First and foremost I think the most pertinent topic to address. Fulcrum's role/mod decisions surrounding it. This role existed largely due to my own fault in mod review, out of all of the roles that existed I saw fulcrums as being the most benign in the game, it did exactly what it said and I didn't spend enough time thinking about the wording of the role in conjuncture with other roles. I found my notes on the role and I funnily enough thought fulcrum's ability New Direction ability was the most problematic with Vaimes's role. I simply missed the cop interaction and that is entirely on me.
When I realized the cop interaction was there I moved as rapidly as I could to neutralize the problem I feel that if I hadn't missed it the first time with the trade and simply put a stop to it there the outcry over what transpired wouldn't exist. Unfortunately I did not catch it. When I did realize the mistake I immediately thought that allowing cop shots to exist in a game where we hadn't determined cop shots to be a problem. In my effort to fix the problem I tried to move as quickly as I could to remove the issue.
This created a situation in which there were some problems. First, my Osie who I talked to the issue didn't fully understand all of what I wanted to do with the role mid-game due to my own poor communication. I think if I had done a better job, with his co-counsel the issue might not have grown to what it was. Secondly in my efforts to be slightly cagey with the mafia team in order to not share fully why I was making this decision(IE not explaining that there was no cop) I did a poor job of communicating with them on exactly what I was offering to do as well. For this I'm incredibly sorry.
There was also the issue from the town side of creating a “Cop shot” looking ability. I understand this critique, but also feel that if the abilities had existed as is the narrative could also have been “All cop abilities so town”. I feel that no matter what happened here this was subject to mod gaming. That being said I fully understand why players feel that way and the ability should never have gone out the door with the wording that it had.
After reflection I agree with Grapefruit21 that the issue wasn't as big as I thought it was and that likely nothing needed to be done, and I agree that in hindsight this was the best decision.
Overall this mistake rests solely on me, and I'm sorry that it happened at all and players have my deepest apologies for not only missing the mistake before the game launched but also for how it was handled during the game.
Alright onto my thoughts on the rest of the game. I talked about this in the spectator chat, but to me there were multiple other slight issues in this game design.
First, the issue of variety was an issue that seemed to plague the town. The town felt that there was too much going on for too little payout.
It was in my opinion a mistake to focus as much as I did on making each night “Unique” with each role having unique options. This lead to two problems, first fundamentally weaker abilities and also significantly more info for the town to sort through and having to keep track of. The word random was used and I agree, that this made it harder than was intended for the town. If I was to do redesign I would focus less on uniqueness and more on rotating abilities.
Additionally, with the power level was purposefully scaled down, slightly as a precaution by me to make sure I understood the rotating abilities and partially due to the sheer amount of abilities flying around. Additionally this was due to me pushing this sort of design space in order to test abilities for future games. If anything this has taken me away from some of the design ideas I had due to me feeling that there simply is too much information overload for players.
Another issue I saw in this game was the use of day abilities, I felt with the limited info the town was getting these were fine and were made so that the town had to make “decisions” pre-lynch. Ultimately I think this was a failure of design and while interesting in concept ultimately did nothing and were a detriment to both teams.
Finally there was the power level of the calendar of the mafia. Overall, I think the power level of the abilities was fine, the mafia did not have control over most of the abilities, but they also had the potential to be very powerful. I actually am of the opinion that this was fine on its own, but that the addition of the Seasonal Control ability in conjuncture with the calendar was too much power in the end game for the mafia team.
The purpose of the calendar was to provide some consistent power for the mafia team, that also avoided mass claim scenarios or to even allow the scum team to cobble together a fake claim. I feel that that combined with the seasonal control which was a tool against mass claim lead to too much power specifically on the next two seasons after the cycle in which the mafia could double up on abilities, IE winter into winter again. Additionally, even though it didn't come up I feel that the power of these when combined together were stronger than intended in lylo situations.
Overall, I think that the mafia team got very lucky when it came how their calendar played out and that the power level might have needed a slight nerf, but on the whole it was close to how I envisioned the power level. I do not think this will be the last time I try and push a mechanic into factional abilities for the mafia to give them some consistent power.
I think it would be hard to argue that day one was anything but in the favor of the mafia team. When designing this game I didn't anticipate that Nacho's role would be used day one. This lead to the mafia getting a day one daykill randomly on the doctor of all people which enforced DK's fake claim of the bodyguard. On top of that the town had two players decide not to lynch, which ultimately left the game 3-1 in the final day. This additionally, removed information from the town in the form of lynch info and allowed for the mafia to use their calendar ability to fake send a message to Asta(Which I don't think I as a mod can say “This isn't a mod confirmed message” unless a player asks). See what I mean incredibly lucky, the only thing that could have gone better for the mafia on this day one is if fulcrum hadn't been roleblocked.
Day two was a blur for me since it was a king election and I was taking finals over those two weeks. I was surprised town didn't try and enforce some sort of their own voting system or try and makes cases. I was also surprised by the Nacho lynch, since I think suspecting him of publicly giving scum access to a day kill to be a suspect play to say the least. Specifically from a player of his caliber.
Day three Rhand got run up, the two surprises were that Rhand A) only got lynched with his scummates help and B) That town instantly decided his claim was a scum claim.
DK once again was only really lynched by his scum mates due to their pushes on him. Proph's iso should have been a clue at this point since his only real pushes were on two scum and he wasn't using his ability in anyway that made sense from a town perspective, on top of this he wasn't actively ever trying to really find a fourth scum.
KCC's dichotomy that lead to their lynch wasn't intended in the setup, but I guess any town equity for having been wagoned as many times as they had by this point had worn itself out.
Day Seven, I think if Proph and fulcrum had made a collective effort for a case on Silver/Last KJ would have gone with them and the game would have been over here.
Day Eight, town didn't do any analysis. There really isn't anyway around that. KJ was stuck on a Last tunnel for most the game despite the entire game telling him Last was town. KJ's primary case can be boiled down to some weird “Rule of 5 vote count analysis” which I hope never sees the light of day ever again. On top of that with a thought that “Last must have the missing abilities” which would mean that last had a total of 6 dreams plus the missing abilities for a total of 10 effects/abilities. In theory the only role as claimed that had space for the abilities was asta, but that still made asta a double voter, with multiple other very powerful abilities in their arsenal.
Last at one point made the comical comment of “Asta can't be scum because we would have lost already and KJ doesn't seem scum” and then never took that to the logical step of “Oh it must be proph”.
Proph day eight continued to play the town win con suggesting that people should be suspecting him, but nobody ever did.
To be honest I don't think either alignment played particularly well. The mafia team in my opinion slow rolled this win to an extent/fpsed themselves out of a much faster day 5ish win. With all of the busing that went on for example DK went from a position that should never die to well being dead. A powerwolf instead of pure bussing would likely have benefited the mafia in a massive way, then again perhaps I'm wrong on how the game would have played out with that different varriable.
That all being said, I think town played particularly worse in the early game. The no lynch was pushed by two players Axel and Silver. Axel held the game hostage so that he could use his public watcher shot and Silver held the game hostage because he didn't have a spring ability and he sure wanted to get off his ability. How either of those two abilities outweigh the power of a flip I'm unsure. To be clear by unsure I mean there isn't any sensible reason to do this, and I understood Tom's rage at the beginning of day two.
Additionally day two was an incredibly questionable lynch to me and I don't understand how people could be ok with what happened, since from my quick skim it doesn't appear that there was much if any outcry of the lynch.
I'm also unsure of how town never tried to test Proph's role, since that seems to be an easy thing to test for but town just bought the role with all of the wording ambiguities and I think silver's analysis was that it “Was too complex” to be scum.
I think that my biggest takeaway from this game is that I need to spend more time considering how the town deals with information. The town spent a lot of time trying to play this game mechanically, but simply missed important interactions or spent too much time being bogged down in things that didn't matter.
For example Silver made the comment that KJ was always the correct lynch since he was the most likely to be the originator of the bus drive from the calendar that the town was trying to solve. This missed three points of key information. First KCC acquired the bus drives during day and the bus drives themselves were not seasonal abilities meaning KJ as claimed(And as in design) couldn't have copied the bus drive. Secondly, KJ had claimed to be bus driven from Axel to Nacho night one due to the bus drive, and Night Two to have targeted Axel. Third, KJ's Axel target was proven with his exchange with Vaimes.
These are three key interactions that were missed by a player that claimed in thread they were a mechanical player. So how/why does this happen? Its almost certainly somewhat bad play, but I also think in this case its the design of the game as well. Its easy to get lost in. I think players got list in the sheer amount of information of the roles themselves.
Another key example of this was that players commented that there were a lot of roleblocks in the game. The reality is that there was oneish roleblock a night spread out over many roles. Players didn't look at the game from the birds eye view.
My plan going forward is to try and make much more concise roles that are not as hard to track what they do. This may be difficult since I have a specific fixation on changing game environments. However, I think this sort of design can help sculpt player conversation in game and moderators should try and make the game as concise to understand for players.
I said in the Discord, a game like this is probably my biggest Mafia nightmare. Too much hidden information, and really no way to "figure it out." Just a lot of speculation, guessing and confusion.
For all that, I mostly enjoyed my time, and in the end, the game really came down to simple distancing, as no one could believe Proph would be on the same team as Rhand/DK/Fulcrum, with mechanics secondary. I thought Proph was way too lurky in the first part of the game, but he did what he needed to do at the end, and I thought it was well done - though it was excruciating to watch the town's slow, slow death.
And also, the No lynch was fine.
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Ambush Krotiq makes me laugh so much. I keep rereading the card and it keeps not having Flash. In what sense is this an ambush again? I just have visions of this huge Krotiq poorly concealed in some bushes, feeling slightly sad that his carefully planned ambushes never seem to work.
Proph brought MVPs, and I hadn't given any out for a couple of reasons.
After some reflection, I still don't have a town MVP.
I think any of the towns that really had stand out singular performances died very early and I don't think a player that only made it to day three in an eight day game really gets MVP.
The Scum MVP is sort of a toss up to me as well and thus hard to nail down.
DK played well, and his fake claim/follow up were very well played if not a bit lucky with how that whole day one shook out for him.
Fulcrum played incredibly well, but for me I guess my one reason that fulcrum perhaps gets edged out was that the town got to a point where they determined basically any scum team had to include her and lynched her accordingly.
My MVP after much consideration of the game is Proph, which might surprise people. But to me Proph's claim never being questioned by the town and him literally never being suspected by the town in the end game speaks that something he did was working. As I pointed out in the spectator thread there was a point in the final day where last determined that Asta couldn't be scum because they would have already lost, and that he thought that fulcrum and KJ were not associated. But he didn't get to the end point which was that perhaps Proph was scum. Proph just did a great job of blending into the background and then appearing townie enough that he was ignored.
Thanks DV, means a lot. Think I played the early game very lazily but I was able to keep it together for endgame.
My spiritual MVPs go to Nacho (for solving the game right before he was lynched) and fulcrum (for being an absolutely amazing scumbuddy and providing a lot of the foundation I needed to take this game through the finish line)