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About Magicman657

  • Rank
    I am thee Magicman.
  • Birthday 01/13/1989

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Nazareth, Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    Most video games, Magic: the Gathering, Guitar Hero, and CN of course. I also enjoy a good game of chess.

Previous Fields

  • Nation Name
    Magi Nation
  • Alliance Name
    United Equestria
  • Resource 1
  • Resource 2
  1. It's not my fault that my blogs end up getting so popular This probably gets more attention than the thread though since the link is always visible on the side (because apparently very few people write blogs anymore :\) Instr, you have some valid points. I'd still say that both player retention and obtaining them are important, though, and that's what matters. We could debate the semantics of which matters more but ultimately you're going to need both things for the game to thrive as it once did. I whole heartedly agree that the tech issue is more important than the wonder issue. I brought up both points though because I wanted to show two things- that seniority affects more than just 1 part of the game, and that the problems are fundamentally different in nature. The wonders affect the "grinding" period of the game. As it stands, to have them all collected takes a minimum of 2.5 years, which means it will take that amount of time for a new player to be "equal" to an older player (at least in that specific regard). I mentioned that because out of all the game's I've played, 2.5 years just for the grinding period of the game seems ridiculously long to me. For example, if I were to play a game like Diablo 2 and grind a character up to level 99, it would take no more than a few months, not years. Of course just getting to 99 isn't the entirety of the game (as then you still need to find loot for your character), nor is is 100% necessary, but to have a truly equal duel between two players they'd both need to be the same level. With that in mind, that's why I proposed removing the wonder clock because it would turn that nasty 2.5 year grinding phase into something closer to 1 year. Of course, an alternative (that I don't necessarily agree with but for the sake of argument) if we want to adjust this grinding phase would be to keep the clock but make it like 15 or 20 days instead of 30. However, the grinding period isn't the REAL problem. The most brutal part of CN is the tech system because it creates shifting goalposts. Meaning, that no matter how long a nation grinds for (even an infinitely long period of time), a new nation will NEVER be able to get higher NS than me as long as I keep importing tech every 10 days. In fact, because being able to buy nukes relies on being in the top x percentage of nations, there will eventually be a point where it's FASTER to buy all the wonders in the game (thus having a manhattan project) than to hit that 10% (or whatever it currently is; I don't know off the top of my head). This makes grinding NS a progressively longer task every day that goes by as the average NS of nations will continue to rise and it will make a new nation take that much longer just to reach a mildly decent NS. That's why I keep coming back to this idea of design. While there's only so much we can do outside of the game as far as players are concerned, we CAN control the way the game is built, and the best thing we can do is to make it as attractive as possible by analyzing the design flaws and figuring out how to redesign each system in the game so that CN becomes more fun and fair for everyone.
  2. This is great input guys. I'm really enjoying reading all these different viewpoints, and my hope is that by the time this post dies, we have a good idea of what we should be doing. So maybe seniority isn't the biggest issue after all. I still think that it has some negative side effects that deserve to be looked at, but that's not the real point of this entry. Let's then try to look at it as two tasks. 1, We need to bring in new players. Word has to reach new untapped areas (like UE did with Ponychan). This means more active recruitment on everybody's part and more advertisement. It also means that alliances have to WANT more new players, which I have no idea if that works into everyone's overall plans. 2, We need to keep the players here once they get here. It's in this category that all the gameplay balance and whatnot goes, and where I think the seniority effects might start coming into play. Note that the gameplay stuff is only a section of this goal, as some people will leave once here because of reasons outside the game (not being an influential alliance leader, real life obligations, etc). I will be focusing on the gamplay aspect though since it's something we definitely CAN do something about. I'm going to cite Diablo 2 (or World of Warcraft if you prefer, it applies all the same) as my example games. While a lot of games do reward seniority, it's usually through a combination of grinding and luck. The grinding often has some kind of cap associated with it- you level up to max level (which can take a few weeks to a few months depending on the game), but after that initial grinding period it then becomes a game of luck- usually in the form of items. Some items are outright better than others, but usually not so much that it makes everything else completely unusable and not competitive. Still, if you put in the time, you'll eventually come across that one item that gives you the extra edge which might make the difference in a duel between two players of the exact same skill. I think that's a decent design strategy- the game is then roughly equal for everyone, but there's still an element of strategy and luck. How could we do this? First, remove the 30 day cap for wonders. That reduces the grinding period from a 2.5 years down to something closer to 1 year (though reaching the infra and tech caps might still take longer depending on optimizations and how much aid you end up getting). 1 year minimum is way long for the grinding period as it is. Find some way to effectively "cap" technology in the same manner as infra or land so that its not worth it for nations with tons of tech to continue buying it. Then, add in the luck element of developing. This could be as simple as a set of [positive only] events where you gain like 100 land / 100 tech /100 infra (found the remains of an old civilization under your capital! ) or something of that sort. Get them on average once every month or two (every nation has a chance at these) so that nations can continue to make gains even when the cost to buy stuff wouldn't pay itself off for years. This then naturally lends itself to a new idea, call it "Investments", which you could buy for some amount of in game money to raise your chances of finding something. Part 1 may very likely be more of a factor than Part 2. I don't have the statistics to prove or disprove that. Still, they are both valid reasons and I'd love to hear your suggestions for how to address this kind of thing.
  3. Ashoka - It's not about not being able to start buying wonders in 4 months, it's that the time limit is an artificial implementation that prevents people from getting to the same level as everyone else for a minimum of 2.5 years (plus that initial 0-4 months and however many days they were not able to buy on schedule due to things like, missing trades, etc). I don't know that I'm necessarily ok with that, but because it is actually achievable as opposed to the tech issue, it's not quite as important. MrMuz - You have a very legitimate point and I also think that is a part of the reason as well, but that's something that's not directly game related and really there's not too much that can be done about it, which is why I've chosen to focus on things that CAN be addressed. There's no denying that you need time to learn and get your name out there before you can rise to a position of importance within an alliance. It also tends to work better in democratic groups as you have the chance on a regular basis to campaign and get to know the people that will be voting for you, as opposed to the dictatorship type alliances where moving up takes a really long time. And yea, we do want to find a way to keep the senior players interested, but at the same time, doing it by keeping an eternal seemingly or completely impassible barrier between them and the new nations doesn't seem like the right way to me. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. My hope is that someone will come up with a suggestion that addresses both issues. New Frontier - We've already passed the point where that would have a significant effect. We're down from ~40,000 members to ~17,000 (someone can correct me if this is slightly off but it's close enough) and sticking our heads in the sand isn't going to make it any better. In fact, we have plenty of evidence that this doesn't work (see previous sentence). If we want to get back up to 40,000+ we need to start looking at the reasons why those people left and find out which of them can be fixed. Obviously not every reason can be because not every reason has to do with in-game factors, but the ones that do really need to be looked at closely else we will continue to see people leave for those reasons.
  4. Someone had posted a topic about trying to figure out what's driving players away from CN and after responding, I thought it would make a good blog entry. If you've been following along, you'll know that there's good reason to believe the not-TE resource system (which admin has stated will be fixed, yaaaay!) was definitely a contributing factor, but I'm sure we all know it's not the ONLY factor. Thus, I sat and thought about it for a bit and I came up with this answer. The first step is always to try and identify the problem, and in this case, it seems to be Seniority. However, it's a hard one to fix, because it's not a direct, in game problem like the resource issue. Seniority manifests itself in many different forms, but I think we can agree that two of the biggest ones are through [Wonders] and [Technology]. While it might seem like removing the 30 day waiting period for wonders might at least somewhat address that part (which I will be considering and possibly crusading for at some point in the near future), the technology issue is a lot more complicated and there isn't an easy answer to it like there was with resources. If we want to revitalize CN, we'll need to give it some thought and come up with a good system that preserves the player cooperation aspects of tech dealing while also addressing the never ending benefits of toasters problem. So just how do we remove or at least limit the effects of seniority? Start by looking at the biggest problems caused by it. Once we can agree that it's a problem (which it IS, there's no denying that), we can work on ideas that can address it. So with this in mind, I ask you to think about it. Tell others about it. Brainstorm up some ideas. Just, whatever you do, don't ignore the issue and expect it to resolve itself, or even worse, absolutely don't deny that seniority is hurting CN. If you want to shoot down an idea, that's fine, but I challenge you to come up with an alternative that still fixes the problem. The first step is always to recognize the issue at hand and we need to start giving this some serious consideration for the good of the game. ~Magicman657
  5. One of my new favorite pastimes now is to write letters to my alliance leader, Princess Regnant Herooftime55, and post them on the United Equestria forums. Last night on our channel some interesting things happened that spawned a facebook status and a letter. I will share them below so you can have just a tiny glimpse into the insanity that is United Equestria (lol). One thing I will say, if ship-shipping is not a real thing, it SHOULD be. Status ------ So because I got tired of people shipping ponies in United Equestria's irc channel, another member and I started a parody "ship shipping" in which the Titanic and the Britanic got romantically involved, and the Britanic actually directed the Titanic into an iceberg (spoiler if you haven't seen Titanic) for insurance money. Yea. Letter ------ Dear Princess Herooftime, Today I learned a valuable lesson about love. Love comes in many different types and can be between many different types of creatures, be they ponies, animals, or even large metallic ships, but the one thing that remains constant is the feeling between them. Your love for your friends will guide you through dark patches of life where you need somepony to rely on and be there for you. Your family love will always reassure you and let you know that no matter where you end up, there will always be a place you can call home with ponies that truly care about you. Then there is also romantic love, which can only be described by experience. No matter what kind of love it is, you should always be careful with whom you share it. While love is an amazing thing to share with somepony, it leaves you vulnerable and so it should be exercised with the utmost caution (lest someship takes out a life insurance policy on you, seduces you, and directs you to an icy grave)! I know that I will always have many different kinds of love in my life and that I am so very lucky to have it! Your Faithful Student, Magicman657
  6. Damn right. Like, the most manly, studly zombie in existence.

  7. I hadn't realized you were actually alive at any point, I thought you were just stuck in some sort of pseudo zombie state.

  8. I have actually transcended the living form. I cannot be said to be truly living any longer.

  9. So like you are still here and still breathing I see.

  10. At my peak I was running a modified 5BR set with over 14,000 infra, proven by the fact that I own a Scientific Development Center. To be honest, I've never even considered what resources I would select for myself. Likely Uranium (since I'm one of the few people in my alliance that can have nukes, it'd be necessary to have a constant supply to make up for it) and one of the 3BR/5BR crossover resources. I'd set myself up for infra buying till I hit like 8k+ or so, then switch over to an income set and start banking all kinds of mad cash.
  11. Some of you may have noticed that I've been gone from Cyber Nations for quite some time. Many of you probably didn't. And of the former, a few of you might wonder why it is that upon my return to the game, I've spent nearly all my time lobbying for changes in the way resources are generated. I mean, for someone who supposedly doesn't care about his nation, I sure complain a lot, right? Well, here's the deal. As it stands now, I am not playing this game because I want to. I specifically refuse to do so until the resource issue gets addressed. I have zero interest in a game where critical aspects of it are broken and ignored by the developers. If it gets addressed, I might be more inclined to actually care about CN again, but not a moment sooner. I am playing the game for the sole purpose of helping out a RL friend of mine, Herooftime55, with United Equestria. I am very much a brony and a loyal friend, so it is only natural for me to want to assist him in this effort. Still, that doesn't explain why I have such contempt for what others might trivialize as an insignificant issue. So, sit back and I'll tell you the tale of Magi Nation and perhaps you might start to understand why it is I feel the way I do. I started playing Cyber Nations at the request of Herooftime55 back in the days of the Nintendo Outsider Alliance, 'gtfoutsider.com' (I actually had to look up the name because it's been so long ). While I can't claim to remember every single step I took in the last 4 and a half years, I do remember that Outsider had very little idea what they were doing and at no point did anyone ever bother to explain the full details of the resource system. After what had to have been somewhere between a few months to a year, I ended up joining the League of Small Superpowers, aka LoSS. I had gotten particularly interested in nation development at that point and made it a goal to research as much as possibly could about nation optimization. I spent quite some time with LoSS, it was and I imagine it still is an amazing group of people and I will never forget all the amazing times I was there for. During my time there, I made some very excellent progress on my optimization research, becoming particularly interested in all the subtleties of each resource and bonus resource. I eventually gained & adopted the unofficial nickname of Trade Guildmaster and offered my expertise to anyone interested. It was around this time I first realized I'd need to work pretty hard to play around my nation's resources, as Rubber wasn't a 3BR resource and Silver wasn't a popular choice for 5BR. (Later on I would carry dual membership with LoSS and Herooftime55's new project, 64Digits, though eventually I was forced to make the full transition over to 64Digits.) I did my best for the year or so that followed trying to keep a working trade circle of 5BR with Silver, and I had varying levels of success. Ultimately, I realized that my resources were just becoming a ridiculous pain to me. It was especially bad during times of war when I needed Uranium and couldn't swap out Silver for it. At one point I was replacing trades every two to three days, and I finally got to the point where I just stopped trying. This was well after I had broken 12,000 infra, so it's not like I hadn't been trying to deal with it. When the next war rolled around, I just quit bothering with my trades, letting them fall out as they inevitably would (with the exception of one or two kind souls). I started logging in every 2-3 weeks purely to keep my nation alive and after many months of doing this, I ended up amassing nearly 2 billion dollars. I had one war after that, where I dropped about 500 mil over the course of three weeks, and I've been just sending out money and tech at Herooftime55's request since then, not even bothering to fully repair Magi Nation. As a nation over 4 years old, I've bought literally every single wonder I can possibly own at this point. I still have over 1 billion dollars left and no intention of bothering to do anything with it besides send it out in aid every 10 days. I've drained out all my tech and just buy it 300 at a time for the benefit of my alliance. It's taken quite some time but what I've come to accept is that as long as I am forced to stick with Rubber and Silver, which I've come to utterly despise, I will never be able to have reliable trades or be as financially powerful as nations with better resources than myself, so I don't see the point in even trying. I've tried pushing the issue for resource reform before, but it always went ignored by admin and the problem persisted. I really WANT it to be fixed. Not just because it would benefit me though, but because the current system is horrible. As a programmer, it offends me that such a terrible system for resource generation has existed for this long without any sort of reform. From a design perspective, the system is set up in such a way that it actually encourages the precious few new players CN gets to NOT play the game for however long it takes them to get a good set of resources, and completely screws over those not lucky enough to know about the resource system when they made their nations. That's why I really want to see this get addressed. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't partially for my personal satisfaction, but really it's something that should be changed for the benefit of everyone - new players, old players, and even admin (more new players = more potential donations). So with that in mind, I hope you will forgive me for the overzealous protesting, but please, click below and help put an end to this atrocity of a resource generation issue. I've made a very clean and easy proposal that I'd love to get support on so that just maybe admin will actually do something about it. http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=92255&view=findpost&p=2783681 And if you've actually bothered to read through this entire rant, you have my personal thanks.
  12. You've got this whole "sarcasm / debating" thing down to an art form refined so much that I would probably buy tickets just to watch. Always factually informative and not afraid to be snarky if called for.

    Gold star.

  13. Well if you have some free time at some point, I'd be glad to help ya get back into it. Would be beneficial to me too, the more practice time I get the better.

  14. Not very good. It appears I've gotten even worse in my time away from the game >__> But I wanna wiiiiiin :(

  15. How are your chess games goin? Seems we have some pretty good players this time around, I'm particularly worried about CharlesVI as he can unseed me from my currently held second place.

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