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Invasion Rules Update: Stalling

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#1
Valiens Nantaris

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To address potential issues with factions deliberately not posting in invasions, the rules have been revised as such:

 

Under the base rules:

Stalling is also prohibited. Stalling is where a defending faction deliberately seeks to under perform in order to shift the lion share of the work on the invader. Invasions can be intense, but they are also ultimately a collaborative experience. Treat them as such.

 

Under the Victory Declaration Rules:

 

4. At any time, Faction Owners may request an Administrator to review an Invasion for the purpose of forcing an early concession due to inactivity from any offending or defending Factions. If the claim is found valid, the Administrator may initiate an early Judgement deliberation with the presiding Roleplay Judges. If this method of Victory Declaration is found unsubstantiated, it may be provided to the presiding Roleplay Judges’ for consideration in their Judgement upon the natural conclusion of the Invasion.

 

 

These rules will take effect in earnest with all new invasions. However, any current invasions may also be assessed with these requirements in mind if the preceding judges feel it appropriate.

 


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#2
Captain Larraq

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Valiens Nantaris

I have to ask. If this is an issue, why this resolution strategy?

Why not just remove the 100 post minimum requirement?


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#3
Valiens Nantaris

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Captain Larraq

This is another measure being considered, or a reduction at least.

 

There's a lot of things which can/will be tweaked with invasions.

 

Regardless of that, this will be a useful change.


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#4
Captain Larraq

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Valiens Nantaris

I can see that it would be helpful in some situations, but I can also see how it could be abusive in others. Which is why I'm curious about going this route. What led staff to deciding that this was the optimal way to resolve these issues, and why this over other options?


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#5
Valiens Nantaris

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Captain Larraq

We have a rule for stampeding, so it was only fair we have one for stalling.

 

Like with stampeding no accusation is automatically accepted - and if found to be false will hurt the accuser come judgement time.

 

That will prevent spurious accusations as it will backfire on them if used wrongly.


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#6
Captain Larraq

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Valiens Nantaris

That part makes sense, but why call the invasion in favor of one faction or the other early? In cases of stampeding, staff doesn't end the invasion early in favor of the faction that got stampeded. That's the part that seems odd to me.


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#7
Cotan Sar'andor

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In the case of one faction stampeding the other, the other might still be participating and engaging in a story.

 

In the case of stalling, one faction is just intentionally not posting/barely posting with the intent of wasting the time and energy of the writers on the other side, making them do all the work so that the requisite number of posts is met and it doesn't just get ruled a default win for the defending side. Or however it would work. Honestly, the only case of default wins I really know is because Tanomas Graf is a magnificent bastard, but still.

 

Why not call an invasion early if one side has made it abundantly clear they don't intend to actually participate?


Edited by Cotan Sar'andor, 13 August 2019 - 01:11 AM.

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#8
Captain Larraq

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Cotan Sar'andor

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.

Valiens Nantaris


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#9
Alwine Lechner

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Captain Larraq There is one main issue in your analysis of the situation - if a faction wishes to take a break, as you've said, and lose the hex, all they need to do is not show up. If any side has less than 5 writers by the time the first 72 hours of the invasion are up, the side that does have enough writers wins by default.


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#10
Kale Seleare

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I will have to fall in line with what Captain Larraq has stated so clearly. 

 

Every point he went over is the exact thoughts of my own. I feel that implementing the idea that the invasion will be judged earlier would only make the situation worse. Continuing with what has been stated, should Faction A be attacking Faction B for months at a time, and then because they decide to let one of their hexes get taken so they can "take a break" or get some breathing room from the constant invasions, making that invasion fall short before that 2 week period would only allow Faction A to attack again.



#11
Captain Larraq

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Alwine Lechner

That's a good point. But if they do that, the thread ends immediately and a new invasion can start. If they throw out the occasional token post, the thread drags on and they get two weeks of relative peace (more like three weeks actually, when you consider the 7 day delay between announcement and thread initiation) at the cost of only one hex. If they ignore the thread completely, the attacking faction can declare a new invasion immediately. 7 days later, the new thread starts and now the defending faction is looking at 2 or 3 hex's lost instead of one.


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#12
Cotan Sar'andor

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Captain Larraq

 

From my experience roleplaying for the last nine years, and on Chaos just the last two, some counter-proposals:

 

What if the invading faction has no intention to actually invade the defending one yet again, especially after seeing the lack of activity, but has another target it might wish to attack but can't because it can only have one invasion going at a time?

What if, as I've seen happen with multiple factions, their non-invasion threads stall because of the invasion, and that still happens when they're having to space out posts more than normal and not build off of each other too much to avoid accusations of stampeding (however rightful or not they may happen to be)?

As you've pointed out, when you're on the map, you're subject to invasions. If a faction puts in enough work at the very beginning to get their five writers shown and then does nothing for the rest of the thread, that puts all the onus on the attacking side to reach the post minimum just so that the invasion doesn't just get tossed out, which would be an auto-win for the defenders. Limiting it to 50 posts could certainly help things, but there's still the issue that, depending on how things go for the side attacking vs the side stalling, accusations of stampeding could also get thrown up, which would just make things arguably even more problematic.

 

It lets one side do next to nothing while the other has to tread a very thin line just to meet the minimum and have it actually count.

Regarding the lack of giving a break, at least with this instance, it wasn't an admin decision not to give a break. It was put to a vote among the faction members, and they all voted to go ahead with the invasion, so the admins went with what their constituents wanted. Just as a random aside. =P

As it stands, I like this new rule and don't think it needs changed. If you're going to be on the map, you have to deal with the fact that you might get invaded, and you can't expect that the side attacking you is going to be willing to take your offer of a truce. If you're not willing to actually defend your territory, then the side attacking shouldn't have to carefully fight their way through a hurdle just to make sure what work they did put in gets thrown out entirely, either because "not enough posts" or "hrmm hrmm this looks like stampeding to me, we just aren't posting because they aren't actually giving us an opportunity to". Even if they just go around to launch another invasion on the same target; if you control territory, you have to defend it. If you can't defend it, you don't deserve to hold it.

 

And this is all coming from somebody who was once in the position of leading a broken faction and having to try and hold it together after the previous faction leader had managed to anger the entire board we were on, and everybody was wanting to attack us and did attack us to take our territory. Did I deserve to inherit something like that? Probably, but that's beside the point. Regardless, I focused on doing what I could to hold my faction together (without the option to just go minor and avoid such problems), ate the loss in territory because of how the map game worked, and eventually we were able to make a comeback. Things are already a lot more forgiving here on Chaos than where I've been in the past, and this new rule introduces a good protection for one side in an invasion that was definitely lacking beforehand.

 

This post alternatively titled "from one novella author to another, with love".


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#13
Zark

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What if the invading faction has no intention to actually invade the defending one yet again, especially after seeing the lack of activity, but has another target it might wish to attack but can't because it can only have one invasion going at a time?

What if, as I've seen happen with multiple factions, their non-invasion threads stall because of the invasion, and that still happens when they're having to space out posts more than normal and not build off of each other too much to avoid accusations of stampeding (however rightful or not they may happen to be)?

 

People like to say "if you don't want to get invaded don't be a major faction" but they should probably change that to "if you don't like invasion mechanics don't be a major faction". If your membership wants to invade another entity, they have to agree to dedicate two weeks of their time to a thread that might distract from non-pvp/prevent other invasion opportunities. If they aren't getting the kind of activity/enjoyment out of this thread that they are looking for, the faction should examine their own OOC behavior and choice of opponents.

 

Honestly I have to agree with Larraq here. The intentions behind this rule change seem to be in the right place, but its pretty much tailor made for abuse. Whether a faction is giving less than 100% intentionally or not is about as enforceable a judgment as "which of these characters is really a member of X faction".

 

It seems like a broad rule with a lot of unexplored consequences that was rolled out to address a very specific kind of issue, but there are better ways to accomplish this. Don't get me wrong, I am in favor of anything that makes major factions more susceptible to losing large chunks of their territory, but what I'm reading is "we've designed another mechanic to punish factions for not being active enough".


Edited by Zark, 13 August 2019 - 03:39 AM.

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#14
Captain Larraq

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Cotan Sar'andor

Oh trust me man, I played EVE Online for several years. I'm familiar with what happens when you swim in the deep end. I get it, and I agree with it to an extent. But this is nerdy semi-authors writing competitive fan-fics. The deep end, this is not.


 

 

What if the invading faction has no intention to actually invade the defending one yet again, especially after seeing the lack of activity, but has another target it might wish to attack but can't because it can only have one invasion going at a time?

 

I mentioned that in my larger post. "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."

They currently have the option of focusing their efforts into Dominions, Skirmishes, and Faction threads while they wait for the current thread to finish, and can then focus on a different target after the first thread finishes. However, I could see a small edit being made to existing Invasion rules to accommodate this. Something like "A faction may announce a new invasion against a second faction before their first invasion finishes, so long as the start date for the new invasion would be after the agreed upon conclusion of the first invasion." Or something along those lines that wouldn't be effected by any hex change (or lack there of) from the initial invasion.

 

 

What if, as I've seen happen with multiple factions, their non-invasion threads stall because of the invasion, and that still happens when they're having to space out posts more than normal and not build off of each other too much to avoid accusations of stampeding (however rightful or not they may happen to be)?


I trust the admins to be able to tell the two apart. For one, common decorum is a simple 24 hour delay. If your opponent doesn't post again within 24 hours (or 34 if you're being courteous), nobody bats an eye if you skip them. They may complain, but they can also just as easily write a longer than normal post to cover the difference and respond to both rounds of posting accordingly. And if it's an issue of dropping 1 post every 24 hours... That's a pretty reasonable pace for a faction to crank out what has essentially become a Dominion / Diplomacy thread (if the post limit is reduced to 50).



Zark
 

 

It seems like a broad rule with a lot of unexplored consequences that was rolled out to address a very specific kind of issue, but there are better ways to accomplish this. Don't get me wrong, I am in favor of anything that makes major factions more susceptible to losing large chunks of their territory, but what I'm reading is "we've designed another mechanic to punish factions for not being active enough".


 

Honestly, I think the mechanic was just designed with the assumption that the ME were intentionally trying to game the system and win by not posting. I don't think it occurred to staff that the ME would be fine with losing the hex. Which was why I was trying to get Valiens to explain why they chose the current rule change as opposed to anything else. I didn't want to make assumptions and jump to conclusions about the intent behind admins changing the rules, but I was trying to open up discourse about the new rule to address concerns and alternative suggestions.


Edited by Captain Larraq, 13 August 2019 - 03:51 AM.

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#15
Zark

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Honestly, I think the mechanic was just designed with the assumption that the ME were intentionally trying to game the system and win by not posting. I don't think it occurred to staff that the ME would be fine with losing the hex. Which was why I was trying to get Valiens to explain why they chose the current rule change as opposed to anything else. I didn't want to make assumptions and jump to conclusions about the intent behind admins changing the rules, but I was trying to open up discourse about the new rule to address concerns and alternative suggestions.

 

As I said earlier in my post, I agree that any notions that "staff motivations are suspect" is ridiculous. I believe that their intentions were good with this rule. But like you yourself said, it seems like this rule was rolled out now as a reaction to a specific circumstance occurring OOC. I'm not saying "staff made a punishing mechanic" on purpose, I'm just saying IMO that's what they did.


Edited by Zark, 13 August 2019 - 04:01 AM.

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#16
Darth Athora

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I like this. I just hope the guidelines on whether or not someone is stalling are clear and precise and known by all staff cause I know y'all like to have differing/conflicting opinions on things.


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#17
Veiere Arenais

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Trial and error, I suppose. 

 

I support the added rule, as my last invasion which was entirely active, merely required a single post from myself each day that I chose to participate. I was giving my opponents 24 hours to respond, and yes it lasted for two weeks but it wasn't nearly as time consuming as some people make it out to be. This, coming from a Faction Admin too lol. 

 

Given the general hype of invasion threads, the only factions I see falling prey to this will be the smaller factions with lesser members. As Darth Athora has stated, hopefully the ruling on what the appropriate time-frame to call "stalling" is based fairly. Perhaps judged by the member-base of the faction in question?

 

I don't feel it's as complicated a matter as it's being made out to be however. Let it play out, and see how it goes.


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#18
Ryssa Yvarro

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I'm just wondering what took so long to put something like this in place. Force knows this could've been useful a long time ago! Good stuff, glad to see it about it - and yeah as mentioned Veiere Arenais, Darth Athora will probably just need tweaking and watching going forward. Otherwise, tis very nice.



#19
Kurayami Bloodborn

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New guidelines and rules always require some hammering out after being introduced. This one is no different and seems pretty straightforward, so instead of jumping to criticize percieved logic of why staff is introducing this now, how about we see how it plays out. Otherwise it looks like a petulant child demanding an explanation on something that really shouldn't need one. Seems straightforward enough to me and like a rule that after some possible tweaks will make things much more bearable for all factions involved. 


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#20
Reverance

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If you don't like the map game, don't be a major faction. And if you can't handle the time constraints of an invasion, don't initiate one.

I've no horse in this race and like the Captain up above, I'm just cruising around to waste a bit of time. But this rule seems to have no benefit beyond rewarding an aggressive major faction. If that's the intent, cool. But it just seems like a step backwards.


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