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Alex

War Slot Filling

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Hey all, for those of you that were not on Discord earlier, I'll do my best to make this short and sweet.

 

Earlier today I received multiple reports about war slot filling between some members of the community, which when examined, clearly met the definition of war slot filling. I issued nation strikes, and then upon receiving further reports found multiple war slot filling violations, and dealt out harsher punishments for what I saw as a blatant and malicious disregard for the rules by players who have been around long enough that I am confident they were aware of the rules.

 

I dealt out harsh punishments, penalizing the nations for varying amounts of cash and even taking a city from two nations as I intended to provide a severe punishment to nations who would otherwise be unphased by a nation strike or other, minor punishments. My intent was to send a clear message - disregarding the Game Rules, or trying to find loopholes to effectively cheat, would be met with swift and severe punishment. The intent being to discourage this type of behavior in the future.

 

What ensued was a very long, frustrating Discord discussion about the actions I took, whether or not the rules were technically broken, what the rules are, how they are interpreted, and more. It was a complex, messy discussion, and I imagine emotions were hot on both sides. Personally, I saw the situation as a malicious violation of the game rules, and then using every trick in the book to try and get out of the punishment. The other side did concede on several points, agreeing that the war slot filling rule was at least broken where wars were declared with no intent to fight the war (regardless of whether or not anyone else was attacking the player.)

 

I believe the underlying issue in the matter was the ambiguity of the rules, and my perceived bias. I am making this statement because I do agree that there is ambiguity, and I do not intend (or believe that I do, but I suppose who does) to act in a biased fashion. In my opinion, far too often players see my decisions as favoring some group of players or other, and unfair. My intention is never to be unfair, and (what seems to me) contrary to popular belief, I don't hold ill will or favor to any group of players. I generally have no issue telling people when they're wrong regardless of my personal relationship to them, I do not favor people who have donated more than people who have not (and believe me, I get the "I've donated $X to this game, I've always supported you, how can you do this to me" messages all the time), and I try to distance myself from in-game politics as much as possible to maintain a neutral perspective.

 

I do not wish to debate the various issues related to the actions taken earlier. There were arguments that the wars were jokes, which I do not believe to be relevant to violating the rules. There was, I believe, a legitimate argument about my interpretation of the rules in that being on the receiving end of war slot filling should not constitute as a violation of the rules. I generally do agree - you should not be punished just because someone declares war on you and does not attack you. In this particular instance, the matter was a nation who declared war on another player, and for some three days neither participated in any actual 'fighting' and for multiple days one player's defensive slot was filled. My interpretation of the rules was that that incriminates the player on the receiving end for being complicit in the rule breaking.

 

I still stand by that interpretation, but I am expanding on the Game Rules to explicitly state this for the future, and will be walking back much of the punishments I issued earlier. Like I said, my belief initially was that the players involved, senior players who have been around for a long time and whom I am confident know the Game Rules about war slot filling, were actively participating in the practice regardless. This may or not be the case, and for the sake of erring on the side of caution, I am walking back the punishments aside from the initial nation strikes that were issued.

 

Again I would just like to re-iterate that I hold no ill-will toward anyone, I do my best to be unbiased, and my intention is only to ensure that cheating is minimized and that all players abide by the rules and do not have unfair advantages over others. In my opinion, that is necessary for the longevity of the game and for a healthy player community. I do not enjoy being the 'bad guy' at all, in fact these situations are quite a headache for me, but it is ultimately my responsibility to issue punishments where I believe they are necessary. Clarifying the rules to reduce ambiguity, and offering some lenience in this situation should help prevent situations like this in the future.

 

Still, the rules cannot cover every possible situation, and the Game Rules are not the end all be-all. I have intentionally left multiple clauses in the rules about moderator discretion, both on interpretation of the rules and punishments. These will remain, as ultimately it's important to be flexible to prevent people from exploiting 'loopholes' and using "the game rules don't say I can't do this" as excuses to cheat or otherwise gain an unfair advantage.

 

I hope that this post will clarify any misconceptions, and result in a better outcome than had previously been determined. I stand by my previous actions as justified, but I understand the nuances and ambiguity of the situation, and the argument made by the players who were affected. I am attempting to make a compromise in this situation, but making the precedent going forward clearer, that attempting to exploit the rules will be met with strict punishment.

 

You can read the updated Game Rules here: https://politicsandwar.com/rules/

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So you finally make a stance on war slot filling after you went extremist on the punishments that was never precedented before?

 

Interesting timing.

 

EDIT:

 

Oh, you're walking back the punishments.  Just saw that little statement.  Not bad.

Edited by Buorhann
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I'd fill your slot

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Reading the rules, while this has nothing to do with war slot filling I believe you should either fix or clarify this:

 

Inactivity Deletion

 

Any account that has not logged in within 45 days is liable for automatic deletion from the game. This deletion is irreversible, and it is the player's responsibility to maintain an activity level of logging in at least once every 30 days to keep their account active. Nations in Vacation Mode are exempt from this 30 day limit, but must resume activity upon exit of Vacation Mode or face prompt deletion.

 

Failure to follow any of these rules will result in a punishment at the discretion of the game staff that includes but is not limited to: changing inappropriate names to something random (whether it be a nation, city, or leader name), issuing a nation strike, penalizing a nation with monetary fines or otherwise decreasing their nation progress (i.e. removing cities), resetting a player's nation, deleting a player's nation, or even banning them permanently from the game.

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what's strange is the history of a softball approach to war slot filling, at least in public, followed by a severe punishment where arguably no benefit from violating the rule was received. 

 

I'd love to know who reported this 'violation', so that we can judge for ourselves if the nature of Alex's relationship with the reporter is irrelevant. 

 

Here in this thread: https://politicsandwar.com/forums/index.php?/topic/19208-war-slot-filling/

 

...you find some people who are actually war slot filling, for the purpose of actually receiving a benefit and to stymie opponents, and yet ZERO punishment was issued whatsoever. 

Edited by Avruch

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I do not wish to debate the various issues related to the actions taken earlier. There were arguments that the wars were jokes, which I do not believe to be relevant to violating the rules. 

 

Normally, joking is not relevant to violating the rules. However, this is an unprecedented harsh punishment that you've decided to give out under the guise of "moderation discretion." You are trying to make an example out of people who had no intent to benefit themselves in game. It's ridiculous. 

 

If it was an actual attempt at rule breaking for an in-game benefit, I, and majority of the player base, would stand behind you. 

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So you finally make a stance on war slot filling after you went extremist on the punishments that was never precedented before?

 

Interesting timing.

 

EDIT:

 

Oh, you're walking back the punishments.  Just saw that little statement.  Not bad.

 

I have punished people in the past for being complicit in war slot filling, and I have 'fined' players for breaking the rules in the past. It just was not explicitly stated in the rules; it is now.

 

what's strange is the history of a softball approach to war slot filling, at least in public, followed by a severe punishment where arguably no benefit from violating the rule was received. 

 

I'd love to know who reported this 'violation', so that we can judge for ourselves if the nature of Alex's relationship with the reporter is irrelevant. 

 

The person who reported the rule violation is someone who I would classify as not active on the forums/discord. Someone I don't think I've ever had contact with before, but for their sake, I don't intend to reveal them and open them up to harassment, as I don't want to discourage the reporting of rule violations in the future. They may come out and say they were the one who did it on their own, I cannot say.

 

Normally, joking is not relevant to violating the rules. However, this is an unprecedented harsh punishment that you've decided to give out under the guise of "moderation discretion." You are trying to make an example out of people who had no intent to benefit themselves in game. It's ridiculous. 

 

If it was an actual attempt at rule breaking for an in-game benefit, I, and majority of the player base, would stand behind you. 

 

Which was my belief, initially when I issued the punishment. However, the fact that it was a 'joke' or not should not be relevant to whether you broke the rules or not. I made the argument in discord, that sending $10,000,000 to a player on the same network for you for example, is still a violation of the rules, regardless of whether it's a 'joke' or not. War slot filling is the same way. The harsher punishments I issued were because I believed malicious intent, and while I'll never know for sure and don't intend to assume things are 'jokes' in the future, in this situation I believe it warranted the walking back of the punishments aside from the initial nation strikes for violating the rules.

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I appreciate the fact that ultimately while you may still disagree with us over whether or not the joke in question should alleviate us from violating game rules, you still decided to roll back the punishment and instead issued more clear game rules and a warning.  Everything else aside, I think this is ultimately the best way to go about it: a warning.  I still will never understand how anyone could see this as having malicious intent, but the fact that you were able to allow the ambiguity of the situation to go from "harsh punishment" to a warning is a good sign and one that I appreciate.

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Slot filling is only really relevant if the AAs in question are at war or there are tensions brewing for a war. Charming Friends are very clearly not really at war with anyone nor is HW. 

 

Just my opinion though as worthless as it is.

Edited by EliteCanada

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Slot filling is only really relevant if the AAs in question are at war or there are tensions brewing for a war. Charming Friends are very clearly not really at war with anyone nor HW.

 

Just my opinion though as worthless as it is.

 

Surprise wars happen tho

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Surprise wars happen tho

 

Could one really happen in this instance though? I'd say there's legitimately less than 1% chance.

 

Edit: but solid point. Don't really want Alex basing punishments off "guessing" whether or not a snek attack might happen.

Edited by EliteCanada

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Surprise wars happen tho

 

Which is exactly why war slot filling will always be against the rules, regardless of context.

 

By EliteCanada's line of thinking, you could perpetually war slot fill each other because 'no one is at war with your alliance' and no one ever could be, because all of your slots are always filled. That's just stupid.

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Alex, I continue to stand behind my beliefs as voiced over Discord. With that said, I do appreciate that you were willing to listen to our arguments and that you chose to take a more proportionate approach towards our punishment. There ultimately was no malign intent on our part, though I suppose that might not have been as easily visible without context.

 

Perhaps some good will come out of this in the modification of game rules to provide a bit more clarity.

 

On the matter of who reported the wars: I do not particularly care for *who* did it. That said, I would like to point out a potential flaw in the methodology of handling privately issued reports:

 

When a public report is made in the appropriate forum, the defendant often has the chance to plead his case. This allows for a less onesided presentation of facts relevant to the case (by defendant and accuser to you). This entire ordeal somewhat showed that when it concerns private reports, there is no real ability for the defendant to make his case until post-punishment. In my case, I was unaware I had even broken the rules until I received notification that my city had been Hiroshima'd. I was mostly busy chuckling along, amused at our metapod-induced "war".

 

I'm not sure if this is worthwhile for you at all (or if it fits the style in which you wish to moderate), but it may be worthwhile to look at somehow altering that process to provide a little more opportunity for both sides to be told.

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Could one really happen in this instance though? I'd say there's legitimately less than 1% chance.

 

Edit: but solid point. Don't really want Alex basing punishments off "guessing" whether or not a snek attack might happen.

 

It's part of why I really do empathize with Alex when going on whether or not things are jokes.  How does he know that we don't have intel of another alliance about to hit us, or about to hit CF?  He really doesn't, and he shouldn't be judging based off of the idea that "tensions" determine slot filling.

 

I genuinely think that had the OWF thread not existed where we were clearly joking around, I would not be angry at all.  At that point, there's nothing to indicate that we're not war slot filling.  As it is, I think this is a bit of a unique situation where we were at this for days with a big thread clearly having a lark, and as such blurred the lines between malicious intent and, well, whatever non-malicious rule-breaking there is.

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This was an arbitrary way to upgrade from a policy of "Only enforced in clearly bad cases" to "0 tolerance, even for jokes with no practical benefit". At least it's settled now and the new precedent is clear enough.

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The real tragedy is that Partisan can't post his WoT that he has been working on.

 

 

EDIT: Also Sheepy, I skimmed and didn't see that you rolled back the punishments before I commented. Good stuff. 

Edited by Boony
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Alex beat him to the punch.

Better preempt than IQ honestly 0686.png

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I don't really about the punishment that was dealt to CF (though I didn't realize until now you deletes some peoples cities, which was a little harsh) I just wished you'd at least given us a warning or something before you labeled us as cheaters. The "wars" between CF and hogwarts kinda happened at random, which is hard to know if you weren't one of the active parties in the matter, but it would have been a lot easier to see if we were cheating or even gaining something from this whole thing if you had just talked to me first.

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I think city deletion is perfect punishment for slot filling. However, in this case, it was too sudden and I'm glad it was reversed. Further slot filling, even as a joke, should probably be met with similar punishment.

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since we are on the subject of clarifying rules would you please clarify this rule?

 

lgmYRLo.png

 

you have it in bold quite nicely right here, however i do not see it in the 'game rules' . i bet if you start looking at the number of nations in vacation mode you will see a huge increase in people deciding to go to the beach or something of the sort a few hours before and/or after a war declaration. what about people that aren't going on vacation and still have all of their facilities to access the game? many times you will find these people have logged in multiple times in a day while in 'vacation' mode and some have gone as far to pubblicly admit they arent even going on vacation. to me this is very telling it is being used as 'peace mode'. i know it is difficult to prove/enforce that - but when they publicly admit that they are using it to avoid war and/or arent going on vacation...well thats another bag of marbles.

 

like i said - just looking for clarification

Edited by seabasstion

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I personally think giving serious punishment to all doing war slot filling is a pretty good idea :) 

But again I also support that as it is first time so just kind of warn people what can happen next time if you try to fill slot :) 

A pretty bold move 

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Which is exactly why war slot filling will always be against the rules, regardless of context.

 

By EliteCanada's line of thinking, you could perpetually war slot fill each other because 'no one is at war with your alliance' and no one ever could be, because all of your slots are always filled. That's just stupid.

 

*shrugs* There's always context to consider as well as what I mentioned. Usually when someone is accused of breaking the rules they can bring forth the context for something that occurred or is occurring. Considering what Partisan did, it is apparent that when the context is brought forth it shows no harm or malintent versus Kastor attacking someone that his AA is at war with and sending three planes citing a mechanic that doesn't exist (utter defeats impacting resistance). As well perpetual warring with no serious attacks is different than a once off sort of thing with one or two members from an AA and not the entire AA.

Edited by EliteCanada

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since we are on the subject of clarifying rules would you please clarify this rule?

 

lgmYRLo.png

 

you have it in bold quite nicely right here, however i do not see it in the 'game rules' . i bet if you start looking at the number of nations in vacation mode you will see a huge increase in people deciding to go to the beach or something of the sort a few hours before and/or after a war declaration. what about people that aren't going on vacation and still have all of their facilities to access the game? many times you will find these people have logged in multiple times in a day while in 'vacation' mode and some have gone as far to pubblicly admit they arent even going on vacation. to me this is very telling it is being used as 'peace mode'. i know it is difficult to prove/enforce that - but when they publicly admit that they are using it to avoid war and/or arent going on vacation...well thats another bag of marbles.

 

like i said - just looking for clarification

 

I think the bolded part simply means that it isn't something that you are able to use to avoid war, since the wars will continue and you will be left w/o defenses. It's not a peace mode because your nation will be frozen with no income/ability to log in.

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