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Talk about regional management and politics, raider/defender gameplay, and other game-related matters.
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Benevolent Thomas
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My thoughts

Postby Benevolent Thomas » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:39 pm

So now that it has basically been confirmed that invaders have been cheating for quite a sustained period of time now, people have already begun to assume that those of us in the defender world have already begun celebrations and couldn't be happier. Let me correct that highly mistaken state of mind. We're pissed.

Do you know how long I've been struggling to keep up and play this game that turns out to have been entirely unfair? If you do, please tell me, because I have no idea how much of my career has been spent, wasted trying to combat those who aren't even playing by the same ruleset as I. How many NationStates communities have been ruined by at the hands of this widespread cheating? How many times have I been told to try harder and to adapt to this game while you didn't even have the decency to play this game fairly?

Those of you responsible for this or knowingly benefited from this tool, I want you know that I believe you to be dirty rotten cheaters and this sin is unforgivable.

And I already know how the skilled and clever politicians throughout the invader world are going to paint this. You're going to say that this was just a few rotten apples and that the rest of you are upstanding gameplay citizens. Bullshit. How many of you knew about the true nature of the tool known as Predator or the circumstances in which it was supported and how long did you know? How many of you had suspicions, but never looked into it nor reported it?

The majority, if not all, of the major invader organizations have used this tool or have members that have used this tool, or have been a part of operations that have utilized this tool. You all have worked with these individuals. You've crafted alliances with the perpetrators and you've supported their occupations. Some of you are already looking to take in those who are going to be left behind by the soon to be deleted raiders. You're going to put all of the blame on those like Cora and look to sweep this under the rug. If you had an ounce of respect for those of us deprived of a fair NationStates experience you should relinquish ties with these unapologetic cheaters and treat them like the pariahs they should be. I don't think any of you who call yourselves raiders or independents are brave enough to do the right thing and punish the TBR/DEN community for their crimes.

Moderation is probably going to let many of you who have directly used Predator off the hook too. There's just too many of you. You're too big to be punished. Whether you've accessed Predator or have been a part of operations triggered by Predator, you've benefited from this cheating. It was staggeringly widespread and long-used. All of invaderdom has benefited from Predator. You either benefited from operations that utilized predator, or assisted those that used it to destroy regions. You've had cheaters supporting your own occupations. You've benefited from the failing defender morale that is directly linked to this game-breaking program. Your unfair and judgmental propaganda against those like me is directly built on gains your side has made on the backs of Halcones and his lackeys.

To Cora, you're a goddamn coward. After all this time holding me as a standard of what a gameplayer should be, you're not even going to give me the dignity of playing a more fair game with you. You'd rather be deleted than to give up your unfair advantages. You don't respect me as a fellow gameplayer and you never did. You're not even man enough to apologize for robbing me of a fair playing experience over the past months/years.

This showcases a sickness that is evident in the invader world. You've historically have ruined the experience of other NS players in the pursuit of a "victory" in this game. The desire to be a "winner" in today's gameplay has gotten to be so bad, that you're willing to shed all prior morality to achieve it. Breaking the site rules, playing alongside abhorrent and sometimes DOS players, abandoning prior commitments to not partake in region destroying / griefing, and choosing to work with those do these things while claiming that you represent a different set of values.

The natives and defenders of Nationstates have been crying foul for quite a sustained period of time. We should be fully vindicated, but we're going to be deprived of that. Too many invaders have participated, whether knowingly or unknowingly, in this plot to subvert the rules. So many that the mods are going to be forced to be lenient. There's going to be no widespread punishment on those who invade, even though you get continually caught cheating. This isn't like the LKE's misfortune where one member cheated on their behalf without their notice. People knew what was going on.

Invader mouthpieces, in a scramble to protect their image, aren't even going to take a minute to recognize those of us who have been struggling to compete against this. The invaders and the mods are just going to ask the natives and defenders to move along as if though nothing happened. Thousands of regions invaded. Many communities destroyed. Hundreds of hours spent playing against those who weren't even playing by the same rule set. We're not going to get any of that back. No regions will be magically unruined and no time can be given back. The most we're going to get is a "sorry, not sorry".

I don’t really know how to finish this post, so I guess I’ll just congratulate everyone that made it this far. At least you’re trying to understand. Before you work on your responses I’ll say a few more things:

  • I know that not all of you have directly participated in this cheating. I also know that there are some brave players that have acted against the cheaters or rallied against the use of Predator. You have my respect.
  • I know that some of you cheated without ever really knowing it. While I feel sorry that you potentially face moderator action because someone took advantage of your trust, don’t expect me to view you as a victim. You still cheated.
  • The big occupations. I believe that Predator was used mostly for small operations. You set good triggers and probably earned large occupation invasions fairly. Just know that every small invasion facilitated by Predator could, and has, lead to an occupation. The constant flood of these raids makes it all the harder to spot when an occupation is about to begin and it dissuaded defenders from actively engaging in update activities.
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Ballotonia wrote:Personally, I think there's something seriously wrong with a game if it willfully allows the destruction of longtime player communities in favor of kids whose sole purpose is to enjoy ruining the game for others.

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Knot II
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Postby Knot II » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:08 pm

Benevolent Thomas wrote:I don't think any of you who call yourselves raiders or independents are brave enough to do the right thing and punish the TBR/DEN community for their crimes.

I bitterly resent your lack of distinction between the TBR community and the DEN community on a variety of aspects, on IC with our modi operandi, on OOC with our handling of harassment, and on NS gameplay legality issues. You know this.

There will be no winners, and you know that as well.
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Severisen
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Postby Severisen » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Sure, but it's one step forward and two steps back. On one hand, you have done a lot to improve the distinction between TBR and DEN. On the other, TBR was smacked down for recruitment violations and collusion with DOS players. Here we are, 11 months later, and DEN (primarily, but not solely) is caught with its hands in the cookie jar once again. Illegal scripts and working with DOS players. I think it's a fair statement to say that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Mallorea and Riva wrote:Yeah but no one here can read. Literacy is a tool used by fendas, like IRC or morals.

Sichuan Pepper wrote:Should I be worried that Mall said he wanted to invade my region?
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Louisistan
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Postby Louisistan » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:30 pm

It should come as no surprise that I'm with Thomas on this one. And please spare me the "who are you why should I care you're opinion means nothing" speech, I don't give rat shit about that.
Predator users: You've cheated. All the while spouting about how defenders don't defend anymore and weren't even trying and should adapt blah blah blah. Bite me. If you care SO much about the game,then why the fuck are you breaking its rules?! You have no respect for defenders, you have no respect for the site staff, you have no respect for the game.
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The Silver Sentinel
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.

Postby The Silver Sentinel » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:48 pm

And the backlash begins. I understand you are pissed off. I am too. I always found it funny, how TBR/DEN tag raids were able to trigger so damn tightly, whole we were forced to jump a a minute or so ahead of the update. FT can't take into account the variances in the speed of the update, yet Predator was able to continuously self update? This is beyond wrong.

Now all that being said, let's remember one thing here. The moderation team is unlikely to show any bias when it comes to backlash. Just because one side broke the rules, crushed them into tiny pieces, and then pissed on the ashes, it still cannot justify personal attacks on those individuals. I urge everyone to vent their frustration in a positive tone.

As for some celebration? What the hell is there to celebrate? The game just got worse, and lost credibility. How is that a cause for celebration? It's analogous to a gold medal winner being stripped of their medal when it comes to light they were cheating. Everyone feels bad. I truly believe that was the end game of Halc, and Frak all along, and just reinforces with titanium the reason they were DoS'd. With any luck we can all move on from this, and never have to hear those vile names again. If that is true, then there can be some small good that comes out of this after all.

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Postby Reploid Productions » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:53 pm

The Silver Sentinel wrote:And the backlash begins. I understand you are pissed off. I am too. I always found it funny, how TBR/DEN tag raids were able to trigger so damn tightly, whole we were forced to jump a a minute or so ahead of the update. FT can't take into account the variances in the speed of the update, yet Predator was able to continuously self update? This is beyond wrong.

Now all that being said, let's remember one thing here. The moderation team is unlikely to show any bias when it comes to backlash. Just because one side broke the rules, crushed them into tiny pieces, and then pissed on the ashes, it still cannot justify personal attacks on those individuals. I urge everyone to vent their frustration in a positive tone.

As for some celebration? What the hell is there to celebrate? The game just got worse, and lost credibility. How is that a cause for celebration? It's analogous to a gold medal winner being stripped of their medal when it comes to light they were cheating. Everyone feels bad. I truly believe that was the end game of Halc, and Frak all along, and just reinforces with titanium the reason they were DoS'd. With any luck we can all move on from this, and never have to hear those vile names again. If that is true, then there can be some small good that comes out of this after all.

^-- Some very good points here folks. You are welcome to be pissed off, welcome to feeling pretty good about those involved reaping the whirlwind once we can get it sorted who all is getting hammered and how hard, but remember that the site rules do still apply.
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Zemnaya Svoboda
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Postby Zemnaya Svoboda » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:12 pm

The Silver Sentinel wrote:And the backlash begins. I understand you are pissed off. I am too. I always found it funny, how TBR/DEN tag raids were able to trigger so damn tightly, whole we were forced to jump a a minute or so ahead of the update. FT can't take into account the variances in the speed of the update, yet Predator was able to continuously self update? This is beyond wrong.


One point of fact: FriarTuck is not at the limit of what a script can legally do. Over the past few months, I have been working on a system which would legally obtain fairly good prediction precision among assorted other features, but for reasons including my carefulness to follow the rules and my tendency to overdesign, has not (yet) been released, except for supporting some useful webpages when functional. Recent changes obviously reduced its theoretical capabilities to predict update. Changes in how I relate to the site may also revise my release plans.

Predator didn't merely self-update during the update, it did so more frequently than is permitted. Continuously, as you say.

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Korallia
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Postby Korallia » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:16 pm

This whole thing is mind blowing, really. Plenty of us have wondered how they were able to get so reliably close all of the time. I experimented with a lot of different techniques myself but I could never figure out how to do it within the bounds of the rate limit. I always thought I was missing something really obvious.

Frankly, it made me feel pretty dumb. I'm sure there's something better than can still be done legally to create a reliable script, but it's not something that can be done easily, but maybe there's a bit of validation in knowing I wasn't as far off as I had thought.

I can personally echo many of BT's sentiments, though. I spent years defending, the better part of a decade, to the point where it was a draining chore. For years our side felt like detagging and chasing were both uphill battles, and for years we were told by both raiders and moderation that we needed to adapt. We tried, we tried so very hard. We trained people, we trained ourselves, we tweaked scripts, whatever we could think of. Still, we weren't as good and we were told to try harder. We were told we weren't good enough and that the raiders were "professionals".

It's disheartening to know that there never really was a chance. We made sure to do what we could within the bounds of the game's rules. We pushed ourselves and those around us. A lot of good people got burned out and either stopped defending or quit the game entirely.

Maybe it's being too old for this game, but I feel a lot more disappointed than angry about all of this.

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Benevolent Thomas
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Postby Benevolent Thomas » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:24 pm

Korallia wrote:This whole thing is mind blowing, really. Plenty of us have wondered how they were able to get so reliably close all of the time. I experimented with a lot of different techniques myself but I could never figure out how to do it within the bounds of the rate limit. I always thought I was missing something really obvious.

Frankly, it made me feel pretty dumb. I'm sure there's something better than can still be done legally to create a reliable script, but it's not something that can be done easily, but maybe there's a bit of validation in knowing I wasn't as far off as I had thought.

I can personally echo many of BT's sentiments, though. I spent years defending, the better part of a decade, to the point where it was a draining chore. For years our side felt like detagging and chasing were both uphill battles, and for years we were told by both raiders and moderation that we needed to adapt. We tried, we tried so very hard. We trained people, we trained ourselves, we tweaked scripts, whatever we could think of. Still, we weren't as good and we were told to try harder. We were told we weren't good enough and that the raiders were "professionals".

It's disheartening to know that there never really was a chance. We made sure to do what we could within the bounds of the game's rules. We pushed ourselves and those around us. A lot of good people got burned out and either stopped defending or quit the game entirely.

Maybe it's being too old for this game, but I feel a lot more disappointed than angry about all of this.

Shizensky, you have always been far more talented at putting thoughts to words than I ever have been able to. The last two paragraphs of this post can serve as a tl;dr of sorts for those that have skipped the OP.
The Battle of Fort Triumph

Co-Founder of Fort Triumph
Founder of The Order of the Grey Wardens

Ballotonia wrote:Personally, I think there's something seriously wrong with a game if it willfully allows the destruction of longtime player communities in favor of kids whose sole purpose is to enjoy ruining the game for others.

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ChingisOtchigin
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Postby ChingisOtchigin » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:41 pm

Nvm then I guess.
Last edited by ChingisOtchigin on Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eluvatar
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Postby Eluvatar » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:58 pm

ChingisOtchigin wrote:As for Predator updating more often than it should be, has that officially been proven yet? (I'm personally interested too, so it's just a question.)

Yes.
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The Silver Sentinel
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Postby The Silver Sentinel » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:04 pm

ChingisOtchigin wrote:Quite interesting how Severisen, a colonel of an organisation which benefited of predator just as much as DEN appears to be pushing the blame solely onto us. Did Koth not have access to predator? Or are you saying that Fest didn't use it every update he could? Or that Kleo didn't happen to use it either? I got Predator when I was Corporal, so might as well lump the TBH Corporal Utsuho (admittedly also DEN major, Vandoosa), who also has access to, and has used Predator, in there too.

Good lord. Are you going to try and lump Mall in there as well?

ChingisOtchigin wrote:The only people on our side who use predator more than TBH folks, are me and Varax. Kleo and Fest on your side. Hardly a sway towards DEN, don't you find?

I sincerely hope you took the opportunity and filed a GHR. Being hammered over something like this would seriously be the ultimate buzzkill of all time.

ChingisOtchigin wrote:As for Predator updating more often than it should be, has that officially been proven yet? (I'm personally interested too, so it's just a question.)

Mod in charge of the technical side of the game and likely has more coding experience in his little thumb than the rest of us combined posts proof that Predator violates script rules, and more proof is asked for? You seriously cannot be serious at the moment.

Zemnaya Svoboda wrote:
The Silver Sentinel wrote:And the backlash begins. I understand you are pissed off. I am too. I always found it funny, how TBR/DEN tag raids were able to trigger so damn tightly, whole we were forced to jump a a minute or so ahead of the update. FT can't take into account the variances in the speed of the update, yet Predator was able to continuously self update? This is beyond wrong.


One point of fact: FriarTuck is not at the limit of what a script can legally do. Over the past few months, I have been working on a system which would legally obtain fairly good prediction precision among assorted other features, but for reasons including my carefulness to follow the rules and my tendency to overdesign, has not (yet) been released, except for supporting some useful webpages when functional. Recent changes obviously reduced its theoretical capabilities to predict update. Changes in how I relate to the site may also revise my release plans.

Predator didn't merely self-update during the update, it did so more frequently than is permitted. Continuously, as you say.

I apologize if that come off wrong. I am quite confident FT doesn't abuse scripting rules, as it is likely a derivative of the IRC bot Hobbes maintains that calculates update times. That script if I am not mistaken uses the daily data dump to calculate update times based off regional happenings?

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Zemnaya Svoboda
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Postby Zemnaya Svoboda » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:07 pm

The Silver Sentinel wrote:I apologize if that come off wrong. I am quite confident FT doesn't abuse scripting rules, as it is likely a derivative of the IRC bot Hobbes maintains that calculates update times. That script if I am not mistaken uses the daily data dump to calculate update times based off regional happenings?


FriarTuck is not a derivative of Hobbes' work.

FriarTuck's commands to estimate the update time of a region use the daily dump alone, and no other information. (Except for minor updates, for which minor update length information is entered manually).
Last edited by Zemnaya Svoboda on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Severisen
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Postby Severisen » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:16 pm

ChingisOtchigin wrote:Snip


You literally couldn't have missed the point more, even if you endorsed the native delegate.
<mcmasterdonia> Ex-TBH dudes get all the NS girls.

Mallorea and Riva wrote:Yeah but no one here can read. Literacy is a tool used by fendas, like IRC or morals.

Sichuan Pepper wrote:Should I be worried that Mall said he wanted to invade my region?
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The Silver Sentinel
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Postby The Silver Sentinel » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:20 pm

Zemnaya Svoboda wrote:
The Silver Sentinel wrote:I apologize if that come off wrong. I am quite confident FT doesn't abuse scripting rules, as it is likely a derivative of the IRC bot Hobbes maintains that calculates update times. That script if I am not mistaken uses the daily data dump to calculate update times based off regional happenings?


FriarTuck is not a derivative of Hobbes' work.

FriarTuck's commands to estimate the update time of a region use the daily dump alone, and no other information. (Except for minor updates, for which minor update length information is entered manually).

Damn! I seem to be throwing gutter balls here. I apologize for making an incorrect assumption on that.

Severisen wrote:
ChingisOtchigin wrote:Snip


You literally couldn't have missed the point more, even if you endorsed the native delegate.

:p You have caused many chuckles with that statement. I believe I may actually have to sig that.
Last edited by The Silver Sentinel on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ayvari
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Postby Ayvari » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:32 pm

The Silver Sentinel wrote:
Severisen wrote:
You literally couldn't have missed the point more, even if you endorsed the native delegate.

:p You have caused many chuckles with that statement. I believe I may actually have to sig that.

Not if I sig it first, TSS. I call spousal rights. :P
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Severisen wrote:You literally couldn't have missed the point more, even if you endorsed the native delegate.
Northern Chittowa wrote:If you look at those who have made names for themselves in this game, they are those who have stood up to defenders on an equal footin and actually beaten them on a tactical level...Those are the ones who will be remembered and indeed revered in history.
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The Silver Sentinel
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Postby The Silver Sentinel » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:59 pm

Ayvari wrote:
The Silver Sentinel wrote: :p You have caused many chuckles with that statement. I believe I may actually have to sig that.

Not if I sig it first, TSS. I call spousal rights. :P

*Shakes an angry fist in the direction of Xor* Damn you woman, and your rights! :hug:

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RiderSyl
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Postby RiderSyl » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:19 pm

I don't need to work hard on a response.

All this time, I thought that defenders had a problem with recruiting and morale, and it was their problem. Silly, ignorant me. I mean, I knew that the tool directly connected to Halcones' PC, but I never knew how blatantly illegal it was and how it was killing y'all on the defender side.

I'm sorry, Thomas.
And, I extend that apology to any other defender that's pissed off at this.

This is all so, so fucked up.

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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:25 pm

I look forward to seeing R/D largely collapse as a result of almost the entire current generation of raiders only knowing how to get an accurate update time through one of Halcones tools.
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Knot II
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Postby Knot II » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:28 pm

Klaus Devestatorie wrote:I look forward to seeing R/D largely collapse as a result of almost the entire current generation of raiders only knowing how to get an accurate update time through one of Halcones tools.

How utterly uninformed you are.
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RiderSyl
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Postby RiderSyl » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:28 pm

Klaus Devestatorie wrote:I look forward to seeing R/D largely collapse as a result of almost the entire current generation of raiders only knowing how to get an accurate update time through one of Halcones tools.


Looking forward to R/D collapsing?
That's savage.
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Portugal r
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Postby Portugal r » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:34 pm

Knot II wrote:
Klaus Devestatorie wrote:I look forward to seeing R/D largely collapse as a result of almost the entire current generation of raiders only knowing how to get an accurate update time through one of Halcones tools.

How utterly uninformed you are.


I agree with Knot. I can trigger manually. Was trained by Venico and Koth.

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Last edited by Portugal r on Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:36 pm

Hey, I'd prefer to be surprised. Obviously I'm being sarcastic about "looking forward" to it. But after variance came in, access to some kind of tool or godawful spreadsheet became mandatory if you wanted to access update. Literally all of them (other than the basic default data dump) were coded by Halcones. If you're going to trust another one of his tools, even a low tech one, you better believe we'll go through the same shaming process again.
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Ayvari
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Postby Ayvari » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:38 pm

Klaus Devestatorie wrote:Hey, I'd prefer to be surprised. Obviously I'm being sarcastic about "looking forward" to it. But after variance came in, access to some kind of tool or godawful spreadsheet became mandatory if you wanted to access update. Literally all of them (other than the basic default data dump) were coded by Halcones. If you're going to trust another one of his tools, even a low tech one, you better believe we'll go through the same shaming process again.

I doubt anyone on any side is going to trust Halcones with their futures on the site twice.
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Severisen wrote:You literally couldn't have missed the point more, even if you endorsed the native delegate.
Northern Chittowa wrote:If you look at those who have made names for themselves in this game, they are those who have stood up to defenders on an equal footin and actually beaten them on a tactical level...Those are the ones who will be remembered and indeed revered in history.
Syberis Montresor-Isaraider: There should be no distinction between a good raider and a good member of the GP community.

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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:39 pm

Ayvari wrote:
Klaus Devestatorie wrote:Hey, I'd prefer to be surprised. Obviously I'm being sarcastic about "looking forward" to it. But after variance came in, access to some kind of tool or godawful spreadsheet became mandatory if you wanted to access update. Literally all of them (other than the basic default data dump) were coded by Halcones. If you're going to trust another one of his tools, even a low tech one, you better believe we'll go through the same shaming process again.

I doubt anyone on any side is going to trust Halcones with their futures on the site twice.

I think you mean 3 times.
The Avengrynkhal Ascendant of Klaus Devestatorie

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