I am John Largo, and I have a confession to make and some apologies at the end.
I have been doing a lot more than running for President this month. I’ve kind of been on a secret mission. The mission is to investigate election abnormalities, possibly due to multis. Some strange things were brought to my attention, and I wanted to do what I can to determine what is going on.
This article will consist of the following sections:
1. The history/timeline of events and my thoughts along the way
2. My analysis of what happened and what I would have changed
3. My apologies
4. Article updates if new events unfold after publication.
The Story Until Now
I am going to tell you a story that only I know completely at this time, and it begins during the June Presidential election. I was running against Molly Emma. My team and I were in our Campaign PM(s) discussing the on-going election. I’ve lost the message now, but I remember us commenting on how every time we got one vote, she got one to match within minutes. Any surges up were met with equal surges to match, so it felt like a waltz and not a race. I lost that race, and believed it to be fair as Admin did remove some multi voters. I wasn’t happy to lose. Then a day or so into the term, my access to the PDB was removed. I thought it had something to do with the fact that I offered to help out with Croatia, and later when the new alliance was announced, I felt that my suspicions were confirmed. Then, I got an interesting PM…(I wrote this paragraph to help you understand where my mindset is coming from.)
The PM was from someone I knew but had not conversed with recently. I’m going to leave names out where I can, in case the person wants privacy. So this person, who I will nickname Bill, presented an interesting case to me (I’m going to paraphrase the conversation as I no longer have the PM). Bill essentially told me that I was robbed. He told me that he has been watching different elections over many months, and he has noticed a startling pattern; the elections seemed to freeze at the margin of victory after a period of time. Essentially he was saying that at some point in the day, Admin decides that the elections are over and locks in the victory margin. I didn’t buy his theory at first. I thought, why would Admin care who is President? But, I was told that was not the point. The point, he theorized was to have a large turnout in elections to make the game look more popular. I still didn’t buy the reasoning, but the data was compelling. Bill had not only seen this pattern in eUS elections, but in other countries too. Something was amiss, but what was the reasoning? What was the cause?
I thought about previous elections. I remembered the old adage that the score of an election doesn’t change after breakfast (eastern time US). In Civil Anarchy’s election article, he references it as well. Here is his quote, “For those of you who didn’t know, in the eUS, the person who wins the first six hours is almost certainly the one who wins the Presidency.” Why is this? Why is it that the votes in the first 6 hours mean so much? Are votes after 6:00eRep worth less than those before that time? 6:00eRep is 9AM eastern, and 6AM Pacific. Why would an eAmerican election be decided before half the country got up? There is still roughly 2/3 of a day after that point. Why is that point in time crucial? That is a very European time for an election to be decided. I don’t believe Bill’s thought on motive, but there had to be something there.
Who had something at stake that would want the elections decided early? Who benefitted from an early decision? What if someone else had already figured out what I was just told? Would they change their election strategy?
Countless questions fill my mind, and I had to answer to them, and disillusion began setting in. Why should I play if the game is rigged? Is campaigning a waste of time? Is the game doing this to me, or is someone cheating the game to do this?
I came to this line of questioning. What if there is a Multi-Farm in the eUS? What if the Farmer used his multis for election rigging? What if the Farmer understood the work hours of Admin, and waited until Admin’s workday ended before initiating his voting program? What if the program replicated the margin of victory that the Admin had last seen before heading home from work to avoid any suspicion? I had a theory that satisfied my question of motive and it fit with Bill’s data. I even reasoned that while Bill witnessed the same behavior in other countries, those countries had leadership ties to the eUS, and thus could be offshoots of the same Farmer.
You’re thinking I’ve gone insane, aren’t you? I realize this sounds crazy. But there is a pattern there. There’s just not enough data to prove it is not hidden under a tin foil hat. So for now it is just faith in a hypothesis…but with data, it could become a fact. Proving whether or not our elections were controlled by outside forces became my mission.
So fast forward a bit. I started assembling my team for my attempt at the Presidency. Bill’s theory bounced around in my mind, but I didn’t have a great plan of action. I had to do something, but didn’t know what. If the Farmer does exist, then undoubtedly he works for the opposition, as I have never heard of a person doing that job. That is what I thought, and I segregated my team into the large group that included everyone, and a Core Group that included those without immediate ties to the opposition. My Core group was who I was going to trust with Bill’s plan. That was the initial plan at least. I got sidetracked campaigning, and it wound up being an even smaller group to learn about Bill’s theory. There were 5 of us. We discussed the theory, and I created a plan. I needed to prove if the action was Farmer or Admin. I needed to fight the Farmer if it was him. I would have no recourse if it was Admin. I decided that if I got all the citizens of the eUS to vote early, then any who voted later in the day, would be predominantly multis or blank vote adds (I assumed Admin interference would come in a vote tally increase without a vote from an individual citizen). I also did not know the 6 hour rule (That everybody supposedly knew). I knew it was sometime early in the day, but I had no real feel for when the cutoff was. The thought from the Group of 5 was that it was safest to get all the votes in that we can in the first hour, in case the vote margin closes at that time. But how do we get “everybody” in the eUS to vote early. I thought about PMing DMJ and telling him about Bill’s theory and asking for his help in unveiling his face. But then I reconsidered, and assumed that the Farmer was someone in his camp whether he knew or not, and any alert that we were hunting him would change the Farmer’s behavior. I thought it would be best to keep this information to as few people as possible. But how would I get DMJ’s supporters to vote early?
The advice I got was to quietly group together my supporters and message them for a sniper vote at day change. This is good advice if winning the Presidency was my primary concern, and my advisors thought winning the Presidency was my primary concern. I even thought winning the Presidency was my primary concern. But something happened. I’m not sure if someone said something to me, or if I read a comment somewhere, or what the reason was. But I changed priorities without knowing I had done it. Unmasking the Farmer became my number 1 goal.
A sniper vote would have been the smart thing to win the Presidency, but it wouldn’t have helped me with my new #1 goal. I had to have everyone vote in the morning. So I thought, if I cannot ask DMJ to get his supporters to vote in the morning, then I have to put him in a position where he will do so unasked. That is when I made the decision to publish my voting plan for my team. I was going to have a mass vote at reset, and DMJ would do the same in response. The margin would be set sometime during that morning, and the Farmer would have his program running soon thereafter. I would have a second mass vote at noon eRep. That was the trap. Assuming almost all of the RL voters in the nation had spent their votes in the morning, there would be no one left except my Noon Voters. If the program worked as I thought it would, after the surge of votes for me, the Farmer’s program would activate and restore the voter margin by introducing multis. We would screen cap the “Users Online” screen to see who is showing up to vote, and correlate that with the increasing vote to determine who our likely multis were. If the vote totals went up without new people coming online, then we would assume Admin interference. But there was so much variability in the response time of the Farmer program, that we needed large fluctuations to be sure. I needed to have a close race with DMJ and the Noon Voters had to make a HUGE splash for us to be certain….that and everyone else had to vote early.
Making sure everyone voted early gnawed at me. How could one article guarantee that everyone voted early? How could I guarantee DMJ would respond to the article quick enough to get his people voting early too? I decided to offer to pay people to vote early. In retrospect, I should have offered to pay for anyone who voted early instead of just me, but I expected DMJ would match the offer. I needed DMJ to match the offer. I needed his people excited and ready to vote at day change.
So that takes us to July 4, the day before the election and US holiday. I posted the article and headed to my family gathering. That night I check in and all hell has broken loose. Pfeiffer is the one who matched the article and he gave me a black eye. His team has taken my offer to pay for people to vote for me early, and turned it into a vote buying scandal. But here is where we first get the 6:00eRep time. If anyone knew anything about secret voting rules, then it would be Pfeiffer (as former CIA, I bet he knows all the eUS secrets), and here he is telling me that he will match my offer for DMJ’s team up until 6:00 eRep. Now I’ve learned something (something supposedly everyone already knows). Now I feel vindicated in my plan. I think Pfeiffer must know the farmer and his rules. I am on the right track, and he is getting DMJ’s guys to vote early, so despite the black eye, this is a big win for me.
Well, it turned out to be more than a black eye. It turned into a character issue. People began accusing me of vote buying when all I thought I was doing was rewarding them for voting early. Remember when we used to have Congress elections where we voted for the individual Congressman? Remember staying up late and sniping? Remember the parties rewarding those who showed up and sniped with them? This is what I was doing, except I was asking them to snipe early instead of late. But that didn’t matter. This was no longer about what really was happening; it was about the perception of what was happening. I couldn’t fight back, because all I had was “trust me”, I couldn’t tell them what I was doing. I couldn’t tip off the Farmer. I was a punching bag.
Losing that PR war on that issue ruined my plan, but I did not realize it was over yet…and I was away with a poor internet connection, and no way to fight back. I sent some PMs to people that might know something about the Farmer, and I hinted around at it. I was hoping one of them would tell me that they could see through my actions and they could guess I was hunting the Farmer. I hoped they would tell me who it was so I did not have to carry this fight all the way through. I hoped they told me that it was a Farmer, or it was Admin, or it was a figment of my imagination. But I could not ask directly, and either they did not get it, or they chose not to let me in on the secret. I had to carry it through to the end.
At the same time as this, my cabinet started asking me what was going on. What was I doing? Why would I do this? Why won’t I retract the article? Those are good guys, and they gave me good advice. I had forgotten to include the Core Group in the discussion about Bill’s idea. I had forgotten to hint at a greater plan to my complete team. I felt bad there. They had already started to doubt me. There was this collection of talented eReppers that decided to cast their lot with me and support and advise me and take us all to the Whitehouse…and I had forgotten to include them in the piece of the puzzle that consumed my mind. I quickly let them know what was going on and left some hints for the larger group that there was something behind what I was doing. But much of the damage had been done. Pfeiffer’s article damaged my character, but my failure to my cabinet was what hurt. I screwed up and they had to be the ones people to defend their association with me. You support that guy? He has no morals, how can you trust him? He is trying to buy the election, why are you still there? That was the worst. I can take a lot of insults directed at me, but me letting someone down kills me. I gave up at that point. I let my team down and I wasn’t even elected yet. Everything since was me going through the motions.
So that gets you to today. I awoke to a huge lead by DMJ. Pfeiffer had out politicked me. You know about three weeks ago he told me that if I took his advice, I would be a shoe-in this election (paraphrasing). I turned him down. I wanted my team not his. If I had not become consumed with the hunt for the Farmer, I might regret that decision. No, on second thought, not even then. I was running to bring people into the Whitehouse that had been stationed outside it. The medal meant nothing to me.
I’ve digressed. This morning DMJ had a huge lead and carries it to reset. Our data collection process is not accurate enough for minor swings in the votes. The hunt for the Farmer will have to wait for another day. Maybe this article will scare him away. Maybe it will inspire another hunter with a batter way to catch him.
I just want fair elections. I want to play this game where multis are not accepted. I want to know that people and not multis beat me. I don’t care if there are only 300 people in the eUS that aren’t multis. This is why I did what I did. This is what I consider bigger than the Presidency. This is a noble goal. I probably will not run for President again anytime soon, but I will continue the pursuit of fair elections.
The analysis is that I backed a controversial theory, and I did a poor job framing my experiment to validate that theory. Putting this article in the public might help bring fair elections, but it also might just result in a better hidden cheat. We’ll see. At the end of the day, I have proven nothing. We’ll see if the way we arranged the voting day helps Admin find multis. It may not. People say I would have won if not for my tilting at windmills. I disagree. I think the Farmer exists and he would have prevented me from winning regardless of my public support.
We have a capable man in DMJ. I gave him a hard time this election in certain mediums because of election strategies that would take another article of this length to explain. I ask his forgiveness for those moves and hope he understands that it was a potentially winning election strategy. The bottom line is that we will do well with DMJ as President. He has my support and I hope that many of my supporters ask him for a place on his team. We are better when we are together.
So, the big one. If I had to do it over again, I would have told people that I would pay for any candidate as long as they voted early. I intended to pay for voting early (a sniping session), not to buy votes. But I realize that it was perceived as buying votes, so I do apologize for that. I wanted to win your vote not buy it. I just got caught up in getting those votes when I needed them for my experiment, and I ended up losing them. I am sorry.
My team joined me because they respect and trust me and they think I will do good things for this country. I am forever grateful for them. I apologize for not letting you know what you were truly getting into until the last minute. I apologize for letting you down. I apologize for not listening to some of your advice. If I had trusted you with my plans, then I would not be in this situation.
“Bill”, I put your theory out here for the world to see. I’m not sure if you wanted that, or if you wanted it kept for yourself. I apologize if it was to stay a secret.
Pfeiffer, I mention you a lot in this article. You did what I expected someone to do, but being you, you did it in an unexpected way and you ended up beating me politically. Your article won DMJ the election. There are no hard feelings from me, though. Good Game.
DMJ, you will be a good President. I apologize for manipulating your team. I apologize if you were offended at how I answered some questions at your expense. I only want what is best for the country, if you will see what I was trying to do, and incorporate even a piece of that into your administration, I know we will be better for it.
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.