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Diverging from History: Player Perspective

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Deacon
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Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Deacon on Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:17 pm


One of the things I find interesting in TGOK is how player objectives diverge from their historical counterparts. (I'm a gamer, weird things interest me. :D )

Using myself as an example, if you tell me if I work at something for 10 years I will reap great rewards, I would probably do this in real life.

But, in a game like this, the point of playing a game in the first place is to have fun (gratification), so who wants to delay that gratification for years? You want to have the fun _now_. Fun is, after all, the entire point. This is particularly true when the game is running slower so your gratification gets even further delayed. Telling me that things will be awesome in 2 years, when that two years will take 2 years (or more) of real time to get here, leads me to discount that course of action versus something more immediate. I find as I've played the game more years, my patience is wearing thinner. I want more results sooner.

Second, as a player, my risk-reward calculations are very different in a game than in real life. In real life if you told me I could flip a coin, heads I win 10M pounds, tails I die gruesomely, I wouldn't flip that coin. Life is pretty awesome, thanks.

But in a game, what is death? If the position becomes 'unplayable', I just drop it without penalty. I move on to some other game. So this exact same proposition in a game context translates more to "50% of the time you will get awesome stuff. 50% of the time you will start a new position." Particularly very early in the game when you haven't invested as much, why not gamble on more? Is dropping a position really that big a hit?

So those two factors in general, I think, cause in-game actions to diverge rather notably from historical norms. We aren't playing the long game, and we aren't afraid of being destroyed, so we tend to look for higher risk, faster reward outcomes.

Nothing wrong with this, really. It makes for more exciting games, I think. But I also think it tends to mean that it is harder to use history as a real useful guide for what to do. I think it also tends to be one of the causes of game 'death'. Since your player incentive is to "win big or go home", the number of players in a game will drop off as those whose gambles didn't pay off drop out. But if winners want to enjoy the fruits of their gamble, they also need the games to last. What, if anything, to do?

This came up in the context of game 10 and the Spanish Succession. I think it is interesting to watch what players will and will not settle for in the process when looking at history as a guide. Historically, I think most nations ended up the poorer for fighting it out. Will be interesting to see how much risk players will want to take to their positions to try to claim more. While it came up in reference to game 10, I do think it is a more general trend.

No real point to this, other than to observe it. Perhaps to invite discussion on how it impacts the game, and what we all think about it.
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The Real Louis
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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by The Real Louis on Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:05 pm

It is an interesting theme - what keeps us playing a position, and what causes us to give up. Though I've only ever played 3 positions - one I did give up (pass on), one was taken away from me (game folded) and one I'm still playing. I think it's a question of investment (of time & imagination, but also money). We put a lot in (and the rewards can be slow in coming back, as noted) which may make us reluctant to give up (and abandon the investment), but then perhaps it all gets too much for too little, and we crumble. The position I gave up I'd brought about as far as I could see it getting (Moldavia, a small nation, firmly top of the Honour Board, and with a daughter of the royal family married to the Russian heir, getting large cash subsidies from Russia, Economy high and climbing, region peaceful - there was nothing left to achieve [that was reasonable - I could have started an ad hoc war somewhere "just for fun", but it didn't appeal and wasn't in character].)

Carefully-made (and heavily invested-in, as above) plans going wildly wrong, or simply not delivering, is another interest-killer - along with Early Game Famine. I imagine being clobbered by an over-sized alliance would be, too.

All of which impacts on the 'historical parallels' results. With all due respect to Richard's npc-nations, the historical path of each game is set by the particular mix of the active player-nations and their individual ambitions - different from game to game, and (very) different to the real-world narrative. And then the dropping-out of nations changes the chemistry once again. (That's if anybody notices! Apparently in Game 8 no-one noticed France had dropped, because the original player had been such an isolationist.)
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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Jason on Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:33 pm

It's an interesting one. I tend to play the long game so 10 game years to achieve things doesn't bother me in-game (though quicker game turn around so it doesn't 10 real years...). I tend to drop positions only because real life forces me to.
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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Deacon on Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:57 pm

Jason wrote:It's an interesting one. I tend to play the long game so 10 game years to achieve things doesn't bother me in-game (though quicker game turn around so it doesn't 10 real years...). I tend to drop positions only because real life forces me to.

I don't really want to wander into game turnaround (we've talked that enough), but for you (and everyone else reading), how long is your window of "delay of gratification"? IE, you have an in-game plan significantly improve your position. How long will you wait (in real world time) for that plan to come to fruition?

6 months? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? More?

I think I'm around the 2 year mark, but I may be getting shorter as the birthdays catch up with me. :D

Early on in game 8, I kicked off some plans that still aren't come to fruition over 5 years later, and are probably a couple years away. I wouldn't bother again just because the return for the effort isn't worth the mental time, the game dollars, or the real world time.

Now, I generally try to make sure the plan will be materially advanced within 2 years, or I just don't do it. For instance, I've thought about long-term projects for enclosures in game 8, but haven't done anything with those ideas because they really are decade long plans, and even if they are good ideas in the abstract, I don't think the "player fun" payout is big enough to invest in them.



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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Thelittleemperor on Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:26 pm

I wonder if the drilling could be reduced to say three months and six months .A year to build a fortress is very generous already but I wonder if it could be changed to a ""year at the most " with the addition of ridiculous amounts of money helping reduce the building time or even the research time for some things .Want to raise a body of Dragoons? That's 7,500 pounds please .Want to do it in 2 months instead of 3 that's 15,000 .One month!? 22,500 pounds.

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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Thelittleemperor on Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:29 pm

Want to research something 10,000 investment knocks a month off , 20,000 for two months .

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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:02 am

Thelittleemperor wrote:I wonder if the drilling could be reduced to say three months and six months .A year to build a fortress is very generous already but I wonder if it could be changed to a ""year at the most " with the addition of ridiculous amounts of money helping reduce the building time or even the research time for some things .Want to raise a body of Dragoons? That's 7,500 pounds please .Want to do it in 2 months instead of 3 that's 15,000 .One month!? 22,500 pounds.

I think their is a name for quickly raised and very expensive troops........Mercenary.

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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Jason on Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:29 pm

Deacon wrote:
Jason wrote:It's an interesting one. I tend to play the long game so 10 game years to achieve things doesn't bother me in-game (though quicker game turn around so it doesn't 10 real years...). I tend to drop positions only because real life forces me to.

I don't really want to wander into game turnaround (we've talked that enough), but for you (and everyone else reading), how long is your window of "delay of gratification"? IE, you have an in-game plan significantly improve your position. How long will you wait (in real world time) for that plan to come to fruition?

6 months? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? More?

I think I'm around the 2 year mark, but I may be getting shorter as the birthdays catch up with me. Very Happy

Early on in game 8, I kicked off some plans that still aren't come to fruition over 5 years later, and are probably a couple years away. I wouldn't bother again just because the return for the effort isn't worth the mental time, the game dollars, or the real world time.

Now, I generally try to make sure the plan will be materially advanced within 2 years, or I just don't do it. For instance, I've thought about long-term projects for enclosures in game 8, but haven't done anything with those ideas because they really are decade long plans, and even if they are good ideas in the abstract, I don't think the "player fun" payout is big enough to invest in them.



I often develop a 5-year (game year) plan for a position when I take it on and I tend to find I'm ok to see that through largely regardless of how long it takes in real life. I think that as I try and work in some quick achievable goals as part of any plan (get existing military drilled to highest level, establish medical/legal services in 1st year) it helps Smile
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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Rozwi_Game10 on Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:00 pm

Yes, my plan for Rozwi was to explore the wargaming aspect of the game, so set out from January 1700 building up my forces and information to fight a war with a npc country. I've been slowly building up towards it, hopefully stacking the deck in my favour, and now after two real-life and game years it should be time to fight in Game 10 next turn.

Certainly it has taken me longer than I expected it to. But I could have invaded a neighbour within a couple of turns, won the battle but not the war. So have been playing the longer game in the hope of adding positive modifiers to the dice when rolled for various outcomes.

Over the last 25 turns there has been quite a few little 'victories' in setting things up to work in the Rozwi position - a few failures too - so each game turn has kept my interest and I'm still enjoying myself.

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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by J Flower on Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:41 pm

Thelittleemperor wrote:I wonder if the drilling could be reduced to say three months and six months .A year to build a fortress is very generous already but I wonder if it could be changed to a ""year at the most " with the addition of ridiculous amounts of money helping reduce the building time or even the research time for some things .Want to raise a body of Dragoons? That's 7,500 pounds please .Want to do it in 2 months instead of 3 that's 15,000 .One month!? 22,500 pounds.

I think the idea of drilling troops reflects reasonably well in game turns, it is more to do with instilling a certain method onto the troops, money cannot really influence this. Time & patience cannot be bought, look upon it more as a gathering of experience & excellence, neither of which you can way a cheque book at.

Same can be said about raising units, a certain amount of time is required to teach a recruit the meaning of Left & right & how to march, how to fire a weapon & how to care for that weapon, in the case of cavalry how to ride & care for a horse. All things that take time & cannot be bought.

You maybe able to make other improvements with money, for example hiring more labourers in the case of building projects but then again current rules do not take into account geographical hindrances, or other logistical matters, so just how deep & complex do you want to go with building projects, it is probably a case of swings & roundabouts some projects could in certain situations be done more quickly others should technically take longer. Looking around Europe today there are still Cathedrals that were started hundreds of years ago & are still under construction.
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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Deacon on Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:34 pm


Well, I think the point is can we find to accelerate the game in ways that don't damage the game integrity?

While I can see the appeal, I'm loathe to suggest that spending more is the answer because then the rich could buy time, which the poorer positions couldn't.


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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by J Flower on Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:58 pm

Maybe an idea is to move from monthly to seasonal turns, so instead of twelve turns a year you have four. Admitted this may totally ruin the integrity of the game & would require a major rule book rewrite, but it would see the years slip by in game much faster.

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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Thelittleemperor on Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:16 pm

Yes , I was thinking about a game "fudge" rather than being able to buy experience and excellence in real life matters.The use of money was the only sanction I immediately thought of
What about a gameplay aid connected to honour ? Say you have 6 honour points in April .That would give 6 ( activity points) for
knocking a month per activity point of something per year .So ,in the dragoon example you could use an activity point to raise them in 2 months instead of 3 . Knock 2 months of a research project perhaps then later on in the year drill the Dragoons to good level in 3 months by using your remaining 3 points
Of course it could be half Your honour score and there could still be a minimum time taken ..
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Re: Diverging from History: Player Perspective

Post by Deacon on Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:34 pm


That is an interesting idea.

Spending honour to accelerate various things.

It wouldn't even require much change.

You could have your honour score, which is your traditional honour score and changes accordingly.

And you could have an honour bank, which as you earn honour increments and as you spend it decrements.

Your honour standings would be based off your score.

It would certainly encourage folks to do what they could to earn honour, assuming it did useful things when you "spent" it.

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