MW66: Illegal Coordination

That is kinda the point I am trying to make, the rules themselves are clear, but as many people have already said, this is a complicated game, the game side, learning how to do eco strats etc. and there’s the community with history between players, knowing who you are fighting, means you know their style of play and in my case, players who’d like to return favors when they are in the better position. And it was Xie/Orbit who leaked my nickname outside the family, to Airwing above…while I been msging back and forth with him for a while. I got no problem with Airwing using his diplo skills that get that info from my fam, in that regard, Orbit is the weakest link, so probs AW! :stuck_out_tongue: I think you all know how pissed I was/am on Orbit, I am pretty sure he knows that explicitly =P

I think I told someone on discord not long ago, I don’t even share my true intentions with my entire family (Prolly Tif, hi @TIF) . Usually there’s only one person who knows the real plan and everybody else I just leave guessing. Ask Munder from last round, think it took me 30 msgs of trols till I told him who I was, only after he told me who he was. Information is key and its double sided, miss info is key too and that is the diplo part, which is at least half of the game.

Not to mention, I didn’t even want to be leader (nothing new there) this and my intention was to rez, when I learned who was in my fam I wasn’t even going to play, till I found out the one inactive was coffee, I promised him to defend his ass if he’d bank for me. But I’ll wait for a reply from the mod team & Pie.

I have high hopes for the ban being lifted like a couple ticks before it ends hehe :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Just curious @I_like_pie if your enforicing the rules this strictly (I only read sols @Sol_Invictus test post and not aware of the full situation) shouldn’t you be blocking all of family 98?
98 is impersonating other players and mods witch is against the rules is it not?

Just curious tbh

  1. Do not excessively use CAPS.
  2. Do not pretend to be another player or a member of the Imperial Conflict staff.

If one rule is not acceptable and enforced shouldn’t other rules? I heard the players invlolved were ok with it so it was allowed.

That being said what rules do the players involved get the final say or even to discuss the matter first? Not trying to stir the pot just think if your going to be so strict on certain rules you should be strict on all rules.

We aren’t pretending to be Mods or another member… it is a theme. I think the spirit of the rule was to not pretend to act like staff, or impersonate another player.

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That doesn’t matter, the rules clearly state its not allowed, the part about the spirit of the rule/law may have fallen of the preliminary draft of ze rules? Don’t matter its not up there at this moment.

I think if you were to put that in a poll, most people will say the 6898 theme is against the rules, doesn’t matter if the real players don’t mind their nicks being used, same reason IA isn’t suddenly allowed if both fams agree to share fleetsizes or savings. According to your spirit of the law, that wouldn’t be IA either Pickle :wink:

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TBO already addressed our issue, he said if anyone objected he would have to change our names. He still can if he wants.

Ill add my two cents.
I don’t agree with the decision the mods made on this, but the process looked fine.

Two independent mods made a decision without knowing the player, seem pretty reasonable, it’s one of those rules where you have to draw the line somewhere, but to you need people to make that call.

No system is perfect and Id prefer pie didn’t spend anytime on things like this.

I don’t have any suggestions for a better system, and I don’t think that rule should be removed either, however imo general info shouldnt count.
I know sol and a lot of what he says is misinformation, things like I destroyed units message are more often more of a boast as well as an implied threat that he can do the same to you.

Things like coordinate attacks, planets swaps, offensive ops seem clear cut, but messaged general info a lot harder to make a call on.

Saying all that I don’t have a suggestion for a better system so I’d just accept the decision myself.

It’s a stupid rule for this type of game, should be scrapped asap. Come what may. :wink:

Thanks for your response @Sol_Invictus,

The title was for the repost. This is our first IA ban for you. I updated it to remove the confusion.

You make some good points here. Firstly:

That’s correct, and an unfortunate tradeoff between the old block feature and the new one.

The old block feature locks you out of your account entirely, including forums, and would not allow you respond to any of this in forum PM or defend yourself here publicly. It also freezes your empire entirely.

The new block feature locks you out of just your empire. You still have access to everything else (including other galaxies) but it does not freeze your empire.

The urgency of the situation required me to choose which one of these was most fair. I decided that it as the latter. This is going to be improved though, including a Suspended but accessible account status that would allow you to defend yourself before the actual ban and possibly prevent it.

This speaks to your next point:

Yes, this is accurate.

However, although I appreciate your explanation and even understand your perspective, it is not sufficient defense for the violations. Here’s why:

  • Discussing plans with anybody except your family is illegal
  • Providing intel with anybody except your family is illegal

Your explanations that you were joking, the intel was 2 days old, and that it was not specific coordinates and locations, amongst others, do not make any difference.

If you share plans or provide target intel to anybody except your family, this is a blockable offense.

For comparison, I blocked @TheBigOne last year for doing less than what you did here. He was helping a relatively new player and provided advice about clearing cores, without specifying a system or a family. He got blocked.

Yes, this is very strict, but it is the only way we can fairly and consistently enforce a rule that is intended to forbid coordination outside of your own family.

Whether or not this rule is a good rule (I personally don’t think it is) is besides the point. If we have it, we have to enforce it. More on that further down.

Rule violations are for the staff to decide, not the players. We give as much information as we can to help players know, but ultimately the mods have to make the call.

We are aware that others use out-of-game messages to bypass this. What you’re saying here though is, now that you know this is against the rules, you’re content to just keep doing it but take the messages off site.

“Ok, then I’ll break the rules, and just do it elsewhere, like everybody else” isn’t a great argument to make if you’re trying to prove that you follow the rules.

The point is that the player who responded was showing concern about IA, and rightly so. Clearly this isn’t just the Staff who sees your messages as problematic.

Despite the concern, and explicit mention of IA, you continued. You yourself even mentioned IA twice in your own messages to try to downplay your actions.

Sol, where were you when I was making this same point?! :stuck_out_tongue: I could have used the backup. :wink:

I loathe this rule. I think it kills the social depth of the experience, prevents friends from enjoying the game together, and prevents people from helping new players (even sometimes their enemies).

I don’t know if you were around, but last year I removed this rule entirely and the community at large threw a huge fit over it. The compromise we came to is that MW keeps this rule but SN can allow unofficial alliances, hence the acronym UA instead of IA.

Still, as mentioned, as much as I dislike the rule we have to enforce it fairly and consistently when it is in place. This is the inverse of when we tell players:

Staff has to do their part as well. I’ve told Staff specifically that:

The point is that I agree with you, this rule sucks. That doesn’t change the fact that if you don’t follow it while other families do, you gain an unfair advantage.

You make a good point here that this is an unnecessary risk, which is why we the Suspended but accessible account status is now on our list.

However, in this specific case, your defense doesn’t change the ban. Therefore it is not our ban that negatively effects 4 other players, it is your actions.

This is something we often here when players get caught and then blocked. Despite the fact that they broke the rules, they consider it the fault of Staff that their family is suffering.

The truth is both. I will admit that our processes need to be improved, but I think players should also take responsibility for their own actions. After all, your family would have no reason to suffer from this process if you did not violate the rules.

Your criticism is valid, but players using it as a means to dodge their own responsibility isn’t.

I appreciate that you said you’re willing to accept that it is your fault if the ban is deemed valid.

This is a great question. There are 3 things here:

  1. Intent
  2. Severity of offense
  3. Severity of punishment


The difference for here for you is that you not only shared the info about the bug, but you specifically recommended actions because of it.

There’s a difference between publicly discussing a bug in chat and privately telling another player how to use it to effect their actions against another family.

Your intent here showed us that you wanted to share this info to not only provide another player with an advantage, but to provide a common enemy with a disadvantage. You directly benefit from this.

The original message shows no such intent. They are just complaining about the round and me breaking the game.

Severity of offense

How severe a violation is partially determined by intent, as described above, but also awareness and regard for the rules. If you know something is wrong and still do it anyway, that is a more severe violation than if you simply made a mistake.

In your situation, given everything we were considering, we concluded that you were aware that you were doing things that could get you in trouble.

The original message showed no such awareness, and was therefore less severe.

Severity of punishment

You make a good point that you were able to infer information from the message that was sent to you. As such, we’re going to look into that further.

However, whether or not this turns into a warning vs a block is something that requires further evaluation. It’s not as simple as “hey, this other person did this thing too”. This is why it took us 4 days to decide on your punishment after we already concluded that offense did occur.

I bring this up because players who get blocked often get upset if somebody else’s punishment doesn’t match theirs, because they don’t account for context.

If another player gets a warning, you might think that we are treating you unfairly. However, you’d be ignoring the fact that you made repeat violations, showed specific intent within the violations, and were aware that they would be seen as violations.

If the other player does not show these things, you should not expect that their punishment will match your own.

I didn’t change any mechanics, I refactored code. This is necessary work for us to finally fix several severe problems with one of our core features: battle.

Regardless, “to gain an advantage” and “to not get a disadvantage” are 2 ways to say the same thing. Coordinating with another family for either is against the rules.

As mentioned, there’s a difference between publicly discussing a bug in chat and privately telling another player how to use it to effect their actions against another family.

The former does not justify the latter.

We are not required to prove that we also know the specific location or time. We are required to prove that you communicated location or time at all, including inferred language. “Hey, here’s some info on that thing ;)” isn’t gonna get you a free pass here.

Let’s look at the exchange again:

[…] Luckily I take more than mods can retake…u know what that means…somewhere tomorrow :wink:

At least you know a little…should be enough :wink:

When I am aware mods and Pie are always on the prowl for IA’s than yes. […]

Clear and coded are opposites; you are using coded language in place of clear language to refer to information that the other player knows or at least can conclude, without having to specifically say it.

This is a dodgy attempt to circumvent the rules, and a poor defense, especially when you demonstrate awareness that communicating the same information more clearly would get you in trouble.

Going back to this one real quick:

Imo you guys have been looking for reason to ban me.

Remember, the mods who were investigating this and reading these messages didn’t know it was you until after they already decided on a ban length.

It was impossible for them to be thinking “i wanna ban Sol, and am looking for a reason” because they didn’t know who they were banning.

Keep in mind that bias works in both directions; not only do we want to avoid being too hard on somebody who we don’t like, we also want to avoid being too easy on somebody who we do like.

I admit I did not handle this correctly. Not only did my timing complicate things, I shouldn’t have even been the one to tell you.

Fwiw we are still working on this process, and will take your feedback above as proof that it still needs improvement. Thanks for the insight.

NONE is incorrect. You were playing by different rules than other families. This is inherently unfair. Additionally, you specifically put your enemies at an unfair disadvantage which gave you a relative strategic benefit.

Thus, the round’s fairness was compromised to your benefit. This is the whole reason a ban is necessary; to rebalance the imbalance.

Yes, that did also compromise the fairness. However:

  1. It was not a result of a rule violation
  2. The bug did not intentionally favor any specific family or player

The same cannot be said for your violations.

We addressed your concerns about poll visibility, and solved the problem thanks to your feedback. I’m not sure what your complaint here is.

Given the lengths we’ve gone to in order to ensure that you yourself were protected from undue bias during all of this, I can say with confidence that fairness starts with the bottom.

All of our actions here, from investigations, to round setup, to ideas, and more, all start with consideration for the players. This includes players who commit rule violations. This is why we’re able to have this conversation at all.

You’re presuming guilt without an investigation. And you guys call the staff here authoritarian? :wink:

If you’re serious about this, send us a report and we’ll investigate it. Until then, “every fam that has done x” being guilty is purely speculation.

That one isn’t, no. But yes, NAP talks do become more complicated because of this rule. Families have messaged staff asking if a specific message about a NAP offer is allowed. Sometimes we say yes, sometimes we say no and explain why. While your example is fine, this wouldn’t be:

we want 50 planets for a NAP. there has to be at least 1 from these 5 systems that we share with [specific family]

This is blockable. This would have to avoid mentioning the other family to be ok.

Ultimately, context matters for a lot. See my points to Sol about intent and severity.

When in doubt though, don’t share plans or intel outside of your family. That is a sure way to avoid any problems.


Yes, impersonation is against the rules. However, the players in question have acknowledged that it is a theme and not actual impersonation.

If they were to message players saying that they are actually the mods though, that would be against the rules and would be blockable.

This is fair question, no worries about stirring the pot.

We’re evolving this process as we speak, including finding ways to increase transparency without public shaming, allowing players to offer an explanation before the ban, and overall with an aim to be more consistent.

All of this recent work is long overdue. We’re not changing things up for the sake of causing headache, we’re trying to formalize things that have long been fast and loose.

Players have long been critical of our lack of consistency, lack of transparency, and lack of objectivity. They were right, and these recent changes are a result of our work to address that feedback.

It’s not perfect right now, but it is better, and everybody’s feedback here (including and especially Sol’s) is going to lead to even better results over time.

You’re right, the rules clearly state that impersonation is not allowed.

The rules also very clearly state that whether or not something is a violation is up to the Staff to decide. The Staff does not consider this theme to be impersonation.

Polls don’t decide violations. While we would certainly consider what such a poll means, we would not make enforcements based on it.

This isn’t accurate; the theme has been evaluated by staff and determined that it isn’t impersonation. The same for your hypothetical IA here would not be true.

Me too! :smiley: And yes everybody, I’m aware that my giant walls of text take forever to read. :stuck_out_tongue:

On a serious note though we are behind the scenes working to slowly remove my involvement from these matters. My time is best spent on the game’s code.

This has a good first step. I don’t even entirely agree with the ban length myself but I am putting my trust in the mods’ judgement and don’t intend to undermine their authority. In future situations I will ideally be even less involved.


However, as much as I agree with you and even @Sol_Invictus on some of this, there are many, many players who disagree with us.

My job is to not only listen to those who agree with me, but also listen to those who don’t. Yes, I could just make the call and do whatever I want, but we all went for years without having our voices heard as players. There was a time when that included me. :wink:

I don’t intend to repeat the mistake of prior admins, so I aim to balance what I feel the game needs vs what the players say they want. When I did remove this rule game-wide, the backlash made it clear that players want to keep UAs out of at least MW, so the rule was re-instated there.

This may not always be the case, but for now, that’s what we have.

You’re welcome to convince others of your position. :slight_smile:

these rules are so liquid its kinda hard to get a good grip on, and if i understand it correctly, the idea is aslong as we keep our shaddy shit to other channels than ingame messages we are ok…

So a player giving up another players identify in in MW this round is also illegal than?

so i can ask spesific system for a nap, aslong as i leave out my intententions. good to know for the future!


I think this would be considered gossip, you can’t do an in game op or anything to find out who controls what empire. Just my opinion.

Anonymity is a tricky one, but depending on the context of the messages, yes this might be a violation.

If you have specifics, please send us a report with as much info as possible and we’ll look into it.

tl;dr (did read =P)

Thanks for the long & in depth reply Pie. Imo the IC rules have become the same as with football, as my dad used to say, everything is allowed as long as the referee doesn’t see it. But tbh I still don’t see my messaging as IA, just did what imo every leader should do.

But if you’d like to do an IA clean up, I’ll gladly give you my discord logon details, if the rest of MW’s leaders/FA’s do the same, the game will be as clean/straightforward as it gets when there’s 3 players left playing.

I agree with Tif about the fact I too rather have you spend your valuable time on improving IC (or telling the IC-webshop to make me my iron shirt :P) instead of this ‘side stuff’. I saw you started with a reply last night when I just replied to one of AW’s replies above, figured I’d better go to sleep and read the tl;dr over my morning coffee.

I no longer have ‘high hopes’ that the ban will be lifted before end of the 3 day-ban(but that could be due to the fact I just woke up:clown_face::joy:).

The part that it is a empire/galaxy specific ban, is a nice feature, but imo if you get blocked/banned for IA, it is the player who breaks the rules, so the block should be game wide.


Sol, why was I not mentioned in this? You promised me your paranoia would reflect back on my forum nickname =/

You’ve been convicted of your crimes lol, serve your sentence and enjoy it, you’ve been rogue’d as the mad tyrant you are. :smile:

:roll_eyes: Hyperbole is helping nobody here, unless you actually believe you have proof that 116 other players did the same thing you did. Let’s keep this productive.

Regardless, we can’t use Discord as evidence anyway; the accounts aren’t linked. We can’t know that the @Sol_Invictus in chat is the same @Sol_Invictus in game, or any other player for that matter.

Also, I removed the messages you shared. If you want to report something, send it to @moderators. Making public accusations is against the rules. You JUST got banned from chat last week for doing the same thing. :man_facepalming: Ffs you guys are impossible sometimes. :weary:

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Bright side. There is a community wide discussion. Great involvement :slight_smile:

Good point, I am guessing my Harvey Glühweinstein should be warmed up by now! Night!



Lol! Nice one

I think a fog of war option could help , but pickle is the king of illegal alliances glad he quit Nom!
Hala is bad for the game as well Nom!