thanks Willy. from what you descripe it seems that something is blocking your communication with the outside world. Do you have any antivirus / firewall that is not Windows defender installed on your pc @WillyMcBride ?
I know this is an old post I am bringing up but I just had to comment on it. I think the possibility of war would add so much depth to this game. I understand that the original intent of the game was more focused on cooperation but in my opinion, you can't have true cooperation without an element of disagreement.
Some things just can not be agreed upon and struggles will insue.
Now I can see your concerns Starrik, but I think that can be alleviated with one concept; Wars are expensive.
The whole premise of this game is dealing with finite resources. Bullets, guns, war machines? That's a lot of metal and other resources, not to mention time. Recourses that can't be used for other things.
Then there is the ultimate "resource" (and in my opinion the biggest deterrent to going to war) human life. War is expensive in life and I'd say if you are to die it's a perma death you would have to start over.