Mitigating Super Low Activity/Flaking/Replacing

People hate it when people are super low activity or flake and we want to see if we can can do some simple things to make it happen less.

A starter question:

When you end up super low activity/flaking/needing to be replaced - how often was the reason for this “predictable” - i.e. if you thought about your schedule for a bit before signing up you could forsee the reason that eventually led to your low activity.

How often do you sign up for games where you go something along the lines “I’m busy but I really want to play anyway…this might be a tough one but /in”? How often do you end up being a lower activity then you’d like to be in such games?

We’ll preliminarily define super low activity to mean less posts a gameday than the total amount of irl days per day. Is this is a good definition?

Having not GM’ed a Mafia game I have no idea how hard this would be but.

Could game balance be designed for people dropping out?
Like count on one person droping out in a game and be ready for one God Kill?

Maybe if people realised they would be godkilled it might make them stop signing up and dropping out.

Also, people known to drop out after commiting should not be allowed to keep signing up to game.

In another thread you are talking about rating players.
Players should also have a rating on how often they blow games off.
And how often they stick it out to the bitter end even when others are flagging.

I’ll just say where I’m going with the questions in the OP.

Would a reminder, popup, or simple form in game threads make players more likely to stop and carefully consider their schedules before signing up?

Even something just like this:

Accept only if you’ve checked your schedule to see if you can be sufficiently active!

Most of the time I’m low activity because I’m not motivated to play the game (apathy) or I have an unplanned inability to access the internet. I have replaced out in the past when I joined too many games, but I think I put those days behind me.

Generally 2 reasons why someone flakes in a game:

  1. they no longer find the game fun
  2. they suddenly have urgent business that cropped up affecting their schedule

A 3rd reason is that they suck at playing scum and that is alignment indicative.

The above policy fixes only reason 2. I don’t know how to solve reason 1 or 3

What do others think about this? Is it a good or bad idea to keep track of negative looking stats like this? Is there a way to differentiate between legitimate (aka unforseen hand of god) replacements vs. laziness/just wanting to quit.

When this happens do you think this the reasons could have been identified in hindsight? I think we should discourage this sort of mindset in general - some people arguably find games not fun anymore when they are losing - if they flaked everytime they were losing that would be terrible.

I think this is a separate but very important topic that we’ll be starting a seperate discussion about soon.

I think eveyone is going to have a legitament reason to dop out at least once.
But two games in a row? three?

There seems to be mafia players who sign up to see what role they get and then if they don’t like it, blow the game off.

There seem to be mafia players who don’t realise they keep blowing the game off because of scheduling conflicts.

If there was a rating system.
Joe Blow signed up (and didn’t withdraw before game start) played 12 finished 10
Jane Doe played 12 finished 8

Then GMs can ask Jane Doe to double down on their commitment before allowing them to play.

There is no fun in finishing a game that half the slots aren’t who started the game, so I think it is in everyones interest for keeping motivated and having fun to identify the different players style and those (probably very few) who don’t give a shit about anyone else.

^ I was trying to say that it would also help Self Awareness.
That there may be players who don’t realise how many games they aren’t finishing.

Cabd once suggested a karma-like calculation based on replacements/flakes. Replace-outs had a negative effect, and replace-ins would have a positive effect.

The result would have been a single number, displayed on the profile somewhere. The higher the number, the more “dependable” the player would be considered, based on both replace-outs and replace-ins.


If someone has a “unforseen hand of god” expereince, would it NOT affect all of their games?
I mean, many people involved in the mafia scene seem to be signed up to multiple games.
If some thing happens, like the family say, that’s it we are going to limbo in malabo whether you like it or not, should they not have to drop out of all games?

So if Jane Doe is signed up to 4 games and goes ‘Oh Damn’ ‘sorry’ did NOT see this coming and drops out of all there signed up games, then, yeah, hand of god strikes.

On the other hand, if they drop out of 2 or 3 of the games but stay in 1 or 2, then it is either scheduling error or cherry picking roles they like?

Here’s some more info on the karma thing.

So I’m trying to use my user title to do something kind of positive for the site, and here’s where I’m at: Tracking Replacement Karma.

Karma here is defined as a number generated by the number of replace ins and replace outs a player has done. I plug in all the numbers and it spits out your score. Replace outs scale in difficulty to make up for as you replace out more and more. Replace ins do not scale. Players replacing out of newbie games are given an extra penalty, and players replacing into newbie games are given a bonus, in order to make this project have the side effect of encouraging public service. This system is entirely optional, of course, but I plan to make the data available for moderators to use. (As in, players with less than X karma score are forced to sign up as a replacement and not a player slot)

Here’s some sample data from some users self-reporting in sitechat:
The format is: Playername | Ins | Ins (newbie) | Outs | Outs (Newbie) | Karma Score

Cabd 7 5 0 0 4.12
Kazekirimaru 0 3 3 1 -2.55
Bert 17 10 9 0 -2.92
FakeGod 3 1 0 0 2.24
Fferyllt 6 5 2 0 2.00
Aegor 4 0 0 0 2.00
Pitoli 0 2 4 1 -4.00
Ms Marangal 10 4 2 0 2.24
Natirasha 3 1 1 0 1.24
Cephrir 4 0 0 0 2.00
MattP 2 2 4 0 -1.55
Brian Skies 0 2 2 0 0.00
Wisdom 3 15 1 0 4.74

Your karma score is calculated by a simple formula:

SQRT{(replace ins)+(2Replace ins newbie games)} - {Replace outs + (2 (Replace outs newbie games))}

The goal will be to provide and host this data on the Wiki, updating it once a week or so.

1 Like

Tracking replace-outs could lead to fewer replace-outs, but I have doubts. Seems like focusing on preventable or predictable causes would be more effective. And I think that discouraging people who aren’t having fun from replacing out could impact the enjoyability of games for entire player lists.

Though I do like the idea of some sort of recognition for replace-ins.

We could create a badge or series of badges for players who make a habit of replacing in.

That assumes that people like earning badges, which may be a fallacy.

If people like the idea of ratings for players, as in win/loose etc, then the rating could and probably should include some method of penalising those who cherry pick.

After all, if I think I am a great scum player, town, not so much, then I could be tempted to out of games that I rand town and stay in games I rand scum.

For that reason shouldn’t some part of player ratings include games played and games finished?
Then it becomes a matter of pride and competitive spirit to grit it out to keep a good player score.

As for players subing in, then, for the Ratings of Players ability, it is only those who finish a game who get points, not those who started the game.

I think tracking replace outs is good, maybe cycling them out yearly or something.

We dont need to differentiate between legit and not legit. If people have a replace out once in a while that’s fine. If people are repping out of a lot of games there are no legitimate reasons.

^ This. As a GM balancing and preparing games, subouts are mostly a problem if there are not readily available subins, and the time factor of working through all that. We likely should encourage a notification system, but the prod thing may be the best we can do, since knowing a player’s mindset can be guessing - I mean, some ‘active’ players still use absence as a strategy.

As a player, I absolutely HATE sub stuff, on a level of game-breaking, AND as either alignment. I remember a game at TR where my entire wolf team abandoned me. We were slaughtered. I still have nightmares. I’d just as soon have games like that rerolled, but then it’s more GM work and one has to sort through player commitments again - that avenue’s a real pain too.

And squirt host data might be ok and helpful to a GM, but I’m thinking not so much, and I don’t care for the negative labelling, even though I almost never sub out, and I always announce it if I know I have to go, and even try to find my own replacement if there’s time. Some players are simply naturally flakier or have more of a real life or aren’t used to any game that sucks away a year of their life (“Here, son, you take over now, and do your daddy proud.”).

But I didn’t mean to make that last post sound so negative. I’m for whatever works, and I actually enjoy slapping catspurr around a bit. I can see myself slapping Derpy derp around so much 'till I make 'em cry like a little squirrel.

We’ll start tracking replacement rates ASAP.

@fferyllt, @Mental let’s talk about ths best way to do this. Another page on the current stats spreadsheet or as a standalone thing to increase visibility. At a minimum it has to be easy to for mods/players to check and see how people stand.

Either way would work, I think. But it would probably be easier for people to find in a separate spreadsheet.