New Game and New WOK Parameters - Caribbean WOK !!!

All about the online version of classic WOK games.

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Egbert
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New Game and New WOK Parameters - Caribbean WOK !!!

Post by Egbert » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:07 pm

Elizabeth Swann: "That's it, then? That's the secret, grand adventure of the infamous Jack Sparrow. You spent three days lying on a beach drinking rum."

Jack Sparrow: "Welcome to the Caribbean, luv."

----from "Pirates of the Caribbean"


I have opened up my first online game. The system allows me to change the parameters, so I have! :D There have been many complaints over the months about what we used to refer to as "WOK4", which is now "Standard WOK." This is because we felt spies and missiles were too powerful, among other things. So, I have made the following modifications:

Long Range missiles now go to 2 provinces away max, instead of 3.
The most number of armies which can be killed by 1 missile is 3, instead of 5.
You only need 6 workers to raise EFF 1 point, instead of 8 workers.
Spying effects on EFF have been reduced to 1% up or down.
You now start with more workers and armies.
All of these changes should show up in the House Rules.

Perhaps this will entice Dameon to join? :wink:


Welcome to Caribbean WOK. Email me to sign up!

http://www.kaomaris.com/phpNuke/modules.php?name=Lobby&action=viewgame&GameID=13
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Re: New Game and New WOK Parameters - Caribbean WOK !!!

Post by Duke » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:16 pm

Egbert wrote:
Perhaps this will entice Dameon to join? :wink:


Oh dont go there. I have just managed to get him under control and he is using the medicine his doctor prescribed for him so....dont. :wink:
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Post by Saladin » Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:33 am

Erm Eg. I see that the game is not for VP's? :D

I don't think it matters as the system doesn't register vps yet, but just to be sure...this game is for vps right? I would hate to finally team up with Dookie boy and then have him win but not get any vps. :P
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Post by Egbert » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:11 pm

Yes, the game is for VPs, and it is rated. I specifically checked those boxes, but I guess for some reason it did not register. Perhaps when I changed the parameters, it didn't take the VP and rating boxes.
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Post by Egbert » Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:14 pm

:? We only have 4 signups. Doesn't anyone else want to play WOK?
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Post by Saladin » Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:20 pm

You know what might be a cool feature. A mailinglist for new games.

People could subscribe to the list and whenever a new game opens they get a mail.

That way people who don't visit the site that often can stay informed on any new games that have opened which they can then join.
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Post by Duke » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:30 pm

Egbert wrote::? We only have 4 signups. Doesn't anyone else want to play WOK?


The problem is that we dont have more players. We SERIOUSLY need to recruite. Cant we do like American companies? You know, hire some Mexicans?
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Re: New Game and New WOK Parameters - Caribbean WOK !!!

Post by Hannibal » Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:14 pm

Hi! It's great that the new Standard WOK game set-up allows GM's to vary the parameters, and that you're using the facility and GM'ing a game.
Great.

But, with respect, I think you are mis-remembering the debate about the effectiveness of missiles?

Egbert wrote:
There have been many complaints over the months about .. "Standard WOK." This is because we felt spies and missiles were too powerful, among other things. So, I have made the following modifications:

Long Range missiles now go to 2 provinces away max, instead of 3.
The most number of armies which can be killed by 1 missile is 3, instead of 5.


I rather think that the only complaint was that missile-effect was too variable rather than too effective. Dameon was the strongest critic, and the examples he gave, which he says made him give up WOK4/Standard WOK, were of him firing off missiles and killing no armies, not him complaining of others' missiles being too effective against him. We all remember infuriating cases of our missiles killing far fewer enemy armies than what they should do on average.. (Presumably the opposite must have happened about equally often, but those cases don't stick in the memory as much!).

SO, the issue is variability/random effect, not the average level of effectiveness, which is NOT too high.

As a player who always played actively and always faced Long Sleepers, the subject is dear to my heart. It takes a HUGE amount of effort, forward-planning, diplomacy, spying and great guesswork to use missiles as the equalisers they were originally intended to be against passive Long Sleepers. Uphill all the way, I can honestly say. No wonder Long Sleeping is usually the winning strategy, and anyone active is handicapping himself. (I accepted the handicap and found ways through, otherwise I would not have bothered with a sleeping/boring game).

Feel free, of course, to choose your own parameters for any game you are generous enough to moderate. I only put this in for the sake of FUTURE games and for the hobby overall, not to have a go at you, believe me. But you DO realise that lowering the effectiveness of missiles makes it even MORE stupid to be an active player, and even MORE attractive to go for being a Long Sleeper, right?

You yourself, Egbert, have said before that YOU would be happy to win a game by good diplomacy, Long Sleeping, and without having to fight anyone at all!! (Saladin has pipped you - he says he even "achieved" that once - he eventually just circulated his latest Turn Report, showing how many of his armies had grown to what level through his passive sleeping, and all the other, active, players just gave up the game. Impressive. Probably unique. But I do wonder how many of those players who gave up wanted to ever play WOK again ..... Saladin's view on this being a wonderful thing for vets to try to do, just might have changed a tad now that he has laudably taken over the overview of making the game/site attractive to join and stay with .... I bet Sal would NOT want vets to do that to newbies in the next 3 games that will run this year, right, Sal?!! - NOW, finally, you maybe understand my shock at you saying how GOOD that sleeping approach of yours and other vets was - before considered the community needing to keep players, no?).

My focus, if I'm still interested, is on newbies/recruitment/retention/future of the hobby. New Players (I prefer we refer to them as "New Players" rather than the denigrating "newbies") tend to be actve and looking for an active game (just before they go AWOL, right?). Veteran old mates tend to quickly nap with each other rather than with the new guys; the new guys are expecting a game with activity and fun; they go looking for fun and victories; if they survive long enough, they have 6 weeks of no-action, then 200 heavies from a veteran LongSleeper roll through them on Turn 13; they didn't realise they "should" sleep for 12 turns/6-9 weeks in order to stand a chance; they didn't realise the game was that dull; they tend not to want to play again.....

I, Validon etc. avoided that cos we managed to make Active+Successful work, against all odds! But that's no kind of recipe for retaining most new players ....

So, in summary, it's great you'll mod a game, choose your own parameters. But future mods should perhaps not copy this variant of decreasing the effect of missiles, making boring Long Sleeping even more attractive and turning off most players who want a game that's more fun, not less fun.

Sorry, no time to go back and shorten it. Would my detractors pls say which paragraphs they would have omitted? :)

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Post by Hannibal » Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:31 pm

Another thought occurred to me:

Hey, Egbert, you may be happy tp play a game where you succeed without ever having to fight ... but would you be happy moderating a game where everyone realised Sleeping was their only chance? A game where (after the first flurry of 1 or 2 innocents becoming early RIP's), 8 players just try to out-sleep each other, some going for naps till turn 12, some trying to outdo them by going for naps till turn 15? .... nothing happens from turn 4 to turn 13 or 16 ..... which makes you moderate for 6-10 weeks with no action and not much fun for you or the players .... and new players, or watchers, will think ours a boring game, even slower in actuality than it looks on paper .....!

When I moderated, I did my best to encourage active play, not discourage it.

I'll be interested to watch how your variant with lower missile effectiveness/more incentive to Long-sleep works out. I'll look in every month or so.

DON'T take this badly, pls!! I'm honestly trying to point out a fault in perception that is holding the game back from what it deserves to be as a a brilliant hobby.

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Post by Duke » Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:40 pm

Even though you might have a point or two up there (unavoidable when you write that much) I cant see the point in this H. If Egbert wants to run a game like this then what is the harm? He might be off in a few of his intentions (I am not sure about that though since Egbert is God) but why cant he figure that out himself.

The problem isnt if the games we actually play are in any shape or form screwed up. The problem is that we pretty soon wont have any players left to play games with.

Go back to that thread and tell us how to fix this community instead of wasting good energy on this. I am all for taking orders so that we could turn this ship the right way.
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Post by Saladin » Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:57 pm

Thank you for your comments Han, though I'll just ingore the low blows and quotes taken out of context. :P

I have to say it shows that you haven't played the new standard wok yet Han as you then would know that leveling up effectiveness has seriously cut down from 0.005 to 0.003. This means that sleeping and leveling up definitely isn't the winning strategy any more.

It's much more effective to go around taking empty provinces and gaining level from fighting other armies (which has been increased). If you level up with 125 you only get a measily 0.375 now so it's much more effective to take 7 empty provinces getting 0.700 level.

The impact of missiles hasn't become bigger by itself, but seeing that other strategies like the sleeper strategy have become weaker, missiles have become stronger in comparison. Personally i don't think that's too bad as it makes for a lot more viable strategies to win a game.

One last thing i do like is the fact that pop stealing and sabotaging has been so greatly improved, giving players even more options for their spies.

The online version of the game has definitely been an improvement in the way the game is balanced. And the online manager is a MAJOR improvement for running games and trying out new things (like for instance changing the effect of missiles). It's always fun to try new setups and it will show us if the changes have a negative or positive influence on things. Influences we would not have seen if we hadn't tried them.

Like Duke said, we need to get more players playing again. They do not all have to be new players. I find it equally important to get a lot of the 'old' players back that recently have stopped playing and that might get interested in playing again when they get a chance to check out the new online version of wok. :D

So Dookie, any chance you could do a personalised mass mailing to a lot of the golden oldies (e-mail addresses from the Kaohalla list) and let's see if we can get a couple of those players back!
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Post by Dameon » Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:38 pm

Hannibal is right; my complaint was with the fact that you cannot aim missiles in WOK 4. I've been through too many games when I fired 20-30 missiles and hit 0 armies and watched my enemy fire 10 missiles and eliminate on the order of 25 armies. I never thought missiles were too powerful; simply too unpredictable and (gasp!) luck-based. My other issue with WOK-4 is the spy full player data option, which is too powerful and also too luck based. The only way I'd play in a WOK 4 game again was if missiles were aimable and the spy full player data option was removed. I applaud your enthusiasm, though. :)
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Post by Egbert » Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:57 pm

My change in the parameter WAS designed to eliminate luck, and to emphasize hand-to-hand combat rather than sleeping.

As Sal says, the decrease in Leveling has substantially reduced the benefits of sleeping. Since I cannot change the parameter of aiming missiles, I did (what I thought was) the next best thing --- substantially reduce the chance of a lucky missile strike. You can now only bomb a smaller number of armies, and you can only do it up to 2 provinces away.

So, we have reduced the effectiveness of both sleeping and missiles. That leaves only 2 other options: attacking and spying.

Well, I've reduced spying substantially as well --- the EFF of either player (the one doing the spying and the one spied upon) will only change + or - 1%, except a failed "spy player" which I think is at -5%. Also, Dameon, the new WOK online has eliminated the full "spy player" result as you know it --- now, the computer spies each province separately, so you may only find out info on a few provinces, never all of them, and that is only if you are successful in the first place.

That leaves just hand-to-hand combat. That's what I hope to accomplish in this game if it ever gets off the ground.

BTW, Han, I don't think you have me quoted correctly. Although I employ the sleeping strategy most of the time, I do it because it works. I would actually prefer to play a game involving military strategy and fighting for the most part. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "I'm an old campaigner, and I love a good fight." :smash:

So, come on people --- give this new game a try, and see if it works. We could use the input from players to see how we can make this a more balanced game.
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Post by korexus » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:19 pm

Indeed, Egbert's changes will reduce luck. It won't decrease the chances of your missiles hitting no armies (in fact it will increase this chance) but you will get closer to the average result nonetheless.

I'm not saying that Egbert's game will be wholly balanced, however I'm not convinced that the current defaults are balanced either and testing out the boundaries by shift one or two variables a little bit in one direction or another will help us work out what the balance should be so we can get to that balance point where dynamic and static games are equally viable. - After all, a bit of sitting on the sidelines watching other people fight while you build up is fun too!

Aimable missiles were scripted, but never added. I posted a thread about it at the time, but there didn't seem to be enough people either way so I left things as they were. I'm sure with a bit of work aimable missiles could be included but I am wary of throwing yet more GM options at an already fairly complicated system. At least not without a fair amount of player support.


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Post by Egbert » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:43 pm

Another signup! 5 spots filled, and 5 to go!

:)

We've got Duke, Lord Fredo, Sal, Mullog, and Validon.

I live in province 6, btw. Stop by for some Rum Runners if you're in the neighborhood. :bandana:
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Post by Duke » Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:44 pm

Eg. you know I am crazy enough to take you up on that offer. Dont tempt me 8)
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Post by Brykovian » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:32 pm

I'm in.

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Post by Egbert » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:48 pm

Only 4 more spots left. :)

Just a reminder, that this IS being played for VPs and it IS a rated game (rated "R" in fact, because Duke is playing --- otherwise it would have been rated "PG").

The House Rules indicate it is not for VPs or rated, which is incorrect.

Chris or Rune, there may be a problem that when a GM changes the parameters of the game, the boxes being checked for VPs and rated games do not seem to take effect.
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Post by korexus » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:25 pm

Set to for VPs and Rated. Will look into why it didn't register.

Just out of interest, are you pausing the game? I set it to open last night as I was cleaning up and it's 'paused' again now... :?


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Post by Egbert » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:07 pm

Yes, I paused it again. Waiting for other players to sign up.
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