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Azaghul

A doctrine of war: what Karma should and shouldn't have done.

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Let me start off by saying that I for one am sick and tired of nearly every argument today devolving into one of history about how things were before Karma and how the current situation compares to it. However when so many people insist on constantly attacking anyone on my "side" as "as bad" or "worse" than NPO, whenever we do something they don't like, this is something that needs to be addressed.

I'm posting this as an OOC essay because in many ways this is OOC, addressing what makes the game fun or boring.

[u]What was Karma?[/u]

[url=http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=58638]As I said during Karma[/url], Karma was not a unified entity. There were many different people fighting for many different goals. Defense of allies, revenge, opposition to EZI, opposition to "curbstomps" and "bad wars", a desire for multipolarity, etc.

Some also fought for a sort of pacifism that opposed any "bad wars". I believe that we went too far in that direction, something I'll expand on later. The causes which I did and still do agree with were the creation of a more multi-polar world and an end to things like EZI and terms designed to destroy communities. But my point is that there was no official ideology to it, we never got together and agreed on its principles. Everyone got to define its principles for themselves, and some versions were different than others.

[u]Why we play?[/u]

This is another thing that varies quite a bit, but I believe that for a [i]majority[/i] of players, competition, war, and intrigue are what make this game fun. Conflict, both in war and the political intrigue leading up to war, drives this game. Peaceful stagnation, where no one can act against anyone else for fear of being labeled "immoral" and everyone just grows their nations in perpetuity, is boring.

Some players desire to play without having to worry about conflict. Neutral alliances like GPA should exist and be allowed to exist in peace to accommodate them. For me the saddest part about the GPA war was that it forced war on an alliance that existed to avoid war and stay out of the political and war game that the rest of us play with each other. If you join that game by joining a non-neutral alliance, then you should expect war.

That's not to say that wars should happen every other week with no build-up. There has to be a balance. A big war once a year is too far in the direction of stagnation and boring.

[u]What was wrong with the world before Karma[/u]

There were several main problems with the war before Karma. NPO was a decent top alliance in some ways, in that it kept the game interesting. In other ways it imposed stagnation as a matter of policy, making the game boring. There were several different aspects to this.

EZI is one, and one of the most egregious. The purpose of it was to literally keep players who opposed NPO and friends from playing. The fact that it doesn't exist in any form and and the community wouldn't tolerate it today (when anyone "threatens" it today it is almost always as a joke) is a testament to one very clear and obvious improvement from that era.

Another one was the intentional unipolarity of that era. Q was a game breaker, it intentionally was a conglomerate of all the major blocks in the game. A way for NPO to have a solid power-structure over almost everyone in CN. This was corrected and is no longer true today. No block has anything close to the comparative power that Q held. Q was designed as a hegemonic instrument. No one has tried to set up a comparable block since then.

A third was starting wars based on flimsy CBs against much, much smaller opponents. This on occasion is fine, but we need major wars between substantial coalitions as well.

Fourth was the intentional suppression of freedom of speech, often coupled with EZI.

A fifth was harsh terms designed to destroy communities and forced disbandments. Terms are a lot lighter now. Even though major reps are nothing like the terms of the past, I personally hope to not see them this war because they create too much of a gap between wars.

[u]What wasn't wrong[/u]

The pacifistic overtones of some in Karma have been excessive. So has the attack on any "aggressive" actions. Karma should not have been the "war to end all wars". That's boring. And it extends to the obsession with CBs and moralism over treaties. Of course there's room for some of this, but it's gone overboard to the point of being ridiculous.

We need aggressive players and wars of aggression to drive this game. Otherwise it is boring.

[u]What's wrong now[/u]

It seems like everything is a constant PR war. Moralist trumpeting is everywhere. Few are willing to be seen as the "aggressor". Almost everyone professes to want war, but only a defensive war which they face no risk by fighting. It's gotten to the point where major wars are almost impossible to instigate. Bipolar was generally a fluke in how it went down and expanded.

In the last couple of attempts to instigate one, the side at a disadvantage has intentionally contained it. NSO "asked" its allies not to enter in the 6 million dollar war. Legion [i]still[/i] hasn't entered this war despite two of it's MDoAP partners being attacked. Few are willing to start or enter a war at a disadvantage.

Another problem, and yes I know my alliance is responsible for this in the last war, is very large reps figures that increase the recover time after a war and keep alliances out of play. When reps take 6-9 months to pay, that is going to keep those alliances from doing anything during that time, and generally keep people from moving on until after that.

All these factors combine to make a major war almost impossible. And it has made this game quite boring, as few are willing to do much at all.

[u]How things should be[/u]

We need to keep some of the precedents set in Karma. No more EZI and deliberate attempts to drive opponents from the game. No Q like megablocks. No more community destroying terms.

But we also need to pull back on the excessive moralism, pacifistic ideology, and white knighting that is attributed to Karma. It has gone overboard and it's smothering the game. This isn't the real world, wars are fun and good, not an evil. For wars to happen we need aggressive players. We need people to realize that this is a game. We need people to play it like it is a game, not like it is the real world. Ideally we should have a major war around every 6 months at minimum. We need to adjust our values to make that happen. This game depends on it.

[u]How MK's and PB's "hegemony" is different than NPO's[/u]

As explained above, EZI is gone. Censorship is gone. Game-smothering mega-blocks are gone, replaced by a multi-polar world with many relatively independent groups that can reasonably compete with each other.

Now while we may have made some mistakes, we have sought to make the game more interesting. MK could have chosen to try to set up a Q-like hegemony like NPO did and we didn't. We cancelled our treaties and only resigned with alliances selectively in order to help break up the treaty web, going in the opposite direction of a Q like block.

[u]Why Doomhouse attacked NPO[/u]

Before this war, there was an obvious rivalry between us and sides forming in general. MK and NPO haven't shied from needling each other. A big war was on the horizon. Lennox did us all the favor of trying to manufacture a CB to get it moving, and VE took advantage of what Lennox did. Finally we had a major war that wasn't just a 10 to 1 curbstomp.

The die was cast, war was declared. And what happens? Only some of NpO's allies enter. No one in the NPO sphere enter, even direct allies of NpO or NpO's closest allies (The Legion and TPF). We all just stared at each other for about a week. This is the NPO that hasn't fought a war in a year and a half, far to long for this game. An alliance that didn't enter in support of NSO the last time around.

We were ready to enter. We, both in MK, and the community in general, were bored to tears from almost a year of no major fighting. This game was going downhill due to inaction. Moralism and cowardice had collectively smothered the conflict that drove it. Either NPO and co were going to enter and people on each side were waiting for the other side to enter first, in which case this was just a short cut to something that was taking obscenely long to happen. Or they were deliberately staying out. If they had stayed out, that would have been a nail in the coffin of this game. It would have set a precedent of cowardice that would have made major wars even more unlikely and inconceivable.

If people were willing to do more to create CBs, willing to enter when a CB was found and a potentially major war was started, we could have avoided having to go in without one. But the war system (in a political sense) based on CBs wasn't functional. It wasn't creating major wars. We were left with two choices, either what would likely amount to a permanent peace, and therefore the death of this game as a competitive war game, or go in without a CB.

We chose to make the game interesting again. In the past months, MK chose to reshape our treaties in a way that helped make a major war possible. And when our enemies did everything they could to avoid a war, we, Doomhouse collectively, and one could also say VE, refused to let them. We helped put an end to the stagnation. We refused to comply with the moralistic and pacifistic gridlock that was smothering this game. We started to perfect Karma. We made war.



[size="1"][b]Disclaimer:[/b] These views are my own and do not represent MK's views in any official capacity. However I don't believe it is a stretch to say that my views about why we went to war represent MK's fairly well.[/size]

Edited by Azaghul

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When one speaks "OOC" about the politics of the game, in essence it is purely IC. Just because you are referring to it as game and not "planet Bob" doesn't affect things. As obvious from your post.

Otherwise, did read, cant get bothered :P there is enough propaganda floating around anyway.

Edited by Branimir

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[quote name='Branimir' timestamp='1296070390' post='2603070']
When one speaks "OOC" about the politics of the game, in essence it is purely IC. Just because you are referring to it as game and not "planet Bob" doesn't affect things. As obvious from your post.

Otherwise, did read, cant get bothered :P there is enough propaganda floating around anyway.
[/quote]
There's no way to of clearly conveying in character that "this is a game and the aim should be to have fun" as a motive for your IC actions.

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I will only say that in this and other posts, your side has been quite careful to state that you oppose EZI, but have said nothing about PZI. Given the number of posts where this has been the case, it would seem reasonable to infer that you do, in fact, support PZI. Don't you think that is also a game-stifling practice?

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Wow, great piece. This is exactly what I have been thinking.
Also we could have chosen to deploy just 10 alliances on the New Polar Order and take them out without escalating it but were is the fun in that? I am looking forward to a good fight with NpO. It should be a close one.

Edited by Timmehhh

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[quote name='Azaghul' timestamp='1296070779' post='2603083']There's no way to of clearly conveying in character that "this is a game and the aim should be to have fun" as a motive for your IC actions.[/quote]
Yes there is, but it takes some more words play.


Though you did far more then that here. Anyway, its a trend that this board gets bombarded with propaganda not only in IC but supposed OOC areas. It is part of the fun, I suppose.

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Unarguably the best wall of text posted this week. However I would be remiss to not point out that we did no go in with "no CB", we did it to both prevent a growing NPO threat and to help FAN achieve their aims of vengeance. Both of those are completely valid reasons for war.

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[quote name='Joe Izuzu' timestamp='1296070895' post='2603085']
I will only say that in this and other posts, your side has been quite careful to state that you oppose EZI, but have said nothing about PZI. Given the number of posts where this has been the case, it would seem reasonable to infer that you do, in fact, support PZI. Don't you think that is also a game-stifling practice?
[/quote]

Umm.. unless there is something I have forgotten, they are the same thing.

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I don't think hitting NPO was the main thing to make this game interesting, not this war anyway. The VE/NpO conflict was doing good, and was really going to set the stage for the next war, which more than likely would have been on NPO (I think anyway).

Them sitting out wasn't complete cowardice, though. They wanted to make sure that when they struck they were at max strength - clearly they aren't. Doomhouse is hitting them because they don't want them to get to full strength. Do I think they should stop their allies from entering a conflict so they don't get dragged in? $%&@ no. Do I think Doomhouse had any right to hit NPO? Nope.

But whatever, I've always been a fan of the "We don't like you." CB so, kudos for that. This does make the game more fun. I think it would have been more fun had NPO been full power though. Oh, and Legion wasn't such a !@#$ alliance. That'd make it more fun.

Have fun smashing them.

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Good post.

I'd just like to say that the whole CB issue is a confusing one. And in general CBs take away from the fluidity and fun of this game, including the treaty web. Why do you need a CB on planet bob? And what is a cb? I mean, in my mind, past actions are the ultimate CB. Why does there have to be some spy incident for there to be a cb? Not liking another alliance is enough cb to me. And, in that respect, an MK/NPO war is probably the most well founded war ever in terms of CB.

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[quote name='Joe Izuzu' timestamp='1296070895' post='2603085']
I will only say that in this and other posts, your side has been quite careful to state that you oppose EZI, but have said nothing about PZI. Given the number of posts where this has been the case, it would seem reasonable to infer that you do, in fact, support PZI. Don't you think that is also a game-stifling practice?
[/quote]
I think we're just avoiding being redundant by mentioning both all the time, and EZI is more extreme so it better represents what used to happen. PZI isn't generally accepted either, and I can't recall it being used at any point recently.

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[quote name='tamerlane' timestamp='1296071250' post='2603097']
Umm.. unless there is something I have forgotten, they are the same thing.
[/quote]
I remember having a long long debate a long long time ago about the difference between the two of these. It was a really silly debate, and I'm not sure remember what the hell the difference is now, but I do remember EZI is totally WAY worse.

FakeEdit: I think PZI means you can keep attacking after they hit ZI, but you're going to let them go eventually and EZI means you'll never stop attacking them.

RealEdit: Azaghul two posts below me is right. I told you I didn't remember :P.

Edited by Trinite

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[quote name='Trinite' timestamp='1296071999' post='2603119']
I remember having a long long debate a long long time ago about the difference between the two of these. It was a really silly debate, and I'm not sure remember what the hell the difference is now, but I do remember EZI is totally WAY worse.

FakeEdit: I think PZI means you can keep attacking after they hit ZI, but you're going to let them go eventually and EZI means you'll never stop attacking them.
[/quote]
From what I remember EZI is attacking someone across re-rolls. PZI is only attacking their current nation in perpetuity.

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[quote name='Joe Izuzu' timestamp='1296072078' post='2603123']
No, Tamerlane. EZI is chasing someone across rerolls. PZI is keeping someone down who refuses to reroll. Quite a different thing entirely. So, what is your position on PZI? And if you support it, how does that fit in with your stated intention to "put an end to the stagnation" of the game?
[/quote]

It should be obvious in the tone of the OP that we consider both ridiculous and unacceptable and I think thats about as much time as anyone else in this thread can waste on this issue. My superiors are welcome to clarify the issue if I am wrong on this.

Edited by tamerlane

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In terms of your comments with regards to the unnecessary strictures of the treaty web and the link, I don't really disagree. This first bit of this part, however...

[quote name='Azaghul' timestamp='1296069832' post='2603057']

The pacifistic overtones of some in Karma have been excessive. So has the attack on any "aggressive" actions. Karma should not have been the "war to end all wars". That's boring. And it extends to the obsession with CBs and moralism over treaties. Of course there's room for some of this, but it's gone overboard to the point of being ridiculous.

We need aggressive players and wars of aggression to drive this game. Otherwise it is boring.[/quote]

...seems to gloss over a good deal. The obsession with CBs and moralism and the decrying of 'aggressive' actions did not start with Karma, and neither was your use of such tools. If one looks at the major DoWs from every conflict in which MK was on the losing side (or the DoW by TOP et al) you'll see exactly the same arguments put forth. The views expressed in Karma weren't a one-off; they were the dominant narrative right up until this week. Not from just MK, or Doomhouse, but from just about everyone who chanced to draw the short straw at some point.

If this is the game as you'd like to see it played, I have no qualms; it might make things quite a bit more interesting. I just hope that, when the bill inevitably comes due (as it does for anyone that scales the mountain) we won't see a return to orthodoxy.

Edited by Schad

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[quote]No, Tamerlane. EZI is chasing someone across rerolls. PZI is keeping someone down who refuses to reroll. Quite a different thing entirely. So, what is your position on PZI? And if you support it, how does that fit in with your stated intention to "put an end to the stagnation" of the game?[/quote]
Does PZI and EZI have anything to do with the stagnation of the game? I would think not, since those things only went on during the time on planet bob when the game was far from stagnating.

Also if every alliance just nulled all treaties, and we all just fought when we wanted and joined war sides as we pleased, the game would probably be better.

edit: Or well, if we let people have 1v1 wars. lol. But it is an impossibility now wars are cluster$%&@s with way too many alliances involved.

Edited by DogeWilliam

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Well done Azaghul. I especially liked the part where Karma was not one set of ideals shared by all who participated.

Every alliance should post this in their forums for all to read.

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[quote name='Schad' timestamp='1296072468' post='2603135']
In terms of your comments with regards to the unnecessary strictures of the treaty web and the link, I don't really disagree. This first bit of this part, however...



...seems to gloss over a good deal. The obsession with CBs and moralism and the decrying of 'aggressive' actions did not start with Karma, and neither was your use of such tools. If one looks at the major DoWs from every conflict in which MK was on the losing side (or the DoW by TOP et al) you'll see exactly the same arguments put forth. The views expressed in Karma weren't a one-off; they were the dominant narrative right up until this week. Not from just MK, or Doomhouse, but from just about everyone who chanced to draw the short straw at some point.

If this is the game as you'd like to see it played, I have no qualms; it might make things quite a bit more interesting. I just hope that, when the bill inevitably comes due (as it does for anyone that scales the mountain) we won't see a return to orthodoxy.
[/quote]

Having been in MK leadership during teh time, I believe you will find (upon actually reading the history) that MKs narrative and the narrative of other "losing-side" alliances was plagued by "give us a chance to play the game" as opposed to "thats immoral".

Edited by tamerlane

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