Five years into eRepublik, and almost four years into my own game, I decided to do a little retrospective article. Over the past four years of the game we’ve seen many highs and lows. We saw the anticipation of V2, the anticlimax of V2. We saw epic battles, the gradual monetization of the game from a player-driven to a profit driven one, the coming of the super tanks, Q6, Q7, Q8 (?). Lots of changes, but the biggest changes have been to our communities.
When I started in late 2008, the game world was a different place. Without big booms from the “real” world most countries were recruited from just a few sources. Powerful groups of forum users dominated the world superpowers in Sweden and Pakistan. In the UK a few rival groups from different forums vied for power, the same in the USA. Around the world institutions such as banks, national armies and corporations were only just spreading their wings, and gold buyers were few and far between.
As time went on the community evolved and improved. We gained thousands of members in historic baby booms- countries like Serbia and Macedonia were added (imagine a world without those two!) and big countries like Poland exploded under the weight of the game opening up to the public. Alliances, originally formed between a few individuals, struggled to cope with the new numbers. PEACE GC ballooned under a weight of new members, and ATLANTIS collapsed under the same pressure. We saw the USA invaded successfully for the first time, and we saw PEACE become an aggressive alliance, and collapse for the first time. There were many more times, under many more names, to come.
In my time in the game I became rich, gave it all away, became rich again, gave it all away again. I watched my country move from a fairly insignificant power in North Europe to what it is today- a soft power almost unmatched amongst countries our size. Our diplomatic efforts allowed us to take part in many great alliances. I watched players join the game, fight the government, mature, become the government and struggle as they themselves were challenged. A lot of people attacked me a lot of times, but that’s ok.
Max McFarland started buying gold for real money. He spent a whopping $1000 in a month once, making him the biggest gold buyer in the world. Nowadays that would barely get him into the top 10. His donations to the USA, and his tanking in their battles, changed the face of warfare. As Phoenix was born, and grew, the number of gold buyers grew and grew. Classical tanks like Battalgazi and Euphonix, supplied by governments, became obsolete as a new wave of self-propelled tanks came through. The first accounts exchanged hands for real money, as the importance of a high strength account became apparent.
We saw epic battles for control of resources in Asia. We saw giant land bridges across Russia, the Middle East and Canada. The UK conquered regions in China! Phoenix matured into a strong, enduring alliance that paved the way for ONE and the future alliances that will succeed it. We saw Russia conquered, then freed, then conquered again. Romania breaking out in one last show of the terrifying power it held in early v1. Serbia maturing from a country barely making as much income as the UK to a country making over 1000 gold a day in tax. Hungary rising, and never quite falling, and replacing Indonesia as the heart of Phoenix.
We saw our health allowance go from 50 a day, to 100, to 300, to 600, to 2400. We saw half the products in the game removed, and the other half simplified. Goodbye diamonds, wood, oil and iron. Hello Weapon Raw Material. Tanks got cheaper and cheaper and became worthless. We had the first global economic crisis, where the income of countries dropped to a tenth of their pre-crisis amount and wages downspiralled for the first time. We saw the economic failure of V2, the continued collapse of the market, the introduction of an admin created market bot. We saw denials that bots existed, and the eventual suspicion that bots might be interfering in battles as well as markets. We saw aliens, but they left, and didn’t leave us technology, secrets or improvements, just more collapsed economies.
We saw gold fall from 30 currency, to 50, to a hundred, all the way to two thousand. We saw it inexplicably begin to rise, as aliens returned in secret. We saw gold offers appear for the first time, then company offers (and Q6) then offers for everything. We saw bazookas appear, and pay-to-train, then pay-to-train-more, then pay-to-train-even-more-we-won’t-do-this-again-promise. We saw lots of broken promises. We saw the end of eRepublik Insider, the introduction of missions, the introduction of Work As Manager, the collapse of the economy (again).
We saw all of this, but I forget the order.
We saw a beginning of something good, but what we experienced was the beginning of something terrible. Early expectations about the economic and political simulation game weren’t borne out, but the community somehow held everything together and made it worth it. We saw great players join, grow old, die and return again in glory. We saw many that didn’t return, but managed to escape the trap (though not many). Time and again we waited for that update (you know, the one where they hire a systems specialist to design the economy module anew). We waited for political changes, wrote about them, begged for them. Instead we got titles with no actual powers. A few extra pictures and a nice badge for the guy who spent the average wage of his country on tanking each year.
Yet we kept playing, we keep playing. We’ve abandoned the game itself- it’s junk. We made our own metagame, our community game. It wasn’t about the game itself anymore, it was about the people in it. Our competitions, our fights, our friendships. We took something awful, snubbed our noses at the admins, and we made something good. They took orgs away, donation lists, every tool the community used to involve and excite new players. But we still played, despite their best efforts. We bought gold, we stopped buying gold. We fought and stopped fighting. We even declared Plato our natural enemy, banned him, wrote a thousand articles mocking him, denouncing him. He put a little hat on his logo and patted himself on the back.
We did we did, because we could.
So happy birthday to eRepublik, to you and to me. We’ve made a game we all enjoy out of one none of us do. We still have a long way to go, and many fights to fight, and many battles to be won and lost. But remember that whatever you think, or experience, that it is a game. And that it is the community that holds it all together, makes it special. No matter how angry you get, we’re all part of what makes this game great, and so today raise your glasses to us, the players, and give Plato his piece of coal. He can sit in the naughty corner with his dunce hat for the day whilst we celebrate what’s truly great about eRepublik
Cheers, Sláinte, L’Chaim!
Ps. Many thanks too to the hard working game moderator team!
PPs. Alfragrem, can you please leave TUP? Sitting in the party in the hope the PP will resign and you will become PP is a pretty low tactic. Thanks.
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.