After many talks in the Leauge of Micros, there seems to be enough interest in pursuing Planet Bob’s first ever ‘Micro World War’.
The suggested rules of engagement are as follows:
1) All interested alliances are divided based on stats into two equal teams.
2) The Micro World War will have an official start date (hopefully in march) and a duration of NMT 14 days- both parties will know the start date well ahead of time.
3) There will be a ‘no ghosting’ policy after the teams are equally divided until the conclusion of the world war.
4) Participates of the world war waive their treaties until the completeion of the war.
5) After the world war concludes, the chips resist and if it’s a success, we aim for another one in 6 months (with new teams picked) and we’re hoping to do this twice a year. So please help make this a success!
It is encouraged for the alliances participating to bring their pride and their flags waiving, enjoy the propaganda and the comradely. The only ‘losers’ are the ones sitting on the sidelines.
Please in-game PM me if you think it would be fun for your own alliance. Not sure if you’re a micro? If you’re pondering that question, then I bet you’re qualified.
Being a member of the newly formed League of Micros, I want to explain what the League of Micros is, it's a round table setting for micro alliances (friends and enemies) to come together and share their ideas of how to make the world interesting and to promote activity. It is not a bloc, it is not a treaty, and it's not enforceable. Think of it like the United Nations for Micros. The purpose of the League of Micros is to work as a community to promote our own micro world. It does not prevent micro wars, it does not stop micro wars, but it does offer sentiments on the value of the war. For example, micro wars are a healthy and fun endeavor given that one micro doesn't stomp the other into inactivity. For most micros, a round or two of wars are plenty. Having a framework in place gives both parties a voice and the other micros a responsibility to critique our own little world and encourage activity while promoting a healthy micro world. The idea is to build our own world, kicking the larger alliances out. They don't care about our involvement as much as we really shouldn't are about theirs. Micro drama is the best drama, think of it like craft beers changing the world over the conglomerate and boring budweiser beers. The cost of the League of Micros is free, and we strongly encourage you to be a part of it and help us build our own world. We are working to get a list of 'active micros' throughout planet bob and a continuously updated contact list from each alliance, to make micro involvement simple and fun.
The larger alliances have ruined their game play and we can learn from their mistakes, by developing a micro world that encourages new alliances, more frequent skirmishes, individual character development, and responsible wars, who knows, we may even have a draft challenge!
I have decided to post pictures of Monters Inc characters and linking them to some of the fine rulers on planet bob.
This is about as historically accurate as it gets for us and our relations with them.
This one is clearly a given, mainly because it's my avatar in an alliance that is M Inc- themed. Also, it quite suits the profile well. A troll with a slight case of napoleon syndrome.
By far one of my best friends on Planet Bob, the story with King Neptune is my favorite. He was on FARK's perma ZI list and I literally bugged FARK until they had me write a micro beer review to get him off their list... in hindsight, I think FARK was just sick of me bugging them. Anyway, he's over 10 years old and has the wonder heavy muscle to protect my micro butt.
If DS was at war in the last few years, it was most likely with us. When coalitions can't handle us, they run to Hersh. This picture clearly sums up the Lord Hitchcock / Lord Hershey past.
Make no mistake, White Chocolate has certainly spent her fair amount of time dropping the hammer on us... but she also loves us (and we love her).
Very-very mean, heartless ruler. The Villain in Polaris.
Very-very nice, kind ruler. The white knight in Polaris
Always messing up... always a target on his back.
The current Planet Bob Enforcers
Does not believe in "fun". A war to him is simply spreadsheets.
More to be edited-in later...
I want to acquire some ideas for an initiative Monsters Inc is planning- and one that gives back to Planet Bob.
Our members are in the lower tier and fortunately for us, we pack enough wonders to war forever while having fun. And we do care about the community.
Members here, whether it's a micro or sanctioned alliance, color dominate or neutral, we all feed off the community to some extent; and we all know the numbers in cyber nations are dying. I can't tell you how many threads (Dajobo had a great discussion on this, except the lack of specifics really made it hard to fully suppor) / discussions / ideas have been tossed around and to no avail, there haven't been any significant results.
The Apathy Report made a great informative piece on this matter a while back and here is a cliff-noted summary:
1) Less number of new players joining.
2) The number of new players joining are not staying.
Now the second one is one that really gets me, if you think about it, of 20 new nations joining, I'd dare say maybe 1 sticks it out for a year. Based on this, there are things that we can control, things that we should control. And Monsters Inc is going to attempt this very initiative by protecting new, unaligned nations from raiding. Now of course, I understand that larger nations raid for land, and alliance ghost bust; and those actions serve a purpose. It's the three week old, no war chest noob eating nukes that is the concern. So here's where it currently is:
Criteria for protection from raiding:
1) Nation is less than one year old- make it here a year and it gives a ruler enough time to understand and enjoy the mechanics that we all love.
2) Nation is equal to or less than 15k NS- 99% of unaligned nations are below 10k, if a nation unaligned makes it to 15k and less than a year old, then they have an idea of game mechanics.
3) Nation is unaligned or in an alliance of 5 or less (majority of those members being less than 1 year old).
And I think these are all reasonable circumstances. Of course there will be an argument of "that's what alliances are for" or "our alliance will make our own rules" or my personal favorite "if m inc wants to give back to planet bob, disband immediately" (haha petro, beat you to it!).
On a more serious note, this would work. In the sense of improving the compounding decline of player retention.
A couple more ideas: Having larger alliances support the initiative, not monetarily per say, but pledging not to ping new nations, and make it a community movement. And by making it a community initiative, I even thought about if anyone wanted to make a google doc, something we could pitch out to the victims, explaining which alliances are which, difference between neutrals and non, and perhaps even a welcome to planet bob.
I am completely open to thoughts and suggestions on this matter. There is plenty of time before the end of the current war and lots of time to really make this a community voice and I look forward to working with you. Cheers!
They have been quite impressive. They have quickly managed to fill just about every war slot in mi6 and TPF in the matter of a couple days. The STA war is beginning to fill in.
What's the best thing MI6/TPF/STA can do? Draw the war out- whether than it being the Oculus planned 'short war' wrapped up for the yearly world war- they could (and should) draw it out until January- and let AAs like ODN complain that they can't use their treaties for a pointless world war.
Anyway- pull this blog up when it happens- so here's a reality check:
I wonder where in the treaty web, are there AAs who could fit this very same scenario...
Let's see, there's Polar who you could interchange with MI6.... Followed by a pre-Empt strike on FARK (replacing TPF) and then RnR would be the next STA- who would burn for FARK in a heart beat- but would hate doing it at the same time because of FARKs ties to Polar.
It's my 2 cents
I'm a 'newer' player compared to some of you old geezers.
I think world wars are good for planet bob, and that's neither here-nor-there. The question I have is, why do we have a yearly world war?
Easy question I thought and I asked some people and the response I have gotten is "we just do".
Sort of like the nation of brittben celebrating holloween every year, we just do- and what I am getting at is: there has to be a history of where a scheduled war period started- it is probably the most sound gentlements' agreement we have on planet bob-
So when did it start becoming a 'holiday' and why? Did someone just come out one day and say "hey, let's make this the time we all settle our disputes"...?
Simple word isn't it? Just say 'uncle' and it can be all over...
Well, there's a reason and it isn't about pride its more about the deep personal feelings we have towards kashmir.
During the m inc TSO war Jack layton actually ghosted into m inc- any m inc member past or present can account that our aa announcements can be fairly vulgar and in kind Jack was happy to join in on them.
So anyway, flash forward to the "kashmir declares on their former Protecterate- for us being 'terrible' micros".
And guess what, it was still IC and we rolled with it. However in the course of the war Layton decided to report messages he "found offensive" which is absolute Bs because after the stuff he posted in our own aa announcements there wasn't anything we could send to "offend" Jack- but he reported it and from admins standpoint there was valid reason to ban our members and they did. We lost two awesome, active members- roochi- who had a really well built, wonder heavy nation and then we lost zombinator who was fun to BS with.
To make matters worse, Jack then messages our members bragging about their deletions and that's when our IC role turned into an OOC F):& you role.
And that's why we won't budge an inch for those pieces of $:&/. Margrave can report all he wants- it's really all he's got left to do sense we've made it our responsibility to kick the !@#$ out of him and layton.
So when they are asking for us to 'to surrender' our response will always be "F/&@ off"
Notice the title wasn't "how to save planet bob". Reasoning is that it isn't dying- in fact, it's just in a bear market. "But it's a text-based game"... sure it is, and angry birds was a big hit in 2011 (it doesn't matter) and Planet Bob will thrive again, mark my words.
First, let's get this off my chest, I find it counterproductive for older players to hold "let's save planet bob discussions" and then turn around and poke fun at "micro drama". As heard on the Apethy Report, the issue isn't about recruiting, it's about player retention. Enough nations join CN, keeping them around is hard. New Nations aren't welcome on Planet Bob.
They weren't in the GOONs 1.0 war, they weren't in the equilibrium war, they haven't conspired to 13 treaties with sanctioned alliances, they suck, 'hail pacifica'.
It isn't the new players keeping things stagnate- it's the old ones.
What's the point of a world war anyway? Most older nations have such a big war chest and they plan to fight 6 months and the world war ends in 3 months and then they go another 9 months back-collecting. The point is that there isn't any excitement. There are plenty of 4999 infra nations out there these days that have billions of dollars in their war chest. All war is to them is a couple of clicks an evening- rebuild after, rinse, repeat. World Wars are not personal.
With that being said, where is your back against the wall? The thrill of the fight? Not knowing if your nation will make it through? The comradely of your friends coming to have your back....
A bad defeat is better than a good back collect.
(It's a little long)
One day I decided to create a nation and with-in the first ten minutes of being online, I received five new messages. The first one, of course, was a "welcome to cyber nations" message and the second was a "please join our alliance" message. I didn't bother to read the other three messages because they looked like recruitment messages too (and I didn't want to join an alliance).
At first, I just wanted to be left alone- so that I could build my new nation how I wanted to build it- but I didn't know anything about the game so I decided to join the first alliance that sent me a message, so that I could get advice from experienced players about what to do. That alliance happened to be Guinness.
To this day, I still think Guinness had the best online forum than any other forum I have seen. It was not only community friendly, but it was also extremely active with young players. The daily topics were non-abrasive, usually "sell tanks, they hurt your economy", "change your resources to this-and-this, because so-and-so went inactive", "make sure to finish the academy training". It was a lot of fun for about a month, and then things started to slow down. I found that my daily log-in routine slowly started to turn into a once-every-four-days type of routine.
Then one morning I logged into my account and I had 14 messages in my inbox stating that someone declared war on me, took my money, destroyed my tech and infra, and stole my land. Not to mention my government was in anarchy and my people were angry; and truthfully, I was angry. I didn't even know the ruler who attacked me, I was just a random target and I felt violated. He sent me peace and I didn't even want to accept it, but my leader ordered me to. I even messaged the guy and asked him what his problem was, no response.
That raid was the best activity booster I have ever had.
Still mad, I decided to take action- I bought 50 cruise missiles (that's not a misprint), maxed out my tanks, bought 60 bombers (again, not a misprint), and I decided to purchase 3 super expensive spies to really wreck his day. I was going to give it a couple of days before I whacked him, you know, catch him off-guard, but by the time that day come I realized that I couldn't afford all this stuff, so I just sold it off and went about my business. From then on I logged in every day just in case he decided to hit me again.
In the meantime, I tried to learn how to war- I actually read the documents in our alliance academy (rather than just a quick scroll-through), watched online videos showing how to war in CN, and I even looked at nations were who warring each other and taking notice of what improvements they had during their conflict.
About a week went by and another one of my members were hit by the same alliance. Now things were starting to upset us and not more than a couple of days later another member was raided. That was it. We were all mad at this point, we felt like our protector (NSF) was not doing their job and we told them we were unhappy- we've been raided three times and yet not any of them helped us out- and finally our protector agreed to support us in fighting back.
Our thoughts about the situation were compared to that of a school yard bully. Sometimes you have to slap the bully in order for him to leave you alone. So that's what we decided to do. Our protector gave us a great tip: hit them right before-and-after server time, so that we have an extra day of war advantage on them.
So it was planned out and we had specific war instructions: CM CM AC AC GB GB after server CM CM AC AC GB GB. I was nervous, what if I messed the order up?
The night we were going to quad them, about an hour before operation: going in w/o lube I went on the war screen and doubled, and tripled checked, where all of my military buttons were at, so that I could ensure that I could attack quickly and swiftly and most importantly, correctly. I had a beefy 2 million dollars saved up at the time, so to ice-the-cake, I even bought 5 satellites and planned to switch them out for 5 missile defenses in case they decided to counter-attack us. I probably smoked a half pack of cigarettes waiting for this attack, which we felt was justified, and hopefully would solve our problems.
A quarter till server time we hit, guns blazing, I will never forget that I dealt about 950 damage after the quad was over. I dealt the most damage in our coalition. We celebrated in the forums. I was even announced as an honorary fighter for the alliance, it was a good feeling. The attacks were a success! Now all we had to do was let our FA Chancellor handle the "don't mess with us, or else" talks and things would be back to normal.
The next morning I woke up, not to a bunch of messages, but just one- it was my opponent- saying that they have respect for us defending ourselves and that he wasn't going to use nukes on me because apparently I was 'brave'. And with that being said I thought "great, our planned worked". Unfortunately, the rest of Lavender Town didn't feel the same. They liked to war and they wanted to "teach us a lesson" aka "make an example out of us". So now we saw ourselves in a full blown war. To make matters worse, a couple of days later our military commander jumped ship and created Socialist People's Alliance and claimed that he 'worked out a deal' to save our infra.
At the time, we stayed loyal, knowing that we could rebuy infra, but not our reputations. So after a couple of days, our leader comes on and says "The war is over, great job everybody, resume business as usual"... but wait a minute, I'm still at war- and my conversation with my opponent was that he was ordered to 'nuke' me and that another alliance was going to enter into the war that night. I tried to tell our leader this, but he wouldn't listen to me, even though he's much smaller than me and hasn't fought at all. On top of that, the nation who was supposed to "war aid" me resumed tech deals and didn't have any more slots open. So my war aid was cut off, while I'm at war (and this was before I knew what a war chest was). And sure enough, in the evening, my nation was mad because apparently we didn't stock up on enough sunscreen. So I took our ex-commanders offer to jump AAs, told my leader at the time that he should've listened and that night what happens? Riot Society enters the war and rolls both NSF and the remaining Guinness members who actually believed that we were 'at peace'.
Of course, the world saw it differently, calling us deserters, but that didn't really make sense considering our leader posted an alliance announcement stating that "the war was over, good job everybody". when indeed it was not, he just buried his head in the sand and pretended that we were not in conflict. It's too bad, because that was a low moment for a lot of players who never recovered from it. They either left, or re-rolled.
While sitting in basically a PoW over at SPA, my opponent asked me to join Lavender Town. I thought of it as an insult, but at the time I was in nuclear anarchy, and I thought I was in permanent bill lock. I was almost certain I would have to re-roll. So I figured if I am only around for a another 2 weeks, I may as well take it as a learning curve, join the fighters and learn their "secret war strategies".
The first day I hopped over to Lavender Town, I had about 40 dollars and rather than them just asking me how much I had, they simply spied my nation. I felt stupid.
The next day I woke up and to my surprise, I had a free 6 million in my aid screen. I was happy- I could actually pay my bills! and it wasn't that I didn't do tech deals before, I just didn't know how to do them. If I had 3 tech deals going on, I would buy up to the full 300 tech and send it out (not really a profit making strategy, looking back on it).
So they taught me how to raid, picked targets for me and I practiced, alot. If a nation was fussing because I was attacking them, then another member would step in and nuke them for complaining and we'd move on to the next target. I was running with the 'big dogs' and it was a lot of fun. And I didn't know the leader personally, but he sure sent me a ton of money to fund my 'practice'.
Eventually I received noticed that we were merging into a bigger alliance- Riot Society. I was excited because now I was in an alliance with a member who was huge, like 100k big and while the transition was a little rough managing trade circles, all-in-all it was a good group of people in the forums.
Then one day one of my friends was hit by a pending member from Shield. We didn't have a motto in Lavender Town, but if we had, it would have been "shoot first, ask questions later" and sure enough, Riot Society retaliated on the initial attack on our friend and hit a bunch of Shield members.
This is where it gets messy.
Dark Templer was already annoyed at Lavender Town for causing Guinness to disband and they were even more annoyed that we had hit their protectorate. What made matters even worse was that while our leader was negotiating peace talks, one of our members (who was ordered to peace out), would send the nation peace, if they didn't accept it before server time- he'd nuke him and then send peace again. This happened for like 5 days straight. So then we found out that we've done pissed all of AZTEC off.
I didn't know who AZTEC was, so I looked them up in the alliance directory and I couldn't find anything of relevance. And then finally I was told that it wasn't an alliance, but a bloc of alliances- in fact, the oldest bloc still operating today.
So the night before my vacation I was online, just waiting to see if they would actually go through the trouble of in-game messaging each other to coordinate a strike on us, because most of the nations in the bloc were top heavy- each of them only had a few tough lower tier nations. And sure enough, I get a messaged in my inbox stating "war declared" and then another, and then another. Acting as quickly as I could, I bought troops and then in-game messaged everyone in the alliance telling them that we were under attack. I felt like Paul Revere yelling "The British are coming, the British are coming." And Riot Society was under attack by the cream-of-the-crop of the AZTEC bloc, plus an Umbrella nation (Umbrella wasn't in AZTEC at the time), Seven Kingdoms and the Sandstorm Confederacy.
Another thing I learned then: if you click on an alliance to view all nations, and to the right where it designates war mode / peace mode- there is also another symbol that is a red circle with a white stripe slashed through it- that basically means that the nation is defending 3 other wars and is very busy. It was easy to spot at the time, because all of us had it.
Thinking back to what happened in Guinness, I basically told myself that I was going to fight to the very end, with everything I had, and I would ensure to show complete loyalty to the alliance, and a positive attitude whether or not I had any infra left over. And so I did, I was nuked daily, and because my opponents were bigger and I was already in Anarchy- I deployed and sent all but one soldier just so that I could deal some damage. On top of that, I kept a positive attitude in our forums and while we were fighting, some lower tier nuke turrets ghosted in with us, friends of Riot Society, and they were great. I remember one of them got an in-game message basically saying "please don't nuke me again" and we posted in the forums for a good laugh. And Riot Society fought well- in fact, they out damaged the AZTEC coalition the first week.
And that was about as long as it lasted- our leader negotiated a little over one round of wars and then they were to stop. Some of the members agreed with that decision, and others wanted to fight on. So after the AZTEC raids, some of the members who wanted to fight on left and formed a new AA and some of the upper tier nations left because they were mad that we got into this mess in the first place. Not to mention that we didn't have any actual treaties (just gentleman's agreements) and no one wanted to treaty with us because we pissed AZTEC off. We were at our low point- both in numbers and moral.
So with government positions looking to be filled, the leader asked me if I was interested in government. He said that I was active during the war, and that I carried myself well, even when I was getting nuked everyday. I thought to myself, well, I've already been in a failed AA, a PoW AA, a raiding AA, and a merger into a bigger AA- and I didn't want to keep jumping around, so I said "yes". At least I could give it a shot and try to turn the alliance around, get our numbers back up, and our name cleaned up.
So I worked with the current leader, and the former leader and it was the best experience a new player could ask for. Both of them were polar opposites to work with- one of them was much more political and secretive and the other was a hardened veteran who has seen just about all there is to see on planet bob. Whether I agreed with them or not, the bottom line was that after working with these two experienced players for about 8 months, I learned more about cyber nations than I could ever learn on my own.
It was during this time period that I learned about the complex treaty web. The history of the 2nd and 3rd world war, what/how to build a war chest, buy spies, and how to use IRC. Rather than recruit new players, for some reason I always wanted to help the players who were in trouble. One of our members was at war with FARK for a long time- and FARK told me that if I posted a craft beer review on their alliance forum, than they would put that situation to rest. And so I did, and it was actually fun- not to mention that they have a great selection of articles to read on there. Other members were not so easy to get off the string, like when one of the LSF members got mad and decided to nuke her fellow alliance mates. That one took a little more work, lol.
The problem still, was that no one wanted to be associated with us (outside of Riot Society's close friends). And then one day, while I was on IRC, I met a player who was cool as hell, totally open minded, and didn't really care what other people thought. In fact, I had so much respect for him, that when they went to war against MI6, I had a bunch of friends and I ghost into his alliance to help him fight. And his alliance knows how to fight, some of their members have over 20 million casualties, and their ability to coordinate attacks was damn near perfect. Their alliance announcements were flooded with spy reports, reminders to "set gov. position to this, make sure you buy this", and the ones of us who ghosted over there had a blast. Not only were they fun to fight with (I had a wonder heavy nation both above, and below me) but their opponents were very active. Of course, in response, so were we, even on owf. When the war wrapped up, my friends and I wanted to fight in the world war, but we didn't have any backing at the time, so we couldn't enter.
So instead, we decided to merge into a bigger alliance so that we could participate in the world war and seek decent peace terms when it had ended. But my experience with that merger and the fighting we did was not near as structured as our previous war- nor was the 6 million for 200 tech deals, or taking orders from people outside of our alliance fun. So we decided that after the war was up, we would create our own alliance and that's what we did. It's how Monsters Inc was formed- it was one forged out of friendship, ran by all of us, and strengthened with loyalty.
So what's the point of writing all of this? There are actually three reasons:
First: There is always a thread with older nations saying that they would like to 'save the game' and what they mean is that they want to attract and retain new players. Yet on the opposite end of that, I constantly see new players who are often scolded because they are not conforming to controversies that took place over five years ago. Let the new players forge their own path, let them make their own mistakes and their own friends, it's how they will learn and grow.
Secondly: In this game, you have to appreciate your enemies as much as you like your friends, because without either, there wouldn't be any controversies and without controversies there wouldn't be activity. One of the biggest reasons for this statement came from a conversation with a veteran player last night and he had shown me a treaty map from 'back-in-the day;. It was much more bare. In fact, you could actually see separations in the web and it wasn't a two sided web. Now-a-days the treaty web is so locked down that it hinders alliances from doing anything except for counting on the next world war to stretch their page. And some alliances haven't seen activity in so long that they aren't even capable of managing a war that is effective.
Which is another thing- during this most recent world war, a lot of the alliances were taking orders from other alliances. You may as well merge into your superior if that's how you want to play, I mean, what's the point of having your own alliance and sovereignty if you really don't have either? Wars should be fought based on meaning. The best statement of the year was by the leader of SRA who basically stated that his alliance is not locked into a yearly world war and that he makes decisions based on what is best for his alliance.
And Lastly: Whenever I get into a bind, I look back on my first day playing Cyber Nations and I wonder how my experience would have been had I of joined one of the other three messages I received. Sure, maybe I would be bigger, but in less than a year and 1 million casualties later, I'm proud of where I started and what I've learned, and I'm glad of where I am at now- and I look forward to what lies ahead.