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Empire Ownership Issue


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Our policy with regards to empire ownership has become a bit of a hot-button issue so let me go over it.


1) The former player of an inactive position may reactivate that position on any given turn cycle assuming the position has not lost its homeworld or, in our judgment, is in the process of doing so.


2) A player may transfer ownership of an active empire they run to another player (friend, ally, whatever).


We do not allow anybody to just pick up an inactive position on demand, regardless of where it may be. In special situations, we may allow a little latitude here and there but not much. We also reserve the right to refuse to allow any transfer and, as always, to intervene in any game activity when we believe it to be necessary. We do not do these things lightly but the potential is always there.


It should also be known that we expect transferred positions to be actively played, not run for a turn or two then dropped, not stripped of defenses then conquered, not transferred from player to player to player, etc. Players abusing our policies can find those abuses halted and their future activities more closely watched.


Now that contact between empires is far more common, there has been some grumbling in this area. Worries that inactive borders will suddenly become active, that neighbors will turn from friendly to actively hostile due to an ownership change, that one player will control multiple empires on my border directly, etc.


These concerns have some merit. It is possible for an inactive empire on your border to suddenly become active, it is possible for a friendly neighbor to suddenly become actively hostile and it is possible for a person to control multiple empires near you directly. The fears and concerns, however, almost always outweigh the realities. Keep in mind that a majority of the rumors and claims you hear via the grapevine are often either partially or completely untrue.


Should we refuse to allow players to reactivate dropped positions?


Keeping an empire that drops inactive forever certaintly has some advantages for the active empires in the area although they do lose a potential trading partner, potential ally, etc. as well. Pros and cons. A reactivated Empire on your border could be a great bonus, or it could be another enemy. Inactive positions can be neutralized via combat though so if you have an inactive position on your border and want it to stay that way (for sure), get your fleets in action as soon as you can and work on reducing it. We won't reactivate an empire that has lost its homeworld or is the process of doing so.


By allowing reactivations, players can reclaim positions that they may have had to drop due to illness, economic hardship, a hectic life, etc. and more players always makes for a healthier and, usually, more enjoyable game.


Should we refuse to all empire transfers?


Clearly the most potential for abuse lies in this area but we also should consider the effects of such a ban. Currently, a position transfer is legal which 1) Allows a lot of good things such as keeping an empire in the alliance or a local trading partner active when somebody has to drop, etc. and 2) It keeps the activity above board and makes it easier for RTG to monitor. Banning the transfers in situations like this tends to simply drive it underground. Player A keeps control of the empire but sends his results to Player B who fills out the orders for Player A to submit - they work out a personal arrangement to cover expenses and we have the same potential for abuse as before. Only now it is far more difficult for RTG to monitor.


The pace is SN:ROTE was deliberately designed to be slow and for quite some time, none of these things mattered. Now that the game is reaching that point where contact is far more common, the possibility of war is on the horizon (if not already started) and these things become far more emotional.


The pace has made it slow to arrive but the wars are coming and empires will begin to fall sooner or later. Losing a war and thus an empire that you've put so much work into is difficult at best. The defender has a lot of advantages but no empire is invulnerable. If you have more enemies than allies amongst your neighbors then you may well be in for difficult times - whether those enemy empires are controlled by the same person (rare) or by multiple people who have banded together to destroy you (much more likely). Regardless, no empire should consider itself without hope until the enemy actually arrives in the home system and starts blasting apart your defenses. The pace is slow, the defender has a lot of advantages and you never know what another turn may bring. Another ally could appear, your enemies could find themselves under attack on another front, one or more of your enemies could drop for a variety of reasons, etc. Remember that it is a common psychological warfare ploy to tell someone they are surrounded and without hope and that they should probably just drop now to avoid the inevitable. This ploy is always a great victory for the initiators if it succeeds - they win without firing a shot and, in many cases, they win based on false pretenses. Your strength is in your HW - as long as you hold that there is always hope.


Take care & good gaming!



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Thanks Russ,


Can I re-iterate quickly the point just made in the other thread?


Could we have serious consideration for removing the PRIV order?


I'd had it set for my empires since their first turns (they're a year apart) as I wanted to play them entirely separately. But I'd give that up happily for a way to mitigate this situation, which, however we dress it up, is certainly open to abuse.....


Regards & Best



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One problem remains as dropped empires. Many players start with 2-4 empires pick the best one and then drop the rest. others have come and gone. Even others drop at the meerest hint of combat. Having the PRIV option off will enable people to know who is dropped. Here are two samples:


Turn x: I run into the mindsphere and take out a 1M ton colonial liner (yummy) [OK I still do not understand these ROE settings...isn't ZULU friendly).


Turn x+1. Ran out of orders as I tried to orient fleet to handle this incursion into my space. All kinds of Mindsphere activity. Several battles as my multi action NTWD ship pops into the Mindsphere home system (taking out the warp guard) executes a NM 1 and takes out some more berthing and cargo ships.


Turn x+2: Do the find a player. It comes back with Russ. Call Russ. Can't talk about it etc.. (valid reasons on their side)


Turn x+3: Now in Privacy option and definetly computer controlled.


basically the player dropped as I attacked. Due to the PRIV option I can tell that.



Dread Pirate Roberts pops into system and finds a pathfinder in fleet 112 from the Romans. Hmmmm 112. Probably a starting fleet. Oh a pathfinder must be a starting fleet. I wonder if I do a player check will it come back PRIV. Yep. Hmmmm another dropped empire....Can we be friends please.



Pop into system. Minor fight with fringe element from the G'ould. Check player and send message. PRIV option set. BOOM email comes back: Get the %&^*&%$# out of my space...AHA live contact.



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For my two cents worth I think the entire PRIV thing should be done away with. You shouldn't ever be able to get a name from a simple order. The only thing allowed should be one way in game messages to the position in question that will start diplomacy. After that it is up to the players involved to be as commincative as they want to be.


This opinion in part comes from the failure of the PRIV option to really work. In the end you should expect every empire to be active until proven otherwise and then you still tread carefully.



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Poor Russ and RTG. They are sitting in their new offices, being buried in mails. And in part is their own fault. Having the PRIV option leaves the game open to, well, not abuses per say, but open to a lot of manipulation between players.


From my own encounters with the NSI and PRIV and no responses to any communications, the concept worked. It has been interesting (if at times frustrating to me while entertaining to others or so I've heard) trying to figure this position out: Live or Memorex?


Now from my encounters with another player, the concept has not worked. Since the AI does move ships, someone with PRIV on can try to pretend to be a dropped spot, hoping to leave a player off guard. Or if they took over a spot they can allow it to be known "X" dropped the position, while hiding that "Y" took it over. As discussed in other threads, someone with two connected empires can use PRIV to very evil ends, scamming a player as a potential ally with one spot to take on the threat of spot 2. And as we are hearing now, use of PRIV is allowing all sorts of other mind games to be played. The dark side of this order (and human nature of course) has reared it's head.


I guess RTG needs to decide. Do they want to keep fielding large numbers of complaints and mails from players who feel wrong or perceive something as a problem (even if not)? Of do they eliminate PRIV and post a listing of all player owned empires (and who runs them)?

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Not to play the cynic, but even without the PRIV option, people are still going to try to 'cheat' the system. Pete and Russ are doing their best to try to make the game enjoyable for as many players as possible. Some people prefer to play this game and many other e-games anonymously or with aliases. Heck, this very board is testament to that. We're not signed on as Edgar Pennsyltucky and Jane Smith, we've got Dragons and Ur-Lords and what have you for IDs. So what? What it boils down to is that some people are jerks and will always be jerks no matter what RTG does to 'legislate' them out of the game. The only way to combat them is to expose them. If you know that Player X is playing three conjoined empires or more, post it.


Billy Joe Jim Bob a/k/a ScreamingEagle a/k/a Cronus a/k/a Ralph Jerkwad of 666 Lonely Loser Way, Gerbiltown, USA is playing Empires 2112, 2001 and 1984. Be warned!


Or just e-mails to your allies or however you want to do it.




-SK :D

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NOTICE: ShadowK is playing Empire #711 the Bongo Drums of Love, who are neighbors with Empire #6969 The Love Slaves of Valhalla who are owned by KitsuneShadow of which both have sworn fealty to Empire #1990 Peace through Firepower who are a subsidiary of Empire #9210 The Phoenix Arisen who are a subsidiary of Empire #1966 The Reborn GSL.


Phewww..that is off my chest now!

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So turning off the PRIV option will change human nature? (We like to play the cynic...)


If anything we'd suggest that PRIV is mandatory. It would be a lot more realistic to us to be forced to guess at someone's motivations. If this game turns out to be anything like Victory! (and given the pace so far, this seems unlikely) it will get very bloody and long-living alliances and animosities will soon arise.



Many of us started a particular position hoping that we might run into another player whom we know. No doubt this has happened with some positions. We are not sure it is that different a case to have one person running multiple empires, or a group of friends running linked empires: any lone wolf that runs into those positions and those positions decide to be hostile will have problems. If they are a good player (i.e. they find a way to deal with the situation) then all bets are off.


If you know someone has multiple empires then you must respond rationally to that situation. You may have to fight. You may need to join the Galactic Senate. This game is big enough for many styles of play, but you may have to change what you thought initially to do in response to various developments. Right now all this talk about the PRIV option sounds like an internet newbie expressing shock that someone on the net is not who they claim to be.


This is a strategy game at the base. And strategy involves deception, there is no need to mince words. If one is surprised by this we suggest one goes back and brush up on military history (or chess, or the option play in football) because one is likely going to be faced with a hostile situation sooner or later. Complaining about being "manipulated" is not going to cut it when 50 divisions are landing on your HW. :D


We think RTG has shown an admirable willingness to adjust the game when necessary, and we still continue to very pleased with this game (is it next Friday yet?). So far we do not think a convincing argument has been made to alter PRIV or empire swapping.


His Holiness Archbishop Godolphin (not my real name) :ph34r:

Crimson Renaissance

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I think RTG should be commended for addressing this topic.


They certainly owned up to the fact that transfers between active empires has been allowed in some circumstances.


Sadly, the fact that transferring has already taken place affirms the oldest and most reliable axioms of PBM gaming:


Trust No One


I'm not up for changing the rules in midstream or publicizing ownership lists. I think PRIV serves as a good initial function: keep your new neighbors on their toes. PRIV also serves as a way to live by Romulan creed: "f knoweldge is power, then to be unknown is to be....unconquerable."


Lets not forget: we are talking about this issue because we eventually discovered the truth about what is going on. Therefore, nefarious designs do not go unnoticed in the long run whilst there are neighbors willing to keep an eye out for each other.


I think we all realize that worms will be worms: they will find a way to worm the system no matter how many anti-worm restrictions you place in the game. Does empire transfer reek of worminess and injustice? You bet your ass it does!


Now the question is this: what do you do about it?


Quitting only allows the worms to revel in their worminess....they can bully neighbors with propoganda and fear that they are vastly outnumbered and doomed 4evarrrrr.


No.....you keep the worm on their toes and bring them out into the sunlight. (Thats what worms hate worst of all - they are worms because they are afraid that if they don't play wormily, they will fail) Expose their worminess outright...let their tactics undermine their integrity. Alert your neighbors born with an inherent sense of gaming decency that they face a 'worm' and start building picket ships. If you wave at the worms and say, "hello worm...I see you!" they usually go try to worm somebody else....they don't like playng agaisnt people who see them as worms.


Notice! The worms are quietly chuckling away - not owning up to their worminess - happy to watch decent neighbors propose anti-worm legislation....maintain a silent pack of worminess....I won't bother exposing them. We all know who they are (which makes that creed for insanely humorous reading :lol: tsk tsk fellas)


From experience, worms also quit at the first sign that their plans aren't going 'perfect' - and usually blame others for their failures - often accompanied by their own paranoia which stems from a deeply-ingrained need to win at all costs. Fear of failure.....hence, the worm play.


Lets not overgeneralize, here. Some worms simply worm because they can. They like to challenge systems and find loopholes. Most of these worms give up on the worminess after they realize that it takes some of the glory out of the game by playing wormy. These worms are to be respected...and feared.


Look: RTG is not to be blamed for worminess. We live in an age where its easy to set up a fake address and credit card and email results through a strawman to accomplish wormy deeds. Its impossible to enforce anti-wormy restrictions.


I have known Pete and Russ for a very long time and I'm happy to report that they have given me all the tech secrets and the entire galactic map for nothing.


Just kidding. :D (Sadly, those without paranoia meds will actually BELIEVE what I just said :lol: Poor bastards)


Seriously - these guys are not idiots. They've already explained how they will draw the line with future empire transfers and I'm content to trust them (the only exception to the first PBM axiom is that you must trust the GMs..and I don't see anything here that warrants suspicion on their part in the least)


Lastly, lets not forget the overall purpose of this game: to have fun.


If your fun has been clouded by the worms, I am truly sorry. Call my a cynic. Years of game playing have forced me to accept the worm factor. To me, once I spot the worms, the game has new meaning! What would this game be without the worms?


Remember that you are the custodian of millions of sentient beings - they rely on you to protect them from worms. So what if they're all connected? It takes FOREVER to set up trade routes (I know this first hand)


The diplomacy hat is on, the shipyards are humming....the worms exposed....its only a matter of time.


Hang in there fellas, we've got a loooonnnnnnnng game ahead of us :ph34r: At least we have the issue addressed. I earnestly hope that the players who feel most offended by these wormy events will stick around. /salute :cheers:


And even to the worms..... :cheers: ....VERY ballsy.



EDIT: I don't think the worms have commited a cardinal sin by any means. Again - they have every right to join up at the same time and get close to each other...SMART! I'm not convinced that empire transfers give them a tremendous advantage at this point. It takes a LOT of work to make those connections and diversify the trade routes. As I've said before...there really is 'no REAL harm' thus far and thus 'no REAL foul' in my mind...but who knows? Whats the difference in resutl if they all started at the same time, developed their own diplomatic affiliations or transferred ownership? Either way - there's no real cause fro concern in my mind. They are there....on my border nonetheless....so I have to deal with them at some point anyway. Hopefully, they'll think twice about expanding too quickly :P

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