CivWiki Newsletter for December 11, 2023
Good morning and happy Monday from New England!
As I’m writing this, I really hope we’ll be back on the Monday schedule going forward, and I think this week has made me feel a lot better in the situation. Sure, some ups and some downs but I’ve picked myself up and feeling a little more hopeful of the situation, and I think this newsletter actually helped with that.
Although that being said, the community really had some highs and lows this weekend, huh?
Are we ready to start reading this mess of a newsletter?
This week’s featured image is a simple, but very effective Christmas tree in Amicitia. Of course, one of the only reasons I’ve picked it is that the Christmas tree was made this early but after visiting the country recently their smaller scale and simpler builds fit well on the tiny islands that they call their home. The steampunk/victorian-like architecture fits really well and is framed really well on the island so everything feels lived in and large but not too imposing. Looking forward to seeing more, if they can dredge more of the sea!
Pearled Harbor was an event in Columbia that resulted in many unpearlings from the Crucible, a vault in their territory. On December 7, 2021, KnotNSA, a former high-ranking official in the Columbia government, released the vast majority of pearls along with burning valuables that were stored in the vault. The event had thought to be stemmed from a personal dispute between Knot and Doommad. The name was a joke of prison pearls being released, along with the event coinciding with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Among those freed were fighters from the Infinity War, Lowtuff, Kdeeks, and other related associates, among others. KnotNSA did so after Kallos obtained information that the server was ending following a leak from TealNerd that he wished to conclude CivClassic. Kallos promised to protect KnotNSA, and issues surrounding the event resulted in panic of another war between the UDF and Kallos. The event only solidified the decision as TealNerd announcement that the server was closing due to causing substantial consequences; and the server continued as CivLegacy the following year.
This week’s featured article image is the Crucible vault in Columbia.
This Week Last Year
We’ve gotten to a point where it’s been more than a year since the very first newsletter, so this is a short section where I pull up what I wrote last year, to see what happened last year, for nostalgia’s sake:
- Negotiations between Gensokyo and Dalgon broke down as the allies of both countries could not agree on adequate reparations following the Speedy Coup.
- Icenia, Ocala, Temporal Isles, and Arnen became involved in a weekend of attacks and raids, resulting in Ocala being dissolved.
- Pavia’s build weekend ended with a great success, with the city growing twice as big as before.
- mTfUJi has created two different slander memes, one of which covers almost every aspect of CivMC.
Pearl Harbor, the Squeakuel
A snowy evening in among the streets of Adria, Griffin.
Except only about half of this headline can really be proved true because, guess what, nothing’s happened yet. Otherwise, buckle up boys, this is going to get complicated…
On Friday night to Saturday morning, Icenian speaker Quanton_Biscuit announced that they disabled, reinforced groups, and removed valuables from the Black Mesa vault, as well as “kicking fighters” from the vault. The reason for doing so, in short, was that Gang Shi employed a strategy to single out Icenia in combat to wipe them from the map.
- They come to this conclusion following a series of crises and incidents caused by Gang Shi across the server, provided by leaks. This includes, but is not limited to:
- the Anvil and Squid pearlings,
- pearling Drekamor while refereeing a hockey match last week (editor’s note: I forgot to report on that, sorry!)
- deliberately overclaiming Temporal Empire territory to have access to a forward base on Icenia
- supporting known raider chosentwicelol along with Dark_FFC
- deliberately setting up buffer states to prevent Icenian expansion
- setting up bunkers at strategic locations
- orchestrating the Transylvanian secession from Kaowta (as seen the previous week, I also did a much longer writeup explaining this here)
- political strongarming and “military operations” to undermine Ila’Kyavul’s, Kroven’s and Jomsborg’s sovereignty (by doing imperialist building of infrastructure, or just bombing)
- proliferating a culture in private chats about extortion, obbybombing, and complete decimation (for general lack of better words on my part)
- Gang Shi’s strategy, if it wasn’t very obvious before, was to slowly and sneakily build up influence throughout the map to take over the server under their control. Although it was labelled in the post as “gaslighting”, I wouldn’t call it that, and more just general antagonization of others.
Each of the above bulletpoints I could probably expound into an entire five paragraph essay on each (and believe me, I can), but that would be incredibly boring and time-consuming, and I don’t want to waste your time on silly things like this.
Ironically, although Quanton’s post was titled “Pearled Harbor” and claimed to be posted on the date of the Pearl Harbor bombings in Honolulu, Hawaii, a short investigation revealed that the post was actually created on December 8, one day after. To be fair, FDR’s declaration of war on Japan was the day after the Pearl Harbor bombings, and the attack on Gang Shi was done on December 7, so take of that what you will…?
Katipan District in Lambat. By accident, I’ve made a tradition where I take a picture of Lambat when a war breaks out, so this is what I have to do.
Shortly after, Yoahtlan Deputy Alcuahtl ArkenX also posted thoughts on Gang Shi:
- He said that they realized the non-alliance pact they made with Yoahtl was a ruse.
- They “came to an understanding internally that every attempt to foster peace with Gang Shi had been met with lies and manipulation”, and that they had reason to believe that they would be targeted after Icenia.
Gang Shi has not made a formal statement. I asked Gwua for a comment, where he said that:
“I didn’t want another war. Nobody in Gang Shi wanted another war. Considering most of the controversy stems around me specifically, I have decided to step down as emperor.”
That’s all the response I’ve ever gotten from Gang Shi, so take that as you will? They’re still active even right now, so…
In terms of the international response, it seems to be pretty neutral among nations not really involved:
- Yoahtlan Deputy Alcuahtl Cosmojynx announced the Dawn Pact to “protect the good of the server” from Gang Shi, however, some were incredibly confused to be included on this meme, as it was not a formal announcement but rather an edited war image to call nations, such as the ones included, to action.
- Some nations, such as Truidencia and Commonwealth, were not notified of their inclusion on the meme, and it turns out this is really just a propaganda post in disguise to recruit people to join the coalition against Gang Shi. This was a generally confusing post and was really bad virtue signalling.
- Pavia has also been caught in the middle of this, as they have CUB and Friendship agreements between both Icenia and Gang Shi.
- Although no formal announcement has been made, the country is adamant on having no military infrastructure in their rail tunnel, hoping to leave the war outside the country’s borders.
- Tiantang ran a poll attempting to figure out which side players support, with just over a majority announcing support for the Yoahtlan/Icenian forces.
- A followup post created the next day provided a little more insight on both sides’ positions:
- Most Icenia and Yoahtl supporters believed that there were “[belligerent] intentions for not just Icenia, but Nara and people not aligned behind Gang Shi”, and that in order to prevent the server from being terrorized, and that many were blindsided “to learn it was all a smokescreen in a wider plan for server domination”.
- On the other hand, most Gang Shi supporters believed that Icenia’s intentions during the previous wars to “attempt to wipe Gang Shi off the map” are only the same here, believing that they were employing “dodgy tactics [and] committ[ing] messed up crimes” to do the things they said Gang Shi was doing.
- One particular post under scrutiny was Kibbles’ comment in the thread, which stated that they were hoping to be closer to Yoahtl with no ulterior motives, believing that people were taking their “‘gaslighting’ jokes” too seriously.
- Fastestgrass, the provider of those leaks, were adamant that these leaks were absolutely damning and those supporting Gwua were absolutely in the wrong, stating that this “culture of gaslighting is no joke, and it’s far, far more serious than you realize”.
The skybridge above Altepetl, courtesy of Superfriend views from BritishWanderer. Oh yeah, it’s that time already.
While nobody underwent military operations following the post (not counting the military strike on Black Mesa), the following night saw several hours of fighting.
- Icenian forces split up into two squads, the first set up a trap on an iceroad leading out of Gang Shi. Jbblocker has been reported to be isolated and logged out in the trap on the ice road.
- The second squad disabled a bunker in Florence via a skybridge, which was discovered to have been commandeered by chosentwicelol.
The following early morning, Gang Shi led a skybridge into Altepetl, approaching from the east, characterized by a large waterfall that stretched the entire length of the skybridge.
- Icenian forces regrouped to Yoahtl to fight off the attackers, with Yoahtl forces joining them. A counter skybridge was promptly constructed while Gang Shi was making their final approach to the trench.
- Toaxbis was first pearled, along with Shadno who was in the process of pearling TheRealJewy while he was stuck in a trap. Shadno was eventually unpearled.
- The trap eventually led to five Gang Shi pearlings as they tried to free him; nine Gang Shi associates were pearled total during the fighting during that event and later on.
- Many of these pearlings were done in, and I quote, “the most f***ing insane 2 minutes on civ ive ever watched via a discord stream.”
- The pearlings were reportedly of about one-third of the Gang Shi force, and were forced to retreat following the mass pearlings.
- Despite the retreat, small skirmishes on the skybridges and elsewhere between Coalition and Gang Shi forces continued on December 10. The continued fighting resulted in pearls with TheIowanGod, SilentSean49, _Da_RealDababy_, and GDave.
- Fastestgrass was also pearled by Andea on December 10, as he was noted as the main supplier of the leak.
According to the summary post over the weekend, the last round of pearls above are not included in Icenia’s official count, due to them accusing Gang Shi of recruiting players from Hardcore Factions, as many accounts were pearled within a few hours after joining the server.
- They urge nations who are not involved in the war to join in the fight, with evidence that HCF involvement does not end well for Civ players.
- bgbba later sent out a post to urge Gang Shi and their allies to give up the war and surrender.
It should be mentioned that this war has only lasted the length of the average hotel stay and we have this long of a post, so we’ll see what happens next weekend!
Overhead pictures were courtesy of BritishWanderer.
The caves of Miel Mur on CivCubed.
How about a little intermission by heading on over to the other server to see what’s going on there?
- Last week, CivCubed introduced a “vulnerability system”, where nations must mark 6 hours of each day where their nation would be vulnerable, to introduce some level of activity and active battles.
- Mabiral saw two small attacks on the server when this was introduced.
- The server continues to see frequent updates with new features added, with updates on all sorts of features. However…
The server as of writing, on a Saturday night, only has about 3 players online. Granted, there are things happening, particularly on the development side, but of course the issue with experimental servers are that you have to enough draw to get people out of another server. Or in the case of Realms/Universe, advertise heavily from external sources. But otherwise, “there’s mostly been hole digging”.
The start of a new fishing village in Nara, being built by Earyx.
As I published a newsletter on Tuesday evening last week, you may find this section a little shorter due to the lack of additional news that doesn’t involve a war.
- CivMC admin RedDevel announced a very timely Christmas Event, that is deliberately intended to be calming starting this Sunday, the 17th.
- SPQR passed a reformed legal code on December 5.
- The Monument Group paid out a dividend of 1.25 diamond per share for their Q4 payouts. They are also discussing share buybacks and further dividends to better serve their shareholders.
- Nara rerouted the Q’barra line into Shiroyama station, allowing an easier commute for travellers from the rails
- Byhalia was friendly pearled by the Commonwealth following a territorial dispute in Hell, near KOEL. As a result, the Commonwealth annexed the territory.
- Mount Augusta held an election for Logic_Man’s judge position, with scramble0 running as a contender. However, Logic_Man is expected to win handily.
- Volterra passed a new amendment which added a definition of active citizens into their constitution.
- Baile pearled Renji_Haikon and Augustus_Vex, their own citizens during December 10, currently their pearls are being held temporarily in the Pavia vault, their closest allies. This situation is still developing.
- Previously noted raider Ez2Clutch made a post asking why ThePayman was banned, where he stated “Everyone i’ve talked to has no idea what he has done wrong (including himself)”, noting his inclusion on the infamous global ban list.
- Although I personally can’t say for certain, I would mostly guess his association with Rhode Island during the Generic War, and that he’s worked with nations and server-killing initiatives in the past (see: Lexington, Rhode Island).
Well, that was depressing. Here’s something even more depressing:
- The player count on CivMC spiked on Sunday night, with a peak of 86 players, which is unsurprisingly due to the breakout of war.
- TheJmqn published a map showing the number of conflicts each country has been involved in, noting that Gang Shi had been in eight conflicts thus far.
- So Amanda has continued her quest to collect books on CivMC and well, let’s just say it’s going really well
Alright, I’ll at least say something to be a little more hopeful:
Last year, I compiled a series of responses from several Civ oldfriends asking What did you learn from Civ in 2022, and what do you hope for in 2023? I obtained responses from ChrisChrispie, BritishWanderer, Ahrimanne, and Cortwade, chosen for their longevity on Civ
This year, I’d love to do the same thing. Of course, I’ll be reaching out to some people who I think would be great people to give reflections on, however I’m of course subject to my own biases and friends. If you’re a longstanding player who has thoughts on their experiences on Civ in 2023, please reach out! I’ll mostly be asking the same questions to give some perspective on the direction of Civ in the next year.
I’m aiming to publish this on January 1st on the new year, so if you’re interested please reach out soon.
The Fun Stuff
Sunrise down the lane of Transylvania.
Ok, are we done with depression? I think we’re good, right?
- bgbba shows off his new infrastructure on the GOR, and I really appreciate the effort that goes into very mundane but vitally important infrastructure.
- Pavia unveiled their Christmas tree for the year, this time inside their town hall. This will probably be next week’s picture because…
- Griffin has also unveiled their Christmas tree, which will be this year’s Christmas newsletter picture. This is mostly because I don’t want the Christmas image to be Pavia two years in a row…
- Earyx is trying to get people to help build a fishing village in Nara, and the style is really cozy
- I’m entirely convinced the Ila’Kyavul is working on some crazy builds on live now, and this Mediterranean bathhouse looks crazy!
- Here’s the completed version of the Parliament building in Commonwealth that I showed off last week!
- Phobitica also dropped by Vetranio Castle in Pavia alongside Margaritavaille
Cool Content and Memes
- While this is technically a meme, holy shit this image is so fucking good
- As mentioned earlier, this is TheJmqn’s map showing the number of conflicts each country has been involved in
- Seldomshock has some great map arts for sale in Shockton!
- You could classify this as cool content, but honestly I don’t think it’s good enough, sorry, the art depiction is pretty good though, but that’s cause the base picture is already pretty iconic
- While this is technically unrelated, I just want to remind everyone of one of the greatest Civ memes of all time
- Now, how did you roll an 8 on a six-sided die, that’s kind of impossible
- VilyanZ clearly ripped this off from Balan Wonderworld, which was another war in itself
- people have been putting the letter T after a certain nation’s name for a long time
- but what about the 101st time
- this the poster for the third minions movie
- I don’t think this meme works anymore?
- Personally, I can’t wait for the pearl scoreboard to reach 28-3
- So far that’s not how it’s worked out…
- Tick, tock
- So if you watched Doctor Who Special 3, you’ll know what I’m talking about, so if anyone has their spoiler ticket click here, but the best I can say without spoiling anything is that the Toymaker is an Icon, but could not, for his life, survive on a Civ skybridge
- Since everyone here is under a rock in baseball news, one of the most highly anticipated signings was of unicorn Shohei Ohtani, and he ended up signing the most expensive sports contract ever with the Los Angeles Dodgers, just up the road from his former Angels. He’s also injured, by the way.
- The baseball world, ironically, was so focused on a private plane flight heading from Anaheim to Toronto that everyone was so blindsided by this announcement.
- Even though he signed with the Dodgers, who already have a superstar roster with Red Sox vet Mookie Betts and Braves alum Freddie Freeman, they still haven’t even made it to their league’s championship in the last two years. Will it happen this year?
- Anyway, half the free agency fun is over, so maybe you won’t see the baseball bulletpoint for much longer.
- Pickems fans are probably reeling at this 3-0 vikings game aaaa
- This is also a reminder that people not playing Civ and playing DND are completely immune to the drastic mood swings that come with wars, for example, I feel nothing about the war myself!
- Be on the lookout for another speclang’s best of 2023 following Christmas, a sequel to my best of 2022. If you’ve been following this section for a while, you’ll have a good idea of what might be on that list.
Poll of the Week
We only had one single question last week with 80 responses, and that’s what nations would you recruit newfriends to? In that regard, it did end up being a popularity contest among nations some recruited their own citizens to vote for their own nations, so possibly take this with a grain of salt until someone actually makes a brand new nations/perceptions survey.
Enough blabbering from me, here’s the results, sorted by country:
I personally can’t really tell how much of these were influenced by voting brigades, but in honesty, you needed others to vote for you to get your numbers high regardless. Similarly with comments that asked about newfriend nations before, many of the top suspects are present, like Nara, Pavia, Icenia, Yoahtl. The IF, MTA, and Vinland are also great candidates, although can be a little more niche if you like a more segmented, centralized, or snowy gameplay compared to others.
I included many other nations that aren’t traditionally considered newfriends, but have been making a push to recruit newfriends recently, such as Volterra and CW; many of these are great places to play but desperately need public appeal and continued server activity to be able to onboard newfriends effectively.
Honorable mentions from the extra nations that I never listed included Fempire (who had the most write-ins), Venne, Kaowta, Mercutio, and Pacem. There are also the odd Gensokyo, Kallos and Estalia who insist these nations are still active and are recruiting newfriends. Guys, it’s a serious question.
With all that being said, I still maintain that this is not a definitive tier list, different nations are better for different folk and I’ve been trying to preach this since 2019, so it is more important to find a good fit for a certain player than activity. For example, an anime-loving minecraft player who wants to create art would feel better in Nara than he would in extreme British Pavia or hyper-American Icenia.
So, I’m going to ask about something way less politically charged:
I’m not giving descriptions of what each of these supposed “playstyles” mean, that’s up to you to figure out.
Never the Answer Cry for Help
A boat race on Volterra Day, taken by HazelBasil. Yes, it’s a few weeks old but I like it, ok?
Thanks once again for reading this week’s featured article! Somehow I felt good enough to be back on the treadmill for the second time in a row this week, so hopefully the momentum keeps going!
We’re now halfway through December and I want to send another reminder that the CivWiki & Monument Group announced an editing palooza, with diamond prizes for those with the most substantive edits! See more details here! It’s easy to get started and you could win huge diamond prizes!
Thanks to a huge number of people who helped with this week’s newsletter, including but not limited to, Red_Devel, BritishWanderer, HazelBasil, Gwua, Plrog, reffelruz, Quanton_Biscuit, SpeedyJustice, TTastic, VilyanZ, Shadno, and most of Yoahtl for helping me around Altepetl this weekend while reporting. This was an exhausting newsletter to write, slightly more than my usual, so if you’re reading it this far, I really appreciate you for reading the credits!
I’ll see you all next week for more antics! And as always…