Lesson 1: The Basics!
If you're here, you're probably curious as to what raiding actually is, yes? Well, let's start with what the site itself says!
This describes things pretty well! As raiders, we move into regions, endorse each other, and take over the World Assembly delegacy. This gives us power over the region, making it ours to play with.
Raiding itself is fairly diverse, ranging from the rapid-fire movements of tag-raiding to the drawn-out piles of occupations. The first is more commonly seen than the second, simply due to needing less people and taking less time to plan out. Both exist, and are done, though!
On the flipside, there are defenders, whose goal is to keep raiders from, well, raiding anything. They have a couple ways of keeping an eye on suspicious activity, and they can and will be there to prevent your efforts. So watch out!
---Clearing the Waters
Lesson 2: Coming to Terms
Now that you have a decent grasp of what raiding is, as a whole, we'll go over a couple terms you'll see being used often!
Here, we'll explain several concepts that are important to raiding. First off, we have:
You probably already have a nation in The West Pacific, right? Aside from that, though, you'll probably want to create several puppets.
A puppet is, in short, a nation apart from your normal one. In the context of raiding, you'll use these puppets for actually moving into regions.
It's recommended to have at least 5-10 puppets at any time. To help make these, you can easily create puppets quickly using NS++
You'll also sometimes see the distinction between 'clean' and 'dirty puppets. The difference is simple: clean puppets are ones intended to be as innocuous as possible, and are usually used when you're trying to avoid attention, whereas dirty ones are pretty much anything else.
When actually trying to create a clean puppet, here are some things to note:
-Don't give it an obvious name, like 'Raider Puppet'. This should be pretty clear, but still worth pointing out!
-Move it into a fairly small, quiet region with no ties to raiding/defending. Keeping it in the Pacific that it spawns in works as well, but is not as useful.
Once a 'clean' puppet has been used, it is no longer clean. Defenders can easily track nations, once they know that they belong to a raider. Because of that, after any use, a clean puppet becomes dirty.
In practice, only one nation usually gets most of the endorsements in any given raid, to make things a bit less confusing to organise. This nation is referred to as the point, and is the nation that will take the delegacy in the end.
Since raiding revolves around taking over the delegacy of a region, it's important to note that the person who actually controls the region's WA seat is not something that changes immediately. In fact, it only changes twice a day, within a specific time range known as Update. This is further divided into two types- Major Update, which occurs between 12AM and approximately 1:30-2:00AM, EST; and Minor Update, which occurs between 12PM and approximately 1PM, EST. As a result, the majority of raiding activity is done within these timeframes.
Due to the way that Nationstates works as a site, each puppet can only be used once during any update. Thus, if you ever want to hit more than one target, you'll need to switch. This involves resigning from the WA in your current puppet and rejoining the WA on another puppet, thus allowing you to continue raiding.
This is made significantly faster if you prepare in advance. To set up a good switching puppet, follow these steps:
-Move it to The West Pacific's base of operations, From The End
-Go to the WA page and apply for the WA
Note that applying for the WA and joining it are separate things.
CAUTION: As per site rules, you can't have more than one nation in the WA at one time. So be careful that you always resign your WA membership before moving on to the next nation. It is highly recommended that you use the same email address for each puppet, since it makes tracking things much easier.
---What can I raid?
Lesson 3: Finding a Target
Now that you know the basic concepts of raiding, let's see what we can even raid in the first place.
There are a couple factors that play a role in figuring out whether or not a target is easily raidable.
This is the first and most important thing to look for. In order to have any control over a raided region, the WA Delegate needs to have the necessary powers.
To check this, you just need to take a look at the regional control page (example)
Near the top, you'll see the row with 'WA Delegate' in it. Look to the right of this. If you see 'Executive' in the target column, the region is a valid target! If not, raiders aren't able to do much.
Any region with a founder is less than ideal for raiding purposes. Because the founder has full power over a region, it's easy for them to eject any invading forces and revert the region to how it was.
Some regions are too big to be easily raided. This has less to do with the size itself, and more to do with the fact that larger regions tend to have powerful delegates. Keep in mind, in order to seize the delegacy, any raiding group will have to gather more endorsements than the sitting delegate. With a region like The North Pacific, where the delegate holds hundreds upon hundreds of endorsements, reaching the same level is nearly impossible.
---Updates and JPs
Lesson 4: Mechanics in depth!
We briefly touched on how update works, but let's go a bit deeper into it, shall we?
If you've been following along so far, you should know that update happens twice every day.
Aside from being when the delegacy changes, it's also the time when influence increases and nations disappear if they've been inactive for too long, among other things.
Additionally, everything is done in a certain order. If one region updates before another, it will update in that order during any update. Thus, it's possible to easily find out whether a region updates early or late within the update.
This brings us to the topic of Jump Points, or JPs. These are, more or less, regions that fall near the very end of update.
Not sure why this is important? Look back a little, to when it was noted that each puppet can only be used once per update? If it's sitting in a region, and that region updates, it's now unusable. Thus, we need a late-updating region to store our puppets in.
There's a wide variety of JPs out there, used by other r/d organisations, but The West Pacific's is From The End!
---Being in control
Lesson 5: Taking point!
So, you're on a raid, and you've been assigned to take the role of point. As you might remember, this means that everyone endorses you, and you're the one who becomes delegate.
Things go as planned, and now you're not sure what to do?
Worry not, being point is fairly simple, and goes as follows:
-Eject any defenders from the region
On occasion, you'll see defenders follow you into a region, in an attempt to block your efforts. At this point, you've already won, but you might as well rub some salt in the wounds by ejecting/banning them from the region!
-Go to the regional controls
The controls page is located near the top of any region's page, labelled 'Admin'.
-Dismiss any existing Regional Officers
These are nations that have some sort of power in the region. Since we don't want them messing with things, get rid of them! To the far right of their name, there should be a 'Modify' button. Click that, and you'll have the additional option of dismissing them entirely. Do this for any Officers that may be in the region.
-Appoint yourself as a Regional Officer
Again on the control page, you should see a button that says 'Appoint new Officer'. Click this, and a menu will slide out. Select your nation, and click 'Custom'. This will bring you to a new screen, where you can choose exactly which permissions you want. Select Appearance, Communications, Embassies, and Polls, and confirm.
Once you've done this, you're done for now! There's a bit more that should be done once the raid's done:
Now that you have some more time, it's time to put up The West Pacific's banner! Head back to the regional controls, and change the following:
-A World Factbook Entry will usually be given by the raid leader, to be pasted in. If not, a sample can be found here
-Change the flag to The West Pacific's
-Remove any existing tags, and add the 'Invader,' 'Defender,' and 'Anime' ones
-Close any existing embassies
And that's it! Not too bad, no?
NOTE: Using NS++ can cause situations where a pop-up blocks you from appointing an officer. For this reason, you'll probably want to temporarily disable it when raiding.
Lesson 6: Sowing Discord!
Since raiding requires fairly exact timing, it's impractical to hold raids over the forums, or through Nationstates itself. As a result, much of our operations are conducted elsewhere, through Discord.
Creating an account is simple enough! Everything's anonymous, including IPs and whatever else, so it's more or less 100% safe!
Set it to whatever you want, and join TWPAF's Discord Server!
Upon joining, be sure to ping @Yuno with your nation name, so proper maskings and permissions can be set.
Addendum: Making puppet management easier!
Creating puppets through NS's default nation creating is sometimes pretty slow. Luckily, there's a quicker option out there!
It comes in the form of a Chrome extension known as Nationstates++. This won't work for anything other than Chrome, unfortunately, but it's there for those who do have it.
NS++ adds a good many useful features to the site, but most important to us are the puppet-related ones.
After installing it, you'll see a 'Puppets' menu at the top right. You can add puppets there to easily switch back and forth between them, but what we're most interested in is the 'Create New Puppet Nations' option at the bottom of the menu. Click on that, and you'll be sent to NS++'s puppet creation screen! Just fill in the fields, set From The End as your destination region, and you're set. Even better, you have the option to automatically generate a WA application email, so your puppet is more or less immediately able to be used! Create 20 puppet nations.
If you don't have access to Chrome or don't want to install the extension, don't worry. It's completely optional, and just a way of making puppets easier to manage!
[b][color=red][region]The West Pacific[/region] Armed Forces has taken this region while hunting for marsupials![/color]
We have come to take all of your [i][color=saddlebrown]chocolate[/color][/i] as tribute to the mighty [nation=short]darkesia[/nation]![/b]
<insert TWPAF troops here>
[b][region]The West Pacific[/region][/b]
[b][color=red]"Where the coffee is always fresh, the bar always open, and there is Karaoke every Friday!"[/color][/b]
[b][url=http://www.westpacific.org/forums/index.php?/topic/1994-twpaf-military-application/]Join us in the conquest of all the chocolate of NationStates![/url][/b]
---Sample tag 2
👤👤👤 [B]Your region was raided by sneaky lil' [color=#000000]ninjas[/color] from [url=https://www.nationstates.net/region=the_west_pacific][color=C70000]The West Pacific Armed Forces![/color][/url] 👤👤👤
We have come to take all of your 🍫[i][color=#6D2A00]chocolate[/color][/i]🍫 as tribute to the mighty [nation=short]darkesia[/nation]![/b]
<insert TWPAF troops here>
[b][url=https://www.nationstates.net/region=the_west_pacific][color=C70000]The West Pacific[/color][/url]
[i]"Where the[/i] ☕[color=#6D2A00][i]coffee[/i][/color]☕[i] is always fresh,[/i] 🍺[color=#FFAE00][i]the bar's[/i][/color]🍺 [i]always open, and there is [/i]🎶🎤[color=#00B2FF][i]Karaoke[/i][/color]🎤🎶 [i]every Friday!"[/b][/i]
Credits go to TWPAF Lt Lady Satsuki