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      Cyber Nations Forum Rules   07/03/2016

        Cyber Nations Forum Rules  
      In the process of registering on this forum, all players--including you--agreed to accept these terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of Invision Power Board. In doing so you essentially signed an electronic contract pledging to have read the rules and TOS and agreeing to follow the rules and TOS as written. It is your continued responsibility to read, follow, and keep up-to-date with the CN rules.
      The following are basic guidelines for use of the Cyber Nations community forum. Anyone caught disobeying these guidelines will be issued a warning. The forum staff works on a five warn limit policy unless the situation calls for more appropriate action ranging from a verbal warning to a double warn and suspension to an immediate ban, etc.   Just because something is not listed specifically here as illegal does not mean it's allowed. All players are expected to use common sense and are personally responsible for reading the pinned threads found in the Moderation forum. Questions regarding appropriateness or other concerns can be sent via PM to an appropriate moderator.   A permanent ban on the forums results in a game ban, and vice versa. Please note that the in-game warn system works on a "three strikes you're out" policy and that in-game actions (including warnings and deletions) may not be appealed. For more information regarding in-game rules please read the Cyber Nations Game Rules.   1.) First Warning
      2.) Second Warning
      3.) Third Warning (48 hour suspension at the forum)
      4.) Fourth Warning (120 hour suspension at the forum)
      5.) Permanent Ban   Game Bans and Forum Bans
      If you receive a 100% warn level on the forums, you will be subject to removal from the forums AND have your nation deleted and banned from the game at moderator(s) discretion.   If you are banned in the game, then you will be banned from the forums.   Process of Appeals
      Players may not appeal any in-game actions. This includes cheat flags, canceled trades, content removals, warn level increases, nation deletion, and bans from the game.   Players may appeal individual forum warnings. You may only appeal a warning if you can show with evidence that it was unwarranted or unduly harsh. If a reasonable amount of time has passed (no less than one month and preferably longer) in which you have demonstrated reformed behavior than you may request a warning level reduction. Wasting staff time with inappropriately filed reports and/or unfounded appeals will result in a warn level raise. Repeat incidences will result in a ban from the forum.   Bans are permanent. Banned players may appeal to the Senior Staff if they believe grounds exist (very, very rare) in which they state their case with evidence and why explain why they believe they deserve to be allowed back into Cyber Nations. This process is not quick and the investigation into cases may last three minutes or three weeks or more depending on the individual situation.   The only place where discussion of moderator action is acceptable is in the appropriate Moderation forum. Posting commentary on or disagreement with moderator action elsewhere will result in a warn level raise.   Posting
      All posts must be in English. Common phrases in other languages will be allowed so long as they are translated upon request. Foreign languages are permitted in signatures and avatars, however.   Certain areas of the forum require you to have a nation in either standard CN or CN:TE. If you have...   A SE and a TE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your SE nation or ruler name. You are allowed to post in either SE or TE areas of the forum. You must have your CN:TE nation name listed in your profile to post in the CN:TE section of the forum.
      Just an SE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your SE nation or ruler name. You are not allowed to post in any TE areas of the forum.
      Just a TE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your TE nation name or ruler name. Your must have your CN:TE nation name listed correctly in your profile. You are not allowed to post in any of the SE areas. You are allowed to post in the water cooler, question center and the moderation forums. Other than that, all your posts need to stay in the TE area.   Flame/Flamebait/Trolling
      Flaming is expressing anger or lobbing insults at a person/player rather than a character, post, idea, etc. Flamebait are posts that are made with the aim of targeting/harassing/provoking another user into rule-breaking. Trolling is submitting posts with the aim of targeting/harassing/provoking a specific group into rule-breaking. Forum users should not be participating in any of these, and doing so will result in a warning.   Topic Hijacking
      Hijacking is forcing the current thread discussion off of the original topic and usually results in spam or flame from either side. Forum users found hijacking threads will be given a warning.   Repeat Topics
      One topic is enough. Repeat topics will be locked, removed, and the author given a warning. Users found creating repeat topics after others were locked by staff will receive a warn raise.   Joke Topics
      Topics created as a joke are prohibited. Joke topics will be locked and the author warned. This includes topics in which the author is making an announcement “for” another in-game alliance. Humorous threads are permitted; it is up to the discretion of the moderation staff to determine what is merely satire and what is actually a joke topic.   Spam
      Spam is defined as creating posts or topics containing only contentless material of any kind. Users found spamming will receive a warning. Examples include (but are in no way limited to) posts containing nothing but smilies, "+1", "QFT", "this" any other one/few-word contentless combination, joke threads, or posts containing quotes and anything that counts as spam by itself. Adding words to a post with the express intent of avoiding a spam warn will result in a warning. These posts and other similar contributions have no substance and hence are considered spam. Posts of "Ave", "Hail" or any other one word congratulatory type are acceptable as one word posts. Emoticon type posts such as "o/" without accompanying text is still not allowed. Posts containing only images are considered spam, unless the image is being used in the Alliance Politics sub-forum and then the actual text of the image be placed into spoiler tags.   Posting in All Caps
      Posting large amounts of text in capital letters is not permitted. Use discretion when using your caps lock key.   No Discussion Forums
      There are forums that are not for discussion and are used strictly for game and forum staff to address certain issues, bugs, etc. The following forums are not open to discussion: Report Game Abuse, Report Forum Abuse, and Warn/Ban Appeals. Only moderators and the original poster may post in a thread, period, with absolutely no exceptions. Users found disobeying this guideline will receive an automatic warning for each offense.   Moderation Forums
      All Moderation forums also maintain pinned threads clearly marked as required reading before posting. Failure to read and follow required reading and procedure in a Moderation forum will result in a warning. Examples include posting requests in the wrong forum, failure to include all required information in posts, etc. The standard of conduct and enforcement of rules in Moderation forums is strictly enforced and the repercussions for disregarding rules or disrespecting staff are harsh. Read the pinned threads before posting and you will be fine.   Namecalling
      Excessive or unqualified namecalling is not allowed in IC forums; namecalling should also never make up the bulk of a post. Namecalling is prohibited entirely in all OOC forums.   Filtered Words
      Any attempts to evade the word filter will result in a warning. The terms we have filtered are filtered for a reason and no excuse for evasion will be accepted. Filter evasion includes censoring or deliberately misspelling part of a filtered word.   If you link to a website, image, video, etc., containing profanity, please post a disclaimer before the link. The moderation staff may still remove links if the content is deemed too obscene.   Harassment
      Forum users should not be stalking/harassing others on the forums. Anyone found stalking players from topic to topic, etc., will be subject to a warning.   Gravedigging
      Gravedigging is not allowed anywhere on the forums. Gravedigging is "bumping" old topics which haven't been active for quite some time (four to seven days is standard depending on the nature of the thread and how many pages back it had been pushed before bump). Your warn level will be raised if you are caught doing this.   The Suggestion Box and Black Market forums are partial exceptions to this rule. Suggestions/ideas in that forum may be posted in regardless of age PROVIDING that the reviving post contains constructive, on-topic input to the original topic or discussion. Black Market threads may be bumped by the author if there is new information about the offered exchange (i.e open aid slots). In the Player Created Alliances forum it will not be considered gravedigging to bump a topic up to a year old, so long as the alliance in question still exists and it is not a duplicate thread.   Signatures
      Those who fail to read and abide by these rules will have their signatures removed and receive a warning.   You may have only one image per signature which may not exceed the maximum size of 450 pixels wide by 150 pixels tall. You may have no more than 8 lines of text and text size cannot exceed size 4. Each quote-tag, image and empty line count as a line.   Inappropriate Images and Other Disallowed Images
      Images that are sexual in nature or have sexual overtones are prohibited. It is up to the discretion of the moderation staff to determine what constitutes sexual overtones. Depictions of kissing are permissible provided there are no sexual implications. Images depicting female nipples are prohibited outright.   Making “ASCII art” is prohibited regardless of the image depicted.   Using photos or likenesses of another Cyber Nations player is also prohibited.   Drug References
      Images and posts promoting illegal drug use are prohibited. References to drugs are acceptable only if the moderation staff deems that it is not promoting the use thereof.   Obscene Content and/or "Account Suicide"
      Anyone caught posting vulgar material (including but in no way limited to pornography, "gross," "tubgirl," "lemonparty," photos depicting RL illegal acts such as violence towards humans or animals, child pornography, death photos, and any other obscene or offensive material in either text form or picture form) will have their account(s) permanently banned, and their ISP contacted along with any other applicable internet and RL authorities.   OOC Threats / Revealing Personal Information
      An OOC threat of any nature will equate to an automatic ban from the game and forums. Likewise, the publishing of personal information of any other player without their explicit permission is grounds for warning and/or a ban from the game depending on the severity of the offense.   Death Threats / Death Wishes
      A death threat or a death wish of any nature (including but not limited to telling another player to commit suicide) will result in at very least a 40% warn level increase and 2 day suspension from the forums, with harsher punishments, including a complete ban from the forums and game, up to the discretion of the moderation staff.   Quoting Rulebreaking Posts
      Do not quote any post with obscene content or any other content that has to be removed by the moderation staff. Doing so makes it more difficult for the moderation staff to find and remove all such content and will result in a warn level increase. Putting rulebreaking posts of any kind in your signature is prohibited.   Forum Names
      With the exception of moderator accounts, all forum accounts must match up exactly with the ruler name or nation name of your in-game country. Those found not matching up will be warned and banned immediately. Forum account names may not be profane or offensive.   Multiple Forum Accounts
      With the exception of moderators, if you are caught with multiple forum accounts, the multiple account(s) will be banned, warn level raised, and your identity will be announced by a moderator to the CN community so rule-abiding players can take IC action against you. Multiple forum account offenders will receive a varying percentage warn level raise and/or a permanent ban on a case-by-case basis.   Posting For Other Players
      Posting for banned or suspended players is prohibited, as is posting for any person without a nation. This includes making warn and ban appeals on their behalf.   Imitation &. Impersonation
      Imitation in terms of this forum is mimicking the posting, avatar, or signature styles of another user in an attempt to be satirical or generally humorous. Impersonation in terms of this forum is copying the posting, avatar, or signature styles of another user in order to present the illusion that the person is in fact that user. Imitation is fine and can be quite funny. Impersonation is disruptive and is warnable. Please pay attention to the subtle difference between these two concepts.   A player may not impersonate another player by emulating the characteristics of someone else's past or present account in an attempt to harass, stalk, or flamebait. Creating a new forum account in an attempt to impersonate a standing account will result in deletion and banning without notice.   Any attempt at imitation and/or impersonation of moderators and game staff is strictly prohibited and will be met with harsh repercussions.   Avatars
      Size for avatars is limited by the forum mechanics, therefore there is no size issue for a user to worry about. Avatars must be in good taste, and any avatar containing a picture that is too violent, disgusting, sexually explicit, insulting to another player or staff member, etc. will be removed. Avatars that are potentially seizure inducing will not be permitted. Players may not "borrow" the avatars of any moderator past or present without permission.   Swastikas and Nazi Imagery
      The swastika may not be used in signatures or avatars. Pictures of swastika's are acceptable for use in the In Character (IC) sections of the roleplay forums, so long as its context is In Character, and not Out Of Character. Pictures of Hitler, mentioning of the Holocaust, etc... have no place in the roleplay forums, since these people and events existed in real life, and have no bearing or place in the Cyberverse. Other Nazi or SS imagery is forbidden in all forums.   Moderation Staff
      The revealing of the private identities of any Cyber Nations staffers past or present is strictly prohibited, and thus no speculation/accusation of identity is allowed. Doing so is grounds for moderator action against your account appropriate to the offense, including a full forum/game ban.   Claims of moderator bias should be directed to the highest level of authority--the Head Game & Forum Mod/Admin, Keelah. Claims of moderator bias without supporting evidence is grounds for a warning.   Blatant disrespect of the moderator staff is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to spoofing moderator accounts in any way, sig/avatar references, baiting, flaming, rude demands, mocking, attitude, and unsubstantiated claims of bias. They are volunteers hired to enforce the rules. If you have a problem with the way a moderator is enforcing the rules or the rules themselves please contact Keelah.   Attempting to use the moderation staff as a weapon by abusing the report system in an attempt to get another player warned or banned is strictly prohibited.   Do not ask about becoming or campaign to become a moderator. The moderators are drawn from CN membership but moderation positions are by invitation only. Asking to become one will substantially decrease your chances of ever being asked.   Aiding Rule Violators
      Any user found to know of a serious rule violation without reporting it to a game moderator (eg. knowledge of a user with multiple nations) will be given a warning or, in more serious cases, have their nation deleted.   Aiding Banned Players
      Any user found to be harboring, aiding or otherwise knowingly helping a banned user will be deleted. This includes knowing of their existence within the game without reporting it to the game-moderation staff.   Questionable Actions and Content
      The forum rules are not designed to cover every scenario. Any action that is seen to be counter-productive or harmful to the forum community may be met with moderator action against your account. The Cyber Nations Moderation Staff reserves the right to take action against your account without warning for any reason at any time.   Private Transactions
      Nation selling and other private transactions via such auction sites like eBay is against the Cyber Nations terms and conditions. While our moderators cannot control what people do outside of the game you are not allowed to promote such private exchanges on our forums without expressed permission from admin only. Anyone found to be engaging in such activity without permission will be banned from the game.   Advertising
      Advertising other browser games and forums is prohibited. Soliciting donations towards commercial causes is also prohibited. If you wish to ask for donations towards a charitable cause, please contact a moderator before doing so.   Extorting Donations
      Donations are excluded from any kind of IC payment. Anyone found extorting others for OOC payments will be warned in-game and/or banned.   Third Party Software
      Third party software is not allowed to be advertised on these forums by any means (post, signature, PM, etc). These programs can easily be used to put malware on the user's computer, and as such can cause huge security issues. Anybody who is caught spreading links to these will at the very least have their warning level increased.   Other Forum Terms & Rules   Please take a moment to review these rules detailed below. If you agree with them and wish to proceed with the registration, simply click the "Register" button below. To cancel this registration, simply hit the 'back' button on your browser.   Please remember that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. USE THE WEB SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. We will not be liable for any damages for any reason. THIS WEB SITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS IS," WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.   The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this bulletin board. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary.   You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this bulletin board to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.   You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this bulletin board.
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I feel the need to comment on this issue due to this possibly being the most egregious case of treaty chess I have seen in some time.

Treaty chess is the cynical exploitation of treaties built around trust, common interest and friendship between two or more alliances in order to negate the ability of an alliance to receive assistance from their allies. This can take two forms:

1) Chain-baiting.

Chain-baiting is the result of an alliance having a treaty or treaties that make it extremely inconvenient to directly attack, thus triggering all manner of defensive treaties. The treaty-chess player instructs an alliance or alliances to attack the desired targets less well connected allies in order to compel the target alliance to "take the bait" and attack the bait alliance. Due to agreements made prior to the war, this relieves obligations of defense due to non-chaining clauses, opposing coalitions, or whatnot.

2) Treaty Conflicts.

The second and more commonly used exploitation of treaties in treaty chess is to get alliances to counter or attack a target alliance where the attacking alliance has treaties which are also held by the target alliance, therefore making it impossible for the target alliance's allies to defend them without violating their treaty with the attacking alliance.

The first instance I find more acceptable than the second, as the target in the first instance, their allies should recognize what is going on and defend their ally regardless. The second instance I have long considered to be an abuse, and alliances should not agree to be used in that way.

The rationale for treaty chess and the arguments as to why treaty chess is ok that I have heard largely involve the treaty web, and how offensive action is inherently more difficult than defensive action (due to there being a hell of a lot more mutual defense clauses than optional aggression clauses) but ultimately treaty chess involves exploiting the ties that bind alliances together for cynical ends. This goes both ways. Not defending an ally because they are obvious bait does not diminish the fact that they are still your ally, and they signed their treaty in good faith with you.

Treaty chess is the ultimate dehumanizing element of coalition warfare, it reduces your alliance down to a NS value and a treaty list. Alliances that do not contest being exploited or sacrificed for treaty chess abandon their sovereignty in exchange for better odds for "the coalition", but where will the coalition be when the war is over? Your coalition partner today ordering you to hit your ally's ally instead of defending your own ally is your enemy tomorrow, who rejoices at your diminished state, fewer allies, and damaged credibility.


Might Makes Right?

This phrase, "Might Makes Right" I have been seeing this a lot lately, used to criticize both coalitions. The Doom Squad coalition using the phrase to morally criticize the Disorder War, and the Polar coalition using the phrase to criticize the actions of alliances such as the Doombirds who attack people several times smaller than they are on a regular basis.

The problem is, might does make right. It is not a pithy phrase, we live in a brutal world where the law of the jungle reigns supreme. The only reason there is any peace or safety for anyone in this world is the various consequences that would be inflicted upon a nation that "went rogue" and attacked a protected nation.

Ultimately, the issue is sovereignty. Sovereignty is not an inherent value in an alliance, despite the fact that social norms would dictate that alliances should be viewed as sovereign entities. In my own view, an alliance is not sovereign unless it can defend itself (maybe not win, but defend itself) when attacked, has complete control over their own foreign policy and vigorously defends both when challenged. If an alliance fails to defend its members from attack or allows their foreign policy to be dictated by a third party, they cease to be sovereign as they have surrendered their sovereignty.

Too many alliances take their sovereignty for granted. They surrender their foreign policy to an ally or powerful blocmate, they do nothing when attacked by powerful rogues and cower in the corner. Take back your sovereignty, stop being so complacent and scared.


CN is a classic Darwinian environment, where you either adapt to the environment and carve out an ecological niche, or you are ground into hamburger in short order. That's not to say that it is a rigid and unchanging environment, indeed one thing CN has going for it is constant revolution against the established order. Whether it be from boredom, desire for revenge, paranoia about impending revenge, fear and loathing, drugs and alcohol or even by accident, the status who is constantly being tossed into the woodchipper and buried out back in black plastic bags.

I personally see 5 factors at play that work to make CN the place that it is, and once you understand how these factors play out, the bizarre turns in CN almost seem to make sense, almost. They are not negative and indeed all play into CN's political dynamism.

1: Tribalism

CN is also a classic tribal society. Most of the grudges people carry and alliances people hate have little reason to do so beyond the fact that they are "their enemies". Because it's a tribal and not logical society, all of that tribes "greater tribe" (sphere, bloc, blob of allies, what have you) all decide to adopt the grudge as well because "Tribe before brain". People will be hostile to people just because of what alliance they're in, even if they just met.

2: Tall Poppy Syndrome

Either due to envy, avarice, fear and loathing, paranoia, or again drugs and alcohol, alliances and individuals who are noteworthy, powerful or "in power" in the hegemonic sense, end up on various people's "lists" for individuals or alliances they need to "deal with". The obsession with DBDC currently is a classic example of this phenomenon. Tall poppy syndrome is a neverending and self-perpetuating process as the very act of removing a mighty, hegemonic or extraordinary alliance requires an equally herculean coalition with similarly extraordinary alliances, who then become the new tall poppies.

3: Boredom

The grease of diplomacy, war and collapse. Boredom is the great motivator and the cull that ends our nations when it reaches a crisis point. Boredom can bring people to do things they wouldn't do in this game even if they were drunk, especially with leaders who have impulse control issues. Boredom compels people to leave stagnant alliances, to found new initiatives, to try new things and innovate. Our eternal struggle against being bored we will ultimately never win, but the journey is what is important.

4: Immortality

Our nations cannot die until we decide they do, and even then, with rule changes they won't even die THEN. We continue on forever, slowly accumulating cynicism and land growth. We remember the good old days, the bad old days, the indifferent old days, the days we wish we could forget and the days we can't quite remember. Grudges of yesteryear for people to bring up tomorrow in an argument over something only you still remember. It's the equivalent of if George Washington was still alive and still pissed off at Benedict Arnold for switching sides 230 years ago.

5: Ambition

CN is a game where an ambitious leader can forge a grand vision, and due to a combination of boredom, drugs and alcohol, apathy and tribalism, vast armies will follow their, occasionally delusional or stupid grand design. It is a fabulous environment to be a Machiavellian genius or a tinpot Napoleon. Anyone who isn't a complete moron with a hint of ambition and relatively active can rise to high leadership and embark on their quest to leave their mark on the world.

These factors all blend together to constantly leave the political environment of CN, even in its most calcified state, fundamentally unstable and gloriously shaky. It's like we're all living in a 19th century South American dictatorship and there's a coup every 3 months or so.


For those alliances who have been in the unique position of having the Sword of Damocles above their heads, it is an interesting experience. Knowing your doom is sealed and the barbarians are at the gates, the fix is in, your goose is cooked, and the question becomes not if or how your doom will be realized, but when.

I have had an especially personal connection with the Sword of Damocles upon the great world of Bob. The Sword of Damocles is a good old friend of mine who has hovered over my head since I arrived on this world, and decided to join NPO right as everyone on earth had decided they should be destroyed.

After I left for RIA, from there the Sword swung around quite a bit, from the BiPolar war, briefly swung away from us only to point straight at us after we pissed off everyone on Bob in the wake of PB/NpO. Above our heads, for the next two years, the Sword would remain, to occasionally drop down and rend our flesh. It became almost a character of our being, a constant of the world was that we would get rolled, we would fight like madmen and bleed everywhere, but that sword wasn't going anywhere.

Then all of a sudden, it was gone. It was like someone had snuck in at night and stolen it, and I suppose in a way that is what happened. After years of guerrilla war with not so much peace treaties as ceasefires, things had shifted. The Sword of Damocles hovered over the heads of others.

I know though, that the Sword of Damocles will return one day, it always does. Be you not arrogant in your manner nor secure in your fortress of treaties, for no man is immune to the whims of fate.

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