So You're New to the DSA...
A Guide for newcomers and veterans alike:
Greetings and bienvenue, comrade!* You, like us, are dedicated to the cause of Democracy, Equality, Solidarity, Freedom and have decided to join us! But you don't quite know what to do. Now that the black helicopters have magically transported you here, you're confused about what else could possibly happen. Well, never fear! Saint James is here to help unravel the mysteries of the Democratic Socialist Assembly and NationStates as a whole!
*A hundred internet cookies and eternal awesomeness to anyone who knows where that's from.
So that's a weird name you've got there... Why "Assembly"?
It's a rather long story that dates back nearly three years now. There was a Democratic Socialist Alliance at one point, but then things happened... The founder abused her power and Opalaland and New bazlantis, rivals for the delegacy in the old Alliance, decided to start a new region but kept the old initials.
Okay then. So what do I do now?
Well, I would recommend that you register on our regional forum. That is the place where the most important events in our region, like elections, happen. It's also the hub of our regional government and the place that hosts our most furious debates and wacky roleplays.
Once you're there, I'd recommend looking over and opting-in to our Charter, the supreme governing document and compact of our region. Sort of like of our own little constitution. Opting-in confers upon you membership in the Congress of the DSA, the legislative body of the region, and rights and privileges not afforded to ordinary residents. However, it confers an additional obligation on you. You will need to maintain Civil Rights and Political Freedoms of at least "Good" to be a Member of Congress, while being an ordinary resident only requires CR and PF of "Average".
That seems a little unfair. What if I don't have those kind of stats?
The requirements are an in-character way of doing a quality check on our members. Since we as a region are dedicated to the advancement of democracy and civil liberties, we expect our member nations to uphold them. Resident nations who refuse to risk being ejected from the region.
But, if you need any help getting to that mark, Ratateague has a some helpful resources for you in his "Center for Nations Who Can't Lead Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too". The Minister of Justice is rather cooperative with nations who need to get their cards in line and will only authorise ejections for those who flagrantly refuse to even try. If you really want to stay, the MoJ will give you every opportunity to allow you to do so.
I'm a World Assembly member. Am I supposed to give endorsements to anyone?
Unlike many other large regions, the DSA has no policy on WA endorsements. You can choose to give and receive them as you please, with almost no limit on how many you can get. The only thing to be aware of is to not get so many endorsements as to usurp the Delegate, who is elected every 75 days in a separate process from endorsements and then given endorsements to raise them to the position in-game. If you somehow manage to usurp the democratically-elected Delegate, you risk being (temporarily) ejected by the Founder so as to restore the rightful delegate to power.
Other than that, there are no rules. You can endorse anyone for any reason and actively seek endorsements if you like. However, endorsing the current Delegate is advisable, as it makes the delegacy more secure against potential invaders. In addition, endorsing the Delegate effectively gives you two votes on WA resolutions: your personal vote and one of the Delegate's votes resulting from your endorsement. As an extra bonus, the Delegate's votes are directed not by their personal opinions on resolutions, but on the collective opinion of the DSA as a whole.
How do I get a slice of that map?
If you are a Member of Congress, all you need to do is stake a claim on our regional map. Just keep it reasonable and our glorious Minister of Role Play will be happy to oblige. (^_^ )
It should be noted that the MoRP has the authority to refuse a claim if s/he deems it to be unreasonable. A country the size of Corpshire Alliance or Pisces meridian will do for most nations. If you want to get anything larger, you'll need some justification for it. Epicion is a maritime empire, while Kandorith is the same on land; Suceavija and his Commonwealth of Nations are a psuedo-empire of puppet states. If you don't have a backstory that justifies a large claim like them, don't ask for anything ridiculously large.