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Making Planet Bob Thrive again

Lord Hitchcock

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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.



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it's just in a bear market.

A bear market you say? I think perhaps you mean "bare market"? If CN was in a bear market, I want to know where to buy one.

that's all I have to say to this.

Ps. Stagnant. Apathy. Comradery/Camaraderie

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Sometimes it can be possible to keep fighting even when broke. I've fought GOONS and various alliances for months just running off war loot.

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While I appreciate the attempt at addressing the current issues in Cybernations, I believe you are sorely wrong.

Cybernations needs consolidation, not micro-drama. Currently on Planet bob we have realistically 40 AA's that are not only large enough, but active enough to have an independent impact on Cybernations. The rest primarily rely on the much maligned treaty web with which to cause effect on anyone else. Add to this the fact that most of the remaining 260+ small AA's and micro's only usually have one or two people actively doing anything. It's not enough to keep the rest of the AA active, however it's enough to sign a few random treaties across the web, and of course this actually creates the current environment. One where the mess of treaties forces the larger players to not only consolidate treaties with other majors, but also to meticulously plan war escalations just to avoid some random tie putting then on both sides of the conflict.

Look no further than the most recent conflict (MInc) where multiple Alliances with absolutely zero stake in the conflict were tied to both sides of it. A world war based on that would be absolutely pointless had it escalated by your own definition. At least with the Doom war, you had two roughly distinct sides with a mix-match of grievances between them. Even with the somewhat cloudy issues, enough AA's did have a stake in the fight that they actively wanted to participate, because even if they didn't get to thump the person they wanted to, at least that person was being thumped by their 'side'.

Don't even get me started on the volume of time wasted by one and two man governments keeping alliances that are dead, active enough to sign a treaty, but not active enough to notice they are engaged in a war 'alive'. The fact is, many of the larger alliances could use an extra 20 active people each, and with that kind of activity base could probably handle the bureaucracy required to actually support the more casual or inactive members.

Larger Alliances, with more active mid-tier leadership, more concentrated FA policies, and actual definable 'sides' would be far more reminiscent of pre-UJW politics which is generally regarded as a high point for CN in terms of OWF dialogue and 'drama'.

As an aside, you might notice that Pacifica itself is not exactly struggling to retain members, and our activity for a mass member alliance (79.24% Aid slot efficiency pre-update), is direct evidence that a well maintained bureaucracy can actually encourage members to participate in the game.

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The thing about most micro-alliances is that they either think the big boy rules don't apply to them or they think that they are playing by the big boy rules. They want the power to drag the larger alliances around to do their bidding, and this almost never works.

"You complain about lack of war but then don't participate!" is a claim often heard, when largely the wars pumped out by micros are just weird petty !@#$ that escalated far past the point any reasonable people would let it. I say this, of course, as someone who almost declared on DRN like three times in one summer and HB at least once -- but I also didn't want any support past "if they try to stiff me when it's time to peace out". Shoutout to Kashmir and NSO for having my back even when y'all had an easy out, by the way.

As Dear Leader Junior above me pointed out, what the game needs is for all these dying alliances with leaders who have some skill but aren't "strong" leaders to merge with each other or find some other way to come together. Then, they can accomplish something of note hopefully and wake the inactive players up by being interesting.

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For several years I have promoted the idea of going to war for reasons of honor or being slighted as opposed to 'our allies are at war so we should be, too' or 'let's wait until the numbers are on our side'. In each instance I have failed to garner any interest. This has been true in multiple alliances. It's not one or two. It's all of them.

Welcome to SlumberNations. We may as well go play that other game and sit there typing 'pew pew pew' at each other.

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While I appreciate the attempt at addressing the current issues in Cybernations, I believe you are sorely wrong.

Cybernations needs consolidation, not micro-drama. Currently on Planet bob we have realistically 40 AA's that are not only large enough, but active enough to have an independent impact on Cybernations. The rest primarily rely on the much maligned treaty web with which to cause effect on anyone else. Add to this the fact that most of the remaining 260+ small AA's and micro's only usually have one or two people actively doing anything. It's not enough to keep the rest of the AA active, however it's enough to sign a few random treaties across the web, and of course this actually creates the current environment. One where the mess of treaties forces the larger players to not only consolidate treaties with other majors, but also to meticulously plan war escalations just to avoid some random tie putting then on both sides of the conflict.

Look no further than the most recent conflict (MInc) where multiple Alliances with absolutely zero stake in the conflict were tied to both sides of it. A world war based on that would be absolutely pointless had it escalated by your own definition. At least with the Doom war, you had two roughly distinct sides with a mix-match of grievances between them. Even with the somewhat cloudy issues, enough AA's did have a stake in the fight that they actively wanted to participate, because even if they didn't get to thump the person they wanted to, at least that person was being thumped by their 'side'.

Don't even get me started on the volume of time wasted by one and two man governments keeping alliances that are dead, active enough to sign a treaty, but not active enough to notice they are engaged in a war 'alive'. The fact is, many of the larger alliances could use an extra 20 active people each, and with that kind of activity base could probably handle the bureaucracy required to actually support the more casual or inactive members.

Larger Alliances, with more active mid-tier leadership, more concentrated FA policies, and actual definable 'sides' would be far more reminiscent of pre-UJW politics which is generally regarded as a high point for CN in terms of OWF dialogue and 'drama'.

As an aside, you might notice that Pacifica itself is not exactly struggling to retain members, and our activity for a mass member alliance (79.24% Aid slot efficiency pre-update), is direct evidence that a well maintained bureaucracy can actually encourage members to participate in the game.

This is a perfect example- I understand your concept and when you look deeper what you are actually proposing is treating the syptom rather than the actual illness.

Merging inactive alliances together to form more active alliances is not the best path.

For example, look at SuperNova X.

I understand planet bob is leaning towards forming "super AAs" and all that reminds me of is the local town getting a Wal-Mart- sure, it's going to feed more resources and focus more attention- and then you are back to square one where you are in wars that have been pre-fabricated.

There is nothing wrong with mircos- I can tell you that Monsters Inc is more active than much bigger alliances I have been in.

Per Rey

The same applies to the above statement. Joining bigger alliances to accomplish something that may wake inactive players up you have to again ask why it is those players went inactive in the first place.

Pacifica is a fine example of an active alliance- I don't agree that it's the sole model AA on planet bob. For example there are many sanctioned alliances who are extremely inactive.

Now, forgive me as my foreign affairs is subpar, however I view the world as movable spheres (not sides A and B). For example, you have the polar sphere, the doom sphere, the aztec sphere, the IRON sphere, Pacficia sphere... etc. Think of these as spheres as "super alliances" just for the sake of their entry into world wars. And look how they are playing out at the moment. These movable spheres are not longer movable, the are tied down in the treaty web more-and-more, is it because of micro alliances? No, it's because of infra huggers.

Forming Super Alliances in hopes of stream-lining activity and planet bob change will amount to the current issues we already face being a community getting smaller- and when the two sides one day align, one side will get bigger and continuously roll the other and then the discussion to the current symptoms we face will again, arise.

Alliances are like a business, for every 20 crap micros, one makes it through a year. A lot of the newer players of which the community knows are notably from smaller alliances.

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I don't think the sizes of the alliance is the problem. I think the problem is that only micro and mid sized alliances are willing to take any risks whatsoever.

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Well, no, the majority of micro and mid sized alliances aren't willing to step across the line either.

As for the super alliances thing, you're looking at it the wrong way; clumping up groups of !@#$ with little to no leadership qualifications isn't the way to go. You need ot find someone with strong leadership skills and an interesting personality to band together under. Being in an alliance where you'd rather look at the paint on your wall than the IRC screen isn't a very thrilling way to play CN. Interesting discussions are what move the game and what motivate people to step up into the game; being open with information towards your membership is an incredible way to promote activity, despite the risks it can pose.

Being trashed in war permanently is also an easy way to motivate people -- towards the door. That's why alliances tiptoe so carefully in diplomacy. It may be dull without a war for 9 months, but it's better than being forced to log in multiple times a day for an extended period.

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I stand by the micros. In my experience being in a micro means more dynamic, more action, more fun.

I've nothing against big and powerful alliances (I need your tech money!) But everyone should have the right to try to carve out their own little piece of Bob.

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I don't think the sizes of the alliance is the problem. I think the problem is that only micro and mid sized alliances are willing to take any risks whatsoever.

This is it entirely. The big 'institution' alliances are always extremely risk averse.

The best way to generate action on this planet is micro-drama. As long as the big alliances can be persuaded to stay out of it, of course. Which is not always as hard as one might think. See previous paragraph.

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If alliances were willing to go to war without calling in their treaties, this could be a way of allowing many conflicts yet not involving a world war :)

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Replying to OP:

What does big warchests have to do with retention of new players? Seems like that would only affect old player retention, and earlier in your post you claim old players are the problem.

Big nations do actually still worry about their nations, btw. Not many feel untouchable, especially not if you're outside of DBDC.

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Nice blog post. I remember thinking similar things as a micro/small alliance leader. Not saying I agree with all your points, but they are interesting and arguable regardless of my position.

I don't necessarily agree that World Wars "aren't personal." Getting involved to help a treaty partner can be personal even IF one isn't directly tied to the initial conflict.

On the other hand, I understand your point and I've seen it in action, including complaints from membership about "why should we care about this war again?" My advice in that regard to micro's or otherwise is "don't sign M level treaties with any alliance that wouldn't motivate the membership to get involved regardless of the reason." I.E. if they aren't worth fighting for in every instance, don't promise to do so.

There are such things as "non-chaining clauses" and there are always optional military treaties. Both large and small alliances can use them. Whether or not one gives up rights for the perceived security it provides is a matter of choice. Both large and small alliances have the ability to exercise choice.

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This is a perfect example- I understand your concept and when you look deeper what you are actually proposing is treating the syptom rather than the actual illness.

Merging inactive alliances together to form more active alliances is not the best path.

For example, look at SuperNova X.

I understand planet bob is leaning towards forming "super AAs" and all that reminds me of is the local town getting a Wal-Mart- sure, it's going to feed more resources and focus more attention- and then you are back to square one where you are in wars that have been pre-fabricated.

There is nothing wrong with mircos- I can tell you that Monsters Inc is more active than much bigger alliances I have been in.

Per Rey

The same applies to the above statement. Joining bigger alliances to accomplish something that may wake inactive players up you have to again ask why it is those players went inactive in the first place.

Pacifica is a fine example of an active alliance- I don't agree that it's the sole model AA on planet bob. For example there are many sanctioned alliances who are extremely inactive.

Now, forgive me as my foreign affairs is subpar, however I view the world as movable spheres (not sides A and B). For example, you have the polar sphere, the doom sphere, the aztec sphere, the IRON sphere, Pacficia sphere... etc. Think of these as spheres as "super alliances" just for the sake of their entry into world wars. And look how they are playing out at the moment. These movable spheres are not longer movable, the are tied down in the treaty web more-and-more, is it because of micro alliances? No, it's because of infra huggers.

Forming Super Alliances in hopes of stream-lining activity and planet bob change will amount to the current issues we already face being a community getting smaller- and when the two sides one day align, one side will get bigger and continuously roll the other and then the discussion to the current symptoms we face will again, arise.

Alliances are like a business, for every 20 crap micros, one makes it through a year. A lot of the newer players of which the community knows are notably from smaller alliances.

Supernova-X should not be taken as the hallmark case for super mergers, I would like you to look at TLR (in it's prime) and NG, both of which formed out of super mergers.

There are many many many many reasons why SNX failed as an alliance, a lot of them have to do with how rushed it was, and how it was really just one man's way to get a bigger epeen.

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