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Protectorates & Micros

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December 28th 2018 | ORB Politics

If you are privy to politics in simulation games, you know what the word Protectorate means – and more specifically what the basic details that most protectorates require and hold.

Protectorate: A state that is controlled and protected by another.

Google Dictionary

When Politics & War was young, the idea of getting protection or giving protection was a lot different. Larger alliances generally only accepted alliances who had leadership that they knew or had an inkling that the alliance requesting protection was going to make moves and be worth the protection. There was a nice system set in place that would allow new alliance creators to do a bit of shopping for the right larger alliance to protect them – and there seemed to be a set of standards.

Today, we are overwhelmingly plagued by a constant flow of micros, and this is not to say those alliances who are small, but filled with experienced members are a plague to our society, there are plenty of those types of alliances that fit in where they do – no – it is the constant flow of players who clog the alliance market with flops, one hit wonders, and a bright dream that fades away as quick as it was lit up. With the flow of these types of alliances, we are now seeing more and more larger, more known, and respected entities, packing on these numerous new alliances – but why?

We decided to take a look at the current top 10 alliances and see how these entities play their part in the protectorate ordeal that Orbis is currently dealing with. For this investigation we observed the following alliances:

  • New Pacific Order (7)
  • Black Knights (8)
  • Pantheon (5)
  • The Syndicate (10)
  • The Fighting Pacificsts (1)
  • Rose (6)
  • Knights Templar (0)
  • Church of Spaceology (0)
  • Seven Kingdoms (0)
  • Polaris (3)

Obviously, this war has moved some people out from the top that are usually sitting there, but if we take a step back and actually look at these numbers – we will see the issue in which we explain in our opening paragraphs. First lets remove some alliances that we really don’t need to look at – they don’t fit into the equation due to their political stance or the fact that they do not carry treaties.

  • New Pacific Order (7)
  • Black Knights (8)
  • Pantheon (5)
  • The Syndicate (10)
  • The Fighting Pacificsts (1)
  • Rose (6)
  • Polaris (3)

New Pacific Order is the top alliance in the game, rising to the top with the war in their favor in terms of score decrease of their opponents. They currently hold 7 protectorates; Horsemen, Military and Economic Union, Hollingsworth Maharlika United, Wings of Defiance, United Socialist Nations, InfoWars and Death Watch. Of these seven protectorates only one, Horsemen, is in the top 50. We aren’t going to cycle through the top 10 protectorates and spot out who’s top 50 or not – this piece isn’t about the protectorates, its more so about the why. Why are these alliances protecting so many that seemingly do not provide much of anything?

When you chisel it down, you really only have two reasons for protecting an alliance in this game – remove the fact that you’re friends – you’re left with:

  • We think we can actually help this alliance out.
  • We could stack this alliance on to cover up our lower tiers.

The likelihood of an alliance actually saying we can help you out these days is pretty slim. Back in the old days of PW, many alliances offered programs that would stack on protectorates and run them through a process that would allow for them to be connected economically, receive payments, and basically push for growth – the idea was to get more people in the game to play, make the politics a bit more deep, and have treaty upgrades from a protectorate connection with strong, trained and put-together allies. Sure, this might happen still today, but generally you’ll only see that alliance tack on 1-2 protectorates – which causes us to look at TFP. The only alliance in the top 5 that has 1 protectorate, United Hoods. We think this is TFP’s reasoning for protecting United Hoods – because if they chose the latter reasoning, they’d be stacking on quite a bit more protectorates.

The idea that an alliance should stack on protectorates to protect themselves might seem a bit taboo when you really think about it. The alliance in question is looking to be protected, but – when you revert back to the definition of protection, the alliance that is watching over the smaller one is in control. Most times when signing a protectorate agreement there are going to be certain stipulations that need to be agreed to. Primarily political engagements and war/raiding rules that could come back on the larger party doing the ‘protection’ – but for the most part, these older, giant alliances have much larger tiers that can’t actually defend the lower ranks of their alliance. What better to to ensure total protection than to build a ring of protectorates around yourself (meat shield) to defend you when someone comes knocking on your door for a low-tier raid?

The idea turns from taboo to brilliant. You don’t have to use your own resources, you can keep it outside of your own alliance, and you have a bunch of nations at your disposal to protect you. So, it turns into a semi-mutual protectorate agreement – sure you could argue that you wouldn’t do that and that’s not why you stack on 7+ protectorates, but in all honesty – most of these alliances stacking on protectorates have members who publicly whine about micro drama and small alliances clogging up the main course of the alliance affairs…so why the two faces?

If anything could be a more clearer example, take a look at the present war. During the initial declarations, several protectorates from multiple alliances engaged in war to pin down nations within their tier range. Signing a protectorate now gives you advantage of protectorate nation numbers to use at your disposal. Sure, these alliances could be wanting to go to war, but what type of alliance would they be without that controlling aspect of a protectorate agreement?

To this we say, Protectorates, what is your protector actually providing you vs. what are you providing your Protector? From our investigation into this war, alliances being protected and the protectors themselves – it would seem the real benefit of the protectorate agreement rests in the hands of the Protectors…not the alliances being protected. Could this be a form of social brainwashing, following in the footsteps of most every new alliance – seeking our protection, advertising that protection on your alliance information page, having the visual of the protectorate lines being drawn ONLY to be at the call of the ones who protect you to assist in raids they cannot cover due to their top tier size and go to war to fight their opposition in war that might cause more damage to you than what it could cause to your protector.

So we ask again, what is your protector actually providing you and does your connection to your protector actually benefit your alliance growth & the game dynamics in regards to political evolution?

You will never be sovereign as long as you have an entity controlling your movements…unless of course your agreement clearly stipulates individuality without recourse from your protector.