Today I’m writing to you about the recent battle in Poland, the loss of 10/10 bonuses and the political consequences of the battle. I also want to talk about the relationship between Romania and Poland and where it can go from here. These are two topics which are both sensitive and somewhat entwined, so I expect a lively response in the comments. Just try and keep it civil please.
To begin, what exactly happened? In short, the jugular vein of Poland, Saxony, was cut. This means that all Poland’s non-native bonuses are no longer linked to the capital in Mazuria and Poland has lost it’s 10/10 bonus for the first time in a long while. Militarily, the act isn’t enormously significant. Poland knew that having just 1 link between it’s German and native regions was risky, and has explored several backups through history. They are obviously angry that it’s been cut, but it’s not the end of the world, and they’ll easily re-establish control.
If that’s the case, then why does it feel like such a victory? The real reason for the battle is political. A last hurrah for EDEN, tweaking the nose of Poland, was irresistible to some, including several senior Romanian citizens. The presence of high ranking Romanians on the battlefield fighting against Poland so soon after the MPP was signed has raised hell amongst the Polish people and their congress. A better way to break up this fledgeling friendship couldn’t have been imagined.
Poland and Romania are somewhat hostile ingame anyway- the disagreements of old were one of the primary motivators for them leaving EDEN and forming ONE. They’ve fought one another several times since then and there’s no love lost on either side. However much both sides leadership want to try to finish that enmity and start afresh, there are always going to be teething problems. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and old enemies don’t become friends overnight.
A similar situation (ironically) occured when Poland left EDEN long ago. Many Poles, including some MUs, refused to accept the change and fight for ONE. It was a problem which was slowly overcome over time, as players made new friendships and fought alongside one another on the battlefield. There were incidents of Poles fighting Serbs on the battlefield well into the formation of ONE, out of loyalty to their Croatian brothers. Such loyalty is something which objectively I can admire.
These groups of dissidents are being exploited by certain high ranking world figures in order to attempt to divide Poland and Romania. They see the growing alignment of Romania with TWO as a massive threat to them, and it is. In fact it’s as big a threat to the world as the unification of Serbia and Poland over a year ago. Not just because Romania is a powerful country in its own right, but it’s acceptance into TWO’s ranks would be a signal to other EDEN countries that the possibility of TWO membership is not barred to them.
For this reason, certain people would do anything to prevent it from happening. Slander, blackmail, released logs, backroom deals- they will use any tool they can. However their greatest tool is to use these angry citizens as a living weapon. Their presence on the battleground probably wasn’t the deciding factor, but it was the most visible one. Thousands of Poles saw their 10/10 bonus taken by Romanians, and that is exactly what the point of the whole exercise was.
But these people represent a tiny minority of the country. How many Romanians fought FOR Poland, unannounced, unheralded, simply damage slowly ticking up. How many are keen to put the past behind them and start again? A majority of congress, for sure. The President, for sure. I believe a majority of ordinary citizens in both Romania and Poland see the potential to make something great, something new between them, and to show at the same time that old enemies can be new friends.
These sort of events are turning points on which the future of the game rests. It could be the pivot which swings public opinion away from a Romania-TWO alliance, as each side descends to bitter recriminations, blame and trolling. But why should the actions of a tiny few decide the foreign policy of tens of thousands of players? Does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog?
A pivot swings two ways, and we could just as easily take this and build on it. Nobody thought that an alliance would spring full grown from the ground. Romania can help Poland regain their bonus. They can show that the minority does not rule the majority. Wars are fought in the heart as much as on the battlefield. We already have a massive advantage on the field, but the battle for the soul of TWO is far from over. So let’s take this moment, and turn toward greater unity and cooperation.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.
Ps for those of you international readers who missed it, here is a Romanian viewpoint.
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