PREFACE: This has nothing to do with the current game [XXXI] and lots to do with the last one, but the topic comes up every few games. I had so much downtime during and after the last game that I was unable to put this up, so forgive me if it's not timely. However, these are some frequently-suggested solutions to problems and non-problems.
Note that the practices I am discussing here are NOT illegal for game purposes (though they are considered by some to be bad form), and the choice is yours to defend against them or not. These include:
- Tracking the board's total postcount while watching the "Who's online" section
- Watching the "Who's online" section and looking for posts or the lack thereof in the "Villager" board
- Watching your PM Outbox
These practices are imperfect in any case. Posts in wolf boards, while incrementing the board's total postcount, do not increment the wolf's postcount. (They do increment the postcounts of the GM or any admin that might post in there.) There may of course be more than just 1 faction whose board you cannot see. There is an admin board that only Dystopia, Omega, and myself can access. Any of those things can increment the board's total postcount without you ever seeing what is happening.
Watching "Who's online" and looking for posts/the lack of posts is imperfect. The people you see online could be reading, digesting, and analyzing. Or enjoying 7-Zark-7's RP posts. Or reading a previous game, trying to look for potential "tells." Or reading a previous game because they're bored and want to relive history.
Watching your PM outbox: It's been a long time since PMs were allowed in a game AND you weren't required to cc the GM. Assuming this is still the default (and we can assume it will be so), then note: A PM will sit in your outbox until it's read. By someone. Not everyone, not just this one guy, but someone. Like MAYBE it's your intended target, or maybe it's the GM. So noting that the PM isn't in your outbox, but you didn't get a reply from the other player for 10 hours or so, is not going to work.
All that said, though, there are a couple of very easy solutions that don't require modification to the board's layout:
1. Log in as a hidden user. Two methods:
Temporary: Log out. Go to the login screen, log in, and check "Hide my online status for this session." Only works for that session.
Permanent: Log in. Go to the control panel, Board Preferences, Edit Global Settings, "Hide my online status." Permanent until you go in and reverse the changes.
2. If you want to remain unhidden, and you're posting in a hidden board, run multiple tabs -- have one open to the Villager board and one to your hidden board of choice. Because you ARE using a browser capable of tabs. Right?
Discussion is welcomed below. Keep in mind, only 1 person here can change the board's layout and if he's not inclined to do so, he won't. Basically the onus is on you to protect yourself from being metagamed.