EI January 2010

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Thank you

Published January 29, 2010

Dear citizens,

The 800th day of the New World has just ended. Wow, we have been a community for such a long time; we've been together for so many things! Of course, many of you are relatively new in this world, but the New World owes its existence to each and every one of you. The community is the very fundament of eRepublik. For this, we thank you!

We've been together for more than 800 days, and during all this time you have supported and helped us in our attempt to create a better world, for you. The oldest citizens can remember how much different eRepublik used to be 2 years ago, or one year ago. The New World is constantly changing, constantly moving, constantly improving. The innovative idea behind eRepublik unfortunately has one disadvantage; like almost any other innovation, the lack of previous “successful stories” means that the idea must be tested and fine-tuned. This means that it takes a while before it reaches the desired level of quality.

We have all had good days and sometimes bad days. All of you have enjoyed the emotion of victory in some days, and felt the bitter taste of defeat in others. Only here, behind the scenes, the team lives under constant pressure and stress. We feel ten times the pain you do when a problem occurs. We would love to snap a finger and “poof, solved," but that is not how it goes. All we can do is to work restless to identify the source of the problem, and solve it.

But pressure and stress is helpful, as it keeps us alert all the time. Just to give you an example, the Distributed Denial of Service which you might have heard about made you think “wow, eRepublik was under DDoS”. This is not true. We haven't been under just one attack, but countless ones! The guys from the tech team are fighting almost every day against various types of “bots” and “spiders” and all sorts of server attacks, and they have been doing this for a long, long time. Due to independent reasons,we were close to losing this battle twice, but most of the times we win, and you had no idea what just happened. Maybe you noticed a slow server for one minute, that's all.

We couldn't have made it this far without you. The countless friendships we have seen in eRepublik, the long list of memorable moments we have shared together, the epic battles which have changed the world, the tremendous amount of articles and comments you have posted; all of these give us strength and energy to work day after day, for eight hundred days. Without motivation and passion it would had been so much harder to develop this game. We are passionate, and seeing that for so many of you eRepublik is part of your lives.. well, this truly motivates us. Thank you for this.

Regards, The eRepublik Team

P.S.: As a gift for all you,here is how the National Goals Monuments for the next presidential elections look like (second row).

Interview with an..admin

Published on January 27, 2010
Dear citizens,


Today we are going to present you an interview with the “admin”. Without further introductions, here we go:

Reporter: Thank you for appearing in this interview.

Admin: Any time.

Reporter: I have so many questions but I don't know where to start!

Admin: Let's try with the beginning.

Reporter: OK. When will you guys launch the new modules? :D

Admin: C`mon, don't push it!

Reporter: What do you think about the two main alliances, EDEN and PHOENIX, as compared to their forerunners, ATLANTIS and PEACE?

Admin: There's not much of a difference. Just like before, today both EDEN and Phoenix are saying that they are the “good” guys fighting the “evil” enemies, but there's no such thing. Any rope has two ends. One thing is clear: without the “good versus evil” propaganda and war, eRepublik would be much less fun.

Reporter: But you're biased! Admit it!

Admin: Yes, we bias both alliances all the time. Sometimes, within just 12 hours, the top-secret eRepublik Bias Department favors PHOENIX in the morning, a few hours later EDEN; then it will bias PHOENIX again in the afternoon, just to switch back to favoring EDEN in the evening according to some open letters.

Reporter: Wow, do you really have such a department?

Admin: No, of course not. It's just a joke. It's a matter of perspective, really. It's our way to say that everyone plays "victim" all the time.

Reporter: About the new modules ...

Admin: Yes?

Reporter: Is it going to be really that awesome?

Admin: Well, had we not believed that, we wouldn't have worked so hard until now.

Reporter: What are the cool things we can expect?

Admin: As we deliberately leaked through those two “stories”, the new modules will bring new products, new attributes, new skills, new professions, new industries, and new concepts like “time management”. The battle fields will be completely different, turning the fighting experience into both a personal one (you fight against another citizen) and a group one (together with your army squad, if you want a greater “impact”). New elements of strategy will make wars so much more interesting.

Reporter: BUT WHEN?

Admin: This spring you'll be able to play with the new modules :) Soon we will start publishing a long series of Insider articles which will present the new concepts.

Reporter: How about babies and keeping them in-game?

Admin: As we all know, the heart and the soul of eRepublik is what we can call the “social interactions”. We encourage these interactions, but the babies don't interact that much in the first week. So he/she might wonder what is this game all about: just two clicks a day and you`re done? Well, this will change. Not that much; you won't need 100 clicks per day, but there will be several more things to do with your character and your little virtual universe. There will be more variables to adjust, more opportunities to grow, and more fun to have. Of course, all of this this will keep interest up. And then, together with the social integration, the baby will have more chances of getting involved, making friends, and interacting with the surrounding New World. Also, there are other plans regarding the babies.

Reporter: Dear “admin”, thank you very much for your answers. Say hello to headless chicken for me! :D

Admin: Ah, you're a funny one! What was your citizen ID?

Reporter: Got to run, bye, keep up the good work!

Informative article for the young eRepublik citizens

Published on January 22, 2010
Dear citizens,

First of all, this Insider is meant to be an informative article addressed to the 120,000+ citizens that joined us in the last few weeks. If you are an older citizen you may want to skip this article because you already know most of the game. Below we have the answers for some questions often raised by young citizens. Anyway, why do we call it the New World? Well, because in this game we aim to leave behind the real-life histories and stereotypes, such that every nation has a fresh start. History in eRepublik is full of surprises, and exactly these unlimited possibilities of re-writing the history is what makes eRepublik so exciting.

So, let's begin our journey and present some of the current eRepublik concepts. It must be said that more concepts will arrive in eRepublik together with the upcoming modules, but most of the current ones will still be valid. As you can see your character has several attributes, like level, wellness, strength and skill. Your level is a measure of your character's experience in eRepublik and it depends on Experience Points (EP). You receive EPs when you work, train and fight. The wellness bar is a measure of your citizen's health and overall well-being. The higher your wellness, the higher your productivity and the more damage you will deal in fights. By productivity we mean 'working productivity'; for the general manager who pays your salary, it is very important for you to have as close to 100 wellness as possible.

Food, houses, and hospitals increase wellness. Each fight decreases your wellness by 10 points, but using the hospital in your region gives you an amount of wellness equal to hospital's quality (10-50 wellness). Remember that in order to use the hospital you must fight at least once in that day, and that you can use the hospital only once per day. Working decreases your wellness by an amount equal to the quality of the company you work at. For example, a Q5 company decreases your wellness by 5 points. Training also decreases your wellness, but you can recover the lost wellness due to working and training by owning a house and consuming food. To combine/adjust the qualities of house, food and the company you work in, will be an important task for your e-life.

The skills you see in your profile page (Bio tab) reflect your working capabilities. Different types of companies require a specific skill, and the bigger the skill, the bigger the productivity and subsequently the higher the salary you earn.

You can work in any type of company whenever you want, but it is a good rule of thumb to focus on a specific skill. It is better to have skill 10 in one domain than to have skill 5 in all domains.

Another attribute is your strength, which influences the damage you deal in fights. This damage depends on your strength and also the quality of the weapon you use (if you have any in your inventory). By working and training everyday your skill and strength increases by a default value (Personal Trainers can boost your daily strength gain).

OK, we covered wellness, working skill and strength. In the first days you`ll work for a for a small salary, but pretty fast you will reach a higher level of skill (like 2.00 or 3.00 etc) hence you can get a better paid job. The strength and working skills increase quickly in the beggining, to help new players. You will notice the growth slows down as you get further in the game.

On the sidebar, just bellow your wellness indicator, you can see your money: GOLD and national currency. These two (and any other) are convertible, so you can exchange your salary received in national currency for GOLD, through the monetary market. Speaking of GOLD, if you work everyday for 30 days you will receive a hard worker medal and Icon-gold.gif 5 GOLD (in fact, any medal you receive brings you Icon-gold.gif 5 GOLD). Also, when you reach level 6 you will receive Icon-gold.gif 5 GOLD, and by achieving strength 5 (and first super-soldier medal) you will get another Icon-gold.gif 5 GOLD. So, pretty quickly, in just 30 days of eRepublik, you can get Icon-gold.gif 15 GOLD for free, excluding the wages you will receive.

During one month we have three elections in the New World, as part of the bigger political module: party president, congress and country president. We say that 4 years of real-life are condensed here into one month. These elections are very important because the people you elect hold the fate of your nation.

So, what should you do in the first weeks in eRepublik? You should observe, read the press, and gather information. You can talk to new friends and old players to familiarize yourself with different tips and tricks.It is important to know that most countries have some sort of "cabinet" with social ministers, like a Secretary of State or a Minister of Defence. They are good people to go to for advice.

Another thing you should do is read and respect the eRepublik Laws. Disrespecting them may lead to your temporary or permanent suspension from the game. The first rule for a successful career is to play fair. Gaining illegal properties or creating multiple-accounts results in a permanent suspension of your account. Bare in mind that administrating more than one citizen account is just as illegal as creating more than one account yourself. So, please, have fun in eRepublik but also respect the eRepublik Laws.

But how will you have fun? Well, the media module would be a good start. Newspapers and articles are the heart and the brain of eRepublik. The quickest way to make yourself known is to be active in the media. Who knows, maybe someday you will be one of the most appreciated journalists in the world. You can try to build an economic empire from scratch that one day might spread over the whole "New World". If you achieve that and your income makes you a wealthy citizen, then most likely, later on, you will be one of the war heroes for your nation or your alliance. To win important battles together with your friends and allies is an overwhelming feeling. And, of course, apart from becoming a great journalist, a very rich citizen and a war-hero who inspires and encourages his fellow citizens on the battlefields. You may also climb the political heights. Every President started out as a new player at one point or another, just like you.

Regards,
The eRepublik Team

eRepublik under DDOS attacks reloaded

Published on January 19, 2010
Dear citizens,

A sustained DDoS attack took place yesterday which caused eRepublik to be temporary inaccessible. The guys from the tech department have done a wonderful job, and in less than two hours the site was up running, bringing back the New World to its 350.000 citizens. The attack originating in Turkey was not extremely strong, as we've seen worse, but the issue in this case came from a specific Turkish ISP policy of allocating IPs, making impossible to filter the traffic through our servers. This forced us to block the entire class of flooding IPs, which also affects some citizens. We have immediately contacted the ISP asking them to find and isolate inside their infrastructure the specific guilty people. Until we receive an answer, we'll keep it blocked in order to protect the entire eRepublik community.

Thank you all for your support,
The eRepublik Team

Some eRepublik updates

Published on January 15, 2010
Dear citizens,

We are sure that many of you are wondering how "admin" has been recently, because it has been several days since you last heard from “him”. Well, the entire eRepublik team is very busy right now; coffee is consumed in industrial quantities, quick-snacks are venerated almost as religious objects, and sleeping time has shrunk unnaturally. Of course, the reason for all this is that the new modules that are under construction, because almost everybody from the team has his job to do for the project. And by working together, our tiny bits of work come together to make one big picture. And yeah, we are on schedule :)

It's true that all engines are pushed full throttle towards the future, but let's not forget the present! We would like to salute the 330.000+ citizens of eRepublik! We are on a positive trend which brings new citizens from all over the New World. Especially for them we have several improvements under development, but older citizens will benefit also; small things, but sometimes with big impacts.

It usually takes a while before citizens understand what is that number below their blue silhouette on their homepage. A tool-tip will explain what wellness is, on mouseover. Also, in the side bar, below your character's picture, you now find the level bar. Just a quick look on the sidebar is enough to let you know exactly how many experience points you need before reaching the next level!

The “fight” button used to be placed at the bottom of the fight-page, which required unnecessary scrolls down every time. We can only imagine the hard work of the guys fighting dozens of times. We will fix that very soon by moving the fight button upwards, so it will be much easier to fight! You still don't believe that we really do care about time-consuming and boring scroll downs? OK, then we will remember that you have read the 1-20 comments, so when you press the “view all comments” button, you'll return exactly where you were, at comment 20. This also will come live very soon. OK, we admit it, all these are little tweaks which are part of a bigger plan regarding the improvement of pages loading times.

But we make your life easier with one hand, and harder with the other? Are we really that sadistic? Why on Earth did we insert the “view more/less” button in company page? Trust us, this has a very big impact on pages loading times. Most of the citizens which only want to work are not bothered by the stripped company page, the problem is for the company owners. OK, your constructive feedback convinced us to react very fast, and we are already working on removing the button, so that the company page will be like before for managers.

Another cool modification: on your home page you now have the articles listed based upon your citizenship, not your current location (one browser "clear cache" might be needed). If somebody is traveling in a foreign country full of complete strangers speaking an unknown language, most likely would like to read the news in their language, from home, from people they know. Well, you can now travel as much as you like, no matter where you will be, you will remain in touch with the news from back home. You can feel at “home” in any foreign country, mixing the benefits of maybe a bigger salary and also being immersed in your homeland!

Languages: We have uploaded Polish, which was in the translation process for a while. The next wave of translated versions of eRepublik, which we expect to be live in about a month, includes Serbian, Croatian, Turkish, Greek and Bosnian.

Regards,
The eRepublik Team

Presidential election day

Published on January 7, 2010
Dear citizens,


The presidential elections are over and a new set of leaders have grabbed power in the New World . As Plato used to say, may wisdom lay upon their administrations. Speaking about Plato, have you noticed that he's not so “energetic” anymore when it comes to advising citizens? He's still happy to guide any citizen that asks for his advice and reminders, but if you minimize him he remains so indefinitely until you change your mind. Another thing that will ease both of our lives is the new "Report abuse" system.

OK, let's go back to elections, Presidents, and their campaign promises. In this article you can see a selection of the most interesting national goals after December's elections. Last month Hungarians set the goal to conquer about half of Romania's territories, while the Romanians tried to get their hands on Heilongjiang, the iron-rich region of Hungary that is so important for the geopolitical balance of power. Although both countries tried to achieve the war related monuments as a reward, none of them succeeded. Romania tried to reach Asia through Bulgaria and Turkey, and they even conquered Istanbul where they were stopped. Hungary conquered several Romanian regions and it looked like they were going to achieve the monument, but their plans crumbled due to the US attack in Asia. Of course, many other countries got involved in this “dance”; attacking, defending or retreating on strategical purposes, as usual.

Given the international situation, the USA dropped their goal of conquering UK's territories and crossed the Pacific Ocean to get into Asia and, after several battles, to the gates of Heilongjiang region (aka “HelloKitty”), which rebalanced the situation. Russia managed to conquer North Korean soil, as targeted, and also help Phoenix in the "HelloKitty" war, together with Serbia which done its part by attacking and blocking other countries.

And again you'll notice that eRepublik is a world full of surprises. Poland set out at the beginning of the month with the national goal of increasing their population by 1%; as of January 5th, they had increased by over 300% thanks to a staggering baby-boom! Wow! :) This baby-boom turned Poland into the most populated country of the New World (more than 47.000 citizens, and counting), almost double compared to the second place, Spain.

As a conclusion, we can say that in many cases the national goals were not just “electoral lies”. Regardless if they got the monuments for their nations or not, the important thing is that the Presidents at least tried to do what they have promised to do. The hot spots of the New World last month were strictly bonded to different national goals, which could be seen as powerful engines driving the world. An interesting article about last month`s national goals can be found here.


Congratulations for all your achievements this month! Merry Christmas for those celebrating it today!

Regards,
The eRepublik Team