EI January 2008

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Latest news before the elections

Dear Citizens,

General elections tomorrow

The World of Erepublik is preparing for another round of general elections. This time the stakes are higher and it will be much harder in some countries to gain a Presidential or Congress seat. The Spanish for example had a very interesting initiative (by: tagaro http://www.erepublik.com/profile-13068.html), they organized a political debate using chat (giving us a feature idea for V1) . If you can understand Spanish you can check out a summary of the debate in this article: http://www.erepublik.com/article-40111.html most of the candidates participated.

Meanwhile we prepare for the elections day from an admin point of view: - We will clean out the parties of dead or banned Citizens; so if you will see that your party has suddenly less members, it means that the banned or dead members in you party have been removed. (We are working on a automated solution for this) - We will keep a close eye on the Citizens that will vote tomorrow so that the results will not be affected by potential fake accounts - beware that we will ban also the main accounts that we catch creating fake accounts even if they are important members of the community. Cheating is cheating and it's bad for the community and ultimately bad for the one who cheats.


Small change in the productivity formula

One of the variables deciding each employee's work productivity is what we call "employees daily presence". It is calculated based on 2 factors: the total productivity of the Employees that worked in that day and the total productivity of the Employees working in the company. So a company that has it's workers coming to work daily will have a maximized productivity. The new formula is not so drastic and the influence will not be ranged from 33% to 300% as before, but with values from 80% to 120%.

We understand that some simply can't come everyday. On this we are thinking of ways for holidays not to influence company productivity and also thinking of potential citizen development activities that could be done weekly rather than daily for the citizens who might prefer a longer once per week visit to the Erepublik world rather than a short daily one. Ideas and feedback welcome...


New country page

We are proud to present you the new Country pages (Social, Economy, Politics, Military, Media), Sweden's: http://www.erepublik.com/country-38.html The pages are loading very fast and are presenting verified data. The pages should be bug free so if you see something strange there please report it to us and we will resolve it asap.

You can also have a look at the regions page that is now optimized. Madrid's: http://www.erepublik.com/region-14-society.html

The most important features provided in those new pages are: valid macro economical stats and easer access to each country marketplace to check prices (link in the right side of the economy page).

The next optimized page that we will provide will be the Marketplace.

Thank you from the Erepublik team

LATER EDIT: Don't forget the rule that only the Presidents of the top 5 parties in each country can participate at the elections!

Questions about War

Dear Citizens,

Military module

An interesting discussion started on the Military forum and a lot of questions appeared. http://www.erepublik.com/forum-topic-2963.html

Here are our answers: 1. The rumor is that the war engine will be turned on in March? - Yes, we want to implement a beta version of the war system at the end of March (its not a rumor, it was in a previous post). 2. The rumor is that a high amount of GDP is needed for war from both the attacker and defender? - No, but will cost gold to start a war. 3. Will a war occur only across bordering countries? - Usually, yes, but there will be some exceptions (USA, Japan, Australia, etc.) 4. If a war can occur across non-bordering countries, will the intermediate country have to allow access, or will that country have to be attacked first? - No, there will be no intermediate access. 5. Will you have to have a navy to attack an island nation? - Not in the beta it might be the case later 6. Will all soldiers attacking need moving tickets? - No but for those who have transport companies do not worry those tickets will become very useful when wars start. We are also working on another type of activity that will require moving tickets. 7. Soldiers that are attacking are not producing as employees. Will the attacking country have to purchase food to last the war period (supplies). - You can attack even if you are an employee. Still, there will be Guardians that will be paid soldiers and will be able to defend regions, not attack. (Also don't forget that a wounded soldier is less productive when he works). 8. Are all wars surprise attacks, or must they be announced? - Will be announced 12 or 24 hours pre-war period. 9. If they are announced, shall we post it in the contracts section? - Not necessary 10. Can we use two weapons? - No. One weapon only is used for each fight. 11. Will we need to have soldiers on standby in a region in order to repel an attack at all, or risk being overrun? - It's recommended to have Guardians defending those regions. 12. How do you intend to make it a dynamic process? Or is it just a calculation of numbers of soldiers and strength versus the opposing country? - We are trying to find the best solution. We are thinking more of calculations plus hazard on battles 1vs1, we will also try to spice it up a little with basic animations (don't worry still browser based, no 1 500 Meg 3D cards required) 13. What about having fighting styles to add flavor? - This sounds interesting but in the first version of the war module it will not be implemented. 14. Is there any financial advantage for the winning country at war? How does it work? - The main advantage is ruling the occupied regions and receiving local taxes. 15. If all of a country's territories are taken over, is it truly gone forever? If so, what if a country does succeed in taking over the world? - First of all the Guardians will have a small advantage so it's easier to defend than to attack. Second, implementing the Fight for Freedom module will make it hard for countries that occupy enemy territories to keep them without having big military costs (i.e.: Empires are possible but the bigger they are the harder it is to keep them)


Congressmen

On the 1st of February there will be a new round of elections for the President and Congressmen seats in all 43 Erepublik countries. We all should start preparing for it. One decision that we are considering depending on your feedback is to limit the number of Congressmen in each country. At the moment the number of Congressmen is equal to 1/10 of the country population with a maximum of 100. Still, we think that a maximum of 40 congressmen would be more reasonable. What do you think?

Thank you from the Erepublik team

Invitations and future plans of Erepublik

Dear Citizens,


New invitations

More gold and more Citizens will enter Erepublik over the next days, yesterday we gave 2 invitations to each of the Citizens that used all their invitations (more than 4000 Citizens). Also we've sent 800 invitations to people waiting to enter the New World.

So if you had run out of invitations, now is the time to bring more friends into Erepublik. We want to test how the new servers behave under the extra load and it should also help the economies. If you will see accounts that you suspect are fake, please send a private message to the admin account reporting it. http://www.erepublik.com/profile-2.html


Roadmap

Besides fixing bugs and resolving security problems we plan to work in parallel also on:

Phase 1: Until the 22nd of February - Redesigning some sections that put a lot of weight on the database or that we are not happy with and some minor improvements: - Country/region pages (there are a lot of macroeconomic stats that are killing the database and are not very accurate) - CV list page (better listing of the CV's) - Top Erepublik (easy to select and view the tops of Erepublik) - Erepublik stats page (loading very badly at the moment) - Monetary exchange market (not very easy to understand it at the moment) - Country export-import agreements We will also focus on security, bugs, loading and accessibility problems on each of those pages.

Phase 2: Until the 28th of March â�&ium l;¿½ Improvements - Media improvements (vote for the best articles, subscribe to comments, better newspaper and article look) - Military module (Guardians - armies with soldiers paid by the states to defend regions, Alliances, Battle module) - Fight for freedom - Citizen will be able to fight against the country where they live in to join their motherland; Of course the cost of starting a war after the Military module is ready will be much cheaper (based on country specific variables)

Phase 3: Q2, Q3 2008: V1 We will be working and delivering the first phases of the V1 version of Erepublik. It will include support for Multilanguage, API's, an easier to create new modules, better caching, etc. Meanwhile we will keep one or two developers to fix the bugs or create new features on the live beta version (features that we will then depending on your feedback integrate into V1, please see below phase 4).

Phase 4: You are the architect (running in parallel to Phase 3) Implementing new features into the live beta and V1 chosen and or suggested by citizens (digg like system of voting). We have in mind things like: Voting tool to make it more simple to create new laws, Internal advertising (should be paid with gold), Natural hazards (...that are not bugs), Administration salaries, Private forums, etc.

Thanks, The Erepublik Team

Advice: Buy food!

Dear Citizens,


Cronjobs troubles:

On the new servers the cronjobs (the scripts that should run daily to give citizens wellness by consuming food, etc) gave us some big headaches. We've just worked on it and it seems like finally today they are fixed.

Here is how they affected us so far and what solution we have found: 1. Citizens didn't eat so their wellness dropped => we have run 2 times the scripts that makes Citizens consume the food in their inventory and increase their wellness. We will give 15 extra wellness points to all Citizens. This way Citizens will get back their previous wellness levels and demand for food will go back to normal. 2. Be careful: there is a big chance that your citizen may be out of food so check your inventory in your personal profile and buy food if needed! 3. Candidates for Mayor have not been presented to be elected => We are sorry about this and Mayors elections day has been postponed to 21nd of January (tomorrow).


Macro economical statistics:

Kaleb wrote a great article where he analyzes the top countries' economies and different stats, for this he created an Erepublik Economic League Table composed of: Total GDP GDP change Active population Population change GDP/Capital GDP/Capita change

You can read the full article here: http://www.erepublik.com/article-14903.html


The Way forward:

As you know for the past few days we have been concentrating on the move to our new host and some bug fixing, we have also secured some extra funding to strengthen our tech team and our editing team. The additional tech resource should allow us to fix bugs faster and give time to the rest of the team to concentrate on the new features and V1 rather than on firefighting issues such as the Cronjobs one. We will also be sharing shortly with you our development road map so that you can have good visibility of what are the features that we are working on for the beta as well as for V1. Our goal there is to give you the possibility asap to then vote on what functionalities you consider are priority and suggest new ones with a digg like system.

Thank you, The Erepublik team

Changes in Erepublik beta

Server Upgrade

Yesterday we migrated to the new servers and a new hosting provider. In doing so we faced few problems since the master-master MySQL replication that was tested before crashed when it had to do its job. So at the moment we are using only one of the database servers but in a few days we will be up to full speed. Still the website loads much better and apart for some pages where macro economical statistics are shown (country page, economical stats page etc.), the loading time seems to be much better.

Homepage changes

As you may have already noticed, there were some changes on the homepage: - Simpler design on the homepage statistics (and less queries) - Country population now showing just the number of live Citizens in each country - Alt tag on the Newspaper links We will continue to enter deep into each page and: - modify the design, if needed, to make it more user-friendly and efficient - improve the SQL queries to help the loading speed - Clean the code and extra check them for bugs The next pages that we are already working on are: 1. Country page (will replace also the statistics pages) 2. City/region page 3. Human resources page 4. Marketplace

Minimum wage

Some of the Citizens came with the idea of a Minimum wage in each country. We are thinking seriously if we should give the chance to the President and Congressmen to decide, if they want to apply a minimum wages in their countries. So that Companies would not be allowed to give salaries lower than the daily minimum wage. We are expecting your feedback on this.

PS: We fixed a lot of bugs as well meanwhile :)

First Erepublik Country Constitution

Dear Citizens,

The First Erepublik Country Constitution

Ireland is working on creating the first Constitution of a country in Erepublik. We will be happy to see the results of this action and, if not affecting other honest Citizens and if voted by a majority of the Irish Congress, we will be happy to help make it work. This is another step in creating a legal system in Erepublik and will be very helpful when we will have judges that can make sure laws are enforced. More details here: http://www.erepublik.com/forum-topic-1604.html


Where in the world is the admin?

Because some of the Citizens said that we are still on holidays (we wish), here is a small report on what we've done these past days on the website (excluding what is not yet online): - Employees presence percentages fixed; - When you login/logout you should stay on the same page; - Login problem on the main login form fixed; - We had a really hard time with the fire employee's bug - we've made some modifications and it seems like they don't come back in the company list as employees, please let us know if not resolved yet. - Send private message form, we have improved security in that form; - Number of citizens on the homepage now represents just the living citizens; - Number of deaths - now shows the correct value; - Confirmation message after receiving a gift; - Limiting the number of characters in private messages to 1000 (that table became very big, but we will increase the limit to 2000); - Congressman vote security fix; ... and more other small bugs or security problems fixed. Tomorrow we plan to fix the company selling problem and the monthly company tax that is not received by the region treasury. Meanwhile we try to respond to the private messages sent to the admin during the holiday. There are a lot and if you haven't yet received a response from the admin please be patient, starting next week we hope we will be up to date.


New servers => Better loading speed => New Citizens

We are testing a copy of Erepublik on the new servers. Hopefully this weekend we will have completed a full transfer and next week we will give more invitations to the Citizens that have ran out (about 4000 Citizens have 0 invitations left at the moment). We will also start progressively letting in new Citizens that are on the waiting list (close to 6000). After 2 weeks in which we haven't sent invites and many of the Citizens were left out of invitations we are eager to let more new Citizens in to populate the Erepublik World but will of course, this being a beta we continue to limit access.

Best regards, The Erepublik team

Back to Work

Dear citizens, The team is now back to full speed and we are all very keen to start fixing the major bugs in the beta and progress with the V1 of Erepublik. Meanwhile these are the latest news form the team. Trojans Not a happy way to start the 2008 working year: we suffered another security attack. A trojan script was uploaded on the server Sunday night (Erepublik time). The Citizens responded much faster than we did giving advice on how to avoid any problem caused by this malicious code. We resolved this problem on Monday morning and apologize if any of you had problems because of this. We will keep a close eye here to react faster if it happens again (we hope new barriers will avoid it) and will continue to fix potential security holes. Productivity formula User PHuSiOn9 has started a topic on the forum trying to explain the Productivity formula of the Work page. The equation presented is very close to the one that is used. When we created the Productivity formula we wanted the following results: - better skill in that domain => more productivity; - higher product quality => less productivity; - higher wellness level => more productivity; - more employees present at work per day => more productivity (the number of employees is less important, the formula calculates each citizen productivity compared to the overall productivity of the company employees and the overall productivity of the employees that already have been at work); - more employees in the company = > more productivity. You can find the complete discussion here: http://www.erepublik.com/forum-topic-1523-0.html We analyze now the influence of the employees working presence which is a little drastic for the companies that don't have employees showing up daily at work, so we might make some small changes here. You comments and suggestions are welcome. Births/deaths today The number of Citizens in the homepage was presenting the number of total accounts, including the dead Citizens and excluding the banned ones. We fixed this so that it includes here only the living Citizens in Erepublik. 2977 Citizens died since Erepublik started about 30% of total citizens in line with what we expected for the beta. We will modify the Births and Deaths values so that on Wednesday we should have correct values showing in real time the number of Citizens that were born or died in the previous 24 hours (not on a daily basis as until now). What you should expect soon 1. Better loading speed - we will move the website to the new better servers in the coming days 2. More accurate economical statistics (GDP, inflation, exports values, imports values, more accurate recommended exchange rates, etc. per each country/currency) + better loading speed in certain pages - more details to come 3. Bilateral country agreements - preferential import taxes, currency exchange agreements (will help the exporting companies), mutual protection pacts (helpful when the wars will start). Best regards,

The Erepublik Team

Elections, bans and hangover

Dear Citizens,

Elections Trying to stay close to the elections process we covered the last 14 hours of the elections day. It was quite interesting too see the close number of votes in different countries. Here are the closest vote results for the President seats: Spain: Aliatar - 86 votes, Alvaro - 72 votes, Charlie - 66 votes Portugal: Socrates - 92, krostyf - 88, Cassius - 27 France: Dan Zisso - 29, Cicero - 24, Blèh - 6 Romania: DexterXP - 33, PostaL - 29, Alin-Lucian - 21 Canada: Grapez - 13, Zacky - 12, idaniel - 3 Australia: Neo26988 - 23, Kalbar - 19, Zaney - 11 Congratulations to the winners! We will be happy to help you administrate your country.

We checked the Citizen accounts that voted yesterday. It was quite frustrating to find parties or companies using fake accounts. We invalidated about 100 votes and we banned in total about 300 fake accounts.

Because those votes partially affected the elections making some good and fair parties lose congressmen seats, we decided to give the hardest punishments. So we permanently banned also the primary accounts that were helped by those fake accounts.


Private messages system: Knowing that the private messages table in the database became very big we had to take some measures: - The maximum number of alerts or private messages that you can have in inbox is 30 for each. Also in the sent items folder you can't store more than 30 private messages or alerts; - The alerts are automatically deleted after 3 days; - If you receive a new alert or private message and you have a full inbox the oldest alert/message will be deleted; - A "Report spam" link will be added; - The maximum number of characters in a message is limited to 1000; - When you reply to a message you don't have automatically inserted the old message. We resolved the problem with the Alert message that is returned to you.

Take care and play fair.

Our wishes for 2008

Dear Citizens, these are our wishes for 2008: - Constantly add more cool things that you can do in Erepublik (a lot of stuff is waiting to be implemented) - Minimal number of bugs and cheating - No more site loading problems thanks to our soon to come super duper servers (and better programming) - More and better communication with the Citizens (not just in English) - Make Erepublik easier to use and understand for all. - Make Erepublik more fun and less repetitive for everyone - Let citizens govern and organize themselves as much as possible by giving them the right tools to do so. - Deliver a war module that is great and on time. - Launch the V1 of Erepublik on time - Give you the tools so that you can better adapt Erepublik to your local language if you want to do so - Grow our team with more super talented and motivated people (once we raise the required funds) so we can deliver all this and more.

And most important of all that all our citizens have a great 2008 in this world and the other one to!

Take care, The Erepublik team