Sorry. I know this is no-discussion, but I feel that my transparency in this would help.
> I'm guessing this is the point of Borg having control of so many nations, to circumvent restrictions, otherwise why isn't Borg just operating the bank themselves?
I am doing this because people want to use my bank/alliance management tools.
Its very convenient to do things through discord, especially since the game doesn't natively have a way to track and verify individual nation's deposits / loans / grants.
I can't operate this myself, because I AM NOT IN THOSE ALLIANCES. There is no feasible way for a script running via my nation to perform the necessary bank or alliance actions.
> Borg does have the login information in order to control the banking operations performed by these nations, otherwise how else would this be accomplished?
The usernames and passwords are salted and encrypted in a database which is queried only via prepared statements.
Unfortunately it can't hash the passwords since it needs to unencrypt it to perform the logins.
> are these players entirely operating their nations via this management tool/script/bot and thus perpetually sharing an IP and user agent?
No. The script is solely for bank/alliance management.
> what operations this tool is performing and whether or not these operations are initiated by a human or potentially entirely automated?
!EditAlliance - change alliance control panel settings
!mail - send an ingame message
!checkmail - check ingame messages and post to discord
!modifytreaty - modifies a treaty ingame (e.g. cancel it)
!sendtreaty - sends a treaty ingame
!setrank - sets a nations rank
!transfer - sends funds
!grant - same as transfer, sends funds (but as a grant)
!checkup (does IA audits - doesn't do anything ingame except scrape stuff from the alliance page)
!taxbracketsheet - generates a sheet of player's tax rates
!SetTaxRate - set a player's tax rate
!SyncTaxes - fetches the tax logs and adds them to the database
The checking / sending of ingame mail is automated. Everyone runs recruitment bots.
> But can you tell the difference, or do the developers just have to give you the right answer when you enquire about it?
Opening the game at a school, university, or even a mobile network (with a shared IP pool) can result in this (to name a few).
You yourself have (incidentally) been on the same network as 7 other people in the past https://politicsandwar.com/index.php?id=178&nation_id=220948
Ultimately, the kind of information required to differentiate between legitimate usage is only something the game admin has access to. (i.e. Due to privacy laws like GDPR)
> Are these nations always controlled from the same IP and user agent?
Only the banking/alliance management tools via the bot occur on the same network. Their normal ingame activity will use their own network.
> Do you permit anyone to handle wars for any of these accounts now
I would assume that would not be permitted (though I guess up to alex how he wants to interpret the rules). Regardless, I do not want be controlling people's wars or playing the game for them. This is solely for bank/alliance management.
> Can you tell what actions a player initiates and what might be entirely clever automation?
Theoretically it should show up in network logs e.g. what IP address was used when the declare war page was requested.
I would expect these network logs to be kept for 30 days before automatic deletion.
I don't think there's an easy way to provably differentiate between what you define as "cleverly automated" and performed by a person.
Alex could ask to be added as admin on all those alliance's discords maybe - though this is wholly irrelevant to the original report of multis. Plenty of alliances, including yours, have tools for the game - the only difference is that I am sharing.
Its worth noting - besides 99a/space invaders - my alliance has no ingame ties with the other alliances (and I would assume, actively raids them). I am not compensated for the tools - though I suppose you would only have my/the alliance leader's word on that.
> Doesn't your current approach just establish a really good arrangement for multi rings to operate under?
these tools are things I've asked the game mods about.
Alex has ways to verify whether e.g. a war declaration - occurred on the same network, by checking network logs. So no, its not a good way to avoid a ban if you have multis.
Besides, the amount of effort, not just in making the tools for these alliances to use, but involving in a multi ring... the gov, all the people who have known each other for potentially years? I can give you a list of the discord's for the alliance gov/leaders you can talk to. So you can better understand the scope of the multi conspiracy you are accusing me of.
imo, if someone wants to create a multi, I would imagine using a vpn, or tor would be a simpler approach.