Alright, let’s dig down on some of the foreseeable problems and what we can do about them. I’m sure other people will think of more issues than just these, so hopefully discussion and ideas can keep coming so that IA isn’t as negative a change as it was last time.
1) Having multi accounts is still going to be illegal. How is this going to be found and enforced? The happenings of the cheating in this round would have been much harder to notice if market aiding is allowed. I can get my friends who aren’t planning on playing in a round to join at the start and market aid me all their resources and then go inactive, giving me a huge boost and putting the family they landed in at a disadvantage, and all legally. This round has been very fun and competitive and all the top fams had better eco starts than the family that cheated. Having more multi accounts around since they will be harder to detect will clutter up the galaxy more and make it harder to achieve well balanced families, with this MW round as a stellar example.
Proposed Solution: Disable the market for good.
2) What is the purpose of families? The game has focuses on playing as in individual, within a family, and within an alliance. Since the alliance feature has been disabled, people mostly play to win size or NW as a family, taking specialized roles and coordinating within a family (although some people get hung up on getting high ranks with individual size or NW). This is absolutely integral to the game and this change blurs the line of what the purpose of the family is and what the goal of the game is. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Milky Way will somewhat lose its identity as the family galaxy. If the goal is to make the game more individual focused, then families should be removed from the game and players should be placed as individual families with the option to make allies (this is what Supernova already exists as). Keeping the structure of families while breaking down most of the reasons to play alongside family members is a bad idea. It gives lots of information in family news and access to family forums that cannot be hidden from family members, which presents issues with potential spies and rogue family members.
Proposed Solution: Disable the market. Preventing families from funding other families preserves some of the family structure and provides an incentive for players to work within their families and play with eco strategies that provide for all their needs.
3) New players. As a leader, I have never once removed anyone from one of my families because they were new, bad at the game, or had a difficult personality. Those were very difficult decisions and arguments with other family members to allow certain people to stay around. With the ability for a player in your family to get aid from other families and then legally blow up your family from within, there is little to no incentive to allow players to remain in families other than those you know and fully trust. I foresee that most families will be marking all players rogue/inactive who are new/bad/disliked and removing them at the nearest opportunity. Having the 8 explores or the starting resources from that family slot doesn’t matter nearly as much with allies and cross family aiding being allowed.
Proposed Solution: Remove the ability to play anonymously and bring back Virgo (and remove the market). It will still be a very tricky issue though.
4) Morale. Just like gold and the ability to build 8 exploration ships a day, morale is a limited resource. Members of families choose races and roles to specialize and form a well rounded unit as a family, giving the large fleets to a few attackers, who are then limited by morale on how many attacks they can make. In huge alliance wars, it is extremely common for people to take advantage of the morale limitations and pass planets to very small players so that retaking will cost huge amounts of morale. Without legal IA this isn’t as much of an issue, since the choice to make some people stay very small means a loss of resources and growth within the family. But in an alliance that includes half the galaxy, having one or two very small players provides a very small disadvantage in exchange for a huge advantage in morale. Fighting many families on all sides is very difficult from a morale perspective, and only being able to declare war on 2 families at once is not nearly enough to provide enough morale to adequately defend yourself. Morale is meant to help balance the galaxy in favor of smaller families. With IA allowed, those small families have the ability to be helped by forming alliances, and the morale protection is no longer needed.
Proposed Solution: Significantly lower the morale cost for all attacks or remove morale entirely; remove the 2 war declaration limit.
To conclude, thanks to everyone who read all of this. Pie, I want to thank you for everything you do for the game. You do a great job and I totally understand why you can’t keep up the ability to keep the no IA rule around. This is one of the most fun rounds I’ve played and I hope future rounds continue to be as fun and as competitive.