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A bunch of N-Day suggestions in need of feedback

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.
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Reploid Productions
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A bunch of N-Day suggestions in need of feedback

Postby Reploid Productions » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:28 pm

Already posted these backstage for discussion, but figure it would also be useful to get feedback from the playerbase as well.

1) Production balancing:
Increase production rate for smaller factions in proportion to whatever the biggest faction is. For example nobody had a prayer of matching the minimum 2:1 production advantage the Crabs had over Potato, and probably the 10:1 or even 100:1 advantage the Crabs had over the vast majority of factions. One possible fix is to boost production for smaller factions. If the guy with ten puppets in a one-man faction can produce just as much as the guy with 100 puppets in a bigger faction, that reduces the advantage of stuffing a supersize faction full of thousands of puppets, as the gain in production is offset by the production boost their smaller potential rivals gets. Factions would need a minimum number of nations in order to receive the production boost, to deter puppet armies simply creating a boatload of 1-nation factions to try and max out production before relocating to the 'main' faction.
PROS:
  • Dis-incentivizes creation of supermassive puppet factions because that will just boost all of its enemies' production output and risks making a modest group of allied very small factions able to remain competitive as the more stacked the biggest faction is compared to them, the faster they can build stuff.
  • Adds a small incentive to use fewer puppets, since a small faction can still compete with a puppet-stuffed faction without having to invest the volume of time and tools into operating a puppet army.
CONS:
  • Mass puppeteers may make a megafaction anyway and use it to power up a smaller allied group's production. (Though with nations able to leave and join factions, shifting puppet forces around factions to maximize production output might become a more energizing way to add another strategic layer to it, while also giving an incentive to maintain targeting on enemies just to try and pin them down so they can't leave a faction.)
  • Doesn't really address the fact that mass puppeteers will just splinter their puppets across a slew of smaller aligned factions, effectively keeping production at a closer level and maintaining the current advantage.

2) The higher you are, the harder time you have hitting stuff- Launch malfunctions
Add a malfunction chance to launches. The higher up the scoreboard you are, the more likely your misfire chance; the lower you are on the scoreboard, the less likely your misfire chance. Sure, it doesn't really make a realistic logic sort of sense, but it provides a little bit of a 'rubberbanding' effect to enable potential comebacks. Being higher on the scoreboard should provide some benefit to balance out the malfunction chance (maybe a production boost?), to give factions a reason to want the top of the board throughout the event instead of simply waiting for the last few minutes of the event to act.
PROS:
  • Adds a strategic layer for timing of attacks. Nations have a reason to be up at the top, but may want to choose attack timing carefully to control when they get to the top and how long they stay there. Do you take the lead to take advantage of the incentive at the expense of making yourself a bigger target and reducing your effectiveness? Or do you decide the incentive's not worth it and try to lurk in the shadows until the last minute?
  • Adds the aforementioned rubberband difficulty by giving struggling factions a chance to make a comeback
CONS:
  • Again, doesn't really discourage the puppeteers from simply splitting their forces up across a ton of smaller factions.
  • Unless the incentive to be at the top of the board is really good, players will likely wait until the very end of the event to actually do anything.

3) Choose your nation's specialization at the start of the event
Allow nations to select their specialty. Some players may only keep jumping in with puppets to try and get desired specialties; if they can just choose at the start they don't need to keep entering puppets in hopes of getting the one they want.
PROS:
  • Adds strategic decision, enabling creation of offense-focused factions or defensive/anti-radiation/pacifist factions that might stack on Military Specialist or Strategic Specialists respectively
CONS:
  • Might actually encourage even MORE puppeting.

4) New specialist/tool for radiation cleanup- Environmental Specialist and Rad-B-Gon
Add a new specialist/action that can clean up radiation. For non-specialists, the Rad-B-Gone takes 2 production/cleans up 2 radiation while the Specialist can produce it for 1.5 or whatever the number is for Mil/Strat already and cleans up 3 radiation.
PROS:
  • Gives an option for players to try and stay in the game longer.
  • Gives players a means to recover productivity lost to radiation.
CONS:
  • Does nothing to address mass puppeteering, may actually encourage it further.
  • If "radiation cleaned" becomes factored into final score, could encourage puppet use for puppet factions to farm cleanup points.

5) New specialist/tool for greater inter-faction strategy and alternate tactic to prevent enemies from gaining score- Tactical Specialist and Interceptors
Add a new specialist/action that is really good at intercepting missiles aimed at other factions. Interceptors are basically identical to shields, except they are really cheap to produce (1 production, same as a nuke) but they can ONLY be used on launches aimed at nations in other factions than your own. Tactical specialists can produce these insanely quickly (maybe 1 production for 2-3 Interceptors). To go with this, shields can only be used on missiles aimed at nations in your own faction.
PROS:
  • Adds a huge new tactical layer and alternate strategy of being able to focus on targeting and disabling enemy nukes to prevent them from scoring any strikes.
  • Makes mutual defense agreements between factions more meaningful if they can actively protect one another without sacrificing their own defensive shield wall.
CONS:
  • Does nothing to address mass puppeteering, may actually encourage it further.

I feel like 1 and 2 together might offer enough of an adjustment to the game's balance to make the effort of massive puppet armies less appealing without having to rely on clunky faction caps or unenforceable/impractical puppet limitations . Right now, there is a huge advantage to piling a bajillion puppets into a supermassive faction in terms of raw production power and offensive capability; undercut that production advantage and include a more robust potential comeback mechanic, and I think fewer people would want to go to the effort it takes to manage a large scale puppet army because it doesn't deliver the same ridiculous payoff it does right now.

I'm on the fence with #3, though coupled with #4 and #5 could readily provide alternate "winning" conditions or tactics for factions. For example, if we add the Environmental Specialists, maybe change the scoring formula to something like "Total strikes - (radiation - radiation cleaned up) = score" from the current "Total strikes - radiation = score", you might see pacifistic factions placing on the board not because they're throwing an absurd volume of missiles around, but because they're trying to save the world from the nuclear fallout. Or groups prioritizing large-scale missile interdiction to keep rivals from scoring strikes in the first place.

These are all very much rough concepts, so feedback would most definitely help out. Especially on the "unforeseen consequences" side of it, as I tried to think of those but I was also quite intoxicated when I originally wrote these down, so I wasn't braining too good at the time. :P
Last edited by Reploid Productions on Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Great Algerstonia » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:46 pm

#5 I do not like at all. Inter-faction alliances make N-Day a whole lot worse and makes the whole thing boring, especially when all the superfactions create NAPs with each other. Further encouraging inter-faction shieldspam is not the way to go for N-Day. Add the fact that once the #1 faction solidifies it's position they can just massintercept other nukes and prevent anyone from gaining points will completely break N-Day and players massshielding other factions to prevent them from gaining points has been a big complaint this N-Day. Frankly, in the interest of competitiveness I say only being allowed to shield your own faction is way, way better.

If #5 is implemented-- there needs to be an extreme limit on factionswitching, as players will just factionswitch, fire intercepters to defend their own faction, rinse and repeat. Not a time limit, a very low amount limit.

#4 is better and more balanced than #5 is and won't break things the same way intercepters are. However I think the Rad-B-Gone should be available only to Environmental Specialists and the Rad-B-Gone should only be available for use in your own faction.

#3 seems like a good idea to me.

#1 and #2 I don't have much of an opinion on as of yet, will think about those two.
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:51 pm

Reppy, would it be possible to prohibit duplicate factions? Just asking as having multiple copies of the same faction just to ensure their name is all over the scoreboard doesn't sit right with me.
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Postby Fractalnavel » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:01 pm

Someone brought up the idea of "leagues" for certain faction size ranges. Seems like an idea worth exploring. Even if you get scaled down versions of alliances within each league, they would be more approachable within their own scale. Maybe?

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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:07 pm

I like the idea of production balancing. I think one way to discourage attempts to use puppets to bypass that by mandating a time limit one has to wait before they can transfer a puppet from one faction to another. Ie. they have to move the puppet out of the old faction first, wait a few hours, then join their new faction.
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Postby The Chariot » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:15 pm

1. No. Encourages more annoying gameplay and, at the end of the day, wouldn't even do much. Your cons pretty much sum it up; megafactions could easily splinter into a million different small factions, build up some massive stockpile, then coalesce at the very end and wipe the floor.
2. Somewhat interesting, but adds a BS RNG factor to the game. Something similar to this (IE the more nukes your faction has at once the less your faction produces) could accomplish something similar while making logistical sense, though.
3. No. One person getting 100 more nukes in some small faction may be a bit more fun, but for us puppetmasters this allows you to streamline every step of the process by a not insignificant amount (you’d only have to manage on type of puppet rather than 3 or 4), while providing a flat production boost. If this was a feature I'd make 2 thousand puppets, put them all as econs, and enjoy having more production power by myself than any megafaction ever except this year's CotA. Might be interesting if you could introduce some element of choice in intels vs normals, creating a speed vs power dynamic in nukes and shields, or something along the lines. By Altmoras’s suggestion, if you wanted to implement this you might make it WA only as a quality of life change for smaller factions, but definitely not for every nation.
4. Sounds super fun, though the technical balancing side might be more difficult. Would absolutely love if this was cheaper than nukes - though that might go against the theme - making it easier to stay alive than to kill. Make it less efficient score-wise to clean than to nuke. Might want to make nations permanently killable: for example, at 100 rad a nation rewards no further points, produces nothing, but can still be cleansed, whereas at 200 it cannot be helped.
5. No. Makes megafactions comically powerful, doesn't help the average player.

Just spitballing my own idea here, but it'd be interesting if you could create some "global radiation" factor which affected large factions more than small. When the global radiation gets too high, everybody loses, but you're incentivised to nuke for score and incentivised significantly less to clean for score. This would create some very interesting restraint dynamics which I'm sure the complexity of is evident.
Last edited by The Chariot on Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby The Python » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:29 pm

Option #1 I also really like, though I'm worried that big factions would try what certain legged seashells did this N-Day in making many smaller puppet factions, as in this case it would actually have a significant advantage besides just spamming the leaderboard. One possible solution would be making it impossible, or harder (for example, more shields would have to be spent?) to block nukes aimed at a faction that the person blocking is not in.

Option #2 is a good idea, though I don't have strong feelings on it.

Option #3, like #2, I'm mostly ambivalent on. I won't really care either way about it.

I'm in love with option #4. Just, it's a great idea, and would be very fun.

Option #5, definitely not. If anything, blocking nukes aimed at other faction should be made harder (as I said about Option #1), because right now a megafaction can just block nukes from an enemy faction and make it harder for them to score, as well as that it gives an advantage to spamming puppet factions.
Last edited by The Python on Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Haganham » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:31 pm

Sure, it doesn't really make a realistic logic sort of sense
something something midair collisions. Anyway

Anyway i agree with your analysis of the pros and cons. I'd prefer to see 1 over 2, as 2 would leave a lot of those unsatisfying scenarios were someone is at at 93% rads and it's just not worth the time to finish him.

I've been asking for 3 for... ever since the april fools event.

As for 4, love it. I don't think it will promote puppetry that much. What I do think it will do is prevent factions from being permanently wiped out before people get to play, which is never fun.

5. I see this being exploited by megafactions more then used the way you describe


One thing I think that's driving megafactions. There's no real reason to want to create a faction rather then join one. If regions got something for founding a faction that placed on the leaderboard that might give those regions that could make a competitive faction an incentive to try. Even if that something was a shiny SC type badge

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Postby Drew Durrnil » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:34 pm

My thread on N-day reforms, mostly about the addition of a faction size cap: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=510351
Also my opinion on Reppy's reforms:
1) This would be a good idea at first thought, but CotA has already shown that they are capable of making hundreds of 10-or-so nation factions (they already created 10 1000+ nation factions in this N-day). This production advantage multiplied by a hundred would make a faction like CotA even more powerful. I strongly oppose this.
2) Opposed, because it doesn't make sense.
3) Opposed, this would give larger factions with more puppets an even greater advantage.
4) This is good idea and I support this, but I think the ratio should be 1/1 for non-specialists and 3/2 for specialists where the former number is the amount of radiation removed and the latter number is the amount of production consumed. Also, "Radiation Cleanup" or just "Cleanup" would be a better name IMO than "Rad-B-Gone".
5) Opposed, as I outlined in my own thread, you shouldn't be allowed to intercept nukes aimed at nations outside of your faction.
Last edited by Drew Durrnil on Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Great Algerstonia » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:48 pm

The Chariot wrote:1. No. Encourages more annoying gameplay and, at the end of the day, wouldn't even do much. Your cons pretty much sum it up; megafactions could easily splinter into a million different small factions, build up some massive stockpile, then coalesce at the very end and wipe the floor.
2. Somewhat interesting, but adds a BS RNG factor to the game. Something similar to this (IE the more nukes your faction has at once the less your faction produces) could accomplish something similar while making logistical sense, though.
3. No. One person getting 100 more nukes in some small faction may be a bit more fun, but for us puppetmasters this allows you to streamline every step of the process by a not insignificant amount (you’d only have to manage on type of puppet rather than 3 or 4), while providing a flat production boost. If this was a feature I'd make 2 thousand puppets, put them all as econs, and enjoy having more production power by myself than any megafaction ever except this year's CotA. Might be interesting if you could introduce some element of choice in intels vs normals, creating a speed vs power dynamic in nukes and shields, or something along the lines.
4. Sounds super fun, though the technical balancing side might be more difficult. Would absolutely love if this was cheaper than nukes - though that might go against the theme - making it easier to stay alive than to kill. Make it less efficient score-wise to clean than to nuke.
5. No. Makes megafactions comically powerful, doesn't help the average player.

Just spitballing my own idea here, but it'd be interesting if you could create some "global radiation" factor which affected large factions more than small. When the global radiation gets too high, everybody loses, but you're incentivised to nuke for score and incentivised significantly less to clean for score. This would create some very interesting restraint dynamics which I'm sure the complexity of is evident.

You make a good point on 3. You've changed my view on that one.
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Postby The Seeker of Power » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:10 pm

Two ideas to deter puppets:

- Just WA nations can play.
- Factions capacity capped at 500/1000 nations.

Then again, why tho? I've never seen any attempt to deter puppets in Zombie day. And why now? Cuz Crabs?


Edit: disclaimer, I hate this mini game and hence I never participate. If I had I'd have probably gone antitribu and joined Potatoes cuz I hate the name crabs. I'm just being curious mostly.
Last edited by The Seeker of Power on Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Python » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:14 pm

Drew Durrnil wrote:My thread on N-day reforms, mostly about the addition of a faction size cap: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=510351
Also my opinion on Reppy's reforms:
1) This would be a good idea at first thought, but CotA has already shown that they are capable of making hundreds of 10-or-so nation factions (they already created 10 1000+ nation factions in this N-day). This production advantage multiplied by a hundred would make a faction like CotA even more powerful. I strongly oppose this.

Hmm, I think you changed my mind on that, and I'm not as supportive now :p

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Postby Durm » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:45 am

Just remove the captchas.
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Postby New Waldensia » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:24 am

Something definitely needs changing if N-Day ever gets brought back, because this iteration pretty much ruined the mini-game.

Just spitballing here in addition to previously posted ideas...

• stockpile caps
• nukes having an expiration date
• WA nations having more hit points and higher/faster production
• randomized launch malfunctions, perhaps inflicting radiation on the launcher
• randomized intercept misses when shielding a different faction than your own
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Postby Wormfodder Delivery » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:35 am

Personally I still would want to propose something like leagues or tiers seperating the factions, so that megafactions can duke it out with other megafactions.
Have attacking down be really nerfed, so that they are more incentivised to attack each other.
Maybe it even can unravel later, but at least so that the megafactions have to earn their victory.
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Postby Minoa » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:51 am

I think you should seriously consider this idea, as the flooding of puppet factions in the scoreboard was a substantial factor in why N-Day6 was so heavily criticised:

In respect of the issues outside the superfactions, I wish to also share an idea of manually applied penalties against puppet factions that spam the scoreboard to an extent which a series of factions claiming to be puppets of the Crabs of the Apocalypse are doing right now (I imagine a lot of people easily believe that the puppets were actually part of the main Crabs of the Apocalypse superfaction).

The penalty could entail tagging them as disqualified, thus excluding them from the leaderboard but not kicking them from the minigame entirely. Since this is a serious measure, a lot of details would have to be worked out before implementation, such as a potential code of conduct for experiments like Second Best Test.

In short, we urgently need to review the rules for the Nuclear Apocalypse, rather than just the technical measures, to prevent the spamming of puppet factions.
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Postby Sailiopia » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:56 am

1. Needs to be implemented carefully (to prevent the creation of multiple secondary factions to help the main one), but otherwise it works well. Could be combined with something that limits faction-hopping, for example. Other than that, it levels out the playing field and prevents smaller factions being annihilated or a one-faction domination like this year.
2. Another cool idea - it is a bit artificial, but the same goes for the rest of the N-day minigame. It might make tactical salvos of nukes more difficult to pull off, adding a layer of strategy, I don't think that it would compress all the action into the end of the event, there will still be an incentive to get momentum going early.
3. Indifferent - adds another strategic layer but I don't see loads of benefit to it, nor many drawbacks.
4. It might be really useful for smaller factions - it would also add a strategic choice on whether to save precious production (which is slowed down by radiation) for shields or for clearing radiation, and for me it would have taken away a very anti-climatic ending to the day when I realised that all my nations would be destroyed in the last volley of nukes, due to a lack of shields. However it might be interesting to see how it would have affected others. Only issue is that it could prolong the dominance of large factions, who could not only shield but clear up after themselves. So I'm overall indifferent.
5. No. Partway through this year's event I tried firing a few nukes at some small, neutral factions to get some points on the board. But they were shot down with spare shields from CotA. So this would exacerbate current problems, as major factions could just prevent any small factions from getting points, meaning that they could get an even higher score than before.

Overall, I'd say I'm onboard with 1 and 2, if they are implemented well, with possibly 4. Very good ideas that could actually work, and I'm very pleased to hear that both players and mods are listening to each other and working constructively on this one.
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:11 am

Minoa wrote:In short, we urgently need to review the rules for the Nuclear Apocalypse, rather than just the technical measures, to prevent the spamming of puppet factions.

Rules don't prevent anything. Rules give mods the opportunity to give warnings to offenders, and perhaps delete things. At present, I don't think we even have a "delete faction" tool, so new rules wouldn't make a difference unless accompanying tech changes were made.

In short, I'm always in favor of tech restrictions over rules restrictions. Nobody needs to catch someone in the act of violating a hard-coded restriction - the game does that automatically. With rules violations, someone is always going to slip through the net, and the victim will blame the mods for the omission. Not a fan of that.

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Postby Haganham » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:51 am

Frisbeeteria wrote: At present, I don't think we even have a "delete faction" tool,

no one's made a "big pp" faction?

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Postby North Saitama » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:14 pm

I like the idea of being tiered, as that can check against megafactions like the crabcakes just wiping everyone out early to run up the score. IRL sports already do such a thing, anyway.

My idea is more like the Premier League system of promotion and relegation, maybe checking on an hourly basis based on a size and score formula.
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Postby CoraSpia » Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:58 am

I'm happy with everything besides 2, as it disadvantages one sort of player more than any other (namely players with modest numbers of puppets who run them all manually.) I have a hard enough time keeping up with everything that's going on without having to take into account another needless variable, and I feel this would seriously impact the amount of help I can provide to whatever faction I'm in.
With the exception of this n-day (I was in a 10-hour zoom call for the start and was shattered after that) I try to provide constant help to my faction. It's already draining enough and I'd rather that didn't happen again. Honestly the only reason that this years n-day was so fucky was that 3 of the major factions unfortunately opted to sit out this year and 2 others merged. Just a mixture of burnout and what I'd consider some pretty poor sportsmanship from crabs.
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Postby Archinstinct » Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:58 am

Suggestions not included in my N-day 6 review.

-Make shields for self-defense only.
-slow production down so less nukes/shields can be made
-Consider Giving WA nations an advantage in production over non-WA nations
-extend the event by 24 hours, so its twice as long as N-Day 6 was.
-Retain the ability of a nation to leave and switch factions at will.

Beyond this, I think a rule should be made where a faction cannot spam its name all over the leaderboard.
I'm also for the idea of limiting the size of a faction still, however it's decided doesnt matter to me as much as the idea itself.
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Founded: Aug 17, 2021
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Haganham » Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:47 pm

A few people have suggested giving WA nations higher production or limiting play to WA nations entirely. What if, in addition to their normal production, WA nations produced an extra 9x production, which is distributed among the faction? This would be less of a hard cap on puppetry, but would mean that factions that are large because they've organized large numbers of players will be competitive against those that are large because many of their players are bringing loads of puppets. It has the additional benefit that even those players who can't participate directly can still boost their factions production by planting their WA there.

As for why 9x? it's to roughly match the ratio of wa members to non member nations, minus 1 for the nations own normal production.
Last edited by Haganham on Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Indo-Malaysia
Minister
 
Posts: 2580
Founded: Nov 07, 2014
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Indo-Malaysia » Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:20 pm

I would like to strongly suggest restricting the minigame to WA nations only. At this point, the game is essentially decided by whoever owns the most alternative accounts, and it just isn't really fun anymore.

By restricting the pool to merely single WA's at a time, this will shake things up and make the game feel more fair in spirit.
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Fhaengshia
Secretary
 
Posts: 40
Founded: Apr 30, 2020
Anarchy

Postby Fhaengshia » Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:13 pm

I like option 2 (launch malfunctions at a higher rate for higher scorers) and option 4 (specialist/tool for radiation cleanup) the most.

An idea I've had is for any faction that launches before being targeted first to be put in a category along the lines of "pre-emptive strikers". Something that communicates to the whole of NS that these factions are malicious actors. With the introduction of the intel specialist, surprise attacks can happen a lot faster, I feel a diplomatic punishment to factions who are firing first could be appropriate (if not too difficult for coding).
I guess a potential downside of the "pre-emptive striker" category is it might become too much of an open target for the largest factions.
I also just realised this doesn't take rogue nations into account.

One thing I found interesting while spectating around the middle of the event was the "war" between All Nations Against Liberals and J o J's puppets. This was basically J o J launching nukes from the safety of one of the megafactions while Cerdenia (and others I think) shielded the handful of nations via nations in another megafaction. With some people advocating for shields to only be used within the faction or even for that nation specifically, this would no longer be possible, but it would also prevent a dominant megafaction from preventing smaller factions getting hits at all (which I noticed a fair bit of). The cleanup mechanic (option 4) allows for this alternative method of gathering score which might be popular for the smaller factions.

Maybe the production balancing (option 1) / launch malfunctions (option 2) could be based on stockpiled nukes+unspent production?

Also I think maybe changing faction could be a bit overpowered with some of the above ideas as shown by some of the arguments above, could there be a timeout for changing?
Last edited by Fhaengshia on Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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