Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Cyber Nations. I always like to look back on history and it seems appropriate to do so today, so here we go.
I registered the Cyber Nations domain name in 2003 with the hopes of creating a web based nation simulation game but I was unable to come up with a working model and I quickly abandoned the project. I let the domain name sit idle for a year and decided to let it go in 2004 since I couldn't find a use for it. In 2005 my interest was sparked again and so I re-registered the domain name on May 22, 2005 in the hopes to get a game up and running but once again I was unable to lay down any real code structure. Finally on December 24, 2005, during my Christmas break from work, I sat down and really began developing the game. I spent the majority of my Christmas break glued to the computer in hopes to get a working game rolled out by the first of the year before I lost interest in the project for a third time.
The game was launched on January 6, 2006 with little fan fare and with very few features. The early game was quite buggy with major issues plaguing the entire economic system that originally did not include tax collection or bill payment systems. Other features like the resource and trade agreement system, foreign aid system, national events, nation rankings, government position, improvements, wonders, technology, aircraft, tanks, nuclear weapons, and cruise missiles were added months after the initial release date as the game continued to be a work in progress. The few players who originally discovered the game did so by way of Google AdWords but word quickly got around to other gaming communities and the system began to become overrun as it was originally had only a Microsoft Access database backend and hosted via a shared hosting provider. At that time the community forums also ran on a Microsoft Access database version of Snitz Forums 2000 and it existed as a subfolder on the same shared hosting server as the game.
During the first couple of weeks the server began returning “Service Unavailable” errors in which numerous attempts were made to resolve. Such attempts included converting the game database to a MS-SQL database (I had just completed an SQL Server course in college during that same month) and moving the community forums to Invision Free, an offsite forum hosting provider. Still the “Service Unavailable” problems persisted and the game was moved to another shared hosting provider but the problem was not finally resolved until the game was moved to its own dedicated server. The game still has it's traffic bottlenecks, that's unavoidable due to the way the game was designed and played, but throughout the years a myriad of dedicated servers have kept the game alive.
So much has transpired over the years, so many players have come and gone, so many fascinating geopolitics and world wars, so many friends made. I'm amazed that there are nations still in the game that were created the very same month that the Cyber Nations was born, with their tiny 3 digit nation ID's, they've seen it all. Those ancient alliances that were all created during that same month, Global Alliance And Treaty Organization, Orange Defense Network, New Pacific Order, World Task Force, Green Protection Agency, alive and still strong (some stronger than others). As I said before, I never would have imagined that the game would still be around after all these years (heck I always figured it would sputter out after a few months which was evident at the initial lack of planning and hosting infrastructure) and while the game has seen much larger player base populations in the past (at times it was too large imo) I'm happy to see that the game continues to have such a loyal following after so many years. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey.
I leave you with some old relics of the past. This first one is kind of embarrassing given my horrible handwriting (I generally write much better than this, unless I'm in frantic note taking mode). Here I scratched out some thoughts on 3/15/2003. I still chuckle at the question that I posed at the bottom, as I don't believe that one has yet been answered:
The first logo for the game:
This is the very first image of the game as I was coding it in December 2005 on the old Compaq monitor that I was so glued to. I'm glad that High Contrast theme did not survive very long.
Cyber Nations Forum Rules 07/03/2016Cyber 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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Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Cyber Nations. I always like to look back on history and it seems appropriate to do so today, so here we go.
So what's the deal with the logo changes in Cyber Nations? Well I was fiddling around with an image editor this weekend and I liked some of the effects that it was capable of producing. The biggest thing (for me) is that I was able to pretty closely replicate the current logo and save it as a true transparent image. The old CN logo was designed by a player way back in early 2006 but he sent it to me as a jpg image with a white background and so I've always had trouble putting it in front of anything other than a white background. I've tried in the past (and had other people attempt as well) to convert it to an actual transparent image but it always looked pixelated and crummy. I know the new logo will take some getting use to, but it will give me more design options so I'm going to stick with it, unless of course someone else offers up something truly amazing.
So, without further ado, a brief history of the Cyber Nations logos:
The very first Cyber Nations logo. I made it in 2005 and we used it for a couple of weeks before the next logo was offered up.
This was the Cyber Nations logo that everyone is familiar with. It's been with us for over 8 years.
The new logo. I embossed the letters a bit more, made the colors match the game interface a little better, and I got rid of the :: and :: before and after the words. Not sure what those :: were all about in the first place. I kind of like the cleaner appearance without them. I hope you like it.
In an effort to try to increase the player base in Cyber Nations I'm currently testing some new ad campaigns on Google and Facebook and a couple of other sites. Now, I've advertised heavily in the past, but over time I started to see fewer and fewer players actually stick around after clicking on an ad. I feel like the changes that I've made in the game over the past couple of months are exciting and I've even seen some long retired players say that the recent changes are worth them coming back for. So I decided that maybe it's time to revisit those ad campaigns and see what kind of results they produce today.
While I'm working on advertising I'd also like to see more use of the in-game referral system, and so I have doubled the rewards that are offered there. The total number of referrals in Cyber Nations as of right now is 399. I'm going to check back in a few weeks and see if this number has increased. If you'd like to help spread the word, and get a bonus for your efforts, we'll see if we can pick things up around here.
As you know, I decided to go all out on the updates for tournament round 26. This round features the largest amount of updates that I've made for a new tournament round, and a few of the updates were minor and were not announcement, but were updates none the less. One of the big updates was the alliance announcement system, a feature that had been requested initially when the TE alliance system was first introduced and it continued to prevail as a common request throughout the tournament rounds. Having decided to go forward with another tournament round I knew that I wanted to code in some updates to liven things up, as well as to use as a test bed for updates to come for standard edition. So, I set out to create the much requested TE alliance announcement system. As I thought about how I wanted to structure the feature, I realized that much of it already existed on one of the other games that I run, Cyber Citizens. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I went over and grabbed the pieces of code that I needed and the update ended up being fairly easy to implement.
Screenshot of alliance announcement system in TE:
Screenshot of political party announcement system in CC:
A big update that I've been mulling over lately was the ability to assign leaders or generals to a nation's military in order to help further customize nations. I had the basic system for how I wanted everything to work in my head, but I wanted to include something like an avatar to give the generals some personality. I actually thought on ways to do this quite a bit and debated over creating images that represented a general's rank but that still didn't seem personal enough. Then I realized that I had already built a similar system in Tour of Generals years ago. When I was developing that game I used a program to model 3D faces, and while some of the face images admittedly look a little cheesy, I thought as long as I let the players change the character's image to suit their preference, then it should work fine.
Screenshot of general page in TE:
Screenshot of unit page in ToG:
I guess the lesson for me here was don't reinvent the wheel. lol. It has been a while since I've had time outside of real life to commit the hours that it takes to push out updates like this, but the time that I spent working on them over the weekend was enjoyable to me. If all goes well with the Military Generals update then I'd like to implement the feature in standard edition. I've also been thinking about how to get the (now superior) TE alliance system over in SE...
I've been hard at work the past couple of days making some updates for Cyber Nations Tournament Edition Round 26. One of the things that a lot of players have asked for is the ability to create alliance announcements, which has now been implemented. I included the ability for alliance members to post comments on an announcement as well as the ability for managers to lock down who can view an announcement and who can post comments.
Another thing that was asked for were improvements to Navy. Now if your nation has 250 miles of land OR a harbor then it can be blockaded and the blockade amount has been increased from a random of 1%-5% to 1%-10%. There were additional requests regarding navy, but I want to see how these settings works out for Round 26 before making further enhancements. The purchase cost of Navy has also been reduced.
Another asked for and implemented item was to include casualties in the tournament round prizes. Some said that since everyone in the top 10 got to upload a custom flag that it resulted in a lack-luster finish of Round 25, so I decided to give the top reward in Round 26 to the two players involved in the most destructive war. This means that the game needs to track the most destructive war, which means that the Awards System in standard edition has now been implemented in tournament edition. Also included in the prizes are most attacking and most defending casualties.
Update 6/17/2013: The surprise update is finalized. Military Generals have been added to the game. Generals can be recruited and assigned to one of four posts in your military. The positions include generals of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Intelligence. Recruiting generals offers a variety of benefits to your nation including increases to battle strength calculations, unit purchase and upkeep cost reductions, and due to the enormous prestige that generals carry some may offer increases to your population happiness, citizen income, and even boosts to your population itself. As you conduct battles and special operations in the field against other nations you will gain experience points (XP) that will enable you to recruit higher ranking generals who will in turn provide greater benefits to your nation. For each ground battle, aircraft attack, naval attack, etc... you will gain +1 experience point in that field (nuclear attacks gain +5 experience points for Air Force). There are a multitude of NPC (non-playable character) generals available for you to choose from and upon recruiting a general you may change their name, assign them a custom title, and if you don't like the avatar image provided for them then simply click on the image to cycle through a different avatar.
Tournament Round 26 will begin shortly.
The game has been collecting war destruction stats for about 3 weeks now and already some players have put up some massive damage totals.
Cyber Nations as a whole has destroyed/lost 63,806,849 nation strength in just the past few weeks.
What are some of your biggest losses in war going back before the war destruction stats were gathered?
With the new war details screen and the ability to see damage infliced by each side in a war, I came across this. Granted, stats for wars began on the 26th and there's still a few days remaning in this war, but I wonder if Momonishiki regrets declaring war on CubaQuerida at this point?
I was cruising Google Analytics this morning and took a peek at the Cyber Nations visitors map and thought I would share. This is broken down by city over the last month.
To my surprise, a city in the USA is not top on the list. That honor goes to London. Here's the top 5 cities:
New York 6,858
This morning I received a report from a player that they had sent me an email some time ago but I never received it. So I started sending test emails to myself and I never received those emails either. I logged into my hosting providers site just now and found 242 rather important emails from just the last month that I had never received. Apparently the hosting provider for my primary site email address changed their spam filter settings on me. Looks like I have quite a bit of catching up to do. Apologies to anyone who messaged me but never received a reply.
So after my last entry here, which dealt with getting a new phone (I ended up getting a Droid), I am now thinking about getting an iPad.
But is this thing really worth buying? What can I do on it that I can't do on my phone? Is it just another useless toy? It would be larger/better for, say, reading...but other than that?
I'm kidnapping the blog because I want the advice and wisdom of the community.
I need a new mobilephone.. or maybe "want" is a better word. At any rate I believe that I want an android but I have no idea which one to get. I'm not looking for anything cheap, but don't need a "monster" either. Anyone got suggestions or knows a good site where I can find reviews?
What better way to spend your summer than by playing an online nation simulation game with the chance to win some great prizes? I've decided to give away some cool items from the Cyber Nations Merchandise Store to the top 3 players at the end of tournament round 12 which started today. Prizes (for 1st place) include a Tournament Edition branded Sigg 1.0L Water Bottle, a Gym Bag, and a Ringer T-Shirt. Players will also have the option to pick any other item in the Cyber Nations Merchandise Store as long as the total falls at or under their winning prize value. Good luck to all the participants in this tournament round.
On April 21st Facebook released its widely publicized "Like" button feature for websites allowing developers to place like buttons on their content. I had heard about this a few days before they released it and I thought it would make for a good advertising tool so as soon as they made it available I went to work putting a couple of Like buttons around my sites. For a few days afterward I watched the little numbers beside the Like buttons, which indicates how many people have clicked on it, and to my disappointment the numbers remained quite low. Cyber Nations was registering 44 likes, Cyber Citizens was registering 13 likes, and CN:TE was registering just 2 likes. I was so embarrassed by CN:TE's Like button counter performance that I was considering removing it all together. Even worst, the like buttons on the individual alliance stats pages were registering 0 likes, for EVERY alliance in the game. Then today I noticed that one of my friends on Facebook had a status that said, "xxx likes Independent Republic of Orange Nations" but the Like button in CN for the alliance Independent Republic of Orange Nations was still showing 0 likes. Something was off with Facebooks Like counter. Now this afternoon I log in and see that Cyber Nations has 732 likes, Cyber Citizens has 41, CN:TE has 47, and the alliance counters are showing correct stats as well. That's more Like it!! (pun intended) I know that some of you may have found the new Like and Share buttons annoying at first, hopefully most of you are getting use to them by now. The purpose of the buttons is to be as unobtrusive as possible while still serving as a method to attract some new players to the games. I'm also interested in seeing which alliance gets the most Like button clicks. So far New Polar Order is winning hands down with 21 Likes with New Pacific Order in a distant second with 10 Likes.
I was looking at the game stats and as noted here Cyber Nations recently surpassed the highest global radiation level ever recorded in the game. The previous record on GRL, attained during the Karma War, was 47.47. Today the GRL is sitting at 55.93 and will rise again after update tonight. From the CN information index:
Global radiation is a count of all nations in the game attacked with nuclear weapons in the past 30 days. Global radiation negatively affects everyone's nation environment in the game up to level 5.00. The bonus resource radiation cleanup reduces global radiation for your nation by 50%. The current formula for global radiation is: global radiation = (total nations hit by nukes * 300) / total nations...
I was wondering if this is really the most destructive war in CN history or if the smaller nation count in the game now, as compared to the nation count during the Karma war, has anything to do with the GRL reaching record highs. So I crunched the numbers and here's what I came up with:
Karma - 30,500 In-game nations, GRL 47.47 = 4,826 Nations nuked during a 30 day period
Current - 26,200 In-game nations, GRL 55.93 = 4,885 Nations nuked during a 30 day period
The current count of nuked nations within the past 30 days, at the time of this writing, is 4,994 nations nuked so we're well beyond the previous records in both total nations nuked for the past 30 days as well as the ratio of nuked nations to overall nation population.
This war also sets the record for the most days of peak activity that the game has ever seen. The Karma war had about 12 days of peak activity as noted in the bandwidth chart here:
The current war is sitting at 18 days of peak activity, with a slight dip in traffic when NpO and \m/ declared white peace, and then traffic shot back up when everyone else got involved:
The red lines in the charts above indicate the 95th percentile, which is something that data centers use for billing, and it's interesting to note that the Karma war had a higher 95th percentile than the current war. This is due in part because of the fewer in-game nations currently at play in the game (about 15% fewer) as compared to during the Karma war.
So is this the biggest, most destructive war in CN history? That is debatable as well as yet to be fully determined since the war isn't even over yet. We certainly have more nations nuked this time around, and this war has lasted longer, as far as peak traffic goes, than any other war before it - and it's still raging on. I have seen others name this war "The Great Reset" and anytime you see titles like that offered up you know it's big.
I appreciate everyone's patience during update time when the site gets flooded with traffic. I've been at this for 4 years now and I've done everything in my power to ease the load during update time but when you're dealing with a major war like this there's only so much traffic that the host and the game server can handle. I have been up every night since this whole thing started, until the wee hours of the morning, monitoring the server and making sure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. I haven't seen too many complaints about the update time slow down this time around so I'm guessing everyone understands that by now. If there is frustration out there it appears that it is being taken out on your war partners in the form of nukes rather than griping to me about it.
I took a stroll through the Cyber Nations information index recently to see if I could clean it up a little bit. I was looking to see if I could make it more like the Cyber Citizens about screen where you click on individual links to pull up an article rather than have the whole confusing thing listed out all at once. But when I stopped and really looked over the CN index I realized that there is really a lot of stuff in there. Lots of numbers, percentages, dollar figures, and oh the dreaded math equations. Everything is necessary but my goodness there just a lot of stuff in there and it would really be a lot of work to change all that. So I have given up on the makeover of the CN information index. Not gonna happen. Instead I am contemplating simply renaming it to, "The Dreaded Pit of Information". Like?
I'm glad to see that the blog function is being used and that some people seem to have good conversations and debates in the comment fields. I'd just like to remind everyone that the normal forum rules apply in the blogs too, so use common sense when commenting/writing blog posts.
I've been entertained while this big war is happening with all the witty war reasons that people use. I scanned over the past 24 hours of war declarations and here are some of the ones that made me lol. Why use the generic 'A General Dispute' war reason when you can start with a bang like these guys did:
"You sure got a purdy mouth!" - Reddragoon
"your a TOOL" - Reoga to a nation in the alliance The Order Of Light
"Declare war, I must" - NearX
"Improved Foreign Relations" - bioakky
"1 2 3 4 I declare thumb war" - Aithne
"IRON? more like Rust, amirite?" - Darknovasoul
"Dont know, Dont Care. WARRR!" - Jimoslimos
"Yippie Kai Yay!" - Yawning Angel
"your spelling is atrocious" - W Squirellbottom
"Wanna see a magic trick?" - puckpilot27
"27/M/UK looking for fun times" - Consul of Monkeys
"I too want your love!" - jerdge
"I think you are cute." - WildKat
"You are not that cute." - WildKat
"No SDI? How awesome." - Alter Leader Nabla
"Wanna spoon?" - magicalbricks
"I got beer, u got pretzels?" - Andy Rooney
"Crazy? You betchya!" - FinsterBaby
"BAAAH!! WAR 2 UR FACES!!" - Zzniperr
"All outta bubblegum" - Lavics
"war! apparently..." - tehmulletman
"Nobody puts Baby in the corner" - RedHand
"HEY. You look kinda cute." - Vend3tta
"just a smalltown girl...." - KenDeSolei
"Super Big Wang Time" - PakAttack
"When Pandas Attack..." - prettypanda
"stab stab stab" - omnifarius
"IS THIS THE FOREIGN AID SCREEN" - X-NV-X
"IM JACKS SMIRKING REVENGE" - Alvis
"My Milkshake" - Screwedupmonkey
That's a lot of great witty war reasons in just the last 24 hours. If I had to pick my favorite I'd go with tehmulletman with his "war! apparently..." reason because I think that pretty much sums up this whole war mess for a lot of people; nobody really knows what's going on, except that there is war!
I've decided that I want to have a fancy looking signature. But I'm awful at anything that has to do with graphics and wouldn't even be able to work with Modern Art (That doesn't look like anythinf and is hideous, no matter what other moderators claim ).Thus I turn to the community. Do we have any bright minds out there who would like to give it a shot and create me a signature? You won't win anything besides the honour and glory, but hey, at least that's something.Either post your suggestions here or PM them to me if you come up with something.
After somedowntime, during which I hope our players got some fresh air and sunlight, we're back! Cooler and better than ever before!The Senior Staff is however really upset at having to learn a "new" ACP after just getting used to the last one.
After it was reported to me that our old Cyber Nations Myspace group had been deleted (I think the owner of the group had his profile deleted or something) I decided to look into migrating over to Facebook because, really, that's were all the cool kids hang out these days. I looked at several of the existing CN related groups and managed to find someone to give me admin control over one of the groups (haha, sucker) so now we have an official Cyber Nations Facebook Group. There's currently 262 members. Hope to see you there.
The CN staff are pretty hard workers. However, sometimes we do big staff audits to make sure everyone is doing a spectacular job. These audits can cause changes in teams and how we're organized, to make sure we are doing our job to the best of our ability.
Not very much changes after this audit, because such a stellar job is being done by everyone.
Without further ado,
Spock and Allan a Dale have taken on more responsibility and become global mods. If you don't know what that means, you may go look at the official list of moderators located strategically in the moderation forums.
And now for some moderator awards. Because no mod would be complete without one:
* Sword of Estel is someone who doesn't seem to do that much on the forums. Really she does a ton. We just can't see it, because they're not in post form. For this, she wins the Stealthy Ninja award.
Also, she just really likes ninjas. But pirates are better.
* So we have this mod, Vivi who sometimes handles big problems on the forums. The problems he handles however, aren't the nice, easy ones. He gets the hard ones. And by gets, this means he stalks them, and totally destroys them. He gets the Always ready to take down a challenge award.
* unbiased mod loves to chat. Especially in Justy's bar. This could be because he likes to talk, or in fact, it could be because he is extremely addicted to e-alcohol. So he gets the Warning! May not be sober!? award.
* Top Cat is a cat. Atlas is a cat-eater. Somehow they have been able to put these differences aside, or perhaps not. Top Cat wins the Evader of Atlas award.
* Evenstar is amazing. She's like the best game mod we have too. And forum mod. Apparently she's good at answering phone calls too, though she rarely gets any. She gets the Can do more than you award. Because she can.
* Allan a Dale likes bugs. He always has, since he was a small child. He likes to find them, and eat them. And pull of all their little legs and render them useless. He gets the Bug Finder award. He also gets the Drives Admin Bonkers award, because someone has to get it, so it may as well be him.
* Atlas wins the Huh, guess I'm not as inactive as I thought award.
* Megabyte is a machine. You can tell by his name. And the way he mods the RP forums. But mostly because of his name. He gets the Not really Human award.
* Inspector Zenigata may be the newest to the team, but has been essential to its performance. He wins the modest mouse award.
* HK47 likes nothing more than to get all dressed up and go to formal dances, however usually he ends up being the guard at these occasions. Sadly, most people do not like having gun-wielding robots at their parties. HK47 never gives up trying though, and so for his efforts, he gets the Masquerade award.
* Philotheos beat Sword of Estel in everything. Except for answering phone calls, but no one really likes talking on the phone anyway. Because of this supreme win over Estel, Philo has been even more arrogant than usual. Philo wins the Pompous, Arrogant, but yet, quite stylish award.
* Stormcrow gets the Wait. I'M A GAMEPLAY MOD?!? award. Speaking of which. Stormcrow's a gameplay mod.
* Manwe (aka snuggles, or snuggle bunny) is a game mod. Manwe gets the SUPER DESTROYER OF MULTIES award. If you're a multi, you'd better just come out with it, because if you don't, he will find you. And you will be deleted. Or Banned.
* Severus Snape has been a motivator to us all, particularly the senior staffers. The team would not be as good of mods, or people, without him. For this, Snape wins the Inspirational award.
* The Toaster likes to make toast. He makes toast of those boiler room members in particular. He gets the pops up award as he always seems to suddenly make appearances. He also has been the one to provide food for the majority of the mods (except atlas.) And as we all know, the Philo hungers.
* Kefka is a very important person. He has demonstrated that he has better things to do than talk to you. He gets the That's right, I'm important award. Because he is more important than you too.
* Edward Cullen is often found in the boiler room. He likes nothing more than things getting steamy and heated. He gets the It's getting hot in here... award.
* Spock gets the Always Ready for Action award. Because yes, he's always ready.
* Darth Revan does a lot. He often gets overlooked because of some of the older members on the team. But watch out, because he gets the Right behind you award.
* This mod is newer to the team. Some might call them an attention hog, admin might just call them annoying. Loxley wins the HEY KEVIN! LOOK! LOOK AT ME! KEVIN! award.
* Not much is known about Callahan. He has a tendency to show up for a moment and then suddenly, he vanishes into a cloud of smoke. No one knows where he goes. So he gets the Vanishing Mystery award.
* The Eye doesn't have time for chit-chat. He's always focussed, and trying to get stuff done and be accomplished. For this he gets the Shut up, I'm trying to mod award.
* And finally, though no one really cares... admin is someone important, and always seems to be around, no matter what time it is. It really makes it impossible for the mods to get away with anythi.. er.. He gets the MOST CONSISTENT award.
Thus concludes this edition of Moderator Awards. These awards have been given by the powers that be, and are bestowed upon the CN moderators. Tune in next time for further modly goodness.
I know some other mod had a blog where they answered questions from the players, and because I can think of nothing else to say that the players would find particularly interesting, if any players have any questions for senior staff, feel free to ask. No promises you'll get an answer however.
This blog will also give me the opportunity to do another thing I like to do - Bash the other senior staffers.
I kid I kid, we all get along pretty great.
I've opened this blog up to allow the senior game moderators full editor access to create and edit blog entries within this blog. With more editors this blog should stay more current with exciting news and information straight from the front lines of all things moderation.
This morning around server update time there was a major security issue which mistakenly gave everyone access to the moderator's control panel in the game. There was a total of 3,129 moderator actions that took place throughout the night with most coming from the users Blacky performing 393 mod actions and TrotskysRevenge who performed 10 mod actions. We have patched up the security breaches and are preparing to file litigation against those responsible for the moderator actions and resulting damages. To everyone who messaged me throughout the night (33 emails, 42 in game private messages, 24 forum private messages, and pages and pages of bug reports) all of your reports are appreciated and your messages will be used as evidence in court. We would also like to point out that it's April Fools Day. For those who missed it here's a screenshot:
It seems like this prank backfired on the moderation staff because all of our inboxes are freaking swamped right now. Though it is good to know that there are some really honest people out there on the Internets. (excluding Blacky and TrotskysRevenge of course) The mod control panel was completely fake but the spy worm is totally real and we use it to spy on the player base all the time. You should see what Sword of Estel looks and sounds like when she eats popcorn in front of her computer. (Ok, I'm kidding again. We're not secretly listening in on your every move.)
We also had a little fun with one of our moderators Philothoes who decided that this year he and some of the other mods were going to play a little prank on me. He started this big argument with some of our other moderators several days ago and the plan was for him and the others on the mod team to resign on April 1st which was totally suppose to give me a brain aneurysm or something I guess. Problem was I saw right through their shenanigans from the start thanks to Evenstar who folded under just the slightest amount of questioning and so together we preempted their plans yesterday by firing Philothoes and warning the mod team that such in-fighting will not be tolerated. Many frantic text messages among the mod staff and an 800 word count email from Philothoes resulted as he tried explain the situation and pry his way back on the team. LOL. That's what they get for trying to fool ole admin.
CN was down for a couple of hours early this morning. I woke up and tried to load the CN home page in my web browser and the only I got was a network error. No connectivity to the server, I couldn't even ping it, nothing. Uh oh. I quickly contacted the host and requested a reboot and a few minutes later the server came back up and the site was working again. Hmm, hardware malfunction I thought. There should be something in the server logs to show what happened and when, except there were no error logs. Weird. Maybe Justy is right with her analysis of the situation. After further investigation it turns out that one of the server backup routines failed in the middle of the night which seemed to cause all the connectivity problems. The funny thing is that the server was up and running and chugging away the whole time. It appears that it just decided to go on strike for a few hours and not perform any actual work. I guess Planet Bob wanted to have a little Spring Break of its own. Anyways, everything is back to normal now and I've made some changes to the backup routine to hopefully prevent a similar issue like this in the future.