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The Logic of War in CN




Was is active; either hot or cold, direct or indirect. I'm going to focus on direct war today. It connects individuals and groups in a struggle for dominance, whether in a wide or narrow window. War is the key transaction around which our system of politics is built, due to its disproportional influence on NS.

Direct war is one of five transactions for connecting our nations. They are War, Trade, Aid, Spy, and Make Donation. Aid, trade, and donations are all conducive to the accumulation of NS; War and Spy are aversive. Pragmatically then, the more efficient we are with our slot usage the closer we get to absolute profit. These five transactions bind us to each other; efficiency in the social network translates to efficiency in slot usage.

In terms of my previous entry, the games' many transactions represent the different "I", "We", and "You" consciousness. "I" manage all the isolated transactions like taxes, bills, and so on. "We" trade, send aid, and exchange donations. "You" war and spy against "I" or "We". War is a base level interaction, an "I" or "We" vs "You" interaction, and a natural product of our rank system and the game mechanics. This "I" or "We" vs "You" interaction is one of the most profound interactions offered in the game, but its logic shouldn't be the most dominant. War should be governed by the morality of "We". "We" allows for a conducive environment where all three interactions can take place; War, or the "I" and "We" vs "You" interaction, can destroy this environment if unchecked by the morality of "We". The needed dominance of the morality of "We" over War has several implications for the morality of any given war. To understand these implications we will need to explore the universal human experience regarding our motivations and goals for war, and then contrast those motivations and goals against the morality of "We". (I may or may not have missed some stuff, feel free and let me know).

Motivations for War:

  • Greed

  • Removing a threat

  • Stoping unwanted behavior

  • Negative emotional attatchment, or the "I don't like you" logic

  • Boredom

  • Power

Goals for War:

  • Profiting

  • Removing enough relative NS to satisfy initial motivation (perhaps range specific)

  • Setting a condition which will precipitate future aggression

  • Reaching a point of control over future behaviors

  • Gaining supiority/presitige through victory

  • Entertainment

The morality of "We" is simply my nerdy way for describing our community holistically. We are all part of one big system. This system is defined by its rules and design. To state it simply, this game isn't designed with a specific end game in mind, or at least I don't see one. Instead we have something more akin to a sports' association. At the base level you have competitive win/lose interactions, or what I refer to as "I" or "We" vs "You". However, the base level realizes that there is value to be found in continuing those competitions and so they band together to create an association, or what I refer to as "We", or the complete system wide merger of "I" and "You". This is the win/win game that each participant plays. This association then serves to keep the base 'win/lose' interactions in check, so that those interactions don't end up destroying a part of the community and undermining the entire system as a result. It keeps the system from cutting off its nose to spite its face. Cyber Nations is a similar type of system.

So the morality of "We" boils down to not destroying other players to the point of undermining the entire system. We have seen the negative impact of this from such wars as the NPO/FAN war, and such practices as PZI/EZI. Each war will have a unique perspective on the abstract motivations and goals that I listed, but each war and its leaders should keep in mind their foremost responsibility, that being the well being of the community at large. Xiph once mentioned that the forces charged with preserving our community, the forces that make up our "CN Association" if you will, are embodied by Admin and his Moderators. I don't agree. Those charged with preserving our community are those very same people that we choose to lead.



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War is also fought because of impatient, being bored, and wanting a fun couple months.

Hm, ok, I went ahead and added that. I was gonna say that is a superficial reason for going to war and usually masks something deeper but then I remembered 10.10.10.

Also, you are the first ever to respond to my blog! Not that I am checking all the time or anything. :v:

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I like it.

Alliance leaders are charged with the promotion of their own alliance's power, culture and ideals. They are not responsible for saving the game.

I don't think he was saying that. He is saying alliance leaders are responsible for preserving the community. Given that online communities are player driven, I don't have a problem with that.

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I agree that Admin and the Mods are not and should not be charged with sole responsibility with preserving this game. Yes, some much needed updates are the sole area of the Admin and the Mods preserve the forums for us, but the gameplay itself is the responsibility of those playing the game. It is up to the players to make the game better in terms of how wars are conducted.

Continuing the same antics as yesteryear, which are typically widely condemned by most in CN, is rather idiotic. This applies even if it is against those who once committed those actions. If we want more players to stay, then we need to stop with the "I" attitude so much.

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Also, you are the first ever to respond to my blog! Not that I am checking all the time or anything. :v:

Here's to many more.

Well, now that you're famous, I guess I should read it too :P

After reading it:

In your "goals for war" section you have "Gaining supiority/presitige through victory." Unless you put that under a subsection of greed, I think it's a motivation in and of itself.

In fact, I think you can have a lot of sub-sections under greed, such as

Stuff (tech, land, money)

Power/Influence over the "culture" on CN or just because "I can"

Increased rank (both alliance and personal)

I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of.

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Greed embodies the self-centered motivations for war not directly tied to the domain of 'survival'. As I don't think that gained prestige/superiority is entirely self-centered I threw in 'Power' as a core motivation. Thank you for your suggestion.

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