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NationStates News

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  1. NationStates News

    NS -Updated Privacy Policy

    Now for the news you've really been waiting for: We've updated our Privacy Policy! Like all the cool kids nowadays, we're taking steps to purge old data we don't really need, be more transparent about the data we collect, and allow you to remove personal information you don't want us to have any more. See here for more! {url}
  2. NationStates News

    NS -Issue 1K

    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: @@JGConfig::nice_name("Sirocco", 2)@@, who was the editing team in the early days, @@JGConfig::nice_name("Sedgistan", 2)@@, who remodeled and championed it as a professional organization, and @@JGConfig::nice_name("Candlewhisper Archive", 2)@@, 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. {url}
  3. 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! {url}
  4. NationStates News

    NS -Trading Halt

    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: * * * Deck Stats * * * 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. {url}
  5. NationStates News

    NS -Trading Cards Update

    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. {url}
  6. 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! * * * Deckbuilders' Forum! * * * How to Build a NationStates Deck 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! {url}
  7. NationStates News

    NS -Whole Bunch O Betas

    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 {url}
  8. NationStates News

    NS -Whole Bunch O Betas

    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 wide variety of scales {url}
  9. 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}
  10. NationStates News

    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}
  11. 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}
  12. 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}
  13. 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}
  14. 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}
  15. 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}
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