EI November 2009

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National Goals, motivation for everybody

Published on November 26 - Day 737 of the New World

Dear citizens,

In about two weeks we will once again have presidential elections in the New World. But this time, it will be different. So very different. Elections mean campaigns, and campaigns mean promises. And promises made to the population are actually goals for the politicians to achieve. When we take the campaign promises and turn them into national goals for which everybody must work, then we add a bit of national pride as well as competition spirit, we get a new eRepublik feature.

The next presidential candidates will have at their disposal the option to set three national goals, one for each of the following sections:

  • Economy: Increase the GDP by x %
  • Society: Increase the population by x %
  • Military: either keep all current regions, or by the end of mandate own control of specified new regions

It must be said that there is only one way to do this: set up three goals, or set nothing at all. You can't choose only partially, let's say, only one society goal and forget about the rest. You need at least three goals in order to have a valid campaign. Please consider that in the future more goals will be added, for each of the three categories. For now, we start simple, to get everybody used with the concept. Also, suggestions and feedback about this are very welcome. The page for creating national goals looks like this.

And now we jump to the election day. Instead of the plain list of candidates, you will see a page similar to this.

The cool thing is that each candidate has his own goals presented to the voters, so you will really vote advisedly. From now on, you will know what you are voting for, not just words! And when the “judgment day” comes, there will be no place for the politicians to hide.

But we keep saying the goals are "national" while just the presidential candidates are proposing them. Yes, it seems personal, but remember with your vote you will be choosing the candidate and the program for your country. Therefore, the moment a candidate wins the elections, his campaign goals turn into national goals. On the country stats page, a new tab lists current national goals, as well as already accomplished ones, in the past months. You can see here a fictive picture illustrating this.

It's normal for the goals to be national, because, after all, to have as a target to conquer X or Y region of the New World by the end of the month, is the whole country's job. Everybody must play smart together. It is not just a one-man job. And mainly the country should be proud of the accomplishments, but of course, the leader has his merits too.

“The bigger, the better,” they say. When it comes to the monuments related to fulfilled national goals, this is true. The biggest monument shows proudly that all three goals were accomplished, a wonderful job done. The medium one means that only two of them were "checked", a pretty good job. And the smallest means that only one out of the three national goals was successfully fulfilled. As you can see, you can watch the history of any country in the world, to see what they have managed to achieve in the previous months.

Things to be considered: The 2nd day of the month is the last one in which goals can be edited or created. Also, the final candidates' list for presidential elections is closed in this day. On the 4th day of each month, the previous goals are analyzed and if fulfilled Monuments that commemorate your nations achievements are created. On the 5th we have the new elections and on the 6th we have the new national goals.

Good luck everybody, in your attempts to fulfil national goals and achieve monuments like these!

The eRepublik Team

The new economic and war modules sketches. Happy Birthday eRepublik!

Published on November 20 - Day 731 of the New World

Dear citizens,

This is a special day, because exactly 2 years ago the first eRepublik citizens started to pop-up and populate what was to become the New World. Together with a small but passionate eRepublik team, they are the very foundation of today's virtual world which we all enjoy.

Later in the article, we will offer you the first sketches of the upcoming economy and war modules! We are working hard for these modules right now, we really are, in spite of the fact that some citizens don't believe us :) But hey, don't jump directly to the pictures, we have other important things to share with you!

In the beginning, there was Beta. Actually no, in the beginning, there was something pre-Beta: eight months of work in the obscure chamber programming, drinking coffee, programming, drinking coffee and then programming. Finally, the baby Beta was born exactly two years ago, on 20th November 2007. Wow, Beta was there before the world-wide economic crisis, so that's a long, long time ago.

Starting with less than 1000 citizens, Beta grew larger and larger until the summer of 2008. During this time concepts were analyzed, ideas debated, suggestions and feedback gathered and so on the drawing table, V1 started to take shape. No, back then the head-less chicken was not in our drawing plans, it just decided to appear from nowhere sometime this year :) Once we had the plans ready, the work for V1 could start and so in the 2008 autumn, after approximately one year of Beta testing, the big launch took place. You can read the V1 anniversary article here.

It is true that V1 borrowed some of its concepts from Beta, but also started to grow its own (sometimes capricious) personality. The economic module was different (by introducing raw materials), the war module was different (yes, we already know, you miss PvP, you will have that :) ), the graphic layout was different. Shiny medals were introduced in the game and the political module was changed. Over time, improvements were added, smaller or larger ones, but continuous. If we add to this the big list of new modules implemented- Ticketing System, OTORA, Language Packs, Citizenship, Citizens Ads, eRepublik Map, Company Tools, Chat Module, as well as other 「back ground」 modules- we can say that we've done a pretty good job. Of course, 「faster and better」 will always be our goal.

That brings us to today and the future plans for the economic and war modules. We don't have any important announcements to do, but we wanted to increase the odds that you are all reading this article :) Everybody is waiting for these two new modules, for their own reasons. Some dream of a more complex game, some suffer due to the economic over-production (the economic mechanism working for 30,000 citizens, can't work as well for 230,000). Some want more interesting and interactive wars.

So, here are two concept-sketches:

We hope that you are enjoying the gift we've offered you with this special occasion, Happy Birthday eRepublik! On this forum topic you can post your anniversary messages.

For some unknown reason, citizens refused to eat earlier today. Or maybe they were waiting for the anniversary cake? Anyway, there were some issues which are now solved.

The eRepublik Team

New feature: eRepublik chat module is live!

Published on November 18 - Day 729 of the New World

Dear citizens,

If we would ask 10 passionate eRepublik citizens 「what is it that you truly love about eRepublik?」 most likely eight out of 10 would answer immediately 「the social interactions, of course」. Yes, it is nice to be a hard-worker or a successful company manager, it feels good to conquer other lands or liberate your own, it is an overwhelming experience to become the president of your virtual country. But social interactions, within all possible channels (articles, comments, shouts, PMs, etc) are the salt and pepper. And this is no surprise, as the social interaction was, and forever will be, the very foundation of human civilization. We need to stick together, we need to interact, we need to talk to each others. It is a true primordial need of our existence. Not even those disobeying the conventional social rules (laws) are facing the deprivation of social interaction: it is true that only under strict boundaries, but they still have this right.

eRepublik already had a pretty strong social interaction component, through the existing features. The user generated content reached tremendous levels in the New World, if we add up the hundreds of thousands of articles and millions of comments and PMs our players exchanged. But this was not enough, and we proudly jump to the next level: we now officially announce the launch of the eRepublik chat module! If not the only one, eRepublik is among the very few online web-based games which offer a true real-time massive communication channel. Now, any of you can talk in real-time with any other citizen of eRepublik by using the in-game chat module. Different communities can interact in real-time with other communities thousands of miles apart, all this in-game!

Passionate eRepublik citizens founded many IRC-based national chat channels a long time ago. Their contribution to the New World social development is huge, and for this involvement, we would like to sincerely thank them all. As a recognition for their work, we have offered them the option to become the founders of the first eRepublik chat rooms. One thing we would like to add: the eRepublik chat module is not competing with the existing IRC fan chats. We are just offering an integrated in-game solution, where citizens are just a click away from all the rooms they might be interested in. Also, the in-game chat module has some features that external chats lack and external chat have features that are not implemented yet in the in-game chat.

Next, we will describe the basic characteristics of the eRepublik chat. You can reach the chat through My Places - Chat Rooms. Here you have three sections:

  • Chat rooms created by you. If you have a minimum 10 level character, you can create your own chat room, either publicly available or password protected. The cost is Icon-gold.gif 10 GOLD.
  • Favorite rooms. Here you have a list of all the rooms added by you as "favorites". This way, you can easily and directly access the rooms you are most interested in. Also, you have the 「check rankings」 button, which lists all the rooms created by citizens, sorted by the number of fans (citizens that added the rooms as favorites)
  • Featured rooms. Default rooms for your country (National and Beginners). In the same section, you are provided with the list of all other eRepublik National and Beginners rooms, for each country. Also, there is a General room, where many nationalities will mix together.

By clicking any room, you are automatically authenticated and the chat window appears. If not, check your pop-up blockers and add the exception to allow eRepublik pop-ups. Also, check that you have the latest Adobe Flash player plugin installed. As you can see, you cannot change your nickname, and you cannot join a chat room if you are not a citizen of eRepublik. Also, the avatar is extracted from the game, you can not change it either. This way your friends are easily recognizable and no 「fake」 nicknames are allowed. On the upper part, you have the tabs for each room you are logged in. Bellow is the text area, and in the right, we have the list with online citizens. By clicking (left-click, not right-click as usual) on any citizen, several options appear:

  • send personal message puts the name of the citizen in front of your message, so this way he/she will know that you are talking specifically to him/her. This should not be understood as a private message. This is similar to tab auto-complete option of IRC;
  • send whisper: this sends a private message, which only the one you are addressing to will see it. It is similar to 「notice」 option of IRC;
  • request a private chat, sends the request for a private conversation in a separate tab. The other citizen must accept the request before you can start chatting privately.

You can 「lock」 either the Personal Message or Whisper mode while chatting in the main window, by clicking the little lock near the 「Send to,」 so that you won't have to repeatedly click your friend and choose one of the options.

On the lower left part of the window, you have several buttons: smiles, output settings like hide/show time, hide/show user avatar, start/stop auto-scroll and clear all the text from the screen. Next, you have sound options. Another feature of the chat module is the predefined messages. By clicking this button a list of predefined messages appear, and by double-clicking any of them, the message is automatically written and sent. Of course, you can set up your own predefined messages.

More settings, like showing/hiding system messages, options for the fonts, and styles or colors of different kind of messages (public, own, personal, system messages, etc) as well as sound options, can be reached by opening the 「Settings」 section, located in the upper right part of the window, between the rooms and help sections. Speaking about the help, we strongly recommend you read it, as it provides intuitive instructions including screenshots. The 「Rooms」 window lists all the rooms created in eRepublik, and you can sort it by name, online users, or description.

Please bare in mind that the eRepublik chat module is not in its final version, but in alpha phase, which means that for now, some issues may occasionally occur. We will constantly work to improve this module and provide you with a cool and fun-to-play-with feature. We kindly ask you to report any problems you may encounter by submitting a ticket to our Feedback department. Also, any suggestions and feedback about the new chat module are welcomed.

What else can we say other than: happy chatting everybody!

The eRepublik Team

Countries resigning from PEACE

Published on November 13 - Day 724 of the New World

Dear citizens,

In the last 24 hours, the word on all lips was PEACE. Whispered by some 「what is going on with our alliance」 or yelled loudly 「Yeaaah, finally, PEACE is crumbling, uraah」 by others. This because two of its 「fathers,」 Italy (founder) and Indonesia, resigned from the alliance just hours apart. Not a long time ago, Ukraine resigned too, and now is preparing to join Eden.

One thing is certain, PEACE alliance will never be the same again. Some Eden members started to celebrate the anticipated crumble of PEACE, but it looks like the alliance it's just going to rely on other pillars (like Hungary, Serbia and Russia) and not going to collapse, like Atlantis did.

Nevertheless, the withdrawal of Indonesia comes as a shocking and unexpected event. For a long, long time, Indonesia was the super-power of PEACE. Indonesian tanks were the greatest enemies of former Atlantis states, as they have decided many battles in the final moments. We are talking here about the times when Hungarian, Serbian and Russian population combined did not match Indonesian alone.

A couple of months ago all PEACE world celebrated one year of existence, and eRepublik team congratulated them for the strong relations and friendships developed within their family, which turned them into the biggest force of the eRepublik. Today, Italy and Indonesia are no longer part of the family, but we are sure that they will find their way through the New World. We wish them 「good luck,」 no matter the path they'll follow: playing solitary, joining another alliance, or, why not, creating another alliance.

PEACE GC is one of the few concepts still alive today, coming from the old Beta history, and for this it deserves respect. To some extent, Atlantis and PEACE are the history of most of the V1, as the new alliances joined the 「big arena」 pretty lately, with the North-American wars. Whether PEACE concepts, dreams, goals and building blocks are in need of adjustments in order to survive and grow stronger, it is today's PEACE super-powers call. Probably Foreign Affairs Ministers (MoFAs) will have a lot and important work to do in the following period.

But, how could things be like, one year from now? Let's imagine the next year's eRepublik world. How many alliances would there be? Two? Three? More? And what could their names be? Still Eden? Still Brolliance? Still PEACE?

The eRepublik Team

Maintenance announcement

Published on November 9 - Day 720 of the New World

Dear citizens,

Tomorrow, day 721 of the New World, eRepublik servers will be taken offline starting at 03.00 AM (eRepublik time) for approximately 30 minutes, due to scheduled maintenance.

The eRepublik Team

No Fridays without updates

Published on November 6 - Day 717 of the New World

Dear citizens,

We have several announcements to do, but first of all: congratulations to all the winners of Presidential elections. A complete list of the new Presidents of the New World can be found here. We wish all of them good luck and tons of wisdom while leading their nations.

Now, about the alliances, which has been one of the main subjects lately: as some of you know, the alliances cost increased. In order to smooth the war mechanism, we need to adjust one more rule, about the activated alliances. On the other hand, we know that for many of our citizens, in particular, new ones, all these things about alliances, activated alliances, price and implications, are a bit confusing. For them, we will try to explain things in a not too technical manner.

By signing an alliance, countries are installing with each other an alarm system, just like a real life bank has. Of course, this alarm system costs some money monthly. By paying the tax every month, the buyer is making sure that in case somebody would try to smash the door in the middle of the night, its properties would be protected. Not by the alarm system itself, but by a bunch of strong security guards that would rush within a minute or two to the bank. We say that the alarm (alliance) got activated, and the bloodthirsty guards are the activated alliance. After they've done their job, normally the muscle boys should return to their headquarters, and if they were be paid furthermore, they'd keep watching the monitors for the alarm system, ready to rush in again.

This is in real-life (or perhaps a movie we saw yesterday). But in eRepublik, once activated the alliance remains this way. And the muscle boys, instead of returning home, bring some beds and sleep in front of the bank. Moreover, they are willing to travel all over the world in order to solve any kind of disputes. Moreover, even if they weren't paid anymore, they would keep doing so forever, until the bank would disappear.

We think all of you agree that this second scenario it's not OK. If an alliance is activated today, there is no reason for it to remain activated indefinitely, no matter what. The logical solution is that an activated alliance, (which offers you the defensive and offensive manpower of your ally, in any battle which implies you as the main actor, anywhere in the world) should remain active only as long as that alliance is renewed. That is, if in an enemy attacks you and activates ten alliances, you will have the support of all your allies, just like before. But if the next day six alliances expire and are not renewed, you will be left with just the other four active allies. The rest of your six allies disappear from all your active wars. To go further in time, if several months later you decide to sign again an alliance with one of your former active ally, that alliance would not turn active by default (because it used to be so sometime in the past). It would be just an alarm system, waiting to get activated. If an alliance expires right in the middle of a battle, it will disappear from the alliances' war list, but not from the battle. It will remain active until the battle ends. The new rule will be implemented next week.

Another topic is about something which was misinterpreted by some of your citizens, due to incomplete information provided by us: several months ago the 「six hours' retreat」 rule was implemented. This rule stated that Presidents are able to retreat from the battlefields only in the first six hours from the battle beginning. The incomplete information is that only the attacking Presidents are constrained by this rule. The defender is allowed to retreat from the battlefield anytime he wants, after all, it is his regions which he leaves in the hands of attackers. We won't go again into the details of why the attacker should not be allowed to retreat (and attack again) anytime he wants. But this rule has no reason to be applied to defenders as well.

The last topic is about the new incentivized offers (beta), available in the 「Gold and Extras」 section. Essentially, for the "free offers" (that are clearly labelled as such) this is all about earning some GOLD, by spending some time, sharing your opinions, personal info or joining a website you may like. There are also paying offers from advertisers such as Netflix for example (online DVD rentals service in the USA) that promote a service that you might be interested in. In this case, you will get eRepublik gold (sponsored by the advertiser) in return for becoming a subscriber to their service either on a payment basis or on a trial basis.

We have asked our offer providers to only promote the best offers on eRepublik but you should still check each offer conditions carefully as these are provided by a third party service (the offer provider), not by eRepublik. Based upon your real-life location, you may receive offers from advertisers interested only in targeting people who live in your country. Also, some countries may not have any offers available at all or no free offers, this is something that we do not control since the offer providers and advertisers decide in which countries they want to make offers available. Still, we will try to add more offer providers in the future to expand the coverage.

Also, each offer is limited in number, for example, a specific offer might be limited to 100 people - which means that only 100 of you might have the chance to take it. As soon as that number is reached, the offer disappears from the eRepublik site. So, sometimes you may see some offers listed and at others, they might not be available anymore. It's a 「first come, first served」 situation, so make sure you check that section often. Please remember that these offers are provided by a third party service, not by eRepublik. Good luck to everybody in earning GOLD, we hope that some of those offers will be of interest to you and don't forget to read carefully the FAQ.

The eRepublik Team

November's elections coming soon

Published on November 3 - Day 714 of the New World

Dear citizens,

We are fast approaching a new Presidential elections day. We have seen many well known, experienced candidates, as well as courageous new-comers. We would like to wish all of them good luck! These elections are particularly important, because this month's winners will be the first that will have to deal with the new Alliances rule. We are confident that new Presidents will carry us all towards a new era of eRepublik. An era in which we move from cold wars to genuine face-to-face wars. For more information about this change, you may wish to read the message posted on the forum (It is quite in depth). Some citizens have asked that the new Alliances price rule should also take into account the「age-old-activated MPPs,」which creates inequality among different countries given the increased price. We are working on this, and very soon a decision on the matter will be made public in a future Insider.

Yesterday was a very busy day. After a series of consecutive losses, PEACE decided to launch a massive attack against Icon-Croatia.png Croatia as the main target, as well as other countries. Of course, almost immediately Resistance Wars started to pop-up everywhere, and also some regions started to 'dance'- being attacked and retreated from strategic purposes. The countries involved in yesterday's wars were: Icon-Serbia.png Serbia, Icon-Hungary.png Hungary, Icon-Russia.png Russia, Icon-Turkey.png Turkey, Icon-Slovenia.png Slovenia, Icon-UK.png UK, Icon-Latvia.png Latvia, Icon-Croatia.png Croatia, Icon-USA.png USA, Icon-Canada.png Canada, Icon-Finland.png Finland, Icon-Sweden.png Sweden, Icon-Greece.png Greece. And of course, their allies fighting through Alliances. Icon-Croatia.png Croatia secured all of it's under siege regions, as did Icon-Greece.png Greece; however Icon-Finland.png Finland lost a few regions.

Maintenance announcement: On Day 716 of the New World, the eRepublik servers will be taken offline starting at 04:00 AM (eRepublik time) for approximately 1 hour, due to scheduled maintenance.

The eRepublik Team