I thought I'd do a new series of articles/threads consisting of text interviews with various people involved in the community in some sort of leadership position. Politics in this game is notoriously murky and for those who are cannon fodder in the many top alliances, leaders (both allies and enemies) can be just names. I hope to change that by speaking with those leaders and publishing the interviews here on the OWF.
As I don't know that many people on a personal basis, I decided to start with a guy I've spoken to before, both here on the OWF and on the glorious MENSA boards. Durmij is a lifetime Rose member and current leader (or Shogun) of the alliance. He kindly agreed to speak with me last week, and after some back and forth and some commotion in the real life USA (did something happen?) we have finally got it together.
I hope you enjoy, and remember all credit to Durmij since he wrote most of the actual article.
Good evening Durmij, thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for me. The format I follow is very much question-answer and is open ended, so your answers can be as long or short as you need them to be. I donâ€™t usually do follow up questions, so if something seems to obviously follow, feel free to run with it.
Iâ€™ll start with the obvious question - who is Durmij? Obviously I respect peopleâ€™s privacy but could you tell me a little about the man behind the mask?
Well, let's start with the basics. Iâ€™m a 26 year old white Canadian dude. Iâ€™m obviously a nerd if Iâ€™m playing P&W, my biggest weakness being vinyl collecting and weird music in general. I work a warehouse job after failing out of post secondary for personal reasons. Iâ€™m a bit of an introvert, having a small group of close friends.
What brought you to P&W?
I read the name of the game off of a league of legends friend, started playing and havenâ€™t looked back. Despite some clear deficiencies, this is a pretty fantastic game for the small team and limited concept.
Was Rose your first alliance? What attracted you about Rose?
Rose is my first and only alliance. I fell in love with the charter and then the community. I like the idea of a community first, score second alliance, for better or worse.
What was your most memorable experience as a new player in the game?
Itâ€™s actually one of my proudest PnW moments. Some people might remember a particular shitty alliance called Odd Squad, run by 2 idiots named Ansom and Katerina. They signed a treaty with an alliance called Evenstar, and in that thread, Kat stated that she wanted to force an alliance called League of Nations to disband. I reached out to the leader, Lord Charlie, and got some Rose intervention to keep them afloat. Unfortunately, Kat was relentless and kept going back for Charlie. After they disbanded, Ansom and Kat put up a thread bemoaning the fact that people saw them as bullies, and I was having none of it. I collected thread posts and private messages and delivered one of the most definitive dressing downs the forums have ever seen. It was forum journalism at itâ€™s finest.
What was your favourite war so far?
NPOâ€™s first time, just based off of personal war performance. I attacked 2 people in the blitz, but there was no coverage for me, so my forces were quickly crushed. In spite of this, I was able double buy then raid valakis for enough loot to destroy partisans nuke. And I did this twice, both times from a phone. Felt pretty proud of myself for making the best of my bad situation.
What do you think constitutes â€œvictoryâ€ in a war?
Accomplishing the objective you set out at the beginning of the war. Damage, resources spent, political ramifications, these are all just elements of your overall war performance. If you accomplish your objective and your alliance leaves war in worse shape than it went in as, you are awful at war planning.
How do you think Rose performed in the last war? Was it a war that Rose was ready for or wanted?
It was an overly ambitious plan based on a mentality that most of Rose was sick of. Despite a fair amount of blitz participation for the short notice, it was clear that the plan was not going to pan out. The Silent War is easily Roseâ€™s lowest point in history.
Do you personally think it is more important to protect your allies or keep your members safe from damage?
Itâ€™s not as simple as one on the other, but generalizing, protecting your allies is more important. If your word is shit, your alliance will fall apart and no one will be sad for itâ€™s passing.
Can you tell us a little about how Rose is organised and how the hierarchy works?
Itâ€™s a bit in the air as we are going through a charter rewrite, but at the moment, the Shogun has absolute authority over most matters. Daimyo have their delegated areas that they have the authority to acting in if it is in service of the Shogunâ€™s over arching plan, but can still be overruled. The Empress has the power to overrule Daimyo if they arenâ€™t under explicit orders, but can herself be overruled. The Regents only power comes in executing the overthrow of a Shogun if they overstep their office. All of this is just theoretical, in practice we are much more consensus based.
What made you decide to take the leap and become more involved in Rose than just a member?
I wanted to get back to the spirit of the charter and move away from the â€œHegemony/Bloc/Sphereâ€ based FA strategy that I consider toxic to the game.
Did you always harbour an ambition to become leader or was it â€œthrust upon youâ€? Is there much competition in the elections for Emperor? It was always in the back of my mind, but I was patient and content with our leadership. Most elections are landslides, but this past one was very close between Lilac and I.
Since only the Emperor/Shogun is elected in Rose, what happens if one of your other senior officials is unpopular with the rank and file, or they steal money? Is the responsibility for them with the elected leader?
They always have to answer to the other Daimyo and the Shogun/Empress. There are processes for removing them if they are unwilling to step down, but fortunately it hasnâ€™t come to that yet.
What do you think the main challenges are facing Rose as an alliance? What big changes would you like to see within Rose?
Our biggest challenge is cleaning up our internals and driving activity. Stagnation was a serious problem before my election and it isnâ€™t fully eradicated yet.
How about big changes in the game itself?
Actually implement some of the better player suggestions.
The Mensa-Rose alliance surprised a lot of people. Can you tell me what led Rose to consider this as an option considering past animosity?
Despite being on the opposite side of many wars, Rose and Mensa had a fair few personal connections. I quite like many intelligentsia on personal levels. So when Keegoz stepped down, the treaty just sort of evolved out of those relationships. Which is how I believe treaties should be formed and maintained.
Do you think that Rose would be open to signing further MDPs within the broad sphere that Mensa occupies, or is this the only one planned for now?
I have no FA plans outside of the next 5 minutes lol. I prefer to let things develop naturally, because you get treaties with actual relations to back them up, rather than coldly calculated paper designed to [email protected]
#$ over other people.
You post fairly regularly in the Social Hub section of the OWF, mostly representing a liberal/left wing position. Do you think there is a correlation between real life political leanings and alliance membership? It is often commented that Mensa is (mostly) an alliance of pragmatic centrists in both P&W and the real world. Iâ€™m a full anarcho-communist, anti-oppressive feminist who is fully aware that most of the people shares his politics with make it inaccessible and completely devoid of humour and compromise. I donâ€™t think there is too much correlation between RL politics and alliance membership, otherwise all of these Communist themed alliances wouldnâ€™t be utter [email protected]
#$ trash. There may be soft trends, but Rose, for example, harbours a pretty diverse group of political opinions. Mensa is a fairly calming effect on an â€œOther Forumâ€ that is full of the alt right and fascist, so thatâ€™s always nice.
Whatâ€™s your favourite colour?
Burgundy, itâ€™s a gay red.
If you could visit any country in the real world, what would it be?
Sweden. I plan to emigrate there eventually; Iâ€™m pretty smitten with the culture and it strikes me as the country that is probably best equipped to deal with the issues the next 50 years will bring.
Beachbunny or Jessica Rabbit? (dangerous question!) /me sweats profusely
No comment? Please donâ€™t make me choose, I donâ€™t want to get rolled again so soon.
/me runs for his life.