by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics




by The Community of 10000 Islands Foreign Affairs. . 255 reads.

10000 Islands and The League – Joint Statement on Proposed Frontier/Stronghold Update

10000 Islands and The League – Joint Statement on Proposed Frontier/Stronghold Update

The new proposed technical update currently termed “Frontiers/Strongholds” (formerly known as Democracy/Autocracy) seeks to change the foundation of regional gameplay itself. The update claims it will help the unsatisfactory status quo in recruitment and provide an engaging change to the game by redirecting power accumulation inherent within the current nature of GCRs. Many players have voiced opposition to this, and regions such as Thaecia, Europeia, and The Communist Bloc have outwardly stated opposition to this.

As defenders and user-created regions concerned about the health of the game and its communities, 10000 Islands and The League are unequivocally opposed to the implementation of the Frontier/Stronghold update. There are a number of issues with the proposed change that range from putting a variety of communities at risk to devaluing the work of the Security Council, which we believe outweigh any potential benefits of the update.

Most concerningly, the change perpetuates the idea that a region would “consent” to raiding and defending by selecting democracy. Selecting democracy will lure inexperienced players or those seeking to boost regional recruitment, providing a temporary boost while putting their regions at extreme vulnerability to hostile actors. Those who choose to protect their communities will be forced to continue navigating a sub-par recruitment situation, something this change does nothing to improve. Regional leaders will be forced to choose between accepting violations of their regional sovereignty as legitimate and their ability to effectively build their region. The changes sideline region-building in favor of military gameplay. NationStates is a social and community based game, and we firmly believe that many players remain involved in NationStates because of this social aspect. The idea that communities must be able to be destroyed and must need to make themselves vulnerable to destruction to be able to prosper is a dangerous one, that misunderstands the true appeal of NationStates to many players as a place to become involved in caring communities. Conflict, namely conflict which can harm communities, is not a necessity of this game. Out of concern for the damage and instability communities of both current and future regions will be forced to face under this proposed update, our regions stand firmly in opposition to such a change.

Furthermore, the update would have harmful consequences regarding the Security Council. The suggested “Embargo” category is extremely problematic for a healthy SC for several reasons. Most likely, the Embargo category, like others, will be subjected to joke proposals or underhanded and petty attempts to abuse the category by authors against regions they dislike, generally wasting the time and energy of those genuinely involved in the SC. More seriously, if a region with severe out-of-character issues, or even a fascist region, were to be an eligible democracy, the expectation that consequences be dealt out via the Embargo category furthers the narrative that these issues are for the players to handle as a part of gameplay, rather a continued state of insufficient action on the part of site moderation.

We recognize the good intentions of the proposed update in redistributing influence across a broader array of regions and providing a new method of playing NationStates, however, 10000 Islands and The League believe that these changes will prove to be far less effective than might be hoped. Given the pre-existing infrastructure of large regions, and especially GCRs, of welcoming and incorporating new players into the game, these regions will have a far easier time gaining new players as “Frontier” regions, over newer, smaller regions. Combined with the near-exclusive stability these regions will have due to their large size and endorsement count, we believe that this update will not provide an effective means of redistributing or diluting influence or altering the power dynamics currently found within NationStates. Rather than providing the desired benefits, we believe the proposed changes would simply make region-building and encouraging involvement by new players more difficult.

While we understand the desire of regions to see changes in the game, namely in recruitment and adjacent processes, we are confident that the Frontiers and Strongholds update is not the way to bring about beneficial change to the site. We stand with the other regions and individuals in opposition to this proposed change and encourage people to speak their minds about this issue in the appropriate venues.

Wischland, Delegate of 10000 Islands
Hakketomat, Chief Executive of 10000 Islands

Quebecshire, Consul and LDF Commander of The League
SPode humbleD Minions, Director of Foreign Affairs of The League