Foamy AP rant

There isn't one, 'myre, short of making raiding straight up impossible, for a very simple reason:

The best time to kill someone is when they're not around.

There is no possible way to alter the game mechanics in order to change that fact, short of ludicrous, broken things [like hey, lets make everyone auto-die if they attack an offline player!]. Moreover, the admins have stated -- repeatedly and emphatically -- that a fundamental design principle behind TDZK is that There is no safety, except in newbie turns. Between these two principles, raiding is and will always be an extremely valuable tool for those alliances who can do it effectively. Likewise, learning how to dock appropriately to avoid being hurt by raids will always be a valuable skill.

These are unalterable and undeniable facts of life, and have been so since the beginning of the game. More people have died to being raided out than any other cause, ever, with newbie and trader bashing probably coming in second. Group fights third, solo warbird fights last.

The fact of the matter is that winning is fun. You can have your fun in other means, if you wish; if you want to run or participate in a solohunting alliance, or a trading alliance, or a newbie-bashing alliance, more power to you. Go! Have fun! I won't try to change the game to stop you.

So why do people wish to change the game to stop us from playing it how we play? Despite the example of luminaries such as Goca, it isn't because they're stupid.

It's because they're lazy, and envious. And possibly somewhat scared, as well. They know we have fun. They know that we have our fun because we play to win, because we find winning fun. Oh, certainly, other things are fun as well, but if you don't win, it's a lot less fun than if you do win. And these other people see FURY's success, see that they can't replicate it using their strategies, and instead of either changing their strategies or not try to compete with FURY, they complain that they can't compete. They're afraid to try, afraid that if they do try, and fail, they'll have to admit that they were wrong, wrong about FURY, wrong about how to play the game, wrong about the importance of their own egos.

And perhaps they're afraid of success, too. After all, if they succeed, they might find out that, after all, we're right about how much fun it is to fight another alliance and win. They'll find out how awesome it is to know, to know that anything your alliance can dream, it can do. Kill the admiral? Yes! Raid every station in the game before 48h have gone? Yes! Fight SH three rounds running? Hell, why not? [Future plans censored by order of Iccyh, High Poobah And Grand Censor of FURY AP Posts].

Incidentally, am I the only one that recalls that as of 2.4, there were a lot of people complaining about the lack of wars?

Lets see, what else? Oh yes, lack of ethical standards and rule loophole exploitation. Ah, such lovely topics. I can hear Brahm's Lullaby, even now--

No, wait. That's the opening bars of Beethoven's 5th.

Right then.

One, just because something has always been done doesn't make it the best way to do things [See also alliance caps]. Doing things non-traditionally is by no means unethical, nor against the spirit of the game. In fact, many of your posts seem to be arguing that the untraditional specialist alliances now existing embody the true spirit of the game, instead of the more conventional, rounded alliances that are the heirs of the dominant alliances of 1.0.
And 2.0.
And 2.1.
And 2.2.
And 2.3.
And 2.4.
And 2.5.

Now, I repudate that argument, but if you're so foolish as to accept it, accept the corollaries; untraditional actions are not, in and of themselves, bad or against the game's spirit [Whatever that vaguely defined term happens to mean. I've never seen an agreed upon definition, but based on close observational evidence of various posts lately, I've come to the conclusion that it must mean 'moaning and complaining when things go the wrong way'. If so, I'm proud not to be a part of that 'spirit'].

There was a time, I remind you all, when using aggies was 'untraditional' and 'against the spirit of the game'. It didn't stop various alliances from using them en masse later, though. I recall a time in 1.0, when, to avoid the stigma of using aggies, K declared war on most of the game. Do you remember that, Z?

I remember a time, not so very long ago to me, where louis was despised and publically assailed by various self-righteous loudmouths for his extremely effective, untraditional, nebula hunting. It was considered unethical, immoral, wrong-- against the spirit of the game. The continuous camps of Concentric and Magellan by 1.0 KAOS, potting n00b after n00b after n00b was just fine, of course. But now? Speak a word against the crew of newbie bashers that was Ronin of 2.5, and prepare to have PL jump down your throat [and personally, I want no part of PL down my throat]. It's all part of the game, he says. It's all in good fun, he says. It's in the spirit of the game, he says!

I remember the F5 targetlock, since closed, which many members of K and ID and JWW used and defended, and which JaiMaster would like reinstated.

I remember many things, yes I do. I remember ASx's maintenance raids, which was the biggest cashwhoring exercise this game has ever seen. Except for interest -- hi todd! -- and items and carlos, of course. Untraditional? Sure. Against the spirit of the game? So some people thought. Effective? Unquestionably.

I remember Planetary Gardners--er, pardon. I meant Praetorian Guard, of course; the ones who used planet-building XP to level their raiders to L50 quickly, easily, and risk-free. Funnily, PG also had a nice list of former KAOS members.

I remember Maelstrom. A superb group of hunters, and they pioneered something new, something untraditional: The transparent tag! It was brilliant, it was effective, and it was legal, that round. The rules were changed to prevent it later, naturally, but there was nothing at all ethically wrong with what Maelstrom did at the time.

The point of all this is that because, as 'myre points out, the planetary building system-- put in place to avoid certain abuses, and which it succeeds at and which any replacement would also have to avoid-- has created the absurd situation where it makes sense to recruit people for the sole purpose of parking them on a planet to build stuff. It is, I might add, mutually agreed to. Our planet builders get something out of this as well. I'd prefer it not be necessary, but it is in order to get the results we want, it's admin pre-approved, and that ought to be the long and the short of it as far as anyone else is concerned, especially given the... elastic nature... of what constitutes ethical behaviour in this game. For myself, it's simple. I don't lie, I don't break the rules, and I don't break my word.

As for myself, personally, here's the sequence of events that various Goca appears to have such trouble understanding. Since I'm just such a nice, generous, helpful guy-- and because I have a low opinion of most of the rest of you, too-- I'll give him a hand.

Okay, first off. I'm going away for the Canadian long weekend and I'm not able to contribute much to FURY as a Zallun because of my online times. I decide this would be an opportune time to restart as a Tamaran, something I'd been considering for a week or so, in order to trade, something I can do solo and something which is critical to alliance success.

So, I dump my turns planet building, and retire my pilot. I come back late Sunday, create my Tammy so it can stock turns, and log off.

Then, the next day, Monday, I log on midafternoon my time to find out that K is attempting to raid one of our planets in Manchari. I do stress the "attempting"; whomever designed their raiders for that ought to be shot, as they were making what I would broadly call "no progress whatsoever". That wouldn't happen to be you, Goca, by any chance? Anyways, the point is, as we were chuckling in #fury over KAOS incompetence, talk turned to ways of disrupting the raid.

If memory serves, Rycio said he'd go and try to pirate them. And that's when it all came together for me, sort of an inspirational flash, if you will. I was one system away, in my starting frigate; as a Tammy, I had a jumpdrive; and I had my starting newbie turns. It would be possible for me to jump in, be protected from the dropped forces by newbies, and, if the triggers weren't alert or were disdainful of the threat, pirate a raider.

The reason I could do this to a planet raid was because I could tell when they attacked. Therefore, I could refresh stats&options until I got a red light, hit drop newbies, hit current sector, hit examine, and hit attack&board. If all went well, I'd get a pirate.

Well, initially, all didn't go well. The K escorts were sharp guys; they got me five times. Rycio, in the meantime, swung through and pirated the bottom raider on the list a couple of times; my sitting IS in newbies with a frigate between shots let me update FURY on whether the raiders were there, and what auras, so we knew if they planned to continue or not.

In the meantime, I also had a nice little chat with Mirage, who had some rather choice words for me. And who also completely missed the point of what I was doing; I corrected him.

Anyways, on the sixth try, when KAOS had given up on the EMP planet and moved to another, and been the targets of a [failed] Warrior jump, I succeeded. For whatever reason, the K trigger had been a touch slow, and I got a pirate. I died [and here I'm sorry to contradict Iccyh and 'myre, to whom I wasn't clear afterwards] when I hit continue attack, attempting to make certain that I had the pirate.

Up to this point, everything is perfectly possible and perfectly legal. I was in frigates, therefore K was getting kill points; I was attempting to do something other than die, which meant I wasn't notice spamming; and I hadn't exploited any bugs or undocumented code. I'd pushed the piracy without EMP damage to its logical extreme, no more.

Except, as I found out later, there is a bug with piracy, where it's possible to pirate someone, even if you die in the combat where you hit A&B. I want to emphasis that I have no idea whether or not that happened in this case; I didn't bother looking at the combat report, and I wasn't able to, when other testers started talking about this particular bug, go back and retrieve it. The fact that player histories show that I died at L1 and got the pirate at L1, but ended up as L4, indicate that I might have inadvertently ended up triggering it. It could just have been typical lag stuff, but I want to stress:

I did not know about the bug when I tried this, nor do I know if I did, in fact, trigger it.

After I came down after the high of succeeding, and forcing K to stick around even longer, at which point a successful Warriors jump occurred, I got to thinking about just how utterly unstoppable and annoying what I had done was. And I came to a conclusion. Fun as it was for me, it was something that severely ruined other people's fun; it was a lose-lose situation for anyone escorting a raid. Either they triggered me, and hence lost turns, possibly ammo, and definitely reaction time in case of a jump; or, they don't, and I kill a raider at no cost to myself except turns. It was reward without risk for me, and it shouldn't have been possible.

So I buttonholed Aelanna, told her what happened, and told her why it was a bad idea to have things set up so that it could be done. There was universal agreement from other testers, and Helios' suggestion about not being able to drop newbies in space seemed to me to be the cleanest, most elegant way to fix the problem, so it was the one I presented to her.

In the meantime, I'd also found out about the piracy bug, and so the testers brought that to her attention as well; she had some time... and she fixed both issues.

And that's when I brought up the combat report logs idea as well; because I would have given, not my right arm, but possibly my left, to find out if I had died on my pirating attempt. And, since Aelanna still had time and since everyone liked the idea [and why not? It's been a good idea ever since it was first proposed, years ago], that got added too.

Thats how these things work. Testers aren't gods. We can't directly alter the code. All we get is access to the admins to tell them about issues and ideas that come to our minds, or that we've heard from other people and think are good, and the tools to test changes that the admins have implemented. We don't sit down, for example, at the beginning of every round and say 'we want to make raiding the only win-condition in the galaxy. How do we do that?'. We say, 'Hey, Ael [or, Hey, Squee], I ran across something weird/overpowered/bugged/interesting today...'.

I'm not perfect. I make mistakes; many of them, as anyone who knows me and most people who don't can attest from experience. Should I have realised how nasty what I was about to do was, held off, and quietly had it changed instead? Perhaps, but hindsight is always twenty-twenty, and it did not occur to me. It was as simple as, 'I can do this, it'll help my alliance, there's no way they can stop me, and there's nothing against the rules'. So I did it. And the example was dramatic enough to convince everyone that the change was necessary, too; I don't think the lack of discussion concerning the newbie change would have occured had there not been the example to point to.

But turning away from me, and getting to alliance politics again, I remember.

I remember the SH coalition of the north, whose size and power has never been surpassed, before or since. I remember the demolition of KAOS by four alliances, an asswhupping they still haven't recovered from, and probably never will. I remember watching JaiMaster solo SH online-- and get raided out offline. I remember Iccyh target-hunting SH traders, and having to shift his docking point every few hours to avoid being counterraided.

I drew the appropriate lesson. You can piddle about in solo ships against a good raiding alliance all you want. You might even have success at it, and you'll probably get more of them than they will of you.

But they will get you. Again. And again. And again. And, if you have allies, or alliancemates, they'll get them, too. And a rounded alliance of sixty people is much more able to sustain losses, and fight back, than a solohunter is. Or a specialist alliance. If a solohunter kills six warbirds, then dies, he has still lost.

Raiders and raids are the most important weapons in this game, and have always been. With raids, you can force the pace. You can make someone fight you. Running away is no longer possible. You can project power and actually fight a war. Escort warbirds are necessary to protect your raiders and to attack other people's. Traders are necessary to fund the escorts, the raiders, and potentially the planets, and the escorts and raiders keep other alliances from being able to go after the traders.

Solohunting and newbie bashing don't fit in this scheme anywhere. I've tried both, with mixed success. It's fun, yes-- but it's detrimental to an alliance's overall success, if you measure that success by an alliance's ability to fight and win wars.

If you have fun solohunting, newbie bashing, or whatever, as I've said before, more power to you. If you enjoy being in a small, skilled, specialised, random alliance of some description [Jade Triad, Zombies, Druuge], great. Awesome, I really mean it. But please, have some grace about it. Don't complain if someone with more numbers can beat you in a fight; don't complain if someone who can raid and group fight can beat you in a war. I can't stop you if you decide to complain, of course, but think it through; if you're following a path that isn't as effective at winning wars, but is effective at giving you want you seek from the game, what do you have to complain about? You're having fun!

The problem here, I think, is that there are certain people who want to have it all. They want to be able to win a war by their solohunting skills; they don't want to have to put the time into recruitment, or organisation, or planning, that is necessary to actually win a war. They want to be able to solohunt, and fight another alliance on occasion, if they feel like it, and happen to meet in space while they're going after some poor trader. There's a disconnect between expectation and result on the parts of some people; if they, truly, didn't care about fighting wars or group fights or raids, they wouldn't care that someone is that much better than they are at it.

In 2.5, FURY didn't give a good goddamn about RONIN's success at newbie bashing. Why? Because we didn't care about newbie bashing. It isn't relevant to our goals, we aren't in competition with them, and we let them do their thing. We didn't say, 'oh gnoeszors, the smaller galaxy has madezors nebula hunters teh invincibleeess!! We must make it impossible to attack someone of a lower player level and make the galaxy have eleventy-twelve systems!'.

The point of all this mass of wordage, however, for those of you with the attention spans of concussed ducklings, is as follows:

1. You can't stop us ingame.
2. You can't beat us ingame.
3. You're scared and jealous.

Oh, and:

4. You can all go straight to hell.

Thank you, and goodnight.