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A middle ground for punishment?




This is not a wall of text, but an idea I'd like to pitch to the people who read my blog. As it stands, there are three very common forms of punishment to players - ZI, PZI, and EZI. Personally, I've never even been ZI'd, so my views on this matter might be a little bit skewed. ZI, as it's been described to me, is not the worst thing in the world. It's not permanent, and you don't necessarily lose everything, so you can still build up to your former glory. PZI, if the IC person is a !@#$%, may sometimes be necessary, and EZI might be necessary in extreme cases, like if the person in question is a proven Neo-Nazi. Yes, I just Godwin'd.

But what about, say, a 1MZI - ZI for the period of one month? Or, 1WZI - ZI for the period of one week? Hell, why stop there - 45DZI - ZI for the period of 45 days? I think we're limiting ourselves to only three extremes, and there is an unexplored middle ground for suitable punishments.



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The mistake here is that you are trying to consider things from the point of view of an impartial justice. But these are security mechanisms that don't follow such laws.

Additionally, I think you have taken the three existing options too rigidly, assuming that alliances aren't already capable of lifting the sentence when they feel it appropriate. Nations are removed from PZI lists all the time.

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The rigidity that I portray in the first bit is only my own personal view on how they should be used. The rest of it are just suggestions.

If a person gets removed from PZI, then they weren't truly PZI'd, but ZI'd for a certain amount of days. I just think it'd be interesting if alliances, by their own measure of what is appropriate, sentenced people to ZI on a time table that wasn't restricted to only ZI, PZI or EZI.

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I think PZI can be an effective tool for rulers that are bent on making trouble. Some rulers just like to rogue, spy, and cause havoc. They do it over and over. for these nuisances, I think PZI is necessary

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But, wouldn't this just place a limit on the alliance? If an alliance gave a 1WZI and weren't satisfied with the results, should they change it into a 1MZI or follow through and release their "prisoner"? Wouldn't it be better just to place them on PZI and as Vladimir states, lift the sentence as necessary?

This timetable seems to be more of a benefit for the "prisoner" rather than for the alliance, as they would now know just how long their punishment is rather than given an indefinite amount of time.

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You both bring up excellent points. Leaving a "prisoner" on PZI for a period until the alliance is satisfied is certainly an option, and not one that I would necessarily discourage. However, to refute your points, Narras, let us suppose, for the sake of argument that you were sentenced to 2WZI by an alliance that you offended (we'll call them Alliance XYZ). If XYZ was not satisfied with your sentence, then, as you stated, they have two options - if they extend your period, then the whole point of having a 2WZI would be pointless for reasons that I think we can both understand without going in depth. However, if they hold on their agreement, and still feel that a longer sentence was necessary, then they will know in the future that longer sentences are necessary and that furthermore, alliances will know that XYZ holds itself to their agreements. I see that particular issue as working itself out in the long run, should an alliance choose to adhere to the notion of a 2WZI.

The point that I'm trying to get across is that an alliance can make a punishment sentencing fit the crime of the individual. To be clear, I am not advocating for a universal mandate on what an appropriate sentence is, but rather suggesting the idea as a tool for the use of punishment. For the sake of an analogy, let us suppose that Albert Brown is drunk and crashes his car into Carla Davidson, killing her. Albert Brown gets sentenced to a life term in jail, but gets out in 10 years on good behavior. Fair enough, if the judicial system finds it reasonable. Now let us suppose that Albert Brown stole 1,000 dollars from Carla. Is a life term reasonable? True, Albert would probably never steal again, but at what cost? Is it entirely appropriate to have such an extreme sentence? That's up to the individual alliance to decide.

I suppose I'm making the implicit assumption that sentencing someone to PZI has a cost to the alliance doing the sentencing. I agree that PZI can be appropriate some times, but it may have "hidden" costs that are not necessarily accounted for.

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I wholeheartedly agree on having a sentence that fits the crime. Placing a PZI is probably the most easiest to implement, but having a PZI with some time limit (what would Planet Bob call these? Timed ZIs?) would seem to be a fair way to go about handing them out. As you have stated, it ultimately comes down to each alliance and how they feel about it.

This middle ground for ZIs is an idea that I personally like. :)

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Your example highlights what I pointed out earlier, Ferrous: that you are trying to come at this from a juridical perspective. For you it's about making the 'punishment fit the crime', while for alliances (at least, those that I have worked with on the subject) it is about maintaining security -- whether through direct actions against the individual or using said individual to discourage similar actions by others.

If we reverse the situation as you have then this original purpose is negated and it becomes a world of criminal's rights and legal precedents. It allows the rogue (in whatever form she takes) to plan ahead, to note the consequences, and to step out with their hostile perspective in tact. This differs from current practices in that a PZI'd nation can be watched and negotiated with, before finally being let off when the alliance in question considers the threat to be over.

In a word, the difference is that you seek proper punishment while the current system demands that rogues reform.

However, that said, I can't help but feel that what you are suggesting already exists to an extent. Many times, when an offence has been minor or understandable (ie. nations that aren't likely to pose a continuing threat), alliances have sentenced the rogue to 'two rounds or war' or something similar. It doesn't take them to ZI, but it is effectively the same idea, just for lesser criminals.

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As always, very interesting commentary from the blog and following comments. Good stuff Ferrous and contributors to discussion. :)

My commentary is limited here; but I find Vladimir's discussion interesting, particularly the "reverse [of] the situation", in that there is a sense of randomness to the punishment. Rather than having fixed timeframes of punishment upon which people could collude and determine the risk/benefit for the particular operation they wish to carry out, the risk is entirely random. Could it be a one time ZI for the act, or could it be EZI? Or at least, EZI within the context that the player wishes to continue playing the game, or comes back unnoticed, or the alliance decides that enough is enough.

In all reality however, an astute observer or researcher could probably determine what an alliance, whose leadership is relatively stable, would do depending on the circumstances of the actions. In this way, it really is no different than what Ferrous is suggesting, save for the fact that it requires anticipation and examination on the part of the rogue (a rarity in most cases, I'm sure).

The purpose of all punishment, I would argue, is to first stop the transgression from occuring and then reforming the party from doing said indiscretion again. I would argue furthermore, that true reformation is impossible in the context of CN. There are too many variables that allow a person to escape their punishment and continue their transgressions in other ways.

All alliances have is the ability to stop the perpetrator, and negotiate an outcome with that person, in the hopes that they will modify their behavior to an acceptable, but imperfect standard. However, it is still negotiation - not punishment. There is power, known or unknown, in the hands of the doer.

My point is, there can neither be proper punishment, nor proper reformation. There is only security: through diplomacy, military, or possibly via economic sanctions; and remuneration (hence, reparations).

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PZI's have been lifted in the past, so what would be the difference between a 1WZI or PZI'ing someone for a month and letting them off?

Seems like you're making a public promise to do it, then leaving it up to the peanut gallery.

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