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Thread: #30: The Toxic Link (by Rhand)

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    #30: The Toxic Link (by Rhand)

    Article #30: The Toxic Link: what is it and how can you find mafia with it?

    -by Rhand

    Linking living players together is something that is being done by town and mafia players alike. But in some cases, these links serve the purpose of spreading distrust in town or create bad chain eliminations. Those links are mafia motivated and I call them “Toxic Links“. Correctly identifying these will out a wolf in most cases, and sometimes even more than one.

    Note that I wrote “living players”. Linking a dead (mafia) player to someone is interaction analysis and a completely different topic.

    An overview of possible linking you might encounter in a game:

    1) The “coaching or bussing link”: A player accuses someone of coaching or bussing someone else.

    Town: might out the suspicion but will never use this as a hard conclusion on anyone’s alignment. Town would note this observation and revisit it if one of the two “accused” flips wolf. It is a bad reason to attack or vote someone and town instinctively knows this.

    Mafia: often uses this as a reason to vote someone without providing any reasoning beyond the coaching as for why both parties are mafia. It doesn’t clear the two other players: it’s not uncommon to tie a buddy to a townie to get a chain elim in case the buddy kicks the bucket.

    How to spot the difference?
    If someone accuses someone of coaching or bussing and keeps attacking both players, then look for other reasoning for their reads.
    • If there is no reasoning, you probably found a wolf
    • If there is reasoning on one but they are attacking both or voting the other, you probably found a wolf. Added bonus: if they attack one and vote the other, the one they attack is often a buddy (the attack is real, the vote is meant to mislynch)
    • If there is reasoning on one and they focus their attacks and vote there, it's not a toxic link
    • If there is reasoning on both, it's not a toxic link

    2) The "I think X, Y and Z are scum together" link in the early game

    Town: many players like solving the game early for postgame cred and will sound too sure of an early scumteam. Town should however not be as sure as they sound, especially early game.

    Mafia: it's a working tactic to bite into scumreads and hold on to them: you will get the scorn of the players you're calling scum, but all other townies can remain on your good side. If you choose a pool big enough to contain the mafia team early on, you can coast on that the whole game.

    How to spot the difference?
    The main tactic here is to not attack these reads: see if they evolve naturally. If the person is still focusing on only these reads at EOD or even next Day(s), then you found a wolf. Town will naturally have changed their reads.
    If, and this is important, you push on the person doing this too early, you will lose the chance to catch a wolf as you will force them to re-evaluate and the narrative of both town and mafia will change.

    Cliffs:
    - Links aren't always toxic
    - If someone attacks someone for coaching or bussing, investigate their OTHER reasoning for thinking those people are mafia and compare that to where their push and vote are
    - If someone creates a scumteam early on, don't attack those reads so you can investigate if the reads evolve naturally

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    Soul Reader Pawn Lelouch's Avatar
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    So I feel this is just kind of taking a decent potential idea for an article and lightly just touching on a bullet point or two rather than properly fleshing it out.

    The actual content written is very one note in terms of treating these links and what they mean as far more absolute than they actually are rather than being context driven. "Town does X, Mafia does Y" does not work as a general framing because it is far too rigid to be accurate in practice, and feels more like it is being targeted around a single archetype of player rather than something that is meant to be for a general use article.

    In addition, it makes these strong assertions without using examples to reasonably show it as such in practice, so there is little support being given to show that these inflexible assertions you are making is true.

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    Galaxy Brain Marluxion's Avatar
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    I found it

    The toxic link



    Now how can I find Mafia with it
    Quote Originally Posted by Marluxion (#1589)
    The Not-So-Heroic Hero has arrived!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischief (#2773)
    In order for me to even be able to comprehend that he's not a wolf, he would have to have brain damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kusoyarou (#7767)
    Congratulations to Marluxion for being the biggest weeb!!

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    Soul Reader Rhand's Avatar
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    And here I was trying to keep it short and crisp to keep it readable as it is my understanding that this part of the site is mainly meant for newer players to get a grasp on the game.
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?

    edit:
    Took me a few reads to understand what your criticism really means. I will look for the empirical evidence that makes my findings with linking more believable for those that don’t take my findings at face value. This is something I discovered years ago and used with a decent succes rate throughout my mafia career and I wrote it from that “I know what I’m talking about” view. Not meant as arrogant or something, I only want to share what I learned.
    Last edited by Rhand; May 5th, 2022 at 05:07 PM.

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    Catboy Maid of MU Bunnelby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?
    Not sure if examples from another site would be the best choice to make here since (at least I would assume) you're posting an article on MU because you believe it applies to MU? Or are you posting it as a general note and this is the platform you were able to give it visibility from?
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    Soul Reader Rhand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunnelby (#5)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?
    Not sure if examples from another site would be the best choice to make here since (at least I would assume) you're posting an article on MU because you believe it applies to MU? Or are you posting it as a general note and this is the platform you were able to give it visibility from?
    My belief is that it applies in general yes. I have played on many platforms and the same happens everywhere.
    I just haven’t played on MU enough to grab examples here without having to read a whole bunch of games I didn’t participate in. (I would though if that’s what it takes to make this a better article. I believe in what I wrote and think it can improve people’s town game)

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    Catboy Maid of MU Bunnelby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#6)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunnelby (#5)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?
    Not sure if examples from another site would be the best choice to make here since (at least I would assume) you're posting an article on MU because you believe it applies to MU? Or are you posting it as a general note and this is the platform you were able to give it visibility from?
    My belief is that it applies in general yes. I have played on many platforms and the same happens everywhere.
    I just haven’t played on MU enough to grab examples here without having to read a whole bunch of games I didn’t participate in. (I would though if that’s what it takes to make this a better article. I believe in what I wrote and think it can improve people’s town game)
    My implication wasn't necessarily "read a bunch of games you weren't in", it was more of a "hey, maybe someone has examples to offer of what you're saying". I can't be sure if this is a phenomenon that translates as smoothly to MU as it does to your community if I can't visualize the type of example that you may be used to, especially if it's one that you personally have seen or experienced in your games on MU. When I read through the article originally, I saw your statements and had a moment of "hey, I can think of people who do what you say is villagery/wolfy as both alignments", so maybe I'm a bit biased in my interpretation, but it's not as black and white to me as it seems to be to you.

    In short: I feel like this is an article that needs the examples for either proper interpretation (If my interpretation is wrong) or to show that the theory holds more water than my experiences would indicate (if it's just a difference in experiences).
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    ApoThau: I'll thwap a pizza against my phone for you once it gets here.

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    H-hey I'm Bunnelby. And I'm here at Emoji Abuser's Anonymous today to talk about my crippling juice box/tea sipping avatar addiction.

    *Hello Bunnelby*

    It started with the odd drop of drinking emoji to express passing interest, but as my abilities with Discord Nitro grew and grew, so did my obsession with sipping emojis. Eventually it got to the point where nobody could hold a conversation with me. In order to sustain my juicebox emoji addiction I have to have multiple juiceboxes present at all times near me, or I fall into withdrawal. That explains the Capri-Suns I brought in today. Hope you enjoyed. Thank you for listening.


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    Soul Reader Rhand's Avatar
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    Okay I get what you’re saying. This will be a long term project (my champs game is starting soon), but I will look for examples to stave my theory.
    I have seen examples of town doing what mafia is more likely to do. It’s why I say “probably”. My intention with this article was to create an extra tool in the scumhunting toolbox. None of those tools are ever foolproof.

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    Soul Reader Pawn Lelouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    And here I was trying to keep it short and crisp to keep it readable as it is my understanding that this part of the site is mainly meant for newer players to get a grasp on the game.
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?

    edit:
    Took me a few reads to understand what your criticism really means. I will look for the empirical evidence that makes my findings with linking more believable for those that don’t take my findings at face value. This is something I discovered years ago and used with a decent succes rate throughout my mafia career and I wrote it from that “I know what I’m talking about” view. Not meant as arrogant or something, I only want to share what I learned.
    I mean it wouldn't hurt. A big thing about keeping something short and sweet is that while its great if you can swing it, you still need to actually deliver the information well in what you put out. So you need to have enough content and a good framing for that.

    Its not about arrogance or anything like that, if I came off like that it was never my intent and I'm sorry. And the thing is that this is something with a genuinely solid idea for an article.

    There are heuristics that can work and make sense in the general vein that you're pushing for. My main issue with such is that you're framing it as a binary and far more rigid than it is in actuality. Its essentially pushing these far more as absolutes than they actually are, which makes it seem like these are always true regardless of context and player archetype.

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    Soul Reader Shinichi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunnelby (#5)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?
    Not sure if examples from another site would be the best choice to make here since (at least I would assume) you're posting an article on MU because you believe it applies to MU? Or are you posting it as a general note and this is the platform you were able to give it visibility from?
    I would assume it exists on MU because of the huge player base.

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    GOAT Tier hollowkatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawn Lelouch (#9)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    And here I was trying to keep it short and crisp to keep it readable as it is my understanding that this part of the site is mainly meant for newer players to get a grasp on the game.
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?

    edit:
    Took me a few reads to understand what your criticism really means. I will look for the empirical evidence that makes my findings with linking more believable for those that don’t take my findings at face value. This is something I discovered years ago and used with a decent succes rate throughout my mafia career and I wrote it from that “I know what I’m talking about” view. Not meant as arrogant or something, I only want to share what I learned.
    I mean it wouldn't hurt. A big thing about keeping something short and sweet is that while its great if you can swing it, you still need to actually deliver the information well in what you put out. So you need to have enough content and a good framing for that.

    Its not about arrogance or anything like that, if I came off like that it was never my intent and I'm sorry. And the thing is that this is something with a genuinely solid idea for an article.

    There are heuristics that can work and make sense in the general vein that you're pushing for. My main issue with such is that you're framing it as a binary and far more rigid than it is in actuality. Its essentially pushing these far more as absolutes than they actually are, which makes it seem like these are always true regardless of context and player archetype.
    Yeah for sure. Like I have the opinion that when presenting a full player reads list (or close enough to it) the presence of many weasel/waffle reads is wolf indicative.
    Can it be wrong and come from town who's just really unsure of what to be doing, where to be going? Absolutely it can be and I've seen it.

    But it also catches out wolves often enough that I tend to think of it as a binary even when it isn't. It's possible that's been Rhands experience with this type of "tell" as well.

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    Soul Reader Rhand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollowkatt (#11)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pawn Lelouch (#9)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhand (#4)
    And here I was trying to keep it short and crisp to keep it readable as it is my understanding that this part of the site is mainly meant for newer players to get a grasp on the game.
    I can make it longer and dig up examples (from my home site) if that’s what is needed to get the point across?

    edit:
    Took me a few reads to understand what your criticism really means. I will look for the empirical evidence that makes my findings with linking more believable for those that don’t take my findings at face value. This is something I discovered years ago and used with a decent succes rate throughout my mafia career and I wrote it from that “I know what I’m talking about” view. Not meant as arrogant or something, I only want to share what I learned.
    I mean it wouldn't hurt. A big thing about keeping something short and sweet is that while its great if you can swing it, you still need to actually deliver the information well in what you put out. So you need to have enough content and a good framing for that.

    Its not about arrogance or anything like that, if I came off like that it was never my intent and I'm sorry. And the thing is that this is something with a genuinely solid idea for an article.

    There are heuristics that can work and make sense in the general vein that you're pushing for. My main issue with such is that you're framing it as a binary and far more rigid than it is in actuality. Its essentially pushing these far more as absolutes than they actually are, which makes it seem like these are always true regardless of context and player archetype.
    Yeah for sure. Like I have the opinion that when presenting a full player reads list (or close enough to it) the presence of many weasel/waffle reads is wolf indicative.
    Can it be wrong and come from town who's just really unsure of what to be doing, where to be going? Absolutely it can be and I've seen it.

    But it also catches out wolves often enough that I tend to think of it as a binary even when it isn't. It's possible that's been Rhands experience with this type of "tell" as well.
    Indeed. I tried not to make it sound too binary by saying you “probably” found a wolf. It’s about probability. Maybe using >rand would work better.
    I do get that examples would be good. I will look for some.

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    Soul Reader Rhand's Avatar
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    (opinion: if a town chooses a full scumteam on D1 and holds onto it for Days without re-evaluating, they deserve to be mislynched anyways 😅)

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