I just want to point out here that there are some issues starting to get clumped together that I don't think necessarily should be.
I have no intention of stating my perspective on each of them, because it will alienate someone regardless of what I say, and I don't like that.
Regardless. as I say, two issues:
1) Being quiet is a legitimate tactic in Mafia/Werewolf, so there should be a way to discuss and test that possibility/hypothesis
2) The other sentiment about non-activity that has been expressed, that I'm not comfortable repeating out of fear of misrepresenting the views of those who express it.
These are separate issues. Guy has already explicitly stated his stance on #2, and I see no reason why to explore it further. #1 is more murky.
In case someone doesn't see the practical difference: I see an important practical difference between them. #2 is about saying a person is not posting enough and should be removed from the game. We have the black-and-white rules there: 48 - 72 hours for a post.; #1 is about whether we can state and vote on the theory that someone may be a wolf because they are being quiet.
Rules can be interpreted a number of ways; there are entire branches of governments designed to interpret them.
I personally just need to hear from our GM about how he interprets point #1 in regards to the rules. I generally play, and have seen Werewolf played on Elliquiy, where things like voting records, player's quiet vs. vocality on issues, and statements affirming innocence and guilt are all fair game. I would not usually attack someone for the way their character smells on the boards because, as I TYPICALLY interpret it, the reason each day period exists is for people to discuss theories (Examples: X has been quiet, Y voted for Z, B turned out guilty so since they were vocally working together... perhaps C is guilty too? I really don't like the theory that M posited, especially since it implicated N, whom I feel is innocent this game... etc. etc.) Attacking for someone how they smell, in contrast, doesn't really let anyone know what I was thinking in my reasoning.
I generally don't see that as 'meta-gaming'. I see deductive reasoning as being a trademark of Mafia... at least how some people interpret it. Meta-gaming and using OOC information to me would be more like 'I demand to know why you were gone or I wont' believe you!' or "I always lose to her so I need to kill her" or 'I don't like him as a player so I'm voting him off'. Through a definition posited here, meta-gaming has been defined as something much, much broader.
Is one definition 'wrong' and one way 'right'? No. Of course not, but those are very different games, and we all need to make sure we are playing the same game here or we are going to accidentally offend each other.
Honestly, at this point, I just want an official ruling from ThatRPGuy, since he is running the game. That way, I can get back to either A) playing how I have been playing, or b) I can stop pulling quotes and talking about theories, and instead roleplay out the game via rolling dice to fairly pick a random name and then talk about my suspicion of bakers that shorted me on my cookie order and dentist's that pulled my character's wisdom teeth without Novocaine. Oh, and start hitting on the sexy straight pirate; somehow, I have managed to avoid that this game.
This sums it up nicely, and I appreciate someone taking the time to ask me and wait for an answer.
The discussion happening here touches one of the hardest point to balance and moderate when running a game like this online. The truth is, and many players have raised this point; there is strategy in staying silent, especially if you have a role that makes staying alive matter. It's a tough act to balance at times. On one hand, you don't want to say relatively quiet players can't be targeted or harshly reprimand those that notice their attempts to avoid scrutiny. At the same time, you also don't want players who simply don't have the lifestyle to support posting multiple times a day to be targeted for that reason either.
I've seen myself quotes twice recently, specifically these two posts;
Metagame reasons are equally terrible! Nothing is less fun than being voted off early for a reason along the lines of "They're really good at these kinds of games. We should kill them off early in case they're a wolf.", "Well, they were the wolf last time.", "They're a very active player, so they must be evil!", or worst of all, "Let's get the veteran players first so us first timers have a chance!". Not only is this a good way to hurt your team, it hurts the game as a whole, as well as future games. A veteran player isn't likely to join new games if they're under the impression they're going to be killed the first night every round.
What I was largely getting at in this point was sentiments such as the one that one player is almost always a werewolf, and shouldn't be trusted this game, or that a different player is very clever, and therefore should be voted off first, just in case
they're a wolf. That said, votes have to start somewhere, and the dice bot is not always the best solution after the first day.
Also, please try and remember that many users of E come from not just all over the US, but the world as a whole, and the minimum activity level I ask of players is one post every 48-72 hours. Not everyone will have the exact same level of activity, and while it's acceptable to politely question them about it, a lighter posting rate is hardly irrefutable evidence of a player's guilt. Similarly, a polite response or explanation will carry more weight than an aggressive one.
I believe this sums up my feelings about Ink's first point fairly well. As he mentioned, I do have a guideline in place for activity levels and pruning. I am aware of what players haven't posted in a phase, and if necessary, I will prune as needed while hopefully managing the game balance. While it is nice to have a notice when a player may not be as active, some people have very private lives and don't wish to share as much. You do have to remember the nature of the site this game is on; many people want to keep their E and real lives separate, some to the point where even sharing it's a busy weekend at work seems like more than they would like to share.
That said, it's easy to understand why players that seem to be avoiding attention tend to attract it. I'm more than okay with asking a player why they are so quiet, so long as it's specifically directed at their E activity level. I personally feel there's a big difference between this:
"____, you've been quiet so far. Why did you vote for no lynching?" followed by "Well, they didn't give me an answer I liked before the voting deadline, so I'm voting for ___."
"I'm voting for ___ because they never post."
It is largely about how it's worded; I mentioned this in an earlier post, it's always good to mind the way we say things, especially in these games. It's strategically sound as well; an aggressive approach tends to draw attention to yourselves. Plus, allowing players to vote on whom they please does start discussion. When the votes began to swing for EmyKat, one player made a point;
Picking off the 'inactives' sure is a good way to divert attention, isn't it?
I didn't call anything here because this was still an in-game discussion to me, before the tone shifted to the point where I needed to step in. First and foremost, to answer your question, Ink, I personally feel as though you've played very respectfully, and wouldn't ask you to change your approach at all. As MP pointed out, most of us would eventually ask the quiet person at the table for their opinion after enough time has passed, as staying under the radar is a valid tactic.
I'm definitely not asking anybody to forego strategy and observation in favor of a die roll, certainly, just please keep a sense of civility in mind as you chose how to word your question. "I'd like to hear more from ___, as I'm suspicious of her." Will get you a lot further than "I'm tired of ___ sneaking by, let's get 'em!"
I hope all this makes sense and helps answers questions and concerns about how to move forward. It took me a while to try and get this written up in a way that properly reflects my thoughts, and I'm well past my bedtime. In short, please have fun, and vote in a way that you feel is a sound strategy, just remember that potential werewolves are people too.