Aika's first free expansion, Ashes of Betrayal, it might have been easy to miss the inclusion of an underdog system designed to help the lowest-ranked nation in the game's overarching PvP system. What the development team didn't discuss at the time was the other half of the system -- a mechanic to ensure that the lead nation wouldn't have nearly as much dominance over its opponents. That system was rather forcibly demonstrated to players over the weekend, with a post going live explaining exactly what the system is and how it works.
The short version is that when a nation is determined (via automatic processes) to be in the lead, it is no longer capable of forming alliances and is kicked out of any existing alliances. This has met with some resistance from Aika's players both in the news post and in threads on the official forums, as it essentially broke an alliance without warning or any explanation at the time. Some players are viewing the penalties to an arbitrarily determined "lead nation" as crippling a nation while splitting friendly nations apart forcibly. Even if the system itself provides an interesting balance mechanic, it's still leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the game's players, especially in light of earlier incidents when information wasn't immediately available.