by Max Barry

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World Cup FAQs

What Is The World Cup?
The Nationstates World Cup (NSWC) is a football tournament for any NS nation who wishes to compete in the beautiful game and play 'sexy' or 'total' football. Or if you just like strapping on boots and having 22 men, women, robots, extraterrestrials, rubber animals, non-rubber animals, mathematical constants, gnomes, etc. chasing a leather ball. It's all the same to us.

We try and make it as entertaining, real and competitive as possible by arranging signed-up nations into a number of World Cup Qualifying Groups and having 30 qualifiers travel to two host nations (who don't have to qualify) for a Real-life World Cup-style 32 team Tournament, the World Cup Finals.

The World Cup happens every four (or two, or one, or less than one) NS years, but they're pretty much one straight after the other in real-time, so the next one begins about two months after the previous one started.

How Do I Sign-Up?
To sign your nation up for an NSWC, simply make a post in an appropriate thread saying something like: "Hello, the nation of <whoever> would like to sign up for this cup". RPing your sign-ups is encouraged but by no means required. The sign-ups threads are creatively titled as something like 'World Cup 66: Sign-Up Thread', so it's difficult to mistake them for anything else.

You can sign up with a simple 'I sign up, please' or a full RP, whichever you please. The NSWC account will occasionally trawl the thread for signups and put your nations name on the signup list.

How Are Scores Generated?
Each match is 'scorinated' using some form of programming, depending on who's hosting the tournament, as they get to generate the scores. Scores are generated using either Java programs (such as xkoranate, the most popular scorination program) or through various Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (created by anyone with Office or another spreadsheet program and some programming skill, or lack thereof).

A very, very, very bad way to generate scores can be to use Dice or Computer Games, these are frowned upon and people who suggest them are generally shunned and have their chocolate-chip cookies taken away from them.

Usually, one or both of the hosts will scorinate the Qualifying Groups. When the finals come around, it is accepted that Hosts should not score their own matches, therefore each host will score the other host's matches during the Finals, to prevent any shameless self-promotion.

Here is a very simple way to generate a score without Rankings or RP Bonus factoring in. Copy and paste the following into a spreadsheet cell (such as MS Excel) and see what you get. Press F9 a few times and you should get numbers randomly ranging from 0 to 4.

=ROUNDDOWN((RAND())*4.25, 0)

Increasing or decreasing the number 4.25 is a simple way of increasing and decreasing the possible scorelines, which can represent RP or a Higher Rank. Now, this example is beyond simple and if you offer to host a tournament using this scorinator you will be laughed out of the community, most likely. But I hope you get the idea. Hosts just add names and get numbers out at the end, they don't make up the scores off the top of their head.

How Are Rankings Decided?
Every team is given a rank based on their performances in recent Cups, and the starting rank is currently 317th . This ranking system was originally created by Kaze Progressa and revised by Bedistan, hence their name, the KPB Rankings.

"The KPB ranking system is the current system used to rank nations participating in the World Cup and related events. The name KPB comes from the initials of the two nations involved in its creation. It was developed by Kaze Progressa during World Cup IX, with the principal modification made shortly afterward by Bedistan to ensure that Cup hosts did not suffer an unnatural loss of rank due to not participating in the qualifying stages.

For each competition, the total number of points (three per win, one per draw) earned by each team is divided by the maximum possible number of matches. It is then multiplied by a certain constant, depending on the type of competition and when it took place. The numbers are finally added together, and the nation with the most KPB points is officially considered the best in the world."

What is RolePlay?
It is encouraged for Nations to roleplay (RP) their matches: team rosters, player interviews, match reports and such. Good RPs will help raise your chance of winning as most hosts add an RP-bonus to the calcuations. Please note: A lot of RPs only increases your chances of winning, but do not guarantee a certain result. For example, two debutants, Rank 150, nations play each other. One has RP'd a few times, the other has not. The nation who has participated with RPs should have the better probability of victory, but could still lose or draw.

RPing is what the NS forums are all about. RPs can be Team Roster announcements, fan comments, press conferences, media stories, training incidents, anything about the game, the team or the sport, as long as you've kept to the score as posted or telegrammed to you by the host or scorinator.

The Roster/Team List/Depth Chart is a very important RP, as it allows you and your opponents to write more realistic RPs by using player's name, rather than just their position. You can include a graphic of your team's kit/uniform, write a short (or long) biography about each player, add ages, number of goals scored, number of appearances, talk about the coaching staff, anything.

The World Cup community likes to encourage each team to post, along with their rosters, a set of orders for your opponents to follow. Some posters feel restricted by not wanting to choose a goalscorer for their opponents, or holding back on handing out yellow/red cards without first getting permission from their opponents. If we simply tell everyone before hand our preferences this situation can be avoided. While you are not required to use the Team Rosters, their use is encouraged to enhance the RP experience for everyone, and those regularly using the Rosters Thread for their RPs may be rewarded. Here is an example:

My opponent, if they RP first, may do the following:
Choose my goalscorers: Y/N
Godmod Scoring Events: Y/N
RP injuries to my players: Y/N
Godmod injuries to my players: Y/N
Hand out Yellow cards to my players: Y/N
Hand out Red cards to my players: Y/N
Godmod Other Events: Y/N

What is the RP Permissions box?
This box (above) is usually posted along with a team's roster and lets their opponents know what is acceptable to RP when posting about a match with that team. Some players give complete creative freedom to their fellow players, allowing anything that can be imagined to be fair game in a football match. Others like complete realism and prefer to tell their own story rather than let another player do it. So, the RP permissions box was born to aid RPing and help wipe out any complaints players had with what their opponent had RPed before them. These are not the only permissions possible, though this common list lets other players know the situation with what a player would be happy with happening to their team before RPing.

  • Choose my goalscorers (Y/N)
    This, quite simply, is whether a player would like their opponent to choose their goalscorers for them, should they RP first. A necessity to this is, of course, posting a roster. Often choosing the manner and time of goals scored is implied by this permission (A. Nonymous, in the 41st minute from a header) but sometimes players will wish to choose their own scorers in regards to who, how and when, and let their opponents know accordingly.

  • Godmod Scoring Events (Y/N)
    If a player wants total realism from their football team, this will often be denied. Can players score within a second of the whistle blowing, or from the half-way line, or without looking, or after the 'keeper has dribbled the length of the pitch, or anything equally (or moreso) outlandish?

  • RP injuries to my players Y/N
    From tight hamstrings to broken necks, can your players be injured in a match with your opponent? Often players will deny this permission, as losing their players for the next match(es) can be detrimental to their RPing. Also, players may not read the previous match RPs of their opponent and not know that a certain player has missed the game because of an injury, writing that injured player in as a key part of the RP.

  • Godmod injuries to my players Y/N
    Whether death, mutation, veneral disease or zombification, Godmodded injuries are usually done by players wanting fun and frolics in their RPs. Teams being wiped out in transport accidents, or drinking spiked orange juice to affect their performance.

  • Hand out Yellow cards to my players Y/N
    Yellow cards, or cautions, are handed out ot players for bad tackles, dissent or other unsportsmanlike behaviour. The simple question is, can your opponent give these out to your players?

  • Hand out Red cards to my players Y/N
    Red cards are given to players who are sent off, taking no part in the rest of the game and often missing anything between one and three of their next matches. This situation, like injuries, is often missed by other players when they RP subsequent matches. Sometimes teams will have an enforcer, or a particularly dirty player and it is not uncommon to have 'Red Card A. Nonymous for violent actions'.

  • Godmod Other Events Y/N
    This covers anything and everything. Bombs in the stadium, 8 year olds replacing your team, aliens landing, streakers or matches abandoned for tanks and APCs on the pitch.

How Does RP Bonus Work?
Hosts are generally not inclined to tell you the details of their RP Bonus machinery, as some people would then write RPs purely to win marks, rather than to enjoy the game. RP Bonus can be based on Quality, Quantity, Effort, Spelling, Humour, Seriousness, Realism, Coloured text, Lack of Coloured text, or any number of dozens of categories, its up to whoever's creating the scores. We'd like you to post so everyone can enjoy the World Cup Experience a little more by hearing about players, teams, matches and incidents that the hosts can't provide with a simple scoreline. That is the Fun of RPing and reading RPs, and RP bonus encourages us all to have fun. There is no mandatory scheme to make everyone RP, so don't feel like you 'have' to.

What is the NSWC etiquette?
or: How to make sure that the more irritable NSWC players don't yell at you for seemingly no reason!

There are many unwritten rules to RPing in the World Cup, and the general sports forum, so we'll attempt to write them here for you:

  • Keep to the score that the Host has generated. Don't go changing that under any circumstances (unless you make sure it is seen that your scoreline is untrue, Totally Useless Liars were good in pretending they thrashed the opponent when in reality they went down) unless the host changes/corrects the scoreline.

  • When your opponent has RP'd your match already, stick to what they have written. Don't change the facts as they have presented them, such as the scorers, but you are more than welcome to put a different viewpoint on them, or ignore them all together. Was their Superstar Forward as good as they said, or did he cheat? Perhaps they failed to mention that your striker suffered an unpunished foul in the penalty area? Have fun, but don't change the facts.

  • Please don't post OOC (Out-Of-Character) comments in the Roleplay Thread, that is what the Discussion Thread is for.

  • Don't OOCly insult anyone. Work out an IC (In-Character) Rivalry with another nation, by all means, but don't start throwing insults around.

  • Don't do nasty things to your opponent's people. Injuries, deaths, kidnappings and other 'nasty' things can make great drama, but you should always agree to do these with your opponent first.

  • Rank changes can often be exciting, especially if you've got one up on a long time rival, but please avoid posting your jubilation/sadness/indifference in the Discussion Thread. While you may care that your nation is playing amongst the heavyweights, Somewhereistan is probably more focused on his own progress.

  • While the Discussion Thread is often a relaxed place to chat about the tournament, try to avoid junking it up with singular conversations, especially between only two people. That's best left for telegrams.

  • If you've decided to make the leap into entering a puppet into the World Cup, do try and have some sort of RP lined up for it. The World Cup is getting larger and more difficult to run these days, so no-roster no-RP puppets are, unfortunately, more common than they used to be.

  • If you have any questions, do ask them! The General Sports Roleplaying Questions thread is the perfect place for this, and you'll often find people who can give you an answer to whatever issues you might have.

What are the CoH, BoF and all the other tournaments with Three Letter Acronyms?
CoH (Cup of Harmony)
This is for nations who do not manage to qualify for the World Cup Finals. It is a mostly-invitational tournament, held at the same time as the World Cup Finals. Invites are generally sent out to nations who have not qualified for the World Cup but have put themselves into the spotlight though a high quality or a high quantity of RPs.

BoF (Baptism of Fire)
This is a special Pre-World Cup tournament for debutant nations that have never participated in a World Cup before. This competition allows them to formulate and practise their RPing style while raising their World Ranking at the same time. RP Bonus is hugely important in the BoF, as it is the only separator between the nations apart from Blind Luck.

DBC (Di Bradini Cup)
The spiritual successor to the Under-21 World Cup, named after star Starblaydi striker Simeone Di Bradini, the Di Bradini Cup is the younger players of nations, and is unique in that it doesn't have a ranking system. It is a good place to create your players for the future, and also give them some tournament glory before they enter the World Cup proper!