by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics


NationStatesNationStates News RSS

News Archive: 202320222021202020192018201720162015201420132012201120102009200820072006200520042003

Congratulations to the winners of Issue Contest: Was It Something We Eight?

by Verdant Haven
Mon, 24 Jul 2023

This post comes courtesy of Issues Editor Verdant Haven.

Begin intercepted transmission:

3d1t0r: "Yes... excellent... our eighth Annual Game to Encourage New Draft Activity has been a success!"

4dm1n: "That's gr-eight! Did you r-eight them all? The d-eight is getting l-eight, how much longer do you need to deb-eight before announcing the winners?"

3d1t0r: "We can announce them now, but why are you talking so strangely?"

4dm1n: "W-eight, what? You started it! It's eight-puns for the eighth contest!"

3d1t04: "Pfft, eight-puns are so outdated - the next contest will be nine, not eight."

4dm1n: "..."

The Issues Editing Team was hoping to see some major submission activity, and you responded big time with nearly 200 entries! After carefully spinning our hamster-wheels, and spending a good long time peering into the mirror-lined box that is our collective psyche, we're ready to announce this year's winners!

Presented in alphabetical order by author, the winners are:

These issues are now guaranteed to be published! Winners, you can expect your shiny "Issues Author" badge to come along with it. Speaking of which, fully half of these nations will be getting published for the first time! We don't plan that, but it's always a delight to see first-timers mixing it up with the experienced veterans.

Please join us in congratulating our winners! You can expect to see these issues start appearing in game soon.

This Weekend: Cards Against NationStates

by Max Barry
Fri, 30 Jun 2023

Remember Cards Against NationStates? Of course you don't, it was eight years ago, that's a thousand years in internet time. But it was the 2015 April Fools event. Like the game "Cards Against Humanity," but NS themed.

For this weekend, the game has been fixed up and is highlighted for visibility! You can organize a game with people you know, or randomly dip into someone else's.

*** Cards Against NationStates ***

Issues Contest: Was It Something We Eight?

by Verdant Haven
Wed, 31 May 2023

This post comes courtesy of Issues Editor Verdant Haven.

Begin intercepted transmission:

3d1t0r: "W-eight for it... w-eight for it... one must appreci-eight the need for proper timing."

4dm1n: "Ugh, stop punning. We h-eight w-eighting, and you know we... hang on. Why are we speaking in puns, too?"

3d1t0r: "It's f-eight! The eighth Issues Contest is here, and will domin-eight our minds until we've had time to deb-eight the entries!"

4dm1n: "Please make it stop! Can we just announce this thing already?"

3d1t04: "That would be gr-eight, m-eight!"

4dm1n: "..."

Do you love issues? Do you enjoy creating content for your fellow players? Do you really want to earn a swanky little gift-shaped badge for your nation page, which proudly declares "Issues Author" for people who hover their mouse over it? Then you've come to the right place!

We are pleased to announce our eighth Roughly-Annual Issues Contest - "Was It Something We Eight?" Winners will be announced on the news page, and will earn the aforementioned swanky gift-shaped badge. More importantly, all of our winning submissions are guaranteed to be added to the game, where they will become a part of the Issues canon enjoyed by all of our players from around the world!

The contest only permits one entry per player, so we strongly encourage you to draft on the Got Issues? forum, where you can get helpful feed back from editors and fellow authors, and can access the Got Issues FAQ and issue-writing guide. Your choice of topic is entirely up to you - bring your A-game and show the world what you can do!

Please submit your issue during the month of June, using the usual method, and make sure to check the box that confirms you are entering your submission for the Issues Contest! Please ensure that you're happy with your submission prior to sending it in - there is no "undo" button on submission.

Please see this thread for full information. Good luck!

World Trade Fair II: Metrics

by Max Barry
Sun, 14 May 2023

Thanks for taking part in this year's World Trade Fair! It was the second one in history, after last year's inaugural April Fools event.

Unlike last year, different regions topped the leaderboards in different items. But LilyFlag came pretty close to a clean sweep, taking out most categories and placing in the top two for others.

World Trade Fair Region Leaderboards

Some event stats:

  • Nations performed 296,524 actions, including 121,910 inspections and 119,400 stashings.

  • The most searched-for items were Kittens, Patriotic Flags, Uranium, Gold Bullion, and Inspector Uniforms.

  • The least searched-for items were Electronics, Tractor Parts, and Gas Centrifuges.

  • The Trade Fair ended with nations holding 174,023 unstashed items. The most commonly unstashed item was Cassowary Eggs (16,568), a new item this year, which was particularly challenging to stash.

  • Only 1,159 items were destroyed, and again the most commonly destroyed item was Cassowary Eggs (418), presumably in an attempt to prevent them from being seized.

Thank you for participating, and may all your trades be fair!

World Trade Fair II

by Max Barry
Sat, 06 May 2023

What better way to celebrate World Fair Trade Day than with a World Trade Fair?

Just like last time, the World Trade Fair will involve the collection, confiscation, and stashing of a range of goods. A leaderboard will track which regions stash the most of each kind of good, if you're into that kind of thing.

  • Trade Fair begins (click for local time)

  • Trade Fair ends (click for local time)

World Census Adjusts Censorship Rating

by Max Barry
Mon, 01 May 2023

The World Census today announced an important change to the way it tracks Personal Freedom in nations.

"Until approximately six years ago, we tracked a particular form of censorship known as Personal Censorship," a spokesperson explained. "We then found a better way using two alternative metrics, Political Censorship and Free Speech. And so we abandoned the old concept of Personal Censorship."

"Or so we thought. It turns out that in older nations, our records were still maintaining the old Personal Censorship rating. And this could act as a permament bias on a nation's Personal Freedom, causing that score to be higher or lower than it should, no matter what laws the nation passed."

Approximately five percent of the current world population is affected, the World Census says.

In finally purging its records of Personal Censorship, effective immediately, the World Census is confident that its ratings will be more accurate than ever.

How to Succeed in Life

by Sedgistan
Tue, 18 Apr 2023

In the beginning there were regions. But not Founders. Only Delegates. That's right, back in 2002, you started a region and just crossed your fingers that it wouldn't be immediately overrun by hostile forces. It was a wild time.

Founders have kept the peace across thousands of regions for the last two decades. But what happens when a Founder slips off into the void and isn't around any more? Well, things would get interesting: often in a good way, in regions that were large enough to form self-sustaining democracies, but sometimes not, and regions would die out.

Today we release a package of changes that radically increase your ability to run your region the way you want.


Regions now feature Governors, who inherit all the powers that Founders previously had, such as ejecting nations, password-protecting the region, granting the Delegate Executive control, and appointing Regional Officers. Any nation that was an Executive Founder of a region previously has automatically been appointed Governor of that region.

Founders are still recorded in regions, but only as a historical record of the nation that created a region; the role does not have any powers associated with it.


Governors have gained a new power, to appoint Successors. This provides an additional layer of protection for regions, as if the Governor nation ceases to exist, the first in line Successor inherits the Governor role, allowing them to take over management and safekeeping of their region. Governors may also choose to abdicate, which allows their chosen Successor to immediately become Governor.

These changes provide longer-term security for regions, as well as allowing the baton of command to be passed on to another nation when a Governor feels they are no longer able to provide leadership for their region.


A new region type has been introduced: Frontiers. These regions have no Governors, meaning Executive power is held by the Delegate position. This makes them more vulnerable to invasion from outside groups, or to internal coups; however, newly founded nations may spawn within Frontiers, providing them with a steady flow of new residents.

When founding a new region, you can choose to designate it as a Frontier, or to stick with the security of a standard region with the founding nation becoming Governor. Existing regions can choose to transition to Frontier status, which will result in the Governor relinquishing their powers. Regions can also choose to transition away from Frontier status, which will result in the WA Delegate being appointed as Governor. In both cases, the process takes two weeks.


The Security Council has been granted new powers to pass Injunction resolutions on regions. This prevents the region's WA Delegate from changing the region's status to or from Frontier. This allows the World Assembly to intervene to prevent unwanted changes of region status.


And that's not all! There are also some swanky new WA-related icons rolling out, courtesy of Kyrusia, who beat out a talented field of designers. We greatly appreciate the contribution.

For more information see the updated FAQ or join in the discussion in the Technical forum.

Maps: The First Wave

by Eluvatar
Mon, 10 Apr 2023

Some people said you couldn't secretly write and implement a major new feature that melded cartography and diplomacy inside a graphical interface with 20-year old code. Or maybe they said "shouldn't." It was one of those.

Either way, it was done! And it mostly worked! Not entirely! But mostly!

Congratulations to those regions and nations that figured out what the heck was going on and managed to craft and endorse some maps. In total, 1,307 nations made 4,687 map versions and 879 nations created 896 maps with a total weight of 430,021.

At the end of the first week of maps, we'd like to salute the following pioneers whose maps have the most diplomatic weight:

RegionMapAuthorship NationMap Weight
The North PacificThe Lai RainŽ LiŽarda of Meadowfields118,716
The East PacificThe Goin' Silent of Zukchiva88,175
Conch KingdomThe Puddle of Socialist Platypus61,690
The North PacificThe Generation Kill of Kastonvia20,991
Commonwealth of LibertyThe Alpine Republic of Cascadla12,197
The Western IslesThe Blue Islands of Corindia11,618
The North PacificThe Republic of Yeco11,454
Lands EndThe Peafowl Conglomerate of Peacockastan10,853
The North PacificThe Municipality of Yauco9,360
the Rejected RealmsThe Angelic Avant-Garde Asylum of Minskiev7,970

Special shout-out to The Puddle of Socialist Platypus of Conch Kingdom for not only holding third place, but for punching above their weight several times during the week with a chart-topping map despite having far fewer World Assembly members than their rivals in their region.

Maps are staying, but with work to do as they grow into a full feature, as opposed to something that needed to go live at the start of April come hell or high water. In particular:

  1. Regions can (now) choose whether to hide or display their most-supported map

  2. There will be storage limits on what can be uploaded and saved (you all uploaded 1.4 gigabytes of map in a week!)

  3. Maps will come with a legend

  4. Map activity will be integrated into map pages

  5. And of course miscellaneous bugfixes

Thanks for your participation during this first week, and please continue to provide feedback on what you'd like to see in the Maps Technical forum thread!

Regional Maps

by Eluvatar
Sun, 02 Apr 2023

The World Assembly welcomes you to a world illuminated... by maps!

We outsource the creation of these maps to the many nations of the world. It's a two-step process.

Before we are even involved, the nation's best artistic resources are summoned to create an image file which represents them and their neighbors, friends, or enemies, each with a unique color. They may also paint part of the map two other colors: one designated for future nation designation (we can call it "land"), and one that is not ("sea").

Once the nation's leadership decides, they can create a Map Version. If they were inspired by the work of another nation, or making revisions to their own previous version, they should make an Update to that Map Version.

Separately, there are officially declared Maps. Unlike a Map Version, a Map has to be associated with a particular region, and only nations in that region will properly show up on it. A map has a "latest version", which may not have the same author nation - as national leaders, you are great enough to accept when someone has improved on your work, and you can update your Map to someone else's version. These maps can be endorsed by nations that are on them.

A nation may endorse only one map. That is the map you officially recognize. If you leave a region or cease to exist, your endorsement of the map is removed. Each endorsement has weight, related to the nation's World Assembly endorsements and influence in the region.

The maps with the most prominent endorsements will be recognized as such by this august instution. Starting with the world''s most-supported map:


This is the map of Europe created by The Federal Council Republic of Pilipinas and Malaya . It has 409,239 estimated diplomatic weight behind it, the most in the world. It is one of 3450 maps in the world.

If you have confidence in your nation's artist, it might be good to begin the process by visiting the map drafting area.

While interns and administrators at the World Assembly Headquarters have labored day, night, and midnight to release these new informational graphics, there may yet be glitches or obvious improvements to be made. Please point them out in the Regional Maps Technical Discussion.

The most-supported maps at the end of this first week will surely deserve to be remembered.

Unimaginable News

by Max Barry
Sun, 02 Apr 2023

One morning, a new intern, let's call him Igor, trotted up the marble steps of the World Assembly. Igor's shoes were brightly polished and his hair was combed real neat, because this was Igor's first day, and he wanted to make a good impression. Like all World Assembly interns, Igor had beaten out hundreds of hopeful candidates for the job, and he was desperate to prove himself and to bring honor to his home nation, an 80 million pop Inoffensive Centrist Democracy in a rarely noticed and never-featured regional backwater.

Igor's shoes squeaked as he crossed the great floor to the World Assembly front desk. "Thirteenth door to the right," said a man, without making eye contact. "Inductions."

Inductions was a great hall filled with other interns. "Take a randomly selected seat," rasped the Administrator, a very old woman with the subtle but distinctive ear markings of a vat clone. Igor found himself seated beside a dark-eyed girl with the effortless self-assured grace of a resident of a much more popular region, and found himself sneaking glances at her.

"Before we begin," the Administrator announced, "I will remind you of the first, and, in some ways, most important tenet of the World Assembly."

"Objectivity," whispered the dark-eyed girl beside Igor.

"Objectivity," said the Administrator. "You may have come here with opinions, regional customs, or religious beliefs. Leave them all at the door. Only the most objective belong here at World Assembly Data Synthesis & Presentation."

The girl nodded emphatically. Igor, an occasional follower of a deity that was technically illegal in several nations, including his own, decided to keep his beliefs to himself.

"Some of you undoubtedly harbor..." The Administrator's lip curled. "New ideas. Wild dreams of new methods of data presentation. Forget it. In ten years, perhaps, or twenty, you may be ready to produce such a thing."

"I'm going to have a new idea one day," Igor murmured. The dark-eyed girl glanced at him, and he blushed.

"Marp," said the girl, adding: "That's my name. I'm Marp."

"Igor," he said quickly, and she smiled.

When the lecture concluded, the interns were given a simple data location task: to look up the fourteen millionth data point on Beverage Sales in a nation that had ceased to exist long ago. As the interns scattered to various terminals, Igor seized Marp's hand. "It's a trick," he said. "An Antiquity nation? That data will only be found in the Basement."

Entering the Basement required an elevator ride and a short ruse involving Marp posing as a lost tourist. Once inside, the pair split up to search the labyrinth, and Igor found the file in question jammed underneath a huge broken stone disk. He pulled, but the disk was too heavy: the file didn't budge.

Igor set his feet and tugged again. He grit his teeth and closed his eyes. When that failed, he even invoked the power of several deities under his breath, including the one that was technically illegal. The file budged, just enough to make him redouble his efforts.

"May ______ guide me!" he cried, using the name of the technically illegal deity.

There was a gasp from behind him. He turned to see Marp, wide-eyed with shock, her hands flying to her ears too late to block out the sound of his blasphemy. Then she turned and fled.

Losing his grip on the file, Igor fell backwards into a pile of boxes, which toppled and spilled dusty files across him. He stared miserably at his polished shoes. He had failed. He would surely be expelled, a disgrace to his nation.

Then he noticed the blue file in his lap.

Two words were scrawled across it: one began with U and the other with N, but what caught his eye was the flag below them: a kind of graphic he'd never seen before. Transfixed, Igor opened the file. Inside were documents, hundreds of them, more than 240 although probably not quite 245, as well as legal agreements, and what appeared to be a hand-written version of General Assembly Resolution #1, the legal framework that set out the scope and purpose of the World Assembly itself.

Igor had seen similar records before, of course, but sanitized for public view. They didn't have the two words, the ones that began with the U and the N, nor the strange flag.

"There!" cried Marp. "There's the one who brought culture-specific beliefs into the World Assembly!"

The Administrator tottered toward him, her face dark with fury. "In all my time--"

Igor, scrambling to his feet, thrust forward the file. "Look! Look at the flag!"

He watched her face change. "What is this? It's almost..."

"As if we're high above a region, looking down," Igor said. "We can see how all the nations relate to one another, geographically."

The Administrator took the file with shaking hands.

"It's a new way of data visualization," Igor said. "We could call them... Marps."

Marp's eyes widened.

The Administrator slowly nodded. "I don't love the name," she said. "But you may have something."

N-Day8: Aftermath

by Chingis
Mon, 27 Feb 2023

We all love a feel-good story about a group of misfit underdogs rising up to best the seemingly all-powerful antagonist through the power of friendship and teamwork. It leaves you with a warm glow in your heart, reassuring you that all is just and fair in the world.

This year's N-Day was not one of those stories. Instead, reigning champions Horsemen of the Apocalypse crushed the second largest faction in a one-sided massacre, effectively winning the event by the 9th hour. The rest of the event was devoted to factions feasting on the corpse of Potato Alliance, which ended the event with an astounding seven figures of radiation.

Congratulations to the winner of the event, HotA, which secured its fourth N-Day victory with a record-breaking 1.6 million score. The top 10 factions are listed below.

1.Horsemen of the ApocalypseFlag1,652,90513,133 NationsBelisa
2.Horsemen of the Apocalypse IIFlag21,73120 NationsLily
3.Horsemen of the Apocalypse IIIFlag21,6719 NationsHell
4.Second Best Test 218,20710 NationsTwo
5.The Minotaurs 2Flag13,08438 NationsThe Labyrinth
6.Shambhala Strategic Javelin CommandFlag10,59610 NationsFodlan
7.The_MinotaursFlag7,7340 NationsAtlantiso
8.Lego6,9545 NationsIndonesia Nusantara
9.AMAZEINGFlag6,83858 NationsCasagrande
10.YourselfFlag6,53226 NationsConfederation of Corrupt Dictators

See the full final leaderboard

Highest Scores Per Nation (min 10 nations):

FactionScoreScore Per NationRegion
Second Best Test 2 18,207 1,820.7 Two
Horsemen of the Apocalypse II 21,731 1,086.5 Lily
Shambhala Strategic Javelin Command 10,596 1,059.6 Fodlan
Stellamare Compact 3,491 349.1 Astral Sea
The Minotaurs 2 13,084 344.3 The Labyrinth
Chess Players 4,249 265.6 Chess Players
Yourself 6,532 251.2 Confederation of Corrupt Dictators
Horsemen of the Apocalypse 1,652,905 125.9 Belisa
AMAZEING 6,838 117.9 Casagrande
Horsemen of the Apocalypse IV 5,676 45.0 Children of the Grave

For the number-enthusiasts among you, here are the global stats for this N-Day:

  • 971 factions were created.

  • 46,576 nations joined a faction.

  • 5,054,680 nukes were targeted.

  • 4,616,014 nukes were launched.

  • 1,665,637 nukes were shot down.

  • 2,951,117 strikes occurred for 2,416,622 radiation.

N-Day8: Half-Life Every Half-Year

by Chingis
Wed, 22 Feb 2023

In this life, only three things can be certain: death, taxes, and the imminent threat of Nuclear Apocalypse. For the first time in NS history, the (now biannual) N-Day will occur in February. Less than 72 hours remain until the world goes up in a nuclear ball of flame. Grab your lead umbrellas, throw some popcorn kernels in the nuclear reactor, and join us for the 8th run of an iconic NS event!

Faction registration and the Vault 41 forum have been opened.

The missiles fly in:

Click here for your local time:

Read about the aftermath of the previous N-Day here. Will the Horsemen of the Apocalypse sweep the competition yet again? Or will a new champion arise from the ashes? Mere days remain.

Best Nation in the World: Especially Yours This Valentine's Day

by Chingis
Sun, 12 Feb 2023

For two decades now, hordes of scientists with PhDs have painstakingly compiled terabytes of data on every nation on NationStates. They have drawn fancy tables, run complex algorithms and compiled countless census tables. The features are multivariate. The correlations are significant. The statistics are all so... lame?

Why do we need these people anyway? If we really want to know what the coolest, bestest and most amazing nation in the world is we don't need numbers. We need good old-fashioned democracy! We need the return of Best Nation in the World!

When voting opens, for 28 hours, you will gain access to this page. Two nations will be shown: just click the one you think is better. What does "better" mean? We don't know! But we do know that after thousands of votes, the nations on the leaderboard will be the objective best. If you want to know how your nation is doing, you'll be able to see it on your nation page.

Check below to see the start time of the event for you.

Voting opens in:

Update! Congratulations to the best nation in the world, The Commonwealth of Felpolandia!

We Were Offline And It Was Dark And Cold

by Max Barry
Tue, 27 Dec 2022

I'm not sure if you noticed but the site was unavailable for four and a half days just there. It wasn't great, to be honest. Here's the story:

What's Working

Almost everything should be back and working fine, with no data loss.

What's Not Working

  • Trading Cards bids & asks: The major casualty of this episode, apart from the sleep and sanity of admins, is bids and asks on Trading Cards. We're not able to safely restore these. This means you will need to re-set any bids and asks you had before.

What's Different

We kicked back the Cease To Exist (CTE) timer: for a limited time, nations now cease to exist after 35 days of inactivity, not 28.

We temporarily suspended processing of World Assembly resolutions and proposals, so some of those are still there even though voting should have closed. This will resume in about 48 hours.

What Went Wrong

We scheduled downtime to replace a disk at end-of-life. We took a backup of the relevant system, powered down, and our host attempted to clone the disk. We then had a glorious 30-minute period where everything was running again, before we lost power and experienced a hard crash.

Since then, we've been piecing together data from various sources & backups. This was challenging because they were in different states.

What Might Be Weird

Some things were skipped, because they weren't running during downtime: There were no daily updates, no World Assembly resolution passing, no inactivity warning emails, and so on. This will get back to normal soon.

Thank You For Your Patience

Thanks for standing by, and welcome back!

A huge shout-out to our admins, especially The Royal Confederacy of Eluvatar, for the back-breaking toil of getting this site breathing again. If it was up to me, I would have just rolled everything back two weeks and it would have been chaos. Thank Eluvatar it's not like that.

Update: Due to popular demand! You can help buy Eluvatar dinner.

NationStates Turns 20 Today

by Max Barry
Sat, 12 Nov 2022

20th Anniversary Highlights

I mean hooooooly crap. TWENTY YEARS. For perspective, the web itself is only 33.

Here are some things that didn't exist when NationStates launched: MySpace, Digg, World of Warcraft, Facebook, XBox Live, iTunes, Skype, Firefox, Chrome, iPhones, Reddit, Twitter, Wordpress.

NationStates began in a time where any idiot could make a website and people would go check it out, because there weren't many to choose from. In 2002, I was that idiot, learning to code from a book, hacking the site together, and emailing a few friends. Then they told a few friends, and almost immediately, it was in the newspapers, even the New York Times, because that was newsworthy back then, some dork's website.

Almost all the web sites from 2002 are now gone. And like a geriatric who's outlived his contemporaries, I marvel at the simple fact that we are still freaking here. Everyone thinks you can put up a site and it will just hang around forever because that's how the internet works, but that's not true at all, not even for the dumbest, most static pages like THIS IS TIM'S WORLD WIDE WEB PAGE, UNDER CONSTRUCTION, COOL STUFF COMING SOON, because sometime in the last twenty years, Tim's web host got bought out and shut down, taking Tim's dancing baby GIF with it, and now, at best, there are a few snapshots filed away in an internet archive.

Sites that do things, interactive sites, like this one, are hard to keep alive. They have so many ways to die. I'm incredibly proud that NationStates is here twenty years and eight million nations later, with as many players as ever. That's magical. I credit:

  • Not selling the site. I came close. In retrospect, the buyer would have spent 12 months squeezing users for money before everyone left.

  • Moderators. Oh my god, moderators. They do so much, every day, for nothing, and without them, the site would almost immediately become somewhere you wouldn't want to visit. Some mods have been here from the beginning. Many have clocked up over a decade. So much is thanks to mods.

  • The community. I can't even explain this because I don't fully understand it. I made a site where you could create a nation and talk to people. The community did everything else, i.e. turned that into something interesting, with political intrigue, relationships, lore, rules; basically the vast majority of what makes NationStates worth your time. This includes regional leaders, ordinary nations, World Assembly Delegates, admin, Roleplay Mentors, Founders, dispatch authors, World Census trophy chasers, forum regulars, forum irregulars, anyone who's taken the time to explain something to someone new to the site, card traders, everyone.

  • The people who buy Site Supporter, Postmaster, Postmaster-General, and Telegram Stamps. Most people don't, and that's totally fine, but the lights wouldn't have stayed on without those who do.

  • Managing the tech stack. All the tech from 2002 is slow, insecure, missing essential features, and three thousand times harder to work on that what's available today. It also can't be replaced without losing 20 years of bug fixes. So far we have managed to steer a path between killing the site from negligence and killing it from overly ambitious upgrades. And we keep adding features! To a 20-year-old codebase! Written in Perl!

Happy Birthday everyone.



It's 4:20 Somewhere

by The Marsupial Illuminati
Wed, 09 Nov 2022

This post courtesy of Issues Editor The Marsupial Illuminati.

The Issues Editing team is now proud to present a better model for the Recreational Drug Use World Census scale. The old model, implemented in December 2017, only considered Civil Rights when calculating a nation's score, leading to many nations being tied for first place, with older nations being ranked first by default. To promote competition and improve the simulation, a more accurate model has been devised which considers many factors in addition to civil rights. Great care has been taken to ensure that the highest-ranking nations do not share the same score. Will you be able to reach that perfect high score of 420? What delirious heights lie beyond!

Trading Cards: A Few Changes

by Max Barry
Thu, 03 Nov 2022

The NationStates Trading Card Commission would like to announce some key changes aimed at streamlining the market.

1. "Market Value"

The Commission has developed a new method of calculating card Market Value. The new method is similar to the old one, in that it aims to approximate the value of a card on the open market, but has the advantage of not being horribly gamed.

All cards are currently being reviewed under the new method, with updated values expected to filter through over the next day. This will also flow on to collectors' Deck Values.

2. Premium Sales Now Attract an Auction Fee

The Commission discovered that the auction house, which handles enormous numbers of transactions every week, brings in zero revenue, and is entirely staffed by volunteers and prisoners on work-release. In order to fund ongoing operations, the auction house now charges a modest fee on the sale of premium cards.

A "premium card" is that which sells for more than 10.00 bank, and henceforth will incur a fee of 10% of any excess. For example, a card that sells for 15.00 will net the seller 14.50, since there is an excess of 5.00, of which 10% is 0.50.

Auction fees are paid by the seller and deducted automatically. No fees are paid by buyers, nor by sellers of cards under 10.00 bank.

3. Deck Capacity

In theory, increasing your deck capacity is very expensive. In practice, collectors have amassed cards in numbers well above their nominal capacity, because the system doesn't really work.

To combat this, the Commission has made three important changes:

Firstly, it has approved an across-the-board raise in capacity for all card owners, geometrically scaled, such that nations with deck capacity of 50 are raised to 160 cards, while those who ponied up to reach a capacity of 500, for example, will find it is now 3,186. Starting deck capacity also rises from 50 to 250 cards. (Or, for Site Supporters, from 100 to 500.)

Secondly, the price of increased deck capacity has been slashed. A sliding scale still applies, but it's now gentler, so that high-rollers can afford to legitimately increase their deck capacity into the thousands or even tens of thousands of cards.

Thirdly, deck capacity will be actually enforced. At least, a little more strictly. Specifically, bids and asks will no longer be accepted from collectors in violation of their deck capacity.

The Trading Card Commission wishes to thank all traders for their patience, both previously and during these changes, and believes that a vibrant, robust market lies in our future.

Z-Day11: Re: Re: Re: Your Brains

by Eluvatar
Mon, 31 Oct 2022

As threatened, a reset of research selection has occurred. Any nations desperately trying to find a cure for their neighbors will need to revivify their efforts.

Hang in there, everybody! The dead may outnumber the living, and the zombies may outnumber the dead, but time is, well, time isn't on the zombies side!

Update: And now the dead have indeed risen, or at least most of them. Perhaps the good news is that the dead no longer outnumber the living, at least for the time being. And the enormous loss of progress in cure research... good news for the zombies, I suppose?

By the way, it might be good to remind folks that there is a way to ignore all these zombies if you like: Settings -> No Zombies. This doesn't really get rid of the zombies, but it lets you pretend they aren't there, which is close enough.

Z-Day11: Re: Re: Your Brains

by Eluvatar
Sun, 30 Oct 2022

The zombies are here! The zombies are here!

What You Need to Know

  • The zombie apocalypse will begin (click for local time)

  • It will run for 36 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. But be warned! Sometimes the dead rise again.

    • 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 and is most effective with test subjects and collaboration.

    • Embrace the zombie hordes, becoming part of the problem as you spread zombies all around your region. Eventually, of course, your hordes may run out of food and starve. 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. They can also restore zombie command and control centers have been zombified to the respective government's control.

    • Researching a cure develops Cure Missiles, which can be launched at other nations in order to convert zombies into survivors. They, too, can restore zombie command and control centers have been zombified to the respective government's control.

    • Embracing the undead develops Hordes, which can surge into other nations and infect their survivors, and zombify other nations' zombie command and control centers.

    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.

  • There is a Zombie Spotting page which can be used to intelligently target your superweapons.

  • The World Census will maintain some relevant zombie-related ranking scales:

    1. The Most Survivors

    2. The Most Zombies

    3. The Most Dead

    4. The Most Zombified

    (Note: Up to one hour delay is to be expected in the ordering of these scales.)

  • 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 plaintative cries of nations seeking refuge. It seems pretty harsh. You're just sitting there watching millions of people die. But zombie apocalypses demand tough choices.

  • There will be a worldwide reset of research selection, after which nations which selected researching a cure will cease their progress until re-selected around

  • There will be a setback in research progress and many of the dead will rise again around

  • There will be a worldwide deactivation of special border controls around

The Z-Day Tally Board will track global progress during Z-Day. Good luck!

Z-Day11: Re: Your Brains

by Eluvatar
Wed, 26 Oct 2022

They say that most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. Well, I expect you can believe that a zombie apocalypse is coming this Halloween:

Zombie apocalypse begins in:

You'll be glad to know that you'll have forewarning of any sudden border reopenings, mass reanimations, or research regression. Because to know is always better, right?