Trouble in the Empire

PWN is following news of some trouble in the Egyptian Empire. We have received reports that two raiders have declared war and are attempting to extort RedPhx of Shrimpatonia. RedPhx operates a large, 19 city nation with most cities approaching or currently at 5k infrastructure – this is obviously a juicy target for raiders who do not abide by the unwritten rules of Politics & War.

These raiders, Epimetheus and Vrael are operating on their own alliance affiliation called ‘Surprise’ and have sent word to the Egyptian Empire demanding a payout of cash.

The attacks started on March 30th at 08:06am In-Game Server Time and by 11:46pm, both raiders have dropped 1 nuclear weapon on RedPhx’s nation. RedPhx has lost 1,898 infrastructure in the city of Dantooine, along with 2 improvements and another 1,777 infrastructure and 2 improvements in the city of Korriban.

The reason behind the attacks? “We’re raiders” Epimetheus told Egyptian Empire. “I want a city and Vrael wants to top up his warchest lol” The raiders did provide incentive to leaders of the Egyptian Empire though, stating that if they agreed to their demands in the next hour, they would stick to raiding other targets for the next three months. Obviously, any incentive and deals have gone out the window now that nuclear weapons have been launched.

The Egyptian Empire did tell PWN that they, along with their allies are mobilized and ready for counters on these raiders. Egyptian Empire has retaliated against Vrael with two slots filled – but these Egyptian defenders are struggling to cover ground. Epimetheus has been countered by Egyptian Empire, SPQR and Frontier Records. Both SPQR and Frontier Records are allied to the Egyptian Empire – these three defensive attacks are faring better than those on Vrael.

Raiding in Politics & War falls under unwritten rules. These rules put a bit of a shadow on raiding, stating that raiding is bad and should not happen nor should it be accepted – however – many alliances have been created for the sole purpose of raiding and many alliances that frown upon raiding of their own nations due in-fact raid.

ORB Investigation: Micro Alliances in Politics & War

Politics & War is a free to play browser-based persistent massively multi-player online game where you create your own nation and rule it. Forced to make grueling political decisions you are truly in charge in Politics & War. Play together with friends and strangers, pit your armies against each other and wage war, or work together cooperatively for mutual prosperity. In Politics & War you call the shots. – http://www.politicsandwar.com

There has been argument over what constitutes as a ‘micro’ alliance in Politics & War. Some players focus on mere number of nations, others focus on score, and some mix in various other elements to decide who exactly fits within their definition of micro – but we can all agree that micro alliances are generally small and offer no real sway to the in-game politics. Over the past few months, micro alliances have received a tremendous amount of (negative) attention and ORB wanted to investigate whether micro alliances fit in this game at its current state, if they are a problem, or if they actually benefit the political dynamic of the game.

On September 11th, 2018 – Thalmor, a well known player, posted an interesting topic outlining a segregation of micro alliances from the main community of Politics & War. The idea was to remove the micro drama and clutter out of the main spotlight for alliance announcements – and it was pretty well received. These types of posts that have called out micro’s for posting their alliance announcements within the major billboard of the world have only increased since then with players on both sides of the fence.

As we stated before, micro alliances really do not have any sway with the major politics in the game. Instead, they usually maintain their politics within their micro sphere of alliances. The status quo of most new and existing micro alliances is to build up, fight each other, treaty each other and then fade away. A rare few will break through and grow and become a part of the greater community of Politics & War. The issue we see is not that they have their own politics and not that they post within the same field as the greater player-base, but that they may not offer anything worthwhile to the game and may fail their members by having leadership die out – thus taking their membership with them. So, we are faced with a game that grows stagnant due to incompetency.

Like micro alliances, browser-based online simulation games like Politics & War generally have that same lifespan. These types of games cater to a very small niche group of people and usually this group will belong to multiple nation sim sites across the internet or migrate over when another one dies out. A good example of this would be a migration of players from another game called CyberNations – although many people still play Cybernations, a lot of those players came here to start fresh. Many variables go into maintaining a game like this – but the main ones would obviously be players, maintenance, and expansion. Without players, there would be no reason to go on to maintain the game and there would be absolutely no reason to expand on said game. This brings us to the route cause of question for this investigation – it’s not the idea that micro alliances are considered inadequate or useless and it’s not even the opinion that micro alliances do not and will not contribute to in-game politics, it is the question that micro alliances do not do anything to progress on the game, to apply players which forces admin to work maintenance and finishing the circle to expand on the premise of the game itself.

Because this not a strict opinion piece like the ‘What Max Thinks’ articles that are promoted through ORB, we wanted to get as much exposure on this topic as possible – we went to the Politics & War forums to find out what the entire community thought about micro alliances. It is worth knowing that many players in the Politics & War community believe that there is an equal balance of pros and cons when it comes to these smaller alliances, they become an issue when they cross over the edge..and that edge is usually the length of time they stay small. Sir Scarfalot who is, at the time of writing, the director of Department of Opposition, a two-man alliance, says “on the one hand, they do cause harm…on the other hand, their polar opposites, the mass-recruitment blob alliances can and do far more harm to the game’s progression.” We asked Sir Scarfalot to expand a bit more on the ‘harm’ aspect micro alliances cause.

Well, the worst harm that they can cause is pretty much the same harm as the mass alliances can cause, which is to be so structured, defensive, and cautious as to give a completely boring and terrible gameplay experience to their membership, and thus turn otherwise promising players off of the game. We don’t have nearly enough retention as it is.

Player retention is incredibly low and it is well-known that many new alliances will come into games like this, amass a pretty large following and then quickly die off due to the inadequacies of leadership, like discussed before. This means that all of those members who joined the game to play vanish just as quickly as they came in and its largely due to the lack of knowledge of the community as a whole – just think, if you’re new to this game without any history of nation simulation games, you join a secluded group, your leader goes away – if you have no knowledge of the basics of the game that would point you to salvation, what do you do? Likely look for another game.

We put a simple poll up on the community forums asking if micro alliances help or harm the progression of the game, 71 players voted in said poll with 38 people saying that micro alliances help and 33 players saying that they harm. Obviously, there is a lot that goes into this question – it is not simple and easy enough to just say yes or no, but we wanted to get a better reading on where the community was at and we are given a pretty close reply – nearly 50/50.

In general, it’s always good to have some kind of goal in mind and some kind of way of assessing what “success” and what “failure” will look like. I don’t particularly car much to define it for others, but if you can’t state a clear goal for your alliance in the mid and long term, you probably are spinning your wheels and better off seeking alternative employment.” -Auctor

Auctor is an Officer in the #1 alliance in Politics & War, New Pacific Order. NPO is also the largest alliance by membership with a total of 161 members and over 50 nations sitting on their applicant list. NPO is clearly an alliance that has set their goals correctly, they have made it to the top with the stats and numbers to maintain that position, but when does it become too much? When do we set aside pride to continue expanding and progressing? The answer to that question likely requires some therapists and a much longer article – if we were to put it simply, the thought of being #1 greatly outweighs the reality that the harm you cause crumbles the steps that brought you there, thus bringing you right back to the bottom.

For those of you who missed that analogy, the idea here is pride exists, it is human nature. The pride that builds you will also fault you – which is to say that pride that exists within these large alliances that stay on top harm the game progression just as much as micro alliances due to the fact that on one side, everyone is grouped into a massively large alliance with over 50 people waiting to get in or just in limbo and the other side being many new players and nations joining into micro alliances and falling off the end of our world due to inadequacies and improper motivation to set goals, succeed, and become more – as Auctor said.

So, what is the conclusion here? We entered this investigation searching for the answer to one question. “Do micro alliances help or harm the progression of this game?” and we are left with even more questions. The community came together for this investigation to share their opinions not only on what makes a micro a micro, but to share what micros do that harm or help and we found out that the community is close to split over the question with some saying they help and others saying they harm, but at the same time placing the same blame on large alliances in the game – a large top-tier alliance can do as much harm as a small, micro alliance. That is fascinating because for small alliances it comes down to being uneducated, lack of drive towards goals and success and for large alliances they have the drive and the success, but they are also hit with an immense collection of pride.

Who’s wrong or right? You can throw in the biggest shrug right here, nobody should be made to feel bad because they tried to succeed and failed and nobody should be made to feel bad because they tried to succeed and they did and made it to the top. The idea of a game is to win and to continue to follow that path of success. The only thing we all should keep in the back of our minds is, when it comes to winning that usually calls for a game to end – restart – and be played again. These types of games don’t ever “end” – wars can be won and lost, but the game never ends. So, think, if this game never ends and you remain on top and retention is extremely low – is it worth remaining on top for a game that retains fewer and fewer nations?

Thanks for tuning in PW, you can check out the full thread of responses to our investigation below, stop by our discord and talk with us on what you think about micros and large alliances and maybe how you think this game could progress and expand.

 

WMT: Minnow Judgement

There are two main definitions for the word minnow – one being a small freshwater Eurasian cyprinoid fish that typically forms large shoals and the other being a person or organization of relatively small size, power, or influence – so it is easy to take this word and use it to describe the alliances listed below. You are small and smell like fish.

Last week, I reviewed alliances in the top 30 and the reaction was a lot more than I thought it would turn out to be. My alliance, The Island, was even coincidentally attacked a day after the article went live – was it because of the judgements? I don’t know and I don’t care – but if it was, I’m happy I was able to strike a chord with you. Let me take a second to write something up for liability purposes.

Before you go and get all bootyhurt about what is about to happen, just remember that this is an opinion post – that literally means that this is my opinion – nobody else’s opinion. So, when you get all bent out of shape because I am speaking from my heart and mind based off my own experiences and view of you and your alliance the only thing you should do is either agree or disagree – if you know you’re trash, be better than trash. If you don’t think you’re trash (therefore think I’m trash for thinking you’re trash) then you’re not trash. Anything beyond what this post actually is and what you perceive it to be is strictly on you and you alone. With all that being said  – let’s get this show on ze road.

Weighing in at #31 our first alliance up on the judgement block is:

United Purple Nations – Rating: Pulse Check

To be honest with you I had no idea UPN was still around – I am not crazy about following what rank I am in my alliance, which really only makes me look at ranks when I’m judging other alliances – UPN sits at #31 with about 84k score and 28 members with average score of nearly 3000 and they are only allied to Acadia (another alliance I didn’t know was still around) with an MDoAP. My first thought of UPN is something of ‘why the fuck are they still here’ but it really just goes back to the other article where you create a name for yourself and that name sticks. Although the competency and the notable government go away, people know UPN as UPN – its a shell. You don’t see much about UPN other than that CSI: UPN video they posted that got a bit of heat – I’m sure some people have daily connections with them, but they seem pretty dull – they probably need a pulse check to make sure they are still alive and if they get something – break up, do something different.


Camelot – Rating: Burning (Gay) Trash

Nothing makes me more happy than getting the chance to call Camelot trash. Why? Because they always hit me up in DMs or try to make a sly comment on the PW forums about them not being trash – don’t be hurt guys, it’s just a quick judgement. Ever since these guys fell out of the trash bin on the way to the curb, they have been in the headlines as ‘that shit alliance over there’ – either fucking up horrible with political moves, doing shit in wars, crying to theirprotectors, or behaving like absolute autistic children…they are an awful alliance. There really isn’t much more to say about Camelot than that they are a trash alliance fit for garbage people. If you’re a garbage person, Camelot might be the alliance for you. The best way to describe Camelot would be like – some kid you wen to school with who was told ‘good job’ once and then he just thinks he’s the best at everything now – hot shit – but in reality, just hot garbage….and gay! Just to give y’all an idea how how they shape up, they have just under 60 members only 80k alliance strength, and a shit average strength of 1400. #CamelotGarbage

NGL – this one is just straight up trash talk.


Knights of Malta – Rating: Eh

This is a tough one because you don’t really hear much about these guys – pretty lame to make an alliance based on knights again – I think we have plenty of Knights in this game, but to each their own. Their alliance description makes them look like a bunch of third graders; no real hyper link, random caps, grammar and punctuation all over the place – really know design there. I believe this was a merger which included United Hoods – which I was actually sad to see give up and sit in this alliance, seems like a back step. I believe this alliance will end just like all the others that get formed in this fashion – You’ll see maybe a war participation (probably not) and then they will dissolve or UH will pull out and form back up. I labeled this as Eh because they have the potential to do something, but seem to lack the motivation to do anything at all. Eh.


Yakuza – Rating: Y’alright

This is interesting – pretty much two alliances in a row that slightly made it past my harsh judgement. Yakuza, you definitely don’t hear much about these guys – at least not in my conversation circles. That can be good and bad – but looking at their alliance, they look pretty solid for their size. 26 members, 76k alliance strength, and nearly 3k average score – unfortunately protected by the Trash Knights, that will probably be their only downfall. Yakuza, get out of the IQ dump, find you some allies that you can pair with nicely, get you a better family. Y’alright for now – but I don’t want to have to judge you harshly in the future. Congrats for making it through this list.


World Task Force – Rating: Keep it Up

Not gonna lie I thought there were going to be more alliances in this range that I wouldn’t like. The first thing that comes to mind with WTF is – damn – y’all still here? I’m not sure there is anything really bad to say about WTF other than why they haven’t pushed ranks higher – but maybe that isn’t in their purview. Personally, I love being in the range WTF is in, you get more action with politics and drama to keep you engaged in the game.At rank 35 of 252 alliances, they hold 22 members – which is an ideal group. They have nearly 75k alliance strength and almost 4k average score – that is a solid stat set. On top of that they keep their treaties limited which gives them points for not being super attached to a conglomerate treaty pact. I say, keep it up WTF – from my position y’all are doing the good shit.


Electric Space – Rating: Trash Bag

Oof. Where did y’all come from? This alliance seems like your average case of a random pop-up that takes on a ton of different nations, builds ranks fast with mediocre building and only rises in the ranks quickly due to the amount of members they capture. Electric Space has 73 members – too many – and has an average score of 1000. They’ve got about 30 nations above 1k score, everyone else is well-below. The alliance information section is literally cancer including a giant discord icon and the cherry on top is they are protected by Pantheon. This alliance should just merge into Pantheon or dissolve completely – here I was thinking I was going to like all the alliances in these rankings and we found our first ultimate trash alliance in this category – congratulations Electric Space.


Church of Atom – Rating: Be Better

Sure, I’ll give you the fact that Church of Atom is a pretty good-looking alliance. You get points for 16 members with a strict application process. They have nearly 5k average strength and seem to be an active bunch – as far as public perception, I can’t really say anything bad about these guys – I know a few of them, talked with a few of them and never had an issue, so there are some extra points there for y’all. The only downfall I see here is that y’all are protected while also protecting other alliances – I hate that shit. Also, the fact that you have connections with Polaris, Animal Farm, and Solar Knights…ugh and Dark Brotherhood is honestly just trash. I’m assuming y’all have these for a reason, tiering purposes? I think y’all can do better than that and I think you can be Better.


Animation Domination – Rating: Stop it. Get some help.

For the longest time, I actually admired Animation Domination, enough to be allied to them at one point during our time in Paradise. It wasn’t until the war and our dissolving of Paradise that their true colors actually showed. I don’t think they can maintain a war on their own and although they look like a no-fucks alliance, I believe they would actually prefer to just stack up the pixels and not engage in war with anyone – there’s no place for that here, we all know what happened to GPA. The best thing Animation Domination should do is to just stop – split up, join alliances within this judgement and actually learn how to play the game. Y’all have been here nearly a year, amassed 51 nations and you’re still sitting at a low average nation score and still holding onto treaties like you’re some noob alliance with most of them being Optional Defense (read back up on how they don’t want to war) – why sign a treaty if you’re not willing to jump in and help. Ultimately, being a protectorate of BK – you associate yourself with trash – therefore you become trash. Get some help.


The Enterprise – Rating: Has-Been

Honestly not much to say here that wasn’t already said in the T$ rating – either merge back together or fucking quit. There is reason for having a split alliance, but then there is just having two useless alliances when you could have one. I did hear that the ultimate goal for E$ is to end T$ – so maybe do that sooner than later? You can check out the rating for The Syndicate here. You don’t even get a gif.


The Federation – Rating: What even is you?

I’m not even sure what to say about this one – probably shoulda just done a grouping. You’re protected by Pantheon (sorry) and you have an optional defense pact with Knights of Malta. k? Y’all seem to have an active grouping – but, without careful management y’all might just become another lower tier alliance that stacks nations and remains irrelevant – I mean – are you currently relevant? I guess if your plan during your time here is to stack pixels and members under Pantheon, you’re doing the right thing – It would be nice if you guys kept growing, cut the fat, drop the weight and boost that average score and focus on becoming more of what WTF is. I don’t know what you are, do you even know what is you?


Group 1: TUE, RnR, The Revolutionary Front, Orange Defense Network – Rating: Disband

Yeah, I think it’s about that time. Time for a grouping of inadequate, trash smelling alliances. I’m not sure these guys actually give to the game other than controversies, cheating, and being absolutely inactive when it comes to politics. To me, these alliances are only holding the spot for a better alliance to push them even lower in the alliance rankings. RnR might have a pretty solid average score, but these other guys just seem to be pretty useless. If these guys were to disband, you’d have some pretty experienced members from each alliance joining (hopefully) other alliances within this ranking that could use the boost – and actually use the skills to be better. The only thing these alliances are good for is pairing up with larger alliances to be their little meatshields – just disband.


The Foundation – Rating: Failing, Could be better

Overall, The Foundation is not a hugely bad alliance, but there is something lacking here. I believe Samuel Bates came into this world with a giant ego and cocky attitude which ultimately knocked him down a few pegs. They are doing it right by limiting their allies and just having their Rose protection – which means they are loyal to Rose, so we can see them staying with Rose for a while. I think the best thing they can do is stop recruiting, build up the members you have, and become an actual force in the next war. I’m not happy with the ranking you have, too many alliances like The Foundation come into this game with a flame and then immediately get stomped out. Right now, you’re failing – but you could be better. Reach out to me if you want some ideas.


Quick Judgement
Nova Riata – Rating: Disband/Merge
Yarr – Rating: Disband/Merge
Horsemen – Rating: Keep Killing
DEFCON 1 – Rating: Try Harder
The Underground – Rating: Disband/Merge
Aurora – Rating: Disband
Raeiska – Rating: You’re new, I’ll catch you next time.
The Hanseatic League – Rating: Disband
Animal Farm – Rating: Trash/Quit
Rough Riders – Merged with BC
InfoWars – Rating: Merge
Valinor – Rating: Who are you? Disband
Hyperborea – Rating: Disband
The Empire of the Moonlit Sakura – Rating: Disband

I did a special edition of our new judgement series for Oblivion. You can check out our Oblivion judgement by clicking here.

The reason I’m doing this is not to trash talk alliances or make you feel bad about yourselves. The reason I’m doing this is to maybe motivate some more action, get people talking, and open up a dialogue to relieve some tension. We should be talking smack about each other because this game is a competition. For the most part, everyone is competing to be the best in one way or another – so why not share your opinions? What you think about an alliance shouldn’t be hidden behind closed doors.

I have my opinions on alliances based off my personal experiences with alliance members and alliance connections – if you are labeled as trash, it is likely because I think you’re a useless alliance, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I think you are trash in real life – if you choose to take the opinion of one man and take action against it, I applaud you for doing something. Don’t sit on your hands.

Thanks for reading.