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Artificial Borders

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Syzygy

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Nation Limit for Sanctions  

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Good day dear audience,

today is a special day. Why special? Because it is sad, funny, enlightening and maybe even constructive.

"Why?" you may ask. Because today something happened what I predicted some time ago and what should finally make clear that the fix which had been put in back then has only delayed the problem.

What I talk about? Alliance Sanctioning and the artificial Member Requirement of 200 nations.

Vox Populi has started a campaign to infiltrate the AA of TOP (The Order of the Paradox). They have brought around 20 nations of very small size and/or in peacemode to this AA, without being legit members there, just to push TOP over the 200 nations mark for a sanction. TOP itself has currently, as far as I am aware, 174 legit members.

Since all these nations are either in peacemode or just new/ZId they don't really care for any military "threats". There is simply nothing anyone can do, if they just insist on staying on that AA, and I don't doubt that they will find the remaining dozen members to finally get over 200.

All TOP can do is to remove own members from the AA, either to allied AA's, CTC (Citadels Protectorate) or the TOP Applicant AA to lower the nationcount. But does THAT make sense? Allowing a group of scoundrels to force one of the strongest alliances in the game to dissolve their membership structure just to prevent a success for their offenders?

So, what can be done?

Remove the reason for such attempts once and for all. Get rid of any artificial borders. Sanction the Top12 alliances, no matter how you "count" that. By NS, by Score, if membership size is sooo damn important, please, even the Top12 alliances by membership count.

No matter how much and often the system is tweaked, people will ALWAYS find ways to exploit and abuse it. That is part of the human nature. Just get rid of that, its just saving future trouble.

Another interesting system would be to determine sanctioning the following way, but maybe it is a too drastic change, however, just food for thought:

  • The first 4 Alliances are chosen by Total NS.
  • The second 4 Alliances are chosen by Total Score. (if threre are some already among the first 4, the next in score gets the place)
  • The third 4 Alliances are chosen by Total MemberCount. (if there are some already among the first 8, the next in membership count gets the place).

This way you have 12 sanctions, but 3 different ways to get there, which allows more flexibility when building alliances. However, just an idea.

Fact is, the current system is still flawed and Vox Populi gains another stage for gathering attention. And as long as there are any artificial borders, such stuff will repeat, one way or another.

/Syzygy

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I'd rather see a codified alliance system to prevent ghosts entirely. Yes I realize it comes with its own set of problems, but damn it would make life so much easier in terms of issues like this and for other alliances in general.

You just want to take away Vox's latest and funniest way of fighting back.

Stop oppressing me for a second and be practical, man!

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I love the loaded language. "Abuse" "exploitation" etc.

We're operating within the bounds of the game -as we always have - but it's always "abuse" or "exploitation"

"Exploiting" the senate vote system. "Abusing" the in-game PM system. "Exploiting" and "abusing" the sanction system.

Your concerns might be valid but your tone is whiny. What happens when we work within the next set of rules for alliance sanctioning? Another change? Will we change every aspect of the game that Vox Populi decides to use to its advantage or toward its ends? Should we get rid of peace mode because Vox Populi uses peace mode? Should we get rid of the attack range limitations so that when every Vox Populi nation is at 0 infra they can still be declared on, because it's only fair?

Is it "fair" that to stop our aim TOP would have to move people off its AA? Who says what "fair" is? Was it fair that Hyperion got attacked? Was it fair that people went through KaiserMartens' photobucket account? I mean he's a 16 or 17 year old kid. The simple fact of the matter is that for the players who can think only in terms of military might, their might makes anything they can accomplish with it fair to them. Well, we don't fight with militaries, never have, and our methods are as fair on our battleground as you say yours are on your battleground. A physical war is fought with tanks and never on equal (fair) footing. As much as TOP values its years of labor on their community and nation-building, NoV valued its community, NpO its, GOONS its, LUE its, \m/ its, but would you have admin remove aspect fo the military to have kept them from having to give up theirs'. I think "no."

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Schattenman makes a huge point. Real abuse of the game and real abuse of people are rendered insignificant when groups like Vox are charged as abusive for their relatively harmless actions.

They are merely taking advantage of an in game feature.

This is not abusive.

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Schatt, you know I think you are a great player and all, but this is the definition of exploitation.

Its funny exploitation of a stupid rule though. Hopefully you will be the catalyst to have it removed.

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Syz, about your suggestion for the new sanction system, what if an alliance was #1 in all 3 categories? Would they take all three sanction spaces, or just one? If only one, from which category?

NPO is #1 in all three categories, second only to None in member count. How would that work?

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Ghosting is kindof annoying, and like Trace, I think there should be a coded solution to it: an alliance gatekeeper to admit applicants. I've played other games which had that as a feature, and it greatly simplifies things.

This is not because of Vox, mind; I've advocated such a measure for a long time now, far longer than Vox has existed. It's because of the amount of time that has to be spent by ordinary alliance leaders trying to find out if rogue attackers are actually members of alliances or not. If ghosting is impossible, then this massive timesuck disappears.

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I voted "Keep it", because I still don't see a reason to "remove it". It makes sense that a sanctioned alliance should have 200 members.

TOP doesn't absolutely have to stay below 200 members. So there's no need for them to move their own members away just to lower the member count.

Also, there isn't much wrong with Vox Populi gathering attention. They wanted attention, and they came up with a way to get attention.

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Since Score already includes membership numbers it doesn't seem fair to make membership numbers count twice to be able to get sanctioned (once in the score, and for the second time as a barrier)

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Syz, about your suggestion for the new sanction system, what if an alliance was #1 in all 3 categories? Would they take all three sanction spaces, or just one? If only one, from which category?

NPO is #1 in all three categories, second only to None in member count. How would that work?

Did you read the OP ? :) It's clearly explained there.

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I agree, the system is very unfair, the effects of avg NS were removed from score calculations and number of nations is included so there is no real reason to keep the member limit.

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I voted "Keep it", because I still don't see a reason to "remove it". It makes sense that a sanctioned alliance should have 200 members.

I if makes "sense", please explain "how" it makes any sense to weight membership heavily in the score system itself and then use it *again* as artificial barrier?

Just as example:

The Top199 nations in the game have together:

19,395,764.30 NS - 97,466.15 avg NS - Score: 66.95

These 199 nations would obliterate *any* existing alliance in the game with ease.

Now, you need only 24.20 score IF you have more than 200 nations.

6,569,000 NS - 32,845 avg NS - Score: 24.20 -> enough.

Now explain please what makes sense in a scenario where Group A, that could obliterate *anyone* would get no sanction, but Group B which could be defeated by at least 15-20 alliances do get one?

I see none.

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Actually, Syzygy, they would barely make a dent against the majority of alliances, most of which have few or no nations in range of them. :) You're too used to playing with the big boys, you've lost touch with the ordinary players.

That said, I kinda like your three-way split idea. Except I would cut it as first the top 4 total members regardless of NS, then the top 4 score out of all other alliances, then the top 4 total NS regardless of members out of all other alliances. If you do the analysis, you'll see how doing it that way actually prevents zerg hordes from getting sanctioned.

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Actually, Syzygy, they would barely make a dent against the majority of alliances, most of which have few or no nations in range of them. :) You're too used to playing with the big boys, you've lost touch with the ordinary players.

Or I just think a bit wider.

After 1 week of war you have totally devastated the maybe 10 nations in your range, you could triple them all and kick them with 3 guys each stronger than himself. But, during that 1 week, your nations lose some strength as well, moving more people in their range (although *by far* not as much as the tripled ones). Also the guys of the other alliance who were only a few NS outside of your range grow as well. Fact is, the 199 could constantly cut down the top ranks of any alliance. Pinning down everyone who grows in their range, and funding billions over billions every 10days to known enemies of their opponent - you have more ways to 'fight' than direct engagement. They could take over every Team Senate they want, by just moving to that team and completely block the Top100 there and go wild with 15 sanctions every few days, even two complete teams at once, because there are always a few guys with disabled senate voting.

Besides this, your view of the scenario is simply wrong, their lowest member (#199) would have +82.37k NS. That means, his declaration range goes down to: 61.79k NS. The in comparison strongest other alliances in the game would be:

Grämlins: 47 nations in range

NPO: 51 nations in range

IRON: 61 nations in range

TOP: 62 nations in range

Fact is, they would clearly dominate - why denying them a sanction while an alliance 5x weaker with just 1 more member would get one?

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Syzygy, you misunderstood my comment.

I'm referring to the majority of alliances, not the strongest sanctioned alliances. There are quite a number of alliances that do not possess a member with 61K NS. Heck, Invicta only has 7 nations past that line, and we're on the sanction race.

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thats the problem I talk about. I could argue that an alliance of 2,000 nations with a total NS of 340,000 (= 0.170k avg NS) would be totally invincible because no one could attack them in all their weakness.

Should they get a sanction even while being totally helpless? They had a score of 24.2, enough to get it.

Thats exactly the point: membership is ALREADY part of the score formula, and a BIG one as you can see. Why is an additional border needed?

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This depends on what the purpose of having a sanction is. It's a reward setup by admin which comes with some additional penalties (most particularly, the tendency to attract flocks of ghosts.)

I'm still not very clear. However, it seems to me that Admin wants to reward alliances who attract a large number of stable, long-term players to the game. That's the best explanation I can come up with for the sanction system, and how it works. While alliances such as TOP and Grämlins and OBR do attract long-term players, and help keep them in the game, they don't attract them in large quantities; and Admin obviously wants to have as many players as possible playing his game.

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I voted "Keep it", because I still don't see a reason to "remove it". It makes sense that a sanctioned alliance should have 200 members.

I if makes "sense", please explain "how" it makes any sense to weight membership heavily in the score system itself and then use it *again* as artificial barrier?

Just as example:

The Top199 nations in the game have together:

19,395,764.30 NS - 97,466.15 avg NS - Score: 66.95

These 199 nations would obliterate *any* existing alliance in the game with ease.

Now, you need only 24.20 score IF you have more than 200 nations.

6,569,000 NS - 32,845 avg NS - Score: 24.20 -> enough.

Now explain please what makes sense in a scenario where Group A, that could obliterate *anyone* would get no sanction, but Group B which could be defeated by at least 15-20 alliances do get one?

I see none.

It's because Group B has 200 members. An alliance with 200 members has 1 more nation participating in it than an alliance with 199 members, getting it into sanctioned. It makes sense that the 1 nation should make a difference. Sanction isn't necessarily about strength (or score). Sanctioned alliances do get beaten down.

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... yeah, and I am questioning the logic of this rule. Of course I know what the current rules are. But you could say: Why 200? Why not 150? Or 250? Or 300? Or 500?

Thats the whole case: Its artificial, god-given, indoctrinated. It makes the system flawed and weak for attempts to trick and abuse it, is distorts strength reflection and serves no real purpose.

If this rule shall "enforce" that only the "largest" alliances are sanctioned - then go and make the 12 "largest" alliances sanctioned or value membercount in the score formula just higher to ensure that large alliances always have a way higher score. An artificial number to pass just hurts, and does no good at all.

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... yeah, and I am questioning the logic of this rule. Of course I know what the current rules are. But you could say: Why 200? Why not 150? Or 250? Or 300? Or 500?

Thats the whole case: Its artificial, god-given, indoctrinated. It makes the system flawed and weak for attempts to trick and abuse it, is distorts strength reflection and serves no real purpose.

If this rule shall "enforce" that only the "largest" alliances are sanctioned - then go and make the 12 "largest" alliances sanctioned or value membercount in the score formula just higher to ensure that large alliances always have a way higher score. An artificial number to pass just hurts, and does no good at all.

If I remember correctly, the membership requirement was implemented when membership wasn't factored into the score, sometime around the Second and Third Great War, when the "score" feature was added for the first time (before Great War II, I think, sanctions were given only for raw Nation Strength). Score was calculated based primarily on Average Nation Strength, so small alliances with six members of 50k Nation Strength would have a score upwards of 70. The sanction limit also used to be 300 members.

Because membership is currently factored into score, I agree with the OP in that it is an artificial limitation that serves no particular purpose, apart from a vestige of an antiquated system.

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When it was added, the score system was such that an alliance gaining members actually had a possibility of losing score. Weird fluctuations like this were especially noticeable in small alliances which could hae massive scores despite being comparatively small and weak. Once average NS was removed, the Score formula produced a steady and reasonable pattern for score growth at all ends of the spectrum, which means the size requirement has outlived its purpose.

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I agree with Trace. Make it so that it is impossible to use an AA without that AA leadership's authorization.

and how would the game know "the leadership" of the AA?

Submission of ruler names. Titles given. IG votes of leadership so it can't be faked, much like the Senate is elected. Only current members could vote, much like team members could vote for only other eligible team members. Then the leadership designated puts a checkmark by the member's name in the alliance list if the member is legit. It would require minimal mod duty, but its still a good way to make sure no one uses an AA to artificially prop up or lower stats. That's not why Admin added that feature of the game.

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