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Raiding - What Now?

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Tinhampton
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Raiding - What Now?

Postby Tinhampton » Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:27 am

An essay. Parts 1, 2 and 4 are based off a textwall I DMed Queen Yuno on Discord yesterday, shortly after Chitral was restored to power in Liberal Democratic Union. Part 3 is original.

Part 1: Raiding - What Now?

In 2020, Roavin complained that update bending made liberations impossible - yet there have been at least five this year (Japan, North Africa, Prima Victoria, Chaylia, and Liberal Democratic Union - which was retaken yesterday), as well as at least two pre-emptively thwarted raids in Australiasim and The United Caribbean Island Alliance. The only occupations I can remember that lasted more than a day or so were Genua (which gave us the largest update jump EVER), a couple of other fashbashes, Moomin Valley (LWU) and possibly Alnobia.

Raiding has entered a downwards spiral since Jakker was forced out of the Council of Hawks around the start of this year (although that particular scandal was by no means what started the collapse). There have been a few successes, but 2021 has on the whole been nowhere near as good as 2020 for raiders, and vice versa.

Compare and contrast: Dakota, a former CoH member, became a defender for the Rejected Realms Army a few weeks/months ago. Refuge Isle, also formerly of TBH, became a defender last year and has so far been pretty prolific. I can name you any number of other active (non-convert) defenders right now!

Phoenix is 2021's most high-profile convert to raiding so far; she's a nice person and she's doing a pretty good job in TBH, but she attempted to start her own raider region called The Incan Empire this spring which never really got off the ground. There are also many raiders, but they haven't really been as notable recently - see, for example, how almost nobody has posted on the TBH thread in recent months.

Part 2: Defending and Liberation Today

The most recent and infamous example I could possibly show you is The Grey Wardens' report on the Lib Dem Union liberation. You may have noticed that the occupation was supported by NPA, EPSA, TBH, LWU, Lily and Thaecia... the liberation was supported by all the big defender militaries - including JTF who are currently defending - plus TWPAF (independent) and Sonindia (who are defenders but not very famous ones).

TGW also thank "super cool mercenaries Westinor, Dax, and Galiantus and more!" Westinor used to be an NPA person (I think they were anyway); Dax was (like Dakota) a former CoH/TBH person; Galiantus's involvement in the Anti-Pacific Coalition that wanted to topple the NPO on New Years' Day 2019 led to the collapse of the APC entirely.

Now look at how close the final score was - I think the raiders would still be in charge of LDU right now if they still had the converts on their side, but getting more defenders to not defend probably isn't a sustainable answer to the question of "how can we actually make big piles actually competitive?"! :P

Chaylia had the usual suspects plus Europeia (whose Republican Navy is usually panned as too raider-y for an independent org), Founderless (a sillier, fashbashier FRA), and Alvarez (most famous for sending a tag:wa recruitment telegram a couple of months ago) - again, the same story.

Part 3: How Not to Skirt the Issue

TSP's report, issued by HumanSanity, cites Founderless and Alvarez as having taken part in the LDU liberation, too. It is apparent that, with largely (but not exactly) the same contingent of regions as in Chaylia, the liberation force in the LDU boasted almost twenty more troops - and the invading force, twenty-five more. (There could be many reasons for this increased motivation on either side; I do not claim to know what they are.)

HumanSanity's report contains many facts. Unfortunately - and unlike TGW's report - it also contains much speculation. It compares the infiltration operation in the LDU to three Black Hawks' attempt to swing an internal regional vote in favour of Commend Twobagger, which led to the proscription of all Black Hawks from TSP. Yet the Hawks in question were eligible to vote, and - unlike in LDU - posed no serious threat to any region's native government. It also points to Miravana's flip-flop in Nasunia, despite the fact that the raid in LDU did not similarly have its origins as a defence or liberation.

From this, HumanSanity concludes that the LDU occupation was "doomed to failure, as with their many previous attempts at deception, espionage, and subversion against sovereign regions." However, no occupation is ever guaranteed to fail (or succeed). At the end of the day, there were more defenders than raiders in LDU. The best way to prevent this from happening in future, and for more occupations to succeed, is for there to be more able, willing, timely - and legal - raiders.

The report later argues that the liberation was a win for "the forces of peace and democracy," and asserts that defenders "can rise to meet and exceed the challenge to continue the current era of peace and prosperity for founderless regions across NationStates." The best ways for founderless regions to be and remain successful is to recruit, to move to a foundered community, or - if proposed reforms are enacted - to declare themselves a Stronghold with a founder. Defenders have limited resources and cannot be expected to protect every major founderless region, no matter how many raiders there are to swoop upon them. (It is broadly true that many defender regions are democratic and many raider regions are not.)

HumanSanity follows up by claiming that "our enemies in raider regions are growing ever stronger." Raiders are no "stronger" than they were six months ago (although they should be) - the LDU occupation lasted about as long as the Chaylia occupation despite there being many more raiders there. Tag raiders were almost anonymous for most of this spring. Defenders, meanwhile, have been consistent and persistent in their detagging and liberation this year.

HumanSanity's claims are presented as if they were iron-clad laws of global governance. They are not, and it is disappointing to see that no raider organisation has challenged them at all up to now. If raiders are losing on the battlefield, then they are - unfortunately - barely even trying in the press office. (Many people older and wiser than myself probably have something to say about the decline of conflict in gameplay and its replacement with socialisation and such of the like.)

Part 4: Possible Solutions to Definite Problems

It appears that many regions appear to be attracted towards defending and few towards raiding. Osiris, the only non-specialist raider-only region I can think of, has neither been too active nor too high-profile. There are plenty of independents too, but as we've seen - and by definition - they raid and defend according to their regional interest.

That's our first problem: as I said in Part 3, defenders have numbers, and raiders - for the most part - don't. (Impeccable timing could also play a part in ensuring that raiders have little to no time to eject liberators, however.) Perhaps currently demilitarised regions could set up their own raider militaries and help out larger organisations where possible, for example. As we saw with Phoenix's attempt a few months ago, success is by no means guaranteed, but nor is failure if the right experience - which can easily be obtained from many currently-active raider organisations today - and organisation is in place.

Problem 2: defenders are VERY organised (and not in the sense of "having a rank system;" raiders have ranks, too). Libcord has its own Update Command and is by this point mandatory for almost any would-be defender. Raiders have no similar initiatives, although they do still have their own ops servers. The great interregional military alliances are long dead, and Libcord is the only thing resembling that on either side. At this point, Raider Unity - even within reason - is much closer to an ideal than it is to standard operating practice; I'm not saying there needs to be a Raidcord, but raiders and raider-aligned militaries do need to get their act together, start co-operating more deeply and more often.

Problem 3: defending is sexy... raiding isn't. This is a classic PR problem that most of you don't need to be reminded about. To use the two most famous examples from the defender sphere, TGW in particular is infamously happy-go-lucky (although I'm not saying "blame Tim for raiding not being very good in 2021!") and call raiders "darkspawn;" the Ten Thousand Islands Treaty Organisation is famous for its good old fashioned moralism, although it has loosened up in recent months. What's the difference between all of the raider and raider-aligned orgs bouncing around these days (apart from the odd no-griefing policy or two)? There needs to be at least something for everyone who wants to raid.

This is much of the reason why raiders are losing - not all of it, but quite a fair bit. However, there is no reason why anybody should treat the current status quo as being inevitable. If people start acting - not just thinking - like it isn't, then maybe we could actually get "proper" occupations that actually last for a few days soon. From then on, who knows?
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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:03 am

I think raiding, both purist and political, are going away soon, and we'll be left with nothing but tagging, which is barely worthy of being called raiding anyway. I've often hoped we'd at least move from purist to political- raiding is more interesting when there's a goal beyond the enjoyment of the core mechanics. But being a villain on the internet has become much trickier these days. That thing with Jakker at the start of the year is a good example. 3 years ago he probably would have laughed off calls to resign. 6 years ago, that comment would have been an insult to defenders for suggesting they work with anyone that incompetent, not that morally degenerate. 10 years ago, a raider leader might not have even thought to make the comment at all- fascism in NS was frankly beneath our gaze. Things have changed, and most of the people playing this game are far more sensitive to that kind of comment because they've seen their OOC living standards deteriorate because of the proliferation of neo-fascism across real world politics. The core mechanics of raiding aren't really at risk from that kind of movement, because they've been grandfathered into our sense of normality in gameplay- but branching out beyond that to find greater success in the core art requires skills that could be filed underneath the definition of "coalition building"- which few raider leaders have ever been good at. Most success in that sphere has usually come when the defenders have been significantly less pleasant to deal with than the raiders, and that doesn't appear to be a risk right now.

I hope frontier regions move us towards a more interesting world where politics aren't necessarily tied to the R/D poles, but I'm not holding out much hope. I don't even really expect there to be that many successful frontier regions at all, and any that look even remotely antagonistic will be swatted out of the sky. Our standards for what have constituted a dangerous man eating dragon have, in the absence of any actual dangerous man eating dragons, descended to killing freshly hatched dragons. The reality is that if the current state of affairs is reversed again, it'll be reversed by traditional stronghold regions, who treat frontier regions as just one more nonsense mechanic that comes up in the course of standard affairs. At least with simply introducing many more GCRs, you have a guarantee of existence.
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Mingulay Isle
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Postby Mingulay Isle » Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:35 am

I've been out of the game for a year so my perspective may be a bit out of date, but; I think part of it is just fallout from long term demographic shifts from the predator period. During that period a lot of defenders gave up on R/D, at the same time raiders destroyed many regions, attracting many players to raiding in the process. Even after the cheating was discovered it appeared for a while that raiders had defenders on the backfoot. But the destruction of so many regions made it fairly easy for defenders to closely watch the survivors and maintain armies of sleepers, and the loss of so many high profile defenders left defender originations with openings for fresh leadership, which made being a defender very attractive at the time.

I expect with NS being relatively safe right now well be accruing more founderless regions(and with the tech stuff coming it won't take as long for regions to become founderless), at the same time a lot of defenders will get bored and complacent. Once that happens the balance will shift back into raiders hands and we will go back to hearing how defenders are put upon. It's nothing new to R/D, it's just unusually severe because the disruption to the gameplay environment was so significant.

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Westinor
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Postby Westinor » Sun Aug 29, 2021 9:15 am

Raidcord exists in our hearts

and in the npa server
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Postby Hulldom » Sun Aug 29, 2021 9:18 am

Westinor wrote:Raidcord exists in our hearts

and in the npa server

Shhh you aren't supposed to reveal the secrets :p
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Postby Aenglaland » Sun Aug 29, 2021 9:25 am

Tinhampton wrote:Problem 3: defending is sexy... raiding isn't.

Raiding will always be sexy for those who really enjoyed doing it.
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The Python
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Postby The Python » Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:56 pm

Tinhampton wrote:In 2020, Roavin complained that update bending made liberations impossible - yet there have been at least five this year (Japan, North Africa, Prima Victoria, Chaylia, and Liberal Democratic Union - which was retaken yesterday), as well as at least two pre-emptively thwarted raids in Australiasim and The United Caribbean Island Alliance. The only occupations I can remember that lasted more than a day or so were Genua (which gave us the largest update jump EVER), a couple of other fashbashes, Moomin Valley (LWU) and possibly Alnobia.

Also Equestria :P

Other than that, interesting read!
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Pterodaxtyl
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Postby Pterodaxtyl » Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:59 pm

The favor in R/D goes back and forth between Raiders and Defenders. That's how the game works. Last year, it favored raiders more, and this year it seems to favor defenders more.

Tinhampton wrote:Now look at how close the final score was - I think the raiders would still be in charge of LDU right now if they still had the converts on their side

It is 100% not solely on the "converts" that LDU was liberated. Every single person on each side counts and maybe enlisting in a raider org to be that person that makes the difference instead of writing posts theorizing what the problem is and pinning that on people that are playing a game how they want would help more.
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:29 pm

Tinhampton wrote:In 2020, Roavin complained that update bending made liberations impossible - yet there have been at least five this year (Japan, North Africa, Prima Victoria, Chaylia, and Liberal Democratic Union - which was retaken yesterday), as well as at least two pre-emptively thwarted raids in Australiasim and The United Caribbean Island Alliance. The only occupations I can remember that lasted more than a day or so were Genua (which gave us the largest update jump EVER), a couple of other fashbashes, Moomin Valley (LWU) and possibly Alnobia.

Raiding has entered a downwards spiral since Jakker was forced out of the Council of Hawks around the start of this year (although that particular scandal was by no means what started the collapse). There have been a few successes, but 2021 has on the whole been nowhere near as good as 2020 for raiders, and vice versa.

Compare and contrast: Dakota, a former CoH member, became a defender for the Rejected Realms Army a few weeks/months ago. Refuge Isle, also formerly of TBH, became a defender last year and has so far been pretty prolific. I can name you any number of other active (non-convert) defenders right now!

Phoenix is 2021's most high-profile convert to raiding so far; she's a nice person and she's doing a pretty good job in TBH, but she attempted to start her own raider region called The Incan Empire this spring which never really got off the ground. There are also many raiders, but they haven't really been as notable recently - see, for example, how almost nobody has posted on the TBH thread in recent months.


Triggering and chasing aside, the bulk of the work that I have done since becoming a defender has been in the vein of things Roavin was specifically complaining about. It's specifically been in the area of technical innovation. That has been particularly successful because it turns out different people have different ideas on how to fix problems and make up for the other's weaknesses. This should be no surprise, that's how life works. I'm not particularly socially inclined to hunt down people to rally them for a liberation, but we have people who do that and nothing else -- to tremendous success. We all lift together.

The causes for raiding succeeding last year were complex and relied on a number of stars aligning to make things happen, different folks with different strengths and ideas coming together to make a plan work. The same is true for defending; the same is true for everything. Your over-reliance on attribution of the status quo to Jakker only speaks to how much a of a superficial lens you're looking through. Your targetted jabs at a few people switching being the reason a nearly two hundred person operation succeeded or failed is as equally myopic.

Be it the intention or not, this thread we are in is the equivalent of the Liberations Are Impossible complaint, but from the perspective of raiding. Actually, that's not quite true, is it? You don't speak from the perspective of raiding, you're speaking from the perspective of someone who likes watching a television show, but it's not airing the episodes you want right now. You're speaking from the perspective of someone who likes observing raiding from the sidelines but cannot be bothered to substantively put in the effort it would take to contribute to it. This is represented by your stint in TBH where you could not bring yourself to remain even long enough to rise out of PFC.

If the state of raiding is an issue to you, the effort would be better spent on being a part of the solution, rather than meaningless soapbox commentary as a locked World Assembly delegate in a vanity region.

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Galiantus III
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Postby Galiantus III » Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:17 pm

It's pretty normal for the power dynamic to switch back and forth. Just give it time - the fire under defenders will eventually fizzle out, and we'll be back to the days of seemingly unstoppable raider coalitions.

Klaus Devestatorie wrote:I think raiding, both purist and political, are going away soon, and we'll be left with nothing but tagging, which is barely worthy of being called raiding anyway. I've often hoped we'd at least move from purist to political- raiding is more interesting when there's a goal beyond the enjoyment of the core mechanics. But being a villain on the internet has become much trickier these days.

I'm not a fan of tagging either. It's basically just an iterative useless machine: raiders flick the switch, then defenders flick it back.

I hope frontier regions move us towards a more interesting world where politics aren't necessarily tied to the R/D poles, but I'm not holding out much hope. I don't even really expect there to be that many successful frontier regions at all, and any that look even remotely antagonistic will be swatted out of the sky.

This isn't helped with the "Embargo" resolution idea. If antagonistic regions can just be denied frontier status with a WA vote, there's not even a need to raid them.
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Tinhampton
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Postby Tinhampton » Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:36 pm

Refuge Isle wrote:Triggering and chasing aside... [snip 1.5 paragraphs] ...the same is true for everything.

This is where I agree with you regarding the division of labour.

Refuge Isle wrote:Your over-reliance on attribution of the status quo to Jakker only speaks to how much a of a superficial lens you're looking through.

I'm not attributing anything to Jakker being stood down from the Council.

Refuge Isle wrote:Your targetted jabs at a few people switching being the reason a nearly two hundred person operation succeeded or failed is as equally myopic.

My assertations in Part 2 of this essay were based on simple addition and subtraction. I have been clear that "getting more defenders to not defend probably isn't... sustainable."

Refuge Isle wrote:Be it the intention or not, this thread we are in is the equivalent of the Liberations Are Impossible complaint, but from the perspective of raiding. Actually, that's not quite true, is it? You don't speak from the perspective of raiding, you're speaking from the perspective of someone who likes watching a television show, but it's not airing the episodes you want right now. You're speaking from the perspective of someone who likes observing raiding from the sidelines but cannot be bothered to substantively put in the effort it would take to contribute to it. This is represented by your stint in TBH where you could not bring yourself to remain even long enough to rise out of PFC.

Philosophical contributions can - and probably do - matter. How many raids will this essay directly result in? Not a lot. Now how many raids could this essay indirectly facilitate?

(I would also like to note that rank is based on merit, not longetivity. Holor Retcon Starkiller took about a year to go from Private First Class to Corporal, for example.)

Refuge Isle wrote:If the state of raiding is an issue to you, the effort would be better spent on being a part of the solution...

You asserted at the beginning of your response that both raiding and defending depend on "different folks with different strengths and ideas coming together to make a plan work." And now you think that a single nation joining a military can somehow make a substantial difference to "the state of raiding?" It will probably take a lot of single nations to facilitate substantial change! :P

Refuge Isle wrote:...rather than meaningless soapbox commentary as a locked World Assembly delegate in a vanity region.

Sophia has a regional thread where you can express any concerns you may have about it being a "vanity region."
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Comfed
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Postby Comfed » Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:41 pm

Tinhampton wrote:Philosophical contributions can - and probably do - matter. How many raids will this essay directly result in? Not a lot. Now how many raids could this essay indirectly facilitate?

I don't think philosophical contributions are of much help to people who are actually out there doing stuff. You haven't actually proposed any solutions, either.
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Postby Queen Yuno » Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:45 pm

Hey he textwalled a massive essay, HE SHOULD POST IT!

It's called a Gameplay FORUM for a reason XD

Why should only imperialists like Onder or NES get to textwall?
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Postby Comfed » Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:57 pm

Queen Yuno wrote:Hey he textwalled a massive essay, HE SHOULD POST IT!

It's called a Gameplay FORUM for a reason XD

Why should only imperialists like Onder or NES get to textwall?

And we're criticizing it, it is a forum after all :P
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:38 pm

Tinhampton wrote:I'm not attributing anything to Jakker being stood down from the Council.

Raiding has entered a downwards spiral since Jakker was forced out of the Council of Hawks

That was certainly the implication.

Tinhampton wrote:(I would also like to note that rank is based on merit, not longetivity.

It is both. Being around to contribute and actually providing the contribution is the aspect of merit.

Tinhampton wrote:Holor Retcon Starkiller took about a year to go from Private First Class to Corporal, for example.)

I believe the timeframe is about twice that, and the delay is mostly related to his proclivity to be a constant PR disaster.

Tinhampton wrote:You asserted at the beginning of your response that both raiding and defending depend on "different folks with different strengths and ideas coming together to make a plan work." And now you think that a single nation joining a military can somehow make a substantial difference to "the state of raiding?" It will probably take a lot of single nations to facilitate substantial change! :P

I assert that providing a substantive effort is more useful to solving your issue that a "philosophical" one. You are interested in finding people to make a contribution to raiding while you will not.

I filled a gap in defending where I saw there was a gap. That is my contribution. If you feel there is a gap in raiding, particularly in interest or organisation, you can do your part rather than lamenting the sorry state of affairs.

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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:22 pm

Galiantus III wrote:This isn't helped with the "Embargo" resolution idea. If antagonistic regions can just be denied frontier status with a WA vote, there's not even a need to raid them.

Exactly! If you read the actual thread, it's pretty clear that Sedge already seems to have inexplicably decided exactly how the meta will work for this, and that it'll somehow only be used to target regions that are OOCly undesireable. That's incredibly short sighted and a huge step backwards for NS game design- I thought the technical team knew better than to make any assumptions about that at all. If I'm running a feeder, I'm building the voting bloc that'll embargo every single frontier region right now.
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Lord Dominator
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Postby Lord Dominator » Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:21 am

Klaus Devestatorie wrote:
Galiantus III wrote:This isn't helped with the "Embargo" resolution idea. If antagonistic regions can just be denied frontier status with a WA vote, there's not even a need to raid them.

Exactly! If you read the actual thread, it's pretty clear that Sedge already seems to have inexplicably decided exactly how the meta will work for this, and that it'll somehow only be used to target regions that are OOCly undesireable. That's incredibly short sighted and a huge step backwards for NS game design- I thought the technical team knew better than to make any assumptions about that at all. If I'm running a feeder, I'm building the voting bloc that'll embargo every single frontier region right now.

…that’d only manage to work out if you could somehow manage to smack every single one (likely impossible) even if they wanted to

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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:13 am

Lord Dominator wrote:
Klaus Devestatorie wrote:Exactly! If you read the actual thread, it's pretty clear that Sedge already seems to have inexplicably decided exactly how the meta will work for this, and that it'll somehow only be used to target regions that are OOCly undesireable. That's incredibly short sighted and a huge step backwards for NS game design- I thought the technical team knew better than to make any assumptions about that at all. If I'm running a feeder, I'm building the voting bloc that'll embargo every single frontier region right now.

…that’d only manage to work out if you could somehow manage to smack every single one (likely impossible) even if they wanted to

You need 10 verified endorsements to set one up, which cuts down the number of groups of people who'll actually have one running to scores, not hundreds, and if you've only got 10 verified endorsements, you're a vulnerable target to an alliance of feeders. If you could do the diplomatic work required to get defenders to look the other way... who knows?
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A Bloodred Moon
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Postby A Bloodred Moon » Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:02 am

Tinhampton wrote:Raiding has entered a downwards spiral since Jakker was forced out of the Council of Hawks around the start of this year (although that particular scandal was by no means what started the collapse). There have been a few successes, but 2021 has on the whole been nowhere near as good as 2020 for raiders, and vice versa.

Jakker stepping down seems to have very little to do with defender success. A lot of FA problems would be closer to it, combined with the struggle UCRs are currently going through.

Most of 2019 was a complete disaster for the raider sphere in comparison to the year previous. 2017 saw a great deal of defender success compared to the years that preceded it. The balance shifted back each time, through the contributions of Dakota, and Souls, and a hundred others less renowned but no less vital individuals, and it will again provided people are willing to put in the work necessary to turn the tide. All regions function through the contribution of a number of individuals. Raider organisations are no different, and as long as motivated, capable and determined individuals rise to the top the balance is never a certain thing.

Now look at how close the final score was - I think the raiders would still be in charge of LDU right now if they still had the converts on their side

Or had we had 2 pilers more. Or had we banjected 2 more defenders. Or had there been 2 natives less. There's so many factors that could have played a far more significant role that it is hardly worth mentioning individuals.

Chaylia had the usual suspects plus Europeia (whose Republican Navy is usually panned as too raider-y for an independent org), Founderless (a sillier, fashbashier FRA), and Alvarez (most famous for sending a tag:wa recruitment telegram a couple of months ago) - again, the same story.

You cite Chaylia as an example, but you fail to see the difference: Chaylia peaked at 66 endorsements on the point after 24 hours, yet a few weeks later TBH gave a push and over 90 individuals came to their aid. It would almost seem to be a sign of improvement, don't you think? Certainly, it is smaller compared to the 140+ piles in Illuminati or Westphalia, or even the 120ish pilers in South Pacific and Boston, but it is a sign of improvement. As long as the people who made it work keep it up, who knows? The balance may shift once again.

Libcord has its own Update Command and is by this point mandatory for almost any would-be defender. Raiders have no similar initiatives, although they do still have their own ops servers.

This has been mentioned often, yet it fails to take into account that this might not be necessary. For defenders, gathering every individual updater is essential - they need to react to raiders, and that doesn't leave them too much time to reach out to allied officers. By contrast, a raiding organisation can determine when they want to raid, prepare it in advance, reach out to allies, and all with enough time to do so. Raiders can choose their partners - what is necessary is not a shared 'Raidcord' but a solid, functioning FA network, in addition to strong internal organisation building, something which is admittedly more difficult to do in the current state of the game, but not impossible.

At this point, Raider Unity - even within reason - is much closer to an ideal than it is to standard operating practice; I'm not saying there needs to be a Raidcord, but raiders and raider-aligned militaries do need to get their act together, start co-operating more deeply and more often.

I can scarcely think of a time where raiding was more united than it is now. The term 'Raider Unity' was always an ideal, and it was about raiders not messing with one another, not necessarily helping each other. But even by your definition, Raider Unity is very much alive - the remaining raider organisations, as regrettably few as there are, help each other when asked.

Klaus Devestatorie wrote:Exactly! If you read the actual thread, it's pretty clear that Sedge already seems to have inexplicably decided exactly how the meta will work for this, and that it'll somehow only be used to target regions that are OOCly undesireable. That's incredibly short sighted and a huge step backwards for NS game design- I thought the technical team knew better than to make any assumptions about that at all. If I'm running a feeder, I'm building the voting bloc that'll embargo every single frontier region right now.

Agreed. If the idea is that OOC undesirable frontiers can be shut down, then we should get the ability to do so through actual military gameplay rather than a popularity contest in the WA - a contest the Feeders and defenders will inevitably win.


What is the aim here? It's not a propaganda piece, and it doesn't offer any advice that raiding's leadership hadn't heard or figured before. If you wish to help raiding, set up a raider military, or join an existing one. Writing essays saying "get better" has no value to raiding. Do you assume that no one in raider leadership has figured that we've struggled, and that some things should be done about it? Do you think no steps have been taken? Think again. TBH's raid on Japan in May saw only 40-something endorsements. Chaylia, a few months later, saw 60+ after 12 hours. LDU, a few days ago, had 60+ by minor and 90+ by major. Both were liberated, for sure, but there's improvement there, larger turnouts, pushing hard for them, building resources. No one on our side saw summer or the operations in the last few months and thought we were doing well. But some thought to actually do something about it. The road to recovery is long, for certain, but we won't get there through long essays on the problems most of us already worked out. We'll get there through the work put in by individuals.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:08 am

I wouldn’t make any definitive claims about what the future holds for invading, although I think there are solid reasons to project that the “frontier” plan won’t have the desired impact of re-energizing R/D (among other goals). Many people have read the last rites for defending & invading in the past over the years.

What I do know is (1) R/D is dynamic — when invaders innovate to make gains, defenders have to innovate to close the gap, and vice versa; when invaders are quiet, defenders burnout from monitoring dead updates, when defenders are active, invaders are engaged by the competition. Therefore things go through cycles and the teams learn from one another — R/D will increasingly become professional, more precise, because it has to for survival. UDL, for instance, was actively poaching the most technologically-skilled players (e.g., Ballo, Elu, Solm, GR, Afforess, Spartz) because we knew we needed that edge, we needed to know more about update and we needed the tools to drive tomorrow’s competition. Today’s R/D still depends on tech & analytic skills.

(2) R/D does not exist in a vacuum. It’s intimately connected to the rest of the gameplay environment. It’s driven by personalities, ideas, factionalism, altruism, narcissism (!), disruptionism, and general activity & technology. For competition to thrive, you need fertile ground — people pulling others into groups, a raison d’être. Today’s R/D strikes me as unusually practical and very conscious of not being seen to take things too seriously — it’s treated more as a tournament than a cause — and I would say this stems from the broader game today. The problem with pragmatism is you can be cursed by your own success and your own stability; pragmatism isn’t exciting or romantic. An easy path forward for invaders is to say, the game is dying, and they are the cure — disruptionism, anarchy, burn the forest and let it breathe — etc. It’s a tried and true message that can rally people to the cause and might resonate as the game stagnates…

(3) Invaders have an in-built advantage in that they don’t need near as many updaters to sustain their occupation — so the question is why they aren’t making use that advantage? Is the game’s recruitment woes dragging down invader recruitment for pilers? Is the sportsmanship of today’s R/D discouraging piling? My experience was sportsmanship varied heavily between military leadership, some invader leaders were really gutsy and wanted a valiant fight that was heavily dependent on lead ejections (TBR, LWU), others (the more image conscious ones) would shamelessly pile an invasion sky-high and sing their own praises across the universe. I don’t know enough about today’s R/D to know if invaders are just having a hard time staffing their occupations, or this is more a deliberate organizational choice.

My guess is invaders are having a hard time recruiting in this environment to match the gains in terms of updaters that defenders are making with the reconciliation of 10000 Islands with the rest of defenderdom. It can’t be overlooked what a boon for defenderdom it is to have 10000 Islands as an active liberation partner again for the first time since 2009-10. I haven’t been playing the game forever, but for almost my entire time in NS, 10KI was pulling away from the rest of the NS rather than building bridges (breaking up with the Triumvirate, fighting over Marihuana Lands, exiling any defender with an independent thought, declaring the UDL an invader group etc.)

If it is a recruitment challenge, invaders may have to get creative and do something different to expand the tent. For instance, if you pin down a GCR, get it solidly in the invader camp if isn’t already, you could make a more concerted effort to recruit invaders from the nations plunking their endorsements on the delegate — some of the regions, even Balder, are positively swelling in endorsements and seem like fertile ground for mobilization? (This means overcoming the inevitable regionalist concerns that the home region is being exploited for an outside cause…). The other thing you can do is try to divide defender regions politically but you usually cannot do that through a pure containment strategy — you have to be engaging with some defender partners positively to facilitate a split.
Last edited by Unibot III on Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:20 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Dakota Vytherov
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Postby Dakota Vytherov » Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:16 am

Pterodaxtyl wrote:The favor in R/D goes back and forth between Raiders and Defenders. That's how the game works. Last year, it favored raiders more, and this year it seems to favor defenders more.

Tinhampton wrote:Now look at how close the final score was - I think the raiders would still be in charge of LDU right now if they still had the converts on their side

It is 100% not solely on the "converts" that LDU was liberated. Every single person on each side counts and maybe enlisting in a raider org to be that person that makes the difference instead of writing posts theorizing what the problem is and pinning that on people that are playing a game how they want would help more.


Just want to 1+ what Dax said here as one of the converts mentioned. Given the current state of raiding (which I know my inactivity contributed to), I don't think that two people not switching sides would have changed the overall outcome of the occupation, just delayed it an extra day. If raiding was in a better place, it wouldn't come down to the wire as it did. Additionally -- what Jo said on this quote.

If raiding is truly something you want to see improve, you could always do manual recruitment or send a few pilers from Sophia :^)
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Galiantus III
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Postby Galiantus III » Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:44 am

Unibot III wrote:I wouldn’t make any definitive claims about what the future holds for invading, although I think there are solid reasons to project that the “frontier” plan won’t have the desired impact of re-energizing R/D (among other goals). Many people have read the last rites for defending & invading in the past over the years.

I actually agree it won't re-energize R/D... but I don't want it to. Quite frankly, the whole premise of R/D is boring and pointless. It isn't politically interesting. As you observed, modern R/D is more a tournament than an actual fight. It is generally about enjoying game mechanics, devoid of few compelling motivations.

Frontiers have the potential to completely displace R/D. And that's a good thing. Instead of a totally binary conflict of "red team versus blue team", there will be room for far more complex relationships among regions. The nature of the conflict itself will be far more dynamic, because it will be a competition for territory that anyone can enter, and in which everyone is in competition with each other.

Under the current paradigm, you can mostly count on the alignment of one organization to stay the same as long as a year. TGW isn't going raider anytime soon. They are blue team, and a win for blue team is a win for them.

Compare that with a scenario where all parties have an interest in eliminating each other, and there is a web of relationships to navigate at any moment. This naturally creates factions within factions. At any moment of crisis (the invasion of a region, let's say) everyone will read it in terms of personal interest. This has great potential for compelling conflict beyond what R/D can do.

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Benevolent Thomas
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Postby Benevolent Thomas » Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:17 pm

Way too much drivel for something that is really quite simple.

Why do you raid?
Why does your region invade?
Why do coalitions of regions and organizations invade together?

I defend because I believe regions should be free of foreign oppression.
I founded a defender organization out of my dislike of invaders, what invading represents, and my desire to see them suffer.
Defenders regularly come together, because we are unified in the desire to keep regions free of oppression.

The idea of "I do it because its fun" is, to me, revolting if there isn't a "why" behind the fun. Its fun for me to come to the aid of my fellow NS players. It is fun for me to see invaders lose at something they won at for so long. Why do you invade, Tin? Well, I mean, why do you hypothetically invade? Is it to project power? Is it to expand your influence and reach? Do you enjoy tormenting your fellow NS players? Those are all reasons for invading to be fun, motivations that are glaringly absent from that side of the spectrum lately.

There are some of us who believe the current r/d landscape is the direct consequence of invader attempts to play the role of the NSGP moralist over the past half-decade. What is and is not considered fair play, how other gameplayers should play the game, how other regions should conduct themselves. It was as nauseating as it was constant. It also left its largest proponents exposed to being hypocrites. Nobody wants to listen to someone who is full of shit. Lack of authenticity will always catch up with you eventually and it'll sink anything you're associated with. Overreliance on a small group of individuals is how invading got into this mess and flocking back to them isn't going to get you out of it. Hell, several of those people got tired of your collective shit and sought a more genuine NS experience elsewhere.

Do you want for invading or do you want for yourself? What does Tin want out of NSGP? Do you want to be part of a strong invader organization? Build it. Embrace the principles you desire to see exemplified and model it for your peers. Don't worry about the consequences, its the consequences of your actions that make this game fun - just as it is for the issues-only player.
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Drop Your Pants
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Postby Drop Your Pants » Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:40 pm

Benevolent Thomas wrote:The idea of "I do it because its fun" is, to me, revolting if there isn't a "why" behind the fun.

Yelling random shite during update was my fun. Losing my WA and ending up in a raider jump point by mistake were also fun :P
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Matthew the Man
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Postby Matthew the Man » Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:51 pm

Don't you have an entire region to act as a soapbox? Why a whole new thread? There is a whole lot of nothing in that whole lot of something. I'm not entirely sure that the words of someone who can't even qualify as an armchair, as her entire experience consisted of being an enlisted member of TBH which hardly counts as anything, mean anything in the wider scope of anything that isn't a poorly created "gotcha" post. I recommend perfecting your bait before LARPing as a sort of intellectual on, well, anything.
Last edited by Matthew the Man on Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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