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The Problem at the Core of PnW

Sam Cooper

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I agree with the sentiment of the solution and I would point equally at the community and the game mechanics as to both fault and solution:

New nations, new alliances, smaller alliances, or even large alliances who have struggled to find their place in politics are all essentially left out as shark bait for everyone else. You must seek shelter or die.

What can be done to open this game up to a more casual playstyle and become more interesting/rewarding to be small and new?

I liked your mention of dynamic war slots in theory, though I'd want to see hard numbers on how it played out.

I'd also point to the lack of game mechanics that really make PnW a "Nation simulator." There's... not actually a lot of simulation going on, if any at all. Fleshing out internal politics even if it's just for show with a legislature mechanic, giving some meaning and mechanic to the RP stuff like government types, allowing baseball to be superficially adjusted to any sport of your choosing or expanding upon the baseball feature to see some like olympic game type stuff... Meaningless mechanics like the Moon Landing that ultimately add flavor into the game would be huge. The white backdrop with limited color and spreadsheet set-up where you just keep up with numbers for the sake of it is just not appealing to 2024 gamers.

The culture itself needs to be more open to LARPing as a nationstate instead of focusing purely on maximum efficiency. This could come in many forms, only limited by imagination. It's just generally frowned upon to RP after a certain extent.


Overall I think PnW does a very poor job of leaning into the genre itself. It's clear from adverts that Alex has a "vision" of what he wants the game to be but it's just not there. I highly doubt there would be more than couple hundred players in this game if it cost $5.99 on the app store, for example. The free-to-play and time-sunk are the two main reasons for most of us remaining I'd guess.


I also think the pace needs to slow down. The game needs to be recognized for what it is: FtP feature-starved spreadsheet. The idea that you can go to sleep and wake up to being wiped out in a war is pretty laughable even by IRL standards. Slow the pace of warfare down significantly (and maybe flesh that out too) and I think you'd see higher retention and also more investment into the wars themselves.

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43 minutes ago, Sam Cooper said:

Does this sound too radical to you? it's not. It may however require drastic changes to how wars are fought. Like Vicic has suggested dynamic war slots, something that restricts your defensive war range based on your current active defensive wars, if you get hit by a massive downdeclare, the remaining slots can only be taken by less punitive wars or restrict the slots to only 2. Just an example, I am sure there are people smarter than me who can come up with even more sophisticated solutions.

While the problem is real, i don't think dynamic slots will cut it. The way I see it, if we are talking about a relatively new player (even if he already got the mechanics and general strategies) he will hardly stand a chance against even 2 attackers/raiders (especially if those are downdeclares). It makes it better of course, but the issue will remain. Even if we take 1 full mill guy vs 2 standard mmr guys who militarise after the declaration, it is not hard to calculate that 2 guys will almost always militarise fast enough to win the war.

I think the real problem here is the absolute simplicity of the war system. it isn't strategic in any way, and even players with absolutely 0 skill or knowledge about the game will be able to win against much more experienced solo player, because of well known and absolute winning strategies at each case.

The real solution here would be making the war mechanic such that there is a certain unknown factor to it, mainly through the complication of the war system. Much like in chess, where rules are known but you do not know "perfect" strategies.

This would also help with this:

30 minutes ago, Alastor said:

I also think the pace needs to slow down. The game needs to be recognized for what it is: FtP feature-starved spreadsheet. The idea that you can go to sleep and wake up to being wiped out in a war is pretty laughable even by IRL standards. Slow the pace of warfare down significantly (and maybe flesh that out too) and I think you'd see higher retention and also more investment into the wars themselves.

in a way that wouldn't completely demolish fun war aspect of the game. But ofc a large part of the game might be thrown off by the new complexity. and many large alliances will not be able to function entirely (Like Immortals and most of Eclipse) due to insufficient neuron count.

But i dont think any of this really matters bc Alex would never make it happen. Even on easier updates, game regularly falls apart, i can't imagine what would happen if such a drastic update rolled in. Not to mention most older players would hate any change like this. And even if it did happen, it would take at least a year to code... do idk.

;tldr this is kinda pointless

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I think a way we can open this game up a little more, is normalize bigger alliances having a lot of protectorate. Even if those smaller alliance don't necessarily benefits the macro protecting them economically. This will eliminate the amount of new players that fall victim to joining micros with no protection. Another idea I've had that's more dynamic is proxy/cold wars. Instead of long NAPs where the game literally does nothing for an extended time, what if we saw large alliances and blocs funding, smaller alliances to fight there beef out?? 


People say well why would I want to see two micros fight instead of building city 55??? Well because proxy wars could be a new avenue to project power for larger alliances.. without the need for huge blocs, and a whole new avenue of FA.. which again will promote activity. A lot of micros that follow the cookie cutter, to the written T formula never even get a chance at good wars, or that level of community FA involvement until they reach top 30 and they're lucky if the alliance is active long enough to reach that.. this is one way to possibly change the dynamics for new players and even current players

Edited by General Custer
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Bruh let the game die in peace 😒

19 hours ago, Sam Cooper said:


The Problem
Stagnation, dead game, falling player count call it what you want. The only problem this game faces is that you simply cannot accomplish anything here out of the template set by the major alliances because the game by its design forces you to comply with what they want or be driven out of the game or if you are stubborn, stick around and nuke because that is quite literally only "war" thing you can do without being part of a larger bloc.


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Still possible for the individual to fight, since they can nuke I guess. Shouldn't be making it harder on people, like some suggest. (Then again, I cast aside all delusion of preserving infra, etc.)

Edited by Anarchist Empire

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Ultimately, how one plays this game depends on how much one is willing to invest in it in terms of time and effort. I remember back when I first joined, I was a grunt in BoC as part of an effort by the players of Worlds at War to infiltrate P&W. We got into a big war, and despite BoC apparently losing I managed to snag a few kills and ended up profiting more that way than I had in my entire farming career to that point. Then I quit since I figured out a way to break Worlds at War and wasn't having so much fun here. I rejoined the game after a couple years as part of a >Bloc alliance, and realized how powerful fortification could be (this was back when it added resistance). My alliance crumpled like paper after foolishly stealing a major alliances' bank, so I went solo and raided like nuts to buy myself the almighty MLP. Then I went crazy, launching my daily missile at everyone without a care in the world. So much salt was mined, y'all don't even know 🙃

Point is, doing that still took time and effort as well as the mathematical skill to theorize the strat. Fortification bombing went away and turretting took its place, but it still takes time, effort, and math. Politics is no different really, it just takes time, effort, and interpersonal skills. A new player cannot, and should not, be able to get ahead of someone that's invested time, effort, and skill in getting where they are. And they shouldn't be expected to; rather it is on their leadership to provide the opportunities to have fun and excel.

Of course, that does mean that we should try and stay away from one-day wars followed by months of game-wide NAPs :P

Edited by Sir Scarfalot
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