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  • Alliances & Political Science

    A few weeks ago I mentioned that I thought the game theory of Hegemony shared a lot in common with Survivor, with them both having a number of players starting off with equivalent conditions, and one rising to the top through strategy, diplomacy, and luck.

    Here's a very interesting article which discusses the alliance theory of Survivor in a way that would be appropriate to Hegemony if alliances were just a little more fluid:

    http://www.realitynewsonline.com/article1785.html

    Here's part of the introduction, which particularly caught my eye:

    We can envision the 16 contestants as different states in a state system of that size, where eventually one state is left with hegemonic control after defeating the others. What makes the state system so interesting is, like the "Survivors," they exist in an environment without some overall authority, where they pursue power and can get it over others through some skill, guile, and luck. We
    Hegemonic control, indeed.

    Shannon

  • #2
    The reason alliances are more fluid in Survivor is because once the game is over, everybody goes home and they most likely never see each other again. They can get away with betrayal because it's a one-time game.

    But this is a community that plays the game over and over, and word will get around about dishonorable players. So there's more of an incentive to stay in an alliance until the end of the game.

    With the GE:H community so much larger than the SE one was, it will be interesting to see if the peer pressure effect is as powerful as it used to be.
    Got any World War II vets in the family? Check out my oral history web site, www.memoriesofwar.com

    Comment


    • #3
      The alliance and NAP diplomacy gets confusing sometimes, I think some better protocol is needed (or I just need to get better at it) to avoid diplomatic conflicts... A allied with B and C, B NAPs with C and allies with D, then how does A relate to D? etc.

      But I do really appreciate the good sportsmanship that exists in the SE vets I have encountered. If you are not in their alliance they fight you with no hard feelings, and happy to join with you in another universe.

      I was made a bit nervous tonight in Abode, when I heard a few players talking about "The Cause" a permanent game-crossing alliance of some kind. Reminds me of the large guilds in some other games which span several MUD servers, or the CM culture which can be annoying at times with the cliques that form - it is a game about favor and role-play with deception etc., but I hope Hegemony won't be a CM extension in this sense.

      For a war-based strategy game, I prefer the dynamic fresh diplomacy each game, and hope the SE style heritage will set the tone with players willing to be allies in one game and opponents in the next.

      So my, (I hope constructive) suggestion, is that players interested in a multi-game type alliance or group identity focus on the RP games for that, but cast it aside for the other types of games.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just love this Quigg guy. Everything he says is always right on the money (even when you can barely understand him).

        But this latest post is easy to understand. Alliances that cross from one game into the next ruin all games. Count me out.
        Bite me.

        Comment


        • #5
          I read that article, and I think something like that is what happened in game 033. I was one of the middle guys, and we ganged up on the top guy, and wham, the top guy is nearly toast now and I am the new top guy and my ally is the new second guy. 30 hours approx left in the game now, so that is probably how it will end. Interesting article. Now, if only I could apply that in the future....
          No you don't, have, to live like a refugee.

          Comment


          • #6
            A allied with B and C, B NAPs with C and allies with D, then how does A relate to D?
            As long as all allied players have the same basic idea for that particular game, A should feel just about the same towards D as B and C do.

            If I recall correctly Game 2 had 6 players allied to annihilate 3 enemies. Find the common ground.

            I was made a bit nervous tonight in Abode, when I heard a few players talking about "The Cause" a permanent game-crossing alliance of some kind. Reminds me of the large guilds in some other games which span several MUD servers, or the CM culture which can be annoying at times with the cliques that form - it is a game about favor and role-play with deception etc., but I hope Hegemony won't be a CM extension in this sense.

            For a war-based strategy game, I prefer the dynamic fresh diplomacy each game, and hope the SE style heritage will set the tone with players willing to be allies in one game and opponents in the next.

            So my, (I hope constructive) suggestion, is that players interested in a multi-game type alliance or group identity focus on the RP games for that, but cast it aside for the other types of games.
            As the 'ring-leader' of "The Cause", let me illuminate.
            First, you could paruse the IC and OOC threads.

            There are a few members, and I have asked that we have no more than 4 members per game, be it regular, rp, blind, whatever.

            It's also a simple way to see where your friends are.

            Lets say Quigg and Kid played in game 20 and were friends, in game 25, while you might not come up with the same agreements as in 20, you would most likely still be amiable towards each other, even if no NAP's or Alliances came out of it.

            The Cause is a way to say, "Don't mess with me, or me and my buddies'll come after you". 'Cept for the fact that were peaceful overall. Some of the members are easier to anger, some are happy to go to war against the bloodthirsty warmongers.

            I'd write more, but I have to go...
            To conquer without risk, is to succeed without glory

            Comment


            • #7
              If A and D don't have any agreements, then they're free to go at it. Of course, people might break NAPs over that, but in end effect, there's nothing to prevent them from tearing into each other.

              After all, this is a wargame, not a meeting of the green tea drinker's club. I mean, we're not here to cuddle up and tell each other how much we love each other, aye?

              Oh, and Garrik, can you guys do us the favour and clearly identify those Cause guys? Cause I have no wish to play a game with metagaming bullies. For me, every game is a fresh start. Sure, I might remember good partners/allies/neighbours from game to game, but as long as nothing's set in stone, this is in deed a whole new game for me.


              Have a nice day.
              'If you're going through hell, keep going.'
              -- Winston Churchill

              POLITENESS, n.
              The most acceptable hypocrisy.
              -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


              'Hitler had a good 20 to 30 IQ points on Bush, so comparing Bush to Hitler would in many ways be an insult to Hitler.'

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay, I read the "Cause" threads - I had not noticed them before.

                Without going on a rant, let me simply say, I like the creative aspect Garrik, and think it is fine to invent some kind of RP "religion" or "philosophy", but a true multi-game alliance is going to be bad for this game, in my opinion.

                I suggest again, emphatically, that members of "The Cause" or other such multi-game alliances apply that only to RP games, and not to any others.

                Otherwise, it will be "okay, ready, let's all of us Blue team members sign up at the same time for the next blind game..."
                and things will get real boring fast. And I just don't see setting an arbitrary 4 "Cause" members per game as solving the problem - every game should be different.

                I say keep the diplomacy on a per game basis, follow the SE vets lead on this one, they have the right idea... forming different combinations every game.

                Of course, I could be wrong, various teams could have some on-going interest, but maybe there should then be dedicated "team" private games where it is clear 2 teams or 3 teams are signing up together, where the terms are spelled out in advance such as (three-player alliances only, but who is with who is secret and starting position is random). I would go for that.

                Any other opinions out there?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Permanent alliances, inter-game alliances, clans, whatever you want to call them, were one of the many issues the old SE community had to work through. The consensus there was that they are a bad thing.

                  Aside from all the other reasons, isn't it kind of boring to ally with the same people game after game?
                  Got any World War II vets in the family? Check out my oral history web site, www.memoriesofwar.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh, and Garrik, can you guys do us the favour and clearly identify those Cause guys? Cause I have no wish to play a game with metagaming bullies. For me, every game is a fresh start. Sure, I might remember good partners/allies/neighbours from game to game, but as long as nothing's set in stone, this is in deed a whole new game for me.
                    No, I wont, because that would change your view of them, and that would be a IC/OOC crossover now wouldn't it.

                    If they feel the need to be public, they can post their ID's.

                    My cause member is Draego, my title Emperor Garrik the first of the Draego Systems.
                    To conquer without risk, is to succeed without glory

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dariel and Quigg have the right idea, I think. I really wish Garrik would agree to Quigg's suggestion that this kind of thing stay in the RP games.

                      It's really just not true that SE vets ally with who they like, game after game. I can't think of a single vet that I haven't allied with and fought with. And if I see myself allying with a guy too much, we usually try to see to it that we fight in another game.

                      For example, Laudio is a great guy. I have traveled to distant cities to hang out with him. He and I have allied in many games. It got so constant that we were determined to fight in the next game. Then that turned out to be impossible, and we were annoyed that we had to ally again. I think the last two games we played in together, we have fought each other.

                      I really think this Cause stuff will ruin the games, at least if they are not RP games (which I don't understand, so I am willing to say maybe they'll work there only because I don't understand them).
                      Bite me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Response

                        Pleased to make your acquaintance, Big Quigg.

                        Human social structures do tend to form cliques. This is as true of gamers as anyone else. I do play games for the sake of the game itself, but I've got plenty of computer games for that. I game online for two principal reasons: I find most computer AIs brain dead, and I like interacting with people. It's completely natural, once you've signed an agreement with a person and found them a compatible gamer and trustworthy to want to do it again in another game.

                        But doing it as an institution has all the social appeal for me of joining (or coming to the attention of) a syndicate. Or, backing off a little bit, going back to (eek!) less than half my age and back in High School. This philosophy marginalizes everyone else who isn't a member, to the detriment of the game. Yes, they're effective (that's why organized crime, for example, is still around) but effectiveness does not make them desirable.

                        I've got no objection to a group of friends wanting to play together, but they ought to play in a setting where they have suitable opponents--a game with set alliances (such as four groups of three) or the classic Team game (6 vs. 6).

                        But putting a kind of group like this together for play in regular games, where newcomers can come in not even KNOWING they should make agreements will reduce the enjoyment of the game for everyone...and quickly deplete the game of newcomers.

                        And I don't see how a common group of 4 players would find much challenge in the experience.

                        I can even back my argument up with recent online experience. I joined a trial game of Planetarion, a massively multiplayer game (I think around 30000 people). I was a n00b (along with 9 others) in a galaxy with 15 regular folks that had all signed up together. A large part of the game is the online chat and alliance-forming. A few rounds back (the regular players weren't exact on this) two of the larger alliances (Legion & Fury) joined together to form a Superalliance called Furgion that has apparently won every game for around half the length of Planetarion's existence. Because the other players had earlier committed to other alliances, we never had a chance. We got dogpiled from the beginning by several other (much larger) groups. The only reason I'm still alive is that I'm too small for most of other players to attack (there's a rule enforced in the game mechanics that no player can attack another that's less than 15% of his size).

                        Well, as much as this was about as pleasant for me as an appointment with a dentist (I won't be playing another round of Planetarion) it was very sad to watch the core group of 15 disintegrate. Several of them had been with the game from the beginning, and this round was their last straw. Some of them had been friends for a long time, and I don't think they are any more. (I'm very glad I was completely on the periphery of this).

                        It appears that the problem isn't just with the galaxy I'm in; the game designers are talking about random placement. To me, that's going a little far (I'd like to be able to choose who I ally with) but it may be the only way of making the game playable.

                        It's a shame, because it's an interesting game, but the social interactions have made it an exclusive club for the "in" crowd. I'd be very sad to see that happen here.

                        At your service,

                        Kazak
                        SLOGH!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Garrik, sorry to rain on your parade, but can't we get the great RP tradition from CM, without the networking and politicking?

                          If the CM ICQ/AIM/YM networks start rigging Hegemony games, it will spoil it for those not in that very well established circle.

                          Again, I think if we give it some thought, we can find a safe place for that kind of teaming, but let's not just impose it on the whole set of games without a consensus. I am afraid the result will be more harm than good.

                          What do you say Shannon? Can we set up some Private games for pre-formed alliances or team play? I would be happy to join up with Blargg, Kid, and Morhk against any four "Cause" members (actually, I am in two games right now, my limit, but after that...)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I will admit to being in alliances with people I trust a great deal, and to also being allies with people I've never met.

                            In 032, I was allied with DawnV for a while, someone I've never met before, and allied against Zell, someone I know fairly well. Now, I turned on dawnv for good reason (as my almost illinating him showed), but it was done for reasons within the game. Another example, in that same game Rupes and I were fighting a bitter war at the end (till Wizard wrapped me up). I've known both Wizard and Rupes for over decade at this point. And to quote Rupes's wife 'How can you oblisterate someone who's picture is on the fridge?'. With complete and total glee.

                            So really, I want to agree that I will never have any part in a cross game alliance. I'll pick allies each game based on position, and past behavior. If the player was poor in a past game, I may decide not to ally with them, or if they stabbed me in the back. But there's no way I'll drop an email to a mailing list to say - I'm in game 945, who else is so we can ally up?

                            Please, leave the meta-gaming somewhere else. I can fight bitterly against my close friends without an issue, can you?

                            -=- Matt

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Seidl
                              In 032, I was allied with DawnV for a while, someone I've never met before, and allied against Zell, someone I know fairly well. Now, I turned on dawnv for good reason (as my almost illinating him showed), but it was done for reasons within the game. Another example, in that same game Rupes and I were fighting a bitter war at the end (till Wizard wrapped me up). I've known both Wizard and Rupes for over decade at this point. And to quote Rupes's wife 'How can you oblisterate someone who's picture is on the fridge?'. With complete and total glee.
                              Indeed. I gleefully allied with Seidl in 002 then helped wipe him out in 032. Hamarn and Zell, the other folks that I wiped out (or helped to) in 032 have both been my co-workers for 2 or 3 years. And *I* was allied with DawnV too, and I also didn't know her.

                              As for the inter-game alliance of The Cause. Personally, I don't like it. Personally, I'd make Cause members my first target of choice as a result. I suspect I'm not the only one with that attitude.

                              However, I do have to say that I think that Garrik has dealt with the issue very honestly and openly and very fairly. He's asked that no more than 4 Cause members be in a game. That gives the 8 other people a vast plurality, and thus the real opportunity to take them down.

                              If inter-game alliances started interfering in the way that Peraspera suggested I'd talk really seriously with Hegemony players and see what could be done about it, but I haven't seen that yet.

                              Going back to my Survivor analogy, because it's near and dear to my heart, and I really need to write an article on its very clever game design some time ...

                              In the first season of Survivor an alliance of 4 members arose that managed to steamroll over all of the other competition due to manipulation and strategy.

                              Since then, in Survivor 2, 3, and 4, "evil alliances" have rose, headed by arrogant and/or manipulative people, and the non-allied members have risen up to crush them. I don't have my finger on the exact reasons for this dynamic right now, but it's definitely there.

                              Shannon

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