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  • Meditations on Micras

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    Meditations on Micras

    Postby Scott Alexander » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:55 pm

    I've been thinking about why Micras is so much more fun than Archipelago. I mean, we have a lot of advantages over here, but it's hard to deny that Micras is just plain more fun. Part of it is that there are more people there, and it's more heavily developed, which is something we can change with time. But two big events recently have made me wonder if a lot of it is something more.

    First big event is CJ trying to get Safiria in Bastion. Safiria is a one-man country with a detailed constructed history, exactly the sort of place Archipelago should be perfect for. And indeed, Safiria's done okay here. But CJ seems to feel (and I sympathize with) the belief that it won't really have "hit the big-time" until it becomes a full micronation on Micras.

    Second big event is Nick's new yak nation. I asked him the other day if he wanted to start a nation on Archipelago, he said no. But a new nation on Micras is much more exciting. I'm not blaming Nick for this. It feels more exciting for me too.

    So why is this?

    1) People like being in power and having a leadership role. That doesn't exist in Archipelago, except for the Autokrator and a Speakership that doesn't confer a lot of power or prestige.

    2) Part of the fun of being on Micras is seeing how big and powerful you can get your nation. There's always a chance, no matter how small, that it could become the next Babkha or Ashkenatza. That possibility doesn't exist on Archipelago. Getting lots of ECs and growing very large, pretty much the closest Pelagian equivalent, just isn't as exciting as having dozens of people working under you and building on your ideas.

    3) People like interacting out of character, and meta-gaming, more than anything else. This would explain why the most active part of Archipelago is always the Control Room where everyone discusses the Autokrator's speeches and stuff.

    All of these are self-defeating in the end. Only a few people can have leadership roles on Micras - unless everyone becomes dual cits in everyone else's country, which is starting to look better and better. Without lots of new blood, the world only has a room for a few Babkhas or Ashkenatzas (really no new country since Ashkenatza has broken into the big leagues in a big way), and most new countries instead produce only sound and fury before filling the scrap heap of history. And meta-gaming depends on the existence of a game, as the Babkhans learned so painfully during their Blackfriars experiment.

    So it's virtuous to try to escape dependence on these three factors, but it's a very boring sort of virtue and one where I feel I'm having to drag people to participate here as opposed to Micras which is shiny and exciting and more fun even for me.

    The Holy Grail would be to find a way to make Archipelago as much fun as Micras (or Micras as well-ordered and elegant as Archipelago) but I'm stuck for ideas.

    For example, I was thinking of was a tribute system that encourages people to build up empires of tributary states. For example, I'm already thinking of giving everyone an EC "salary" of maybe 2000 EC every three months just for being around and participating. If Country A pays tribute to Country B, Country B gets an extra 500 EC, and Country A doesn't actually lose anything. This would encourage statelets to get their neighbors to form tributary relations or something.

    ...but actually, that's a terrible idea, exactly the sort of hack which sounds good on paper but doesn't really make anything more interesting. I only bring it up because it's an example of the kind of thing I'm looking for. Something more ego-boosting than just running a really tight statelet and collecting ECs every so often.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:58 pm

    Let's find a gate somewhere on Pelagia that leads to Hurmu!

    That way any archipelago state or group of state can colonize Micras too, even from a fictive point of view.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Scott Alexander » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:06 pm

    I'm working on opening the gate we already have! Just give Nithi permission already!
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:06 pm

    We have a gate here?
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Scott Alexander » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:08 pm

    ...no...the Hurmu Gate.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Emir of Raspur » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:15 pm

    Which I have no units within 100km of... honestly. I'd tell you if there were.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:22 pm

    Yes, Scott. But the Hurmu Gate would need to lead to a gate on Pelagia. That was my point :p

    We need to find a gate on Pelagia!
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Scott Alexander » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:23 pm

    Really? Was that how it worked on Giess? I thought it just sort of opened its own gate...like if the Hurmu Gate directed to Pelagia, then when we turned the Hurmu Gate on a corresponding gate would suddenly appear in the air in Pelagia.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Andreas the Wise » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:24 pm

    I think the main difference is that people see Archipelago as primarily one-person nations, and Micras as many-person nations. And many-person (if you hit the critical mass of 4-5 active citizens) is more fun than one-person as you have a lot to interact with. The reality is that there are many Micran nations who would do better on Archipelago because they never hit the critical mass, and at least everyone here is the same citizen count as them so they could get more interaction, but almost all nations dream big, even if few get there.

    {Also, you need time travel to get to Pelagia, unless it's an alternate break-away dimension with an accelerated timeline}
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Emir of Raspur » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:28 pm

    So Micras, Pelagia, Giess and Meekras... Crisis on Multiple Earths anyone... =p
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:31 pm

    Andreas:

    I think we even have multiple time-"zones" here on Pelagia too. Time goes faster in Galinomai than in Lant it would seem.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Aster » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:32 pm

    I'm sorry I didn't get more involved in Archipelago, but I just feel that for a micronation to last for a long time, it has to develop a somewhat original political culture that can be developed slowly over time. Often those ideas mature and evolve via discussion and interaction with other citizens - if the only interaction is in the context of foreign policy, internal relations will gradually become less enjoyable and the bedrock upon which a nation is developed with thus become neglected. Nations like Babkha, the maroon republic, and Shireroth to my mind have remained alive for so long precisely because they have developed an organic culture that is internally developed over years by numerous citizens bringing their ideas to the table.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Nathan » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:39 pm

    Emir of Raspur wrote:So Micras, Pelagia, Giess and Meekras... Crisis on Multiple Earths anyone... =p


    And the GC should invade them all!
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Aster » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:40 pm

    Where did calling Micras 'Meekras' come from, by the way?
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Carl Jackson » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:43 pm

    Antica, as I recall.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Nathan » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:47 pm

    Aster wrote:Where did calling Micras 'Meekras' come from, by the way?


    Malliki said it in an ART once and everyone went crazy.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:51 pm

    That's because he's Swedish.

    We also pronounce those Digestives biscuits "digg-uh-steev-uh" (yes without an s).

    And don't get me started on words like "shorts" and the like :p
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Emir of Raspur » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:00 pm

    Nathan wrote:
    Aster wrote:Where did calling Micras 'Meekras' come from, by the way?


    Malliki Chris said it in an ART once and everyone went crazy.


    If I recall?
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:09 pm

    Well, Chris is wannabe Swedish so my argument still stands.
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    Re: Meditations on Micras

    Postby Orion » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:10 pm

    What's the point of gating to Micras when we still have an arseload of land on Pelagia to colonize?
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