Ingix and markus - thanks, you've nailed a part of why I find Undos so difficult. I also see now why it was considered a weak reason to refuse an undo, I was just confused about what was being undone - and the point is well made about how the interface exacerbates that.
It's the difficulty in seeing exactly what is to be undone, and a more verbose log would help that - although of course it'd be pretty cluttered for normal use. Perhaps it could just get verbose when dealing with an undo request?
Also useful (for me at least) would be a requirement for a player to state a reason they wish the undo, perhaps a dialogue box when the Undo button is clicked? That's then displayed to the other player with the Grant/Deny button.
IanP had posted a reason in chat "I've losttrack of my cards.. :-/" - but this hardly explained the situation to me, and what may have seemed obvious to him is not at all obvious to me, partly due to the interface and partly just because I'm not as keenly aware of which cards he has/hasn't got as he is.
As it happened anyway I only saw the chat text *after* I clicked the first deny, which highlights another issue with the Undo process - as things stand explaining an undo request can be a race against time! You often have to click Undo first and then type your reason fast, to stop the game racing onwards. So in fairness to IanP it's hard to quickly and precisely sum up the reason for an undo request under those conditions.
Making the game pause when Undo is pressed then allowing time for a reason to be given would remove that problem.
I'll always wish for a civil and friendly playing environment. Undos are coming dangerously close to spoiling the site for me, with players who feel entitled to them (and get rude when they're refused) getting in the way of a fun game. I'm not sure of the solution - I'm pondering just a blanket refusal to allow any undos (and never to ask for any myself too!) I'd want to tell players about that when I greet them - but of course by then they're already committed to the game and would lose ranking if they resigned rather than play that way... That suggests we need a preference for games with/without undo allowed - something else in the matching criteria.
My other, entirely informal, criterion for asking/allowing undos is based on who's winning. I figure it's less sporting to ask for one when you already have a firm lead - so I tend not to do so myself when I'm in the lead and misclick or whatever. But I appreciate that this criterion is a matter of opinion, and not transparent to anyone until after the fact, if I explain a refusal.
My suggestions for Undo Reform, to summarise:
- More verbose logging (perhaps selectively when Undos are requested - highlighting the relevant log entires as suggested above is a great idea)
- Undo requests recoded to pause the game, and prompt the requesting player for their reason. (Perhaps also with a reminder that they are not entitled to the undo)
- Matching criteria to include a toggle for "undos on/off"