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  1. As mentioned, the World Census people have been fooling around with numbers and models lately. Some nations were surprised to discover that they've plunged in Recreational Drug Use. To explain why, here is Senior Issue Editor and policy wonk @@JGConfig::nice_name("candlewhisper_archive", 2)@@... 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! {url}
  2. NS -World Census Betas

    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! {url}
  3. 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. Feeling nostalgic? More walks down history lane here, here, and here! {url}
  4. 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 First 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. Feeling nostalgic? More walks down history lane here, here, and here! {url}
  5. 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. {url}
  6. 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. Survivors 102.7 trillion 20.4% Infected 69.3 trillion 13.8% Dead 330.6 trillion 65.8% 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! Z-Day Tally 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. Congratulations also to those nations who topped the new leaderboards for Most Survivors and Most Zombies! Thank you for helping to defeat the undead scourge this year. Happy Halloween! {url}
  7. 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. Survivors 102.7 trillion 20.4% Infected 69.3 trillion 13.8% Dead 330.6 trillion 65.8% 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! Z-Day Tally 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. Congratulations also to those nations who topped the new leaderboards for Most Survivors and Most Zombies! Thank you for helping to defeat the undead scourge this year. Happy Halloween! {url}
  8. 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: The Most Survivors The Most Zombies The Most Dead 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. {url}
  9. NS -Z-Day<sup>6</sup>

    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 @@JGConfig::time_ago(1509393600, 1)@@ (click for local time) It will run for 32 hours, ending @@JGConfig::time_ago(1509393600 + (32 * 3600), 1)@@ 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! {url}
  10. NS -And The Editor Can Edit

    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. Such progress! {url}
  11. NS -A Better Editor

    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: @@JGConfig::editorbar(undef, 1)@@ 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. @ Mentions 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 @@JGConfig::nice_name('testlandia', 2)@@, not @@JGConfig::nice_name('testlandia', 3)@@. 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. {url}
  12. NS -N-Day<sup>2</sup> is Over

    Thank you for nuking! N-Day2 has now concluded. I hope you came through relatively radiation-free. Final Leaderboard Congratulations to Totally Not the AA of Augustin Alliance who topped the leaderboard with 124,923 points! That's the second N-Day that this faction, or something that looks a lot like it, has won. 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: Fun fact! Because nuclear weapons can strike their target within minutes, it's impractical to have a proper system of checks and balances safeguarding their use—countries must be able to retaliate to a nuclear launch by immediately emptying their own arsenals. In the United States, for example, while the President is legally bound to go before to Congress to declare a conventional war, he is empowered to let loose all seven thousand nukes at any time for any reason. Wheee! 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! {url}
  13. NS -N-Day<sup>2</sup>

    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: @@JGConfig::time_ago(1504040400)@@ N-Day2 will run for 24 hours, after which time no further nuclear launches will be accepted. Here's a handy primer! @@JGConfig::parse_nscode("https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=874170", 2)@@ 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. Good luck! {url}
  14. A follow-up on the recently held NationStates Roleplay Symposium 2017 is coming up this week. @@JGConfig::nice_name("the_madhouse_role_play_group", 2)@@ wrote: Madhouse Productions, and the Madhouse Role Play Group, proudly present: GAMEPLAY OVERVIEW, A Questions and Answers Panel. By request, Madhouse Productions will sponsor a Gameplay panel the last Saturday in August. This is a continuation of the Gameplay panel held during the 2017 NS Roleplay Symposium. Our panelists will offer roleplayers a glimpse into the world of Gameplay, and answer questions you might have about terminology, purpose, and organizations. This event is open to all NationStates roleplayers regardless of subforum haunt. It will be hosted by the NS Mentor Discord Server, Invitational Venue Service. DATE: Saturday, 26 August 2017 TIME: 5 - 6:30 PM EST MODERATOR: Swith Witherward FEATURING: Ever-Wandering Souls (The Black Hawks), Jakker (The Black Hawks), Reventus Koth (The Black Hawks), and Zwangzug (United Defenders League, retired) For more information, please contact Swith Witherward. Enjoy the panel!{url}
  15. 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. @@JGConfig::nice_name("jakker", 2)@@ wrote: From the early beginnings of NationStates, there have been nations who invade regions. The practice has made a lasting impact on the game and this convention looks to explore the players and groups that have engaged in raiding over the years. RaiderCon is open to all players and has many interactive opportunities including discussions and raiding games. Attendees can also check the musical submissions from this year's RaiderVision. 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. @@JGConfig::nice_name("witchcraft_and_sorcery", 2)@@ wrote: After a few years' hiatus, The Defender Awards are back! To counter the plight of raiding, there have always been defenders for the purpose of countering their effects. The Defender Awards allow for a way to recognize the best defenders of those serving, as well as some raiders, in a well-regarded and historical awards competition. The Awards are open to all players, and will have plenty of discussions and fun to be had for all who come! And in addition to all that the NationStates Roleplay Symposium 2017 is coming up soon! @@JGConfig::nice_name("kyrusia", 2)@@ wrote: Are you a roleplayer, or are you interested in getting involved? From Saturday, July 8th, through Friday, July 14th, the Mentor Program (in collaboration with others) will be presenting the NationStates Roleplay Symposium 2017. Including Mentors and collaborators from sub-forums International Incidents, NationStates, NS Sports, the Portal to the Multiverse, and everywhere between, the Roleplay Symposium aims to bring greater interest in different roleplay sub-communities, tech levels, and genres across the forums; roleplayers will be encouraged to get to know one another, introduce others to their communities, and provide their varied, myriad experiences from the NationStates roleplay community. Lectures and new guides will be premiered, as well as panels and workshops to be conducted each day of the Symposium on the NS Mentors Discord; players and participants will be invited to submit their questions and discuss a range of topics, to include worldbuilding, observations on Gameplay from a roleplayer perspective, formatting and thread marketing, a Moderator panel, and much more. Players will be invited to showcase their roleplay regions and Out-of-Character organizations, share their unique cultures, and possibly even rope-in a few new recruits. We may even indulge in a bit of silly fun, from time to time; supposedly there's to be a "Midnight Madness" hour, but you'll just have to find out for yourself... For more information, please drop by the NationStates Roleplay Symposium 2017 thread! We hope to see you there! As you can see there are a lot of fun activities going on, enjoy!{url}
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