Settlement priority list on landrush page - a target for spies


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

On the landrush page, you can see the settlement priority list for the guild you have joined. Apparently this information is being targeted by spies who join a guild and then leave after they've seen the list.

This could be seen as valid strategic moves and completely allowed or as a cheap way of working the system that is annoying or worse.

Does the settlement priority list really need to be available on the landrush page to all accepted applicants to the guild?

Is there some good reason why the list needs to be there or should the devs maybe hide it from being viewed?

Goblin Squad Member

We've had some reports, here on the boards, of groups recording their priorities in such a way as to mislead such spies. Some simply select "ABCDEFG...", while others actively make things appear different than they really are.

The only order that matters is the one in place at midnight on Sundays; that's the real target, but, properly managed, there's little time for spies to generate action.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes that is obviously one way to deal with it. But might it not be better to just not display that information on the page?

Goblin Squad Member

Just for anyone curious, Golgotha wants W. Not sure we had made that clear... don't need to come spy on us.

Goblin Squad Member

I would say take it away. If the guild leader wants to publish the list or discuss draft strategies with his members, he can do that offsite.

Goblin Squad Member

Given that Goblinworks explicitly expected--a case can be made for explicitly encouraged--espionage, perhaps this is one of the tools they made available to those who choose to use it.

Goblin Squad Member

If that's the intention, it's not a good implementation. Without any mechanism for communication between applicants and guild recruiting/security, bouncing into a guild to check its list is not a Meaningful Human Interaction.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm not a Guild leader, so I'm uncertain of the mechanisms, but I've not heard any vote is required to be accepted simply because it's offered. If one's had no contact from a potential vote, why accept if one has security concerns?

If one's decided not to give contact information, how can one be interested in both votes and security? It seems the Meaningful Human Interaction begins in the mind of anyone creating a Guild :-).

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:

I'm not a Guild leader, so I'm uncertain of the mechanisms, but I've not heard any vote is required to be accepted simply because it's offered. If one's had no contact from a potential vote, why accept if one has security concerns?

If one's decided not to give contact information, how can one be interested in both votes and security? It seems the Meaningful Human Interaction begins in the mind of anyone creating a Guild :-).

When I dealt with the Hagarrssons joining I was only dealing with the spokesperson. Yes - I could have asked for the names - so I happily accepted the next 6 applicants. So far I wasn't even aware everyone can see the list and preference.

And yes - I would be 15 members down if I told people to contact me beforehand with the necessary information. I try to appeal to random PFS players - as such several don't bother to contact me.

Some I managed to figure out later who most of them are. Some I even knew pledged to join but not the name with which they join.

As a leader it is difficult to be told - be safe. Especially if it means maybe losing out on a spot higher up in the ranking.

Goblin Squad Member

As in everything in life, we balance risks vs rewards. In this case, increasing our position by accepting members we know nothing about is the reward for not knowing who may look at where we plan to go and what they might do about it.

Goblin Squad Member

Thod wrote:
...I wasn't even aware everyone can see the list and preference.

You've pointed out a nasty little trap I'd not seen. As a member of a Guild, I knew I could see my leader's choices of Settlement-priority, but I'd not considered that a leader, without asking other members, might not be aware of that.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, what is lost if the list is hidden?

  • the ability to easily spy on other guilds (can still infiltrate their website or forums and find what you need there)
  • guild members have to trust their guild leader (less transparency)

    What is gained?

  • no reason to think twice about accepting Landrush votes
  • less frustration and paranoia
  • smoother Landrush proceedings (it's supposed to be inclusive and encourage people to cast and accept votes in order to draw people in if I'm not mistaken)
  • potential for hurt feelings and drama that hurts the community decreases

    I think there are more clever and interesting ways to spy on other guilds and it would overall be a good thing to separate the Landrush voting from that kind of activity. Hiding the list is surely a trivial thing to do for the developers and I don't see any huge drawbacks from doing so.

  • Goblin Squad Member

    Wurner wrote:
    So, what is lost if the list is hidden?

    Unfortunately, you're not likely to enjoy my answer. Fortunately, it's only mine, and thus not likely the truth.

    Goblinworks has 20 people, including both Ryan and Lisa--only six of them programmers--who are trying to works out the kinks in Alpha we've seen reported in other threads, along with who-know-how-many more we've not heard of, but were reported by the Alphas themselves during play, while simultaneously continuing the relentless march to Early Enrollment. I can't imagine they have much time to look at the Land Rush site, much less to re-write it.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Does knowing this information make any difference?

    If all the priority orders were public knowledge, would that change your decisions about your own list?

    If I have 15 members, knowing that a guild with 20 members wants the same hex I do, doesn't help me get that hex.

    Maybe I'm just not seeing a scenario, so someone could explain the advantage to me?

    Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

    Well - there is one way to fight back. Take note of each member joining and name and shame the ones leaving.

    I started a list of everyone after I accepted our first spy. Since then I will know the GW name of any further one. Maybe large alliances rotate spies - but not everyone even in a large group volunteers for such work.

    So let's start a name the spy thread here. Unfortunately I can't offer names. The one left to quickly and I was to unorganised at the time.

    Goblin Squad Member

    There are some obvious ways to manipulate the membership for your allies and help them get settlements, especially for the top three that are not accounting for the larger numbers. Their uncounted members can sign up with a group they want to help position that next week, then drop out to help another group the following week. In fact I am sure that is happening a lot. You just can't see who it is. And I am certain that is not the way the system was intended when the top three were awarded their "free" positions. Just because something is not explicitly prohibited does not mean it is allowed, but this is how children push their boundaries, and learn what a leather belt can do!

    Goblin Squad Member

    Thod wrote:
    ...name the spy...

    Once we're in-game, will knowing the spy's board-name assist anything? I'm uncertain how many folks will have a name anything like their board-presence; it's easy to see I won't.

    Goblin Squad Member

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Hardin Steele wrote:
    ...especially for the top three...

    Each of the Land Rush 1 "winners" has pledged not to interfere directly in the voting for Land Rush 2, and I've yet to see suggestions they're not honouring both the letter and spirit of those pledges. I believe their "influence" has extended only to making friends and planning together with those friends, not to handing over accounts for voting.

    Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

    T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
    Thod wrote:
    ...name the spy...
    Once we're in-game, will knowing the spy's board-name assist anything? I'm uncertain how many folks will have a name anything like their board-presence; it's easy to see I won't.

    Assume that at the moment a single spy will infiltrate numerous guilds - one after the other. That would allow leaders to selectively not include these names.

    It's the best possible option right now as leader - apart of not accepting anyone without previous recommendation or other background check.

    Goblin Squad Member

    @JazzIvraz,
    I only did so much HTML coding and it was a long time ago but I'd think removing a list from a page would amount to not much more than opening a document, selecting a few rows of code and deleting it. However I'm not demanding that they do it, my reason for starting this thread is to show that me (and apparently, others as well) don't see that having the list displayed is such a good idea. They may or may not decide to take action and I'll respect that decision. Also, I want to thank you for providing counter arguments and keeping the discussion going in a polite manner.

    Goblin Squad Member

    More discussion, more visibility for your concern :-).

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