Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

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What should we do with the SDNW game?

Poll ended at 2012-01-05 08:47pm

Continue SDNW4, without changing the map or anything else.
4
15%
Continue SDNW4, but with a map change and retcons.
11
42%
Begin a reboot as SDNW5, with similar rules and an option on using the same countries, and try to recruit some new players.
11
42%
 
Total votes: 26

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-15 02:36am

2d Map: I like it, on the basis of keeping things as simple as possible. Yeah, it's unrealistic for a space setting, but if we're going to do things like we did in 4, well, realism is pretty well gone anyway, so, fuck it, right? I think it's going to be too much trouble dealing with a 2.5d or 3d map for us to deal with.

Cluster Idea: I'm not entirely sure I buy it. Having player "neighborhoods" seems intriguing, but I'm wondering if having those clusters is really the best way of going about it. Unfortunately, for now, I don't have any alternative suggestions. Ideally, we'd have a playtest to see if they work well or not, but we don't really have the resources to do that. So, I'd say we can use it tentatively for the beginning and see if it works and isn't a huge pain in the ass to implement. If it is, we can hopefully change things regarding it without causing the game to grind to a halt while we rework the rules. However, while I was active in 4, I didn't see travel times ever being much of an issue. I don't know if that's because I wasn't paying attention or what, but travel times never seemed to be an issue, while having senses of communities did seem to be more of an issue.

No Military Build-Up: I don't think allowing militaries to be built up reduces willingness to engage in warfare; in SDNW3, there were several conflicts that brewed (and some that actually came to fruition, to mix metaphors), even though that game was rather notorious for allowing militaries to be built up (especially navies that people had to design their own ships for). So, I don't think military build-up or lack thereof is going to affect player willingness to go to war, really. I think that's really going to be based a lot more on international relationships (see: the MEH vs. the Lost) than anything else. I know I was unwilling to go to war with anyone not because I needed to BUILD AN UNSTOPPABLE MILITARY (hell, I don't think I even wrote up anything for military expansion), but because I didn't consider it something my nation would want to do in their position, whereas in 3, I was willing to go to war because of historical ties and wanting to expand territory for rational reasons. So, even though I'm not privy to other people's thoughts, I'd assume that's what most people are doing: deciding to go to war or not based on if it makes sense, not because they want to add a few more ships and troops for the next fiscal year.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-15 08:24am

I will simply say that if anyone else has anyone in mind for mods, they are absolutely welcome to make nominations.

I've already gotten in touch with some of the people who moderated SDNW4, and gotten "if nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve" out of them. If there's anyone you want to name, who actually wants to do it, and meets the approval of more people than me, then I'll be quite happy to shut up and have them take the lead.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-15 10:31am

What, like the brick wall that just keeps spraying obstructionism and 'clusters would be amazing!' over and over again? The fact that Simon was a mod doesn't give him any more or less right to weigh in with his feelings on a matter. What it does give him is a perspective you personally do not have on what's worked behind the scenes and what hasn't. In summary, you, too, can fuck off, and stop trying to muzzle someone just because they used to be a mod. Or, alternately, we can go back to being civil and discussing things without trying to attack the person who said them. Because trust me, as argumentative and obnoxious as you were last game, you don't want to open the 'personal attacks' can, you really don't.

Now, the reason I haven't been saying much is that Simon tends to say things more eloquently than I do, and I often agree with him. When I don't, or when I feel something from my own personal position needs clarification or differentiation, I speak up. Since that's apparently unacceptable, let me be clear. Clusters are dubious, 'negotiated' transit time is goddamned idiotic, nobody goes to war or fails to go to war based on military buildup, if only because the other side can and does build up too, and at roughly the same rate to boot. A 3D map, while it's cool in concept, would be a massive headache to display and update on the fly in the format, so while it's neat conceptually, it's probably not a great idea on practicality grounds.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-15 10:48am

I have no problems with saying Simon can have the mod hat for this game. By virtue of being the only trustworthy candidate...And also the only candidate.

Also, no military build up wouldn't make sense for some nations..mine included. So I vote against it.

I don't think the Cluster's idea is a good one but we might be able to hybridize it to get something else? I'm not sure but here's an idea from a while back that didn't exactly work but might be fixeable.

We might be able to keep the idea of a somewhat more flexible map while not having 'everyone outside your circle is the same as any' if we go with a node map. This was tried prior albeit with star systems as the nodes while we'd probably need to go with sectors here. But the basic gist is that nodes are connected by FTL routes that link to specific other nodes. So you have to hop through nodes to get to other nodes. This means that proximity is always somewhat relevant. These nodes and how they link up don't need to correlate to actual space so if new connections open up and old ones close we can easily shift the roster of neighbours as the story requires and add new players without wondering how a whole star nation fits in there or why no one has dealt with them much till now.

However. There are two major problems with node systems that must be addressed before even I will consider using them again:

Blockades: Unless the entrance area to an inter node route is absolutely collossal then it's a natural choke point. This changes the feel of interstellar warfare significantly.

A world of only highways: Last time we used nodes for our map we had the problem that seen as all nodes were owned by someone and not many people liked the idea of folks from across the map driving fleets across their front lawn it effectively made every event a local event. Only those people who were near the stuff that was going down would get involved and even if they wanted to distant powers wouldn't be able to wheedle their way to the event in any timely fashion.

Of these two issues the first is somewhat more flavour really and might be mitigated if we solve the second issue. However the second issue MUST be rectified if we're to use node graphs for our map.

A proposal to mitigate it could be that shoal space is simply anywhere off the beaten path. The general principle is it should be possible to bypass nations but it should take longer. So in shoal space these node connections are much more unstable and shorter so you need more hops and more time between hops to find a connection going in the right direction. Although this'd run into the fact we're using a flexible correlation between realspace and the actual map. But maybe we can handwave the time it takes to do off road transits as the story requires. Honestly I'm not sure if this fixes things.

This hybridization is really intent on making the map flexible more than anything which is I assume the intent of Sorchus's cluster idea. Still, the idea has serious problems. So I'm just tossing it out there.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-15 10:54am

The node thing does remind me of something that I, as a late-joiner, ran into a LOT in 4. Specifically, hyperlanes, and where in the blue blazes they actually were. When they're such a crucial component of strategic mobility and trade, having them totally undocumented was...well, it was enough to make me want a Collector hyperdrive system just so I could ignore them in-character as much as I did out-of-character from ignorance. :)
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-15 11:03am

About the easiest thing I can see done for the nodes idea is to shamelessly steal crib the idea of mass relays from Mass Effect to link clusters together. I'm not sure how well that would work out, though.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-15 11:11am

The chokepoints bit does come up rather viciously there, depending on how much more effective relays are than offroading. Not saying it's a good or bad thing, but a node-map system versus a free-flight FTL system makes a huge difference both for long-range deployments and for the scale of wars. Free-flight encourages dispersion to cover vulnerable areas, nodes encourage concentration because you know where your enemy's going to be coming through. You end up with fewer, more cataclysmic battles, because in essence everyone knows it's going to be numbered fleets for all the marbles, not a skirmishing task force that slipped around to needle at an exposed system. If that's what we want, fine, but the ramifications do need to be considered.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-15 11:17am

If we have mass relays but a way to bypass them then it might work. Node or cluster systems have the advantage of flexibility that because it doesn't correlate to actual real space you can easily add new nations or add new connections.

They have the disadvantage that thus far every node based system leads to a galaxy where you can only travel on the highways to get between nodes and can't go off road in order to bypass a node.

And as White Haven said. If the only way to get between cities is to take the highway then the only place you need to guard is the highway off ramp and screw the city outskirts....to take my analogy and run with it.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Esquire » 2012-03-15 12:02pm

On the subject of a hybrid cluster/free sailing map: suppose we used something like the hyperspace cannons from Star Wars EU? It could launch a ship more quickly than it could travel on its own hyperdrive, but to a definite point (say x AUs from the local star, in the direction of the cannon, because of [insert technobabble]). Maybe that's not materially different from stealing mass relays; I've never played Mass Effect, but it'd get rid of the 'galaxy of highways' problem.

Hell, maybe you can aim the hyperspace cannons at deep space, too? Launch your attack fleet half of the way, then have it sail the rest of the way on its own power and come in from an unexpected angle. If the 'x' from above was something predictable the owner of a system could fortify the emergence points of his most likely attackers, leaving his fleet free to counter attacks from deep space.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Siege » 2012-03-15 12:33pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I think the answer is: have a wiki, avoid creating or tolerating the creation of pointless encyclopedia pages, avoid excessive duplication of information, and have the mods poke, prod, or possibly hammer people who really do waste some meaningful amount of time and energy on the wiki, without contributing.


I think that's the right way to deal with it as well. Though it might mean the moderators might have to be more proactive than they were in the past.

And to be equally frank as you, I think that being constantly on high alert about how other people are being "BAD PLAYERS!!!" will kill the fun of the game even faster than time-wasting wiki articles.


That's why this stuff ought to be settled now rather than once the game is on the road. I want to know how everybody proposes to deal with problems like vast numbers of idle players before setting off, because from past experience we can tell that dealing with that particular problem once we run into it doesn't work. It didn't work in #2, it didn't work in #4, so chances are it won't work in #5, and therefore we ought to settle on an approach before it gets to that point.

Would you be willing to hear my opinion on this?


Of course I would.

Take it into the open in OOC. Get some discussion about it. If no amicable or grudging resolution can be reached, it becomes a mod problem.


Right; as long as this actually will happen then I daresay it would be a massive improvement. And again, it might require moderators to be more proactive in making rulings on these cases. That's something else that bears thinking about.

Ahklut wrote:Additionally: I think having 3 or 5 moderators would be helpful for arbitration purposes, with a majority-rules, no-appeal sort of thing.


I agree with Simon: Five is way too many. Three already might be, unless they're guaranteed (insofar as such things can be guaranteed, anyway) to all have sufficient time to actually do what they were appointed to do. And did what they were appointed to do, at that.


As far as clusters/nodes go: I don't see the point. I only paid lip service to the concept of travel times in the last game and nobody noticed or cared. If the map has been carefully designed you don't need travel speed book-keeping. What are these things even trying to achieve? Force people to take the predictable route from A to B? Why would you want to do that? Was this a problem before? Because I don't think it was. Fleets got intercepted just fine in a galaxy where everyone could take every route.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-15 12:46pm

Re: Clusters.

Not all that for the basic idea Scorchus is presenting, as it doesn't really solve the problem of 'What if neighbours in the same cluster go inactive'. Because as I understand how and why he's proposing it, it's so that you build up most of your story and background and stuff you actually do with the people in your own cluster.

Which hits the major snag if you end up as an unlucky player in a mostly inactive cluster doesn't it? Not much better in any other map system, but with a more traditional 2D map at least you're not totally screwed over.

Also not a fan of 'Act of Plot' travel times, new wormholes/nodes opening up that change the strategic balance though? That's good story potential and would keep things from getting stale, we should think about saving this part.

Re: Nodes vs Freeflight.

Well yea, if we want fewer more large scale firm fleet actions where sectors are fougth for and lost at the node entries then going with a pure node map can work, it all depends on the kind of game and the tone of battles were going for, a compromise might work though, with nodes being easy quick highways that you -can- send a major invasion fleet through, but having some form of much slower free flight FTL (That might have to cope with being detected or flying through someone elses soverign space on teh way to it's target, also supplies being a problem) that would allow you to get the drop on people, at least locally.

Hrrrm, this might encourage people to pay faar more attention to thier neighbours even with being able to node across teh galaxy, if the guy 10ly away can just cruise on over to any point in your border anyway, he becomes much more tricky to deal with. Wait isn't this more or less the system you gusy had with SDNW4?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-15 12:57pm

The only reason I brought up nodes was to find some form of compromise between the one good part of the cluster system (flexibility) without the problem of 'once you leave your own cluster distance doesn't matter' which it had. The node graph not correlating to actual realspace directly and a dash of instability for inter node connections allows for an in universe justification for map reshuffles to move inactive players out the way or add new players without worrying where we're squeezing them in.

That was about the only purpose it served and honestly I'm not in the camp of those who objected over much to the way things were. I'm neither sure we need any sort of change nor sure we could make it work if we did.

So yeah. Clusters are silly cause of their aforementioned disadvantage and nodes have their own set of disadvantages that would need to be dealt with...and after further thought i'm not sure the immense amount of back and forth discussion required to make nodes workable is the best use of our time.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-15 02:39pm

Whoo. Lots of discussion here...

Darkevilme wrote:I have no problems with saying Simon can have the mod hat for this game. By virtue of being the only trustworthy candidate...And also the only candidate.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but could you please at least try to think of someone else? I nominated myself mostly because I was the only SDNW4 mod with even the slightest interest in trying again, and because I figured that even if I didn't, someone would probably name me.

But it's not reassuring not to have backup. I'm only going to have so many hours in a day. And sooner or later I'm going to have to recuse myself from something.

I don't think the Cluster's idea is a good one but we might be able to hybridize it to get something else? I'm not sure but here's an idea from a while back that didn't exactly work but might be fixeable.

We might be able to keep the idea of a somewhat more flexible map while not having 'everyone outside your circle is the same as any' if we go with a node map. This was tried prior albeit with star systems as the nodes while we'd probably need to go with sectors here. But the basic gist is that nodes are connected by FTL routes that link to specific other nodes. So you have to hop through nodes to get to other nodes. This means that proximity is always somewhat relevant. These nodes and how they link up don't need to correlate to actual space so if new connections open up and old ones close we can easily shift the roster of neighbours as the story requires and add new players without wondering how a whole star nation fits in there or why no one has dealt with them much till now.
OK. Interesting.

Now, how do we track which nodes connect to which? I'm envisioning- assume a map with roughly the same number of squares as we had in SDNW4- a... I think it would have to be about a 500x500 grid, so that each node has its own entry, with a "yes" for every pair of nodes that are connected, and a "no" for every pair that aren't. With the right optimization software, or a good enough graphic artist to draw a node map, you could actually figure out how to get from one side of the map to the other, without getting lost.

I am not writing that software, or drawing that map. I probably lack the skill for the first, and lack either the skill or the time (or both) to do the latter. You know anyone who's interested?

The problem would get simpler with fewer sector/nodes, but still be... there's got to be a better way to implement this, I just can't think of it right now. Sorry. How did you do it that other time?

However. There are two major problems with node systems that must be addressed before even I will consider using them again:

Blockades: Unless the entrance area to an inter node route is absolutely collossal then it's a natural choke point. This changes the feel of interstellar warfare significantly.

A world of only highways: Last time we used nodes for our map we had the problem that seen as all nodes were owned by someone and not many people liked the idea of folks from across the map driving fleets across their front lawn it effectively made every event a local event. Only those people who were near the stuff that was going down would get involved and even if they wanted to distant powers wouldn't be able to wheedle their way to the event in any timely fashion.

Of these two issues the first is somewhat more flavour really and might be mitigated if we solve the second issue. However the second issue MUST be rectified if we're to use node graphs for our map.

A proposal to mitigate it could be that shoal space is simply anywhere off the beaten path. The general principle is it should be possible to bypass nations but it should take longer. So in shoal space these node connections are much more unstable and shorter so you need more hops and more time between hops to find a connection going in the right direction. Although this'd run into the fact we're using a flexible correlation between realspace and the actual map. But maybe we can handwave the time it takes to do off road transits as the story requires. Honestly I'm not sure if this fixes things.
Tempting. In effect, all hyperspace travel becomes shoal travel, with wormholes scattered about the map to allow rapid transit from point to point.

Now, how do we track which points have wormholes? Can we get everyone to agree on a wormhole layout? Remember, there's a reason we never mapped the hyperspace lanes in SDNW4, with a few exceptions: no one was actually likely to agree on where they were. That's one reason why the rule-draft I'm constructing, purely to have a starting point for discussion, doesn't have hyperspace junctions or explicit talk of lanes. There might be fast routes through hyperspace, but writing them into the explicit rules and maps doesn't work well in most cases.

I don't want to take responsibility for arranging the wormholes. Maybe Sorchus would like to do it.

White Haven wrote:The node thing does remind me of something that I, as a late-joiner, ran into a LOT in 4. Specifically, hyperlanes, and where in the blue blazes they actually were. When they're such a crucial component of strategic mobility and trade, having them totally undocumented was...well, it was enough to make me want a Collector hyperdrive system just so I could ignore them in-character as much as I did out-of-character from ignorance. :)
Exactly. Hyperspace lanes, and other similar "this way to go really fast from A to B" ideas, are great in theory. In practice, they require extremely detailed mapping and planning of a sort I can't imagine being able to do in the context of these games.

Akhlut wrote:About the easiest thing I can see done for the nodes idea is to shamelessly steal crib the idea of mass relays from Mass Effect to link clusters together. I'm not sure how well that would work out, though.
We've already got the functional equivalent of mass relays. They're called "warp gates." I'm seriously suggesting making them more powerful in SDNW5, explicitly to enable fast, flexible transit. I seem to recall Sorchus came up with that, and I think that was one of his better ideas.

Esquire wrote:On the subject of a hybrid cluster/free sailing map: suppose we used something like the hyperspace cannons from Star Wars EU?
Like I said, they're called "warp gates," and someone already thought of them for SDNW4. Although you need a receiver as well as a transmitter to use a warp gate- they're point-to-point teleportation, not point-to-anywhere.

Siege wrote:That's why this stuff ought to be settled now rather than once the game is on the road. I want to know how everybody proposes to deal with problems like vast numbers of idle players before setting off, because from past experience we can tell that dealing with that particular problem once we run into it doesn't work. It didn't work in #2, it didn't work in #4, so chances are it won't work in #5, and therefore we ought to settle on an approach before it gets to that point.
Well, we're going to have to remove totally inactive people unless they have a really neat idea. It's simple as that. If they have a neat idea, we can relocate them to some remote corner of the maps or reduce them to a microstate so they "exist" without getting in the way.

For example, Stas's Commune is a neat idea, I like the idea that nanocommunists exist somewhere on the SDNW5 map. But in all probability, Stas Bush isn't playing the game- so as far as I'm concerned, the obvious thing to do is create a "Commune" micronation (or multiple microstates of nanocommunists) at a few remote corners and just let them be there, if anyone has a story idea that would be catalyzed by having nanocommunists around. Likewise, Bragulans turned out to be a cool idea- if they don't already exist in the game, someone like Shep might choose to invent them. Which is fine by me.

We could do the same thing with any essentially neat ideas invented by ADHD lemmings in SDNW5- much as we might have done exactly that with the Commune in SDNW4, after Stas turned out not to have the time to participate actively.

Siege wrote:
I wrote:
Siege wrote:Is a thread for designated 'what the fuck, dude' posts enough? I specifically want the opinion of the people who were incensed at Fin (you know who you are) on this: would, in their opinion, a thread where they could ask clarification and air their grievances have been sufficient to put a stop to the griefing?
Would you be willing to hear my opinion on this?
Of course I would.
In my opinion, Fin would not have paid any attention to such a thread, being convinced that he was in the right in all things on his side of the dispute. I, or someone else, might have been able to appeal to the people on the other side of the dispute to knock it off, but it would basically have amounted to giving Fin what he wanted for the sake of keeping up a semblance of amiability in the game and for the sake of preventing him from ragequitting.

So no, I don't think the mere existence of a "what the fuck, dude" thread would have done much good in the case of the disputes involving Fin. Nor would it have helped much in other cases of a player who was at the center of a major dispute, with the possible exception of Force Lord and maybe one or two borderline cases.

Take it into the open in OOC. Get some discussion about it. If no amicable or grudging resolution can be reached, it becomes a mod problem.
Right; as long as this actually will happen then I daresay it would be a massive improvement. And again, it might require moderators to be more proactive in making rulings on these cases. That's something else that bears thinking about.
I don't mind that, but I do mind being expected to make rulings proactively if someone's going to shriek at me every time I make a ruling. Remember what happened when I ruled against Pollux because he overbuilt his military? And how I got objections, from multiple people, even though Pollux himself later turned out to be totally OK with it?

Yeah. If I had that happening to me every week or two, it would get pretty damn discouraging. So unless someone else wants to mod the game, I have to ask: will people bear that in mind, if I start needing to rule proactively to keep the ADHD cases and random clowns and assholes from cluttering up the game?

If not, then either you can get someone else to do it, or you can accept that I'm only going to mod when I really think it's necessary for the good of the game, which will probably take enough time for some serious bullshit to happen and some bad blood to be created.

I agree with Simon: Five is way too many. Three already might be, unless they're guaranteed (insofar as such things can be guaranteed, anyway) to all have sufficient time to actually do what they were appointed to do. And did what they were appointed to do, at that.
I can think of two reasonably trustworthy nominees, myself, but that's just me and they probably wouldn't thank me.

I'm willing to be the 'point mod' who is primarily responsible for keeping an eye on the game. The main reason to have backups is so that it's not any kind of a dictatorship- so that there is someone to override the point mod if he makes a mistake, or to act in his stead if for some reason he just can't get involved as a mod.

One person really is enough, it's just that it may not always be the same person.

Siege wrote:As far as clusters/nodes go: I don't see the point. I only paid lip service to the concept of travel times in the last game and nobody noticed or cared. If the map has been carefully designed you don't need travel speed book-keeping. What are these things even trying to achieve? Force people to take the predictable route from A to B? Why would you want to do that? Was this a problem before? Because I don't think it was. Fleets got intercepted just fine in a galaxy where everyone could take every route.
I agree with almost everything you said, except that I paid a bit more attention to travel times because they were plotwise-relevant to me a number of times, and I chose to worry about it. If you didn't, it worked out well, so I won't criticize, and you're welcome to do it again next time.

OmegaChief wrote:Re: Nodes vs Freeflight.

Well yea, if we want fewer more large scale firm fleet actions where sectors are fougth for and lost at the node entries then going with a pure node map can work, it all depends on the kind of game and the tone of battles were going for, a compromise might work though, with nodes being easy quick highways that you -can- send a major invasion fleet through, but having some form of much slower free flight FTL (That might have to cope with being detected or flying through someone elses soverign space on teh way to it's target, also supplies being a problem) that would allow you to get the drop on people, at least locally.

Hrrrm, this might encourage people to pay faar more attention to thier neighbours even with being able to node across teh galaxy, if the guy 10ly away can just cruise on over to any point in your border anyway, he becomes much more tricky to deal with. Wait isn't this more or less the system you gusy had with SDNW4?
The latter was indeed the situation.

If we more or less just clone the SDNW4 travel rules for SDNW5, and I would honestly like to do that, then most major nations will be... between 0 and 48 hours' hyperspace flight from their nearest neighbor, by travel through space. The 'generic' rule was one sector per day, plus or minus a bit depending on how good the route was and how fast the ship was.

Faster travel could occur by teleporting between artificial warp gates, or along specific 'hyperspace lanes' that were never well defined with three exceptions, two of which were created by Steve and one by me. I'd be just as happy to drop hyperspace lanes since they seem to be a pointless decoration of the ruleset. Warp gates, I want to keep and possibly make stronger.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-15 03:11pm

Simon_Jester wrote:The problem would get simpler with fewer sector/nodes, but still be... there's got to be a better way to implement this, I just can't think of it right now. Sorry. How did you do it that other time?

I drew a node graph in Gimp, no one objected to using it and then everyone picked a bunch of connected nodes to be their star nations. The graph came first and the nations came later.

But like I said, we don't need to change from the system we have at least in my opinion. I think I just wanted node graphs out there so that if for some bizarre reason there was a sudden surge of dissatisfaction for a simple 2d map the clusters idea wouldn't be the only one out there.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-15 05:15pm

Cool.

OK, anyone who wants to draw a map for node-based travel can- but it becomes their job to convince everyone it's a better choice than a 2D grid, not mine.

Now, so that Siege doesn't have a coronary, what I want people to weigh in on is how the mods want to approach the problem of inattentive players. We've had people come back after extended periods of time, so my natural instinct is "leave them there if they're not doing any harm." The thing we have to change is that harm needs to be weighed in terms of opportunity cost.

We also need to consider handing over nations to be used as NPCs by players with interesting ideas, as an alternative way of dealing with ADHD lemmings that actually works better than the retcon.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-15 05:27pm

The obvious solution would be to not retcon them away, but reduce them to NPC status, perhaps granting allowances for any later comers to assume control of them or the origional player return at some point, there's no reason to retcon them away after all, NPC empires that everyone could have a bit of fun with could be a plus.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-15 05:40pm

Yes.

Make NPCs of them, retcon them into tininess if that is desirable, move them out of the way if that is desirable. Retcon them out of existence only as a last resort, because it's usually awkward for the storyline when you do so, at least once the game's been going on for any length of time.

I think that combination is good enough as policy. What matters is the determination to do it on a regular basis- let's say, have a review of nonparticipating Problem Children about every... what, four, five, six weeks?

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-15 06:25pm

Five weeks sound good, thats just about a month, should give everyone more then enough time to get at least onc epost in assuming real life doesn't do a surprising busy thing like it can sometimes do.
This odyssey, this, exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude, and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-15 10:35pm

Siege seems like he has a good head on his shoulders, I'd say he can be a mod, whether he likes it or not. :P

At anyrate, I think the aforementioned idea of reducing player nations to NPC nations if the player doesn't, you know, play is a great idea. I, however, don't think any newcomers are going to want to take over someone else's empire, though, in all likelihood.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Shinn Langley Soryu » 2012-03-15 10:52pm

Akhlut wrote:At anyrate, I think the aforementioned idea of reducing player nations to NPC nations if the player doesn't, you know, play is a great idea. I, however, don't think any newcomers are going to want to take over someone else's empire, though, in all likelihood.

Would it be considered too much for potential players to draft an advance directive detailing how their nation is to be handled in case they become absent as a condition for entry? Something along the lines of, "In the event that I am unable to participate in the game for [X amount of time], I hereby authorize [the moderator team or other designated party] to control my faction under the following conditions: [list of stuff to do and not to do follows]," perhaps?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-15 10:57pm

Oooh, I like that idea a lot Shinn, and who knows maybe the act of planning out that sort of stuff in advance might either commit more people to the game or discourage the lemmings from signing on in the first place?
This odyssey, this, exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude, and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die?
-Admiral Aken Bosch, Supreme Commander of the Neo-Terran Front, NTF Iceni, 2367

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Tanasinn » 2012-03-15 11:02pm

Shinn's idea is intelligent. Part of the problem of MIA players' states being turned NPC is choosing how to handle them.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-15 11:05pm

I think the idea is intriguing, but I think that might discourage people who would otherwise be willing players.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-15 11:35pm

I've found you can usually get in touch with people who don't play, if you bother to try. And then you can just ask them.

Or we could just auction the non-played nation off to the lowest bidder. Doesn't have to be a new player.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-16 08:35am

Personally while I can forsee ruts where I can't write I can't really forsee times when someone who wants to write for the Hierarchy during my absence wouldn't be able to get ahold of me to ask questions. So I probably won't need to write this 'guide to writing kitties' thing as a contingency.

As for nominating Siege to the mod board. Well I suppose the only way to actually find out if he has 'mad with power' tendencies we need to worry about is to give him power and then give him a comfy couch so sure I'll second the nomination for the reasons specified by Akhlut, assuming he wants the job.

On an unrelated note how powerful are you planning to make these new warpgates Simon? able to move battleships? able to move battlefleets?
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