Dealing with the Metagame

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Doom427
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Dealing with the Metagame

#1 Post by Doom427 » Thu May 12, 2022 2:57 pm

Almost every game has felt very similar to me lately- Two/Three countries that are weak go out early, one country gets an early lead, everyone looks out for the stalemate and decides to play for the draw, one/two other players are maybe eliminated, and then it draws.

At no point is there ever a real threat of a solo player winning, b/c everyone plans for it basically immediately. If anyone gets big enough to become a new leader, they will be easily attacked b/c the stalemate line is drawn up super early. In draw size scoring the game's basically over, as there's no point moving for position as long as the stalemate line is known to be solid.

What are people's ways to avoid this? Encourage more cross-stalemate line play so there aren't as many static end games? Play SoS so players have a reason to play for more than survival/draw whittling? Encourage leaders to sandbag to keep the game going? Do other websites encourage more risky plays in the midgame?
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cdngooner
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#2 Post by cdngooner » Thu May 12, 2022 10:42 pm

I do much prefer SOS scoring, but there are few games created that way, it seems.
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Ferdack
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#3 Post by Ferdack » Fri May 13, 2022 12:11 am

Perhaps the issue is due to DSS being the default when creating new games on webDip? If the devs added "select option" in the scoring dropdown, it could encourage players to choose SOS more.
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#4 Post by GracchusBabeuf » Fri May 13, 2022 12:19 am

cdngooner wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 10:42 pm
I do much prefer SOS scoring, but there are few games created that way, it seems.
Interesting, a lot of the games I play are SoS. Maybe I just got lucky? I do find DSS to be annoying, it often leads to tiresome end-game slogs when everyone knows the outcome, but several minors still have to be eliminated. Of course no one can blame them for holding on as long as they can. This could be ameliorated with a concede button (perhaps only available after a certain number of turns, like on playdip?).

Aristocrat
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#5 Post by Aristocrat » Fri May 13, 2022 5:56 am

Doom427 wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 2:57 pm
Almost every game has felt very similar to me lately- Two/Three countries that are weak go out early, one country gets an early lead, everyone looks out for the stalemate and decides to play for the draw, one/two other players are maybe eliminated, and then it draws.

At no point is there ever a real threat of a solo player winning, b/c everyone plans for it basically immediately. If anyone gets big enough to become a new leader, they will be easily attacked b/c the stalemate line is drawn up super early. In draw size scoring the game's basically over, as there's no point moving for position as long as the stalemate line is known to be solid.

What are people's ways to avoid this? Encourage more cross-stalemate line play so there aren't as many static end games? Play SoS so players have a reason to play for more than survival/draw whittling? Encourage leaders to sandbag to keep the game going? Do other websites encourage more risky plays in the midgame?
This is endemic to online play, and particularly anonymous online play. There isn't much you can do about it besides vet the players you play with to only play with solo-oriented players. Setting a high (101+) bet helps somewhat. Non-anonymous games also are probably a little bit better if you get the right folks, if only because anonymity tends to drive people to play reductively (i.e., people are less likely to engage in non-basic strategies if they don't know who they're talking to).
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Trigfea63
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#6 Post by Trigfea63 » Fri May 13, 2022 9:13 am

The prevalence of NMRs and replacement players also tends to push games toward draws. Often, a solo happens because one or more players don't play optimally. For example, Italy is aggrieved by Austria's stab and is willing to prioritize punishing Austria over stopping Germany's push toward the solo. When Italy NMRs, the replacement Italy comes into the game without all that baggage, and is focused on claiming a place in the draw and picking up the free points. The players who consistently take over NMR'd positions on WebDip also tend to be quite skilled at forcing the draw.
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Doug7878
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#7 Post by Doug7878 » Sat May 14, 2022 8:24 pm

I just noticed that 8 of the last 9 completed Gunboats were SOS scoring. Maybe you folks are starting a trend...

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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#8 Post by Doug7878 » Sat May 14, 2022 8:53 pm

Correction:
9 of the last 15 finished ranked games were SOS (sorted by time until next phase)

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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#9 Post by kestasjk » Sun May 15, 2022 12:13 am

I'd be fine with changing the default to SOS if the consensus is that that would be an improvement?
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C0nd0r
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#10 Post by C0nd0r » Sun May 15, 2022 12:40 am

There are benefits (and problems) to both systems. Maybe, having neither as default?
If you haven't read this it's a good read (maybe a new scoring system here on webdip?):
https://brotherbored.com/guest-post-the ... ng-system/
Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way. -David Frost
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. -Will Rogers
Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.

kestasjk
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#11 Post by kestasjk » Sun May 15, 2022 1:12 am

Hahah, I don't want to reignite any of those old scoring system debates.. If there isn't a consensus (even a consensus to try it) probably best to leave alone for the moment

Are ghost ratings an alternative to these scoring systems, or is that more of an Elo thing that isn't compatible with our points system?

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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#12 Post by C0nd0r » Sun May 15, 2022 3:24 am

<
kestasjk wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 1:12 am
Are ghost ratings an alternative to these scoring systems, or is that more of an Elo thing that isn't compatible with our points system?
I have no idea.

But you know what could be great, having the option to set a minimum ghost rating to join a game. Not sure how easy to implement that would be though. Rather than betting high to prevent less experienced players from joining, you could just set a high ghost rating limit.
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Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way. -David Frost
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. -Will Rogers
Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.

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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#13 Post by jmo1121109 » Sun May 15, 2022 5:35 am

C0nd0r wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 3:24 am
<
kestasjk wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 1:12 am
Are ghost ratings an alternative to these scoring systems, or is that more of an Elo thing that isn't compatible with our points system?
I have no idea.

But you know what could be great, having the option to set a minimum ghost rating to join a game. Not sure how easy to implement that would be though. Rather than betting high to prevent less experienced players from joining, you could just set a high ghost rating limit.
This is something we thought about doing, but are worried about the exclusivity it may end up creating. We're going to revisit GR updates in the future though and this very well may make the cut.
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#14 Post by Aristocrat » Sun May 15, 2022 6:04 am

jmo1121109 wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 5:35 am
C0nd0r wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 3:24 am
<
kestasjk wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 1:12 am
Are ghost ratings an alternative to these scoring systems, or is that more of an Elo thing that isn't compatible with our points system?
I have no idea.

But you know what could be great, having the option to set a minimum ghost rating to join a game. Not sure how easy to implement that would be though. Rather than betting high to prevent less experienced players from joining, you could just set a high ghost rating limit.
This is something we thought about doing, but are worried about the exclusivity it may end up creating. We're going to revisit GR updates in the future though and this very well may make the cut.
The exclusivity problem is a valid one. That said, a lot of top players will only play (or almost only play) 101+ bet games or private games. So there already is an exclusivity problem, and other filters aside from GR are just being used to achieve the same effect.

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think GR would probably be better set up like a recurring ladder system where it resets everyone to 100 every year or two. That would encourage less gaming of the system and require folks to defend their title, so to speak. And with a GR filter introduced, it would reduce the permanent exclusivity problem, since people would have to work their way up every year or two. But that's probably a topic for another thread.
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Doug7878
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#15 Post by Doug7878 » Sun May 15, 2022 7:38 pm

Regarding "gaming of the system", I think chluke is on the money here (from a different post):

"I think players who abuse GR by abandoning losing positions will continue to do so until the GR calculation itself (and not a separate side rating) is re-prorammed such that the GR points contributed by a player at the start of the game are FORFEITED, rather than oddly and counter-productively being returned to the player on game abandonment.

The GR calculations for game pot and distribution among winners/drawers doesn't even need to change (I don't believe), as long as the abandoning players simply have their upfront contributed GR points deducted from their total GR rating upon game abandonment.

Players in the top 100 (and others) who have been abusing this loophole (to avoid GR deductions when in losing positions), would likely see their ratings drop very significantly, upon GR reprogramming which does not allow this game quitting loophole incentive."

As far as exclusivity goes:

I think empowering it in game setup as an option is a good idea. We already can set a minimum RR%. I would support adding both a minimum GR as a requirement and a maximum GR as a separate requirement, to allow the formation of a more competitive game at a given skill range by players who have a minimum reliability, if that is desired.

Having more game setup options is a good thing I think.
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#16 Post by C0nd0r » Mon May 16, 2022 1:03 am

I wasn't aware that this loophole existed, seems natural that it should be fixed before something like a max or min GR is implemented.
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Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way. -David Frost
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. -Will Rogers
Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.

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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#17 Post by Jamiet99uk » Mon May 16, 2022 6:11 pm

kestasjk wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 12:13 am
I'd be fine with changing the default to SOS if the consensus is that that would be an improvement?
Bring back PPSC.
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Doug7878
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#18 Post by Doug7878 » Tue May 17, 2022 12:06 pm

If min/max GR Rating was to be allowed in game setup, it would be important that the GUNBOAT GR be used for GUNBOAT GAME setup, rather than overall GR, since press results are weighted so much more heavily than gunboat results in the overall GR Rating (IMHO).
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#19 Post by Doug7878 » Tue May 17, 2022 2:17 pm

My understanding of the Ghostrating system is that it is an ELO database. I would expect that the total of all Ghostratings is always equal to 100x the number of players included in the data. I suspect that deducting GR from withdrawing players during the game would be mathematically troublesome since I think the GR database is a self-balancing ELO system.

I'm not a programmer, but I would think that the trick would be to have the software CAPTURE the ORIGINAL player's USER ID and appropriate GR POINT CONTRIBUTION (percentage of his GR) AT THE TIME THE GAME STARTS and hold that data to be deducted when the game finishes.

At game FINISH:
1) the CONTRIBUTION of GR points that were captured from the ORIGINAL players would be deducted from those players GR, and
2) the DISTRIBUTION of those GR points that were contributed would be done exactly as it is now, using the USER ID of the winning player, or drawing players in accordance with the scoring system chosen, as the case may be.

chluke
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Re: Dealing with the Metagame

#20 Post by chluke » Tue May 17, 2022 3:35 pm

If GR becomes a reliable rating system (and stops allowing the abusive manipulation of the GM ratings by quitting games in losing positions), then the GR rating encourages aggressive play, instead of draws.

Once you raise your GR rating to a certain point, you generally LOSE GR rating rank in 4 way draws, and 3 way draws generally keep you more or less around the same GR rating, such that the only way to further increase your GR rating is by soloing!

I think this happens because higher rated GR players contribute more GR "points" to the "pot", and the formula expects a stronger result from the higher rated GR player.

But however it works, if players are motivated by GR, then solos are always the best way to improve one's GR, and sometimes the only way!
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