There are not many better ways to start writing newspapers again than having an interview with one of your best eFriends. When that same person is a well known leader, Commander, Minister, President and Dictator then it gets even better. Will it be too much if I say he’s also both eIrish and RL Irish, one of the first people I’ve met back then in 2010. when I first arrived to Eire.
We’ve made a nice and juicy interview y’all gonna enjoy. If it seems too long, trust me, this guy can talk much, MUCH more than he did today. He is Slua and this is his story.
Q1) What's the craic Slua? Let's start this interview by those most dull questions and we'll get more spicy later. Can you tell us who is Slua in real life, what he does and how the hell he got into this game?
In real life I'm nothing more than a 23 year old student in my final year of college studying business. I found eRepublik 10 years ago when I was searching for a new browser strategy game. At the time I joined, eIreland was in the process of taking Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom. The Irish Republican in me couldn't turn down the possibility of uniting my nation. Building on this, the community and activity amongst my countrymen was phenomenal in comparison to other strategy games I had played. eRepublik really was something unique.
Q2) You've been in charge of eIreland for a long, long time. It must be over 5 years now that you're holding a position in the Government and doing your best for eIreland. Can you compare Ireland today with Ireland through the past? Are you an optimist?
In terms of military strength, eIreland is in one of the best positions it has been in years. Taking advantage of the great work done by the Plato Foundation, we have rebuilt one of the most recognized military units in the eWorld. Only a few days ago we ranked seventh in the eWorld for kills on that given day - not many nations of our size can say they have a military unit of such calibre. The greatest thing about our military is that we are people, 100% human. We have weekly strikes which are successful and we’re currently looking into making them more frequent. Our army is active and there really is nothing more heart-warming in this game then to see a battlefield fill up with our soldiers, gathered together on Discord, fighting in unison.
There is more to this game than military despite it being the most prominent feature. Community for me is everything and thankfully, eIreland is a country that values it too. Our community is heading back towards Version 1 standards while most other countries heads the other direction. We have a Ministry of Community currently run by Clorofila and MeDs that have been spectacular this month in adding a bit more to this game for eIrish and all eCitizens alike. We have a political enthusiast Mike Bane whose political manifestos are always a good read and we have the gem of which is Aimeisan who provides us with weekly reports into foreign affairs as well as updates in his Irish Aviation Program and Aviation Exchange program. There are people here like Hale Kane who runs random giveaways to all Irish citizens for just commenting on a specific thread and then we’ve Kevin Sheridan, our current President who has made the Irish Army an efficient war machine. Together every person we have in eIreland is selfless and devoted to helping one another regardless of military strength and for me in this stage of the game it is beautiful to see. Without a doubt, eIreland is the best community in the game, we are the best country in the game and nothing will take that away while we all play for each other.
Q3) Ireland is known as a loyal country, with a small group of players, how do you keep the community motivated? It must be hard to cope with the big dogs while you only have a few players ready to hit any time. Considering all of that, would ya say Ireland is often hitting above its limits?
Ireland certainly hits above her limits, but I feel we haven’t reached our limits at any stage yet. We’re constantly building on our resources and preparing for every threat. We’ve seen countless times on our strikes that we can be a pain in the side of Asteria. We toyed with Romania’s Training War in North Korea, we’ve brought out both Chinese and Polish bots in various campaigns and we’ve made Asterian nations spend thousands of currency to counter our disruptions to their Training Wars. We pack a punch and we have our fun doing it. We can’t win every war but at the end of the day, we’re putting ourselves in harms way but at the end of the day. What else are we playing for? I’m not here to farm gold and spend it all fighting another countries war. Ireland is only getting started in her crusade against the “system”.
Q4) Last question on Ireland before we go global. What are the upcoming general plans? Is there any bigger goal you're aiming to reach as a community?
Our plans for now are to continue building our community. I personally had a goal to get 100 members into the Irish Army by Christmas but ideally, I’d prefer 100 Irish citizens. With the launch of the eRepublik mobile application, I think we as a community will need to start preparing ourselves for a potential influx of new citizens. eRepublik Labs have a massive following in their other games, they’ve proven to be highly competent in mobile games, while we may doubt it here, look at the awards and figures they’ve received in all their other developments. Let’s hope we can see a bit of that magic here. In saying that, I will stand by the same principle I’ve operated on since I made a return to eIreland in July – Take small steps in the right direction and make sure you don’t take big steps in the wrong one.
Q5) The game is very old by now, there's been loads of alliances and friendships as well as feuds. After all these years, who are your best allies? Who do you see as a perfect ally? Is there anyone from 'the other side' you're a fond of?
Our best ally is without a doubt Croatia. We’ve been their ally for as long as I can remember. People often would make comments about Ireland being PTO’d by Croatia due to the strength of our loyalty to them yet if they actually looked at our people, we’ve an incredibly diverse population. There are plenty of good allies out there to us though. We share a great friendship with Hungary, Mexico, Chile and South Korea for quite a while. Until recently we were actively in a Training War with Greece with whom our friendship strengthened to a new level due to our cooperation and coordination. We’ve found ourselves finding a great friend in Egypt with whom we helped organise their Mexican Training War. Our connections with the USA are strong despite differences in the past. eIreland is a country that has an open door – if you want to talk, we’ll buy the first round of beer if you get the second. In returning to the perfect ally question, I can’t answer that as I honestly only know friends.
As for nations on the other side I’m fond of, France. The damage I have seen them give their allies in various campaigns is incredible. Russia, in the air round of Finland v Turkey recently, the amount of damage they put down for their ally was phenomenal. Time and time again it’s the smaller to medium countries going above and beyond for their allies all while they themselves have little to no national glory. It’s this sort of stuff that I value and both France and Russia have it.
Q6) As a leader of a small country in the big country's world what are the biggest challenges you're facing? Is there a huge difference running a small country on a diplomatic battlefield?
The biggest problem is finding a war, something to fight for that isn’t an ally. When we launched our North Korea campaign, it was on the back of nearly a month scouting for a war. Everywhere was in a Training War, 80% of the eWorld was actively engaged with Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bulgaria. There was simply nowhere for us to go for a fair fight. To only add fuel to this dilemma, the stronger nations are all occupied fighting one other and can’t provide the right amount of support to the smaller nations. Our lack of war breeds inactivity and can only kill off small nations. This is the real problem for small nations.
Q7) Ireland has been a member of EDEN, Aurora and nowadays it's grouped with Anti-Asteria countries, a group which haven't been discussing founding of an alliance for some reasons. What's your opinion on it? Should Anti Asteria make things more formal and organized?
Now isn’t the right time to establish an alliance. There are too many minor issues for us to be able to really behave as an alliance. That’s something that is interesting about our side that really resembles a family. We argue with one another but no matter what we have each other’s backs and are ready to fight to protect one another. In the meantime, we just need to grow up and realize that there is a bigger picture to this game.
Q8) I remember you well running Aurora as its Supreme Commander. What was that experience like? Did you enjoy your role? What are the pros and what are the cons of having an organized alliance watching your backs? Did you enjoy fighting for your allies more back then or nowadays?
It has been so long since those days I honestly couldn’t tell you which countries were in Aurora. There have been so many different alliances since the days of EDEN and Circle of Trust I can’t tell whose who. Funnily enough I did enjoy the role even though I feel at the time I don’t think I was as capable as I am now. Alliances should be about brotherhood, respect and loyalty. Alliances need to be able to value their members as much as they value their own nations. That’s another reason why I don’t think anti-Asteria is ready for an alliance. There are no cons to having allies watch your back, there are only positives which are pretty self-explanatory.
I certainly enjoy fighting for my allies more right now. Many of the people I fight with be they from Egypt, Greece, Croatia or Ireland, they are the same faces with whom I always fight beside. They are the faces I talk with. They are the faces of people who have really become friends over the past while and that is what I fight for. I no longer fight out of allegiance to an alliance but I fight for my friends accomplishments.
Q9) What's your opinion on Asteria? How do they survive for such a long time?
I honestly don’t know and looking at it you wonder why it has. Do I think Asteria is an alliance or a power structure. Probably a power structure.
Without being involved in the alliance I have a few observations which of course can be wrong. There is China and Slovenia, who are both renowned for their bot armies and they have been for years. They’ve existed long before Colins bots or any other nations bot armies at the levels we see these days. These two countries can be deemed necessary for that ability to just turn on the damage. Then we have Peru. There have been so many campaigns in the current wars where I have not seen a Peruvian flag on the battlefield. We can then look at the domination aspect of Asteria and we only see their glory come in the form of Romania and Serbia as well as their allies Bulgaria and Macedonia. Other than that, the likes of Iran, Portugal and Lithuania just are not seeing the real benefits of being the most dominant alliance that the game has ever seen besides being on the map. While I do admit there is comradery in Asteria, I do question whether it is out of love for friends or is it out dislike of other options.
Q10) Ireland has been in a great relations with Bulgaria, Macedonia and few more who are now on the 'other side'. Would you keep those doors open for a change? Would you like to have them as your allies again if the chance happens?
I’d love to have them as my allies again. Some of the best friends I have made in this game were from those two countries but a few egotistical leaders from one decided to terminate our friendship. While those people remain influential in those countries, I don’t think we will be able to work together. It is no hidden secret that there is a sect in Bulgaria who want nothing more than to hit Ireland hard. I’ll keep my distance as Ireland never did Bulgaria or Macedonia any wrong. Bulgaria told us to do as we were told, or they would declare war on us and we would be wiped. They sacrificed our friendship as we turned down their request of a Training War. Those same people are still in government, they still hate us. How can I work with that.
Q11) Let's not make this too long if its not too late for that. What are your personal plans for the future weeks?
Focus on college and count down the days until my girlfriend comes home as I will not have seen her for 3 months. eRepublik can wait
Q12) Is there anything you'd like to say on the game's development, there's always been unhappy players, but yet, the game survived and it actually seems to be that it gets better. What is there to change?
I have so many suggestions of improvements I could write several articles. Many of which don’t even require any big overhaul but just add more to the current gameplay. However if there was one thing I’d want, it’s the removal of bots and the removal of the likes of the CB script that auto-fights in epics or for CO. Have a human behind every account and all their actions. Make the game fair in just even that one sense.
Q13) To end an interview..is there anything you'd like to add? Also, who would you recommend for the next one I'll be doing?
If any small nations want to link up for some competitions, hit me up. Netherlands and Estonia have both turned me down.
For your next interview I’d definitely recommend doing one with Drawback. He's a good ally and a great friend and I'd love to be able to read about the internal issues that are plaguing Greece.
That'd be all from Slua for today.
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I'm going for that Media Mogul thing!