean in gunboat" will find this thread, making those interpretations canonical.
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lawful neutral
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#12 Post by lawful neutral » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:16 pm

Thank you all for your many answers. I agree with the people promoting permissive uses of the draw vote any time the draw votes are not hidden.

There is a lot of communication going on in gunboat:
- Ordering impossible convoy moves to point out a given territory.
- Poking a friend's unit that I want moved aside.
- Supporting hold or supporting move an opponent unit that obviously doesn't need me to.
- Well, also supporting hold or supporting move an opponent unit that obviously does need me to.
- Not attacking an empty center or leaving one of my centers empty, in order to establish trust with a neighbor.
- Any other movements that are obviously tactically suboptimal for me but are obviously more avantageous to the neighbor I want to become friend with.
- ...

Many of those actions are used to communicate a implicit subtex very distant from the immediate meaning of the material action carried on explicitly. They carry hope that the opponent will infer very uncertain hypothesis about what this action meant. I do not see why it would be less legitimate to want my opponent to infer some implicit meaning about why in a given context where there is no de facto draw, I choose nevertheless to express the wish that the game would draw.

As there is the possibility to hide draw votes, games choosing not to hide the draw votes is a choice to allow on purpose to communicate with those buttons. I.e. visible draw votes are not meant only to enact a situation already drawn, but are meant to also communicate a will to draw BEFORE the game being already drawn de facto.

To return to my original question, I find very interesting this interpretation of @teccles : "This fight is bad for both of us, and I'm ready to stop." This is a non-threatenning use of draw vote for asking "peace", involving only two parties (whereas a true draw involves every one), that does not carry the usual connotation of urge, of distress, of agony, of begging from an inferior, downhill position. Thanks @teccles, now on I will try that too! And thanks to everyone for taking time answering my question.
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#13 Post by Wusti » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 pm

Claesar wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:58 pm
You are correct; there's no specific rule (yet) against using the Draw button in weird ways. Perhaps we weren't creative enough. Still, the general rule applies: Do not break game messaging/press rules.
That's about as ridiculous a thing as I've ever seen a mod post. Re-read what you just typed.

If people don't want it to be used as a tool - then they'll make HDV games.
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CSteinhardt
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#14 Post by CSteinhardt » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm

Wusti wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 pm
That's about as ridiculous a thing as I've ever seen a mod post. Re-read what you just typed.

If people don't want it to be used as a tool - then they'll make HDV games.
So, in your view it would be fine for me to use the draw button to communicate a full press message in morse code? ​Would it also be okay if I had an agreement with some high-volume players to use the draw button to help us recognize each other in anonymous games, so that we could then ally, with some sort of private handshake?

The reason that a draw button exists is because the site didn't instead implement a way of polling the individual players for a draw vote. If you're using the draw button as press, then you're adding a form of communication which is not intended to exist in gunboat.

For what it's worth, I can add my own standard interpretation of the draw button. I interpret anything which looks like a non-draw offer use of the draw button as an implied invitation for me to drop everything I'm doing and attack that power, even at the cost of my own position in that particular game. And, I have a strong tendency to accept that invitation in game I'm playing in, since I think the long-term benefit to driving cheaters out of the hobby is worth more than my result in any individual game.
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#15 Post by jasnah » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:04 pm

CSteinhardt wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm
Wusti wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 pm
That's about as ridiculous a thing as I've ever seen a mod post. Re-read what you just typed.

If people don't want it to be used as a tool - then they'll make HDV games.
So, in your view it would be fine for me to use the draw button to communicate a full press message in morse code? ​Would it also be okay if I had an agreement with some high-volume players to use the draw button to help us recognize each other in anonymous games, so that we could then ally, with some sort of private handshake?

The reason that a draw button exists is because the site didn't instead implement a way of polling the individual players for a draw vote. If you're using the draw button as press, then you're adding a form of communication which is not intended to exist in gunboat.

For what it's worth, I can add my own standard interpretation of the draw button. I interpret anything which looks like a non-draw offer use of the draw button as an implied invitation for me to drop everything I'm doing and attack that power, even at the cost of my own position in that particular game. And, I have a strong tendency to accept that invitation in game I'm playing in, since I think the long-term benefit to driving cheaters out of the hobby is worth more than my result in any individual game.
You are incorrectly identifying what is problematic about your example; it's not the use of the draw vote but the intentional and prior arrangement of several players outside of game to collaborate. It would be equally problematic were you to make this agreement with several others that a particular fake convoy pattern through enemy fleets signals you should work together, that doesn't mean convoying through enemy fleets should be banned. If you cared about making a coherent post instead of just writing lazy fallacies you assume people are too stupid to see, you would have thought of this.
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#16 Post by Wusti » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm

CSteinhardt wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm
Wusti wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 pm
That's about as ridiculous a thing as I've ever seen a mod post. Re-read what you just typed.

If people don't want it to be used as a tool - then they'll make HDV games.
So, in your view it would be fine for me to use the draw button to communicate a full press message in morse code? ​Would it also be okay if I had an agreement with some high-volume players to use the draw button to help us recognize each other in anonymous games, so that we could then ally, with some sort of private handshake?

The reason that a draw button exists is because the site didn't instead implement a way of polling the individual players for a draw vote. If you're using the draw button as press, then you're adding a form of communication which is not intended to exist in gunboat.

For what it's worth, I can add my own standard interpretation of the draw button. I interpret anything which looks like a non-draw offer use of the draw button as an implied invitation for me to drop everything I'm doing and attack that power, even at the cost of my own position in that particular game. And, I have a strong tendency to accept that invitation in game I'm playing in, since I think the long-term benefit to driving cheaters out of the hobby is worth more than my result in any individual game.
I'll say it again - since its an actual feature on this site:

If you don't want intentional, non-intentional, assumed intentional, oh i just fucked up intentional, or any other kind of publicly visible use of the Draw or Cancel buttons - then rather than bitch and whine about it - try just not playing games where this is possible.

Alternatively you can rage about it on forums, and throw games about it as well if that's what floats your boat.

Personally, I've never used it in this fashion, but if you go into a game where rules allow it (see Claesar's post above to which I referred), then just deal with it - because you went in eyes wide open.

Using it as morse code is pretty funny though eh? That's some top grade desperado shit right there, and falls into metagaming rather than "alleged mis-use" doesn't it?
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#17 Post by Wintogreen » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:24 pm

Yeah, if you're gonna criticize the argument don't tear down a straw man. I personally don't see what's wrong with using the draw with certain subtext. Firstly, in gunboat its so difficult to discern the context and meaning that most of the time it probably won't even matter. Secondly there is a way to make draw votes hidden! So if this strategy of kind of communicating some intent maybe becomes game breaking, you can just turn it off. Frankly, in gunboat, every action I take has subtext.
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teccles
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#18 Post by teccles » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:04 pm

One fun issue with "any kind of communication is not OK" is that it makes voting draw a very powerful communication tool. If it's illegal to vote draw for any other reason than wanting a draw now, then voting draw tells people your intentions in a way that's guaranteed to be truthful.
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CSteinhardt
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#19 Post by CSteinhardt » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:15 pm

jasnah wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:04 pm
You are incorrectly identifying what is problematic about your example; it's not the use of the draw vote but the intentional and prior arrangement of several players outside of game to collaborate. It would be equally problematic were you to make this agreement with several others that a particular fake convoy pattern through enemy fleets signals you should work together, that doesn't mean convoying through enemy fleets should be banned. If you cared about making a coherent post instead of just writing lazy fallacies you assume people are too stupid to see, you would have thought of this.
OK. So, what you're saying is that the real problem would be that this group of people would have a common prior understanding and be able to communicate using draw votes in future games. Sounds reasonable.

So, if, for example, somebody decided to start a forum discussion which would encourage regular gunboat players on this website to come to agreements about what a draw vote should "mean", in your view that would be an attempt to cheat, correct? How would you recommend punishing participants in such a discussion?
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RoganJosh
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Re: Communicating with draw & cancel button in gunboat

#20 Post by RoganJosh » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:19 pm

There's a quite clear distinction between a public discussion that anyone can partake in, and a private agreement between a few players. But keep building straw mans, if that makes you happy. Or you could just go start a few gunboat games with hidden draw votes.
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