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The use of subterfuge

Printed From: Illyriad
Category: The World
Forum Name: Tournament II - Bloodthirst For Knowledge
Forum Description: 2nd Tournament - Details, progress, reports & awards
URL: http://forum.illyriad.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=1852
Printed Date: 26 Jun 2019 at 13:48
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: The use of subterfuge
Posted By: HonoredMule
Subject: The use of subterfuge
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 16:29
This thread is intended for discussion of the NPC-tile-locking tactic that has recently been addressed, starting with a defense of Harmless' position in using it.

Harmless grew tired of the spam-fest required to keep up in this tournament against an alliance boasting 3 times the active player count.  We knew we could better compete on production and heavy-hitting than deployment.  So we took measures to hinder VALAR's rate of deployment.  Naturally they can do the same to us, but we'll hit the bigger parties, and they can do the same if they like, and we'll see whether Harmless's tactic still levels the playing field.  It is a competent general's prerogative--nay, responsibility--not only to level playing fields, but to gain the advantage wherever possible.  Or in Patton's words: "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

I bear no ill will toward VALAR or Boromir, and well recognize their accomplishment and sound strategy in padding their ranks with the most active NPC farmers.  My grudges are but one, that they are in first place and we are not, and my aim is simply to rectify that.  It's exactly what we're supposed to be trying to do.  We were confident that our means was not an exploit, but rather a kinder alternative to spamming timed assassin waves to disrupt their activity levels, or even direct assaults to rob them of equipment and troops.  (We are using troops to hold NPC tiles because some of us simply haven't the time to participate in the tournament with our secondary accounts anyway.)

Neither do I fault VALAR for petitioning our tactic and decrying it as dishonorable, possibly even exploit.  I have no doubt that, in their surprise and dismay at an unexpected situation, they honestly felt it may be the case.  Since that possibility has been publicly presented, and refuted, this is a good time for Harmless to offer our own perspective as well.

Of course the mere fact that it isn't an exploit isn't the only issue at hand.  Harmless is held to the highest standard of honor based both on our position and how we portray ourselves.  I contend that we have not fallen short of that standard in any way.

The idea that honor means standing toe-to-toe, strength vs strength against your enemies, instead of employing clever tactics and subterfuge is itself a clever subterfuge perpetuated by whichever party has the most raw/brute force (be it army strength, account or city numbers, or number of active players launching endless waves).  People who use it today as the justification for their understandable emotional response may not realize it, but the argument truly exists only to promote the circumstances that best ensure that stronger party's own victory or at least the moral high ground in any defeat (and the political influence that imparts).  Proud nobles are always "cheated" when they lose to a weaker or smaller force.  It's the adult, international equivalent of clucking like a chicken and saying "I double-dog dare you to do things the hard way."

An important distinction in all this is not how victory changed hands, but what injury was imparted to one's opponents besides taking the victory they might otherwise have had.  If there is no such (significant) injury, and no contest rules were broken, then what right have the losers to condemn the winners for playing smart and playing to their own strengths rather than against their opponents' strengths?

This is just a tournament, so no one is dying or getting squeezed out of the game or getting much more than their ego trampled...they're just losing the tournament so we can win.  In the last tournament, we could have used assassins and chose not to, deciding that would upset people too much particularly because we didn't need that to win anyway--it would have unnecessary showboating.  It is a credit to VALAR that this time we felt we did need a tactical edge this time, but we're an alliance the same as any other in this game, and still very much out to prove ourselves as the plucky little (in number) old-timer alliance that still knows how to outwit more heavily-staffed opponents.  We are not obligated to meet VALAR on VALAR's terms, any more than we are obligated to lose outright.  Victors work smarter, not harder.  We still refrained from using assassins, as that is a more direct, offensive operation with greater cost to VALAR, potentially spilling beyond losing the tournament.  But who can complain about minimizing the opponent's playing field?  It's just good old-fashioned out-of-the-box problem solving.



Replies:
Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 16:42
In my opinion VALAR were already cheating in this tournament by using cavalry.

Fair (and cool) players like me just use spearmen!! Cool

...Oh wait... you mean to say that people are actually ALLOWED to use the game mechanics to help them win the tournament!?

Gosh. I better start building some cavalry. Thumbs Up


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 17:12
Ah, Createure, inflammatory to the end.  You'll be the death of you. Wink


Posted By: Ryuuku
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 17:45
I interpreted the tournament's introduction to practically beg for someone to come up with tactics like this. After all, PVP is far more engaging than farming NPCs.


Posted By: The_Dude
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 18:01
I like the tactic. 
 
It never occured to me that diplos would also freeze an NPC from respawning.  As I understood the tourney write-up, the big NPC groups are supposed to yield more parts, but my experience has not borne that out.


Posted By: Makanalani
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 19:05
While I admit that your tactics are not against the rules HonoredMule, I think it is important for the
tide of public sentiment to not solely be a wave of agreement, but rather a discussion. To respond on your defense of diplomatic action I think that the road you walk is a slippery slope with regard to foreign affairs. While it may start with the hampering of troop deployment, who is to say that these actions do not escalate into more tangible forcible attacks? It may start out as an attempt to use metagame tactics to even the playing field, however I foresee a large possibility for world war. The tournaments were not created to precede and catalyze mass chaos, but as an outlet for competition without the fear of complete destruction. This is merely food for thought HM in terms of a global discussion.

-Mak 


-------------
"Life is a beautiful struggle"

-New IGN: Mak (Dark Blight)


Posted By: Sloter5
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 20:20
It is fair game i think to use diplos for that, you were just first that came up with that idea.That strategy will work both ways eventualy when Valar also start to use it.Having in mind that they are more activ and have more members (even smallest player can send one bird)this new usage of diplos might actualy go in their favor.

I for one am happy with all that, Valar being pressed harder to fight for largest colection will make harder for them to keep fighting for uniq colection.

I think Valar will win first place even with new diplo strategy that is used to slow them down,i doubt that it would be enough to tip the balance.

Sorry for bad English people, as long as people understand what i say its good enough.


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 20:22
I respect your opinion Makanalani.  I would suggest, however, that the "slippery slope" argument is a misdirection of focus away from whomever actually does go too far.  The very core of its premise recognizes that the steps taken so far do not, and are therefore above true reproach.

More direct hostile actions would certainly lead to grudges that well outlast the tournament, and I agree that such might be a rather disappointing way to earn emnity (however exciting some true conflict might be).  Bearing no ill will toward VALAR, Boromir, and any other temporary members, I do not wish to breed any opposition extending beyond the context of the tournament and its transient goals.  And having avoided actions which would improve our position but also damage VALAR beyond that scope, I will not take responsibility for any grudge they may carry beyond the tournament.

Also knowing the integrity and cool heads that prevail in the leading alliances, I'm confident that they would not be a part of any such unfortunate escalation either.  We would not so eagerly anticipate tournaments if they did not give us opportunity to truly test our mettle in contest without bruised egos and lasting grudges.  I believe that VALAR, standing among the honorable themselves, will carry their altered opinion of Harmless not into the battlefield, but into the next tournament.  That is a fair consequence, which we fully expect to face.


Posted By: bow locks
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 20:26
very nice op.
Bow

ooops. not meant to just agree. must discuss.

ok,

the following;

The tournaments were not created to precede and catalyze mass chaos, but as an outlet for competition without the fear of complete destruction

I think the GMs know exactly what they are doing and you miss the subtlety.

The same with the slippery slope.




Posted By: The_Dude
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 21:28
Any time there is competition, there is the possibility of things going beyond the original circumstances.  In short, the tournaments are designed to upset the apple cart so that we have something to do and ponder.  As noted by HM, the top alliances are well-led and the brass all seem to have good political skills.  The prizes and glory for winning a tournament probably do not justify the risk of loss that a war would bring.
 
BTW, I heard a rumor about Boromir recently being attacked by Kelrath and the concern was that this was in connection with the tournament.  But I think that was Kelrath leaving Illy in a blaze of glory.


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 21:38
That name sounds familiar...yes, he tried to go out in a blaze of glory on me.  I told him my response would be patient but resolute, and he offered restitution and said he'd pick another target--after his attacks started landing and found only empty cities with the resources stripped and armies camping outside.  I wasn't about to let the matter distract me from the tournament.


Posted By: Kumomoto
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 22:33
Originally posted by The_Dude The_Dude wrote:

As noted by HM, the top alliances are well-led and the brass all seem to have good political skills. 


I thought I'd thoroughly convinced you by now of my general incompetence in addition to my moral turpitude...

Obviously I can add puerile communications skills to my list of character attributes... ;)


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 23:09
I heard that self-deprication was the first sign of a criminal matermind trying to conceal their true identity.


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 23:19
Ah, those devious materminds, lead by the alma matermind.


Posted By: Akita
Date Posted: 02 May 2011 at 23:53

Just in case anybody gets any funny ideas, this is not even remotely an official view, just some personal musings, tip of the hat // wag of the finger style. Do not take any of the words below as indicating anything may or may not change.

I repeat, these are purely personal views, coming from a player equally used to the cutthroat environment in EVE and the more "honour"-bound environments of other browser games...


On one hand, a tip of the hat for whoever came up with the strategy, it sounds particularly effective (low cost, high yield) and is quite creative.
The EVE side of my gaming psyche relishes the idea of underhanded tactics.
It is also so incredibly cheap, that even new players could make near-full use of it.
In fact, it's quite a bit more effective for new players, or better said, relatively new alts of old players (if you recall, having exactly two accounts is perfectly acceptable), since after a crash development phase, they can simply teleport their capital somewhere very, very far away (preferably having picked dwarf for the slow scouts), and cover a huge area near their enemies for a very long time this way.

On the other hand, a wag of the finger for almost the same, but slightly different reasons.
The "honour" side of my gaming persona identifies this tactic as particularly "cheap".
There is no doubt that a moderately well established player could cause trouble to a large number of people he sees as enemies, and quite frankly, this "amplification" effect is what gives me the willies. It doesn't "feel" fair that a handful of "nobodies" could significantly interfere with people who worked quite a long time to get in a position to do anything of note during the tournament. And that's not even the most disappointment inducing factor - that's reserved to the fact that the tactic involves a very large number of easy (and easily automatizable) tasks, which is the very definition of grinding, which I hoped would not play such a major part in the game.


For the time being, it is my personal (and only my personal) opinion that regardless of arguments on either side, whatever rules were in effect when the tournament started should remain in effect until the tournament is over.

However, once the tournament is over, we should take a hard long look at what we really want to do in future similar tournaments, if any similar ones will ever be held (or if some mechanics used in this tournament will remain in place for other purposes).


For instance, do we really wish to keep the "NPC spawns remain active past respawn" mechanic whenever they have ANY form of incoming regardless of duration ?
Does it make any RP sense for an army of NPCs to sit tight if they telepathically feel somebody will be arriving even several days later at their location ? Wouldn't it make much more sense for NPC spawns to have a predetermined "lingering" duration instead which can not be affected by things "on the way" ?
If we pick a predetermined duration, should it be fixed or random ? Should it depend on number of units at the location ? How would you indicate to a player (if at all) roughly how long will the spawn remain in place ? Should you warn upon unit launch that by the time the units get there, the spawn will likely have vanished or not ?
Should there be any tactics to "keep" the units around, like, say, a diplomatic unit equivalent of "blockade" (so, only in effect if the units are there and STAY there, also susceptible to enemy diplomatic unit retaliation) ?
On the issue of animal parts dropped - would it make sense if it would be a "per unit killed" drop chance (and different drop chances for every type of NPC creature, with better drops, both in chance and quality for the creature types you usually only find in larger NPC groups) ? How about raids, why not let raids also snatch parts, but at a drop chance penalty (say, a third of the normal drop chance) ? Should it really be a true random drop, or should there be some minimum/maximum caps to limit the effect of randomness ?

As you can see, there is much to discuss, much to balance, or even new mechanics to introduce.
The talks regarding it will most likely take a long time, and if any new mechanics might be decided to be introduced, that might take even longer.
Or it could be decided that this really is not an issue (or at least not affecting much beyond this particular tournament), and everything could be left in place.

EITHER WAY, it's obvious a knee-jerk reaction at the current point in time would do more harm than good in the long run.


So... for the current participants... good hunting, and good hunting interdiction.
May every party involved at least TRY to have some fun despite interference.



Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 00:21
Interesting that you should mention grinding.  This tournament as a whole feels very much like a grind fest, and while I have somewhat enjoyed the renewed activity it brought about, I'll be equally happy when it's over, even if Harmless is unable to hang on to their trophy statue from the first one.  I think there are better things I could be doing with my play time, and too much of my time spent in such "play."

I don't think the mechanics in question have much bearing beyond the tournament, but I would wholeheartedly support any updates that give diplomatic units more influence to such extent as being able to accompany armies to protect them, assault camps, occupy tiles to lay traps for incoming attacks, influence NPCs, etc.--in exchange for losing some simpler effects they now possess.  Some of these things have been on the roadmap already, while others are possibly new ideas resulting from this tournament and the thought of diplomatic orders gaining the same breadth as militant ones.  The underlying reasoning is simply that it would be desirable to help diplomatic units achieve the breadth of interaction and strategic/tactical choices they once promised at in hints and abstract ideas.

Of course, I don't know enough about future plans regarding these tournament-introduced drops to predict any continuing ramifications.  So this is more like "new feature" talk to me than balance correction.  The NPC-tile locking behavior was an intended simple solution to rectify a simple problem the environment posed against unwitting PvE players.  The need to counter this effect was never in question.  If it remains in question beyond the tournament, then by all means it should be introduced.


Posted By: Akita
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 01:05

Relating to the "grindy" part, indeed, that's why I also mentioned later on the possible adjustments to the drop mechanics (so that fighting just a few larger, more challenging groups could have the potential to actually become more effective than fighting a very large number of small ones).

But that's a story for another time, or maybe even just a story for a parallel universe...



Posted By: The_Dude
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 01:29
So...
 
If a diplo is launched at the time the target spawn site is empty does the spawn site remain empty for the duration of the travel to it?


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 02:50
No, only tiles with units on them will stay in their present state, so long as nothing attacks and clears them.  Once empty, it can respawn regardless of incoming units.

Some players have been burned by this inadvertently, expecting they cannot face a stronger foe than the one they saw upon launch, only to find that spawn cleared and then replaced by a legion that promptly massacres them.


Posted By: Dakota Strider
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 05:56
Funny how Harmless? starts this thread, to defend themselves before any accusations have been brought to this forum.  Looks like the signs of a guilty conscience.  There is so much rhetoric to reply to.  I shall do my best to address each point in HoneredMule's opening post.  

Harmless grew tired of the spam-fest required

I find it very humorous that they find the day-to-day activity of hunting to be tedious.  For a large number of us, that is how we train our commanders before taking them into more hostile conflicts.  I do not know how they train their commanders, but if they find the daily activity of hunting as "spam" to be tedious, then perhaps they are playing the wrong type of game.

to keep up in this tournament against an alliance boasting 3 times the active player count.

Notice he says "active".  If the Harmless? leadership was as good at membership motivation, as they try to be in searching for loopholes that have not been closed yet,  their overwhelming numbers would have made this contest a battle for second place.  

 We knew we could better compete on production and heavy-hitting than deployment.

First of all, it does not take much production to produce swarms of level 1 scouts.  Keeping large armies in the field to conduct a serious hunt, takes production.  And if your armies are so good at heavy-hitting, then you should be doing much better in this contest, as you could be taking on the massive groups of animals that give the highest yield per hunt.

 So we took measures to hinder VALAR's rate of deployment.  


Now it would be one thing if they employed typical "dirty" tactics that are part of the game, that we all know are available, but most avoid as it usually is considered a provocation of war.  Perhaps it is because Harmless? feels that such tactics may lead to war, and that they may find there are many more guilds ready to join against them, that they have hesitated to use such tactics.  Trust me, if they are willing to use meta-game knowledge, and exploits as tactics, they are not avoiding use of assassinations because of ethical considerations.  

Naturally they can do the same to us, but we'll hit the bigger parties, and they can do the same if they like, and we'll see whether Harmless's tactic still levels the playing field.  

After a week of Harmless? deploying these tactics, and the administrators apparently feeling they cannot make a move to prohibit something in the middle of the tournament, Valar has started to deploy these tactics.  And as another has pointed out,  we have a much more active and motivated group of players, and are not the type to let dirty tactics demoralize us.  So, now when you see clouds of birds flying across the landscape, some of them may now be targeted at Harmless? territory. I have to apologize for the lag I know this is causing.  Valar would gladly end this distasteful tactic, if Harmless? stops.  

It is a competent general's prerogative--nay, responsibility--not only to level playing fields, but to gain the advantage wherever possible.  Or in Patton's words: "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

The only way a comparison to Patton would be relevant, is if Patton could send a private from Alaska, traveling with bicycle and rowboat, to reach a point in the path of Rommel in the African desert.  Before Rommel could move through this path, he has to wait for that private to pedal and row half way across the world.   Now it doesn't matter that a single .45 caliber bullet could kill this lone private scout, he is invulnerable, and nothing can happen until that private arrives.  Of course then Patton could send another such private to make another worldwide trek to reach the same point, before the first one arrives.   Now, if Patton could do this,  then HonoredMule can compare himself to Patton.   Oh...wait...Patton's men actually fought for him.  Where are all of the large numbers of Harmless? that should be fighting for this prize?

I bear no ill will toward VALAR or Boromir, and well recognize their accomplishment and sound strategy in padding their ranks with the most active NPC farmers.

Thanks for the back-handed compliment.  However, if we are so good at the basic function of this game, such as training our commanders by fighting opponents in the field, and keeping them well supplied, then I think that we are good at other parts of game operations as well.  And the counter-argument to that would be...if Harmless? is not good at hunting animals...perhaps they are not so good at other things as they claim to be?

 My grudges are but one, that they are in first place and we are not, and my aim is simply to rectify that.  It's exactly what we're supposed to be trying to do.  

What you are supposed to be doing, is hunting.  Using meta-game knowledge to use exploits that had not been contemplated by the game designers is not an example of a great generalship and tactician.  Instead it is more comparable to a spoiled child, that cannot have something and raises a tantrum to get it.  

We were confident that our means was not an exploit,


So confident, in fact, that they created this thread to defend themselves, knowing that many would perceive their actions exactly as an exploit.   If it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck...then it must be Harmless? trying to manipulate the system.

but rather a kinder alternative to spamming timed assassin waves to disrupt their activity levels, or even direct assaults to rob them of equipment and troops.  

Assassinations are actually a dirty but legitimate tactic that is valid in the spirit of the game.  It could be they do not believe they would come out ahead using that method either.  As I mentioned before the ramifications may be more than they wish to deal with.

(We are using troops to hold NPC tiles because some of us simply haven't the time to participate in the tournament with our secondary accounts anyway.)

This tactic, while borderline, is more legitimate than a single scout holding a position.  But what would make this tactic much more valid, is if commanders camping in the field for days and weeks at a time, had a chance to be assassinated, especially when far from their home base.  Also, troops that are sitting over an extended period should be subject to attrition.  And they should be subject to thief attacks as well, since they will not have as good of security as when behind a city's walls.  Using inactive members or alternative accounts to squat on a piece of ground, knowing that this very spot is where an animal will spawn, is still meta-gaming.  However, if there were consequences to doing so, it would be more legitimate.

Neither do I fault VALAR for petitioning our tactic and decrying it as dishonorable, possibly even exploit.  I have no doubt that, in their surprise and dismay at an unexpected situation, they honestly felt it may be the case. 

According to wikipedia, meta-gaming is "used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game".  and an exploit is "the use of a bug or design flaw by a player to their advantage in a manner not intended... Exploits have been classified as a form of cheating; however, the precise determination of what is or is not considered an exploit can be controversial. This debate stems from a number of factors but typically involves the argument that the issues are part of the game and require no changes or external programs to take advantage of them."  The fact that Harmless? needs to employ such a tactic that is causing such controversy, is proof enough that they are straddling the line between cheating and honest play.  Of course there will be righteous indignation when such tactics are used in what is supposed to be a level playing field.  And suggesting that this tactic is honorable in any way is a joke. 

Since that possibility has been publicly presented, and refuted, this is a good time for Harmless to offer our own perspective as well.  

The issue is not settled yet.  Only that the administration seems reluctant to make a ruling to restrict something in the midst of the tournament, after it has already been used. But this is a good time for the perpetrators to spin what they have done to be an honest, legal and honorable tactic.

Of course the mere fact that it isn't an exploit isn't the only issue at hand.  

Simply saying that it is not, does not make it so.  

Harmless is held to the highest standard of honor based both on our position and how we portray ourselves.  I contend that we have not fallen short of that standard in any way.

Once again, this is obviously your opinion.  Of course, it seems what you think of yourselves, is all that matters to you.  If what people outside of Harmless? were to be polled, I have a feeling you would be sorely disappointed in the results.

The idea that honor means standing toe-to-toe, strength vs strength against your enemies, instead of employing clever tactics and subterfuge is itself a clever subterfuge perpetuated by whichever party has the most raw/brute force (be it army strength, account or city numbers, or number of active players launching endless waves).  People who use it today as the justification for their understandable emotional response may not realize it, but the argument truly exists only to promote the circumstances that best ensure that stronger party's own victory or at least the moral high ground in any defeat (and the political influence that imparts).  Proud nobles are always "cheated" when they lose to a weaker or smaller force.  It's the adult, international equivalent of clucking like a chicken and saying "I double-dog dare you to do things the hard way."

A load of psycho-babble where the guilty attempts to baffle us with bullstuff to explain how using techniques that have no valid logic in game-play, to justify their attempts to get around the rules.  If this tactic was truly legitimate, it would not take so much effort for them to try to defend it.  Instead, they are twisting themselves into knots to find a way to justify it.

An important distinction in all this is not how victory changed hands, but what injury was imparted to one's opponents besides taking the victory they might otherwise have had.

First of all, victory has not changed hands.  So sorry.

  If there is no such (significant) injury, and no contest rules were broken, then what right have the losers to condemn the winners

Further proof of HonoredMule's misguided logic, is that they are trailing by almost 2000 with little more than a week to go.  

for playing smart and playing to their own strengths rather than against their opponents' strengths?

Yes, it takes a certain amount of intelligence to find loopholes and exploits in the rule.  And it takes a twisted ego to be able to justify that meta-gaming is a sign of honor and tactical genius.  I guess he is implying that Harmless?'s strengths are exploiting game design flaws, and that Valar's strengths are teamwork and determination.

This is just a tournament, so no one is dying or getting squeezed out of the game

Perhaps you can explain to all the beginning players how they are not being squeezed out, when they find nothing but large NPC encampments, and Hordes, Throngs and Legions of animals surrounding their cities that they are unable to hunt, and therefore enjoy the game.  Harmless? is not being very careful, and are not just targeting npc groups beside Valar cities, but are going several pages away, through the territory of other players, probably some of you.  Many of them are not large cities yet, and so yes, Harmless is squeezing them out of playing the game the way it was intended to be played.   And they are certainly taking the joy of playing in the tournament.  However the joy of defeating them will be much sweeter now, when its through.

or getting much more than their ego trampled...

The only ego being trampled, is that of those in the high and mighty Harmless? that cannot stand to be beaten. So they employ tactics that are outside the spirit of the game.

they're just losing the tournament so we can win.

"sighs"  check the scoreboard.  You are losing..and losing badly.

In the last tournament, we could have used assassins and chose not to, deciding that would upset people too much particularly because we didn't need that to win anyway--it would have unnecessary showboating.  

So you only worry about offending people when you are losing.  My what a gracious competitor you are.  The problem with playing the assassins card, is it can be played back on you, and being caught is a declaration of war.  I am guessing that this was the real reason you did not use it.  But perhaps I have just misjudged you totally.

It is a credit to VALAR that this time we felt we did need a tactical edge this time,

Once again, we are so honored that we have driven you to the verge of cheating (and whether you crossed that line, is still up for debate).

but we're an alliance the same as any other in this game, and still very much out to prove ourselves as the plucky little (in number) old-timer alliance that still knows how to outwit more heavily-staffed opponents.

Once again,  you have the numbers on your side,  Just check the enrollment numbers.  However, what you do not have is motivation...and that comes from how your alliance is run.  And just because you have been around longer, does not give you an excuse to circumvent what the rational player would consider to be ethical gaming.

 We are not obligated to meet VALAR on VALAR's terms,

Sadly, this means that they do not wish to play an honest competition.  Since their tactic will not be disallowed during this tournament, it means that Valar will meet them on their terms.  It is distasteful, but I do not think the Valar are alone in believing that you cannot allow someone to take something from you, just because they found a cute way to sidestep the rules.  

any more than we are obligated to lose outright.  

You do not get it, do you?  This is a competition, and everyone is supposed to give their best.  If someone's best is better than yours, you do not look for ways to circumvent the rules.  That is not winning (nor will it give you the lead in the tournament regardless).  What it is, is declaring that you are not able to compete against others honestly within the parameters of legitimate game-play, and need to exploit the system to keep yourselves from losing even worse.

Victors work smarter, not harder.  

Actually, in about 7 days, you will find that the Valar did both.  Once again...Sorry.

We still refrained from using assassins, as that is a more direct, offensive operation with greater cost to VALAR, potentially spilling beyond losing the tournament.

I have a feeling you do not use them, because you do not have the active members to take that risk.  If you had enough active members, you would be winning this tournament.   

 But who can complain about minimizing the opponent's playing field?  It's just good old-fashioned out-of-the-box problem solving.  

Spoken like almost any other game exploiter I have come across.  What you call problem solving, others call meta-gaming, exploiting, and cheating.  

But, you are the one that started this thread.  The Valar did not create a thread to make complaints.  But when you make these claims they need to be refuted.  

I would like to point out, that this type of game-play, has driven vast numbers of players away from other online games in the past.   While it may not be termed to be illegal,  it certainly goes against what most feel to be fair play.  And many people do not want to play in that type of environment.  This tournament should be a great advertisement for our game.  Instead, Harmless? is using a tactic that if continued, will be a detriment to this game gaining and retaining players.

And as I mentioned, Harmless?'s indiscriminate use of this tactic is doing more than just hurt the Valar.  They are stepping on the toes of other players and guilds, too.  Feel free to show your appreciation to Harmless? when that massive spawn remains next to your city for days at a time, by sending a few scouts their way, just to say thank you.

Finally, a disclaimer.  While I am a member of the Valar, I am just a peon in their ranks, and in no way are my words the official position of the Valar.  However, as a player, that has been around the block, for about as long as this gaming genre has been here, I feel the need to speak my mind when I see something that needs addressing.

Happy Hunting everyone.



Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 06:09
I'm sorry but I'm just not reading all that.  I don't feel any need to rebut the first few paragraphs save a factual clarification, and I'm not going any further.  I shall note that you disagree, and do so with grandiose self-righteous rhetoric, stuffing more words in our mouths that ever first emerged.

The minor points of correction:  "We knew we could better compete on production and heavy-hitting than deployment."  We are talking about military production required to replace troops lost hitting the bigger parties rather than endless spamming on smaller ones.  Diplomat production has nothing to do with it.

Yes, NPC farming is tedious and boring to us.  And no, we're not leaving over it--this game is for us, as it is one of the few which truly tries to avoid the tedium associated with typical browser-based games.  I would not have you misleading new players into thinking they can expect a farming grind.  Patience, yes.  Grind, no.


Posted By: Ryuuku
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 08:54
I also gave up reading that post after a few paragraphs and a scroll down to find the end. It is echoing the the tournament by a lengthy grind of the proverbial axe.


Posted By: Boromir
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 12:47
Hi there all,
 
I'd just like to assure you I do have something to say about this, yet I will write my post later, possibly after the tournament, as the discussion will possibly take much time and I'm in the middle of a crunchtime to preBeta milestone of my last game. I will limit my time in Illyriad to quickly sending out armies rather than spending long hours on sending flocks of birds (which takes incomparably more time then hunting - but then, as HM said, Victors work smarter, not harder) then.
 
The only purpose of this short post now is to avoid the feeling that my further mail after the tournament would be anyhow influenced by the results of the tournament - all I am about to say would be the very same today, after a week or a week ago, completely irrespective of the tournament results as well as which alliance I compete.
 
I'd also like to ask you, HM, to manage it to get through the mail you're replying to. Your own was quite long too and the person you speak with not only read the whole of it, but also addressed all the cetrain issues mentioned. Your reply is simply rude.
 
Cheers,
Boromir


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 15:03
I like your measured approach Boromir. Though I already knew you had that after seeing you perform in this tourny. I look forward to reading your points later.

@Dakota: I agree 100% with Ryuuku/HM here. That response of yours is not a measured argument. It is an enormous tirade of denial. I read about half way and couldn't believe I was still nowhere near the end. You mentioned how much you like the "grind" though so I guess you probably enjoyed writing it more than I enjoyed reading half of it.

I will make 1 point though: Your point about H? using 'exploits' is just so unfounded it is quite absurd. The development team (those people who designed, run and OWN this game) have publicly stated that the tactic in question is a perfectly valid (and pretty cunning) tactic. By the very definition of exploit, it has to be something that the development team did not intend to happen. If the dev team dind't intend for NPC "locking" they wouldn't have written the code for that. QED.

Now whether the rest of Illyriad feels that Harmless using a cunning tactic to help themselves in this tourny is bad is a totally different question. Will people appluad a group for using brains over brawn or will they deplore H? for not playing the game on someone else's terms?

And I'll leave that to others to discuss. You already know where I stand.


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 17:17
Boromir, I have read and considered what you have had to say to my fellow directors, for you spoke well and intelligently even in your anger.  As for Dakota's post, I refer you both to our alliance profile.  "He who would speak, speak well and be heard."

I have no compunction to absorb a nearly endless wave of vitriol and sour grapes.  There is but one blindly asserted premise in the whole sermon anyway, that locking tiles is viciously evil for reasons completely unspecified.

While Harmless tires ever more of the taxing attention required to launch dozens of armies on a regular schedule not of our choosing, Valar's numerous ranks have been catalyzed by this event, redoubling their efforts and showing more consistent activity.  When this is over, you'll all have a very hard time explaining exactly what offense was committed other than making you work a little harder to keep your lead.  Sorry for presenting a challenge?


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 17:29
If anything... 99% of diplo interference is directed against the top 4 VALAR players in this tournament anyways. Handicapping the 4% of the VALAR alliance that was providing 50% of their total parts simply forces you guys to work as a team instead of depending on 4 dedicated and skilled players to bring you free prizes.

Infact I would have alot more sympathy for Dakota's anger if he was one of those 4 players.


Posted By: Dakota Strider
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 17:35
HonoredMule, I am sorry if I hurt your feelings.  But you are acting like a typical politician that will not address an issue, when the facts are not on their side.  Instead of addressing the arguments I made in my post, where I addressed each of the points you made; you instead attack the messenger.

If all you can do is attack me, instead of the subject on hand, then you do not give much credence to your credibility.  However, all will think better of you, if you can actually address the points I have made.

And trying to make excuses, that because the Valar have redoubled our efforts to counter your tactics, does not mean no offense has occurred.  I wonder how you would react if someone other than yourself were to say that.  It would be like saying that it didn't matter that Nazi Germany bombed civilians in London, because they lost the war in the end, so no harm was done.  


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 17:37
Dakota, I'm going to do even better.  I'll let someone with a neutral point of view respond to you.

And Godwin...classy.


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 17:50
I'm not even sure that we were having an argument.

But Dakota: You just lost it


Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 20:04
To HM, Creature and the Mighty H? Alliance,
 
Just some quick comments :
 
a.  The legion-locker tactic is actually not a clever nor an effective tactic to clinch the advantage in this tournament.  It diverts an alliance's effort from hunting to locking the legions, in futility. Very much like the tactic of  setting encampments outside Boromir's cities to prevent the animal  spawns and similarly futile. Unless you have players who have the patience to saturate every possible square.
 
b.  I think that H? considered it "clever" when it thought that it had hegemony over the idea, during the time that it thought no one would else would be "clever" enough to think of the same.
 
c.   I personally welcomed H? resorting to such tactic because  for me, it misled them to believing that it will be able to turn the tide in its favor because of this "clever" idea, diverting necessary focus, wasting precious opportunity.  Well the tournment is not yet over, it may just turn the tide who knows only H? knows.
 
d.  But I could understand the disappointment of my VALAR buddies like Dakota, duQ and Boromir because they see the game from a deeper perspective which involves mechanics and rules and coherence. And H? resorting to the use of the tactic has disturbed such coherence and balance in the tournament. And it has allowed a questionable exploit to now become a normal acceptable thing in the game. So after the tournament, when we notice some non-disappearing legions in our neighborhood we just say "ah its okey somebody is just being kind enough to lock them there for days and days on end. Now lets track where they are coming from so that we could siege them out of the game."  And so gameplay  evolves in a way that we believe was never the intention.  Well I am exaggerating but I hope you get my gist....
 
e.  I will also agree with the observation that the tactic somehow solidified the Valar more and that in the end, we the Valar will look back at this opportunity of having locked horns with H? in this intellectual debate and the mental battles behind this tournament.
 
 
Cheers to you our worthy opponents!  Keep up the good hunt. The tournament is not yet done. 
 
:) 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 21:12
Originally posted by Azreil Azreil wrote:

a.  The legion-locker tactic is actually not a clever nor an effective tactic to clinch the advantage in this tournament.

I assume you realise that no one in H? is going to argue with you here? It's no skin off our back if you think our tactics are poor.
 
b.  I think that H? considered it "clever" when it thought that it had hegemony over the idea, during the time that it thought no one would else would be "clever" enough to think of the same.
 
No one else did think of the same. The reason everyone knows about it now is because H? has demonstrated it in use. I always heard that imitation was the greatest form of flattery.

d. And H? resorting to the use of the tactic has disturbed such coherence and balance in the tournament.

Yes we did disturb the balance. That was our intention. And "The Balance" that you speak of is the one where VALAR was confortably sailing unopposed towards certain victory.
 
e.  I will also agree with the observation that the tactic somehow solidified the Valar more and that in the end, we the Valar will look back at this opportunity of having locked horns with H? in this intellectual debate and the mental battles behind this tournament.

And we do agree on something. This has indeed allowed two competitors in this tournament to enter into a more direct form of competition. This also was our intention. Competition is fun. Farming is not.
 
 
Cheers to you our worthy opponents!  Keep up the good hunt. The tournament is not yet done. 

Likewise. You guys are more than worthy opponents. This tourny has been fun so far and maybe it will get even more exciting towards the end. Who knows? VALAR knows?


I gotta admit I will be glad when this is over too regardless of the result. It'll be nice getting a bunch of free-time back!


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 03 May 2011 at 23:07
Azreil, our tactic may or may not work as intended.  At this point, it appears you've catalyzed your members well with enough righteous fury to hold the lead.  Whatever the means, may the best alliance win.  That will probably be Valar, and I shall be the first to congratulate you all.  And I appreciate your distaste for having faced an unexpected form of opposition.  But I very much take exception to continued attempts, by yourself and others who speak for your alliance, to brand it as "a questionable exploit."

Originally posted by GM Stormcrow GM Stormcrow wrote:

We feel absolutely 100% that this is not an exploit...It's a clever, legitimate use of an ingame mechanic to hamper a competitor's tournament progress.


Calling it an exploit is a smear with no purpose but to wage a slander war and encourage negative opinions toward us.  Doing so will have no influence on the outcome of the tournament, and I doubt it sways the opinions in other alliances either.  You don't like it.  Fair enough.  Anti-Harmless propaganda that elegantly dances around inconvenient facts has likely been a valuable tool to motivate the membership.  But persisting with this already refuted slur in public only shows everyone else your character.  Simply put, you color our name with blatantly false and only thinly veiled accusations, and you do so completely without justification or even purpose, save to falsely besmirch our honor.  We have not earned this insult.  I will not bear any grudge regarding this, but you should realize exactly what you are doing and that we recognize it for what it is.

So, setting aside this implied and unfounded insult, can you please clarify the exact nature of your complaint?  You say we have "disturbed such coherence and balance."  What exactly is now unbalanced?  You speak of fearing this becoming a normal acceptable thing in the game."  What exactly is wrong with that?  Attacking and sieging cities is one of the core, intrinsic mechanics of the game--very much intentionally so.  So also is the use of diplomats to kill commanders, steal resources, find out about the strength of your army encampments, etc--even with difficulty, sometimes near impossibility, in uncovering the aggressor.  Who will be the defenseless victims plagued by "legions camping nearby?" 

Suppose there actually is someone negatively impacted by an enemy employing this tactic.  Heck, I'll even offer an example of how it might matter at all: perhaps someone with an incoming siege attack will ensure legions stick around to help him defend an adjacent tile.  Whatever the case, any "victim" has the freedom to seek redress according to whatever offense or grudge he bears, as he would for an offense by any other means.  Game mechanics don't kill people, people kill people.

The most pivotal question in all this is the premise no one in Valar has even attempted to address, and without it you have no case whatsoever:

What harm was done?

Are your cities in rubble?  Have your armies been poisoned?  Have you been robbed of some thing you were entitled to attain?  Is all that you've built in this game suddenly for naught?  Do legions of giant rats taunt you and recite Vogon poetry in the town square?  We have altered the progress of the tournament, as is the very thing we're supposed to try to do when losing.

There have been great volumes of talk, rhetoric, and outpouring of anguish.  Far more in fact than I could possibly have imagined coming from a very simple attempt to merely slow down a competitor.  But not a single attempt has been made yet to actually respond to any of my original points by explaining, in factual terms, how a problem actually exists and how Valar have been mistreated.  And it's no surprise, for you simply have not been.


Posted By: Llyorn Of Jaensch
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 00:36
Originally posted by HonoredMule HonoredMule wrote:

Originally posted by GM Stormcrow GM Stormcrow wrote:

We feel absolutely 100% that this is not an exploit...It's a clever, legitimate use of an ingame mechanic to hamper a competitor's tournament progress.


1.You don't like it. 

2.Do legions of giant rats taunt you and recite Vogon poetry in the town square? 

3. But not a single attempt has been made yet to actually respond to any of my original points by explaining, in factual terms, how a problem actually exists and how Valar have been mistreated.  And it's no surprise, for you simply have not been.


Simply put VALAR, (IMO) this is simply a case of sour grapes. You wish us to conduct the tournament on your terms (whereby you have the distinct advantage) and we, not surprisingly, differ in opinion.

Calling into question our honour and questioning our conduct in this matter is childish, petty, factually incorrect and frankly says more about the character of the accuser than the accused.

Post Script: That Vogon poetry line kills me. We love our Mule. Clap


Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 06:18

Hi HM,

With an effort to be succinct, and from both a personal and a leadership standpoint, please understand the following:

1. We the Valar did not and do not intend to malign the honor of H and wage any form of "slander war" against it.

2. We did not, have not, nor intended to insult H?

3. The exact nature of our complaint has already been directed via petition to the game devs.

4. We respect and shall abide by the decision and position of the game developers with respect to its definition of an "exploit."

5. By posting in this forum, I believe that we are no longer complaining but just responding and presenting our side of the story in a forum which you have started.

6. My personal post in this thread and the posts of Dakota, duQ and Boromir are legitimate opinions and free expressions of feedback about an aspect of the game which we shall leave to the game devs to sort out. 

7. Insinuating against our character just because we are expressing our own opinions is hitting below the belt already. I could just hope we respect each other's opinion rather than resort to such "character attacks."

8. I believe that the merits and demerits of balance and coherence in the game are something that could be discussed in the realms of debate and game improvement, which I do not wish nor have to time nor mastery to be engaging in.

9. We have expressed our "distaste" for your tactic. Now you are expressing your own distaste of our expressing our distaste. So i guess we are now even.

10. You said you will not begrudge us beyond the tournament. Similarly here, we will not begrudge H? All part of the game, as everyone is wont to say. 

11. This shall be my final post as far as this topic is concerned. I don't relish the rhetoric either.


Best regards,


Azreil






Posted By: Kumomoto
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 06:41
Quote
"1. We the Valar did not and do not intend to malign the honor of H and wage any form of "slander war" against it.

 2. We believe we all don't want to be bigots here.


When has H or any H? affiliate ever suggested that Valar is a bad entity, MUCH less suggested that it's worthy of slander to the effect that it is some sort of racist entity where they are "bigots"...

If you persist in this train of slander, Azreil, we will declare war on you and you will truly find out whether you are "as good as H?"...




Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 06:53



Posted By: Kumomoto
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 06:54
mark your words carefully.



Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 06:57
Hey Kumomoto, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? There is no slander.  Are you guys just looking for a reason to declare war???? !!!  Go ahead....  I will just as easily quit the game..... couldnt care less if this is how H? people are behaving

I have just tried to present a polite, rational and diplomatic closure to the issue and you come  yelling war.... 






Posted By: Kumomoto
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 07:01
Originally posted by Azreil Azreil wrote:

Hey Kumomoto, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? There is no slander.  Are you guys just looking for a reason to declare war???? !!!  Go ahead....  I will just as easily quit the game..... couldnt care less if this is how H? people are behaving

I have just tried to present a polite, rational and diplomatic closure to the issue and you come  yelling war.... 



Oh. Your idea of a polite, rational discussion is calling someone a racist?

Well done! You should be a graduate of SOAS or Kennedy School (Woody Woo woo or Gtown SFS would have prepared you better!

Who called who a "Bigot" matey?

So you think you can call me and my mates Bigots and get away with it?

Do you even know who we are? or where we come from? Where is the "Bigot" term coming from?

Cause it offends me... but I'm often more easily offended than my fellow directors, so I'll sleep on it and let them see if they're offended...

Kumo





Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 07:08
I have said that was my final post. No malice no insult no slander intended. But closure and I hope conciliation.  Removed the offensive word. Hope it satisfies you. 


Posted By: Kumomoto
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 07:11
Originally posted by Azreil Azreil wrote:

I have said that was my final post. No malice no insult no slander intended. But closure and I hope conciliation. 


Well I would love to know how your alliance supports your racist accusations (or doesn't).

Please let us know, as it will affect our behavior towards your alliance.

Thank you,

H?


Posted By: Boromir
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 07:20
Sorry to interrupt just for a while, me dear Kumomoto, as I wrote to you in a private post (though maybe indirectly), you have already declared war upon me (and possibly thus upon us), though in an indirect, "harmless (?)" way. The peasants whom I grant technology and protection, I mean, the ones living under my sovereignty, speak of hundreds and thousands of occupants just where they live.
My caravans harvesting next to my towns within the range of my sovereignty have been destroyed in possibly harmless (?) accidents. The mentioned peasants, running in panic to seek shelter in my castles, again speak of some armies of unknown, possibly harmless (?) origin, to have been the cause of those accidents.
 
Please, tell me, my dear Kumomoto - as the in-game character, because I am at this point writing this as an in-game character, not the player - if being a lord in Illyria facing such acts of undeclared aggression, would you call this agression or not?
 
====
 
Now please forgive me this tone, but this is a sort of introduction to how things should be seen from a different perspective as we look at matters from the point of view of the players and the in-game characters. I mean no harm to you, but - again speaking as an in-game character - you constantly keep doing harm to me, which puts the whole idea of your alliance as you call it ("fair in all dealings, harmless (?), spreading kinship etc.") under huge question mark - you are simply not able to face your own rules of honor which you so proudly declare. Again, as I have already written to you in a private message: while you speak of the merits, I put them into existance. While I do not speak of them so proudly, you harm them below underhand acts of undeclared aggression. And may all arcanum Illyria remember this for ages!
 
====
 
Again, just to clarify, this is what Boromir, lord of Gondor, says (not me, the player) seeing huge occupant armies all around his towns and looking at the peasants running in panic to seek shelter in the castles...
 
What I, the player, and also a many-year experienced professional game developer, have to say, I will say after the tournament, as I have already written. There might even be a few days of additional delay, as at first I need to have the preBeta build of ma last game finished.
 
Kind regards to all of you.
Boromir


Posted By: Kumomoto
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 07:25
We all look forward to your post tournament feedback, Boromir. You are singularly phenomenal in the NPC arena and your joining Valar early on gave them the tournament.

Any and all feedback you give I would welcome and my admiration for you (as I expressed in an email before you even joined Valar) remains...

Kumo


Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 07:31
 there was no such accusation. The use of the word may have been an erroneous choice. I am not English by the way so forgive the lapses and missing the fine points of the language....  and please  accept the correction. I dont have any intention of enflaming your rage.  Cool it Kumo.  


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 10:09
Quote bigĀ·ot  (bgt)
n.
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Actually Azreil I do have to kind of agree with you here. Bigot (although it often implies racist) does NOT mean racist in all cases. And the use of the word was most likely justified in the context of free-expression and the presenting of an opinion (whether it be biased or not).

When you wrote:
Originally posted by Azreil Azreil wrote:

"2. We believe we all don't want to be bigots here."

 - I read that as "We all don't want to be intolerant of each others' differences (not racial differences but political/alliance differences). -

I agree with this sentiment. This is a tournament and I'm glad to see passions running high, it would be boring otherwise. But I don't like or dislike any member of VALAR any more or less than a random man in the street.

Although I probably DO like VALAR members more than a random person because you share a love of Illyriad with me! \o/

I also respect you moderately more balanced and thought out response than those of a few of your guild members.


Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 10:48
Hi Creature

Thank you for this sympathetic stance.

Yes I meant that kind of "bigot" in that context since it looked to me like both sides were sliding toward hard-lining their positions and my intention was to stop further agitation of the situation.

I actually "consulted" the thesaurus in Word and the "bigot" is synonymous to: extremist, diehard, dogmatic, etc. and "bigotry" is about intolerance, narrow-mindedness, prejudice, bias, etc.

But I was not accusing H? of being so. Exactly as I said it: "We believe we all don't want to be so. "

I just did not want to belabor it. Because as I said it was supposed to be my final post.

This post, hopefully, would finally be it.   :)

Thanks





Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 10:52
I like what lawn-mower said:
Originally posted by lolly lolly wrote:

we, not surprisingly, differ in opinion

I think this pretty much sums up the debate.

There's no way either side is going to shift positions so we're just going to have to agree to disagree. Then we can all move on and enjoy the rest of the tourny! ^^


Posted By: lokifeyson
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 13:39
nice, i thought of this tactic as well...from the start...except i told myself that if i was willing to go as far as sending diplo's and vans, i might as well just send the seige...

no town=no army

if anything be thankful that didn't happen Tongue


-------------


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 14:20
Wow, exciting proceedings in my absence.

I have nothing to add.

Good hunting one and all.


Posted By: The_Dude
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 14:48
It seems the smell of blood from so many dead critters has aroused the passions of Illy's mighty hunters.  I am sure King Sigurd is pleased that his lords are so passionate about being his Champion.


Posted By: Brids17
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 20:01
I wonder when people are going to realize that honor is overrated. Every time someone calls themselves honorable, when they do something possibly seen as not honorable, they hit harder by it than anyone else would. I bet if this was DB doing this, the overall response would be something like "Those jerks again?" and not "How could you do something like this!?".

Edit: I should point out I have no problem with DB, I was just using them as an example since it seems many people don't see them as exactly an "honorable" alliance.


Posted By: Lionz Heartz
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 20:16
Okay.

Basically, H?, is sending armies to hold squares that spawn NPCs. They are sending these armies near towns of the best players of VALAR. Thus, H? is holding squares for 14 days that spawn NPC targets. And since H? states these armies are only being sent by afk alt accounts. I also assume to hold these squares, H? has a good amount of troops holding them. Otherwise, if their were a small amount of troops occupying, I feel it would be a good idea for VALAR to remove H? from these squares since H?'s strategy is effecting spawn rates for them.

I also heard about the use of diplomats being used and even caravans... Can someone shed light as to how these are used and what outcomes it has on a square spawning NPCs?

Are diplomats able to keep resource spawns active till the diplomat arrives? Are diplomats able to keep a spawn square inactive till the diplomat arrives? Can a diplomat deactivate a NPC holding square and then spawn up a another NPC onto that square which may be bigger?

I assume caravans are being used much the same way troops are being used but are used to gather resources instead of killing NPC's to hold square etc... If I remember reading right... VALAR has been using caravans to gather resources that spawn NPC and resources to prohibit H? from using that square to kill NPCs. In retaliation I also remember H? destroying VALAR's caravans to open up the square again.   
--------------------------------------------

I'm Brilliant
Superstar
Lionz Heartz

PS: How is that bounty going for you Kumo? Perhaps you need to raise the gold amount in order for my alliance to give me up.

-------------
HELLS COMING WITH ME YOU HEAR, HELLS COMING WITH ME!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynKoZD-sFi4&feature=related


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 21:59
For as many people as hold us to an inequitable standard, others stand by us for our honesty and reliability.  I've said before that Harmless serves as a "proof of concept" that centered, upright behavior can be successful and opens as many strategic and political doors as it closes.

Case in point: if we told Valar we would stop diplomats, I believe they would do the same without waiting for our days-out parties to finish arriving, because they would believe we were telling the truth.  (I am not making this promise, but only offer it as an example.)  In this scenario, we cannot lie to Valar for a temporary advantage, but we can bring about an immediate change.

Another example: we basically have no known enemies and very trustworthy allies.  If we ruled by strength alone, we would face a constant vigil against challengers and changing diplomatic tides.  War is fun.  Constant war is very tiring.


Posted By: (EOM) Harry
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 22:42
At the end of the day boys and girls its a game, and no game is ever won without bending breaking or taking advantage of the rules, so you guys are telling me you never stole a couple of 100's in monopoly whilst your mum took a phone call, or you called "go fish" when you really shouldn't of, lighten up guys, its an interesting tactic that now spruces up an otherwise getting stale tournament.
 
Just take it in your stride and have some fun with it. Also you could just use the tactic yourself, nothing stopping you from doing that.
 
Its nearly over anyway so just chill out have a laugh and get some good banter going afterwards ;)


-------------
Fool's watch the land when the problem is in the heart.


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 04 May 2011 at 22:49
*cough* have never stolen monopoly money.  I have only the vaguest of memories of playing Go Fish, and finding a coin flip about as engaging.  I do the "playing nice and making friends" thing in Monopoly too, often resulting in someone selling out to me at bargain prices when a 3rd party ultimately squeezes them out of the game.  That tends to be the moment of my assured victory.


Posted By: col0005
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 00:47
I have to say I have no objection to sending large armies to occupy NPC squares for time poor players and I applaud H? for being clever with the use of diplomats, however I belive that the GM's should have removed the diplomat feature shortly after it was discovered as it doesn't make much sense.


Posted By: The_Dude
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 01:22
Originally posted by HonoredMule HonoredMule wrote:

I do the "playing nice and making friends" thing in Monopoly too, often resulting in someone selling out to me at bargain prices when a 3rd party ultimately squeezes them out of the game.  That tends to be the moment of my assured victory.
Sweet, delicious revenge...served cold.  mmmm, tasty.


Posted By: Lionz Heartz
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 01:35
Originally posted by col0005 col0005 wrote:

I have to say I have no objection to sending large armies to occupy NPC squares for time poor players and I applaud H? for being clever with the use of diplomats, however I belive that the GM's should have removed the diplomat feature shortly after it was discovered as it doesn't make much sense.


Can you explain to me how the diplomat exploit works and what it does?

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HELLS COMING WITH ME YOU HEAR, HELLS COMING WITH ME!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynKoZD-sFi4&feature=related


Posted By: Brids17
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 08:09
It does the same thing sending an army does, stops the square from refreshing. So if you send it at a legion of salamanders and it's a 4 day travel, those salamanders will sit there for 4 days until the diplos arrive. This could have been solved either by A) balancing the drop rates and making it actually worth it to attack large groups of NPCs or B) by removing this pointless feature all together.

I can understand NPCs not refreshing when an army is sent, since otherwise it'd be very difficult to get a hold of various animal parts if you're cities are all in one spot but diplos will just get there, do nothing then return. The tactic would be fine it it required you to give up commanders to send armies with siege engines at NPC squares but with diplos, you lose nothing in sending them and it serves no purpose. 


Posted By: HonoredMule
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 10:09
Outside the scope of this tournament, the feature was far from pointless.  Small players were getting screwed by attempts to farm small parties which would re-spawn as legions while troops were in transit.  One could argue it should not be necessary to make diplomats lock tiles, but there is no other reasonable way (aside from knowledgeable handling of a potentially inconvenient spawn schedule) to get an accurate report on party strength before launching the troops which will lock it down.  (Launch a scout to report, and while in transit, launch another to buy time between receiving the report and launching troops.)  It's likely more complicated to differentiate diplo transit from military transit in this context anyway.

In the context of the tournament, restricting the lock to diplomats would not be an effective fix.  Using spare commanders from underpowered cities would actually be a much more effective means of locking tiles.  Send one low-level commander and one of your slowest units to attack a legion, and it'll take 3-6 days easily--diplos average 1-2.  Send it stealth for good measure, and it will never even appear on the map--invisible heading out, and no return trip.  Even if it did, it's just another of the many troops running around during the tournament, probably from someone nearby.

Do this with stealth alts outside the alliance, and now you're in the realm of underhanded tactics.  With this method, the alliance-vs-alliance balancing factor of 100-account limit practically disappears, and the limit only applies to the 100 developed accounts that will reap the rewards.  You'd never get caught by your competitors, especially if all your competitors reported an annoying number of NPCs and legions, and your members parroted the same complaint.  At that point, where does one even cast suspicions?

On the other hand, I wouldn't consider it nearly so underhanded to pay actual outsiders to help in this manner.  I'm surprised no one appears to have paid other alliances to assist in either tournament--it would have made the competitions much more interesting.  It also would be an appealing proposition to smaller alliances who haven't a chance of victory but might enjoy the payout you can offer.  Of course they may reveal your dealings/plans, but that's an appropriate risk to such scheming.


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 10:10
Originally posted by Lionz Heartz Lionz Heartz wrote:

Can you explain to me how the diplomat exploit works and what it does?

Originally posted by GM StormCrow GM StormCrow wrote:

We feel absolutely 100% that this is not an exploit, for the following reasons:


I wonder. Do I believe LH or do I believe the guy who designed the game?


Posted By: Aneirin
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 11:19
This feature ,as you call it, Honored Mule has done Harmless? even more harm than good for it reveals that not only are you losing the tournament to Valar but you are losing the debate in this thread also.
 
I can't believe that you would be so crassly conceited as to come into the forum and try, by use of chicanery and spin, to justify subertefuge in a tournament. This is first time I have ever seen an elephant blunder into a trap of his own making.
 
The fact is that Harmless, for all their misplaced self regard, have lost this tournament to a better alliance. You and the vituperative Kumomoto should have the good grace to admit it ... but tellingly you do not. Even now, in this thread, Kumo looks to twist the words of Azreil so that he can pick a fight.
 
You both failed and Harmless? failed. The Order of the Valar were the better allaince and now it is clear to the community that they are the most honourable alliance. 
 


Posted By: WarePhreak
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 13:02
I haven't read all the posts, but what I am gathering is that Harmless is using the game the way it is designed currently. Bravo. Clap
At the same time I am rooting for VALAR as I am tired of seeing H? at the top of everything. Tongue
 
What I've read so far is exactly how I understood the game to work and makes sense for spawning. If I send at a few, just enough troops, I want that square to stay the same and not become a horde. However if someone else beats me there, then I may still lose everything. I think this needs to stay that way since travel times can be so long.
 
Originally, they did respawn on a schedule regardless of incoming and it caused enough issues that they changed it.


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 15:29
Originally posted by Aneirin Aneirin wrote:

it reveals that not only are you losing the tournament to Valar but you are losing the debate in this thread also.

Troll alert? I heard you weren't even part of VALAR anymore after falling out with their leadership.

But anyways mr smart guy. I'm pretty sure you can tell that H? and every other alliance in Illy are losing the tournament by looking at the leaderboard. That's the only reason we needed to try different tactics in the first place.

The only spin and propoganda here is coming from yourself. The directors of H? have already wished VALAR an entertaining finale to the tournament and assured everyone that no grudges will be held afterwards but I guess you carefully choose not to read those bits.



Posted By: scottfitz
Date Posted: 05 May 2011 at 16:58
Pinning NPCs with diplos is not an exploit, it is just playing well. 

Kudos for Harmless? for playing so well, and Kudos to Valar and Boromir for winning anyway!

Good job all!


Posted By: Llyorn Of Jaensch
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 01:00
Originally posted by Aneirin Aneirin wrote:

 
You both failed and Harmless? failed. The Order of the Valar were the better allaince and now it is clear to the community that they are the most honourable alliance. 
 


Whilst tempted to reply in point Ill simply address your closing statement and avoid your trolling.

However you look at the numbers Harmless has, again, performed outstandingly.

At the commencement of the tournament (and for its majority) H? had almost exactly FIFTY (50) members. HALF VALAR's number and the top spot is still to come down to the wire. Removing VALAR's top player would relegate VALAR to second place. Removing Harmless's top FOUR players and we would STILL hold second place. Removing VALAR's top THREE players would relegate VALAR to THIRD place.

Harmless has performed competitively above its weight and in an Honourable fashion as the Devs AND the MAJORITY of neutral commentators have stated quite clearly.

Your accusations are baseless and you simply come across as bitter.


Posted By: Akita
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 07:30
 
Originally posted by Lionz Heartz Lionz Heartz wrote:

Originally posted by col0005 col0005 wrote:

I have to say I have no objection to sending large armies to occupy NPC squares for time poor players and I applaud H? for being clever with the use of diplomats, however I belive that the GM's should have removed the diplomat feature shortly after it was discovered as it doesn't make much sense.
 

Can you explain to me how the diplomat exploit works and what it does?

The use of diplomats to "pin" NPC army camps and NPC animal groups to their current place has been ruled as NOT an exploit, at least for the time being.

How it works is very simple. 


For instance, you send one basic scout (for its slower speed) to "scout" the composition of a NPC spawn, then before that one arrives you send another one, and then another one and so on and so forth until you get bored of sending scouts.
The effect is that the NPC spawn will never just vanish from the spot, but will keep being there as long as there's even a single diplomatic unit bearing down on its location.
If you do that with "undesirable" NPC spawns (army groups, legions of animals, etc) everywhere around a target city, that city's armies will have a more difficult time finding decently-sized NPC animal groups to hunt for XP and/or tournament body parts, and it will get increasingly difficult as more and more of the squares get occupied by large NPC animal groups or NPC army camps.

Again, this TACTIC has been deemed to NOT be an exploit.


Whether or not the mechanics of this particular tactic will be deemed either unbalanced or undesirable and therefore either be altered or outright removed in some nearer or farther future is unknown for now, and the consequences of any such alteration would need to be carefully weighed before any changes are made.



Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 09:42
I think SC explained all that in bullet-point form last week.

But hey, it's always nice to hear from a different member of the Illy staff! ^^


Posted By: Akita
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 10:04
I was merely repeating and clarifying what the official ruling said, and explaining how it's done, nothing more, nothing less.
I have expressed my personal, unofficial views on the matter on page two of this thread.


Posted By: Selissa
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 10:41
Originally posted by Llyorn Of Jaensch Llyorn Of Jaensch wrote:

Originally posted by Aneirin Aneirin wrote:

 
You both failed and Harmless? failed. The Order of the Valar were the better allaince and now it is clear to the community that they are the most honourable alliance. 
 


At the commencement of the tournament (and for its majority) H? had almost exactly FIFTY (50) members. HALF VALAR's number and the top spot is still to come down to the wire. Removing VALAR's top player would relegate VALAR to second place. Removing Harmless's top FOUR players and we would STILL hold second place. Removing VALAR's top THREE players would relegate VALAR to THIRD place.
 
I think LoJ puts the situation very well. I congratulate Valar for winning this tournament, but it's clearly because of a few select members, not because Valar is a better alliance as a whole. Give us a tournament of the same type as the first one, and I think H? will clearly be in front again :)
 
By the way, I'm not in any way trying to insult Valar, merely stating a fact. And I'm not a member of Harmless?, so I'm not partial to them either.


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Selissa
Proud member of Curse of the Wolves

I'm an angel, honest! The horns are just there to keep the halo straight!


Posted By: Sloter5
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 16:26
Fact is that Valar or they members hold 3 first place of 4 possible.I recognize that as great achivment for alliance that started tourney with some 1.7mil pop, and salute that.




Posted By: Azreil
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 18:14
As leader of the Valar, I have this to say: the performance of our alliance in this tournament  is due to the fact that we performed as an alliance.  The individual performances of our top hunters is due to the fact that they hunted not only for themselves but for the alliance.  Ermm

Everybody is awed by the "singular" and "phenomenal" hunt of Boromir, but you know what? ...  I, as well as the rest of the VALAR, have been similarly awe-struck long time ago and long before Boromir joined the alliance.  :).  I could only be thankful therefore that Boromir chose to become one of us.   Clap

Also, I would like call attention the the reality that most of our members seen as "small" because of their population count, performed EXCEPTIONALLY WELL beyond expectations.  Many of you just didnt know it, they were actually our secret weapons, not Boromir.    He he.  Evil Smile

But let it be known, we never set out to join this tournament to be in a position to claim that we are the best or the better alliance. Angry  No. Thumbs Down

This is just a tournament y'know.  Don't bother to analyze. We were just lucky, SO FAR,  really.      Wink 

And its not yet over!  Tongue











Posted By: Nokigon
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 18:16
Originally posted by Azreil Azreil wrote:

As leader of the Valar, I have this to say: the performance of our alliance in this tournament  is due to the fact that we performed as an alliance.  The individual performances of our top hunters is due to the fact that they hunted not only for themselves but for the alliance.  Ermm

Everybody is awed by the "singular" and "phenomenal" hunt of Boromir, but you know what? ...  I, as well as the rest of the VALAR, have been similarly awe-struck long time ago and long before Boromir joined the alliance.  :).  I could only be thankful therefore that Boromir chose to become one of us.   Clap

Also, I would like call attention the the reality that most of our members seen as "small" because of their population count, performed EXCEPTIONALLY WELL beyond expectations.  Many of you just didnt know it, they were actually our secret weapons, not Boromir.    He he.  Evil Smile

But let it be known, we never set out to join this tournament to be in a position to claim that we are the best or the better alliance. Angry  No. Thumbs Down

This is just a tournament y'know.  Don't bother to analyze. We were just lucky, SO FAR,  really.      Wink 

And its not yet over!  Tongue



Might as well be...


Posted By: Createure
Date Posted: 06 May 2011 at 18:21
I'm sure every single member of VALAR dedicated some time to this tournament.

There is no escaping the fact that 4% of the members obtained 50% of the total parts for VALAR though. Wink

That is my one and only cheap shot though. VALAR are going to thoroughly deserve their crown and prizes. (particularly their top 4%)

I think you VALAR guys will find youselves pulling ahead towards the finish though. Alliances competiting for top spaces are going to be giving up spamming armies and saving troops as their chances tof overtaking the alliance/player above them decreases.

(at least for "most Kills" categories... I'm guessing competition for "most unique collection" is going to remain tight right until the end.)



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