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rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

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  • [ANNOUNCEMENT] rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

    TGNS officially now has a bias against idle commentary regarding balance/stacks and a bias /toward/ selfless leaders trying to improve gameplay before it begins. The former threatens atmosphere without improving it, while the latter grows the community by showing everyone that /someone/ cares enough to stick his neck out and actually /attempt/ improvement (he's not entitled to it -- see below).

    So, effective immediately, the admins will begin summarily eradicating from friends and strangers alike all unconstructive pre- and mid-game commentary about team "imbalance", however expressed (this doesn't apply to Spectators, of course -- feel free to Madden it up in there all you like haha). Our enforcement will be very similar to how TGNS has long responded to "haccusations" (accusing others of cheating): genuine or otherwise, direct or passive-aggressive, they're simply disallowed, full stop.

    Conversely, anyone may make a /quick/ pre-game effort to swap a single player in the interest of creating more entertaining gameplay for all players of the upcoming game ("lol swap" is not leadership). The other team might decline -- that's their call. Either way, play on without further complaints -- at all -- about team balance.

    Guardians/etc: please follow our enforcement lead.

    Examples of what we'll enforce against before or during gameplay: "lol stacks", "gg Wyz carry", "dat scoreboard tho", "this doesn't look so balanced", "go home, balance, you're drunk", etc

    Examples of what we'll encourage: "We're looking a bit weaker over here. Can we swap Wyz for NSPlayer?", or "Maybe let us give you guys one of our stronger folks for one of your mid-power regulars?"
    (Note: be respectful and sensitive when your leadership attempt might suggest relative weakness on the /other/ team)
    (Note: quick, team-only /constructive/ discussion about whether you want to request a swap is inevitable and NOT a problem, even if it shows you think you're on the weaker team)

    Examples of what's not at all affected by this: genuine compliments to opposition players who are really doing well during gameplay

    The SPIRIT of this rule is to keep things POSITIVE, even if your /constructive/ efforts make it clear you think things aren't balanced. Imbalance happens. How we respond to it is what this community expectation will /improve/.

    To be clear, the "leadership" bit is purely optional. What's required is dropping the unconstructive commentary.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

  • #2
    Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

    Another disambiguation: this applies both to team and server-wide communication.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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    • #3
      Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

      I was going to start a new thread, but I think this is more suited here.

      I feel like we may want to consider a short wait time before the round starts if we're going to start asking people to step up and try to lead us to a balance. It takes a minute to organize people.

      In NS1 we had such a wait time, and it was used to enforce planning, iirc. I feel like we may begin to see better games if we... passively enforce this as well. We stand as a strategic and coordinated mature community that respects each other. We're working hard for about half that sentence and then saying, "play like you normally do" at round start... "gonna rush phase tech..." - "do an even split"...

      Personally, I'd like to see us get to a point where these first 2 minute plans become first 5 minute plans instead. "gonna rush phase tech, do an even split, try to hold hub... if you are losing, push mez... I'll drop an armory somewhere in that area... the split that goes to Logi push repair and try to hold it..." etc etc.

      Am I alone in thinking it's starting to get a bit stale... and a 2 or 3 minute wait time before the round starts might liven things up a bit while also allowing for us to attempt a social balance?

      I also think that if we passively enforce planning before the round starts (capts game starts without the team choosing and a shorter wait time, if you will), then we will likely start to see this whole balance issue dissolve.

      Feel free to move this post if you don't want it in this thread, Wyz.

      Mom
      Last edited by YerMom; 09-21-2014, 03:30 AM. Reason: OMG Mom stop editting... said no Wyz ever.
      Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
      Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

      You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
      Forever Perplexed

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

        Any non-Captains delay will be self-imposed by managing to keep your Commander out of the command structure while you plan/etc.
        Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

        Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

          I agree with the sentiment and, for the most part, with the way the rule is written.

          I don't, however, think that a pregame comment of "this doesn't look so balanced" is unreasonable, offensive, or unconstructive. It establishes a dialogue around a mood, much like "I'm ready to concede" establishes a dialogue around that mood.

          Making specific, single player swaps the only acceptable option in this situation seems a bit unreasonable. I'm more likely to be on board with something like this:

          Bob: "This doesn't look so balanced"
          Joe: "Yea. Any objections to a re-balance?"
          [...]
          joe used command sh_forcebalance

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          • #6
            Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

            Here's what will be our trial remedy to that arguably rare scenario (where rebalance creates better results):

            No one may initially request rebalance.

            The answering team may include that option in their response, if they wish, but not as the only option.

            This offers a path for extreme cases while keeping protocol firmly established and preserving the leadership/investment spirit of the rule ("lol rebalance" /will/ compromise that spirit if left unchecked).
            Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

            Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

              I'm assuming you're saying that the answering team is the team that is responding to this:

              "We're looking a bit weaker over here. Can we swap Wyz for NSPlayer?", or "Maybe let us give you guys one of our stronger folks for one of your mid-power regulars?"
              I feel like a comment like that is going to be rarely used in text. More often than not, "this doesn't look so balanced" is going to be used, and I, personally, don't see a problem with a comment like that. It's an observation, and it's likely more than one person sees it. You're right, "lolololol we are pwned", "balance failed, ftw", etc... is unacceptable.

              I guess the point I'm trying to make is that we're much more likely to see the largely unoffensive commentary like "this doesn't look so balanced" than we are "Hey guys. I think we may need to repopulate the teams. Can Bob switch with Tom?" And... I don't feel like someone should be punished for commentary that is only stating an observation which is likely shared with multiple people.

              Are we reading too much into this?

              Mom
              Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
              Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

              You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
              Forever Perplexed

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

                While I understand and agree in the spirit of the rule, I feel that someone simply stating that "the teams don't look balanced" is less offensive than pointing to a particular player and trying to pawn them off for a player on the other team.

                Not to mention, there are numerous times when it is someone on the 'stacked' team that brings up the perceived imbalance.
                aka Roland tHTG

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

                  "This doesn't look so balanced", on its /own/, doesn't enough advance a solution. If you want to begin the dialog with that, ok fine, but the spirit of this rule is that, if I'm highlighting an imbalance, it's because others are seeing me trying to /solve/ it, not simply point it out.

                  If we make it clear we're just trying to help and keep from acting entitled to what we're proposing, most will appreciate the effort and won't be so fragile.

                  A three-way handshake protocol can happen VERY quickly with 1) some practice and 2) a shared understanding (of the spirit):

                  1. TeamA proposes (cannot simply begin with a rebalance request -- as I said in response to Shameless' concern, "lol rebalance" /will/ be abused in violation of the spirit if it's left unchecked)
                  2. TeamB accepts, declines, or proposes (proposal might change specifics or request a total rebalance)
                  3. TeamA accepts or declines (if necessary -- this step sometimes won't be necessary at all)

                  Leadership can be sloppy at first, but -- if we capture the /spirit/ now -- I'm /certain/ we'll see improvement with just a little practice.

                  Example dialogs:

                  (TeamA discusses and decides they're willing to give up a weaker player.)
                  TeamA: Can we have someone stronger?
                  (TeamB discusses.)
                  TeamB: We'll send Brian.
                  (TeamA chooses who's weaker than Brian and sends.)

                  -- or --

                  (TeamA discusses.)
                  TeamA: Can we have someone stronger?
                  (TeamB discusses.)
                  TeamB: No. Rebalance?
                  (TeamA chooses to rebalance or not and announces. Which they choose makes no difference to the point of this example.)

                  -- or --

                  (TeamA discusses.)
                  TeamA: Can we have someone weaker?
                  (TeamB discusses.)
                  TeamB: We can send Wyz, but we're game for rebalance, really. Your call.
                  (TeamA discusses.)
                  (TeamA chooses and announces. Which they choose makes no difference to the point of this example.)

                  --

                  That handshake description and those example dialogs are a HELL of a lot of text to read, but it represents a process that, start-to-finish, can occur in less than a minute once it's less new.

                  The point of all this is the /spirit/. The admins want people highlighting these imbalances to be the same folks /solving/ them, or at least making efforts.

                  Really, I'm content to move beyond the "you can say this, you can't say that" minutia as long as it sharply transitions our status quo of unconstructive commentary into change-enabling collaboration, and everyone sitting in silence after someone belches "this doesn't look too balanced" is /not/ where we're going to set the bar.
                  Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                  Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

                    Thank you for the extra clarification and examples Wyzcrak, that certainly made it clearer to me. I'm looking forward to seeing how this helps improve our overall community morale since it definitely can be demoralizing to hear one's teammates giving up before the game even starts.

                    Though I can see Roland's point that 'giving up a player' if done poorly can turn into 'here this player is no good we want soinso instead' and give the player being traded a backhanded insult. Probably should be some discussion on the part of the team suggesting the trade about who is willing to swap and who would be fair to do so. I know from personal experience that while I may look at the scoreboard and think about balance internally (especially if a game is already in progress) I rarely discuss or make any comments about my perception about the balance since even after playing with most of the regulars for a long time I still don't consider myself a very good judge of balance since different days, roles and who one is playing with also affects individual performance. I know I can participate in constructive balance discussions but I think I would rarely make a suggestion of a swap myself.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

                      sh_balance remains available to all Primer signers.

                      Originally posted by Wyzcrak View Post
                      [sh_forcebalance] offers a path for extreme cases
                      The admins have decided to remove sh_forcebalance from the server*, as it's rarely used at all (said "extreme cases" are too rare to design around), and even more rarely to anyone's particular delight. With the "rebalance" option off the table, we're all better positioned to socially and knowledgeably move key competitive forces where they're most likely to contribute to gameplay everyone will enjoy.

                      This doesn't create entitlement for anyone to move anyone, but you may (and often /should/) ask nicely.

                      We've improved over the last year regarding the spirit of OP (thank you!), and this will position us to better that improvement.

                      * despite our ability to force everyone to Ready Room with unrelated commands, myself and the other admins are also losing access to sh_forcebalance
                      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

                        Originally posted by Wyzcrak View Post
                        sh_balance remains available to all Primer signers.


                        The admins have decided to remove sh_forcebalance from the server*, as it's rarely used at all (said "extreme cases" are too rare to design around), and even more rarely to anyone's particular delight. With the "rebalance" option off the table, we're all better positioned to socially and knowledgeably move key competitive forces where they're most likely to contribute to gameplay everyone will enjoy.

                        This doesn't create entitlement for anyone to move anyone, but you may (and often /should/) ask nicely.

                        We've improved over the last year regarding the spirit of OP (thank you!), and this will position us to better that improvement.

                        * despite our ability to force everyone to Ready Room with unrelated commands, myself and the other admins are also losing access to sh_forcebalance
                        Can't say I'm happy about this. Forcebalance is needed sometimes and it is a much faster, fairer, and less disruptive method than trying to organize voluntary player switches. If people were using it in the wrong situations that is worth looking into and trying to correct, but removal is not a good idea. People may complain about getting team-switched, but it is much less likely to depopulate a server than playing significantly unbalanced games.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: rule change: no more "lol stacks", and maybe some more balance /leadership/

                          It wasn't used that often, and rarely yielded great results when it was used. If it proves too untenable to ask people to work together to best the computer's balance, we can revisit.
                          Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                          Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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