by Max Barry

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Algorithmic Rejiggeration

by Max Barry
Wed, 07 Dec 2011

There's a nifty new feature coming along shortly, which will allow you to analyze your nations like never before. Well. That's maybe overstating it. To be honest, it lets you analyze your nations like before, only slightly more so.

Anyway, while testing this feature, it became clear that some of our internal algorithms—the things we use to, you know, simulate nations—are broken. They work fine most of the time. But at the extremes, in some situations, weird things can happen.

We've known this for a while, but let it ride, because, hey, it's NationStates. Weird things are supposed to happen. Also, my thinking was that if you've worked hard on making your nation weird like that, you deserve it. But what's become clear is that in a lot of cases, we've crossed over from weird to just plain nonsensical. Also, the results can be wildly counter-intuitive, so nations with bizarre internal values—values clear off the scale—often seem to get that way from luck more than hard work.

To correct this, there will be a Grand Rejiggering. For most nations, this will do nothing. Some, though, will see changes in their internal freedom values. These will probably be minor, but may be visible as a change in your Trend graph, in certain World Census rankings, and possibly (if you are rejiggered particularly hard) in your main Civil Rights, Economy, Political Freedoms ratings, as well as your overall Category.

Want to check exactly what will happen? Use the Rejiggeration Predictor!

My apologies for messing with nations in such a heavy-handed way, but hopefully the result will be a more realistic nation simulator. Although maybe "more realistic" is overstating it. I mean, "less ridiculous."