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Punishing Spies and Traitors
Kiithnaras posted a topic in Current Feature Improvement SuggestionsI've been pondering how to best deal with spies and subversive elements over the past few weeks, and I've come to the conclusion that the Tribunal forum section is grossly ineffective and little more than a writhing cesspool of the vocal minority that results in no appropriate punitive action being taken. At the same time, I do genuinely enjoy the presence of spies and traitors, in a meta-game sense, in that it keeps things interesting and organic and helps prevent stuffy stagnation. The other side of this coin, however, is the frustrating lack of agency regarding said subversive individuals. I want to preface this with the stance that I do not want these people removed from the game or banned in any lasting or tangible sense, but having no recourse to put a stop to an individual spy's activities is immensely frustrating. What I have envisioned involves the introduction of Outlaws, national Admiralties, and a jury-like Admiralty Council. As always, I welcome feedback and constructive criticism. Creating the Admiralty Council During the course of play, certain activities that include sinking Enemies (see politics suggestion in signature), War opponents, or Pirates will generate Admiralty points. Completing Delivery missions to your nation's capital or sending prizes to the Admiralty will also generate points, but at a significantly reduced rate. The twelve players with the most admiralty points generated in the past two weeks would be selected to be on the Admiralty Council and given access to a new Admiralty tab in port. This represents an active trust and vested interest in the Nation that is recognized by the Admiralty. Active players must stay active to maintain their seat on the Council; Every two weeks, new council members are selected based upon the past two weeks' activities. Should a sitting Council member fall below another player, any pending Judgements will have removed members' votes removed as well and their timeframe extended to the full week. Laying Down Judgement These admiralty points would count toward normal admiralty store purchases, but one of these purchases would be a Traitor Judgement, taken out against a specific player. The cost for this Judgement should be significant to prevent spamming, approximately a week's worth of playtime or more for an active player. Once the Judgement is taken out and the valid, specified player name provided (the Subject), the Council is notified of the Judgement and votes twice on it; the first round of voting is to determine the validity of the claim on the individual, and the second round determines sentencing. Not only is the Council notified of the Subject of the Judgement, but each Judgement also lists the player responsible for initiating the Judgement (the Plaintiff). The options available for sentencing would wholly depend on the results of voting. The subject of the Judgement is -not- automatically notified when the Judgement is taken out against them. Multiple Judgements can not be taken against the same player at the same time. During voting, each member of the Council votes Yea or Nay against the individual with the Judgement. The vote is open for one week, but will close and resolve immediately upon the last vote being confirmed. Abstaining council members' votes are automatically counted as Nays. When a vote resolves, a new vote for sentencing is opened with options dependent upon the result of the Judgement: If there are at least 7 Yeas, the Council receives the option to vote on Censure for two weeks. Censure will severely hamper a player's ability to do business. Every purchase on the market and contracts will cost the player twice the listed gold amount. In addition, they will not be able to generate Hostility (or conduct/join Raids, see signature), collect Admiralty Points, or join Port Battles, and they will be forcibly evicted from Nation chat for the duration of their Censure. Their OW info box will specify that they are Censured. This option is intended for minor subversive elements that engage in economic espionage, joining battles only to leave or not contribute, and so on. An individual that receives a second Censure Judgement while Censured is simply refreshed to the full two weeks. If there are at least 9 Yeas and the subject has been Censured at least once in the past 30 days, the Council receives the option to Exile the subject. This decision is permanent. Outlaws are still technically members of their nation with a few interesting caveats. They are forcibly evicted from the National chat and treated like permanent smugglers; they cannot craft or open outposts in National ports, and players of that nation (as well as AIs) can actively engage Outlaws without penalty. Once a character has been labelled an Outlaw, that account is restricted from creating a new character in the same nation for 30 days. Outlaws cannot be the Subjects of further Judgements, nor can they take Judgements against other players. Similar to a Censured individual, they cannot join battles for their nation or take out Hostility missions (and will not generate hostility themselves). (might be open to options for redemption.) Outlaws are notified of their existing Outlaw status and see all of their parent nation's ships as hostile. If there are 12 Yeas and the subject has been Censured at least twice in the past 30 days or is currently an Outlaw, the Council receives the option to Execute the subject. This decision is, understandably, permanent. Once an Execution Judgement is resolved for a specified Subject, they are immediately labelled an Outlaw. If this player ever subsequently docks or logs in to a port owned by their parent nation, the character suffers summary deletion, and the account responsible is prohibited from creating a new character in the same nation for 30 days following deletion. This is a serious judgement and should only be rendered on individuals that are proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be subversive elements and traitors to the nation. Subjects that are slated for Execution are not notified of this condition. Instead, they are notified of their Outlaw status and, for all intents and purposes, treated like an Outlaw until they dock or log in at a port owned by their nation. If there are 3 or fewer Yeas (the Council is overwhelmingly opposed to the guilt of the Subject), they receive the option to Censure the Plaintiff, instead, for two weeks. This option is present to discourage false claims against loyal Subjects, encouraging Plaintiffs to be certain of the subversiveness of a Subject before purchasing a Judgement against them. If there are 0 Yeas (the Council is Unanimously opposed to the guilt of the Subject) and the Plaintiff has been Censured at least once in the past 30 days, the council receives the option to Exile the Plaintiff instead. This option exists to prevent repeated false claims on loyal Subjects and abuse of Judgements by subversive elements. Let me know what you think, gents, any feedback and changes to this suggestion are always appreciated.