by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics




by Bormiar. . 245 reads.

The Rejected Times: Issue LV

Sign up for The Rejected Times' Subscription Service here.

Issue LV | Jan 20, 2020

Media Officer: Bormiar


"Summarized: Confederation of Corrupt Dictators Colluded Coup d’Etat of The North Pacific" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY MEDIA OFFICER Bormiar
"Escadian Battleship Update and Expansion" | FEATURE | WRITTEN BY SENIOR CORRESPONDENT Glacikaldr
"Fun with Charts: A Look At TRR's RMB In 2019" | FEATURE | WRITTEN BY INTERN The pharcyde
"NationStates Admins Interested in Developing Card Infrastructure" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY MEDIA OFFICER Bormiar

"Summarized: Confederation of Corrupt Dictators Colluded Coup d’Etat of The North Pacific"

“You, citizens of the North Pacific, live under an administration by the few, for the few. A small oligarchy manages your governmental agencies, trading the delegacy and high-power positions amongst themselves.”

- Statement from Ikea Rike attempting to justify the coup plots against the North Pacific; found in “On the Accusations Against Me”

On January 19th, 2020, the North Pacific’s delegate McMasterdonia presented a shocking report detailing unsavory actions known as “Operation 84” the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators (CCD) have allegedly taken action against the sovereignty of the North Pacific and its legitimate democracy. The co-conspirators involved enthusiastically opted for a simplistic approach to couping a structured, secure democracy in convincing themselves that gradually making their way through the ranks to achieve the delegacy would be a reliable plan. The most notable colluders in this unsophisticated plot are Jocospor, the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators’ founder; Castelia (as Artemizistan), the Head of CCD’s Foreign Office and member of its Supreme Council; Ikea rike, an actor who is seemingly otherwise unimportant in the CCD; and United massachusetts (UM), a prominent GA author and former Minister in the East Pacific, but it can be reasonably assumed that the plot is mainly the brainchild of Jocospor, judging by The North Pacific’s evidentiary report, which summarizes, “Jocospor suggests the movement will be populist but not militant”. While Castelia and Ikea Rike are members of CCD who would be expected to directly and willingly involve themselves in such affairs as these, United Massachusetts acts as a foreign consultant in the early developments of the plot, and is not publicly allied with CCD.

December 31, 2018. At the behest of Jocospor, Castelia disguised themselves under the pseudonym Artemizistan, joined the North Pacific, and successfully became a citizen - nothing more. Jocospor recruited United Massachusetts, an evangelical delegate of Right to Life and currently emulating the disciple Judas, to counsel Castelia in consolidating power in the North Pacific. They informed their fellow collaborators of the “Catholic minority” in TNP that could be influence by United Massachusetts and used to overthrow the rightful government, but that said Catholic minority cannot know they are being influenced. UM later claims to have an unnamed informant within the North Pacific who would support the coup, but does not detail the role the informant has. UM, who was acclaimed to be an expert, later erroneously states that the Vice Delegate check for North Pacific citizenship reviews an applicants IP, which considerably lowers their credibility. With “Operation 84” remaining stagnant and inconsequential, UM slips away and is later removed from the relevant discord channel, and Castelia resigns from their positions as a spy due to “real life reasons”. It is now already April 21, 2019, nearly 4 months since Operation 84’s enthusiastic but unpromising inception, and nothing has happened.

Jocospor recruits Ikea Rike, who calls themselves “The Inquisitor”. Ikea Rike had already been determined to be a clear associate of CCD, as they had requested an embassy between CCD and TNP the day before being brought into operation 84 (April 21, 2019), but they were chosen for the operation anyways and used their main. The Inquisitor tarts in TNP, having a mediocre 346 endorsements before being their removal from TNP, and applies for citizenship. Little else happens, but Castelia and Ikea Rike are instructed to flatter Pallaith sycophantically, as - presumably in Jocospor’s eyes - Pallaith is an egomaniac. At this point, and to Jocospor’s great pleasure, Ikea Rike makes a subversive breakthrough and infiltrates the North Pacific’s roleplay map, even being granted their own Ikea store to launder money and serve as a base of operations. The Chuck, an ex-CCD discord admin with no real governmental or community affiliations or former affiliations with CCD, is likely the whistleblower of these events, and it has been compiled by the government of the North Pacific in a statement here.

This event has caused major uproar against the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators, as well as a great deal of mocking at what detractors describe to be unsophisticated and inconsequential coup attempt. Several prominent regions have since stated agreement with the North Pacific’s reaction to the attempted subversion, with The East Pacific notably condemning United Massachusetts’ actions against The North Pacific, despite UM being their former World Assembly Minister. In response to fervent anger at their plotting and lack of informing of CCD’s actions, they stated, “In my defence, however, I will note that I had not seen any direct evidence at the time that CCD harboured fascists, despite asking various people for it many times”. Additional controversy comes from CCDers arguing that every part of the attempted coup was IC, to which many players cited Jocospor calling Kuriko an idiot and juvenile in contradiction. While the forums and dispatches are mainly dominated by anti-CCD statements, Ikea Rike issued “On the Accusations Against Me”, which confesses to all charges brought against CCD, agrees that the operation was “sloppy”, and apologizes to the TNPers which it describes as good. But it simultaneously attempts to justify destroying the North Pacific’s legitimate government on the basis of negligence in McMasterdonia and their staff’s choice to not take action against Ikea Rike until recently, when they received substantial evidence, and additional states, “You, citizens of the North Pacific, live under an administration by the few, for the few. A small oligarchy manages your governmental agencies, trading the delegacy and high-power positions amongst themselves. The institutions meant to bring nations involved in your ‘democracy’ are dramatically underused, and are, too, dominated by long-existing nations. If democracy is to be the rule by the people, then why should the people not be trusted to rule unless it is done under the management of a ruling caste” [sic]. While Jocospor also gave a vague and unsubstantial statement on the recent events, a panicked announcement from Jocospor in CCD’s discord (shown below) suggests fear of a spy in CCD’s ranks. When asked by TRT journalists to describe their intentions in leaking CCD documents and their general impression of it, whistleblower The Chuck expresses, “My reasons for revealing the two sleepers in TNP are long and convoluted. They involve an OOC debacle involving me that predates my time on Nationstates and many other factors. All in all, my actions are my own but if there's any advice I can offer to those who seek to learn more about the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators, it is this. 'Sciencia Est Potentia,' Knowledge is Power. Continue to follow the path to truth in regards to the realities of the CCD”.

After this, it seems unlikely that CCD will have any chance of being opened up to in gameplay anymore, and attempts at repealing its liberation will likely be completely abandoned. United Massachusetts, Castelia, Ikea Rike, and Jocospor will also likely be shunned from many regional communities on account of being dangerous to regional security. All in all, this event detrimented many nations and regions for extremely little.

"Escadian Battleship Update and Expansion"

NationStates' very own Escadian Battleship, first tested in 2018, quickly became infamous for taking around a couple of hours at best to play. The Classic update below intends to speed up the start of the game, complementing the following launch of a Werewolf-themed Expansion!


The original way to play, first released through The Rejected Times in May 2018 for the Tolkien Fellowship Festival; now with minor quality-of-life improvements!

Grid Size:
A 6x4 grid is recommended for this gamemode. Further, using Google Sheets or equivalent software is also recommended to the BM (battleship master; our spin on DM, or dungeon master) to help speed up the game.

Click here to see a blank grid:

Classic divides 2-8 players into 2 teams, setting up on either side of the grid in designated deployment zones as seen above. There are four ships per team Classed from 1 to 4, with players controlling one or more, however, each team also nominates a Team Leader at the start of the match or round who will confirm movements to the BM in private following discussion. In the case where teamwork dissolves and coordination is not achieved, the player controlling a ship gets the final say.

Click here for an example of how deployment may look in Classic; please note, deployment is hidden from opposing teams:

Occurring simultaneously, movement is also hidden from opposing teams. All ships may move up to one space per round either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The BM may choose to indicate how long each Team Leader has to confirm their team’s moves per round at their discretion.

Combat is initiated through collisions, called engagements, and is resolved following all movements after each round. Higher Class ships sink lower Class ships i.e. 3 sinks 2 upon collision. There are two exceptions to this rule: 1) 1 Class ships sink 4 Class ships upon collision, visualised as a submarine attack on an aircraft carrier; and 2) ships of the same Class bounce back, or revert to their previous positions before the movement phase. In the case where an enemy ship is blocking a bounce for either side, both ships of the same Class now occupying the same grid square are sunk instead.

Here is a recent example of a 2-player match of Classic prior to the deployment zone changes for reference to these combat rules:

The following offers a glimpse into the narration and intensity of our first match of Classic Escadian Battleship that started off Rejectmas Festival 2019 on December 26, 2019:

Escadian Battleship Match 1 - Hydra :^) v The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Frattastan IV, captaining a well-armed detachment of the establishments finest, searches the Rejected Seas for the rebelling pseudo-intellectuals. Long has pseudo-intellectualism been a nuisance to the hegemony of the gangs, of Hydra :^), but now, with a real intellectual leading the resistance, that of Siam meow who has formed The Ghosts of Christmas Past pact, the pseudo-intellectuals stand a fighting chance. Now making contact, a decisive battle is about to take place.

Round 1 Begins - hidden movement phase

Round 1 Combat - no engagements, no collisions

As the gangs advance, the displeasure of the hierarchy reaches their comms: with Frattastan IV informing the High Command that contact has been made and it does not appear that the pseudo-intellectuals are attempting to flee or even scuttle at their mere sight, he can hear them salivating on the other end; the gangs want a gory end for The Ghosts of Christmas Past. Knowing his career is on the line, the Captain orders and advance, yet his indecision is ever-present as he continues to rearrange their approach as the two fleets near.

Meanwhile, in the extreme shot of Frattastan IV's close-up, Siam meow is captaining his ships to take up a new formation before engaging with the enemy. With democracy (or faux democracy) on the line, the stakes have never been higher!

Round 2 Begins - hidden movement phase

Round 2 Combat - no engagements, no collisions (at least, not with the opposite team)

Hydra :^ ) continues its awkward tango as it continues forward, now facing down the armada of the pseudo-intellectuals taking formation as they too advance.

As is most definitely unknown to the gangs, the main source of funding for the Ghosts of Christmas Past is bath bombs, and their entire storage of glittery bath bombs is in ship 3 - its sinking would be an environmental disaster; however, with her firm grip of morality, Harmoneia boards Frattastan IV's command vessel before it is too late, intending to warn the gangs before the unthinkable is inflicted upon the Rejected Seas. Will this betrayal of Siam meow and the Ghosts of Chrismas Past pact be worth its high price? How will Frattastan IV respond? The gangs would be most displeased if this imminent conflict is set aside by the ethical concerns of one mere captain.

Round 3 Begins - hidden movement phase

Round 3 Combat - bloodshedding of an interregional magnitude

Ignoring all warnings, Frattastan IV orders for Harm to be locked up for harbouring intellectual tendencies in both heart and metaphysical existence. Far too much rides on the success of this mission to allow for concern to eat away at the gangs' dominion. Where the environment is concerned, the ends absolutely justify the-- HOLY S**T WE JUST HAD THREE SEPARATE ENGAGEMENTS.

Siam meow's bath bombs implode within his ships as Frattastan IV, armed with this newfound knowledge, orders his Level Four dreadnought to manoeuvre in such a way that large waves batter against the enemy fleet as they both exchange exceptionally large munition shells.

As such successes are won, similar losses are suffered. The pseudo-intellectual formation pays off, in some respects, as a large ship of Hydra is torn asunder! The gangs and pseudo-intellectuals must be losing ships at a similar rate - lifeless bodies of vigilantes in bandanas and uniformed Rejects in berets begin to cover the Rejected Seas previously serene surface.

Needless to say at this point, the environmental impacts are astronomical.

Nearer to the seabed, two submarines pass side-by-side. Upon seeing each other occupying the same grid, but knowing their ships are of exact same class, they draw swords. They both open their respective hatches underwater and no sooner are the benefits of intellectualism more sorely missed. Both crews drown within seconds.

Round 4 Begins - hidden movement phase for what little is left

Round 4 Combat - fleets in disarray, but no engagements

Both Frattastan IV and Siam meow continue to shout orders, however, the remaining halves of their respective armadas are in no shape to follow through. Most weapons, even when in range and the proper arc, remain unmanned. While the gangs' remaining fleet separates from each other's view, the pact maintains its numbers.

While Frattastan IV's Hydra moves conservatively, much in line with the devastating extent of environmental damages they have brought upon the Rejected Sea, Siam meow's Ghosts of Christmas Past maintain their cohesion and hope through all the suffering and betrayal.

While the crews work on returning to their sensibilities, the captains call upon their training: they order for scouting missions to be launched using emergency craft. Upon their lessers questioning their orders, they demand that each use the craft reserved for the captain. Both intend to go down with their ships if such is to be their fate. [Ship positions -- not class -- will be revealed if there are two more rounds with no engagements]

Round 5 Begins - hidden movement phase

Round 5 Combat - wartime loss

As both fleets concentrate upon one each other once more, the two smaller ships enter into what is at first a light scuffle - exchanging blows but with no lasting damage. As they circle, radioed-in shots from the gangs' larger vessel land closer and closer - the larger counterpart nears. The pseudo-intellectual pact realises that their smaller ship has no viable retreat, and decides upon the unthinkable in their hour of greatest sacrifice.

Like the good captains they are, both Siam meow and Frattastan IV were commanding their armadas aboard these smaller ships. As Hydra's command vessel is rammed, Harmoneia's cell cracks open. Each ship's crew leaps out, battling at gunpoint in an equally bloody match-up to the bath bomb incident only minutes prior. At this point, the water beneath both sinking vessels is already a mix of green and pink, and blood red.

Siam meow decides to break away from his ragtag group of remaining intellectuals, carving his own path to Frattastan IV's command deck - fuelled by the purpose of bringing closure to his fleeting rebellion. A final engagement, depicting what is the proper amount of drama to end a trilogy, ensues. With Siam meow left standing, yet bloodied and battered himself, Harmoneia enters. The dread in her face forms his final conscious memory: "all this for nought, but what of the plight of the sea unicorn". The final words strung together as the two command ships capsize and are dragged down to the depths.

Read dispatch

While Classic has a fog-of-war between the opposing teams as default, this is lifted with sustained periods of no combat. Following the first engagement, if no combat is initiated for the following three rounds, all ship locations become visible to all teams. This visibility does not expose a ship’s Class unless an additional two rounds of no combat passes.

Win Conditions:
In this gamemode, both teams win by defeating or routing all enemy ships. Teams are forced to route if they have no remaining way to win. Similarly, the BM must declare a draw if neither team has a way of winning.

Werewolf Expansion

Building upon Classic rules, the Werewolf Expansion offers a roleplay-friendly and more strategic experience!

Grid Size:
A 7x7 grid is recommended for this gamemode. For this reason, BMs are especially advised to use Google Sheets or equivalent software to help speed up the game.

Click here to see a blank grid:

The Werewolf Expansion divides 3-9 players into 2 major teams and one solo player, setting up in specific deployment zones as seen above. The teams are modelled after a Foolish gamemode of Werewolf: the red Werewolf Team has three Class 3 ships and one Class 1 ship; the green Villager (and Seer) Team has three Class 2 ships and one Class 4 (Seer) ship; and, the pink Foolish Player who captains one Class 1 ship. Yet, the teams operate under the same Team Leader rules as in Classic.

Click here for an example of how deployment may look in the Werewolf Expansion; please note, deployment is hidden from opposing teams:

Likewise, movement works the same as in Classic.

The only additional combat rule in the Werewolf Expansion is the Seer’s passive ‘radar’ ability. All ships that end their movement phase in a grid square next to the S4 ship will be visible, including that ship’s Class, to the Villager Team. While this is helpful against the Werewolf Team, the Foolish Player’s Class 1 ship will appear as a Werewolf Class 3 ship to this passive ability.

Hidden movements, aside from the Seer’s passive ability, remain for the entirety of the match regardless of the frequency of engagements.

Win Conditions:
All three teams have separate win conditions: the Werewolf Team wins by sinking or routing the Villager Team; the Villager Team wins by avoiding engagements for five rounds in a row following the first engagement; the Foolish Player wins by sinking the Villager Team’s Class 4 ship and both major teams lose at this time as well. Please note, forced routing conditions remain the same as in Classic.

Lastly, I have two final notes to add for this new expansion: 1) the Werewolf and Villager Teams might end up working together to sink the Foolish Player, such as by comparing the information seen by the Seer’s passive ability, but it may also be in the Werewolf Team’s best interests to lie at opportune moments during this time; and, 2) I will personally give you bonus kudos if you refer to S4 as Guy throughout the entirety of a match if I’m BM, and I encourage others to do the same.

"Fun with Charts: A Look At TRR's RMB In 2019"

I, The Pharcyde, love charts.

To celebrate the New Year, I made several visualizations summarizing The Rejected Realm's RMB activity during 2019. My charts represent data from posts on TRR's RMB between January 1st, 2019 and December 31st, 2019, excluding posts that were suppressed or deleted posts. This column couples my charts with a short commentary about each.

Chart 1. Two Extremes: Z-Day and the Summer Lull

This chart helps puts Z-Day's popularity and the dreaded "summer lull" into perspective. Z-Day was the most active day of the year on the RMB, by a considerable margin, in terms of total posts. Additionally, more unique players posted on the RMB on Z-Day than on any other day of the year. 87 unique posters combined for 360 posts. In contrast, at the very end of the summer — September 7th, specifically — only six posts were made on the RMB. Dead I Jack, Thepeopl, Emenamai, Pandaland MMIXX, and Yy4u from The West Pacific were the brave souls responsible for these posts. May [violet]'s light bless them in 2020.

Chart 2. Ruby Tuesdays

This might come as a surprise, but the weekends were statistically the least active time on The Rejected Realm's RMB last year. If you wanted to find someone to chat with, 10 o'clock on a Tuesday morning would've been your best time to try doing so: 10-11am on Tuesday was by far the most popular hour for posting activity on The Rejected Realms' RMB in 2019. In fact, Link10 o'clock was the most active hour overall. Despite Tuesday having claim to the most active hour, however, Linkmore posts were made on Thursdays than on Tuesdays. With that said, it's worth recalling that Z-Day fell on a Thursday this year. So, organically speaking, Tuesday was likely TRR's most active day.

Click for full size.

Chart 3. The Perks of Citizenship

Citizens and non-citizens exhibited dissimilar behavior on the regional message board throughout 2019: citizens tended to post more frequently, make longer posts, and obtain more likes per post. Citizenship, post length, and post frequency were all positively correlated with the average amount of likes a poster received on their posts.

Click for full size. Correction: Toerana and South Acren are citizens on different nations.

Chart 4. The Amazing Race

This chart, which shows the cumulative number of posts on TRR's RMB made by nations throughout the year, was made hours before Aandruzognivia narrowly slid ahead of Yahaba to claim the crown for Post King of 2019. If you posted on TRR's RMB last year, you can find yourself on this chart; but if you didn't make many posts, you might just have to squint to locate yourself.

Click for full size.

"NationStates Admins Interested in Developing Card Infrastructure"

Following the extremely successful Season 1 of NationStates Trading Cards, Max Barry has released a second season which has already been linked to a new spur of activity, among traders and even admins. This current season has had several interesting changes, including a sleek reformatting of a card’s appearance, an intriguing LinkCards Guild from The North Pacific hosting card-related events, several new legendary cards, and - the feature of this article - an unprecedented level of communication between players and admins.

On November 28 2019, the admins covertly initiated a snapshot to find the rarity of every nation, which were displayed for a brief few minutes before disappearing. Subsequently, an enigmatic Discord channel in the Cards Server called #bug-reports was created, presumably by NationStates game moderator and server admin Frisbeeteria, and Testlandia, who is assumed to be [violet], joined the server (Disclaimer: Don’t join the server just to ask Testlandia for irrelevant things or talk to them; that’s annoying and will get you removed). Based on Frisbeeteria’s unphased tone in the unpredictable arrival of NationStates’ most mysterious administrator, it can be reasonably assumed that Frisbeeteria, trusting in his own control over the server, endorsed Discord communication and invited Testlandia.

Testlandia then began discussing features with active card traders, such as an “inscription feature”, in which, prior to the release of spawnable S2 cards, nations could change the custom fields used in cards, like the flag, motto, and pretitle, causing hilarious meta references like Ransium changing his full nation name to “the game mod, prolific issue editor and author, prolific WA author in both the GA and SC, long time delegate of Forest, commended nation, surely I’m worth a few more bank of Ransium”. This beloved addition, along with a popularly-requested “Add to Collection” button on individual card pages and a feature to filter out certain card rarities in the auction page, quickly made the #bug-reports channel one of the best things to happen to cards. Renaissancistic People (r3n), the spearhead of the North Pacific’s Card programs such as the Card Lottery and many tools such as Linkthe North Pacific Card Queries, has made several requests such as this one in the past for a cards API to make requests on information about decks, collections, and individual cards. Another main feature recently added is the ability to gift cards. This could allow for more regions to have gifting programs for incentivized outreach, and new player-made sub-games, such as a gambling idea several players attempted to implement but couldn’t do to the tediousness of doing it manually.

These new features in cards have exemplified a surge in current activity among [violet] and potentially the rest of the NationStates administration. [Violet] has modernized the site by increasing the maximum resolution quality in flags and promising to update the default flags, finally provided feedback on Koth's "Faction Gameplay" proposal, and even created a foreseeably beneficial dispatch creation, editing, and removal portion of the API. Additionally, they have maintained a provable awareness of the going-ons in the technical forum beyond just the inappropriate advertising thread. With these very recent contrivings, it can be expected that we’ll have more in the future; something to look forward to.

NOTE: The Rejected Times does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rejected Realms.

Discuss this Issue over on the NationStates forum here.

Find The Rejected Times Index Linkhere.

The Times gives our thanks for the ongoing support from our Subscribers:
Glacikaldr, Unibot III, Fauxia, Marilyn manson freaks, NOrTh pAcIfiC spY, Eseral, Libetarian Republics, Nintendo switch parental controls, Morover, Outboundstagnate, Trabardia, North prarie, Dixadoing, All Wild Things, Asdersland, Windchia, Renegalle, Carropia, Green Africa, Hydra dragon, Jar Watinnree, Ctesiphonis, Zip, Hindu Mahasabha, Zealandiana, Bormiar, Crazybloxian Empire, Abbots, Democratic Republic Of Unified States, Sensorland, Frattastan IV, Meggland, Babme merrourativa, Free city of rigia, Carstantinopipal, Doge Land, The logictalian union