Proposal: The DV Protocol

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Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:28 pm

I have watched incidents, misunderstanding, and diplomacy on the Aderan Wars Forum with interest. Having been a new player to the game not too long ago, I sympathize with issues faced by some notable new players. I definitely initiated what would be considered hostile actions just to see how it worked. Luckily my targets did not react as I now understand they probably should have. Since then I have gained a much clearer understanding about what actions are hostile and which are not. Honestly, though, I still have a hard time seeing farming attacks as non-hostile. I do understand, however, that farming is routine whereas sabotaging is an act of war.

With that said, I think there would be some solid value to establishing very specific guidelines for handling these situations in a consistent way -- at least at the level of Alliances. I think some of the misunderstanding happened (and I think will continue to happen) unless the different Alliances agree to some core rules.

As I thought about this, the core rules from my perspective seemed to move towards more of a clear segregation of actions that are definitely acts of war from actions that are not. Clearly, part of the problem is new players stepping into acts of war without realizing what they are doing. By spelling out the differences in black and white, this does not necessarily prevent new users from making mistakes, but it provides a framework to point them towards. Still, one other piece is missing. How do you handle new user mistakes in a way that is fair an consistent?

I address this in a document I am calling The DV Protocol. I present it in this forum as my proposal for cross-Alliance acceptance.

Alliance leaders, I ask you if you agree that a cross-Alliance agreement such as this would be helpful and if you agree with this one.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the WR, but I present this proposal independently. I am not representing the WR, nor do I know how Keinutnai will feel about this proposal.

Finally, as a footnote, I suggest a user-interface based segregation of acts of wars hostilities versus non-acts of war hostilities to decrease the chances of new users starting a war by accident.

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:28 pm

The DV Protocol

I. HOSTILE MISSION and ROUTINE MISSION differentiation
A. A MISSION is an action taken by one player (the ACTIONER) directly on another (the ACTIONEE).
B. HOSTILE MISSIONs are acts of war.
1. The following missions are considered HOSTILE
a. some Strike Missions
i. Assault
ii. Hunt Assassins
iii. Invasion
iv. Destruction
b. all Assassin Missions
i. Target Offense
ii. Target Defense
iii. Target Covert
iv. Target Assassins
c. some Covert Missions
i. Sabotage Mission
2. The ACTIONER accepts the following ramifications when initiating such MISSIONs
a. hostile retaliation by the ACTIONEE in the form of HOSTILE or ROUTINE MISSIONs
b. escalation to the ACTIONEE's Alliance (if any) for additional retaliation
c. escalation to unrelated Alliances for additional retaliation (at the discretion of said Alliances)
d. potential disciplinary action from the ACTIONER's Alliance (if any)
e. denial of support from the ACTIONER's Alliance (if any)
C. ROUTINE MISSIONs are not acts of war.
1. The ACTIONEE has no right to retaliation to the ACTIONER except in the form of ROUNTINE MISSIONs.
2. The following MISSIONs are not considered HOSTILE except when specified otherwise in the
ACTIONER's Alliance's documented CODE OF CONDUCT or equivalent:
a. some Strike Missions
i. Attack
ii. Raid
b. some Covert Missions
i. Reconnaissance Mission
II. Exemptions to the ramifications specified in I.B.2.
A. Retaliation to an act of war
1. As mentioned in I.B.2.a., the ACTIONEE of a HOSTILE MISSION has every right to respond
in kind to the ACTIONER. The original ACTIONER's action started a war, and until the two
parties have come to a peace agreement either via both setting each other to Peace, in-game
Messages, Aderan Wars Forum posts, Alliance-specific forum posts (in cases where both parties
are part of the same Alliance), or other direct messaging. Until such time a mutual peace
agreement has been met, the parties can consider themselves at war.
B. A mistake by a new player
1. Especially in cases when an ACTIONEE is the recipient of a HOSTILE MISSION from an
inferior player, it is the responsibility of the ACTIONEE (who is part of an Alliance that has signed
The DV Protocol) to consider whether or not this act of war was made with knowledge of the true
hostile nature of the act and its possible ramifications as documented in The DV Protocol.
2. There are obvious reasons why a new player would innocently initiate a HOSTILE MISSION
without the true intention of starting a war. It could be that the new player
a. was responding to a farming MISSION that was incorrectly assumed to be an act of war
b. was just trying out what the HOSTILE MISSIONs do, especially since there is no
user-interface driven distinction between HOSTILE MISSIONs and ROUTINE MISSIONs.
c. was attempting something more "advanced", especially since game documentation refers
to HOSTILE MISSIONs as some of the focus for the Kyora race, a race specifically recommended
for more advanced players.
III. Responsibilities for Alliances agreeing to The DV Protocol
A. Understanding the distinction between HOSTILE MISSIONs and ROUTINE MISSIONs is
paramount to avoiding senseless misunderstandings. New players are particularly susceptible
to triggering a misunderstanding that results in them leaving game. The Alliances are responsible for
1. making sure their new recruits are informed of the distinction between HOSTILE MISSIONs
and ROUTINE MISSIONs (so as to not misunderstanding farming runs, and to avoid initiating a
war by mistake)
2. watching out for new members that do not belong to an Alliance, but make an obvious
mistake getting themselves into trouble
3. making sure their member base respects new players and their mistakes outlined in
section II.B. These are great opportunities for recruiting, training, and building new relationships.
B. Accepting the ramifications for your actions is the only honorable response.
1. When a member of your Alliance initiates a HOSTILE MISSION for a war that the Alliance
has not already declared, the Alliance does not have a place to support that member in their
hostilities with the ACTIONEE or the ACTIONEE's Alliance.
2. When a member of your Alliance is the ACTIONEE of a HOSTILE MISSION, the Alliance has
a responsibility to support that member if requested to do so. This support should be in all
forms possible (initiating HOSTILE MISSIONs against the original ACTIONER, donating Kuwal to
the ACTIONEE, providing moral support, documenting in Aderan Wars Forums, etc).
C. Promulgation of support of The DV Protocol and consistent enforcement.
1. Alliances supporting The DV Protocol should post a link to the Forum thread where The DV
Protocol was officially agreed to along with a link to The DV Protocol itself. The DV Protocol
should be considered an extension of the Alliance's own CODE OF CONDUCT or equivalent.
2. Alliance members that do not conform to The DV Protocol should be disciplined transparently
on the Aderan Wars Forums (at least to the satisfaction of the ACTIONEE's Alliance, or the
ACTIONEE directly if not affiliated with an Alliance). In cases of repeat offenders, suspension
or banishment from the Alliance is appropriate.
3. If an Alliance that has agreed to The DV Protocol is found to be in violation, the other
Alliances have every right to suspend said Alliance from community of Alliance that have accepted
it, though with fair warning. Should an Alliance be unanimously suspended, this is equivalent
to declaring war. The Alliances still upholding The DV Protocol have every right to engage in
HOSTILE MISSIONs against the offending Alliance.
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:14 pm

moved to general discussion, this isn't about anyone going to war
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Haggis on Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:36 pm

I, personally, do not approve of this idea. I can see that you have put a lot of effort into this and it looks good, but this is a war game. People don't want to be bound under rules and restrictions, people should be able to play how they want, even if that gets them in to trouble.

If everyone is bound by a set of rules, then this game become predictable and bland. If everytime someone steps out of line protocols are brought in and guidelines used to decide their fate, the whole game becomes pointless and routine, there will be no excitement, no random events, and this game will follow a number of those before it and die.

After saying all of that, I do agree when it comes to comes to some decisions, people can be very hot headed and simply declare war and mass someone, sometimes this can be completely the wrong decision, as you said, it can be a new player simply trying something out or simply not understanding what he has just done, but it makes this game exciting. But even in those situations, others do come to their aid, for example: people came to R0b3rt's aid when he massed by kenzu even though he was not directly involved in the massing beforehand, the commonwealth was not happy with how the situation was dealt and joined in the argument, but it makes the game exciting.

And everyone, expecially the more experienced players, understand new players make mistakes, in most instances, it seems to be that a new player makes a mistake on another new player, and the 2nd player makes another mistake because of that.

I personally try to keep a level and calm head when something happens, but if everyone played by rules and regulations, then we might aswell all quit and start a stamp collection

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:51 pm

You make fair points. I think that wars triggered by misunderstandings on the part of new users are not as much fun -- certainly not from the point of view of the new user -- especially if they are wiped out as a result (or are otherwise shunned). The primary purpose of this idea is to create an environment that nurtures new users game wide without coding it in, but instead relying on the structure provided by the Alliances. Alliances could decide to or not to accept this proposal -- and a mixture would probably prove more interesting.

Regardless, an Alliance that declares intent to uphold this proposal could still decide to break with it later. Even more interesting, Alliances could disagree on whether or not there was a breach. This could be yet another excuse to have a war in this war game. Much is left out of this proposal on purpose to allow for different Alliances to have their own policies and to allow room for interpretation and misinterpretation. This grey area would be moved to the Alliance levels, however, and individual players -- especially new ones -- would be largely protected from being destroyed.
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Nomad on Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:24 am

Well my personal opinion of what farming is, is very much different then others ideas of farming. I do think alliance leaders should have basic ground rules for their alliances, but I don't think they should all be the same.

You have waring alliances who make their profit farming, and may see "excessive" farming as more then 3 times a day. You may also have peaceful trade alliances who think its excessive if its more then 3 times a week. Thats a big difference. You also have power alliances, and they sometimes tend to mass for a single hit just as a way of detering future aggresions.

No 1 "protocall" will work, I'd say 5 to 7 different levels would be needed at best.

That said, I'll say again, it up to the alliance to make their own protocal know or secret, and its up to each leader to set it. Thats all you can say about that.


Oh, one more point, 2 alliances that are "hostile" to each other may let many attacks go from across the board, but mass over 1 attack from the alliance they have a great dislike for.
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Sandwalker on Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:45 am

You can talk about protocols all you want. At the end of the day, there's nothing to enforce it and alliance will set their own rules.

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:35 am

The proposed protocol makes no attempt to define excessive farming -- this whole area is completely ignored. I agree completely that different Alliances do approach this different, and this protocol is completely compatible with that. This protocol merely defines which types of Missions are valid as farming attacks versus other types of Missions which are clearly acts of war. You will notice III.B.1. mentions war that a user's Alliance has declared. If an Alliance declares in their policy that "excessive farming" as defined by [whatever their definition is] will be treated as an act of war (possibly with or without warning), that would be covered in this protocol and would be completely compatible.

The idea is not to cover everything, instead quite the opposite. The idea is to cover a very limited but (hopefully) very agreeable baseline that Alliances would be likely to agree to -- leaving lots of room for the Alliances to define their own policies. This very limited scope of policy, if meaningfully agreed to in the game, could have three effects I like:
1. new players will, by cross-Alliance policy, be protected from their own mistakes in a nurturing way (that will likely lead to keeping them with the game longer)
2. a neutral reference will be available to help settle disputes between Alliances (along with certain baseline expectations being set)
3. Alliances will have another excuse for declaring war (by nitpicking ambiguities or semantics or interpretations regarding this protocol, especially since the protocol specifies that Alliances can agree to suspend another for breaching the protocol in their view -- and take them out)
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Nomad on Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:55 am

I think basicly your just asking for all alliances to actually publicly post their protocal as they see fit.
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:09 am

Well, that would be one approach, and that would be fine. What I'm really trying to do is establish a very simple, easily agreeable baseline that would help protect new users, but also provide grounds for larger scale hostilities. If Alliances post their policies publicly that is fine, though the protocol does not explicitly require that, not by intention.

Section III.C.1. indicates that the links should be provided to "the Forum thread" where the Alliance declared agreement to the protocol itself (possibly this thread). The protocol does not specify where the Alliances should publish these links -- my intention was that the links should be put in the place the Alliance keeps its Code of Conduct and other materials. These could be public or private. I'm all for keeping Alliance policies, procedures, etc secret as appropriate.


Last edited by Disco_Vader on Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:15 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edited for clarification -- I realized my key point was ambiguous the first time around)
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Jiro on Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:37 pm

Being a new player, I tried what some of the actions 10 days ago(first day I joined). What is considered offensive may vary per person and circumstances.
I would hope that alliances resort to diplomacy first (via PM?) and retaliation later.

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:54 pm

I would agree on the Alliances, but every individual belonging to an Alliance also has free will and can easily blunder. So, your point about Alliances hopefully starting with diplomacy is solid, though I would trust that at the level of the Alliance and Alliance leadership. The protection I am looking to afford new players is from an individual that may belong to an Alliance but reacts too quickly or emotionally to a new player's mistake. This is there the Alliance proper can step in and reign in their player. Meanwhile, any Alliance would be in a position to point out this document that clearly spells out which Missions are acts of war as agreed to by all Alliances that support it -- and also why their Alliance better (read: recruiting).
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Kenzu on Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:57 pm

Might be a good thing to add to the newcommer message.

attack to steal kuwal and raid to steal units is considered a normal attack, while sabotage, assassination missions, assault, invasion and destruction can lead to hate and serious wars.
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Jiro on Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:57 pm

Also, I can remember someone setting their relationship with me to war before attacking to steal Kuwal. The declaration of war scared me much more than the attack. It had me almost try to assasinate him and then try to destroy him. I would not have stood a chance, but still it would have been nasty. Are there any universally accepted meanings to changing your relation to war or peace?

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Sandwalker on Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:08 pm

Jiro wrote:Also, I can remember someone setting their relationship with me to war before attacking to steal Kuwal. The declaration of war scared me much more than the attack. It had me almost try to assasinate him and then try to destroy him. I would not have stood a chance, but still it would have been nasty. Are there any universally accepted meanings to changing your relation to war or peace?

A player sets you to war if he intends to farm or raid you 99% of the time. That means steal your kuwal or your UU. It is a habit most of us have developed in other games and the battlefield "war set by me" page serves as an impromptu farming list, thus making it easier to see who you can farm.

This may be changed in the future with the addition of farming lists.

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by ian on Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:32 pm

Hmm, its a nice idea... but at the end of the day i think its not really practical sadly due to alliance's personal policies of dealing with things - even if they do sign up, you ll have next to no way of enforcing it since i suspect most alliance conduct goes unreported on this forum... and thus unless you have a good intelligeance network established into all the main alliances.. it can't be enforced lol

Its a neat idea - one which if you ever wanted to make and lead a alliance - you could make to be the centre of your foreign policy (i.e. aiming to get the smaller/ medium sized alliances signed up - and act as a political entity as leverage against the larger alliances to force them to abide by it) - but right now i don't think its practical lol
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Nomad on Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:01 am

Kenzu wrote:Might be a good thing to add to the newcommer message.

attack to steal kuwal and raid to steal units is considered a normal attack, while sabotage, assassination missions, assault, invasion and destruction can lead to hate and serious wars.

Well not really because this will lead then to a false sense of security, since some may mass them for the things your saying is acceptable.
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Jiro on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:42 am

What about: Attacking to steal Kuwal or even units are inconvenient, but may be understood by the person being attacked. Sabotage, assasination missions, assault, invasion and destruction missions as well as repeated attacks are very likely to cause the target to lash out at you.

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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:55 am

Attacks to steal Kuwal and units are unpleasant to active players (those who dont have 0 defense), but may be, although not always, understood by the person being attacked. Sabotage, assasination and the other strike missions as well as repeated attacks are very likely to result in more serious consequences.

added this
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Re: Proposal: The DV Protocol

Post by Disco_Vader on Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:02 pm

Cool. Thanks all! Not exactly a cross-Alliance pact, but in my opinion still a meaningful step in the direction I was hoping for.
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