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Updating nations (ATTN Defenders/invaders!)

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Klaus Devestatorie
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Postby Klaus Devestatorie » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:43 pm

I'm testing before I'm reporting. Setting the tests up, however, will be tricky :P
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Ballotonia
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Postby Ballotonia » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:32 am

[violet] wrote:
Ballotonia wrote:So... what if defenders were to decide that, say, starting tomorrow, they're really not gonna bother anymore and sit back and relax. Would you then decide to give them more advantages in the game to make up for that? Would be consistent, given your approach towards invaders...

Well, yes. If defenders all vanished tomorrow, and invaders roamed the world as they please, I would think we should balance that.


Not the response I was expecting. It means there's utterly no point in defending: it's self-defeating, and Admin would do the job anyway if defenders wouldn't be doing it.

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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:16 am

I've had this debate before, with Naivetry I think. Nai argued that defenders exist to protect the game, not play the game, and require the moral imperative that they are effectively doing admin's work. But... well, it's not true. The invasion game doesn't exist because admin is incapable of stamping it out. There is supposed to be an invasion game.

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Bears Armed
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Postby Bears Armed » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:22 am

[violet] wrote:There is supposed to be an invasion game.

Speaking as somebody who's never felt any interest at all in becoming involved in raiding, and who has only defended (for ideological reasons) once, why?!? From what I've read in the forums before this, it certainly wasn't part of Max's original plan for NS...
To me, that statement seems like (the hypothetical situation of) a person who manages a beach saying "There are supposed to be kids who kick other kids' sandcastles over"...
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Just Guy
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Postby Just Guy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:22 am

You did not address the point at all Violet. You have said that you will balance out the game, even if one of the sides stopped doing its work or absolutely sucked at it. Why should I defend then?

You are opposing a change which you claim will benefit defenders (and I don't see how) as gameplay is already tilted towards the defenders. However, the game itself does not give us any advantage over the invaders (if anything it is actually the other way around).
Last edited by Just Guy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Evil Wolf
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Postby Evil Wolf » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:51 am

Bears Armed wrote:
[violet] wrote:There is supposed to be an invasion game.

Speaking as somebody who's never felt any interest at all in becoming involved in raiding, and who has only defended (for ideological reasons) once, why?!? From what I've read in the forums before this, it certainly wasn't part of Max's original plan for NS...
To me, that statement seems like (the hypothetical situation of) a person who manages a beach saying "There are supposed to be kids who kick other kids' sandcastles over"...


How is this surprising? Its a game, after all, and without conflict a game is boring. Sure invading might not have been included in the original concept of the game, but just because it wasn't planned doesn't mean there is no place for it. I like how the early crashers like the Farkers, Puddhists and Atlantic Alliance took a very simple game and figured out how to making it more interesting by their own creativity and innovation. This sort of game behavior should be encouraged to grow and flourish, not be stomped out because it wasn't in the original plan.

Just Guy wrote:You did not address the point at all Violet. You have said that you will balance out the game, even if one of the sides stopped doing its work or absolutely sucked at it. Why should I defend then?


Because you enjoy it and its fun? I don't know, I'm not a defender.

All the same, Crashers came before defenders. If there was no invaders there would be no defenders, that's an obvious fact that isn't up for dispute. However, raiders can stand alone and operate without the annoying presence of defenders. With that being said, Crashers step on a lot of toes. Even if every defender was suddenly wiped out tomorrow (there was a horrible accident involving a bus that just happened to contain every Defender ever...or something), sure, Crashers might go nuts, but then you'd quickly see a renewed Defender effort stemming from all our victims. That's how defending started out, after all. A group of players getting annoyed at being invaded over and over again so they decided to fight back.

My point being the game conditions will eventually even themselves out in the end. Invisible hand, if you will. I'd also have to agree with my raider peer from The Black Hawks and say that, although I think defenders are currently over powered, the exists enough room for innovation in the game for us to find ways to counter them. Things will find a balance in the end, just so long as you're not messing with the basic game formula >_>
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Postby Crushing Our Enemies » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:57 am

[violet] wrote:I've had this debate before, with Naivetry I think. Nai argued that defenders exist to protect the game, not play the game, and require the moral imperative that they are effectively doing admin's work. But... well, it's not true. The invasion game doesn't exist because admin is incapable of stamping it out. There is supposed to be an invasion game.


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Postby Crazy girl » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:18 am

Evil Wolf wrote: Things will find a balance in the end, just so long as you're not messing with the basic game formula >_>


Can I point out once again that this wouldn't be a change, but reversing a change? :P
And yeah, if you want to make it easier, [v]. this would do that.

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Bhagavan
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Postby Bhagavan » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:37 pm

Just Guy wrote:You did not address the point at all Violet. You have said that you will balance out the game, even if one of the sides stopped doing its work or absolutely sucked at it. Why should I defend then?

You are opposing a change which you claim will benefit defenders (and I don't see how) as gameplay is already tilted towards the defenders. However, the game itself does not give us any advantage over the invaders (if anything it is actually the other way around).


The current state of affairs does not need changing. Many of us defenders have and are advocating that things be kept as they are.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Just Guy wrote:You did not address the point at all Violet. You have said that you will balance out the game, even if one of the sides stopped doing its work or absolutely sucked at it. Why should I defend then?

Defenders have always known that the invasion game (excluding the region-destruction side of it) is admin sanctioned - otherwise it wouldn't have been allowed. Why defend? Because you don't need admin support to believe that what you're doing is morally correct - helping to keep regions free to run their own affairs. Additionally, most defenders also enjoy defending - it's not just done as a service to help founderless regions - people defend because it's fun.

If you did stop defending to see if you could get a technical change made to the game to improve things for defenders, you'd likely find what EW calls the 'invisible hand' rapidly correcting the balance. In fact, this works better for defenders than invaders - if invaders were successfully taking over regions across NS for a sustained period of time, the outrage this would cause in the invaded regions (and their allies) would quickly see an increase in those willing to defend to put a stop to it. On the other hand, a lack of invasions doesn't necessarily lead to players invading regions to stave off boredom.

Anyhow, the main point was that it doesn't really matter what the admins think of invading - defenders defend because they think they should, not because someone else does.

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Krevantas
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Postby Krevantas » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:22 pm

4 pages of nothing but bickering.

May I?

First of all, this idea, even though rejected by the mods, does nothing but benefit the Defenders. And strongly. What is the point of riding out updates as a raider when the Defenders have already added your nation to their Dossier after you hit the first target? All they have to do then is just follow right behind you. Yeah, it makes it easier on the Defenders and harder on the Raiders. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the Defenders being thrown a bone every now and then, but I think that we're perfectly even at the moment. I'd like it to stay that way.

For one, the variance does play a major part in failure or success. As some have pointed out, Defenders can't watch things all day long. We all know this. The dedicated Defender will, but for how long before they burn out? They watch at key times, hoping to catch any possible raider. They probably add a lot of nations to their Dossiers that wind up being nothing more than a nation that CTE's in 28 days. Raiders have the benefit of choosing the target, but, and this is key: even if we watch a target for a week or two and log the UDT's every day, it's still hit or miss. You can average them out, you can try to pick the nation in a region that updates first out of all the other nations in that region, but it still comes down to chance. Did you pick the right nations to watch? Are you a couple of minutes ahead of the UDT or behind it when it occurs? You never really know until you move in and either breathe a sigh of relief, or utter a few choice curses.

Without Raiders, there would be no need for Defenders. Defenders need Raiders to justify the fact that they destroy just as many regions through their actions as Raiders do.

There are spies in the corners; the walls do have eyes and ears. For both sides.

You say the Raiders have it easy, but we spend weeks, some times, picking a target. First we have to make our puppets, set them up to (hopefully) get past Defender detection, move them through a couple regions to make them look like they're checking stuff out, gather UDT's from nations within both the target region and the region that we're in right before the target, to make sure that it doesn't update before, and then pray that that one defender that makes a difference doesn't show up. You can blame it on inexperienced raiders losing due to variance, but I have seen the most experienced raiders in the field balked by it. You just can not predict it consistently.

Raiders think Defenders have it easy. All they have to do is watch and wait. They have to add a lot of nations to their Dossiers, watch each and every single one of them, hoping that they're not watching them in vain and then to alert their fellow Defenders to move in right before an update occurs and there's a good possibility that they'll fail if not enough people are online, same as Raiders. Defenders can use the same puppet over and over, albeit not for the same UDT, because they don't need to worry about it. They have the element of surprise when it comes to raiders not knowing if they've been sighted or not. They have to combat the fact that Raiders do use puppets, which means they can't just focus on the same nation that hit up a target the week before, unless the raider is a bloody idiot. They have the same problem with variance. If raiders happen to move in just perfectly, which I have seen, rarely, they could be right behind the raiders by half a second and just barely miss the UDT while the Raiders slip through.

In the end, Raiders have just as much of a chance to successfully claim a region for good as Defenders have to reclaim it. Defenders can't be everywhere and Raiders do slip through the cracks of their system, about as often as they don't.

Instead of sitting here arguing about who has it worse or better, or trying to come up with something that will only give a massive headache to everyone, why don't you all go do something better and actually meet on the battlefield. Respect the fact that both sides are equally annoyed with each other for the same amount of good reasons and that both sides have the same amount of reasons why they have an advantage.

We have balance right now. Don't screw that up.
Last edited by Krevantas on Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Wopruthien » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:47 pm

The funny thing is Krevantas we have been meeting on the battlefield while arguing about this ;)

I agree with what your saying mostly, but I actually enjoy variance it adds unpredictability too defending. You also forgot to mention we have to deal with variance in liberations, which requires really good timing due to slipping past the active raider delegate who is watching and expecting us.
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Krevantas
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Postby Krevantas » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:53 pm

Call me Henry.

I mentioned that you guys deal with Variance, too.

They have the same problem with variance. If raiders happen to move in just perfectly, which I have seen, rarely, they could be right behind the raiders by half a second and just barely miss the UDT while the Raiders slip through.


But yes, I did leave out the fact that when you're reclaiming a region already taken that you, in essence, become the raiders to liberate it and deal with the same headache from the raider standpoint. Though, you guys do usually wait a good amount of time before trying to do so, hoping to catch them off guard. Well, the smart ones among you, do.

Personally, I like things the way they are. I can deal with variance. It's aggravating some times, but as you said, it does make it interesting.

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Postby Ballotonia » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:31 pm

Sedgistan wrote:Defenders have always known that the invasion game (excluding the region-destruction side of it) is admin sanctioned - otherwise it wouldn't have been allowed. Why defend? Because you don't need admin support to believe that what you're doing is morally correct - helping to keep regions free to run their own affairs. Additionally, most defenders also enjoy defending - it's not just done as a service to help founderless regions - people defend because it's fun.


Region-destruction became legal with Influence.

But I think you're missing the point, Sedge. It's not that Admin OKs invading, we already knew that since 2003. It's that now (and this IS new) Admin has told us that any advantage one side manages to obtain (by spending lots of time and effort, mind you) will be undone by Admin by providing various perks to the other side. Compare it to playing chess with a tournament official standing on the side who will occasionally add new pieces to the board if it seems one side may be getting an advantage. It makes playing chess utterly pointless.

(and, yes, the comparison to chess holds since unlike the overall NS game the invasion/defense subgame DOES have winners and losers)

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Postby Sedgistan » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:04 pm

Ballotonia wrote:Region-destruction became legal with Influence.

If you wish, I can link to you quotes by [violet] and pythagosaurus on this matter - stating their general dislike of region destruction. However, I'd rather do that via telegram, instead of de-railing this thread (any further).

Ballotonia wrote:Compare it to playing chess with a tournament official standing on the side who will occasionally add new pieces to the board if it seems one side may be getting an advantage. It makes playing chess utterly pointless.

(and, yes, the comparison to chess holds since unlike the overall NS game the invasion/defense subgame DOES have winners and losers)

Ballotonia

I'm not sure the comparison does hold true, as chess has the potential for an ultimate 'game-over' victory, whilst the invader/defender conflict doesn't. It's a never-ending struggle - defenders have never expected that some day they'd win one final victory, pack their bags, and retire from it all, safe in the knowledge that no more regions could be invaded.

Ballotonia wrote:But I think you're missing the point, Sedge. It's not that Admin OKs invading, we already knew that since 2003. It's that now (and this IS new) Admin has told us that any advantage one side manages to obtain (by spending lots of time and effort, mind you) will be undone by Admin by providing various perks to the other side.


You've got it wrong. It's also not as if every small increase in effort by defenders leads to invaders getting a technical change to benefit them. In fact, despite defenders having outnumbered invaders for a good couple of years now (with their lead still increasing), and such tools as twice-daily updates, the reports page & Liberation resolutions to help, the only technical change that has been implemented that could be said to favour invaders is the inclusion of eject/ban buttons on nations for delegates to use.

I think you need to look more closely at what [violet] said:
[violet] wrote:Well, yes. If defenders all vanished tomorrow, and invaders roamed the world as they please, I would think we should balance that. I wouldn't run out and start coding, because, as you know, we tend to go years between major gameplay changes. But over the long run, I am focused on the practice of the invasion game; i.e. how often it actually happens and how often it's defeated. I'm not an invader or defender; I'll never understand exactly how easy or difficult certain things are as well as you guys do. I only observe how frequently things are happening. And my mandate is to ensure there is a reasonably active invasion game.

She isn't saying that a minor increase in success by one side is going to lead to an instant change for the other side to balance things out. The post suggests that any changes made to balance the invasion/defending game would only be done in extreme circumstances, and only after it's been clearly demonstrated that the inbalance between the sides was a long-term problem.

Given that, I don't see how effort put into defending is wasted. Were I still a defender, [violet]'s words would not discourage me from continuing to put time and effort into defending.

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Postby [violet] » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:28 pm

B, you're doing that thing where you ask about an extreme hypothetical situation, then act as if we were discussing regular gameplay. What I said was if we had a long-term downward trend on one side, in the context of passing years, I would look at balancing that. Anybody downs tools tomorrow, I'm not helping.

Bears Armed wrote:
[violet] wrote:There is supposed to be an invasion game.

Speaking as somebody who's never felt any interest at all in becoming involved in raiding, and who has only defended (for ideological reasons) once, why?!?

A much-discussed topic, but the simple answer is: it's an inherent part of the game. Invasions are just endorsements + moving regions, two features the game has had since day one. They're a tactical application of the game's fundamental elements, not a different set of elements.

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Postby Ballotonia » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:15 am

[violet] wrote:B, you're doing that thing where you ask about an extreme hypothetical situation, then act as if we were discussing regular gameplay. What I said was if we had a long-term downward trend on one side, in the context of passing years, I would look at balancing that. Anybody downs tools tomorrow, I'm not helping.


... and you're doing that thing where you presume I'm part of the microwave generation looking for instant solutions. I think long-term. I was seriously posing as a possibility that defenders could simply stop defending, wait two years, and then have you step in to return 'balance' to the game. I've been here almost 8 years now. Waiting 2 is a drop in the bucket.

Seems there IS a way to defeat those invaders. It's called 'not playing'.

...and, FYI, I personally stopped being an active defender many many years ago already, ever since invaders were favored big time when it was made legal for them to empty out regions. (which is also a comment towards Sedge's claim that invaders have barely been favored by game changes)

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Postby Mousebumples » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:21 am

Ballotonia wrote:... and you're doing that thing where you presume I'm part of the microwave generation looking for instant solutions. I think long-term. I was seriously posing as a possibility that defenders could simply stop defending, wait two years, and then have you step in to return 'balance' to the game. I've been here almost 8 years now. Waiting 2 is a drop in the bucket.

Seems there IS a way to defeat those invaders. It's called 'not playing'.

(Note: not at all involved in the invader/defender game - with the exception of when my own region was raided a few years back.)

I think the point that [violet] - and perhaps others - are trying to make is that defenders are likely to "naturally occur" in response to Invaders. Even if you/your group decides to "stop defending" - even if, let's say, all current major defending groups stop defending, if raiders keep raiding, new defending groups are likely to form out of new players who join the game.

It seems logical to me to presume that so long as invaders keep raiding regions, defenders will still pop up to stop that sort of thing. But, again, having minimal experience in that area of the game ... I could be way off.
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Postby Crushing Our Enemies » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:05 pm

Ballotonia wrote:I was seriously posing as a possibility that defenders could simply stop defending, wait two years, and then have you step in to return 'balance' to the game. I've been here almost 8 years now. Waiting 2 is a drop in the bucket.

Seems there IS a way to defeat those invaders. It's called 'not playing'.


You are operating under the mistaken notion that defenders defend because they want to defeat raiders forever, when really, they defend for the same reason I raid: to have fun. Sure, they may feel as though they have morality on their side, and they are doing the right thing, but when you get right down to it, they are just playing a game to have fun, like the rest of us.

Furthermore, as several before me have stated, if current defenders stopped defending, that would do nothing to prevent new defending organizations from springing up to prevent raids. It's fun, and people want to get involved in it.

Ballotonia wrote:...and, FYI, I personally stopped being an active defender many many years ago already, ever since invaders were favored big time when it was made legal for them to empty out regions. (which is also a comment towards Sedge's claim that invaders have barely been favored by game changes)

Ballotonia


If you think influence is a game mechanic that favors raiders, you really do not understand how this works anymore. Most raiders don't want to empty out regions in the first place - who wants to sit around for months or years on end waiting to gather enough influence to eject every single nation? Not me, that's for sure, and most raiders are like me. All influence has done is make it harder to eject natives who pose a threat to the security of the invasion. Let's say the invader delegate has 4 endorsements, and the previous delegate has 3. We are in a dangerous situation, because only 2 defenders need to get through to topple us. In the pre-influence era, we could secure our position simply by ejecting that native. Now, the previous delegate usually has more influence than any other nation in the region, and invaders usually have comparatively little (excluding operations where the point nation has been in the region for an extended period of time). Influence has done nothing to help invaders, and, indeed, hurts us MUCH more than you realize.

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Postby Crazy girl » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:51 am

Yeah, except...you couldn't just kick a native. There was only the kickban option. So you had to remember to immediately unban the native.
Oooohh...the times invaders forgot that.
And of course, then the native could simply return before update. And be kicked. And return. Because you weren't allowed to ban a native.

Not to mention the passwords. If you wanted to password a region, you had to send the password to all natives immediately.
Many tried to get around that, or also failed to do that.

So yeah, influence made life easier for the invaders, because what you can do, is what you're allowed to do.
And you're allowed to ban natives now. You're allowed to set passwords now.

And don't tell me it's impossible, or I'll just say "Belgium" :p

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Postby Evil Wolf » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:59 am

Also made it easier for the natives to retake a region themselves, since we no longer have the ability (usually) to eject them, might I add. Sitting in a region for months upon months trying to gain enough influence to ban even the weakest of Vassals is boring work, might I add. I'd rather be sailing...and I have a rational fear of dying at sea.

By-the-by, those who destroy (innocent) regions are Griefers, always have been, always will be. Lets not confuse Crashers with Griefers, since by far a large majority of Crashers abstain from region destruction unless a defender region is involved.
Last edited by Evil Wolf on Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kryozerkia wrote:In the good old days raiding was illegal
Crazy Girl wrote:Invading was never illegal
[violet] wrote:There is supposed to be an invasion game.

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Ballotonia
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Postby Ballotonia » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:44 am

Sorry to drag this up again, but new relevant information has come up.

Violet concluded early on:
[violet] wrote:Hmm, thanks. I think it would be good to remove a little need for jumping through hoops, but I'm not sure defenders need any more advantages over invaders at this point.

Maybe something to implement alongside something with a counterbalancing benefit for invaders.


My counter-argument was that the whole invasion game has always been stacked in favor of invaders anyway, since they pick the target and defenders are left to try and respond. Whenever defenders win, it's because at that moment invaders simply suck at what they do. If invaders win, it means they didn't make any big mistakes.

But:
[violet] wrote:I'm persuaded by Evil Wolf's post about this change making life harder for invaders, and since I think the current state of gameplay is (somewhat) too weighted against them already, I don't plan to implement this.

If we came up with a pro-invader improvement that this could offset, though, I would look at it, because it otherwise seems to make sense.

I don't think Annex is a relevant pro-invader improvement, as it won't actually make invading any easier.


And now here's the new information, provided by invaders (Black Hawks) themselves (courtesy to Flag Thief for copying it in time):
[...] No records beaten, but again The Black Hawks swooped through Nationstates, claiming all in their path. A further 10 regions were taken. Timing was almost always accurate, rarely beyond 10 seconds, with the best timing of 2 seconds! This is the second time we have achieved such an accurate timing, claiming the region within only 2 seconds from arrival.[...]


And just to make this clear: there's no possibility of response by any human being if an invasion takes a whopping 2 seconds. That's my point. That's why the invasion/defense game is *NOT* weighted against invaders at all. Au contraire, it's heavily weighted in their favor. They have a guaranteed way of winning, they only have to bother doing things that way.

Ballotonia
Last edited by Ballotonia on Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Uranus Territory
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Posts: 18
Founded: Apr 14, 2006
Ex-Nation

Postby Uranus Territory » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:52 am

If they really have a "guaranteed way to win", that means the defenders have a "guaranteed way" to take the regions back.

I agree that the aggressor has an advantage, but it's not as overwhelming as you make it sound, and I'm sure even the Black Hawks fail quite often (don't know much about them beyond their reputations, but I know how easily a raid can go wrong).

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Ballotonia
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5318
Founded: Antiquity
New York Times Democracy

Postby Ballotonia » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:48 am

Uranus Territory wrote:If they really have a "guaranteed way to win", that means the defenders have a "guaranteed way" to take the regions back.


Your logic is deeply flawed: taking a region back isn't a target selection. There's one target for defenders: the region conquered by invaders. Invaders can select ANY region to conquer, and can hence select one with sleeping native(s). The difficulty level for invaders is akin taking candy from a sleeping baby.

Defenders do not know where invaders will strike and are left to respond. If there's time. The target defenders are facing is never owned by sleeping native(s). There are invaders in that region (that's the point), who (if they know what they're doing) are aware defenders are coming in to at least attempt to give the region back to the natives. So they should be prepared. They started the fight after all, and can postpone the invasion until the day/update which suits them personally.

Ballotonia
"Een volk dat voor tirannen zwicht zal meer dan lijf en goed verliezen, dan dooft het licht…" -- H.M. van Randwijk

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Evil Wolf
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1981
Founded: Apr 28, 2005
Father Knows Best State

Postby Evil Wolf » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:25 am

Hypothetically, if the defenders have the numbers and know the update to the second, they should never lose a liberation unless they are simply unskilled.

Now prove me wrong with an argument that can't also be used to debunk your own claim that Crashers should never lose any invasion ever.
Last edited by Evil Wolf on Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
It's ok! You can trust me! I've been Commended!

Kryozerkia wrote:In the good old days raiding was illegal
Crazy Girl wrote:Invading was never illegal
[violet] wrote:There is supposed to be an invasion game.

Mallorea and Riva should be a Game Moderator Game Administrator.

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