An Interesting Discourse

Hello there,

I haven’t been around in quite some time, being busy with work and more recent novel writing, but I have gotten into a game over the last few months called “Hyperiums,” and some very interesting communication has resulted from the experience.  I figured it would be a good exercise in both cataloging and sharing to place it here for you guys to see.  I may also put up more of my book soon, as I’m a good bit of the way through Chapter 6 now.

In this conversation a few definitions are necessary:

Hyps Prot.: Hyperiums Protectorate; a form of government which offers complete military protection but increased administrative and building costs. Ships also may not be built on a Protectorate planet. Once a planet has left Hyperiums Protectorate status, it may never be switched back.

FTO: Friendly Take-Over; when a player withdraws all or most of his or her military units from a planet and allows another player to take control of the planet without resistance.

NAP: Non-Aggression Pact; an agreement between alliances to abstain from military conflict with each other.

Demo: Democratic; the mode of government wherein population and civilisation level grows the fastest, but ground armies and ships are built the most slowly.

Auth: Authoritarian; the mode of government which is a cross between the Dictatorial and Democratic government types. This government type is rarely used by players save during special wartime circumstances where a Dictatorial government is not preferred.

Note: In a Dictatorial government, financial assets may be “preempted,” or ceased, at any time.  This is one of the main functions assigned to Dict. and excluded from the other three gov. types.

If others become apparently necessary, I’ll put them in later.

Alimus is a player who has requested FTO for a Hyps. Prot. planet inhabited by another player in my alliance.  This player is away for the moment, so I told him that I would check with my High Council on the matter and get back to him.  He sends me this in reply:

Message from Cmdr. AlimusRe: FTO
Yeah np mate, ive just been clearing some tags from our core and like you say i normally wouldnt bother with hyps prot planets if theyre not tagged as there isnt a great deal that can be done about it.

Having said that it doesnt exactly reflect well on our MP that hes public tagged them, so i figured id ask for an FTO, as i believe there is no reference to an exemption for hyps prot within the MP terms.

Cheers for getting back to me anyway, and ill look forward to hearing from you.

Alimus

My response to him is as follows:

Re: FTO
No worries. I’ll untag it publicly for you, in the spirit of our NAP, but I’m afraid the exemption for Hyps. Prot. is simply by virtue that it is Hyps. Prot.

I very much appreciate your willingness to communicate, however, and look forward to future dealings with you.

~ Judgend

The next day he sends me this:

Message from Cmdr. AlimusRe: FTO
I’ll accede that as they are hyps prot they cant be taken by force, but it is in breach of the NAP for them not to be FTOd

“All planets in each others territories must be FTO’d”

There is no mention of an exemption, and as such i wouldnt expect an exemption to be made.

I understand what you’re saying about prots and the general assumption that you can keep them wherever they are. However that assumption also requires that the planet owner is not signed up to a NAP or MP which would preclude them from being in the area. Normally this would be done by keeping your planet untagged and your forces in camo.

Like i said i can appreciate your standpoint, and im not going to press the issue, but i would like to point out that by keeping the planets you will technically be breaching the terms of the NAP.

Alimus

After some thought, I replied:

I full well understand what you’re saying, and I won’t move to defend said planet. I also understand what you’re trying to do, and call it apples and oranges.

I’ve honored and worked through this NAP several times in the past with disputes and misunderstandings between multiple members of our alliances. However, I’m not working under a general assumption based on extraneous rules imposed by players. I’m pointing out that, regardless of our military position, the game will not let you have that planet at such a low cost as words would dictate.

FTO is the withdrawal of military forces and resistance to attack. Even if I withdrew all forces from his planet, in agreement with the NAP, you still couldn’t take it. The NAP says nothing about switching govs, and neither does the game’s definition of FTO.

I point this out not in an attempt to rile your sensibilities, but to assert that he can still adhere to the NAP and FTO without there being any difference in the situation. I complied with your assessment that there should not be a publicly tagged planet in that area, and am aware of the extents of definition under which I toil to protect my allies.

So, once again, take care, and thank you for your communication!

~ Judgend

The conversation continues:

Message from Cmdr. AlimusRe: FTO
Before I begin, please understand that I’m not trying to be difficult, nor am I looking to have the planets handed over. I’m happy with the resolution you’ve proposed, and I’m not looking to cause any friction between our alliances.

Having said that, given the depth and verbosity of your reply I couldn’t help but point out the flaw in your argument.

Although there may be no direct mention of switching gov in the terms of the NAP or the glossary definition of FTO; simply keeping a planet in Hyps Prot is in itself a form of resistance, this is the only purpose that this government type has in the game.

Hyps Prot.: Hyperiums Protectorate; a form of government which offers complete military protection but increased administrative and building costs.

It is akin to agreeing to withdraw your military units only to engage a third party to defend the planet on your behalf. It is not the game that will not let me have the planet, but the player who holds control over that specific game mechanism.

As such I feel that this is arguably a breach of the terms of the NAP. As by keeping the planet in Hyps Prot you are offering a deliberate military resistance to the FTO of that planet.

Let me know what you think,

-Alimus

And I do:

No worries at all. Your command of ideas and the language used to communicate them demonstrated to me that this was not a war, but a debate, and I would have been disappointed if you had not lived up to that expectation.

My response is directly two-fold; first, I would agree with your assessment of third party defense if both parties were, in fact, bound by your NAP. Second, the function of government, both in this game and in real life, is strictly that: to govern.

If a planet were FTO’d simply to be defended by an unknown or unrelated force, that would not be a breach of the NAP. It does not bind that force to any prior agreement. You have admitted that if you didn’t know it was one of our alliance’s planets, you wouldn’t have attempted to take it at all. This is because you assume that our NAP affords you some sway over the barrier to your conquest: Hyps. Prot, a government, the benefits of which are entirely overseen by the game, a third party not in deference to your contract.

FTO insists on military compliance, and nothing more. That is why it is often common practice in FTO to switch governments so that the original party may retain its investments for a limited time while finding ways to recoup the loss. The plaintiff’s demands lay strictly upon the defendant’s armies, and so this move is not a violation of the NAP.

In light of these conclusions, I feel it obvious to agree that it’s arguably a breach of terms, but anything’s arguable. The crux of the issue lies in whether or not the argument is good enough. The conversation is fantastic; the argument, however, falls short.

I do appreciate your compliment on my depth and verbosity. Many players consider it an assault to be offered so many words. I am one of the few (as far as I have encountered) who actually plays this game for the rare, fulfilling conversation.

~ Judgend (Jon)

His last reply to me was:

Message from Cmdr. AlimusRe: FTO
I understand your standpoint, however it is based on several assumptions regarding the independence of the Protectorate armies and the fact that they are not bound by the NAP, and also that the function of the government is unrelated to the military defence of a planet.

You state that if a planet were to be defended by an unrelated or unknown force it would not be a breach of the NAP; the Hyps Prot armies however are neither unknown nor unrelated.

In fact they are exactly the opposite, given that the player in question has direct and total control over those armies by choosing to be in the Hyps Prot government, and knows absolutley that by keeping the planet in Hyps Prot should it be attacked the armies will arrive.

The benefits of this system are not entirely overseen by the game as you propose either; as it is up to the player to choose whether or not they will utilise this defensive option. And as such the Hyps Prot armies are not independent forces who aren’t bound by the NAP.

Furthermore, even if they were an independent force not bound by the NAP themselves, engaging their services to undertake military action on your behalf in your NAP partners core would be a breach of the NAP in any case.

Your second supposition regarding the function of government being to govern both in the game and in real life being strictly to govern, is factually incorrect. The function of government in the game is not in fact to govern; this is why it is called government type, as its purpose is simply to allow access to a range of options to the player which reflects that government type. The actual governing of a planet is left solely to the player.

And while the use of goverment types to protect financial assests on a planet may not be a breach of the NAP, the use of a government type to provide a military defence to a planet is, as it is actively and deliberately resisting the FTO of that planet.

The reason I would not have requested an FTO had the planet not been tagged, was because in that instance, had it not been possible to prove the planets owner; plausible deniability could have been maintained, and while the NAP would still have been breached, there would be no evidence to prove it had been and as such no recourse for me to follow.

I am pleased you have taken my comments in the way they were intended, and I hope that these, too, find you well.

-Alimus (Aled)

and my statements today are:

Re: FTO
Greetings again 🙂

The benefits of Hyps. Prot, a one-time-only government system, are in fact completely overseen by the game. Letter of the law dictates that your alliance and my alliance are the only members responsible for their military actions according to the NAP. If the choice to change a government is not a military action, thus not in violation in the aforementioned circumstances, then it is not here, either. Finally, as you have pointed out, that responsibility has been built contingent upon culpability, which is the weakest of foundations.

Though you have posited that resistance is the only reason to keep a planet Hyps. Prot, the government itself takes all military control and most economical benefits away from a player. In reality, remaining a Hyps. Prot. is the surest sign of deference to a treaty seeking the void of aggression, as you cannot produce any military force and you cannot infiltrate to any truly advantageous extent.

Only the military actions of our two alliances are prescribed by our pact. Hyps. Prot. planets cannot be reproduced by military force, much less any other means. The origins of such a planet are entirely up to the game, as well. As such, its existence is almost entirely out of the player’s hands. Under these circumstances (controlling a quarter of a planet in a locale not of your own choosing), true ownership is up for a completely different, and equally lengthy, debate!

In fact, the only choice that the player inhabiting a Hyps. Prot. planet does have in militarily influencing others is to switch to a different government and begin producing ships with which attack is a possibility. In my mind, that is the true act of aggression, but I would have written the treaty differently. Under current terms, an offensive act such as denying the plaintiff of an FTO economic access by switching to Demo. or Auth. is not deemed aggressive because it does not technically constitute direct military action. Under the same terms, you cannot presume that the decision not to switch a government is deemed aggressive, especially when that decision severely governs your ability to be rapacious.

The truth is that Hyps. Prot. most of all governs a player, and you have no such military treaties with the “Hyperiums Empire.” This NAP, like all other NAP’s I’ve read about, was based upon strict letter of the law, not spirit of the law. In the former paradigm, there are numerous loopholes present especially within such a short and scarcely discussed agreement as have we. Culpability should not even be a factor in the decision of actions, and it wouldn’t be nearly so present if the people discussing this NAP had taken the time to instill within it a spirit of the law mentality.

Who makes pacts in order to take advantage of those with whom they enter into agreement? Not I, and if I had my way further, there would be a more friendly atmosphere involved in this NAP business, rather than a contest of division for the purpose of seeing who can get away with what.

~

Sorry if this is too long to be interesting.  I thought about making it several posts, but decided that this would be the same basic result, and that I’m far too impatient and lazy to wait in catching you up to where I am in the conversation  XD

The “Good” Doctor

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Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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