Day 34 - Lens 99: The Lens of Griefing
To make sure your griefing is minimized, ask yourself these questions:
What systems in my game are easy to grief?
Since the game is Player vs. Player with a minimal ruleset and little interaction that is not with another player it's relatively easy to eliminate griefing that stems from exploiting the systems of the game. Players can act against other players but only within the confines of the rules of the game. Trying to take your opponent's king in Chess is not griefing. That said it is still possible to concentrate all of your aggressive action on a single other player and make the game difficult to impossible for them to win, the counter is that it will also be very unlikely that this strategy will lead to a win for you. It's also possible for a majority of the other players to make the game difficult to impossible to win for the remaining players, but in the end those players will have to turn on eachother. I am not sure that it's possible to make this kind of behavior impossible, and I am not sure that I want to. I think that the social elements of the game largely balance these play behaviors and that serious players will be discouraged by their lack of utility in generating a win.
How can I make my game boring to grief?
Well there isn't any utility in griefing another player past the point of taking their bases and wiping out their warriors. Not moving on to other players reduces your chances of winning, also attacking other players uses your resources making you vulnerable, so you need time to recover even after a successful attack.
Am I ignoring any loopholes?
The big loophole up to this point has probably been the possibility of a player hoarding control points and that unbalancing the game in their favor. I have never seen anyone do this and have it lead to a win, but I think it might be an unbalanced strategy. That and collecting paths in a way that denies other players so much mobility that it makes the game less fun. I have the idea of limiting the number of paths and bases you can have, not on the board, to the number you start with. That way you could take others bases and paths off the board but not so many of them that you could ruin the playability or enjoyability of the game for other players.