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by The Impeccably Arranged Snark of The West Pacific Master Dispatch. . 523 reads.

The West Pacifican - March 2020

Announcements!

  • Festival of the Three Perfections! The Second Annual Festival of the Three Perfections has just concluded! With over 100 attendees and 50 submitting artists, TWP and the NS community came together to make this the most perfect festival yet!

  • Burning Marsupial! TWP is partnering with our friends in The East Pacific for Burning Marsupial 2: Electric Boogaloo

  • Regional Commendations! The Hall of Nations is discussing nominees for Linkreceiving commendations for service to the region. Join in the discussion on our forums!

  • WA Proposals! UTWP's WA/R section is Linkdrafting GA repeals and SC commends on our forums, and they want your help!


Villains of NS Cards?

There have been all kinds of villains throughout the history of NationStates. Whether they are infamous raiders, RPers, or others, they have always had a place in the 18 years of history in this game. NS cards, however, are new to the game with almost 2 years since the release of cards as one of the yearly April Fools additions. This gives us the questions: are there villains in this new part of NS?

First off, it depends on what you think a villain is. Maybe it’s that one player who tries to outbid you at every card you buy, or the one that stole bank for you in a bank transfer? (If you don’t understand any of this, the Card Glossary can help). While that can be annoying, some players don’t mean to be like that.

Therefore, we have to look at players that consistently commit acts of villainy within this game. One that comes to mind of most card players is Koem Kab, which also happens to be the player with the most valuable card deck in the entire game. Now, look at it—he was even given a condemnation for some of his evil doings!

Some of them include hoarding copies of high-valued cards and refusing to sell them, stealing transfers and inflating values of cards. Now, isn’t that a true villain? To add, they are completely secret—even the name of his region is The Secret Order, and this secrecy means that he doesn’t answer telegrams or other messages to all but a few nations. A true villain, would you say?

That said, there could be other villains out there, depending on what the player thinks. A recent thread on the NS Cards forum recently highlighted a rather successful attempt to monopolize the epic card market—while that is perfectly fine and within the game rules, some would consider it annoying. Another case was a recent heist of a thousand bank involving a known card farmer, which stirred up some drama.

However, a thing to note is that a villain isn’t necessarily bad—I think villains in NS Cards are rather funny. Take a game, which sometimes can be very boring, with a lot of time and effort spent on building dream decks, and add people playing villains—it can make the game very funny!

Dangerous Airborne Disease Threatens Stability Of West Pacific

By Q. Pitt of Podium

An infectious new pathogen, dubbed ‘14/2-vDay’ by researchers at the Laboratory Of Virology Eighburn, has quickly become the focus of regional concern since its official discovery in several hundred couples just two weeks ago during a routine wave of medical inspections. Early cases showed limited symptoms like light-headedness, increased heart rate and sweating, and a strong attraction to those uninfected. However, symptoms have now advanced to include proposals of meetups with the uninfected, higher tendencies to express otherwise buried feelings, and in some horrifyingly extreme cases, even slight handholding. Dr Robert Brownecker, one of the head researchers at LOVE, expressed his opinion in regards to how the pathogen could have begun; ‘this is unlike any airborne pathogen we’ve ever seen before, because we can’t even trace where it originally came from; for all we know, it could have existed for millennia waiting dormant in our bodies, and only now has it woken up.’ Shortly after our interview with him, Dr Brownecker was quarantined for suspected infection after driving a dump truck full of roses into a primary school crush’s house, though it is still not known whether they were affected or not. With tensions mounting across the West Pacific and more and more cities falling into panic, the future with the virus in play is truly up in the air.

Dilber and his Slime

Where does the source of Dilber’s slime come from? He has been known as “Slime Minister” terrorizing the citizens of TWP and the nations within the region. Nations innocently wait fearing the day that the Slime Minister comes. His odor and smell trails behind him, the way he can be heard stomping from miles away.

So the question remains: what is Dilber’s slime made of, why is he always covered in slime and who had the audacity to actually make him the Slime Minister? I campaigned to slime Dilber on a weekly basis and I shall fulfill that promise but first I had to find out where the glorious ethically made slime was made, as Bran showed concerns for the poor koalas of the Mystic Skies’ region.

In Mystic Skies, it is either work until death or death comes to smite you early. The secret to the slime was found by a hard working citizen of none other than Dilber’s own citizens – I found on his desk, the secret formula produced by backbreaking work of enslaved kangaroos from the desert. They had been offered a safe place to hop in peace until Dilber came to the scene.

The only question left after discovering the truth behind Dilber’s slime was to figure out how to produce my own. The question of where the greenest and most finest slime could be found was in only one place – the secret cupboard hidden in Bran Astor’s office. The bridge to another place and it was only there that I found citizens working and smiling, perhaps from happiness or other reasons.

They promised the greenest slime of all broccoli that even the mother of Dilber could be proud of. The pride and joy of TWP announces the weekly sliming of Dilber in an ethically produced way, now featured in the pride and joy of the Cultural Center of TWP.

We welcome onlookers at the risk of them also being slimed. We hope that regular slimings will weed out Dilber’s evil roots and return him to humanity. Scientists are doubtful that the slime created from the most generous pool of mold, broccoli and the random button of a minion’s shirt will turn the light around.

But don’t eat the slime if you see it trailing after Dilber, it is known to turn people into goo!

March Puzzle!

Created by Darkesia, Guardian of the West

See if you can find the names of NSGP's favorite conspiracies!

Send your finished answers to The West Pacific Master Dispatch to be featured in next month's paper!

AZEAN COMBINE
DOMINION
INVADER MOD
TAIJITU
CONSPIRACY
DUTCH MAFIA
LEMURIA
THEL DRAN
CORE
EMPIRE
LOTS OF ANTS
TITO
CRIMSON ORDER
FRANCOS SPAIN
RAHL
UNKNOWN
DEFENDER BIAS
ILLUMINATI
SECRET

TWP Rugby World Cup
By Recuecn, Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs


Rugby World Cup Playoffs by Fujai's Den Blå Duken. LinkClick to see full size image

The West Pacific has recently completed its first Rugby World Cup! The tournament took place in the nation of Reçueçn and many nations on the map nearby competed, as did other TWP notables not on the map. Eighteen different nations sent their rugby teams to the tournament, and many also provided media coverage of their team's performance and events over the course of the World Cup.

The Rugby World Cup was won by Hertfordshire and Jammbo, who defeated Fujai 13-3 after extra time to win the final. Giovanniland won third place after defeating Dalimbar by a score of 6-3.

Dalimbar was one of the nations brought into the spotlight during the tournament, as several nations' fans launched protests in Reçueçn in response to Dalimbar's practice of using landmines at their borders. The host nation struggled to find a good response to other nations' citizens protesting within its own borders, particularly during the rugby world cup, an event meant to bring together the nations of The West Pacific in harmonious sporting competition. Fortunately, Dalimbar did not wind up facing some of the nations who opposed it most strongly, a scenario that could have led to more violent protests. In the end the Reçuecian government tried its best to toe the line between allowing protests which were mostly supported by its own citizens while also protecting the interests of Dalimbar, particularly the sanctity of its embassy. A few dozen Fujansk protesters were detained, while many Jammbian protesters were arrested and extradited to face trial in their home nation.


The website of Bran Astor's Crown News Corporation (CNC) during the Rugby World Cup LinkClick to see full size image

Dalimbar was not the only nation facing censure at the world cup; the nation of Dilber also received criticism for its widespread, open use of performance-enhancing drugs, necessary to allow its rugby team—including children and senior citizens—to compete at the same level as those of other nations'. Bhang Bhang Duc's team also had a questionable roster: the team, nicknamed "History's Utter Bastards", included such names as Vlad Dracul Williams, Ivan the Terrible Williams, and Adolf Hitler Williams.

These and other teams captured the attention of The West Pacific for a week as citizens tuned in from across the region to watch their own nations' representatives duke it out on the rugby field. High media coverage pleased fans and tournament organizers, and some are already calling for the event to be repeated. Hopefully the world cup is just one of the first steps along the road to future regional sporting events in TWP.


Dilber’s Choice Awards

By Dilber, Minister of Foreign Affairs

As you all know, the West Pacific recently held its Second Annual Festival of the Three Perfections, and the regional government handed out awards for across multiple categories. However, what not everyone was aware was that this was merely a precursor to the real awards. As the Prime Minister of the legitimate government-in-exile-in-residence, it is my proud duty to present to you the real awards that everyone should have been waiting for: The Dilber Choice Awards.

The First award being presented is the ART award AKA the “Actually really talented at art like Dilber” award.

This award is being presented to Lormia of Karma for the Haiku: “Haiku”

Of haiku kaiku 
Reading a haiku haiku
This haiku haiku

This Haiku is very similar to the style of known master haiku author Dilber, for his haikus about Dilber.

Next up is a category that is near and dear to the entire GiEiR: Most likely to bring democracy back to the West Pacific

This category winner is Bran Astor for his work on Dali’s Drag Race, and also for not kicking me yet. Also, he’s the only one that could do it, so I guess he should be buttered up, and now he has to recognize us by accepting this award.

The next award is for best meme. I would like to thank everyone that participated in this category, even though it wasn’t an official category and none of you knew you were competing. Maybe remember THIS next year when we throw up random categories and then decide to allow me to choose people to give awards to huh:
The winner of this category is Altino. This made me laugh really hard at work.

The final individual category is actually a group category, but the nations involved will need to claim this on their own. While many festival-goers were able to enjoy everything that was placed on offer, there was a subset of people that stubbornly sat out front and refused to turn in their ticket to enter. I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are and you can wear this “proudly”. For that, I offer this up into the universe:

Finally, I offer up the most prestigious of awards. This award, the Dilber’s Choice Award, goes to the festival-goer that put up my absolute favorite piece in the entire show (and this is for serious). He won an actual award, but now he gets another one, but from me so it’s more important:

The winner of the Dilber’s Choice Award is The bay of fundy. I absolutely loved all your work.

You may wear this with pride:

This concludes the Dilber’s Choice Awards. The Government-in-Exile-in-Residence thanks you for your time, and we look forward to welcoming you back next year.


Game Nostalgia: TWPers Share About Their Favorite PC and Console Games
By Fuentana, TWP Poet Laureate of Haiku

Dwight Schrute once observed, “Nostalgia is truly one of the great human weaknesses, second only to the neck.” Having recently observed Retro Day, it seemed fitting to poll our residents about one great source of nostalgia: the almighty video game. Whether the platform is PC or console, lives have been marked by the advent and proliferation of video games.

Here’s a look at some games that make our residents weak in the knees (and thumbs and wrists):

There are some games that bring tremendous realism, simulating real life things, from driving to flying to hunting submarines (but the latter is probably a real life thing very few of us will ever do in real life). For Kurabis, SIMT MHD had tremendous mileage: “It's a Czech game (with English version). It was created around 2011 and it's a public transportation game. You can drive with trams, buses and trolleybuses. The city in which you're playing is fictional with a Czech touch. The most nostalgic thing I find is the ability to drive with old buses that are not in use or they're very rare to see or they're old.” Fans of transit will surely love games like SIMT MHD.

Besides making you think, many games also test your mettle when facing difficult odds. Teralyon reported on two great games that did so: Deus Ex and Planetside 1 — but not Planetside 2.

On Deus Ex: “The game is 20 years old now, yet I’m willing to state with confidence that Deus Ex has some of the best gameplay ever made in a game. Deus Ex is a RPG-FPS (Roleplaying First Person Shooter Game) and solid RPG elements at that, depending on how you develop your skills you can choose to go for silent takedowns or being a master hacker that will turn the enemies own defences against them, or you can take the GEP gun (rocket launcher) and wreak havoc in your path.” Explosive though the gameplay is, Deus Ex is also a brain teaser: “You start the game as Agent JC Denton, a snarky, self-assured, confident persona who spends half of his time being a dick and the other half of his time trying to find more ammo for his GEP Gun. You start Deus Ex by stopping a terrorist group, and depending on choices you make, you may be able to join the Illuminati. Deus Ex is full of philosophy and conspiracy theories. A must play!” Snarky agent, rocket launcher, Illuminati, and philosophy? What’s not to like?

On Planetside 1, which is a massive multiplayer online first person shooter (MMOFPS). And Teralyon isn’t kidding: the scenarios are indeed massive. Here’s a few memories of how Planetside 1 involved what sounds like a Zerg rush on steroids. “What made PS great was its sheer epicness. You would be stuck in a stalemate with all empires hunkered down and fighting over in between 3 bases on a continent and as soon as one empire starts making progress and inventively over extends without proper support the other two empires would crush the offensive and the hole cycle would repeat but then you would see a global message from a CR5 (Command Rank 5, basically a Field General) make a order for all available units to return to Sanc (Sanctuary, each empire had an additional continent they solely owned and could not be attacked by the other two) and gather for a raid. Once in Sanc you would join a giant air column of planes and/or armour columns and once the CR5 deemed enough people were there you would all use a warpgate to a continent and all descend upon one place overwhelm it and make everyone there have a very bad day. This is just one example and a very common one of what made PS epic. Everyone that has played PS has there one epic story to tell. My personal one involved my Outfit (Clan,Guild) squad (10 players per squad) holding off a base attack of over 100 players for over a half hour until the main force was able to link to the base we were defending, it was EPIC.” Teralyon was a CR5 of the Terran Republic, so we can be sure that this Field General was involved in many memorable fights to the last and flawless victories.

Video games have immersive worlds, so immersive in fact that work or study can be challenging. Sometimes these worlds draw the player in by placing them in the middle of a cosmic battle with the powers of darkness. Nrevyw (Wyvern) shared about such a struggle in Shining Force EXA. “Shining Force EXA is a game about people caught in a war between humans and demons. You play as two characters who try to stop the war and (typically) end up facing a tyrant god of darkness called Malxatra who's causing the conflict… I remember one night I was playing it and I had a Math test in the morning. It was one of those typical arena styled encounters, where you face a bunch of small timers then a final boss and get some rewards. I ended up at the final boss having consumed all my health potions which was unfortunate to say the least. I ended up running circles around the boss, occasionally hitting it because I knew if I got hit, I would be one-shot. I'm pretty I ended up running around in circles for about an hour and a half straight (back when I could do that without falling into a coma) until it was like 2 in the morning. I ended up beating it which was great, but I'm pretty sure I failed that Math test.” I would probably fail a Math test without the help of a video game. Well, divide and conquer, right?

Games do have their quirks, though. Sometimes the most mundane of game elements make the biggest difference. Wyvern mentioned two switches in the game that gave the enemy boss IDDQD (god mode in Doom) power: “I was nearing the end of the game, running around this castle in the sky which is the final dungeon, and I flipped two switches that didn't really do anything as far as I could tell (always a good sign right?). Well anyway, I get to the final boss room and save. I face off against it and get annihilated in about 3 seconds. Apparently flipping those two switches turns the boss difficulty up to 11/10. I realize and go back to turn them off... but I'm locked in with an under-leveled character for the fight. I've beaten the game multiple times with multiple handicaps to make it more difficult but I've never managed to beat it on that save file.” This is a good time for a PSA: save early and often.

For myself, I will share about an immersive tactical game that continues to be a go-to (well, until I upgraded to the newest Mac OS). From time to time on weekends the last few years, my wife would ask me, “Are you defeating the Soviets again?” Why? Because I was playing Operation Flashpoint/Arma: Cold War Assault (though I could defeat the Soviets or Russians in other games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare or Cold Waters). Though the pace of Flashpoint/Arma was much slower than contemporaries like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor and not nearly as slick, I (and the brother who introduced it to me when I was a lad) loved its emphasis on tactics, terrain, and timing. In missions where the player held command, timing and placement of fire teams, weapon selection, and more made a huge difference. There were few things as satisfying as laying the perfect ambush, or overseeing two teams perform a (very slow) double envelopment. When Flashpoint became available as Arma on Steam, I was very happy to dig up memories of high school days procrastinating, and I explored more creative methods of winning missions such as commandeering MI-17 or MI-24 helicopters to eliminate pesky Soviet infantry and tanks. Did I do my homework on such days? Feed the cat? Feed the wife? No, but I am pretty sure I prevented World War III at least twice, and that’s something worth celebrating.

Writing this has left me up to my neck in nostalgia. There are surely many other great games that have left a mark on peoples’ lives, so if your game wasn’t mentioned, do share! I’d also love to do a follow-up piece on “great moments in gaming.” Whether it is finally defeating that pesky last mission or feeling the emotional connection during a plot twist in the game or the catharsis of the vindication of House Vandenburg (any Mechwarrior 1 fans out there?), games leave a mark on our memories and imagination. What were some of your great moments in gaming? DM me on Discord or TG if you’d like your game to be featured in the future.


TWP Elections – February 2020
By Dalimbar, Guardian of the West, Executive Assistant, Minute Monkey

Hall of Nations, The West Pacific – As the seasons start to change, from the snows of winter to the blossoms of spring, The West Pacific entered another voting season. Every February, May, August and November the Members of the Hall of Nations take the time to sit down and decide who among them has enough merit to fill elected positions.

In accordance with changes to the governing structure of the region, Members of the Hall of Nations voted for the positions of Speaker of the Hall of Nations, Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Minister of World Assembly/Recruitment. This is the first time that the Deputies for Cultural Affairs and World Assembly/Recruitment have been directly elected by the Hall. In previous election cycles, the Hall elected Ministers of Internal Affairs, Recruitment and Citizenry, and World Assembly Affairs, all of which have been restructured and directly appointed by the Delegate following revisions to the Manners of Governance.

Speaker of the Hall of Nations

Three candidates campaigned for Speaker of the Hall of Nations, the facilitator and moderator of the body of all citizen nations. Giovanniland, Sensorland and incumbent Varanius all ran for the position, with candidates discussing the role of the Speaker to the Hall and their own experiences.

The results were:

Nation

# of Votes

Percentage

Giovanniland

27

71.05%

Sensorland

9

23.69%

Varanius

2

5.26%

Total

38

Giovanniland had this to say to The West Pacifican: “I’d like to thank all who voted on me, and I’m looking forward to the new Speaker duties, such as regional commendations, because that will be fun to do!”

Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs

The race for Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs saw the incumbent, Recuecn, face off against new-to-TWP member Mystic Skies (aka Mia). Recruited to the region by Dilber, Mia promised to “slime Dilber in all perpetuity” and blame him for everything. Reçueçn, who was appointed to Deputy Minister in the previous term, ran on continuing his work as Deputy, particularly in Roleplay, along with news and information to the region and the outside world.

Nation

# of Votes

Percentage

Recuecn

31

81.58%

Mystic Skies

7

18.42%

Total

38

Reçueçn told The West Pacifican: “It was sort of a funny situation because I already had the position before it became an elected one, so I was campaigning to keep my job. But I’m excited for my new responsibilities.”

Deputy Minister of World Assembly/Recruitment

The most voted race was for the newly created Deputy Minister of World Assembly/Recruitment. Created to assist the Minister of World Assembly/Recruitment to increase WA and citizen activity and membership in the region, the race saw two candidates, Sensorland versus The Unified Missourtama States (TUMS). Both candidates ran on similar platforms of focusing on telegramming and publicity campaigns to increase the Delegate endorsement count and regional activity, while helping nations craft repeals of General Assembly resolutions and commend/condemn resolutions in the Security Council.

Nation

# of Votes

Percentage

Sensorland

26

63.41%

The Unified Missourtama States

15

36.59%

Total

41

The West Pacifican spoke to Sensorland, who said “I’m thankful that the Hall elected me and I’m very happy to be working with Badger to push WA and citizen activity in TWP to the next level.”

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Running unopposed, incumbent Gryphonian Alliance (HyFy) issued his platform for Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to expand the Deputy role beyond writing the monthly FA update to working closely with new ambassadors and interacting with regional allies through their RMBs. He will be working closely with Dilber, newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Nation

# of Votes

Percentage

Gryphonian Alliance (HyFy)

35

100%

Total

35

Average Turnout from August 2017 to February 2020

Historical Comparison

Elections in The West Pacific may be confusing for some, given the region identifies as a Meritocracy and not a Democracy. Elections in TWP function two-fold: to have the Hall of Nations identify the most meritorious nation to hold a position, not just a flashy politician who only values popularity contests; and to act as a de facto census of Members, to see who is active and engaged in the region.

In each election cycle, there are multiple positions in which a Member can vote. Before the February 2020 cycle, there were two rounds of voting given the number of positions available. Each round would last for six days, three days of nominations and three days of voting. Pre-2020 cycles had the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Recruitment and Citizenry, and World Assembly Affairs occupy the first round, while the positions of Speaker, Minister of Education (first elected in the February 2019 cycle), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sergeant-at-Arms were contested in the second round. The February 2020 cycle held one round, where Speaker and the Deputies of Foreign Affairs, Cultural Affairs, and World Assembly/Recruitment were up for vote.

To get a sense of the activity levels in each cycle, one could look at an “average turnout”. Because Members can choose to participate in all, some, or none of the votes in each cycle, certain higher-stakes races would have a much higher voting rate than an uncontested campaign. Wild fluctuations of participation rates from one cycle to another in one position is noticed if in one cycle there are three candidates and in the next cycle the incumbent has no challengers.

The two election cycles under the delegacy of Bran Astor has seen the highest average turnouts under the current system, with the November 2019 cycle seeing an average of 33 voters and the February 2020 cycle seeing an average of 38. 2017 cycles were in the mid to high 20s as a result of the creation of the Manners-system of government. The lowest average turnout was the November 2018 cycle of 13.

We in The West Pacifican look forward to increased average turnouts in future cycles as activity continues to grow. This growth is one way we say to the world that #WestIsBest.


WA/R Ministry Update
By Big Bad Badger, Minister of World Assembly and Recruitment

Our March to 600 is going strong! Our Delegate Bran Astor is up to 565 endorsements. The Reddit wave CTE has begun. However, we have only lost 10 WA nations from the peak WA membership a few weeks ago. Bran has also increased to 73% of WA members endorsing him. Please endorse Bran and get others to do the same!

I would like to congratulate Sensorland! They have just been voted and will serve as the Deputy Minister of WA/R! They have a lot of great ideas and I am really looking forward to working with Sensor!

University of The West Pacific has just concluded it first World Assembly Ministry training! Six students completed a series of projects designed to help them learn more about our ministry. We started with a project called Why TWP, which helps us find our motivation for doing more for our region. Next the students teamed up to learn about the General Assembly and Security Council. Creating presentations and answering questions about their assigned areas. Then in their teams they were asked to create a GA and SC proposal; getting feedback on their work from experts, many of whom are regular contributors in the GA and SC forum. Their drafts and presentations can be found Linkhere.

Lastly, our students had a contest that ran throughout much of their study. They were asked to reach out to the nations in the region who are members of the World Assembly but are not presently endorsing our Delegate. I am happy to say that Giovanniland has won garnering 5 new endorsements for Bran! You have been awarded a prize created by the Dean of UTWP.

Congratulations!

And remember that it is the position of The West Pacific that the GA infringes upon the sovereignty of the individual nations. So Vote NO for every GA proposal and Yes to every GA repeal!

Our WA State Patrons, or WASP, nations that stay above 100 endorsements but under the Endo Cap throughout the month, has maintained 55 members. I will send out telegrams of nations to endorse again this month to try to get the number near 100. I would like to recognize our WA State Patrons:



The West Pacifican Staff - Editor-in-Chief: Fujai, Editor-at-Large: Bran Astor, Assistant Editor: Darkesia, Staff: Dilber, Fuentana, Giovanniland, Mystic Skies, Podium, Recuecn, Sensorland, and YOU

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