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Discussion Starter #1
Years ago we used to have a feedback thread where players would ask for feedback in a specific game, or their overall game performance, and we'd give each other constructive criticism and help to improve our meta. I wanted to resurrect the thread, but all the posts in it are YEARS old, the game roster and the way we play has changed immensely. So I'm reviving it because I can! And I think it would be helpful to many of us.

Feel free to ask for feedback in this thread - you can ask about a specific game, your overall meta, you can tag individual players for their opinion or leave it open for everyone to respond. Just a few things to remember:

1. No discussion of current games, in this thread or anywhere else.

2. No personal attacks. If you fear a discussion may get heated, please PM the individual in question rather than doing it in here.

3. NO unsolicited feedback. Do not tag somebody and give your opinion if they haven't asked for it. It's rude and unnecessary.


That's all, hope you guys are interested and we can get some good discussion going. I'm always into people improving their game and asking others is one of the best ways to do it.
 

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Cool. I've been wanting some suggestions for improvement. I don't know if it's appropriate for me to ask since I'm in a current game, but I just want to improve in general, so I have a question, and I am open to any tips.

How do people actually come up with reads as town? Especially within the first few days, when there are many players? I thought this would be something I'd learn how to do as I played more and more, but after many games, I still fucking suck at it.

Whenever I play, I don't really get why people townread and scumread players around 90% of time time and it just sounds like a bunch of garble to me. Around 10% of the time they seem reasonable so I just end up sheeping players, and sheeping isn't a good way to play. I want to be original. Sometimes I do get "vibes" about people being scummy or towny, but they're never really founded on anything.

I suppose I can force myself to come up with some reads, but doing that as either alignment just sounds artificial. Obviously it's artificial when I'm scum, but doing it as town too just feels fake.
 

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Cool. I've been wanting some suggestions for improvement. I don't know if it's appropriate for me to ask since I'm in a current game, but I just want to improve in general, so I have a question, and I am open to any tips.

How do people actually come up with reads as town? Especially within the first few days, when there are many players? I thought this would be something I'd learn how to do as I played more and more, but after many games, I still fucking suck at it.

Whenever I play, I don't really get why people townread and scumread players around 90% of time time and it just sounds like a bunch of garble to me. Around 10% of the time they seem reasonable so I just end up sheeping players, and sheeping isn't a good way to play. I want to be original. Sometimes I do get "vibes" about people being scummy or towny, but they're never really founded on anything.

I suppose I can force myself to come up with some reads, but doing that as either alignment just sounds artificial. Obviously it's artificial when I'm scum, but doing it as town too just feels fake.
I tend to start with small behaviors somebody does that seem unlikely to come from scum, or just overall town vibes. Scum reads come later, when somebody does a behavior I think is suspicious or I have enough town leans to form a PoE out of the people I don't have town leans on.
 

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Cool. I've been wanting some suggestions for improvement. I don't know if it's appropriate for me to ask since I'm in a current game, but I just want to improve in general, so I have a question, and I am open to any tips.

How do people actually come up with reads as town? Especially within the first few days, when there are many players? I thought this would be something I'd learn how to do as I played more and more, but after many games, I still fucking suck at it.

Whenever I play, I don't really get why people townread and scumread players around 90% of time time and it just sounds like a bunch of garble to me. Around 10% of the time they seem reasonable so I just end up sheeping players, and sheeping isn't a good way to play. I want to be original. Sometimes I do get "vibes" about people being scummy or towny, but they're never really founded on anything.

I suppose I can force myself to come up with some reads, but doing that as either alignment just sounds artificial. Obviously it's artificial when I'm scum, but doing it as town too just feels fake.
First, I'd say sheeping isn't an inherently bad way to play; obviously there is an expectation that people will bring their own thoughts, but I see zero problem with trusting people you trust to read people they read better than you. Second, mafia is, fundamentally, a guessing game. There's always going to be guesswork, and that's especially true on D1 when you don't have clear information to work with, so it's absolutely fine to not have reads founded on much.

Probably the two big things most people use early in the game are tone and thought process. Thought process is fairly straight forward - person A is reading person B as mafia because <insert the argument that Person A gave>. Ask yourself "does this make sense to me?" (not do I agree with it), and then depending on the player, "Does this kind of thinking come from a town mindset?" or, in other words, "Is this something they could reasonably be caring about?". The answer to both of these being yes doesn't mean they're necessarily town, but it's at least a good look... so apply it to other arguments the person is making. If you follow every single argument an active player is making, and they all seem like reasonable* thoughts for a townie to have, over an extended period of time, it makes sense to assume they're town until you have reason to believe otherwise.

Tone (I think this is what a lot of people refer to when they say "vibes") is a lot easier to apply without regard to accuracy/effect, and it's much harder to define. Asking someone to define "good" tone or "sounding villagery" is a lot like... picture a large building. If you try to do that, I am 100% confident you'll picture what YOU think is a large building, but it may or may not be what I would consider a large building, and it almost certainly isn't going to be what I'm picturing. Tone has the same issues - there is no objective way to measure tone, because really, it's pretty much just a fancy word for gut intuition. You read a post, and instead of being concerned with the accuracy or logic of the argument, you're asking yourself "Do I believe that THEY believe this?". Good tone is "sounding genuine". If you feel Player A truly read Player B's posts and came to the conclusion Player B is likely <whatever alignment A argued> - A isn't just spitting stuff out because they have to - then Player A pretty much has to be town. Town has no reason** to bullshit their reads, and mafia can't give genuine reads; they KNOW everyone's alignment.

The last thing would be meta. I think meta is useful, but being able to make good reads from it can be really hit or miss. Most people try to act similarly as either alignment. That isn't to say that subtle differences (and, in some cases, not so subtle differences) don't exist, but experienced, self-aware players usually work to shore up whatever gaps might exist. Furthermore, real life can often get in the way and lead to bad meta takes, and if somebody is trying to play outside of their norm, you can easily go astray.



* reasonable is really in the eye of the beholder. I once played an open setup where town had a doctor. My friend's first post was "I randed town, AMA." Halfway through the game, another player cleared him because she felt my friend was claiming doctor - as AMA is the "American Medical Association". ((This is a read that fails the logic test but hits heavily on the tone thing... never in a million years would I be able to fabricate that kind of read.))

** Somebody is going to talk about town laying traps or mafia hunting for Indy roles/multiball games. Yeah, whatever. You all get the point I'm making. :p
 

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Mafia God
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I tend to start with small behaviors somebody does that seem unlikely to come from scum, or just overall town vibes. Scum reads come later, when somebody does a behavior I think is suspicious or I have enough town leans to form a PoE out of the people I don't have town leans on.
To add onto this, I think a LOT of really good players find it easier to identify town than find mafia - if nothing else, the numbers are on your side. Beyond that, both alignments want to look town; only one can actually SHOW it. The other has to fake it, and being sincere is easier than faking it (/inb4 "that's what she said").

That's why POE is such a common thing in mafia. I've never understood people asking "why is soandso in your POE?" POE does not mean "these are the people I am actively scumreading". It, quite literally, means "Process Of Elimination". It's a 13 player game with a 10-3 distribution, and I know I'm town. They leaves 12. If I feel Players 1 - 7 are all town, that means I have a five person POE for three mafia. POE is everybody you AREN'T clearing (and if you want to be extra nitpicky, you could argue that it's only nulls/people you have minor concerns on, since a true scumread is based on their behavior and not the absence of town behavior). Assuming my townreads are all correct - a big assumption, but we're dealing in hypotheticals here - people listening to me locks the game. Mafia can't win with just those two mislynches.

The downside to POE is, of course, that sometimes we're wrong. If you misclear a mafia and go exclusively through your POE, you're probably not going to win (this is static reads are the worst thing to have!). On the flip side, if you're only lynching people you are absolutely convinced are mafia, you always win... assuming that you've never been suspicion of someone who was town and only have ever voted mafia in your entire life. The problem is, of course, sometimes we're wrong.
 

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First, I'd say sheeping isn't an inherently bad way to play; obviously there is an expectation that people will bring their own thoughts, but I see zero problem with trusting people you trust to read people they read better than you.
That makes sense. My big problem was mainly actually bringing my own thoughts rather than just going off other people's shit. But you address that in the rest of your answer.

"Is this something they could reasonably be caring about?".
This part intrigues me. So, if they're nitpicking some stuff that seems irrelevant, is that a good reason to get suspicious vibes from them?

The last thing would be meta. I think meta is useful, but being able to make good reads from it can be really hit or miss. Most people try to act similarly as either alignment. That isn't to say that subtle differences (and, in some cases, not so subtle differences) don't exist, but experienced, self-aware players usually work to shore up whatever gaps might exist. Furthermore, real life can often get in the way and lead to bad meta takes, and if somebody is trying to play outside of their norm, you can easily go astray.
If making good reads is really hit or miss, what would be the use of meta, then?

To add onto this, I think a LOT of really good players find it easier to identify town than find mafia - if nothing else, the numbers are on your side. Beyond that, both alignments want to look town; only one can actually SHOW it. The other has to fake it, and being sincere is easier than faking it (/inb4 "that's what she said").

That's why POE is such a common thing in mafia. I've never understood people asking "why is soandso in your POE?" POE does not mean "these are the people I am actively scumreading". It, quite literally, means "Process Of Elimination". It's a 13 player game with a 10-3 distribution, and I know I'm town. They leaves 12. If I feel Players 1 - 7 are all town, that means I have a five person POE for three mafia. POE is everybody you AREN'T clearing (and if you want to be extra nitpicky, you could argue that it's only nulls/people you have minor concerns on, since a true scumread is based on their behavior and not the absence of town behavior). Assuming my townreads are all correct - a big assumption, but we're dealing in hypotheticals here - people listening to me locks the game. Mafia can't win with just those two mislynches.
NGL, I didn't really know what POE meant but that was an embarrassing question to ask after playing quite a few games, so thanks for explaining. I just thought it meant "lynch pile" rather than process of elimination. So thanks for explaining that.
 

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So then my next question is, how do you SHOW that you're town?

I'm bad at at seeming townly, especially as town. I used to be fine with my general scuminess as it's helped me do well a couple of times when I randed as mafia, but it hasn't been working for me all that well lately so I think it would be more beneficial for me to town up my game.
 

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This part intrigues me. So, if they're nitpicking some stuff that seems irrelevant, is that a good reason to get suspicious vibes from them?
I would say more often than not, yes, but like all things in mafia... it isn't universally applicable, and what I think is worth grilling a suspect over, another player might not. Probably the best guideline I would give on this is how it relates to everything else. If Player A is harping on 2 or 3 minor suspicious things that Player B did and ignoring the 27 other super pro-town things they did and concludes "B is mafia", that's probably a bad sign. If somebody can't see the forest because they're focused on the tree, you should ask yourself why.

If making good reads is really hit or miss, what would be the use of meta, then?
What I mean by meta is hit or miss is that it can be a GREAT method for reading certain players and a pointless method for others. Players like Dizzy are always going to be active; trying to read them on effort is an exercise in futility. I won't name names, but I have a friend (that has never played on this site) who gets completely frozen as mafia and has NO idea how to interact with people or fabricate thoughts; she's never particularly active, but if she's actually giving substance, she's >>> rand town. In your game, Tripped argued that I would never have challenged Fable as mafia; if I just sit there and truckstick somebody that flips mafia, you can pretty much bank on me being town. That's a reliable meta read. Another friend (who hasn't played on this site in years) used to pretty much default to bussing as mafia because he was incapable of refraining from pushing scum. His only mode was "attack".
 

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I would say more often than not, yes, but like all things in mafia... it isn't universally applicable, and what I think is worth grilling a suspect over, another player might not. Probably the best guideline I would give on this is how it relates to everything else. If Player A is harping on 2 or 3 minor suspicious things that Player B did and ignoring the 27 other super pro-town things they did and concludes "B is mafia", that's probably a bad sign. If somebody can't see the forest because they're focused on the tree, you should ask yourself why.



What I mean by meta is hit or miss is that it can be a GREAT method for reading certain players and a pointless method for others. Players like Dizzy are always going to be active; trying to read them on effort is an exercise in futility. I won't name names, but I have a friend (that has never played on this site) who gets completely frozen as mafia and has NO idea how to interact with people or fabricate thoughts; she's never particularly active, but if she's actually giving substance, she's >>> rand town. In your game, Tripped argued that I would never have challenged Fable as mafia; if I just sit there and truckstick somebody that flips mafia, you can pretty much bank on me being town. That's a reliable meta read. Another friend (who hasn't played on this site in years) used to pretty much default to bussing as mafia because he was incapable of refraining from pushing scum. His only mode was "attack".
Okay, that makes sense, thank you. And I also appreciate the tangible examples of meta that works.

Also, thank you @Thunal33 for answering.
 

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I am way too scummy when I play. No matter how much effort I put into sounding towny, it doesn't work. This is actually a bigger problem when I am town than when I am scum. Is there any way to fix my scumminess?
 

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consider this an open invitation to give me feedback on whatever at any time ^^ (although if its about the current game obviously wait until thats over)
 

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Whenever I play, I don't really get why people townread and scumread players around 90% of time time and it just sounds like a bunch of garble to me.
same really. I do not skip posts but 90% of posts I read just go in one ear and out the other tbh

I am way too scummy when I play. No matter how much effort I put into sounding towny, it doesn't work. This is actually a bigger problem when I am town than when I am scum. Is there any way to fix my scumminess?
Yeah, this is essentially what I'm asking. Please help me too.
Help me too!
I think that this mostly happens to me during D1 in more recent games rather than on other days but I want to know as well
 

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im honestly not sure what advice to give. you just... try to post and solve and give thoughts on people and explain why you have those thoughts. be as open a book as possible. if youre putting in effort to find scum and you show others that effort, thats basically all you can do. and if you dont understand why people are reading other people a certain way, all you have to do is ask
 

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Discussion Starter #17
im honestly not sure what advice to give. you just... try to post and solve and give thoughts on people and explain why you have those thoughts. be as open a book as possible. if youre putting in effort to find scum and you show others that effort, thats basically all you can do. and if you dont understand why people are reading other people a certain way, all you have to do is ask
I think people fall into trap of thinking that they've randed town, so everyone will figure out they're town eventually because they're acting genuinely. Doesn't always work like that, as I've found out especially this most recent game. Imo if you have a scummy meta, even as town, it's on you to change it, rather than expect everybody to just work around your meta.

however I can also attest that switching up your town meta will result in you being MEGA suspected for the first game lmao
 

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Discussion Starter #18
alright a question about last game to anyone who played it really but I'd most like to hear responses from @Halcyon and @Thunal33 as they were the town players alive for the longest in that game and most saw my progression in it.

I've tried to be a more active poster, realistically I'm never gonna be in even the top half of posters and I still hate D1 and don't enjoy posting much during it, but yeah. I received a lot of suspicion on D1 for being unusually active and it was infuriating but whatever. my question is how did my town play look once I actually tried being more involved? I wanna be the best I can at this game and it kinda hurts seeing people saying I'm a veteran player who is very skilled but failing to be town read again and again. if there's anything that really stood out to you last game as a bad move by town!me I'd appreciate knowing so I can work on it for future games

oh and was it easier/more enjoyable to deal with than the games I've lurked and racked up a whopping 30 posts the entire game? because if not I may just go back to that lmao
 

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I think people fall into trap of thinking that they've randed town, so everyone will figure out they're town eventually because they're acting genuinely. Doesn't always work like that, as I've found out especially this most recent game. Imo if you have a scummy meta, even as town, it's on you to change it, rather than expect everybody to just work around your meta.

however I can also attest that switching up your town meta will result in you being MEGA suspected for the first game lmao
well different people have different styles of playing just because of their personality. so to the extent one’s meta is based on just who someone is, i dont think its fair to ask them to change their style because its like telling them to be someone they arent, and people cant really do that. like jaune is probably never going to be able to play the same way as like dizzy for example just because theyre different people and jaunes personality simply may not mesh with dizzy’s play style. but i do agree that not everything about how someone plays is intrinsic to them as a person. theres also a large part of play thats a result of more conscious decisions about what one thinks is the “right” way to play or because the person doesnt know the “right” way to play or cant/wont/doesnt know how to play that way for whatever reason. and that can potentially be changed through experience/mentoring/etc. but its still not objectively wrong to play differently from what others say is the “right” way to play. it definitely may make you way harder to read though, yea. and at that point, if you dont make an effort to change or listen to feedback, you may have to live with people misreading you a lot

/veryunecessaryexplanation
 

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alright a question about last game to anyone who played it really but I'd most like to hear responses from @Halcyon and @Thunal33 as they were the town players alive for the longest in that game and most saw my progression in it.

I've tried to be a more active poster, realistically I'm never gonna be in even the top half of posters and I still hate D1 and don't enjoy posting much during it, but yeah. I received a lot of suspicion on D1 for being unusually active and it was infuriating but whatever. my question is how did my town play look once I actually tried being more involved? I wanna be the best I can at this game and it kinda hurts seeing people saying I'm a veteran player who is very skilled but failing to be town read again and again. if there's anything that really stood out to you last game as a bad move by town!me I'd appreciate knowing so I can work on it for future games

oh and was it easier/more enjoyable to deal with than the games I've lurked and racked up a whopping 30 posts the entire game? because if not I may just go back to that lmao
i liked your more active and involved self! it was definitely very jarring especially at first but it was cool too! i dont really have any feedback or advice on it really. i think you just got suspected a lot because the perception of you was that youre more try hard as scum but not as town. but as the game went on esp by like d3 your towniness really shined through! so overall i enjoyed your increased involvement a lot and would definitely love to see that from you more! but its all up to you on whether it felt natural to you or like something you could do regularly
 
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