I don't want to blow your mind but we just added Issue number ONE FREAKING THOUSAND. That's right: Your nation may now encounter any of 1,000* different dilemmas that ask you to make an ideological choice between a set of flawed options.
* Actually 1,001, since the first issue is #0.
I'll be honest with you: I didn't see this coming. After I wrote the first 31, I thought that was plenty. "That's all the major topics covered, Max," I told myself. "You nailed it." The fact that we now have an additional 970 issues is because an often-changing team of volunteer authors and editors decided there were actually more areas to explore, and attacked them with tireless good humor and ingenuity.
Hundreds of different people have written or edited an issue, and over two dozen are in the double digits for issue contributions. It's impossible to thank anyone in particular without ignoring someone else who equally deserves it, but I do want to acknowledge three people in particular who we couldn't have reached this milestone without: Sirocco, who was the editing team in the early days, Sedgistan, who remodeled and championed it as a professional organization, and Candlewhisper Archive, who runs it today.
Thank you to everyone who contributed an issue, even if you submitted an issue that didn't quite make the cut. And if you've simply enjoyed the end result of what the editing team produces, thank you for that! Authors and editors need readers, too.
P.S. Cards are still coming.
Okay! Obviously card trading was supposed to reopen by now. I did slightly overestimate how much card-based work it was possible to accomplish in one week, following two other weeks that were also full of card-based work. Thanks to those of you patiently waiting.
We're still a little way off being ready to re-open trading, but this post is to share current thinking about the plan. Confirmed/definitely intended features include:
One loot box per nation every 48 hours
Greatly reduced likelihood of drawing the card of a nation from the same region
Direct trading of cards between nations
Greater snipability of low-value transactions (discussion below)
No ex-nation cards in loot boxes
When a nation ceases to exist, its deck will also cease to exist (after a period of time)
Deck size limited but expandable by spending bank
The ability to group cards together in "Collections" for display purposes
A browsable global marketplace
A range of upgrades to the interface and underlying mechanics
There are also some more ambitious longer-term ideas, but one step at a time. Some of the above will be live from when we re-open trading and others will come in as development time allows over future months.
All About Puppets
The trickiest question has been how to handle puppet farming. This is when a player controls many nations and uses them to collect cards and funnel good ones to their "main." I actually think the first part is fine: It doesn't matter if someone wants to use multiple nations to build multiple decks. It's the second part, where they sell good cards to their main for next to nothing, that threatens to become corrosive over time, because in that case, it's less like the person is building multiple decks, and more like they're building one deck by earning cards at a faster rate than everyone else. That's problematic in a trading game where your position is impacted by others' holdings.
For mini-games like this, it's often suggested that we limit it to World Assembly nations, where a one-nation-each rule is enforced. But many people have good reasons for not wanting to join the WA, which shouldn't exclude them from other parts of NationStates.
The real challenge is to discourage puppet farming without unduly interfering with real communities exchanging cards amongst themselves. Because an important part of the fun of deck building, I think, is that you can offer special deals or gifts to people you know. We could eliminate puppet farming by forcing all trades to be conducted at current market prices, but this would also eliminate elements of trust, friendship, and co-operation, leaving us with a more economically fair but less interesting game.
Essentially: You should be able to offer a good card for cheap or even free to someone you know, because that's how communities work. But puppet farms should not easily stream their cards to a single owner.
To deliver this, we're doing two things. Firstly, direct trading will allow you to nominate a particular nation to exchange with (or gift to), with a bank fee involved. This makes it accessible for most nations, but less viable for puppets, who don't normally accumulate much bank, and will be disproportionately affected since they want to gift every good card they find. Secondly, to create a window of time that allows sniping of open market-based transactions, to reduce the ability to "sell" a valuable card for nothing to yourself.
That's it for now, and thanks again for your patience!
Got feedback? Forum: Discussion thread!
Each year, my primary goal for the April Fools event is to create something that will not make people go, "Well, that was disappointing." It's also nice if we can explore community dynamics or encourage people to explore their own morality or whatever, but most of all I want to not spend a lot of time building something that sucks.
Often it's hard to tell whether we've achieved that goal. But this year we did! A lot of people had a lot of fun with it, including me. And there were plenty of interesting stories and dramas and different people and communities reacted to the cards in different ways.
I'm glad I decided to make the cards pointless. At first, I was thinking they would be part of some kind of point-scoring game, where you would want to collect particular cards because they did something. But it was actually much better as an undefined, nebulous thing, much like NationStates itself, where people developed and pursued their own goals.
But we do like stats here! So I have some of those anyway:
As per the previous news post, cards trading will remain frozen for the next week, and there will be a future announcement on how they will work as a permanent site feature.
And that's another April! Phew. Thanks for being a part of it, and of NationStates in general. It's always deeply rewarding to me to throw out something simple and watch people evolve and adapt it in unexpected ways, and that's been this place for more than 15 years now. It's awesome. Thank you.
Trading is almost over! So far, three million cards have been found, 1.7 million cards are in circulation, and nations have made 150,000 trades.
But it can't go on forever!
Card trading ends in:
At this time:
Loot boxes will cease to be available
Cards will no longer be able to be bought, sold, or junked
Your cards and decks will remain visible. We'll also post some stats and links to interesting decks.
This has been a particularly fun event and many people have asked whether the cards can stick around. The answer is: Yes! In some form.
What we'll do is have a week where all trading and looting will remain frozen, to give everyone a chance to eat/sleep/reconnect with loved ones/reflect on their life choices, and us a chance to figure out some details about how it should work. Then we'll re-open in retooled form, with a much lower card generation rate (perhaps one loot box per day) and a few changes aimed at making this a more permanent but less frenzied part of the NationStates experience.
Here at NationStates Industries, we're always striving to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
As such, we're excited to announce a deck of trading cards made up of NationStates nations! You can begin collecting right now, using our advanced Loot Box Technology, which combines all the thrills and neurological reward systems you love of gambling with a clever new twist, where you don't pay real money!
Trade cards on the open market to get the ones you want. Or junk them for a small amount of bank, which you can spend on opening loot boxes faster in a deliciously cyclical dopamine adventure of psychological addiction!
Some people may ask what the point is of collecting these cards. Those people sound like losers who own no cards. Maybe you want to collect a full region. Maybe you want to drive up the value of your own card. Maybe you want to fill the gaping void in your life with some kind of meaning, even if it's virtual card-based. I don't know. But I do know we have sweet cards!
Available Only for the First Week of April 2018!
Open Loot Boxes
These unlock automatically over time. Keep checking your Deck page.
Keep, Junk, or Sell your cards
Tap the top flag area on a card to reveal options: Junk, Sell, or Buy. Junk a card to instantly earn a small amount of bank, which can be used to purchase cards you want from other players, or to open more loot boxes faster. Keep the card or sell it on the open market!
Several changes to World Census scales came out of beta today and are going live as I write this, so if you're wondering why some of your numbers look different, that's why!
Beta 002B affecting Scientific Advancement and Primitiveness
Beta 003 affecting Workforce Participation
Beta 007 affecting Corruption and Integrity
Beta 009 affecting Authoritarianism
Beta 011 which introduces Average Disposable Income
Beta 013 affecting a minority of nations across a variety of scales
As mentioned, the World Census people have been fooling around with numbers and models lately.
Before the change, nations who added chemicals to their water supply, such as synthetic EDTA, poison, or neurostimulants, would receive an inappropriate huge boost to Recreational Drug Use. This was sub-optimal because the ranking is meant to track the fondness of citizens for recreational drugs, not the level of chemicals in their bloodstream.
Because we hadn't separated those two things before, one step in correcting the problem was to flip across nations we had erroneously labelled as "compulsory drug use" onto an equivalent mirror score. This allows us to accurately measure the degree of freedom citizens enjoy with regard to recreational drugs, so that any legislation you pass in the future will move your ranking accordingly.
Unfortunately, the correction meant translating some nations from a very high score (maximum mandatory drug use) to a very low one (maximum restriction on drugs). The worst thing is that the "No Drugs" policy may even appear as a result of this new stat position! But this will disappear as soon as you make even a single pro-drug decision.
This is a messy fix in the short term, and no doubt something of a shock for those that were riding high thanks to an exploit they were probably unaware of, as well as a pleasant surprise to those that find their position is improved.
Change can be shocking sometimes, but we're aiming to keep improving the simulation, and more changes will be around the corner. Keep an eye on the Beta page for more incoming shifts!
The World Census is a secretive organization. That's because when you rank nations, someone's always going to be unhappy about where you put them. That can be an issue when that someone leads a large, warmongering nation.
Sure, there are also rumors about their involvement in paranormal rituals. But personally I don't believe there's any direct evidence connecting that to the rise of the undead every year. Those are just wild conspiracy theories.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that only a privileged few get a peek inside the World Census at the inner workings. But that's changing! There is now a way to preview of forthcoming World Census model changes and provide feedback. The idea is to help the World Census road-test changes before they actually go live, if you're interested in that kind of thing.
This page will also serve as a historical record of model changes.
So if you're particularly wonky when it comes to World Census rankings, and don't believe that nonsense about secret rites, take a look and share your thoughts!
Did you know? On November 13, 2002, NationStates was born. Also Iraq agreed to abide by UN Security Council Resolution #1441, which totally prevented the Second Gulf War, and Eminem released the seminal single "Lose Yourself."
Back in 2002, nations could receive any of 30 issues, after which they began to repeat, and people would post, "Why aren't there more issues?" Because I'm not a superman, that's why. I can't do everything. Fortunately, today we have a team of superpeople, a.k.a Issue Editors, who have taken your contributions and pushed that number over 850.
Our other team of superpeople is the moderators. Since I started keeping track (11 years ago), they've handled more than 200,000 help requests as well as making countless posts in the forum. We wouldn't be here without them.
Or without you! Thank you for being a part of NationStates, whether you're a newcomer or one of those people who have been gently tending to your nation(s) for over a decade. I'm amazed every day by this place and it's usually in a good way.
I'm pleased to announce a new way for leaders to keep an eye on what their nations are up to: Policies!
It had come to my attention that sometimes leaders could find it challenging to recall exactly whether they had enacted capital punishment, or passed universal health care, or started burning witches, or whatever. You're busy people. You do a lot of stuff. And sometimes laws have unexpected consequences; for example, you might be cracking down on shady business practices and not notice that you've totally outlawed capitalism.
Now you can check! All nation pages now have a Policies icon linking to a new page that lists major policies currently in force in that nation.
In addition, when you answer an issue, you'll be told if that creates or cancels any major new policies.
Not every decision you make is recorded in this way, but it should allow you to more reliably track the big ones.
Congratulations! The zombie menace has been defeated! Mostly because the zombies died of starvation after running out of survivors to feast upon! Still: A win is a win!
The undead were a lot more dangerous this time around, with advanced Hordes pushing worldwide survival numbers down to 20.4%, the lowest in years. So if you made it through, well done! It was even more of an accomplishment than usual.
There were so many stories of struggle during Z-Day, and so many impressive efforts, it seems unfair to single any out. So take a look at this leaderboard!
Almost a thousand regions employed emergency measures to close their borders at some point during Z-Day. But many more kept them open, taking in refugees, despite the risk of infiltration and infection.
Thank you for helping to defeat the undead scourge this year. Happy Halloween!
This is an emergency message from the safe underground gnome bunker:
Despite an unusually dangerous working environment, the WA administrative complex (World Census Department) has arrived at a protocol for the mysteriously annual undead infection. Many tireless (and very nearly fearless) gnomes are facing peril to bring you this information:
And, for the sake of those studying how the infection works and when mortality begins, we have one more WA Census:
The Most Zombified (A Percentage scale)
As always, the World Assembly is happy to separately index statistics by region as well as for the world at large.
Please be advised that under today's perilous and rapidly changing conditions, the exact ordering of nations will change faster than our gnomes can keep up. (In other words, while the number displayed for each nation should always be accurate, the ordering of nations by each census will be updated periodically, not live.) Our prayers are with you, Leaders.
By now, veteran nations should be used to the dead rising to feast on the living each year around October 31. In fact, we've gotten this down to such a fine art, we know exactly when it will begin:
Zombie apocalypse begins in:
I can't tell you how we know that. Let's just say we have a lab here with a bunch of clocks and corpses.
What normally happens is that vigilant regions close their borders and have a small but heroic minority of nations research a cure, while less vigilant regions are overrun by shambling nightmares. After a while, 75-80% of the world population is dead.
We expect that basic template to hold again this year, but with a disturbing new twist. In the past, nations researching a cure could level up increasingly powerful Cure Missile superweapons, and those fighting the undead hand-to-hand could level up Tactical Zombie Elimination Squads, but the infected themselves were limited to basic Hordes. Our clock-and-corpse-based testing reveals that is no longer the case! Instead, the undead are able to evolve into more dangerous forms.
Of particular concern is the intelligence of some of the more advanced Hordes. Normally, zombies simply run around biting people. That's your standard undead behavior. Some of these smarter zombies, however, appear able to target command & control structures, turning a nation from a cure researcher or exterminator into an exporter of the undead.
We definitely don't want advanced Hordes rampaging around creating a situation where an exponential number of nations are infected at the control level and start spewing out ever-more zombies. That would be bad. So watch out for that.
What You Need to Know
The zombie apocalypse will begin (click for local time)
It will run for 32 hours, ending
Zombies move between nations in the same region. This makes it important to be aware of what your neighbors are doing, as will be difficult for an individual nation to hold out in a heavily infected region. Each region will report its infection rate so that residents can make an informed choice about which are relatively safe and which are basically pools of pandemic-level z-virus.
You have three options:
Exterminate the zombies with military force. This converts them into dead citizens, who pose no further risk to the living. It is very effective when you have lots of survivors and few zombies, and less effective when your military forces have mostly been eaten. This year, better anti-Z weaponry promises that exterminators will be more effective than ever.
Research a cure, which helps to lower your region's infection rate. Enough nations working together can slow or stop the spread of zombies and even begin to turn infected back into survivors. However, this takes time.
Embrace the zombie hordes, becoming part of the problem as you spread zombies all around your region. This option isn't for everyone. But there's always someone.
Your nation may also unlock superweapons over time. Once built, they can be manually deployed against targets of your choice by visiting their nation page and hitting the appropriate button.
Exterminating zombies develops Tactical Zombie Elimination Squads, who can enter other nations and kill zombies there.
Researching a cure develops Cure Missiles, which can be launched at other nations in order to convert zombies into survivors.
Embracing the undead develops Hordes, which can surge into other nations and infect their survivors.
Superweapons can be deployed every 20 seconds. If you take a hit from a superweapon, the resulting chaos makes your own superweapon unavailable for a few minutes.
During Z-Day, Founders and Delegates can close their region's borders at no Influence cost, sealing themselves off the from the world, and the bleating cries of nations seeking refuge. I'm not judging that. I mean, it seems pretty harsh. You're just sitting there watching millions of people die. But zombie apocalypses demand tough choices.
The Z-Day Tally Board will track progress during Z-Day. Good luck!
For nine years, Regional Message Board posts just scrolled off into the void, to be lost forever. One day, we thought, "Wait... what if that didn't happen?" Thus was born the ability of an RMB to hold more than ten posts.
Today, a mere six years later, I am happy to unveil another great technological leap forward!
No longer must perfectionist writers leave a string of self-deleted posts in their wake! Now you can hit that Edit button and correct embarrassing typos or gross factual inaccuracies before anyone notices.
Your words are important. Other nations should tremble at them. Or be moved. Sometimes comforted. It depends on the situation. The point is: important.
That's why we're making it easier to send your words out into the world, where people can rightfully tremble at them, or be moved or comforted or whatever. Most places you write words now comes with a little toolbar like this:
That provides handy insertion of formatting tags like bold, italics, underline, and links to nations and regions. Additionally:
There are keyboard shortcuts (including for preview).
Your unsent posts are automatically saved as drafts and restored when you come back.
Admire a raft of small cosmetic enhancements.
One important change is how the @ key works. Previously, you would stick @ on the start of a nation name and hope that at some point it would convert into [nation] tags to make it linkable. Now it happens in real-time, so @ followed by a few letters will trigger auto-complete, allowing you to select the nation or region you want with the arrow keys or a click or tap.
If you ignore auto-complete and keep typing, the @ won't do anything any more. So the good news is you no longer have to worry about @ transforming into tags when you didn't mean for it to do so. For those times when you do want to quickly apply [nation] tags to a name without using auto-complete, there's the new editor toolbar and the accompanying keyboard shortcuts.
[nation] Tag Defaults
Another significant change is that [nation] now defaults to the short version of a nation name. For example, "[nation]Testlandia[/nation]" now becomes Testlandia, not The Hive Mind of Testlandia. You can still use either, specifying what you want with variants such as [nation=long], [nation=short], and [nation=long+noflag]. But if you don't, you get the shorter name.
Unfortunately this is also a retroactive change, which means that some posts and dispatches that relied on the default without specifying it will have changed. I'm sorry for that; it was unavoidable.
As always, please report bugs in the Technical forum. And expect more improvements in this area in the future, like more tag support when editing dispatches! Because your words matter.
Thank you for nuking! N-Day2 has now concluded. I hope you came through relatively radiation-free.
Well done also to UPPERCUT of various Pacifics, who provided close competition with 113,844 points.
A few more stats to come! In the meantime, enjoy this fun fact:
Update: Here is your permanent detailed archive with more stats.
Top score with 0 radiation: Forest
Update 2: The NS Index N-Day2 write-up is up!
Nuclear war is hotter than it's been in years! So in celebration/defiance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests on August 29, we are holding a second NationStates N-Day!
Nuclear apocalypse begins in:
Click/tap here for your local time:
N-Day2 will run for 24 hours, after which time no further nuclear launches will be accepted.
Here's a handy primer!
N-Day is an opportunity for nations to come together and exchange nuclear weapons in a fiery Armageddon of mutually assured destruction.
Once N-Day begins, join a Faction. Nations outside a Faction can't attack or be attacked. You can join a Faction when you're ready and leave when you're not (to stay safe).
Watch your nation automatically generate Production at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes. Use it to build Nukes and Shield.
Launch Nukes at other nations and use Shield to shoot down Nukes that are launched at you.
The simplest way to play N-Day is to join whichever Faction seems most fun and start targeting Nukes at its enemies while shooting down anything incoming. Your Faction page's icon bar shows everything you need to know, including who's targeting anyone in your Faction, and who your fellow Faction members are targeting.
Attacking: Step by Step
On your Production screen, spend some of your Production to build Nukes. These go into your Stockpile.
On another nation's Nuke page, click/tap the TARGET button and select the number of Nukes to use.
Once Targeted, it takes 10 minutes for your Nukes to reach a READY state. Note that your Targeted page is public: All nations can see who is targeting whom.
When your Targeted Nukes are ready, click/tap LAUNCH.
Your Nukes are now categorized as Launches for you and Incoming for your target. Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. When they do, they earn Strikes for you and inflict Radiation on the target, which reduces their rate of Production. This also earns Score for your Faction and reduces the enemy Faction's Score.
Defending: Step by Step
On the Production screen, spend Production to build Shield.
Find Launched Nukes to destroy. Your top priority is any Incoming Nukes launched at you. Secondarily, you may wish to target Incoming Nukes on anyone in your Faction (see your Faction's Incoming page), and also keep an eye on Targeted Nukes that may threaten you or your Faction in the near future.
Click/tap DESTROY to deploy 1 Shield per Nuke.
Strategically, it may be wise to avoid attacks on nations or Factions until you are confident of obliterating them, since this eliminates the possibility of counter-attack. Smaller-scale attacks, which damage but don't destroy an enemy, can lead to an escalating series of grudge-related nuclear exchanges.
On the other hand, targeting an enemy can be an effective warning. And it takes Nukes 10 minutes to be ready to launch, so you can't leave it too late.
Each Nuke that reaches a target causes Radiation damage, which reduces the target's rate of Production generation and counts as a Strike for the attacker.
A Faction's Score is Strikes minus Radiation.
N-Day lasts for 24 hours, after which point, an Arms Control Agreement means that no Nukes can be launched. (In-flight nukes can still land, however.)
The "winner" is the Faction with the highest score; if, that is, nuclear war can be said to have a winner. Which we say it can. It's the Faction with the highest score.
Once N-Day begins, Factions can be founded by a Regional Officer of any region. Any and all Regional Officers of that region can update the Faction's official text to issue instructions to Faction members.
Factions can be made open to all members, or restricted to the region's members only.
You can leave your Faction, which is a good way to stay safe if you're signing off for the night. However, you can only do this if you're not engaged with the enemy! That means:
You must not have any nukes targeted or launched at another nation; and
No nukes can be targeted or incoming on you.
Note that in practice, this can make it challenging to leave a Faction, since you may be frequently targeted.
While outside a Faction, you cannot be targeted, and do not generate any Production.
Before joining, it's worth making sure a Faction isn't currently under mass bombardment.
Nations are randomly assigned a specialty.
Military Specialists build Nukes faster: They receive 50% more Nukes when converting Production.
Strategic Specialists build Shield faster: They receive 50% more Shield when converting Production.
Economic Specialists can accumulate more Production: Their cap is 200% higher.
Nations generate Production automatically at a rate of 1 Production per 2 minutes.
Production can be spent on Nukes or Shield.
If not spent, Production accumulates up to a maximum of 50 for Military and Strategic Specialists and 200 for Economic Specialists.
Nukes are purchased with Production, kept in stockpile until ready, then targeted and launched at an enemy nation.
Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. While in-flight, they can be shot down by any nation using Shield. If they're not, each Nuke generates 1% of Radiation in the target and earns 1 Strike for the attacker.
Shield can be used to knock out Launched Nukes. You can shoot down any in-flight Nukes regardless of who they are aimed at.
Locate in-flight Nukes under Launches or Incoming, and use the DESTROY button to eliminate them at a rate of 1 Shield per Nuke.
It is possible to waste Shield if multiple nations deploy Shield simultaneously to knock out the same Nukes.
Target a nation by viewing their Nuke page and clicking/tapping TARGET. You may then select how many Nukes to target from your Stockpile.
It takes 10 minutes for a Targeted Nuke to reach a READY state, after which it may be launched.
If not launched after 1 hour, Targeted Nukes automatically return to your Stockpile.
Radiation is generated in a nation when it is struck by a Nuke.
Radiation proportionately reduces a nation's Production generation rate. For example, 20% Radiation reduces Production generation by 20%.
When a nation is 100% Radiated, it is destroyed and no longer able to launch any Nukes nor use any Shield.
Radiation is irreversible.
You can leave a Faction when irradiated, but this does not affect your Faction's score.
A Faction's score measures strikes and radiation that occurred while those nations were a member. It is unaffected by nations joining or leaving the Faction.
Used to buy Nukes and Shield. Automatically generated by all non-destroyed nations in a Faction.
Unholy instrument of death and destruction.
A Nuke that has been purchased with Production and is sitting idle, awaiting a target.
A Nuke that has been targeted at a nation. A targeted Nuke takes 10 minutes to achieve a READY state, after which it may be launched.
A Nuke that has been launched at a nation and is currently chewing up 3-5 minutes of in-flight time.
A unit of defensive technology. Possibly involves lasers or satellites or something.
A record of how many Nukes have successfully landed on targets.
A record of how many Nukes have struck the nation. Reduces Production generation.
A group of nations sharing a common interest in survival and/or bloodlust.
Strikes minus Radiation.
Shortly before the commencement of N-Day, all Factions and stats from the previous N-Day will be wiped. So everyone starts with nothing.
As before, if you don't wish to participate in the nuclear frenzy, you can simply ignore it: Your nation remains immune from attack.
The Vault 41 forum is now re-opening to facilitate pre-nuclear discussion.
A follow-up on the recently held NationStates Roleplay Symposium 2017 is coming up this week.Enjoy the panel!
When summer hits the northern hemisphere the effect is noticeable here on NationStates, and in this case in a positive way: a variety of fun activities pop up all over the NationStates world.
The third annual RaiderCon is already underway, taking place from July 1st through July 6th. It offers an opportunity for players to discuss the Gameplay activity know as Invading or Raiding, from various perspectives.
Players who focus on the other side of the aisle, the Defenders, are not sitting still though. They have the 2017 Defender Awards going on.
And in addition to all that the NationStates Roleplay Symposium 2017 is coming up soon!As you can see there are a lot of fun activities going on, enjoy!