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Why Do We Have a Yearly World War?

Lord Hitchcock

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I'm a 'newer' player compared to some of you old geezers.

I think world wars are good for planet bob, and that's neither here-nor-there. The question I have is, why do we have a yearly world war?

Easy question I thought and I asked some people and the response I have gotten is "we just do".

Sort of like the nation of brittben celebrating holloween every year, we just do- and what I am getting at is: there has to be a history of where a scheduled war period started- it is probably the most sound gentlements' agreement we have on planet bob-

So when did it start becoming a 'holiday' and why? Did someone just come out one day and say "hey, let's make this the time we all settle our disputes"...?



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Calling this next conflict a "global war" won't do it justice.

regardless, what we do know is that will occur in the coming months like clock work and it doesn't answer the origional question... why the timing? is it because it gets colder out and that's where activity picks up anyway?

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Because alliances are too chicken!@#$ to make wars more even nowadays. They also go out of their way to ally a good chunk of the alliances that were on the opposite side, thus giving us the tangled treaty web we currently have. Add in the massive inactivity of most alliances nowadays as well as the fact that a sizable portion of CN are adults with full-time jobs or full-time college and bam.

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Nations need a certain amount of time to recover post war to a level similar as before it (recover infra and warchest). This can be something like 6-8 months depending on the nation. Add to that that wars are 2-4 months long themselves , and you have a yearly schedule.

Having it more often than that would mean nations perpetually getting smaller.

The only real alternative is having smaller wars more often where it's not the same people fighting.

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Nations need a certain amount of time to recover post war to a level similar as before it (recover infra and warchest). This can be something like 6-8 months depending on the nation. Add to that that wars are 2-4 months long themselves , and you have a yearly schedule. Having it more often than that would mean nations perpetually getting smaller. The only real alternative is having smaller wars more often where it's not the same people fighting.

I agree with this.

That being said this cycle can be bypassed - after you have all the wonders and warchest. In 2012 I fought several small conflicts. To avoid draining my warchest too much I only repurchased up to 4.5k or 5k infra. The infra at this levels pays for itself quickly (if you have economic wonders). So going to war meant I were not loosing much. Due to the frequent (although short) wars my nation didn't make much progress during that year - my tech and warchest in December 2012 were at about the same level as they were in January 2012 (and of course I was buying tech constantly).

Long story short, people repurchase too much infra after war, so they need long period of peace for that infra to pay for itself.

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Nations need a certain amount of time to recover post war to a level similar as before it (recover infra and warchest). This can be something like 6-8 months depending on the nation. Add to that that wars are 2-4 months long themselves , and you have a yearly schedule. Having it more often than that would mean nations perpetually getting smaller. The only real alternative is having smaller wars more often where it's not the same people fighting.

Maybe that's what needs to happen to bring some life back into our world.

More wars = Less large nations = less of an ability to grow to such heights = less emotional investment = less pixel hugging = more wars?

We just need the first domino to fall, and to fall on someone other than the usual suspects (XX, former SF, and co.).

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A combination of the above. The tangled treaty web and the end of the taboo on nuclear weapons that lasted the first couple of years of Bob's existence means global conflicts are massively destructive. The mechanics of progress are such that most rulers feel compelled or are encouraged by alliance leaders to rebuild to pre-war levels and restock their coffers to prepare for the next one. That takes most of the year.

Small, limited, frequent conflicts would be more exciting/compelling, but would require:

  • a less tangled treaty web and a move away from the hegemony of established powers toward a more fluid multipolarity;
  • more agile and intelligent diplomacy;
  • less automatic resort to nuclear weapons;
  • some adjustments to the physics of the world so that sunk costs were no longer so heavily privileged

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This is one of the reasons I like you, Lord Hitchcock, you ask questions that most "newer" nations have but never ask in public and therefore rarely get a variety of good answers needed to understand. I joined in June 2008 and after two full years of witnessing the "cycle of violence" that happens on Planet Bob, I started looking for the answer to this as well.

Here is what I've found.

The reasons can be put into three categories:

A. Strategic. In other words, that which is most helpful for "winning" (i.e. being the hegemony) the game. This includes things like enough time to rebuild, time for the "behind the scenes" politics to be sorted out, and also (because it is a part of "making your case" in order to gain military and economic support for your side) when the side in the winning position has a "casus belli" (meaning a "justification for war") that the people needed to back them will accept. In other words, when one side or the other has enough strength/backing to be sure of a "win."

B. Real Life: When do the "powers that be" all have time. It seems odd, I know, but entire wars have been avoided or at least postponed because one leader of a necessary alliance had something more important in real life to do. Also, this is major wars tend to start and/or end around around major holidays.

C. "Tradition" and/or Habit: If it has worked for most people in the past, why change it? This is also affected by A and B (above) - it takes less time to do the same thing over and over each year than to actually plan something new and different AND it is a formula that if successfully repeated maintains the power for those who have it.

Knowing this, what next? Simple - if you want something changed then what you have to do is find a reason to change it that benefits/is argued in terms of benefiting one of the above. Then you will be far more likely to have success. On the other hand, avoid arguments that go against the above and/or argue against changes that you don't like by stating how they go against any of the above.

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This is one of the reasons I like you, Lord Hitchcock, you ask questions that most "newer" nations have but never ask in public and therefore rarely get a variety of good answers needed to understand. I joined in June 2008 and after two full years of witnessing the "cycle of violence" that happens on Planet Bob, I started looking for the answer to this as well.

Here is what I've found.

The reasons can be put into three categories:

A. Strategic. In other words, that which is most helpful for "winning" (i.e. being the hegemony) the game. This includes things like enough time to rebuild, time for the "behind the scenes" politics to be sorted out, and also (because it is a part of "making your case" in order to gain military and economic support for your side) when the side in the winning position has a "casus belli" (meaning a "justification for war") that the people needed to back them will accept. In other words, when one side or the other has enough strength/backing to be sure of a "win."

B. Real Life: When do the "powers that be" all have time. It seems odd, I know, but entire wars have been avoided or at least postponed because one leader of a necessary alliance had something more important in real life to do. Also, this is major wars tend to start and/or end around around major holidays.

C. "Tradition" and/or Habit: If it has worked for most people in the past, why change it? This is also affected by A and B (above) - it takes less time to do the same thing over and over each year than to actually plan something new and different AND it is a formula that if successfully repeated maintains the power for those who have it.

Knowing this, what next? Simple - if you want something changed then what you have to do is find a reason to change it that benefits/is argued in terms of benefiting one of the above. Then you will be far more likely to have success. On the other hand, avoid arguments that go against the above and/or argue against changes that you don't like by stating how they go against any of the above.

pretty much this and what letum said. wars back in 2006,2007 ect ect..... happened more often and were shorter. Now what we have in todays CN is mega nations who would literally take months if not years to really beat down. Personally I think more shorter wars would bring more life back in this game.

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Generally speaking I think there is a strong case to be made for the mechanics argument people have offered. That to rebuild and to grow a little more requires roughly 6-8 months. Long wars are often similarly explained in terms of time it takes to make a meaningful impact (mostly the time it takes to really damage a warchest and reduce tech levels).

I think there's also a strong case to be made for just the timescale of our politics. We've had longer stretches between major conflicts, but overall it's a balance between the risk of going too early and the risk of waiting too long. Wars are important times of transition when consensus is built (or destroyed) and alliances assess who they want to work with and who they don't. Usually the target of the next war is also staged during a current one. If you wait too long to act on that previous work you risk that consensus going stale. Essentially you signal to your friends that "you don't want this war", and you introduce uncertainty into the structure of your allies. When everyone knows who is getting rolled, they can feel confident and certain that it's not themselves, when no such presumption exists the political model starts to fall apart and people begin to look around for safe bets (which might not include you). If you go to early you expend energy organizing people for a war they aren't necessarily 'ready' for, you waste political capital, perhaps you alienate people, and you have to invest yourself into then locking down the war after that. Managing these risks seems to be what drives the cycle of war and peace here. This assumes of course that you're one of the few alliances that has a real say in when a war starts though.

On the other side of the coin, alliances that participate in wars but don't really manage them: the game is more about finding safe harbors, not making yourself a target, and lobbying up the food chain to ensure you're on the right side and not left out to dry. Alliances in this position usually also don't want war to be more frequent as its transitional nature leaves them more vulnerable.

So we usually end up waiting a while between wars. Hoping for a new era where they are shorter and more frequent (or balanced) is honestly not worth the energy- wars are too costly not to do a thorough job, and they're too risky to be 'fair'. The goal isn't to settle a disagreement, but to cripple your opponent and put a nice lead between them and yourself. You can't make wars short and proportional to an offense if the offense doesn't matter, and the war must be total if it's fought like it is: purely to maintain advantage or out of spite. In so far CB's are just an excuse to get things going, it's hard to imagine an enemy not coming for you unless you break them first.

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Interesting thoughts and thank you for the discussion. I enjoy how there are multiple answers/reasonings here and they all make sense.

Interesting to note based off of the responses that it did really start to take off around the end of 2007 and as it has been pointed out, the factors of bigger nations, a more complex treaty environment, activity on planet Bob and courting allies while plotting agaisnt enemies have all played a big factor in why yearly world wars occur in the first place.

I was under the impression that one big moment in Bob history set us all onto this cycle and as I have read from your comments- it was actually a multitude of factors that have created our yearly holiday.

And thank you for the great discussion points.

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Limited wars almost never happen around here because of the once a year global war cycle; alliances know that if they engage in a small scale war, they'll critically weaken themselves when it comes time to fight in the global war. This fuels the build up mentality; everyone is keeping their powder dry for that one giant global war that will end it all one day. This is why some global wars aren't even fought out completely.

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Limited wars almost never happen around here because of the once a year global war cycle; alliances know that if they engage in a small scale war, they'll critically weaken themselves when it comes time to fight in the global war. This fuels the build up mentality; everyone is keeping their powder dry for that one giant global war that will end it all one day. This is why some global wars aren't even fought out completely.

I understand we have a yearly cycle, and I enjoy hearing the reasoning behind it, and thank you for adding to the discussion. I wasn't sure when a yearly cycle started. My initial guess was a planet Bob 'world war I' and then following that the cycle began

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This yearly cycle has created an environment where players are trained that they can be semi active most of the year and just have to be active a few weeks till war gets hung in peace negotiations and they slip back to inactivity.

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We used to have more frequent wars, and shorter wars, but a 20 day warchest also used to be sufficient then. As the average infra level of the average nation and the lenght of wars grew so did the WC requirements, and thus the time needed to build that WC.

Maybe if we could rebuy lost infra for half the price we would have a bit more frequent wars and drama again.

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I don't think it's the price of infra at this point. I think it has more to do with how much harder it is relatively for a midtier to stock up war chest than it is for an upper tier or a lower tier.

It takes 8k infra nations a solid 9 months to restock a war chest to adequate levels, whereas nations in the 5k infra or 14k infra areas are able to build an adequate war chest in about 4-6 months. That's a nation building problem we can all solve by building differently, but most of us as players and many of us as alliances have gotten stuck in a mentality about "buying too much infra" that doesn't actually make sense at the bottom line.

In some ways that's a good thing - mid tier exhaustion is a limiting factor that ends wars, but if alliances pushed for 14k infra for all their nations that had most of their econ wonders after every war, war would become more affordable. Whether that would increase the frequency of wars? I couldn't tell you. I would imagine not, wars require a lot of activity in the upper echelons of alliance governments that I'm not sure care enough to do more than 1 war per year.

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Also you should realize that we dont need full on shooting wars to have drama.

The possibility of war helps build drama - the actual occurrence of it can be quite rare and limited without weakening the drama.

These big wars are spectacles of the absurd anyway. Ritual destruction, brute destruction, for no reason or the lowest of reasons.

I guess I can understand how they could be entertaining to a subset of players, but kind of like sausages, once you've seen the way they are made, your appetite for them tends to die quickly.

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Because alliances are too chicken!@#$ to make wars more even nowadays. They also go out of their way to ally a good chunk of the alliances that were on the opposite side, thus giving us the tangled treaty web we currently have. Add in the massive inactivity of most alliances nowadays as well as the fact that a sizable portion of CN are adults with full-time jobs or full-time college and bam.

Just out of curiosity, does this include your alliance?

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Entertainment?

I have never found these things entertaining. How could anyone find them entertaining?

Nauseating is more like it.

I+like+how+he+looks+around+after+just+kn

To answer the OP, it used to be more than once a year but the nerds grew up and we left the basement.

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