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by Raidercon. . 79 reads.

RaiderCon 2020 Day 4


RaiderCon

2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Day Four

The Future of Raiding

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The Future of Raiding - Astrid Weisberg

Dakota
What got you involved in NS and raiding?

Astrid
I looked up something along the lines of nation simulator and found nationstates. As for raiding I just thought look at all these regions. Would be cool to try and own as many as possible.

Dakota
Who are some of your raiding mentors and how have they helped you?

Astrid
Valfor has pretty much taught me everything I know. He promoted me to captain and allowed me to actually lead raids.

Dakota
What was your training in raiding like?

Astrid
Really straightforward I learned to trigger and point in one update.

Dakota
What has been some of your favorite NS moments so far?

Astrid
My favorite moment is probably seeing Great Cthulhu eject Fedele from The East Pacific. Followed by seeing COE get commended. Then becoming deputy prime minister of the LKE.

Dakota
Are there any goals that you hope to accomplish as an imperialist or NS player in general?

Astrid
For now I just hope to be the first to earn the rank of Major General in the LKE imperial army. I would also like to eventually reach the rank of Kaptein in Balder. As for the future it all depends on what happens.

Dakota
What challenges do you think new raiders face and how can those challenges be overcome?

Astrid
I think it's incredibly easy to be overwhelmed by it all. Combined with the fact that raiding takes longer then what a new player will expect. All we can really do is extend a helping hand and walk them through the process.

Dakota
Many new players do not stick around long. What factors have contributed to you getting further involved in raiding?

Astrid
The fact I like the people I raid with, and that I enjoy being a part of the LKE. Additionally knowing that some defender groups act overly arrogant and self righteous. Drives me to keep going.


The Future of Raiding - Pterodaxtyl (Dax)

Dakota
What got you involved in NS and raiding?

Dax
In December 2014 I was bored and looked up games I could lead a country in and came across NS. I made a nation and it CTE'd but I eventually came back a few months later. Over time, I learned about the different regions throughout NS and what all they do, such as regions that raid and defend. In 2017 I finally decided to check out this part of the game and joined The Black Hawks as a Private until my discord stopped cooperating with my phone and I couldn't do any raids. After leaving then returning to NS by 2019, I met Dakota and mentioned this and how I was also interested in trying raiding out again someday, causing her to encourage me to rejoin and get involved in TBH again.

Dakota
Who are some of your raiding mentors and how have they helped you?

Dax
Unsurprisingly, I'd have to say my main mentor with raiding has been Dakota who dragged me back into TBH and was more approachable for questions and clarification during times when I was confused or needed help. She also helped me fight my mobile raiding "roadblock" of sorts so I would be able to jump, point, and even trigger from mobile successfully.

Another mentor of mine would definitely be Jakker. He's a great leader who is willing to talk to people and he answered questions I had (/still have 😛) as well as working through any problems I had with my situation with me.

Dakota
What was your training in raiding like?

Dax
Ngl terrifying at first. For my first training, I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing and didn't ask for clarification on anything I was confused about. I was super nervous and knew I would mess up. I also hadn't planned ahead for how I would work things out on my phone past "hey I have a tablet too let's use that" (the tablet made it so much worse) so I ended up sitting on the floor freaking out over one little mistake which led to more. I had to do another training, which I learned was okay and that messing up wasn't so bad. The second one was scary at first, but once I got the hang of it, I did pretty well especially with the help of pings that Dakota threw in.

Dakota
What has been some of your favorite NS moments so far?

Dax
One of my favorites would have to be my first time triggering. I had no confidence in myself considering how hard it was to even prep 10 targets on mobile, it seemed to me that triggering itself would be near impossible. However, I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. I couldn't watch the targets update during the actual raid, but when I saw the first "hit" pop up in the chat, I was so happy and excited to do more. The folks who showed up helped me feel less nervous and were so supportive as well.

Dakota
Are there any goals that you hope to accomplish as a raider or NS player in general?

Dax
At this point I mainly just want to see what all I can try out in raiding and explore the different areas of it. I've wanted to sleepers or more with ops for a while, and I also aspire to lead a large shotgun raid. There's just a lot to raiding and I think it'd be fun to see what all I can experience with it. Overall though, I think my main goal would be to be the best raider I can be despite being limited to mobile most of the time. I've improved a lot over time with practice, but there's still room to improve and I know I can get even better.

Dakota
What challenges do you think new raiders face and how can those challenges be overcome?

Dax
I think that a lot of newcomers realize raiding isn't quite like other games and takes a lot of legitimate work and practice to get the hold of. We can lose some folks because it can be harder to get ahold of, especially for people new to NS in general.

Dakota
Many new players do not stick around long. What factors have contributed to you getting further involved in raiding?

Dax
I am super shy and it takes me a bit to get involved in new communities so I was quiet at first when I joined the server and eventually the nest. This also made me pretty hesitant to hop in for raids (well, alongside me not wanting to make more than 12 puppets.) But I started getting more involved and socializing with other folks in the region early in February when that one shady puzzle was posted and the hawks were working on it together. It was a fun reason to keep coming back to the nest and to get to know other folks around the region. After that, I felt more comfortable joining in raids with everyone and had a lot of fun with it.


The Future of Raiding - Refuge Isle

Dakota
What got you involved in NS and raiding?

Refuge
I got involved with NationStates around the end of 2012, when some older NSers first brought the game up in our community chat. I had obviously never heard about it before, but it was a few years after we had done other browser-based MMO games together and it looked like this was the next one. We founded a region which was basically just for our group, because insular communities be insular, and I think my impression of it at the time was "Wow, there's nothing to do here!" And then for some reason or another they made me delegate.

About six months into that, when the (considerably fewer) issues started recycling, my ex who was also the regional founder ceased to exist and we were basically raided instantly. Because I had no concept of how R/D worked, I made a bunch of multies and stole back the delegacy (because that's definitely how that works) and was promptly banned from the WA. After the ban, I lost interest. I had some resentment towards raiders for being the reason we stopped playing but, in retrospect, that's not the case at all. It was an event that happened to take place when we were already moving on to other games, which is how it was raidable in the first place.

It took a while to see that.

When I came back in 2018, I sort of planned on doing the same thing – come back for a little while to see how things were and then leave after a couple months when the issues started recycling. Instead I got pulled into weird regional politics with Caer Sidi for a month before getting frustrated and storming off to found my own region with card games and fishing equipment.

Some time passed, things happened, and even though I ended up making a region that I think people genuinely enjoyed, I got sick and it compounded with the stress of feeling like I was in a glass box. I had too much history in my community, a real need to get out of places I didn't want to be in, stop talking to toxic people, and stop being a person I didn't really want to be. Essentially, I was on the fast track to quit NS permanently in the way that I think a lot of people find themselves sooner or later.

Fortunately, as I was about to move on from being a cards player, I started talking to Sakana from the card server because she was fun to have bid wars with. She talked me into trying out tag raiding after my delegacy was up, and I was like sure, the game can't possibly get any worse. :p And so we ended up forming this sort of secret raiding org because it's not like anyone was going to be suspicious of me, and ended up getting some 75-100 hits a night to freak people out.

Dakota
Who are some of your raiding mentors and how have they helped you?

Refuge
Sakana! Seriously though, I don't really have mentors in the sphere of raiding in the same way that I think everyone else does. For me, instead of a career path with fabled heroes of the past, raiding has been more like going out for a dance. It's social, it's fun, it's comfortable.

The exact way that things happened for me were probably the only circumstances where I ever would have made it into raiding at all: stress-free tagging, in private, with a friend I was comfortable with. Things getting explained in a way I understood at a pace of exactly "whatever". If at any point, I didn't like what I was doing, how I was doing it, or who I was with, it wouldn't have worked out.

Getting all of that sorted and practiced before I came to TBH is what made raiding there at all possible.

Dakota
What was your training in raiding like?

Refuge
It was a dark Saturday, the first of February when Sakana, clad in animal hides, strode onto the battlefield with banners of sloths hastily folded into stars. She roared and assumed her true all-caps form full of power, authority, and more importantly keybindings.

"I will not be intimidated by you!" I cried out, hastily preparing travel runes

She wandered about me, placing cairn stones in a circle, their druidic powers filling me with the knowledge of all the ancients who had come before. She stomped her foot and the gateway to Primula materialised.

---

So back in reality, my first experience with gp directly was observing an EPSA training run, when Saka was Overseeing Officer and while I was still locked as delegate. The whole thing was kind of crazy because none of these people had the slightest clue what was. I had some guesses, and some of them turned out to be wrong, but it was still useful to get an idea of the flow of update.

For my actual training a couple weeks later, we prepared 25 puppets in a brand-new region, specifically refounded to be a JP, called Trieltics. Saka had some utilities from her days at Lily. I didn't, but I was pretty used to switching to manage card farms and this wasn't too far removed from that. I can't see incredibly well, and I don't have a second monitor so being able to find a way to fit Discord onto the same screen as the browser was frustrating. It was also hard to see when a region updated because targets were given without the template and where the heck is anything even.

I called for a target, BB called go and everything worked well – it was a hit. Naturally, I did what every raider should and moved back, signed out of that account, signed into the next one, opened up the email for that account and joined WA. But hey, it was within a minute so we wouldn't discover I was doing it wrong until much later. We ended up getting 24 out of 25, but I was kinda frustrated that I couldn't find a workflow and I was stumbling over everything.

So, I think two days later we doubled the goal and tried to hit 50. This time I also had keybindings, and it was a bit of an awkward process that made things a little bit too complicated. Still mostly doing things wrong like singing into individual accounts instead of just clicking join emails. Something about update still didn't make sense to me, my setup didn't make sense to me. Even though I was getting better at it, I guess it felt a bit like not being able to read or something.

And then, for whatever reason, there was a point on the 24th where everything just clicked and made sense. I said "Saka - I got it," and honestly that's probably another answer for the favourite moments question. Naturally, she asked if I wanted to point, and I said heck no you're too good at it. She said well, actually this has all been my first time pointing at this speed. So, it turned out that we both kinda grew from that weird adventure. :3

Dakota
What has been some of your favorite NS moments so far?

Refuge
I honestly really struggle with this question because the big things I've done that I should have loved weren't really that pleasant at the time. So naturally, all of my moments are silly sentimental things.

One of those was when a person I really liked on the site asked to be pen pals. One of those was when Saka asked me to be her NS sister to make up for me not having a family IRL. And one of those was when people sent back TGs that they didn't want to move out of my region when I was quitting because they didn't want to be in a different community than ours.

Dakota
Are there any goals that you hope to accomplish as a raider or NS player in general?

Refuge
Ultimately, I want to find a comfortable spot to make something better than how I found it, or otherwise show that there's a more positive way of doing things than what's been done in the past.

Dakota
What challenges do you think new raiders face and how can those challenges be overcome?

Refuge
Raiding in NS isn't an incredibly complicated or involved process, but I think for new people coming in, it can be a little overwhelming. There's a lot of terms thrown around that aren't necessarily intuitive and what feels like a lot of pressure to do things exactly right in a crushingly short span of time. The only real solution is to stick with it, do things you're scared of, try it once and do it better the next time.

I think it's super important to be able to answer people's questions without coming off as condescending or arrogant, and remember to interact with people as people instead of referring them to a pre-made guide. Otherwise, make them feel like this is a larger community that they can be a part of.

All of that has probably been said before, but it's worth repeating because every time with a new raider, it's going to be a new first impression. And for all the people that have come through TBH, sometimes we hit that and sometimes we miss it, but it's worth considering that every new person that shows up might be a legendary raider one day if the right conditions are there.

Dakota
Many new players do not stick around long. What factors have contributed to you getting further involved in raiding?

Refuge
If you just show up as a new raider and you don't know anyone or don't even really understand what you're doing, I feel like that's not going to work out. Having friends and finding out that this is a legitimately welcoming community with people who are around for reasons other than just updating has helped to keep me around.


The Future of Raiding - The Chariot (Steven)

Dakota
What got you involved in NS and raiding?

Steven
Originally I was introduced to NationStates through a friend group, as many of us were. Though most of the friends would wane in their interest, I took an unusual liking to the game, especially considering its monotony (I was primarily an issues player at the time). Floating around NationStates for a couple years, user-made guides pointed me towards another way to play the game: raiding and defending. I made a brief foray, though its complexities wouldn’t keep me for long. After quitting the game and picking it back up again some time in 2019, a newly vacated Minister of Defense position in my first region got me involved once more. I would play the regional politics game for a while, going a bit deeper into R/D via my friendship with Vamperiall, until eventually joining the late Aukumnian Imperium. There I was almost immediately appointed to second-in-command, and the subsequent raids with Matthew (of Hartfelden), Xadrya, and Ar (who are now my partners in 3 Guys), would cause me to fall in love with raiding.

Dakota
Who are some of your raiding mentors and how have they helped you?

Steven
My path into raiding was a bit… unusual, so this question doesn’t really apply to me. I was largely self-taught, so I suppose the answer to this question would be Nephimir? I suppose if I had to pick a person it might be Vamperiall, as his resignation as Minister of Defense enabled me, and his region, Voltarium, sent me initially to Lily.

Dakota
What was your training in raiding like?

Steven
As I’ve previously alluded, I didn’t really have any training. My introduction into raiding was essentially just figuring things out with a friend or two, all equally clueless. Though perhaps most formative to who I am as a raider today was a raid I did with Lily, right after getting back into NationStates. Voltarium sent me in, and I was essentially thrust straight into darkest pits of speed raiding as one of my first proper tag raids. Keeping up with them was a Herculean task⁠—one I wasn’t up to. I ended up jumping in some 40 regions (not terrible considering I was using a trackpad at the time; nothing had necessitated more speed until then), though the process forced me to develop and consider ways to speed up that I still use today.

Dakota
What have been some of your favorite NS moments so far?

Steven
By far, I think, the moments I look back upon most fondly were the moments I quit my times in the Aukumnian Imperium. Though tarnished its name might be, I would meet some of my favorite people on NationStates to this day, and my raids with them were incredibly fun. Not even because of the raiding⁠—we weren’t all too competent⁠—but rather due to the interactions with really cool people. I remember vividly the nights where we would stay up deep into the morning after some 20-30 hit raid, either voice chatting or just talking on Discord, utterly incoherent from sleep deprivation. That was, and is, the aspect of raiding I most enjoy.

Dakota
Are there any goals that you hope to accomplish as a raider or NS player in general?

Steven
I feel pretty fulfilled as a player right now, honestly. I’m not really aiming for anything specific, other than perhaps the nebulous ideas of pushing the single team tag record to 200 with Sweeze or getting the manual record with 3 Guys. I feel I’m in a cushy spot; whereas I used to aspire to become more involved, sitting back, relaxing, just chilling feels like a break of sorts from the usual tumult of NationStates. And taking a vacation in both real life and NS just feels right in a sense, y’know?

Dakota
What challenges do you think new raiders face and how can those challenges be overcome?

Steven
As someone who had to stumble through my newbish days with essentially no guidance, this question is especially pertinent. There are a *lot *of ropes to trip before newcomers can get on their feet. Update times being inconvenient is a practically unsolvable problem. The amount of work and dedication required. The seemingly unmendable gap between native and raider mentality (wait, you can own multiple nations???). The confusingly abundant military double-talk, which I think could be toned down in general. And of course, there’s the sheer degree to which the only stickied guide to R/D on the gameplay forums is outdated, though I think even a revamped version of it wouldn’t help too much. I would love to see, rather, a holistic guide. Ideally it would provide the basics, linking to further reading if required, but also the current state of the metagame. What I often see guides fail to do is explain how it all actually… works. Yuno-style pictures, industry standards, and so on. It certainly would help up-and-coming organisations avoid getting laughed at.

Dakota
Many new players do not stick around long. What factors have contributed to you getting further involved in raiding?

Steven
A definite difference between long lasting players and training raid bailers is motivation. For me that consistent motivation was the binding responsibilities of a regional position or just wanting to hang out with friends. And I put special emphasis on the latter; the only reason I continue raiding is because of the great people I can connect to through it. The R/D community is an incredibly fun group of individuals, and I think it’s an important factor in player longevity. Though it may seem normal to us, raiding is a lot of work. Hours of time dedicated to changing a bit of text—at face value it probably doesn’t seem too appealing. Perhaps we should try to immerse new players into the community they’re joining before thrusting them into the deep end. Dakota’s poaching recruitment tactics, for example, do essentially this, befriending her victims and familiarizing them with the community for staying power.


RaiderCon

2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Day Four

The Future of Raiding

.


Raidercon

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