EI September 2009

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[Citizens Insiders] 500 days of eRepublik

Dear citizens,

We would like to talk a bit more about our citizen-written Insiders project, and to clarify some aspects. Most of our citizens liked the idea, and many of them expressed their desire to participate. On the other hand, we have received many e-mails containing links to articles having nothing to do with the proposed subject.

As we have stated before, you have to write about specific topics, which are publicly announced. We would like to promote original and good articles of our talented journalists, so please focus on the proposed themes, don't send us links to various random articles.

Below we have a nice article condensing a 500 days experience of eRepublik world, about learned lessons, friendships,enemies, and real-life influences, written by citizen atilaa. You can find his newspaper here

“Three times during these 500 days I wanted to leave this game, but it was like something would miss in my real life. eRepublik is now part of my life. And I'm not regretful for that. You know why? Because..

I have learned a lot of things here in eRepublik, which are really useful in real life:

-I have learned how to be a politician; -I have learned how to be calm when I'm angry; -I have learned how to get angry; -I have learned that friendships don't last forever; -I have learned that being enemy with someone lasts less than being friend; -I have seen many friends becoming enemies; -I have seen many enemies becoming friends; -I have found out what is the real meaning of double crossing; -I have found out what is like to be honest; -I have seen how profits are better than benefits; -I have found out how profits are sacrificed for benefits.

And beside these..

eRepublik made me look after many things..

-When I wanted to make a new party, I went looking after some politics manuals, and it was really hard to find some good ones. -While I was arguing with hasan1, I was really interested to see what real fascist are like, and also what their beliefs are. -When I became president for the first time, I went looking after business terms, `cause I knew nothing about that. And also, I've realized that the English we have learned in university wasn't enough for at least saying some greetings, so I attended English classes.(still I don't know much :D)

Want to say more?Alright.

-When we've been to Norway to fight in the RW started by Romanians, my blood adrenalin was so high that I couldn't sleep for 2 days!! -When we've lost the Northwest Territories battle, I broke the smoking record!! -When I found a girl-friend here, I was very excited but after I found out that it was a GUY actually, I was more excited :D -When I made a party which everyone hates, but still all of them are members of it, I was so proud of myself. -When I saw that some old players are here to make me leave this game, I got more determined to stay :D


The topics for the next Insider which YOU might write, are: “How do you think eRepublik will be like five years from now? Use your imagination!” and "What does it mean to have success in eRepublik?" You can choose either one to write about.

The deadline is: until articles with these topics will get published in EI. Usually the deadline will be one week.

Maintenance announcement: Tomorrow, day 681 of the New World, servers will be taken offline for about two hours, starting 00:30 AM (eRepublik time) for scheduled maintenance.

Regards, The eRepublik Team

Promoting high quality journalism

Dear citizens,

Sometimes we like to see eRepublik as a giant living organism, glued together by many many individuals having their own unique feelings and thoughts. But of course sharing feelings with their friends and nation. And indeed, the New World grows, it's in constant activity, sometimes it gets sick, later it gets better, sometimes is sleepy, other time is full of energy. The economy module feeds citizen's pocket and quality of life, the war module feeds the heart and pride, and the media module feeds the brain and joy of life.

If not the most important, the media module is at least one of the most important aspects of the game. Some even say that if you don't “exist” in media, you don't exist at all. Media module is the fertile ground to plant ideas and thoughts, to spread beliefs and to battle or debate countless happenings and subjects of the New World. And most importantly, the media module is a precious fuel for the social interactions of citizens, beside forum and chats.

Since the creation of eRepublik there have been published 271.428 articles in 675 days. Now, that's a big number! This shows how much our citizens enjoy writing articles. We are seeing many really talented writers, which are able to move masses, to make citizens laugh, to make them feel sad, even to start or stop wars! A good journalist adds value both to his nation and to eRepublik as a whole.

This is exactly what we are intending to do: promote talented journalists, by publishing some nice articles a couple of times per month in the eRepublik Insider. Of course, an article must be really good and interesting in order to get published in EI. There are some requests that need to be checked before your article could possibly get chosen:

- your article must be written in English and must not exceed 2500 characters;

- it must be related to eRepublik world and events;

- no propaganda or personal feelings concerning a group/country/alliance expressed;

- it must be really interesting;

- you will find the proposed themes in the last paragraph of some Insiders;

- Only articles debating the proposed subject for that week are eligible.

So, would like to have your article published integrally in the biggest newspaper of eRepublik? Would you like to have your ideas spread to thousands of citizens? If “yes,” get your fingers on the keyboard and do a good job! We would be happy to share it with everybody, because we consider the high quality journalism something that definitely deserves to be promoted. Please send us your articles which you consider to fulfill the requests posted above at the e-mail address insiders@erepublik.com.And keep your eyes on the Insider, you may see your article posted there someday! Also, link to your profile and your newspaper, which may help you a lot achieving the media mogul medal for example.

Announcement: we would like to announce that nine new countries are able to buy Gold through the SMS payment method. These countries are: Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Russia and Switzerland. If you encounter any problem using this service, please send us a ticket through the Contact Page.

And here we go: the theme for the first citizen-written Insider is "Real friends I met because of eRepublik."

Regards, The eRepublik Team

eRepublik, behind the scenes

Dear citizens,

We would like to share with you some of our thoughts, hopes and plans for the remaining months of this year.

Before getting to the future, let's review the past and present. It looks like 2009 has been a successful year so far, in terms of improvements, additions, and growth of eRepublik. Many new modules have been implemented, improving user experience. The explosive growth in terms of citizens, hence page views requests, has caused problems for our servers, from time to time. There is a constant battle between the hard-working databases-servers which would love just to yell “I quiiiiit” and our guys from the IT department trying to keep them up and running, delivering millions of pages per day. Some citizens have the wrong idea that problems occur due to lack of servers, that is, physical PCs. This is wrong, it is not server-machines that are needed, because the database software is the “rebel” causing problems. Every citizen, by doing an action, like working, fighting, reading a newspaper, opening a private message, voting, or just looking to his profile, requests information from several interconnected databases.

Since the launch of eRepublik two years ago, these databases have been constantly optimized. The proof of that is a simple measurable one: there were times when by having just a small fraction of today`s citizens online, servers would just crash, without a warning. With stress, hard-work, fine-tuning, and lots of coffee, the net result has been that the server are sustaining today many more simultaneously players.Again, buying some additional servers would not help at all, but we have a different approach to increase the number of maximum simultaneous requests. eRepublik is a unique game - there is no software or computer which we could install and solve such problems, unfortunately. Fortunately, we keep working to manually fine-tune and solve different things that “hurt” performance.

Some citizens see “eRepublik staff” as something general, some sort of single person. For instance, if somebody looks through the media in order to find a couple of nice articles, we see comments like “instead of fixing bugs, eRepublik staff read the newspapers.”

This is wrong – there are many departments in eRepublik, each of them having different “jobs” assigned, dispatched in a network. Everybody is doing his or her job, and if we sum up all of the jobs we head toward our goal: to provide citizens with a fine product.

Guys from the development department are working for a new module, other guys from testing are solving bugs, somebody from the design team is drawing the graphic concept needed by the new module in production. In the “obscure chamber” the guys from IT are fighting hard with the server, meanwhile the community department is solving tickets, and so on, all happening simultaneously. So it is not that if one is reading some news, the rest of tens of employees are doing the same thing or “wasting time.” No, each and all of them has his or her task and jobs, that are independent and also interconnected, like a living organism. The net result of the work done this year has already been presented, but in short: server up-time rose from 90 % in January to aroundn 98 % in August, despite the population growing six-fold. Modules like citizenship, citizen ads, the eRepublik map, and request appeal, have been delivered. The development team has done a great job until now, and they`ll keep doing so.They also have other modules being working on, or almost “in the pipe.”

OK, let's talk about what's to come. Not long ago, last week, the company tools module came live, offering managers needed statistics and information. Some citizens asked for several additions to these tools, but we will postpone them. That is because a team of programmers started the work on the new economic module of eRepublik. Yes, we started to work on a new economic module, a much more complex, diversified and hopefully fun-to-play-with one. The new module will also probably mean the re-draw of the world map in terms of “most valuable regions,” given the fact that some resources might be introduced, while others existent now might disappear or be replaced.

Also, another team of programmers is coding an important project: a new war module. When this module will go live in the beginning of the next year, a much greater number of soldiers will be able to fight simultaneously without crashing the server.The new war module will offer you epic strategic battles (including PvP fights, for which we have been already working for a while ) - future Insiders will offer you details about all of these goodies we are working on.

In the next two months it's possible that you will occasionally encounter problems when accessing eRepublik, because on one hand we will transit toward a new infrastructure, and on the other hand some modules will be going live. Ever growing variables in the databases ask for work to adjust them. We know that new module implementation brings some bugs usually, but most of them are quickly solved by our maintenance team. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and the guys fighting bugs are determined to better their results.

We also have a surprise for you. Aside from company tools, another new module will come live pretty soon, we are in the final testing phase now. Stay tuned for more details.

Regards, The eRepublik Team

And so arrived the 666th day of eRepublik

Dear citizens,

We all feel the growing tensions in our beautiful New World, that few days ago were just whispers, but are now getting louder and louder: “will the Ugly-One show up?” In the last days paroxysm has reached unbearable levels, we've seen citizens donating all their money to their brothers because it doesn't matter anymore, we've seen managers giving up their high-quality companies in order to start selling holy water. We have even seen a guy trying to sell Q5 blessings which supposedly would wash away a minimum of 100 sins. We started to do research in order to find out what this was all about, and pretty quickly things were cleared up. Not long after the creation of the New World, the ancient civilization of Betanianus Persianus, living in deplorable Q1 houses in what is today Iran, predicted the comeback of the Ugly-One. The sacred text reads “[...]and in the six hundredth and sixty sixth day after the creation of the New World, the Ugly-One will tear apart the world, rising from the black depths to bring destruction, pain and sufferance among the citizens. To recognize the beast, just look after the 404 code tattoo, somewhere on his head.”

This text is too old, no physical evidence exists, but generation after generation of citizens has passed on these stories to the youths. Citizens, have no fear! Our brave team is prepared to fight the beast, and all of us will see the rising and shining sun on day 667!

The first measure was to hunt down the headless chicken. You can't imagine how creepy it was trying to catch a vigorous chicken with no head, running all over the offices. Finally, after more than 20 minutes we got her! Headless chicken is our captive now, locked in an impenetrable cage, guarded by two fearless programmers. When we tried to get the screwdriver from her hand, the chicken just went mad, really mad, but in the end we won again! So, having the chicken captive and, most importantly, without the screwdriver, we are secure.

Next, we hired a team of 22 priests, each of them armed with The Holy Bible of PHP&Symphony (2009 edition) ready to unleash powerful holy bits in case the Ugly-One shows up. We had a strong debate here, because those fellas are pretty expensive and we couldn't afford them initially. We had to sell our Foosball table, our licensed computer games, our coffee maker, everything...but it still wasn't enough! Fortunately, once again, Ivona saved us by agreeing to appear in FHM magazine, which brought us more cash than we had obtained by selling all our stuff. Now the priority is to get back at least George`s desk and chair that we had already sold.

So, everybody, stay calm. Don't give away your belongings, don't try to clone yourself hoping for increased chances of surviving the rumored apocalypse. And don't worry, we'll get over this dangerous 666 day with no problems, so that we'll celebrate day 1000 of the New World.

Regards, The eRepublik Team

New features launched

Dear citizens,

As most of you have noticed, since few days ago we have a new background image, following the redesigned icons, as part of our graphical improvements work. If you don't like it, you may disable this background image by turning “Ambient” on/off, in the upper right part of the screen, but we really hope that you do enjoy it. The ambient graphic is visible only on screen resolutions larger than 1150 horizontally. This new background has not been the cause of the several hours of the last downtime , as we could see in some comments in our latest Insider. Those hours have been used to implement one of the most awaited new features since the launch of V1: company tools.

Looks like the word “new” bothers some older beta-citizens, because they consider the company tools to be an old feature. That is somewhat funny, given the fact that few days ago we had no company tools, and today we do, so it's something completely new for almost 90 % of our citizens, that have no idea what Beta looked like. We have extracted the best concepts from Beta and implemented in our current version of eRepublik. This is usually the purpose of having Beta version, isn't it?

Well, because we are receptive to our citizens feedback we have fulfilled their request- we brought back those economic tools. For that to happen though, our programmers worked hard, given the huge complexity of today's eRepublik compared to that of the Beta version, when modules like citizenship, citizen ads, the dynamic map and many others did not exist.

Having said that, let's proceed to the description of the new feature.We have waited several days before announcing it, because we wanted to make sure that everything is fine and also fine tune some details. We can split company tools into two main parts: employees list and account balance + sales history.

The new employees list replaced the old one, adding lots of useful information. The public list (that is, accessible by anyone) shows the name, the skill, the wellness, the presence at work in the last week, and the productivity of each employee during the worked days. If your character is in the list, you will also see your salary. And if you are the owner of the company, you will see all salaries listed and have the option to modify them, or to fire employees. Also, as a manager you can check the presence and productivity of your employees in the last four weeks, not just the current week. All the information from the employees list are updated in real-time - for example as soon as a citizen works, his wellness is updated and his productivity posted.

The other part of company tools is available exclusively to managers and is accessible from the Finances tab: account balance and sales history.

Account balance is the place where you can track your money flow. All you need to do is select the account (GOLD, national currency, or any other currencies your company owns) and the week you're interested in (up to four weeks in the past, but you can download a .csv file for each available week, so you can keep your history records for years, if you wish). Having done that, all your incomes and expenses are listed, providing you a total profit or loss. Profit, if you know what you are doing, and loss if making business is not your strongest ability. Well, if you are indeed losing money, at least you will know for sure why. Please bare in mind that the account balance is done from the company perspective - for example moving money from organization to company is “income” and collecting your profit is “expense” for company. Same for monetary market exchanges, if you exchange GOLD for national currency, you will have an expense on your GOLD account and an income for your national currency account.

We move to the second part of Finances tab, sales history. Here you have listed all products sales made by your company, showing you the market, the number of sold products, the price(net and gross) and the income(net and gross). An easy way to spot your most productive selling markets!

Overall, these should include the main features of company tools. Of course, managers will need some time to discover the full potential of all these statistics, but we are confident that they'll get used to them pretty quickly.

Note that account balance and sales history update each morning, offering data for your previous eRepublik day.

Regards, The eRepublik Team

Recruitment announcement: We are searching for a new member to join our Community Department, based in Bucharest, Romania. More details can be found here. Also, if you know somebody that might be interested, let him or her know about this.

Paparazzi inside eRepublik office

Dear citizens,

We have seen that lots of citizens are willing to appear in the Face 2 face series.So, we have decided to introduce a part of our team, too.

We start with Ivona, because she is the first person everybody sees in the morning. When arriving at the office, I mean. She's the pretty girl from the front-desk, and despite nobody's sure what she's doing exactly, eRepublik office would for sure collapse without her.

Ivona working

Here is Cezar, one of the guys from our design team. He loves to draw, and he is doing this all day long, on computer, on paper, on pizza boxes, on bills, on walls, everywhere. In the photo you can see him working hard, drawing new icons for eRepublik.

Cezar drawing

This is Alex, the brain behind many modules, like citizenship, citizen ads, eRepublik map etc. As projects manager he coordinates his team to do various jobs. He is well-known as a mature, grown up man, exigent and respected. You can't play with this guy! Bellow you can see a picture of him preparing a team-meeting.

Alex working

We get to Dragos, one of the guys fighting bugs and stuff like that. Bellow you can see his picture, crushing one of these poor little fellas. Notice his warm and somewhat “feel sorry for you buddy” smile? That's because Dragos has been doing this for a long, long time, and a strong relationship has developed between him and all sorts of bugs.

Dragos killing bugs

Last but not least is Adrian, some sort of programmers team leader. He coordinates the team doing those weird stuff, coding, PHP, things like that. Notice that really, really thick “PHP 5 & MySQL” book on his desk? Rumors say that he is only 700 pages short to finish it, but others say it's just a lie. Nevertheless, everybody agrees that he's doing a great job in the programmers department.

Adrian doing something, probably

Hope you have enjoyed reading this article.

PS: Now, to be serious: We are searching for a new member to join our Community Department, based in Bucharest, Romania. More details can be found here. Also, if you know somebody that might be interested, let him or her know about this.

Regards, The eRepublik Team