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Vykoden

Region Protections Revised

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This post is meant strictly as an amicable means through which all players, mods and admins can openly and freely discuss the current rules regarding region protections on PvE. It is not the purpose of this post to start or continue arguments. However, personal experiences and opinions are encouraged. 

 

The current rule on region protections states: "Protections are only to prevent grief and other unauthorized edits. Protections are not used for "claiming land". Mods will only protect builds (houses, rail, farms, etc.) and clearly established large projects, such as cities. Requests to protect empty land or to protect a very large buffer around a structure will be denied. Land that has been significantly improved through road/plot making or terraforming can be protected at staff discretion."

 

First let me ask/address some issues with how these statements are written:

  1. "grief or other unauthorized edits." Please give me an example of an "unauthorized edit", under this rule.
  2. "Mods will only protect..." "... and clearly established large projects, such as cities." How do we make our future city a "clearly established large project, such as cities"?
  3. "Land that has been significantly improved through road/plot making or terraforming can be protected at staff discretion." Why is this "at staff discretion"? Can't we just say that, if a city makes plots or does "significant ... terraforming", it can reasonably expect said terraformed land to be protected under a region?

In my opinion, this is an example of a rule that is neither clear nor needed nor followed by mods and admins; especially for cities. It is flawed, in my opinion, primarily because of the word "discretion"Discretion means that there is no set rule and that each situation could be handled differently by different mods and admins. This type of discretionary rule, IRL, is the cause of many controversies and has been the source of many controversies in Nerd for the last four years.   

Discretion is defined as "... 
the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation."

If all mods and admins are required to "use their discretion", rather than follow hard-and-fast rules or policies, then there are no solid rules or policies, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation, discrimination and unfair treatment. 


However, the rules clearly state that mods will protect "clearly established large projects, such as cities".

By making a cobble fence, my community said, "This is where we want to build as a city." 
Is that not clearly established
 

Furthermore, in an always-evolving map with unset boundaries and limitless possibilities, it simply does not make sense, in my opinion, to attempt to restrict undeveloped land protections in any way. The map is not short on building space, like the old days. There are no borders. So, not being able to reserve and protect undeveloped land doesn't add up. In fact, as was noted by several communities in the other thread, it becomes an inconvenience for players in way too many ways, which were covered in the previous thread.
 

​I will assume that the members of my community are not the only Nerd PvE users who have had similar difficulties. Although we may not hear from them here, if there is one community with those complaints and concerns, logic dictates there is, at least, one other ... and more-than-likely far more than that, who share these experiences.

 

If there is any doubt, I would recommend a new poll. The question should be phrased as:

"Do you believe region protections should allow players to protect undeveloped land? (Yes or No)"

An easy solution might be to base protections on number of players active in a build. For example, 50 square meters per person seems acceptable to me; in which case, 
if a town has 5 residents, said town could have 250 square meters of undeveloped land protected. 

In my opinion, there should also be a poll concerning allowing cities to govern themselves, including removing evicted players' structures, but I'm prepared to take it one step at a time. Let's work on this first.

This is a forum, so let's talk about it. I look forward to any and all supportive or critical responses.

Respectfully Submitted,
-Vykoden

Edited by Vykoden

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I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.

 

Also I don't like the past results of moving away from discretion towards lawyerable rules.

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A few dot points is all I have to contribute - I'm happy to discuss it more next time we catch each other on mumble

  1. There is already a thread for this? I thought there was...
  2. The rules are often vague to allow for situational judgement, its why we have moderators and not robots enforcing them, we've gone hard in both directions in the years I've been here, neither is perfect -  the current allows for the best mixture of clear direction but enforceable rules.
  3. Red is a terrible color, a soft blue is much nicer on the eyes
  4. I think the admins said they were reviewing land claiming by borders, has it truly been long enough to make an entirely new post about it?
  5. I don't disagree with your point that the act of claiming land is unclear and should be reviewed or expanded on
  6. You continual references to old or veteran players is annoying, as a 'veteran' I don't expect special treatment
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Hey C4 ... good to see you, old friend.

Because of all the distractions in the other thread, I proposed that I make a new, more-focused thread, and Barlimore supported that idea. 

I don't expect special treatment as a "veteran nerdist". I simply felt the need to make the distinction in explaining that although we've "been around awhile," we have only played two months on this rev. I feel that if I hadn't made that distinction, we could be mistaken for a bunch of whining newbs. Because we're not newbs, we have a broader perspective, in my opinion. 

 

Yeah, that red is kinda harsh, isn't it? I'll edit it to make it blue. :)

Thanks for your input,
-Vyko

 

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An easy solution might be to base protections on number of players active in a build. For example, 50 square meters per person seems acceptable to me; in which case, if a town has 5 residents, said town could have 250 square meters of undeveloped land protected. 

 

 

What stood out the most for me is this. What about the people who;

 

1. Are part of multiple towns

2. Bring alts on solely to land grab

3. Use compromised accounts to land grab

 

 

Also, what happens when someone goes inactive? Does the land they accumulated for the town become suddenly unprotected?

I also see ruthless recruitment for land eventually happening, too. This isn't the best idea for the culture of P, where it's based on communication and collaboration, not dog eat dog.

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I am replying here only to expand on twilexis post, and to make it a little easier to visualize. There are some large towns who can easily have 50+ people on perms.

Here is some math:

250/5 = 50m sq per player.

50m x 50players = 2500m sq

So essentially a handful of large towns (or towns who add alts, nonexistent players, duplicate players, etc) could claim the entire map. And everyone else would be out of luck.

I hope that helps clarify why this is not a rule that can be implemented in that manner.

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Here is some math:

250/5 = 50m sq per player.

50m x 50players = 2500m sq

So essentially a handful of large towns (or towns who add alts, nonexistent players, duplicate players, etc) could claim the entire map. And everyone else would be out of luck.

 

I think Vykoden was trying to make the point that if you have a X number of people saying they will build in your town as soon as the rev starts, you could put up a reasonable size protection to support those people with a little breathing room tacked on. Not a literal formula for how big the protection should be.

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Just want to reply here real quick to answer your questions and explain why the rule is written the way it is. I'm typing this on my phone, so I apologize for any typos, autocorrect has some sort of vendetta against me.

First let me ask/address some issues with how these statements are written:

"grief or other unauthorized edits." Please give me an example of an "unauthorized edit", under this rule.

An unauthorized edit is when you edit someone else's build without their permission. This is the definition of grief. When a player places blocks, they have the right to not have those blocks removed or changed without their permission. It's their build, they can have it look however they want.

"Mods will only protect..." "... and clearly established large projects, such as cities." How do we make our future city a "clearly established large project, such as cities"?

The way we usually ask towns to request protection is the exact same way we ask for protection for any build. Mark out the borders with blocks in the corners and make a modreq asking for protection. This is not a guarantee that it will be protected, however. We are not going to protect empty land. We may make a smaller region than the one requested, that only covers areas that have been built up, and the region can always be expanded later once the town or build has expanded.

The reason we don't protect empty land, as we stated in the other thread, and as is stated in the rules, is because protections are there to prevent people from griefing builds, not constructing them in the first place. Empty land is fair game to build on (with a few exceptions, such as intentionally building too close to someone's already existing build), and having empty land already protected just makes it more difficult for players to find a place to build.

"Land that has been significantly improved through road/plot making or terraforming can be protected at staff discretion." Why is this "at staff discretion"? Can't we just say that, if a city makes plots or does "significant ... terraforming", it can reasonably expect said terraformed land to be protected under a region?

In my opinion, this is an example of a rule that is neither clear nor needed nor followed by mods and admins; especially for cities. It is flawed, in my opinion, primarily because of the word "discretion". Discretion means that there is no set rule and that each situation could be handled differently by different mods and admins. This type of discretionary rule, IRL, is the cause of many controversies and has been the source of many controversies in Nerd for the last four years.

Discretion is defined as "... the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation."

If all mods and admins are required to "use their discretion", rather than follow hard-and-fast rules or policies, then there are no solid rules or policies, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation, discrimination and unfair treatment.

The reason this is under staff discretion is because it is simply impossible to have a protection guideline that covers every and all possibilities in a game like this, which as you say below, has limitless possibilities. We’ve looked into just about any solution to this that you could think of and its just simply not possible.

Terraforming in particular is a tricky one that we’ve debated on for months. It is sometimes difficult to tell if an area has been terraformed at all, let alone enough to justifiably call it a build. For example, I've turned down modreqs to protect an area where the only edits at all were someone cutting down trees. That isn't a build, that's empty land.

Now, mods and admins do use their discretion to decide if builds are going to be protected, but we train each and every mod how to do so properly. Mods know what should and should not be protected. If you ever have reason to believe a mod is unfairly denying your build protection, feel free to ask an admin to check.

However, the rules clearly state that mods will protect "clearly established large projects, such as cities".

By making a cobble fence, my community said, "This is where we want to build as a city." Is that not clearly established?

By all means, go ahead and do so. In fact, we encourage players to do so. But again, if the area marked by the fence is empty or unbuilt, it won't be protected. We protect BUILDS, not LAND. Empty land is not a build.

Furthermore, in an always-evolving map with unset boundaries and limitless possibilities, it simply does not make sense, in my opinion, to attempt to restrict undeveloped land protections in any way. The map is not short on building space, like the old days. There are no borders. So, not being able to reserve and protect undeveloped land doesn't add up. In fact, as was noted by several communities in the other thread, it becomes an inconvenience for players in way too many ways, which were covered in the previous thread.

I understand your frustration, really I do. We have dealt with complaints about this for years. But we have to be fair and equal to all players, not just the loudest ones. Protecting empty land for someone to use in the future just restricts land that people who want to build NOW. There is no way to know if the land is going to ever be used, and no one wants to see huge tracts of land in prime locations stand empty for months on end. The best and simplest way to avoid that problem is to just not do it. I understand that some people may feel hard done by that, but I assure you we’re not singling anybody out.

If there is any doubt, I would recommend a new poll. The question should be phrased as:

"Do you believe region protections should allow players to protect undeveloped land? (Yes or No)"

You are more than welcome to create the poll, but do realize that not everyone who plays on P frequents the forum or the subreddit. Indeed, most people who play on P don't even care about any of this, they just want to play blocks. As I said above, we have to be fair to everyone, not merely the minority that frequents the forum. So a poll result either way isn't going to be indicative of the will of the majority, just those that are the loudest.

An easy solution might be to base protections on number of players active in a build. For example, 50 square meters per person seems acceptable to me; in which case, if a town has 5 residents, said town could have 250 square meters of undeveloped land protected.

See SilverSunset’s post above.

In my opinion, there should also be a poll concerning allowing cities to govern themselves, including removing evicted players' structures, but I'm prepared to take it one step at a time. Let's work on this first.

As I said in one of my replies in the other thread, towns already govern themselves, including the ability to remove people from their towns. But as for removing their builds themselves, that can (and has on multiple occasions) lead to people being kicked out and their build removed simply because a mayor thinks it looks bad. It's still that player’s build, and they can build it how they want. If a mayor is concerned about players not sticking to the town’s theme or aesthetic, I'd say it's their responsibility to make sure their citizens know and follow it.

There was a situation just recently in Rev 14, where a town member was kicked, and then their build was modreq’d for removal. Since the player was still active, they were told to sort it out between each other, which they did. They discussed it and came to an amicable solution, and the build was taken down. That's the best way to handle it. You don't need to just rip the build down, or immediately modreq for removal. Most of the time, just talking to the player is enough to get them to make changes you want.

If a player isn't active anymore, mayors can modreq the build for removal. We’re working on a formal policy on abandoned builds, and we'll have more details soon.

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I think Vykoden was trying to make the point that if you have a X number of people saying they will build in your town as soon as the rev starts, you could put up a reasonable size protection to support those people with a little breathing room tacked on. Not a literal formula for how big the protection should be.

Entirely possible. The big problem with that is no matter what math we use we still have to account for username padding (inactive, nonexistent, players who belong to multiple towns).

Twilexis posed some very good questions about that, which I'm not sure can be answered without a lot of nitpicking and oversight.

I really want to reiterate - we are trying to get rev 16 finished up. We can sit here and nitpick rules and math and player count all day long or we can get back to the policy discussions we've already started to finalize policies which I think will address a good amount of the concerns people have shown.

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I am replying here only to expand on twilexis post, and to make it a little easier to visualize. There are some large towns who can easily have 50+ people on perms.

Here is some math:

250/5 = 50m sq per player.

50m x 50players = 2500m sq

So essentially a handful of large towns (or towns who add alts, nonexistent players, duplicate players, etc) could claim the entire map. And everyone else would be out of luck.

I hope that helps clarify why this is not a rule that can be implemented in that manner.

Thank you, Silver, for that bit of insight. Perhaps a better solution or happy medium would be to just say every town can claim up to 200 square meters of undeveloped land, when they find where they want to build? This would sure go a long ways to adding some breathing room and would ensure an infringed upon area in which a build can start, in my opinion.

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What stood out the most for me is this. What about the people who;

 

1. Are part of multiple towns

2. Bring alts on solely to land grab

3. Use compromised accounts to land grab

 

 

Also, what happens when someone goes inactive? Does the land they accumulated for the town become suddenly unprotected?

I also see ruthless recruitment for land eventually happening, too. This isn't the best idea for the culture of P, where it's based on communication and collaboration, not dog eat dog.

I hadn't thought of this angle, Twilex. Thanks for that perspective.

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Thank you, Sapphric for your comprehensive response.

I appreciated reading this: "If a player isn't active anymore, mayors can modreq the build for removal. We’re working on a formal policy on abandoned builds, and we'll have more details soon", although it may not end up exactly as I'd prefer. 

That's key, in my opinion; to hear you say you're "working on it". However a person looks at it, it's nice to know, and it's good customer service.

Thanks again,
-Vyko

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Again, we are actively going through all of the suggestions, concerns, and requests that have been posted here. I have spent quite a bit of time combing through the forums, the subreddit threads, and polls and pulling together a list that the padmins have been using to make sure we catch everything. We are trying to work out all of the hard answers to make any changes we implement as fair as possible to everyone.

Let us do that. And if, when we have it finished, you're still unbearably unhappy with policies, we can discuss it some more.

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I really want to reiterate - we are trying to get rev 16 finished up. We can sit here and nitpick rules and math and player count all day long or we can get back to the policy discussions we've already started to finalize policies which I think will address a good amount of the concerns people have shown.

 

Hi Silver; same to you as I said to Sapphric. Just to hear you say you're working on it is nice and refreshing. As long as we know our concerns are being taken seriously and discussed seriously, behind this thread, it's reassuring. 

I don't feel a need to explain or express anything, as long as I know you and the rest of the staff are discussing it. That's the only reason these threads were started; not expecting immediate change but hoping to start discussions. 

Have a nice day,

-Vyko  :smile:

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Is it possible to close this discussion somehow now? I'm satisfied, and in my opinion, there doesn't need to be more discussion.

I also don't want to add more work to the admins' current priority of getting a nice, fresh map up and running for all of us. We're all very excited, I'm sure. :biggrin: 

 

Thank you all for your insights and participation.

-Vykoden 

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