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Soxirella

Suggestion to limit alliance bank hiding

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So I know this is something that Alex wants to limit as well, so here goes. First we list the main reasons why people choose to deposit (including via tax) into the alliance bank. Mostly this would be for war chest, rebuild aid, and city building. So for these main expenses we implement a feature whereby the alliance leader can earmark a certain amount to players in their alliance, from the alliance bank. Hence, when the player spends, it uses the funds from the bank directly as opposed to having to withdraw first.

Example:

1) Player A needs 320mn to buy a new city

2) Player A requests their alliance leader

3) Alliance leader allocates/sets in the alliance bank that for all expenses borne by player A, 300mn can be used from the alliance bank

4) Player A clicks on Buy City

5) The games checks Player A's credit limit

6) It nullifies the 300mn credit limit and deducts that from the bank, and deducts another 20mn from the player's personal funds

 

During war time, the alliance leader can temporarily set a slightly different credit limit. All players, or players in certain tax bracket can spend up to X amount per day. So let's say the alliance leader wants everyone to buy a nuke everyday, then they can set a 2mn / day limit for every player.

 

So how does this limit alliance bank hiding? Considering funds from the alliance bank can be used as sanctioned, we can implement a 30% tax on withdrawals and a withdrawal limit of twice a month or something.

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This incentivizes bank hiding.  Alliances will keep their entire banks in one or several nations and have the player(s) that control them distribute and collect funds to avoid the bank transaction limit.

If the tax on withdrawals becomes large enough to deter the use of the bank even for membership taxes, alliances will move all their active members into 0% tax brackets and revert to the manual taxation system that existed before automatic alliance taxes were added to the game.  Taxes would be sent to the designated banking nations outlined above.  Inactive members would be placed in brackets with non-zero taxes because 70% taxation efficiency (or whatever 1 minus the transaction tax rate is) will still be better than 0% taxation efficiency.  If the transaction tax is too small to make the reversion to manual taxation worthwhile, then it will be an ineffective policy that wasn't worth implementing in the first place.

Furthermore, giving alliance leadership that degree of power over their members' spending is overweening, disincentivizes proactively teaching new players good gameplay, and will likely be a hassle to code.

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20 hours ago, Edward I said:

This incentivizes bank hiding.  Alliances will keep their entire banks in one or several nations and have the player(s) that control them distribute and collect funds to avoid the bank transaction limit.

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Furthermore, giving alliance leadership that degree of power over their members' spending is overweening, disincentivizes proactively teaching new players good gameplay, and will likely be a hassle to code.

 

The first point don't matter since during war time, where most of the hiding happens, that fund is open to beige loot. You can also limit inter-alliance personal trades to 130% of current market index value to prevent $100mn for 1 food kind of trades.

Regarding your last point, not sure how this idea goes against teaching good gameplay. Currently officers and above are given the ability to withdraw for war spending and other spending, so essentially the limited rolling spending / day point does pretty much that. Regarding big amounts for city purchases of all / regular members, I kind of feel it is the same effort for an officer to sanction an amount or to withdraw that amount to the player. In fact the earlier suggestion safeguards against surprise attacks.

You can let Alex worry about this idea being a hassle for him to code or not.

 

For those that downvoted, if you did so because you want to protect your precious alliance bank amount, man up. If you are OK with it and felt something is bad with the suggestion, then say it and I'll try to reply accordingly.

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35 minutes ago, Soxirella said:

The first point don't matter since during war time, where most of the hiding happens, that fund is open to beige loot. You can also limit inter-alliance personal trades to 130% of current market index value to prevent $100mn for 1 food kind of trades.

You can hide banks in nations that are already beiged, which is how it's often done.  The beiged nation sends out cash and resources as necessary and hands off the whole of the bank to another beiged alliance member when their beige timer runs out.  Very few people are stupid enough to hide their bank in a nation that can get blockaded and looted.  Inter-alliance personal trade restrictions don't stop this workaround because a it's usually easy enough to find at least one active beiged member per alliance and because nations can change alliances at will (meaning that it's trivially easy for an alliance to "lend" its coalition-mate a beiged nation to hide the bank).

As a rule of thumb, assume that any existing best practice for gameplay represents a path of least resistance.  If you want to end the widespread use of that best practice, make sure that whatever you do still leaves it as the path of least resistance.  In this particular case, hopefully I've adequately shown how you'd have to revise half the game's mechanics to make your proposal a viable prevention for bank hiding.

 

35 minutes ago, Soxirella said:

Regarding your last point, not sure how this idea goes against teaching good gameplay. Currently officers and above are given the ability to withdraw for war spending and other spending, so essentially the limited rolling spending / day point does pretty much that. Regarding big amounts for city purchases of all / regular members, I kind of feel it is the same effort for an officer to sanction an amount or to withdraw that amount to the player. In fact the earlier suggestion safeguards against surprise attacks.

If an alliance can't get its members to spend money as instructed, it should kick those members or find a new government that's up to the task.  There's no need for government members to exert further control over their members' economies and expenditures.

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1 hour ago, Edward I said:

You can hide banks in nations that are already beiged, which is how it's often done.

 

If an alliance can't get its members to spend money as instructed, it should kick those members or find a new government that's up to the task.  There's no need for government members to exert further control over their members' economies and expenditures.

There's two primary point of difference that this idea brings compared to the status quo.

1) It will be a lot more tedious for alliances to circumvent bank hiding, especially in alliances with many members, everyone needs to regularly send trades to transfer their personal savings at zero % alliance tax. Dates will inevitably get missed, kind of like missing sending tech in CN tech deals. You will also not be able to transfer when blockaded, which is not the same as currently being able to have 100% alliance tax and then transferred to someone in beige.

2) It is also technically more risky, let's say aargh or any other alliance co-ordinates and gets a person to attack every single person in an opposing alliance, then doing a simple GA will easily identify the banker(s). In other words, on day 1, not everyone is on beige, and whereas in the current system the bank is looted only on the last zero resistance, here it can potentially be looted 10-29 times.

It will also take some relatively simple guess work, or spying, to narrow down the banker, instead of attacking everyone. Now given those points tell me with a straight face that hiding the bank in this suggestion is as simple as what people can do currently.

 

Once again, I am not sure why your last point is relevant to the current suggestion. Currently, let's say 30-40% of a player's revenue goes to the bank as tax. They may never see that money again, unless an officer in the alliance withdraws it back to the player as a city loan, or rebuild aid, or something. So, all this suggestion is to make the office extend a credit limit (as in a real bank) as opposed to withdrawing from the bank.

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1 hour ago, Soxirella said:

1) It will be a lot more tedious for alliances to circumvent bank hiding, especially in alliances with many members, everyone needs to regularly send trades to transfer their personal savings at zero % alliance tax. Dates will inevitably get missed, kind of like missing sending tech in CN tech deals. You will also not be able to transfer when blockaded, which is not the same as currently being able to have 100% alliance tax and then transferred to someone in beige.

Tediousness doesn't amount to deterrence.  If there is an in-game incentive to do something, the question isn't whether it will happen, but how and how often.  Because hiding a bank to prevent looting losses yields a higher return than almost any other in-game activity, it will still happen.

 

1 hour ago, Soxirella said:

2) It is also technically more risky, let's say aargh or any other alliance co-ordinates and gets a person to attack every single person in an opposing alliance, then doing a simple GA will easily identify the banker(s). In other words, on day 1, not everyone is on beige, and whereas in the current system the bank is looted only on the last zero resistance, here it can potentially be looted 10-29 times.

Perhaps.  But outlining a single edge case to justify a blanket rule change isn't a very compelling argument.  Perhaps alliances would ensure their bankers used the Fortress war policy (to prevent immediate, successive blockades and GAs) and that their bankers were in score ranges that were either all but unreachable by their opponents or in which they had such tier cohesion that attempts to attack bankers would be futile.  Alliances could choose to hide the lion's share of their banks in vacation mode nations or find other ways of working around the proposed changes than I could in under five minutes of thought.

You should also consider the unintended consequences of such a rule change.  If what you've just outlined becomes the new war meta, then that would put upward pressure on the minimum sizes of alliances and coalitions.  Small alliances would be at far greater risk of being pinned down entirely by blockades and small coalitions would have fewer nations to defend their constituent alliances' banks.

 

1 hour ago, Soxirella said:

It will also take some relatively simple guess work, or spying, to narrow down the banker, instead of attacking everyone. Now given those points tell me with a straight face that hiding the bank in this suggestion is as simple as what people can do currently.

I never said it would be as simple as what people can do currently; I outlined a much more complicated workaround that would have a similar effect.  I'm telling you with a straight face that this proposal won't put an end to alliances hiding their banks.

 

1 hour ago, Soxirella said:

Once again, I am not sure why your last point is relevant to the current suggestion. Currently, let's say 30-40% of a player's revenue goes to the bank as tax. They may never see that money again, unless an officer in the alliance withdraws it back to the player as a city loan, or rebuild aid, or something. So, all this suggestion is to make the office extend a credit limit (as in a real bank) as opposed to withdrawing from the bank.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  There are plenty of ways to address incompetence already; no need to hard code a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

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21 hours ago, Edward I said:

Tediousness doesn't amount to deterrence.  If there is an in-game incentive to do something, the question isn't whether it will happen, but how and how often.  Because hiding a bank to prevent looting losses yields a higher return than almost any other in-game activity, it will still happen.

Alex implemented a cost to start an alliance as a measure to reduce bank hiding, if I am not mistaken, as per his game change log. This is more a pain in the rear than that.

 

Perhaps.  But outlining a single edge case to justify a blanket rule change isn't a very compelling argument.  Perhaps alliances would ensure their bankers used the Fortress war policy (to prevent immediate, successive blockades and GAs) and that their bankers were in score ranges that were either all but unreachable by their opponents or in which they had such tier cohesion that attempts to attack bankers would be futile.  Alliances could choose to hide the lion's share of their banks in vacation mode nations or find other ways of working around the proposed changes than I could in under five minutes of thought.

You should also consider the unintended consequences of such a rule change.  If what you've just outlined becomes the new war meta, then that would put upward pressure on the minimum sizes of alliances and coalitions.  Small alliances would be at far greater risk of being pinned down entirely by blockades and small coalitions would have fewer nations to defend their constituent alliances' banks.

Your "Perhaps" essentially validates this suggestion and infers that there are consequences to trying to circumvent the bank.

Fortress policy does not matter. Assuming that you have declared a war on everyone, eventually you will be able to do a GA and it takes a minimum of 10 attacks to beige someone. That's long enough to get a sizable chunk of the bank, since the money can only revolve within the alliance, be deposited, spent, or traded outside at market value or at a penalty.

It's really impractical to expect to be outside war range of everyone, especially when the aggressors have many members covering all score ranges.

Hiding in vacation mode members is against the rules. Not only can the aggressors wait until everyone is out of vacation, if an attacking alliance doesn't get significant GAs nor loot, they can put two and two together and file an official complain with Alex, to investigate whether vacation mode members are hiding money.

I don't think size of alliances is much of an issue, from the viewpoint of this suggestion. Most of the recent wars have been gang bangings, so one side will always have significantly more people on their side.

 

I never said it would be as simple as what people can do currently; I outlined a much more complicated workaround that would have a similar effect.  I'm telling you with a straight face that this proposal won't put an end to alliances hiding their banks.

I appreciate your replies in this thread, at least it's not a simple down vote without comments. Some by people who have found genuine demerits and call them out in my other suggestions, but choose to remain silent here - they need to grow a pair.

Nevertheless, I also feel I have reasonably addressed your points and pointed out how hiding the bank in the methods you suggest can also be broken to your disadvantage.

 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  There are plenty of ways to address incompetence already; no need to hard code a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

 

My replies in bold...

Edited by Soxirella

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