Discussion in 'Mafia Management And Support' started by Rohan, Jul 3, 2017.
Who is willing to construct a Town Of Salem guide?
@Ratchet @Rotaretilbo @Prada @Rise-Chan @Cow
I don't play TOS
I can construct a guide, I guess, but I don't personally feel like the trial lynch system is adaptable to the forum format outside of possibly Turbo, which is a major part of the ToS format. I also don't personally much care for running games in such a constrained format, role-wise. And those are really the only two differences between ToS and regular mafia: trial lynch and a heavily constrained role list.
So how are these games run on Oro Jackson?
I want to say very poorly, but I don't have too much recent experience with it.
The main problem is the trial lynch system. The way it was run when I looked into it on OJ was that, as soon as majority vote was reached, the "trial" began as normal. The problem was that, in order to not bog the game down, the trial consisted of three hours where only the defendant can post and then three hours where no one can post except to vote innocent or guilty for the final lynch (which is plurality). The problem, you might recognize, is that the whole affair takes six hours, which means that there's a 1/3 chance a given player, including the defendant, is asleep for the whole thing. The OJ approach to this seemed to be to just ignore this glaring problem and not care about the consequences, which I guess is keeping with the spirit of ToS (given that most of the game modes are horribly balanced and it only gets away with how broken it is because of how little the players are actually invested in a given match).
The restricted role system has two problems. The first, and more glaring, is that some of the roles are basically cancer. Particularly Spy and Vampire Hunter, who can listen in on Scum communication, which basically forces Scum to not communicate, which defeats the whole ******* purpose of being an informed minority to begin with. I'll admit I haven't read the Coven update stuff yet, other than being vaguely aware that they added more roles, but my experience with Spy and VH was pretty much that it was stupid and actively made the game less fun. I recall OJ had removed another game, I think Disguiser, because it used to operate in a way that was not translatable to forum (Disguiser would appear to die and take on the identity of the disguised player or something like that), but I also recall that being patched a long while ago, so I imagine it was eventually brought back. The other problem is more a person thing, but I don't like that ToS bundles ability and alignment into a single term, because players coming from ToS often have trouble distinguishing the two as a result.
Ultimately, up until fairly recently, the people running the ToS section on OJ were particularly lazy about actually working on the section or fixing anything, which led to a lot of problems. They've got a new coach now in whom I have more confidence, but I don't know if the system is frankly salvageable. I sat down and tried to figure out how I'd run a trial system (before realizing that I wasn't actually allowed to run it any way but their 3-hour interpretation) and couldn't come up with anything that didn't bog the game down. Its telling that the community for the game on which Town of Salem is based doesn't use the trial lynch system for their forum mafia, despite having invented the trial lynch system for their StarCraft II custom game.
@Rotaretilbo, interesting viewpoints, I had suspicions on how can such a game format be done and it's nice to get some confirmation.
So the optimal solution would be to take some game mechanics from Town of Salem and make a new version of a Mafia Game.
I would call this type of game a Werewolf game. Rather than the base theme been Town vs Mafioso, it would be Villagers vs Supernatural forces (Werewolves, Covens, Vampires, etc).
How it would be different:-
Villagers - Replaces Town.
Werewolves- Replaces Mafia. Gets one boost for one player on Full Moon Nights? (Even Night Phases)
Coven- Necronomicon is obtained on Night 3 and boosts the ability of one player each Night Phase/Full Moon Night Phase? http://town-of-salem.wikia.com/wiki/Coven
Vampires- A catch on term for Serial Killers.
Independents- All faction roles which have independent alignments.
Specific Game mechanics?
1) Full Moon Night- Every even numbered Night is considered to be a Full Moon. This causes the abilities of the Werewolves and Coven to be boosted.
2) Last Will Mechanic- http://town-of-salem.wikia.com/wiki/Last_Will Message which is shown after a player's death?
3) Whispering Game mechanic: http://town-of-salem.wikia.com/wiki/Whispering#Whispering ?
I can see this been far more balanced than a TOS version. We can do away with the trial lynch thing (Entire thing is bogus) and there is no need for set roles (I will make the ability list post globally applicable).
The only thing that remains would be to bring back and explain those independent roles which would be balanced in a mafia game.
What do you think of the three game mechanics and do you have any unique game mechanic ideas?
Honestly, I'm not really in favor of trying to separate calendars or guides. The core guide should cover basic player/host etiquette and general game balance, but beyond that, if someone wants to run a game, they should be free to use whichever mechanics suit them, provided they balance the game in light of those mechanics.
Having a special format called Werewolf or ToS which is required to adhere to very specific roles or even general mechanics is unnecessarily constricting and I imagine will get stale. When people started coming up with new mechanics like this in the first place, the goal was to keep mafia fresh, so restricting certain games to repetitive mechanics is sort of defeats the purpose.
Likewise, I think that trying to categorize games with prefix tags is somewhat shortsighted. Right now, we have tags for AG, ToS, and a catch-all tag, but that third tag covers a scope vastly larger than the other two, and so if we want to be fair we'll eventually have dozens of complicated tags. I'd much rather we just have Turbo and Normal prefix tags. Let the host disclose the style in the signups.
@Ratchet @Prada What do you think?
I agree with Rot, to be honest. I tried OJ's Town of Salem a couple months ago, and I wasn't too impressed. The biggest problem I felt was the Trial system. I've been trying to come up with something like a trial system for Danganronpa Mafia for a good year now, to no real success, so I was interested primarily to see if it could influence me. It simply doesn't work. Now, that's not to say it can't be fixed. That does lead to another issue though. Once you fix it, you've taken some bits from Town of Salem and fit them to forum Mafia. What you end up with it... forum Mafia. Just straight up. In fixing it, you're not changing enough to really justify having a separate queue and section for games ran exclusively in that style. Turbo Games, for example, play very differently to normal games, so that justifies having its own section. But a fixed Town of Salem, called Werewolf? Just to go through your Game Mechanics you listed:
1 - Full Moon Night. This is no different to giving the entire scum team alternating abilities that are stronger on Even Nights. As this can be done in normal Mafia, the mechanic itself does not justify considering it a separate game type.
2 - Last will mechanic. Again, this can simply be done by adding a condition into a game wherein a specific message is revealed in the writeup upon death of a player.
3 - Whispering mechanic. This is essentially just allowing out of thread communication, which can be done in normal Mafia too.
With none of the exclusive mechanics really being exclusive to the game type, it doesn't result in the game playing differently enough from normal games in my opinion. To go back to the Turbo example, Turbo games play completely differently due to the pacing of them, which is substantially different from what is possible in normal games. It requires every player to be online throughout the duration of the game, and lasts a couple hours at most. This simply cannot be replicated with normal mafia. That's why they're separate, after all.
As for the different terms used to replace Town/Mafia etc, it's really just flavour and doesn't actually impact how the game is played at all. Writeups could simply be used to reflect this rather than justifying it having its own section.
Frankly, I don't really see the need to keep Assassin games separate from normal games either. Fundamentally, the only differences I see is 24 hour phases, outside communication being allowed and no night phases. All of this is possible in normal Mafia. Rot raises a valid point in that running games with specific restrictions or mechanics is more likely to just run those restrictions and mechanics stale. And to prove this, you can simply look to OJ. The current Town of Salem game hasn't been touched in nearly 2 weeks despite still running, which, given that it's a format that separates itself with its strict adherence to deadlines and short time phases, is a pretty substantial amount of time. What you have there is an example of what happens when you split sections up too much - not everyone wants to play two games at once, so you end up sharing a limited player base to the detriment of one section, the other, or both.
I'd rather, if possible, to stick primarily with Normal and Turbo prefixes, and give hosts complete freedom in what they can do with their games. Now, it may not be immediately obvious to new players or those simply not that experienced with hosting that they can make use of new mechanics and what not, but that is after all the whole purpose of coaching. Not to force hosts to run unique mechanics, but to explain what options they have to put their ideas into the game. In addition to this, both myself and especially Rot tend to be pretty innovative in our games, to introduce different ideas to players. On OJ, for example, Rot introduced the idea of having Lynchpins and some specific roles or mechanics, or how flavour can be entirely subverted. I aimed to introduce players to the idea of Masons not sharing alignment, and how flavour can be spun or interpreted for a game. The point being, players will be able to see what more fun stuff you can do in Mafia if you so wish. The ultimate goal being that we do see a lot of variety and originality in normal games, without having to have like 5 different styles or sections to run them in.
Changes have been reversed, we are now back to the old and optimal system: https://www.sugoidesu.net/threads/mafia-section-changelog.13877/#post-126947 .
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