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Time to stop approval raiding.

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Honeydewistania
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Time to stop approval raiding.

Postby Honeydewistania » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:03 pm

Greetings, I am Honeydewistania. A little over 18 hours ago my Security Council proposal was targeted for an approval raid - a proposal which had nothing to do with raiding, GP, defending or anything. In the end, it suffered huge losses and I withdrew it. However, this practice needs to have restrictions placed on it, much like restrictions like influence were placed on griefing. So, I propose my idea:

Approvals from delegates whose delegacies are usurped by another nation should remain for 12 hours. Delegates that withdraw, get deleted, resign from WA or lose delegacy due to 0 endorsements aren’t counted.

Why this is a good idea:
  1. It will minimise damage on approval bumps as when the old delegate regains the delegacy after 12 hours, their approval still remains.
  2. The difference between a transition and approval bump is distinct, as transition delegates don’t usually last for only 12 hours and be replaced with their predecessor.
  3. It won’t be game over for raiders as if they time it right, they can do another approval raid in the next update and usurp the delegates again.
  4. Targeted regions would be more determined to put defences up to prevent a ‘second wave’ of invaders.
  5. The meta-gameplay aspect will still exist because defenders would know exactly which regions are being targeted and would chase after raiders.

I hope this is a fair compromise.
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The Unified Missourtama States
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Postby The Unified Missourtama States » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:04 pm

I've been struggling with the morality of approval raiding. I think it is best if we look at it ICly. If a government was overthrown would the world community respect the wishes of the coupers, or would they respect the historical rights from the past?

Now if this were to be implemented however, I think it would need to be longer than 12 hours, while that will certainly stop smaller regions from approval raiding, GCRs and most larger regions have enough spare WAs to camp out for more an update and still occupy a quorum changing number of regions, it would be painful, but unless you fully block it, anyone who can will. so like maybe 8 updates?
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Zizou
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Postby Zizou » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:31 pm

Points 3 and 5 seem to be at odds with each other.
Last edited by Zizou on Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:58 pm

Honeydewistania wrote:Greetings, I am Honeydewistania. A little over 18 hours ago my Security Council proposal was targeted for an approval raid - a proposal which had nothing to do with raiding, GP, defending or anything. In the end, it suffered huge losses and I withdrew it. However, this practice needs to have restrictions placed on it, much like restrictions like influence were placed on griefing. So, I propose my idea:

Approvals from delegates whose delegacies are usurped by another nation should remain for 12 hours. Delegates that withdraw, get deleted, resign from WA or lose delegacy due to 0 endorsements aren’t counted.

Why this is a good idea:
  1. It will minimise damage on approval bumps as when the old delegate regains the delegacy after 12 hours, their approval still remains.
  2. The difference between a transition and approval bump is distinct, as transition delegates don’t usually last for only 12 hours and be replaced with their predecessor.
  3. It won’t be game over for raiders as if they time it right, they can do another approval raid in the next update and usurp the delegates again.
  4. Targeted regions would be more determined to put defences up to prevent a ‘second wave’ of invaders.
  5. The meta-gameplay aspect will still exist because defenders would know exactly which regions are being targeted and would chase after raiders.

I hope this is a fair compromise.

I understand that you're asking for structural changes from admin, but I'm not sure how it would be possible to apply those approval effects to the game without some very odd consequences to non-r/d situations. The game is unable to understand intent. And so, in a natural delegacy transition, where one nation replaces another in a manner that's mechanically the same as raiding, those approvals would overlap and substantially adjust the numbers getting things to the floor.

From an r/d perspective, it seems like the obvious next step would be to raid a variety of regions, and then raid them again. Double up the approvals, and send most anything into queue :blush:
Last edited by Refuge Isle on Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xoriet
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Postby Xoriet » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:38 am

Honeydewistania wrote:Why this is a good idea:
  1. The meta-gameplay aspect will still exist because defenders would know exactly which regions are being targeted and would chase after raiders.

Well, no. There's no guarantee that they would target the same delegates every time. It takes ~60-70 approvals minimum to actually reach quorum, and most of the approvals will have been made by regions vulnerable to delegate bumping. Defenders will not be able to predict exactly which regions will be hit among the 50-60 options available the next update if they spread out and hit some delegates with intention to bump and other delegates with intention to distract in teams.

Furthermore, they can easily split into multiple teams to do said approval bumping and knock off even more delegates if they run into a challenge. A technical change like this will not determine which regions can or cannot be hit. What it does do is ensure that more regions will be targeted per update and more delegates knocked off. Regions may update at the same time, and it's exceedingly difficult to know whether Region A or Region B, both updating at X:XX time, will be the target. For all you know, they might even split into a tagging team and a bumping team to throw off defenders. Raiders are creative and there is no way to determine what they will and won't hit.
Last edited by Xoriet on Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:14 am

The way to stop approval raiding is to code the queue system to ensure that a delegate's approval remains unless that specific player removes their approval even if they lose the delegacy during the queue period.

Yes, that means some approvals for proposal may be maintained by ex-delegates even after they legitimately lose their delegacies, but that discrepency will not be widespread or permanant (like ex-nation cards or something).

The question I think really is, is whether admins want to ban approval raiding or not?

Yes, it's griefing and destabilizing the WA system, but .. invading in general is griefing. Nobody intended the WA Delegate system to facilitate invading, nor did anyone intend for mass invading to impact the WA Queue system. This is kind of the age old question in NationStates, whether the game should moderate or self-moderate invading in all its forms...

The consequence of banning approval raiding is we'd be limiting the potential of invading to innovate and evolve. Invading (and in turn, defending) has developed a culture of tagging over the past decade: invaders have lots of puppets and are ready to, and capable of invading a full slate of regions in a single update -- this wasn't always the case, and approval raiding was a natural extension of that phenomenon. There were many defenders about ten years ago who complained to the Site Administration that tagging was too common and that the Site Administration should make it more difficult (or prohibitively difficult) to switch accounts -- I was not one of these defenders, because I didn't think it was the place of the Site Administration to limit innovation and mold R/D into a static, traditional image.

Banning approval raiding is thus very easy to do with minimal disruption to military gameplay at large, however, it could be a slippery slope -- if you're banning approval raiding because it's a nuisance, why not other forms of raiding which are ... also a nuisance for players? There is no line to be drawn. Invading regions will always have spin-off effects, impacting players far and wide that can not be anticipated in advance.

I would be interested in hearing how invaders feel about approval raiding.
Last edited by Unibot III on Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Lord Dominator » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:04 pm

Unibot III wrote:The way to stop approval raiding is to code the queue system to ensure that a delegate's approval remains unless that specific player removes their approval even if they lose the delegacy during the queue period.

Yes, that means some approvals for proposal may be maintained by ex-delegates even after they legitimately lose their delegacies, but that discrepency will not be widespread or permanant (like ex-nation cards or something).

It is however very abusable, if you wanted to say shove some things in queue.
I would be interested in hearing how invaders feel about approval raiding.

It's a useful tool on occasion, but limited in general use on SC proposals (I personally have said that TBH force will not be used TBH time against GA proposals deliberately) since it can really only delay a sufficiently determined author, though that may be useful in situations where a few days delay is enough.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:22 pm

Lord Dominator wrote:
Unibot III wrote:The way to stop approval raiding is to code the queue system to ensure that a delegate's approval remains unless that specific player removes their approval even if they lose the delegacy during the queue period.

Yes, that means some approvals for proposal may be maintained by ex-delegates even after they legitimately lose their delegacies, but that discrepency will not be widespread or permanant (like ex-nation cards or something).

It is however very abusable, if you wanted to say shove some things in queue.


You mean like by invading a bunch of regions and approving the resolution with the delegacies before you resigned from the WA?

That's fair, but it's a gimmick that requires some effort and I think if the admins are taking away approval raiding, at least with this change of policy, they'd be giving invaders a new trick in return (approval hacking). Fair is fair.
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Lord Dominator
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Postby Lord Dominator » Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:30 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Lord Dominator wrote:
It is however very abusable, if you wanted to say shove some things in queue.


You mean like by invading a bunch of regions and approving the resolution with the delegacies before you resigned from the WA?

That's fair, but it's a gimmick that requires some effort and I think if the admins are taking away approval raiding, at least with this change of policy, they'd be giving invaders a new trick in return (approval hacking). Fair is fair.

It's not new really, just presently only useful on one proposal at a time + needs to be renewed every update, while your suggestion would remove both of those and only leave the limitations from numbers aspect.
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:16 pm

It would make more sense if approvals were tied to a region and either are on or off for a given proposal, carrying over to a new delegate if it were bumped.

Complete takeovers of very small regions would still be possible but for all others, which would require bumping natives into place, the approvals would remain unless the new delegate manually changed the region's approval stance.
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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:20 pm

Zarnicovia nova wrote:MODEDIT: Quote content removed


Huh. That has absolutely nothing to do with what this discussion is about.

I don't really see the need of 12 hour approvals. I think the cleanest solution is to attribute approvals to regions instead of WA delegates, and that endorsements are only lost when WA delegates specifically withdraw the region's approval. That way gameplay can continue without affecting the WA queue (well, the GA queue mainly).
Last edited by Reploid Productions on Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zarnicovia nova
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Postby Zarnicovia nova » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:21 pm

Electrum wrote:
Zarnicovia nova wrote:we're having another raid in an alliance: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=493442 there are only 39 members lof the alliance and only 12 are online.


Huh. That has absolutely nothing to do with what this discussion is about.

I don't really see the need of 12 hour approvals. I think the cleanest solution is to attribute approvals to regions instead of WA delegates, and that endorsements are only lost when WA delegates specifically withdraw the region's approval. That way gameplay can continue without affecting the WA queue (well, the GA queue mainly).

There was a vote and someone did a approval raid the vote was taken down
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Postby Free Las Pinas » Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:01 pm

Zarnicovia nova wrote:
Electrum wrote:
Huh. That has absolutely nothing to do with what this discussion is about.

I don't really see the need of 12 hour approvals. I think the cleanest solution is to attribute approvals to regions instead of WA delegates, and that endorsements are only lost when WA delegates specifically withdraw the region's approval. That way gameplay can continue without affecting the WA queue (well, the GA queue mainly).

There was a vote and someone did a approval raid the vote was taken down

This discussion is about World Assembly proposal approvals, which is the stage that comes before a proposal gets to be voted on. What you linked doesn’t have anything to do with this.


As it stands, this proposal would allow two people from one region to approve a proposal twice. So no support from me. You could make it so if a new delegate (raider del) approvals or withdraws an approval for a proposal, the previous delegate’s vote/non-existent vote is discarded, but that leads us to the next idea.

I think the idea that approvals should be attributed to regions instead of delegates has merit, though I don’t support it. If I understand correctly, and I probably didn’t, this would still allow raiders to jump in at the last update before the update where it gets to be voted on, and resign WA to leave their approval or withdrawn approval to the next/previous delegate. Of course, I might be one of the only ones against this compromise, and in that case, I guess it won’t be the end of the world if this idea is chosen. It’s just hard for me to understand why you’d need to make the approval process hard — is the voting process not hard enough? Additionally, how will an author know if raiders wanted to approval raid against their proposal? Would they have to just trust defenders to help them?

[insert thoughts on whatever else has been brought up here, haven’t read it all]

Alternatively, what if only the delegate during the time a proposal was submitted could approve/withdraw an approval of a proposal? Then, approval raiding is over, and nobody needs to get banned!!!

Up to the reader to interpret that as sarcasm or not.
Last edited by Free Las Pinas on Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:15 pm

Lord Dominator wrote:
Unibot III wrote:
You mean like by invading a bunch of regions and approving the resolution with the delegacies before you resigned from the WA?

That's fair, but it's a gimmick that requires some effort and I think if the admins are taking away approval raiding, at least with this change of policy, they'd be giving invaders a new trick in return (approval hacking). Fair is fair.

It's not new really, just presently only useful on one proposal at a time + needs to be renewed every update, while your suggestion would remove both of those and only leave the limitations from numbers aspect.


Yes, I meant it would make approval hacking easier than it is now (while making approval raiding impossible). You could generate approvals with invasions over several updates, without losing approvals during each update.
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Postby RiderSyl » Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:21 pm

has approval raiding become a big enough issue to meet admin's normally-lofty requirements for something to be done about it?

i doubt it.
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Postby Comfed » Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:34 pm

It happened one time to a non-fascist proposal. I don’t see how this is important.
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Postby Honeydewistania » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:10 pm

Comfed, that’s not true. It happened to Repeal Liberate Iran, Access to Abortion and others, and affected many others indirectly too. And I don’t see the point of taking a reactive stance, because that means it’s just gonna keep on happening and keep on annoying people.
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Postby RiderSyl » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:35 pm

Honeydewistania wrote:And I don’t see the point of taking a reactive stance, because that means it’s just gonna keep on happening and keep on annoying people.


that's noble of you, but this is technical, where noble sentiment doesn't mean anything. the admins will do something about approval raiding if it's a really pervasive issue. it doesn't seem like it is one.
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Postby Goobergunchia » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:56 pm

I'm concerned that some of the changes being proposed on this thread would allow nations to maintain their approvals even if they've resigned from the WA. If you have resigned your approval should absolutely not count towards anything.

The proposal tying approvals to specific regions makes more sense to me, although I'd still like to make sure that a region has to have a sitting elected delegate before they count towards either the numerator or the denominator of approvals. This wouldn't entirely block approval raiding but would make it a bit trickier to pull off, which I think is fine. (And it works from an RP perspective because the delegate is issuing their approval or non-approval on behalf of their region.)

My technical concern is that at no time should either one player or one region control more than one approval.

That all being said ... it has always been possible to use R/D to impact the UN/WA and the main reason it hasn't happened much is lack of interest. I frankly don't think trying to silo the two is a good idea. It's certainly a more interesting (and political!) use of invading then tagging the same old founderless regions for the umpteenth time.
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Honeydewistania
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Postby Honeydewistania » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:02 pm

Goobergunchia wrote:I'm concerned that some of the changes being proposed on this thread would allow nations to maintain their approvals even if they've resigned from the WA. If you have resigned your approval should absolutely not count towards anything.

The proposal tying approvals to specific regions makes more sense to me, although I'd still like to make sure that a region has to have a sitting elected delegate before they count towards either the numerator or the denominator of approvals. This wouldn't entirely block approval raiding but would make it a bit trickier to pull off, which I think is fine. (And it works from an RP perspective because the delegate is issuing their approval or non-approval on behalf of their region.)

My technical concern is that at no time should either one player or one region control more than one approval.

That all being said ... it has always been possible to use R/D to impact the UN/WA and the main reason it hasn't happened much is lack of interest. I frankly don't think trying to silo the two is a good idea. It's certainly a more interesting (and political!) use of invading then tagging the same old founderless regions for the umpteenth time.

I stated in the OP that delegates that resign don’t apply
Electrum wrote:
Zarnicovia nova wrote:we're having another raid in an alliance: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=493442 there are only 39 members lof the alliance and only 12 are online.


Huh. That has absolutely nothing to do with what this discussion is about.

I don't really see the need of 12 hour approvals. I think the cleanest solution is to attribute approvals to regions instead of WA delegates, and that endorsements are only lost when WA delegates specifically withdraw the region's approval. That way gameplay can continue without affecting the WA queue (well, the GA queue mainly).


That is an absolutely fantastic idea, I think I’ll add this to the OP. I also think a cool down of 12-26 hours before a new delegate can withdraw a regional approval would also be necessary, as raiders would simply take the delegacy and withdraw themselves.
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Postby Goobergunchia » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm

Honeydewistania wrote:I stated in the OP that delegates that resign don’t apply


Your proposal is not the only one in this thread. ;)

(Also, it was a bit ambiguous on what happens if a delegate loses their delegacy to somebody else and then resigns, although I'd assume that their approval would then be immediately withdrawn.)
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Postby Unibot III » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:57 am

Goobergunchia wrote:I'm concerned that some of the changes being proposed on this thread would allow nations to maintain their approvals even if they've resigned from the WA. If you have resigned your approval should absolutely not count towards anything.


The approval of resolutions by WA Delegates would be grandfathered, yes, but this is more of a courtesy to the region than it is for the ex-Delegate — because it ensures sudden changes in the status of their WA Delegate doesn’t impact the proposals that they’ve approved.

It’s a modest change that would effectively end approval raiding. More modest than redesigning the whole approval system, as some have suggested here.

You could of course cancel approvals upon a WA Delegate’s resignation, which would effectively prohibit approval hacking too, on top of prohibiting approval raiding. But I wonder if invaders may have an issue with one tactic being taken away from them (approval raiding) without another tactic being made more available to them (approval hacking, for lack of a better term)?
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Twobagger
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Twobagger » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:14 pm

Unibot III wrote:You could of course cancel approvals upon a WA Delegate’s resignation, which would effectively prohibit approval hacking too, on top of prohibiting approval raiding. But I wonder if invaders may have an issue with one tactic being taken away from them (approval raiding) without another tactic being made more available to them (approval hacking, for lack of a better term)?


That is an issue, yes. But the larger one, for me, is that there is nothing about this mechanic that requires fixing.

Approval raiding isn't mechanically difficult to do - any competent R/D organization can do it. People who wish to counteract it have several different methods (e.g. defending the raid, contacting delegates who got bumped to re-approve their proposals, manufacturing their own approvals, getting more approvals, getting approvals from delegates that can't easily be replaced) available to them that have been successfully employed in the past, none of which are mechanically difficult to attempt and some of which are mechanically easier to attempt than approval raiding itself. In addition, many proposals can't realistically be approval raided for various reasons - sometimes there are too many approvals, sometimes the approvals aren't vulnerable enough, and sometimes the approvals update too closely together (time-wise). If anything, the mechanics of approvals seem to disfavor approval raiding: since approvals are counted at the beginning of update instead of at the end, authors who suddenly find themselves short of approvals have a time window to get more, and approvals gained in the last 12 or so hours can't be raided away.

It would be one thing if we were here because this gameplay mechanic was too difficult to do except by scripts, or if there wasn't a way to counteract it, or if it could easily be done to any approval. But none of those are true. In short, I think it would be inappropriate to attempt to "fix" this gameplay mechanic with a technical solution. However, I must say that part of me wouldn't mind if this was changed, if only so I can figure out how to loophole it for my own benefit before (and better than) anyone else can.
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Numero Capitan
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Numero Capitan » Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:11 pm

I understand the frustration with this but an easier solution would be to punish those who disregard the fair and democratic nature of the World Assembly and its institutions by freezing them out of its processes.

Although you are seeking a technical change against this, the community can cooperatively act against it too. If an organisation seeks to undemocratically and unfairly dictate the agenda of the World Assembly then we refuse to entertain their proposals or approve their resolutions. If they still don't receive the message then we have the power to repeal any badges of honour they and their members have collected too.

It is something that I have been pushing for for a while, and I hope that this stance begins to gain traction and/or results in a change of policy from the Black Hawks and others.
Last edited by Numero Capitan on Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Python
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby The Python » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:15 pm

My views are biased as a defender, but I agree that there should be restrictions on approval raiding.
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