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

Post by K. A. Pital » 2012-03-10 06:53am

Akhlut wrote:RE: Dropouts: I think that depends on how someone drops out, to an extent. If someone like STAS BUSH STAS BUSH STAS BUSH drops out because he's too busy trying to be the Vanguard of the Proletariat, but he's still posting on N&P a bunch, then the people involved with him on storylines can drop him a PM or three about how they think the story should progress and trying to still work with the person who drops out until the story reaches completion.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-10 11:59am

Agent Sorchus wrote:Addendum; For those of you that are wondering why I am wanting to go with a none space setting, I want to not see space daemons and elder gods being fought by hypertime AI's with beam saber Amazons waiting in the wings. (Not that the Amazons were the problem factor for me.) SDNW4 started simple with Espers; but by the end we had Sasha, a whole nation of daemons, and another fleeing vengeful elder gods. Either Allow craziness from the beginning or don't have it at all. It is just a matter of tone.
This time, I think craziness will be allowed from the beginning- with the exception that no one person is allowed to write their backstory as being uniquely important and privileged.

For example, let's take some examples from what was allowed in SDNW4...

If Dark Hellion wants the multiverse to be dominated by the uncaring XylyX, that is not okay- there can be XylyX, who are incredibly powerful and whatnot, but they cannot explicitly be said to really, in truth dominate the multiverse. Because that would be prejudicial to anyone who wants to write a story in which the multiverse has properties A, B, C, ... including "is not in fact dominated by the XylyX." The XylyX might be very powerful, but not as powerful as DH's emissaries believe, because they can't be all-powerful. Because by definition there can be only one omnipotent force and DH doesn't have a special right to say what it is.

Ditto for the creators of the Chamarrans, or the warring parties in the ancient conflict the Lost participated in, or the "evil gods" the Refuge is running from- any of them might have been real and extremely powerful, but there's no reason to suppose that they were almighty.

Do you have any objections to that? Again, the basic idea is that I'm fine with people saying "there are always bigger fish in the sea, and my nation is in some way related to a really big fish." But I don't want people saying "my fish is the BIGGEST EVER!"
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Darkevilme » 2012-03-10 06:47pm

Won't find any arguement here. Even the original draft for the SDNW4 Chamarrans had their creators low enough on the pan galactic uber scale that they needed the kitties to conquer or at least destabilize known space so they wouldn't be at risk from massed starship weapons fire.

I'm not planning on having any godlikes involved in the next backstory though so it makes even less of a difference.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 12:58am

I wasn't really too worried about you, D, I just put you in as an example because I remember Steve glowering menacingly your way over it at the beginning, when he was really trying to keep the demigods out of the game.

He mellowed over time, and I feel pretty mellow about it myself.

The one caveat is that I want people to be able to ignore the godlike stuff, or assert their own ability to handle it their own way, if it gets thrown in their face. I intend an example of how this can go to find its way into the SDNW4 epilogues.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Siege » 2012-03-11 07:42am

Simon_Jester wrote:[Rules are]not necessary, but some of us find them helpful- simply as a mechanism to mediate interactions, the way the electromagnetic force mediates the interaction between charges, and in doing so makes interaction possible.
Perhaps it's good not to call them 'rules' then. I know this might seem an inconsequential thing but calling them such does mean people tend to cling to the notion that these are The Rules and by god are people expected to stick by them. Whereas from my perspective they work better if you call them guidelines and allow players to interpret them loosely.

For example: nobody even knew what the score was on the Collectors, how many Monoliths they had, or how many worlds, and that made them work so much better in their intended role than they otherwise would have. And the Karlack Swarm would've been way better if Shady had played a teeming and threatening mass of unknowable gribblies without being constrained by a ruleset that, let's face it, caters pretty much exclusively to the bog-standard navy-army-planets setup of all utterly average mil sci-fi everywhere.

I do think the ruleset of #4 is easily the best we've had so far, and I don't think we need to ditch it completely, but at the same time I believe players ought to be free to run with a more exotic setup even if it doesn't fall wholly within the boundaries of the rules. This does require moderators to be more proactive in beating down CN-style munchkins, and players to be more open about what they are setting out to do (and cognizant of the non-competitive nature of the game), but in the end I suspect that more freedom to configure a polity just like the player wants will mean a more diverse, and thus better, game.
This is arguably true. There is, I must say, a counter-argument: the clubhouses can foster creativity as well as negativity.
Fair enough; it probably depends on what people set out to do in those clubhouses. If it's sharing ideas and working out fun stories that's dandy. If it's bitching to the in-group... Well, I've gone on at length about this. Just beware the echo-chamber effect.
Off the top of my head:

-Balance of power should be multipolar, especially if the game has two dozen or more participants. Having some blocs is good, though, because the people playing a bloc can collaborate on stories about their friendship (you and Fin), while rivalry between blocs motivates stories about enmity (you and Shroom). But the blocs should not be too large, or they become un-coordinatable (the MEHstomp; Pendleton suffered from this but the effects were partly suppressed because it broke down into a few discrete stories and collaborations).

The blocs should define themselves organically.
The most important thing is that inter-bloc rivalries should always be played out in a friendly manner. It seems to me that alliances in these games occasionally have a tendency to develop bullying behavior that I suppose has its parallels in how big power blocs operate in the real world -- but this isn't the real world. It's a game. It should be fun for its players. If it isn't, then something has gone very wrong indeed.

In the past, especially in #2, there have been instances of players - including myself - feeling like big alliances were fucking with them just for the sake of fucking with them. A lack of communication between players was a major component in that situation and the lack of open communication meant that players got annoyed, things got heated, protection was sought, and what otherwise could have been a very interesting dynamic ended up game-defeating because everyone got locked up in one of two big alliances staring at each other over the barrels of their enormous nuclear arsenals.

If you want to avoid that sort of thing, and I think you do, then you need to get people talking about their actions and reactions in order to prevent players from getting the suspicion that they are being picked on.

Also, membership in one of these power blocs shouldn't be necessary. Players ought to be able to make their own way without being immediately stepped on by some big alliance out there. If they make their own bed then fair enough, but they ought to at least be able to make it first.
-Getting people to play villains is an ad hoc thing. It is advisable that 'villains' be played by intelligent, devious, and responsible players. Players who are stupid will get themselves into bad positions and look foolish, which causes ragequits. Players who are not devious will not see good ways to be antagonistic. Players who are irresponsible will cause the wrong kind of antagonism.
I certainly agree. I don't think we've had many good villains yet so I'm not entirely sure how to go about achieving this; it seems that villainy very often leads to people ganging up on the villain, be it Shepistan or Astaria or the MEH. I suppose that's what's begot by highly overt villainy, but it would be interesting to see if it's possible to conceive of a credible villain that isn't so easy to get rid of.
-Compensating for dropouts... that's a really tricky one. Brute force retcons only work up to a point. One thing I'm hoping to do is put unreliable players on the periphery, I've already talked about that. We might hand off control of a dropout to another nation, such as an 'antagonist' player who could use control of the nation effectively to create more Interesting Times.
That's probably the best way to do it. Appropriate the nations of non-active players and blow them up in an interesting manner so that their place can be taken by something that is contributing to the game instead of just sitting there. It's similar to what happened to Libertopia in #1, and it worked very well there.
Agent Sorchus wrote:I think that instead of creating nations in a vacuum you really do need to decide your neighbors and how you all will work together to craft story.
Yes, indeed. Communication really is key to anything here. If players don't talk about their ideas then the game's backstory will become a jumbled mess, motivations will be misunderstood, different ideas of what constitutes fun and interesting will arise, and everything will just be made needlessly difficult.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by irishmick79 » 2012-03-11 12:06pm

I'm curious and interested in jumping into this pit, but not exactly sure where I would start.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Demiurgas » 2012-03-11 12:28pm

I don't even know where to begin with the questions. I've looked for a FAQ. . . . I'll keep looking for a FAQ but I guess the one question I have to ask is, are we playing polities such as The Empire (StarWars) The Borg, etcetera or are we just playing original factions with similarities to whatever we want?

Edit-
I looked at the Wiki, and the answer seems to be "Whatever you want."

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 02:24pm

GENERAL QUESTION:

People, how do you feel about the basic mechanics of hyperspace and shoals? They seemed to work in SDNW4, because they gave us decent travel times from place to place (especially if we want the game to run at any meaningful level of time compression), while also letting us create regions that were inhospitable and gave us interesting places with a bit of 'terrain' to have frontier stories (Wild Space/Badlands/Outback/H-12/etc.)

I propose keeping the SDNW4 travel rules broadly unchanged as guidelines. The basic concept is one day per sector trip times on average, maybe faster for Extremely Fast Ships or ships that are using specially charted navigation routes. Then there are shoal spaces which are difficult to get into, slow going when you do get there, hard on ships, et cetera.


Re: Demi

Yes, Demi, the answer is "whatever the hell you want." Be advised that playing something hyper-serious and hyper-powerful is ill advised and arguably impossible under the rules. The Star Wars Empire and Star Trek Borg are the biggest, meanest things in their respective settings. No one country in SDNW4/5 is coming anywhere close to being that dominant and powerful over the overall setting. So make sure any concept you want to implement can be adapted to a setting where it isn't the biggest player on the block- and isn't necessarily even the biggest player on its own personal block.

Also, try to avoid any concept that relies on control of Earth. That would otherwise become something of a prize to be disputed among a few dozen players, IMO.
Siege wrote:Perhaps it's good not to call them 'rules' then. I know this might seem an inconsequential thing but calling them such does mean people tend to cling to the notion that these are The Rules and by god are people expected to stick by them. Whereas from my perspective they work better if you call them guidelines and allow players to interpret them loosely.
Hm. [thinks]

Do I have any real rules that I can't just as well call guidelines?

One that comes to mind: points are points are points. 20 points of space triremes are still worth as much as 20 points of Blitz-class.

Another: that most players should have a roughly uniform process to work out how many points they've got. Because this is SDN when all's said and done, and you do not want anyone arguing that their spherical masses of iron are bigger than your spherical masses of iron, or have more gigatons.

Actual weapon yields per point of combat potential will remain [DATA REDACTED]. Ship sizes will remain on a wildly, no proudly inconsistent framework, where a 60 point vessel may be anything from a heavy cruiser to a patrol minimicrosubthingamabob, and may be physically anywhere from a few hundred meters to the size of a small mountain range, and we just Do Not Care. Or don't need to.

Pretty much any other 'rule' I can construct could just as well come with the coda "unless you have a really cool reason, and talk to me first, OK?"

For example: "Do I have to have planets? Can't my nation just be a big floating collection of space habitats?" is a cool reason.

Which I guess would make it a guideline.
For example: nobody even knew what the score was on the Collectors, how many Monoliths they had, or how many worlds, and that made them work so much better in their intended role than they otherwise would have. And the Karlack Swarm would've been way better if Shady had played a teeming and threatening mass of unknowable gribblies without being constrained by a ruleset that, let's face it, caters pretty much exclusively to the bog-standard navy-army-planets setup of all utterly average mil sci-fi everywhere.
Point.

OK. New rule! [watches Siege shriek in horribel agony] Just kidding. Guideline!

Anyone who wants a secret order of battle, wants to keep the real size of their military secret, or something genuinely zany and unconventional that can't be easily modeled by "generic" point structures, can do it as long as they can convince whoever's moderating this thing that they should do it, for artistic reasons. It worked for PeZook.

Though I don't want this to be abused- there are many players here who, frankly, I'm just as glad wouldn't have the power to trivially overrun their neighbors. In general, for myself, secret OOBs and zaniness that grants more power will be disproportionately handed over to people I know aren't in it for the power-grabbing. Some of us, even some of the good players, need a few checks and restraints on our behavior, I don't think anyone will deny that.

My own intent is for an openly published order of battle, because I for one have no interest in doing it any other way.


Siege, I must caution you that there is a reason for the navy/army/planets setup. A lot of other players will want to play that way, including some good people; I want to make sure that in the event of inter-player conflict, no one has to struggle to think of a way to make the existence of their own armed forces relevant to a conflict between players. If I represent my nation as having super-HOOAH space marines, I need some way to make them actually matter in a fight- so having enemies who go "LOL just bombard everything from orbit" is a no-no. If I represent my nation as having spacegoing warships IN SPAACE, then having enemies who go "LOL just mind-war you from the next star system over you should have thought of that before you decided you didn't have super-psychics" is unacceptable. And so on.
I do think the ruleset of #4 is easily the best we've had so far, and I don't think we need to ditch it completely, but at the same time I believe players ought to be free to run with a more exotic setup even if it doesn't fall wholly within the boundaries of the rules. This does require moderators to be more proactive in beating down CN-style munchkins, and players to be more open about what they are setting out to do (and cognizant of the non-competitive nature of the game), but in the end I suspect that more freedom to configure a polity just like the player wants will mean a more diverse, and thus better, game.
On it.
This is arguably true. There is, I must say, a counter-argument: the clubhouses can foster creativity as well as negativity.
Fair enough; it probably depends on what people set out to do in those clubhouses. If it's sharing ideas and working out fun stories that's dandy. If it's bitching to the in-group... Well, I've gone on at length about this. Just beware the echo-chamber effect.
I'll bear that in mind.
Off the top of my head:

-Balance of power should be multipolar, especially if the game has two dozen or more participants. Having some blocs is good, though, because the people playing a bloc can collaborate on stories about their friendship (you and Fin), while rivalry between blocs motivates stories about enmity (you and Shroom). But the blocs should not be too large, or they become un-coordinatable (the MEHstomp; Pendleton suffered from this but the effects were partly suppressed because it broke down into a few discrete stories and collaborations).

The blocs should define themselves organically.
The most important thing is that inter-bloc rivalries should always be played out in a friendly manner. It seems to me that alliances in these games occasionally have a tendency to develop bullying behavior that I suppose has its parallels in how big power blocs operate in the real world -- but this isn't the real world. It's a game. It should be fun for its players. If it isn't, then something has gone very wrong indeed.
Bullying behavior is at its worst in a bipolar setting- SDNW2 turned into this. That said, I'm hoping that the nature of the game and the relatively narrow gap between major PC states (less than 2:1 size disparity) will prevent anyone from being able to casually threaten a PC state with destruction in the way necessary for bullying behavior to succeed. I'll keep an eye out.
In the past, especially in #2, there have been instances of players - including myself - feeling like big alliances were fucking with them just for the sake of fucking with them. A lack of communication between players was a major component in that situation and the lack of open communication meant that players got annoyed, things got heated, protection was sought, and what otherwise could have been a very interesting dynamic ended up game-defeating because everyone got locked up in one of two big alliances staring at each other over the barrels of their enormous nuclear arsenals.

If you want to avoid that sort of thing, and I think you do, then you need to get people talking about their actions and reactions in order to prevent players from getting the suspicion that they are being picked on.
True. Here, there is no equivalent of nuclear arsenals. I'll see what I can do about the open communication- but remember that I can't force people to communicate, and that the OOC threads are a singularly poor vehicle in which to carry on a fully developed conversation.

Any advice you have would be appreciated.
Also, membership in one of these power blocs shouldn't be necessary. Players ought to be able to make their own way without being immediately stepped on by some big alliance out there. If they make their own bed then fair enough, but they ought to at least be able to make it first.
Totally agreed. Choice of location may impact this, mind you.
-Getting people to play villains is an ad hoc thing. It is advisable that 'villains' be played by intelligent, devious, and responsible players. Players who are stupid will get themselves into bad positions and look foolish, which causes ragequits. Players who are not devious will not see good ways to be antagonistic. Players who are irresponsible will cause the wrong kind of antagonism.
I certainly agree. I don't think we've had many good villains yet so I'm not entirely sure how to go about achieving this; it seems that villainy very often leads to people ganging up on the villain, be it Shepistan or Astaria or the MEH. I suppose that's what's begot by highly overt villainy, but it would be interesting to see if it's possible to conceive of a credible villain that isn't so easy to get rid of.
Yes. If you want to try your hand at it, go ahead.

One key, I think, is to make it such that the villains are not overtly worse than anyone else. They're just relatively ambitious and well-armed, so that the neighbors eye them nervously and don't want to strip out their defenses against those neighbors. "Villain" is the wrong word, why don't we go with "armed and agile nation?"
-Compensating for dropouts... that's a really tricky one. Brute force retcons only work up to a point. One thing I'm hoping to do is put unreliable players on the periphery, I've already talked about that. We might hand off control of a dropout to another nation, such as an 'antagonist' player who could use control of the nation effectively to create more Interesting Times.
That's probably the best way to do it. Appropriate the nations of non-active players and blow them up in an interesting manner so that their place can be taken by something that is contributing to the game instead of just sitting there. It's similar to what happened to Libertopia in #1, and it worked very well there.
Noted.
Agent Sorchus wrote:I think that instead of creating nations in a vacuum you really do need to decide your neighbors and how you all will work together to craft story.
Yes, indeed. Communication really is key to anything here. If players don't talk about their ideas then the game's backstory will become a jumbled mess, motivations will be misunderstood, different ideas of what constitutes fun and interesting will arise, and everything will just be made needlessly difficult.
Noted. This is one argument for a very long run-up to the game, with plenty of conversation in OOC about it. We may have to go through several iterations of the map to make it work.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Siege » 2012-03-11 03:20pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Siege, I must caution you that there is a reason for the navy/army/planets setup. A lot of other players will want to play that way, including some good people; I want to make sure that in the event of inter-player conflict, no one has to struggle to think of a way to make the existence of their own armed forces relevant to a conflict between players.
And if that's what people want to run with I've got no beef with that whatsoever; but if a player happens to fancy a setup that cannot be neatly slotted into the ruleset then that should be accommodated. Within reason, but still. If this means that in a player-on-player conflict the tank horde of omicron zeta has difficulties striking at the voidships of the space psychics, then hey, that sounds like an interesting story to me. It doesn't preclude tanks-guns-starships, it just means there might be specific situations where players are invited to think beyond 'commit X divisions'. I don't see that as a bad thing. I think most players will stick with a more or less conventional approach anyway, so this is really mostly about establishing room for flavor.

True. Here, there is no equivalent of nuclear arsenals. I'll see what I can do about the open communication- but remember that I can't force people to communicate, and that the OOC threads are a singularly poor vehicle in which to carry on a fully developed conversation.
Bear in mind that I'm not talking about communication in the form of working out entire storylines. If people do that then cool... But something as simple as providing (or asking for) a brief explanation of who your guys are and what motivates them to act in a particular way in a particular situation would already be a massive improvement, because it would allow others to take those things into account and understand more fully what is going on and react in a sensible fashion.

If on top of that players can find it in them to express any dissatisfaction they might feel openly, maturely and immediately, even if it's only in the shape of "dude, what you did there, that's not cool", then we'd be light years ahead of where we are now. Together just these two simple things would give people a deeper understanding of the mechanics of any given situation, would more easily allow them to find a way out of any potential bind, would work to prevent misunderstandings with the potential for narrative derailment, and would massively decrease the chance for slights to accumulate into bitterness, histrionics, high blood pressure and rage-quitting.

Communication is not magic. It isn't even particularly difficult. If you have an issue with something just say so, preferably in a constructive and non-accusatory fashion, so a compromise can be reached -- with moderator mediation if need be. There's really not much more than that to it.
Yes. If you want to try your hand at it, go ahead.
Sure. I prefer playing ambiguous characters above knights in shining armor anyway. Villainy is much more fun, and I have some loose ideas toward that end. Mind you, that's assuming I'm playing, which depends in large part on if I'm convinced we're getting it right this time. We appear to be making some progress, but talk is cheap.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 04:46pm

Siege wrote:And if that's what people want to run with I've got no beef with that whatsoever; but if a player happens to fancy a setup that cannot be neatly slotted into the ruleset then that should be accommodated. Within reason, but still. If this means that in a player-on-player conflict the tank horde of omicron zeta has difficulties striking at the voidships of the space psychics, then hey, that sounds like an interesting story to me.
As long as it doesn't turn into a license for "my nation can beat up your nation because I dreamed weirder than you," it's a very good thing to have that sort of asymmetry in play. I want to encourage people to try it, and to contact me with ideas along those lines.
True. Here, there is no equivalent of nuclear arsenals. I'll see what I can do about the open communication- but remember that I can't force people to communicate, and that the OOC threads are a singularly poor vehicle in which to carry on a fully developed conversation.
Bear in mind that I'm not talking about communication in the form of working out entire storylines. If people do that then cool... But something as simple as providing (or asking for) a brief explanation of who your guys are and what motivates them to act in a particular way in a particular situation would already be a massive improvement, because it would allow others to take those things into account and understand more fully what is going on and react in a sensible fashion.
This is desirable and should be encouraged, yes. Could you list some examples of that failing to happen in SDNW4? I think I know the kind of thing you mean, but I'm having trouble being sure.
Yes. If you want to try your hand at it, go ahead.
Sure. I prefer playing ambiguous characters above knights in shining armor anyway. Villainy is much more fun, and I have some loose ideas toward that end. Mind you, that's assuming I'm playing, which depends in large part on if I'm convinced we're getting it right this time. We appear to be making some progress, but talk is cheap.
Well, I'm committed to this kind of progress. And I don't have quite such a fixed vision of how I want the game to look as I think Steve had when he was taking the gavel in putting together SDNW4.

I don't know how much progress (other than talk) I can promise before the game actually starts, and I'm simply physically not ready schedule-wise to begin committing serious effort to things like drawing the map. Outlining game philosophy and rules can be done well in advance, of that, in my opinion.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-11 05:44pm

Simon_Jester wrote:GENERAL QUESTION:

People, how do you feel about the basic mechanics of hyperspace and shoals? They seemed to work in SDNW4, because they gave us decent travel times from place to place (especially if we want the game to run at any meaningful level of time compression), while also letting us create regions that were inhospitable and gave us interesting places with a bit of 'terrain' to have frontier stories (Wild Space/Badlands/Outback/H-12/etc.)

I propose keeping the SDNW4 travel rules broadly unchanged as guidelines. The basic concept is one day per sector trip times on average, maybe faster for Extremely Fast Ships or ships that are using specially charted navigation routes. Then there are shoal spaces which are difficult to get into, slow going when you do get there, hard on ships, et cetera.
THIS And the Following.
Agent Sorchus wrote:I think that instead of creating nations in a vacuum you really do need to decide your neighbors and how you all will work together to craft story.
Yes, indeed. Communication really is key to anything here. If players don't talk about their ideas then the game's backstory will become a jumbled mess, motivations will be misunderstood, different ideas of what constitutes fun and interesting will arise, and everything will just be made needlessly difficult.
Noted. This is one argument for a very long run-up to the game, with plenty of conversation in OOC about it. We may have to go through several iterations of the map to make it work.
Remember how I said we could have variable travel times? Yeah. The old 2d map is a limiter to interaction in that distance really does mean a lot at 1 day 1 sector. It also helped in that it allowed places like the K-Zone to not have to worry about others interfering in some of their stories. No-one really wants a layered 2.5D map because of how complex it would be but the 2D felt too limiting at times. (Like when all the players in an area vanish, and just saying that their nations would be taken control of for the narrative and then broken up in creative ways doesn't work for all nations and could leave a large number of partial states between players and their main states.)

No I would rather see something more like clusters (aka the K-zone or that map shroom had of all of space divided into differing neighborhoods) where travel within the cluster is like SDNW4 in 1 sector 1 day, but travel between clusters is both faster but able to change to allow nations to pretend that they are physically closer for a story than otherwise. Think Mass Effect Arrays that can send you any where in known space, but the travel time isn't always the same and is technically outside the control of people in Universe, but as writers is simply a tool we can use.


EDIT: Can we simply not have Earth? Fuck that noise, every humano centric nation will want it, but none can have it and it will end up just like it did in SDNW4, untouched.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-11 05:50pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
True. Here, there is no equivalent of nuclear arsenals. I'll see what I can do about the open communication- but remember that I can't force people to communicate, and that the OOC threads are a singularly poor vehicle in which to carry on a fully developed conversation.
Bear in mind that I'm not talking about communication in the form of working out entire storylines. If people do that then cool... But something as simple as providing (or asking for) a brief explanation of who your guys are and what motivates them to act in a particular way in a particular situation would already be a massive improvement, because it would allow others to take those things into account and understand more fully what is going on and react in a sensible fashion.
This is desirable and should be encouraged, yes. Could you list some examples of that failing to happen in SDNW4? I think I know the kind of thing you mean, but I'm having trouble being sure.
Simon I am going to be blunt with you. The big pirate mess that you wrote? Yeah you misused the Eoghan's something fierce. The big fleet of ships that I had there was less about engaging piracy and more about watching the Centrality and preventing a possible coup in the Iduran territories. Only a small police group out of all that I sent was actually going to work with them. I never voiced my ill's though, and it is a shame I didn't; but like Siege mentioned the OOC thread was a bad place to voice them. People gave praise but not concern or additional ideas for others.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 06:08pm

Agent Sorchus wrote:Simon I am going to be blunt with you. The big pirate mess that you wrote? Yeah you misused the Eoghan's something fierce. The big fleet of ships that I had there was less about engaging piracy and more about watching the Centrality and preventing a possible coup in the Iduran territories. Only a small police group out of all that I sent was actually going to work with them. I never voiced my ill's though, and it is a shame I didn't; but like Siege mentioned the OOC thread was a bad place to voice them. People gave praise but not concern or additional ideas for others.
... :shock:

Um, yes. If you'd mentioned any of that... well, fuck, pretty much any time during the several months I was writing that stuff*, it would have significantly impacted my plotting and I would have written things differently. As it was, I'm not sure you stopped to explain to me what you wanted, either privately via AIM/PM/whatever or publically. I might have noticed it if I'd been really careful about scouring your own posts for the details of their deployment orders, but I don't think you ever explicitly wrote down the overall strategic objective of the Eoghan contingent that way. Did I miss some obvious hint about their objectives?

So OK, yes, that's a great illustration of how not talking to other players can lead to them doing things you don't like.

Let that be a general lesson to all and sundry: If you want someone to do something, or not do something, TELL THEM. Do not expect them to read your mind from hundreds of miles away, or sit there and stew about how bad their behavior is and expect them to reform on their own without you having to go to the trouble of mentioning the problem.
____________

*By the way, this too is a general lesson. Don't get so wrapped up in a storyline that really concerns only you that you spend a lot of time on it that could be spent on other things. I did it, partly because there was a certain happy surprise to realizing I was writing something of novel length that wasn't total trash, and partly because I had a small number of people sort of egging me on to write more Big Space Battle stuff- they seemed to like it. And it turned out to be a mistake as far as my own participation in the game went.

Agent Sorchus wrote:Remember how I said we could have variable travel times? Yeah. The old 2d map is a limiter to interaction in that distance really does mean a lot at 1 day 1 sector. It also helped in that it allowed places like the K-Zone to not have to worry about others interfering in some of their stories. No-one really wants a layered 2.5D map because of how complex it would be but the 2D felt too limiting at times. (Like when all the players in an area vanish, and just saying that their nations would be taken control of for the narrative and then broken up in creative ways doesn't work for all nations and could leave a large number of partial states between players and their main states.)

No I would rather see something more like clusters (aka the K-zone or that map shroom had of all of space divided into differing neighborhoods) where travel within the cluster is like SDNW4 in 1 sector 1 day, but travel between clusters is both faster but able to change to allow nations to pretend that they are physically closer for a story than otherwise. Think Mass Effect Arrays that can send you any where in known space, but the travel time isn't always the same and is technically outside the control of people in Universe, but as writers is simply a tool we can use.
Honestly, Sorchus, your idea makes my head hurt- mostly because of the complexity of implementing it. How do we define these "clusters?" Do we draw the clusters and then draw the nations into them, or the other way around by clustering them after the fact?

How do we cope with a perpetually shifting and changing list of travel times from A to B to C to D? Strategic realities become unstable and (if I understand you) are likely to change on the whims of third parties.

Some of what you propose is what warp gates were originally for, and they were used quite successfully in that capacity- to allow envoys, trading vessels, special forces, and light warships to travel from one side of the map to the other quickly, while battlefleets and the general bulk of interstellar traffic moved more slowly. Wars take time to set up, but diplomatic negotiations can proceed quickly.

So as a compromise suggestion, we could play around with the theoretical capabilities of warp gates to make them more potent and achieve some of what you want, without turning everything inside out quite as extensively as what you have in mind.

How does that sound? Siege? Steve? Darkevilme? Anyone else who's following along?
EDIT: Can we simply not have Earth? Fuck that noise, every humano centric nation will want it, but none can have it and it will end up just like it did in SDNW4, untouched.
If it's small enough, its untouched-ness will make it less of a problem. The real problem with Earth in SDNW4 was its 'modhammer' status and being part of an extremely strong yet very enigmatic polity that took up practically the entire center of the game board.

Predictably there will be a lot of humanocentric nations unless we artificially demand that there not be. Which will make many players unhappy, and probably decrease participation in the game, which is exactly NOT what I am trying to do. The existence of these nations makes having some kind of 'origin story' for humanity desirable, and since I don't really feel like nailing a "ruins of Earth-that-was" into the setting, a small, heavily developed Earth-centered polity strikes me as the best answer.

But it won't be huge, and it won't be a modhammer. Hell, if someone wants to conquer it, they can go right ahead so long as they've got some real firepower to do it with.

I propose that we hold off on a decision on this, where I plainly disagree with at least one other vocal poster and probably others, until later. When a significant fraction of the future SDNW5 playerbase are seriously following a thread on discussion, then we can settle whether or not to put Earth on the map.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu » 2012-03-11 06:53pm

Akhlut wrote:But, instead of a d6, like for 4, I'd suggest a d8 or possibly even up to a d12. That'd give enough variation to make for some fairly powerful nations, while not crippling the small ones horribly, and being reasonably certain of a large-ish middle grouping of nations.
Widening the range of nation sizes from 21-26 all the way to 21-32 if you're using a d12 will indeed cripple the small ones horribly. As Siege mentioned earlier, widening the gap between nations will just leave people at the mercy of probability, and the poor saps who got a 1 on the d12 will spend more time trying to min-max than on trying to write compelling stories.

If you really want a wider range of nation sizes while making sure the unlucky ones aren't unduly fucked over, I'd go with a 2d6 or even a 3d4 instead of a d12. You still get a high upper limit, but at least the little guys will get 2 or 3. As long as people focus on their stories instead of Spreadsheets of Iron bullshit, well...
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 07:36pm

I'd been thinking 18+2d6; the majority of all nations would cluster in the 23-27 range and thus be pretty close to each other in strength, but there'd be some variability, some nations which are unusually weak and need to keep a bit more of an eye out for ways to preserve their interests, while other nations are unusually strong and are actually in a position to consider offensive wars seriously without having six allies and a moderator sanction to back them up.

Another thing to bear in mind is that we're going to be encouraging players to form alliances. Even if we use 20+d12 or something, any two nations will still be significantly stronger than any one nation. And a weaker nation, fighting alone against a stronger one, can't be trivially overpowered- NCPs or no NCPs, I'm not going to permit people to write themselves an instant grand-strategic victory.

This is very different from SDNW1 or 2, where the 'tier one' countries were twice as strong as the 'tier two' ones, who were in turn twice as strong as the 'tier three' ones, and so on, making it very easy for a powerful empire to wipe out a tiny... Duchy or whatever you guys called them.

I think a little more variability, just a bit, would add spice to the game, but I'd never want it to end up anywhere near the level of bullshit the minor nations in SDNW 1 and 2 had to put up with.


...Although, again, I also think it's good if anyone who wants to participate (possibly including people who don't have a major country) chooses to create micronations. Those enrich the game too- things like the Feelipeens, or the Outlander states that Force Lord and Mayabird and Shroom and so on were intriguing over. I don't think anyone should be forced to play a tiny nation, but I do want to encourage people to dream them up and salt the map with them.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Demiurgas » 2012-03-11 08:05pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I'd been thinking 18+2d6; the majority of all nations would cluster in the 23-27 range and thus be pretty close to each other in strength, but there'd be some variability, some nations which are unusually weak and need to keep a bit more of an eye out for ways to preserve their interests, while other nations are unusually strong and are actually in a position to consider offensive wars seriously without having six allies and a moderator sanction to back them up.

Another thing to bear in mind is that we're going to be encouraging players to form alliances. Even if we use 20+d12 or something, any two nations will still be significantly stronger than any one nation. And a weaker nation, fighting alone against a stronger one, can't be trivially overpowered- NCPs or no NCPs, I'm not going to permit people to write themselves an instant grand-strategic victory.

This is very different from SDNW1 or 2, where the 'tier one' countries were twice as strong as the 'tier two' ones, who were in turn twice as strong as the 'tier three' ones, and so on, making it very easy for a powerful empire to wipe out a tiny... Duchy or whatever you guys called them.

I think a little more variability, just a bit, would add spice to the game, but I'd never want it to end up anywhere near the level of bullshit the minor nations in SDNW 1 and 2 had to put up with.


...Although, again, I also think it's good if anyone who wants to participate (possibly including people who don't have a major country) chooses to create micronations. Those enrich the game too- things like the Feelipeens, or the Outlander states that Force Lord and Mayabird and Shroom and so on were intriguing over. I don't think anyone should be forced to play a tiny nation, but I do want to encourage people to dream them up and salt the map with them.
Hm.. What about playing a powerful tiny nation? Like, one that's extremely rich and capable of out mercenarying anyone?

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu » 2012-03-11 08:16pm

Demiurgas wrote:Hm.. What about playing a powerful tiny nation? Like, one that's extremely rich and capable of out mercenarying anyone?
The micronation of Belka in SDNW4 was a largely failed attempt at such a nation. It seemed that Shroom and I were pretty much the only ones in on that particular joke, though.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 08:18pm

Re: Shinn

I got the joke, I just never felt a reason to do anything specific with it.

Re: Demi

In the SDNW4 rules, the main measure of national power is GDP, not population or territory. The nation creation rules let you put your economic power into a relatively small, compact polity, so you can have high per capita GDP and a strong military without a vast, sprawling empire. But that would be a 'major' nation because it has the strength to play with the big dogs of the setting, not a micronation. I'm encouraging people to create micronations because they're too weak to change the balance of power much, so they can be more imaginative and weird and active and cool, and I won't have to keep smacking people down for harassing other players.

That said, there's nothing wrong with a 'major' nation that is small and compact. Though you might want to think about the practical limits- suppose your nation is powerful, rich, and tiny; will it not tend to try and dominate some of the people right around it, and end up with at least a limited 'fringe' of territory along with the tiny core? If nothing else, they'd want to extend their sovereignty far enough out into the space around them that they can secure access to resources, living space for their population, and patrol zones to avoid being raided by pirates or surprised by a foreign military's blitzkrieg.

So the 'little rich state' may be small, but it won't be a single planet or sub-planet polity, not if it really does have the economic and military strength to compete meaningfully with nations a dozen or more times its physical size.

In general, I'm trying to discourage people from sticking their whole nation into a few star systems and packing them very, very, very full of assets unless they have a good reason. We've had bad experience with that as a munchkin tactic, although I don't intend to let it become a problem in SDNW5, and I don't mean to totally ban it from people I have reason to think are acting in good faith.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-11 08:29pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Um, yes. If you'd mentioned any of that... well, fuck, pretty much any time during the several months I was writing that stuff*, it would have significantly impacted my plotting and I would have written things differently. As it was, I'm not sure you stopped to explain to me what you wanted, either privately via AIM/PM/whatever or publically. I might have noticed it if I'd been really careful about scouring your own posts for the details of their deployment orders, but I don't think you ever explicitly wrote down the overall strategic objective of the Eoghan contingent that way. Did I miss some obvious hint about their objectives?
Second PM sent to you: Agent Sorchus wrote:Of the three types of combat craft... snip tech stuff...and a smallish fusion power-plant. Also I want to make it clear that these ships are technically not part of the coalition task force, but their commanders are free to engage at their own discretion unless assistance is called for by the SPS ships; this is in part to forestall any possible back stabbing by the centrality, and yes the Navy is that cautious about the Centrality attracting allied fleets.
It was tacked on at the end of a longer PM and it wasn't the absolutely best way to state it. It was there though. But this is the past.
*By the way, this too is a general lesson. Don't get so wrapped up in a storyline that really concerns only you that you spend a lot of time on it that could be spent on other things. I did it, partly because there was a certain happy surprise to realizing I was writing something of novel length that wasn't total trash, and partly because I had a small number of people sort of egging me on to write more Big Space Battle stuff- they seemed to like it. And it turned out to be a mistake as far as my own participation in the game went.
Yes. That and involving stories are more interesting than having one writer do things for a story. Each person has their own views, and reactions that are different.
Honestly, Sorchus, your idea makes my head hurt- mostly because of the complexity of implementing it. How do we define these "clusters?" Do we draw the clusters and then draw the nations into them, or the other way around by clustering them after the fact?

How do we cope with a perpetually shifting and changing list of travel times from A to B to C to D? Strategic realities become unstable and (if I understand you) are likely to change on the whims of third parties.
As my Imagination has it (and in an ideal world) each cluster is one neighborhood of people who work together to create the cluster as a whole. The K-Zone, the Rar nations etc etc.

The Strategic reality inside of a cluster is stable, but outside is chaotic. And the reaction of people who had their nation put near another temporarily by a third party can have consequences and be explored in the story thread. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Keeps diplomacy flowing and organic. Also if a powerblock starts developing between differing clusters it will have the though times when distance doesn't help them. Again a good thing in my mind. Difficulty that is overcome through effort does make for interesting stories.
Some of what you propose is what warp gates were originally for, and they were used quite successfully in that capacity- to allow envoys, trading vessels, special forces, and light warships to travel from one side of the map to the other quickly, while battlefleets and the general bulk of interstellar traffic moved more slowly. Wars take time to set up, but diplomatic negotiations can proceed quickly.

So as a compromise suggestion, we could play around with the theoretical capabilities of warp gates to make them more potent and achieve some of what you want, without turning everything inside out quite as extensively as what you have in mind.
An improved Warp gate might work. But I do like the random nature breaking up the monotonicity of diplomacy.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 09:00pm

Agent Sorchus wrote:
Honestly, Sorchus, your idea makes my head hurt- mostly because of the complexity of implementing it. How do we define these "clusters?" Do we draw the clusters and then draw the nations into them, or the other way around by clustering them after the fact?

How do we cope with a perpetually shifting and changing list of travel times from A to B to C to D? Strategic realities become unstable and (if I understand you) are likely to change on the whims of third parties.
As my Imagination has it (and in an ideal world) each cluster is one neighborhood of people who work together to create the cluster as a whole. The K-Zone, the Rar nations etc etc.
So what defines a cluster? Why are my neighbors on one side of a 2D map "part of my cluster" while the nations on the other side aren't, even though on the map they're apparently the same distance away? What if I want roughly equal involvement with all my neighbors?

And, again, do we draw cluster boundaries before or after we distribute the locations of the nations on the map?
The Strategic reality inside of a cluster is stable, but outside is chaotic. And the reaction of people who had their nation put near another temporarily by a third party can have consequences and be explored in the story thread. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Keeps diplomacy flowing and organic. Also if a powerblock starts developing between differing clusters it will have the though times when distance doesn't help them. Again a good thing in my mind. Difficulty that is overcome through effort does make for interesting stories.
What I dislike about this is that it basically creates an environment where basic things like "X days from Y to Z" can potentially be edited by anyone. I might as well decide that travel times were henceforward determined by rolling dice.

You may think this is good because it means all the rules about who is proximate to who are changing every four or six weeks of real time. But others may not agree that having that change is a good thing. And if we did it your way, we would basically be imposing what Siege calls a rule, not a guideline, on third parties whose situation was altered by doing this. It would add a big chunk of complexity, which I think runs against the ideas Siege lays out and which I'm hoping to implement.

Unless, of course, third parties were totally free to ignore any choice between Party A and Party B about trip times... in which case we'd basically just be saying "fuck it, trip times are whatever you want, based solely on the needs of the moment, and don't assume any correlation between distances on the map and trip times from one place to another."

Which we could do- but again, I'm not sure everyone would care for that, because it would be too easy for it to bite people in the ass. The mere fact that it poses "problems to be overcome" doesn't mean the problems are desirable ones- Chaotic Neutral and the MEH posed a "problem to be overcome," but one that caused the game to choke up, stall out, and die.

Remember, if a game is hard enough to play, people won't try. Excessive rule complexity can cause that, so can having capricious rules that force a player to keep track of too many variables (because suddenly a war on the other side of the galaxy might matter, if a wormhole into the middle of the battlezone can randomly open up in your backyard).
Some of what you propose is what warp gates were originally for, and they were used quite successfully in that capacity- to allow envoys, trading vessels, special forces, and light warships to travel from one side of the map to the other quickly, while battlefleets and the general bulk of interstellar traffic moved more slowly. Wars take time to set up, but diplomatic negotiations can proceed quickly.

So as a compromise suggestion, we could play around with the theoretical capabilities of warp gates to make them more potent and achieve some of what you want, without turning everything inside out quite as extensively as what you have in mind.
An improved Warp gate might work. But I do like the random nature breaking up the monotonicity of diplomacy.
Okay, let's see if this idea enjoys wide support. Personally, I find it very weird and awkward, but if it gets a lot of approval from players who like having "who's my neighbor?" be a question with a semi-random answer, then maybe we can roll with it.

Or we could hybridize, and instead of having one map, have several interconnected maps, with travel between maps being very easy and travel across a single map taking some fixed rate of time. But this would involve a lot of the same complexity we get from layered 2.5D maps- it's just a lot more work to maintain and visualize.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-11 09:16pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Or we could hybridize, and instead of having one map, have several interconnected maps, with travel between maps being very easy and travel across a single map taking some fixed rate of time. But this would involve a lot of the same complexity we get from layered 2.5D maps- it's just a lot more work to maintain and visualize.
This is the idea. That EACH cluster is it's own map and the paths between them are "mapped" but not reliable. As such each cluster can get to any other, but at times it'd be easier or harder than it should usually be.
Unless, of course, third parties were totally free to ignore any choice between Party A and Party B about trip times... in which case we'd basically just be saying "fuck it, trip times are whatever you want, based solely on the needs of the moment, and don't assume any correlation between distances on the map and trip times from one place to another."
Not really. Distance is technically maintained, but the warp points allow for better travel times than other methods of travel. It would also technically allow clusters to exist at really large distances (like outside the milky way) but thanks to the warp point they are as much a part of the 'galactic' community as everyone else. And when did travel times matter in sdnw4 outside of close stuff? WE had warp gates and other stuff for long stuff and the big war stories were bad for the game anyway.


EDIT EXPANSION> When did the 1 day 1 sector thing really matter? Cause as far as I can tell most times were either fudged (for the small scale smugglers and what not). The MehStomp and Pirates and maybe the big pendelton fiasco all kinda had distance mattering. But not that much, and honestly to the detriment of the game as a whole. (Not really in Pendelton, but it is an example.) We really didn't need to set aside time for Deploments!! in the Mehstomp. And yes I will keep coming back to that, cause it really is that important.

People didn't care that there was a large distance from them to the Bragulans for BEEEF, so why should that be maintained?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 10:09pm

Agent Sorchus wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Or we could hybridize, and instead of having one map, have several interconnected maps, with travel between maps being very easy and travel across a single map taking some fixed rate of time. But this would involve a lot of the same complexity we get from layered 2.5D maps- it's just a lot more work to maintain and visualize.
This is the idea. That EACH cluster is it's own map and the paths between them are "mapped" but not reliable. As such each cluster can get to any other, but at times it'd be easier or harder than it should usually be.
I foresee trouble trying to work out among ourselves who goes on which map. That part of the process is going to be a pain if we do it this way.

And wouldn't that tend to artificially segregate people, rather than bringing them together? If my contact with anyone 'off my map' is unreliable, why is it better for me than it would be if contact with them was reliable and it just happened to take a while?
Unless, of course, third parties were totally free to ignore any choice between Party A and Party B about trip times... in which case we'd basically just be saying "fuck it, trip times are whatever you want, based solely on the needs of the moment, and don't assume any correlation between distances on the map and trip times from one place to another."
Not really. Distance is technically maintained, but the warp points allow for better travel times than other methods of travel. It would also technically allow clusters to exist at really large distances (like outside the milky way) but thanks to the warp point they are as much a part of the 'galactic' community as everyone else. And when did travel times matter in sdnw4 outside of close stuff? WE had warp gates and other stuff for long stuff and the big war stories were bad for the game anyway.
"Bad for the game anyway..." I think you're oversimplifying- the MEH war was not the only case where someone sent a large fleet off to do something, and where the fact that the fleet took significant time to move from one place to another proved relevant.
EDIT EXPANSION> When did the 1 day 1 sector thing really matter? Cause as far as I can tell most times were either fudged (for the small scale smugglers and what not). The MehStomp and Pirates and maybe the big pendelton fiasco all kinda had distance mattering. But not that much, and honestly to the detriment of the game as a whole. (Not really in Pendelton, but it is an example.) We really didn't need to set aside time for Deploments!! in the Mehstomp. And yes I will keep coming back to that, cause it really is that important.
...You are showing signs of selective memory. I remember a major international incident between Chamarra and the Solarians, for example- and I could come up with others.

It's also very unclear to me what you want. What is the desired end-state here, and how is it clearly superior to doing things some other way? Does anyone besides you share your goals and desires for how the game should work?

Do you want very fast movement across the map, so anyone can get stuff very quickly to anyone else? Because that's something that we can handle in a wide variety of ways, like just increasing the movement rate across sectors without doing anything over-complicated.

And, again, I really want to see how many other people you can convince to do things this way. You can argue with me about what rules would be best until the cows come home; neither of us can really prove ourselves right without actually experimenting with game rules in a game. But I don't want to change a proven and basically functional set of rules on the say-so of one man, and I don't want to bicker endlessly over what the rules ought to be when there's only one person telling me to change them. It's not really up to you or me, or shouldn't be- it's up to the consensus of the group whether they want a map with roughly uniform travel speeds, or a host of loosely inter-connected maps with negotiable travel times from one map to another.
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Akhlut
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Akhlut » 2012-03-11 10:10pm

I think the travel rules were just fine, myself. I never had an issue with them.

A more general question: how discouraged would it be to bring back specific things from SDNW4? I'm considering putting the NenAltKik in as a subunit of a larger polity I'm developing. I'm sure a few things wouldn't hurt (I'd really like to bring back Thompson S. Hunter), but I'm wondering if everyone thinks that'd be kosher or not. For instance, I personally wouldn't care too much if someone wanted to bring back a few aspects of their prior nation or have it as part of a larger interstellar empire or something.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Darkevilme » 2012-03-11 10:16pm

I say this is more trouble than it's worth to have these variable linked clusters. Though if people on opposite sides of the map want to narrate a story that requires a wormhole to appear and cut out the intervening space then i see no reason why that couldn't happen.

But yeah. I'm unclear what the actual goal of this plan is and why this goal justifies this degree of shennaniganery that would result from its implementation.

And I could hardly be so hypocritical as to object to people recycling their old empires or parts of them...I'm bringing a different incarnation of the Hierarchy to the table this time after all.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-03-11 10:36pm

Akhlut wrote:I think the travel rules were just fine, myself. I never had an issue with them.

A more general question: how discouraged would it be to bring back specific things from SDNW4? I'm considering putting the NenAltKik in as a subunit of a larger polity I'm developing. I'm sure a few things wouldn't hurt (I'd really like to bring back Thompson S. Hunter), but I'm wondering if everyone thinks that'd be kosher or not. For instance, I personally wouldn't care too much if someone wanted to bring back a few aspects of their prior nation or have it as part of a larger interstellar empire or something.
I would not discourage this at all. In fact, I was hoping to do it myself- I wasn't done telling Umeria stories, I just ran out of steam and opportunities to have much outside interaction and my creative energies got sidetracked away. I'd definitely change a few things, add and subtract and reshuffle, but it would be a very plainly recognizable iteration of the country.

SDNW2 contained some nations that looked a good deal like SDNW1 (Shroomania comes to mind, though it is far from the only one). SDNW5 can contain some nations that look like SDNW4.

On the other hand, we're also going to have plenty of flexibility, and I want to encourage imaginative nation concepts, so if anyone does have another idea they feel they could make as strong and interesting and well-developed as their SDNW4 idea, they should feel very welcome to play with that instead. I wish I did at the moment- the closest I could come would be to regress the Technocracy back to its golden age and play a ray-guns-and-slide-rules chrome-plated nation. Which would be kind of fun, but I'm not sure I feel like it at the moment.
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