Author Topic: Character Classes and One's Estate  (Read 4025 times)

Vita

  • Administrator
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 2034
    • View Profile
Character Classes and One's Estate
« Topic Start: October 07, 2014, 10:15:02 AM »
I was thinking through this and while I'm confident in my conclusions, I thought this might be a good topic for discussion and for players to have confirmed as acceptable.

It's accepted that it is not a violation of inalienable rights to give commanders more gold because they recruited whatever unit type you'd like to see more men of. Likewise, I  would conclude that it'd be okay to give extra gold to characters for being a certain class and making that generosity known.

At the same time, giving out extra gold for courtiers, diplomats, infiltrators or what have you is manual and somewhat tedious compared to the usual military refitting and getting extra gold anyway process. So I would extend this hypothetical situation to accepting that there is a strong similarity of giving extra gold and changing estate tax sizes. Also, its made quite clear that the estates are the property of the lord and they may kick you out at whim. Thus, I don't think its too much further to conclude that it would be acceptable to have estates sized at a generous amount, but only available for nobles with certain character classes, as an incentive to more of those particularly desired classes.

TL;DR - is it an acceptable method to provide generous estates to nobles of certain classes and kicking them out (or reducing estate size if you prefer) if they are no longer the desired class? You aren't preventing them from playing whatever class they desire, only from having that bountiful estate whilst they are a class you don't wish to manage that estate.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 7624
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #1: October 07, 2014, 01:22:51 PM »
I would say

TL;DR - is it an acceptable method to provide generous estates to nobles of certain classes

Yes.

Quote
and kicking them out (or reducing estate size if you prefer) if they are no longer the desired class?

No.

Because the latter is actively penalizing people for not being a certain class.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10845
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #2: October 07, 2014, 04:34:51 PM »
No.

Because the latter is actively penalizing people for not being a certain class.
I completely disagree, on several levels.

1) I'm allowed to give out extra gold based on character classes. If I start passing out 50 gold to each Warrior on every tax period, and then stop giving one of them the gold after they switch to priest, is that illegal? After all, I'm now penalizing that guy for no longer being a warrior.

2) Controlling estate sizes based on character class, or even unit type, is no different than manually handing out gold on a weekly basis using the same criteria. I tell people in Sandalak flat out that if they are recruiting SF, then I won't give them any extra gold to help with their unit. Everyone else gets whatever I have, whenever they ask. Am I actively penalizing people for recruiting a specific unit type, because I choose to actively withhold that bonus?

3) The game's tax system used to be specifically geared around controlling how much tax gold was given to each character based on their class. It was common practice to give warriors the largest tax share, infils a medium share, and bureaucrats a small share. If you changed class, you changed tax shares. The banker could even say "I don't like infils, they are dishonorable, so I will give them the minimum possible tax share", which was pretty much equivalent to a tax income of 0. Neither the game rules nor the IRs have changed since then.  If we were allowed to dole out taxes according to character class back then, and provide bonuses/penalties based on them, then there is absolutely no reason that we can't do the same now.

4) What your combination of answers does is create entitlements out of bonuses and generosity. You have stated that it's OK to be generous toward specific classes, but that once you start being generous, that generosity turns into an entitlement that cannot be withdrawn under threat of OOC punishment.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 7624
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #3: October 07, 2014, 04:51:31 PM »
I completely disagree, on several levels.

1) I'm allowed to give out extra gold based on character classes. If I start passing out 50 gold to each Warrior on every tax period, and then stop giving one of them the gold after they switch to priest, is that illegal? After all, I'm now penalizing that guy for no longer being a warrior.

That is ceasing actively rewarding, which, while it may have the same economic effect, is a qualitatively different thing than actively punishing.

Quote
Neither the game rules nor the IRs have changed since then.

I will admit that I cannot recall at precisely what time the tax system was first changed away from communism to something more region-based, but I believe that it was around the same time that the IRs were first enumerated. (This would have been in 2005-ish, when the Titan system was first established.) Even if the tax system changed a year or two later, the old system's creation considerably predates the IRs, and I don't think it's at all unfair to say that it would have been designed quite differently if the IRs had been in force at the time of its creation.

Quote
4) What your combination of answers does is create entitlements out of bonuses and generosity. You have stated that it's OK to be generous toward specific classes, but that once you start being generous, that generosity turns into an entitlement that cannot be withdrawn under threat of OOC punishment.

If the bonus is given through a specific action on your part, then withdrawing it merely requires you not to act. You not giving a bonus is not the same as you giving a punishment.

If the bonus is given by you flipping a switch, then withdrawing it requires you to act. You actively revoking a generous stipend is an act of punishment.

So yes, if you give someone a generous estate because they are an infiltrator, then you cannot revoke their estate, or demand, request, or insinuate that they should leave the estate once they have left the infiltrator subclass. To do so would be breaking the class IR, in my view.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Chenier

  • Honourable King
  • *****
  • Posts: 7747
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #4: October 07, 2014, 05:59:49 PM »
I will admit that I cannot recall at precisely what time the tax system was first changed away from communism to something more region-based, but I believe that it was around the same time that the IRs were first enumerated. (This would have been in 2005-ish, when the Titan system was first established.) Even if the tax system changed a year or two later, the old system's creation considerably predates the IRs, and I don't think it's at all unfair to say that it would have been designed quite differently if the IRs had been in force at the time of its creation.

I joined in late 2006, and that system was in place for at least a year after I joined, maybe more (I don't recall).

I do not recall the attribution-by-class to ever be mentioned in the rationale for the change, or it ever being criticized by anyone at all. The whole (and sole) intent, as far as I can remember, was to promote lord-vassal relationship and RP.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 7624
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #5: October 07, 2014, 06:19:30 PM »
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Chenier

  • Honourable King
  • *****
  • Posts: 7747
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #6: October 07, 2014, 06:47:56 PM »
No, you're quite right, and I didn't mean to imply that the system was changed because of the class IR. I do believe, however, that the fact that we had the class IR by that point informed the design of the new system.

It begs the question, though: if it never was a problem for all these years, why is it now?

I have to say that, while I supported the change back in the years, with hindsight, I think it was a huge mistake. The communistic system is a lot more fun. The new system creates way too much income disparity, with most knights not having the funds to recruit as much as they could, a good portion of nobles depending on a meager income from a border/unpopulated region for months if not years before said regions become productive, and city lords that gain ridiculous incomes, way more than they need, and that often hoard it even during war time. Overall, armies are funded much more poorly than before, which limits the potential for war, and makes a lot more wars into stalemates as realms have a hard time funding large enough mobile forces to counter enemy militia in fortified locations.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 7624
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #7: October 07, 2014, 08:49:09 PM »
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10845
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #8: October 07, 2014, 08:53:19 PM »
I will admit that I cannot recall at precisely what time the tax system was first changed away from communism to something more region-based, but I believe that it was around the same time that the IRs were first enumerated.
Nah. IRs were in the game when I joined in Feb 2006. According to the wiki, IRs started some time in early 2005. The class IR was in the game in mid-2005. The tax system changed when estates were implemented, probably some time in 2007.

And no, the tax changes had nothing to do with the IRs. There were a lot of reasons involved, but the IRs weren't any of them.

Quote
If the bonus is given through a specific action on your part, then withdrawing it merely requires you not to act. You not giving a bonus is not the same as you giving a punishment.
So I'd be OK if I enlarged all the Warriors estates by 5% the day before taxes, then changed them back after taxes were distributed. That way when that warrior changes to priest, I can just stop enlarging his estate. But if I neglect to change it back after tax day, then changing it later suddenly becomes an IR violation?

You're taking the whole thing too far. Removing a bonus is NOT the same thing as penalizing, even though we occasionally talk about that when discussing feature requests, and even if some people see it that way. My giving you a bonus does NOT entitle you to keep that bonus for all of eternity, regardless of whether I give you that bonus actively or passively. If I give you a unique item that gives +25% jousting, and tell you that if you ever change class away from cavalier you have to give it back, is it an IR violation for me to demand it back when you switch to hero?

If someone takes a 5% estate in my region, then I specifically tell him "You're a warrior? Great, I'll make your estate 10% for so long as you stay a warrior", then I drop it back to 5% when he changes to priest, I see absolutely no IR violation involved in that.  It's the same thing: I have given you something with conditions attached, and I demand it back when you no longer meet those conditions.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 7624
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #9: October 07, 2014, 09:04:10 PM »
And no, the tax changes had nothing to do with the IRs. There were a lot of reasons involved, but the IRs weren't any of them.
So I'd be OK if I enlarged all the Warriors estates by 5% the day before taxes, then changed them back after taxes were distributed. That way when that warrior changes to priest, I can just stop enlarging his estate. But if I neglect to change it back after tax day, then changing it later suddenly becomes an IR violation?

Huh?

That's a really bizarre way to try and provide incentives. If someone ever tried doing that, I think the Titans should have a discussion about whether it was an IR violation or not. For now, though, it's just too bloody convoluted for me to wrap my brain around it.

Quote
You're taking the whole thing too far. Removing a bonus is NOT the same thing as penalizing, even though we occasionally talk about that when discussing feature requests, and even if some people see it that way. My giving you a bonus does NOT entitle you to keep that bonus for all of eternity, regardless of whether I give you that bonus actively or passively. If I give you a unique item that gives +25% jousting, and tell you that if you ever change class away from cavalier you have to give it back, is it an IR violation for me to demand it back when you switch to hero?

I would say yes, it is.

I think your logic is flawed in that it would permit a realm that didn't want any of a given class (or unit type, or people going to a tournament, or inactive people) to order all estates for people in that group to be made large, and any time someone left that group, they could simply order the estates shrunk to be pointlessly small.

Quote
If someone takes a 5% estate in my region, then I specifically tell him "You're a warrior? Great, I'll make your estate 10% for so long as you stay a warrior", then I drop it back to 5% when he changes to priest, I see absolutely no IR violation involved in that.  It's the same thing: I have given you something with conditions attached, and I demand it back when you no longer meet those conditions.

Replace the class in that with going to a tournament, commanding a certain unit type, or maintaining a certain level of activity, and tell me if you think it still stays within the IRs.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Vita

  • Administrator
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 2034
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #10: October 07, 2014, 10:35:25 PM »
Tim, you wouldn't see a difference between resizing an estate and kicking one out?

This quote from the lord's management of estates heavily favored my above conclusions.

Quote
As the lord of Orde, you control its estates. You can kick out knights for any or no reason, and you can change the size and name of estates.
Changing the size of assigned estates, especially reducing them without agreement or a very good reason is often considered ignoble and may make the knights unhappy, so consider your actions carefully.

Between this and the allowance for preferentially distributing gold based on unit types allowed me to think that my conclusion was acceptable. But this is why I raised this topic for discussion as it wasn't entirely clear.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Honourable King
  • *
  • Posts: 7624
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #11: October 07, 2014, 10:44:51 PM »
Tim, you wouldn't see a difference between resizing an estate and kicking one out?

This quote from the lord's management of estates heavily favored my above conclusions.

Between this and the allowance for preferentially distributing gold based on unit types allowed me to think that my conclusion was acceptable. But this is why I raised this topic for discussion as it wasn't entirely clear.

You can also ban or fine someone for any or no reason...as long as you don't violate the IR.

Do we really need to start putting, "...unless you violate the IR" in every single page of the game? It really shouldn't need to be spelled out, especially for people like you, Vita!

The fact that there are some very narrow exceptions to the IR, allowing for positive incentives to recruit certain troop types, does not mean that any form of incentive suddenly allows you to circumvent every single IR.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

vonGenf

  • Honourable King
  • *****
  • Posts: 2331
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #12: October 07, 2014, 10:54:21 PM »
We always come back to the same problem with the IR. They're about intent, not about actions.

The IR say that you cannot ask, suggest, hint or even think that a character should change class. In fact, you should be surprised whenever you see anyone actually changing class. You need to treat a priest changing to warrior the same way you'd react if you saw footage of Pope Francis picking up a broadsword and charging the crowd at St. Peter's.

That doesn't mean you need to treat priests and warriors the same, on the contrary. If you want to direct your revenues into getting bigger broadswords, you're not going to give that money to a priest. You're going to give it to the warrior. The IR does not give you the right to a revenue, it gives you the right to be a priest if you want.

Reducing one's estate size is not the same as withholding incentives. It can be simply respecting a player's choice of class.
After all it's a roleplaying game.

Chenier

  • Honourable King
  • *****
  • Posts: 7747
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #13: October 07, 2014, 11:00:27 PM »
I'm not sure I understand. Why is what a problem now?

Modulating income by class.

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10845
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: Character Classes and One's Estate
« Reply #14: October 07, 2014, 11:00:43 PM »
Huh?

That's a really bizarre way to try and provide incentives. If someone ever tried doing that, I think the Titans should have a discussion about whether it was an IR violation or not. For now, though, it's just too bloody convoluted for me to wrap my brain around it.
Of course its convoluted, and no one would ever do that. But according to your explanation, it would be perfectly legal.

Quote
I think your logic is flawed in that it would permit a realm that didn't want any of a given class (or unit type, or people going to a tournament, or inactive people) to order all estates for people in that group to be made large, and any time someone left that group, they could simply order the estates shrunk to be pointlessly small.
I don't have to screw around with estates if I want to persecute infils/priests. I could blanket ban all priests in my realm, simply because I despise organized religion. Or I can blanket ban all infiltrators because I think they're scum. Neither one of those is an IR violation.

Quote
Replace the class in that with going to a tournament, commanding a certain unit type, or maintaining a certain level of activity, and tell me if you think it still stays within the IRs.
Doesn't work. IRs are not interchangeable like that. I am specifically forbidden from offering people incentives to not go to a tournament, because it is their IR to do so. But I *am* allowed to offer people incentives to recruit infantry, even though it is their IR to recruit whatever they want. I can also offer people incentives to change class, even though it is their IR to be whatever class they want. But I can't offer them incentives to move within the last 30 minutes before turn change.

Also, if I don't want anyone to recruit a specific unit type, I can just tear down all the RCs of that type in our realm. Not an IR violation. We've also had the discussion about priest class and temples. I can forbid someone from leaving the realm borders, and even ban them for doing so, even if their reason is that they want to leave the realm to go to a temple of their religion to become a priest.

I see the whole active/passive distribution of the gold as a red herring. It shouldn't matter whether the distribution is manual or automatic. I want to give a bonus/incentive for people who are warriors. Whether I choose to do that by manually handing out gold or making warrior's estates bigger should have absolutely no bearing at all.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.