Since my backgammon is going through a sort of quiescent state at the
moment I thought I'd write a little guide about how to deal with droppers
First off, don't just assume that because someone disappears suddenly (even
if it's at a crucial stage of the match) that they are definitely a
dropper. If you are not paying for phonecalls and can afford to wait, hang
around for at least 10mins to see if they log back in. If their computer
crashed it might take them this long to restart it and log back in. After
about 5mins you could consider starting a 1 pt match just to fill in the
time, bots don't usually mind if you break off half way through a game:-)
So, they didn't come back? The next stage is to leave them a message using
the message command "message nick 'message text'", be polite, just ask what
happened and when they will be available to resume. If you get a reply then
things look hopeful. If they have an Email address (use "whois nick") you
could try this as well.
No replies? or stalling messages? Then it looks like you might have hooked
yourself a dropper. If it's someone with low experience you might consider
writing it off and forgetting it. If however they have been playing for
quite some time, they have more to lose and it is probably worth while
Next time you log in and see them playing watch the match and "kibitz" to
find out what's going on. Be sure to make their opponent aware that this
player has a match to finish with you. If they try to ignore you it's a
sure sign they are a dropper, so most will waffle a bit instead and say
they will finish later or they don't have time right now. Try to pin them
Don't let them finish their match and start another without comment. Be
sure to "shout" this time so everyone can hear. At this stage you want to
make sure everyone knows what's going on. If the dropper says nothing then
that adds weight to your arguement. Usually though they will try some more
waffle or get abusive, so much the better.
Now suppose they have claimed they are too busy, you have to nail this lie.
Or they simple log out everytime they see you. So, each time you log in and
they are not around do a "whois" on their nick and see if there is a
pattern to their login times. If so, make sure you login 5mins before them
and wait. Now, when they login, they are obviously not to busy, so you
should "shout" that they either leave of finish your match. With any luck
no one will come near them with a bargepole so they just have to sit there
or leave. At this stage some droppers are inclined to cave, if not repeat
the dose a few more times till they get the message.
Even if you don't manage to get a concession you know that the dropper is
reduced to playing novices or a small circle of friends. At this stage you
might want to message the sysops of the server but without a lot of proof
you are unlikely to get much joy, especially as it's free.
A more insidious form of dropper is one who plays and drops a lot of
matches in a sort period and then simply doesn't login till most of them
have expired, you can't do a lot about this but do note their names and
don't get stung twice.
What do you do if you have started a match and someone comes along and says
your opponent is a dropper? Well it depends on the credence you give to the
teller but it would be worthwhile finding out the exact situation in their
match. If their match is all but over I would tend to insist that they
finish off before continuing. Or if I'm right at the start and the teller
is well known to me I'd probably decline to start, leave the match and see
what s/he does.
Of course, if you know the droppers State, birthday, ISP, surname, you
could always do a net search.....find his/her address and let the boys pay
a visit, but this might be a bit excessive:-)
Kindest Regards and Merry Christmas to one and all (even ex-droppers, you
know who you are!)
P.S. I think my idea about a dropper only server is a great one!:-)