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    Mostly Harmless Alliance/Kashmir
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  1. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    Monsters Inc isn't particularly eager to grow or consolidate politically so it lets them take more risks. The same goes with some of the other alliances. Both DK and MI6 played the game in a more conventional matter which makes them seem like a threat to people. If they were just playing to fight in a Monsters Inc fashion, it'd probably have been a non-issue. With MI6, the real issue was it was either you supported them 100% or they hated you and you knew you had to watch out for them act on that anger since it was part of their internal dynamic to feel they deserved to have more of a say. When TBC splintered off, they weren't particularly scrutinized. While some of the alliances that ended up having DK members like SLAP did get scrutiny at times, they were never given the same level of scrutiny as DK as they played it a lot more lowkey. T Most of the alliances Oculus has fought have actually been less than active ones. War for Maroon Dominance is the best example along with GPA. NG wanted to play up the color dynamic to make a war, so they did it and mainly targeted alliances that don't do much. GOD had been dead for a long time. CRAP doesn't do much. TTK isn't really known for being big political players or active. Dislike is rarely a sole reason for hitting someone. It's more if they're perceived to be hostile and willing to act on the hostility and if they upset enough people to get a consensus on it. The issue is more the extended web includes a lot of inactive alliances and most people are playing for the sake some sort of legacy and won't disband. I know a few alliances have even had disbandment votes that failed to pass. A reset would have been more logical in terms of consolidating activity. People could play TE if they're looking for the ability to be active and don't care about numbers. TE is devoid of a lot of the issues CN faces(foreign aid system, wars frequently, actual goals to reach, resets) but is lacking in players at the moment. The issue however is people want to accumulate and long-term accumulation is a major problem with CN. More who collect every 20 days have been driven out as they were more of the footsoldiers. A lot of DK is still around in some form. Someone's decision to quit if they're active is ultimately on them. If they need to feel they can win to stay in a game, it can't really be helped.
  2. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    It doesn't last long enough. Traditional pattern is for there to be a decline in activity in an alliance after wars are done. They inspire some people to become active, but not enough to sustain an alliance. While they were active, rather than cultivating new players, MI6 basically relied on ex-gov from various alliances and the game already being in severe decay in 2013 to be attractive to people from declining alliances on the premise that an alliance of active people despite being less than big statistically could have an impact of political events due to its relative activity. It's ultimately rather than adding to the game, a cannibalization of the existing active playerbase. Plenty of people could do the same thing without MI6's FA style of being as provocative as possible. Obviously such a model of recruitment along with a provocative FA stance attracted negative attention. MI6 raised the stakes in terms of subverting other communities. Such an alliance is going to attract heat regardless of the exact political configuration. MI6 was never above 120 or so members at most. DK was never more than 50 or so people and didn't have a recruitment base. These aren't exactly sustainable nor do they carry a war coalition themselves. They relied on the alliances where the leaders would have to rouse the rank and file. It's ultimately a decision by the alliance that getting rolled hard enough times means you have to disband. Edit: Went to the Polar forums to check real quick. Came out with this. I didn't include 2008 since it was when those forums were created halfway through the year during the NPO/NpO crisis. The Polar forums experienced a decline of posts except for 2012(not sure what happened then aside from the war started the previous year, maybe a spam contest or something). Then from 2012-2015, 30k posts per year, then then 22.5k posts per year from 2015-2016, it was 17k posts, per year. 2017 and 2018 have a 22.5k gap 2018(perhaps due to increased discord use but not anything unusual) With your example, Polar had the "dynamic" experience of getting rolled twice in the same year in 2011 and having reps put on them. If they truly thought that such experiences made their members more interested and would keep them in the game, they could always do things that lead to that situation. The wars where they got stomped and had higher activity were nowhere near even hence the reps being forced. By then it was Polar's 3rd time getting rolled. There are mechanical limitations with "dynamic" political experiences within CN anyway and it's never been a game of dynamic experiences. It's been usually piling onto whoever is the most disliked at the time. There have been only a few alliances with the playerbases and economic potential where they could recover member losses and grow. Those are the ones in the best position now. There was someone recently who posted a topic saying "buying 200 tech for 6m" and was mocked for it. In those alliances, they're getting those rates still and since they exclusive access to such a pool of sellers, it's an insurmountable advantage essentially being a game winner in itself. Even when large coalitions were amassed, no one had the numbers of active nations to decisively break the resistance of those alliances, so their dominance is a fait acompli. Everyone used to say NPO returning to dominance was paranoia and so on despite it being far more organizationally effective than most alliances along with having the potential to use the tech system to its own ends. They buried their heads in the sand and continued practicing noncompetitive ways of playing. It has little to do with any specific political configuration and all to do with who has the mechanical capacity and willpower to win. On the other hand, you could have plenty of wars by basically ignoring Oculus since they won't move and fighting alliances of a similar size to yours. With the common tech rates, growth is clearly not a priority for most players so there could be tons of action at low tech levels. It would entirely feasible to set up a parallel political system due to the NS range disparity at this point and just limit the upper amount of NS you'd reach. If active people want action, rather than expecting dinosaur alliances to move like chess pieces(very different).
  3. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    I mean get the point is the death of the game is tied to the level of political competition. However, when there was a previous megabloc that lasted a year and a half, there was a downturn in overall player activity and decline in the playerbase when it collapsed, so it's never really borne fruit. People were plenty willing to do whatever it took to avoid getting stomped by the Continuum and were invested in the game nonetheless. The player count is usually reflective of the pool of potentially active players. In essence, the "Oculus killed the game" argument is that political competition/warring encourages long-term activity and keeps the game alive when it's clearly proven to not be the case in CN due to the ramifications of wars being quitting points for most rank and file players. What does encourage long-term activity is infusion of new blood that can replace old players that quit, which hasn't happened often here. It's been traditionally a cycle of people quitting due to normal reasons like wanting to focus on other games/rl(which is why most alliances are inactive) or getting rolled into nothing. TPF was a huge alliance before Karma. For instance, the game was a lot more politically diverse in 2008/2009. Then some point after that people like Superfriends and XX took too many hits due to the underlying inactivity in their alliances that had previously been ameliorated by winning wars and players started exiting the game once they had nothing left to lose. That's just the natural progression. TOP lost in BiPolar and had started with 200+ members. Within a year they were no longer anywhere near that. The game was at the peak of its activity in 2007. The numbers started decline majorly after Karma. People were making topics about the game dying when it went down from 30k+ to 28k+. Ragnarok was once one of the biggest alliance in the game from 2008 - 2009. By 2010 it was a rump state. People naturally wear down over time and conflict doesn't actually keep the game alive because people quit after wars. Wars mean that money they saved up might have run out. The other things they accumulated gone. To add onto that, the active minority that complains/ed a lot tends to essentially posit if there had been no Oculus, there would be a competitive environment and this would save the game when it would ultimately have a similar result with the top two alliances being allied and sharing an NAP with no interest in ever fighting each other. Even if they did fight given the mechanics of the game, whichever won would have an insurmountable tech advantage going forward over the other and it would kill competition. All the cheerleaders and hecklers never had the ability to do much of anything and would be equally powerless and complaining in that scenario. It just means perhaps some of the lower membercount alliances would have disbanded sooner probably. An inactive bloc is not stopping anyone from having islands of activity in terms of people being able to do stuff independently of Oculus interference. Usually most of the complaints are that it's rolling people who aren't active and can't pose a threat. A lot of people had years of not fighting between Doom War - 2017. As of now, since the Maroon War which concluded sometime last year, Oculus has been inert aside from the GPA war. The issue is, mostly people expect the big alliances to put the work into create entertainment for the active minority. The big alliances aren't interested in doing it anymore due to the labor cost, lack of interest in their own alliances, and so forth. They don't owe it to anyone. Conflict happens when there's an incentive to action and organic tension. Oculus can't project strength past a certain point and the mid tier has always been a place where the other alliances could put up a fight in. NG was able to give IRON a fight in the mid tier. There's plenty of wiggle room hence all the micro tier conflicts. I agree with the latter assessment as those alliances disbanding would remove the active minority's excuses to not have to act. I would prefer it that way.
  4. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    It continued on a statistical trajectory it had been charting. The problem of personnel you bring up is a symptom and not a cause. If alliances don't gain new players that want to do stuff, then the old ones will have to stay or the alliances goes inactive. Alliances always had an issue of limited personnel wanting to do the work and actually stay consistent. Plenty of wanted titles but not the work. There aren't really that many people that would have wanted to preside over adminstering a growingly inactive group of people. Even if there was someone to replace the head of each alliance, there wouldn't be enough people to staff it properly. The politically/alliance government active people along with OWF posters have always been a tiny minority tend to project their own desires onto the rest of the game. The problem with that projection is you need the rest of the game(file and rank) to execute the actions you want to happen. If they're not invested enough in it, it doesn't matter what you do. Most of the people complaining about the game dying right now were people that either were the tiny minority and didn't have the activity/organizational willpower within their own alliances or they were people that collected every ex-gov reroll they could find to make an active alliance, which isn't healthy either. If the rank and file of each alliance was interested, then there would be more conflict as it would be difficult to prevent people from going rogue if it went too long. Basically for a game to have a healthy community it has to incorporate that the fact most people won't stick around forever and be attractive to new players. I can tell you most new players don't really get a kick out of a game where they basically are stuck way behind everyone and in most cases will find alliances that are wastelands. This was close to being the case years ago. If they get to leadership even in this context, there is no reason for the out of touch nations in their alliances to listen to them. "who are you".
  5. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    dem stats contradict muh feelings!
  6. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    Some people might pretend it's other sims, but it's mostly a small minority that goes to other sims. Most people due to becoming less interested in long-term gaming commitments stick to games where it's one off or it's just one session until the next one. A lot of the time when I used to still try to keep people in CN, I'd have to go up to them on steam and they were usually playing a variety of games. Some popular games are like Call of Duty, League of Legends, Overwatch, CSGO, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, and others of the sort along with the games that are single player but can be played on one's own schedule like Nier Automata, Hitman, Paradox gamesetc. I know some people are also playing EVE Online and other MMOs like Runescape/Final Fantasy.
  7. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    The alliance governments are the only half-way active people. Most alliances have always been dependent on a large group of people that would let the leadership do stuff and then show up to fight. When the slightest inconvenience irl means someone is too busy to play the game or click links, then it's over. It's an increasing trend with the browser games as people get older, they don''t want to put any effort into the game anymore. It's just "Oh I started in x year and I'd rather not let it go" until they forget. It would be better if all the inactive alliances disbanded and deleted so we could see the real numbers of players, but that's not going to happen.
  8. Monster

    The Amazing Sanction Race

    bump for posterity
  9. Monster

    How is this place still alive?

    Not really sure what you expected to happen. It's a game with a limited lifespan and people don't have infinite regenerative capacity. The only recruiting alliances that maintained recruitment well for a long time are NPO/IRON/Polar. Everyone else didn't want to do the work of integrating new players, my alliances included, and the more you kept relying on old players to stick around forever to make non-recruiting alliances work, the worse it was going to get, especially as there was a decision to not grow the game. The game is a business at the end of the day and not a public service and the owner made the decision not to try increase the playercount after a certain point. It's not the player job to make the admin money outside of the donations so if he wanted to expand the game and replace losses, he could have done a number of things. The tech transfer level being increased was also terrible. The focus has been on older players for a long time and it wasn't a good business model for growing the game. The fact that the notion that the game would be vibrant without Oculus is still prominent just means you haven't been paying attention to the patterns of people quitting. It was hard to keep people caring at all even 5 years ago. Even 7 years ago, I had players had started in 2011 telling me they weren't going to play forever. When I rejoined after a 10 months hiatus between 2012 and 2013 a lot of people had already started leaving and most alliances had difficulty getting people to declare and I had to basically put in a lot of effort to deal with the rampant inactivity in my alliance at the time and some people just were done. The big merger alliances like NG and TLR showed signs of rotting away for years. People ultimately aren't making the decision to disband because of the politics of the game rather because they're moving on. Basically all that would happen is someone would lose and wouldn't be able to recover their tech levels while NPO would be able to continue to build up its tech levels. As long as there are only two alliances that can recruit and move tech around at highly efficient levels due to having the perma tech sellers then there was never going to be much competition in terms of the tech race within a war or two. Most alliances do not have enough control over their members and haven't for years. At the end of the Oculus isn't particularly formidable below 150k NS, so you could orchestrate plenty of action below that strength level. They have a ton of strength locked up out of range which you can easily avoid. You could siege a decent amount of people in these alliances even. It's your decision to expect NPO/IRON/etc. to do all the entertaining for you and put the manhours into coalition planning. I can tell you the past big wars like Karma and BiPolar took a lot of effort that people in this game aren't interested in putting. You can have all these forces on paper but when people have been out of touch with their alliance in any real capacity for years, it means nothing. Anyway the numbers don't really prove your case. They may show Oculus is the reason a few alliances quit the game, but that's about it. I remember in Oculus' first war, STA was already on its last legs along with plenty of other alliances. If the number of people in the game who actually want to play the game actively were the only ones counted, the game's membercount would be around 1000 or so at most. The game has been propped by people leaving their nations as online memorials. Here you go, somebody rationally predicted the current count 5 years ago rather than basically "the game would be awesome if it went *my way* instead"
  10. Monster

    Frozen Orange juice

    The thing LJ said was in terminator's signature recently.
  11. Monster

    Dear God I hate discord!

    Sorry think we're crossing wires here while agreeing. I was replying to his point it looked worse to use discord vs a forum at his job or that it wasn't possible to use it. I think discord in the browser version would be more useful than a forum in fact due to it being real time. I was agreeing with what you're saying on the work point. If they're letting him do it at his job with a forum, then it's only worse with discord if it's more of laying low thing as discord is flashier than a forum, but there are go arounds. People can still participate regardless of time zone and location. A forum was more useful when there were a lot more people in the game. A forum when there's a limited quantity of active membership is harder to sustain than a discord. If you were still at 300+ members your forums would likely still be alive. The issue for you is you seem to expect the same level of activity in a community where people are mainly holding onto their nations for old times sake. Obviously the alliances have thinned out and if yours has a dearth of Aussie players, there are other places that have more people from Australia/Asia that are time zone compatible. However, the majority of players in these games are from NA/Europe so most alliances will not suit your needs forum or not. No one's forum is active because they don't have the number of talkative players to sustain a forum. A forum requires far more people to sustain its activity. The top 2 alliances have people on who either stay up late or are from Australia/Asia, so it's your best bet imo. If you don't care about it needing a lot of people, then ODN is your best bet as they have to do all their voting and stuff on the forum. Maybe GATO as a second choice.
  12. Monster

    Dear God I hate discord!

    There were categories introduced so you could make hierarchy in those and there are/roles masks. I mean if people don't want to be active in CN, then they're not really going to use forums much either. That's more the issue. I see discord as way more beneficial for user retention than a forum they can easily neglect. Discord also has various RL interest related uses so there's much more keeping people using it then a singular forum. The reason people are putting their eggs in the discord basket is because it is accessible and it's easier to get a hold of people. They just have to enable push notifications and then discord comes to them when they're needed rather than them they needing to read it on their own. So let's say there was an important discussion, you would ping everyone.
  13. Monster

    Dear God I hate discord!

    You could just make a specific channel for those discussions. This too. I always noticed people had this quirk with both IRC and Discord. Discord less so since it's mobile friendly. A forum isn't necessarily any less bad than the discord browser version. If it's because it looks unprofessional to look at discord, you can have discord embedded into your forum. https://titanembeds.com/