A problem, other than the "pay to win" one, that Rail Nation still doesn't acknowledge

  • Hello,


    Not so long ago I've made a post regarding the same issue I am going to open for debate (link HERE) , but back then I've mistakenly made it to cover too many player behaviors, so instead of making the same error I am going to ask the Rail Nation to consider only one specific game action and include it in the game rules. And it just so happens that I also had an interesting exchange of thoughts with Yaenara on the same subject, and to my surprise her arguments not only supported my claims but she insisted that they actually don't..., and I was like: WHAT?


    There's also not going to be a TLDR version so don't bother asking. If you're passionate about this game and you are part of the 99% of the players that want to have a good time playing a 3 months game, you won't bother asking for one either. But in a nutshell, there has to be a way to sanction the players who deliberately ruin a city's end game, with a strong emphasis on deliberate. Now, if Rail Nation lacks the tools needed to effectively establish if an action is deliberate or not they should simply be transparent about these limitations and not, unlike Yaenara, promote a "free will" that has nothing to do with the 3.5. section of the Game Rules who, among other things, states that: "potential harmful situations or actions that strongly indicate harm is being incurred against the gameplay and/or one or more players in the game" can lead the staff to take necessary actions.


    But first, context. Rail Nation is mostly famous for it's classic version of the game where players undergo a 3 months period of delivering cargo, laying tracks, developing the train station, buying trains, leveling cities and preparing for the end game. Everything that happens in that 3 months period is dynamic and subject to change but mostly all the harmful actions that occur prior to the end game can be mitigated and don't really impact the final phase too much. But once the end game commences, any harmful action can seriously cripple the city or, even worse, make it lose. And we've all seen it happen. So while harmful actions during the 3 months period can be addresed you, I will focus only on those that occur during the end game.


    Also, let's do a reality check. Let's pick some game genres and see if they have some sort of mechanism that prevent unsportsmanlike behaviors:


    1. MOBA: In League of Legends if you intentionally feed the opposing team you can get reported and you will get sanctioned if the report holds true.

    2. FPS: Fortnite has an entire chapter dedicated to competitive game integrity and all its sanctionable aspects.

    3. MMORPG: World of Warcraft literally enforces the players to behave in a sportsmanlike manner in their interactions with the competition.

    4. SPORTS: EA staff can disqualify any FIFA player that behave unsportsmanlike and/or disrupts in regards to a competition.

    5. ARCADE: World of Tanks condemns any unsportsmanlike conduct that hampers or prevents other players' enjoyment in the game.


    I can provide sources to all of the above but let's not kid ourselves here, it's real. Almost any popular game offers a way of protecting the game play experience against the harmful actions of minority players. Rail Nation has this included, in the form of section 3.5., but the support staff choses to not act upon it, they've even clearly stated that deliberately ruining the end game by spoiling industries cannot be put under the fair play section of the game rules, which is absolutely illogic and insane, because in their explanation: no one can be forced to play a certain style.


    I'm sorry, Rail Nation, when did 99% of the players stopped being accounted as a majority? If you're asking about my 99% statement, let me tell you that in average only 5% of the players in a city will missbehave during the end game but about 1% actually do it in a deliberate way, most of them either don't know what to do or simply don't understand english. So you're effectively putting the interest of 1% above the 99%, just so you keep this game in a "free will" state of play. Which is BS and a double standard, and let me give you some examples:


    1. During an end game I've played an year or so ago I got banned because I threatened a player with a report because he was ruining our end game. Despite that ALL the online players at that time had something to say (not nice words) about the player in case, I got banned instead and he didn't even get a warning.

    2. Not some long ago a player named his team with a name that was almost similar to another team, while not ethical, it was concluded (by Yaenara) that the player's action of naming his association similar to another one was a deliberate act of causing harm.

    3. Not some long ago I've publicly accused a player of exploiting the game and gaining unfair advantage over the rest of players and while his actions proved harmful to those that struggled to reach the top, I got warned and he didn't get any.


    So why this double standard? I understand that Rail Nation can decide when harmful actions are being inflicted or not, and I agree, I have caused harm in regards to the two players stated above and it was common sense for me to get sanctioned, but what about their harmful actions? Why do theirs go unnoticed while others don't? Is it because they were maybe handled by Yaenara? I really don't think so. This is a general policy in Rail Nation and just to be clear, I have never exchanged one word with Yaenara, besides the support portal, and I've never been bother by her, I only referenced her actions to demonstrate Rail Nation's double standard when it comes to player behavior.


    But to conclude the reality check, in my brief conversation with Yaenara she made an analogy of the situation with the Olympics or any other competition for that matter where not everybody wins (referencing the end game), and while that holds true she completely ignored the fact that in a competition the competitors do not sabotage each other. You don't see athletes blocking other athletes in the 100m dash, if they do this they get disqualified. You don't see volleyball players entering the opposite team's field and try to interfere with them, they get penalized. Why wouldn't players that deliberately sabotage an end game get sanctioned? They are clearly acting unprofessional. Why leave them to play as they see fit? I fail to see the reason and I fail to see why Rail Nation would promote this clearly flawed idea.


    Game is all about winning as a city, that's why the game ends when a city is victorious. This is clearly the main battle and the players feel most engaged when the end game is played. Why on earth would you consider the scope of the game to be around proving yourself as an individual or winning as a team? If so, then your game design contradicts this scope. Therefore why don't you make it so the game ends when a player or an association hits 1 million prestige and end the game right there, no? If it's about the individual rankings or association, then by all means, make it so.


    If you would run a survey you would quickly find out that players would rather play a clean end game where every city gives its best and the winner is declared the city with the better strategy and that proved to have higher dedication or participation. You say you want to be in touch with the community, well you're failling in reading what the community wants, or feels. Have you read the forums of the cities that get sabotaged during the end game? Have you saw the level of despair, bitterness and dissapointment of the players that tried to play by the book? I'm guessing yes but you're not motivated to say something to "the boss" and really promote the idea of having an unsportsmanlike rule.


    I'll even help you out on your case. Just two days ago I've played an end game on a decently populated Origin server that had 7 cities fighting for the end game. I've signed in and checked their forum at a glance and collected three screenshots from each of the losing cities just to get an idea of the game play environment such deliberate acts generate. Due to the limitation in attachments, I will be adding the rest in the second post. You have there 3 complaints for each of the 6 cities that lost the EG. I've played in the 7th, which won, so that nobody gets the idea (like Yaenara did) that this is Mihai vs. Rail Nation and that nobody should get punished because they don't play "my way". Since I've won, I shouldn't even care, no? Yeah well I do.


    And let me tell you something else, since you are clearly missing the larger scope. You let this continue in the game and the players will not only not going waste 3 months of their time just to be laughed at by a couple of players, but they may very well do the same to other cities, effectively spreading this behavior on and on. Because in all honesty this game is riddled with fake accounts, multiple accounts or level 1 accounts all created with the single purpose of causing harm. Why do you think they are in the game? Because some player can't get enough of Rail Nation and wants to play on multiple accounts? No. Get real. Players are doing this because someone did this to them at some point.


    If you can't see it then I'm sorry, I'm just speaking to walls.

  • Mihai TheRetired

    It's not the first week you've been crying

    This is an economic game. Any sabotage and similar actions can be.

    If the city can't play the final normally, then this is a problem only for the caller(90%) and the city team

    If you don't like it, you can go play Funny Fram. Or any another game with god mode game

    The Conductor's Cup is won by a cheater who has been abusing videos for many years, who plays in a team with sharing, a multiaccount in the rank of a beginner, etc. And You have no questions about it. You are fighting windmills. But you don't want to do anything with global problems

    p.s Any competition, including unfair competition, is possible. If you cannot agree with another 100-200 players for a month, this is completely your problem.

  • Good EG callers can deal with this kind of sabotage. Annoying another megacity is a part of the game strategy and its mechanics, and it has always been like this from the moment that a factory can be burned. I know this is really upsetting, but at least everyone can do this in return so in that way it is balanced. And why talk about this only now? The game has released years ago.

  • Your first sentence was a direct jab at me as a person. I'm not even going to bother with you.

  • Good EG callers can deal with this kind of sabotage. Annoying another megacity is a part of the game strategy and its mechanics, and it has always been like this from the moment that a factory can be burned. I know this is really upsetting, but at least everyone can do this in return so in that way it is balanced. And why talk about this only now? The game has released years ago.

    I've seen great, not just only good EG callers, that couldn't deal with sabotage. You don't really experienced it since you think it's something that can be easy overcome.


    And if you think balanced means everybody is free to do it to everybody then I'm afraid that's not a game I would be willing to play. If theft was free and everybody could steal everybody, would that be a balanced world?


    I haven't talked about this now, I've talked about it last year too.

  • I was trying to say that, some players call this sabotage while others call this simple competitiveness. When you make a personal competition, what do you do? Do you invest a few money to get better WT? Synchronize your trains with the timer? Or even use boosts and/or IDs? Doesn't this spills the victory of other players? Because when they see all I have mentioned before, some players are also disgusted while others totally agree with that, and say that the winner used al mechanics that was at his reach and that the game put at his disposition.

  • This game is brilliantly designed to create discontent amongst the players. Why? To promote gold sales, so they can get an edge over an opponent. Creating rules against unsportsmanship conduct detracts from that profit.


    This game is as much about managing emotions as it is about managing mechanics. Obviously these situations regardless of who started it, both side perpetuated the conflict instead of end it. Therefore it may be one players actions, but those actions are the "fault" of many players on both sides.


    And before the innocents are mentioned, players involved in the convict could have swashed this, but they didn't care about the innocents then, so to me they can't bring them up later.

  • One simple solution is for EG, only allow a player's trains to run in the region of their home city. At least that would eliminate one region sabotaging another region. This would not stop mean spirited players from within the region.

    That only works if this is exclusively a city hauling game but it isn't.


    For example, I sometimes play by finding a neutral corner in which to develop track then hauling to as many of the megacities as I can ... which in no way interferes with their wait times before someone starts shouting at me. It is a challenge and it is fun and it is a totally legitimate way to play which would be denied by such a rule. I prefer this way of play when the city in which I landed hasn't gone anywhere to hightailing it to the winning city and joining in because there's absolutely no challenge in doing the latter.

  • Hi Mahai,

    Thank you again for raising your concerns. I want to make you aware of a number of points that perhaps might give you further clarity on the situation you described.

    I'm working on an upcoming communication about the use for rule 3.5 and the context in which you believe it should be applied, so a more detailed overview will come later. But for now I want to make this clear to you:

    1) unless there is clear evidence that a player is deliberately causing disruption or detriment to the game, we cannot and will not take action against them

    2) the game isn't just aimed at winning as a city. Players can choose to play within a city but work towards a personal goal such as trying to be the highest prestige earner on the server or trying to collect as many achievements as they like.
    You also need to remember that not all players have the same knowledge and experience of end game play mechanics and could just simply still be learning how to play end game in the most optimal way. Since the start of the Covid pandemic there have been a lot of new players join the game and not all of them have the same experience as you might have.
    Others might simply just not enjoy collaborating and are trying to win based on their own understanding of the game. There is no in-game rule that requires all players to work together as a city in the end game and to be honest, that's part of the end game economy environment and challenge.

    3) in the instances where its clear things are being exploited (multi-account abuse etc) we have a team in place to take action whenever there's evidence. There will also be an upcoming communication on that too, so please be patient whilst we work on this. Furthermore, internally we are investigating potential options to help reduce these exploits, without removing players freedom to not play independently. We'll communicate these plans over time and as they become final.

    I hope this helps to clarify some of your uncertainty.

    On another note, the communications of Yaenara are not independent of the company views. As such, they should be respected and it is certainly unacceptable to target a member of the team for communicating company views. It is belittling and borderline harassment. So please reframe from singling out members of the team or community when expressing your views. If you continue to do so, you will be removed from all our communication platforms, permanently.

    Many thanks in advance for your understanding and valued feedback.


  • Hello DippyNikki and thank you for the elaborate answer.


    1. If you are working on expanding, or at least detailing, the 3.5. section of the game rules then I will most certainly wait for that to happen and won't debate it longer until I have a chance to read it first.


    2. My remarks for the game scope being centered around winning with your megacity still holds true since the game ends when a city is victorious. No amount of debate can change this and I was only making use of it in order to raise the importance of being able to sanction someone who deliberately sabotages the city, especially during the end game.


    Having experience or not is somehow irrelevant for the subject since, at least in my case, I teach the players a lot for the 3 months period that we share together when building a city and playing the final, and I am sure I am not the only one. But even if this somehow doesn't happen it doesn't fall under the players' responsibility to establish whether the actions of a player are deliberate or not. That is something for the support team to establish, my point here was to serve a leg to stand on and to BE ABLE to report such deliberate acts since as of now you cannot.


    3. That is extremely good to hear since I strongly believe that these issues are related one to another, one leading to another to be more precise. And I have been a strong advocate for this in my previous threads and replies.


    Per your sidenote, which for all intents and purposes is a diplomatic way of warning me for an impending permanent ban, I seriously think you should read again my initial post (it doesn't contain any edits for that matter). I have done nothing but suggest things that have been well received by the community here, or at least from the players I've been in contact with. I am not your regular Joe that will simply eat the permanent ban, if it so happens, since it's clear that all I've expressed here is constructive criticism.


    But just to reiterate, I have nothing against Yaenara, we've never spoke. And as you've already stated, she speaks on behalf of the company and her being part of the staff, I can most certainly reference her statements publicly. There is nothing wrong in doing so, it's like a politician asking the media or any person to stop referencing his actions or statements, that's simply not possible. But let's not make this about Yaenara because it is not, I haven't belittle her or harass her (which is ludicrous to even mention) in any way, I've only comment on her statement, in a decent manner, and used her supposedly ticket resolutions to point out a faulty company policy.


    ... a company policy which you've just announced it's under revision.


    Have a nicer day,

    Mihai

  • ................................ you will be removed from all our communication platforms, permanently.


    ..............................................................................................................................................................

    why? because he had courage to touch some sensitive subjects?


    i hope this was only a little warning and i am looking forward to see you clarifing the 3.5 rule

  • Hi michait and all participants in this discussion.


    I read and read and I cannot understand the problem you are writing about.


    The most beautiful thing about this game is that you can't force anyone to do anything.


    But about that at the end.


    I imagine a situation where two associations have a plan to earn and collect prestige points from one city.


    There is no way they can agree on the division of the factories.


    Every now and then the factories are taken over once and once again.


    In every association there is a "michait" who every now and then writes a complaint to the support against opponents about "unsportsmanlike behavior".


    It comes to the final in this city and the situation repeats itself. Every now and then someone outbid someone's shares to bring as much goods to the city as possible.


    Question: Who is destroying the game and the finale to whom? Who doesn't play Fair?


    Michait, imagine it, so very hard and at one point you'll burst out laughing.


    Because:

    1. Does anyone have a monopoly on a factory or city? - No;

    2. Can a player carry any goods from any factory to any city? -Yes;

    3. Can someone forbid anyone to carry a given goods or from a given factory? - No;

    4. Can anyone force anyone to behave in a specific game or to refrain from such behavior? - No, because here he would be breaking the rules this game.


    Now do you see what artificial problem you brought up?


    Are you crying with laughter already? :-)



    Since you can't force anyone to do anything in this game, the only way out is to convince people of their own game strategy, goals you want to achieve, tactics for each age and how to play together.


    No spend the time you spend following other players, taking screenshots and crying out your regrets, but building your team.


    To direct their game, to define their own rules of a given game in this team, to find other teams to play together and convince these people to your idea.


    No burning of factories will destroy the finale then.


    There are much bigger problems in this game than the freedom of individual players to play.


    You don't see it.


    You prefer to prompt for artificial bans.


    This is not the way to success in this game.


    greetings

  • Mihai TheRetired

    Hello my friend!


    I fully support your idea of fair play.

    But this case cannot be solved with penalties.

    We need to change the rules of the game so that no one can harm.

    That is the only right way! You won't harm if you can't do it 8o


    An example of such fair rules:

    Zero time on all industries during end game.

    And exciting delivery rules that test team organization and strategy. (like RE: Rail Nation - Endgame - Enigma!)

  • I am already succeeding at the game, at least at the part that interests me, the screenshots I've took were all from the cities that didn't win. If you've read and cannot understand my point the let me simplify it: I am a rogue player who only wants to see your city lose because I have my reasons, and I haul every uncalled good in your city during the end game. You will always have over one minute in your hardest goods. Is this alright with you?


    As always, players are oblivious to the entire scope. Have you even read the examples I gave from some popular games out there? Why do you think they have an unsportsmanlike rule? Their QA department is probably larger than the entire Rail Nation's staff put together, so they're a big company. How do you think they've reached the decision to put it in the game rules? I'll tell you how: every now and then there's this player who simply wants to cheat, to harm, to exploit his way, to simply laugh at other people's struggles. And of course Rail Nation has this type of player too.


    I am not talking about newbies who don't know how to play, or players that make mistakes, no. If you knew me you'd know that I always ask the players, in my EG FAQ, to not publicly call out players that don't follow the call, and instead send him a private message, ask him why is he doing that and see if he needs guidance or if it has been a mistake. Don't assume I straight up want bans for those that don't follow because you would be missing out the larger scope.

  • In the words of John Lydgate (c. 1370 - c. 1431).

    “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.


    In trying to have a team game and an individual player game all in one, right now, Travarian (Rail Nation) are pleasing most of the people none of the time, and a few of the people some of the time.


    They need to decide, is this a team game or not? If not, I am out of here.


    The big problem, whether they like it or not, without the teams (at least on the Classic servers) who build the cities there is no individual player game. But, all too often the individual player who ignores the needs of the city team players is given preference. And, always he/she is permitted, if they so choose, to wilfully damage the dedicated work of hundreds of other players in the name of "freedom to play as they choose". This is particularly so during the End-Game.


    City Team players are powerless to rectify this situation. RN needs to recognise it and to change the balance of the game such that ALL players have an equal chance to win. As a team game, which is quite obviously the original design, with an end game which pits city against city the win conditions need to be aligned to that end goal. And, more importantly, the rules need to support this position.


    Right now, we have a few people who advocate a "bun fight" as a way to play the end game and they demand to have their own personal "bun fight" at the expense of hundreds or even thousands of players who have put effort, time and money into having a fair and equitable end game after 6 or 12 weeks of committed preparation.


    This could and should be a great game, but in it's current state (and I am not talking about the technical bugs)I have never and will never recommend it to anyone.

    In this world there is nothing softer or thinner than Water.

    But to compel the Hard and Unyielding it has no equal.

    (Lao-Tse)

  • Mihai (mihait? Decide what nickname you have, it will be easier for people entering the forum to find out who I am writing to)


    I have the impression that you have not read what I wrote in post above.


    You give an example of rules from other games, but RN is not one of those games.


    The example of a city and two associations that I described in the post above knocked out all your theories about fair play as you understand it.


    You didn't even refer to the situation described.


    I am not surprised, because it is not possible to apply the rules from another game to the RN and in the described case determine which side is unfair according to your rules.


    You prefer to continue to drill down to an artificial problem.


    For what?




    It's a waste of time.


    Your time.


    Time those who enter the forum to find information about the game that is important to them.


    Time support employees, because instead of spending it on learning about real problems, analyzing them and effectively fixing them.


    Spend this time collecting 150-200 active players in the game for the final, and no minute of loading will matter.


    It is real and possible.


    Give it a try, it only takes effort and time to do it.



    The easiest way is to sit in front of the computer with a beer in hand and complain on the forum.


    If you like fair play of other games, just play other games.


    It's a pity if RN stresses you out so much.



    Or even better.


    Create your own game with the rules that suit you. Put it on the web. If he's half as fascinating as RN, I'd like to play it.




    Good luck.


    Rhoswen


    I don't know how long you've been playing RN

    I have been playing from the beginning.


    Burning down the factories was, is and will be, but at one point it was so common that the finale could last a week.


    Entire federations rushed to the metropolis where they had a chance to play, only to block the final for these players.


    An instant load ticket appeared in the RN and each player received 50 such tickets for each day of the final.


    Another round of the game, following the introduction of these tickets, ended the massive burning of factories.


    The mere burning of the factories did not make sense, because a well-prepared team for the finals collected these tickets for 3 months plus 50 for the start of the finals, they were enough to effectively scare away "smokers".


    Only recently have these tickets for the final disappeared in RN.

    And it can be fixed.

    Just re-enter them and the problem will be solved.