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Dominions 4 Teasers
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Shatner
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Here's the exact conversation:
Edi wrote:
FrankTrollman wrote:
Edi wrote:
The Wild Weather Team: Midgård (god), Patala and Abysia


How does that work? Midgård is a Cold power and Patala and Abysia both want it hot. Does being a Disciple of a nation that has radically different weather requirements doom you to terrible penalties, or is the weather adjusted somehow for the different national borders?

-Frank



It doesn't, which is why they got nicknamed all sorts of weather related things. They used Midgård for pretender and then bumped up heat scale to 3 for maximum points so Abysia and Patala would benefit. They got a lot of free design points for that trick to fuel the bless they put in (to boost the Abysian and Patalan sacreds), but in a situation like that the two teams that benefit more from the scales need to help support the third until it gets going because it will have a serious handicap. If you go that route, you need a good strategy to go on. As it turned out, the Wild Weather team spent enough time fighting the Axis of Evil that when the Bloodlords showed up they stomped the Axis down to the ground. Arco was the first to die, but Ulm and Jomon stuck out sieges that lasted over 30 turns. Most heroic last stand goes to Ulm, who beat up a numerically, qualitatively and magically superior siege force that outnumbered it more than ten to one off with a bunch of wolves, a wolfherd, half a dozen infantry, a dozen fortune tellers and a revenant before finally falling some ten turns later.

Weather is not adjusted for each nation. One god, one dominion, one set of scales for everyone in the alliance.

There are some exceptions to that, such as Mictlan's disciples not having #dyingdom and a few others. Don't remember if Miasma C'tis spread that for disciple nations as well. The nations that really don't work well as gods are MA C'tis (Miasma) and then undead Ermor and Dreamlands R'lyeh. I'd need to double check the exceptions, but they're not relevant for this thread anyway, as they will be in the manual.


This is interesting because beforehand, when we assumed the allies all had their own domain (though the same bless), the decision making process for determining team-composition was largely based on strategy: you'd want members of the team to be able to cover for one another's weaknesses (vulnerability to rushes, lack of magic diversity, etc.) or who could enhance one another's strengths (having a death/fire nation forge research boosters for the team's research powerhouse so their team hits Elemental Royalty/Master Enslave/Tartarans/Real Ultimate Power first).

Now that we know you all have to share the same scales it means you ALSO have to plan around how well or poorly those scales work for the members of the team. Hot nations will ideally want to be with other hot nations. Production with Production. Death with Death. That's kinda interesting despite, or perhaps because, it'll make finding the optimal teams rather more complicated.


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name_here
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, that's a huge kick in the ass for LA Ermor. The other nations with terribly unfriendly dominions effects aren't completely dependent on having them; MA C'Tis has decent casting/units and LA R'Leyh has literally the same lineup as MA R'Leyh, but Ermor needs piles of corpses to bury enemies beneath thousands of longdead.

I feel like having identical scales is going to really constrain the viable teamup space, because having Sloth as a high-resource nation fucks you over so badly. Sure, there'd still be a set of optimal teams with non-identical scales, but everyone flocking to the most mechanically optimal decisions is not a problem the Dom3 community has.
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It's not just that everything you say is stupid, but that they are Gordian knots of stupid that leave me completely bewildered as to where to even begin. After hearing you speak Alexander the Great would stab you and triumphantly declare the puzzle solved.


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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's just all around terrible. There are enough nations with similar scales that you can build 4v4/5v5 teams in which most players have to compromise very little, but not enough nations that you can do so with much variety at all. And if you think shifting downwards to 2v2/3v3 teams makes it better, the number of possible teams might go up but it's also possible to select nations with almost identical scales, and the penalties for playing with the wrong scales are pretty huge.

But no matter what, it's a very small problem and the optimal solutions are pretty obvious. But most Dom3 games do not have the level of coordination to hit those optimal solutions - people create games via forum posts and join them via forum posts, frequently playing with people they'll never talk to outside of game messages or that forum thread. So what will happen is you'll end up with two team captains, and people will show up to the thread to pick a nation based on how well it fits into an existing team OR they'll pick a nation based on how much they want to play it and then chose the team that hurts them the least (or they would hurt the least, because those are really the same thing).

In the former, the team captains' picks narrow the playspace to a handful of nations and people don't get to play the nations they want. In the latter, you are showing up to a thread to join a team game and tell half the people there you want to be their deadweight won't you pretty please take me? That will understandably piss them off, and then there will be ROLLPLAYER vs ROLEPLAYER arguments and "I didn't make this game so I could fucking carry you for 50 turns and then lose anyway" and butthurt all around.


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Winnah
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

An single age mod could be fun for the various iterations of a nation, such as Neifelheim, Jotunheim and Utgard. There are also a couple of thematic pairings, such as Atlantis/Mictlan, Patala/Arcoscephale, Sauromatia/Fomoria and Ermor/C'Tis/Pythium, which have connections in Dominions lore. With the new nations being added, it opens up a few more thematic picks, such as the new Babylonian giant nation teaming up with Hinnom, or Vanarus teaming up with a Van nation or a steppe nation like Sauromatia or late TC.

The possibilities and potential seem like a lot of fun. It's too bad my mind is working overtime trying to make sense of how dominion functions in a team game, because until I have a copy of the game, I'm going to focus on some limitations that are so obvious that people who have not even played the game are pointing them out.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I really wouldn't mind if the Disciples games forced everyone on a team to play nations with compatible scales if we also got Pantheon games where everyone on the team got their own dominion.

The current gasp is that Edirr went off on a rant that factions with non-zero heat preferences won't be getting any points for it on the grounds that having a non-zero heat preference is not a disadvantage. This is jaw dropping, because it's mathematically untrue and I'm really shocked to see an old-Dominions hand make that claim.

-Frank
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name_here
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, I can see the argument that they shouldn't get as much for it as everyone else, because it cuts both ways by hurting people entering their dominion, but of course having a heat preference and going into opposite climate hurts more than a zero preference going into either.
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DSMatticus wrote:
It's not just that everything you say is stupid, but that they are Gordian knots of stupid that leave me completely bewildered as to where to even begin. After hearing you speak Alexander the Great would stab you and triumphantly declare the puzzle solved.
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K
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Considering that Dominions MP games have a winner determined almost always by alliances who gangbang weaker alliances and solo players, I'm surprised that no formal Diplomacy system is in the works for Dom4.

The Team game options that they have discussed seem to only increase the Total Butthurt Quotient (TBQ) from the Dom3 level where every game had ay least one occurrence of someone claiming (truthfully or not) that a NAP was broken.


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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm guessing they're thinking that the team-based system would work well enough in place of diplo and NAP tracking.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
I'm guessing they're thinking that the team-based system would work well enough in place of diplo and NAP tracking.


This is of course absurd.

Because if there are more than two teams, the teams will have diplomacy between them.

-Frank
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name_here
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ugh, Dom3 drama. I opted to not make any NAP agreements period in the most recent one because fuck that.
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DSMatticus wrote:
It's not just that everything you say is stupid, but that they are Gordian knots of stupid that leave me completely bewildered as to where to even begin. After hearing you speak Alexander the Great would stab you and triumphantly declare the puzzle solved.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
This is of course absurd.

Because if there are more than two teams, the teams will have diplomacy between them.

-Frank


I didn't say it was sound thinking Tongue.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
This is of course absurd.

Because if there are more than two teams, the teams will have diplomacy between them.

-Frank


I didn't say it was sound thinking Tongue.
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Shatner
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Torgoni on the Desura Board wrote:
That would only perpetuate what is a horrible practice anyway.

I hate NAPs and want them to die; not be encouraged by an in game counter that actually has no bearing on the game whatsoever and is just pretty window dressing. If you want a secure boarder with me, convince me why its not worth my while to attack you. So long as that's the case, peace will reign between our nations. That situation ends and I'll attack, I'd expect you to do the same.

You can do that without a NAP and we can trust each other without a NAP. NAPs just make the entire situation more complicated and more prone to bickering and arguments about an attack not being "fair" or "honorable".


Maerlande on the Desura Board wrote:
Diplomacy makes the game more interesting. Diplomatic agreements make for interesting games. NAP`s are overly simplistic agreements that end up causing hordes of grief from misunderstanding. It is just way too easy to type "NAP-3??" and be done with it. It's a great idea to negotiate an alliance. But alliances are based on mutual benefit. NAP's don't clarify what that mutual benefit entails and that's a weakness. Detailed negotiated agreements with clear written explanations work much better.

There seems to be a lot of hostility to NAPs over on the Desura board. There have certainly been a lot of angst caused by arguments over whether an NAP was observed correctly or not, but the solution seems to be more in line with what Frank is suggesting (i.e. making NAPs more explicit in-game so there is better evidence surrounding them) rather than the "No! You're doing it wrong" response from the other board. It reminds me of the rhetoric surrounding teenagers getting condoms: one side says it helps prevent them from suffering for the mistakes they are almost certainly going to make, the other side says it encourages bad/immoral behavior. I bring that up because outside of specific "No NAPs Allowed" games, NAPs are going to happen so they may as well be easier to adjudicate.
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K
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The game having a formal Diplomacy system removes all of the problems with NAPs. People can't complain about unfair attacks if the game won't let you attack someone you have a NAP with.

Not having a system for formal Diplomacy leads to hurt feelings and bullshit. We know this from looking at almost every Dom3 game ever played, so it's not like neglecting to make a Diplomacy system is going to somehow make the problem go away.

It's shitty game design to expect people to be cool and not backstabbing fuckers in a competitive game.


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Winnah
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You're not going to eliminate kingmaker scenarios in a multiplayer game.

Regardless of who wins a game and how they do it, players are still going to point out the mistakes made by others, especially when the only influence those other players ultimately had on the game, was deciding who they were going to lose to.

If anything, the inclusion of team games is going to lead to more behind-the-scenes collaboration by groups of players. If those collaborations filter through into 'standard' multiplayer games, some people are going to be justifiably pissy about it.
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K
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kingmakers scenarios have nothing to do with whether people get pissed off that someone betrayed a NAP.

They are two entirely separate issues. That's actually a good thing because the NAP issue actually has a solution that can be easily coded.
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Winnah
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

People get pissed at other people. People being dishonest is one cause of drama, people throwing the game by playing kingmaker or making stupid decisions is another cause of drama. There is all manner of behaviour which can be looked upon as badwrongfun, depending on context. That context is largely shaped by whether you emerge victorious not.

Team games sound good in principle, but in practice I think it will simply lead to more collaboration in multiplayer Dom4, especially given the tribal attitudes of some members of various online Dom3 communities.
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Shatner
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Dominions 4 home page has been updated. New screenshots. Also, the game is expected to be released in late August.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

K wrote:

Not having a system for formal Diplomacy leads to hurt feelings and bullshit. We know this from looking at almost every Dom3 game ever played, so it's not like neglecting to make a Diplomacy system is going to somehow make the problem go away.


I agree.

K wrote:
The game having a formal Diplomacy system removes all of the problems with NAPs. People can't complain about unfair attacks if the game won't let you attack someone you have a NAP with.


I do not agree. Caelum can attack provinces they can't see, and can thus assault provinces that their current intel "cannot identify" as being the province of another player with whom they have a NAP. All Caelum would have to do to exploit a rule where you couldn't attack someone with whom you have a NAP with is to withdraw their scouts for a turn.

Actually coding some sort of unbreakable NAP enforcement almost certainly wouldn't work and is a whole lot of coding. All we really need is an in-game tracker for whether the NAP is in effect or not, so as to make any and all arguments as to whether there was an NAP currently in effect at the time of an insult or assault instantly resolvable by checking the .trn file of either player. That alone would reduce more than half of the drama and require almost no coding.

-Frank
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A check during turn resolution isn't particularly difficult at all. You just have to check if the target province of a hostile ritual/movement order is valid or not, and if it's not you don't execute the order. The UI can't provide reliable feedback as you're issuing orders for the reasons already pointed out.

The big issue would be stealth, because it's not at all obvious what the correct behavior for a stealthed unit would be. Stealth can mean scouts (sure), assassins (hm), dangerous thugs (ehh), or entire armies (no), and stealthed units can be detected and murder non-PD units in the ensuing battle and stealthed units can be inside the territory when the NAP is formed. The amount of code needed is still probably going to be quite small, but you have to actually decide what behavior you're going to implement first and that's not trivial in this case.
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K
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
A check during turn resolution isn't particularly difficult at all. You just have to check if the target province of a hostile ritual/movement order is valid or not, and if it's not you don't execute the order. The UI can't provide reliable feedback as you're issuing orders for the reasons already pointed out.

The big issue would be stealth, because it's not at all obvious what the correct behavior for a stealthed unit would be. Stealth can mean scouts (sure), assassins (hm), dangerous thugs (ehh), or entire armies (no), and stealthed units can be detected and murder non-PD units in the ensuing battle and stealthed units can be inside the territory when the NAP is formed. The amount of code needed is still probably going to be quite small, but you have to actually decide what behavior you're going to implement first and that's not trivial in this case.


Stealth is handled the same way. You just cancel any attack if the opponent is one that you have a NAP with during turn resolution.

Dom3 already has a number of "cancel movement during turn resolution" conditions, so adding a "cancel battle" condition is no different. (Hell, the Caelum example could just be another form of canceled movement if you wanted to be lazy.)

If you really wanted to update the Dom3 engine, you'd have "cancel battle" code be part of code that allows friendly units to move through allied territory, something that Dom has needed for a very long time.
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Avoraciopoctules
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
I do not agree. Caelum can attack provinces they can't see, and can thus assault provinces that their current intel "cannot identify" as being the province of another player with whom they have a NAP. All Caelum would have to do to exploit a rule where you couldn't attack someone with whom you have a NAP with is to withdraw their scouts for a turn.

Actually coding some sort of unbreakable NAP enforcement almost certainly wouldn't work and is a whole lot of coding. All we really need is an in-game tracker for whether the NAP is in effect or not, so as to make any and all arguments as to whether there was an NAP currently in effect at the time of an insult or assault instantly resolvable by checking the .trn file of either player. That alone would reduce more than half of the drama and require almost no coding.

-Frank


What if Caelum blindly moves into a NAP province, and then both players get a message saying something like "Caelum's forces entered X's province. But since a nonaggression pact was in effect, there was no battle and X retained control."

That way temporary allies could move troops through your land without fighting your PD and messing up your income.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

K wrote:
Stealth is handled the same way. You just cancel any attack if the opponent is one that you have a NAP with during turn resolution.

That's not quite satisfactory.

If by attack, you mean all movement orders stealthed or otherwise, then that's obviously not the ideal behavior. If you want to move naked weak scouts through NAP'd players' territory that should totally be allowed. You also have the problem that units can be inside the territory when the NAP is raised, and what happens to those units? If by attack, you mean breaking stealth to attack, obviously. But that's not the only sort of attack that can happen - stealth units get detected, and when they get detected there are battles, and in battles things can die (including units defending the province). We need a new behavior in this case. But even that's still not sufficient, because while I'm okay with scouts moving stealthily through my territory I would consider positioning stealthed military forces (thugs, SC's, armies) in my territory a breach of the NAP.

The simplest solution is to sacrifice all stealthed movement into NAP'd players' territory. Units already in the territory disappear on the turn the NAP is signed, and then reappear in the owning player's capital next turn (yes, that's a gemfree, labless 2 turn teleport for units with stealth provided you position your units correctly and you can get another player to sign the NAP with you - it will be 'exploited' a non-zero number of times for non-zero benefit, but I don't think it's a major concern). But this solution means signing an NAP with a player is losing intel on that player.

You could also just allow stealth movements to move around normally, and replace the detection combat with not-combat for NAP's (or the 2 turn teleport I described above), but this leads to the problem that someone you have signed an NAP with has free reign for at least 3 turns to position stealthed units in your territory to their heart's content. If they have stealth units that are a serious military threat, this is pretty fucked up. And if you want to only allow scout-role units while locking out abusive uses of stealth, you've got to find some way to distinguish the two, and that sounds like the hardest part of the problem (hard enough to make my simple solution sound pretty nice).

You can't handle stealth like you do regular movement, because either it makes NAP's abusable (and you should never sign mechanical NAP's with nations that have credible stealth military threats) or you give up harmless intel gathering (and that's annoying). Well, you can handle it that way, but it's less than ideal.

Avoracio wrote:
What if Caelum blindly moves into a NAP province, and then both players get a message saying something like "Caelum's forces entered X's province. But since a nonaggression pact was in effect, there was no battle and X retained control."

There are agreements where I want my opponent and I to not attack eachother, but I do not want his armies in my provinces. Actually, that describes the vast majority of Dom3 agreements I have ever made. This creates the situation where you could abuse the mechanical enforcement of the NAP to create a 3-turn window for positioning that can walk right over any uncomfortable defenses. Exactly like the stealth thug/SC/army problem I described, except with whatever units you want. If players can move armies through other player's territories, that must be a different agreement than a NAP, and then we still need to define this behavior in the context of NAP's.

Alternatively, the turn an NAP terminates could "expel" all units inside the territory as I described earlier or in a similar way, but even then I still don't particularly want everyone I NAP with using my territory to position their forces.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are simply way too many things that are obviously attacks that are not "attacks" in the classic sense for that to work. Loading up a dozen commanders with bane charms and walking them into another guy's capital is obviously an attack, and if the commanders couldn't be fought by patrolling forces because of an NAP it would be a more effective attack.

Many people consider turning on Burden of Time or Wrath of God to be an attack, and depending on circumstances I wouldn't necessarily argue with them on that point.

Flat blocking "attacks" during an NAP's run would not stop the butthurt of actual betrayal, just change the character of what kinds of betrayals were useful. Furthermore, unilateral ending of NAPs isn't always something that even causes butthurt, if a player is one Throne of Ascension away from victory, it's not unreasonable for everyone to declare war despite prior agreements - and this rarely pisses people off.

The number one cause of preventable butthurt is when one person thinks a NAP is over and the other person doesn't. An in-game counter would prevent most misunderstandings and instantly resolve all disagreements. That is all that is needed, and it's very simple to code.

-Frank
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K
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1. There aren't that many effects that are hostile. Less than a dozen when you count up the various monster abilities that affect a province and the couple of magic items.

This means that it's trivial to code for those. You just put a line in the province code that checks if the unit producing the effect is NAPed with the owner of the province.

As for things like globals, people are rarely butthurt over that. They simply end their NAPs and attack. (But, it would be trivial to code for an option to break a NAP honorably whenever a global goes up.)

2. The main reason a simple counter won't work is because NAPs need to have obvious benefits that are better than the stealth NAP where people don't want other nations to know who they are NAPed with in order to make themselves appear weaker.


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