Any chance we can keep this constructive...? :(
While I'm not sure this would be a good idea, it does have some benefits:
- No need to share passwords (always a bad idea)
- The game knows you're doing this
That last bit is important because it gives you the following possibilities:
- Show a clear notice who is really taking the turn, this is more fair to opponents than the current "system"
- Prevent access to games where the account-sitter is on the other team
- Possibly prevent access to games which honour vacations anyway
- Make it an option (as we all know, WL has far too few options, it really needs many more options!!!111) whether account-sitters are allowed to take turns.
Together with the vacations setting this gives four combinations:
- Vacations not honoured, account-sitting disallowed:
For relatively fast games, where you are "sure" everyone is playing as themselves. Probably not ideal for long-running tournaments.
- Vacations not honoured, account-sitting allowed:
Still has fast games, but the tournament as a whole can take a long time (such as those with a thousand participants), because players are not automatically booted.
- Vacations honoured, account-sitting disallowed:
Everyone plays their own turns, at the cost of slower games, especially over the summer period.
- Vacations honoured, account-sitting allowed:
Note that this would only allow sitters to take turns when the player themselves is on vacation!
It would be nice to allow multiple account sitters simultaneously, for the situation where you are in a game against each of your potential sitters (because they can't play in those games).
There has been a suggestion to let booted players replace their AIs when they get back and want to play again. Such an option would decrease the necessity for account-sitting in my opinion.
I'd like to propose an alternative solution: Configurable maximum-length for vacations.
When creating a game and choosing the "honour vacations" option, you get a setting for maximum vacation length allowed (which would probably default to the current value of ten days). If I'm not overlooking anything, this setting cannot be lower than the shortest boot time (since it would not make any sense).
Since vacations are a compromise between the needs of the players not on vacation and the needs of the players which do go on vacation, I think it makes sense to allow some tuning.
When a player wants to set a vacation he would get a message telling him the maximum length vacation possible (the shortest allowed-vacation for all games already accepted and not yet eliminated from). Of course, it would still be possible to set a longer vacation; then WL shows a list of games the player will likely be booted from (preferably listing, at least, auto-boot times for each game, since it's the only non-preventable boot and it might be set higher than the max vacation length).
When the player clicks the confirmation button, WL automatically boots him from each game:
- In which no orders have been committed, which doesn't honour vacations and which has an auto-boot shorter than the vacation he just left on.
- In which no orders have been committed, which only honours shorter vacations and which has an auto-boot shorter than the vacation he just left on.
Additionally, every time a turn advances, WL immediately auto-boots players:
- If the game does not honour vacations and the remaining vacation time left is longer than the auto-boot.
- If the game only honours vacations shorter than the vacation time set and the remaining vacation time left is longer than the auto-boot.
Booting players immediately has two goals: making games progress faster (not waiting until auto-boot for orders which won't be committed anyway) and making sure people have an incentive to not set a vacation (much) longer than the one they are actually going on.
I think the above two systems cannot co-exist (that would make the logic ("rules") far to complex and (with very high likelihood) exploitable. So, let's hear it, which system would people prefer?