The ORB Interview
Featuring: Buorhann – Great Hippo Khan of Orbis
Each week Orbis Weekly will produce a number of interviews that we send out to people all over the world. The idea behind the ORB Interview is to shed a little light on people, especially ones we think the world of Orbis should know more about.The questions will range from basic, random, and relevant.
If you don’t know him, you’re probably living under a rock or you’re new to the community. Buorhann or as some call him ‘bewbew’ has been around this game for as long as I’ve been here and always seems to be well versed in the going-ons of global politics. Love him or hate him, here is the exclusive interview with Bewbew.
Orbis Weekly: Can you tell me a bit about your PW history? (where you started here, etc)
Bewbew: I came here back in 2015 if I recall correctly along with the community I was very active in, the eRepublik US community – also known as Mensa HQ. There was a member of ours who brought up PnW to our community and we were all looking for a browser-based game to play and see how far we could get. Naturally from our experiences in eRepublik and the constant fighting in that game, we came aboard in PnW looking for competition and… shitposting.
Only a few of us had knowledge of the game’s culture and history. UPN was the first alliance to help and protect us briefly in order to allow us time to get situated. Starting at that point, I was just a regular member who often criticized other leaders, a regular nobody doing dumb stuff and stirring the pot. I wasn’t aware of who was who, and honestly, at the time I didn’t care. It wasn’t until after The Great VE War and seeing some Syndicate members attempt to troll us (Whom I, at the time, had no idea who they were as an alliance) that I decided to look further into the politics of the game. The drama of VE and Syndicate really intrigued me, mostly because of the difference of perspectives between Impero and Partisan and how that affected the foreign affairs of both alliances.
And amusingly enough, I ended up joining Syndicate later on as well. From there I learned a lot of the inner mechanics and backroom talks of the game. Jessica Rabbit, Partisan, Roy Mustang, Manthrax, and a couple of others showed me the ropes and I started to get more involved (So blame them for having me around). It got to the point where some of the more prominent members of our alliance sphere (Syndisphere) started to take my opinions more seriously.
From there, Vanek requested me to come back to Mensa to take over the FA job there as they were doing some government changes. So I did, and I very quickly spring boarded up the ranks of Syndisphere to the point of organizing the shotcalling and reaching out for intelligence of other rival alliances/blocs for the sphere. I want to say that after the Papers, Please conflict, I started to become disenchanted a bit. There was a lot of history that I still didn’t understand, especially the hate centered around NPO when they came around. And honestly I just got bored fighting the same opponents over and over. There were a couple of more wars after that point, at which given my own weariness and the fact that the Mensa community was falling apart in the game, I knew I had to step down and away to take a breather.
At that point I told Lordship from TKR, that I’d join up with TKR and hopefully see if it sparks my interest back in the game. While TKR was an exceptionally high active alliance (Probably the most active I’ve seen), it wasn’t my style. I’m use to borderline toxic, super laid back type communities – there’s less drama overall in my opinion with those as odd as it is to say. Even the Mensa community got out of hand from time to time that was annoying, but overall I just went inactive for a while other than doing some counter duties for TKR’s allies. There was also the issue of separate chats. TKR uses Slack and I was using IRC and Discord at the time, so having that distance between all the communities due to seperation of communication kinda got in the way.
In any case, after nearly a year of being in TKR, I sat down and asked myself why I still logged into the game. I thought about deleting and quitting at that point, but then I figured that I would reach out to some people whom I enjoyed working alongside with during Syndisphere days and see if they would like to create a new alliance. Fortunately for me, Sketchy also had the same idea or a similar one rather, and we created The Golden Horde. The theme was all his though, not mine. He can take that blame or praise.
So here I am. Sitting on my throne as the Great Hippo Khan of Orbis.
Orbis Weekly: Have you played any other simulation games in the past that may have led you to PW?
Bewbew: Yes, eRepublik. I played several years in that game. It was exceptionally fun in the early versions of that game because you had the News Media page where people from all around the world (eRepublik was based off of location, so if you lived in Spain – you’d be in Spain in this game) could troll you or post up massive amounts of propaganda like nations do in the real world (Trying to use news to influence/manipulate players).
I didn’t get too far in that game. I was mostly a soldier in the US Army then later a 1 term Congress member during one of the biggest wars the eUS was involved in. It was easy, casual, and super active in IRC. I ran a spy op ring in eRussia and eIndonesia communities for the eUS, often having to rely on bad Google translate to figure out what they were up to.
What led me to PnW was a member of ours who posted about it in the Mensa community boards (Read above).
Sidenote: Apparently Sketchy was one of my first “Friends” in eRepublik as well, and we didn’t know until recent when he looked back into the game and noticed my other game name alias there. It was a major “What the #$#@” moment realization.
Orbis Weekly: So, no Cybernations?
Bewbew: Unfortunately no. I wish I did though despite everybody telling me it’s a bad game. I mostly wish I did just to understand the developing culture and politics that still exists to an extent in PnW. While players may often cite that CN shouldn’t be referenced in PnW, it does play a large part in how others perceive one another that they’re familiar with from CN.
Orbis Weekly: What is your current role within your PW alliance? Are you happy with that role?
Bewbew: I’m the Great Hippo Khan of The Golden Horde. The big boss. The one with the final voice. Of course I’m happy with the role. We created the alliance to promote more warring, so that we can avoid having another year drought of no activity. So while yes we were often caught up in some forum drama (Some of it being absolutely dumb), it arguably brought activity to the forums with people waiting to see what was happening next!
However, I couldn’t enjoy this position or do anything without the current chosen government members I have. They all do a lot of work for me when I request something, and they’re all more than familiar with the game and it’s past history, so I often rely on their advice on what to do next for our growing alliance. Of course the members keep things interesting as well. Lots of nerd talk in our chats.
Orbis Weekly: Any thoughts on the next Global War? Who do you think will be directly involved?
Bewbew: I have ideas on the next Global War, but I don’t want to spill out much of what I know because I’m still unsure of some things and I hate stating stuff where I’m not 100% confident. I’m still looking into seeing if my own alliance and the developing bloc we’re in are under any threat, but it’s quite obvious that some alliances are walking on eggshells now.
The major spheres are definitely up to something, but it’s hard to say which ones are targeting who and why. While KT/TGH/Empy/Obli sphere isn’t as big or “major” as the others, we’re still watching developments. KT and TGH especially had just gotten out of a second major war where we only had a month break from a previous one, so we’re kinda still licking our wounds a bit.
The only thing I can say is that, if things kick off where it doesn’t involve TGH, it will be my first major war that I miss since I’ve arrived in this game. It’ll be interesting to finally watch a war from the outside for once IF it happens.
Orbis Weekly: How do you feel about the Giant NAP ending on October 18th?
Bewbew: I’m indifferent about it. I honestly didn’t care about it initially and still don’t – to an extent. Every once in a while someone reminds me of it. A couple of people blamed me for it, which was odd, but given the lack of their own access to the talks and the fact that I’m arguably one of the more influential people in the game – I can see why they would think I was part of it. I wasn’t.
I also find it quite funny that a lot of the critics about the NAP were from people who weren’t even involved in any of the conflicts that happened at that time, let alone a couple of them haven’t been involved in a conflict for a much longer time. So why would they be upset about it when they’re naturally not doing anything themselves? I don’t know.
As for it ending? Well, cool I guess?
Orbis Weekly: Obviously you know that Alex is the game admin, what are your thoughts on him and his development practices?
Bewbew: Ok, part of me still hates the way he acted early on with his game balances. The way how he would balance the game during a major war. While that was annoying, the more annoying part of it was that it helped push members of Mensa HQ away from the game since it was a constant thing happening and it was often interfering with our adaptation to various strategies we’d pick up.
The majority of Mensa stated the game changes during wars being the main reason why they quit or left the game (Other reason was internal drama stuff).
However, in all fairness to Sheepy, he did straighten up and he’s now waiting for major wars to end before implementing changes – which is a good thing. He also, I feel, balanced the game as best as it could be at this time. I did a previous segment on my show where I suggested some changes to the war module (Introduce a new unit – Anti-AA or increase the MAPs of Airstrikes from 4 to 5), that mostly centered around nerfing or tweaking the Airstrike power in the game.
I haven’t had much issues with his Administration lately, it does seem that he picked up a lot of clues as to how to operate with the community and I think he’s doing a much better job now.
Orbis Weekly: What do you think about PW Forum Moderation – what could be better?
Bewbew: They need to obliterate it and reform it. I personally like having non-Anon Moderators, because then you can see if there’s any bias in judgement of ruling on a player. Gives some assurances to the community as a whole in that way. It also allows the community to keep the moderators in check.
However, I do understand the reasons behind anonymity, mostly to avoid players from influencing mods or headhunting them in the game.
Orbis Weekly: Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers that you think they should know?
Bewbew: Protectorate ties suck. If you’re going to form an alliance, form one with the intention that you can take care of yourself. If you cannot take care of your alliance or play the politics of the game, then don’t form an alliance. All you’ll do is drain new players to your alliance and they’ll die there once they realize your alliance sucks and the game isn’t fun for them anymore.
Get better experience joining and following another alliance. Also befriend people who know how to use Google Excel Sheets and knows how to organize scoring. It’ll drastically help you in organizing your own alliance as well as any potential rivals.
Finally, don’t be afraid to have your pixels burned/destroyed. It’s easy to rebuild back up and there’s some mechanics of the game where you can still be productive even while being zeroed out. This is legit an easy going browser-based game, there’s no real investment into it directly (Your investment is with the community mostly, not the game itself).
Orbis Weekly: What is one thing you love doing in RL?
Bewbew: There’s a couple of things I enjoy in RL that I’ll share (I can’t just do one). I’m a southern boy from Mississippi, so I enjoyed outdoors quite a bit growing up. I was what one would call a “river rat”, constantly fishing and kayaking on the creeks and rivers. There’s a lot of options in that state when it comes to outdoor life. But now I moved to Utah, living in the desert mountains of the southern part of the state, and… living in a desert there’s not much in what I’m use to back home in Mississippi.
Now with that said, it’s absolutely beautiful out here. I wake up and right out my window there’s the mountain range right there with snow on top at this moment. Every once in a while I’ll go out hiking and post up pictures of it in my alliance’s member chat. Lately I’ve tried my hand at frisbee golf, which was unexpectedly very fun. We have a couple of “frisbee golf” courses out here and we tried it out. It gets you outside, you’re climbing over rocks and walking through brush, it was very fun. Hoping to do more of it before the snow starts falling here soon.
My BIGGEST thing? Other than playing computer games, is painting and playing Warhammer. Both Fantasy (Age of Sigmar now) and 40k. I play the Drukhari (Dark Eldar) in 40k and I play the Skaven in Fantasy/Age of Sigmar. Both of which are arguably the most evil races in their respective formats.
(Like I said before in my shows, I appreciate good villains. Granted I’m more of a Autobot fan than a Decepticon.)
Thanks to Buorhann for being a good sport and getting some real substance to this interview!