I have noticed lately a fair number of people not understanding my views on reparations in this game, and why I believe that anything more than light reps are damaging to the game OOC, and a bad tactic IC. So whether you're out to cover your own $@!, or looking out for the health of the game, listen up!
IC: The Cycle of Revenge
A primary rallying cry of the Karma War for most was to "bring an end to the era of crippling reparations." Of course, the war ended with some of the harshest reparations in history, with the claims that past actions of those alliances were justification for the "punishment." The STA, for example, has claimed that if they ever find themselves at war with Valhalla, they will impose reparations to recoup those imposed on them by Valhalla in the past, no matter the circumstances that bring them to war.
These are examples of "Revenge Reparations". Punishing an enemy now for actions you could not retaliate against before. Following their lines of reasoning, many alliance members (most notably in MK) find my claim that I wish to end this cycle inconceivable, as they themselves would not choose to do the same. They do fully expect that I would act as they do, roles reversed. My claim is thus spun as one of self-preservation, not principle.
It follows, then, that it is worth explaining why that is not the case. I fully believe, based on bountiful observed evidence, that imposing harsh reparations imbues in your defeated foes a deep-seeded hatred that may only be relieved by inflicting a similar blow upon you at a later date. Perhaps, in an IC way, not wanting to dole out any more than light reps, usually none, is good policy as it does little to inspire a drive for revenge in your beaten foes. Conversely, crippling reps doom you to the same treatment someday.
A tale from one of my favorite RPGs, Lost Odyssey, conveys this well:
Think about it.
OOC: Lower Reps = More Wars
This is simpler. If you believe that war is good for the game (if you don't you are wrong), it stands to reason you should encourage it. Light reparations let us stretch our war legs far more often, while still encouraging political work to make yourself a winner (recovering would be actually harder with frequent wars). Further, much of the schoolboy emotional crying over this game seems to be a result of community destruction resulting from wars of elimination. Conversely, you have those who demand a pound of flesh to satisfy their own egos and self-importance. I assert that more frequent, less crippling wars will be healthier for the community at large. This is up for debate between reasonable minds, but I believe it.