Kleos, you are too innocent for this world dear, but you are learning fast
Merc (Kleos) being innocent is hilarious. Right now he has almost every top player in the northern hemisphere slotted for his dom team.
There is so much spinning in this forum that I am getting dizzy. I can’t actually tell how much is propaganda and how much people really don’t know about what their own alliance did or didn’t do or say. As a leader in CM, I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of people and feel I can offer a little perspective for anyone interested. This world certainly is the most politically complex one I have ever played.
The Rise of CM
The now infamous Move had posted on externals prior to EN126 opening that he was recruiting for a new alliance, Check Mate, that was tabbed as “no drama,” a statement I now laugh at based on…well, everything. He had recruited an experienced team and set aggressive timelines for growth. He organized some of the more detailed and successful OPs that I have been a part of and didn’t hesitate to internalize those who didn’t contribute adequately to the team’s success. Move is a great recruiter and OP planner, but also was secretive even within his council, about his plans. To his credit, he did roll out big decision points to the entire alliance for discussion and would go against his own desires if the masses gave good rationale. After all, we were a group of experienced players, many having won multiple worlds and led successful alliances of our own. Things were going well. A month or two into the server, I joined council, which is only important for context with the story below.
Check Mate had a NAP with Nemesis while we focused on solidifying our core (Ocean 54 and northern 55). Nemesis had long been an ally who we had defended vigorously for the first month of the server, even allowing them to retreat into our core when they had players at risk of being rimmed. We always considered them long-term friends. Through changes in Nem leadership and a lack of consistent diplomacy from CM, we lost our close ally to another, Kleos, like you lose that partner to someone else when you don’t consistently show them you care.
Following the dismemberment of SS, CM was presented with a decision about the newly formed Stooges. We could keep pushing south and finish them off in their weakened state, claiming north 55 and south 54 as our core, or accept a NAP, draw a line and co-exist while we began clearing out 54 as originally planned. We chose mercy a second time, because it is always nice to have friends and we all know there is a lot of attrition in this game. With NAPs with Nemesis and Stooges, we had two potential recruiting partners for endgame, though the plan was always to try to win the server with the 30-member alliance limit.
With NAPs to the south and west, CM was free to start clearing out Ocean 54 where Lykos, New Model Army, and La Cucaracha had formed. We battled these three alliances without the help of others, often rotating OPs between them, in order to carve our space. It was nothing personal (short of a few individuals on both sides who took it that way), though it may have felt like that. In any event, we made some enemies for the foreseeable future.
CM Gets a Big Boost
BP boosting has been a part of the game for a LONG time, but the addition of 2x and 4x BP tokens has certainly taken boosting to an extreme. The debate will likely long rage about the “ethics” of BP boosting for a long time, but that isn’t the point here. Having noticed some relatively big (6-figure) spikes in BP from Kleos and knowing they had a sister alliance to help them should this suspected BP boosting continue to occur, CM leadership was convinced that it was at least something we should consider and put out for a group decision while we had an event-awarded BP boost running. The vote passed and at least one good member left the alliance over it (RIP Jimothy5…your revolt world experience was too short).
Of course, roughly two million BP will turn some heads and CM’s BP boost gave Kleos founder Mercenary the ammunition he needed for a large coalition to form against CM. He himself stated he doesn’t think he ever would have pulled it off without this seeming misstep by CM. He drew up the terms of the coalition and termed this righteous crusade against CM as “The Holy War.”
The Holy War
Invoking religious references comes with its own actual ethics concerns, but certainly has a nice ring to it as a rallying cry and a way to cause division across the server. Say what you will about the ethics of forming a 15:1 coalition against CM on a 30-alliance limit server, the bullying (inappropriate messages on both sides), and regular spamming (oh, I mean HCs) to keep CM’s alarm bells ringing throughout day and night, but Merc’s plan worked. Merc had a goal of making CM quit. Within the first week, five CM members quit/perm VM because they couldn’t balance the game with RL responsibilities. Five more quit/perm VM after the second week. Five more were already in VM prior to The Holy War, which really made it more like 30:1 against CM (not crying, just stating facts).
A couple bigger alliances, Valiant (and sister alliances) and Chaos, stood against the coalition, though their distance from CM on the map made it difficult to offer any substantial assistance. Check Mate also found a couple other smaller players willing to use the situation to gain some BP. Big props to all these people for making efforts to balance the scales, some at their own demise.
During the first week of the coalition, we had members being actively recruited by at least two of the big three alliances (Kleos, Nemesis, and Stooges), including recruitment of some of the boosted players in CM. Despite CM’s NAPs with Nem and Stooges being abruptly replaced with attacks as part of the new coalition, CM reached out to their former allies to figure out a diplomatic solution. Nemesis was closely allied with Kleos and brought them into the discussion on their side. So now you have all four top alliances separating discussing options involving CM players. In the end, while very close, all proposals were found to be unsuitable for both sides. During this time, CM enters VM as a means of keeping the remaining 15 members from quitting while we try to continue to work on a diplomatic solution. Sadly, a couple players accidentally come out of VM during this time and are fed to the wolves.
The Fall of CM (and the server)?
The remaining ~15 members of CM have been holding up as best they can to this “holy” coalition for the last six weeks, but in all honesty, it’s ceased being fun and is more of a sense of pride at this point. Let’s be clear, CM is losing this one-sided war because of purely being outnumbered. Don’t get me wrong, joint OPs have been well planned and well-timed attacks have the same effect they would against any alliance, but it isn’t a matter of skill at this point. No doubt Merc has pulled the puppet strings and promised spots on his domination team as some of his players exit stage left and the beginning of the school year. Certainly, some of the bigger players in the smaller alliances will find their home with Kleos and feel good with a crown upon their head. But for those (or the rest) who would like to breathe a little life back into the server; for those who may begin to realize just how silly a 30:1 ratio is in this game; for those who feel the punishment might have long-since surpassed the crime, consider attacking someone else after a month and a half.
And on a personal note, anyone who is playing this game to make someone quit needs to re-examine their motivations. This game is great in a lot of ways, and it’s a testament that COVID-19 brought so many players back long since gone, me included. Besides the tactical aspects, which are a lot of fun, it creates a venue to meet new people from around the world. I have enjoyed chatting with players ranging from kids and their parents to retirees, and everyone in between. You never know, you might just meet your future spouse through the game (yes, this happened to someone on this server), or a lifelong friend. Maybe you find that you have a lot in common. I regularly chat with people attacking me and can still respect them despite the warring nature of the game. Consider not adding to a culture of hate in this game (or in RL).