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I’m very new to NP2…
So I joined a starter/beginner game.
It is now production cycle 4, so still extremely early game.
3 people are already under AI control.
looking at what is happening I’m fairly certain only 3 people are still playing.
So now an 8 player game is a 3 player game and that just sucks.

I want to be a good player and stick with my games but this is kinda pointless…

Anyways I have 2 suggestions:

  1. If a game drops out a certain % of people at least let it not count toward the 2 game limit. As at the moment this game doesn’t help me that much to evaluate NP2 and make up my mind if I want to pay. ($24 is kinda a lot of your exchange rate is bad)
  2. Secondly it would be awesome if these AI controlled players can again be taken over by real people… I’m sure this would be very hard to implement but that is the only thing I can think of that can counter the effect of people leaving.

So far NP2 is great and I’ve joined a 64 player game as my second game. I will probably buy the game sometime in the next week or so but atm still thinking about it.


I agree.

In my first game all other players left before the game was finished. I think the reason they left was because I was winning. People should be encouraged to concede instead of just leaving the game. If all players have conceded or are placed under AI control, the game should end and the last remaining players should be declared the victor.


If you are the last player in them game, because anyone else was afk or has conceded defeat, you are able to accept the victory. BUT you don’t need to accept the victory, you can play until you win the game by capturing the amount of stars you need for the win :wink:

Back to topic: I agree. AFK players just ruin the game and this is kinda sad. But I think that new players may just have some problems with the game and just don’t understand what they need to do to play it the right way! Perhaps an ingame tutorial on the map, that explains what all the options and buttons etc mean and what the player is able to do and what he should do, would help?

PS: Yes, I do know that there is a help ingame …


I was not able to in the last game I played? O.o


Well from my perspective winning was not really the point but the good part about the game is playing with people, not AI, so it is about having “fun”.

Anyways since my first post I left that “beginner” game and joined a new game. I am now in a 32 player and 64 player games. Which is going much better since at least some players are staying.

In the 64 player game I am however noticing something.
There is obviously the initial rush for space at the start of the game. And then the game goes into this mode of trading and forming alliances because there is no more space to expand to.

However if you are lucky the people around you will quit/afk/leave allowing you to take their space. Which means by the mid-game the people that owns the largest space would most likely be because they had neighbours that left the game.
So this actually distorts the tactical landscape as to get a good mid-game setup doesn’t require skill but rather just luck.

I’m not sure this is fixable and I’m not saying this totally ruins the game for me, I’m still enjoying my 64-player game. I’m just making a comment really.


A tactic some players use frequently is to make other players quit. There are several ways to do this, particularly to beginners. Someone may say to an ally, “this fight is not going well.” That ally might then prod them in a direction that will cause them to quit, or even better hand over their entire empire to them with little or no resistance, while they pour units against an enemy. A little diplomacy can go a long way in this regard.

Tactically, if I can get another player to go all in with me against a third player, that third player might be made to quit abruptly with almost not notice. This I can almost do like clockwork. Pile one someone while attacking them, but be a role player or friendly, you might find your enemy helping you take them over rather then having the first person who attacked them take over their position.

Fan the flames of someone’s paranoia, that can work. Some time’s simply spreading a false rumor can make someone quit. Being poisonous with someone in a discussion thread can make them want to leave.

So when you see someone surrounded by QUIT/AFK players, don’t assume its because they are lucky, it may be a position they themselves created by any or all of the above tactics.


Wow that is very insightful and I guess true.

From a newer players perspective the way I look at what is essentially a 4x game that is largely based on an economic system that builds on-top of it self it seems unlikely you can recover from a bad start. At least I think it is unlikely…
Once you had a bad start and have fallen behind:

  1. Nobody will trade with you since you are behind in tech and have nothing to offer
  2. Nobody will ally/partner with you because you have nothing to offer
  3. The best you can hope for is that somebody will temporarily leave you in peace because they are fighting another war and want to use you as a kind of buffer, but sooner or later you will be eaten alive.

If I had an account I would probably be much more likely to stick it out and just try to make it as difficult as possible to take over my space. (play till the last star) In which case I might find the 1 out of 5 games where a come-back is possible…
However if you are still on a free account(like me) you are likely to just quit and hope the next game goes better…

I should probably just buy the game… :slight_smile:

Would perhaps help if I understood more about how diplomacy worked in this game. Your comments on forcing people to leave has provided some very nice insight indeed!
What are people like on average in these games? friendly? hostile? neutral?
Do lots of people sort of “role-play” it? Or is it much more about just managing your economy/military and simply making diplomatic agreements of opportunity…


There are other things that might cause someone to quit, take a typical normal account user, who can only play in two games. With this type of player, playing a loosing or poor position, when a 64 player game is almost filled up and you can have one of those spots can be very attractive. Trade a crappy position that sucks in the game you leave, with a brand new one filled with possibilities.


First, I did not notice this option as well. But then I saw it. I’m not sure where it was but I think this option is given on the buttom of the “Leaderboard Screen”.


Most people do not role play, or take the time to write out long diplomatic messages. Some players won’t even take the time to send any messages to anyone. This is a mistake. Take the following situation.

You are suddenly attacked by two of your neighbors, who up till that moment have been silent toward you. One of them sends you a “Hey man sorry but we gotta attack someone, message.” Who are you going to defend against harder? They guy who said nothing, or the guy who sent you a message? What if that message were polite, sympathetic, or insightful? Suddenly, Mr. Silent attacker may be facing all your defensive stacks, while chatty Kathy takes your abandoned home world because he communicated, or was polite.

Here is another example.

A player on your border begins to build up for an attack, stacking up units, with a carrier with 1 ship returning into his interior for more. This is generally a bad sign. You start a diplomatic conversation, maybe offer him a preview of what will happen, speculate about negative consequences if he attacks, maybe an ally of his will back stab him. Blow sunshine up his skirt by giving him false information, or even real information, maybe you see a neighbor building up for an attack against him…why not tell him. Make a prediction, by the time this fight is over, you will have lost 500 ships, or half your fleet, and still won’t have gained anything…become my ally instead, we can take over this guy instead.

Here is a real life example.

I accidently order an attack against my neighbor’s colony, say testing the range of an attack but then don’t cancel the attack like I thought I did. Somewhere in the 18 hour journey, I notice I’ve 98 ships bearing down on his colony garrison of 28. “Arg” I think to myself, then immediately send a moderately sized wordy apology, maybe with a nice turn of phrase or two. I say I’m immediately retreating once my strike lands, and I’ll abandon the colony the moment I retreat out of it. Most players would stop there, I offer him the “compensation of his choice” (because I want to avoid a fight, he’s 3 times stronger then me), maybe $ or a level of terraforming he doesn’t have. He thinks my gesture is so “noble” that he allies with me the rest of the game, eventually I loose, but so what. I turned a potential disaster into a minor victory, all through a little diplomacy, and a sprinkling of creativity.

NP2 I would say is about minimizing your mistakes, and maximizing your opportunities. Wargamer’s primarily play I think by attempting to avoid horrific blunders, no one needs a Stalingrad level fiasco, like loosing half your space fleet to an ill timed attack against someone’s home world. If you have no opportunities, then make some. Contact that player 3 empires away, and chat him up. Share rumors, maybe ask about what his alliance is doing. Information is useful, and I think most players don’t value it sufficiently.


I won my last game through diplomacy as well, it was pretty interesting.

First I allied both my neighbours in secrecy. Then I set them up against each other by supplying false information. This caused a war between them. I built up a lot of troops on my borders telling them I was preparing to assist them. I asked for their war plans and secretly shared them with their enemy.

Because their enemy was being notified about their plans, the war was very destructive for both of them. Once both sides made huge losses, I quickly betrayed one ally and took all his areas. My other ally was happy I was helping him and allowed me to get most of the other’s stars. Then I quickly turned on him and this set me up in a position I was able to easily win the game in.


I gather you fellas are relatively new. Welcome! You have zeroed in on what this game does better than any other, imo: diplomacy. Its why I keep coming back, 4 years after I started playing.

You may find the attached thread to be of interest, if you haven’t seen it already: Diplomacy In Space part II. That thread links to an earlier one, which in turn links to an excellent article Jay posted that is well worth studying if you are interested in the diplomatic aspect of the game.

You have also hit on the biggest problem with NP: the high AFK rate. I think its fair to say that the only solution is a challenging AI, which Jay says is one of his top priorities.


I am replying here to your post about your “experiment”, since I don’t want to be overly negative about a game apparently underway that I chose not to participate in. I think your “experiment” will produce banal results: edge positions are advantageous, and trading groups composed of players who are playing for reasons other than to win can generate a technology outcome that destroys the fun for other players. Your experiment risks the playing experience, and potentially wastes the time, of 54 other players. Not good for the long-term health of the game imo. You get points for being honest about it when challenged, and you obviously are interested in learning about the game. The thread I linked may provide insight about my pov,as it discussed another trade cartel in a 32 player game.


I’ve read your link regarding the discussion of the “trade-cabal” in which a body of players were essentially hijacking wins by trading among themselves alone, then electing who “won” in a series of games by seemingly taking turns taking the win. It is hard for me to make out how many players such a “cabal” existed in 32 player games. The screen shot is of NP1, which appears to be minimally 4 years old at least. I’m not sure I view the two situations as identical as you seem to, nothing like that is being attempted by my group. There will be no monopolization of technology, and none of us are in corner positions. I however see the ease by which groups of players, as few as 5-6 in number, could monopolize victories in 64 player games. I’ve witnessed at least two such groups, that are minimally that size. Of multi-boxing players there are no end, and I’ve almost certainly met a dozen of them. I typically see such players playing 3 positions that can be readily identified, I suspect they are playing more positions then those that even I can identify, and I’ve looked at 12 of the last 13, sixty-four player games played, that such groups are alive and well. Thriving even.

You are correct that results may well be banal to you, but then again this project isn’t being run for your benefit or your entertainment.

Regarding the discussion about edge positions, I think you are getting two threads mixed up, I don’t think any of our positions are on the map edge. Rather then have one thread bleed into another, I’ll leave that discussion on that thread, for others to follow as they please.

Your comments regarding the “fun of other players being destroyed” is noted, but I hardly see a difference between them having their “fun destroyed” by a group of players interested in making observations about different styles of play, which our playing “pacifistic technocracies” is, as opposed to them having their “fun destroyed” to other multi-boxing players whose existence they know nothing about. Players run the risk of having their play experience ruined, their time wasted, and all the rest by simply playing a 64 player game, regardless of my presence or absence from such a game.

Even prior to Jay’s fatwa against us researchers and the resulting jihad that will no doubt result, we knew the likely outcome. Of the 7 positions we started (wanting 8 to start), we expect 4 to be immediately overrun within 3 days of start, 2 to be destroyed in the mid game, a final position destroyed in the end game, and a single position to be isolated and adopted by an alliance simply as another alliance member to be carried to the game end to view the “win” by one of that empires constituent members. That is not much difference then the average players experience, banal as it might be.




I’ve thought about doing that but I’m always worried about being found out! It’s amazing how many people don’t bother communicating with the other players though.


If seems pretty clear by now that you are controlling multiple accounts in that 64 game. If you were playing to win that would be a clear cheat, and I think you know that. You are doing it for “science” so your conscience is salved, but you are disrupting the play experience for many others, as we have demonstrated, for a not very convincing reason.

Just because the practice is widespread in 64 games, or that there is little distinction between one player controlling multiple accounts and a trading cartel playing with the objective of a predetermined win, doesn’t excuse the behavior. Perhaps the 64 format is hopeless because that behavior is endemic and irredeemable.

As I said in another thread, it’s not about morality, it’s about quality of gameplay. I take the trouble to point this out not to save souls, or publicly berate, but on the probability that many of the individuals engaged in the aforementioned behavior may not have considered the impact of their actions on the game experience of other players, and thereby on quality of gameplay.


@wfmcgillicuddy gets a big +1 from me there. Ive considered trying to echo these thoughts a couple times but havent attempted it as I dont think I would be able to do so in such a polite manner.

I wish this thread was not disjointed from the other one (Rainbow Trade Alliance: Rainbow Trade Aliance ) where the topic is also at the forefront, but oh well.


I would characterize the both of you as gaming Nazis, who have traded ideas about racial purity for gaming purity, as if such a thing actually existed, or could exist in the current context. Do players really have to conform to the goose stepping model you endorse for no other reason then gaming purity? That’s what it seems like to me. At the core of the game are a few diplomatic, ruthless, back-stabbing a-holes, all of whom ironically expect a “clean slate” the next go around, while those shanked and left dying shouldn’t harbor thoughts of payback. Talk about unrealistic. You build a graveyard every 64 player game, only to erect a dias on that mound of graves for an awards ceremony. Then if someone dares play another way, like NOT playing to win, he’s somehow doing something wrong. Non-sense. Not playing to win isn’t a crime, and if it were, it would be like Indianapolis’s law that a horse shall not be ridden over 10 miles an hour within the city limits, a law that at its best is outdated, unenforced, and irrelevant.

In the same way the German people, the Wehrmacht, and the German military-industrial complex could not provide for the creation of the perfect National Socialist state, this community cannot provide for the utopian NP2 community the two of you minimally appear to want. 64 player games that are in fact 64 player games, not test beds for someone’s PhD, or filled with 16-24 positions that are all multi-boxed. This game is never going to be anything close to what you would ideally like it to be with the ISP warning removed, but that comes with its own complexities. Now I think I understand why the ISP warning was removed, because the second it isn’t, the finger pointing quotient goes through the roof, as does the yelling and general unpleasantness. Maybe it should be turned on. Then again, 64 player games that fill in a week give or take, may take a month to fill.

Regardless, players will not have to suffer the Trade Federation much longer, 4 or 5 positions will not see day 7, with Blue and Red perhaps lasting slightly longer. After that the project will be shelved, as data collection will have told us everything that I minimally wanted.


Comparing game players with Nazis betrays an ignorance that is truely monumental.