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posted at 2013-01-25 00:50 by bodzolca

I propose a change of rules for the contact deadline. Now the rules state:
"If you have not contacted your opponent by now, you must accept one of your opponent's offered times, rather than make new offers."

The problem with this rule is that, I suspect, it is abused. Many opponents do read the offers and when they realize that they suit them all they wait as long as possible to choose the time (this is speculation, but I bet it happens). This goes counter to the philosophy of TL, since we're a bunch of busy people and we want commitment ASAP.

The change I propose is that the opponent that "misses" the contact deadline must accept the time chosen by his opponent out of initially proposed ones. So when your opponent misses the deadline, you can already make plans for yourself, rather than wait for opponent that is unable to commit himself.

Of course, I understand that sometimes it is hard to commit, but then you should state so in the forum and propose alternatives.

posted at 2013-01-25 11:24 by samuraigoroh

I don't know if people wait for that (I don't), but I believe that's why there's the next rule:

The Back-and-Forth Negotiations. The players suggest sets of times to play, and respond to each other's suggestions, until an agreement is reached. Each of these back and forth posts should generally be within 24 hours of the previous post. Delaying longer than 24 hours to reply to a post leaves your opponent wondering what's up. If timely, those back and forth posts may continue all the way to the Game Completion Deadline, but good faith efforts to schedule need to be made on both sides.

posted at 2013-01-28 00:56 by bodzolca

This reads more like a guideline (no consequences are stated), not a rule, but I agree that it addresses my point at least partially. I guess that TD bears this in mind when making a ruling?

posted at 2013-01-28 13:45 by jaberwock

Correct, that will be factored in when considering players' efforts in scheduling.

posted at 2013-01-28 18:48 by wmahan

I agree with bodzolca that the rules allow a player to dally in accepting a time, and that the part about replying within 24 hours reads like a guideline, not a rule.

However, since players are required to accept times at least 24 hours in advance for them to be binding, I don't see any real advantage in waiting to accept a time. I can think of only a couple of players who have tried to play such games with the rules, and TL admins can deal with them directly.

My feeling is that the proposed change is both too harsh in some cases, and not harsh enough to eliminate the problem. It penalizes players who wait to accept a time because they are genuinely not sure of their schedule, and yet if a player can make all of the offers, then they could still delay in accepting a time.

The change has practical drawback also. Suppose player A offers 3 times, and player B misses the first contact deadline. Under your proposed change, presumably player B still has to post something before the final contact deadline to avoid a forfeit loss, but can no longer accept a time. Instead player B has to make a pro forma post and throw the ball back to player A, who would then choose the time. Thus the change increases the bureaucracy of the game forum.

posted at 2013-01-29 07:54 by bodzolca

Good points, wmahan! In fact, I was brooding on the practical drawback myself. But since jaberwock confirmed that back-and-forth is binding, I'm quite satisfied with that.

posted at 2013-02-01 06:46 by NBZ

A simple solution: if more than 24 hours have elapsed after an offer has been made, acceptance of that offer is no longer binding on the original player. That way, if a player makes an offer and does not get a reply within 24 hours, the player will not be forced to keep all of those time-slots free. The incentive to "game" the system is also much reduced: if you wait too long there is no guarantee you'll get your preferred choice.

posted at 2013-02-02 19:44 by jaberwock

While I understand the logical and well-meaning of some suggestions, I worry that some would entail constant monitoring and analysis by TDs who already volunteer a decent amount of time for what they do.

I also am concerned that we may inadvertently stray into over-legislating issues.

There will always be players who seem to seek and apply any loopholes they can find. I have the feeling they are quite lonely in real life.