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Smorgasboarding: Pros and Cons

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brandmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2015 at 19:43
I believe it is ethical.

I also believe the effectiveness varies greatly, depending on how strongly that person feels about the issue, how sensitive a person is to in-game damage (thieves, sieges, etc.), and how likely they perceive that damage to be. Much attention has been given to the last category, in that large, powerful alliances can provide considerable protection (or put forth meaningful menace). But other factors like popularity can also provide an effective shield. Durc, for example, issued the occasional scathing critique of powerful alliances, from tiny CAVE, but I don't think anyone would have dared to menace her into silence. She was too well liked by too many powerful players for that to work.

There are also many players who just aren't that afraid of city, troop, or inventory damage. Some others just feel so strongly that they cannot hold their silence. Presumably for others, the tactic would work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajqtrz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2015 at 21:11
In another post I put forth some ideas on why I think it's not desirable to "smorgasbord."  For practical reasons and game experience enhancement I believe it is a bad practice.

The question of ethics is a difficult one since there may be a lot of divergent standards and basis of ethical behaviors.  I think equal respect of all players is one of the basis of a sound and practical ethic I think, and one to which most, if not all, will agree. 

So here's my statement on why "smorgasbording" is unethical if we start with equal respect of all players. 

1) It is unethical because it shows more respect for large and established players than small ones.  If something is said in the forums which is offensive to somebody, I doubt they will attack a large and well connected alliance but they might very well attack an individual player or a small alliance.  It's just a pragmatic decision but one which means that those in well established alliances can say more and say it more freely than those not in such alliances.

2) It is unethical if it is done in response to well reasoned and well argued points addressing the subject at hand, (as opposed to personal attacks).  Again, it is disrespectful to a player to attack them for what they think and say in the forums if their utterances are civil.

3) If you think respect means civility, there is nothing civil about sending armies to exact something from another player in the
game.  Thus, if respect means civility, it is unethical.

AJ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2015 at 22:48
Originally posted by Rill Rill wrote:

Illy subcontracts out forum administration, iirc.
who administers the forum seems entirely beside the point. the devs see it as a need, hence the forum.
Originally posted by Rill Rill wrote:

Angrim, it seems that you believe this to be ethical...
i see no meaning to the question. is persuasive communication ethical? one pits one's charm or one's wit or one's knowledge against another's in an attempt to have him/her behave as one would like. is the moral question not "am i taking advantage?" or "is this in his/her interest?" i don't think either of those questions are answered by the method or venue of the attempt.

if i tell a player that harvesting on my sovereignty will be met with a military response, am i intimidating him/her? of course. if i declare my alliance has exclusive harvesting rights at a distance of five or even ten squares from my cities? yes, clearly. i have communicated my expectations with regard to conduct in an area in which i have influence. are my claims reasonable? am i really prepared to risk escalation to enforce my claims? have i the status and resources to do so? the answers to these questions are the very game.

you have done this yourself. should i believe the question is intentionally disingenuous, or (alternately) that you draw an ethical distinction between intimidation on occasions you choose versus intimidation by others on different occasions? if it's the latter, then the intimidation seems not to be the issue. i certainly do not see that posting on a forum rather than in igm or chatzy makes much difference to the ethics of the action.

Originally posted by <span id=userPro52 =msgsidepro= title=View Drop Down></span>ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

...those in well established alliances can say more and say it more freely than those not in such alliances.
this is simply a fact, and not an undesirable one. if you want a game in which all players are equal and have an equal voice and can say anything without fear of retribution, i suggest one which is strictly pve and has unmoderated chat...i.e., a game completely unlike illy.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

It is unethical if it is done in response to well reasoned and well argued points addressing the subject at hand, (as opposed to personal attacks).
this is *entirely* a matter of perception. i often cannot agree with GM Rikoo on what is well reasoned and civil, and i doubt very seriously that 500 arbitrarily-chosen players will come more quickly to consensus. it is a game that allows pvp. think of the medieval trial by combat and you will not be far from the mark.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

If you think respect means civility, there is nothing civil about sending armies to exact something from another player in the game.  Thus, if respect means civility, it is unethical.
the social structure of illyriad is no more advanced than that of urban gangs. they are civil to one another until it is time to be uncivil. your comment here reminds me of the phrase "men of respect", which fits very nicely into the analogy. large, established players and alliances are respected because they are large and established, and thereby inherently dangerous. as for the validity of a given remark, speaking truth to power has never been without risk irl, and no less in the game...but i think we can agree that there is much, much less at stake.

edited for better sentence structure.



Edited by Angrim - 16 Jun 2015 at 03:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2015 at 03:49
My ethical code tends to be somewhat situational and/or utilitarian.  For me, the "good" that I see to be created in Illy is the most fun for me and others.  Therefore I try to judge my behavior on whether something is likely to produce fun for me and for other people.  It is of course always easy to overweight one's own interests or values in such an attempt.

Personally I see smorgasboarding in general as being potentially ethical, depending on the lengths to which one goes.  At one point does the other party cease to have the potential to have fun in Illy?  That would be the criterion I would judge it on.

I also try to act based on what I perceive to be effective.  I've noted in other posts that it's my perception that smorgasboarding is generally not very effective in achieving its ends, and even when it is effective it tends to have other unintended negative consequences.

So , even though it is ethical, because I believe it to be ineffective, at least in the situations I've encountered it so far, I am resolved to try to avoid it.  Since I am not perfect and sometimes have a short fuse, hopefully my alliance mates will assist me in using good judgment here.

What do others think about the ethics and effectiveness of smorgasboarding?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajqtrz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2015 at 02:43
Angrim,

When you say you "see no meaning to the question." I assume you mean the question "is smorgasbording ethical".  If so then the question "is persuasive communication ethical?" is a reasonable one to ask, and one which has been asked repeatedly since Georgais and Socrates discussed rhetoric in the time of the ancient Greeks.  You seem to be taking the side of the "Sophists" who argued that persuasion was only a matter of manipulation, a point you seem to be making when you say,  "one pits one's charm or one's wit or one's knowledge against another's in an attempt to have him/her behave as one would like." 

As long as one  is a materialist one is compelled to the point of view you have taken, I think.  After all, as the old saying goes in philosophy, "you can't get ought from is."  Which simply means if you don't value ethics no amount of measuring will compel you to value what you don't value.  Ethics depends on a desire for the ethical and once you have that, you then can precede to find an ethical base. 

Finally, I do appreciate your stand for what it is and am glad you are clear about it.  In the end all that counts, from the standpoint of your "ethical system" is the size of the club you use to get what you want.

But here's my problem with that.  If you reduce it all to the size of your armies and the force of your will (al la Nietzche) then all things are justified to the winner.  If your goal, on the other hand, is to create an environment where players desire to play, then your "ethical system" lacks utility.  For players of Illy, or at least most players, do have a sense that fairness should be decided by something other than  the size of the hammer you wield and players ought to be treated with respect.  In games where this is not true many quit and go elsewhere.  At least that' been my experience.  So using the hammer as the final arbiter of debate is not conducive to a game attractive to many. 

Perhaps, therefore, your ethical standard, though admirable from a certain reference point, falls short as a standard for debate in the forum.

AJ

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2015 at 03:37
Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

if you don't value ethics no amount of measuring will compel you to value what you don't value.  Ethics depends on a desire for the ethical and once you have that, you then can precede to find an ethical base.
i think if you look again at the post you will find me posing the questions that i think are relevant to an ethical judgement ("am i taking advantage?", "is this in his/her interest?") my point continues to be that "is bullying (on the forum) ethical?" is not an answerable question any more than "is manufacturing (in country x) ethical?". what are the conditions? what are the intentions? what are the effects? the question is an invitation to prejudgement, not to judgement.
Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

In the end all that counts, from the standpoint of your "ethical system" is the size of the club you use to get what you want. But here's my problem with that.  If you reduce it all to the size of your armies and the force of your will (al la Nietzche) then all things are justified to the winner.
i recognise the system for what it is. that does not make unethical acts ethical or vice versa. but it is not inherently unethical for the powerful to use the power they have amassed or cowardly for less powerful players to be prudent in their speech.
Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

If your goal, on the other hand, is to create an environment where players desire to play, then your "ethical system" lacks utility.  For players of Illy, or at least most players, do have a sense that fairness should be decided by something other than  the size of the hammer you wield and players ought to be treated with respect.
you very conveniently assume that your view of what is fun and fair is shared by a majority of players. i try not to do that. everyone is not me. it's very likely that everyone is not you, either. perhaps you should reexamine whatever caused this discussion from the perspective of the parties you offended. do they feel that they were the recipients of *your* respect? one cannot expect what one does not give.
Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

In games where this is not true many quit and go elsewhere.
might has determined the state of play in illyriad since its inception. H? gained its dominance through hard-fought war and maintained it by suppressing rivals until vCrow et al overthrew them in turn, using the same tools H? themselves had used. is it right? a complicated question. but if you find illyriad different from other games of the same sort, it is most likely because conquest has so little benefit here. it is certainly not because the use of power in illyriad is curtailed by something other than the application of opposing power. the history of the game will not support such a thesis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2015 at 22:27
perhaps fuel for further discussion, Pico seems to be describing here his own attempt to influence forum communication via non-forum activity. another example, perhaps another perspective.

http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/topic6454_post87504.html#87504
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajqtrz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2015 at 20:03
Angrim,

I truely appreciate you considered responses.  Nice to have civil conversation.  As to your statement that "might has determined the state of play in illyriad since it's inception" I would agree.  With caveats.

First, in the end might will always determine the state of play in must about any game where a player can be silenced.  Sadly, people are not susceptible to persuasion if the position they must take based upon logic means giving up something they have, especially if it's a significant advantage for them.  Corporations in the US didn't wish to give up their monopolies but the US government stepped in and made them do so.  The US government is the people of the US, the ultimate sovereign of the lands within the borders of my country.  Our constitutions begins with "We the People" and that's who has the final word.  I believe Illy, like all human endeavors, must also have the same kind of sovereignty.  The game is designed to allow all kinds of players to "live and work" there and sometimes some peoples desires impinges on others.  When that happens it is the whole of Illy that has to determine if the impingement is good for the whole of Illy or not.  The right of self-rule is, I believe, one of the core premises upon which my whole "anti-land claim" stance rests.

That my style of play may not be respected by other players is acceptable.  However, I'm not arguing that you or anybody play like I do.  I'm arguing that you and everybody else, as much as possible, leave me alone to play the way I wish to play.  Land claims impinge one groups playing style upon another unnecessarily.  It is almost certain that there will be conflicts in the sandbox, but that doesn't mean one should rely upon "in-game intimidation, threats and coercions" to accomplish their goals especially when other means that are not intimidating, threatening or coercing are available.  Yes, it may be good strategy for them, but a better strategy would have been to accomplish what they wished to accomplished without the alternative and controversial methods.  Sadly the short cut taken is probably going to cost them more than if they had just done it in a manner already acceptable to all...or almost all I suppose.

This I love:

"i recognise the system for what it is. that does not make unethical acts ethical or vice versa. but it is not inherently unethical for the powerful to use the power they have amassed or cowardly for less powerful players to be prudent in their speech."

"The only thing necessary for triump of evil is that good men do nothing."  JFK (and others expressing the same sentiment for many a century).  My point is, only the self-centered and those bent upon the chains of selfish self-preservation take seriously the concept of keeping a low profile.  You seem to want to divorce the "system" in the game from human behavior.  It would be nice to act as avatars alone and not feel things.  But, alas, there's a real person behind the mask of the avatar and THAT is where ethical or not resides.  It's not in how we play the game but in how we play the game with others that ethics are important.

As for my offending others, there was a post that was wrong and caused some to be offended.  I've already apologized for that and have no need to do so again.  However, if you think it offensive to take a stand against what others think, especially if it is a reasonable stand (meaning only that reasons are given for taking that stand and not that others would necessarily come to the same conclusions), I would say that therefore all debate is offensive.  I'm not sure you wish to go that far.

I suspect that all others who may have taken offense have done so out of frustration more than offense given.  I've come to realize that some people are unable to engage in civil discussion without engaging in personal attacks and when one presents a determined resistance one usually encounters the undisciplined debaters out there.  I'm quite certain it must be the education they are getting, but I could be wrong.  In any case, if I have personally attacked any person and not apologized for my error, I do so here.  That I am not aware of it, is, of course, either inexcusable and shows I'm an insensitive clod, or that offense may have been taken and/or given needlessly.  In any ongoing debate it is quite possible to take offense where none was offered and to give offense unintentionally.  In civil discussion I think, such offenses are usually overlooked out of the graciousness it takes to engage in these types of things.

AJ 



Edited by ajqtrz - 19 Jun 2015 at 20:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Brandmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2015 at 20:29
Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

I suspect that all others who may have taken offense have done so out of frustration more than offense given. I've come to realize that some people are unable to engage in civil discussion without engaging in personal attacks and when one presents a determined resistance one usually encounters the undisciplined debaters out there.

Where others have taken offense, it is due to the asymmetry of your attitude. When they encounter your "determined resistance", you demand that it be considered as a proper concept; when you encounter the determined resistance of others, you accuse them of intellectual laziness or blindly supporting the status quo. When others ignore facts you present, it is a great crime; when you ignore facts that contradict your views, it is of no consequence. Snide comments against you are ad hominem attacks; your own snide remarks are par for the course.

You cannot demand full courtesy of others and extend so little yourself. You cannot claim to support the free exchange of ideas on this forum, and then shout down opposing viewpoints in enormous walls of text. To do so is hypocrisy. While you may stubbornly persist in the belief that you are the only person in Illyriad who can properly debate, the growing intolerance towards you on these forums stems not from the merit of your ideas, but by your dogged refusal to measure your own arguments by the same standard to which you would hold everyone else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2015 at 04:10
i'm glad you enjoy the responses, but really, i can't find any evidence that you actually read what i write here, as your responses are generally just further amplification of your own thoughts...and if you're not genuinely trying to appreciate the opposing view there's not much purpose to my posting here (as neither i nor eCrow has any claim to stake). i'll have one more go at it, but i hardly know where to begin.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

people are not susceptible to persuasion if the position they must take based upon logic means giving up something they have, especially if it's a significant advantage for them.
this is a sweeping generalisation that would seem to deny any very meaningful effectiveness to ethical thought. i think with very little effort that you will find many examples throughout history of people sacrificing significant advantage on the basis of a personal ethical conviction, indeed so many that listing even a few examples here seems purposeless.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

I believe Illy, like all human endeavors, must also have the same kind of sovereignty.  The game is designed to allow all kinds of players to "live and work" there and sometimes some peoples desires impinges on others.  When that happens it is the whole of Illy that has to determine if the impingement is good for the whole of Illy or not.  The right of self-rule is, I believe, one of the core premises upon which my whole "anti-land claim" stance rests.
disregarding by necessity the vague allusions to enlightenment philosophy and the USA economic and political history that Rikoo will not allow me to discuss here, you would seem to be calling for some sort of world government, formal or informal, that enforces the status quo. having lived first among the mCrows and later the eCrows, i can tell you that anarchy is a perfectly serviceable political concept and that your idea of a consensus that enforces itself with rolled-up sleeves seems to me the very opposite of "good for the whole of illy". that "the game is designed to allow all kinds of players to live and work" is technically true, but your implication that they ought to do so harmoniously without competition or conflict is rather the opposite of GM Stormcrow's design intent, at least as he has expressed it in the past.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

I'm arguing that you and everybody else, as much as possible, leave me alone to play the way I wish to play.
which is, i think, just the way the claimants would express their desire for clear and defined boundaries.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

Land claims impinge one groups playing style upon another unnecessarily.
you feel the impingement unnecessary because you don't desire the outcome. one might as well say that pedestrian crossing signals impinge on automobile traffic unnecessarily because everyone should just drive a car.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

It is almost certain that there will be conflicts in the sandbox, but that doesn't mean one should rely upon "in-game intimidation, threats and coercions" to accomplish their goals especially when other means that are not intimidating, threatening or coercing are available.  Yes, it may be good strategy for them, but a better strategy would have been to accomplish what they wished to accomplished without the alternative and controversial methods.  Sadly the short cut taken is probably going to cost them more than if they had just done it in a manner already acceptable to all...or almost all I suppose.
right, so let me try to boil this down.
1) as i've already pointed out, *all* forms of claim make use of coercion, including the 10-square rule. do you support the 10-square rule? do you expect to defend your "claimed" land by military force? then you are no less guilty of coercion than is anyone else.
2) the emphasis in your paragraph is mine, as you seem to be saying that territorial claims are "wrong" because they are unusual. that is ironic to me mostly because i was playing when H? introduced the 10-square rule and i can tell you that it was *extremely* unpopular at the time. i do not see innovation as evil, so i cannot equate unusual with unethical.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

only the self-centered and those bent upon the chains of selfish self-preservation take seriously the concept of keeping a low profile.
i cannot read this as anything more than an attempt to disguise namecalling as a form of discourse. so anyone who is not fighting is silly or selfish, and those who oppose you are evil? unworthy.

Originally posted by ajqtrz ajqtrz wrote:

alas, there's a real person behind the mask of the avatar and THAT is where ethical or not resides.  It's not in how we play the game but in how we play the game with others that ethics are important.
i am curious about other games you may play, particularly games of competitive elimination. do you consider it a moral failing to capture an opponent's queen in chess? must Monopoly be played indefinitely, then, since the object is to force other players into bankruptcy? there is no substantial component of roleplaying in either example, and yet we recognise (most of us) that game ethics are not real ethics and pawns are not people. when a player in gc says that all catholics should be killed or that a player should drink poison and die (yes, both actual events), i have a moral reaction. when a player in gc says "we're going to wipe out alliance x" or "stay off my sov or i'll attack you", i reognise that as game play, and i do not have much difficulty knowing the difference.
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