New Ally game addon

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JonnyDoH
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Post#31 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:48 pm

If you go as far as anonymous games with in game messages disabled, you should also keep e-mail addresses hidden as well. It's too easy to look up someone's profile and start sending messages.

That said, I do not have a problem with open cooperation. I see diplomacy as just another weapon in a fleet commander's arsenal. If you aren't good at it, learn to concede your pride and work with others. Or how to sufficiently bribe another commander into backstabbing his allies... In the real world, that's how it works. You've got to play the political game sooner or later.

Of course, I haven't been on the receiving end of one of these five-race alliances (yet). So maybe my view on things are a bit skewed.

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Havok
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Post#32 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:34 pm

B A N E wrote:Sadly, AT doesn't support anonymous games.

It is a shame since it was the Sharenet Trolls way back in the
90's that ran the blind headhunter tournament that I really enjoyed.
It surprised me to find out that Autotroll doesn't support blind games.
I've got the settings from a couple of those games and plan to set one up as soon as I can get Zeus's Explore Map feature to work reliably.
Regards,
][avok

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Tei
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Post#33 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:51 pm

What JD said has a lot of merit. Diplomacy is one of the great things in VGAP. Having No Ally will at least prevent some of the worst abuses.

JonnyDoH wrote:That said, I do not have a problem with open cooperation. I see diplomacy as just another weapon in a fleet commander's arsenal. If you aren't good at it, learn to concede your pride and work with others. Or how to sufficiently bribe another commander into backstabbing his allies... In the real world, that's how it works. You've got to play the political game sooner or later.

Of course, I haven't been on the receiving end of one of these five-race alliances (yet). So maybe my view on things are a bit skewed.

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Havok
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Post#34 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:03 am

JonnyDoH wrote:If you go as far as anonymous games with in game messages disabled, you should also keep e-mail addresses hidden as well. It's too easy to look up someone's profile and start sending messages.

That said, I do not have a problem with open cooperation. I see diplomacy as just another weapon in a fleet commander's arsenal. If you aren't good at it, learn to concede your pride and work with others. Or how to sufficiently bribe another commander into backstabbing his allies... In the real world, that's how it works. You've got to play the political game sooner or later.

Of course, I haven't been on the receiving end of one of these five-race alliances (yet). So maybe my view on things are a bit skewed.
On this end we can only do so much. Total anonymity requires the players to honor the agreement in that type of game as well.
Regards,
][avok

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Rimstalker
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Post#35 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:56 am

JonnyDoH wrote:If you go as far as anonymous games with in game messages disabled, you should also keep e-mail addresses hidden as well. It's too easy to look up someone's profile and start sending messages.

That said, I do not have a problem with open cooperation. I see diplomacy as just another weapon in a fleet commander's arsenal. If you aren't good at it, learn to concede your pride and work with others. Or how to sufficiently bribe another commander into backstabbing his allies... In the real world, that's how it works. You've got to play the political game sooner or later.

Of course, I haven't been on the receiving end of one of these five-race alliances (yet). So maybe my view on things are a bit skewed.

I don't know Jonny, you really seem to be the ultimate weasle. What part of 'blank the players' names' does NOT imply that their email addresses will not be shown either?

About diplomacy: Forget it. 80 % of times you get the shit end of the stick because you run into someone who is an old buddy of someone else in the game. One of the few Phost games I was playing, I had established borders and NAPs with two of my neighbours and was invading the 3rd one ('Glasauer' rings a bell?). Lo and behold, I'm thrashing that guy, I'm attacked by those two, without even a warning. Similar thing happend in AQ5 here at CM, with Shardin, Gavan and Raven (I think, could be wrong about the name). All three of those played not by logical rules, but for being old buddies.
Wirklich reich ist, wer mehr | Truly rich is, who holds
Träume in seiner Seele hat, | more dreams in his soul
als die Realität zerstören kann.| than reality can destroy.

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JonnyDoH
Posts: 433

Post#36 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:09 am

Havok wrote: On this end we can only do so much. Total anonymity requires the players to honor the agreement in that type of game as well.
Yeah, to be honest, I didn't think that would be a practical solution. I was only stating in since people were advocating a fully anonymous game. The aforementioned rules against one or more allies in a game might be much more difficult to enforce over other possibilities.

On that note, perhaps we're overlooking a more important question: Why are these super alliances forming?

In my experience, people tend to band together against the "greater threat" when a much more experienced player or players begin to dominate the galaxy. With little hope of winning themselves, the "smaller bit" players tend to put aside their differences and bring it to the winning player.

I think the win conditions that have been imposed on the latest games are a better solution (i.e. once a player has a run away lead, there is little chance others can catch up-- with or without alliances).

Another possibility would be to impose a min/max level of competency (read: Actual play rank and strategic level) of players in order to join a game. I realize that there's something of that nature already in place for CM, but little in the way of keeping the better players out of the pool of weaker ones.

Taking the Pit game in as an example, you seem to have a pool of both really really good players (Rimstalker and Donovan) to mediocre/medium strategists (i.e. me) to all out newbies. No offense to any one party-- there's a learning curve for the latter two that just needs to be grasped-- but I could tell some folks might be outclassed in game. The rebel player, for example, never did a Rebel Ground Attack, despite having several falcons over my worlds for a number of turns (And beaming down a paltry 120 clans over a world with a population of over a million assimilated natives... well, that speaks volumes).

Just thought I'd air out my thoughts on the matter.

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JonnyDoH
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Post#37 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:24 am

Rimstalker wrote: I don't know Jonny, you really seem to be the ultimate weasle. What part of 'blank the players' names' does NOT imply that their email addresses will not be shown either?
Apologies-- I didn't read the last part of your sentence where you suggested players names were blanked out. I only caught the part about "in game messages" and rushed to respond.
Rimstalker wrote: About diplomacy: Forget it. 80 % of times you get the shit end of the stick because you run into someone who is an old buddy of someone else in the game. One of the few Phost games I was playing, I had established borders and NAPs with two of my neighbours and was invading the 3rd one ('Glasauer' rings a bell?). Lo and behold, I'm thrashing that guy, I'm attacked by those two, without even a warning. Similar thing happend in AQ5 here at CM, with Shardin, Gavan and Raven (I think, could be wrong about the name). All three of those played not by logical rules, but for being old buddies.
1. Glasauer does not ring a bell. I have no idea who you're talking about.

2. I'll admit, I haven't run into the 80% types of games you've been talking about. Most of the games I play, I don't know anyone else in game and I make diplomatic offers as the players come to me. Again, I've only started playing VGA planets about two years ago and that makes me the veteran of roughly... ten, maybe twelve games? I don't really remember.

I should note that I haven't played with all the folks you have and haven't had my back-stabbed at all (Nor, I should note, have I stabbed any backs. Maybe some mutual character assassinations with Cardno, but I don't really count that as an in game betrayal).

The way I describe diplomacy and political intrigue are just game suggestions. I've played actual board games that way, but have yet to bring that fully into the Echo Cluster. The thing is, just because you trust your allies in the current turn, it doesn't mean you don't prep for some shifty acts in the future. I tend to trust my allies implicitly but prepare a contingency "just in case." :wink:

Anyhow, like I said, I'm just airing my thoughts on the matter.

Final note: This is what I keep in mind when I speak of diplomacy:

"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."

Sorry, I'm Chinese. I was raised on this stuff. It's a quote from Sun Tzu-- you know, the whole "Art of War" thing? Never underestimate diplomacy.

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Rimstalker
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Post#38 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:26 am

Lecturing me about 'The Art of War'? Funny you are :).

One of my favorite bands has turned that into a full album,

intro is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKGCk6uI1QY

another song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTuU4BpgVPs

Stefan Glausauer is the author of Echoview.

And then you are trying to tell a German about boardgames? My last session of Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition, with Shattered Empires expansion) was only about two weeks ago, took over six hours with only three players.

Pretty much the only time I really use 'diplomacy' is when I start next to a race that hard counters mine, and I know the player to be somewhat capable. Generally speaking however, the players I look up to (Gil comes to mind here at CM) will be happy to exchange intel and establish borders according to what planets already belong to the concerned parties, and they usually also agree to limited time NAPs, with a warning period of some turns if hostilities are to start after the NAP runs out.
It is quite civilized, actually, and I never feel the need for surprise attacks or backstabbing. I either can take them straight on, or I make it too costly for them to pursue me.

Playing timidly gets you nowhere.
Wirklich reich ist, wer mehr | Truly rich is, who holds
Träume in seiner Seele hat, | more dreams in his soul
als die Realität zerstören kann.| than reality can destroy.

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B A N E
Posts: 3777

Post#39 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:39 am

Diplomacy works great in a game where each player acts as their
own race and the players adhere to that spirit. Diplomacy can
make games very interesting. Machiavellian games are wild.
If Player X is dominating a game and the smaller empires band up,
that is to be expected and desired. They must strive to survive.

However, there are folks that spoil the game before it ever starts.
Players join a game to be allied before it starts and roll the other
unsuspecting players. This is a win at all costs attitude. VGAP
games can take years. "Years" is a lot of time and effort that
gets flushed down a toilet by actions of a few. Pre-game alliances
and buddy-alliances have been a VGAP problem since the beginning.

Buddy alliances cannot be fixed. That depends wholly on the players.
This is a natural result of history. Long term players know each other
through both battle and diplomacy. They often know who they can
trust and who they cannot. Reputation is important. The long term
players may often select a less advantageous racial alliance pairing
due to knowledge of the other player. "We can make this work!"

If VGAP games lent themselves to shorter durations, then the more
Machiavellian games would be more appealing to players.

As for truly blind games, those can be a blast when they are done right.
You don't know who you are fighting, you shoot them and they shoot you.
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

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Logain
Posts: 720

Post#40 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:10 am

B A N E wrote:As for truly blind games, those can be a blast when they are done right. You don't know who you are fighting, you shoot them and they shoot you.
Che'ron seems to be shaping up this way... I've got friends calling from every direction! :shock: SHould get interesting soon after the ship limit is reached :wink:

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Gilgamesh
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Post#41 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:54 am

Logain wrote: Che'ron seems to be shaping up this way... I've got friends calling from every direction! :shock: SHould get interesting soon after the ship limit is reached :wink:
I'm certainly being kept busy! :D
QI'DaS tuQ SoSlI'

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Rimstalker
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Post#42 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:20 am

of course, the blind game comes with score and pbp blinding as well!
Wirklich reich ist, wer mehr | Truly rich is, who holds
Träume in seiner Seele hat, | more dreams in his soul
als die Realität zerstören kann.| than reality can destroy.

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Donovan
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Post#43 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:37 am

albatross wrote:While working on the 'one/no ally addon-addon' (gosh.. it needs a name) I encountered problems which should be discussed.

Code: Select all

btf
btt
btm
One cannot stop host.exe from actually transfering stuff if the friendly code is set. The only way to accomplish something here is to change an fcode in auxhost1 into something else when non-allied ships are at the same location. Problem follows, enemy cloakers are no longer able to go 'fishing' for these codes.
My evil suggestion would be to have the addon change the fcode to something random, and setting mission to KILL in auxhost1.

I didn't get your remark about 'fishing' at first, but I think I understand: cloakers could sneak inbetween ships of two allies, and hope to receive a chunk of whatever is transferred.

If the addon blocks transfers when a non-allied ship is present, cloakers could use this to disrupt transfers between allies. But it would probably not be as rewarding as getting some of the transferred cash. On the other hand, it might be more of a tactical advantage to block a transfer altogether than to receive some of it.
albatross wrote:

Code: Select all

gsX
Lately I encountered a Priv who had set 'gs5' on most planets taken by my ships, maybe in hope that I would make some weird beam up mistake in that direction. New players might possibly get trapped.
:?: Blocking this gsX code would 'protect' new players, since the addon would change the gsX code.

I think the Priv player you're talking about just had some strange idea of what gs5 would do. I can't think of any reason for gs5 on planets. He could set gsX to your race with the base on force surrender and one of his ships to gsX to sniff out your cloakers, but that would only work on cloakers with clans onboard.
albatross wrote:

Code: Select all

gpX
Similar issue as with gsX
This is an addon-only code, right? Or is it a code used in Phost?

I think it's safe to assume a no-ally game would not use the gpX feature, and I think it's even unlikely in a one-ally game. There seems to have been some abuse of this particular feature in past games?
albatross wrote: As Krait stated it before, players need to follow the rules by own desire, otherwise something's just wrong. vgap creates with minimum rules exceptional diversity, and with every line of code I have more and more doubts that the benefit will outweigh the loss. Opinions?
I'm starting to agree with you here. Anything you enforce via an addon strengthens the reasoning that what isn't enforced must not be illegal. And since there are some things that just cannot be enforced, it might not be worth the hassle of making, bughunting and using the addon.

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Donovan
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Post#44 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:47 am

JonnyDoH wrote:That said, I do not have a problem with open cooperation. I see diplomacy as just another weapon in a fleet commander's arsenal. If you aren't good at it, learn to concede your pride and work with others. Or how to sufficiently bribe another commander into backstabbing his allies... In the real world, that's how it works. You've got to play the political game sooner or later.

Of course, I haven't been on the receiving end of one of these five-race alliances (yet). So maybe my view on things are a bit skewed.
What he said.

Diplomacy is cool, especially when you manage to drive a wedge between an enemy 'alliance'. Diplomacy and banter on forums are the things that make games so much more fun than just smashing up some cplayers.

I'm not sure where I stand on multi-alliances. I've been in some in the past, which was fun, but I also recall things got very boring very fast with three safe borders and being part of a multi-alliance warfleet fighting on the one frontline that was left. I suppose it's a lot of fun when multi-alliances fight eachother (i.e. teamgames or games that have turned into teamgames), but just rolling over the solitary enemies with a large alliance is not all it's cracked up to be.

So far I'm really liking the one-ally rule. It leaves room for diplomacy and it's always nice to have an ally, even if only to combine abilities or to bounce ideas back and forth. I'm in a NF game with a no-ally rule. I'm not liking it all that much, although it does make for much quicker turns.

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JonnyDoH
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Post#45 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:57 pm

B A N E wrote: However, there are folks that spoil the game before it ever starts.
Players join a game to be allied before it starts and roll the other
unsuspecting players. This is a win at all costs attitude. VGAP
games can take years. "Years" is a lot of time and effort that
gets flushed down a toilet by actions of a few. Pre-game alliances
and buddy-alliances have been a VGAP problem since the beginning.

Buddy alliances cannot be fixed. That depends wholly on the players.
This is a natural result of history. Long term players know each other
through both battle and diplomacy. They often know who they can
trust and who they cannot. Reputation is important. The long term
players may often select a less advantageous racial alliance pairing
due to knowledge of the other player. "We can make this work!"
Bane, you are beginning to be the voice of reason to me here on CM...

See, now THIS I understand. This could very well be frustrating, when you pull out any chances of winning (allied or not) from the beginning of the game.
Rimstalker wrote: And then you are trying to tell a German about boardgames? My last session of Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition, with Shattered Empires expansion) was only about two weeks ago, took over six hours with only three players.
*sigh* I mean no disrespect or offense when I state my case on boardgames. I'm only using it as an example of what *I* do. I never meant to imply that you never played them nor engage in diplomacy for those.

It just seemed to me, in your posts, that you didn't recognize the value of diplomacy-- it seemed like you were shooting down its value and circumventing its use by complaining about the large alliances. Again, I stress the word "seemed" -- It seemed like you were doing that for me. It was my perception of the situation.

I should add that with Bane's input, I can understand your reasoning much more clearly now. It was not obvious from the beginning.
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