by Max Barry

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by The Panda's Federal Republic of Europeia Dispatch Office. . 472 reads.

Europeia Regional Dispatch -- NASPAQ




Trading cards, or just cards, act as something of a snapshot of each nation that existed within NationStates at the time of their creation. At the time of writing, two such ?snapshots? have occurred, one on April 1, 2018, and the second on November 28, 2019. These dates mark the beginning of Season One and Season 2, respectively.

Cards from each season are divided into a number of different rarities. From highest to lowest, these are Legendary, Epic, Ultra-Rare, Rare, Uncommon, and Common. The rarity of a nation?s card is determined by a number of factors most commonly including the number and quality of statistic related badges it possesses. Other factors, such as being a regional founder, or authoring World Assembly Resolution, also play a factor.

You can acquire cards in a number of ways, but the first and simplest method is via the opening of packs. Each time a nation answers an issue, there is roughly a 20% chance of receiving a pack containing five trading cards. After opening a pack, you have four options for each card:

  • Keep it- This is straightforward, you do nothing with the card, and will be able to view it in your deck later.

  • Gift- You can choose to gift the card to another nation of your choice. This will cost you the junk value of the card, which will be explained momentarily.

  • Sell- You can list the card on the auction for anywhere between 0.01 and 10000.00 bank, where other players will be able to view and purchase them.

  • Junk- You can junk the card, which will delete it from your deck and provide you with an amount of bank in return. The amount of junk value for a card depends on its rarity. The junk value for each rarity can be found in the graph below.













Setting and Meeting Objectives

Once you have mastered the basics as mentioned above, it is good to decide on one?s goals. The Trading Cards minigame is a sandbox. There is no objective goal a player has to meet. As such, it is up to the player to determine what they want out of the minigame.

Personal Collections
Many players choose to collect the cards of others they know. You can find any nation?s card by navigating to that nation?s page, and selecting the trading card icon. At the top right of the page will be a button that says ?View card: [nation].? From there, you can place a bid on the card.

Regional Collections
Another common collection is all of the cards from a given region. As the population of a region fluctuates greatly, it can be nigh-impossible to find all of the cards from a given region without the use of outside tools. Thankfully, TNP and Europeia?s r3n has produced a tool which can be used to produce a list of these cards. A more in-depth explanation of this tool can be found in Guide 7- Advanced Tactics.

Themed Collections
A third common collection puts together cards with a particular theme. For example, you may choose to collect pink cards, or the cards of nations with the word ?turtle? in their name. Themed collections, especially those designed around flags, can be more difficult to complete, as there is no way to search up all cards with a given trait on their flag. In these cases, it is best to passively collect these cards as you come across them.

Understanding the Auction

Auction Mechanics
As was mentioned in Guide 1, you are able to list your copy of a card for sale. Other players are able to bid on these cards, but when they do, the purchase is not instantaneous. Instead, a one hour timer begins, and the transaction is listed on the public auctions page, where any player can see and bid on the card as well. Each time a new match occurs, an additional minute is added to the auction timer, up to one hour and one minute. At the end of this timer, all matches clear, buyers will receive their cards, and sellers will receive their bank.

Auction Strategies
There are a number of strategies that players use to get cards they want on the auction

  • Standard Bids- If a card is already listed for a reasonable price, you can simply match that bid.

  • Standing Bids- If there is no reasonable listing for a card, you can place a bid for however much you would be willing to pay in the hopes that another player will pull that card and be willing to match your bid.

  • Penny Bids- If there is already an ask on a card, some players will place an ask for 0.01 bank (a penny) higher than the highest ask. This practice is discouraged by many higher tier players.

  • Sniping- Some players will wait until the last few seconds of an auction in the hopes that the original buyer is not paying attention, and giving them little time to react.

Bank and Transfers

Bank is the name given to the currency of NationStates trading cards. It can be acquired by either selling cards or junking them. Generally, it is recommended that whenever you open a pack, you immediately junk any card that does not have a standing bid above junk value, or is otherwise wanted by you or another collector you know. At the time of writing, it is estimated that the average pack will yield approximately 0.27 bank. As acquiring any meaningful sum of bank from one nation at this rate is excruciatingly slow, many traders create a number of puppet nations which they use expressly for the purpose of generating cards and bank. A more in-depth explanation of farming with puppets will come in a later guide.

A Mass-Copy Transfer in Progress.

The process by which players move bank from their puppets to their main nations is known as a transfer. There are a number of different strategies for transferring bank, each of which has strengths and weaknesses. You can decide for yourself which one to use. One thing to note is that in nearly all cases, it is recommended that you transfer using a particular type of card- Season 1 ex-nation cards, particularly low owner ones. Using this type of card decreases the likelihood that another player will be able to interfere with your transfer through the process known as heisting.

Basic Transfer
The simplest method of transferring involves listing a card for sale on your main nation for however much bank you want to move, and then purchasing it with a puppet. After the auction is completed, you can gift the transfer card back to your main nation if you desire. It is recommended that you use common cards to transfer for this reason, it is far cheaper to gift them to your nation of choice.

Mass-Copy Transfer
A mass-copy transfer is one in which you sell a number of a given card from your main, and purchase it on many puppets simultaneously. This method is safer than normal transfers, as in the event that you are heisted you do not lose all of the bank you were trying to transfer, and you gain an additional copy of the card for next time. Mass-copy transfers also simplify the process of transferring bank from large numbers of puppets.

Sneaky Transfer
For a sneaky transfer, you need at least two copies of the card you are using. Sell the first card to yourself at a low price in order to begin the one hour countdown. When the action has less than a minute remaining, sell the second copy of the card for however much bank you would like to transfer, and match the higher ask on your puppet. This method gives only a one minute period for other players to interfere with your transfer. Furthermore, as nations that have exceeded their deck capacity can not be gifted cards, sneaky transfers are a long term feasible method of transferring bank to these nations.

Heisting is the act of underasking another player?s transfer card, meaning that the bank will go to them instead. This practice is widely condemned, and many card organizations forbid it between members. Although many players will likely refrain from heisting your transfers, it is recommended that you take reasonable precaution just to be sure.

Deck Management

Deck Capacity
As has been previously stated, each nation begins with a deck capacity of fifty cards. This capacity can be upgraded in increments of fifty additional cards, although these upgrades get progressively more expensive. Again, any nation for which you have purchased any type of site supporter status will have its current capacity, and any future upgrades, doubled. Despite this, many traders will eventually find that continuing up upgrade their deck capacity is prohibitively expensive. At this point, there are two options.

Storage Nations
Many players create new nations dedicated to storing their excess cards on. This system has a very low barrier to entry, and it also reintroduces cheap deck capacity upgrades on each new nation. The drawbacks of this system include the decentralization of your deck, as well as the higher level of organization required to file every card into the proper storage nation. Furthermore, for those of you interested in climbing the ranks of nations with the highest deck value, spreading your cards across a number of nations will result in your main having a lower ranking.

Exceeding Deck Capacity
Another common strategy is to simply ignore the deck capacity limit on your nation. This is certainly a viable strategy, but successfully doing it will require some preparation. A nation that is over deck capacity will not be able to be gifted cards, meaning that you need to buy even cards that you yourself find on your puppets. This also means that you will not be able to do mass copy transfers to your main, as you will not be able to gift the transfer cards back at the end. Both of these problems can be circumvented by the creation of a dedicated transfer puppet. You can mass-transfer bank from your farms to this puppet, then use a sneaky transfer from there to your main. Cards can also be gifted to these transfer puppets for safe keeping until you are ready to move them to your main.

High Quantity Farming and Scripts

The average bank yielded per pack is roughly 0.27. Assuming that 20% of issues return a pack, and there is a timer of six hours between issues, it would take approximately eight months of farming on a single nation to earn enough bank to purchase the most valuable Season 2 Legendary in Europeia, Mousebumples. The solution to this is, of course, to farm on more nations.

Card Farms
It is recommended that you begin your card farm with somewhere between ten and thirty nations. This is the realm in which you can familiarize yourself with the scripts and practices employed by card farmers. From here, you are welcome to add more puppets to your burgeoning farm. Many high tier farmers will have hundreds of dedicated farming nations, and some even have thousands. Some people choose to keep all of their farms in a dedicated region, or spread across a variety of puppet regions.

eeMake sure to turn off recruitment telegrams!ee

For most players, managing so many puppets would be incredibly tedious and time-consuming, so members of the card community have produced a number of scripts and programs to assist in streamlining your farming experience. A more in-depth explanation of various scripts will come in a separate guide.
  • Puppet Creation- One of the more tedious parts of card farming is the creation of new puppets. Some players are more particular about the aesthetics and location of their puppets, but most everyone will agree that individually creating tens or even hundreds of new nations by hand is a chore.

  • Puppet Switching- The ability to move quickly through and between puppets is key to making high volume farming more manageable.

  • Card Processing- Each time you open a pack, you have to decide whether to junk, sell, gift, or keep each of the five cards, and cutting this process down will significantly speed up your farming.

  • Bank Management- As bank slowly builds up across your farms, it is good to be able to easily keep tabs on it so that you know when you are ready for a transfer.

TCALS and Pull Events

TCALS, or the Trading Card Anti-Laundering System, is a measure in place in the auction to add risk to high bank transactions. In short, when a transaction occurs where the bank involved is significantly higher than the junk value of the card, players will have a higher chance of getting that card in a pack. Cards that have been found via TCALS will always be the last one in the pack. Furthermore, the system works irregardless of season, meaning you can TCALS a Season 1 card in an otherwise entirely Season 2 pack, and vice versa.

Pull Events
A pull event is a period in which one player will repeatedly bid on a given card such as to deliberately trigger TCALS. While this player bids, others will open packs in the hopes of generating a copy of the card. In this way, players can greatly influence the rate of production of otherwise incredibly difficult to find cards. Pull events require a large amount of bank, and come with the risk of being heisted, but undoubtedly play an incredibly significant role in card farming strategies.