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How long will this war go on for?

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I'm surprised people still give a damn about PoW AAs, and somehow think they'll still work.

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19 hours ago, Shadowthrone said:

I wish we controlled a third of any tier, especially the mid, but thats categorically false. City averages do not point out the numbers in specific tiers, so unless you start specifically pointing out tier numbers, it's hard to believe that the ranges CoS/TKR/SK can effectively cover is somehow not consolidated. 

 

8 hours ago, Roquentin said:

I wouldn't have to include Nova. There's Valinor which was added and adds upper tier like Oberstein that wouldn't be counted.  Soup had people who were closer to 18/20 before the recent split. They weren't as recruitment heavy at the time and it was still reliant on them taking people from hobo express.

Some of the upper tier you count lost were only lost once Surf's Up Happened. Several 20-27s seem to have not checked in since then. 

https://imgur.com/a/ri4SnHr

Credit to @Theodosius for originally creating this graphic.  My number were a little less liberal with who was included in the bloc, but nonetheless you can see N$O out tiers Chaos in everything besides a marginal advantage for Chaos in the 27-33 and a tie in the 10-12 tier.  We can talk about individual nations in a bloc for years, but the facts are still facts.  And this was before Nova was lost and the attrition in Surf's Up as well as the soup stuff.  Also, as for mid-tier consolidation, I do admit to taking a quick glance, but just visually N$O controls about 1/3 of the 17-23 mid-tier range.

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On 8/12/2019 at 9:15 PM, Roquentin said:

I just don't remember actually wanting to keep GOB out. Some people thought it was viable but I didn't think it would be viable to keep them due to knowing their ties to TKR/Guardian. Given it was conveyed to me by others that SRD had personal issues, I would have never had an interest in avoiding conflict with GOB.

What the hell does that mean?

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2 hours ago, Cooper_ said:

This is the exact problem with NPO's vision. Realpolitik will only get you so far, and in order to function properly in a political game faith is necessary.  There is literally no way deals or diplomacy cannot happen without faith nor trust unless you plan on warring every single person who doesn't follow your wishes.

Where have we said we'd do that? We've been willing to deal and cooperate where trust exists, and I don't think we've indicated that we'd go to war with anyone who doesn't follow our "wishes". Just because NPO doesn't trust TKR or most of Chaos and KETOG doesn't mean that we're warmongers incapable of productive discourse.

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Our goal in chaos is very simple: the creation of chaos and new dynamics in Orbis.  This isn't because this strategy is the best thing for "winning" the game or the safest option, but because it helps the meta and the entire community (including ours and your own member bases) simply due to faith.  I think it often gets forgotten that we, as leaders and gov, are here not to here to play with our personal fancies and grudges but to represent in the best way possible the members who have supported us in these positions.  So I damn well will sit here no matter how many hypocrisies or logical loopholes you try to trap me in and "lecture" you on what's best for the game because I don't know about you, but that's what I'm here for, a challenging and fun political dynamic.  But I digress, NPO despite the rhetoric just hasn't done the same.  Trading one top 5 alliance for another and keeping most of your allies doesn't exactly qualify as taking a risk.  I salute you guys for attempting to change things up, which is good, but changing things doesn't necessarily equate with taking a risk.

NPO has been quite clear that it wasn't interested in fighting BK for the time being due to the potential for creating a mid-tier-focused fight and the fact that it didn't want to leave BK in the lurch after KF.  I'm not here to debate those reasons even if I disagree with them, but in order to maintain these propositions its effectually necessary for NPO to maintain a de facto NAP or even ODOAP with BK.  And, yes you could argue that this was shown indirectly through polaris' connections to the blobs, but that isn't the point here.  The problem is that you two are the two largest blocs and comprise the supposedly broken up IQ.  These statements and connections just revive history which we already know to be toxic to Orbis on top of again creating deadlock.  Listen, whether its intentional or not your AA's actions are largely responsible for threatening the return of the bipolar world.

Try to look in our shoes for a second.  If you had been fighting full EMC in knightfall and lost, then after EMC broke up post-KF the one remnant bloc (say Syndisphere) gets preempted and TKR-sphere then declares on the attackers.  You would think that EMC never broke up and be at arms with us even if we suppose that wasn't true.  When Ripper is saying that your actions speak louder than words, he's saying that we've been told all of one thing and yet what we see is something else.  It takes a lot of idealism to just pin that to cognitive dissonance.  In reality we're just very frustrated that the new dynamic and fun we're trying to see in Orbis is being taken down.

Why is bipolarity so bad? I'm not saying it leaves nothing to be desired, but I strongly disagree that it's the greatest evil as far as gameplay goes. NPO's government is after the same things you are. We too want to build a better world. But the world you seem to envision is not a better one.

Wars for their own sake are senseless. Wars justified solely by the inherent entertainment of blowing up infrastructure are senseless. Politics and diplomacy conducted with the primary aim of orchestrating such wars, though, are worse than senseless; they are corrosive. We understand your frustrations because we understand that much - although far from all - of the work that went into bringing about political fragmentation was motivated by a desire to make the game better. There is value in novelty and in change. However, novelty cannot come at the expense of actual politicking.

As you said, good alliance governments try to do right by their memberships. Part of that mandate is looking after the security of your alliance members. That doesn't mean shielding every last bit of their infra from harm, but it does mean keeping your alliance in a viable strategic position. Another part of that mandate is building a world in which your alliance and its members can thrive. NPO is unlikely to embrace a contrived politics that substitutes "fun" for real competition and which dismisses genuine disputes when they're incompatible with its embedded notion of "fun". We're especially unlikely to embrace that vision if it also includes the potential to degrade our strategic position so far that we can't work to build and maintain the world we believe our members deserve.

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Bipolarity is bad, as I told mhearl, because "what even is FA when there's only two sides?"

At that rate, what even is PR, Milcom, IA, or even Econ. It all becomes a monotonous grind to optimize to the maximum level to destroy a single opponent, eventually resulting in one side slowly over time curbing a greater and greater advantage, at which time somebody either pulls a syndicate and starts pulling the plugs or the game is just kinda... Dead. 

 

Tis my outlook on it, anyway. Amusing at first as a glorious arms race that quickly loses its luster.

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17 minutes ago, Akuryo said:

Bipolarity is bad, as I told mhearl, because "what even is FA when there's only two sides?"

At that rate, what even is PR, Milcom, IA, or even Econ. It all becomes a monotonous grind to optimize to the maximum level to destroy a single opponent, eventually resulting in one side slowly over time curbing a greater and greater advantage, at which time somebody either pulls a syndicate and starts pulling the plugs or the game is just kinda... Dead. 

 

Tis my outlook on it, anyway. Amusing at first as a glorious arms race that quickly loses its luster.

You seem to assume that bipolarity implies the two sides are static, even though that's not necessarily true, and isn't in this case. I'm not trying to trivialize the problems with it, just point out that the proposed cure is likely worse than the disease here.

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Grand coalitions and blocs are the reason the game stagnates. It classifies other alliances as allies instead of rivals and given the high pressure and political ramifications of war, it's very difficult to change sides. Hell, the two current coalitions basically do whatever they can to avoid anyone flipping to the point of discrediting them IC and OOC. The only way to create meaningful politics would be to move to make alliances more isolationist, however ironic that may be.

The issues with this mainly stem from newer alliances, that need help establishing themselves. The solution to which, would be the proliferation of designers/coders/skills/tutorials, rather than military protection. 😛 in an ideal world, we'd have alliances fighting one another at every level, with clear super powers in each tier, that are balanced against by temporary coalitions and only in the worse case scenario, adjacent tiers.

To establish this though you'd need all the current 'great powers' to come to a consensus on the rules of this arrangement. But you all despise each other too much to do that, ik not a single one of you will operate in good faith. That's the curse of the ruthless efficiency you've brought to this game and taken you to where you are now.

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2 minutes ago, Edward I said:

You seem to assume that bipolarity implies the two sides are static, even though that's not necessarily true, and isn't in this case. I'm not trying to trivialize the problems with it, just point out that the proposed cure is likely worse than the disease here.

No, I assume they are relatively static and that change occuring will be minor and not ultimately affect much of what I described.

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38 minutes ago, Leftbehind said:

Long time fan, first time quoter here.

I'm flattered. 🙂

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The reason why bipolarity is so bad is that it leads to stagnation as "weaker" leaders line up with the "bigger" bloc. This allows them safety without actually having to play the FA portion of the game. When the world divides into various blocs, with various interests, it forces alliances to play the grand game instead of piggie backing on the hard work of alliances like BK, NPO, TKR and so on. The idea around it is that with there being so many self interests at play that it would lead to more drama, intrigue and conflict. Not necessarily war for the sake of war but actual politics. This would be the fun most of us are talking about. Something that this game truly lacks since you can basically tell how each war will play out long before it actually kicks off. (Sides wise)

Isn't that what we have now, though, even after some fragmentation? BK-sphere is named after BK; N$O is named after NPO and t$; Chaos would almost certainly be called TKR-sphere if it wasn't a bloc with its own name. The only major grouping that isn't named after 1-2 focal alliances is KETOG.

More generally, why are semi-hierarchical relationships among allies a bad thing? Can they really be avoided? Even if you think the status quo represents multipolarity in name only, or else is insufficiently fragmented, why would "weaker" alliances necessarily choose foreign policies independent of "stronger" alliances? It seems to me that if they wanted dissociation from the BKs, NPOs, and TKRs of the world they'd have opted for it already.

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The other big problem I have with a bipolar world is that it places the whole game on a few key figures instead of allowing even small alliance leaders the opportunity to create their own path. Too much of this game is decided by a too few people which hurts the entertainment level the average member gets from it. Look how quiet the forums were before this war as evidence to support my claim.

Similarly to what I said above, why would fragmentation mean small alliance leaders would have this opportunity? What's to stop bigger, more powerful groups from effectively determining a small alliance's path by the consequences of their actions?

Perhaps more controversially, do small alliance leaders deserve this chance? There's a perennial argument against the existence of protectorates in the first place, for example, because many people think they add no value to the game as a whole. Small alliances that didn't need protection or grew out of it are different only by degrees. They still typically lack the resources and activity that larger, more established alliances have, and the exceptions here are mostly elite alliances made up experienced players that prove the rule. In many cases, these groups are vestiges or splinters of previously top tier alliances, meaning they had a head start creating group cohesion as well.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be new alliances that are given the chance to succeed. But what can we reasonably expect success to look like? If we want to socialize newer alliances or younger leaders into the main metagame, do they need to be somewhat subordinate to established alliances? If new alliances are to survive at all, do they need protectors? And if so, should established alliances expect a reliable future ally that shares FA goals in return for their protection?

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What strategic position do you guys really have in an endless sandbox where entertainment is created solely by the player base? Wars are not that devastating since all you lose is some time and cheap infra. All you are doing is enabling stagnation with this illusion of protection.

I hope I explained my opinion well enough. 

A strategic position isn't solely about protecting infrastructure, though, and multipolarity is the perfect example of this. Lots of people have an almost ideological investment in multipolarity. Wars should be evenly balanced; short; small rather than global; and fought between constantly-shifting coalitions in their minds. They claim to be - and to an extent, have been - willing to fight for this, even at the expense of some infrastructure. The more moralistic arguments made against NPO in particular say that our involvement in the war is wrong because it weakens the strategic position of the people who are in the right.

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5 hours ago, Edward I said:

Lots of people have an almost ideological investment in multipolarity. Wars should be evenly balanced; short; small rather than global; and fought between constantly-shifting coalitions in their minds. They claim to be - and to an extent, have been - willing to fight for this, even at the expense of some infrastructure. The more moralistic arguments made against NPO in particular say that our involvement in the war is wrong because it weakens the strategic position of the people who are in the right.

They have an ideological investment because minispheres are a way of isolating those without long term connections and staying on top. For example Rose would only dare go alone if they knew they were safe, which turned out to be the case. Just another tool to try and perpetuate the current ruling class. 

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9 minutes ago, Aragorn, son of Arathorn said:

They have an ideological investment because minispheres are a way of isolating those without long term connections and staying on top. For example Rose would only dare go alone if they knew they were safe, which turned out to be the case. Just another tool to try and perpetuate the current ruling class.

As someone who's only been here a few months and is learning a lot of history from all these drawn out posts. You being the leader of BK, one of the top 5 alliances since I've started playing, aren't you a member of this "ruling class"?

NPO also, from what I understand has never had a leader change and has been one of the top alliances for at least awhile. So isn't working with them also perpetuating a ruling class?

What constitutes the ruling class in your eyes? Whales? Older players? Do you have a definitive definition for what makes someone ruling class?

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18 minutes ago, Aragorn, son of Arathorn said:

They have an ideological investment because minispheres are a way of isolating those without long term connections and staying on top. For example Rose would only dare go alone if they knew they were safe, which turned out to be the case. Just another tool to try and perpetuate the current ruling class. 

In short NPO and BK are backpeddaling on minispheres now because it doesn't suit their realpolitik anymore. 

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7 hours ago, Edward I said:

Lots of people have an almost ideological investment in multipolarity. Wars should be evenly balanced; short; small rather than global; and fought between constantly-shifting coalitions in their minds. They claim to be - and to an extent, have been - willing to fight for this, even at the expense of some infrastructure. The more moralistic arguments made against NPO in particular say that our involvement in the war is wrong because it weakens the strategic position of the people who are in the right.

What Aragorn basically said tbh. There is an ideological acceptance of multipolarity since the only ones who can survive that are those who've the confidence of paperless/personal relationships to have the wars they want. 

1 hour ago, Pasky Darkfire said:

As someone who's only been here a few months and is learning a lot of history from all these drawn out posts. You being the leader of BK, one of the top 5 alliances since I've started playing, aren't you a member of this "ruling class"?

Here's what you've missed out, the NPO lost every war since its inception in 2016, till KF more or less. The ruling class Aragorn speaks about are those leaders from that era who seem to coincidentally have a penchant for coming together more often than not. Rose, especially when Abbas is around isn't really a "mini-sphere" but an extension of KETOGG, since they more or less always act in unison. CoS/TKR and their friendships around the same old crew. Roq pointed out the myriad of leaders stacked up, who've all worked together for many years and in comparison BK/NPO don't have such a pull, nor have we been given the opportunity to exist within such a scenario, given how we're always next on the chopping block thanks to the same folk pulling the same things over and over again. So here, the ruling class would be those who've ruled the politics of the game and have at past instituted a hegemony. 

2 hours ago, Pasky Darkfire said:

NPO also, from what I understand has never had a leader change and has been one of the top alliances for at least awhile. So isn't working with them also perpetuating a ruling class?

We have. Roquentin is the second Emperor of the Order. Nevertheless, we've had countless government changes and the majority of our high government, have been in their positions since the end of Knightfall. I mean, if Roq sticking around for years as a leader is a grouse, than basically the entirety of KETOGG's' leadership is a whole different beast. SRD's been heading GoB's FA since its inception and before that was gov in VE. Sketchy was the leader of Rose before becoming 2IC of TGH. Buorhann has been around in high gov spsots for years, Memph has been a leader of Guardian for years as well. So no, your argument fails to take into account an important facet of the FA architecture, that would inherently be that club of leaders, neither BK nor NPO has had a seat in, since the formation of IQ. 

It would be fair to say, that we have a great relationship with Aragorn but outside of that and possibly the NG/Malal/Polar, almost everyone else within Coalition B are working together for the first time  The only real shift within that network was attempting to work together with HS/tS who's leadership nominally has always been a part of the above mentioned group of leaders, until Partisan/Kayser nuked that and attempted something different, while HS cutting Guardian to try something different. In exchange we cut IQ and was attempting to fit three different groupings into one sphere, which isn't perpetuating the said class. 

2 hours ago, Pasky Darkfire said:

What constitutes the ruling class in your eyes? Whales? Older players? Do you have a definitive definition for what makes someone ruling class?

I think Roq put down a list of names earlier. But truly, I'd say the same faces who've been involved in perpetuating this minisphere mantra for a while. It works best for them since it's easy for them to coagulate into one sphere, given it suits them best. I mean a few former leaders from that school of FA, have pretty much told me, that the idea is to keep a navigable distance, not too far that relationships decay, but not too close for the optics of it. That's the basic argument we've fought against for years. If you have a relationship, sign a treaty and be done with it. 

The lack of trust/faith in the changing of their behaviour brings us to this specific point in time, where the NPO has little to no faith in their promises that this is a one war situation and hence brought us in. As Edward has mentioned, minispheres work only if there is a system of rules, trust and faith in the other main players to make it work. There is none, and here we are. 

2 hours ago, alyster said:

In short NPO and BK are backpeddaling on minispheres now because it doesn't suit their realpolitik anymore. 

I mean looking at your nation age, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt here. The NPO has always been skeptical of the minisphere game given the necessity for rules and a balance of sides. Which in essence means, two or more sides should never work together, unless there's complete trust among the remaining the non-actors that it is truly a one-time-thing. This has always been our problem with the idea, and was why Kayser/tS agreed to the notion of needing to act as a balance if that situation ever arose. It's really been discussed to death between us back in Feb, and our skepticism could be argued as self-fulfilling prophecy, but I mean that's how we read the situation. It's not a backpeddle, but a consistent criticism we've used against the idea over the years. 

I like how you throw around realpolitik as an idea to be disliked. TKR played realpolitik when they entered on the CB they did, so was their tie up with KETOGG. TKR's hit on NB last year, was realpolitik, so was their war on KETOGG. tS/NPO/BK/KETOGG/Rose almost every major player has acted to protect their interests, through armed action in a zero-sum fashion. There has never been a moral, ideological battle fought in this game. It has always come down to practicality. So arguing that any actions by any of the players in this game is solely realpolitik, fails when every action seen within the scope of this war has been realpolitik in nature. You state it was practical for KETOGG/Chaos to team up, that's literally the best case study for realpolitik in international relations. 

At the end of the day, we're all realpolitik actors. There exists no ideological or moral purity in terms of FA action within this game. The only alliance I'd say has any ideological purity in terms of FA here would be Fark, especially with kosmo refusing to work with anyone he believes enables white supremacist views. So to try and use realpolitik as some sort of insult, or narrative that NPO/BK solely are at fault for, is a misreading and misapplication of an external theory into the confines of a game that doesn't not have any other operative school of thought possible. The confines of Liberal IR theory does not really work within this game, especially given how the sole tools for liberalism, especially classical liberalism would be the Kantian triangle or portions of the same to exist. The fundamentals of almost every other IR theory fails within the confines of this game. 

I find it funny though that you keep dropping realpolitik as an insult, especially given your own alliance's track record. I'm yet to see TKR to launch an ideological or moral crusade defending an idea, rather than itself. This isn't throwing shade, but just pointing out the futility of trying to import a load term from OOC foreign policy, as an insult to a very simple FA architecture present in a video game, that does not have multiple layers/channels of operations like IRL. 

13 hours ago, Cooper_ said:

This is the exact problem with NPO's vision.  Realpolitik will only get you so far, and in order to function properly in a political game faith is necessary.  There is literally now way deals or diplomacy cannot happen without faith nor trust unless you plan on warring every single person who doesn't follow your wishes.   

Realpolitik as I've described above is the sole operating idea in this game, otherwise you would not be in this war, working with KETOGG. You realpolitik as much as anyone else in this game, so it is ideal to not try to import IRL FA theories into this simple enough game. Realpolitik also requires certain levels of trust, unless you're attempting to use Brezenziski or the like as the definition of realpolitik actors.

If you're trying to claim NPO's effectively trying to police the world, I'd say that would be false. We've never tried to the police word or lay standards for other alliances to follow or get hit. To try and tie specific narratives down with this term is quite hard to buy, given a complete lack of understanding of the basis of the terms itself. 

13 hours ago, Cooper_ said:

Our goal in chaos is very simple: the creation of chaos and new dynamics in Orbis.  This isn't because this strategy is the best thing for "winning" the game or the safest option, but because it helps the meta and the entire community (including ours and your own member bases) simply due to faith.  I think it often gets forgotten that we, as leaders and gov, are here not to here to play with our personal fancies and grudges but to represent in the best way possible the members who have supported us in these positions.  So I damn well will sit here no matter how many hypocrisies or logical loopholes you try to trap me in and "lecture" you on what's best for the game because I don't know about you, but that's what I'm here for, a challenging and fun political dynamic.  But I digress, NPO despite the rhetoric just hasn't done the same.  Trading one top 5 alliance for another and keeping most of your allies doesn't exactly qualify as taking a risk.  I salute you guys for attempting to change things up, which is good, but changing things doesn't necessarily equate with taking a risk.

You may have a goal, but it nevertheless involved you combining with other spheres at a more practical level. You see, throwing around heavily described/well defined FP terms, backfires when it is effectively applied to your actions. No one is here attempting to win the game. No one is here to even help the entire community. That's a simple retort that everyone simply has to buy, that falls short given your own actions and rhetoric. If bullying alliances with 1v1 wars and a threat of expansion if any of their allies step in, isn't making the game fun for the entire community, its making it fun for you. You are the sole community benefiting from such an action. The arrogance and temerity and patronizing tone to believe that is how everyone else should play is the problem here. No one have given you the right to decide what makes the game fun for everyone else, that's everyone else's job to do so. To find fun through their own goals and agency. By trying to claim that you have the sole manifest destiny to describe the meta/fun for the entire community, you have essentially argued for a TKR/Chaos based ideological hegemony, and that by your own definition is inherently problematic. 

It isn't forgotten what leaders represent. What you seem to presume, is that the leaders have some sort of overarching responsibility to everyone else, other than the communities they represent. By trying to shoehorn the idea of "grudges" and personal "fancies" as terrible, you are essentially robbing anyone else of the agency to decide to approach this game, their FA the way they believe is in best interests to their community, and then everyone else. I mean, I'm not arguing that folks should have a right to disband other alliances, so there are reasonable restrictions to individual agency under this norm I prefer to view Orbis as. So yes, go on lecture me on how I have to play the game you have decided is the best way to play, and I will continue telling you, I have no interest in jumping of the cliffedge, for your fun. Your position is inherently that of believing you are right and everyone else is wrong, and that to me is something far more insidious: giving you the right to decide how I or the NPO community at large should play this game. You don't own this game, and you sure as hell don't own the ideas that allow this game to function. So it'd be better if you'd come down from that fanciful ivory tower, and work with folks, and building consensus' regarding the community. Or else, feel free to continue perpetuating a hegemony of ideas, that I'll continue to disagree with :) 

Changing things up with historic enemies as everyone in Chaos so loves to argue is indeed taking a risk. tS/HS/NPO have been against one another for years, and it was a risk all three of us took to try to change things up and build any trust/faith. We did it for ourselves, to keep the game exciting for us, and albeit make things also interesting for everyone else. But please, you can't defend Chaos and making things interesting for yourselves, as some reason for joy and a standard mode of action for everyone else. There should never be a homogeneous hegemony of ideas, or else that'll end this game far faster than bi-polarity ever will. 

13 hours ago, Cooper_ said:

NPO has been quite clear that it wasn't interested in fighting BK for the time being due to the potential for creating a mid-tier-focused fight and the fact that it didn't want to leave BK in the lurch after KF.  I'm not here to debate those reasons even if I disagree with them, but in order to maintain these propositions its effectually necessary for NPO to maintain a de facto NAP or even ODOAP with BK.  And, yes you could argue that this was shown indirectly through polaris' connections to the blobs, but that isn't the point here.  The problem is that you two are the two largest blocs and comprise the supposedly broken up IQ.  These statements and connections just revive history which we already know to be toxic to Orbis on top of again creating deadlock.  Listen, whether its intentional or not your AA's actions are largely responsible for threatening the return of the bipolar world.  

NPO wasn't interested to help roll BK straight out of the block no. That does not mean we have an agreement signed with BK. An agreement requires the consent and acceptance of two parties. BK was not involved here, and we never stated the same to BK. If we did, you'd have an agreement, and a fair point. As there was none, there was nothing de-facto. 

What did exist, was a firm belief that two or more spheres combining is bad for us, and we reserve the right to take action against that. That was an agreement between tS and NPO. That is the only agreement in operation over here, and painting anything else as an agreement is false.  Polaris' connections to everyone else is their own. The NPO has no real say on whom they treaty, especially at an MD level, given we are now no more than OD allies. The fact is, and the reason this exists is actually quite simple. The OoO goes back a decade or more, and there's a historical tie across worlds that exist and as different Orders' we will always reserve the right to defend one another. This tie is mutually exclusive to the rest of our FA, and simply put, we are recognising that with paper, rather than keeping it "paperless". We recognise the existence of such a tie and ensure everyone knows the same, unlike folks who keep paperless agreements in place. So to use Polar as an example, showcases your ignorance of the Polaris-NPO relationship. It is a different relationship/partnership that doesn't' exist for political reasons. If we wanted to use the OD to enter this war though, we could have. We chose not to, which once again people seem to forget. 

I'm sorry what history was toxic to Orbis? Statements like that, deserve a proper explanation, and I'm awaiting yours! :D Listen, whether its intentional or not, your AA's actions are largely responsible for threatening the return of the bipolar world. 

13 hours ago, Cooper_ said:

Try to look in our shoes for a second.  If you had been fighting full EMC in knightfall and lost, then after EMC broke up post-KF the one remnant bloc (say Syndisphere) gets preempted and TKR-sphere then declares on the attackers.  You would think that EMC never broke up and be at arms with us even if we suppose that wasn't true.  When Ripper is saying that your actions speak louder than words, he's saying that we've been told all of one thing and yet what we see is something else.  It takes a lot of idealism to just pin that to cognitive dissonance.  In reality we're just very frustrated that the new dynamic and fun we're trying to see in Orbis is being taken down.

  Here's my problem with this. Actually I've just bolded the problematic idea underpinning the length of your post. I've explained why its problematic above and why I do not subscribe to the TKR school of standards and world FA outlook. Now secondly, our actions have been explained in detail. Your good faith engagement here, requires a good faith response and I've given one here, so that you see where the difference lies. We did not say one thing and do another.  There exists a far better narrative if I so wish to describe here, of the NPO doing exactly what it said it would do, protect it's interests and defend folks from multiple spheres getting the confidence of combining for hits. But that's a longer argument that I'll post a bit later. 

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Someone needs to compile this stuff and literally write a book (Not that some of you haven't already). 

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3 hours ago, Aragorn, son of Arathorn said:

Just another tool to try and perpetuate the current ruling class. 

Glad you admit that we rule you and we own you. Who is the real slaaaaayve now? :v

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8 minutes ago, Shadowthrone said:

I mean looking at your nation age, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt here. The NPO has always been skeptical of the minisphere game given the necessity for rules and a balance of sides. Which in essence means, two or more sides should never work together, unless there's complete trust among the remaining the non-actors that it is truly a one-time-thing. This has always been our problem with the idea, and was why Kayser/tS agreed to the notion of needing to act as a balance if that situation ever arose. It's really been discussed to death between us back in Feb, and our skepticism could be argued as self-fulfilling prophecy, but I mean that's how we read the situation. It's not a backpeddle, but a consistent criticism we've used against the idea over the years. 

I like how you throw around realpolitik as an idea to be disliked. TKR played realpolitik when they entered on the CB they did, so was their tie up with KETOGG. TKR's hit on NB last year, was realpolitik, so was their war on KETOGG. tS/NPO/BK/KETOGG/Rose almost every major player has acted to protect their interests, through armed action in a zero-sum fashion. There has never been a moral, ideological battle fought in this game. It has always come down to practicality. So arguing that any actions by any of the players in this game is solely realpolitik, fails when every action seen within the scope of this war has been realpolitik in nature. You state it was practical for KETOGG/Chaos to team up, that's literally the best case study for realpolitik in international relations. 

At the end of the day, we're all realpolitik actors. There exists no ideological or moral purity in terms of FA action within this game. The only alliance I'd say has any ideological purity in terms of FA here would be Fark, especially with kosmo refusing to work with anyone he believes enables white supremacist views. So to try and use realpolitik as some sort of insult, or narrative that NPO/BK solely are at fault for, is a misreading and misapplication of an external theory into the confines of a game that doesn't not have any other operative school of thought possible. The confines of Liberal IR theory does not really work within this game, especially given how the sole tools for liberalism, especially classical liberalism would be the Kantian triangle or portions of the same to exist. The fundamentals of almost every other IR theory fails within the confines of this game. 

I find it funny though that you keep dropping realpolitik as an insult, especially given your own alliance's track record. I'm yet to see TKR to launch an ideological or moral crusade defending an idea, rather than itself. This isn't throwing shade, but just pointing out the futility of trying to import a load term from OOC foreign policy, as an insult to a very simple FA architecture present in a video game, that does not have multiple layers/channels of operations like IRL. 

I don't hate realpolitik. A day ago I told Roq to man up and admit NPO's BSing on OWF about their involvement and say the real reasons. For example I like how KETOG didn't bullshit anyone in Surf's Up. They just said it's war time now. But realpolitik was just shortest way to describe what's seems to be happening

"Yeah lets do minispehere."

"Yeah!"

..... 6 1/2 hours later ......

"Yeah we didn't feel like it. IQ's back on."

Edited by alyster
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5 minutes ago, Shadowthrone said:

-Snip-

I thank you for your input @Shadowthrone

@Aragorn, son of Arathorn, is this about how you feel it is or do you have anything to add, or your own explanation?

I originally quoted you and would like the BK take on this seeing as you said it. Not just the NPO take because they chose to speak up.

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Just now, alyster said:

I don't hate realpolitik. A day ago I told Roq to man up and admit NPO's BSing on OWF about their involvement and say the real reasons. For example I like how KETOG didn't bullshit anyone about a faked things in Surf's Up. They just said it's war time now. But realpolitik was just shortest way to describe what's seems to be happening

"Yeah lets do minispehere."

"Yeah!"

..... 6 1/2 hours later ......

"Yeah we didn't feel like it. IQ's back on."

I mean that's a highly simplistic and flawed view of looking at our actions. The reasons for it, have been described above. But is it realpolitik? Of course, does that mean it doesn't have context to why we did it? It is important to explain the context within which those decisions were taken and the bandwith of options that we had. We've gone into detail how our options all seemed less appealing than this course of action and we took it accordingly. 

I have no recollection of explaining these actions as anything other than in the best interests of the NPO, and have pretty much stated it, through 2,500 word essays on this boards multiple times. So I do not understand why you require us wasting time stating something that's already been explained countless of times.

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8 hours ago, alyster said:

I don't hate realpolitik. A day ago I told Roq to man up and admit NPO's BSing on OWF about their involvement and say the real reasons. For example I like how KETOG didn't bullshit anyone in Surf's Up. They just said it's war time now. But realpolitik was just shortest way to describe what's seems to be happening

"Yeah lets do minispehere."

"Yeah!"

..... 6 1/2 hours later ......

"Yeah we didn't feel like it. IQ's back on."

See. I actually don't like that approach either! What fun is war for war's sake, without any political machination or component? Put some effort into flavor!

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On 8/14/2019 at 11:42 PM, Edward I said:

I'm flattered. 🙂

You should be. I find you to be one of the more reasonable posters and even though we may not agree on things I can understand where you are coming from. 

Quote

 Isn't that what we have now, though, even after some fragmentation? BK-sphere is named after BK; N$O is named after NPO and t$; Chaos would almost certainly be called TKR-sphere if it wasn't a bloc with its own name. The only major grouping that isn't named after 1-2 focal alliances is KETOG.

I can argue that it isn't at all what we have now and that this war has proven such. Yes, TKR and KETOGG have went down their own path but the Blob is alive and well. Maybe this war is what was needed to finally push alliances into doing their own thing, who knows. 

Quote

Perhaps more controversially, do small alliance leaders deserve this chance? There's a perennial argument against the existence of protectorates in the first place, for example, because many people think they add no value to the game as a whole. Small alliances that didn't need protection or grew out of it are different only by degrees. They still typically lack the resources and activity that larger, more established alliances have, and the exceptions here are mostly elite alliances made up experienced players that prove the rule. In many cases, these groups are vestiges or splinters of previously top tier alliances, meaning they had a head start creating group cohesion as well.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be new alliances that are given the chance to succeed. But what can we reasonably expect success to look like? If we want to socialize newer alliances or younger leaders into the main metagame, do they need to be somewhat subordinate to established alliances? If new alliances are to survive at all, do they need protectors? And if so, should established alliances expect a reliable future ally that shares FA goals in return for their protection?

I am not referring to mirco leaders but more of alliances like Carthage, Soup, FARK and so on, that are not big enough to dictate the game in the current meta we play. Let's be honest here. Soup would have zero voice in this game without being apart of CHAOS. Since Chaos is a small sphere it allows us to have the ability to impact the game and help make decisions. Whereas, an alliance like Carthage which is in orbit of BK's massive sphere doesn't have the same voice that we do. I am sure there are exemptions to the norms but if years of playing these online sandboxes have taught me anything it's that big fish decide the rules. 

I also think that in order for this game to truly survive the test of time is that we need to allow "new players" into the grand game. They aren't as jaded as us old men and are much more willing to try something "new". I spent some time in the mirco world and it is in some ways the more interesting part of the game due to the willingness to take risk. The players like Sketchy that troll these new alliances forgets that the reason many of them exist is due to the meta of the game being locked into the elite few. It's basically an old boys club where if you don't cuddle up and play nice to them than you are trash. 

Alliances that protect these mircos shouldn't be doing it solely for the reason of building subordinate future allies but to teach young alliances how to be effective so they can become useful members to the community as a whole. Not just to the parent alliance. If your former protectorate chooses to do it's own thing and challenge you than you should take satisfaction in knowing that you actually done your job.

Quote

A strategic position isn't solely about protecting infrastructure, though, and multipolarity is the perfect example of this. Lots of people have an almost ideological investment in multipolarity. Wars should be evenly balanced; short; small rather than global; and fought between constantly-shifting coalitions in their minds. They claim to be - and to an extent, have been - willing to fight for this, even at the expense of some infrastructure. The more moralistic arguments made against NPO in particular say that our involvement in the war is wrong because it weakens the strategic position of the people who are in the right.

What makes NPO's entrance into the war so wrong is that it actually hurt your strategic position. It doesn't make sense to enter a war you had no business being in that would have weakened 3 of the 4 major blocs. You guys would have had at least 3 months to strengthen your position plus would have effectively sold Chaos along with KETOGG on your willingness to play a different type of game which most likely have ensured your safety both long and short term. 

Edited by Leftbehind
Wow, remember no more phone lefty

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22 hours ago, Sweeeeet Ronny D said:

What the hell does that mean?

Oh, I was told you had been pissed off for a long time, so I didn't really have a reason to want to avoid conflict with GOB  like Ripper described besides the short-term aspect of people being in range by bulking or it drawing in tC or someone wanting to keep you out. I just didn't remember specifically saying I didn't want GOB in the war. That's it. It wasn't meant to be "oh SRD has *issues*". Mostly missed this post before until Goldie quoted it and I hadn't logged back in because you don't have an avatar.

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