New Faustian Man
This article is the concluding part of some interviews I did with former leaders of the alliance called ORDER of the NEW E-WORLD, popularly known as ONE.
Part 2 mainly focuses on the emergence and death of CTRL and is here presented for your edification.
AThompson - Two time Secretary-General of ONE. Three time MoFA of Hungary, former MoD of Hungary, and former President of Hungary
coolinbun - Longtime contributor in ONE HQ and Serbian representative
Iain Keers - Former multiple-term treasurer and SG of Phoenix, former President of the UK and Secretary-General of ONE
k0stek - Former Polish President, multi-term Polish MoFA and a regular member of ONE HQ
mikel_ahone - Self-declared ‘founder of ONE’ and once considered part of the furniture in ONE HQ. Founder of Rompi stalker club
Rhual - AKA the The Masked DJ. Amongst the founders of ONE and regular HQ member, was also the last ever Military Commander of the alliance. Is also a four-time President of Hungary, and has served in countless Hungarian cabinets
Note: These interviews were conducted quite a while back, so some questions and answers may seem dated
QUESTION: Why do you think CTRL failed?
AThompson - Because of the American dream. J They always trying to make the game into something what the game is not. They had Brolliance, they had PANAM/TERRA, now they had CTRL, but on long terms it is not possible not to fight wars on Balkans/in Europe because this is only acceptable for Brazil/America/China. In a European country like Poland population will tear apart the government after 2 weeks without direct wars. You cannot force people to act the other way even it would be logical according to some logics.
Coolinbun - CTRL was bad Idea from beginning. Countries that have formed CTRL was no have common goal, nor common interests. Those countries was on opposite sides to much time. Well, true is ONE was created on similar way, but that was different time.
K0stek - To be honest I think that two CPs failed in that case. I understand Pierre that it was hard to talk with Pfeiffer cause he is really hot-blooded but Pierre also gave him his word in few cases and didn't keep it.
Borrowed from Artela's article [ permission pending ]
Keers - There are too many differences between SPoland and BRusa. Not just IRL, but their goals and aims are completely different.
NFM - Can you qualify how you believe these goals and aims differ?
Keers - Well the USA’s goals are non-European really. Aside from minor region swaps with FR and SP, it’s goals are American (for bonuses) and Asian (for wars). The USA has never in all its history had any European regions as goals for permanent occupation. To win against its enemies USA needed a powerful ally in Europe, but not necessarily Poland. Similarly all CTRL was built on from the Polish side was a NAP- protecting Polish colonies from their main threat to the west. The rest was just fluff. They both tried to maintain friendships- the alliance never really broke their ties with former allies. And this was a good thing (from my perspective at least)
mikel_ahone - I have been a bit off during the CTRL process, but I guess it failed cause their member didn’t share a common goal. This slogan about forming an anti-Balkan alliance is quite stupid, considering that countries like mine (Spain) cannot even think about forgetting their bonds with Serbia or Hungary. It should be very stupid after the strong relationship we have made. The same applies for Poland. However, I think the countries that were involved in the alliance can be friends taking into account that some of them have old friends that can be enemies of other of them and respecting this issue.
Rhual - For me, the CTRL wanted to be a ONE level alliance. Altogether, the problem was that, while every countries in ONE were able to start a new sheet (so I mean there were not tight friendly relations in the EDEN/Phoeni
😵and make compromises, but it was not possible in the CTRL. And if the members of an alliance are not able to accept the decisions of the others or wanting to force its own onto the other one, then the alliance does not have a future.
QUESTION: A lot of the justification – if you wanna call it that – for CTRL was that its creators wished to establish a multi-polar world populated by many alliances, and to terminate the Balkan-centric, Cold War-style bi-polar conflict of a two superpower stalemate. What’s your take on this?
AThompson: I think this logic is fucked up, because the creation of CTRL is paving the way to what they wanted to avoid. J If you create a power-house alliance for superpowers sitting on their resources, the rest of the countries don’t have any other option than to form another 1 or 2 big alliances and break the superpowers. That’s why I’m saying Americans or people in Brolliance/Terra/etc. have problems regarding the game itself where the most of the active population is not from highly developed Western countries but from countries like Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia etc. Check the case of TERRA, they formed it so they could remain out of Balkan wars, but when ONE formed they didn’t have any other option than joining forces with EDEN, the other Balkan alliance and they’ve ended up giving night damage to EDEN in Europe or fighting in RWs against ONE.
How CTRL began: Above is the Damage the founding members of CTRL were doing, the eUS contribution was skewed massively due to the number of pro-TEDEN fighters in the eUS at the time
Coolinbun - Stories like "we are sick about Balkan wars" was just a propaganda. Truth is, this game play big number of people from Balkans and main reason of that is because we study college 15 years in average, and we have biggest number of unemployed in population. In other word, we have to much of free time
🙂. Seriously, I dont think that main reason of making CTRL was multi-polar word, or making distance from Balkan. ONE collapse, and Spain and Poland search for solutions. Bra and USA find chance to get Pol-Spa dmg on their side. We have now, although CTRL is not exist, multi-polar World. EDEN, COT, ABC, this "north" alliance... etc...
k0stek - For sure we were somehow bored of the e-world but imho all of those countries had also some other reasons to create this alliance. For example USA wanted to be a core member of some strong alliance to get some real influence in this game and stop being damage donor that just get orders. Yeah they were in TERRA but let's be honest TERRA was treated as damage donor for whole EDEN. The same was with Brasil. Spain wanted to secure their borders from USA and Brasil. Poland wanted to have some fun + get strong allies from different time zone.
Rhual - Many people mention our eWorld is centralized under the “Balkan” with the Hungarian-Romanian, Croatian-Serbian, Greek-Macedonian, Bulgarian-Turkish wars, garnish with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Italian peninsula (I would notice here one important thing: Hungary and Romania are not Balkan countries - not just Italy - ). Wars lasting years were going there what bored not just the whole eWorld but the participant countries too. But now (before the current Greek war) no any kind of war happened for long months on the “Balkan”. For example Croatia and Romania flew away into Asia. I won’t forget the Chinese CP’s reaction at that time: “The “Balkan wars” are not desirable in Asia, get out.”. Or when Bulgaria flew away into South America: “Go back to the Balkan.”. What happened in the eWorld with the ceasing of the “Balkan wars”? Not so much. Chilean - Argentinean campaign and some wars in Indonesia were going on. The “Balkan countries” just conquered colonies, obtained bonuses. I do not say that the “Balkan warring” is the only essence of the game but admit it, this is one of the major factor which keep the game going (and I suppose, this is one of the money resource for the admins) but the cessation of it, everyone (quasi) focused on their own welfare. The eWorld does not want “Balkan wars” but would not like to see the Balkan countries somewhere else. I ask then: everyone should sit on their ass where they are and create lasting things in the environment? No. The problem here is already in the mechanics of the game. Since the game rules limit the motion opportunities, without bonuses that little economic development which left in the game is insignificant and the countries cannot move far from their capital region because the bonuses must be connected to the capital. Those strong countries who are far away from the war zones, ie their geopolitics is fine, even richer but the smaller countries may count on long-term wipe, mainly in Europe.
But I rambled from the original question a little bit, I just wanted to say it for a long time.
CTRL: Date formed and date died + map
Keers - Well there hasn’t been a real balkan erep for a long time now- it’s a dream of elder days. These days conflicts become increasingly meaningless and focused on just fulfilling missions or temporary bonuses rather than strategic aims. The main purpose of alliances is to prevent countries being perma-wiped. The USA is the real enigma out there. It’s huge number of regions make it a truly indestructible country. It’s actually a gross imbalance in the military module. All countries should be reassigned with the same number of regions. There’s no justification for the way it’s designed now, where it takes months to conquer the USA and for little benefit. Anyway the result of their isolation and strategic strength is that there will always be a third alliance, though they will probably align themselves with EDEN out of inertia (and because the other option would be boring as hell).
Mikel_ahone - As said before, I think that that statement was wrong from the very beginning. It’s true that the eternal non-sense wars between Serbia&Croatia, Hungary&Romania or Bulgaria&Turkey were very boring, but we cannot hide the truth: Those countries are really important in the whole game structure and in fact, those wars were ended long time ago. So, personally, I don’t think it would be a good idea to isolate this countries.
QUESTION: Do you think CTRL laid a template how power-house countries will now form alliances from here on in: i.e. four or five super-powers combining and agreeing to defend each other’s self-interests?
Coolinbuns - ONE laid that template, not CTRL
🙂. CoT is Bulgarian solution for their problems in that moment. I like CoT very much, not just because they are proONE, but also because they have, like you say, mid-sized countries and that is functional.
AThompson - I think the idea of CTRL can only work in a time when the most of the forming countries’s population is half-dead and only clicking. This was not the case for example in Poland. CoT is a great idea, because it is making the politics more fragmanted, even as an alliance CoT is absolutely not good. In the place of admins I would make little changes what would make the countries form smallers alliances, so we could have more of them. With current military system where you must have soldiers in one block and organized in one place to win rounds it is not possible. If they would adjust military modul (your damage worth more if you are fighting in a neighbour country, etc.) alliances would start to form, and it would be more interesting. J
k0stek - About CTRL case. It was all the time like that - EDEN priorities (Croatia Romania, Greece, maybe Turkey), ONE/TWO (combination of strong countries), CTRL (combination of strong countries in different timezones). Those alliances try to help their weaker allies but let's be honest most important for them are strong countries. CoT is kinda different. Probably it's because it's formed of weak countries mostly which knows what does sarcrifice mean and Bulgaria that is imho really different than other strong countries. They just like to sacrifice to help their allies (also those guys do really crazy things in this game).
Keers - I do think that fewer countries usually means fewer arguments, and if you’re going to have a small alliance you want the more powerful countries in it. Ever since PEACE failed because of being bloated and bureaucratic, there has been a tendency in those countries to always think “less is more”. It’s not necessarily true- not all small countries are useless, but a lot of them are inactive.
Mikel_ahone - I have always had the opinion of that a strong alliance should be formed only by a few countries. When more countries enter the alliance things become more difficult (for example, the expansion of ONE). You have to deal with more interests, more regions to defend, more expansion plans to attend…and usually you don’t have enough firepower to fulfil all the goals, thus implying that you have to prioritize among countries. Therefore, it’s a matter of time that tensions between countries start to appear, jeopardizing the alliance structure.
In this way, creating small alliances with strong countries could be a good idea if you have a good diplomacy which ensures you that you have a set of countries/other alliances which share your side in the big war.
Rhual - One of the basic law in every alliance is to protect the other countries and the interests of the alliance and this is not just for the super powers but at the smaller alliances too (like ABC). Nothing new under the sun. But I suppose you mean, the members of CTRL is an alliance with strong countries which are managing stable bonuses, created an alliance with a basic law to protect each other’s bonuses. Maybe but as we know, not this was the main aim, but they wanted to create a 3-pole eWorld, which means: not about the “Balkan” wars. As we have seen it subsequently, this is already impossible to bring it off. This game is running too long time and formed too tight alliances that this can be created on that way. I’m not a follower particularly for an alliance consisting of many members, because the chance is much bigger for the discord, the difficulty of the realisation “more members, more interests”, the smaller countries, if they are in the sphere of interest of a bigger hostile country, then the constant claim for the liberation may hinder more other plans or if they do not help to the smaller countries that may cause tensenesses or just the bigger countries dictate the alliance and the smaller ones are on the sideline, etc. Do not misunderstand me, I do not say the smaller countries are worthless because they may be such a good allies (there were many example for this) but I prefer the few but “equal in everything” membership in an alliance.
QUESTION: If CTRL had worked, do you think the “United Balkan” alliance would have become a reality – and how do you think CTRL would have fared against them on the battlefield?
Keers - No, in short. I don’t think there was any chance. Even when CTRL was on the cards, SerHun maintained their friendship with Poland. If anything if CTRL had founded it would have done so as CTRL+SerHun MPPs, making the situation in the balkans very one sided. I guess that’s why CRomania rocket-jumped out of there when it started looking bad
AThompson - I think if CTRL had worked and if it would have been a real threat to Europe, after a point there would have been a cooperating between ex-ONE and EDEN countries, but against that cooperation CTRL would have been easy. They lack manpower, master cards, and willingness to fight against Balkans.
An early Balkanika logo
Coolinbuns - Balkanika or "United Balkan" like you call that "will never heppen" aliance was just idea of some players that wants to change things in this game from the root. But, Balkan aliance was and will stay uthopia. Croatia and Serbia wil never be alies. Simply .... that is impossible. Of course, that alliance would be oposite to CTRL, no doubt.
Balkanika on the map
Mikel_ahone - Why not? We have seen many times that countries that were big enemies became allies with lots of diplomacy and willing to overcome former differences, although such a thing has had a different view depending on the countries involve
😨For example, it was a big success for Turkey to enter EDEN “cause every country deserves a second chance” but it was a big treason for Bulgaria to leave EDEN and create CoT “cause they’re a bunch of selfish players whose hate prevent them of keeping their former and maravelous allies (hello EDEN again). So, the “United Balkan” could (and can) be an option in this game. We have seen more strange things.
QUESTION: In hindsight, considering how positions have hardened over the years in regards one country’s opinion of another and the premature demise of CTRL, do you believe this game really has it in it to produce an entirely fresh spate of alliances that bear little to minor resemblance to EDEN, ONE, etc.?
mikel_ahone - I don’t think so. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that it’s very difficult to create such a World structure. Anyways, let see what happen in the future.
K0stek - It will be really hard to achieve. Imho all alliances have to be rebuild to achieve that not only ONE. EDEN also has to collapse. Then we can really talk about mixing members of them. Imho people have to understand that friendship is above MPPs and fighting against some country in a GAME doesn't mean that you can't be friends. I know many guys from "other side" and for me it's not a problem that we fight for different countries.
Coolinbun - Every change about alliances is good for the game. Game start to be boring if we have again, and again and again same wars. But, in other hand, during the time, people make connections with eachother, and that friendships cannot be broken that easily. We will see what future will bring to us, but I dont expect, for example, USA and Serbia in same alliance, or Hungary and Romania... or Poland and Croatia. Some things must stay unchanged
AThompson - The basic breaking points until now have been always the same Croatia-Serbia, Hungary-Romania, but if you check the status now you can see Bulgaria and Macedonia forming an alliance, Poland and Russia having MPPs. Back in 2010 Bulgaria left Phoenix and joined EDEN because of Macedonia. Everything is changing, and everything is changeable.
Keers - In truth: no. I think there’s no chance. The end of PHX brought personal bilateral relationships to the fore. So we saw Cro-Ro, SPoland, SerHun, BRUSA and so on appearing as more important than before. The interrelation here (for example, SerHun and Poland-Hungary and SPoland or UK-Poland) means that the alliances will always be held together by these linked bilateral relations.
QUESTION: What do you think former ONE countries should be looking for with TWO?
coolinbuns - Well, Serbia should look just for fair game. We cannot expect more, nor less then others countries in alliance. Rules must be same for all countries in the alliance. IF we all stick on that rules, there is no problem.
AThompson -I’m not too active, so I’m not in the knowledge ot people’s demands. Admins could help a lot giving the community more fun with air strike. That was a really good idea. Answering the question : partners. If they could have fun stick with them, if they are only together because they were together for a year they should break apart and find others. It’s a game.
K0stek - I would also like to see there Brasilians (they are really nice guys + let's be honest we need some allies from different time zone) and Russians (but this will be really hard to achieve :F).
Keers - We’ve [UK] always maintained strong links with the exONE and CoT countries and any alliance we joined would include them. Alliances give the UK the opportunity to be represented above our normal level, so really we’d want to be in an alliance for that reason. We’re not too fussy about how it’s organised.
mikel_ahone - I don’t know exactly what should we do, maybe we have to try to put end to this game once and for all : D Anyways, I consider that we should be together no matter what the future brings us.
rhual - As we may have seen in the eHistory, a super power is not left without an alliance for long. And it is not allowed to do this question in haste. Founding or joining into an alliance just to be in one is nonsense. In my opinion, must form an alliance officially, if everything is created, discussed and cleared up in the background precisely, for do not let make these problems in the initial times, neither later, for understand the other one and let everyone feel well. If a “sudden” alliance is formed without these, that may generate problematic period from the beginning.
All in all, my answer is: they will found an alliance sooner or later (found, not join, because a so big country as Poland won’t join into a created alliance but would like to feel like it being their own child). But only the Polish citizens know what is the best for them.
QUESTION: ‘TWO’ – on the surface at least – seems very similar to ONE, do you know whether its long-term military and economic objectives will be similar to ONE’s: to dominate the New World and chase bonuses?
Keers - The way the admins have made the game, this is the only goal for alliances. Structurally there’s a lot of room for improvement. ONE was a good idea, made by good diplomats. But I feel the charter was weak and poorly construed. My main worry for TWO is if certain people become “entrenched” in IRC or charters as founders, emeritus or whatever. This was what caused a power struggle in ONE. For example, Person A from Serbia founds TWO and gets permanent status... but wait he’s hated by half the country, and next month they win the Presidency and demand his removal. What then? It makes more sense to invest power with countries, not individuals.
AThompson - I don’t know anything about it, but since it is going to have the same people running it in 2 months who ran ONE, it is going to be the same. J
mikel_ahone - I hope [..] it will operate as ONE did during its first months of life.
Keers - I think what’s clear right now is that the TWO alliance will (or should have) tiered membership. I explain why in a previous article, here. Personally I am happy to have Brazil as a partner, but not as a member of the alliance. I might be wrong, but I thinkt’s another CTRL-Factor, where the SRB-PL-HU-SP group have little common goals with Brazil, and it’s just grasping for damage. Being embroiled in 3 way wars in South America serves no advantage to the other members. Russia would be fine, provided you can sort out differences with Poland. Other than that, I guess Slovenia and the UK are both countries which would be eligible for tier 2 membership with certain voting rights and representation but without founder status.
AThompson - I’m not involved in politics, but sooner or later Slovenia for example will have to chose. This way it is really going to be just the ONE after ONE, nothing else, nothing new. Today I saw that Hungary and others were upset about Russia, so it can be that they will leave, maybe sign MPPs with USA or something like that or maybe won’t. If TWO is going to invite more countries, like Brazil or the USA it will be fun for 2 months, but it will kill the game after that, like ONE.
QUESTION: Do you believe CoT could ever have been a genuine 3rd force?
Coolinbuns - For me, CoT is good idea, [..] as long as they are proexONE.
AThompson - CoT would need a lot more than just a few other countries in it. For example it lacks a leadership, which can actually lead more than a military unit. The Greek war was a great occasion, and it came out that they are not organized and not really respectful about others, also they are not really cooperating. If the war is going to last more it can forge Bulgaria and Macedonia together and form an alliance core, if not it won’t be something really strong. If there is an alliance core, after that it is not a stupid thing to start invite other countries, if there is not it is going to be another Panam/TERRA.
Keers - I think this is unlikely, since CoT has the same enemies as ONE in South America, South East Europe and elsewhere. Adding the likes of France and Germany would just benefit EDEN. I mean if EDEN attacked CoT, it’s likely ONE would offer help to CoT just to screw EDEN, and so on. So it’s always going to be bipolar.
Mikel_ahone - Again it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen. But for the sake of our fun I hope they achieve their objective of being a genuine 3rd force. Anyways, you know I’m sceptical about this issue.
A LAST QUESTION: What would your idea be of a dream alliance, how many countries would it feature, and who would they be?
AThompson - I’ve never been thinking on this, it can be a Ro/Hun/Cro/Ser/Pol/Spa big six, or something smaller. In 2010-2011 I enjoyed cooperation with Serbia the most, at a point we were considering to merge two countries. J
Coolinbun - Serbia, Hungary and Poland. That is enough for me
🙂Although I like Slovenia and UK too much
NFM - But not Spain...?
Coolinbuns - You ask me for "dream alliance", and my answer is just my wish. Of course, Spain is always in combination for alliance with us. I answer you according to my wish, not to reality
mikel_ahone - An alliance between Spoland, Argentina, Turkey and Cromania should be amazing. It would last few days (even hours), but for sure they will be the funniest days in the game. Who will backstab who first? Any bet is accepted : D
Keers - http://wiki.erepublik.com/index.php/PEACE
Thanks again to everyone who took the time out to complete the interviews, much appreciated o/