OTF to PGA a grey line in the sand
Posted By: MadHat_Sam at 9:50 AM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
I will list some examples of behavior that would be legitimate and some that wouldn't be but this is in no way an exhaustive list or guideline for what is or isn't allowed. This is only a clarification of where a moderator might draw the line.

OTF stands for Old Trusted Friend or Off Table Friend.

PGA stands for Pre-Game Alliance, but is more of a catch all term for using off table knowledge to not just make the best move but to undermine the fair and competitive nature of a game.

Explicit PGAs tend to be mostly on the lower tables as the lack of socialization makes it easier to get away with and easier to do since the quantity of lower games is plentiful. Sometimes explicit PGAs will occur on higher tables but the players are better at self policing to a point as the table level increases.

Implicit PGAs are much more common at higher level tables are the player base is smaller and the knowledge each player has of one another is greater. Easiest example of this type of play is making a lower value and lower upside move to avoid hitting a "friend". KDice is a social game and relationships do play a role in playing it, but there is a line between not 1-Hitting a "friend" and playing a significantly lower value move to avoid hitting a "friend" at all.

In a perfect KWorld who your neighbor is wouldn't matter, but players are unique and we don't all follow the same algorithm for the moves we make so who your neighbor is does matter. It doesn't matter to the point where you refuse to make the best move because you don't want to upset someone you like, this crosses the line and creates a competitive deficit for players that are newer or less aware of the "friendships" at the table.

Well I understand most players aren't as ruthless as me, I am not trying to encourage behavior some people find distasteful such as 2v1ing someone you don't feel should be 2v1d given the situation. It is an individual players responsibility though to make sure that in their efforts to play how they think is "fair" is "fair" to the game not just to certain players they are "friends" with.

KDice does not lend itself to a clear set of guidelines for what is and isn't legitimate play. Much of this is subjective to the individual advisors, but we all tend to be close to what we feel is allowable.

The best I can offer as an advisor is that "I know it when I see it." As much as I would like a better clearer standard I do not have one.

Obligatory tl;dr

Replies 1 - 10 of 27 Next › Last »
Boner Oiler wrote
at 10:11 AM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
OTF and PGA and all this nonsense only becomes an issue when the competitive nature of the game is compromised. And since you agree that there is a fundamental and at times unabatable social aspect to the game then I would argue that if Ryan really cared about the competitive integrity of the game he would open a second "league" or ladder with anonymous players. Wherein one would be matched according to an ELO score or something of that nature and randomly with other players of similar ELO scores.

But Ryan doesn't really care, so why should anyone else?

And yeah I know that isn't the only solution, I think it's one of the better suggestions (I'm sure someone else has suggested that). Of course the quick fixes would be to inundate the higher tables with more players, and there's a variety of ways to do that. One of the simplest being the adjustment of table caps. CaptainLAGER had a pretty good post/suggestion on that topic a few weeks back.
Boner Oiler wrote
at 10:14 AM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
**Of course the quick fix to this would be to inundate the higher tables with more players, and there's a variety of ways to do that.

sleep deprived, but we really need an edit button
MadHat_Sam wrote
at 10:51 AM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
If you don't care, leave. The advisors care and are trying to "fix" the game the best we can with the limited tools we have.

"Ryan: Who cares" is a direct retort to the "elite" players bitching about points and medals over the game, well it is fun to throw that quote around the context of it matters.
montecarlo wrote
at 11:55 AM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
sam, i have higher expectations of a mod's first blog post. Vermont has set the bar that no one else has matched thus far.

i dont think theres any way you could discuss otf/pga in a way that wouldnt be boring.

montecarlo wrote
at 11:57 AM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
actually theres only one way i can think of that pga/otf discussion would be an A+ thread. it would require a shitload of effort. snoop around a lot of top table games, video cap several instances of tough decisions that are/arent influenced by otf/pga, and then upload to youtube. provide those links in the blog post, and give your commentary and final judgment as to whether you would ban or not.

that would be readable.

but this is shit.
MadHat_Sam wrote
at 12:01 PM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
That was the reason I never did it until now, because one verms cannot be beaten and all that other work would leave just as much grey area since there is no way to capture everything.

In this case I am happy to disapoint.
montecarlo wrote
at 12:26 PM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
man when i get to be a mod, my first blog post is gonna be the definitive khistory annals.

people will fall asleep before they get to 2009. i just creamed my pants daydreaming about it.
jurgen wrote
at 4:38 PM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
I hope you kept good notes monte because having a kid and getting a bit older can do awfull things to a Kdice memory

good effort by Sam here but we already all agree it's impossible to mold everything into clear rules. Nevertheless, I am glad we are at least going to try and reduce the grey area of what is barely acceptable and more importantly: that we are going to ban more actively what we think is unacceptable

the good thing about the blog edit button is, that we can maybe gradually add a few examples of things that got banned (I put some info on how to videocap in my maiden blog)
Gurgi wrote
at 5:32 PM, Friday February 18, 2011 EST
habit1 wrote
at 6:23 PM, Saturday February 19, 2011 EST
In a social game like this one, there is an large spectrum of things that can be considered favoritism and unless all the social features are completely stripped out of the game, we can't avoid some level of "unfair" gaming. The toughest thing for the mods has been figuring out where the line is between friendly behavior and that which can be considered cheating. I think they have been doing a commendable job of it so far.

Doesn't really matter if you call it OTF or PGA, suffering a loss due to blatant favoritism sucks - and the newer a player is, the more unfair it will seem. Because there is so little that Ryan or the mods can do about it, new players have to learn to bitch less and play smarter.

What the more seasoned players have realized is that the best way to combat this style of gaming is to be highly attuned to it and to fight it by using chat as early as you can in a game.

The disadvantage 2 friends have is that there are still 5 other players on the board - none of whom want to lose to a PGA or OTF or whatever you want to call it. Protect yourself by teaming up with somebody else or a whole group of somebody elses when you see this type of play in action.

Lastly, remember that you can't win 'em all. Sometimes the best way to avoid a shit game is to flag and play again somewhere else. It's not always fair, but you will have more fun that way.

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