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Admin Can't Help You


Schattenmann

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This has been a tears-long trend in posting, but this week I've noticed it more than I've become used to. What's that? The Admin blaming. It's Admin's fault the game is dying. He needs to change the game more often; he needs to advertise more; he needs to encourage dynamic politics; he needs to start at 0 again.

It's allllll about Admin.

Can I point something out--with all due respect to Admin. Aside from creation, this game didn't hit 40,000 nations because of anything Admin did. No advertising, no paid staff, no capital campaign. The server itself indicates that Admin had no idea what he was on to: it crashed monthly and during every major event. The first forum, the first first forum before the Invision free forum was some godawful hideous crap that isn't even archived; why? Because who thought anyone was going to be using it?

Admin doesn't even take credit for the growth of the game. When, at the height of game popularity, Escapist Magazine asked him "What attracts and keeps players in Cyber Nations, and how did you build up such a big community [40,000 nations] in 18 months?" he said exactly what we know: "I think it has something to do with the fact that something is always happening in Cyber Nations. Every time I log in there is something new going on, one group flexing their muscles and on the brink of war, another group trying to keep the peace, another group getting caught for spying on another alliance. ... It's that kind of excitement that seems to drive new players to the game and keep them coming back." (read the rest of the article here)

And that really is what we know. ". . . it has something to do with the fact that something is always happening. . ."

Three years ago, that was the answer to "why is CN growing so fast?" And today it is the answer to the question "why is CN losing ground?"

Game updates--pardon me, denizens of the Suggestion Box--are not exciting. I can count on one hand the number of times I have read the game update log. The Trade Calculator, which had been needed for years, was in-game for months before I knew it had been added. For nations with a metric ass-tonne of money, there is nothing amazing about a new wonder. Dropout newbs, believe me, would not give a damn if there was a new resource.

In fact, the only thing that Admin has done that majorly bummed me out is when he removed the whoooooooosh-BOOM! sound effect from the cruise missile attack screen. When I was getting ground into hamburger during the Unjust War, turtling before we called it turtling with no way to retaliate except CMs, it was soooooo satisfying to hear that noise.

As far as I know, the bugs have been worked out, the game works, it's a better game than it was in 2007. The simple fact of the matter is that we have lost population during the period of innovation. Navies, moon bases, ecstacy-tablet resource icon, trade calculator--none of those things stopped a decline in nations. Why would anyone sit around and say that more of those things would bring more people? We know by observation of reality that that is a false assertion.

We know by observation of reality that the thing that brings players is ". . .something is always happening. . ."

The decline in playership is the decline of the players themselves. You're fat and decadent. You're self-absorbed. The 4k NS nations of 2007 had nothing to lose in a month-long super global war; at least nothing that they couldn't get back in 2 weeks of peace. Get out of your hallowed halls of imperious supernations; this is a nation-building game. Grind your nations down and you will have to rebuild them again, you'll have to play again. Fight wars without epic earth-shattering consequences or stakes, and your friends have a reason to join and fight for fun, too.

Do something, fatasses.

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I've been saying this for a long time. Years even. The responsibility to keep things interesting belongs to those with the power to do it. NSO, and myself, as much as I hate to say it, happen to be completely irrelevant. The only thing we're capable of doing is getting stomped on. Granted, I still manage to amuse myself from time to time, but any of that is only a temporary and mild amusement for others. Not something permanent and lasting.

I do not know what MK's intent, if any, was over the trade circle thing a few days ago, but that's what the game is lacking. Strong arming for no reason. When you have power, use it. There is no point in having it otherwise, unless your idea of fun is seeing how can get to 20k infra the quickest, which I don't know about you, but I do find that boring.

What we have is the same problem as the Pax Pacifica (prior to Vox coming into being). NPO kept on telling others to "do something" about it. Realistically, the only thing most alliances could do was go on a suicide run. That changes nothing in the game realistically.

But yes, part of the problem is the evolution of the game. Back in the beginning there was room for larger than life figures at the top. GATO had plenty of well known rabble rousers. GATO for crying out loud. Even I as a newbie was capable of recognizing the big figures in any major alliance. Legion had names like Zunea, Reformentia, VL Empire, and SocCarolina. LoSS had Australasia still in his prime, and New Revere, causing trouble. NAAC had tons of notable people. And most if not all of these big names had egos that could fill a room, and that caused conflict. And how could I forget Prodigal Chieftain?

It also created grudges that led to some alliances being defeated or marginalized utterly. Some people discovered it was better for their alliance to be cold, calculating political machines entirely devoid of personality. So instead of being lead by Type A's, alliances began to be filled with boring political types. Those types of alliances succeed, no doubt, and so do those types of people, but from a gamer's perspective it is terrible for the game. Absolutely nothing can happen because these people do not take risks.

And the big personalities I mentioned earlier. They're marginalized to the edge. No respectable alliance would dare allow one of them into a leadership position. And few, if any these days, will even allow them as a base level member simply because doing so might attract controversy.

That's one of the problems. A lesser caliber of leadership. Well, they are good in the regard that they create successful alliances, but not fun alliances. The communities might be fun, and they might be pleasant, but over all there is nothing that makes the alliance fun or stick out.

I've always thought of this game as a play, for lack of a better word. We're putting on a show. You must allow for some theatrics simply to keep things entertaining for others.

Secondly, I'd say there is a declining quality of overall players. Let's face it, CN is a relic. There aren't many text based games these days because they aren't very fun. You collect taxes once every day and pay bills. Wars are just clicking a few screens and moving on. CN is not a very great game because of what is has to offer. If I simply played in game I'd have gotten bored a long time ago. No, CN, as Admin said, is what the players have made it.

Like a certain other game that shall not be mentioned, there is nothing special about it. No, but the players have used the text and the game as a basis and a means for enjoyment.

But with all the flash games these days, people don't care for text games. They're more work and you might have to do something yourself instead of having it all provided for you. Bah. I could go on, but you understand.

You get out of CN what you put into it. If you're not putting anything into it, take your complaining elsewhere.

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40,000 nations back then? Isn't that also the time when multis were allowed? So I wouldn't go as far as saying that it was so popular that 40,000 unique rulers/nations roamed the planet.

It's gotten to be the mindset that 50k+ nations are the norm. Hell, in many of the key alliances it is 80k+ nations so wars can't happen until they are ready.

There is really nothing that needs to be added in game except for the reduction of nukes from 25 to 10 and the reduction of war slots. It would make wars more strategic.

The politics will remain stagnate. There aren't really any core issues that will drive alliances to war and or the issues that could be pushed have people that would like to push for war in no position to make an effective war.

War will happen again eventually. It just won't be as frequent anymore. Everyone needs to plan for the one war per year with a sprinkle of curb stomps here and there and the usual wars between alliances no one knew existed or cares about. And the occasional Methrage, Destro, Tolwyn type crusades.

It is what it is.

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40,000 nations back then? Isn't that also the time when multis were allowed? So I wouldn't go as far as saying that it was so popular that 40,000 unique rulers/nations roamed the planet.

Multis were allowed for maybe the first month or so of the game. The 40,000 figure comes from 18 months in.

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Multis were allowed for maybe the first month or so of the game. The 40,000 figure comes from 18 months in.

Also, I doubt there were as many multis in those 40,000 as some people may tell you. The game was simply better back then because people we're afraid to do things. NPO had power. As much as I hated them for what they did with that power, they weren't afraid to use it.

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A fair point. But, I see nothing that could be done about it, to tell the truth.

I even noticed recently some posting how the game is somehow fluent again, with PB or whatever. The absurdity has reached this levels. Now, even if a slight posibility of some new dynamics occur, the game is super excitingly unpredictable. For someone who joined the game in 06 thats just beyond silly. Somebody quoted Moldavi some month ago telling him how game is exciting 'coz there were 2 wars in a year and couple of months. And he was being serious. lol Community dropped its standards.

It became rigid, there are to little characters left in this game and as it was unavoidable-- community is heading towards a slow static closure of sorts. And before somebody takes my post the wrong way-- indeed, we are all to blame in part, certainly all the major alliances.

But I do believe it needed to be said that blaming Admin for this all is just completely missed.

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Wait... What?

The king of moralizing propaganda who never misses an opportunity to preach about the immorality of such-and-such action by so-and-so now says that more so-and-so's should perform more such-and-such actions?

Am I the only person who is scratching their head?

-Craig

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So considering that this is correct

Realistically, the only thing most alliances could do was go on a suicide run. That changes nothing in the game realistically.

and this is correct

It also created grudges that led to some alliances being defeated or marginalized utterly. Some people discovered it was better for their alliance to be cold, calculating political machines

What should this so called

lesser caliber of leadership.

do?

and this below is just wrong.

Secondly, I'd say there is a declining quality of overall players.

for the reasons you already mentioned mostly. In any case, it has little to do with the quality of players and a ton to do with how people respond to someone - ANYONE - trying to create any drama.

This is the point that I'm at. All the people who are complaining, you're free to go elsewhere. :salute: TE is fewer people and as far as I'm concerned, way more fun. Feel free to come back if/when things are more to your liking.

In other words - the lot of you need a serious cybernations vacation!

If you stay, well...must be something good enough about staying that keeps you here. Focus on that.

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You can't say it is entirely on the community, when there are things in the game that have been changed that have contributed to the decline. Nukes do way too much damage right now, if that were changed back to a toned down system then I believe you'd see more wars, and more frequency between them. TE has given people an arena to fight so they can get all of their aggression out on there and just sit on their nations in SE. Get rid of that and I'd believe you'd see more restlessness and therefore war in SE. Another change should be the banned from the forums, banned from the game thing. A lot of interesting players have been silenced by that rule, and I think the community would be better off if such stuff didn't happen in the future.

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"Nukes do way too much damage right now"

That is not a problem with game mechanics, but a problem with perception. Alliance leaders and members are too scared to risk losing large chunks of their precious alliances and nations. These leaders and players obviously gravitate towards one another over time, and before we know it we have massive alliances that are collectively against taking any kind of risk whatsoever. These alliances exist primarily for their own self-preservation, and they kill the game.

Please, stop trying to pass the buck for the cowardice of the players (and their unhealthy obsession for building and maintaining power-bases and statistics) onto the game developer. The whole community needs to start encouraging those who take the risks that make the game fun, and to get rid of the suffocating influence of the self-preservation stat whores.

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Wait... What?

The king of moralizing propaganda who never misses an opportunity to preach about the immorality of such-and-such action by so-and-so now says that more so-and-so's should perform more such-and-such actions?

Am I the only person who is scratching their head?

-Craig

Like most people across time, you're attempting to square peg me into something I am not. From dismissing the traditional concept of honor in CN to refusing to goose-step into the treaty chain to refusing to get bogged down by anti-raiding extremism, I am no moralist. I am a simple person. Decrying attacks on aligned nations is hardly moralizing. Arguing for unity of foreign and domestic policies is not a moral issue. Logic rather than passion in interpreting treaties is an academic, not mral, argument. The problem with dismissive labeling is that it is so readily shown for the stupidity it is. Have I taken moral stances and stands? Certainly. I have beliefs about they way people--players of a game I am also playing--should be treated, and that will guide my actions and my policies for CoJ. These positions by and large have to do with very common-sense standards that most alliances adhere to without being as vocal as I am.

Some people say this is a war simulator, some people say it is a geo-political simulator. I am playing a poltical sim, and it just so happens that war is part of politics. War is the most exciting aspect of politics in this game--it has the most stakes, and it involves the most people. In the past, I exerted every effort and resource to stop or minimize wars, I refer you to the Bubblegum War. What was moralist about minimizing a war by throwing Browncoats under the bus? It was cold and calculating and it worked. At that time, war for small, outspoken, outlier alliances like Browncoats meant almost certain disbandment, and that's why it had to be stopped. In the post-Karma era, this has not been true, and I have taken CoJ to war at every opportunity; it's fun for people, it's activity, it's doing something.

Doing something doesn't have to mean nailing people to the wall. The escapades between GOONS, Methrage, Jimkongil, TOP, CoJ, and other parties were just as fun for everyone involved in absence of the deletion of Jim or huge paymnts from Meth. (Please do not start a debate about the reps etc, this is an example not a judgement--it's water udner the bridge). Ninjas' and FnKa's wars were fun and involved--to my knowledge--no insane demands in the end. The OOC attacks on Ejayrazz, on the other hand, are the kind of crap that diminishes the game.

The point is we can do things and play this game without being malicious !@#$%^&* to everyone we run across. Who had more fun in the BAPS war? Slayer and noWedge with their disbandment demands, or Chefjoe with his civility and newfound ally in BAPS?

Maliciousness, not mechanics or nuke damage, create stagnation (among other things). Who's going to do things when it's not a game? I am playing a game. I didn't have more than 9k NS unil my third year of playing precisely because I was playing a game and it meant getting beat on. Now that I'm at 18k (or something) would I be annoyed to lose half of that? It would be annoying, but every nation is its own ATM, it can all come back. Big-friggin-whoop GOONS knows I opened a channel to discuss entering Ninjas' or UPN's wars ohhhh no! I got caught playing CyberNations!

That's what I'm saying, do things for yourselves. I'm doing things, and I'm having fun. I can try to bring people along, but if you all want to sit around, go for it, it's kind of funny just watching you guys sit around.

But the idea that Admin can fix your boredom is stupid. He never made things exciting before, what's he going to do now? Add saltpeter to the resources? Sounds like a barrel of monkeys pffffft. Would reducing the damage of nukes make some nations less skittish about war? Maybe. Would it get rid of people's neurotic--it is neurotic--aversion to any damage to their nations? No.

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Less damage only means longer wars. Faster growth means more warchest inflation, meaning longer peace times. Constant war is about as boring as constant peace. The Bipolar War hooked me onto this game, because of the wacky chain of events and the aftermath. There's just too many people being conservative, only lesser wars to cheer and boo.

Frankly, I can't see Admin being able to do anything to improve the game, except resetting it all over, and that would piss off a lot of people.

CN's a good political simulator. The excitement comes from conflicts, whether or not it's war, and resolution of that conflict. The MK-NSO reps battle, despite its irrelevance and lack of war, sparked a little excitement. The only way to cure stagnation is to introduce more conflicts. And Admin just won't intervene.

There are indeed games, like a lot of MMOs where the moderators intervene to try to make the game more fun and introduce a storyline. Those games keep one side from being overly powerful, but are also vulnerable to accusations of mod bias (and actual mod bias). CN doesn't have an intervening moderator. All conflicts and game development are purely player based. Simply put, Admin can't really do much about it.

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I didn't mean to push your buttons nor force you into a mold that doesn't fit. To be totally honest, I agree with you as often as not. I just found it odd that when in character, you seem to find the injustice every time someone flexes their muscle.

And since we're clearly speaking out of character: I think that maliciousness, in moderation, spices the game up. I disagree with the excessive displays of nastiness in certain tech raids and the bullying of small alliances. But overall, there's no point in acquiring power or political capital if you can't spend it. So in that regard, I guess we agree, but I don't in any way feel obligated to uphold a high moral standard in this game, and I don't believe that this position makes me somehow immoral.

What I dislike is the pettiness in this game: the turning of every loss into an RL grudge; the confusion of real ideologies with actions in a game; the inability to separate in-game actions from the person who performed them. I've fought wars and waged sneaky campaigns against people and alliances, but it was always for fun. I don't consider anyone in this game to be a personal enemy of mine, and yet I'm pretty sure there are a few people who actually hate me. Perhaps it's because I'm well above the average age of most players, and I just don't have the testosterone pumping through my veins like I did when I was younger.

-Craig

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have to say that i agree with you

CN is a game that is only as fun as we make it out to be...i've been taking a look at wars back before i even joined CN and i'm surprised just how many pretty large scale wars there were back then

not to mention that those wars seemed to have more drama than a "6million dollar" war that seems to be the standard of excuses just to get some action going in this game. hell, my alliance hasnt even seen action since the War of the Coalition...

if CN got more drama into it with more war i'm sure that more people would be likely to stay (how many people do you see rage quit out of sheer boredom? or even try to spy on other alliances in hope that they'll be caught?)

would it be nice if admin added some new things? sure...would it be nice if he changed the entire game to satisfy the bored people? hell no

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