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Draws still being given to the USA

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#1 NormandyWept

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 03:33 AM

When will draws/ties be correctly recorded as such? In my game tonight I had an irreparable position vs USA (turn 9, could end the turn by either giving him 11VP through a Scoring card and losing in end-of-turn-10 scoring, or playing Wargames for the event to end the game at 0 - I waited a long time to try and get to 7VP up to win, but it got to my last AR and I had to make a decision), and had to give up ranking points for no reason.


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#2 DoomsDay

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 11:01 PM

I'm pretty sure the rules state that in the event of a tie, the win is given to the US, as the game has US creators, thus there can be no ties



#3 mkiefte

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 12:40 AM

10.3.2: Once all regions have been scored, victory goes to the player who has accrued most VPs. If the VP marker is on a positive number, the US wins; if the VP marker is on a negative number, the USSR wins. If the VP marker is on zero, the game ends in a draw. 



#4 Benkyo

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 12:41 AM

I'm pretty sure the rules state that in the event of a tie, the win is given to the US, as the game has US creators, thus there can be no ties

 

Nope. I think the thing you are referring to is that the US wins if both players lose by holding scoring cards.

 

The rules state that a VP tie is a draw. The Playdek version has an undocumented change to the rules in that the US wins if VPs are at 0 at game end, which apparently Playdek implemented because they don't like draws. This is a significant change to the rules, and should either be clearly flagged in the tutorial, the VP tracker, and the endgame review, or should be reverted back to the rules as written. I doubt that the "bug" will be fixed, but the change to the rules must be very clearly flagged to everyone, so players don't get blindsided by it.


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#5 mkiefte

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 03:45 PM

I looked at the rules within the Steam game for the very first time and it confirms that 0 VPs at the end of the game is a tie.

Settings->Rulebook->End Game, very last sentence:

"If the net score is a Zero (0), the game is declared a draw."

 

So technically it is a "bug" in the sense that the game is internally inconsistent.

 

Nonetheless, it would be disheartening if the electronic version diverged from the rules of the printed game.



#6 VenomX

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 04:32 AM

I looked at the rules within the Steam game for the very first time and it confirms that 0 VPs at the end of the game is a tie.

Settings->Rulebook->End Game, very last sentence:

"If the net score is a Zero (0), the game is declared a draw."

 

So technically it is a "bug" in the sense that the game is internally inconsistent.

 

Nonetheless, it would be disheartening if the electronic version diverged from the rules of the printed game.

 

Which it does, intentionally.  Somewhere Playdek said they would award a game that ends at 0 to be a win for the US.  There's some technical reason, I think, that makes it more difficult to let it be a draw.  



#7 chipboard

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 03:38 PM

Interestingly, I'm in a game currently where I'm US, on +6 VP, and holding Wargames. I was just about to play Wargames to end the game at 0 VP and, according to PlayDek, win.

 

But the Commit button says it will result in USSR victory! I'm scared to test it!



#8 mkiefte

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 03:49 PM

Interestingly, I'm in a game currently where I'm US, on +6 VP, and holding Wargames. I was just about to play Wargames to end the game at 0 VP and, according to PlayDek, win.
 
But the Commit button says it will result in USSR victory! I'm scared to test it!


I think you have to sacrifice yourself for the common good,

If it really does give the victory to the USSR, that would be a big problem!

#9 gweis

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:50 PM

WARGAMES was changed in this update.  If you play it while up by exactly 6 VP, you will lose if you choose to end the game.

 

The Commit button now makes this clear, so you can undo once you see the result isn't in your favor.



#10 mkiefte

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:54 PM

WARGAMES was changed in this update.  If you play it while up by exactly 6 VP, you will lose if you choose to end the game.

 

The Commit button now makes this clear, so you can undo once you see the result isn't in your favor.

 

Why?  I really don't understand why you would do this.



#11 haytil

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 05:48 AM

WARGAMES was changed in this update.  If you play it while up by exactly 6 VP, you will lose if you choose to end the game.

 

The Commit button now makes this clear, so you can undo once you see the result isn't in your favor.

 

Why would you deliberately introduce a new bug, to compound an already-existing bug that has been reported by multiple players?

 

I do not understand it.  You make a digital version of a board game, without understanding what board gamers expect or want.  It's like you don't care about attempting to connect with your target audience at all.

 

I take it that this new Wargames buggy behavior is nowhere documented in either the rules or the card, is it?  So players who are either already familiar with the game or who are reading your own rulebook will now be fooled into losing their games unintentionally?


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#12 gweis

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:01 PM

Why would you deliberately introduce a new bug, to compound an already-existing bug that has been reported by multiple players?

 

I do not understand it.  You make a digital version of a board game, without understanding what board gamers expect or want.  It's like you don't care about attempting to connect with your target audience at all.

 

I take it that this new Wargames buggy behavior is nowhere documented in either the rules or the card, is it?  So players who are either already familiar with the game or who are reading your own rulebook will now be fooled into losing their games unintentionally?

 

If you're trying to convince me that what most board gamers want is to end in a tie after investing 2 hours to a game (or several weeks if played async), I'd say you're wrong.

 

But that irrelevant here.  We won't be adding ties.  Our system doesn't support it, and we haven't supported them in any of our other games.  The cases where a tie can occur in Twilight Struggle are so rare that our time is better spent improving other areas of the game.

 

In the case of Wargames, there are two cases where a tie can occur, when either player is up by exactly 6VP, DEFCON is at 2, and Wargames is in hand (or Star Wars is also possible for the US player).  When the player is in that situation, they have to decide that taking a tie is better than the possible outcome of playing out the rest of the game.

 

In the digital game, where a tie is not an option, the player has to choose to end the game or keep player.  Previously, the USSR player had to choose a loss or continue playing.  The US player could choose to win or continue playing.  This wasn't balanced.  By making this latest change, both players have the option to lose or continue playing.  We could implement a tie breaker, but in this case what better way to determine who should win a tie breaker than to ask the players to finish playing out the game from it's current state?  If the player with this choice can find just 1 more VP from any source, then Wargames can be used to win the game.  If he can't, then he still finds himself up 6VP, with a 4ops card in hand, and at most 3 turns left in the game.

 

Again, this is an extremely rare situation.  I've played 100s of games since we started developing the digital version, and I've never been in position to make this choice.  Obviously, it's happening for some users, but we're closing in on 200,00 games played online, and probably 3 times that many offline, so it will come up.

 

And no one will be fooled into losing in this situation.  The commit button now clearly displays that committing to will end the game in a victory for you or your opponent, so you can decide to back out and choose a different path when you notice that.  You can see if chipboard's post about being in this situation, he didn't proceed because of the warning.



#13 Benkyo

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:41 AM

I appreciate the explanation and I understand why you made the change to Wargames, given that you are starting from the assumption that draws are undesirable and/or impossible to implement. I think your assumption is wrong (there's nothing intrinsically bad about draws), but I understood from the beginning that draws are not a feature of Playdek's "system" and never will be, so I'm not unhappy about the change to Wargames.

 

I do wish that both of these two deliberate changes to the rules were much more clearly flagged at all levels in the game. Any player who knows the game is going to hate being surprised by either of them and everyone needs to be warned about both changes prior to starting a game. A warning when you choose to play Wargames is insufficient, and finding out you won/lost instead of drew at the end of the game is insufficient. Knowing and agreeing to a ruleset is an essential prerequisite for investing several hours into a game. The fact that you might not even notice the rule changes does not change this - you need to know what your victory conditions are before you reach the point where you find out if you've won or not.


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#14 ArchieAndrews

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 09:49 AM

I just ran into this issue last night.  

 

To echo Benkyo's comments, knowing the victory conditions in advance would have changed the way I played the game.

 

For example - to reach the threshold of 6 points, I played in a fashion that sacrificed board position for VPs.  I only had a way to get to 6 points, no further, but my opponent had a healthy board advantage and this was looking to be my only realistic escape.  So, I allowed a bad board to get worse only to find that at 6 pts War Games would still lose me the game.  As you said, the game warned me only at that point that I would lose, but this was after the damage was done.

 

Would you be willing to modify the text on the War Games card to highlight that a tie score awards victory to the non-phasing player?  This would help prevent similar instances where a player commits to a plan that they learn to be digitally unsupported until it's too late.


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#15 haytil

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 04:31 PM

If you're trying to convince me that what most board gamers want is to end in a tie after investing 2 hours to a game (or several weeks if played async), I'd say you're wrong.


Then you need to do some market research to understand your customer base, because I guarantee that you are incorrect.

The responses on this forum, and the overwhelming feeling of the Twilight Struggle community on Board Game Geek, provide plenty of evidence of this. Serious board gamers (the type to play a game like "Twilight Struggle") have NO issue with being able to play for a draw once it becomes apparent that playing for victory is a hopeless cause.

Imagine if a chess tournament changed the rules to say that "Black wins on a stalemate." Chess players would go BALLISTIC.
 

But that irrelevant here. We won't be adding ties. Our system doesn't support it, and we haven't supported them in any of our other games.

 

The fact that your system doesn't currently implement a feature is not a reason to NOT implement that feature. That's called software development.

Your statement makes as much sense as saying "'Nuclear Test Ban' is not in any of our other games, so we won't be adding it to 'Twilight Struggle.'" It's part of the game, not including it shouldn't be an option.
 

The cases where a tie can occur in Twilight Struggle are so rare that our time is better spent improving other areas of the game...I've played 100s of games since we started developing the digital version, and I've never been in position to make this choice.

 

First, how rare is it? I've probably played ~100 real life games in my lifetime - a draw on Wargames has been a possibility at least twice. It may be more rare for you, given your play style, but perhaps not for mine or others - and your implementation should allow multiple play styles to be explored and used.

Second, frequency of an event is only one reason to fix a bug. Another is visibility amongst the customer base - and given the responses here and on BGG, the visibility of this issue is high relative to your perceived frequency of the event actually occurring.
 

Obviously, it's happening for some users, but we're closing in on 200,00 games played online, and probably 3 times that many offline, so it will come up.

 

It's happening to enough users that some are actually creating accounts and posting about it on your forum. How many other users are seeing the issue but not bothering to report it? If multiple people are going out of their way to point out this issue to you, then it's almost certainly the tip of a largely unreported iceberg.
 

In the case of Wargames, there are two cases where a tie can occur, when either player is up by exactly 6VP, DEFCON is at 2, and Wargames is in hand (or Star Wars is also possible for the US player).

 

Or "SALT Negotations" is in hand for either player - as occurred for me in a recent game (I specifically held it in hand in case I needed to grab "Wargames" on the next turn).
 

When the player is in that situation, they have to decide that taking a tie is better than the possible outcome of playing out the rest of the game.

 

Which is a fascinating strategic consideration, one which you've taken away from a game which otherwise advertises itself as a game of deep strategy.

It's a strategic consideration which also comes up heavily in another game of deep strategy - chess. Again, imagine rewriting the rules so that stalemate ends in a forfeit (or even worse, a loss for white). It changes the game, and not for the better.
 

By making this latest change, both players have the option to lose or continue playing.

 

This is not an interesting choice, both players have this option on almost every action round of the turn by the time turn 3 rolls around.
 

And no one will be fooled into losing in this situation. The commit button now clearly displays that committing to will end the game in a victory for you or your opponent, so you can decide to back out and choose a different path when you notice that. You can see if chipboard's post about being in this situation, he didn't proceed because of the warning.

 

  • I don't get that warning until I play the card. So if I'm playing "SALT Negotiations" to grab it, I'll have made a serious strategic mistake already - I can't "back out and choose a different path" at that point (since grabbing the card happened on a previous action round). Other users pointed out that previous action rounds could feature game- or board-altering decisions, with the intent to follow up with a Wargames draw, which fizzles once they realize (too late) that you've changed the rules on them.
  •  I get a Defcon warning when I play "Five Year Plan" as the Soviets with an otherwise empty hand. This is an example of the kind of "warning" that is incorrectly given to me - which has given me a rather loose attitude towards the accuracy of such "commit" warnings.
  • Other bugs (in both gameplay and UI) have also given me a loose attitude about the accuracy of "commit" warnings. Given my knowledge of the game, without knowing that you specifically changed the rules, I would naturally assume that any warning about losing the game (rather than tying) was yet another UI bug.

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#16 macrergate

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

It's really minor problem for me, but I would like fully understand this implementation. 

What does it acctually matter, who takes action round( like it is resolved for DEFCON victories) either who plays the Wargames ?

 

Suppose VPs at 6 in favor US and USSR player plays Star Wars (or Five Year Plan), so it is currently USSR Action Round

if US player play Wragames resolving such an event and chooses to end the game does he(she) still lose the game? 



#17 Benkyo

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 07:22 AM

Who knows? Playdek are making it up as they go, so it could go either way. I'm guessing that the intent is that the US choice to resolve the event means the US would lose, but until someone tests this or an official response is given, we don't know how it would actually play out.


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#18 mkiefte

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

I'm still kind of curious about what kind of system doesn't allow draws.  It's obviously not set up for two of the oldest, most competitive games in the history of humankind.  What games don't allow draws?  And who owns this system that it can't be changed?


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#19 Benkyo

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 01:45 AM

Go is a good example of a game set up to avoid draws, and I'm not opposed to the idea in principle. If TS had been designed from the start to avoid draws it wouldn't be any worse off. It could actually be a minor improvement.

 

Note that none of this changes my position that any disparity between the official rules and the Steam rules is unequivocally an undesirable situation, and a failure to clarify the new rule set to Steam players makes it bad enough that a priority one hotfix a week or so after launch to change card text and clarify victory conditions is the kind of developer response I'd expect to happen.


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#20 mkiefte

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 10:03 AM

You can have draws in both go and chess.  A player can pass specifically to force a draw if both players have the same score.  In chess, draws are very common.







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