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Londo Mollari

The Problem With Planet Bob

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[u][size="5"]Where does activity come from?[/size][/u]

Participation in this world, in this community, is inherently focused on action within the world. While some alliances have strong internal communities that can weather to some extent a prolonged lull in external activity, many do not - and all alliances are far healthier and more active when their members are directly involved in doing something interesting within the world. That is the reason we are all here, and the inherent focus of our activity. The lifeblood of activity in the world is therefore meaningful interalliance and even international interaction.


[u][size="5"]The problem of moralism[/size][/u]

There is, however, an unfortunate problem that presents a significant barrier to activity. There is within this world a profound culture of 'moralism', which perpetuates and strengthens itself. You see, everyone wants action, but because of the culture of moralism, anyone who starts any kind of action will be attacked and smeared, jumped on by everyone else who is starved for action and destroyed. Those who did the destroying will then clap themselves on the back for being 'heroes in stopping aggression', being profoundly relieved that they finally got some action. The strength and prevalence of the culture of moralism is such that most players have given up entirely on the prospect of being allowed to start their own action, and instead have fallen into a moralist mindset, grateful for action whenever it comes, but possibly not understanding that it is their (and so many others') acquiescence to the ideology of moralism that creates such an enormous barrier to starting action in the game, and is a major reason why it is so infrequent. This in turn causes nations to be less active, because there is less action to be had, and less active nations over time tend to become stat whores, because that is really all that there is for them, which strengthens their commitment to 'moralism'. In other words, the culture of moralism has a stranglehold on the world as an active and vibrant entity, and is slowly but surely squeezing the life out of it. As a side effect, it also means that the "barrier to action" or threshhold of military, economic, and political muscle required to successfully start anything at all is enormously high. This carries its own consequences, which are outlined in the next section.

[u][size="5"]Breaking Barriers[/size][/u]

Because the threshold of sheer power required to start anything and get away with it even once is so terrifically high, due to the culture of moralism, this has two primary effects. The first effect is that, if someone is actually successful in starting something, they feel compelled to cause as much damage to their enemy as possible, and the best way to cause that sort of damage is to simply hit nations until they vanish from the world. This has the effect of creating a culture of terror associated with the prospect of war, and it inspires the victor in each subsequent war to be more and more vicious and destructive, and to make terms as crippling as the public and the attacked alliance or coalition will bear. Everyone who is in a major war is forced to do this out of fear and enlightened self-interest, and this behavior is both partly caused by, and also helps to reinforce moralism. It also tends to drive a lot of nations out of the world. The second effect of the high barrier threshold to action is that almost everyone in every major global war is fighting someone else's war, and few people or alliances are ever really getting what they want or being allowed to realize the level of self-actualization which is required to drive the existence of a top-flight, highly active alliance. In a world where the barrier to action was not so high due to moralism, and wars were permitted to be more limited in scale and scope, far more highly active alliances would exist - and they would not have to resort to odious behaviors to maintain their positions as highly active alliances.


[u][size="5"]Recap[/size][/u]

I have thus far made what I feel is a very convincing argument that a culture of moralism is killing the world, and that it is specifically involved in not only nipping just about any action that anyone tries to start in the bud (which drives nations from the world, because activity and life stem to a significant extent from action), but that it inspires the victors in wars to be extremely vicious in all possible ways, which has a net effect of driving more nations from the world. So, what we have here is a rather unhappy situation where we have a self-perpetuating, largely unthinking culture of moralism which is helping to kill the world on multiple levels.

In fact... I think we can safely say that 'moralism' is itself immoral.


[u][size="5"]Advocation of a better way[/size][/u]

I did not come here to claim that the world is terrible without offering an idea to fix it. Here are some basic mindsets that every single nation ruler (at least the non-neutrals) can adopt which, if enough people adopt them, will change the world.


- The first mindset that must be changed, and the most basic, is that treaties are necessary to the health and security of an alliance. The community itself, as a whole, should safeguard the basic health and security of an alliance. For example, a lightly governing supra-alliance organization could be established which would prevent obliteration or unsporting destruction of alliances through a rigorous framework of objective rules which would be enforced by all its members. I believe every nation on Planet Bob should swear its first loyalty to this organization, which represents the fundamental health of the world itself and the principle of fairness in action, rather than to any alliance. If the community will do this, then no other treaties will be needed for security, and none other should be tolerated for oppression.

- The second mindset that must be changed is that moralism is permissible in any form. No matter how starved you are for action, if you want some, you should either make an alliance and start some yourself, or get your alliance to start some. The only other permissible way to experience action should be if it gets started against your own alliance. Anything else other than this permits moralism, the quick and easy path to "defensive" curbstomp action, to exist.

- The third mindset that must be changed is that it is permissible to destroy your enemy and drive him from the world. Although I believe a supranational, supra-alliance organization could enforce this to some degree, ultimately, this is up to the people that make up this world. It's fine to punch an enemy, to smack him around, to humiliate him, to beat on him a little if he did something mean to you... but it should rarely if ever be fine to engage in a war of utter destruction against any enemy, as this both drives players from the world and creates fear which strengthens the moralist sheep-impulse.


If these changes are enacted, weak alliances will grow stronger and more active or will perish, and the world as a whole will grow stronger, more vibrant and alive, and more numerous. This is fundamentally in everyone's interest. The only person that can save the world, is YOU, oh reader. Hearken you unto my words, and go with the Llama.

/s/

Londo Mollari
Emperor of the The Redoubt of Mind.

Edited by Londo Mollari

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Londo you have become quite the attention seeker these past weeks, for every action there is a reaction, for the world to have "evil" it has to have "moralism" aswell and vice versus for the world to thrive, the lack of one or the other kills the world. Welcome to the future.

You and the rest in Thriller had the chance to be "evil" but backed down and went running because of the "moralism" that is weakness that kills the world aswell, YOU are part of the problem like most of the world, the solution you provided doesnt work because you dont even follow it yourself.

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[quote name='Arcturus Jefferson' timestamp='1303514310' post='2697143']
A bit sore from losing to AcTi, eh?
[/quote]
AJ, ive known you a long time and that statement from you makes me go WTF?

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I honestly don't see this moralist view point you are speaking of having any political power these days. It's very brief peak on this planet was in the run up to and early stages of Karma.

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[quote name='wickedj' timestamp='1303514361' post='2697146']
AJ, ive known you a long time and that statement from you makes me go WTF?
[/quote]
Thriller failed to accomplish its objectives in the war against AcTi and then proceeded to disband. Apparently the withdrawl and disbandment was for reasons other than AcTi's military resistance, but it's hard to see your adventure as anything other than a disaster.

And now Londo's all sad about it.

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tl;dr

is this bawwing that so-called moralists are evil for defending unwitting victims from random curbstomps and/or techraiding?

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[color="#0000FF"]So basically you want to be able to do whatever you'd like to others without having to worry about others doing it to you in return? I can't say I sympathize with you. You and your little 'immorality' crew ought to grow a spine.[/color]

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[quote name='Arcturus Jefferson' timestamp='1303514576' post='2697150']
Thriller failed to accomplish its objectives in the war against AcTi and then proceeded to disband. Apparently the withdrawl and disbandment was for reasons other than AcTi's military resistance, but it's hard to see your adventure as anything other than a disaster.

And now Londo's all sad about it.
[/quote]

I saw Battalion post, quite of his own accord, that he agreed with the problems we and the rest of the world saw with AcTi and was planning to work to improve them. This was after a mere three days of non nuclear war. We brought our enemy around to our viewpoint with such minimal effort and minimal destruction. Is this really a loss for anyone? I would say that AcTi won because they are going to work on improving, and we won because we had a good time, AND we got the enemy to see things our way, and without even expending much effort.

I am not overly sad about the way that situation ended by any means. This essay is not about bawwing, it is about a problem I have come to perceive with the basic structure of this world throughout my time here in various roles. As an alliance leader, I got to interact with hundreds of players very closely and learn all about their goals and ambitions. This essay represents my thoughts on the path to making it possible for the greatest number of players to realize their goals and have the maximum amount of fun. You may not want to read it, you may not agree with it (a lot of the people who would have agreed with it most have already left this world, for reasons that should be apparent). Perhaps I am even entirely wrong, and the world I envision would actually be less fun and less entertaining than the one we have now. But, I am not writing this as someone with no experience in the matter. I invite you to consider my ideas on their merit.

Edited by Londo Mollari

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The inherent problem with what you wrote is that...


a) moralism is subjective, not finite. There is no one way to be a moralist. There are roughly 20,000 people who play this game. When something happens, they all form an opinion. In most cases, all opinions flow to either pro or con in relation to whatever action it taking place. The pro faction is viewed by the acting party as courageous enough to see the truth and the rightfulness of the action taken. The con faction, will be called moralist. Moralist is a catch-all phrase, that stems simply from some people thinking that something is just wrong. Tech raiding, in and of itself, is a prime example of this. Im fine with people tech raiding. Others think its wrong. Them thinking it is wrong, does not make them a moralist on a grander scale. Us thinking it is ok, does not make it ok on a grander scale. When the alliances taking down NPO came together, we were, in what this world would describe by today's terms, the moralists. We were unified against the constant threats of extinction and curbstomps if we dared to speak out against those in charge. For the game to have conflict, a healthy dose of moralism and chaotic action both need to exist. If there was no moralism, nobody would care what happened, and there would never be a driving force to the formation of an antagonistic and a protagonistic side.

b) fun. Everyone has their fun within this game in a different manner. You and your Thriller compatriots claim that you had fun attacking nations that you guys made fun of for warchests for weeks on Skype preceding the incident. Its all well and good that you guys had fun pounding on people that you knew full well had no capability to fight back. The fact of the matter is though, that because it was fun for you 17, does not mean similar actions would be fun for everyone. Not everyone who plays this game will have your same taste for fun. I, personally, got involved in the game because I enjoyed the pesudo-political element that differing opinions on in game actions bring. It is blatantly arrogant of you to think that simply because you find one way to play the game as fun, that those who dont find your way to play the game, are the cause of the destruction of the game. Diversity, and healthy doses of all types are needed to make this game interesting.

There are things, in my opinion, that can be done to improve the game and the community, but singling out an opposing viewpoint and painting that believers in that viewpoint with a broad brush and accusing them of draining the life blood from the game, is unfair to a great many players. You should learn to accept that while lots of people may enjoy the game the same way you do, and may enjoy the same things within the game as you do, there are equal numbers, who do not, and probably even a third equal sized group who fit somewhere in the middle.

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[quote name='Rebel Virginia' timestamp='1303515468' post='2697165']
[color="#0000FF"]So basically you want to be able to do whatever you'd like to others without having to worry about others doing it to you in return? I can't say I sympathize with you. You and your little 'immorality' crew ought to grow a spine.[/color]
[/quote]

No RV, that is not what I am proposing. In order to strengthen the community as a whole, there should be limits placed on what anyone tries to do to anyone else, aimed at not allowing the unjust eradication of nations from the world. I shouldn't be able to do whatever I like to others unless it's within reason, nor should others be able to do whatever they like to me unless it's within reason. The community should establish this sense of reason, but right now the culture of moralism had it set up so that you can't DO anything to anyone, but if you do the whole world can jump on you and curbstomp you to oblivion. By demonizing aggression itself, regardless of the scope or intent of that aggression, the culture of moralism nips action in the bud in almost all cases, which has the effects I mentioned in the OP.

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[quote name='Londo Mollari' timestamp='1303515710' post='2697167']
I saw Battalion post, quite of his own accord, that he agreed with the problems we and the rest of the world saw with AcTi and was planning to work to improve them. This was after a mere three days of non nuclear war. We brought our enemy around to our viewpoint with such minimal effort and minimal destruction. Is this really a loss for anyone? I would say that AcTi won because they are going to work on improving, and we won because we had a good time, AND we got the enemy to see things our way, and without even expending much effort.

I am not overly sad about the way that situation ended by any means. This essay is not about bawwing, it is about a problem I have come to perceive with the basic structure of this world throughout my time here in various roles. As an alliance leader, I got to interact with hundreds of players very closely and learn all about their goals and ambitions. This essay represents my thoughts on the path to making it possible for the greatest number of players to realize their goals and have the maximum amount of fun. You may not want to read it, you may not agree with it (a lot of the people who would have agreed with it most have already left this world, for reasons that should be apparent). Perhaps I am even entirely wrong, and the world I envision would actually be less fun and less entertaining than the one we have now. But, I am not writing this as someone with no experience in the matter. I invite you to consider my ideas on their merit.
[/quote]

This post is redacted because a) its off topic, and b) is something that would best be left for a private venue.

Edited by Rush Sykes

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Bob's been in decline for how long now? People either lose interest or don't have time to play and it's hard to catch up to the old players. CN just has a low birth rate and it's not surprising that it's less vibrant with less than half as many people playing as when I created my nation.

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[quote name='Chief Savage Man' timestamp='1303516552' post='2697181']
The problems here have nothing to do with how its played.
[/quote]

This, this, and a million times THIS.

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[quote name='Rush Sykes' timestamp='1303515965' post='2697171']
The inherent problem with what you wrote is that...


a) moralism is subjective, not finite. There is no one way to be a moralist. There are roughly 20,000 people who play this game. When something happens, they all form an opinion. In most cases, all opinions flow to either pro or con in relation to whatever action it taking place. The pro faction is viewed by the acting party as courageous enough to see the truth and the rightfulness of the action taken. The con faction, will be called moralist. Moralist is a catch-all phrase, that stems simply from some people thinking that something is just wrong. Tech raiding, in and of itself, is a prime example of this. Im fine with people tech raiding. Others think its wrong. Them thinking it is wrong, does not make them a moralist on a grander scale. Us thinking it is ok, does not make it ok on a grander scale. When the alliances taking down NPO came together, we were, in what this world would describe by today's terms, the moralists. We were unified against the constant threats of extinction and curbstomps if we dared to speak out against those in charge. For the game to have conflict, a healthy dose of moralism and chaotic action both need to exist. If there was no moralism, nobody would care what happened, and there would never be a driving force to the formation of an antagonistic and a protagonistic side.[/quote]

If everyone is content to be voyeurs of other people's action, then this is fine. But I don't think that's why most of the 400,000+ nations that joined this world came here, and I think that the culture of moralism is why most of them are gone now. I think people joined this world to have their OWN action, and even in the broad coalition wars that sweep the planet every so often, this is only possible for an extreme minority. I'm fortunate enough to have gotten plenty of my OWN action, but many have not. As to NPO, their main problem was that they did not check their aggression properly at acceptable levels, and achieved such a degree of power that a coalition had to come together to stop them, which, due to the culture of terror at the time, had to be done violently and permanently. I do not believe in unchecked aggression, but I do believe in aggression.

[quote]I, personally, got involved in the game because I enjoyed the pesudo-political element that differing opinions on [b]in game actions [/b]bring. It is blatantly arrogant of you to think that simply because you find one way to play the game as fun, that those who dont find your way to play the game, are the cause of the destruction of the game. Diversity, and healthy doses of all types are needed to make this game interesting.[/quote]

So your enjoyment of the world depends on action too. Wouldn't you be more engaged and have more fun if there was more action going on, and perhaps even if it was happening closer to home?

[quote]There are things, in my opinion, that can be done to improve the game and the community, but singling out an opposing viewpoint and painting that believers in that viewpoint with a broad brush and accusing them of draining the life blood from the game, is unfair to a great many players. You should learn to accept that while lots of people may enjoy the game the same way you do, and may enjoy the same things within the game as you do, there are equal numbers, who do not, and probably even a third equal sized group who fit somewhere in the middle.
[/quote]

This is possible, but if so, there are more and more people enjoying it so little that they leave every month. A lot of things are wrong, and I have painted the cultural attitude of moralism and attendent problems as a primary culprit. I am not condemning players, I am condemning a behavior. I could even get behind the idea that it's ok to attack aggressors if the aggressors outnumber their enemy and are unjustly beating the tar out of them and driving them out of the game... in fact you will see a provision for this type of "moralism" in the OP. I just don't think that the current state of nature, which turns into a curbstomp for the aggressor every time, except in rare cases where the aggressor is well prepared and then thus feels the need to prosecute his aggression to an overly brutal conclusion which drives the defenders from the game... is a good or healthy one.

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[quote name='Chief Savage Man' timestamp='1303516552' post='2697181']
The problems here have nothing to do with how its played.
[/quote]

I would agree with you that it would be better if the mechanics themselves were set up to create the conditions I'm talking about, but since that is unlikely to happen, I think it is reasonable to consider other solutions.

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