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Alliances with good tech sellers?


Oblomov
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I'm finding it incredibly difficult to find reliable tech sellers. Anyone know of any alliance that has programs for foreign tech buyers? I usually buy at 6/100, even 9/100 if the seller owns the FAC wonder. 

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48 minutes ago, Chimaera said:

Not really any good ones.  Most alliances with good numbers of sellers won't sell to foreigners anymore.

^Pretty much this. Unless you can get an econ treaty, but even then their leaders won't force a seller to sell to you, and most sellers are better off selling to people that will aid them and fight for them in wartime. Money isn't the only currency on Bob. It's not even the most important currency on Bob. Most players forget that.

 

Best recommendation is to recruit friends/family into CN. Just remember that same IPs can't interact, and check in with mods if you share an IP. I've seen one good player banned because his son wanted to play (before the rule change). Better to be transparent than have your nation deleted.

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It was worth a shot! I didn't know the tech shortage was that bad. It seems that in my position, throwing cash randomly remains the safe bet. Return on investment isn't great, but it's still better than buying my own tech.

 

Convincing my family and friends to join CN for the sole purpose of becoming my personal tech farm seem a bit too extreme. I'll pass on that. 

 

Thanks for the answers Chimaera and Duderonomy.

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One thing that should be said is that every tech deal is a small gamble, even players who have completely hundreds of deals all on time will sometimes not come back to the game to complete the deal.

 

Obviously I have never brought tech, though I have observed those who do and noticed a few common flaws, hopefully this advice can help (could take a while, but obviously you have to invest some time to achieve reliable growth for your nation):

Look for small nations in medium sized alliances, I know NPO and IRON regulate their sellers a fair bit, I assume that some other large alliances are similar, smaller alliances are likely to give sellers freedom to find/be found by their own buyers. Make sure they have completely 2 tech deals recently on time and that they are more than ~30 days old. Also make sure that you are not jumping in before a previous buyer can renew his deal, as this will either get deleted or annoy the buyer, and perhaps his alliance.

I specify that the alliance should preferably be medium sized, and not small, and should preferable also be established, so that sellers cannot attempt to steal from you. Obviously no alliance can ensure someone keeps logging on, but decent alliances won't allow their members to rip people off.

 

Also look for people who are selling to several other alliances, they probably won't care what AA you are from.

 

Hope this is of some assistance. Of course if you continue to struggle to find sellers helping your AA with a recruiting drive or finding another alliance as Chimaera suggested.

 

(On a separate note: you really need to get yourself a WRC. :))

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2 hours ago, Oblomov said:

Convincing my family and friends to join CN for the sole purpose of becoming my personal tech farm seem a bit too extreme. I'll pass on that. 

I'm not talking about giving them a "hard sell". Just mention to gamers that you play and have fun, and see what they think. Most won't mind trying something for a little while, especially if they have somebody to show them the ropes. Just let them make up their own mind. The more that try; the more that'll stick around.

 

The seller problem is actually a Cybernations growth problem. No newbies==no sellers. There's tons of competitors to CN now that freemium has become a business model. It isn't 2006 anymore. Most people here are here because of pre-existing relationships (aka they are friends/family of a player or they've played so long that they've developed friends in-game), and most newbies don't have any relationships in-game, so there isn't much to keep them here since you don't have tons of graphics. Positive word-of-mouth can do a great deal to prolong a game like this. I also advise celebrating alternate value systems (casualties, wars, relationships, and growth rather than just NS or tech). High-NS nations and donors are lords over nothing if the game dwindles. And it will if there's nothing to keep new players here.

Edited by Duderonomy
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14 minutes ago, Duderonomy said:

I'm not talking about giving them a "hard sell". Just mention to gamers that you play and have fun, and see what they think. Most won't mind trying something for a little while, especially if they have somebody to show them the ropes. Just let them make up their own mind. The more that try; the more that'll stick around.

 

The seller problem is actually a Cybernations growth problem. No newbies==no sellers. There's tons of competitors to CN now that freemium has become a business model. It isn't 2006 anymore. Most people here are here because of pre-existing relationships (aka they are friends/family of a player or they've played so long that they've developed friends in-game), and most newbies don't have any relationships in-game, so there isn't much to keep them here since you don't have tons of graphics. Positive word-of-mouth can do a great deal to prolong a game like this. I also advise celebrating alternate value systems (casualties, wars, relationships, and growth rather than just NS or tech). High-NS nations and donors are lords over nothing if the game dwindles. And it will if there's nothing to keep new players here.

 

This is quite a problem, other than the desire to benefit one's alliance there isn't much to incentivise people to stay as sellers. This isn't exactly one that effects me personally right now; who knows what the game will look like in 15-17 months (assuming no major wars) when I have all the wonders I want at my level, I'm oscillating between trying to grow and being an eternal tech sellers.

 

The problem is once you have most of the wonders there is no growth possible for a seller, the only thing that changes about your nation is your warchest and casualties, going above 4-6k infra whilst a seller is just begging for it to be nuked away in wartime. (Though it would be amusing to see a tech seller at 20,000 infra.)

 

I think a possible solution is allowing people to further develop wonders, as suggested by Artigo here: 

 

(When did that start happening?)

 

That way people can stay small for somewhat longer and still continue to develop their nation (but choosing to grow before that is not too big a disadvantage).

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1 hour ago, Duderonomy said:

I'm not talking about giving them a "hard sell". Just mention to gamers that you play and have fun, and see what they think. Most won't mind trying something for a little while, especially if they have somebody to show them the ropes. Just let them make up their own mind. The more that try; the more that'll stick around.

 

The seller problem is actually a Cybernations growth problem. No newbies==no sellers. There's tons of competitors to CN now that freemium has become a business model. It isn't 2006 anymore. Most people here are here because of pre-existing relationships (aka they are friends/family of a player or they've played so long that they've developed friends in-game), and most newbies don't have any relationships in-game, so there isn't much to keep them here since you don't have tons of graphics. Positive word-of-mouth can do a great deal to prolong a game like this. I also advise celebrating alternate value systems (casualties, wars, relationships, and growth rather than just NS or tech). High-NS nations and donors are lords over nothing if the game dwindles. And it will if there's nothing to keep new players here.

 

Eh, it's a problem with the platform.  In 2006, smartphones weren't *really* a thing - so peoples' medium to the internet, especially the younger generation that CN has always appealed to (hell, I was 16 then) was laptops and browsers.  In 2016, your internet browser is the *last* method you use to get online.

 

The thing that would save this game, more than anything, is a bloody mobile app made for it.  It's been proposed and rejected by admin a thousand times now - so wither away and die on a long-dead platform we must.

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10 hours ago, Duderonomy said:

I also advise celebrating alternate value systems (casualties, wars, relationships, and growth rather than just NS or tech). High-NS nations and donors are lords over nothing if the game dwindles. And it will if there's nothing to keep new players here.

 

I always thought this caught on back when the only thing anyone could successfully throw at NPO were words and that that counterculture of sorts slowly became the game's culture after 2009. I didn't think people did it to make the game more playable or more fun for new people.

 

Obviously I can't speak for all newer players, but I tried CN and stayed because of the politics. I don't dispute that casualties and friends are both fun and an important part of alliances' communities, but the importance placed on them at the expense of political power and in-game strength has always been off-putting to me. It's always struck me as a way of transforming the meta-game from one of creativity, competition and effort into one that glorifies participation (in the form of casualties, wars, etc.) and seniority over all else (seniority since most friendships are the result of years-long relationships and have little if anything to do with what is politically advantageous today).

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The problem with a focus on politics is that most of it is so opaque that most players never actually have a chance to participate unless they're lucky or in a micro. Oh, they deal with the consequences of the backroom dealings, but they never have access to those channels. If you're in the clique, it's great fun I'm sure. If you're not, all of it is as entertaining as a soap opera, and I can watch better ones on Netflix. Generally I play games to do something rather than watch something.

 

Diploing might seem like politics, but it's really just marketing and brand management. Most diplos have no real sway in their AA unless they are in gov.

 

There will always be winners & losers in any value system, and having multiple value systems ensures that people can lose in one system, but win in another. Anybody that continually loses gets frustrated and leaves, and you have your seller problem again because sellers and new nations always lose the NS game. Always.

 

If you don't value participation, then you won't get participation. Fine if you're happy lording your NS over an empty planet, but you'll find it less satisfying when no one cares, and when the game dies. You cannot sustain a thousand-player world on a 10-nation leaderboard. People like to feel that they're making progress in something. It's part of the reason they play games. But they've got far more entertaining fare when it comes to drama that they have no power over.

 

That's the counterintuitive balancing act that large AAs must make if they want to maintain power over a living planet and living AAs. Yes, every player wants to be at the top of the pyramid, but they must find ways to maintain the bottom or the whole structure collapses. You've got your ivory towers and your castles, but if the carriers of water and hewers of wood go away, then you will be left alone with a lot of stone.

Edited by Duderonomy
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5 hours ago, Duderonomy said:

- snip -

 

I agree completely. Giving newer players meaningful roles is important and those roles will almost never be politically important ones. What I was getting at, though, is that I've always thought the friends > infra culture of the game is as much a source of decay as any of the other usually cited culprits. Yes, it's hard for newbies to have access to politics and no, they will never have the biggest nations, but if a huge segment of the older players actively subvert the elements of the metagame that allow for successes and failures in politics - namely the valuation of in-game strength and IC political power - then even the spectator element of politics dies and most economic contributions to alliances seem less meaningful. I've seen plenty of newcomers who are excited to play a nation sim for the politics, the economics, or the wars but I've never once heard of a new player who found CN and made an account because they were looking for a community with a cynical view of the gameplay.

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I don't view friends>infra as cynical at all. It's about trust. Will you be there for your buddy when he's down? Will you fight with every resource for his cause? Over multiple game scenarios, you get a sense of just how far someone will go for you, or whether they'll disregard a treaty that you have signed. I learned the importance of that in my first 6 months on Bob.

 

What friends>infra means is that you cancel treaties before you break them and that you follow their intent. Doing otherwise might save NS, but anyone keeping track should be more hesitant to rely on you or sacrifice for you in the future. Disregarding that creates chaos, but it subverts politics. There are some that I wish would remember that.

 

A seller is a clean slate, but that can be a negative as well as a positive. You have to take a risk on a new seller, a risk that you may not get paid back. Alliances have more methods to discipline an internal seller, so they are extremely valuable and their slots are not ceded lightly.

 

And a long reputation isn't always a plus. Ask Junka.

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