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      Cyber Nations Forum Rules   07/03/2016

      Cyber Nations Forum Rules  
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Entries in this blog

lamuella

Hi, folks, welcome to another infrequently updated edition of the Scorched Earth Top 10, the list that showcases the biggest heaps of radioactive glass where nations used to be. Let's get down to business.

THE GRAVEYARD OF ARMIES: It's worth noting that the top 10 is filling up FAST with the corpses of wars since expired. The most destructive war on record is one of today's active conflicts, but the list is rapidly getting clogged with bodies. To get this top 10 I had to scroll past 26 expired wars. What this means is that we may be reaching the peak of destruction in this conflict. We're now recording a full 7 days of destruction in each war, and even for fighters of this calibre, conflicts on this scale will take it out of you. Our number one war for today (which I'll come to further down the page) may be the high water mark (or should that be high blood mark?) of the conflict. On future days, I'll try and report on the all time number one as well as the day's winner.

Anyway, the wars:

10. Matasumouri (The Imperial Order) vs CubaQuerida (Umbrella) 43,098.81 NS destroyed (92%/7%)

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Straight out of the "what was he thinking?" file, Matasumouri has a number of disadvantages in this conflict. For one thing, he was punching upwards an insane amount to even touch CubaQuerida. For another, CubaQuarida is also in a war with Matt Miller, and it's fairly clear who gets the nuking duties out of those two. As such, Matasumouri is catching one overpowered nuke a day in addition to other attacks, and has a limited amount of firepower to lob back. This war has another day to run, and I have the feeling Matasumouri will be glad to be out of it.

9. han fei zi (Filipino Heroes) vs OTTOTTO (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) 44,204.52 NS destroyed (58%/41%)

ygLFNY0.png

The first appearance ever by the one man alliance that is Filipino Heroes. I love the eccentrics in wars like this. One man armies, insanely powerful microalliances. Even Zulu. I love Zulu. They're having FUN with the game, and I think a lot of people have forgotten how. Otto holds a decisive advantage in this conflict, nonetheless, but as the war doesn't expire until the tenth, we've got a lot to see from both of these guys.

This marks today's first appearance by DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE. Not that I'm counting that for any special reason.

8. Matt Miller (Independent Republic of Orange Nations) vs Xavii (Umbrella) 45,340.92 (21%/78%)

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If Cyber Nations were a sit com (and let's face it, it is), Matt Miller and Xavii would be applauded when they came in like they were Cliff Clavin and Norm. Two stalwarts who have been turning each other and everyone else radioactive this whole war. Xavii is by far getting the worst of this particular encounter, in part because of a size disadvantage. This is Xavii's only war currently, but he has had a string of bloody conflicts that have previously made the top 10. I have a feeling he'll be back.

7. HHAYD (The Phoenix Federation) vs Telchar (The Order of the Paradox) 45,522.31NS destroyed (57%/42%)

hdBMabm.png

The only Top 10 appearance for either TOP of TPF, this is a fairly clean, fairly even conflict. Both are at about 113k, both are defending in another war, both are their alliance's highest ranked nation currently in a war. There's blood on the canvas, and more of it belongs to HHAYD, but both men can walk away with respect.

6. Methax (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) vs Pbaff (The Dark Templar) 47,382.69NS (9%/90%)

Ewbyh6U.png

In pro wrestling I think they call this a "squash match". Methax is bigger than Pbaff by a considerable margin, and has been using this size and skill to get some exceptional moves in on his smaller opponent. 42k ns loss on one nation over less than a week is the equivalent of doing a Tiger Driver '91 on the concrete.

That's two wars for DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE so far. Just in case you were counting.

5. Methax (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) vs Colonel Buno Taso (MOLON LABE) 47,896.25NS destroyed (6%/93%)

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If the last war was a Tiger Driver '91, this one is that chokeslam Undertaker gave to Mankind that put him through the top of the cage in their Hell In A Cell match. Methax has a brute force strategy that is causing some extreme damage to mid-upper tier nations. As the war grinds on it will be interesting to see whether this bears fruit. This is Methax's second war in the top 10 (and DD's third).

4. Zhakrin |(Independent Republic of Orange Nations) vs Colin40 (Viridian Entente) 53,138.58NS destroyed (66%/33%)

ztdeVxP.png

A brave and admirable assault by this IRON mid-upper tier nation on VE's heavy hitter. I can see the strategy behind this, namely to wear the larger nations down with attrition, but at times it does seem like they're running into the fists of giants and seeing how much damage they can do to the giants' knuckles.

3. Methax (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) vs anagent (Argent) 61,240.27NS destroyed (43%/56%)

jsmugCQ.png

A familiar face in an unfamiliar position. Methax's other wars have been one sided squash matches. This one is more like Cactus Jack vs Terry Funk from King Of The Deathmatch 1995. You can give the victory to Methax over anagent, but there's so much blood on the canvas you can't really call the victory clean. Between the two of them, Methax and anagent have clocked up a jawdropping 1.5 million soldier fatalities. Considering that Anagent is a fair few sizes smaller than Methax, this deserves respect. On the other hand, Methax has three wars in the top ten, making him a strong contender for the title of craziest SOB in the war at this moment.

2. Matt Miller (Independent Republic of Orange Nations) vs CubaQuerida (Umbrella) 65,163.43NS destroyed (49%/50%)

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I love dead heats. There's something amazing about watching hostile intent and random chance produce almost identical bloodshed on both sides. Matt Miller and CubaQuerida are regulars on this list, and it would take a brave man to pick between them in terms of abilities on the battlefield. I am not that man. CubaQuerida has the size advantage here, but Matt Miller has performed some deadly attacks, giving him a knife-edge lead in NS destroyed. This war has another day to run, so there's still lots of fun to be had here.

1. Katsumi (Anarchy Inc.) vs Commander Bean(DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) 73,262.17NS destroyed (67%/32%)

IMzIQl6.png

This is DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE's fifth appearance on this top ten list. Half of the wars on this list have a DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE combatant. That's pretty impressive, but not quite as impressive as the sheer tonnage of NS blown to pieces in this conflict. 73,262.17. If the land, infra, and tech destroyed in this war were to be combined into a nation, there would be eleven thousand nations in the game smaller than it, and only one and a half thousand bigger. This is a titanic battle in just about the most literal sense of that term. Praise must be lavished on both sides, but the victory must be given to Commander Bean, who has decisive leads in infra, land, and tech destroyed. There's still a day to do in this blood and thunder scrap. Can Bean and Katsumi set the mark against which all other wars will be judged?

Wow, this was a fun list tonight. Lots of blood, lots of doombirds, and some pro wrestling references. See you all next time.

lamuella

Greetings, fight fans. Apologies for the weekend hiatus. I was helping a friend move 11 years worth of belongings from one house to another. A friend who loves books. And buys lots of them. And has narrow steep stairs. My thighs are killing me.

Anyway, an improvement in the format for today's top 10. As well as the rundown, I'll also be linking to the war itself, so you can see the stats for yourself, and twiddle the little pie chart and stuff.

So without further ado:

10. Steve Buscemi (Non Grata) vs King Irwin (The Templar Knights). 46,397.16 (45%/54%)

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An evenly matched contest between one of Non Grata's most active OWF posters and TTK's second largest war-mode nation. Buscemi has the slight edge in infra, tech, and land, but a well placed nuke could turn that around. This war doesn't wrap until the 6th, so this one is still too close to call. Both men are in multiple wars, with Buscemi facing off against TTK's largest war-mode nation in a somewhat more one-sided slugfest, and Irwin having another contest elsewhere in this top ten.

9. X-NV-X (Non Grata) vs Ivan IV Vasilyevich (The Templar Knights). 47,153.91NS destroyed (28%/71%)

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Another Non Grata/TTK faceoff, albeit a slightly less even one. With less than a thousand infra left, The Mother Land may not be giving X-NV-X the fight he wanted, although with over 7 thousand tech it's safe to assume his nukes still pack a punch. This war expires tonight, although this doesn't take The Mother Land out of the woods just yet. He has one more Non Grata war still ongoing, and when his slots free up he might expect some action from Non Grata's middle tier. On the other hand, many of those are deployed to peace mode for a later wave, so he might excape unscathed.

8. Katsumi (Anarchy Inc) vs Commander Bean (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE). 47,494.80NS destroyed. (67%/32%)

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A return to the top 10 for Commander Bean, who is immersed in a bruising encounter with Anarchy Inc's Katsumi. Credit must be given to Katsumi in this encounter, both for punching up when declaring, and for keeping dishing out damage even as Bean used the size differential to cause serious damage. Katsumi is now 50k smaller than at declaration, in part because of additional wars with DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE newcomer (and GOONS alumnus) Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz and VE's resident tank Colin40.

7. OD45Glock (MOLON LABE) vs JoshuaR (Umbrella). 48,159.05NS destroyed (58%/41%)

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Familiar faces on the top 10, OD45Glock and JoshuaR end their war in seventh place. JoshuaR started this war smaller and ended bigger than OD45Glock, although there are outside factors in this. Namely a certain conflict a little higher up the table...

6. Matt Miller (Independent Republic of Orange Nations) vs CubaQuerida (Umbrella). 48,675.74NS destroyed (58%/41%)

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Every time I see Matt Miller on these war stats, the first thing I see is that his nation is called "Bubbler Nation". And then I hear the guy from LMFAO saying "Every day I'm bubblin'". And then for some reason it becomes the cantina song from Star Wars. I've forgotten what I was going to say now. As well as this bruising effort against CubaQuerida, Miller is also in matchups against top ten stalwarts JoshuaR and Xavii. I swear, this chart is like 6 Degrees Of Kevin Bacon sometimes.

CHART SIDEBAR: in researching this one, I found the funniest war in the whole game. Proof that sometimes even the big guys get it wrong. It can be found here.

5. Link Gaetz (The Phoenix Federation) vs Aesis (The Order of the Paradox). 48,818.66NS destroyed (55%/44%)

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High chart appearances for TPF and TOP, who have form for exciting conflicts but who are both newcomers to the top 10. Link and Aesis are in many ways very similar nations. Both tech-heavy and infra-light. Both have lost more infra than they currently have, and both are involved in other wars that are proving a little less costly. There's another day in this one, so there's every chance we could see it in the top 3 tomorrow.

4. o ya baby (Mushroom Kingdom) vs Darklordtim (RnR) 48,962.76NS (39%/60%)

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RnR's first top 10 appearance is a defensive effort against Mushroom Kingdom's funnest guy (I hate myself for that joke). Darklordtim can be proud of laying more of a beating on o ya baby than either of his other opponents. This should probably be written up as a loss for the RnR nation, but it's a creditable performance nonetheless.

3. Artigo (Non Grata) vs King Irwin (The Templar Knights). 53,674.13NS destroyed (46%/53%)

5jrXODR.png

A second appearance for King Irwin, and another nailbiter. While Artigo has destroyed more tech than Irwin by a considerable margin, the two are neck and neck in land and tech. A fun close contest which wraps up at update tonight.

2. flak attack (Mushroom Kingdom) vs jjfx4 (RnR). 55,649.37NS destroyed (34%/65%)

U66TiOK.png

A second appearance in today's 10 by Mushroom Kingdom and RnR. A superbly destructive war given the size of the two nations. With one day to go, this could be tomorrow's number one war.

1. OD45Glock (MOLON LABE) vs Xavii (Umbrella). 65,111.77NS destroyed (63%/36%)

HHkafcv.png

Two guys who are regulars to the point where they have their own glasses in the Scorched Earth Bar, there wasn't really any doubt of this slugfest hitting number one. This is the third time I've talked about this war on the chart, and I'm almost sad to see it go. Can one of you redeclare?

And there you have it, folks. Collectively several hundred thousand NS being blown into its individual irradiated pixels for your viewing pleasure. Apologies for the hiatus and hopefully I'll see you all back here soon!

lamuella

Greetings all and welcome to day 2 of the Scorched Earth Top 10.

Most of yesterday's wars have now expired, so we have plenty of new entries in the Top 10. I'm not counting expired wars, so the numbering might seem a little weird. Without further ado:

BUBBLING UNDER: from a personal point of view I'm sad to report that Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz of GOONS narrowly avoided the top 10 in his admirable winning effort against General Chris Ryan of Anarchy Inc. Better luck in future acts of mass destruction, Umar.

10. Olias (Independent Republic Of Orange Nations) vs Bhane (Umbrella). 44,838.31NS destruction (67%/32%)

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IRON's first appearance in the Scorched Earth Top 10 started out as a relatively even conflict, with both nations in the 130k area, but as can be seen from the destruction ratio Bhane has the upper hand over Olias. This war has another day to go after this, but we would have to see something spectacular from Olias to see this reverse at all. On a lighter note, although he is listed here as Umbrella, Bhane is currently flying the AA of Genmay, a sight that should bring a nostalgic tear to the eye of five or six year veterans of Bob.

9. wumasterx (Independent Republic of Orange Nations) vs Lusitan (Umbrella). 44,855.87NS destruction (58%/41%)

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Second Top Ten appearances today by both IRON and Umbrella. Wumasterx was punching upwards by about 20k NS to attack Lusitan, and has paid the price. While this encounter is closer than others we've seen, Wumasterx has lost more of everything except land. This is the last day of this conflict, but while wumasterx can take a breather if he wishes to, Lusitan is in another conflict with Cyber King of IRON. That war is low ranked in terms of destruction so far, but the war started just over 24 hours ago, which means the nukes could start flying any minute now.

8. wickedj (Anarchy Inc) vs lebubu (Mushroom Kingdom). 44,970.91NS destruction (53%/46%)

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This has all the makings of a brawl for the ages. Two legends of the cyberverse facing down against each other in a close and bloody war that still has two days to go. At the moment Lebubu (translation: "the bubu") has a narrow edge, but there's still everything to play for.

7. Lord Strider (New Pacific Order) vs Spartanexe (Umbrella). 45,536.22NS destuction (44%/55%)

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NPO's first appearance in the Top 10, and the first time we've seen an Umbrella nation in the Top 10 not in a dominant position. At present, these nations are evenly matched in NS, and both seem fighting fit, but this is still the bloodiest nose the Top 10 has seen on an Umbrella face, which speaks well of Lord Strider's abilities.

6. ice360dg (The Imperial Order) vs Doctor Octagon (Umbrella) 45,933.15NS destruction (72%/27%)

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um... I think the word I'm looking for is... ouch. Ice360dg actually started this war with an NS advantage over Kool Keith- I'm sorry, over Dr Octagon. I think it's fair to say this isn't the case any more. This one ends tonight, but Poppa Large- I'm sorry, Dr Octagon, is involved in two more which will keep the extraterrestrial time traveling gynecologist on the battlefield for a good few more days.

5. OD45Glock (MOLON LABE) vs Xavii (Umbrella). 46,686.21NS destruction (61%/38%)

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Ahem, to quote some dashing handsome soul from yesterday's top 10: "This slugfest ends at update, leaving Lady Aribeth out of wars and able to lick her wounds, and Xavii still under attack from OD45Glock of MOLON LABE. That war is only at number 36 on our list, but as it still has four days to go it's one to watch.". Yes, I am psychic. No, I won't pick your lottery numbers for you. This war jumped 31 places in a day, folks. It still has 3 days to go. Assuming linear progression it will be at number minus twenty five tomorrow. Wait, I think I got that wrong. Regardless, this is only going to get bloodier.

4. Nacho Grande (Independent Republic of Orange Nations) vs Boddah (Umbrella). 47,542.89NS (66%/33%)

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Typical. You wait ages for an IRON/Umbrella slugfest, and then three come along at once. Nacho Grande is taking the brunt of the beating in this war when seen as a single battle, but like many of Umbrella, Boddah is under attack on more than one side, which means IRON can play the numbers game. Of course, the numbers game only works if three of your guys can take out one of theirs, and like much else in this war that remains to be seen.

3. smusmu (Sparta) vs AirMe (The Last Remnants). 54,337.84NS (49%/50%)

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Where would a Scorched Earth Top 10 be without an edge of your seat nailbiter? AirMe and Smusmu are separated by only about 140NS desctruction, despite Smustra being a considerably bigger nation. Airme has taken more of a beating on infra and tech while destroying more land. This war has another day to go, and that could prove decisive.

2. Barron von Hammer (NATO) vs Decker (Umbrella). 58,055.28NS destruction (55%/44%)

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One of two holdovers from yesterday's chart, this war has proven remarkably consistent, going from 56/43 to 55/44. Decker still has the upper hand in most fields, and while this comes pretty close to the wire, we may have to judge Decker the narrow victor.

1. Alexandros o Megas (Sparta) vs 123Duca (The Last Remnants). 59,584.86NS (39%/60%)

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Our coveted number one spot goes to this relatively decisive victory for the Spartan over the Last Remnant. Congratulations to both sides for getting to number one, but one thing bugs me about this war. They're so close to crossing 60,000 NS destroyed. So close. An attack from either side could have done it. I had my champagne ready and everything.

Oh well, we'll have more wars vying for the top spot tomorrow. See you all then!

lamuella

The Scorched Earth Top 10: The ten most destructive wars on Bob

Welcome to the inaugural Scorched Earth Top Ten, where we look in detail at the ten most destructive active wars on Bob. These wars are the upper tier conflicts that in seven days or less have caused more NS loss than most nations in CN even have. This is where the heavy hitters hit heavily, and there warchest battles warchest to make their opponent the biggest smoking hole in the ground. As this is the first episode, all the wars in this chart are new to us, so we'll be taking a look at the mayhem for each one.

10. Commander Bean (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) vs LiquidMercury (The Grämlins). 43,142.37 NS destroyed (22%/77%)

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(for some reason the stats don't think there's a number 9 in destructiveness)

The top ten starts with a hard fought battle between two veterans of the game. Bean is from Umbrella breakaway DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE, which manages to spread nearly a million NS across 6 members, making it one of the most heavy hitting micro-alliances in the game. LiquidMercury is from the The Grämlins, who have had a low profile in the game in recent history, but who have proved to be an awoken giant in this war. The stats seem to show LiquidMercury losing a lot more NS than Bean, although Bean has lost more land and soldiers. This could be explained by turtling, as you can't lose soldiers you don't buy. This siege ends at update tonight, which will leave Bean free of wars and LiquidMercury staggered.

9. Lady Aribeth (NATO) vs Xavii (Umbrella) - 43,434.86 NS destroyed. (65%/34%)

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The former black team senator comes under attack here from one of NATO's top tier. Lady Aribeth was punching upwards by declaring this war, as she was at around 142k NS to Xavii's 170k. Both have suffered losses, but unsurprisingly for an uneven conflict Lady Aribeth has suffered more. This is a second-round war for Xavii and a first-round war for Aribeth, and the relative damage being done may be due to the two nations' asymmetry in how their NS is made up. Aribeth has vastly more infrastructure than Xavii, but at Xavii is in the top 40 nations for most tech. This slugfest ends at update, leaving Lady Aribeth out of wars and able to lick her wounds, and Xavii still under attack from OD45Glock of MOLON LABE. That war is only at number 36 on our list, but as it still has four days to go it's one to watch.

8. Commander Bean (DOOMBIRD DOOMCAVE) vs Bob Janova (The Grämlins) 43,738.43 NS destroyed (30%/69%)

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A remarkable second appearance in the top ten from Commander Bean, here locked in war with one of Planet Bob's true celebrities Bob Janova. Bean is the only combatant to appear twice in the Scorched Earth Top 10, which makes the amount of destruction he has racked up in either war even more impressive. Again, he has lost more soldiers than his opponent, but has more than made up for it in the amount of NS and tech he had destroyed. Bean is definitely one to watch. Possibly from quite a distance away.

7. Raymond Jaeger (The Order of the Reaper) vs Lord Siek (The Grand Lodge of Freemasons) 43,839.33NS destroyed (38%/61%)

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A veritable bloodbath when it comes to troops, our number seven spot has seen over a million soldiers die in a week. This is the closest war on our charts so far, with Lord Siek losing more infra, tech and NS overall, but neither side has shown signs of tapping out. Expect to see more from both of these guys in later charts.

6. Prodigal Moon (Cult of Justitia) vs Kill Joy (Umbrella) 43,895.03NS destroyed (61%/38%)

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A quick shout out to Prodigal Moon, who expressed interest in the charts in the comments to my last post. His war takes number 6 with a bullet. Well, a lot of bullets. And missiles. And aircraft. DAMN, that's a lot of aircraft. 936 planes have been lost in this war so far, which pits Prodigal Moon of the Cult of Justitia against Umbrella's second largest war mode nation. Hi, Prodigal, what do you think of the chart so far?

5. Momonishiki (Anarchy Inc) vs CubaQuerida (Umbrella). 44,201.85 NS lost (71%/28%)

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Something of a cause celebre since being mentioned in Admin's blog yesterday, this war marks Anarchy Inc's first appearance in this chart. When this war started, CubaQuerida had more than a 50k NS advantage over Momonishiki, making this a brave war declaration, albeit one that may not have paid off. At update tonight, CubaQuerida will be out of all wars unless someone attacks before then. Momonishiki has another front to address with the Viridian Entente.

4. Barron von Hammer (NATO) vs Decker (Umbrella). 50,052.24NS destroyed (56%/43%)

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A battle so destructive that it just broke the war details page, hence no Pac-Man graph of overall destruction, this is the closest war on the charts so far. NATO's Barron Von Hammer is taking more punishment than Umbrella's Decker, but it's a close run thing. Neither of these nations are currently in other wars, so until this battle wraps up on the second of February we have ourselves a classic duel on our hands.

3. gpn777 (NATO) vs JoshuaR (Umbrella). 51,844.25NS destroyed (73%/26%)

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Another NATO/Umbrella battle, albeit a slightly less even one than our number 4 spot. This is another war that started with a considerable NS disparity between a smaller attacker and a bigger defender. gpn777 described this as "hitting the big dogs", although the graph of destruction suggests the dog may have bitten back.

2. Alexandros o Megas (Sparta) vs 123Duca (The Last Remnants). 52,891.18 NS destroyed (42%/57%)

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As we get towards the top, the margins of victory narrow. This is the only appearance on this chart for either Sparta or The Last Remnants, and we see a hard fought battle with Alexandros having the upper hand. I'm trying REALLY REALLY hard not to reference that Gerard Butler film. If only I could remember where we were dining tonight...

1. pd73bassman (The Order of the Reaper) vs Charles the Great (The Grand Lodge of Freemasons) 57,312.03 NS destroyed (50%/49%)

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In the number one spot we see a war sitting on a knife edge. pd73bassman and Charles the Great are separated by an NS loss of less than 200. Charles has lost less troops, more tanks, less aircraft and navy, more infrastructure, very slightly more tech, and way less land. There's no way to call this one. When this war ends it will be as a statistical tie.

This was a fun chart to put together. Join me back here tomorrow when most of these wars will have expired and we'll have an all new Scorced Earth Top 10!

lamuella

My inner stats nerd is wondering: would people enjoy a daily Top 10 of the most destructive wars during this conflict? We could start with a conflict-by-conflict breakdown, then in subsequent days profile any major changes, up and coming wars, that kind of thing. I'd keep it as nonpartisan as possible to avoid it becoming the kind of "slap it on the table and measure it" contest these things usually are.

Would this be a thing people read or ignored?

lamuella

There are two types of politics in Cyber Nations: idealism and Realpolitik.

Idealists face the world in a certain way because that's how their code tells them to play. GPA might be a perfect example of an idealist alliance. In their deeply twisted way the Cult of Justitia might be another one.

Realpolitik is the art of facing the world on its terms and winning. Alliances of convenience, ground level pragmatism, the art of "power makes right".

Most alliances are a combination of the two, especially in what they dry to put into the world. You have the way you want the world to be, and it informs the changes you can make. You do what you are ideologically motivated to do, what you have the ability to do, and what the considerations of others can't or won't stop you from doing. Some alliances are further towards the ideological, some further towards the pragmatic, but they're part of the same spectrum. Politics in Cyber Nations is and always has been the art of what you can get away with.

Not that everyone agrees with this.. The "because we can" school is frequently countered by those decrying their actions, claiming such actions will build up later resentment. Certainly, the history of Cyber Nations is littered with the burnt remains of those who thought they could get away with what they were doing. Some however go further and decry the actions of the "because we can" school in the basis that certain behaviours should be avoided on moral or ethical grounds.

Until comparatively recently, a major factor in what was and was not allowable in the game was, bluntly, what Doomhouse and friends wanted to happen. Three years ago, the norm in major wars was that they ended in white peace. GOONS wanted there to be consequences for attacking them, so they pushed for reparations and surrenders in their wars. At the time this was greeted with outrage, but it was accepted and adopted over time, because the people in charge wanted it to happen. This was realpolitik: GOONS wanted it and could get away with it, so they had it.

At the moment, the most powerful influence on the current war is how Equilibrium want to fight it. They have decided that they can enforce the idea that "an attack on one is an attack on all", to allow their allies to enter the fray wherever and whenever they wish. If other people don't like it, they can settle it on the battlefield. Equilibrium want this and think they can get away with this, so they have this.

What this means, though is something quite interesting. It means that this war is not about the toppling of an oppressor or the defeat of a tyrant, but about a pragmatic shift in the balance of power, from what group X can get away with to what group Y can get away with.

This coin is still in the air, and it may not land in the way anyone expects it to, but one thing is clear from the actions of Equilibrium: power will continue to be exercised in the same way. What this means, unexpectedly, is that whether Doomhouse win or lose, their way of playing the game will still be the victor.

lamuella

1) Identify yourself with a moral code. Don't worry too much about its tenets, as long as they're clearly delineated, and it's easy to identify infractions.

2) Scan the active threads in Alliance Announcements for a few days. Identify an alliance, individual, or policy that transgresses your newly acquired modal code. Note that this is not the same as transgressing the alliance or individual's own moral code.

3) Post in the relevant thread something along these lines: "Your bullying and tyrannical behaviour will not be tolerated forever. You may think you're on top now, but you have already sewn the seeds of your own destruction. You are tragic villains, who will be brought low by your own hubris and the ire of those you have trampled underfoot. A reckoning is on its way."

4) Under no circumstances should you actually take any actions against this alliance, individual or policy. You have already taken enough action.

5) repeat steps 2 to 4 around 5 times in total over the course of several months or years. Take all the time you need.

6) Keep one eye on the alliances, individuals, and policies you have spoken doom against. Do nothing to them except observe. If the alliance flourishes and continues to transgress your moral code, feel free to repeat your prophecy of doom. Remember not to give any specifics.

7) should any of your targets suffer adverse consequences of any kind at any point, be the first to remind them of your words. You will seem like a visionary and the Voice Of The People.

That's all there is to it. Broadcast the hits, forget the misses. Your position in CN's most pious choruses is all but guaranteed.

edit for the thinking impaired: It was fairly obvious that I wasn't talking about those moralists within this game who actually do take action or effect change. The parts that make it fairly obvious are the "without really trying" part and the "under no circumstances should you actually take any actions". I'm fully aware of moralists in the game who effect change. Much as I dislike Schattenmann for more reasons that I could comfortably list here, he takes an active role in changing things when he sees things that he thinks should be changed. I'm not talking about Schatt here. Roquentin has and does effected change. I'm not talking about Roquentin here either. Repeat this simple caveat with the name of every other CN moralist you think I might be talking about. If they have attempted, in whatever means, to combat the things they consider to be immoral (and I use combat in a general rather than a militaristic sense) then I'm not talking about them.

I'm instead talking about the many armchair moralists whose reaction to something they don't like in CN is to make the fairly short odds bet that those currently enjoying good fortune will not always enjoy good fortune, and who then proceed to do nothing at all apart from prophesy doom. My problem is that it's the safest bet in existence, especially if you stay vague about it. Every alliance that exists, has existed, or will exist will have points in the game where they are brought low. If an alliance has not experienced such a point, then you might more correctly say that they haven't experienced it yet. Hence on a long enough timeline any suggestion that an alliance will reap what it has sown will come true, for broad enough values of "true".

if you want to play the game according to your system of morals, great. Do so, live according to your code, try and change the world to your code. Have a great time and I wish you all the luck in the world. You have skin in the game and I hope you play it to the best of our abilities. I probably don't like you that much but I'm blown away by your ability to show up (to quote Keanu Reeves). It's the people who aren't investing anything in their worldview who get my goat. Armchair quarterbacks with nothing but prophecies.

Glad to have cleared that up, and apologies for quoting Keanu Reeves.

lamuella

I'm sure none of you care about this. I'm certainly not asking you to care about this. If you don't, feel free to stop reading any time you like, and have a full and productive life unburdened by the need to tell me you don't care why I quit posting in the boiler room.

OK, here's the broadest reason: I don't really care about this game any more. More than that, I don't really care about this community any more. I'm sure a lot of you are fine people, but this is a game not quite boring enough to quit and not quite interesting enough to play properly. There was a point (before GOONS came back) where the only reason I kept a nation was to keep posting in the boiler room. Now, I think I keep playing so I can hang out on IRC with people.

Which brings me to the second point: the game community isn't a dynamic community. With the exception of invasion alliances, we aren't getting that many new people joining, and as a result we aren't getting that many new people on the forums.

Which means that the vast majority of people on the forums (and by extension in the boiler room) have been there forever. I've heard everyone's opinion on just about everything, and the community isn't going to change much. What's more, I'm not going to change anyone's mind. Not because I'm bad at debating (although I'm sure some of you think I am) but because beyond a certain level of cosmetic change, people's minds don't shift to dramatically new positions without huge amounts of effort.

I could post here on every subject, debate everything I disagree with, and it wouldn't change derwood's mind one iota.

I could talk to GVChamp for 6 months straight about the economy and we still wouldn't agree, not because one of us is stubbornly wrong but because our ideologies are different.

Detlev isn't going to get smarter, or more right about anything.

I noticed, in the spring and summer, that I was stopping really trying. I'd default to being snarky and sarcastic, posting for my own amusement rather than to actually and honestly debate a point, because I knew it would make no difference. When I noticed I was doing that, I walked away. I haven't posted in the boiler room since August, and I don't really intend to again.

I went back in there today, took a look at the titles of the threads, and hit the back button. If I'd stayed there and debated things, I'd have got angry and I'd have made people angry. I don't want to do that any more. So instead, I'm going to try posting places where there is a steadier flow of people, where I can communicate about ideas without it being de facto a fight, and where I don't automatically know what everyone's position is going to be on every issue before I even open the thread.

You don't need me in the boiler room. Just imagine what a sarcastic democratic socialist jerk would say about any given issue and that's pretty close to what I would probably have said.

lamuella

of all the words thrown around in this war, I think the most irritating must be "coward".

Both sides are guilty of it, and at a superficial level it works as propaganda. If your enemy is using a tactic you don't like, being able to make your opponent look cowardly for using it can look tempting as a way of gaining a footing in the PR war.

The problem is that it gets used in contexts where it simply makes no sense. Cowardice, if used properly, suggests more than a lack of bravery. It suggests the opposite of bravery, of being willing to accept any consequence as an alternative to pain. An alliance that, for example, refuses to honour an MDP because it knows it will get beaten up, is cowardly.

Because the label of coward is so incredibly toxic (especially after the incidents immediately prior to the Karma war), being able to label someone a coward becomes an incredibly powerful PR weapon, and thus moves that aren't in and of themselves cowardly get painted that way. I'll present an example from either side in this conflict.

Strategic use of peace mode is not in and of itself cowardly. I'm in peace mode right now as I reload and ready myself to get back out on the battlefield. Being able to shield nations until they are strategically useful is not automatically a cowardly act. Of course, there are cowardly uses of peace mode, as I'm sure everyone will agree, but peace mode itself is simply a game option to be used as nations see fit.

Calling in allies is not in and of itself cowardly. I'm growing increasingly bored with the line of argument that runs "LOL, Doomhouse are doing so badly they had to bring in friends!". This is a political world that runs on alliance building every bit as much as nation building. Denying yourself the help of your friends is as nonsensical as denying yourself the use of aircraft, or refusing to accept aid. Friends are a resource, and a valued one. The use of any resource is to be carefully considered, but it shouldn't be rejected just because someone thinks it is "cowardly". People who crow about one side or another "having to" call in friends are in effect jeering at the other side for having friends to call in.

I understand the use of rhetoric in the game. I understand that a well placed word can turn opinions just as readily as a well placed attack can turn the tide on the battlefield. However, let's retire the "coward" thing unless it's actually applicable. There are still plenty of stick insults you can use for each other.

It's not like I asked you to stop calling your enemies dishonorable.

lamuella

So, the latest war just saw its first surrender. Well, kind of. House Of Lords had already surrendered, but the UCN surrender to =LOST=, Poison Clan, and GOONS was the first of any size.

This followed days of alliances leaving the war with a "white peace, don't come back" finish, so much so that several people in the surrender thread were horrified by the fact that it was a surrender and not simply peace. In particular, they seemed horrified by the amount of money owed in reparations. For the record the amount owed was:

150 million

For the record also, I have more money than that in my war chest right now, after two weeks of solid fighting and getting nuked every day. (oh no, did I just give away war secrets?)

This is not an extortionate amount. It's 60 aid slots. Ten nations could knock it out in one day.

However, some people are complaining about the levying of any form of reparations at all, viewing it as extortionate. While there are certain circumstances in which such a levy could be extortion, this does not mean it is always the case. My personal argument for reparations is as follows:

Even when entering a war as a result of treaty obligations, an alliance has options. In a war this size, it would make no strategic sense for all treaties to be honored to the letter, otherwise the war would become an unmanageable tangle in moments. All of MK's allies would declare on anyone attacking them, and then all of the attackers allies would declare, and then... and so on until the cyberverse collapses. It makes more sense to point different alliances at each other. Case in point, UCN attacked GOONS rather than the several other alliances attacking NATO. This isn't a dig at UCN at all, and I very much respect both their ability and their commitment to an ally, but they did make the choice to attack GOONS rather than any other alliance. Case in another point, GOONS attacked NATO rather than any of the other alliances attacking any of their other allies. To take things back one generation, UCN made the choice to sign a treaty of defense with NATO, and GOONS made the choice to sign a treaty of mutual defense with Mushroom Kingdom. Hence, obligation or not GOONS were in a war with NATO by choice, and UCN were in a war with GOONS by choice.

When you choose to enter a war, or choose to sign a document promising to enter a war in certain eventualities, you are agreeing to the consequences of that war. One of the possible consequences of that war, if you are beaten on the battlefield, is that the side facing you requests that you pay some of the rebuilding costs they incur.

Of course, $150 million is not the total rebuilding cost that GOONS is facing from damage done while at war with UCN. UCN performed well on the battlefield and did considerable damage. There is however another reason for asking for reparations.

Reparations at their most simple level, have a punitive effect as well as a compensatory one. Like a fine levied in a court of law, the amount is not just to remunerate the plaintiff but also to correct the conduct of the defendant. Of course, in cybernations the decision of the court rests not on the weighing of facts but effectiveness on the battlefield. Nonetheless, one of the effects of reparations as a punitive measure can be to make alliances think twice before recklessly entering battlefields. As such, I would support harsher measures against those who declare war without due cause or treaty obligation than against those simply defending those they have pledged to defend.

Ultimately, everyone's mileage on this issue will vary. I absolutely do not advise reparations in every circumstance. To pick an example, I would disagree with an aggressor asking for reparations from a defender. GOONS (to pick an example) would not be entitled to reparations in their war with NATO in my opinion. However, there are circumstances where making reparation is an appropriate action.

I'm sure within the first four comments on here the word "extortion" will be used. To those that use it, I request a sense of perspective, but already I'm sure such a request will fall on deaf ears.

lamuella

Pun not intended.

A popular concept in cybernations ever since it began is that of the "just war". Everyone wants to feel like they are in the right, that God (vishnu/shiva/flying spaghetti monster/xenu) is on their side, and will bring them if not victory then certainly vindication. This is why we hear so much talk of casus belli, unwarranted attacks, pre-emptive retaliations, and other such ways of saying "yes, I'm making war, but I'm the good guy".

It's all nonsense, of course.

Cyber Nations is a war game. Not exclusively of course, hence the existence of both a peace mode and an alliance-sized attempt to run a war-mode-peace-mode (love you, GPA), but in general the game is, in the words of Churchill, long periods of boredom followed by short periods of excitement. War is the reason for the game. Admin gave us cruise missiles because he intended us to shoot them at each other.

For this reason and others, I've never been able to stay particularly mad at the monsters of the cyberverse. NPO just did what many other alliances were trying to do, namely to control what the game did. They did it well for a while until their tactics caught up with them. Even they, however, were victims to the desire to be the good guy, or at least the justified guy, hence their construction of elaborate webs of reasoning for going to war with particular alliances rather than the much more simple "We're bored and you'll do" which is the root cause of not just most wars in the game but a lot of wars in the real world.

There are of course good reasons to at least pretend towards a moral stance. One of these is that if you're pretty blatant about "we're bored and you'll do" as a stance, then the people who want to feel just will soon view you as the bad guy and jump up and down on your face. A more cynical man than I might- sod it, an equally cynical man to myself might (and indeed does) say that they relish the existence of these monsters and baddies because it's someone they can attack with impunity, and like I said war is the purpose of the game.

So what would happen if an alliance, or indeed a bloc, started to act as if the moral fictions under which we operate were nonexistent? Well, we have a case study for this in the form of the Unjust Path. They decided that the morals of the game were nonsense, started acting however they wanted... and were promptly rolled out of existence. Funnily enough, many of those doing the rolling were those who had profited from earlier activities just as "unjust" as those of the UJP (horrible out of character attacks notwithstanding). The major difference was that like the medieval monk selling indulgences and then fondling the local girls, they practiced public morality with private vice. If you practice such morality, then someone doing in public what you were doing in private is a threat.

This isn't to say that morals don't have their place in the game. They give us something to shout about in character. They let us call down the thunder of righteous indignation. In other words they add to the drama, and like any good spice they add flavor to the meat of the game. The error is in thinking that these morals are absolute, and it's an error that much of the population of the game commits.

so I'll take no side in the rights and wrongs of any war or crisis unless my alliance is involved. I'll push my alliance's case as hard as I can, because the debate is part of the game.

When the moralizing and the talk of justice starts up, however, I'll be stifling a yawn behind the back of my hand.

lamuella

There are four related problems that will plague any alliance that is seriously trying to make a name for themselves in a game such as this. They in fact cause a fifth problem, namely that the problems are semi-contradictory, and the optimal solution for one is actually a very bad solution for another. The problems are as follows:

  • If players get bored, they will likely leave the game
  • If players get beaten up too badly, they will likely leave the game
  • If an alliance never makes war, when it finally gets into a war its soldiers will be green and inexperienced
  • If an alliance constantly makes war, its soldiers will be too beaten up to perform well

There is no single perfect solution to any of these problems, because they each depend on the makeup and personalities of your alliance members. If all alliances were alike, this would be a dreadfully boring game. However, a few true statements can be made, and I will take a little while looking at each of these problems.

If players get bored, they will likely leave the game

Without meaning any offense at all to the admins and moderators who do a stellar job of keeping this game and this community active, CyberNations on its own is not a terribly interesting game. By on its own, I mean that if this were a standalone single player game, it would provide a lot less excitement than (to pick an example) Age Of Empires. Obviously, it's not competing against Age Of Empires, and one of the things that makes it eminently competitive as a game is its strong community, and the interactions with other nations. Even adding in the peacetime activities of making trades, tech dealing, and the like, Cyber Nations still only has five or ten minutes of active stuff to do a day. "pixel farming", as it is sometimes called, is something that some players find tedious.

War, on the other hand, is bloody exciting. Compare the experience of 11:45 CST in an alliance's private IRC channel during peacetime, and the same bat-time and bat-channel during a war. One is sleepy, not much going on, people blathering about random nonsense. The other is packed, active and tense. People are preparing for attacks, planning defenses, coordinating, getting it done. They are in other words playing the game and having fun with it. I've seen people on IRC during this latest war who I haven't seen since... well... the last war. Business, to coin a phrase, has picked up.

Now, war isn't the only interesting thing an alliance can do, but as an instant pick-me-up, few things are better. If an alliance goes too long without a compelling reason to log on and do stuff, members will lose interest. There's a certain critical mass at which an alliance community starts to become self-sustaining, but even for alliances where they are self-sustaining, something in the way of bread and circuses from the leadership helps keep interest up.

If players get beaten up too badly, they will likely leave the game

a possible solution to the first problem is for the alliance to be trigger happy, to look for wars, or start them, in order to keep the members happy. Bread and circuses, like I said. The problem with that is that it will lead to your members getting stomped on for attacking the wrong person. Eternal war is more interesting than eternal peace, but it's also more painful, and more liable to leave your membership saying "Screw you guys, I'm going home". This is of course unless you're FAN. Words can never express how astounding FAN's achievement of keeping a war going for two years was. Few alliances could hope to compare.

FAN members to the contrary, most alliances don't enjoy being dogpiled. Alliances that are on the thin end of a beating will lose people either to inactivity or to surrender. Being on the winning or losing side of a proper war is fun. Being on the losing side of a mugging is No Fun At All. Thus, while you want to keep your alliance enthused and active, you don't want them to leave to save their skins.

If an alliance never makes war, when it finally gets into a war its soldiers will be green and inexperienced

The ability of your nations to make war is a national security issue. It's sometimes thought that simple nation strength, or average nation strength is an adequate rough indicator of an alliance's ability to fight. However, time and again we see that nation strength, in the words of Aaliah, "Ain't nothin' but a number". To pick an example from the annals of Cybernations history, let's take a look at a front in Great War III: Legion versus FAN and TOP. On paper, Legion were larger than FAN and TOP combined. They were also the side declaring, giving them a theoretical advantage of surprise. Legion should have therefore won. However, because TOP and FAN were better prepared, more active, had more recent war experience, and could coordinate better, they performed one of the most legendary defensive actions in the game's history, and severely dented Legion's fighting ability. Note that Legion also declared on the Grand Global Alliance at the same time. I'm not in any way discounting GGA's fighting ability, merely recounting the legend. The point of the story is that ability as a fighting force has never rested on numbers. Rather, experience and skill can turn the tide of a seemingly unwinnable battle. Coordination, speed, timing, vigilance and an understanding of the game's war mechanics can render advantage in terms of military might to be meaningless in some circumstances.

And therein is part of the problem. The only way to pick up the skills that make you a better fighter is to fight, or to be around veterans. A big nation that last had a war back when level 2 fighters and bombers were the height of technological sophistication is going to have a lot to learn in a modern war. A smaller nation that has fought in a nuclear conflict within the last month will have a statistical disadvantage over a large nation, but will make up for it in knowledge of how to fight. If, however, the best way to pick up this knowledge is to be in a lot of wars, then your nation will be pretty war-torn, and that leads us to the next problem:

If an alliance constantly makes war, its soldiers will be too beaten up to perform well

The ability to fight well is a great thing, and a very useful skill set to maintain. However, the best skill set in the world won't help you if you're anarchied, half the size you were two months ago, and under surrender terms that have you shipping tech out to bigger nations once every ten days.

Even in less severe circumstances than those outlined above, fighting a lot gets you beaten up a lot. It gets your infra blown out from under you, it wipes out your tech, it plays merry hell with your finances and your ability to collect. Fighting ability counts for a lot, but it still has to build on something, and trying to defend yourself with a broken nation is like trying to build a bridge with rotten wood. Peace is as necessary as war, if only in that it prepares you for the next war. Alliances that undergo multi-month wars, like Fark and FAN, usually come out on the other side statistically weakened by the experience, even if it hardens the players and hones their abilities.

Therefore, on all four problems, we need a balance: Enough war that your players are enthused and well trained. Enough peace that they aren't discouraged or too badly beaten to do much.

Different alliances find different solutions to this problem, but one that is both relatively popular and highly controversial is this:

Tech raiding.

And as I say this, I can feel a chill descend across the room. Tech raiding in CN is one of those issues that will divide any group you talk to. To say opinion on it is polarized is like saying that mount kilamanjaro is quite a steep hill. It doesn't do the concept justice. I'm not going to talk about the morality or otherwise of tech raiding here. If anything, this article should be amoral (which is a different thing from being immoral) towards the hot potato of the cyberverse. Instead I'm going to be talking about the benefits to the alliance of tech raiding, plus the costs.

To reiterate, this is not a moral defense of tech raiding. Tech raiding is and always has been the deliberate use of the resources of another player for your own advancement. It is war for gain, be that gain of enjoyment, experience, or technology. However, the cyberverse is a competitive place, and such war does happen. If you are willing to accept this, and neither throw up your hands in disgust not loudly maintain the justice of tech raiding, then allowing such raiding can be of benefit to your alliance.

Tech raiding lets your alliance's smaller members learn the war system at small size and low risk. It lets them learn what to do when attacking and when attacked. It lets them know how to coordinate attacks, both for maximum destruction and for material gain. It helps them learn to coordinate and builds camaraderie amongst members of a team. In short, it keeps your players interested and trained without most of the international problems caused by major wars.

Note there that I said most of those problems. There are of course those in the cyberverse, and I'm sure some of them are reading this article, who deeply dislike tech raiding, and are and have been willing to cause diplomatic incidents over what they view as the excesses of tech raiding. If the balance in what is allowable to the tech raiding alliance is set as too permissive, the alliance as a whole may find themselves in the midst of a war. If the forces against them are large enough, then the training they were seeking by allowing tech raiding will not be enough to prevent their bloodying.

Ultimately, the choice is that of the alliance leader and the alliance member. allowing tech raiding, or joining an alliance that allows tech raiding, is a decision, and like all large decisions in the game it has consequences. The decision is whether the risk of what this might bring is worse than the risk of stagnation if your members are denied such excitement, and I can't make that decision for anyone else but myself.

lamuella

The Fun Doctrine

Oh god, not another one.

While I'm glad the blog option in the game exists, blogs have a tendency to act as soapboxes, and nothing in this world is more boring that yet another "well, here's what I think about this war..." post.

So why have I made one? Because I love the sound of my own voice. Because I, like everyone else, am entirely convinced of my own inner brilliance and think everyone else should respond telling me what great posts I make.

But anyway,

The purpose of this post is to expound, probably at more length than you care about, upon my stance as to Cybernations And How It Should Be Played. This is an out of character opinion, although to be honest my "character" in-game is basically me, so all being out of character means is that I'll be mentioning that this is a game. If it comes as a shock to you that this is a game, I can't wait to see what happens when you discover what color the sky is, and that water isn't as dry as you might have previously thought.

The whole thing can be summed up in a single sentence, represented here as a graphic:

1zp6ruo.gif

Games should be fun.

Cybernations is a game, and games are supposed to be fun. If you're playing Cybernations and you're not having fun, you should either play another way or stop playing.

This isn't to say that games should be silly, or that games shouldn't be taken seriously. A lot of the fun of a good and immersive game is that it is serious, and that you can devote a lot of time to it. What it is to say, however, is that there's a line between taking the game seriously because of how much fun you have with it, and caring about the game so much that you start to feel genuine anger, bitterness, resentment or hate because of it.

Here's some things that are fun:

  • Getting your own back on an in-game enemy
  • Scoring a fairly wicked burn on someone on the forums
  • Tweaking the nose of an authority figure
  • Stomping on an alliance you dislike

Here are some things that go beyond fun into the realm of the creepy and sad.

  • Forcing disbandment
  • Going on a vendetta against an alliance and spitting hate at them
  • Investing so much in your nation that you get genuinely depressed when you get into a war because of your precious pixels

These latter things fall very much in the area of Taking The Internet Too Seriously. Yes, I realize the irony of a former member of the Goon Order Of Neutral Shoving saying something like that. There's a serious point behind this, though. Even old GOONS at their worst were still ultimately committed to the idea of having fun in the game. Admittedly at points their form of fun was about the misery of others, but that's really beside the point. They played for enjoyment, and like I said:

1zp6ruo.gif

I see a lot of people these days who play for revenge, or play to be the top dog, or play to instill their form of order in the game, and honestly they don't seem to be having fun. On the other hand, I'm in 3 wars right now with NATO, and I'm chatting on IRC with guys trying to nuke me even as the bombs drop, and we're all having a whale of a time.

Fundamentally, the fun doctrine comes down to this:

  • Play your game, not anyone else's
  • Only care about how other people play if it effects you
  • if the game causes you more misery than joy, play something else

kind of waffly for a small point, but then I suppose I'm kind of a waffly person.

So, yeah.