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Cyber Nations logo
|Release date(s)||January 6, 2006|
|Genre(s)||Text based MMO strategy|
|Mode(s)||Standard Edition and Tournament Edition (SE and TE)|
Cyber Nations (also known as CyberNations and abbreviated to CN) is a massive multiplayer online geo-political simulator. Players assume the role of a national leader of a fictional nation they create and then run.
Cyber Nations was created by Kevin Marks, modeled on a game he invented as a child involving a world map and push pins. In 2003, Marks started a website for the game, although the domain sat idle for two years. On December 24, 2005, he began to code the game, and Cyber Nations was finally released to the public on January 6, 2006.
In the beginning, Cyber Nations was heavily linked to the game Jennifer Government: NationStates and a lot of its oldest members were recruited from there. Several of the oldest regions (essentially communities) from NationStates became Alliances in Cyber Nations.
When a player first creates a country, they choose a national name, a capital city name and location on Cyber Nation's planet, known by various names including Digiterra (from digital and Terra, Earth), Cyberverse (from cyber and universe), or Planet Bob (originated as a reference to the film Titan A. E. and often attributed to one of the in-game alliances), the income tax percentage, and various other settings such as the structure of government, the national religion, DEFCON Levels, Threat Level (used to defend against spy attacks), and positions on various issues, all of which may be changed by the player after the nation is created. Nations may collect taxes and pay bills daily, or wait for an update cycle (24 hours) to gain interest. Many factors affect the happiness of a nation's citizens, which in turn directly impacts that nation's income. By buying more infrastructure, a player can improve the economy and increase the population of their nation. Factors that affect a nation's income include the nation's technology level, infrastructure level, resources available, war readiness, soldier count, position in a color team, and inter-color team trading, as well as many 'hidden factors'. In addition to these primarily economic decisions, numerous social, political and diplomatic decisions are possible. These can be modified in a special menu which displays a variety of choices regarding things like immigration, nuclear proliferation, and human rights. These all determine the welfare of the nation, though the effect is relatively small.
The game updates every 24 hours, which gives the player an opportunity to collect taxes, pay bills, purchase things, or continue wars. When a nation collects taxes, a calculation is made to determine the amount of money the player receives (Citizens * Citizen income * Tax level / 100). After collecting taxes it is recommended that the player pays their bills. Failure to pay bills makes the player unable to do certain actions, such as purchasing Nuclear Weapons, decommissioning Soldiers or Improvements, buying infrastructure or technology, etc. and generally stops the player from taking any meaningful actions. This state is known as 'bill lock' in which the player is unable to get enough money to pay bills, and is therefore unable to fix the problem. People in bill lock often have to rely on Foreign Aid, where other nations give you money, technology, or soldiers. They may also have to sell off land or infrastructure to reduce their tax bill.
The primary way of advancing your nation is by purchasing infrastructure, which increases your citizen count, and hence your income on every tax collection. Infrastructure also needs to be maintained by paying upkeep. Infrastructure upkeep bills increase by every infrastructure jump (or 'infra jump') in which your infrastructure upkeep cost dramatically increases when you cross a finite number of infrastructure. The most notable jump is the 1,000 infrastructure jump, in which growing from 999.99 to 1,000.00 requires your nation to pay about 20% more in infrastructure bills. Therefore, advanced players devised a strategy to minimize the effect of this by 'Infra Jumping', where you buy exactly 1,000 infrastructure to reach the next jump, i.e.: 999.99 to 1999.99, and 1999.99 to 2999.99, and so forth. Eventually the player can buy many kinds of Improvements, which can increase your national income, or decrease upkeep, etc., to balance out the increase in bills. Not employing this strategy can stall a nation's growth for months.
Another growth method is by Technology Dealing, which is done through the Foreign Aid tool. Technology Dealing or 'Tech Dealing, or Tech Deals' is where a larger nation (presumably, with a sizable amount of technology) pays a smaller nation a large amount of money (for the larger nation, this amount is relatively small) and the smaller nation purchases technology and sends it back to the larger nation. This is beneficial because of the exponential increase of technology prices as you purchase more tech. (Example: A small nation can buy 50 tech for around $800,000 in-game money, whereas a large, high-tier nation would have to spend billions of dollars to get the same amount.)
Nations can further improve their nation by Trade with other nations, to get resources such as gold or oil. Certain combinations of resources yield Bonus Resources that can be created from the base or "native" resources, such as Fast Food from Cattle, Pigs, Sugar, and Spices. These bonus resources can give small or large boosts. Nations can only have two fixed native resources at any one time, although these can be changed once every 30 days. Players usually learn to collaborate (often within or between alliances) to create trade circles. Trade circles provide maximum benefits and take advantage of the team bonus, since two nations of the same team color receive a happiness bonus while trading. The most common trade circles are 8BR and 3BR (8BonusResources and 3BonusResources). 8BR gives maximum reduction to infrastructure cost and upkeep, as well as other upkeep, while 3BR maximizes agriculture and through that, income and citizen count. 3BR is generally used for small nations trying to grow while 8BR is used by larger nations buying infrastructure. Both 8BR and 3BR leave a slot for an extra resource—most commonly uranium, which allows Nuclear Weapons to be purchased, as well as giving other benefits.
Other sites and tools
Most of the gameplay of CyberNations is found on its usual link. However, a large part of the game is played on various offsite forums and on IRC channels. Nations and alliances often create such offsite pages that are linked to the game, and often play a key role in it. The most common offsite pages are alliance forums and IRCs, although there are others. There are also many offsite tools for calculating things such as purchases of infrastructure, or organization of lucrative trade circles.
A large amount of game play is alliance based, and players are recruited almost immediately as they join the game. Alliances are created by players but have been coded into the game. An alliance offers many benefits, including protection from attacks, camaraderie, aid (money or technology or military), and information on basic game play and nation-building. Most alliances have off-site forums and charters to explain their rules, and several IRC channels. Typically, alliances strive to operate with a full-fledged governmental power structure, with varying levels of democratic influence but almost always possessing heads of state and departments (often: internal affairs, foreign affairs, war, economy, and communications) among other specialized positions, leading to an internal political atmosphere which is (for many players) the driving force of the game. In this way it is the Alliances (particularly larger ones) rather than individual players' nations that are more analogous to real-world nations. Alliances of alliances in CyberNations are referred to as 'blocs'.
Alliances are known for having world wars (or great wars). This usually happens when tensions build up between two 'blocs', and one alliance declares war on another, and their allies declare war on the other alliance's allies, and those allies declare war on other allies, etc. These wars are usually very destructive and can last for weeks, completely obliterating some nations off the charts by destroying their infrastructure. Some alliances, like the 'Green Protection Agency' strive for a neutral position in alliance politics, and usually doesn't get involved in these wars.
It should be noted that any nation can declare itself to be in Peace mode, where it is not subject to attacks or warfare. However, remaining in Peace for too long results in lower citizen happiness and productivity, and prohibits sending Foreign Aid.
On January 2, 2007, an in-game alliance of nations known as Nordreich caused controversy when a Norwegian newspaper posted a story about a neo-Nazi group posting propaganda on YouTube, using the Norwegian national anthem. The Norwegian government and press did not check up on the story further, but were outraged over their national anthem being used in the background for a "neo-Nazi cell based in Germany" and requested YouTube to pull the video immediately. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry contacted YouTube about the video sometime prior to December 25, 2006, but YouTube did nothing at the time. The stated reason for the removal request was the "Nazi references and symbols" present in the video.
The next day, after an official statement from Nordreich in which one of the leaders of Nordreich stated that they were not neo-Nazis and did not condone such behavior, the incident was cleared up. The Norwegian papers which attacked Nordreich in print were also verbally reprimanded for their poor research and journalism. The video in question was later removed by YouTube on the grounds of copyright violation. The second Aftenposten article's mention of Cyber Nations made Cyber Nations more popular, causing Fark to link Cyber Nations to their main page, as well as nearly doubling the number of people who signed up for the game daily.
- "The League of Cyber Nations". escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- "About CN". Cyber Nations. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- Lucas H. Weldeghebriel (2007-01-03). "National anthem in Nazi propaganda". Aftenposten. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
- "Norway objects to abuse of national anthem". Telugu Portal. 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- United Press International (2007-01-02). "Norway wants anthem off Nazi video". Washington Times. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- Lucas H. Weldeghebriel (2007-01-03). "Not "real" neo-Nazis". Aftenposten. Retrieved 2007-02-21.[dead link]
- "YouTube - Nordreich Anthem: Ja Vi Elsker/Yes we love". YouTube. Retrieved 2007-02-25.