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Edward I

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Edward I last won the day on January 28

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About Edward I

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    New Pacific Order
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    Edward I
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    New Pacific Order

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  1. Edward I

    Dial Up War: Propaganda

    I think this is meant to imply that NPO will get wiped out in under 30 seconds of screen time, but I kind of like the comparison just because Stannis is a badass. (And a terrible father and husband, yeah I know.)
  2. Edward I

    Declaration of War

    Quite a few people seem to be missing the point here, at least partly. Yes, The Inquisition dissolved. Whether you think this was prudent, well-executed, or clearly communicated is up to you. There are more than a few fair critiques of the way it happened. Yes, the logs Dio posted were (mostly) several months old. However, their significance is apparent if taken in context. The parties in question in the various logs about assembling a coalition to roll IQ are, by and large, the same people who’ve repeatedly said IQ didn’t disband. In other words, if, in their minds, IQ became secret-IQ, there would be no reason not to continue looking for an opening to hit “IQ”. NPO was generally aware of this. It wasn’t hard to be, of course. When a substantial number of people spend most of their breath and IC posts insinuating you haven’t told the truth or haven’t sufficiently adhered to the rules they’ve laid out for acceptable gameplay, a degree of suspicion is warranted. However, despite this wariness, NPO largely acted according to the stipulations of “minispheres”. We consented to dissolving IQ and broke off MD-level ties with the remainder of BK-sphere. We also didn’t sign on to the coalition against Chaos and KETOG proposed in Sphinx’s leaked log (the first one), whatever Sphinx’s hopes or intentions for N$O were. Most of the disagreements about the veracity of the split or the separateness of BK-sphere and N$O were, to be frank, fairly silly. I can’t recall how many times, for instance, someone seriously put forth the argument that an ODoAP between NPO and Polaris meant that the two groups – N$O and BK-sphere – were really one monolithic entity. Certainly up until the start of the current war, the critiques of “IQ” mostly amounted to disagreements over aesthetics (“Too many” treaties, never mind what’s actually written in them, seem to offend some people’s sense of aesthetics) or a demand to forget years of IC interaction (I’ve never quite figured out why it was so outrageous that BK and NPO didn’t hate each other after the split, given everything we’d been through together). Which brings us to the present. Whatever the relations between KETOG and Chaos prior to and during their war with one another, they were well within their rights and the boundaries of prudence to call it off and team up to hit BK-sphere. When someone signals their intention to harm you, publicly or not, it is your prerogative to respond accordingly. Similarly, it is anyone’s prerogative to advance their vision of a better world. This was one of the intentions of the many people who agitated for minispheres. It was also the intention of The Syndicate in its war against GOB and Guardian, a war to which NPO gave its support. But, like the nascent minispheres built after Knightfall, the wars of the past month didn’t happen in a vacuum. The antipathy towards NPO and “IQ” didn’t simply evaporate in the face of a new war. As the most recent of Dio’s logs reveals, Chaos-KETOG strongly considered hitting N$O and only refrained because they felt they lacked the strength to do so successfully. Whether they toyed with the idea because it was the opening many of them had waited for or because they believed N$O was complicit in forming a hostile coalition with BK-sphere, I don’t know. But the intention – unacted upon as it was – remained and was sufficiently substantiated in NPO’s eyes over the following days to demand action on our part. Unfortunately, the timing of these developments and of the decision they informed was poor. NPO had committed to t$’s action against GOB and Guardian, including the stipulation that we wouldn’t expand the war. We held to that promise insofar as it pertained to our role as a t$ affiliate. But we are not only a t$ affiliate - just as we don’t dictate the terms of t$’s policies, they do not dictate the terms of ours. It should be apparent by now that NPO has deemed action more important than PR points with the peanut gallery. That’s ok. We’ve spent too long playing by the rules of someone else’s game, and I doubt that game’s self-appointed referees would ever have decided we were playing by them anyway.
  3. Edward I

    Different Update Times for Each Player

    I'm not opposed to automatic buys as long as the total number of daily purchases allowed is fairly limited. Otherwise you still run into the same issue of hyper-activity being unduly rewarded. Every time an opponent buys a little more military, it weakens the position of whomever they're fighting a war against by making that person's attacks harder. The game still needs to accommodate people who can only log in once or twice a day. And if this were implemented, the rebuys should only be able to happen up to 24 hours after a login. No auto-buying planes while afk for days.
  4. Edward I

    Different Update Times for Each Player

    If we go this route people should probably only be allowed to buy each unit type 1-3 times per 24 hour period. The biggest problem with this when it was implemented on the test server was hyper-active people logging on every two hours to buy 1/12 of their daily military cap, which meant less active people couldn't count on military rebuys only happening sometime after update. Basically, the game became too demanding to support a large or semi-casual player base.
  5. Edward I

    Declaration of War

    We never said those logs had no meaning. What we did say was that N$O didn't sign on to the coalition effort to roll Chaos and KETOG. No one has disputed their relevance or validity as a CB against BK-sphere.
  6. Edward I

    Bloody Horsemen

    It's an elaborate ploy to establish a strong de jure claim on BK and vassalize them. This will discourage anyone from agreeing to a royal marriage with Gorge - it could draw them into a war with the hegemonic, warmongering N$O - and ensure the option of regime change remains available to us. Our top military minds assure us we will be welcomed as liberators when our troops arrive in Ayyslamabad. We've learned from the follies of other would-be conquerors and won't repeat them. We held free and fair elections before the invasion and assembled a new regime that will defer to international norms and Pacifican strategic priorities. Keshav will act as interim president on an indefinite basis until such time as BK is stable enough to reelect his democratically-appointed government. Control of BK's large portfolio of slaves will be transitioned to private firms to ensure everyone reaps the benefits of free market capitalism if they're a member of The Syndicate. Our t$ allies have promised an adequate supply of liquid capital will be available to facilitate this. We expect the operation to last no more than two rounds of warfare, require no more than 10% of our available military forces, and turn a profit within a month. Discord leaks are weapons of mass destruction and, in the hands of terrorists or brutal dictators like Sphinx, are a threat to freedom everywhere.
  7. Edward I

    It's Conspiracy Time with Inst

    Can confirm. Turning cats gay is the most humane way to eliminate the species as a predatory threat to guinea pigs.
  8. Edward I


    It's an interesting disagreement. In my opinion, the most interesting wars are the ones that are fought over the terms of the metagame. This one fits that description, but it's a little unusual because all involved parties feel it has ramifications for the metagame, but also feel their motivation for fighting isn't to change or reinforce the present state of the metagame. I'd hesitate to say "coalition", but only because we're not planning on expanding our front beyond GOB and Guardian, counters notwithstanding. Or, to put it another way: it makes sense to put N$O in the BK-sphere column on the wiki page, but it doesn't make sense to characterize the alignment as one of broad coordination. The advantage of aligning with them, such as we have, is what's already been said: opportunistically striking a rival upper tier when it is vulnerable. That's fair. I mostly brought this up to point out the lack of self-consistency in the sphere vs. coalition claims. I'm no stranger to saying other people are lying about their FA positions and I don't begrudge you the same right, so all I have to say is "wait and see", as frustrating as that may be. If you assume we're not lying and take our word at face value, then everything we've done has been basically self-consistent and basically rational. The worst I'd say of our actions, setting aside the inevitably controversial optics of them, is that we highlighted a glaring flaw in the minisphere concept: each sphere has a strong incentive to hit the others when they're weak or least able to fight back. Rose will have its own politically-relevant sphere eventually. Someday. Maybe. I'd be willing to bet at least one person in NPO government had heard at least a rumor that BK wanted to hit the people named in the leak. I'd also be willing to bet that either a) someone from NPO told BK-sphere we weren't interested, or b) no one important enough from BK-sphere ever presented NPO with a serious invitation, hypothetical or otherwise. But please, don't eat your shoe. I'm not sadistic enough to find it entertaining for more than maybe a minute, and I abhor waste. What, after all, would you do with your other shoe once you've eaten its twin? The apparent contradiction with the "you first" critique and our present position is, like I said, that we don't define minispheres or FA collaboration in the same terms as some of the more vocal elements of the community do. We don't apologize for it, but we also don't ask anyone else to apologize for their beliefs. All we ask for is self-consistency. There are so many layers of irony to that Roquentin comment (assuming you've remembered correctly). He's possibly the longest serving government member of any alliance in the game, especially if you count his stint in Vanguard leadership before they merged into NPO. He's also probably the most active player in the game, though, and he's demonstrated ample ability to change course. Personally, I don't think older leadership is a problem as long they're still the best people for the job in the long run. In Roq's case, he's definitely up to the task and he's made significant efforts to involve newer or less-experienced players in NPO government, so I don't think it's a problem. As for the speculation about the once and future IQ, all I can say is what's already been said: we didn't lie about the split. We've also called enough people liars over the years for me to understand, at least somewhat, when others do the same, though. Or they decided that the impact they could have on the upper tier balance was sufficiently large enough at this moment to act, but wasn't a few weeks ago? I don't pretend to know every detail of t$'s strategic calculus, but choice to hit now and not during the KETOG-Chaos war isn't quite the smoking gun it's been made out to be. Where is the evidence? Setting aside that "enslaving" people and "wanting total domination" are hyperbolic ways of characterizing NPO and its goals, it is, as always, strange that you single NPO out and that you don't cite any specific, concrete examples to back up your claims. I'd refer you to my comments on hyperbole and evidence, but....
  9. Edward I


    I don't dispute that consolidation can exacerbate existing problems, and perhaps lead to the death of games in its own right (I've never personally seen this happen, so I can't say for sure). But, in your own telling, it's not the only reason for the decline of political simulators, arguably not the primary reason, and in some cases it's not even the first thing to go wrong. Bad mechanics (one player owning 50% of the game, three players with the power to force out vastly larger numbers of players out of the game, meme strategies and the invincibility that accompanies them), rampant cheating, moderation unwilling or unable to address rampant cheating, and plain toxicity all have prominent roles to play. However, none of those has happened here yet. Despite N$O's complaints about the limited vulnerability of upper tier nations to military strikes, no one player controls half the game's resources, and no handful of players are capable of dominance by purely mechanical means. For all the complaints about the war system being unbalanced, there aren't any "meme" strategies that I can think of, and certainly none that make players practically invincible. There have been several prominent incidences of massive cheating, but little evidence that Alex is incapable or entirely unwilling to counteract exploits (even if he does sometimes need to be prodded into action). And, despite the breakdown of trust that you opened the this thread by discussing, we're still having a fairly level-headed, non-toxic conversation about the state of the game here. Even if you believe political consolidation predated all of those things in these other games you've mentioned, it still doesn't erase the fact that there is little evidence any of that happening here or, to a degree, even being possible at this point. So I don't think the game is in imminent danger of being over. I think what's mostly at stake here is the narrative of the metagame we all have. Plenty of people were and are attached to the idea of "minispheres" and believe this war spells the end of that possibility; plenty of other people were either never sold on the idea of minispheres in the first place, or disagree with some of the conceptions the first group has of them (e.g. the extent to which treaties matter; see my response to Thrax below for a more detailed reply). I empathize with you here because you sound like The Inquisition did in 2017 and 2018. EMC had purportedly split up, first by the departure of the IQ alliances, then by the departures of The Syndicate and Mensa, and finally when TKR supposedly killed it for good. But there was a constant fear that it would re-materialize whenever someone fought a war against us. The departure of BK, Zodiac and Cornerstone only seemed to harden the animosity Syndisphere had towards the corpse of Paracovenant, which became IQ-sphere. Although t$ departed after ToT, there was still a very real threat of a similar war coalition being marshaled against us. We hit KT because it tried to do just that, and we weren't entirely sure that more of the former members of Syndisphere/EMC wouldn't jump in (SALT began a few days after we hit KT). We later got confirmation that we were right to be suspicious and distrustful: one of the most important steps in building the Knightfall coalition was getting t$ to drop its secret ties with TKR. The interesting thing, though, is that based purely on the war record - which at this point is all we have to go on in our present, analogous timeline - EMC definitively broke up following ToT. That particular grouping never fought a concerted war against IQ again. So, for what it's worth, the historical record is mixed here. If you've made up your mind to distrust everything that comes out of BK-sphere and N$O, that's your (not entirely unreasonable) prerogative. Expect to feel a little paranoid and somewhat cornered, even if there's limited public evidence that your suspicions are correct. But don't be surprised if luck or circumstance are on your side, either. It's entirely possible that KETOG will avoid wars with the people you see as permanent enemies. Hopefully this won't be too much of a siren call and you can safely finish your exit from the mess. I disagree with the characterization of the first three's actions as "dishonest" and NPO's attitude as "not trying". I think this is mainly because we disagree about what does and doesn't qualify as a multipolarity. First, there's a general disagreement between N$O and Chaos/KETOG about what treaties signify and how they influence the actions of their signatories. Perhaps ironically, N$O is probably closer to the traditional paperless stance on treaties than not. We think treaties broadcast existing relationships but don't create them; paperless doctrine agrees, but also holds that relationships can decay faster than treaties. We're saying that if we had actual, binding treaty links to BK-sphere, they'd be on the treaty web for everyone to see. So for us, the notion that because you can draw a long, squiggly line from NPO or t$ to BK through the treaty web we're one, monolithic political actor is silly. t$ entered because it wanted to, not because of a treaty. Second, wartime cooperation does not make a sphere. There's a bit of inconsistency here (by your coalition mates, not you in this post) stating that Chaos/KETOG/Rose aren't a single pole by dint of being in the same war coalition (at least not yet), but that BK/N$O, by dint of being in the same war coalition, are. Maybe you're right and this is all one slow transition back into a more formal, explicit bipolarity, but we can't self-consistently claim that one war coalition is automatically a sphere while the other isn't automatically a sphere. I've said as much elsewhere. If there really were so many obvious warning signs in plain sight before the TCW logs found a new home on the forums, it wouldn't have made much sense for KETOG to hit Chaos. They either don't believe their own arguments about IQ reaching out from the grave or they're attributing far too much significance to the "indirect ties", etc. that they claim made the present situation inevitable. I suppose they could have a death wish for their infrastructure, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Additionally, much of what I said in reply to Scarfalot above also applies to the points you brought up.
  10. Edward I

    We are here for the Whales

    Keshav covered everything else pretty well, but I wanted to add a few more points. 1. The leaked Discord logs didn't say N$O conspired to hit KETOG or Chaos aggressively. They said part or all of BK-sphere did and that Sphinx intended to invite N$O, which, by all accounts, never really happened. The leak was an indication of aggressive intent by a good chunk of BK-sphere, not by N$O. 2. Adding to what I said above, the implication of "indirect ties" between our two spheres - setting aside its self-inconsistencies, see Keshav's post - is that BK-sphere and N$O are really one big sphere. If that were true, though, the leak wouldn't have made much sense. Sphinx wouldn't have had to invite us; he could have safely assumed we were on board by that stage of planning. And, "attempts at mutual aggressive cooperation", as you put it, are characteristic of ad hoc coalitions, not permanent spheres. An interesting aside, Rose has indirect ties to both BK and N$O by these criteria. Obviously this hasn't stopped them from perfidiously dishonoring those indirect ties and fighting BK. Has anyone from your coalition informed them that they're fighting on the wrong side of the war? 3. If there really was no reason for BK and N$O to fight, and that lack of animus constituted a threat to Chaos, KETOG, and Rose - "forcing" them to band together in the face of a "threat over them", as you imply - then why did KETOG initiate a war against Chaos? Public perception of BK-sphere's and N$O's opinions of one another didn't change drastically between the beginning of that war and the leak of the Discord logs. And you don't need logs of a half-baked, unimplemented conspiracy to see that, if you believed your own claims, that N$O and BK would inevitably attack Chaos or KETOG. So if it's very bad of us to conduct our FA as we have, it was also very stupid of KETOG to start the war that it did. Lastly, the attack on GOB and Guardian had nothing to do with "honesty and integrity". No one in N$O made any promises to anyone in KETOG that KETOG nations were off-limits to N$O aggression. It does not, as the OP of this thread clearly stated, have anything to do with defending BK. This is not a defensive action; it is an opportunistic act of aggression. And, as the OP clearly states, The Syndicate has no intention to expand the war to aid BK-sphere in, you know, the tiers its war with Chaos/KETOG/Rose is actually being fought. (If you don't believe me on this one, check GOB and Guardian's wars. Last I looked they weren't fighting a single war with anyone outside N$O, so the claim that hitting them directly helps BK is pretty weak.)
  11. Edward I

    We are here for the Whales

    How much of that damage stems from having larger nations, though? GOB nations have more military, infrastructure and (probably) more infrastructure per nation than most other nations. Of course you'll receive more damage than them. This isn't to say that GOB can't fight when it has to or when it's beneficial, just that those damage numbers probably aren't as remarkable as you're making them out to be. I disagree for a couple of reasons. Economic output becomes more efficient with size. More project slots, fewer rounds of war and, historically, less competitive wars mean whale tier nations produce more with every city and every unit of infrastructure than smaller nations do. There are also military benefits, even if they're more limited. Part of the reason for the IQ tiering strategy was an understanding that The Inquisition would never be able to compete in the upper tiers and that victory in the mid tier was therefore paramount. In other words, because GOB specifically and upper tiers generally aren't just a handful of nations existing in diplomatic isolation, the only effective counter to them is to have a large middle tier. Sure, 5-1 numerical advantage you cited is enough to bring down some 30+ city nations, assuming there are enough large-ish nations to fight the first few rounds. But fighting a superior upper tier isn't just about bringing down the whales; it's also about fighting the smaller nations in the whales' coalition and effectively dealing with the whales when they've been brought down but can still buy units faster than you. These issues tend to get worse if and when players become less active but still play the game. GOB and Guardian are actively playing the political game, so that's not an issue here, but high activity levels and active governments don't always accompany concentrated upper tier strength. Did you read three more sentences into my post to see the answer to my rhetorical question?
  12. Edward I

    We are here for the Whales

    Does that mean that Chaos, KETOG and Rose are also a single sphere? You all saw a danger to the balance of power (the threat of a BK-sphere attack on one or more of you) and moved to preemptively deal with the threat. You were, as has already been pointed out, more than justified in doing so. But being in a war coalition together doesn't make you a permanent sphere. How is what t$ is doing any different? Leaks from disgruntled former government members aren't the only way to assess which alliances are and aren't a threat, and t$ identified KETOG's upper tier in particular as a threat. They're doing what you're all doing: opportunistically addressing the threat. Chaos and KETOG decided to fight two wars for the price of a single rebuild; t$ decided to take a swing at an already-engaged KETOG.
  13. Edward I

    War Mechanic - Reinforcements

    Maybe. If I've read your proposal correctly, you could still organize daisy chains of military aid. (A 30 city nation gives 20% of its military to 25 city nation, which gives 20% of its military to a 20 city nation, etc.) However, if you found a way to stamp out all of the possible ways for friendly nations with significantly different city counts to send each other military units, you'd probably also make the proposal strategically useless. Countering an enemy nation or alliance with 100% of my military is almost always going to be more helpful for my friend than sending him 20% of my military. Tiny nations would ghost a larger alliance to solve that problem. In-game alliance affiliation doesn't dictate de facto alliance membership and, even if it did, this would discourage people from forming small alliances. A coalition made of one 100-nation AA would be more effective than a coalition made of four 25-nation AAs.
  14. Rewarding cheaters is the default here because the resources are already generated and in use. Doing nothing amounts to rewarding them. The only way to not reward them is to remove their ill-gotten gains. This is inadequate and unfair. 1) Your judgment is not arbitrary. Rules that you made were broken and the expectation that you will enforce those rules is entirely reasonable. 2) It is not the community's job to enforce the rules and we are far worse-equipped to do it than you are. 3) Even if we managed to track down every unit of illicitly generated resources and loot them, it still wouldn't change the fact that an absurdly large amount of extra resources were generated and still exist in-game. This is a balance issue, it's a moral hazard, and it's still a reward for cheating. The fact that all of the reward may not have gone to the cheaters themselves is a poor excuse for the rest. That's good to hear. Thank you for listening to the community's feedback. We appreciate it.
  15. This shouldn't be viewed in terms of punishment. The unbalancing effect this has had and will continue to have on the game is massive. If you're willing to overhaul the game multiple times for the sake of economic balance, I don't see why that shouldn't be an overriding priority in your response here as well. Independent of balance issues, your dual stance of presuming everyone is innocent until proven otherwise and treating resource deletion (or city deletion, etc.) as "punishment" is rewarding the exploiters. If people can benefit from cheating just by clearing the ludicrously low bar of not being conclusively tied to it, they will cheat. Other punishments such as banning accounts are probably not terribly effective against people already willing to operate rings of multi accounts. Delete the profits from this exploit as extensively and as retroactively as you are able.

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