I've been on Chaos for a long time, and a lot of writers have been here for far longer than I have. I've also been off Chaos for a long time too, but that's besides the point.
Point is, I've seen a lot of borderline abusive behavior from one faction's writers showing little to no regard to the writers they are opposing. It's not super common, but it does happen from time to time. I know I was accidentally a part of something like that when I first showed up on Chaos. I didn't think about the Sith writers' perspective when I advocated for the Mandalorian faction of the time to launch an invasion against the Sith while they were already fatigued and deep into two other invasions. Accidental dick move on my part, because I was just thinking that it would be a fun story.
I've also seen chain invasions go on month after month after month with the same faction beating up on another faction even after the writers from the defending faction ask for a break. (The One Sith vs The Galactic Republic) And to a much lesser extent, some of what went on with The First Order when they first showed up.
And then there's the last...what? two months for the Mandalorian Empire vs three different factions? I don't really know what all's going on there. To an extent, I get it. I think Sith-allied Mandalorians are silly too, but I don't see a lot of decorum going on in regards to how writers are treating writers over these stories.
And it happens. Sometimes it's an accident of getting too focused on a roleplay idea, and other times it's because you really want to kick over a sandcastle. And on a PVP server, it's mostly allowed to play out. As it should be.
My concern is that I see the potential to encourage abusive behavior through this rule. And don't get me wrong, I trust the admins on this site to do a good job of being objective in their rulings. But it's also very easy for people (meaning writers, not admins) to get carried away.
Here I am, standing on the sidelines, deciding to flip through Chaos at work because I got tired of reading news and politics and what-not. And I see the multiple invasions going on. On a whim, I try to help out... but I work too much to really get deep into roleplay. I made it about half a week before I just... needed sleep more than posts. But I have been keeping half an eye on what's been going on.
I saw that the ME lost their invasions and that more invasions were declared. And I saw that the ME Admin asked for a short break so her writers could catch their breath. And I saw that the CIC decided to go ahead with an immediate invasion anyway. Little bit of a dick move. Maybe it's an accidental dick move (like what I did when I advocated for invading Dromund Kaas), or maybe they're just really sick of some OOC kark that's going on behind closed doors. I have no idea, and really I don't care. Not my fight. Invaders gonna Invade.
And now, to my mild amusement, I see that (as far as I can tell) the ME appear to largely be ignoring the thread, writing off the loss of that hex, and giving themselves some time to catch their breath before the next wave of invasions.
Which I get. When the stress gets too real, sometimes taking a break is worth taking a loss.
But seeing this rule change pop up at the same time concerns me. And it seems pretty obvious that the change in rules is a reaction to the ME deciding to (largely) ignore an invasion. I completely understand that staff sees it as an issue that needs to be addressed, but I'm concerned that the manner in which they chose to address it will leave the door open to further abuse.
If the issue is making it clear that stalling is equally discouraged from stampeding and will lead to a loss, then I get that.
If the issue is that a faction isn't pulling enough weight to get the thread to 100 posts... I'd advocate for addressing the 100 post minimum.
If the issue is that a faction isn't putting enough effort into defending the planet, and they deserve to lose the planet...well, we've seen enough judgments to know that that's already going to happen. Give the thread 2 weeks, and the invaders will win.
The only reason to call the thread early, would be to allow the invading faction to initiate a new invasion. Which isn't an issue if they're wanting to swing in a different direction, but becomes an issue of abusive behavior if they're wanting to immediately invade a different planet/hex from the same faction.
In the case of the ME vs CIC. In this specific case, the ME asked for a break (reasonable request) and were told no (also a reasonable reaction). In a bubble of isolation, no problem. Invasion goes on as scheduled, Mandalorians don't make a strong showing. You can assume it's out of spite to try and force the other side to spam out 100 posts in two weeks, or automatically lose the thread... Or you can assume that the writers are just tired/busy and are ignoring the thread because they would rather have two weeks of peace and quiet than whatever happens to be in that particular hex. Personally, between Occam's Razor and Hanlon's Razor, I'm inclined to believe the latter. If it were the former, then sure. The rule change makes sense as a way to punish the bad behavior. You don't want writers trying to game the system and auto-win a defensive invasion by just not posting. But if it's the latter? Then there really isn't a problem with what's happening, you just need to adjust (or choose to ignore) the 100 post requirement to accommodate what's happening in this specific instance.
But lets step away from that specific instance. Lets throw a hypothetical out there. Lets say it's The One Sith vs The Galactic Republic. Constant, un-ending chain invasions. For months at a time. The Galactic Republic writers are tired and exhausted from the stress and drama that goes along with every invasion. They ask for a break. They get told no. Next round of invasions, this happens again. They ask for a break, they get told no. On and on this goes until The Galactic Republic chooses to just ignore a thread and take a breather for a week or two. "The hex isn't worth the stress."
What should really happen next?
A long time ago, Chaos Admins decided that chain invasions don't constitute harassment, and I agree with that.
If you don't want to play the map game, don't be a major faction.
If you don't want to write with someone, then don't write with them.
If you'd rather lose a hex than write in a thread, then take the loss and move on with life.
However, at some point, you have to question whether or not someone is following the "show respect to everyone in the role-play" rule when they refuse to ease up.
And that, fundamentally, is my primary concern with the way this new rule is formatted.
If you call the invasion early, and allow a group of writers to continue initiating threads against another group of writers that have obviously chosen to avoid interacting in this instance, for whatever the reason, then it leaves the door open to abusive behavior from writers if they choose to disregard the well-being of their fellow Chaos writers and press their narrative regardless.
Again. "Show respect to everyone in the role-play."
Sometimes that just means giving them a week or two to catch their breath IRL.
But anyway, back to the specific issue of ME vs CIC.
- The ME are being pressured into posting at a pace that they don't feel comfortable with, and have chosen to ignore a thread.
- And because they aren't posting, the CIC feels pressured into posting at a pace that they don't feel comfortable with.
This new rule, as written, punishes the behavior of the ME and encourages the behavior of the CIC (chain attacking writers that have expressed a wish to take an IRL break).
If you get rid of the 100 post requirement (even just reducing it to 50 posts), you're resolving the core issue without punishing either course of action or encouraging either course of action. (avoiding a thread or forcing a thread)
And the behavior of the ME will be punished simply through the obvious implications that they'll be losing the Hex in question.
As the new rule reads, it seems like an attempt to prevent and discourage writers from trying to game the system and auto-win an invasion by just not posting and preventing it from reaching 100 posts within 2 weeks. Which I understand. I completely understand. But I don't think that's what's happening on Chaos. I think people are just tired and want a break. And if the new rule, as written, is allowed to stand, then I feel that it opens the door to allow writers to abuse fatigued writers (accidentally or otherwise) by initiating chain invasions against writers that are just trying to de-stress themselves.
So, in short. I would highly recommend getting rid of the "early judgement" aspect of this reworked rule and instead just reduce the minimum-post requirements for Invasions down to 50 posts.