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.