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Chicken Overlords and game health

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

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:06 am

Some technical context on this - a change a little while ago means that the problems caused by nations rushing into and out of massive regions at update are no longer the issue they were. A remaining related issue is to do with the regional history record, which in some cases are hundreds of pages long -- but that's more to do with a lengthy history of tag raiding rather than region size.

That's not to say that colossal regions aren't bad for other reasons, e.g. the dominance of the population ranking by puppet-flooded regions and GCRs, the interference those puppets cause with stats rankings, effects on update.

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Postby RiderSyl » Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:50 am

Sedgistan wrote:That's not to say that colossal regions aren't bad for other reasons, e.g. the dominance of the population ranking by puppet-flooded regions and GCRs, the interference those puppets cause with stats rankings, effects on update.

How bad does it have to become for NS staff to actually do something about it? What if another region with Chicken Overlord's objective (be larger than anyone else) shows up and the two have the nation population equivalent of a pile-off? R/D is proof that NSers will make a game out of things admin didn't intend, after all.
Last edited by RiderSyl on Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Flanderlion » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:01 am

Frisbeeteria wrote:
RiderSyl wrote:surely puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying everyone should be punishable as well, as it's arguably worse.

By the same logic I could argue that your forum posting style annoys everyone, and ban you. But nope, that's not how it works.

Flanderlion wrote:You don't seem to get that each nation takes resources, and when players have excessive amounts, it takes away resources that could be used elsewhere.

IRL, sure. Here, the only thing it takes away is bragging rights on the census.

I guess I see that if something is negative for the game and the majority of the site/players, unless it's specifically part of Max's vision for the game. We're not talking about players with tens or hundreds of nations, we're talking about a very small number of individual players who have thousands, and in some cases, 5 digits of puppets. I'm not anti puppets, I have a several hundred myself. I am anti it when it gets to the point that it hurts the site.

For the game, it creates areas that new players think will be active, but are not, making it more likely for them to leave. It reduces site ad revenue, by lowering the click through rate. Additionally most of these players have ads blocked. They on average purchase less than the average player per nation, due to the large number of nations they have, so their costs are not offset. The site has to process thousands of excess nations that otherwise would not be processed. I don't see how that doesn't cost the site? They single handedly made the BN game from an alright AF to a failure, purely due to admin ignoring the problem/pretending it doesn't exist.

There are three positives I see for the site - Firstly it makes the site appear more active than it is, and secondly it increases some (not all) players odds of having a higher valued card due to the greater number of nations. Thirdly it also increases the clicks/traffic, but reduces the value of them so I'm not seeing that as a net pro. I don't see the vast numbers of cons outweighing this.

Sheepy Hollow wrote:Do we have statistics on how many nations CTE every night?

What about how many nations CTE'd on the 28th day after Drew's first NS video? His second?

I'm certain it had to be a lot. Did the servers melt down and refuse to work; or were they just really slow? Did these mass extinction events cause any major bugs?

If not then it's probably not anything that players need to worry about; and should be left for admin to figure out their own. If so; then those bugs should be reported to admin so that the next mass extinction doesn't cause them again.

Issues have been repeatedly highlighted over the years. Card game/Best Nation game/even N Day have had copious numbers of complaints aimed here and everywhere about puppet numbers, which admin will have seen. Update issues have been highlighted too (not sure how many times update has broke but most have been due to this).

Sedgistan wrote:Some technical context on this - a change a little while ago means that the problems caused by nations rushing into and out of massive regions at update are no longer the issue they were. A remaining related issue is to do with the regional history record, which in some cases are hundreds of pages long -- but that's more to do with a lengthy history of tag raiding rather than region size.

That's not to say that colossal regions aren't bad for other reasons, e.g. the dominance of the population ranking by puppet-flooded regions and GCRs, the interference those puppets cause with stats rankings, effects on update.

Personally wasn't referring to any of the stuff in your first paragraph - although didn't know/consider taggings effect on regional history pages (or that long regional histories had more of an effect than a RMB of that length).
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:09 am

RiderSyl wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:That's not to say that colossal regions aren't bad for other reasons, e.g. the dominance of the population ranking by puppet-flooded regions and GCRs, the interference those puppets cause with stats rankings, effects on update.

How bad does it have to become for NS staff to actually do something about it? What if another region with Chicken Overlord's objective (be larger than anyone else) shows up and the two have the nation population equivalent of a pile-off? R/D is proof that NSers will make a game out of things admin didn't intend, after all.

Well I'm definitely not going to answer that question, because it'd inevitably cause someone to go and create a 15k nation region to prove a point.

I consider Chicken Overlords annoying, but I don't feel that there is a strong enough case yet that they are a sufficient nuisance to warrant direct action against them - or any clear agreement of what that action could be. A Moderation solution is not feasible, without "Accounts" being a thing and players being forced to stick to a single account each. The first will happen eventually (but could be years away) the second would be a controversial move and warrants a lot of discussion of its own (not in this thread). Other than that, we don't have have the tools to monitor and address in any reasonable or efficient way the number of puppets players have.

I would suggest instead looking at the aspects of Chicken Overlords that you find annoying, and if they're serious enough we can look at ways of addressing those. e.g. Elu's plan for a ranking of regions by WA population.

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RiderSyl
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Postby RiderSyl » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:52 am

Sedgistan wrote:
RiderSyl wrote:How bad does it have to become for NS staff to actually do something about it? What if another region with Chicken Overlord's objective (be larger than anyone else) shows up and the two have the nation population equivalent of a pile-off? R/D is proof that NSers will make a game out of things admin didn't intend, after all.

Well I'm definitely not going to answer that question, because it'd inevitably cause someone to go and create a 15k nation region to prove a point.

I'd say we were heading that direction already, except the player I know would do that sort of thing pulled a suicide-by-mod not too long ago.

Still, I feel like another Chicken Overlords-type region cropping up is a matter of when, not if, and when the puppet pile-off comes and there's a lot more complaining in a larger thread, this thread will be linked somewhere in the chaos and it'll be in a "This was already brought up before" sort of context.

But I know you guys have to deal with that when it comes, that you aren't comfortable implementing measures on the idea that something could possibly go wrong in the future, and that treating the symptoms of the issue that CO itself causes is the best chance for any progress here and now.

Knowing all that doesn't make it less frustrating.
Last edited by RiderSyl on Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Chicken Overlords and game health

Postby Parhe » Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:59 am

Sandaoguo wrote:So, uh, which game features *do* any of NS leadership care about? If a feature, like census rankings, is disrupted by user actions… most games would care enough about the functionality of their features to consider it a problem needing addressed.

Massive puppet farms are effectively a denial of service issue for various game features. But it seems like The Rules are immovable and unchangeable, and unless DoS-like behavior from players is already in The Rules, it can’t possibly be a problem.

I don't know what features you seem to think you are missing out on by having less census medals. Having medals themselves isn't much of a prize but, even it were, the presence of CO only makes it more difficult to receive in some cases, making it more worth while. Though, on the other side, CO and other puppets makes it easier to get some other medals, so it evens out.

Sedgistan wrote:Some technical context on this - a change a little while ago means that the problems caused by nations rushing into and out of massive regions at update are no longer the issue they were. A remaining related issue is to do with the regional history record, which in some cases are hundreds of pages long -- but that's more to do with a lengthy history of tag raiding rather than region size.

That's not to say that colossal regions aren't bad for other reasons, e.g. the dominance of the population ranking by puppet-flooded regions and GCRs, the interference those puppets cause with stats rankings, effects on update.

Why not prevent colossal regions from simply existing by limiting the size of regions? The fact that no UCR, except for puppet holding regions, has ever exceeded five to seven thousand accounts (and even with those close, many were puppets) and is not near it now seems to indicate that no one else would be "hurt" by the large regions existing. Also, are three regions of four thousand accounts "better" for update than having one region of twelve thousand accounts?
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Postby Porde » Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:24 pm

RiderSyl wrote:It's probably closer to actionable under the "for the purpose of spamming" part of the rule, rather than "purpose of annoying" part of the rule. CO is undeniably an instance of large numbers of puppets created to spam the game. It's only avoided violating the rule by exercising a loophole in it - You can't puppet flood a region if the region you're flooding with spam puppets is your own region.

All of the puppets are in anarchic government: 97.33 is 1%, 96.88 is 6%.
It damages the average authoritarianism scale of the world
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Postby Jar Wattinree » Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:09 am

Porde wrote:All of the puppets are in anarchic government: 97.33 is 1%, 96.88 is 6%.
It damages the average authoritarianism scale of the world

R/D puppets have been doing that since the beginning of time.

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Postby Porde » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:06 am

Jar Wattinree wrote:
Porde wrote:All of the puppets are in anarchic government: 97.33 is 1%, 96.88 is 6%.
It damages the average authoritarianism scale of the world

R/D puppets have been doing that since the beginning of time.

Idk, most of them are Inoffensive Centrist Democracy
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Jar Wattinree
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Postby Jar Wattinree » Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:10 pm

Porde wrote:
Jar Wattinree wrote:R/D puppets have been doing that since the beginning of time.

Idk, most of them are Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Diluting the Averageness stat of the world too.

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Postby Les Claypool » Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:27 pm

Parhe wrote:Why not prevent colossal regions from simply existing by limiting the size of regions? The fact that no UCR, except for puppet holding regions, has ever exceeded five to seven thousand accounts (and even with those close, many were puppets) and is not near it now seems to indicate that no one else would be "hurt" by the large regions existing. Also, are three regions of four thousand accounts "better" for update than having one region of twelve thousand accounts?


Then every founderless region that cares or some defenders will just over time, fill the region to the cap to prevent raids. There's ways around puppet flooding rules, most likely done over a length of time and avoiding spamming happenings and all that.

I'd see it as an inevitability, as long as moderation didn't care to consider it as rule breaking by applying the flooding rule.

In that case, you'd have a similar "issue" (not taking a side here for or against the OP) but spread out among many regions just in lesser numbers but still a lot. Then it would harm military gameplay as well.
Last edited by Les Claypool on Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby The Kingdom of The Three Isles » Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:29 pm

Haganham wrote:
RiderSyl wrote:I actually think this could potentially qualify as a moderation issue. Puppet Flooding is against the rules, right? The language of the rule says that the flooding must be for the purpose of annoying a specific region, but surely puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying everyone should be punishable as well, as it's arguably worse.

Chicken overlords isn't puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying anyone though, nore for spamming. They're doing it to be the biggest region.

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Postby Parhe » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:55 pm

Les Claypool wrote:
Parhe wrote:Why not prevent colossal regions from simply existing by limiting the size of regions? The fact that no UCR, except for puppet holding regions, has ever exceeded five to seven thousand accounts (and even with those close, many were puppets) and is not near it now seems to indicate that no one else would be "hurt" by the large regions existing. Also, are three regions of four thousand accounts "better" for update than having one region of twelve thousand accounts?


Then every founderless region that cares or some defenders will just over time, fill the region to the cap to prevent raids. There's ways around puppet flooding rules, most likely done over a length of time and avoiding spamming happenings and all that.

That is a possibility but one I doubt would actually happen. Even if it was done, I don't see an issue with the regions finding a way to opt out of R/D. Of course, then there is the larger issue of raiders doing this with a region, which would make it impossible to liberate, so point taken.

As for the rest, the suggestion was to counter problems with large regions effecting the technical side, not a large number of nations effecting the technical side.
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Postby Apatosaurus » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:00 pm

Haganham wrote:
RiderSyl wrote:I actually think this could potentially qualify as a moderation issue. Puppet Flooding is against the rules, right? The language of the rule says that the flooding must be for the purpose of annoying a specific region, but surely puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying everyone should be punishable as well, as it's arguably worse.

Chicken overlords isn't puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying anyone though, nore for spamming. They're doing it to be the biggest region.

This 100%
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Postby RiderSyl » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:26 am

Thatun t wrote:I think it is better to close chicken overloads

Agree 100% this^!!!


Hmm, this sort of reply doesn't feel constructive. Why are we doing this?
Last edited by RiderSyl on Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CoraSpia » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:37 am

RiderSyl wrote:
Thatun t wrote:I think it is better to close chicken overloads

Agree 100% this^!!!


Hmm, this sort of reply doesn't feel constructive. Why are we doing this?

Why does this thread even exist? The admins haven't said there is an issue with this particular region and until they do I'm disinclined to believe it's something that needs fixing.
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Postby RiderSyl » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:49 am

CoraSpia wrote:
RiderSyl wrote:Agree 100% this^!!!


Hmm, this sort of reply doesn't feel constructive. Why are we doing this?

Why does this thread even exist? The admins haven't said there is an issue with this particular region and until they do I'm disinclined to believe it's something that needs fixing.

For someone that's had experience as an admin elsewhere, you're awfully oblivious to the importance of player feedback.
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Postby CoraSpia » Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:00 am

RiderSyl wrote:
CoraSpia wrote:Why does this thread even exist? The admins haven't said there is an issue with this particular region and until they do I'm disinclined to believe it's something that needs fixing.

For someone that's had experience as an admin elsewhere, you're awfully oblivious to the importance of player feedback.

What issue is it causing players though, beyond an increase to the update time?
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:01 am

Chicken Overlords (and many other farms) are a problem because the regions are ranked by population rather than WA population. Therefore, the game gives them the impression of being major regions (and presumably active ones), when they're in all reality dumping grounds for puppets.

This thread has tied all sorts of reasons to why change has to happen, but primarily the reason why Chicken Overlords is a problem is that the game doesn't let us forget about its presence. Nobody would care about CO if it was ranked #13,000, not #1.

In general, I think the Regions page is poorly organized these days. It's currently ranked by Census by default - which begs to question who in their right mind wants to search by "Sector: Agriculture" on a daily basis.

Ranking by census is mostly non-functional. To organize the list by something vaguely sensible, you have to have the good senses to open the drop down menu and go to something useful.

Some thoughts:

  • A new ranking "WA Population" should be the default ranking.
  • You should also be able to sort WA Delegates by endorsement, rather than just an alphabetical list. Who out there is using alphabetical order?
  • The current "WA Endorsements" Census ranking is not particularly helpful as a substitute to the above categories because it's measuring endorsements / per capita rather than a straight endorsement figure.

We've talked about doing this in the past, and nothing ever seems to come of it. So I would expect continued complaints about card-farming until someone acts on it.
Last edited by Unibot III on Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Comfed » Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:23 am

Haganham wrote:
RiderSyl wrote:I actually think this could potentially qualify as a moderation issue. Puppet Flooding is against the rules, right? The language of the rule says that the flooding must be for the purpose of annoying a specific region, but surely puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying everyone should be punishable as well, as it's arguably worse.

Chicken overlords isn't puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying anyone though, nore for spamming. They're doing it to be the biggest region.

They’re doing it in a way that constitutes spamming.
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Postby Apatosaurus » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:19 pm

Comfed wrote:
Haganham wrote:Chicken overlords isn't puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying anyone though, nore for spamming. They're doing it to be the biggest region.

They’re doing it in a way that constitutes spamming.

Except not to annoy people. Only because that's their way of playing the game.
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Agreed, this will 1) Reduce incentive for a Chicken overlords-type region without bringing punishment or similar onto the people involved and 2) Reduce some of the problems puppet dumps (yes, I mean generically not just Chicken overlords) cause like filling the census for largest regions.
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Postby Wayneactia » Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:10 pm

Comfed wrote:
Haganham wrote:Chicken overlords isn't puppet flooding for the purpose of annoying anyone though, nore for spamming. They're doing it to be the biggest region.

They’re doing it in a way that constitutes spamming.

How?
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Postby Les Claypool » Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:57 pm

Parhe wrote:
Les Claypool wrote:
Then every founderless region that cares or some defenders will just over time, fill the region to the cap to prevent raids. There's ways around puppet flooding rules, most likely done over a length of time and avoiding spamming happenings and all that.

That is a possibility but one I doubt would actually happen. Even if it was done, I don't see an issue with the regions finding a way to opt out of R/D. Of course, then there is the larger issue of raiders doing this with a region, which would make it impossible to liberate, so point taken.

As for the rest, the suggestion was to counter problems with large regions effecting the technical side, not a large number of nations effecting the technical side.

Yeah, that possibility is why I mention it. While I do think for the most part this isn't likely to happen to such an extreme degree, I think it would be inevitable all the same at some point. Unlike wanting to inflate a region to be the largest, you'd probably find that capping a region's pop to prevent raiding or the reverse as you suggest would be a more likely thought to occur. Not taking any account to Frontier/Strongholds here nor ramifications on recruitment.
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Postby Haganham » Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:11 am

Les Claypool wrote:
Parhe wrote:Why not prevent colossal regions from simply existing by limiting the size of regions? The fact that no UCR, except for puppet holding regions, has ever exceeded five to seven thousand accounts (and even with those close, many were puppets) and is not near it now seems to indicate that no one else would be "hurt" by the large regions existing. Also, are three regions of four thousand accounts "better" for update than having one region of twelve thousand accounts?


Then every founderless region that cares or some defenders will just over time, fill the region to the cap to prevent raids. There's ways around puppet flooding rules, most likely done over a length of time and avoiding spamming happenings and all that.
[/quote]
That is impractical for defenders, even for raiders it would be impractical for all but the largest regions. The only time i can really see it being used it for high profile coups.
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Postby Les Claypool » Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:26 am

Haganham wrote:
Les Claypool wrote:
Then every founderless region that cares or some defenders will just over time, fill the region to the cap to prevent raids. There's ways around puppet flooding rules, most likely done over a length of time and avoiding spamming happenings and all that.

That is impractical for defenders, even for raiders it would be impractical for all but the largest regions. The only time i can really see it being used it for high profile coups.[/quote]
Just like the Guardian Network was impractical? It can be done. I mean, we're sitting here in a thread discussing a region that afaik seems to be at least one person inflating a region with thousands of puppets.
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Resident of The West Pacific
"I am the Anti-Pop, the one you got to stop"

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