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Author Topic: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)  (Read 327 times)

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jotheonah

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2019, 12:35:44 pm »

Also, I assume Bulletproof and Lynchproof are supposed to be 1-shot? Otherwise a Lynchproof scum is basically instant win.

Yeah, I left that in by accident. Shouldn't really be on the scum or SK lists.
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jotheonah

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2019, 12:40:50 pm »

I was thinking the survey would be a good starting point to (A) identify the roles where there is no consensus so we can discuss them and (B) identify the roles we all basically agree on so we can start slotting those into some kind of hierarchy of power levels. But I left out a ton of roles mafiascum considers "normal" because there's just so many and I wanted the survey to not take forever.
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popsofctown

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2019, 07:37:20 pm »

I'm disappointed the survey does not include vigilante.

Vigilante is one of the most well designed power roles in mafia.  It interacts with the dayplay without subverting dayplay.  The vigilante can punish scum that have exposed themselves during the day, but does not need to influence other players to agree with him unlike lynching, so it is not fully redundant.  (Treestump or double voter would be roles that are so similar to the dayplay itself that they don't really add something).

Tracker is a far better designed role than watcher.  Watcher is asymptotically close to being as bad as cop.  Mafia can get around a tracker by sending a teammate to perform the NK who is not very much under suspicion.  It's already the same motis operandi for dodging jailkeeps and such.  But a watcher punishes the mafia for having a predictable nightkill target, and when it's a closed setup where they haven't been warned there is a watcher, that is just punishing them for playing mountainous mafia correctly.  It's like a doctor (which also has its detractors, actually), but it's worse, you will actually wish you had no killed when the watcher claims and outs not just one of your mafia, but the mafia teammate you thought was performing best this game. Yeah actually it might be worse than cop.

The potential for accidentally killing a roleblocker who targetted the same guy who got nightkilled doesn't help enough.  It's still going to be correctly play to lynch the watcher's target.  The best roles put weight on what is correct dayplay without dictating the dayplay.

Confirmed innocent and delayed confirm innocent (includes masons) (if you don't crumb your mason partner as you die 100% of the time you're bad at mafia) do this and they are generally good roles.  They are harmful in the sense that the town do not get a chance to use their skill to discern the innocent players for themselves, but they create a novel circumstance where a player the mafia targetted in the dayplay can be revealed to be a mislynch target, and the mislynch target gets to participate in the assessment of whether that was malicious.  So at least you're getting something new. 

To some extent it's kind of like items in mario kart, where every single item corrupts the core technique of driving a time trial track very well.  But also like mario kart, some of them replace the original steering challenge with a different steering challenge, while some of them subvert the steering challenge altogether and just make the game not about steering anymore until they go away.  (blue shell, bullet bill in the newer game don't play the newer games that thing is cancer)
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mail-mi

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2019, 02:22:47 am »

Just thinking of the idea of being a SK with a lightning rod makes me cringe
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popsofctown

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2019, 03:22:15 am »

Best closed setup ever
Noah's Ark Mafia

1 Bullet Proof Lightning Rod Paranoid Gun Owner Serial Killer
3 Mafia Goons
1 Informed Townie (Information: this setup includes a Bulletproof Lightning Rod Paranoid Gun Owner Serial Killer)
1 Cop
1 Doctor
1 Tracker
1 Watcher
1 Bodyguard
1 Hider
1 Vigilante
1 Masonizer
1 Gunsmith
1 Rolecop
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sudgy

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2019, 03:28:18 am »

Best closed setup ever
Noah's Ark Mafia

1 Bullet Proof Lightning Rod Paranoid Gun Owner Serial Killer
3 Mafia Goons
1 Informed Townie (Information: this setup includes a Bulletproof Lightning Rod Paranoid Gun Owner Serial Killer)
1 Cop
1 Doctor
1 Tracker
1 Watcher
1 Bodyguard
1 Hider
1 Vigilante
1 Masonizer
1 Gunsmith
1 Rolecop

Make sure it starts at night.
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   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

faust

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2019, 03:57:57 am »

Watcher is asymptotically close to being as bad as cop.  Mafia can get around a tracker by sending a teammate to perform the NK who is not very much under suspicion.  It's already the same motis operandi for dodging jailkeeps and such.  But a watcher punishes the mafia for having a predictable nightkill target, and when it's a closed setup where they haven't been warned there is a watcher, that is just punishing them for playing mountainous mafia correctly.  It's like a doctor (which also has its detractors, actually), but it's worse, you will actually wish you had no killed when the watcher claims and outs not just one of your mafia, but the mafia teammate you thought was performing best this game. Yeah actually it might be worse than cop.
The advantage that Watcher and Doctor have over a Cop is that they remedy a significant problem of mafia: Usually, playing well as town is rewarded by dying. Making it more difficult to nightkill strong players that are believed to be town by many is a way to reward good play as town in a way that isn't frustrating. A agree that there is a problem if scum isn't aware of the possibility of a Watcher, so they should be, either because it's a semi-open setup or because maybe they have a 1-shot Ninja or something to tip them off.
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jotheonah

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2019, 10:26:44 am »

So far the only think y'all 100 percent agree on is ....

That a serial killer bodyguard is not a strong ability.

I should really have put more time into this thing.
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jotheonah

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2019, 10:32:05 am »

Here is a second survey which includes seven town roles I left out of the first survey (including vigilante!)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VdrERylX77RfhqhIWZPcr0KOr8oR8j1RIxYfa270r84/edit
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popsofctown

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2019, 11:29:27 pm »

Dying for playing well at mafia is a feature, not a bug.

You can just /in to another game once you're dead.  It's not like going to a party where there's only one video game for 1v1 fights and someone implemented the rule "loser stays to fight a new challenger".

You can just use a doctor in your setup if this is the effect you're looking for anyway.  There's no need to have such a massive swing. 
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silverspawn

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Re: How to Balance a Mafia Game (A Community Project I Hope!)
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2019, 05:58:43 am »

Just realized that I screwed this up. The setup I was referencing (it was used in the second mafia championship and had an empirically near-perfect balance) had 9 VT + 1 Cop, not 8 VT + 1 cop. Clearly, an odd number of town players in a game without a way to prevent the NK wouldn't make sense.

I would proceed as follows

1. A game with 9 town (8 VT + 1 cop) and 3 scum is arguably perfectly balanced. If your game has a similar number of players, compare your balance with that game. don't rely on intuition, make up numbers with intuition and then look at what the numbers say. (For example, if you give cop 4 utility points, you could give doctor 1)

2. In the above, be aware that whether the setup is closed or open makes large difference. If it's open, then a doctor would basically be an IC. It would then not be a 1 but at least a 2.

3. Ask yourself how good play would look like from both sides, and if it's boring, change the setup. This catches things like follow-the-cop but it's a more general trick than memorizing a bunch of combos.
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