Removing Anonymous Play

Starting with #milky-way-69, and as a default for all standard galaxies, players’ master accounts and forum names will be visible alongside their galaxy-specific empires. This will eventually also include easy access to their account history.

The Evolution of Trust

If you can take one thing away from this post, please read/play through the following. It can explain the problem with anonymity far better than I can:

The key line that applies to us:

That’s why “peace” could emerge in the trenches of World War I: when you’re forced to play the same game with the same specific people (not just the same generic “enemy”) over and over again – Copycat doesn’t just win the battle, it wins the war.

The “copycat” referred to there is a player who plays a game the same ways as the player they face; they are exactly as selfish or generous as their opponent.

We don’t have a “copycat” in Imperial Conflict. We are all by default anonymous each and every round, which sets a foundation of behavior that is free from long term repercussions.

When players go undercover, they rob themselves of the opportunity to consider the consequences of their actions. This is a very bad thing because it’s incredibly easy to be an asshole if your name isn’t attached. Just take a look at internet trolls.

My own experience

I went through this myself when I went undercover in Supernova awhile back. I was far more aggressive in how I communicated, to the point where I even surprised myself at how rudely I could talk to another player during war time. For context, I’ve stood by my reputation for diplomatic chops for years, and all it took was not having to be concerned with said reputation for me to turn far more vitriolic that even I myself thought possible.

Our worst players are lost and will always be assholes regardless, but we should consider the impact on the average player. If even I’m willing to feel emboldened and unaccountable by anonymity, then how could we expect the average player to develop positive playing habits? Worse yet, this problem compounds on itself, and the more players we have hiding and being assholes, the more other players will do the same, and then players who interact with them will do the same, and so on.

What about grudges?

What about grudges?

Yes, they will be had.

However, grudges are already had, and it is inherent in the experience right now that players can grief each other with little consequence. Anonymity perpetuates this problem.

I’d even go as far to say that grudges aren’t necessarily a bad thing themselves, and griefing is the underlying issue we need to solve for.

Consider it this way: if a player ruins your round because of a grudge, is the problem that they held a grudge, or that they were able to ruin anybody’s round at all?

If we are to improve for the long term, we need to confront this in the short term.

What about themes?

What about themes?

You can still use round-specific empire names. Themes will still be possible, but your master account and forum name will also be publicly accessible.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a new thing either: this used to be standard but was removed awhile back for reasons that I am unaware of.

What about multis?

What about multis?

Multis are still against the rules. Players who wish to remain anonymous by creating multiple accounts will risk getting blocked and banned on all of their accounts.

No questions asked, no exceptions.

We will still support anon play as a galaxy setting, but for Milky Way it will not be an option.

If enough players have interest, we can open up a separate galaxy specifically for anon play.


Great presentation.
I hope this lightens the load a bit for ya.

Now, back to making bombers blow up all sorts of things!

You mean like the lasers they attack and kill depending on size? :stuck_out_tongue:


I mean he has them hitting troops, and other fucking buildings too.

He is really working on some cool shit man.


I’d be fine with them just correctly killing lasers lol

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Hmm…don’t know how I feel about this really…but should be exciting!

Really? For everyone? What did I do wrong lol? This seals it for me really, I just wanna SS quietly along minding my own business, what to do now? Argue with strangers in the forum? :thinking: Yeah nah.

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and this is my contention.