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by The Impeccably Arranged Snark of The West Pacific Master Dispatch. . 565 reads.

The West Pacifican - July 2020


WAR Ministry Update
By The Unified Missourtama States, Deputy Minister of WAR

I’ve been with the Ministry of World Assembly Recruitment since the beginning, following my passion to recruit new nations and find our power in the World Assembly. 6 weeks ago I was lucky to be chosen as the Deputy Minister of this Ministry, since then we have been seeing a WA Renaissance in the West. I’m happy to bring you this month’s WAR Ministry update in The West Pacifican.

As of writing the region continues to retain approximately 1000 active WA nations with approximately 780 endorsing the Delegate. The endorsement cap remains at 250 for those endorsing the Delegate and 10 for those who are not. At the beginning of this last month the Ministry started a General Assembly Resolution Repeal Clinic for members of the Hall of Nations, 8 members signed up and 5 of them are currently in the third of four stages with three very promising proposal drafts in the GA forums.

Our other educational efforts, in University of The West Pacific, saw students learning about recruitment techniques. In exciting inter regional news, we are happy to be teaming up with our friends in The Pacific as part of the Better Together Alliance. A voting council and authorship program will be developed as part of the alliance. Also, look out for WASPs! That’s right, there are plans to reintroduce the World Assembly State Patrons program, stay tuned for more info.

Well, that’s all folks, be sure to endorse the Delegate, and remember, vote against new General Assembly Resolutions (except for repeals). This is your Deputy Minister of World Assembly Recruitment, signing off.

Hall of Nations Update

By Giovanniland, Speaker of the Hall of Nations

The Hall of Nations Update is back! After an election month, I'm proud to bring some good news about our Hall activity as the re-elected Speaker of the Hall. You can read this article to know about what has happened during this month of June.

At the first day of the month, discussions for the second ever Regional Commendation were launched. The honoree chosen this time was Eli, also known as Wickedly evil people, a long-time member of the region and seven times Delegate. The discussions took exactly 2 weeks, and more than 10 Hall members presented their thoughts and suggestions to honor another great member of our community. After the discussions, a 3-day vote was opened, with a grand total of 31 members voting for 'Commend Eli', and none against.

The Hall was quick to resume activity after a regional commendation was passed. This time, Nieubasria proposed to the Hall a Regional Commendation of Altino, former TWPAF commander, as part of a larger project. It is also an interesting test to see the applicability of these commendations in the WA Security Council (SC), as the nominee will be soon commended both regionally and in the SC. This proposal is currently ongoing discussion, but I hope it passes soon!

Thanks for reading yet another Hall update! Next month you'll see another update, as the Hall moves on to the last month of my term as Speaker. I hope it will be a month full of activity, but we'll see what the future holds. I also invite you, like other times: if you are reading this, and wish to contribute on discussions, but you aren't yet a citizen, apply here today!

First TWP Olympics!

By Recuecn, Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs

TWP had yet another sporting event this past month, this one even bigger than those that came before. Saint-Josalyn, the capital city of the kingdom of Tara and Cambray, hosted the first ever West Pacific olympic games. Nations from every continent and corner of the West Pacific each sent dozens of athletes to compete in over 70 medal events over two tweeks, with hundreds of athletes participating in all. The games, which included summer sports of all kinds, drew much press attention from across the region and was the subject of discussion for many the whole time they were ongoing.

The United Kingdom of Tara and Cambray must be well pleased with the results of the games. Their citizens got to attend in person to see their own athletes win the most medals of any delegation. However, their nearby friends and neighbors the Nieubasrians weren't far behind, with 29 medals to the Cambrians' 30. The Nieubasrians also won the most gold and silver medals, dominating the competition. Only Hertfordshire and Jammbo were close to catching them. Meanwhile, of all the delegations, only three didn't win any gold medals at all: Larxia, The Unified Missourtama States, and Reçueçn.

Over the course of the games, there was lots to watch, both in and out of competition. Zoranian reporters kept meeting with bad luck, The Holy Principality of Saint Mark as well as Hertfordshire and Jammbo and others sent members of the nobility to compete, and Nieubasrian clickbait reached new heights of annoyance. Some even more unfortunate incidents occurred as well: a Mallorcan criminal hacked part of the Reçuecian government website that was displaying Olympic results for a short time, and at the medal ceremony a Zoranian criminal managed to cut the power and steal many of the medals, apparently only for the thrill of it, since they returned them afterwards. Certainly a hectic conclusion to an equally exciting first olympic games.

A page from a website in Nieubasria

The fact that these are the 'first' games let you know that there will be more to come. After the success of the first edition, we're sure to see them happen again in four years... or maybe sooner, who knows. Perhaps a winter games will be held first, or maybe the nations of the West Pacific will meet in some other competition before any of that takes place. Whatever happens, perhaps your nation too will find itself in the thick of things next time!

Satire Piece: Remaining 6 Deadly Sins Demand Equal Representation

By Lucie Ferr of Podium

The validity and acceptance of Pride Month has been a contentious issue in many circles, but this is the first time that of Hell's has joined the debate. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, and Envy, acting as one force behind the banner of the Give-Us-Months-Too-Damnit group, have begun openly protesting Pride's allotted celebration period of one whole month. "I just don't see why They should be the first—and only—one to get a month for the humans to revel in Their sin", says Wrath, absentmindedly decapitating any passers-by happening to come too close, "I-I mean, we weren't even approached! No-one came up to us and said, 'Hey, you Literal Manifestations of Sin Itself want a month too?'. Not one!" Wrath then proceeded to begin a crusade against the block quenched only with blood, so our intrepid crew of interviewers (minus Dante) sought out more Sins to talk to. "All we're saying is, We just want the same level of respect and decency that Pride gets once every year", opines Gluttony, having gotten stuck in the doorway to an all-you-can-eat buffet, "I mean, We've had hundreds of years of unjustly bad press, so any sort of change would be very much welcome, along with any Twinkies if you have 'em". Sloth declined the offer for an immediate interview, requiring '5 more minutes', which turned into 46 and 3/24th days before our crew gave up and came back to the studio. Whether this new development will sow a new tide of debate within and without the Pride community is to be seen, but one thing is for sure; the fires of Hell are sure to get hotter come Their next reunion.

An Interview With the Glampire
By Bran Astor, Delegate of the West

Recently best buds and brothers from other mothers Bran and Aelitia Astor (Nieubasria) sat down for a chat in The West Pacifican's breakroom.

Bran: How long have you had the privilege of knowing me?

Aelitia: Well the privilege has only been..... how long have you been delegate again?

Bran: About 100 days longer than you were Delegate of TEP. And counting!

Aelitia: Well that depends how you count, I guess. I believe I served more days in the seat while a Vizier than as elected delegate,

Bran: What's with the stupid name that nobody can pronounce?

Aelitia: The product of workshopping to find the least pronounceable name and at least minutes of thinking.

Bran: You're known as a bit of a thinker. I've not tried that particular activity. What's it like?

Aelitia: Exhausting, truly. The worst downside is the thoughts don't translate to anything that looks like wit, tact, or strategy - the hallmarks of a successful player truly elude me due to the "thinkfulness"

Bran: Why does my wife like you more than me?

Aelitia: Because she's seen my snapchats.

Bran: I appreciate your snapchats.

Aelitia: I do too.

Bran: Is being that hairy an Astor trait?

Aelitia: Less a trait and more a prerequisite, even for the girls

Bran: Fujai is indeed hairy.

Aelitia: I think we have yet to receive the results back from the lab, and I've been considering getting on Maury for the reveal.

Bran: Have you ever considered American violation of the Canadian Quarantine Act is payback for Justin Bieber?

Aelitia: *violations I am not sure if its what I call equivalent exchange. Though a pest, Bieber certainly doesn't equate too a reeeeal pandemic.
Bieber fever has also certainly joined the likes of other extinct diseases - alive only in certain parts of the US.

Bran: You recently won season 2 of Dali's Drag Race. You're welcome.

Aelitia: You've got a perra heuvos on you to think I didn't win of my own Census Ranking, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent!

Bran: Is it hard to maintain a decent tan always being in my shadow?

Aelitia: I might be able to answer that if I ever went outside. Can't have a shadow without the light-

Bran: Were you born with it or is this Maybelline?

Aelitia: If it is moderate Ferriman–Gallwey score then yes.

Bran: Moderate seems low. Once again, I've seen the snapchats.

Aelitia: I will revise to excessively high score, with the stipulation I am not a woman ~

Bran: We've been besties for six years now. No question, just wanted to get that into the record.

Aelitia: I enjoy a famed position in your life, certainly. The foreign friend you’ve been with longer than your current wife (who is our current and future delegate)

Bran: Think the readers learned anything from this interview?

Aelitia: If they haven't, I think it says more about them than it ever will about us ~

July Puzzle: The West PaVinci Code

Created by Dayadhvam as part of UTWP

Dark, darker, yet darker.
What lies between mystery and fortune?
What journey awaits those to whom fate assigned this mission?
Think your skills are enough to crack the code?
Test yourself on the first The West Pacifican Treasure Hunt.

We'll be watching…

Dgsddob nyd myw cvkcr GocdZkmspsmkxDR

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

Congrats to these folks who solved last month's puzzle!

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From This Father To You
By Bran Astor, Delegate of the West

Hey there,

Is it 2021 yet?

It has come to feel like every passing month is an excruciatingly long sequel to this sci-fi disaster movie of a year. It's exhausting! I'm exhausted!

But I'm not someone having to navigate it all while being told I'm a freak. I'm not the one being told my life is a sin. I'm not having protections and rights stripped away. I'm not being targeted by hate.

I can't imagine the pain and uncertainty, the fear and sorrow, that you and so many others may be experiencing right now. I can, however, imagine what I would say if I saw these things in my own children's eyes.

From this father to you:
You are not a freak.
You are not a mistake.
You are not a sin.
You are not less than in any way.

You matter.
Your life matters.
Your future matters.

Be proud of who you are.
Become who you were born to be.

I have your back.

#twpride #blm #anothercyberdadhug

Beyond Pride Month
By Dayadhvam

Even with Pride Month coming to a close, the fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ people doesn’t stop within the confines of those thirty days. Many of the members of our community struggle daily because of their sexual or romantic preferences and gender identity, and as such I’ve thought of sharing their experiences. In particular, I interviewed esteemed nation The Unified Missourtama States, or TUMS for short, who had some really interesting thoughts to share with me and stories to recount. TUMS identifies as agender, meaning they do not possess a gender identity, going by pronouns they/them.

Firstly, I wanted to ask them about the importance of Pride, and how they personally participate in it. They had this to say:

“I think currently pride is about acknowledging the existence of the LGBTQ+ peoples and normalizing their existence. For a long time queer people did not have safe spaces to be themselves. I personally don’t go full in on Pride, I just go slowly all year round, you don’t just stop being queer when pride ends, take it slow, you have a full lifetime ahead of you to be yourself!”

I have also asked them what their best and worst experiences have been as a queer individual. They have consented to this information being published on The West Pacifican.

“I think the best experience was having someone who also identified as a they/them in a leadership position above me, in terms of negatives, it’s very unpleasant when people misuse pronouns, the worst thing that’s ever happened to me because of my identity was having things thrown at me in public.”

Accounts such as TUMS' are to be treasured, as a reminder of life as seen through the lenses of someone who's discriminated against not just in the month of June, but always. I'm bisexual myself, meaning I am attracted to people of different genders, and these words ring of familiarity in many aspects of my life, personal and not.

Through this article I ask you nothing but one thing:

Ask LGBTQ+ people you know about their life, granted they're willing to talk about it. Listen to their stories, listen carefully and understand. Put yourself in their shoes.

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All That Glitters is Gold:
Recap of Dali's Drag Race Season 2

By Fuentana

Season 2 of Dalimbar’s Drag Race was an exciting one. This contest involves answering issues and customizing each competing nation’s look, quotes, and other fields according to the theme—plus other challenges determined by Lady Anastasia. Inspired by Dali's temporary lifting of the glitter ban and the sassy victory of Amanda Flaughertmi in season 1, the following contestants did their best to strut their stuff and impress Lady Anastasia to win this season's crown. The competitors were: Arlementia, Boobsie Coochie, Mei Lanfang, Glitterina, Fabulous Fuentana, Lotta cleavage, Mademoiselle Myriade, Crab King, Giodraggiland

Episode 1 had the contestants seeing red for filth. Arlementia was the episode's winner, but the Crab King and Giodraggiland were judged to be at the bottom. Despite the boiling pressure of final judgment, advancement to episode 2 was not in the cards for Gio. The Crab King's natural red and snappy shell were a difference maker.

Episode 2 was devoted to Scream Queens. The goal was to give Lady Anastasia a bit of a fright. Boobsie Coochie won the episode easily, but Mademoiselle Myriade and the Crab King found themselves in the bottom. In a surprising twist, Lady Anastasia trebucheted both of them! The Crab King was forced to make a lateral retreat back to Balder after initially landing in The Rejected Realms.

This raised the stakes in Episode 3 ("Snatch Game"), which was devoted to celebrity impersonation and making Lady Anastasia laugh. Mei Lanfang was the winner of this episode, but Lotta Cleavage and Arlementia were judged to be at the bottom. Lotta Cleavage was saved by some presidential drag.

In Episode 4 we wrangled our best Western attire and prepared for a gunfight at the KO Corral. Boobsie Coochie surprised all by donning Aquaria's looks, but Glitterina, Mei Lanfang, and Lotta Cleavage were up for elimination. Mei and Lotta were twinning, but not winning. Sadly, Glitterina was loaded onto the trebuchet.

In the grand finale, the contenders for Queen went for the best. The challenge: "Show me who you are as a drag queen. From your mug to your motto to your customizable fields, I want to see your best. Oh, and one more thing: I also want you to find the one song you absolutely love to lip-sync and post the lyrics on the RMB."

Mei Lanfang went patriotic with Ethel Merman - God Bless America. Boobsie Coochie showed some firepower by singing Mirada Lambert - Gunpower and Lead. Lotta Cleavage went with the Rocky Horror Picture Show. (I'll share about my looks below). Ultimately, Mei Lanfang was named Miss Congeniality and Boobsie Coochie was crowned the Queen of Season 2 for rocking talent, nerve, and census ranking. This is meritocracy at its most glittery.

As for yours truly, I never thought I'd make that it far. Each episode was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the history and cultural significance of Drag. Like other contestants, I went with various concepts. In Episode 1, I donned the lacy red of a Catholic Cardinal with a cappa magna and other accessories from the closet—I mean, sacristy: graceful, holy, yet tempting. In Episode 2, I invoked a slightly different combo of scream queens with Ellen Ripley of the Alien series.

Episode 3's challenge had me pondering: who would be a good celebrity to invoke a chuckle? I immediately thought of Taylor Swift and the parody mixtape of "Trouble" with a screaming goat. Tay Tay is the GOAT to many, but this pun ended up being safe at best. In Episode 4, I dove into the history of Westerns and donned Alyssa Edwards' version of Annie Oakley of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

My finale invoked Joey Arias, a performance artist, drag queen, writer, singer, and a staple of New York City culture. Arias has performed alongside David Bowie on SNL in a sleek red dress, and gained notice for putting on a Billie Holiday cover show called Strange Fruit. Until COVID cancelled life, Arias was a prominent figure in the cabaret and art scenes of New York. I chose "The Man Who Sold the World" to show that Bowie's version brings true nirvana.

Thank you to Lady Anastasia and Tracy Martel for running quite the show! I am sure all the contestants are already looking forward to more glitter. This was gold.

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”Butter Together”:
FA Spotlight on The New Pacific Order (The Pacific)

The Pacific, better known as the New Pacific Order (NPO), is the oldest game created region and home of a longstanding militaristic autocratic meritocracy. It is also a place of many fascinating cultural practices, ranging from Think Same/Different games to trolling each other. Having recently signed the Better Together treaty, I traveled to the Pacific to learn more about a region that is Butter Together. I interviewed Xoriet who is currently Legatus, Praetor Marinas Island, Exarch CookiEvee CaveDweller, Sitethief Vylixan, Tebeat, Rose Imperial Pravus, our ambassador The Unified Missourtama States and the Emperor East Durthang as well.

Our main ambassador TUMS explains: “As the oldest region in NationStates, The Pacific has a long history and a well developed culture. On the RMB there live elaborate roleplays that echo the glory days of NationStates. The breadth of The Pacific however goes past NationStates, not just to Discord and forums but to other nation simulation games, mainly the community extends into Cyber Nations and Torn, all connected through an organization known as the New Pacific Order. I find the culture of the region to be mainly relaxed under its autocratic meritocracy, similar to the West.”

There is much to learn and appreciate about our new allies, including their history and culture. It is a home to many. The Emperor states, “What stands out the most to me is how NPO feels like a family which cares for each other and has established countless extended friendships between its members. It's a very unique feeling which really sets NPO apart and is further amplified by contributing to something bigger than any one person.” Similarly, Sitethief shares, “I find NPO offers a home to people in a sometimes chaotic world—a place and community where they can rest and socialize before they venture out and find adventure.” He adds, “It is a very diverse community because there is people from all three games represented, and also a lot of overlap with other regions in NS.” For Cookievee, community is indeed the NPO’s greatest asset. “The multi-game aspect of the NPO means that there is a lot of culture that isn’t necessarily possible everywhere else, and being part of such an amazing community with its culture is wonderful… It opens my eyes to so many talents and possibilities of other people that always manages to make me smile.” What are the origins of this multigame Order? As regards NationStates, the beginnings involve a legendary successful revolt.

So You Want a Revolution? Historical Beginnings
Through the benevolence of the Emperor East Durthang and with assistance from Legatus Xoriet, I was granted access to the archives of the NPO and a separate audience to discuss the history of the region. The story of the NPO dates back to 2003, but the gameplay mechanics that sparked what would come to be known as the August Revolution hearken back to the very beginnings of NationStates. From the launch of the game in November 2002 to about August 2003, the reality was that the Pacific’s delegacy was not tightly controlled. Interestingly, East Durthang pointed out through a collection of documents that at this stage in NS history, gameplay was more focused on user-created regions. Because of this, the Pacific as a feeder “had no central government for most of this period and was ruled by a series of delegates who came to power with very few endorsements.”

The actions of former delegate Thedoc in the weeks preceding the Revolution were a major catalyst to action. TheDoc called for and organized an Army of the Pacific which was to be a mercenary or auxiliary force in foreign wars. Believing that the old regime and this new army were beholden to foreign interests, Francos spain organized an army of native players to overthrow the oligarchy and establish an order that would reflect the interests of the Pacifican people.

On August 28th, Francos Spain seized the Delegacy of the Pacific and worked to consolidate power by banning TheDoc, major supporters, and weeding out loyalists. By September 1, the August Revolution had succeeded, and Francos Spain proclaimed a New Pacific Order to govern the Pacific. The story is, well, storied; my own research is ongoing. Shortly after the revolution an international coalition including the Alliance Defense Network (ADN) attempted to overthrow the NPO. Interestingly, at this time in history The West Pacific was aligned with the ADN. But suffice to say that this Revolution brought into being a new nativist government in the original feeder region—no small feat. It is moreover a region committed to unity as an Order. So what are the natives like?

I Can’t Believe It’s Butter: Culture and Order
As the reader has surely noticed, appreciating a region’s culture is a major focus of my Foreign Affairs work. In some ways, the culture of NPO resembles that of our beloved West. It is rooted in the authority of the ruler (autocracy for NPO, delegate supremacy for us) and in the virtues of meritocracy. Marina explains, “I believe [meritocracy] is necessary to the success of the order… Anyone present,” Marina adds, “is already making the conscious and continuous decision whether or not to support the polity in their presence. Thus, we are obligated for our survival to do what is right for those people in as efficient a manner as possible.” Meritocracy, then, is key to preserving proper order in the NPO.

One of the ways that meritocracy is best expressed is in the rich cultural practices of the region. They range from legacy group games such as “Think Same/Think Different,” which Marina leads and also brought to the recent Pacific-Con, and their bantering atmosphere. I learned that the Think games were inherited from a previous Cyber Nations alliance. Participants in Think at Pacific-Con really enjoyed this game, so much so that Think had the highest attendance ever. She notes, “I had to close entries at 60.”

In addition, they love friendly teasing. Rose shared that the NPO’s laid back and lighthearted style of interaction is evident in “our memes about our various admins allowing a lighthearted approach to the emperor and the various Senate members." The banter, SiteThief notes, is “very lively.” One can find Discord threads and other posts lampooning Xoriet and many others. Perhaps the greatest source of banter revolves around a chance encounter involving Tebeat and a piece of butter. At work, someone passed a cheese board to Tebeat, and he ate what he thought was cheese. It was in fact butter. In order to avoid offending the giver, he assured her that he loves butter. Just like that, a legend was born. Ever since, butter has been a source of friendly banter in the NPO. I double checked with Tebeat on his preferred type of butter. Answer: “Anything but salted is a heretic form of butter!” Such talk simply melts the heart.

For CookiEvee, who is the head of culture, the goofiest aspect of NPO culture “is most definitely our anti-sregguh relationship. Anyone who displays public affection through the form of a hug is donned a filthy sregguh and is shamed.” As one with a very large personal bubble, I am in favor of this. (N.B., as of July 6, I have been tagged as a filthy sregguh). But I also like Discord tags, so maybe I’ll try hugging someone. Among the other fun and games are Skribbl, Cards Against Humanity, and cultural competitions like a photography contest. These were all major elements of the Festival of the Night, which CookiEvee recently ran.

Yet the creme de la creme in my opinion may very well be their longstanding tradition of Zamboni Jousting. How does this work? Opponents challenge each other by jousting while driving a Zamboni, which usually does not top 15 miles per hour. It is an ice cool pastime. Two key figures in this tradition are Mek The Moonstar (who brought the tradition to NPO) and McStooley, with the latter identified by some as the regional champion. However, there is no doubt that it was Mek who was the key figure for inventing this incredible tradition. It was he who brought this to the NPO, and from there things took off—icing on the, well, ice. Few things can bring a people together quite like the spectacle and glory of jousting on a zamboni. I sincerely hope for many tournaments with our new allies.

Treating the Better Together Treaty and the Future
Last June, TWP and NPO signed a new treaty that struck a unique tone. Compared to other pacts, the Better Together Treaty emphasized cultural aspects of gameplay that build on the strengths of each region and chart a different way to approach NationStates. How do NPO government officials and members feel about BTA?

Some may have been surprised with this alliance, but for Xoriet, “It’s not an entirely unexpected turn of events” because of the strong emphasis on culture in both regions, and because of TWP delegate Bran Astor’s excellence in fostering excellent cultural events and festivals. Xor adds, “The treaty was designed to be unique. A lot of the more unique aspects of it came from TWP’s side, a testament to the general creative drive of the region. What this does signal is more the interests of both parties and how they’ve changed over the years.” Similarly, the Emperor stated, “I am excited to see what NPO and TWP can accomplish by working together, especially in the realm of interregional events and knowledgebase development.”

During my audience with the Emperor I also asked about the future: what are they looking forward to? “There are several long term projects which I look forward to seeing progression on over the course of the next year. The one I am most excited about is increasing the continuity between the gameside and offsite components of the region as, for much of the past decade, this has been rather neglected. Otherwise I look forward to building more opportunities to get involved in NPO and continuing to expand the amount of cultural events we run.” But as I pondered the future, I couldn’t help but ask, what is the Emperor’s stance on crabs? Response: “I eagerly await Dilber's crowning literary achievement: a crab cookbook.”

Final Thoughts
My tour of the Pacific continues, but I will soon journey to The Rejected Realms and prepare another FA feature on the vaunted ejection-free land where many expats of the West settle. In the meantime, I am looking forward to spending more time with our friends in NPO and promoting cultural exchanges through a Zamboni jousting tournament and Adopt-A-Crab with our legions of crustaceans in the West Pacific Crab Sanctuary. Xoriet and Marina have even expressed interest in crab sponsorship—actually, Marina’s response was simply the now notorious Crab emoji. As for Xor? “Baby blue crabs are the pretty ones,” so perhaps she may adopt Sir Chesapeake Blue. I just hope they don’t say, “Could you please pass the butter?”

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The Card Farmers of The West Pacific

If you have been active on our regional Discord server, you’ll see that a lot of activity comes from the #twp-card-central channel. This is a place that even some foreign visitors regularly frequent to talk about NS Trading Cards. However, a lot of resident and citizen TWPers are also active there too. Whether it is a talk about card mechanics, someone wanting to trade some cards, or even new nations interested in joining the card game, there is indeed many activity there, and I, Giovanniland, am one of the people regularly active there.

So, for this newspaper, I had the cool idea of interviewing other ‘card farmers’ from our region: this word is used for anyone who regularly answers issues on several puppet nations (also called farms) to earn cards. Without further ado, let’s go!

1. What led you into card farming?
Elegarth: My desire to complete my legendaries collection! I started the collection casually, with my regular set of permanent puppets (about 10), and when I realized I hardly advanced when compared to others... well, ended up becoming a farmer.

Fuentana: I would say that I happened upon cards by chance. One of the first ten packs that I opened had a high value legendary card that I quickly sold to obtain the capital to get started. I became a little more serious about cards for three reasons. First, I noticed that at a certain point, my selective sniping put me in the top 1% of my region. I saw that it was possible to make it into the top 1% of all players, and have made it into the top 150 or so. That doesn't actually say much because the top 50 on that list have insane deck values. But because this put me in position for a nice stat badge, I decided I'd try to grow my deck value. Second, I realized that it takes just a little bit of effort to stay in the upper tier of my region. I had about ten puppets that I started to farm more regularly with and saw some good returns with more investment of my time. Third, the TWP crab invasion was a final and practical motivator. I made something like 33 crab puppets and decided that I might as well use these puppets to my advantage. I now have about 60 puppets. Though the truly elite card collectors have way more puppets than I, the number of puppet nations has made participation in pull events quite fruitful for me.

The Holy Principality of Saint Mark(Halo): I like collecting things.

Mediobogdum: I was led into card farming by the fascination of collecting! I have been a hoarder of all sorts of things in my life so it was a natural action for me.

Recuecn: I remember looking through the "Collection Collection" thread in the cards subforum, and noticing that no one had completed a card collection of all the NS World Cup winners. Lots of people from the NS sport forum collected each other's cards during the April Fool's event, but no one had a collection of all the world cup winners. I thought it would be a doable collection, and something that would go well in the collection thread. It was probably while I was working on that collection that I joined the cards discord. I got lots of great help from those people, and I remember someone mentioned the "leaderboard". I wasn't sure what they were talking about at first, but then I found the deck ranking on the market, and when I realized how easy it was for even a beginning farmer with hardly any puppets to get onto the top 10 pages, I wanted to start climbing my way up. Now I don't care about the leaderboard so much, but the fact that it's so easy to rank really highly for cards helped get me hooked to start off.

Rikanhimel: A promise to a friend. Dominionaire was going to return to NationStates, and I knew how much dragons mattered to him. We're both building world lore that involves the use of dragons, and we've bonded over dragons and then NationStates. So it felt right to give him as many dragons as I could. The collection started with just five cards, but that has snowballed into the largest collection of dragon cards on NationStates (at the time of this interview) at 288 cards. I've been giving Dominionaire updates every day. Every day his smile grows more and more. It's beautiful.

The Unified Missourtama States: Season Two was coming in hours and I had a bit of shock realizing my then small collection might never have more S1 cards, I went through all my raiding puppets to open packs, midway through it became Season Two. Later though is when I really got into it, One day I found this card, it had a little gray badge on it that said ‘class’, I thought, “I want to collect that!”, did some research, turns out there are 2968 class badge cards, I’m gonna need a lot more bank!

2. Do you have any goals for card collections, if yes, are they complete?
Elegarth: My first goal was to collect all S1 Legendary cards, and I successfully completed that recently yay. I am not considering also collecting S2 legendaries :p

Fuentana: When I started I tried to acquire cards that amused me but I found that too broad. In general, I try to acquire high value cards, but lately I've decided to focus on two collections: cat cards and US Interstate Highways. The cat one is pretty small but it is fun. The Highway collection is almost complete.

Halo: I collect TWP, Delegates/Founders, and Rahl. Rahl is complete (as far as anyone knows). I don't really have a goal to complete the other two collections. I mostly focus on nations that are either notable or mean something to me personally.

Mediobogdum: I like the look and feel of many of the multi-look cards as well. My goals for collecting this season are complete S2 Epic series (1501/1681) and the ABC 123, Pg, and D cards (now complete) and have just started collecting the beautiful Oak series. Next season I will just concentrate on ABC etc as it has taken too much of my personal time and my wife is complaining at me!

Recuecn: I mentioned the World Cup winners collection, that was my first one. The next one was a collection of every card with a gif flag. I didn't think I'd finish that one until next year maybe when I'd saved up thousands of bank to buy Pergamon, but then pull events changed that (I pulled an expensive card to trade for Perg—then later Pergamon's value dropped. So I should've waited I guess. But I'm very happy to have the collection done.) I have a couple more ideas for collections of some puppet series I think are pretty, but I haven't been going after them very actively. In the meantime I just hang on to cards that make me smile: if they're cute, or have a funny name or flag.

Rikanhimel: Well I've collected so many dragon cards now that it's too late for therapists to convince me not to collect more! So the first major collection will be for dragons - with plans to expand into collections dedicated to the Welsh, Bhutanese, and Chinese Emperor dragon flags also found on NS. I want to devote these to separate collections as I feel it's not fair to say I have "the most dragons ever" when 20 cards are the same Welsh flag, for an example. The future goals then consist of creating multiple dragon card collections, so there will be a collection for Welsh, Bhutanese, and Chinese Empire flags separate from the main collection. After which, my oldest main nation of Skymoot will become a museum to dragon cards, complete with museum articles, mythical history, and more. It'll be awesome! Oh and maybe I'll collect more mythical creatures and make collections of them, but that's another story.

TUMS: I am currently collecting every school nation card, you can see my collection here (out of 2968).

3. What do you think about the TWP card community?
Elegarth: I love that there is one now! When I started collecting seriously, I didn't had a card collecting community neither in NPO nor TWP, and that's why I ended up turning towards the Cards discord community. But I love the fact that TWP has its own card players community now

Fuentana: I'm not a big enough competitor to fully understand the entire community, but I've found that there is a refreshing number of helpful and generous players. Some are complete strangers who have TGed me during some of my earlier fiascoes. Fellow TWPers have gone out of their way to gift or sell me cat cards, and I know that I can ask for advice from TWP's top card collectors and from TUMS's Card Gardening Society. I have heard of some villains, and have probably had brief bidding wars with them. But I am not a big enough player in the game to be directly affected.

Halo: Our local community in TWP is great! They are a bunch of nice, helpful people. The NS card community in general has several people that have far too much influence over card values.

Mediobogdum: I love TWP card community although we do have some outsiders which adds to the interest/knowledge for the group.

Recuecn: The TWP card community is the best there is. Although it's small, it's rising rapidly, but that isn't really what's important about it—I love it because it's so wholesome and every farmer is always ready to help out anyone else. I've made friends with lots of other farmers from the main NS card discord, which is awesome, but it's also really cool when people you're already friends with can farm and trade and share tips with you.

Rikanhimel: What positive words haven't I used to describe them yet? Haha! It's because of the TWP card community that I've learned as much as I have about management of cards, buying, selling, farming, and the tricks in-between. A few of them have even helped me find more cards for the collection! For example, here's a shoutout to Recu for his beautiful, complete collection of animated GIF cards, for in them there were three dragon cards that I was able to buy and add to my collection too. I hope I can grow as talented and as wise as the TWP card community. If I was able to do that, and future new players or card collectors wanted to participate in TWP's card community, then there isn't any collection in the world that can't be collected by our helpful community.

TUMS: TWP has a small friendly card community.

4. What's your card farming process like?
Elegarth: Manual... very manual... which is why I often spent weeks without farming due to time constraints or simple need to rest from it.

Fuentana: I try to run through all of my puppets once a week. I tried doing this with greater frequency, but it's a lot of clicking. I use the mass transfer method at a smaller interval of about two bank per card. I try to time when I open packs by either waiting for pull events, or opening packs when there are multiple high value cards on active auction (especially legendaries).

Halo: I only have about ten puppets that farm and these do so on most days. I also try to participate in a pull event each month.

Mediobogdum: I use the basic system of card farming by answering issues and opening packs. I have used the bank transfer system a few time but I find it stressful and not such fun as opening packs! I have found the TamperMonkey app invaluable to increase speed of answering issues and without it things would be soooooooooooo slow I doubt I would attempt to achieve my card goals. At time I have found it to be a bit 'qwerky' but that is probably a touch of gefingerpoken on my part!. I also also use the NationStates - Bank Retriever.ipynb to see which of my puppets could purchase cards at short notice.

Recuecn: I've gotten lots of help from Racoda to figure out some browser scripts that speed up the process for me. When I'm farming seriously, I try to answer issues on all my puppets every day and then go through and process the cards every week or so. Processing is the slow part, but mostly it just involves junking all the cards so I have space for more. I'm a big fan of the card queue script. (Originally by Anozia, with improvements by Destructive Government Economic System and some additions I requested from Racoda.) It's not the one that saves me the most time, but it has a special place in my heart.

Rikanhimel: Oh god this is embarrassing haha! I've always said that I felt like the hobbiest garden farmer growing tomatoes next to a Kansas-sized industrial farm that can feed a city every day. I currently only have 10 puppets - 11 if you count Skymoot - that farm cards for me. The largest amount of money I've ever held at one time is 50 credits. Finally, the most I ever really farm is once every two days on average, rather than once a day like the pros. But that will all change soon! I plan on having 100, dragon-themed card farms soon. I'll farm them for 4 hours a day, once a week, to generate cards and income to grow the collections. The dragon-themed cards each have a smaller theme to them: There are 10 dragon farms with nature dragons as a theme, 10 dragon farms themed after technology and dragons, 10 dragon farms showcasing MASSIVE dragons - ones that reach the heavens by just sitting upright. I expect by the end of the month to have 100 card farms active, complete with every farm having a unique dragon image for S3 when it releases, and giving credit to the artists who made the art on them. Each nation will also have a dispatched dedicated to showing the artist, the full artwork on display, and where to find more of their work. With this, I hope to farm as much as I give NS more dragons to enjoy. I have gathered the most dragons I could and gained card collection prestige for it. Now it's time to give back with more dragon art, and to really up the farming game!

TUMS: Very sporadic, honestly completely different every time, except for the puppets.

5. If you could change one thing about cards, what would it be?
Elegarth: The fact that ex-nations no longer come up. I think all cards that exist at the start of a Season should keep their drawing possibility, regardless of the status of the nation.

Fuentana: I would love a smoother card farming interface. I would prefer a "junk all" button since I junk the vast majority of cards that I pull, as well as click boxes to select multiple or all cards. There's an inordinate amount of clicking, and even after investing in a minimum noise mouse, I find that it is a strain on my index finger and on my mind.

Halo: I would make Bank easily transferred without risk.

Mediobogdum: As to changing one thing about NS Cards, it would probably be the system of increasing card capacity. For the average player like myself it just becomes too expensive to keep going up on the present system. But for luckily winning the last Olympics of the S1 Yuno card, which I sold, I would not have been able to come anywhere near my goal for S2 Epics. I am not very adept at learning all the subtle, and not so subtle, card techniques as you younger folk so as a 'plodder' I keep to the simple routines of life!

Recuecn: It's hard to say what I'd change about cards: often it seems like the game needs an exciting new feature to spice things up, but I think that what's awesome about it—just like the rest of NS—is how from such a simple framework, the players have created so much. The admins are great at knowing just how much to provide, and what would be too much. So I can't think of any feature additions or changes. Lately pull events have added a lot of excitement anyway: they get people online at the same time so they create camaraderie and a sense of community, and with all these big pulls and market crashes happening, there's always something going on. (Personally I'm a fan of people trying to crash the market or raid cards: it adds a lot of excitement.) But anyway, to get back to the question, I think maybe the card community in general (TWP seems fine with this) would be healthier if people cared less about their deck value and ranking. If people played more like Leto II Atreides, Demoness, or Luna Amore, all players who will sacrifice lots of bank to do things that to other people, seem random, just because they feel like it. That's one thing I like about gif collecting, not that it has to be gifs specifically (Rikanhimel's dragon collection comes to mind): the gif collectors seem to collect those cards just because they really like them, not because they're trying to get rich. If more people were just trying to collect cards they think are fun and cute, without worrying about deck value for the big farmers or junking lots of cards for the little farmers, they might have more fun with the game.

Rikanhimel: Hmm... Well I guess I should be transparent and say I think overall they're fine as they are. That's not to say I'm not open to change, growth, and improvements in the cards as the seasons grow though. I guess from my end, I would love to see cards that had all the stats on one side of it, and then on the other it was just the nation title and the image on the back. It would be a ton more space for the image to be shown on a card and for the nation name. Then on the back could be space for stats, the nation moto, what region it belongs to, and even a print # on the back to show what number card it is in the season. But again I probably wouldn't change much personally. I like them as they are! But I am open to changes too!

TUMS: No. I think you can see there as being flaws in the minigame, however like everything else in the game it is satirical, if it makes you frustrated, I think that’s good. Apply that to the real world parallel and think.

If you made it this far, congrats! I know, the article did end up a bit long, but in my opinion every answer was great, and it shows the diversity of card collectors and farmers that reside in our region! As all answers show, our regional card community is great, so if you wish to engage and cards and need help, be sure to join our regional Discord server and ask questions at #twp-card-central: the home of every TWP card farmer. Thanks for reading the article, and I’m looking forward to bring more card-related articles in the future!

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The West Pacifican Staff - Editors-in-Chief: Bran Astor, Fujai, Assistant Editors: Recuecn, Mystic Skies, Staff: Darkesia, Dayadhvam, Dilber, Fuentana, Giovanniland, Nieubasria, Podium, Sensorland, Teralyon, Marisala and LinkYOU