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Are there any moralists left?

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arentak

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I remember the old days of Moralists vs Lulzers. I took a break and came back and found only Lulzers. Where did all the Moralists go? Have they all retired? Surrendered? Joined the dark side?

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Define "moralist".

If by that you mean people who think wanton raiding and treating the game like a disposable feminine hygiene product are bad, then yes, there are people like that around.

Unfortunately you came back in an era where the spirit of the game no longer matters. Perhaps one day it will again. I hope so.

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I think that general "moralism" won as people started to target lulzy alliances. They were easy targets, a good boogeyman and a way to disguise the lack of CB and the fact that we are all pretty much the same in how we start wars. Now that everyone has realized that wars are much more fun when you ignore non-chaining clauses and extend out oA I consider everyone to basically have become pseudo-lulzy.

Moralism was just a tool to achieve a goal. Nothing more for 90% of the people who were moralists. The goal was achieved so then the ideals of it were cast aside due to how restrictive they were.

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Define "moralist".

Exactly.

The general "moralist" mindset exists, but it's not necessarily always going to be a far wing version of it, likewise with the Lulz crew. There are many places along the scope of both sides and many groups of folks exist within.

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'Morality When Convenient' is a better descriptor. That is well and truly alive & kicking. The number of people that are genuinely moralist is about as low as you'd expect.

Moralism doesn't bother me, nor does honest scummery. It's the dishonest ones that parade their purported ideals which are worthy of derision.

The teachings of Justitia can be heard within the walls of Polaris and many other alliances now.

What use are ideals unless they are applied and tested through action?

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While years ago there were many players that played the game with respect to the IC/OOC divide, i.e. they pretended that they really were nation leaders and that their alliances "culture" and values really mattered, nowadays almost everyone is disillusioned and the only thing that prevents everyone from talking of the game directly from the perspective of the player are the CN forum rules for AA and WA. "IC" is basically a feeble remnant superimposed by the forum rules, but it's not really part of the game anymore.

In a sense, "lulzists" memes won and CN as a political simulator has been broken as a result. Without a really generalized purge of old players or some outstanding cultural collective operation we'll hardly get back to the previous state, because the shift is cultural and not something depending on the game mechanics or on alliance politics.

Basically, the IC side isn't taken seriously any more: Tywin's IC posts and the "generalized" reaction to them are a good indicator of what I mean. Is the game any better because of this? I personally doubt it.

(Honestly I can't say that this is what you actually had in mind, arentak, but this is my impression on the matter.)

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Joined the dark side, at least in my case. :P

As a community we either run the true moralist off the game via trolling/harassing or force him/her to give up at least some of his/her idealism and "join an alliance." What we are really saying when we tell people that is learn how to conform to the "community standards" already in place - in exchange, you get (in theory) security and the ability to grow.

Once a true free thinking ethical leader is forced to at least curb his/her ideals, everything else becomes shades of grey.

It's not about what is actually ethical or not - it's about who has the power to impose his/her/their own ideas about how the world should be on others.

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Thanks for the responses guys. Some very thoughtful comments there.

Ethics without power is relatively useless. If Ethics must be compromised ot gain power, then is it true that there are no Ethic-centered leaders? I don't think so. I think every choice is a shade of grey. And acknowleding shades of grey doesn't mean giving up the moral high ground. Being 51% Ethical and holding power is probably better then being 90% Ethical with no power.

And seeing everything as either "Good or Bad" is a youthful paradigm, perhaps as we rulers have aged our black and white perspectives on the world have changed?

The reason for my Blog Posting is that I feel like something is missing now, and I'm trying to figure out if its nostaliga for the past or if something actually is missing. Remember, old guys have been saying for thousands of years how much better it was in "their day".

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Power corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

There are various ethically orientated leaders around. I'd say I was ethically orientated. Only issue is that as I'm in a traditionally "lulz" alliance I get tarred with the same brush as everyone else.

I do sometimes have a joke but I try and maintain the IC/OOC divide. I didn't like, for example, the Biodad saga that MK had. Parts of that just got downright nasty and there needs to be an IC/OOC divide firmly in place not only for members' sanity, but also because some people RP like this to get away from Real Life. It's like griefers in MMOs. Not everyone is like that irl but they can do it in a MMO because they are given free reign to. They like testing the limit of social and cultural borders. The fact that over time the social borders in CN have migrated echo the political and social climate in the rest of the world. Nowadays people are more authoritarian than liberal. It's very rare that active political debates are held, instead those with the power influence the entire world.

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'Morality When Convenient' is a better descriptor. That is well and truly alive & kicking. The number of people that are genuinely moralist is about as low as you'd expect.

Moralism doesn't bother me, nor does honest scummery. It's the dishonest ones that parade their purported ideals which are worthy of derision.

What use are ideals unless they are applied and tested through action?

We tried all we could in CoJ, but were relatively powerless. Having Dajobo at the helm and the strength of Polaris is really the best combination of ethics and strength that I can imagine being a part of. I'm sure the rest of us are likewise making their voices heard and trying best to shape the culture (and actions) of their respective AA's.

While years ago there were many players that played the game with respect to the IC/OOC divide, i.e. they pretended that they really were nation leaders and that their alliances "culture" and values really mattered, nowadays almost everyone is disillusioned and the only thing that prevents everyone from talking of the game directly from the perspective of the player are the CN forum rules for AA and WA. "IC" is basically a feeble remnant superimposed by the forum rules, but it's not really part of the game anymore.

In a sense, "lulzists" memes won and CN as a political simulator has been broken as a result. Without a really generalized purge of old players or some outstanding cultural collective operation we'll hardly get back to the previous state, because the shift is cultural and not something depending on the game mechanics or on alliance politics.

Basically, the IC side isn't taken seriously any more: Tywin's IC posts and the "generalized" reaction to them are a good indicator of what I mean. Is the game any better because of this? I personally doubt it.

(Honestly I can't say that this is what you actually had in mind, arentak, but this is my impression on the matter.)

Great overview of something that's been bugging me for years. If we can't be bothered to have an IC/OOC divide and create a coherent RP for our alliances - even if it's a simplistic Good Guy/Bad Guy one - then this entire thing will (and has) devolve into OOC BS as the sole driver of "politics."

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While years ago there were many players that played the game with respect to the IC/OOC divide, i.e. they pretended that they really were nation leaders and that their alliances "culture" and values really mattered, nowadays almost everyone is disillusioned and the only thing that prevents everyone from talking of the game directly from the perspective of the player are the CN forum rules for AA and WA. "IC" is basically a feeble remnant superimposed by the forum rules, but it's not really part of the game anymore.

In a sense, "lulzists" memes won and CN as a political simulator has been broken as a result. Without a really generalized purge of old players or some outstanding cultural collective operation we'll hardly get back to the previous state, because the shift is cultural and not something depending on the game mechanics or on alliance politics.

Basically, the IC side isn't taken seriously any more: Tywin's IC posts and the "generalized" reaction to them are a good indicator of what I mean. Is the game any better because of this? I personally doubt it.

(Honestly I can't say that this is what you actually had in mind, arentak, but this is my impression on the matter.)

It's a bit worse than that, jerdge. Far too many people have decided that this a 'first person shooter' game, and they treat it as such. You see it in their actions ("neutrals aren't playing correctly and deserve to eliminated") and the way they talk about themselves and others. As with most all FPS gamers, they are most interested in kills, not competition over the long haul, and are constantly on the look out for new mods, new exploits, and become irrational at any mention of "nerfing" their abilities.

Thing is, the vast majority of people who came to this game weren't interested in playing a FPS game, or at least that's not what they signed up for, even if they play FPS games elsewhere. That's why there is a high level of frustration within the CN community and why frankly, either the FPS types need to go, or the everyone else will eventually take a hike to a game that is more to their liking.

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There aren't that many strategy and political simulator games out there anymore though Hal.

You see a fair number that claim to be strategy and political simulations that are built on a micro transaction model, and if Facebook is any indication they come and ago pretty quickly. That was was made this one special--the fact that it didn't just die one day. But it isn't the only game in town, and at some point someone will figure out a model that works similarly and doesn't fall into the traps that other games have in the past (or this one currently seems mired in), and it too will enjoy a very long lifespan.

When people ask, "why so serious?" it's because I have hope that this game can be salvaged and get back to where it was when there was at least something of a balance between role play and lulz and the FPS mentality was minimized.

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I think that general "moralism" won as people started to target lulzy alliances. They were easy targets, a good boogeyman and a way to disguise the lack of CB and the fact that we are all pretty much the same in how we start wars. Now that everyone has realized that wars are much more fun when you ignore non-chaining clauses and extend out oA I consider everyone to basically have become pseudo-lulzy.

Moralism was just a tool to achieve a goal. Nothing more for 90% of the people who were moralists. The goal was achieved so then the ideals of it were cast aside due to how restrictive they were.

Using oA's to accomplish strategic deployment of alliances in order to bring about Global Stability is not lulzy.

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Good to see you, Arentak.

Define "moralist".

Here's mine, from this discussion

"In the same period, C&G- and DH-aligned talking heads began OWF campaigns to decry the Moralism boogey man, claiming that those who focused on the more ethical edge of Karma were stifling and even killing Digiterra. Azaghul and Londo Mollari posted the two most notable essays/diatribes. The biggest problem is that Moralism is not a real philosophy, it is whatever idea, action, or protest that DH and Pandora's Box needed to lampoon that week, and any given AA or person that one might mock by calling them a moralist will have done things that a moralist would never do--NpO, for example, stomped its fair share of innocent victims, or Schattenmann spent a year spying for Goon Order of Neutral Shoving.

So, one would naturally think that an essay against moralism is an argument for a return to things like EZI, real politick stompings, war on neutrals, etc, but since such an essay argues against something that doesn't exist (there is no such thing as moralism outside of its use as a pejorative) then these arguments are, rather, arguments for inter-alliance violence without limits."

Are there any moralists left? Yes. Every time someone takes a principled stand, they're called a moralist.

Some people/alliances also embrace the term, Dajobo will tell anyone that he's happy to be a moralist Emperor of a moralist alliance. What he means is that Polaris has principles about certain things, along the lines that Hal went down: raiding, peace terms, spying, etc.

Steve Buscemi and Revolutionary Reb are also correct about lots of so-called moralists; I mean here in the middle of this latest fiasco you have Wicked Joe, central to the OOC attacks on Van Hoo and Kait, tut-tuting Rotavele and congratulating Sparta on kicking her.

Moralism has been blamed for the malaise that Planet Bob is in--the stifling yoke of morality, the faulty narrative goes, has killed dynamism in war and politics as everyone hides from the OWF moral mob. But as others have touched on, what we have is disinterest and self-interest. Coalitions no longer organize around the touchstone AA or Big Man, instead they organize around fronts and everyone kvetches about how they're "not fighting for [this principle] or [that alliance]"--So, no big surrenders or serious terms, just a bunch of half-assed selfish AAs doing as little as possible and handing out white peace to get the war over with rather than true victory to settle matters. Hand-in-hand is disinterest, alliances can't even be bothered to give a rip about their own grievances anymore.

The answer is the organization of alliances around their own clearly-defined principles whose foreign policies start with the principles, leading to ideologically-strong clusters of compatible alliances. Wars mean something, are fought to their real conclusion, are smaller but more important, and more frequent since every one doesn't involve the whole world.

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It's a bit worse than that, jerdge. Far too many people have decided that this a 'first person shooter' game, and they treat it as such. You see it in their actions ("neutrals aren't playing correctly and deserve to eliminated") and the way they talk about themselves and others. As with most all FPS gamers, they are most interested in kills, not competition over the long haul, and are constantly on the look out for new mods, new exploits, and become irrational at any mention of "nerfing" their abilities.

Thing is, the vast majority of people who came to this game weren't interested in playing a FPS game, or at least that's not what they signed up for, even if they play FPS games elsewhere. That's why there is a high level of frustration within the CN community and why frankly, either the FPS types need to go, or the everyone else will eventually take a hike to a game that is more to their liking.

I quite, although not completely disagree with your analysis. For one, the character that I can more easily recall constantly stating that neutrals would be parasites that would have to be eliminated is Grub, which is by far completely different if not outright THE opposite of a lulzer. (Remarkably, AFAIK he never did anything against any neutral, but that's another story.)

Moreover, for all of their talk of "we don't care abut pixels, it's just the immediate lulz", those that most derided the IC pretension were generally lead by people that were hardcore "political players", that badly wanted to gain long term political advantages, often being very successful at it. Admittedly, discarding all the IC constraints gives more freedom to operate purely in pursue of political leverage, and with the aging of the community faux ideologies and moralities lose relative weight in comparison to the personal relationships (of sympathy and of aversion) that inevitably develop. To stick to the desire of providing a "good story" (coherent political development in a funny and internally credible simulator), for everyone, requires game maturity and game ethics, which are relatively rare.

I agree about some people being "irrational" - although I'd rather say "with no game ethics" - in the Suggestion Box, with no hesitation to cross the IC/OOC line to defend their advantages. This is anyway IMHO not generalized, mostly because the Suggestion Box requires intelligence, which more easily comes with the ability to understand the general needs of the game. Furthermore, at least as far my own experience is concerned, those that (IMO) have been unethical (in the gaming sense) in the SB are again not playing for their short-term in-game success but, again, for the long haul.

I am not one that likes to hint to people without naming them, and it's not a mystery, anyway. Cuba, Artigo and SCM have IMO - intentionally or unconsciously, I tend to believe it was both - needlessly dragged to the IC realm genuine OOC concerns about the fairness and "playability" of the game. I don't criticize them for having their opinions on what is best for the game, but I surely criticized them for not limiting their discussion to the actual content of the Suggestions, bringing it instead into the game. (I also candidly say that, while one can have varying opinions about the real quality in Artigo's and SCM's comments and proposals, no one can seriously say that Cuba doesn't also provide first class commentary and contributions to the Suggestions. I hold him in high regard and I don't even claim that I can be sure I am the one being right in any of the game issues we disagree on. I stick to my ideas until convinced that I am wrong, anyway - I am an old style, stubborn engineer... ;) )

Whatever we want to think about them, anyway, I think that we can agree that the DBDC project, while maybe initially conceived as a FPS-like experiment, is now fully political and strategical. Their political activity in the last months has been evidently aimed at using their statistical relevance as a bargaining chip to gain the breathing room they needed to enlarge the scale of their raids. Cuba's actions and words and posts are first class CN politics and to consider him just a mindless hulk, or someone with just a short-term interest for "mods", is a grave mistake for any of his opponents (I don't really know their roster that well, but I suspect that TBRaiders is also to be praised/blamed for their political success, BTW).

In other words, those that are stretching the limits (and the design faults) of the game and that "unfairly" defend(ed) their abilities in the Suggestion Box, are not playing short term at all.

I also agree that "lulzism" as a cultural trait in players tends to determine a preference for short-term fun and satisfaction: if IC stuff is derided the only thing that remains is OOC dynamics, which either is too "normal" to be an entertaining diversion from reality (it's almost real, after all) or it is doomed to become paradoxical and then nasty and then excessive in short order, after which there's little new abuse to explore and many already managed to get banned or ostracized, anyway. In other words, the lulz gets old pretty fast. This may be in connection with that many saying (literally for years) that the game "got boring".

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It's easy to be moral when you have no power, the test of a nation or alliance is when they have real power. Nations taking responsibility for their mistakes is true morality, as is staying your hand when you have the power to destroy utterly those who wronged you.

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