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Regional Influence

Talk about nation management, regional politics, and why llamas are a cooler national animal than squirrels.
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Mutant Lobster People
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Regional Influence

Postby Mutant Lobster People » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:16 pm

Regional influence, what is it?
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Postby Satirius » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:47 pm

It's an "HP"-esque mechanism that allows nations to eject others. Every time you eject you lose some influence, and ejecting larger nations=more loss. It's influenced by veterancy, WA endorsements, and size, and has jack to do with actual RP power, and is for raiders and defenders.
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Todd McCloud
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Postby Todd McCloud » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:40 pm

It is a thing that was created... what, about 3-4 years ago, I think, that was used to make it harder for raiders to remove nations from a region, among other things. It's been a tough pill to swallow for many people. And no, no one's really figured out how to calculate influence.

Safalra, an old NSer, wrote a handy guide that shows the hierarchy of NS influence: http://safalra.com/other/nationstates/influence/
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Postby Mayor For Life » Mon May 03, 2010 2:11 pm

Today's World Census is Most Influential and the light it shines on how influence works has lead some to describe how Influence is accumulated as suicidal to try to get the math right and a prank.
:palm:

Two interesting discussions are here:
The University of The East Pacific
and at:
New South Hell School of Ideological Studies.

The latter page is really long - the discussion relevant to this topic is at the bottom. Influence clearly is a mechanism to restrain new WA Delegates from having the ability to banject everyone they don't like the day they take office, but the explanation of:
[time spent in a region] + [WA endorsements] = Influence
that I read in NS Wiki is inadequate to explain what we see.

Influence in a region is sometimes contradicted by World Census rankings. Factors speculated to affect Influence (increase and decrease) include:
- nation population
- region population
- length of time in a region
- RMB and NS forum post count
- WA involvement
- length of WA Delegacy
- WA endorsements
- just another way to mess with our heads 8)
- and (my favorite), an Admin sez "you can haz gold star"

Nothing AFAIK explains how those buffoons in my region's colony of Animal House ended up with 5 Eminence Grise nations today. Except the last two factors.


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Naivetry
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Postby Naivetry » Wed May 05, 2010 9:35 pm

Things known and/or widely speculated in Gameplay circles:

1) Your Influence rating is valid only for the region you are in. You can compare your Influence rating to those of nations in other regions, but the comparison is meaningless, because every nation starts with 0 Influence when they move to a new region. So yes; Lady Edea might be a Minnow, but if your Eminence Grise nation moved to TEP, you'd become a Minnow there, too.

2) Once you've left a region, your Influence in that region doesn't drop to 0 immediately, but it drops pretty quickly. After a couple of weeks, you'll probably be reset to 0, or close enough to make no difference. Similarly, the longer you stay in a region, all else being equal, the more Influence you will accumulate.

3) Ejecting yourself costs 1/2 of your current Influence. The inference from this is that you can eject a nation with up to twice as much Influence as you.

4) The size of the region does matter; the fewer nations in the region, the more quickly each of them accumulates Influence. Each region has an Influence total - the sum of the Influence ratings of every nation in the region. The descriptive label for your Influence rating - Minnow, Handshaker, etc. - does not directly relate to its numerical value. Instead, the label reflects the percentage of Influence you have out of the regional sum total. This is why it takes absolutely forever to change your Influence label in a feeder or large UCR, even though your Influence rating is still increasing at the same speed as it would anywhere else.

5) Because Influence labels are related to the regional Influence total rather than to your Influence rating directly, the "Minnow" label in a very large or very old region can encompass a wide range of Influence ratings. When the regional Influence total is, say, 100,000, then the percentage of Influence you have may still be under 5% (a number pulled for the sake of example) whether your actual Influence rating is 5 or 5,000.

6) The number of endorsements you have matters; the more endorsements, the more quickly you gather Influence. It's hard to say how this balances against the regional population factor.

7) We assume, though I don't think it's been empirically tested, that a WA nation (even one with no endorsements) will gain Influence more quickly than a non-WA nation.

8.) WA Delegates accumulate Influence more quickly than any other nation in the region. This seems to be not just a factor of having more endorsements than everyone else, but an actual difference in the daily rate of accumulation based on the fact that you hold the delegacy.

9) I think it was the folks in TWP who had a theory about Influence calculations also being affected by the number of endorsements given vs. the number received, with a lower ratio of given to received being better for your Influence rating. This is the most speculative of the factors listed.

10) I've also heard that Influence is like a "pool" shared by all the nations in a region. So you can have 5 Eminence Grise nations in either a very small region or a region that has a bigger "pool" than another region... for whatever reason. This has always seemed a little odd to me, and I don't know whether or not I believe it. This has been explained (see several of the posts below) and has provoked the rewriting and reorganization of #3-5 above. All is now clear. :shock:

It certainly has nothing to do with forum posts, as the game had no way of tracking that when the forums were hosted on Jolt. I would be very surprised if it had anything to do with whether or not you voted in the WA, but the idea is intriguing. Nation population does not to my knowledge affect the rate at which a nation accumulates Influence; the frequent correlation between population and Influence is simply due to the fact that older nations have had more time to accumulate Influence.

...I feel as if there are things I'm leaving out, but hey.

EDIT: Rewritten following comments below - alterations marked with strike-through, #3-5 renumbered.
Last edited by Naivetry on Fri May 21, 2010 2:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Echolilia » Fri May 07, 2010 8:36 am

Naivetry wrote:5) The size of the region does matter; the fewer nations in the region, the more quickly each of them accumulates Influence. This is why it takes absolutely forever to change your Influence rating in a feeder or large UCR.

10) I've also heard that Influence is like a "pool" shared by all the nations in a region. So you can have 5 Eminence Grise nations in either a very small region or a region that has a bigger "pool" than another region... for whatever reason. This has always seemed a little odd to me, and I don't know whether or not I believe it.


My guess, not even based on observation of nations in regions with dramatically changing population levels, is that your influence is just a number, not at all dependent on anything else in the region, but the label is based on dividing that number by the total influence for the region or total population or something of the sort.

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Oh my Days
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Postby Oh my Days » Fri May 07, 2010 2:15 pm

Naivetry wrote:1) Your Influence rating is valid only for the region you are in. You can compare your Influence rating to those of nations in other regions, but the comparison is meaningless, because every nation starts with 0 Influence when they move to a new region. So yes; Lady Edea might be a Minnow, but if your Eminence Grise nation moved to TEP, you'd become a Minnow too.


True, although you could still compare regional influence if you had the actual numbers, the world census is about the closest we can get.

5) The size of the region does matter; the fewer nations in the region, the more quickly each of them accumulates Influence. This is why it takes absolutely forever to change your Influence rating in a feeder or large UCR.


Your influence label is just a proportion of the aggregated influence of the region's members. You acquire it at the same rate in every region, but you have a much lower proportion of the region's overall influence (represented by the regional power label) in a region with more influence

7) We assume, though I don't think it's been empirically tested, that a WA nation (even one with no endorsements) will gain Influence more quickly than a non-WA nation.


We should definitely test this, I'm not sure exactly how though because the regional control screen doesn't give you any exact numbers. It would require us to leave X number of non-WA nations in one region for Y days, and simultaneously leave the same number of WA nations in another region for the same length of time. If we had a new delegate elected at the start, and the delegate's endorsements were identical at every update, then you would have a test at the end to see how many nations they could eject. Really difficult to get all those WAs though, including the endorsers for the delegate. NationStates for educators allows for unlimited WA nations, could we use this feature for an experiment instead?

8.) WA Delegates accumulate Influence more quickly than any other nation in the region. This seems to be not just a factor of having more endorsements than everyone else, but an actual difference in the daily rate of accumulation based on the fact that you hold the delegacy.


Possible, we could test this too, by having two nations on the same number of endorsement indefinitely, one of them delegate and the other not, just to see if the delegate nation ever pulled ahead in terms of influence (determined by the regional influence screen saying something other than half as the cost to eject).

9) I think it was the folks in TWP who had a theory about Influence calculations also being affected by the number of endorsements given vs. the number received, with a lower ratio of given to received being better for your Influence rating. This is the most speculative of the factors listed.


Like number 8, this is never hinted at in any official text about influence, but we could test it, with a lot of time and WA nations.

10) I've also heard that Influence is like a "pool" shared by all the nations in a region. So you can have 5 Eminence Grise nations in either a very small region or a region that has a bigger "pool" than another region... for whatever reason. This has always seemed a little odd to me, and I don't know whether or not I believe it.


The label refers to the fraction of the overall influence of the region that a nation has, so yes, there is a limit on the number of Eminence Grises you could have, if it means you have at least 10% of the region's influence, then you couldn't have more than 10.

It certainly has nothing to do with forum posts, as the game had no way of tracking that when the forums were hosted on Jolt. I would be very surprised if it had anything to do with whether or not you voted in the WA, but the idea is intriguing. Nation population does not to my knowledge affect the rate at which a nation accumulates Influence; the frequent correlation between population and Influence is simply due to the fact that older nations have had more time to accumulate Influence.

...I feel as if there are things I'm leaving out, but hey.


We've been told that influence isn't affected by activity, in terms of posts or anything else, because then nations would carry out those acts solely to acquire influence, which would have negative effects.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri May 07, 2010 2:20 pm

Echolilia wrote:
Naivetry wrote:5) The size of the region does matter; the fewer nations in the region, the more quickly each of them accumulates Influence. This is why it takes absolutely forever to change your Influence rating in a feeder or large UCR.

10) I've also heard that Influence is like a "pool" shared by all the nations in a region. So you can have 5 Eminence Grise nations in either a very small region or a region that has a bigger "pool" than another region... for whatever reason. This has always seemed a little odd to me, and I don't know whether or not I believe it.

My guess, not even based on observation of nations in regions with dramatically changing population levels, is that your influence is just a number, not at all dependent on anything else in the region, but the label is based on dividing that number by the total influence for the region or total population or something of the sort.


Thats what I believe too. Influence is gained at an equal rate regardless of the size of the region (though obviously it is affected by your WA status/endorsement levels). Regional influence is worked out by adding up this number for all the nations in a region. Your influence rating (eg 'minnow') merely shows what proportion of this regional influence your nation has.


A theoretical example would be this:

Region 1:

Nation A (non WA) has been in the region for 1 update, and has a raw influence figure of '1'
Nation B (non WA) has been in the region for 2 updates, and has a raw influence figure of '2' (fixed - thanks Nai!)
Nation C (non WA) has been in the region for 3 updates, and has a raw influence figure of '3'

Region 1 therefore has a total regional influence of '6'. This means its regional power is 'low'.

Nation A has 16% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Duckspeaker"
Nation B has 33% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Negotiator"
Nation B has 50% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Enforcer"


Of couse, these numbers are entirely wrong, but they're just there to show how it works.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Mon May 17, 2010 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri May 07, 2010 2:25 pm

Oh my Days wrote:
Naivetry wrote:7) We assume, though I don't think it's been empirically tested, that a WA nation (even one with no endorsements) will gain Influence more quickly than a non-WA nation.


We should definitely test this, I'm not sure exactly how though because the regional control screen doesn't give you any exact numbers. It would require us to leave X number of non-WA nations in one region for Y days, and simultaneously leave the same number of WA nations in another region for the same length of time. If we had a new delegate elected at the start, and the delegate's endorsements were identical at every update, then you would have a test at the end to see how many nations they could eject. Really difficult to get all those WAs though, including the endorsers for the delegate. NationStates for educators allows for unlimited WA nations, could we use this feature for an experiment instead?

Simple - get a non-WA nation to found a new region, and then get a WA nation to move in before the next update. Leave them there for a week or two, and then see if they have different influence ratings.

Oh my Days wrote:
Naivetry wrote:9) I think it was the folks in TWP who had a theory about Influence calculations also being affected by the number of endorsements given vs. the number received, with a lower ratio of given to received being better for your Influence rating. This is the most speculative of the factors listed.


Like number 8, this is never hinted at in any official text about influence, but we could test it, with a lot of time and WA nations.

I'm fairly sure that is not true.
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Oh my Days
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Postby Oh my Days » Fri May 07, 2010 2:28 pm

Sedgistan wrote:
Oh my Days wrote:
Naivetry wrote:7) We assume, though I don't think it's been empirically tested, that a WA nation (even one with no endorsements) will gain Influence more quickly than a non-WA nation.


We should definitely test this, I'm not sure exactly how though because the regional control screen doesn't give you any exact numbers. It would require us to leave X number of non-WA nations in one region for Y days, and simultaneously leave the same number of WA nations in another region for the same length of time. If we had a new delegate elected at the start, and the delegate's endorsements were identical at every update, then you would have a test at the end to see how many nations they could eject. Really difficult to get all those WAs though, including the endorsers for the delegate. NationStates for educators allows for unlimited WA nations, could we use this feature for an experiment instead?

Simple - get a non-WA nation to found a new region, and then get a WA nation to move in before the next update. Leave them there for a week or two, and then see if they have different influence ratings.


The difference could be absolutely minute, and might not show up that quickly in terms of influence labels, which is why we would have to massively multiply the scale.

Oh my Days wrote:
Naivetry wrote:9) I think it was the folks in TWP who had a theory about Influence calculations also being affected by the number of endorsements given vs. the number received, with a lower ratio of given to received being better for your Influence rating. This is the most speculative of the factors listed.


Like number 8, this is never hinted at in any official text about influence, but we could test it, with a lot of time and WA nations.

I'm fairly sure that is not true.[/quote]

Same here, would be fun testing though.
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Postby Naivetry » Mon May 17, 2010 11:37 am

It would definitely be fun to test. Problem is finding the WA nations to sit around doing nothing.

Also, with regards to #10... interesting, Sedge/Oh My Days. That does make sense.

Nation A (non WA) has been in the region for 1 update, and has a raw influence figure of '1'
Nation B (non WA) has been in the region for 2 updates, and has a raw influence figure of '2'
Nation C (non WA) has been in the region for 3 updates, and has a raw influence figure of '3'

Region 1 therefore has a total regional influence of '6'. This means its regional power is 'low'.

Nation A has 16% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Duckspeaker"
Nation B has 33% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Negotiator"
Nation B has 50% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Enforcer"

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Postby Sedgistan » Mon May 17, 2010 11:46 am

Oops, fixed that :)
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Postby Oh my Days » Thu May 20, 2010 3:20 am

Naivetry wrote:It would definitely be fun to test. Problem is finding the WA nations to sit around doing nothing.

Also, with regards to #10... interesting, Sedge/Oh My Days. That does make sense.

Nation A (non WA) has been in the region for 1 update, and has a raw influence figure of '1'
Nation B (non WA) has been in the region for 2 updates, and has a raw influence figure of '2'
Nation C (non WA) has been in the region for 3 updates, and has a raw influence figure of '3'

Region 1 therefore has a total regional influence of '6'. This means its regional power is 'low'.

Nation A has 16% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Duckspeaker"
Nation B has 33% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Negotiator"
Nation B has 50% of Region 1's influence, and therefore gets a rating of "Enforcer"


Could we use the NationStates for educators tool to test it?
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Postby Naivetry » Thu May 20, 2010 9:47 am

I don't know... I would guess that Admin wouldn't be too happy with the idea, since the formula is supposed to be all secret and stuff.

I was wondering if some of the folks at Ulthar would be interested enough to test it out, but hadn't gotten around to asking.

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Postby Oh my Days » Thu May 20, 2010 11:42 am

I'm sure that we could use it legitimately, aren't you a teacher Nai? If you couldn't get a class of your own to do it (and it would obviously depend on the freedom in the curriculum and age of the pupils, I doubt 5 year-olds would get much from the game :P), I expect that we have at least one teacher on NS who is sufficiently involved in gameplay to be interested and has a class s/he can get to do it. I would try to do it at my school, but as a pupil I have a lot less control over what happens in class than a teacher does, and I'm on study leave now anyway. Next school year, I'm starting a politics A-level; so if I have a teacher who responds to pupils, I might suggest it.
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Postby Pythria » Thu May 20, 2010 6:23 pm

Naivetry wrote:5) The size of the region does matter; the fewer nations in the region, the more quickly each of them accumulates Influence. This is why it takes absolutely forever to change your Influence rating in a feeder or large UCR.
Tell me about it. I've been in Capitalist Paradise for months and have 82 endorsements, but I'm still a Minnow.
Last edited by Pythria on Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Oh my Days » Fri May 21, 2010 3:32 am

Pythria wrote:
Naivetry wrote:5) The size of the region does matter; the fewer nations in the region, the more quickly each of them accumulates Influence. This is why it takes absolutely forever to change your Influence rating in a feeder or large UCR.
Tell me about it. I've been in Capitalist Paradise for months and have 82 endorsements, but I'm still a Minnow.


That really doesn't matter, you've still got a lot of influence, it's just that other people in your region have a lot of influence too.
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Naivetry
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Postby Naivetry » Fri May 21, 2010 2:05 pm

Yeah, I think perhaps I should update that list now that I understand what's going on a bit better.

Oh my Days wrote:I'm sure that we could use it legitimately, aren't you a teacher Nai?

Alas, I teach college level Latin. I can't think of any reason to coerce them all to join NS, unless it were for extra credit. But that would be Evil.

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Postby Oh my Days » Fri May 21, 2010 2:18 pm

Naivetry wrote:
Oh my Days wrote:I'm sure that we could use it legitimately, aren't you a teacher Nai?

Alas, I teach college level Latin. I can't think of any reason to coerce them all to join NS, unless it were for extra credit. But that would be Evil.


That's a shame, maybe it has some relevance to the political structures in Ancient Rome?
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Postby Naivetry » Fri May 21, 2010 2:43 pm

Oh my Days wrote:
Naivetry wrote:
Oh my Days wrote:I'm sure that we could use it legitimately, aren't you a teacher Nai?

Alas, I teach college level Latin. I can't think of any reason to coerce them all to join NS, unless it were for extra credit. But that would be Evil.


That's a shame, maybe it has some relevance to the political structures in Ancient Rome?

I was considering - purely as a thought experiment, mind - having their nations represent different Roman politicians, or making them write to each other in Latin on the RMB.

But I would have no real reason to tell them who to endorse when and where, and I'd have to keep checking up on them to make sure they'd done it. Plus, do we even know if Influence works the same way in school regions, since they're all signed up for the WA automatically?

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Postby Oh my Days » Fri May 21, 2010 3:20 pm

Naivetry wrote:I was considering - purely as a thought experiment, mind - having their nations represent different Roman politicians, or making them write to each other in Latin on the RMB.

But I would have no real reason to tell them who to endorse when and where, and I'd have to keep checking up on them to make sure they'd done it. Plus, do we even know if Influence works the same way in school regions, since they're all signed up for the WA automatically?


Nalagas is in a registered school class and isn't in the WA, I don't think they are automatically signed up. Although you couldn't control the pupils' endorsements, could you create multiple nations yourself? It is allowed in school classes. Although, I suppose that rather makes the pupils superfluous, and they could also get in the way, be endorsing nations who shouldn't be receiving additional endorsements. We could try just one person using a school class region, but the admins might put a stop to that.
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Postby Naivetry » Fri May 21, 2010 6:07 pm

Oh my Days wrote:Nalagas is in a registered school class and isn't in the WA, I don't think they are automatically signed up. Although you couldn't control the pupils' endorsements, could you create multiple nations yourself? It is allowed in school classes. Although, I suppose that rather makes the pupils superfluous, and they could also get in the way, be endorsing nations who shouldn't be receiving additional endorsements. We could try just one person using a school class region, but the admins might put a stop to that.

Max agrees with me. :P

Looks like Nalagas got the password and moved in afterwards.

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Postby Oh my Days » Sat May 22, 2010 12:11 pm

Naivetry wrote:
Oh my Days wrote:Nalagas is in a registered school class and isn't in the WA, I don't think they are automatically signed up. Although you couldn't control the pupils' endorsements, could you create multiple nations yourself? It is allowed in school classes. Although, I suppose that rather makes the pupils superfluous, and they could also get in the way, be endorsing nations who shouldn't be receiving additional endorsements. We could try just one person using a school class region, but the admins might put a stop to that.

Max agrees with me. :P

Looks like Nalagas got the password and moved in afterwards.


Oops, it's a while since I read that :P
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Postby Grandon » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:11 pm

Sorry to bump an old topic, didn't want to start a new thread on the same issue, but I've got a question for anyone...who can answer.

I'm the current delegate of the region Greece.
My influence was at Dominator.
I ejected/banned a couple of invaders, and it dropped to Super Power.

Long story short, the invaders then deceived the founder and he removed access to the regional controls for the delegate.
So for about a month now, I have not ejected/banned any invaders.

I have gained more WA endorsements since then.

Yet today I look at my nation and my influence has dropped to Power.
I look at the would-be invader delegate, and he has risen to Eminence Grise from about a week or two ago where he was Duckspeaker.
He has all be it, gained a few more WA endorsements.

But how in the hell can anyone explain how his influence has risen while mine has fallen?
Last edited by Grandon on Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Kandarin » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Grandon wrote:But how in the hell can anyone explain how his influence has risen while mine has fallen?


The Influence labels (Power, Eminence Grise, Minnow, etc.) can be a little confusing. Influence is a numerical stat like population or tax rate, but it's one that is not immediately visible. Your influence has risen, not fallen, in the time in which you did not spend it, simply because you were in the region. But the Influence labels aren't a mark of absolute (numerical) influence. They are a mark of your influence relative to the rest of your region. This is why the highest influence label is attained by being alone in a region (and thus having no competition) while the lowest label is hard to escape in the largest regions where one must have a massive amount of influence to stand out. In your case, while you were still gaining influence, the presence of another nation (The would-be invader delegate) with significant influence means that your influence is not as exceptional as it once was. In absolute terms, you're more influential than you were before, but you now have more competition, which means you have a less impressive label.
I wish I remember who wrote:Games like Nationstates are like a big cardboard box, and there are two kinds of people in the world. The kind who look at the empty void inside the box and ask "Where the hell is it?" and the kind who jump into the box with their friends and make it into a fort, or a spaceship.


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