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View Poll Results: Situation1: Would you still play to win with all force?
Y: The thrill is in the kill and there are always more opponents to be found on the internet anyway. 1 3.85%
Y: Stop bragging, keep playing and keep proving your capabilities! 1 3.85%
N: Playing the game is the fun! The short instant of winning is just a gas. 4 15.38%
Y: Playing the game is the fun! The short instant of winning is just a gas. So if they
do not understand this, then there is no point in playing with them anyway.
4 15.38%
Y: Willingly loosing would be the same as betraying your friends. After all, they expect you to give your best! 3 11.54%
N: Allowing your friends to enjoy winning Dom2 is a noble cause. 1 3.85%
Y: Allowing your friends to enjoy winning Dom2 is a noble cause, but you are bad at keeping secrets. They will believe you that you could have won,
so in the end they will feel betrayed by you, which is worse.
2 7.69%
Y: Allowing your friends to enjoy winning Dom2 is a noble cause, but you are bad at keeping secrets. They will not believe that you could have won, so in the end they will scorn you for being a boasting liar that
cannot stand loosing.
0 0%
N: None of the above matters, but building up all those lovely toy armies took so much time that it would be shame not see them in action until all but the last tin soldier has fallen. So prolong the game as long as you can! 2 7.69%
?: I would discuss matters with them openly. They would have to agree to my superiority over them and we would negotiate
some sacrifices of my forces and continue play on even terms.
5 19.23%
?: Like the one above, but I would still win in the end... 1 3.85%
?: Other. See my individual post. 2 7.69%
?: Who cares? I am here to discuss strategy games and not for answering your bloody questions of moral! 0 0%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old July 21st, 2005, 02:52 PM

Anonimus Anonimus is offline
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Default Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

I will describe two gaming situations which might generally occur in any strategy game. Please tick the appropriate action you would take in each and express your thoughts (if any) in a post.

The questions I pose are questions of moral. I am in one of the situations described, and I do not know how to handle them without any bad remorse. This is also the reason for using a different login here.

For ease of writing, I will refer to DominionsII (Dom2) instead of a generic strategy game. There is nothing Dominions-specific to this question.

The Situation for Question 1: You love playing Dom2. You love playing strategy games with well-known local friends. You love playing Dom2 with good friends even more. However, after a few games it turns out that you are ahead of them in learning the game and you easily defeated them so far. Another Dom2 game is currently coming to its end. Your friends have learned, but you might still win the game if you act quickly and forceful now (e.g. by grabbing the final victory points)! However, you fear that doing so might cause your friends to abandon Dom2 entirely and that you will never convince them to play Dom3 with you. What would
you do now? Would you loose willingly? Would you still try your best to win? Why? And why not?

Question 2: A simplified range of answers for the previous questions. Please answer as you just did before.

Situation of Question 3: You and your friends have played a few Dom2 games. Always the same player has won thus far. This time the tide seems to turn, but you suspect that he might just let you win instead of a proper fight in order to keep you going. How do you feel?
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  #2  
Old July 21st, 2005, 03:14 PM

quantum_mechani quantum_mechani is offline
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

My answer would be to play with handicaps. If you keep winning, keep scaling up your number of leftover design points.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

1) If I know that my friends don't have a snowball's chance in hell to win, I'd rather just talk to them and see what they think. If they agree, we would discuss wether they want to continue to the bitter end or not, and act accordingly.
2) Well... 1!
3) If someone was letting me win, I'd rather we just end the game right there instead, especially if its so obvious I don't stand a chance of winning. If I know I'm going to lose, there's no point fighting 'till the bitter end, might as well start a new game and let the fun start all over again.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

The whole point of strategy games is to have fun testing your skill against opponents. It's much more fun when your opponents put up a good fight. The right way to balance a match between players of greatly differing skill is not to have the better player play poorly - that's no fun for him - but to give him a handicap. The ideal situation is where every player is handicapped exactly enough that the game's outcome is completely unpredictable until the later stages, even with every player doing his or her best.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 04:29 PM

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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

Differing skill levels are PART of strategy in the game.

I don't think artifical handicaps are interesting. I think a superior player should take natural handicaps such as the weakest position on the board or weakest race.

It should also not be frowned upon if several of the friends join forces to defeat this stronger player. After all, that is what happened to Germany in WWII.

Basically a great player should be acknowledged, but with that acknowledgement comes the responsiblity to create situations that challenge him and all other players as equally as possible.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

You have to play at your best so when you lose, your friends will be much more happy! To let them win will not be the best solution! If you are not cheating, sooner or later you have to lose!
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Old July 21st, 2005, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

Your objective should depend on the relative skill levels. Compete against equals, teach your inferiors, and learn from your superiors. In a teaching situation, throwing a game isn't helpful. Sharing information—e.g., now I'm going to do such-and-such so I can summon an Air Queen by Turn 20—is likely to help your friends become better players. When they are closer to your skill level, then you can go all out.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

There is no fun in playing when it is obvious that you are lost and I would actually feel betrayed if you would let me win on purpose, for you treated me like child and in a dishonest way. I'd rather face reality and learn from it. Maybe your dishonesty is why you are still ahead of your friends?

On the other hand, I once played a game where I was clearly loosing, but got really disappointed by a sudden death caused by caelian flyers occupying enough victory points at the other end of the world in an instant without everybody noticing. I new that I could not win, but being Miasmal Ctis it was kind of fun to watch the Ulmites die of poison and disease at my Lizard's Hill Fortresse's Gates by the dozen. All the umlish steel waste by swamp disease and poison slingers! They managed to storm a fortresses here and there, but at what cost! That was fun, despite of loosing in the long run and I was disappointed when I learnt what Caelum was doing...

So if you are merely considering such a "sudden death" move and would loose against their combined forces in the long run, then I would just ask them whether they have still fun.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

Quote:
Gargoyle said:
It should also not be frowned upon if several of the friends join forces to defeat this stronger player. After all, that is what happened to Germany in WWII.

I thought Germany gave itself a handicap by having an alliance with Italy.
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Loosing on purpose: morally justifiable?

Quote:
sushiboat said:
Your objective should depend on the relative skill levels. Compete against equals, teach your inferiors, and learn from your superiors. In a teaching situation, throwing a game isn't helpful. Sharing information—e.g., now I'm going to do such-and-such so I can summon an Air Queen by Turn 20—is likely to help your friends become better players. When they are closer to your skill level, then you can go all out.
It might also be a good idea to host a game in wich you are not involved and guide players and give them good advice. If they trust you to be impartial that is. Encourage players to discuss their strategies with each other:
"How did you kill my mechanical men that quickly"?
"Next turn I'll wipe xxx's armies. I'll use a combo of yyy and zzz to do this".

Discussions where you are not too afraid to tell others of your strategies works well when you play with friends. It can be very educating.

Another good way to teach new players a game is to set up two groups of players who don't know each other. 3 vs 3 or 4 vs 4 or something. You should probably avoid getting involved yourself in a game like this. Unless you find another group of players with their own personal trainer
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