Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entry
    1
  • comments
    23
  • views
    958

Why the Paperless Bloc Failed

Caecus

1247 views

In previous posts on the rise of TEst, I regarded TEst's paperless policy as political ingenuity. I still hold that to be true. However, the recent war and the dog piling against TEst merits some observation as to why the paperless system failed in otherwise a successful system. After all, this is the same paperless alliance that went from a small, insignificant alliance at the beginning of the year to the top alliance post Silent War, and at the end of the year is expected to be rolled back into obscurity.

 

What went wrong:

 

The paperless system was a flexible system that allowed TEst to dance between two blocs by a complex system of backchanneling that requires hyperactivity and charisma on part of TEst's leadership. But the paperless system thrives only in the context of two spheres who are locked in bitter combat against each other. The dissolution of the Rose sphere proved to be the end of the paperless system. TEst needed to present itself as harmless and innocuous, not as a potential second sphere. Failing that, TEst needed to form an opposition sphere against the Syndisphere. In both instances, TEst has failed.

 

TEst rolled any and all potential allies, thus alienating herself. Due to her "friendly relations" with the Syndisphere, TEst's targets were limited to everyone unrelated to the Syndisphere, ironically the same alliances which could have helped her in an eventual fight. TEst's aggressive actions also cemented in the minds of others that TEst is a powerful alliance worthy of becoming a new bloc leader, thus failing the need to present herself as harmless.

 

Paperless was a system that was good under a specific circumstance. Absent of that specific circumstance, and TEst is left without allies against the hegemon.

 

Why should TEst form a new sphere?

 

The system of PnW (and its potential flaw) is that it forces all the players into a realist paradigm (see "international realism") but forces the players to propagate the system willingly. The realist paradigm states that a closed international system with multiple alliances forces war upon one another until an eventual hegemon emerges. The collapse of the Paracovenant marked the rise of the Syndisphere as the hegemon, a natural conclusion to all realist paradigms. However, TEst, due to its paperless policy, was in the fringes of the sphere.

 

In a post on "Old FA vs. New FA," Pre posted

 

"You don't get to tell us how to play the game. You can't make us form a sphere to counter you. You can't make us stop fighting people who piss us off, even if you view those as wars of boredom. Enjoy sitting on top, we don't care that you're there."

 

and his reasoning, strictly speaking, is correct. The Syndisphere cannot make TEst form a new sphere to counter them. However, under the circumstances of the realist paradigm, if TEst is interested in maintaining its standing and its power garnered through the paperless policy during the Rose/Syndicate wars, she must do so to counter-balance the hegemon. If not, TEst risks the possibility of being a target of attack from a sphere several times its size.

 

The Future:

 

TEst et. al. may be forced to abandon the paperless system and reach out to the alliances not affiliated with the Syndisphere. This would ironically require TEst to negotiate with alliances who only recently fought bitterly against the paperless hegemon in wars seemingly designed to flaunt TEst's power. Her negotiation will likely prove unsuccessful until those alliances face the brunt of the Syndisphere war machine themselves. It may be several months before another sphere may be formed.

 

There in lies the problem of games such as these: the game sets itself in the realist paradigm, yet has no means of naturally dissolving a hegemon from power without the conscious consent of thousands of players. TEst member posts argue (and rightfully so) that the hegemonic nature of the Syndisphere will eventually end the game (again, a natural conclusion to the realist paradigm). Therefore, one of two things must happen in the new year:

 

1. TEst manages to assemble a motley crew of everyone she rolled to counter tS in a new sphere
or
2. The Syndisphere needs to willingly break up to maintain the realist paradigm.

 

Both of which is highly unlikely. Though in this writer's personal opinion, the former may be more so.

 


TEst needs to make the argument to everyone she rolled that TEst is today, everyone else may be tomorrow (a very convincing argument, in light of Mensa's dire need to water their holy Dio tree with blood often).



23 Comments


Recommended Comments

Interesting read but I wouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket (war) where the paperless system failed. For example, the next time a block is rolled you could very well substitute Test for [instert name here] and produce the same argument that blocs just make you a sitting duck.

 

Maybe it is smoke and mirrors and maybe it's not. It will take longer than a year to fully judge the concept. The real truth however is that if test bends away from their paperless beliefs on the basis of this war, then their opponents won in the long run.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Interesting read but I wouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket (war) where the paperless system failed. For example, the next time a block is rolled you could very well substitute Test for [instert name here] and produce the same argument that blocs just make you a sitting duck.

 

Maybe it is smoke and mirrors and maybe it's not. It will take longer than a year to fully judge the concept. The real truth however is that if test bends away from their paperless beliefs on the basis of this war, then their opponents won in the long run.

 

I believe TEst (more so than any other alliance post Silent War) was in the best position to rally a new bloc, so it's a tad bit different. Everyone else in the war was too exhausted to lead a potential coalition against the Syndisphere. I also pretty much warned this would happen to TEst due to her position being outside of the "papered" sphere. 

 

Also, what made the paperless system genius wasn't that it was paperless, but that it adapted to a very specific circumstance in the interalliance setting that allowed TEst flexibility and to thrive under those conditions when the rest of Orbis suffered casualties in the prolonged Syndi-Rose wars. By stubbornly sticking to a paperless system (which, from my perspective is obvious doesn't work anymore), it goes against the doctrine of what made the paperless system genius in the first place: flexibility, adaptability, and concentration of strength. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

 

 

1. TEst manages to assemble a motley crew of everyone she rolled to counter tS in a new sphere

or

2. The Syndisphere needs to willingly break up to maintain the realist paradigm.

I vote both.

Share this comment


Link to comment

This article completely fails to understand anything about any of us or why we do what we do.

 

We aren't interested in being your salvation, we have no interest in replacing Syndisphere and their stupid sphere politics, and we are exactly where we would prefer to be in terms of politics. I would rather war TKR forever than spend one minute listening to your bullshit cowardly concerns in some bloc channel somewhere.

  • Upvote 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Nice read. 

I would love to know what is your thoughts on TEst not trying to include VE in the paperless bloc like VE could have been a good choice. 

Also what would be future of VE/Valkyrie you think after the fall of paperless concept :) 

  • Upvote 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

tldr of OP's post: TEst's fighting with GoT/ Nuke bloc et al. left them without any viable allies and they will likely be forced to abandon paperless.

 

Well written post, and also correct from the perspective of military campaign. However I feel you managed to sorely miss the point. TEst are suffering not from a failure to make allies, but from their own ideology. In order for an alliance to ally with TEst, it is not TEst who must convince the other alliance, it is the other alliance that must convince TEst. Pre has high standards for allies and only competent leaders are worth working with. You can probably see that the policies of those outside of Syndisphere do not appeal to those standards.

 

This exclusivity is the fundamental ideology of TEst, and you can see how well it has worked for them, remaining as the most prominent non-Syndi aligned entity. I believe that deviating from this line of decision making would have ultimately surrounded Pre with more conflicts such as Rose/ Valyria and Mensa/ SK, and any potential conflicts that may arise with NPO.

 

So with that in mind, you can see exactly why TEst has suffered in this war. The lack of allies is not attributed to the failure to court them or rally them, but for the potential allies' failure to prove competent.

 

Side note, the paperless sphere hasn't died, this conflict just means they lose a war, but that doesn't equate to total failure. They made some questionable decisions in fighting everyone outside of Syndisphere, which has partially contributed to their rolling. But it is their independence and ideology that leads them to those fights, and the current war, as with every war, is not a result of policies themselves, but of specifics. Lordship and Pre falling out was what actually triggered this conflict I believe.

  • Upvote 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

This article completely fails to understand anything about any of us or why we do what we do.

 

We aren't interested in being your salvation, we have no interest in replacing Syndisphere and their stupid sphere politics, and we are exactly where we would prefer to be in terms of politics. I would rather war TKR forever than spend one minute listening to your bullshit cowardly concerns in some bloc channel somewhere.

 

Understanding your alliance was never the purpose of this post. On the contrary, I could care less about the paperless reasoning. I'm simply stating the natural conclusion of what the paperless policy has led to, and offering a prediction of what might happen next. 

 

 

tldr of OP's post: TEst's fighting with GoT/ Nuke bloc et al. left them without any viable allies and they will likely be forced to abandon paperless.

 

Well written post, and also correct from the perspective of military campaign. However I feel you managed to sorely miss the point. TEst are suffering not from a failure to make allies, but from their own ideology. In order for an alliance to ally with TEst, it is not TEst who must convince the other alliance, it is the other alliance that must convince TEst. Pre has high standards for allies and only competent leaders are worth working with. You can probably see that the policies of those outside of Syndisphere do not appeal to those standards.

 

This exclusivity is the fundamental ideology of TEst, and you can see how well it has worked for them, remaining as the most prominent non-Syndi aligned entity. I believe that deviating from this line of decision making would have ultimately surrounded Pre with more conflicts such as Rose/ Valyria and Mensa/ SK, and any potential conflicts that may arise with NPO.

 

So with that in mind, you can see exactly why TEst has suffered in this war. The lack of allies is not attributed to the failure to court them or rally them, but for the potential allies' failure to prove competent.

 

Side note, the paperless sphere hasn't died, this conflict just means they lose a war, but that doesn't equate to total failure. They made some questionable decisions in fighting everyone outside of Syndisphere, which has partially contributed to their rolling. But it is their independence and ideology that leads them to those fights, and the current war, as with every war, is not a result of policies themselves, but of specifics. Lordship and Pre falling out was what actually triggered this conflict I believe.

 

TEst didn't have to get allies, it was just one of the options following the Silent War. What I was expecting was TEst et. al. to keep a low profile and not present herself as a target. By rolling alliances outside of the Syndisphere, TEst failed both options, both by pushing away potential allies and increasing their overall profile. Mensa et. al. members can correct me if I'm wrong, but TEst's recent wars put them on the radar as being "big" and powerful. Without knowing the specifics, I can only speculate. 

 

Also, you are correct, it is too early to say the paperless sphere has died. But I would predict that the paperless sphere will undergo policy changes in response to this war, either by getting closer to the Syndisphere (a more and more unlikely scenario considering Pre's disputes on the OWF) or by opposing them and assembling allies to form a new bloc (papered or not). But perhaps even more likely, TEst et. al. will remain steadfast to the ideology of paperless, leaving diplomacy to be their only defense (i.e. expect more rollings). 

 

Another possibility I could see happening is a sort of Syndisphere purge, where the core alliances of the sphere push out fringe treatied alliances to reform the realist paradigm. That's going to be a salt fest. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

i think its quite telling that you equate one losing war with the total failure of the 'paperless bloc'. i suppose it actually explains a lot of how/why you guys think what you think. we lost a war shut er down boys!

Share this comment


Link to comment

i think its quite telling that you equate one losing war with the total failure of the 'paperless bloc'. i suppose it actually explains a lot of how/why you guys think what you think. we lost a war shut er down boys!

 

Unless you can somehow beat "10 to 1" odds the next time around, yeah, paperless is doomed without any change. And if you think somehow the Syndisphere will just leave you alone after this, you've honestly been on the same side for too long. 

 

Also, the incredible irony of our argument just a couple days ago. Turns out I was right about that argument then. Where is that fool of an oaf Ole, speaking of which?

Share this comment


Link to comment

TKR and friends may well push the policy of simply wiping out Paperless alliances by trying to get them to disband that much is true. I say they underestimate us greatly if they think that but oh well, whatever keeps them sleeping soundly at night if they go down that ugly path.

 

There is however little point in playing this blame game and pin blame on us for this situation because to begin with it ain't and second because what does it even achieve? It certainly ain't going to make a case to convince us to change? If you want that then just let it be and let the Shamefur TKR make that case 100 times stronger than you ever could (I mean no offence to you Caecus).

  • Upvote 2

Share this comment


Link to comment

Wow, Caecus, you make it sound, as if maybe, the paperless alliances purposfuelly avoided atagonizing the remanining sphere meanwhile minding their own bussiness until the remaning sphere decided to take action over some bullcrap "paperless sphere" fanstasys.

  • Upvote 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Nice read. 

 

I would love to know what is your thoughts on TEst not trying to include VE in the paperless bloc like VE could have been a good choice. 

 

Also what would be future of VE/Valkyrie you think after the fall of paperless concept :)

Omg, it's almsot as if we're not a block and we keep friendly relations more or less because rest of world id obviusly out there to get us, no need to add to the list, thank you very much.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Omg, it's almsot as if we're not a block and we keep friendly relations more or less because rest of world id obviusly out there to get us, no need to add to the list, thank you very much.

 

If I remember correctly, this was what the GPA used to say about us being neutral and many of the paperless alliances tore us apart.

 

So, when the paperless sphere trot out the same "whiny" (their words, not mine) arguments that the GPA and other neutrals used to make, I have to laugh.

 

Sympathy and !@#$ given: Zero.

Share this comment


Link to comment

If I remember correctly, this was what the GPA used to say about us being neutral and many of the paperless alliances tore us apart.

 

So, when the paperless sphere trot out the same "whiny" (their words, not mine) arguments that the GPA and other neutrals used to make, I have to laugh.

 

Sympathy and [email protected]#$ given: Zero.

We actively fight?

Share this comment


Link to comment

This is a very well thought out and well written analysis. It's limited in scope as others pointed out, but it's accurate within that scope. Nice job. =)

 

I agree with the evaluation of outcomes 1 vs 2. When I look at Arrgh, TEst and Roz Wei I see 3 groups of very good players who came together in to rally around a concept, and that concept defines who they are and why they play, which is different from why other people play. I believe this is where our disconnect comes from - Paperless looks at Syndisphere and says "you're all cowards who are afraid to lose" while we look back at them and say "It's called 'winning' you're just doing it wrong." But cowardice is not what drives Syndisphere to win, and Paperless is not doing it wrong. When I read people's comments in this context, suddenly both sides make perfect sense.

 

Personally, I respect, admire and enjoy the way Paperless plays. And I agree they're absolutely right when they say it's not their responsibility to fix this game. They shouldn't have to change their definition of winning just to make us lose by our definition of losing. Honestly, the burden is on us, the non-paperless. We need to figure out how to redefine winning without intentionally losing.

  • Upvote 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

If I remember correctly, this was what the GPA used to say about us being neutral and many of the paperless alliances tore us apart.

 

So, when the paperless sphere trot out the same "whiny" (their words, not mine) arguments that the GPA and other neutrals used to make, I have to laugh.

 

Sympathy and [email protected]#$ given: Zero.

What arguments? What whinning?  GPA was shit, there is no denying it, their form of neutrallity was isolasionims, wich is a failure. My argument here is that we're not a shpere. And that is a fact. I'm gettign tired of people trying to label us for something we're not. We have 0 elements of a block or sphere. We are neutral towards papered alliances, in a way that we don't give a !@#$ about them either way, and we try to raid everyone equally (speaking for Arrgh, and Arrgh alone). And unlike GPA we do a shittons of diplomacy and FA. That's why we're still alive. But my problem in general is people thinking/knowing what we are and telling us what to do when they have 0 actaull knowledge about anything relevant, let alone important to do either of it.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Paperless failed because they pissed off the ruling power and didn't have the muscle to defend themselves when their past actions came back to bite them in the rear end.

 

A good lesson in what you can and what you can't do if you lack treaties and allies.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Paperless failed because they pissed off the ruling power and didn't have the muscle to defend themselves when their past actions came back to bite them in the rear end. A good lesson in what you can and what you can't do if you lack treaties and allies.

 

Except we didn't piss them off. And they still came after us. A good lesson in how the top should and shouldn't behave.

 

I mean, for past half year my FA was avodiing any and all conflitcts with "ruling power". We gave them no reason. And they adited they had no reason. But I guess you woldn't know that since you weren't involved in all talks or any goverment affairs. So please if you want to share your uninormed opinion at least label it as such, otherwise peopel might get the wrong idea that you actually know what you're talking about.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Except we didn't piss them off. And they still came after us. A good lesson in how the top should and shouldn't behave.

 

I mean, for past half year my FA was avodiing any and all conflitcts with "ruling power". We gave them no reason. And they adited they had no reason. But I guess you woldn't know that since you weren't involved in all talks or any goverment affairs. So please if you want to share your uninormed opinion at least label it as such, otherwise peopel might get the wrong idea that you actually know what you're talking about.

 

I dunno yo, when you guys attacked Pantheon, everyone wanted that ass clapped. I still think we should have destroyed the !@#$ out of you guys during that war tho, but w/e. As long as dat ass got clapped it doesn't really matter when it got clapped.

 

You didn't do a good job towards the end of that half year. Their reasons can pretty much be summed up to: They wanted dat ass clapped.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and the Guidelines of the game and community.