The world is changing all the time, and the latest big change - combat orders - are finally being understood by players and governments. Their effect is not just to replace weapons supplies as the main way of “hiring” foreign troops to defend your country, it also funnels existing damage toward the correct battle. Players are more likely to fight in a CO battle, even if the money is insignificant. However, no matter how low CO prices are, it’s still a lot of money. It’s quite possible to spend tens of thousands of currency in a single round- mainly on division 4.
Now this change has brought a big decision on most countries. For those nations regularly at war, either offensively (like Poland) or defensively (like the USA), the enormous cost of CO is rapidly becoming prohibitive. Even with big, wealthy populations, low taxes mean that they cannot afford to be paying CO each day. The USA recently responded to this by raising taxes, which then led to a flood of citizens leaving the country. Not all nations are as tax-phobic (I just made that word up, go me) as the RL USA, but still, you can imagine raising tax will be a future point of conflict in most big nations.
For me there are two emerging models of government. The first, epitomised by the eUSA, is a big statist model, where the government controls most funds, most military units and takes responsibility for the defence of the country. As a result, taxes are raised. The advantage of this system is that damage can be directed precisely (via CO), at the right time and unreliant on anyone other than the President and someone with a MU. The disadvantage is that when you bleed your citizens with high taxes, they’re not too keen on spending any of their own money. They become dependent on the government, and expect them to pay for everything.
Even hipsters know it
The second model, which is the one I am pleased to say is emerging in my own native UK, is that of collective responsibility. In the UK taxes are incredibly low, the government plays a minimal role in society, and everything from new player help to combat orders is provided by private organisations, political parties, military units and citizens. When the UK came under attack during the Epic Warfare competition, the vast majority of the cost was borne by citizens, who paid for their own weapons, food, set combat orders and donated supplies to each other to fight.
For me the second model is not only more efficient, it represents a healthier attitude for society to have. It was a risk we took, since there are none of the guarantees the government model represents. The UK is not exactly the friendliest of places, with lots of rivalries and inter-party squabbling. But the risk was borne out as the whole country got together and made a collective effort to pay for and support each other. In my opinion, this not only won us the wars, it gave us a stronger sense of community than years of government led action.
Now the world is changing and many countries are coming to the point where they can no longer afford to go on as they have been. People will be discussing which of these models - or possibly a third - to follow. I am not sure our little model would work in a bigger country, but I’d be interested to see how it went anyway. Sometimes you just need to take a risk and give up central control, and watch how people thrive and develop themselves in their new found freedom.
For years the government has held responsibility for retention, for developing players. This has mainly involved freebies, and leading players by the nose. Instead of this top down method, maybe we should take a new angle. We should give power and responsibility to new players, let them make the big decisions. Let them grow themselves, and understand that there is no such thing as government as an entity separate from the collective will of the citizens they represent. There is nobody to blame but yourself, and when you win, it is you who did it, not some shadowy governmental leviathan.
Just a few Sunday night thoughts ~
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.