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A Discussion of Alliance Structure

Day 2,149, 08:59 by Azazel Romanov


So I just realized it has been over two months since I published an article. Two months. While I have been writing in the State paper and have made my return to the WHPR, a part of me thinks that this isn’t enough. So I have decided to write upon a topic I have been contemplating for quite some time. In my foreign affairs work, I have taken the time to see the strength and weaknesses of the current major alliances, TWO and CoT.

I know what you’re thinking, CoT is losing the war, how can TWO have weaknesses? Where are CoT’s strengths showing through right now? My thoughts don’t totally deal with the military aspect. To deny TWO’s numeric advantage is foolish, and I’m not going to dispute their power on the battlefield. However, I have been taking issue with their structure for quite some time. Most people assume TWO is one giant bloc, but it would be more appropriate to call it TWO/ACT. TWO is only seven countries, whereas ACT is composed of 12. They also have weighted voting: TWO nations get one full vote in decision making while ACT nations only get half a vote (totaling 6 full votes). But I’m not here to complain about a lack of democracy, my complaint is on the issue of clientelism.



Given the structure of TWO, the top nations supply damage for ACT nations, while ACT nations contribute damage to major TWO campaigns or cooperate on military goals (invading countries when requested, providing passage for TWO nations, etc.). This creates a system where ACT countries stay in TWO not for the relationship, but exclusively for the damage. I have no doubt there are sincere connections in TWO (Spoland, SerHun for example), but to a large part it is a business relationship between TWO and ACT countries. These countries collect “debts” that TWO can use to bargain with, and other countries seek to enter TWO not for friendship (countries like Romania, Argentina, and Ukraine are regularly slighted only to continue asking for “friendship”) but solely for the security and damage. Damage should remain a calculation in deciding partnerships, but it shouldn’t be the only reason. It makes the game less about social interaction and more about output and results. It makes the game static and lose an important aspect to its structure. It’s boring, and I am not here to get the highest pay off or deal completely in numbers.

TWO is forgetting what drives the game, and that’s people, not numbers. I could be totally wrong in this critique, but I have never strived in this game to seek returns on investment. TWO is dominant, no doubt, but I worry that this attitude trends towards the demise of the game. I’m not saying that TWO winning kills the game (I don’t lend much to the back and forth of war), I argue that the strategies of suppression and damage output kill the game. Continued wipes, on any side (TWO most guilty), force declining communities into further decline. Killing communities has now become a commonplace strategy in eRep wars. I understand strategy, and that TWO is doing what is in its best interest, but we have to be careful not to make this game more of an Eastern European sandbox then it already is.



But I’m not only damning TWO in this critique. While TWO shifts away from relationships too much, I accuse CoT of shifting too closely. Too often, CoT is controlled by personalities, personal commitments, and partnership. Our success totally depends upon the motivation of our HQ, and its commitment to coordinate nations on military goals. I have seen CoT strong and I have seen CoT weak, and it often lies with a group of 3 or 4 people that change month to month. As the war wages on, we continue to lose committed people motivated enough to run the alliance and keep things together. Over the course of half a year, we have only lost one member from lacking damage (New Zealand and Lithuania left earlier due to TWO commitments), meaning the rest have stayed despite being wiped, attacked, and resisting always. Indonesia and Chile remain our most intact countries, while the eUS, Macedonia, Russia, and Bulgaria have been wiped regularly. Countries stay because they have nowhere else to go. EDEN countries found new homes, mostly in TWO, but now the current makeup prevents us from seeking new waters.

Many decisions made by CoT in the past have been made with consideration to relationships and opinion, and not so much realpolitik. I accuse TWO of being too calculating, but CoT could certainly learn from this. Due to the voting composition of CoT, the smallest countries get the same say as the largest, which is both a blessing and a curse. It prevents one country or a group gaining superiority and imposing the clientelism I mentioned earlier, but it also prevents the larger countries from leveraging their influence. Only recently has CoT been making the kinds of decisions governed by reason rather than feeling, but we are still catching up to the master. We have reached the point where we have lost much of our bargaining power and rely solely on mistakes TWO makes to create openings. This makes us weak. It makes us dependent on our enemy and less upon ourselves. TWO is strong because of its organization, members don’t step out of line (sometimes to a fault), while CoT countries all pursue independent courses half the time.

I realize I’m getting contradictory. TWO is too much of a business, CoT is too much of a party. We could both learn and gain a lot from seeking the middle. I don’t care who wins the war, who comes out on top, or what alliance is “better”. I care about the game remaining viable, and this static back and forth and new diplomacy isn’t allowing the game to grow anymore. I realize there are complaints with administration of the game, but it is also up to us to keep things going if we actually value what goes on here. So ends my rant I suppose. Give comments and thoughts, most of this was stream of consciousness and not edited heavily.


 

Comments

Jussi PK Jernkuuk
Jussi PK Jernkuuk Day 2,149, 09:01

I think you need a new strategy, not a new structure.

Azazel Romanov
Azazel Romanov Day 2,149, 09:08

Isn't that what I said? I apologize, I wrote this rather quickly.

Brian Cohen
Brian Cohen Day 2,150, 11:13

Evil will always prevail, because good is dumb.

Atracurium Day 2,149, 09:01

Comment deleted

Alexander Atem
Alexander Atem Day 2,149, 09:03

Voted!

Lord Calois Draco Bellator
Lord Calois Draco Bellator Day 2,149, 09:05

A great article... One of the bests of last times.

o7

Vasilis Karavias
Vasilis Karavias Day 2,149, 09:09

You're essentially describing what every major alliance in the game becomes given time, after continuous strife has taken its toll. You may see two opposites, honestly I've only ever seen alliances operate in a similar manner -- what changes is the rhetoric. Ultimately, however, I'd recommend keeping in mind that there's no code of ethics to govern any or all alliances -- the beasts are what we make them while and through playing the game. Too much of a business? Too much of a party? It's still people driving the game in that direction.

Tervel 2
Tervel 2 Day 2,149, 09:12

TWO winning kills the game

Addy Lawrence
Addy Lawrence Day 2,149, 10:06

Any superpower that suppresses a community kills the game. TWO/ACT broke the mould for alliance structure and it is working. It is time to unite under a single opposition and provide balance to the game.

Gregory Hinds
Gregory Hinds Day 2,150, 09:40

It's the same thing as when PHOENIX was winning, then when ONE was winning, then when EDEN/TERRA were winning. The game has been "killed" several times now.

Addy Lawrence
Addy Lawrence Day 2,149, 10:04

This is a great article. TWO needs ACT and ACT needs TWO. ACT realizes it brings less to the table but it also realizes it provides a lot of leverage to TWO through collaboration. So long as TWO remains a "kind slavemaster" then TWO/ACT will thrive.

CoT does not possess enough damage potential to provide yin to ACT/TWO's yang.

Something needs to give.

eazyjp
eazyjp Day 2,149, 10:18

jaja

Utat
Utat Day 2,149, 10:29

o7

WayneKerr
WayneKerr Day 2,149, 10:44

TWO have always been several steps ahead of CoT. In all matters...

Asmitatheone
Asmitatheone Day 2,149, 10:47

excellent rendition and very astute observations

Ashkoort
Ashkoort Day 2,149, 11:18

Game mechanics favor big number, but that doesn't change the fact that CoT sucks from the beggining ("glory days" were based on TWO dmg and in those terms CoT can be compared with ACT).

DimlightHero
DimlightHero Day 2,149, 11:33

Great piece.

GEN. DE LA REY
GEN. DE LA REY Day 2,149, 12:17

voted

nononever
nononever Day 2,149, 12:22

voted

Kaad
Kaad Day 2,149, 13:15

"TWO kills communities"

100% true...

Hail Freedom.

Jussi PK Jernkuuk
Jussi PK Jernkuuk Day 2,149, 13:17

TWO wants mpp-battles, stop giving that to them. Focus on RW's and nothing else until something changes fundamentally. TWO won the war, it's about time people realize that and stop throwing good money after bad.

Hale26
Hale26 Day 2,149, 13:22

Very good piece. Zooming in on the ACT countries, largely not thought of by myself at least, was a nice point.

Voted

Soy Pepe Mujica
Soy Pepe Mujica Day 2,149, 13:24

turn off cot and create new alliance please

Aries Prime
Aries Prime Day 2,149, 13:31

Up to the admins for some major changes because TWO has no incentive to stop what they are doing.

Stolch
Stolch Day 2,149, 13:36

I disagree with a few things here. First realpolitik has no merit in a game of this sort and is a "bad" investment and leads to failure in the longer term. This of course is true if there was no outside factors.

CoT has one main problem and it is connected to the mechanics of the game. It is impossible to get enough people so committed even for 1 month to stay engaged for 8 hours a day everyday in an internet game. This is entirely the fault of the admins. And this will not change by "realpolitics".

TWO is not better organized by any means, even things might be worst, only real difference is, that because they're on top right now no one is peering in to see and so it appears as if there is great organization.

The truth of the matter is that the admins have made it so time and energy consuming to organize anything in a organic way, that any and all organization is either driven by the impulses of people at certain times or by the robotized "aids" developed to do it instead of the players themselves. This is true for both alliances and will be true for any alliance in the future or past. It is true on country level as well, where all countries have the same "lack" of people ready to commit time and energy.

Right now it is hard to find someone willing to be president in a lot of countries and this is entirely due to the admins stupidity. This is not even touching on the bias of changes, promotions, missions and so on.

This is a direct result of the 24/7 battle mechanic coupled with the endless inflation of strength and damage. So in an essence TWO has a more"practical" organization with few well entrenched elit controlling each country and contributing a robotized output, while CoT countries still engage in community building and community impulses for the development of countries.

The result we have is a testament to the failure of the administration at developing the game. They're about to kill it and succeed this time.

Stari Borac
Stari Borac Day 2,150, 00:24

It's nice to see that you know how to think, altough when i saw in which party you're in i was very dissapointed that you're thinking in only one segment.

Grant van der Merwe
Grant van der Merwe Day 2,149, 13:36

Great piece; very insightful. Thanks for writing this.

Wilpanzer
Wilpanzer Day 2,149, 13:38

It would be fun to have a few more alliances. The extreme CoT vs TWO rivalry keeps a more neutral nations from helping true friends.

Viarizi
Viarizi Day 2,149, 13:55

"TWO wants mpp-battles, stop giving that to them. Focus on RW's and nothing else until something changes fundamentally. TWO won the war, it's about time people realize that"
x1.000.000

ilphen
ilphen Day 2,149, 14:03

sounds like a wiki article
alliance a does b
alliance x does y
alliance x reacts on actions by alliance a
congrats you have mastered the basics of erepublik

your opinion, mimimi stuff should be different yet you dont present anything
sad story.. hurrdurr hasnt changed in years
w/e good luck

Zacharia Raven
Zacharia Raven Day 2,149, 14:07

Now it is clear.

Asgard is the superior alliance. We have no clientelism, only the idea of protecting (or trying) local area of imminent neighbors.

Struis Vogel
Struis Vogel Day 2,150, 05:45

And they have Thor to watch over them.

bakerinho
bakerinho Day 2,150, 20:48

Asgard has 2 regions as an alliance. Every single country in TWO/ACT has more.
Superior alliance, indeed.

Dr. Strangeluve
Dr. Strangeluve Day 2,149, 14:46

the article describes well what has been like/ is/ and possibly what will be,
strategy and structure is obviously what has brought up this situation. definitely that's where we should look for a better future of game/

I personally believe that the only way out of this boredom is getting even more 'bored'- let TWO thoroughly wipe us all- all CoT. give the winners time to start fighting each other (certainly possible)!! perhaps then, something could change!?

voted.

stephen s
stephen s Day 2,149, 17:48

TWO kills communities

Dr.You
Dr.You Day 2,149, 18:03

voted.

nW0lf
nW0lf Day 2,149, 19:21

v

TheRomanWarrior
TheRomanWarrior Day 2,149, 19:31

Voted

ElvenCRO
ElvenCRO Day 2,150, 06:22

..a new fresh start is needed..a reshuffle of mostly MPPs

Battle Kitten
Battle Kitten Day 2,150, 13:28

It's a lot easier to keep people in line and on the same page when you are winning. TWO is able to "share the love" because they are so much stronger and the more powerful countries regularly sit on their max bonuses uncontested. That allows them to keep the rest of the alliance happy by providing dmg.

GGarriga
GGarriga Day 2,150, 14:30

Please, help Catalonians to troll spain with an air strike

Pawardjow
Pawardjow Day 2,150, 15:44

Voted

Derek McFadden
Derek McFadden Day 2,150, 16:21

What is the point of playing a game about taking over the world and trying to be peaceful? The game is not about whether or not the country will be wiped out, its about how you get wiped out and come back from it. The most boring time I've experienced in this game was when we had nobody to sign on to fight against.

Chuchi
Chuchi Day 2,151, 00:30

If things were as easy as that you should have no problem on inviting people to your friendship party then outdamaging TWO right?

Norbengo
Norbengo Day 2,151, 01:03

CoT is all about party?
Bi*** please, CoT is DEAD.

The only reason thats keeping you around is that YOU HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO. And TWO needs a punching bag.

You don't need new structure, better coordination and crap like that, you need massive BB in your countries or to exploit boredom in TWO and get some new countries to join you.

Jussi PK Jernkuuk
Jussi PK Jernkuuk Day 2,151, 01:52

What they actually need is value for the money they spend on the game. I don't think it's good value to be forced to spend money AND find new customers who spend even more money.

Norbengo
Norbengo Day 2,151, 03:50

Well yes, and unlike Balkan people, you lack nationalistic motivation.

 
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