How much hedging is too much hedging?

It’s fairly well known that the larger “game” encompassing all of a player’s games is important for their success in their individual games.

This sometimes leads to controversial play that involve trying less hard or purposefully hedging as one alignment, either strategically or due to dislike toward said alignment. Taken to the extreme this may arguably operate as a pseudo-trust tell.

Do you hedge? (I do, though not in the direction people might expect!) How much hedging is too much?

Can we differentiate between when someone is purposefully trying to play significantly worse vs. trying but playing significantly worse?

The guideline I’m thinking of instating is “try reasonably hard as both alignments”. The classic “play to win” has always felt a bit too extreme, dramatic, and imprecise to me. “Reasonably hard” is still vague but I think it better expresses what players expect - a minimum level of effort.

What’s a fair way to enforce?

Probably the key factor is whether it’s possible to differentiate between purposely playing worse vs trying but playing significantly worse.

Wut? You guys are wolves. I was taught to play every game as a villager, and that’s what I do. I think hedging in that sense is pure ebil. But then my trust tell has been rumoured to be that I never directly lie. I suspend disbelief.

Purposely playing worse as town to better your scum game is crappy and should be frowned on. That’s a crappy thing to do to your teammates. Just play each game as well as you can, and make your scum game match the level of your town game.


Suppose a player has a 100% read rate as town - don’t you think it’s acceptable for them to artifically lower it to an amount that still suffice to win, in order to make their scum game somewhat sustainable.

Not really? If you by some miracle have a hundred percent read rate as town, then you adjust your scum game to that, not the other way round. Otherwise you’re sacrificing the game you’re in for future games, which is kind of crappy, and it’s intentionally playing worse rather than pushing yourself to play better, which is backwards of how it should be.

I disagree with this.

I think the goal of every game is to make sure your team wins and as a player is to make sure you win all of your games - if you judge something less than 100% effort in some way is sufficient to win any individual game it should be acceptable to act as such.

A hypothetical ‘perfect’ player who has a 100% winrate is probably purposefully imperfect as both alignments depending on circumstance and I think that in itself is a skill.

Other people who are reading this chime in, this is a pretty important topic. :stuck_out_tongue:


I think the important scenarios are when someone is hedging/playing in a such way where they’re clearly not trying to win vs. playing to win but not putting in full effort.

Tons and tons of people do the latter in some form, in the extreme you can argue not devoting all your waking hours to the game is not devoting full effort.
Someone doing suboptimal things is very different from them not caring about losing.

ffery brings up a good point on if it’s possible to fairly differentiate though.

Nah, my bad play isn’t strategic :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not at any kind of level where it would help me, if I want to win as both alignments.

You later clarify that the important scenarios are mostly defined by playing in a way where they’re clearly not trying to win, versus playing to win but not putting in full effort. Looks like “playing to win” is still the distinguishing factor. Are you looking for something more actionable?

Not really. Why? To not get lynched?

If having less than perfect reads is going to get this player lynched in every one of their scumgames, I agree with Clem in that instead of changing their towngame to give them space as scum, they should be changing their scumgame to win anyway despite getting lynched. It makes them highly unlikely to endgame as scum but I still see room to play with things like leaving false associatives.

I think that attempts to differentiate between the two would be very difficult. Everyone will have their own opinion. If you were able to differentiate, what would you do with that?

It’s hard to differentiate as ffery stated. It’s quite human to prefer certain things over others, or in some cases, just be bad at say playing as mafia.

Trust tells are hard to police. I had an alignment trust tell that, albeit was never stated anywhere, some users were aware of from observing the numerous games I had been a part of. But in this specific case, it was an unavoidable tell that was to the benefit of the health of those games (plus, even list mods have used it to clear my slot so).

I suspect in most cases this is a lame excuse for where someone is aware said difference exists but doesn’t really want to put the effort in to rectify it.

Consider the extreme:

Someone as town just shows up, wordlessly votes n people in one post, copies said post for the rest of the game, and those n people are always the entire scumteam.
It’s obvious that if they only do the above that they have a 100% town winrate and also need to change something about their towngame else they’ll always get lynched on first mislynch as scum.

You can argue a simple adjustment would be for them to make words in addition to their votes as town so that they can also post words as scum that can affect reads - however posting those words is in itself a form of hedging.

A simple preliminary solution:

When it becomes relatively public knowledge and independently verified over a sufficient sample that a player has an easily fixable tell (e.g. they post 20x times more as town than scum), the player is politely informed about this in an official capacity and asked to make an effort to balance this out

Easily fixable means that a reasonable person would go “Oh I’m doing that, I’ll try to avoid doing it, it’s not that hard”.

I think this would help identify between the vast majority of the cases where people are just doing things on purpose vs. truly not being aware or not being able to change. If it’s the latter a dialogue would probably happen anyway.