Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 12 shownotes – Interview with Carebear, Online Diplomacy Championship & PlayDiplomacy (part 1)

Victory Hotel beer gardenVenue: Victory Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner – Bright Ale by Little Creatures Brewery from Victoria, Australia (although Kaner calls it a “Pure Blonde”)
  • Amby – Annie’s Lane cabernet merlot from the Clare Valley, South Australia

In this episode the guys discuss the cross-site Online Diplomacy Championship happening over at PlayDiplomacy and interview the tournament director Carebear. 

Fast news

  • First up a quick update on the 1 vs 1 WebDiplomacy tournament and the shock news of Devonian and a number of other great players losing their games (2 mins 20 secs)
  • It looks like the face-to-face DiplomacyCast podcast website is off the air again. Amby has emailed one of its co-hosts twice to find out what’s happening but hasn’t had a reply (5 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby and Kaner explain how they’re getting busy in real life and will be changing their recording schedule. Basically they’ll catch up a little less often and record two episodes at once – which is what they start doing from today (7 mins 15 secs)

Carebear's avatar on PlayDiplomacyCarebear interview

Special note: Carebear asked if we could mask his voice a little, so we did our best…

  • Amby explains he had some recording problems with his questions, so he’s tried to amplify his voice to make it clearer for listeners (8 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys set the scenes for the interview and the Online Diplomacy Championship which includes players from PlayDiplomacy, webDiplomacy, vDiplomacy, Stabbeurfou, BackStabbr and face-to-face players (10 mins)
  • Carebear discusses how he got started in Diplomacy 30 years ago and tracked down the first Diplomacy instances online (11 mins)
  • Amby asks why Carebear ended up ultimately at PlayDiplomacy and why he likes it (13 mins 45 secs)
  • A brief discussion about the how the PlayDip forum is very different to other Dip forums (15 mins 15 secs)
  • Carebear gives an overview about the Online Diplomacy Championship originally created by ghug and why the second championship is being held at PlayDiplomacy (16 mins 20 secs)
  • Invited players from other sites are getting access to PlayDip’s tournament interface during the competition without having to purchase a premium membership (18 mins)
  • Players not from PlayDip are invited provided they have high rankings and reliability on their respective sites. To reduce the chance of players from PlayDip from NMRing/CDing, only the  top 150 players from there are being considered (22 mins)
  • Kaner clarifies what the PlayDip vernacular “surrendering” means (24 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about how the various Dip sites factor in reliability (25 mins)
  • Cut off deadline for Round 1 at the ODC is 15 February 2017. There’ll be additional deadlines for the second and third rounds, with some solid reliable players able to join later, although it’ll be harder to reach the top board (26 mins)
  • Amby asks about the tournament system being used to manage the championship. Carebear explains how preliminary round scores are aggregated so the top seven scoring players make the top board for the fourth round. There may be two other boards running for players who don’t quite make the top board (27 mins)
  • Kaner double checks its being played on the standard Classic board. Carebear confirms, although its called Pure Diplomacy at PlayDiplomacy and will be played by standard rules (29 mins)
  • In discussing PlayDip, Carebear mentions the interface isn’t brilliant on mobile devices, but changes are currently being worked on to improve the experience. The interface at PlayDip also allows you to put in illegal orders eg army Munich move to Sevastopol, which is changed by the system adjudicator as a hold  (29 mins 45 secs)
  • In PlayDip there are many more options for how you can post messages which allows you to send a single message to multiple players in the group you choose (32 mins)
  • Amby asks about whether invited non-PlayDip players can try the interface before the game. Carebear clears things up saying there is a free membership at PlayDip but there are limitations of a maximum of 3 games and only on the Pure Diplomacy board. For those wanting to access the features above that you’d need to pay to be a premium member (34 mins)
  • Carebear discusses the Guest Guide for non-PlayDip players about PlayDip, and recommends jumping into an unranked game where a player has gone into civil disorder (36 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby gives a thumbs up to the look and feel of the Pure Diplomacy map at PlayDip before asking about if there is any prize for the winner beyond the kudos. Carebear says he’s planning on having certificates and is open to ideas on what else could be added in. Zoltar at webDip is giving 500 points to whoever wins the tournament (37 mins)
  • Kaner asks Carebear about what some of the variant options in PlayDip do eg Stuff Happens and Escalation (39 mins 20 secs)
  • As Carebear hasn’t used a lot of the PlayDip variant features, Amby asks if the guys can be hooked up with another PlayDip player with a variant interest (42 mins 20 secs)
  • Carebear says he can organise that, and gives an overview of how Forum games work including how some forum variant games were successfully ported across to the main part of the site eg Versailles (43 mins)
  • Carebear explains why he prefers standard Pure Diplomacy and his thoughts on Gunboat games (46 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks if Carebear has any picks or players to watch out for in the ODC (48 mins)
  • Carebear explains the ODC needs a few more vDip players (53 mins)
  • Carebear outlines how Edi Bersen will be playing and how he’s trying to get the current World Diplomacy Champion involved (54 mins)
  • Carebear gives his views on the differences between face-to-face and online players perspectives on each other’s respective channel (55 mins)
  • Kaner reflects on the interconnectedness between the various Dip sites and face-to-players (1 hour 1 min)

Post interview

  • Amby explains how he didn’t know PlayDiplomacy allowed for free games and had incorrectly assumed everything was pay based (1 hr 2 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner likes the ability to input illegal orders as a means of communicating in a Gunboat game (1 hr 3 mins 20 sec)
  • The guys agree that Carebear’s girlfriend that took him to his very first Diplomacy game should be considered the best girlfriend in the world  (1 hr 3 mins 50 sec)
  • They go onto disagree with each other about PlayDip’s forums – with Amby loving it and Kaner hating it (1 hr 5 mins)
  • The guys had a heap more PlayDip questions about how the platform operates, but as it wasn’t Carebear’s forte we’ve held them over for a PlayDip second part at some stage in the not too distant future (1 hr 6 mins 20 secs)

Game updates

  • First up it’s Bourse time with Amby saying he’s started going backwards in the bourse part of the game and continues to go poorly on the board. That said he outlines his own goal for the game (1 hr 7 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner grills Amby on missing the big Khazaria currency speculation (1 hr 9 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner about the suggestion in the vDip forum about a World War IV Bourse game (1 hr 11 mins)
  • The guys discuss Captainmeme’s suggestion of changing the scoring system in the next Bourse game so victory conditions are determined by both how a player performs in the Bourse and the board (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Amby outlines how he appreciates Captainmeme’s outline of the concepts of Money Farms and VP Farms (1 hr 15 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby asks what Kaner’s thoughts are on CD’s – with 35 players there’s a much higher chance of someone failing to enter orders – and time game time limits (1 hr 18 mins 45 secs)

Don’t forget if you’re enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you’d like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin’ intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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