CivWiki Monday Newsletter

A semi-weekly newsletter for Civ servers supported by the CivWiki

Reflections on Civ in 2023

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As we approached the end of the year, I asked several players around the Civ community to ask what they had learned and other reflections they had from 2023, and what they hoped for in 2024.

This is similar to what I did last year, but with a whole new slate of players who have had drastically different experiences. Some of them have had success, downfalls, departures, or returns, and some all four of them, and I wanted to hear about their experiences and moments in the past year in the hopes of seeing what is to come for 2024.

First, I asked reflections from the Daimyo of Shiroyama, and curator of Finn pictures, Bronnakus.

I believe Civ as a whole has improved quite a bit in the last year. There’s been a plethora of things added to the game that give it more depth such as brewing and fishing, and the map is finally looking more peaceful. There’s still challenges and headwinds, the remnants of toxicity and the ever-present issue of crayons. Hoping to see more newfriends and more meaningful national interaction in 2024!

Up next, I asked a major diplomatic head who led the charge in the Butternut-SEC, That’s Nuts, and most recently the Grasslands Gambit in Icenia, Shadno for his reflections on experiences in 2023.

Definitely wild to reflect on a year of civ, especially when events from a year ago are definitively past SOTW / post generic war.

I think that of the past year a large amount of it has been dominated by the back and forth between Icenia and GS, and I’m hopeful that we can finally get back to a state where military concerns don’t take the forefront. A lot of what I think has come up for Icenia over the last year has to be communication, we’ve tried to streamline both internally and externally and dealt with a lot of challenges along that way, but I think the DGP has been much better about it then the SEC; and I really hope that we can continue that trend as we move into an era of (fingers crossed) peace in our time.

I attempted to source information from a variety of players for a full perspective of the Civ experience. In this case, I asked for reflections from bgbba. He provided a short statement instead:

Bans work. Permapearls work. Simple as. Civ has continued to improve and is always wonderful to come back to after a long break and a refreshed attitude.

For another oldfriend perspective, I asked for words from longtime, and now retired Mount Augusta mayor ComradeNick. He has some choice words about the conflicts that we’ve seen over the past year.

The end of the last year was marked by betrayal, conflict, and broken friendships and as a result it is hard to say something optimistic and easier to be pessimistic. Moral justification for actions is basically non-existent and “PR” posts now entirely constitute bad faith excuses more than genuine moral arguments. Cliques masquerading as nations and alliances have become cult-like echo chambers.

Out of game action in retaliation for in game action and vice versa has become the norm while those with ostensibly deep moral convictions seem to have forgotten them. No bad act, in-game or out, cannot be waved away and hypocrisy runs rampant to the detriment of us all. These observations apply in some way to every major group (and some more than others) on the server and it is more clear than ever that this community has on the whole become smaller, more insular, and toxic than ever before and this trend will continue until people decide that they desire something different. Perhaps CivMC has accomplished ttk2’s vision, rather than being a genuine experiment it is a microcosm of everything else around us.

Now for some optimism that hopefully people can relate to in-game and out:

While constrained and shaped by the conditions around them, humans are still the primary movers of history so when it seems bleakest do not give up hope. Seek out friends and fellow travelers because if nothing else they will give you that hope necessary to fight for a better future.

Finally, I always try to reach out to server admins to gauge their perception of the Civ community at large. Who better than CivMC admin RedDevel to have the last word?

To me, looking back a year ago on civ feels very odd. I never expected while working on a castle in Mehri, that I’d be an admin working on the server instead. And really from what I’ve learned the 2 are not so different.

You start by assessing the land, getting inspiration for what you want to build. Then thinking up a plan, a new feature here another tower there. A cool dock you’d like to make in the future, if you have the time. Slowly, brick by brick it all comes together. There might be some hurdles along the way you didn’t think of or expect, a lack of materials or will. But if you just keep putting down bricks, with help of some friends, then in the end you’ll have a castle.

I look forward to building this castle in the coming year, with help of the other admins. And I hope one day, to build that cool dock. Happy new year everyone.

A huge thanks to Bronnakus, Shadno, bgbba, ComradeNick, and RedDevel for contributing time and effort into making these reflections this year.

I deliberately kept the word limit short for readability sake, and while I did not get to as many people as I wish I could have for this year, I hope these reflections give some insight into how Civ, as a genre, is moving forward into 2024. While I personally am hesitant for the new year, I am hoping that players and nations learn from their mistakes this year and looking forward to a year with less constant wars, more events, and fun times.

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And happy new year to you, dear reader, for reading these reflections!

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