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The State of Affairs series highlights the trials and tribulations of the most influential organisations in Dual Universe. This thrilling installment captures the antics of organisations from the Alpha 2 period from July 2019 through January 2020 with the successful launch of Alpha 3.

Be sure to catch up with the previous installment(s) before continuing.

Organisations marked with an asterisk (*) no longer exist.

July

In July, Dual Universe celebrates reaching 40k backers as organisations burst into a flurry of activity.

The month of July was busy with organizations advertising themselves by creating videos: The Old Guard of Gaia reveal their origins and Band Of Outlaws throw down their hustle.

Agreements are made and pacts are signed:

The Federation Alpha signed a Non-Aggression, Trade and Anti-Embargo Pact with Les Scorpions du Désert

Sovereignty Integral of Tilo sign an Associative Relationship Agreement with Teoma Trade Company

All is not rays of sunshine as pressing matters force the CEO of Vortrex Mining and Science Inc to resign and be replaced.

Terran Union* run their first civil elections, gathering meagre participation. The Republican, Deduction and Progressive parties share most of the elected seats in the Senate.

Facing criticisms about overcomplicated laws and regulations, Judge Supreme of the Terran Union* Justice Department bitterly resigns soon afterwards.

New Genesis rounds off the month by removing all non-alpha members, dropping from 250+ to 150+ members, all at least Contributor Pack owners.

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August

The Old Guard of Gaia continue with their media campaign. Later in the month, The Old Guard of Gaia devise a series of videos promoting their Architects, Inquisitors and Templars divisions.

Pantheon Jumpworks publish their July 2019 Press Release, celebrating their 150th member and announcing the coming of their Human Resource and Labor Council.

The Confederation of Allied Territorial Sovereignties (C.A.T.S) announce that the spiritually-oriented Stoa Galactia and Oracle have joined their allied ranks, to a total of twenty-three member organisations.

Feeling confronted by “an uphill battle”, a Silverlight Industries prominent member leaves to form The Third Option taking a few others with him. The Third Option promises a “simple, elegant, and hopefully effective” organisation destined to remain small in numbers.

The Minister of Resource resigns and leaves the Federation Alpha (TFA), apparently disagreeing with “the form of government that TFA is under” (officially an autocracy).

Chromion* merges into Pantheon Jumpworks.

Hyperion and Terran Union – End of a Partnership

Feeling their organisation “wasn’t treated as an equal partner but rather as a recipient of instructions”, Hyperion announced the termination of their corporate partnership agreement and their upcoming departure from Terran Union.

Following this, Terran Union (TU) Minister of Foreign Affairs, DarkHorizon, writes a topic about the event on the Community Portal and proceeds to give a full-length personal impression on the strained relations between TU and Arch Confederacy (ever since TU opted to distance themselves from Dark Star Imperium and New Genesis. The latter two organisations were involved in a scandal that required Novaquark’s intervention inFebruary 2019, see State of Affairs – Alpha 1 for more information), which he believes are closely linked to Hyperion’s departure.

Arch Confederacy conduct a full meeting, gathering key representatives from their member organizations (Dark Star Imperium, New Genesis, Pantheon JumpWorks, Hyperion and The Eldritch Nation).

The Arch Confederacy rejected the Terran Union’s recent allegations: Hyperion left TU under Dark Star Imperium’s (DSI) influence, TU abandoning Arch Confederacy after Novaquark’s investigations in February and, DSI spying/infiltration attempts. Instead placing the blame on what they perceive to be TU’s “superiority complex”, “crippling mismanagement”, stubbornness and slandering tweets.

DarkHorizon, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Terran Union, publishes another highlight on the end of their partnership with Hyperion; invoking the priority of their “organization’s sovereignty” and their related distrust of Arch Confederacy. TU also displaced DarkHorizon’s previous Details, Opinion and Comments off the Community Portal, removing a highly subjective report from their org page.

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September

Pantheon Jumpworks post their monthly press release, with details about their new Communication Branch.

Dynamic Aerospace Industries join Pantheon Jumpworks.

A pair of managers of the S.M.A.R.T. sector within Vortrex Mining & Science step down from their positions and are replaced. 

Terran Union merges with Empire 

The Terran Union merges into the Empire. The Terran union’s leadership has unanimously decided to fully integrate into the Empire’s structure to preserve their community.

(See “What happened to the Terran Union” below.)

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Claiming that “TU was dying”, Terran Union’s directors put themselves “under the committed and strong leadership of the Empire”, fully merging with Kytheum’s troops; the Emperor commends them for their “respectable and noble action that will see the Empire take the top position”.

Due to the processes involved in the merger ( i.e. renaming the Empire organisation page to “Empire (Old)” and renaming “Terran Union” to “Empire”), technicality makes UniversalG the founder of this new iteration of Empire, with corresponding powers.

Motivated by the upcoming influx of people from their merger with Terran Union, Empire explain their structure.

October

Kytheum is quietly made technical Founder of the Empire (previously Terran Union) on the Community Portal instead of UniversalG, a manoeuver made possible only by Novaquark Community Managers with both party’s approval, nipping in the bud future potential mishaps.

Pantheon Jumpworks join the CCPA

Empire celebrate and are congratulated for reaching 1000 members.

November

Band Of Outlaw’s leader steps down from general management in favor of a new regime.

December

DarkHorizon’s Eyes & Ears boast their 50th successful rescue operation.

January

New Genesis claim the upcoming “PvP zone” as their “holy land”.

Pantheon Jumpworks speed up enrollment in their Aegis (combat) branch.

Monolith make an announcement after appropriating the old Terran Union discord server.

“FORMER TERRAN  UNION MEMBERS HAVE NO FEAR. We are all still here, just changed up the org into a Corporation. Also making arrangements and adjustments to improve life, setting up hosted gaming servers and other things we can all do together while we wait for Dual Universe to come out. We are transitioned under the management of the Empire Nation, however we are a independently owned and run corporation offering services to whoever is willing to do business with us within DU. Keep in mind though, DU won’t be out for many years… so to prevent burnout from drama and politics, we are simply going to consider ourselves a community of gamers who want to do fun things instead of sit around waiting for something that won’t be out for a long time.”

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What happened to the Terran Union?

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you a stream dated February 2020 from an undisclosed location…

Kurock: “Welcome, readers. I am your host, Kurock. I am joined today by Emperor Kytheum of the Empire and DarkHorizon, previously Terran Union’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Thank you both for joining me today. Our time is short so I will get right to the point. Our readers are dying to know: What happened to the Terran Union?”

DarkHorizon: “The Terran Union, as far as I know, was only centered around Dual Universe. Keeping activity up proved more challenging than anticipated since the game was only in its testing phase. It’s presence on the community site as the number one organization based on member count ended up being a double-edged sword. I believe this may have contributed to, at least in part, what happened with the Terran Union.

Let’s rewind things a little, how did we get here? I heard some argue that not being focused on any specific purpose made it easy to attract players into the nation and quickly grow its numbers. Take Band of Outlaws, for example, with their just over 500 members. When you think of them, what is the first thing that comes to mind for someone who might join? For an outsider like me, piracy, but that word covers a broad subject. If you want to break that down, I’m sure they’ll have their dedicated builders, haulers, miners, and scouts, alongside the bulk of PVPers and more who will happily rob everyone and anyone in their territory if a target looks juicy enough.

“[TU’s] presence on the community site as the number one organization based on member count ended up being a double-edged sword.”

– DarkHorizon Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Terran Union.

Thinking about a ‘nation’ specifically though, what comes to mind? Well, what does it take to make a nation work out in the real world? Aside from the nation’s purpose, nothing jumps out because every job imaginable is available to do if you have or can acquire the talent. And by everything, that includes criminal activities too. Not every citizen needs to be a good and loyal citizen. Do you want to cause a distraction and attract security so your friends can sneak in a back door and swipe some advanced government technology to give your shipyards creations an edge? Dual Universe provides players [with the] option to make that choice.

Now, the inactivity downsides of this distinctiveness wouldn’t be immediately evident, but having been left unchecked for so long, in my opinion, ended up being the Terran Unions undoing. Say what you want about the external factors that led to this; like the Arch Confederacy’s influence and Hyperion’s separation, and I don’t mean to draw parallels to real-life nations, but the greatest threat to the Terran Union was from within.

One of the impressions I had gotten was that some people would join just for the sake of being a part of number one. As if it’s not blatantly apparent, being on top can develop an ego of sorts. People became lazy, and without a game to play, I think this outcome was inevitable. Even among the organization’s upper echelons, people like myself started to feel like we had no purpose. Sooner or later, we sought to create that purpose for ourselves by joining smaller, more dedicated organizations, or create them personally. As an example, I’ve found relative success with my own organization ‘Eyes & Ears – Search And Rescue’.

As far as that’s concerned, I imagined the process of creating the Terran Union nation to be similar in some respects to creating a real-life counterpart. People would gather under a set of ideas and plant their flag somewhere independent of other groups. This initial community would attract smaller organizations that would sign their respective agreements with the host organization and build infrastructure and the local economy. We’d have our small-town Main Street formed, and from there, the town would develop into a proper capital with time and love.

I’m trying to be a contributing player, but with the game only in a testing phase where most everything else is meaningless, I feel like I don’t have anything more to contribute. Sure, one or two dozen of us were working together on projects during testing times, but with over 900 members, to say that I felt isolated was an understatement.

“This metagame, combined with various organization policies … plus a deliberately placed period of hibernation, led to a snowballing of inactivity where no one knew what more to do.”

– DarkHorizon, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Terran Union.

When NovaQuark shutdown the tests, there seemed to be little else to do aside from inner organization activities outside Dual Universe or us [higher-ups] forming agreements with other organizations to exhibit activity to the greater community, the latter of which never happened. This metagame, combined with various organization policies (like putting all diplomacy on standby) plus a deliberately placed period of hibernation, led to a snowballing of inactivity where no one knew what more to do. The absence of our then leader, FleetAdmiralCoke, for college concerns, may have further exasperated this. The organization was left to Fleet’s then second in command, UniversalG, and the selected Ministers of their respective branches to carry on the Terran Union in his absence.

As a citizen, either you were sitting and mostly idle in our Discord server, or were off doing other things with smaller organizations. If you chose to join the military, then you were telling jokes while playing with fire and gasoline. The government, meanwhile, stayed behind the scenes trying to smash a square peg through a round hole like most modern governments do today. We knew that the citizen’s inactivity was a problem which we tried to rectify on various occasions. Other organizations had their gaming and movie nights. We tried something similar, but for an assortment of reasons, these events never fell through. Eventually, we stopped having them because there was no longer a point to it if no one was able to participate. Slowly but surely, the whole ‘union’ in ‘Terran Union’ appeared to have rotted out. We were trying to start a car with no gas in the tank.

In the final months of the Union, various actors came into government positions to try and shake things up. The most memorable of them was a small incident involving a little too obvious spy. Also, an attempt at democracy failed after many votes pushed by the head judge of our courts failed in their democratic vote among the government’s members. Said judge who initiated this push for democracy ended up publically leaving in frustration. Finally, and probably the freshest on everyone’s minds is the Terran Union’s separation with Hyperion. I’m still kicking myself for that whole mess which looking back, appeared to be the final nail.

I do not doubt that FleetAdmiralCoke, UniversalG, and the other head officials wanted the Terran Union to be a success. We all had high hopes for the future, but the inactivity was killing those prospects.

With FleetAdmiralCoke not in the picture, UniversalG felt he could no longer lead and extended the position to various members he thought better suited for the role. Everyone, myself included, rejected the offer.

The government had admitted that it was too deficient for its citizens to continue onwards. After an internal discussion, Kytheum entered our fold, and we began the process of passage into the Empire.”

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Kytheum: “On the 15th of September 2019, I was directly contacted by the Chancellor of the Terran Union with a severely important offer. Glasrevin [aka UniversalG] of the Terran Union was unable to spare the time and drive to continue his leadership of the organization and there were no replacements prepared to take on his role. The idea was raised internally to place the citizens of the Terran Union under the leadership of another organization, the current preference being the Empire. Which could be due to the fact the Empire and the Terran Union both had a similar desire for corporate and economic support compared to some other organizations with a pure or more directed focus on combat. 

Due to the severity of the offer we entered talks for a matter of hours to further discuss the situation to achieve an optimal solution. The Empire has always had a strong merge policy, we would never put our own structure at risk no matter the benefits we would get from doing so. So we would never accept the offer if it came with leaders of the Terran Union replacing those in the Empire or creating new positions that might damage the stability of Imperial high command. 

“The decision on whether to accept was surprisingly not easy.”

– Emperor Kytheum of the Empire

The decision on whether to accept was surprisingly not easy. We understood that taking this on would move us out of our comfortable 3rd spot and place us in the spotlight, in a place to be targeted. We also knew that many members of the Terran Union were sleepers, members who signed up, joined the largest organization, possibly bought a package and left it, to maybe pick it up again when the game has been released and that this would draw controversy.

After many hours I believe the Chancellor and I were quite satisfied and we began to bring in other members of the Terran Union for further discussion. Once they were mostly satisfied, the discussions moved onto how this would happen and in this time we decided – in order to prevent any pre-emptive actions – we would keep this a discreet matter. We discussed military movement, how corporations would migrate and how to fold existing systems of the Terran Union into the Empire easily, such as R&D, mining and manufacturing. 

I understood that this change was going to be highly controversial and not everyone in the Terran Union would receive it well. So we took a more open approach when the migration began, members of the Terran Union could move into the Empire through the lanes we had set up, or they could decide to abstain and join another organization of interest. Of course, the recommendation of military officials and most of the old government was to join the Empire. Many of them followed through, but as expected a few went their own paths.

Because of the complexity of the Terran Union’s government compared to the Empire’s more streamlined Government, not all ministers and officials were too on board with the merge. Some of them joined hesitantly while others took their own path with a few former members. A lot of other previous officials also felt no more drive to DU since the Terran Union has had quite a controversial past and thus stayed with the Empire but stepped back from leadership to start a corporation with the Empire or smaller organization.”

Kurock: “Was this transition a unanimous decision in the Terran Union?”

DarkHorizon: “Before the initial announcement was made public to the greater community, some citizens protested against this as the Terran Union was dear to their hearts. While their loyalty was cherished, the Union’s government saw it necessary for the benefit of the citizens above all. With the decision final, the Terran Union dissolved on September 25th, 2019.

Four months later, and work continues today in the Empire. It won’t be easy, and I’m sure Kytheum has inherited many new adversaries. While moving the Empire’s members to the new organization has been slow and prompted claims of inactivity all over again, I am confident that this move was the right move and that the release of Dual Universe will ignite a fire that many say extinguished.”

Kurock: “Speaking of adversaries, there were rumors that the Empire was treating the old Terran Union members as second-rate citizens. And those that complained, or shed any negative light on the Empire, were summarily muted. Would you like to comment on that, Kytheum?”

Kytheum: “The Empire has an autocratic based system, we want to prove it can be used to create a prosperous environment with a high degree of freedom while using the efficiency of the system to also give benefits such as fast decision making and extreme control in emergencies. We don’t utilize censorship as a tool to hide fault or negative events, we have a reflective mindset and like to look back on problems and failure to figure out what we can learn from them. But we do make it known that some of these tools can be utilized when people enter the server, especially when they read the agreement before entering, and that if they are uncomfortable with it they can speak to an official or decide to back out, but if they are they accept the agreement and move into the server. 

“Since welcoming in the Terran Union citizens, we have treated them as equals and citizens of the Empire.”

– Emperor Kytheum of the Empire

It is used though especially by officials with less experience in talking to quickly stop the spread of false information or aggressive messages by members against another member. While more experienced members such as myself will talk about it more and stay back from utilizing it.

In the case that you probably received, we had someone from the Empire get removed from leadership quite a while ago for going against orders and conducting diplomacy without authorization repeatedly. He was quite unhappy with this mess and spammed messages of hate wherever he could in our server which resulted in his ban and the removal of his messages as they targeted members. One of his friends in the server was also quite unhappy and while I was offline started attacking the same people and more which resulted in a less experienced official deleting his messages as it was clearly against the rules, unfortunately though, he shouted censorship before leaving the server. I would like to clarify that this was an isolated incident between the two and we haven’t seen an issue since. I would also like to state that they were both members of the Empire prior to the merge.”

Kurock: “Thank you both for taking the time out of your busy schedules enlighten everyone on what happened behind the scenes.”

…now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

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Dual Universe Community 

The Dual Universe community was no slouch during Alpha 2 with a myriad of YouTubers such as Jason Dugs, SpartanCast, D.U.S.T., Kornelius Briedis, Citizen Kai, Squidoflove, Espaço Critico, and Spaaaced all creating DU-related videos, some with more regularity than others.

Player-made tribute to Apollo 11 is released. Created in Dual Universe Alpha 1, special permission was given by NQ for it to be published.

In August, the DU meme server is born.

In September, NQ announce the winners of the puzzle building contest: “The Heist Puzzle“, “RD_Temple” and  “The First Rite of The Neophyte” along with their walkthroughs.

Novaquark continue their Community Spotlight series with Pantera being interviewed in Community Spotlight #7.

Novaquark shed a Community Spotlight on Kornelius aka Forger, creator of the first Dual Universe Beginner’s Guide which Kornelius promotes as well.

On November 2nd, DICE have their “Race to the Moon” event, after careful preparations by the team of organizers.This dash from Alioth’s surface to the moon and back in a XS core ship is won, by a significant margin over his 33 opponents, by the “Quasimodo Mk II” ship flown by the Empire’s representative.

Novaquark publish a video from Infinity Corporation, featuring various live views of the recent DICE Moon Race

And, as usual, this would not be possible without DU Sleepers and Dual Universe Historical Society. Special thanks to the DU community.

See you next time.