Pace of play
Player's who do not play.... add a slow play time clock dimension to the game. Have a clock for each player. clock starts 30 seconds after dice are passed to a player and stops when player passes dice to next player. If a player plays their turn faster than 30sec then the extra time is removed from their slow play clock. Their slow play clock can have a negative value up to minus 4 minutes. This "saved" time will be useful late in the game when they need more time to sort through their end game strategy and need more than the 30s allowed. Penalty for slow play.... at the start of a player's turn (THE "active player"): if the active player's slow play clock is greater than 2 minutes, then for each opponent, the greater of (zero or the opponent's slow play clock value) will be subtracted from the active player's clock value. If the resulting value is greater than 2 minutes, then the active player will transfer a randomly selected resource card from their possesion to the opponent's possession (see exception when active player does not have card to transfer). This comparision is done for each opponent.
Exception: active player does not have resource card to pay active player penalty: in the case where the active player is penalized for slow play but does not have a resource card to pay to an opponent, then the opponent will be randomly awarded a resource card from the game bank AND the penalized player will be in debt and the debt will be paid to the game bank when ever a throw of the dice or the playing of a robber would award them a card or cards, they will not receive the card or cards. Instead the debt owed the game bank will be reduced by the number of cards they would have otherwise received. They can only be awarded new resource cards when their debt is paid in full. In the case where they have more cards won than debt, the debt payment cards will be randomly selected (player has no control or choice).
IF a player loses cards due to slow play during their turn, then at the beginning of their next turn they will have 30 secs removed from their slow play clock (thus improving their standing and reducing their clock differential.)
Note: the purpose of the clock is not to turn the game into a race, but rather to encourage attention a reasonable pace of play. That is why a player can book time on turns when they play quickly and also why they are allowed a 2 minute differential, and are not compared to opponents clocks that have a negative slow play value. So a player is expected to maintain a resonable pace of play and if they do not they will possibly be penalized. Of course if all players are being casual, then a player only has to be mindful of the differential.
Just an idea.
Another idea: track average time/turn as a character of a player. Players asking for auto selection could specify only match me up with players with time/turn less than "X".
Bad idea. I want a normal game of Catan and I do not care if players take long turns. I hate that the UI is such a time waste sometimes - you have no cards and you roll dice and pass turn... Takes 0.5 seconds in PlayCatan but 2 seconds in this game.
Just look at how PlayCatan did things. We had a substitute system. If someone ragequit, another player could join and finish the game (Also there was lobby not automatic matchmaking, which made things a lot easier. Please for the love of god copy PlayCatan functionalities!!!) There is also ignore list meaning that you will never play with that person again. Very useful.
But instead of copying PlayCatan functionalities, USM and exozet are making everything themselves. Seems like they have not even analyzed the changes and are doing it all on the run. Of course this kind of development sucks. And they still fail to admit it. Focusing on a fancy UI (and failing at it still) and leaving UX behind.
Thinking should not be punished. Maybe one player has to go to the bathroom. Should not be punished. If someone intentionally does it, it is hard to detect it. We have karma in the future hopefully. This can be used to set up games with better mannered people in the future.
So far until this game is in pre-pre-pre-alpha state, it is expectedly unplayable. It has fundamental issues that are not being changed so all the fixes have to take that into account. These fixes will also fundamentally suck because the game itself sucks.
I feel like this criticism never reaches USM. I am trying to make these problems heard but there has not been any improvement. Only making minor bugfixes to irrelevant problems (and introducing more bugs meanwhile).
okay, bad idea for you, but I see comments in many of the games played where other players are asking for improvement of pace of play. I don't mind long terms if the player is playing the game, but it they take their turn and then start texting friends and look over at the game a few minutes late and OMG is my turn, and then start to think about their moves, well I think that's rude. Pay attention and play the game. Need a bathroom break or time to grab a beverage, fine add a button that stops the clock and says I'll be right back. You can be alloted a two such breaks a game. If you read my post carefully you'll see that its the accumulation of slow play that puts you into a penalty phase, and there are opportunities to avoid the situation by playing quickly on turns where you have no cards and don't get a good roll of the dice. If you spend a little time considering the possibilities of your next turn then when the robber happens on your roll you should have a good idea of the play you want to do, or at least narrow the options. If you sleep between turns and then spend your turn figuring out what is going on then that's just inconsiderate. My clock idea is just a starter, I think its an okay idea, but of course how its implemented would be the key.... make it optional for players who want to use it, not force it on all games, all players. So your "BAD IDEA" vote is not appreciated, because you are forcing your idea on others, where as my idea is give us an option.
The bad idea is that what the penalty is - you are losing cards for taking long turns. In PlayCatan the other players could vote to kick you out when you took too long turns. This option appears when the game thinks someone's turns are too long.
When someone is kicked out, there will not be AI taking over. Another player in the lobby can come substitute. But the current way things are done is without the lobby so sub-ing is impossible.
Most of the problems you mention are due to the fact that the game does not notify the current player if it is their turn of if they haven't clicked "end your turn" button. IMO it is enough if the game gives some sound and flash notifications. Punishment is just wrong because it affects gameplay.
With the current way games are created with matchmaker does not really allow using optional rules. There will be around 100 players and if everyone wants to play with some specific rules, creating these games will take a long time.
All that clock thing can still be abused like it is done in PlayCatan. People will still wait all their alloted time and make actions right as the time is about to be over. You can not really do anything about these guys other than report them and put them on ignore list.
And again, all the problems come from the fundamental development decisions. We are trying to fix the causes not the root problem. I have said it a long time ago and USM still does not do anything about it. All they had to do was to copy PlayCatan functionalities and it would have been OK. Adding functionalities to PlayCatan would have been easier. Seems like this development is just too complex for exozet project managers and architects.
Long turns is not the issue, pace of play is.
I fully agree with Stroom.
Time issues should NEVER affect game play, e.g. resource cards, or even force missed turn (pass the dice with no more chance to act) unless there are several warnings and fallbacks, including a secondary time bank.
To deal with the concerns, I like the karma idea, and publish each player's average turn time. Allow people to choose to play with players that are closer to their speed, or a game with a higher turn time. There should maybe be exceptions in cases where you want to make a complicated trade, with many possibilities that would work for you. It can take a long time to wait for others to answer your trade.
There can also be other solutions, but never penalizing with game points, cards, or pieces.
its not the players but the game and they cant fix that with out starting over