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Time to stop approval raiding.

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.

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Wallenburg
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Wallenburg » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:01 pm

Jakker wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:Now that approval raiding is apparently a weekly occurrence, it's time to have an actual conversation about this, instead of intentionally burying the conversation in a half-dead Technical thread?


Anyone is welcomed to continue the conversation at any time. Having a variety of perspectives is good with technical discussions.

The mods have been talking about this. One idea that has gained traction to increase accessibility across the WA would be after authors submit a proposal, they would be prompted to be able to send a campaign telegram for free. This would hopefully reduce some of the financial burden that can be involved with campaign telegrams as well as help new authors who may not have the cultural capital to know that they need to send a telegram to get approvals or may not understand the API, etc. There would hopefully be a template that walks through the content to include like an option to share the link of the forum thread (which would hopefully also encourage more forum threads to be posted/engagement in the forum area).

We would want to make sure that it does not lead to spammy telegrams. Probably would make sense for this to not trigger until the proposal is ruled as legal. Other considerations are to require a certain number of approvals before they can send the telegram or after a certain period of time after submission. Any thoughts/ideas of how best to reduce the possibility of spam while still ensuring an increase of accessibility would be appreciated.

For this to work, I expect the proposal would need to be kept from spending queue time until that legality decision was reached. There's not much use in a TG that goes out possibly mere hours before the proposal dequeues.
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Wallenburg
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Postby Wallenburg » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:04 pm

What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.
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Comfed
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Postby Comfed » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:11 pm

Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

We don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken.
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Free Las Pinas
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Postby Free Las Pinas » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:31 pm

Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

I suggested this somewhere in the first or second page, but people likely ignored it because it would've made approval raiding impossible.

What I do want to know is a clear answer on if moderation is okay with approval raiding or not. I'm not gonna bother asking if you(general)'re gonna ban raiding in general, just approval raiding, which while adds an interesting way to raid to the game, is definitely not needed, as there are other ways to counter a proposal, like maybe voting against it, or sending a TG.
Comfed wrote:We don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken.

Even when you could be wasting somebody's time/effort/money? The voting process seems hard enough as it is.

And for proposals by fascists on NS? Even if it were to reach quorum, none of the GCRs support fascists, and their delegates alone make up a huge chunk of the vote.
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The Python
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Postby The Python » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:35 pm

Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

The problem with that is that if a (genuine) delegate cannot remove their approval if they change their minds. I think an influence cost or a timer would be better to help prevent approval raiding. As a defender, approval raiding is very hard to stop, so an automatic control is necessary.
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Free Las Pinas
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Postby Free Las Pinas » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:39 pm

The Python wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

The problem with that is that if a (genuine) delegate cannot remove their approval if they change their minds. I think an influence cost or a timer would be better to help prevent approval raiding. As a defender, approval raiding is very hard to stop, so an automatic control is necessary.

It's mentioned that the delegate who gave their approval can also remove it, but only that delegate, if that's your concern, and I may have read wrong.
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Honeydewistania
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Postby Honeydewistania » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:26 pm

Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

Problem with this is that raiders could easily tag regions and manufacture hundreds of approvals per update
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The Python
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Postby The Python » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:56 pm

Honeydewistania wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

Problem with this is that raiders could easily tag regions and manufacture hundreds of approvals per update

True. It would stop approval raiding as in trying to remove approvals but can create hundreds of non-existent approvals. I still think an influence cost would be best.
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Free Las Pinas
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Postby Free Las Pinas » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:21 pm

The Python wrote:
Honeydewistania wrote:Problem with this is that raiders could easily tag regions and manufacture hundreds of approvals per update

True. It would stop approval raiding as in trying to remove approvals but can create hundreds of non-existent approvals. I still think an influence cost would be best.

I mean, from what I understood, only delegates at the exact time it was submitted could approve or remove an approval. If I'm mistaken, then sure, I agree that an influence cost would be better.
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Merni
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Postby Merni » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:27 pm

Free Las Pinas wrote:
The Python wrote:True. It would stop approval raiding as in trying to remove approvals but can create hundreds of non-existent approvals. I still think an influence cost would be best.

I mean, from what I understood, only delegates at the exact time it was submitted could approve or remove an approval. If I'm mistaken, then sure, I agree that an influence cost would be better.

No, there's a 3-day window for approvals.
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Postby Free Las Pinas » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:37 pm

Merni wrote:
Free Las Pinas wrote:I mean, from what I understood, only delegates at the exact time it was submitted could approve or remove an approval. If I'm mistaken, then sure, I agree that an influence cost would be better.

No, there's a 3-day window for approvals.

I was talking about the proposal, not the current system.
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Old Hope
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Tyranny by Majority

Postby Old Hope » Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:07 pm

Twobagger wrote:
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.

The problem is that proposals that run out of time are removed instantly if they fall off the queue. There are also some features that do not fit with normal raiding and why it is allowed to stand:
An active, competent founder can stop normal raiders.
Only a password, a severe action drastically hampering recruitment, can stop approval raiders. A founder - the ultimate weapon in regional security - can't do anything here.
Regions that were subject to a raid due to insufficient security can simply strenghten their security if they survive.
Regions that are hammered by approval-raids can only do a password (bad) or stop approving(terrible, chilling effect) to stop approval raids.
Getting approvals from delegates that cant be easily replaced, nice idea, but there are lots of small regions vital for any proposal to reach queue. If approval raiding were impossible due to too many approving delegates, then junk would flood the WA queue if there is no approval raid.
Stamps are an advertized way to get delegate support. Stamps cost real money. With approval raiding countermeasures(vast nets of 2-people, passworded regions to control approvals) sale of stamps for WA proposals will drop to near zero.
The countermeasures in itself are not clean because they artificially increase the number of WA delegates, making it harder for ordinary people to reach enough approvals even without being approval raided.

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Goobergunchia
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Postby Goobergunchia » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:20 pm

Unibot III wrote:The game is particularly vulernable to approval raiding because a team of three can dislodge dozens of delegates in a single update and there are no additional influence costs involved in targeting a WA Resolution. This has been a continued problem with tagging - while ejecting/banning players costs influence and requires investment, invaders can freely 'suppress spam' (suppressing everything) and disrupt the WA at no influence cost at all: all they have to do is take the delegacy.


This is likely to be an unpopular opinion but I think the actual best fix would be to somehow make it harder to switch one's WA nation during update, thereby limiting the number of regions any small group of people can tag at a time. This would obviously not completely stop approval raiding, but it would mean you'd need more and more people to take part as approvals went up. (And of course, the more people involved, the greater the chance that one is a spy....) Unfortunately I don't have any real ideas on how this would be implementable on anything stricter than a per-browser basis.
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The Python
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Postby The Python » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:57 pm

Goobergunchia wrote:
Unibot III wrote:The game is particularly vulernable to approval raiding because a team of three can dislodge dozens of delegates in a single update and there are no additional influence costs involved in targeting a WA Resolution. This has been a continued problem with tagging - while ejecting/banning players costs influence and requires investment, invaders can freely 'suppress spam' (suppressing everything) and disrupt the WA at no influence cost at all: all they have to do is take the delegacy.


This is likely to be an unpopular opinion but I think the actual best fix would be to somehow make it harder to switch one's WA nation during update, thereby limiting the number of regions any small group of people can tag at a time. This would obviously not completely stop approval raiding, but it would mean you'd need more and more people to take part as approvals went up. (And of course, the more people involved, the greater the chance that one is a spy....) Unfortunately I don't have any real ideas on how this would be implementable on anything stricter than a per-browser basis.

That would be worse for defenders too as chasers/detaggers also have to switch WA quite quickly.
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Obuba
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Postby Obuba » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:16 pm

Comfed wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:What I consider probably the only real solution is to make approvals permanent, or at least only removable by the person who gave the approval. Anyone who was delegate at the time the proposal went live can give their approval.

We don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken.


This. The system works just fine.

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The Python
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Postby The Python » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:33 am

Bump
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