by Max Barry

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by The Dichromatic Mechanism of August. . 661 reads.

NationStates Encyclopedia [REF]

Last updated on Tuesday February 6th, 2018. If you find this dispatch helpful, please upvote.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Requests

The following is a list of commonly-encountered terms from around the site that may not be immediately obvious to new or less-informed players. Please direct any questions to August.


ADMINISTRATOR: The highest-ranking site staff, in charge of writing code for new features and maintenance. They include Site Admin [violet], whose nation (if any) is unknown; Game Admins Ballotonia, Eluvatar, SalusaSecondus, and Pythagosaurus; and Forum Admin Reploid Productions. The nation Testlandia, which is used jointly by the site staff as a test bed, is labeled as a Game Admin.

ANTIQUITY: Founding date listed for any nation created before December 2003. Prior to this date, NationStates did not track founding dates. This is also used as a general term for the time period from November 2002, when the game launched, to December 2003.

Antiquity is also the name of the site theme used from November 2002 to January 2011. It was replaced by the Century theme.

API: Short for "Application Programming Interface." In terms of NationStates, it is essentially a data feed that allows player-created scripts to interact with the site. It is frequently used for automatic telegram programs and data-collection sites like NSDossier.

APRIL FOOLS' DAY: Annual event celebrated on NationStates, often with temporary coded features. Past events have included a population reset (2004), a shutdown of the site by "Homeworld Security" (2005), the "NationDates" dating service (2006), Regional Moderators and the Most Likely to be Deleted census (2007), the change from the UN to the WA (2008), the LinkNintendo DS port of NationStates (2009), the LinkLiberal and LinkConservative themes (2010), a mass-hacking hoax (2011), an Initial Public Offering (2012), a zombie apocalypse (2013), the ByteCoin exchange (2014), a Cards Against NationStates minigame (2015), the WA Secretary-General election (2016), and the nuclear war (2017). Some events have also included subforums, which are archived here.

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BANJECT: Simultaneously banning and ejecting a nation. Requires Influence.

BAN: In gameplay, barring a nation from entering or reentering a region, as well as posting on that region's RMB via embassy. A nation can only be banned if it exists, and if it appears on the Regional Happenings list or has posted on the RMB in the past. The banned nation can be unbanned by any nation with Border Control powers. Bans can be viewed on a region's Region Admin page. Each region is limited to two hundred banned nations at any one time, and any particular nation's bans expire shortly after that nation ceases to exist.

A ban can also be levied on a player by a moderator. This could be a forum ban, a Regional Message Board ban, or a telegram ban. These bans are in response to egregious rule-breaking through one of those mediums, and expire after a set amount of time. It is important to note that unlike a regional ban, a moderator ban applies to all a player's nations, not just one.

BANNER: The slideshow images displayed at the top of nation pages. The banner selection can be modified by hovering over the banner and following the "Choose Banners" link. New banners are unlocked by achieving various national attributes. Custom banners, which are player-uploaded images, are unlocked at populations of 50 million, 200 million, 1 billion, 10 billion, and 20 billion.

BBCODE: Formatting codes used on phpBB forums, such as the NationStates forum. A special kind of BBCode called NSCode is present everywhere on the site, except the forum. Examples of BBCodes include:

[b] = Bold
[i] = Italics
[u] = Underline
BORDER CONTROL: Authority to eject and ban nations, or password regions.

BONEYARD: Page used to find old nations, located here. The Boneyard was introduced after the 2011 Name Release, and continues to function as the most reliable way to check the status of dead nations. Details given include when a nation was founded and ceased to exist, when previous incarnations were founded and ceased to exist (if any), whether it can be refounded by a new player, and if not, what criteria it fails to meet.

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CAMPAIGN: Can refer to several things. WA campaigns consist of telegrams sent to delegates, or WA members in general, in an attempt to promote or attack a proposal or resolution at vote. These telegrams must be specially marked as campaign telegrams.

Endorsement or unendorsement campaigns are usually telegram-based, and are meant to convince WA members in a particular region to endorse or unendorse a specific nation, respectively.

A campaign can also be any attempt to gather support for a nation's run at political office in a region.

CATCHER: An infrequently-used term for The Rejected Realms, due to the fact that it "catches" nations that have been ejected. The term is parallel to Feeder or Sinker.

CEASE TO EXIST: The fate of nations that have not been logged into for 28 consecutive days. This timeline is extended to 60 days for nations with Vacation Mode enabled. Nations that have ceased to exist due to inactivity can no longer be viewed, but their owners may recover them at any time by logging in and following the prompts.

The term "ceased to exist" can also refer to nations that have been deleted for rule-breaking. These nations may never be recovered. It is more common to refer to such nations as simply "deleted."

CENTURY: Site theme used from January 2011 to February 2015.

CIVIL HEADQUARTERS: Former name for the Regional Message Board, under the Antiquity theme. It was frequently called the Regional Message Board at the time, although that name was never used officially until its adoption in the Century theme.

CIVIL RIGHTS: One of three major World Census categories on nation pages, along with Economic Efficiency and Political Freedom, and one of the three freedom categories, along with Economic Freedom and Political Freedom. It is affected by most issues pertaining to personal freedoms.

CHALLENGE: Mini-game added for NationStates' 10th birthday, located here, and accessible from nation pages. The game allows players to compare their nations on a randomly-selected list of statistics, with the winner receiving points that contribute to a worldwide ranking.

CHASING: A type of defending that involves preventing tags. When chasing, a group of defenders cross-endorse, then watch the Reports page to spot tag raids in progress. Upon sighting one, they all move to the target region.

CHQ: See Civil Headquarters.

CLASS REGION: Region specifically designated for use by a school class. For more information, see here.

CLASSIFICATION: Government type assigned by the World Assembly. Classifications are based on political freedom, economic freedom, and civil rights, each of which can be low, medium, or high.

COMMENDATION: Type of resolution contained by the Security Council. A commendation places a blue and gold image on the page of the target nation or region.

COMPARE: Predecessor to the Rank feature added in 2016. It continues to function, and is located here. It allows players to create side-by-side comparisons of any nations, up to a certain limit, in any statistical category.

CONDEMNATION: Type of resolution contained by the Security Council. A condemnation places a black and orange image on the page of the target nation or region.

CRASHING: See Raiding.

CROSS-ENDORSING: A group of World Assembly member nations all endorsing each other.

CTE: See Cease To Exist.

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DEAT: Slang term for "delete," when referring to the deletion of a nation by a moderator. The origins are unclear, but it probably began as a corruption of the word "death." It is not an acronym.

DEFENDING: In the context of military gameplay, moving World Assembly member nations into a region en masse to endorse either a defender nation or the native delegate, for the purpose of preventing a raid. There have been many organizations dedicated to defending over the course of history. Frequently, they are differentiated by their motivations. Some defending organizations are "moralists" (ie, they defend because they believe it is right), while others defend strictly for enjoyment.

DELEGATE: Representative of a region before the World Assembly. The delegate of a region is the nation with the most endorsements in that region when it updates. When voting on resolutions in the World Assembly, their number of endorsements is added onto their individual vote, which gives major delegates significant power over the result. Delegates also have the power to approve proposals.

The delegate of a region is also important in political and military gameplay, especially raiding and defending. The position may have executive authority if the founder has allowed it or is absent from the region for any reason. In this case, the delegate's power over the region is limited only by influence.

DELETE ON SIGHT: The most severe level of punishment used by the moderation team. When a player is declared Delete On Sight, all their nations are deleted, and any nations they create in the future will be deleted upon discovery. Occasionally, Delete On Sight players are also IP-banned from the site, but due to the imprecise and changing nature of IP addresses, this is not always a deterrent.

DOS: See Delete On Sight.

DISCORD: Offsite chat platform used by regions and organizations in NationStates as a more private and flexible alternative to the Regional Message Board. Its use became widespread in 2016, largely supplanting platforms like Skype and IRC.

DISPATCH: Pages written by a player for any purpose. Common subjects include news posts, policy announcements, and reference articles like this one. They are attached to a specific nation, are visible through that nation's Dispatch tab, and may be formatted with NSCodes. A list of all dispatches can be found here.

DOSSIER: List of nations and regions kept by a player for the purposes of intelligence or quick access. Every nation has an individual dossier, which is capable of storing 2500 nations and regions, and players can upload and download text files containing the names. Dossiers can be used for recruiting, by recording nations that have received a telegram; military intelligence-gathering, by tracking known R/D puppets; or accessibility, because the first twenty nations and regions in a dossier are displayed when mousing over the Dossier button.

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EASTER EGG: Special issue unlocked by secret criteria. Unlike normal issues, each one can only be received once by any particular nation, but receiving all of them over time is possible. Upon receiving its first Easter Egg, a nation gains the Easter Egg trophy, which is placed next to the Founder and Supporter trophies, if applicable. The color of the trophy varies depending on the number of Easter Eggs received.

ECONOMIC FREEDOM: One of the three World Census freedom categories, along with Political Freedom and Civil Rights. It is not the same as Economic Efficiency, and is not displayed on nation pages.

ECONOMY: One of three major World Census categories on nation pages, along with Civil Rights and Political Freedom. It is more correctly known as Economic Efficiency, and it is not the same as Economic Freedom. The category is based on Average Income, Business Subsidization, Population, and potentially other categories.

EJECT: In gameplay, forcibly removing a nation from a region. This action can be taken by any nation with Border Control powers. Ejections from any one region are limited to one per second.

EMBASSY: An in-game connection between two regions. A region's embassy regions, if any, will be listed under its World Factbook Entry, and embassy openings and closures are recorded on both regions' History pages. Nations in regions connected by embassies can post on the other region's RMB, if the appropriate setting is enabled on the Region Control page by a nation with Embassies authority.

ENDO: See Endorsement.

ENDO-CAP: An artificial limit placed on the number of endorsements that nations can have, usually by their region's government. Endo-caps are not a game function, so to enforce such policies, regional officials usually telegram nations that have exceeded the number, eject those nations from the region, or both. Most of the time, endo-caps are put in place to prevent nations from replacing the delegate.

ENDO-SWAP: For a nation to endorse all or most of a region's WA member nations, in an effort to gain endorsements in exchange. This method may be accompanied by telegrams or RMB posts asking for endorsements.

ENDO-TART: See Endo-Swap.

ENDORSEMENT: A display of support from one nation to another. Endorsements can only be exchanged between two World Assembly member nations residing in the same region. They have a number of gameplay effects, including the determination of each region's delegate, and an increased rate of influence gain for the receiving nation.

EXECUTIVE: A permission in Region Control that allows a founder or delegate (where applicable) to appoint, dismiss, and modify Regional Officers. An executive founder can also change the executive status of their region's delegate at no cost.

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F&NI: Commonly-used initialism for the Factbooks and National Information subforum.

F7: Commonly-used initialism for the Forum 7 subforum.

FACTBOOK: Pages written by a player for the purpose of showcasing specific aspects of their nation, such as its culture, military, or government. They are attached to the publishing nation, are visible through its Factbook tab, and may be formatted with NSCodes. A list of all factbooks can be found here.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the site, located here.

FEATURED REGION: A randomly-selected region displayed on the World page and changed daily. To be chosen, a region must have at least five nations and no password.

FEEDER: A founderless region in which new nations are created. These regions, which were created by the game in Antiquity, include The Pacific (the first public region ever created), The West Pacific, The East Pacific, The North Pacific, and The South Pacific.

FORUM: Generally, a structured, online communication platform. In context, the term usually refers to the game's onsite forum, located Linkhere. Regions and other organizations frequently have their own offsite forums for various purposes.

FOUND: Creating a nation or region. Usually this implies doing so for the first time with a particular name. Otherwise, "refound" is used.

FOUNDER: The player credited with the founding of a region. This can also refer to the nation used to found that region. Founders were introduced in 2003, at which time regions were given the option of selecting a nation as their founder. Some user-created regions formed prior to that date are still in existence without founders.

FOUNDERLESS: In gameplay, any region without a founder. This is usually because the founder has ceased to exist, but there are several regions that were created before the introduction of founders in 2003, and survive to this day. Game-Created Regions also fall under this category.

FT: See Future Tech.

FUTURE TECH: A roleplay term referring to nations that exist in the future and rely on highly advanced technology, such as vehicles capable of deep space travel.

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GA: See General Assembly.

GAME-CREATED REGION: Any region that is built into NationStates, as opposed to user-created regions. Game-created regions include the Feeders, Sinkers, and Warzones, and they cannot be passworded or refounded. Because they have no founders, they are controlled by their delegates. They make up a very small percentage of the world's overall number of regions, but typically contain about a third of all nations.

GAMEPLAY: Area of the game concerned primarily with regions. Gameplay encompasses R/D, regional politics and conflict, and community-building. This term also refers to the subforum of the same name, located here.

GCR: See Game-Created Region.

GE&T: Commonly-used initialism for the Global Economics and Trade subforum.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY: One chamber of the World Assembly. The General Assembly concerns itself with passing resolutions that affect each member nation in important areas like the environment, economics, or education. These resolutions cause minor changes to the statistics of member nations at the time of their passage.


GHR: See Getting Help Request.

GI: Commonly-used initialism for the Got Issues subforum.


GP: See Gameplay.

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IN CHARACTER: Refers to actions or statements by a fictional person, nation, or other entity, as opposed to the actual player controlling the character.

INVADING: See Raiding.

IC: See In Character.

II: Commonly-used initialism for the International Incidents subforum.


INFLUENCE: Regional Influence is an automatically-generated measure of how powerful a nation is in its region. It is only relevant in a gameplay sense, and has no impact on roleplay. It was established in 2006 as a way of mathematically determining which nations were native to a region, as opposed to outside invaders.

IRC: Short for "Internet Relay Chat." In the past, frequently used by regions and organizations in NationStates as a more private and flexible alternative to the Regional Message Board.

IRL: Short for "In real life."


ISSUE EDITOR: A player tasked with editing new issues for use in the game. For a player be selected by the moderation team as an Issue Editor, they must demonstrate a great deal of proficiency with writing issues and critiquing the drafts of others.

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MACRO: Back-end code that displays some variable information to the front-end viewer. In telegrams, the only available macro is %NATION%, which displays to the telegram recipient as their nation name. In issues, there are a large number of macros available, including @@NAME@@ (the name of the viewing nation), @@RANDOMNAME@@ (a randomized pairing of a first and last name), and many others.

MAJOR UPDATE: Update beginning at 0000 EST/EDT and ending at 0100 EST/EDT. Influence calculations, endorsement tallies, delegate switches, embassy completions, proposal and resolution events, CTEs, trophy checks, Residency increases, and population increases take place during this update.

MAX BARRY: Creator of the game. An Australian author, Max Barry has written a number of titles including Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon.

MINOR UPDATE: Update beginning at 1200 EST/EDT and ending at 1245 EST/EDT. Influence calculations, endorsement tallies, delegate switches, embassy completions, proposal and resolution events, and CTEs take place during this update.

MOD: See Moderator.

MODERATOR: A player who has been selected to enforce the rules of the site and/or the forum. Moderators are volunteers, not paid staff, and are permitted to participate as normal players. Forum moderators can warn and ban players for offenses occurring on the forum. Game moderators can warn and ban players for offenses on all areas of the site, delete nations, and perform a number of basic technical functions, such as re-synchronizing broken accounts.

MODERN TECH: A roleplay term referring to nations that exist in the present and rely on currently available technology.

MT: See Modern Tech.

MULTIING: The act of controlling more than one World Assembly member nation at a time. This is against site rules, and automatic detection methods are used to seek out such nations and ban them from the World Assembly. Players are permitted to apply for the World Assembly with an unlimited number of nations; this is not considered multiing, and in fact happens regularly. Multiing is impossible if a player only uses one email address for all their nations.

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NATIONSTATES: Political simulation game created in November 2002 by Max Barry to promote the novel Jennifer Government. There are many ways to participate on the site, mostly centering around emergent gameplay and player interaction.


NS: See NationStates.

NS++: A browser extension originally created by the former player Afforess, and now owned and maintained by the site staff. NS++, short for NationStates++, offered features not provided by the vanilla site, such as an automated recruiting tool and regional newspapers.

NSCODE: A modified form of BBCode that includes tags for nations, regions, proposals, resolutions, and Regional Message Board quotes.

NSDOSSIER: Offsite calculator for national and regional statistics created by the player NewTexas.

NSECONOMY: Offsite calculator for national and regional statistics created by the player Commerce Heights.

NSG: Commonly-used initialism for the NationStates General subforum.

NSTRACKER: Offsite calculator for national and regional statistics created by the player Assorro.

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ONE STOP RULES SHOP: Comprehensive list of site rules and moderator rulings, located here.

OOC: See Out Of Character.

OP: Short for Original Poster, the person who begins a forum thread. This can also mean Original Post, the first post in a forum thread.

ORIGINAL POSTER: The person who begins a forum thread.

OSRS: See One Stop Rules Shop.

OUT OF CHARACTER: Refers to actions or statements by an actual player, as opposed to any fictional characters they may control.

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P2TM: Commonly-used initialism for the Portal to the Multiverse subforum.


PAST TECH: A roleplay term referring to nations that exist in the past and rely on outdated technology, such as sail-powered vessels.

PMT: See Post-Modern Tech.



POPULATION: Number of citizens living in a nation. This number begins at five million for new nations, and the daily growth increases for several days before stabilizing at five to seven million citizens per day. Nations cannot lose population, nor can they set their own. Should a nation cease to exist, its population will flatline until it is revived.


POSTMASTER: Site supporter package that enables unlimited custom telegram folders of 100 telegrams each. Postmaster can be purchased from the Store.

POSTMASTER-GENERAL: Site supporter package that enables unlimited telegrams and includes 500 stamps. Postmaster-General can be purchased from the Store.

PRETITLE: Text string describing a nation's type, such as "United States," "Dictatorship," or "Constitutional Monarchy." Pretitles are always preceded by "The" and followed by "of." Once a nation achieves a [rul=#population]population[/url] of 500 million, they are able to set a custom pretitle with a character limit of 28.


PT: See Past Tech.

PUPPET: Any nation controlled by a player that they do not consider to be their main nation. These can exist for a wide range of purposes. It is likely that an enormous majority of the world's nations are puppets, and that main nations only make up a small portion of the total population.

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R/D: Frequently used term for the raiding and defending game.


RANK: A nation's position in a World Census for one of 81 different categories. A full list of categories with respective ranks for any nation is accessible from that nation's page.



REGION: Container for nations. All nations must be within exactly one region at all times. Regions have a World Factbook Entry and Regional Message Board, and can have a founder, a delegate, Regional Officers, tags, embassies, and polls.




REGIONAL POWER: A measure of a region's total influence relative to the total influence existing in the world. Ratings include Low (not displayed), Moderate, High, Very High, and Extremely High.



RMB: See Regional Message Board.

RO: See Regional Officer.



RP: See Roleplay.

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SC: See Security Council.







STORE: Page on the site allowing players to purchase site supporter packages like Supporter, Postmaster, and Postmaster-General, as well as telegram stamps.

SUPPORTER: Site supporter package that permanently reserves a nation name and removes ads from the site. Supporter can be purchased from the Store.

SUPPRESS: Hiding a post on a Regional Message Board. This can only be done by a Regional Officer with Communications authority. Suppressed posts can still be viewed by clicking a button in the right corner. Moderators can also suppress posts, which hides them permanently from the view of normal players.

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TECH LEVEL: Roleplay term referring to the chronological era in which a nation exists, and by extension, the most advanced technology available to that nation. These can include Past Tech, Future Tech, and others. Generally, nations will not roleplay with others well outside their tech level.



TG: See Telegram

THORN: In raiding, the tactic of briefly moving to a region other than the target to distract defenders.



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UCR: See User-Created Region.

UN: See United Nations.

UNITED NATIONS: Predecessor to the World Assembly. In 2008, the real United Nations sent a cease-and-desist letter to Max Barry, forcing him to rename the organization.

UPDATE: Event that occurs twice daily, at midnight (major) and noon (minor) Eastern time. During update, the game recalculates key nation statistics. Updates proceed one region at a time in a set order, as the nations in each region update individually.

USER-CREATED REGION: Any region that is founded by a nation, as opposed to game-created regions.

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VACATION MODE: A setting that extends a nation's maximum inactive time from 28 days to 60 and prevents the nation from receiving further issues. It can be enabled or disabled with a checkbox on the Settings page.


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WA: See World Assembly.

WAD: See Delegate.


WFE: See World Factbook Entry.


WORLD CENSUS: Rankings in 81 different categories, compiled by the game on a running basis. A different census is featured at random every day, but any census may be viewed at any time by going to a region page or the World page and selecting a category from the menu on the right. The rank of a specific nation may be viewed by going to that nation's Rank page and selecting a category.

WORLD FACTBOOK ENTRY: Section of informative text at the top of all region pages. World Factbook Entries frequently include links to offsite forums, lists of current officials, and regional descriptions or mottos. Dispatches can be pinned to the bottom of this section.

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ZOMBIES: Annual event celebrated on NationStates, which began with the 2013 April Fools' joke, but now takes place every Halloween.

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To request a new term, please visit this page, fill out the following form, and send.

Area of NS (RP, GP, etc): 
Submitted definitions will be reviewed and edited before publication. Specific nations, regions, and organizations will not be accepted as terms.

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Created by August. Do not reproduce, in whole or in part, without explicit permission.

The Dichromatic Mechanism of August