EI December 2007

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1st of January General Elections

Dear Citizens,

The first day of the year brings the national elections in Erepublik, you get to vote for who amongst all citizens will be your country's President and your country's Congressmen for the next month. Citizens will have to choose between the top 5 parties (considering the number of members in each party) from their countries. The Country President will be chosen between the Presidents of those 5 parties. So if you want to directly influence the politics in your country, don't forget on the first day of 2008 to vote. We will be trying to nurse our very probable hangover's replacing the UN for the monitoring of the elections to ensure they are fair and straight.

Meanwhile we have an extra reason to celebrate this night: 10.000 Citizens are living in Erepublik.

We wish you all a great 2008.

The Erepublik team

Detectives on Christmas Day

Dear Citizens,

Some Citizens reported to us possible big frauds against Sweden and Israel. As a result, on Christmas Day we started to play detectives and searched where the SEK and the gold had gone. So what we've done for Christmas is: - We gave back its gold to Israel; - We banned the Citizens that were stealing the money. - We took the SEK from the companies that were funded by those Citizens.

We can say that we've brought to normal the Swedish and Israel economies not bad for a holiday! The "funny" part is that we had to travel to Australia and Pakistan to get the money back (and give the bans). Good thing we only fly first class in the Erepublik world.

A big thanks to all the citizens that reported the incidents and helped us solve them and a quick reminder to those that may be tempted in no respecting the 10 laws of Erepublik: http://erepublik.com/infobox.html

If you find a flaw that allows one to cheat or steal, please report it to us because if you don't and abuse it, not only will you be found out and banned, you also make us waste valuable time that can be used to improve Erepublik (or in this particular day get some rest).


+10 wellness Going back to happy thoughts and Christmas Spirit, it seems like yesterday every Citizen received +10 wellness points as a Christmas present :o)

We hope you are having fun these holidays.

Merry Christmas to all Citizens, from the Erepublik team.

Important NEWS from the Team

Dear Citizens,

Erepublik.com is now 1 month old.

God created the world in 7 days (we read that somewhere) but its clear that the admin is no God and that we still have tons to do to make Erepublik.com a great new world.

Luckily we are not alone, there are now close to 7500 Erepublik citizens and your feedback as well as your imagination and suggestions are absolutely amazing and really helping us in terms of what we need to do to improve the Erepublik experience.

So a big thanks to all of you from the admin team.

Holidays: This last month of sleepless nights and week ends in the office and the previous 9 months that it took to get to beta have been very intense. So we will be taking a breather from now to early Jan 2008.

This doesn't mean we are all going to Aruba to drink Margaritas (although I think one of us is actually) but it does mean that since a few of us will be on vacation on a rotating basis we won't be bringing major improvements to the Erepublik world over that period and might be a little slower than usual in answering direct messages to the admin.

What we will be doing other than trying to relax is: - One of us will be on 24 hours call to make sure the servers are ok and you can continue to enjoy Erepublik - Fixing major bugs only that may appear and seriously impair gameplay - Concentrating on our own citizens (we each have one citizen) and enjoying the Erepublik experience - Limiting invites a little more to make sure servers run smoothly (the good news there is that we are preparing a major server upgrade in Jan and will be able to let a lot of new citizens in then)

If during your holidays you would like your citizen to relax as well don't forget you can buy him a ticket to join our team member in Aruba by going to: http://www.erepublik.com/holiday.html and clicking on "Go on holidays"

After looking at all your feedback we have also decided to make the following changes:

Technological advances in productivity It is easier now to produce weapons, houses and hospitals. Here is the new production cost for those items: - Weapons - production needed to create one: 20; brought to 10 - Houses - production needed to create one: 500; brought to 200 - Hospitals - production needed to create one: 5000; brought to 2000 Because of this advances we are expecting a drop in the cost of creation for these products.

Local Elections results: Following a participation of 35% on average (varies from country to country) in the local Elections; we have now in place 181 Mayors.

After setting up the monthly taxes that companies have to pay they will have to use their funds to buy improvements for their regions. For the beginning only hospitals can be bought. Having a hospital in your region will give to every Citizen in that region extra wellness when consuming food.

This is it from us, have a great day and thank you again for being a part of this new world.

The Erepublik team

Ps: Some stats for the first month of existence, for those of you who are interested. There are now over 7500 citizens and 10,000 daily visits to the Erepublik world, each visit lasts an average of 14.48 minutes, 2.8 million page views have been generated and 30% of visits are from new comers.

There are now over 2000 people waiting for an invite and this is growing by 300 to 500 per day and we have on average about 500 new citizens joining every day.

Over 600 companies where founded in 43 different countries and 111 political parties. The Media also has been very active, hundreds of newspapers have been founded and some like El Pais in Spain http://www.erepublik.com/company-313.html are already very influential in their country (El Pais had over 1000 reads and hundreds of comments).

Local elections today

Local elections are taking place in Erepublik. The candidates proposed by Party Presidents have the chance to become mayors and administrate the regional budgets. More than 2000 Citizens voted already until 16:00 GMT. We are waiting everybody to place their votes.

Price fixing

Dear Citizens

In the Romanian food market it seems like a price fixing agreement was set up on the 19th of December 2007, day 29 of the new world. All the companies are selling the food at the same price: 7.35 RON.

Who gains from this? - As the price of food increased, the employees asked for bigger salaries (already today we saw that in some of these companies salaries increased by 100%), this brings inflation and a weaker RON compared to other currencies; - The companies that have low costs and work in a efficient way have the same sales as inefficient companies. - The companies that produce quality 2 products (quality 2 food brings +2 wellness when consumed) sell the products at the same price as quality 1 products. You can find a print screen and a call to strike here: http://www.erepublik.com/article-3373.html

So will Romania gain or loose from this situation? We think we know, what is your opinion?

On another note we were in the news again today in France and Romania. You can go to the blog if you want to check it out: www.erepublik.com/blog

The Erepublik team

Need more GOLD?

Today we gave to the Citizens that used all their invitations 3 more invitations to send to friends. Careful you only get the 5 GOLD for each invite if your friend actually uses your invite to join Erepublik, we also recommend you invite someone that will collaborate with you so use it wisely.

Also we invited 400 new Citizens from the waiting list to start their lives in Erepublik today. So maybe it's a good time start a company or hire more Citizens.


Easier to hire And the good news on hiring new citizens is that we have just made it easier to do so, a manager can now "Propose a job" to another Citizen from the same country right from the Citizen's profile page (the link is under the profile photo).


New Header We made some small modifications to the header to make it easier for citizens to check their wellness level and the new Alerts received. Some of you might have seen broken designs on your browser, this is due to the cache - the solution is to refresh the page (F5) and everything will be OK.


Adviser We have also made a small change to our adviser Plato, replacing the several daily tasks tips with a single one that takes you to a separate daily tasks page. There you can see tips on the main things you can and should do today to develop your citizen and country. This new format considerably reduces the queries to our database but we are not sure it's the ideal solution so we will be tweaking that one and feedback is welcome.

Other way to get GOLD Some presidents such as Aliatar in Spain or Alexis Bonte in France (disclosure: Alexis is one of the co-founders of Erepublik) have decided to put some of their country GOLD reserves in the local money exchange at lower costs that the actual value of gold vs the local currency. They have done this to help local entrepreneurs mainly (tip this is also good for exporters). An interesting initiative none the less and it will be interesting to see what will be the economic impact of that. In any case the initiative seems to have found interest in Spain where the 100 GOLD where taken up within a few minutes

High unemployment rate

As more Citizens are born in Erepublik the Economies are starting to face more problems. High unemployment rate is one of the big issues that we've spoted in some countries. Posible causes could be that: a) there is little demand for products. Possible solutions: - how the products are used: even if will be used just when wars will start, weapons are cheaper in time of peace and a good stock will help the future soldiers win their fights; houses now offer extra wellness; - Hospitals are too expensive - Presidents or Mayors can make agreements with the Hospital industry companies to give them in advance a part of the money for the Hospitals. - Presidents can create institutions that are representing the State and buy food or weapons to use them in times of need (war, famine, etc). Kaleb came up with this interesting idea: http://www.erepublik.com/profile-4549.html Here we will think of ways to help implementing it as now it is quite hard to do that. b) General Managers are inactive. Possible solutions: - A National Bank system created by the President that will give loans to potential good managers. Still, the loans should be given carefully as there is a big need also for employees in the economy. Korbin King created for US such a bank: http://www.erepublik.com/forum-topic-777.html - existing managers that aren't very active could decide to sell their companies (a more idealistic solution).

To help the free market we implemented in the Forum a legal area where people can make their agreements official: http://www.erepublik.com/forum-Contracts-66.html Some of our Citizens also reported us that the tax donations are creating problems for the Banking system. We decided to take out the tax on the Gold donated.

PS: Today we want to resolve the Alerts problem so that Citizens can see when they have new alerts.

First National Bank

The President of United States - Korbin King, trying to find a solution to lower the unemployement rate in US, came up creating the first bank in Erepublik. Federal Reserve Bank will be a tool that the US administration will use to support the economy by giving loans to the Citizens that want to launch start-ups in Erepublik. You can find more details here: http://www.erepublik.com/article-2337.html

The Gift Industry was launched. It is based on the same rules as the other industries. The cost of production for a gift is 2 productivity (twice the cost of food) while the benefit is that the person who buys the gift will be able to give it to a friend who will receive an extra wellness value equal to the quality of the gift.

Other changes that we've applied: - the Message Inbox was split between alerts and messages. - there are now taxes on donations - received by the country of the Citizen that receives the donations (if the donation is in a national currency) or by Erepublik (if the donation is in Gold). The tax value is equal to the medium income tax of the receiver's Country.

Local elections candidates

Thursday, the 20th of December, will be the first Local Elections in Erepublik. Party Presidents will have to start discussions with their members and to nominate a list of candidates that will participate at the elections. The winners will administrate regional budgets, buying hospitals and setting the company monthly taxes.

You have new invitations

All the Citizens that run out of invitations have received 3 more invitations. So you can get more friends into the game and win 5 gold for each one of them.

Getting back to the normal life of Erepublik

Great news today: we've been selected to be in the top 5 finalists of Le Web 3 – Start Up contest. We've made also an announcement on the blog here: http://www.erepublik.com/blog/?p=20

Meanwhile, Erepublik life it's getting back to it's normal course. We started today to send invitations to part of the people that are waiting to enter Erepublik. Also we are thinking on giving more invitations to the Citizens that consumed their invitations.

This week we will implement a new industry. It's a surprise.

Here are the things we also resolved in the meantime: - new article update link was broken on friends updates and email notifications; - on the "Report a bug" page Plato was appearing twice, we considered that he is not so good looking to deserve this, so we fixed the bug; - small security improvements and a few Citizens banned for racist comments; - accessing an article page or a party page that doesn't exist, you are now redirected to the homepage; - new articles and new profiles pictures bug fixed (pictures were mixed up between new articles or new profiles); - when Citizens logout there was a problem with the redirection and sometime they remained stuck in a constant refreshing page; - special characters were looking horrible, now French and Spanish articles are looking better; - when accessing some pages your default currency was changing; - resending invitations to some Citizens that were registered during the rollback and apologizing for the problems created.

As we've stated also in other places: rollbacks will be from now on the last, extreme option that we will take. We hate them as much as you do. So let's continue building Erepublik together.

Party Elections and modules again available

Today all the party members in Erepublik have voted their Presidents. If you didn't placed your vote yet there are still few hours time to do that. |||Also we made available again the modules that we're not available during the weekend: - create article - hire employees - friend requests - monetary market

Other problems resolved: - Vote for party elections warning - to appear correct in every situation (if you are a party member, if you already voted, etc) - when a Mayor change the Monthly Company Tax the newspaper owners should receive an warning; - forgot password page is available - article pictures we're messed up in the last days - fixed - request friend page - to appear the name of the person that you want to be friend with, not yours - Congressmen list pagination

Modules temporary disabled

For security reasons we disabled the Monetary Market, Write article and Donations modules.|||Every Citizen that used those modules to get undeserved benefits has received a fine and was banned. We will work on Monday to make available again the modules secure.

Help us building Erepublik

Many Citizens are testing our website for vulnerabilities. With such a complex structure as the Erepublik website, it is relatively easy to find ways to break the rules. |||Some Citizens are using those vulnerabilities instead of reporting them. This has the following consequences: - we are losing time: instead of focusing on developing, debugging and security, we have to play detectives on their actions; - those Citizens are losing time: sooner or later, we'll find those illegal actions, apply fines and, even if we don't like that, ban them; - other Citizens get frustrated; - new modules are delayed; - nobody wins. We appreciate the help that we received from the Citizens that reported us vulnerabilities, bugs or even just simple feedback.

We are back in the game

On the 5th of December some Citizens started to steal Gold from other Citizens using a security breach in the code. Because of the project complexity and because we've found out other security weak points, we've realized that it will take some time for us to fix those problems. |||So all these days we focused on the security issues. At the moment we have a stable version but we will constantly keep an eye in this area. Because of the changes that we've made in the code, some problems/bugs may appear. We would be happy to have them reported in the Bug Reports category of the Forum, if you notice them. We had to replace the database with the back-up from 4th of December at 5AM (GMT+2), so the actions taken after that time have been lost. No wellness points have been lost. Also, if you've lost something from your inventory/accounts, that's because the lost items were achieved after 5AM, 4th of December. We consider that our Citizens were in Holidays during these days so we gave everybody +10 wellness points (as you know, this results in better productivity and better fighting skills).

We announce a modification within the Erepublik laws: 10th law: "The economic system is based on the market economy and all the citizens have to act according to the fair competition, demand and supply rules."

will be replaced by: "No code scripts are allowed to be inserted in the Erepublik pages without the consent of the Admin." If you think you have found a potential site security issue in this beta version, please inform the Admin via an email to “admin at erepublik dot com” with the subject "Security".

Also one new rule when using the forum: "- Every citizen that posts comments or forum messages not related with the discussion, with no meaning or just to spam the discussion can receive a ban from the administrators; " When necessary, we will start to put in jail (ban) Citizens for rude behavior or rude language, insults or posting in the forum in other languages besides English.

Elections on 2nd December too

We announce you that the citizens who DIDN'T voted today on the General Elections can vote also on the 2nd of December. This way we add another day of elections.|||That happens because today for 3.5 hours the server was down. Our hosting company done a server upgrade that should put the site down for 5 minutes. Yes, we know: 5 minutes != 3.5 hours. That's what we've told them too. Now at least the website moves better but we already start searching for better servers.

The Erepublik Team (older with 10 years than yesterday).