CivWiki Newsletter for February 5, 2024
Good morning and happy Monday from New England! Welcome to the first newsletter of February 2024!
I know I always get very deserved praise for writing this newsletter, and I really appreciate it getting “best contributions on CivMC”; sometimes it’s hard for me to recognize the massive talent that I’ve been given with this even if this entire newsletter is a glorified reposting mechanism. But I’m very glad that it’s provided significant value to this underrated genre.
It feels like this last month kinda flew by already, huh? We’ll see what happens within Civ soon enough. Ready for the news?
This week’s featured picture is Blue Cove in Icarus at sunset. It’s interesting that I’ve actually never featured this before, but I’m getting around to more of the places around the fringes of the map this time around. The tightly packed buildings around the lake make for an amazing vertical city. I’m a little reminded of those detailed little Italian villages in the Cinque Terre, it’s a great build, and I hope to see more of it in the future!
Nipplerock is a recurring country in Civ run by Gantoe. The country claims itself as a “powerful threat”, but it is mostly known for its intentionally jokey nature as a country. Its leader is well known for self-destructing TNT in large populated areas and showing as propaganda. Its continued longevity and commitment to “terrorist” acts have been lovingly joked throughout the Civ community.
The country has a longstanding feud with Hexcorp since Civcraft 2.0 after being defeated in their home turf during the Battle of Talahassee; continued campaigns against the organization continued when it was part of The Commonwealth during CivClassic. The country has also “defeated” other nations such as Tierra de Conciencia and Pacem in past iterations. Although Nipplerock does not currently hold territory on CivMC, Gantoe continues to carry out TNT raids in populous cities.
This week’s featured image is Nipplerock’s flag.
This Week Last Year
On the week of February 6, 2023,
- Estalia embarked on a Gong Night last Saturday; on the agenda was to grief Gensokyo’s gong followed by an attempted pearling on Danzilonan Red_Steel.
- Continued griefings in Cordoba by Gang Shi resulted in the pearling of five Cordoban citizens.
- PhysicsGamer, was pearled in Valyria by a coalition of Kallos and Pavia.
- The Commonwealth, Reggio Argeddina, and Iopa, a Molokan territory, created the League of Imperial Powers, committing to mutual defense and economic support between nations.
- Both monarchist and republican factions reached an agreement to restore the republic in Lambat, ending the Lambatan Civil War.
- CivRev 3.0’s beta launched with a map of the world, sporting numerous gameplay changes. More information on their discord.
Don’t think that columns were just a week-long experiment — for it to be a column, it has to be multiple! Once again we have SpeedyJustice returning to give some additional thoughts about the Civ journey that everyone talked about this past week.
On CivMC and The Greatest Adventure
I think a lot about what made Civ so meaningful to me. I reflect often on the times we share together online are times we spend making stories and memories together, weather it be the meticulous work done by e-lawyers surveying every bit of data and evidence to free their legally questionable clients, or venturing into enemy territory, surrounded by massive complex man made fortresses of obsidian that scale as far as the eye can see. I’ve had so many adventures here, met so many characters and interesting people, many of whom have become great friends of mine.
I used to bemoan the fact that I could not possibly due these stories I’ve had justice, saddened by the reality that so many of these adventures were “you had to be there” situations with too much required knowledge being needed to understand what made those stories so special to me.
I think back to a moment in 1985’s “The Polar Express” where the main character wakes up Christmas morning to unwrap a bell he received as a gift from his adventure in the North Pole that night before. The bell could only be heard by those who believe, and over time his friends and family became unable to hear its ring as he grew up and his acquaintances around him followed.
My stories here on Civ may never be able to be understood by others, and I have reached the conclusion that its okay. These stories will always stick with me, the adventures i’ve gone on and the friends I’ve met have become some of my greatest memories over the past few years. I may never be able to share these stories with others and have them understand like I have, they may never get why the journeys I’ve taken are of any significance to me, and yet to me and those who were fortunate enough to share those experiences with me.
The bell still rings.
As always, if you’d like your thoughts in this newsletter, reach out to me
Taijing in Baile, a new imperial Asian-themed settlement in the snowy north.
On February 3rd, CivMC re-released the 1.25 update, the long anticipated fishing update. It originally came out around Christmas about 50 days ago, believe it or not, but had to be rolled back due to continuous crashing issues.
The changelog is similar to the initial changelog of the update, so I’m not going to go over them, but the most important are:
- /global and /local are now more intuitive commands to switch chat groups (from Walkers)
- Downgraded server usage down to Java 17 (as it was the main culprit for errors)
- Reversion of CombatTagPlus and SimpleAdminHacks, presumably due to issues
- Updated the Fishing plugin to a newer version, presumably due to date issues
- Added coal to safebreak options. (from Gjum, with the comment “never thought I’d request this but here we are”)
- Added Winterbourne and Baile as Randomspawn Cities.
This update deployed following a short delay, although some players have reported downtime on Kira relays, which is unrelated to the global chat group commands above. Fixes for this are forthcoming.
Around the Server
- Icenia raised the bounty of Kibbles and SquidHasTheBad to 94 and 32 blocks of diamonds respectively, continuing the policy of punishment for those who aided chosentwicelol, who is now banned.
- Quanton_Biscuit further elaborated that this was to “accept a modicum of responsbility for your actions” for a war that happened a couple of months ago.
- Soon after, Toaxbis posted accusations against Yoahtl over their behavior. I am not opening that can of worms for discussion in this newsletter, so if you’d like to read the full post, click the link.
- It wasn’t mentioned last couple of weeks, but a lake north of Yoahtl was flooded. It was already pretty flooded due to the skybridge attack on Altepetl a few months ago, but the water continued to be filled until it’s the lake we know today. It’s now become a big meme among some Yoahtlans.
- In a surprising twist of fate, Dalgon officially merged with Nara after several months of asserting they were separate countries.
- Pavia elected Paagf I and BritishWanderer V to serve as Emperor and Archduke.
- Monument Bank released their January 2024 report, with the bank’s diamonds increasing to its highest point after the board (read: Pavia) took a break during the first month of the year.
- Arcandria opened their constitutional convention, with a push towards an overhaul of the Arcandrian Government (crossposted from the Arcandria Post.)
- Exilus (or is it Exyria) comes back for its third iteration, run by Arconis and other players. NeoTide affirmed that the country peacefully seceded from Yoahtl and would continue relations going forward.
- So Paddington_Bear pretty much laid out literally everything they did across the server after laying out a lot of harmless chaos.
- PhysicsGamer announced they would be reclaiming most territories that the Temporal Empire claimed, including exclaves near Yoahtl and Reggio Argeddina. TheJmqn is going to have a fun time.
- SQOpenSpellBook announced they would be reclaiming the cities of Birmingham and Erhablee to establish the nation of Apollan for preservation — with a note to contact them if they had attempted to claim them.
- TopHatAlexGamer put out a bounty for 4db and a steroid (for legal reasons this is a joke) for the murder of GooseHoss while AFK — that being said, it is your fault you were AFK
- SPQR elected BradoTomato, Deschaften, DarthChini, and BattleOfSky as Guild Heads.
For those not in the know about CivWiki, Miraheze, our host, merged with WikiTide recently, another host which was splinter product of the whole quitting fiasco last summer. Over the past week, the team moved all data from UK-based servers to the US (which did result in some downtime). For those in the US, you may find that loading times are a bit faster.
This should not result in any meaningful changes with the exception of copyright now being dealt in US terms. Personally, I don’t think this matters for Civ, but as always you may file a ticket on the CivWiki discord to request to remove information, for example, if you deem that copyright has been breached.
- Owain_X announced and gave updates on a couple of CivRev-related projects this past weekend.
- He first announces the 4th iteration of CivRev is planned to release sometime during the summer of 2024.
- However, he also announced CivRush, intended to have custom structures, mobs, and customized configs for a smaller map, along with a “Lifesteal-style mechanic” in place of ExilePearl.
- The server is similar in scope to the short-lived CivScarcity servers in 2016-2017, intended to be short maps but attempting to bring new concepts for world building in the new CivRev 4.
- As a result of the past week’s poll, a post made by Oceanstar talked about the design culture and philosophy of Civ. It sparked quite a lot of discussion. If you’re interested in the game design of Civ at all, read the comments of this post.
- In a similar vein, someone asked about how we measure economies on Civ, which is kind of interesting in a way? Civ doesn’t have GDPs but some economic indicators are not entirely quantitative (although, that being said, it is mostly quantitative).
- A newfriend asked about how often server resets are. Oh boy, welcome to Civ, Jonah.
- A post on #suggestions was interesting to me about buying advertisements for CivMC, where SoundTech revealed the advertisements had about 1 join/dollar, and had extremely minimal retention. I still think CivMC’s ad on r/place is still the best that’s ever happened in this genre.
- TheJmqn finished up and released results on his poll of who are the best Contributors, Heroes and Villains on Civ.
- Among some of the highlights are
- ttk2 as best contributor across Civ,
- a surprise Shadno as hero of CivMC,
- Saren_Solaris sneaking up to #3 on villains all-time
- Bonkill and Frensin as heroes of Civ as a whole
- Ez2Clutch as #2 villain of CivMC, he’s been a villain way before that.
- Of course, I really appreciate everyone putting me at best contributor on CivMC, but I honestly don’t deserve it, I just repost content! But regardless, thank you very much.
The Fun Stuff
Looking up around the Grand Canal in Adria.
- Missed it last week, but Griffin threw up a bunch of amazing images with shaders of their city, like the canal you saw above, the market gate, the docks, and the amber waves outside of the city
- ButtScott made this shop with excellent teal accents in Icenia! (Prices aren’t that bad either)
- Pripyat in the rain doesn’t look half bad — only needs to not be in the rain
- Dalgon shows off some builds they should’ve done for a while, including a tower, a glowing tree in the depths, and a guild house
- Baile has a new city, Taijing that was somehow massively downvoted but it actually looks good, what’s the deal with it?
- I visited Icarus for the featured image this week because gosh darn it, I haven’t highlighted them at all, Blue Cove’s architecture is downright impressive, along with the Blue Cove Hockey Arena next door.
Where in the world will specificlanguage visit next? You never know!
- It’s time to spiral down the shitter hole
- This Bronnakus meme is going way over my head but it’s still funny regardless
- Capybara coconut doggy
- so is Breaking BUILD a series that’s coming soon?
Finally, this section returns after a few weeks off of me trying to write outdated things from last year!
- I want to see some Civ people do this, british comedy at its finest
- I was speeding? Your honor, this SiIvaGunner rip was playing… Now that’s what I call high quality!
- A requisite Finn picture in a box as so commanded by Bronnakus
Poll of the Week
Last week, we had 55 responses to the poll.
Although I’m kind of glad I ran those specific questions for the poll last week, it was such a downer of a poll. I tried to keep it more positive this week, but gosh darn it, you guys pulled through to make it sad anyway.
The first question was, “What kind of community events do you want to see more of?”
I don’t think it’s surprising that we need a big event to bring the server back together like the Olympics. Sure, small events work but something well organized and something anyone can participate in might being server population up for a longer period of time.
I put something new as an option — but obviously we don’t know what people actually want. I think if it’s something innovative on the scale of like a World’s Fair kind of deal, that would be really cool. But I honestly don’t know, you’d need to be a Civ pioneer, imaginary, and ridiculously strong-willed to think of something and organize something big and new and convince everyone to participate in, two of which I’m probably not.
The second question was supposed to be an antithesis to last week’s question on why people want to quit, but “Why do you continue to play Civ?” I didn’t run a graph for this poll, as it was entirely response-based.
Let’s start with the good news: it’s still good that the main reason people keep playing are:
It’s fun, it’s not like other civilization servers…
…it is still far more dynamic and engaging as a political experiment than any other “political” servers…
Civ is the only game I’ve played that is completely shaped by the community. That is awesome!
I find it extremely reassuring that a good majority of the playerbase have stuck around because of the main selling points of Civ: a dynamic community that builds its own politics, events, sub-communities and more, not to mention the unique expressiveness that is found nowhere except the recreations of r/place.
It’s very obvious that there’s also a bunch of responses that look like:
I play to chill with friends
I can’t give up on my friends… Not yet…
There are a few people who make it worth it…
Nostalgia for old moments and memories, the desire to create more and make friends…
Which (hot take) I think is good, it’s a great thing to have good friends by your side. That being said, the problem is that several people had the same response:
The aspects of roleplay that made Civ unique is quickly dying and grindset playstyles are heavily favoured over that of actually building a city.
bronnakus has my child hostage
Ok, maybe not that last one. There’s a lot of people that are playing because of spite, or responded as they’re banned, or talked about how they long for the old days of roleplay and grindset playstyles.
It’s a case, where (cold take), Civ is a great place to find friends and build a community, but as you stay longer the harder it is to pull away. But why play out of spite on Civ? If you’re playing to spite someone, in the long run people will not care if you continue playing the game or not. Spite is such a terrible reason to keep playing Civ, go touch some grass or play competitive Valorant if you’re trying to torture yourself like that.
Well, let’s hope we something more positive this time…
I’m pretty sure I’ve asked this last question before on several polls pre-Newsletter, but this might be interesting.
Grammy Cry for Help
A glowing tree made by Jaker within the depths of Dalgon.
A big thanks to the return of the Newsletter Mafia, which includes RedDevel, BritishWanderer, Gjum, and Lodish who significantly helped with this week’s edition. Also a big thanks to SpeedyJustice who stayed up on Sunday night contributing his part to the newsletter!
A few times, I know that many players say what I do here is way too good to be made for Civ, but I appreciate everyone’s sentiments once again. I’m pretty thankful for all of your support even if I sometimes beat myself up over thinking bad things about my own life; I guess that’s somewhat common for Civ.
I am working on a couple of secret projects right now, but I really appreciate everyone’s support on keeping this newsletter up. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your readership and support, however I’ve been able to run this.
There’s no reason for doing that above, I just wanted to say it.
Anyway, I believe that’s it, I’ll see you all next week! Until then,