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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 don't think we can let admin off the hook entirely. Really, there is no in-game incentive to attack other nations, except for tech (and look how many wars started from a tech raid). If admin did something simple, like revert back to there being only one sanctioned alliance per team color, then things would pick up imo.

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I cannot with 100% certainty say it would help, but we could try to treat newcomers to the planet better. What are the first few posts whenever someone wanders in and decides to start their own alliance? "Are you protected?" "Does GOONS know about this yet?". Oh they're going to stick around and tell all their friends how sweet this game is. I know the answer is "Join an existing alliance and learn the game" but what would you really learn aside from 3+ year old inside jokes and prejudices? I think you would learn a lot more by trying, and perhaps failing to create some new history. While many of these start ups get protectors, I would venture to guess that many protectorate agreements are with the intent to absorb anyway.

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Schatt is totally right... you all need to man up... take a "risk"... play the "game"... actually do something at least once a year even worthy of an entry into the wiki. I mean god if you have got through the last 12 months and cant think of a single major event in your alliance worthy of a stand alone wiki page its time to merge into an alliance that knows how to play. And thats me being generous... personally I think there's no reason to stop you pulling several major events a year unless of course you got smashed with a mountain of post war reps then id forgive you. That of course leads me to the next conclusion that the more alliances that shun heavy war reps the better... fair enough demand a months worth of reps but lets stand together and kill off the practice of 6 month - 12 month rep programs.

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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.

No it was not. There may have been a few more multies back then than now (anything is possible I suppose), but they were still against the rules, save for the few dozen or so that still existed and had been grandfathered in from early, early 2006.

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I don't think we can let admin off the hook entirely. Really, there is no in-game incentive to attack other nations, except for tech (and look how many wars started from a tech raid). If admin did something simple, like revert back to there being only one sanctioned alliance per team color, then things would pick up imo.

I don't think there was ever, ever an audit following these guidelines. They were instituted by the mod team at one point, but retracted before an audit even came around.

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Schatt is totally right... you all need to man up... take a "risk"... play the "game"... actually do something at least once a year even worthy of an entry into the wiki. I mean god if you have got through the last 12 months and cant think of a single major event in your alliance worthy of a stand alone wiki page its time to merge into an alliance that knows how to play. And thats me being generous... personally I think there's no reason to stop you pulling several major events a year unless of course you got smashed with a mountain of post war reps then id forgive you. That of course leads me to the next conclusion that the more alliances that shun heavy war reps the better... fair enough demand a months worth of reps but lets stand together and kill off the practice of 6 month - 12 month rep programs.

I don't mean to sound rude, but can you think of one major "risk" or "event" that your alliance has taken in the last year. Rolling NSO doesn't count since it really wasn't much of a risk.

I believe you missed Schatt's point entirely. You can't lay the blame entirely on one side, that, and considering that your alliance is the one with the power, I believe personally that you're more obligated to actually do something than those without it.

That said, I do agree with your last point. One month of reps is better that forcing an alliance onto the sidelines for half a year or more.

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I don't mean to sound rude, but can you think of one major "risk" or "event" that your alliance has taken in the last year. Rolling NSO doesn't count since it really wasn't much of a risk.

I believe you missed Schatt's point entirely. You can't lay the blame entirely on one side, that, and considering that your alliance is the one with the power, I believe personally that you're more obligated to actually do something than those without it.

That said, I do agree with your last point. One month of reps is better that forcing an alliance onto the sidelines for half a year or more.

You know I actually hold the NSO as being a great alliance for CN, you guys are always doing something of interest for the game. Also dispite what you think I also think RoK has done plenty over the last year to contribute to the game, declaring on TPF last december, declaring on NEW and TFD during bi-polar, also declaring on NSO recently while obviously we had the upper hand we still at the time didn't know if it was going to turn global or not and if nothing else it definetly added to the game. If all of your ally's had of counter attacked us it sure could have been a peak turning point for 2010. Personally I think more alliances like NSO, ROK, Goons, MK, Old School NPO etc would do CN the world of good.

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I don't think there was ever, ever an audit following these guidelines. They were instituted by the mod team at one point, but retracted before an audit even came around.

Hmm, I thought it was around for a longer time. Still, I think instituting it would add much-needed tension, though perhaps teams' Senate seats should be made more relevant.

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A very good point was made here. I remember a few years ago when war much more common, alliances could declare war on and fight it out with other alliances, without it escalating into a mass global conflict. I'm not saying that global conflicts aren't fun, nor that they don't provide quality entertainment to both combatants and bystanders, however if an alliance's goal is to survive, they have to be a bit more careful when declaring war now days, as opposed to a few years ago. As a result, wars become less frequent. Things seemed much more simple back then.

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It seems like most major alliances have totally given up on trying to win. Acting out a plan of merely surviving isn't really worthy of the great history and bold leaders these alliances have had in the past.

For example MK are ranked 7th by total nation strength, when by all accounts they could be 1st if they really went for it now. Isn't that the ultimate prize and wouldn't it be the biggest finger to the NPO? Another thought, how securely does GPA hold down 3rd spot? Can they defend their position?

People need to pay more attention to the Amazing Sanction Race and less on endlessly debating the minute details of the top 'What didn't end up being a CB this week' topics. You have to herd so many e-lawyer cats these days to get a war, it really has sucked the fun out of the game. Obviously I'm not a fan of "omg u givz no cookies, this meens warz! lolol" wars, but we've swung way too far in the other direction now.

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Well, they try leading the way. Most alliances aren't going to do something unless someone else takes the first steps.

This is part of the problem, how many people post "someone should start a war" or "you two should declare war on eachother over this" or "there isn't enough war", then how often do the people who say this actually go out and start a war themselves?

People fear that if they fire the first shot then they'll lose face, or they'll be on the wrong side of a curbstomp. But if everyone fears this, then no war happens.

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This is part of the problem, how many people post "someone should start a war" or "you two should declare war on eachother over this" or "there isn't enough war", then how often do the people who say this actually go out and start a war themselves?

People fear that if they fire the first shot then they'll lose face, or they'll be on the wrong side of a curbstomp. But if everyone fears this, then no war happens.

I realize there is some amount of irony in me saying that others should lead the way, but realistically, who is going to follow a coalition led by NSO or UPN or some other fringe alliance? That's just not going to happen. It's the same reason that neither GUARD nor GATO nor some other marginalized alliance or group of alliances was going to take down the NPO. It always has to come from the inside of the power cluster. That's just the nature of things.

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Simple solution? Get a bunch of alliances into a bloc and have them declare war on some other bloc for no reason whatsoever. The resulting cluster$%&@ would surely shake everything up.

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What Admin has failed as it not allowing us the tools to reduce the turnover rate. Nations that remain neutral are much less likely to survive past the first 25 days. So why hasn't admin made it easier for alliances to communicate to neutrals, made it easier for neutrals to filter through spam etc.

Also i would point out a fault in your logic Schattenman(Respectfully mind you). After the last several wars, huge amounts of players quit immediately following and during the course of the conflict. While server activity explodes, those that lose years of work realize that building a nation for 3 years and watching it get destroyed in 3 weeks is a huge waste of time. If war were not so detrimental to nations they would be fought more often and more players would be willingly involved.

Furthermore the bullcrap that makes up our treaty web hurts us continually. When you're fighting a fight that you care nothing about and get your nation wrecked its not by any means a motivator to log in the next day and see how much more of your creation is missing.

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Another thought, how securely does GPA hold down 3rd spot? Can they defend their position?

As (almost) almost everybody and their mother are treaty hoarders no, the GPA couldn't defend her spot in case "anyone" decided to have a go at her. So much for "useless neutrals that don't take any risk", BTW.

On topic: most alliances that had leaders that used to take risks were obviously damaged, while the ones that manoeuvred to constantly build up and to use their power in the less risky and more profitable ways (if in any way at all) thrived. Is it a form of CN darwinism? How can you fight the pure selection of the fittest?

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People leave the game, and they have reasons for doing so. Unfortunately there's no exit polls to get any sort of statistic, so people tend to think "What don't I like? That's probably what causes it!" Game mechanics are an easy target as they are concrete issues with definite solutions. Could certain game updates help retain players? Sure! Do we have any data that shows how many, or which updates would be most efective? Not really!

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What Admin has failed as it not allowing us the tools to reduce the turnover rate. Nations that remain neutral are much less likely to survive past the first 25 days. So why hasn't admin made it easier for alliances to communicate to neutrals, made it easier for neutrals to filter through spam etc.

Also i would point out a fault in your logic Schattenman(Respectfully mind you). After the last several wars, huge amounts of players quit immediately following and during the course of the conflict. While server activity explodes, those that lose years of work realize that building a nation for 3 years and watching it get destroyed in 3 weeks is a huge waste of time. If war were not so detrimental to nations they would be fought more often and more players would be willingly involved.

Furthermore the bullcrap that makes up our treaty web hurts us continually. When you're fighting a fight that you care nothing about and get your nation wrecked its not by any means a motivator to log in the next day and see how much more of your creation is missing.

I disagree about wars needing to be less detrimental. I think the fact that one can be utterly destroyed further encourages the political and diplomatic aspect of the game, which happens to make CN most unique.

The decision to go to war should have it's potential consequences, otherwise the entire point of war would be gone. I've played other games where the combat system is set up to where it plays no real serious effect, and they seem to get quite dull.

I do however completely agree about the treaty web.

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Less damage only means longer wars.

Yeah, this sounds like it makes sense. It's not true though.

Before Karma, a long war was like two weeks. Now they go on for months.

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Also i would point out a fault in your logic Schattenman(Respectfully mind you). After the last several wars, huge amounts of players quit immediately following and during the course of the conflict. While server activity explodes, those that lose years of work realize that building a nation for 3 years and watching it get destroyed in 3 weeks is a huge waste of time. If war were not so detrimental to nations they would be fought more often and more players would be willingly involved.

I have no idea how Admin envisioned how the war system should work when he designed it, but I doubt the idea of a 300k NS nation existing was on his mind when he was making it. To a certain extent, the game has grown beyond the ability of the original design to contain. The sentence I bolded is a good indicator of that. Now I could argue that a nation that planned so poorly in three years that when they lose their infrastructure they are unable to rebuild, but that is another matter entirely and somewhat moot. You don't NEED to have a huge nation in order to play the game and make an impact; too many people buy into the line that "Only the upper tiers matter." They are important and likely to influence who will win the military battles, but they are not the end-all be-all.

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