Finite & Infinite game theory

General Clan Lord discussion

Moderator: CL GMs

User avatar
Jeff Ray
Exile
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2003 9:49 am

Post by Jeff Ray » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:54 pm

It is possible to win and lose when playing Clan Lord. You win if you feel your time invested was worthwhile, and you lose if you feel your time was wasted. In light of this, karma is the fly of our world. Yes, you can try to ignore karma, but after a while you find your "quality of (virtual) life" is affected. Just as you can easily tolerate a few buzzing flies, but a whole swarm will make you want to relocate somewhere else, so will a constant barrage of karma make a player want to "vote with their feet". Which is what many people do, logging off until it passes, and in extreme cases leaving our community for good.

With our low population, I would think people would be more sensitive to those things which have a tendency to further lower our population. I support marking karma as a failed feature with more potential for harm than good, and ripping it out entirely.

User avatar
Zephyrus
Knights of Ni
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 5:11 pm
Location: Standing in TC Not Moving
Contact:

Post by Zephyrus » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:24 pm

Great post Vagile, aside from one blemish.
Vagile wrote: Expecting an in game change to Karma is a desire to make an infinite tool fit in a finite system. Instead perhaps we should retool the way we think about Karma and how we can use it. If one thinks of Karma as Fame and Fame = GK + BK. Then BK bombing only increases your fame. That doesn't sound so bad. It is in our heads, not dictated by the Rules of the Game, what value something like this has.
Likewise, giving me all your money can be more fun than saving it and spending it on yourself. If BK bombing just increases your fame then purgatory must really want the infamous people to sign autographs, cause they definitely like to keep you around.
Eldon wrote:
-=(Overlord)=- wrote:Game Theory? I guess I just won't bother here. Theory's are Theory's for a reason. They are tabletop ideals that never fit 100% to the real world.
Like the Theory of Gravity? :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity

But, to your point, several key cosmologists are starting to rethink the Theory of Gravity over long distances (mostly as a way to circumvent the whole Dark Matter and Dark Energy camps.)
Feh, Dark Matter is such bull crap. This is gonna end up in the same place the Universal Reference Point did. We need to save this thread so one of us can go neener-neener-neener is several years.

Seriously, scientists need to get their #$*(@# together and just make as a space elevator.
Ni!

Skirwan
Dwarven Militia
Dwarven Militia
Posts: 2971
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:39 pm
Profession: Bloodmage
Race: Ghorak Zo
Player Status: Inactive
Location: SNN Planar News Headquarters
Contact:

Post by Skirwan » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:27 am

Eldon wrote:If Player A (a Diablo player) plays Clan Lord 11.5% more than Player B (a chat room player), Player A would value CL more than Player B if it were taken away from him...right?
Well, of course. But that's rather simplifying the matter.

See, if the Diablo-style player uses a bloodfellamer, with an effective training ratio of 6, while the chatroom-style player has to drop his iron pinky ring to equip his Loovmite for an effective rank loss of 12.6 while a third player trains nothing but 1000 ranks of Blastus, and they're all on board a train that leaves Peaceton at 3 PM traveling 16 snells-per-zodiac, and the train passes an unknown tree on GI just as Super Chicken bumps it with the Separ and...

Wait, what were we talking about? ;)
“However,” said Dumbledore, speaking very slowly and clearly so that none of them could miss a word, “you will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me.”

Eldon
CL GM
CL GM
Posts: 2869
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 6:04 pm
Location: Fairgrounds
Contact:

Post by Eldon » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:15 am

Zephyrus wrote:Feh, Dark Matter is such bull crap. This is gonna end up in the same place the Universal Reference Point did. We need to save this thread so one of us can go neener-neener-neener is several years.
I agree. We've been down the "something is there" road before. Remember when it was called 'Ether'? Heh.
Zephyrus wrote:Seriously, scientists need to get their #$*(@# together and just make as a space elevator.
If there's a fire on the space elevator, can you use the stairs? :)
Eldon, a Clan Lord GM
Cinnamon wrote:I think you're one of the best GMs I've ever been frustrated with. 11 years & counting. I'm a loyal CL addict & you're a big part of why. For being willing to stick your chin out, many thanks.

Polanna
Exile
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 1:31 pm
Profession: Town Healer
Race: Concealed
Player Status: Spambot
Location: Somewhere between here and there.
Contact:

Post by Polanna » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:36 pm

Heh, Vagile... I had a response, but it turned into half a thesis chapter, and I don't think anyone wants to read anything that long. And it didn't really have much to do with karma. The short version follows:

It's a very interesting way to think about it. Infinite vs. Finite games is a useful distiniction for understanding some structural variation in play style and player type. I don't believe that there are 'finite players' and 'infinite players,' as one can play the same game many different ways simultaneously. I do, however, think that the type of game and the way the individual chooses to think about the game do inform each other and have consequences for the types of social structures and behaviors people see in the game/game community as a whole.

I also think that games can have mixed attributes (infinite games can certainly have endgames, which can, for many, make it more practical or easier to think about in finite terms, and finite games can be played with an infinite style). One may also have certain tools or game mechanics which are finite (battlegrounds matches, circle attainment) in an infinite game, and vice versa (although coins are discrete and quantifiable, they are also unlimited, so even as their relevance goes to 0, their abundance is infinite; roleplayinig is a more difficult but more useful example). The relative number of game mechanics and relative emphasis on attributes of any one type shapes the perceptions, behaviors, and community that form.

At issue in part is the problem of quantifiability of reward. Infinite games, or games played infinitely, rely more heavily on non-quantifiable rewards (we're going to ignore the economists, since utils aren't useful units for this type of analysis). One can add units to 'spending time with friends' or 'roleplaying' (hours played, % time spent engaged in activity, relative attention, choice type etc.), but they are inherently more difficult to quantify than ranks, coins, gear etc. When reward is difficult to quantify (but clearly extant), more infinite play is seen. When reward is easily quantified (especially, but not exclusively, in finite games), more finite play is seen.

Complicating this, of course, are interplays between quantifiable and non-quantifiable reward ('if I have this many ranks, I can hunt this area, which will let me spend time with this person I really like' 'my RP works best when my character is winning in a battleground'). Also complicating the picture are relative valuing systems over various types of quantification (this many ranks versus that many coins, during this many hours, with this type of thing available... problems that make utils and utility curves seem acutally useful), and quantifiable mechanisms with non-quantifiable effects (this is mainly a subset of the quantifiable/non-quantifiable interplay in the first one: things like karma fall easily into this subset, though.. it's easily quantifiable since it's measured, but the results of that quantification aren't in themselves quantifiable in the same way that the effects of ranks are. Karma may have some small game-mechanical effects, but its most important effects are social and psychological.).

Left out of this shortened discussion: specific examples of gamer theory this made me think of (see: "Theory By Design" by Walter Holland, Henry Jenkins, and Kurt Squire, in The Video Game Theory Reader), better/more in depth examples (see especially: endgames in infinite games), reward schedules, discussion of winning/losing in specific game contexts, practicality in choosing one play style over another, game design and game type, alternative explanations/definitions, and replies to other posters.

User avatar
Michael
Trainer
Posts: 2490
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:26 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Post by Michael » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:44 pm

This thread makes my dick itch. You all need to get jobs or something.

User avatar
Vagile
Red Quill
Red Quill
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:49 pm
Profession: Fighter and Healerer
Race: Ghorak Zo
Player Status: Inactive
Location: Library

Post by Vagile » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:03 pm

Polanna wrote:Heh, Vagile... I had a response, but it turned into half a thesis chapter, and I don't think anyone wants to read anything that long. And it didn't really have much to do with karma.
I'd read it. And the less it had to do with karma, the better. I think it's a fascinating subject. I wasn't trying to establish ultimate definitions so much as possibly give a few people something to consider about the basic notions of how they approach the game.

One of the tricky things with a game like CL is rewarding fun behavior (one of the design precepts, yes?). How is it phrased? "Fun activities are rewarding." Something like that. But how do you reward stuff like good roleplay? Is it even possible? Is the reward intrinsic to the activity and doesn't need further in game reward? Perhaps social recognition is the best reward.
"Mikey, relax, smoke a bowl, let the anger inside escape." -- Stinkfist
"Don't listen to him Michael. Listen to more metal." -- Daimoth

Talin
Noble
Posts: 1150
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 4:13 pm
Profession: Healer
Race: Sylvan
Player Status: Active
Contact:

Post by Talin » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:05 pm

Vagile wrote: One of the tricky things with a game like CL is rewarding fun behavior (one of the design precepts, yes?).
You mean rewarding what is fun to you? And, in what way do you lack social recognition? When did the last time someone say "bleh, vagile, RPing is so cheap" - want me to count how often I hear that for liking ranks, or cool items, or that group that can take SC?

I really dont get it. You do what is fun to you, I do what is fun to me. Where is the problem? What more do you need? That all and everyone finds the same things fun as you do?

I am really quite tired of hearing what style of playing is the *right* style. If you have fun, your style is right IMO. If you succeed in not destroying other people's fun, your style is double-right.

I hope more than 3 people find CL fun in my time slot. Whether they play finite or infinite, I couldnt care less.

Talin

User avatar
Vagile
Red Quill
Red Quill
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:49 pm
Profession: Fighter and Healerer
Race: Ghorak Zo
Player Status: Inactive
Location: Library

Post by Vagile » Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:18 pm

Talin, either you misunderstood me or I wasn't being very clear. I agree with you completely. Precisely what I'm saying is that there is no right way to play CL. The game allows all of us to play the way we want.

In a finite game, like Monopoly, you can't just decide to run around the board backwards. There are rules that have to be followed.

In an infinite game, like Clan Lord, we can choose many of the rules that apply to us and choose to ignore many others.

I choose to ignore Karma and I gave up hunting for experience years ago. I still have fun. Other people, obviously, have made different choices and I hope they have fun, too. We can choose to ignore Karma and it has very neglible in game effects (if any). Arguing for changes to those rules seems less productive to me than choosing to ignore the whole thing entirely. That's all. But if it's more fun for some people to bitch about it, then I guess they're welcome to.

I believe that "fun activities should be rewarding" is a Joe quote. Or is in the manual. I believe he means any fun activity no matter what it is you find fun. Hunting has an in game reward -- experience. RP has no quantifiable reward.
"Mikey, relax, smoke a bowl, let the anger inside escape." -- Stinkfist
"Don't listen to him Michael. Listen to more metal." -- Daimoth

User avatar
Brune
Noble
Posts: 756
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2003 9:50 am
Profession: Healer
Race: Fen'neko

Post by Brune » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:02 pm

Thanks, Vagile. That's pretty much what I thought you were saying. I'm not sure where Talin was coming from--but hopefully you clarified things.

Indigo
Fresh off the Boat
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:23 am
Location: Puddleby
Contact:

Post by Indigo » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:12 pm

Vagile wrote:Hunting has an in game reward -- experience. RP has no quantifiable reward.
I created Indigo to be my RP character. The rewards I get for that are not quantifiable, but identifiable. I get to participate in, and create, very interesting stories. I get to improv constantly. I get to experience an immersive environment in which I do not have to think much about game mechanics, ranks, or how to train so I can get through a test faster. This character doesn't care about tests.

I enjoy CL most by being totally IC and participating in improvised RP. After several years of hunting as a healer and fighter of other names, I just needed something different. I wanted to make a character that was totally IC. I didn't know what her life would be like when I started. I had no preconceived ideas of her outcome. I certainly didn't start out expecting her to become a dreaded "Noxie." :wink:

I guess my point here is that I wish more people would allow the CL world being to be more IC than OOC. Obviously people will enjoy CL the way they want to. As an RPer, I have to just ignore the OOCness and let it go. If I didn't do that, I would never have any fun.

And that brings me to karma. Most karma Indigo gets is IC. For that reason, it doesn't affect me (the player) one way or another. The one thing about karma that is important to me is the attached message I can send. Anonymous karma is a very good tool for RP. It is the only way you can try to elicit a response from another character that has no nametag attached to it. (i.e. /anonthank Exile "you sense eyes watching you from the east.")

For that reason, I do not want karma to go away, ever. Changing how it affects exiles is fine, but removing it completely would make RP a lot less fun for me and others.

User avatar
Bakunan
Exile
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:52 am
Location: Chicago

Post by Bakunan » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:06 pm

Vagile wrote:In a finite game, like Monopoly, you can't just decide to run around the board backwards. There are rules that have to be followed.
A few years back, I was visiting a friend Bill. His brother bought him a NASCAR racing game for his computer. After they crushed me in a few races, I decided to turn the car around during the race, and drove full speed into the pack of cars! :twisted: (The game allowed you to save certain scenes, and view them from a lot of angles. The computer cars try to turn away from the blow, but you can still take out over half of them.) At first Bill and his brother were horrified (thinking about what would happen in real life), but soon enough they were experimenting on finding more satisfying head-on wipe-outs.

Talin
Noble
Posts: 1150
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 4:13 pm
Profession: Healer
Race: Sylvan
Player Status: Active
Contact:

Re: Finite & Infinite game theory

Post by Talin » Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:11 am

Thanks for clarification, indeed, Vagile. Guess it is my bad english understanding which thought your first post was suggesting that finite playing is somehow inferior to infinite playing (or game developing). Live, and learn :)

Oh, and you are mistaken. The best part of CL is KI ;)

Talin

User avatar
Vagile
Red Quill
Red Quill
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:49 pm
Profession: Fighter and Healerer
Race: Ghorak Zo
Player Status: Inactive
Location: Library

Re: Finite & Infinite game theory

Post by Vagile » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:23 am

I really like this thread.
"Mikey, relax, smoke a bowl, let the anger inside escape." -- Stinkfist
"Don't listen to him Michael. Listen to more metal." -- Daimoth

Mac
Exile
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:05 pm
Profession: PWC Salandra
Race: Ghorak Zo
Player Status: Active
Contact:

Re: Finite & Infinite game theory

Post by Mac » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:09 am

I was going to reply to it until I realized you necro'd the crap out of it lol

Post Reply