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The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:49 am
by Bean
"We cool FE/RUS?" You know the drill. It's the most common drill and most folks' default play style, not to mention the best choice IMO for 2 or 3 person games. It is the "We cool?" diplomatic/play protocol. If it wasn't for 'cool', things would not get so hot. Here is a description and account of its pros and cons.

'We Cool?" is mostly about the following:

1. Commitment to a story of the game that basically involves being at peace and farming while waiting for the cards get big enough for a series of "clean" kills and a satisfying culmination. Important elements of the plot include pathing, ironically behaving like one is engaged in a peaceful activity (like when two opposing sides in a battle pause for a cigarette break), and the clean/competent end game.
2. Engaging in a bunch of 'hopefully' mutual acts of consideration, like burning or moving armies to get out of an opponent's way, leaving opponents' poorly defended income unchallenged, and generally acting "as if" the game has a certain necessary structure and trajectory.
3. Not half-killing, not killing a satellite, mostly not killing humans before bots. In short, not doing anything that isn't consistent with the accepted narrative of waiting peacefully for the cards to get big enough.
4. (implicit). Because this protocol is most common, if you are not complying with its parameters, you may feel an oppressive weight of pushback or even direct retaliation.


a. It does reasonable well at tempering certain intrinsic flaws in a game like Lux. People need to feel like the have an equal chance, but sometimes the draw is uneven or dice are no good. If we are all peaceful and accommodating, we all more or less have a chance at the lead in the end game.

b. It can be more friendly if everyone in the room does it well.

c. It's good for 2 or 3 person games since the preliminary rounds are not that interesting anyway. It gets everyone to the end game, where a raucous good time can often be had.


a. Bullying/Hazing. "We Cool?" can be a quasi-fascist system in the guise of a harmless hippie platitude. It bears a striking resemblance to caricatures (and even actual reality) of fraternity culture. Failure to commit to the default plot generates serious blowback from some players. Like "crazy" serious. Verbal abuse, griefing, trolling, etc. Of course, this might be a con for any protocol that came to be dominant or most common.

b. Not easy to understand. 'Be cool' is underspecified, not written down, informally enforced, and sometimes not very consistent with the actual rules of the game. Not good for newbies, which is very bad for game growth and a healthy number of players.

c. Prone to conflict/instability. Compared to the "love story" protocol, it's a recipe for disappointment and at a higher level. People get mad, they get sorry, they get bitter. Feuds and reports. Complaints. This is because the basic story is hard to specify and much more subject to variability in interpretation, creating almost certain violations of players' subjective expectations. I am not sure "we cool?" could have developed without chat and without a certain ranking structure in the early years of Lux. With "We Cool?" you definitely have to be sorry at least sometimes.

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:07 pm
by PJB
Im cool with this.

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:08 am
by GFips
I would say:
Always play to win and don't asshat others while doing that.
If someone else was better, had more luck or anything else happened so that you did not win, then just accept it, try to make it better and win the next game :-)
So have fun and play to win !

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:18 am
by Bean
Fips, I think some things about the "cool" way are contrary to playing to win. For example, when someone spreads thin and ends up with 10 or 20 extra income with 0 defense at the borders, that income pays off over the next rounds and you lose for being "cool" and not popping it. You also lose when you leave a nearly dead person in your way and let him/her kill the bot on the other side.

Playing to win is a nice sounding truism. We all play to win. It does not have enough clarity or definition to provide guidance as to how to play. It leaves a nice pretty black box to sit on. Who knows what's inside?

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:58 am
by GFips
"that income pays off over the next rounds and you lose for being "cool" and not popping it"
Well that can happen, but next game you should have learned from and not make the fault twice.

I usually always play bots first as long as it is suitable (that means e.g.: I do not feed humans cards to bots or battle other humans that much, that a bot finally wins; but that does not mean, that I do not hit income or give the game to others by not acting or letting a bot kill a human). If I have the chance to kill a bot before a human I will try so (but the aim is still to win).

Asshating in my view is feeding others cards or hitting somebody that much, that his game is ruined but I do not benefit (or do have a smaller chance to win the game with that move). Also moves that gives the games intentionally to 3rd people for any reason is asshatting. But on the other hand not every wrong or bad move is always asshatting. Faults are also human.

Being cool in adhoc situations can be fine (i would never hit a weak income if I am myself weak and know there will be a payback that will ruin my game). I think this is some basic strategy to judge your oppenent reactions and decide when to pop and when not. But surely that being cool must not result in "being cool" over the half game or even lead to teaming over games. Being cool is always a adhoc situation that will need change with the changing situations of a ongoing game.

But all that Can be discussed endless and there are pros and cons for each view.
Best thing is to win. If you win you are not doing so wrong. And if other players still enjoy to play with you even if you win, you did perfect :-)

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:11 pm
by Bean
GFips wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:58 am
if other players still enjoy to play with you even if you win, you did perfect :-)
An important issue for retaining people and getting them to play and keep playing. Fips.

The 'be cool' thing makes it hard for me to enjoy the game. If i'm already friends with someone, or am just passing time while I read the paper, or just don't care about winning or playing my best, it's fine. 2 or 3 person games; fine. Otherwise, it's very annoying. When I knew less about in my early lux days, it was downright oppressive and impossible to understand. I left and just played by myself for a long time because it wasn't fun to play with Luxers.

My proposal of the love story approach is to make it so there is less bitterness by improving/clarifying/simplifying expectations, thus theoretically making it more fun.

Malik's someone harder core "be cool" rules are a case in point. I really don't like it. Not fun. A bit tiresome and predictable.

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:40 pm
by GFips
█ Reaper (AI): Reaper offers a temporary alliance - accept by entering 'Reaper OK'
█ bean: reaper ok
█ Reaper (AI): bean, we are allied together. For now.

hehe :-)

No worries Bean. I know what you want to say and I agree with you.
Being cool should not be the prior tactics and should never cost you any game as well as it must never end in teaming other players down.
Being cool should always just be an adhoc situations for single turns. But there will always be situations where People have to be cool (e.g. if 2 weak players are cool to balance the board vs an over-mighty 3rd player it is fine, but when the situation changes the "cool"-thing has to end).

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:16 pm
by jelly
I recall a time when it was best not to table talk at all. Is lux for fun or for winning? I think for fun.

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 1:31 am
by Tanker_5455
Well, all games are supposed to be for fun, but most still end up being seen as competitions with players not pulling their punches, even against newcomers. Hell, some even prefer to seal-club newcomers!
But in any case, then I think it's a good idea, it's better for everyone if, in games with more than 2 players, the unsuspecting/beginner ones don't get smacked out of the game by the end or the second round or something like that. This way, the final battle is more enjoyable and challenging for everyone, and even if the beginner loses, they'll have a feeling of taking part in the final showdown, and will have seen how it feels to stay in the game until the end.

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 2:58 am
by GFips
Hi Tanker_5455. Be welcomed here in Luxtopia.
Thank you for this feedback.
In games with 6 or less humans always all humans will be in the next game. In the case when more than 6 (guested-in) people are around it depends on the host settings who will play next. The most common Setting actually is "Cycle" (you can see in the Tracker). This Option cycles out the "Loosers" from last game. So depending on your position of the last game you might have to wait one or two game to come in again in the next games if there are too many players in a room. But that is not done to cycle out newbies, but to "Honor" the winners.
New Players are always welcomed. Feel free to ask the experienced Players in case you have any questions.

(from time to time there were and are "highest ranked" rooms - there only the 6 players with the highest raw can play. But that is not happen actually anyway).

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:53 am
by Bean
Well said Tanker. I am with you on making the games about fun. As you play, be patient with the toxic elements in chat and let it roll over you. Don't buy in and eventually you will notice there are only a few responsible for the worst abuse. There are way more simply normal nice humans than trolls and bullies. There may be 2% toxic. 1.8% of that are probably temporarily toxic and can be redeemed. You might see more in an online context because even nice guys can turn that way here in no-accountability-land. Also, 2% is not small enough to be invisible and so it sometimes seems worse than it is. Remember the 98%!

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 2:51 pm
by Tanker_5455
Thanks for the offer GFips, right now I'm full of questions, so I'll see what I can find out by myself so that I end up with a reasonable amount of questions to ask to more experienced players!
And Bean, please don't worry, when talking about the seal-clubbing community, I wasn't thinking aout Lux, I was actually thinking that the toxic players here are quite rare to some other games I've played earlier on (Wargame Red Dragon, for example, is a great game but has Chernobyl levels of toxicity).

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 4:32 am
by GFips
Be welcomed. Feel free to pm the mods (Bean, PJB, DeepBlue or me) in case of any Questions! Most of the experienced Players are usually also willing to help in chat when they are asked. Just avoid the few rare asshats :-) (like in real life there are always some :-)). In case someone tries to create a toxic Environment or gets offensive in Chat then use the report function (/report <Player and issue>) in chat.
I hope you will enjoy this great game!

Re: The "We Cool?" Play Protocol

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:09 am
by Tanker_5455
Thanks for getting out of the way for a newbie! I'll try not to take advantage of it too much however, to find my own way there; plus, I'm starting to get the hang of it!