One of the things that really impressed me about Chaos upon arrival was the fact that the universe is in a constant state of flux. Factions are constantly adding new territory through dominions and taking it from each other through invasions. The fact that there's a formalized system for both is highly encouraging, and speaks well for the future of the community.
Crisis precipitates change, and change is the lifeblood of a vibrant and long lived and loved community. It keeps things interesting, and it gives people a reason to stick around. A certain amount of entropy is inevitable in any RP community, but by feeding the fires of the competitive spirit, it's possible for a community to thrive years after others would have gone cold.
How do I know this?
I had a hand in guiding a similar community down the opposite path some years ago.
Eight years ago, there was an app of Facebook called JvS. This was back when Facebook was just starting to mutate into something other than a more user friendly MySpace, and an app with a good idea behind it stood an excellent chance of taking off like a hog with a bottle rocket up its ass.
Jedi vs Sith started off as a collection of hokey games that were vaguely Star Wars related. Looking back, they were mostly pretty terrible, but this was an age where browser games were cool, dammit. And since it was Star Wars, people are that crap up. It didn't take long for a group of RPers to clog up the comments section, so the devs said to hell with it and made a dedicated RP forum within the app.
It was literal chaos.
Fleets with thousands of ships duked it out over planets, sometimes three or four times a week over the same one. Characters that made Luke and Yoda look like anemic couch potatoes were everywhere, and you weren't anyone if you didn't have at least one planet cracking superlaser on hand.
There were plenty of folks who just wanted to write good stories, but even they had to contend with the possibility of waking up one day to find their territory under attack. There were no moderators or even rules at this point. Anything went, and only a loose gentlemen's agreement regulated the process of RP itself.
Eventually, a guy by the name of Kulu had the idea to keep a directory of who owned what planets. He spent weeks trying to track down who owned what territory. After a few months, he had a reputation of being honest and level headed, and was often brought in to mediate disputes.
After a while, he was overwhelmed. There was just too much going on, and there weren't enough hours in the day to keep track of everything, and he had a life of his own outside of RP. So he put out a call for an assistant, and I answered. I had just graduated high school a semester early so the Army could send me off to training, and I didn't have anything else to do while waiting for orders, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.
If I had any idea what I was getting into, I'd have kept my damn mouth shut and stuck to making Hoth a hellhole for potential invaders.
Eventually, the devs realized that Facebook simply wasn't designed to handle the volume of RP we had going. People had to have multiple accounts just to get around the idiotic posting limits, and just about everyone had at least one account banned over some damn thing or another. They quickly threw together a phpBB forum, and began to look for moderators for it.
Kulu was an obvious choice. He had helped bring a modicum of order to the mess, and was almost universally respected. Other moderators were selected from across the community, mainly because they either knew the devs, or had a reputation for being good writers and weren't known to be complete arse monkeys. I was a last minute pick, and only made it because Kulu threatened to quit otherwise. Though I had a knack for coming up with compromises that everyone could live with, I was about as blunt as the front end of a freight train and just as likely to run someone over if I thought they were an idiot.
One of the very first goals we had was coming up with a way to bring some stability to the new site once it opened up. Fleet limits were put into place, reducing the numbers down to maybe a tenth of the average from the Facebook app. Criteria were quickly established for gaining and holding territory. Measures were put into place to cut down on the often toxic OOC interactions, and at my insistence, we established a Patent Office so players could bring over custom ships. That we could tell them to go to Hell if they were completely outrageous was just a bonus.
Initially, the new site was a huge success. Everyone was thrilled to be away from the madness of the Facebook days, and though the coding was somewhat primitive, it was far more functional than the original RP board.
It didn't take long for the new site smell to wear off.
A couple of months after the new site opened up, a schism between those that wanted to focus more on the story aspect and those that wanted to focus on conflict opened up. The writers and the gamers were at each other's throats in short order.
Most of the now admin team (the devs really didn't give a flying kark about things and made the mods take care of running the place) fell firmly into the writer camp. Kulu and I were the only ones that had even a shred of sympathy for the gamers, and he quickly lost patience with the other admins and deuced out.
The general consensus, minus one highly irritated and completely undiplomatic Shard, was that the gamers were poisoning the community and anything that could be done to make life miserable for them was worth it. As much as I ranted and raved, they were bound and determined to drive them away.
It worked.