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Anatomy of the Coup II: Attack of the Puppets

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Unibot III
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Anatomy of the Coup II: Attack of the Puppets

Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:33 pm

Anatomy of the Coup II: Attack of the Puppets
The Invasion of the North Pacific

By Unibot.

Last lecture, I discussed Francos Spain's coup of the Pacific. As his regime, the New Pacific Order, grew to fruition, it was perhaps inevitable that the Order would soon set its sights on occupying another feeder region. Attempts were known to have been made against the West Pacific and the South Pacific, but none were as memorable or as successful as the NPO's invasion of the North Pacific. It was a crisis that would rock NationStates and bring its largest region to its knees before ultimately culminating with (arguably) the greatest liberation of all time. If you've ever heard the phrase, "Puppetmaster" and wondered the history behind it, this is the thread for you. Over the course of this lecture, we'll discuss the Puppetmaster Attack and its mechanics in great depth.

It's fair to say in terms of both its ambitious scale and organization and its indisputable significance, this was NationStates at its very best.

Act I: A New Pacific Order

June 17 2004

09:15 GMT: A mysterious figure, UPS Rail, takes the delegacy of the North Pacific from Magicality with 533-522 in endorsements.

His victory is greeted with tepid congratulations from forum-goers. The North Pacific was a democracy at this point, but it recognized the authority of "the UN election mechanism." That having been said, although UPS Rail may have taken the delegacy after months of tarting, he did so having only superficially met the other requirements. For instance, while he had, indeed, announced his candidacy as delegate (Apr 19) as was expected of him, his campaign thread was nonsensical muck. What little of his campaign literature was intelligible ("I'd like to see an eventual overthrow of the NPO") turned out to be outright false upon him taking the delegacy.

Several natives have since expressed their regrets regarding the circumstances that allowed UPS Rail to rise to the delegacy. When Magicality had become very inactive earlier that month due to a real life emergency, her high endorsement count had made it difficult for others to reach her - out of all those actively tarting and pursuing the delegacy (e.g., Blackshear, Costelloism, Thel DRan, Rasputinland, UglyTool, and Cathyy) only one of them (UPS Rail) was in position to bridge the massive endorsement gap. As of consequence, a political unknown entered the delegate seat.

UPS Rail quickly attracted suspicion for his feigned innocence, the mystery surrounding his rise to power, and - not to mention - his name, which was soon recognized as an anagram for 'Sir Paul', an NPO Senator and Director of the Pacific Press!

Image


June 27

After an extended absence, UPS Rail returns to activity to order a vote to be held for July 1st on whether the North Pacific ought to leave the Alliance Defense Network (ADN.) If successful, this would have marked a serious policy reversal for the region. The North Pacific was at that point, a contributing member-region of the Alliance Defense Network (ADN), the largest defender alliance of its day.

But withdrawing from the ADN wasn't the only policy reversal that UPS Rail was planning to announce...

June 28

In a Seattle News exclusive, UPS Rail reports that he hopes to advance a détente with the Pacific. Provided Francos Spain were to change his civil code, widely panned as illiberal, UPS Rail suggests that the North Pacific would in turn work with the Pacific in the (yet to be formed) multilateral pact, the League of the Pacifics. That alliance, the brainchild of then East Pacific delegate, 1 Infinite Loop, hoped to be ratified by all of the Game-Created Regions by August 1. If both the Pacific and the North Pacific were to have joined such an alliance, the shared membership would have signaled the interregional acceptance of Franco's (otherwise) pariah state.

This would have been a major aboutface for the North Pacific whose past delegates - including Nastic and the Twoslit Experiment - had been outspoken critics of the New Pacific Order.

In the next twenty-four hours however, the situation quickly turned hot.

June 29

04:51 GMT - Shots fired! UPS Rail ejects and bans a number of natives with high endorsement counts: Magicality, Thel D'Ran, Welshland, Costelloism, Cathyy, Fengate, Alexein, Fred the Nation, Eye-Err-Land, and Blackshear. The immediate reaction from natives on the forum ("Old Blue," as it was nicknamed) is outrage at the betrayal.

05:01 GMT – UPS Rail changes the North Pacific's World Factbook Entry with a message reminiscent of Francos Spain's first World Factbook Entry. He links the region's factbook to the New Pacific Order's proboards and suggests the North Pacific is now a colony in an NPO Empire - quite literally "A New Pacific Order." (“Tyranny has been deposed! The North Pacific is now guided by the ideals of Peace, Strength, and Prosperity. A New Pacific Order has been formed. Establish yourself on the NPO forums at (cut and paste) http://newpacificorder.proboards19.com/index.cgi “)

14:55 GMT - Francos Spain changes the Pacific's World Factbook Entry to subtly (or not so subtly?) recognize the events in the North Pacific. He makes a curious reference to "the Great Empire of the Pacific." ("With strength, valor, and discipline, the NPO continues to instill pride in and defend the honor of the industrious citizens of the Great Empire of the Pacific. The whole of the world is waiting and wondering what the next great advance of our progressive revolution will be.")

On the NPO forums, Francos Spain dodges the question of whether UPS Rail is Sir Paul, maintaining a wafer-thin claim to plausible deniability. He portrays UPS Rail's takeover of the North Pacific as a victory for truth against the hypocrisy of his detractors - a common theme in his propaganda:

"The North Pacific has thrown off its shackles of delusion and deceit. The embodiment of corruption that was the NP's former government has been exposed as the liars and warmongers they really are.

To sum this up in a single sentence: The North Pacific has crumbled under the weight of its own hypocrisy.

With regard to the identity of UPS Rail, I suppose the question that really matters is what difference it would make to you. You don't like the idea of being deposed by a traitor so you seek him to be of those with whom you are openly at war? I say, the latter of these would seem to only hurt your cause even more. At least if he's simply a traitor, you have no one to blame but him. An operative, however, and you'd have no one to blame but yourselves. The abounding conspiracy theories never cease to entertain me.

The road ahead is a windy one, but we know what lies at its end. The perseverance of the NPO and its supporters has always triumphed over every task set before them. We no doubt stand on the dawn of a new and even brighter day; let us celebrate this revolutionary turn of events and work to bring to fruition all of its potential."

June 30 - July 03

The North Pacific's crew - Poe, Democratic Donkeys, Nastic, Hiooland, and Ananke - were managing a very effective unendorsement campaign against UPS Rail. It's fair to say that while UPS Rail was clearing the region of competitors, he was still hemorrhaging endorsements at an extraordinary rate. Over this period (less than five days), UPS Rail dropped 267 endorsements - almost halving his endorsement count.

July 01 - The West Pacific, a fellow ADN member-region, passes a public condemnation of UPS Rail calling his acts, "unacceptable and inexcusable". 1

And then things get weird.

July 04

06:00 GMT - Just before the start of update, UPS Rail ejects another round of competitors to his endorsement count.
06:12 GMT - UPS Rail departs the UN, leaving the delegacy vacant.

Shortly thereafter, UPS Rail posts a dubious apology for the coup citing Francos' betrayal ("Franco double-crossed me"). He also says by departing the UN, a relatively new native, Costelloism, will be next in line to take the delegacy. Unfortunately though, that message was a smokescreen for NPO's true intentions. Logically, UPS Rail wouldn't have cleared the region of competitors if he had wanted to pass the delegacy to natives. And there was another issue too, one tiny little problem: Costelloism wasn't next in line.

At that time, without a rare Endorsement Count "scraper" script it was difficult to know who was in next line with UPS Rail, but the North Pacific's natives just so happened to have access to such a script via Blackbird (ADN Intelligence) who distributed updates to Thel D'Ran. They found a mysterious new figure, Great Bight was leading Costelloism for the delegacy, 229-153. There was no time to correct the situation.

07:39 GMT - Great Bight becomes delegate.

Image
UPS Rail bleeding endorsements from June 29-July 04.


Act II: Great Bight

Great Bight was the original NationStates account of the player better known as Mammothistan - NPO Senator, an invader with the Farkers/Puddists, former Atlantic Alliance soldier (as "New People"), and future NPO Emperor. Great Bight joined NationStates on Jan 06 2003 and moved to Sea of Cecil, which was also where the nation resided before it was moved to endorse UPS Rail after the initial takeover (June 29) in the North Pacific. It's important however to remember that the real identity of Great Bight was suspected but confirmation only came later when Mammothistan admitted as much to Unistrut. Thus when Great Bight took office that fateful American Independence Day, there remained a (naive) aura of mystery surrounding his intentions and his affiliations.

This is an example of a tarting message which Great Bight had used over the course of the past few days to raise his endorsements:

"The Martian Pirate Plutocracy of Great Bight
Received: 1 day ago Ahoy, ______! 

I have given your nation my UN endorsement. 'Tis a sign of good faith and one I'd dearly hope you would return in kind. Would you please return this friendly gesture?"

Despite Great Bight's kooky pirate-like demeanor, any goodwill that the new delegate had with the North Pacific's residents was soon squandered by his fondness for the ban button. Players began to debate whether the griefing rules in place (in lieu of today's Regional Influence system) applied to Game-Created Regions and whether it was possible Great Bight could run afoul of them notwithstanding the ban limit (200 Nations.)

July 08

Great Bight institutes an endorsement cap of 180, applying it retroactively to eject a number of close endorsees and some not so close endorsees. The banjections are only vaguely related to the cap. Determined to raise hell for their new delegate, however, many North Pacific natives returned three, four, even five times to the North Pacific over the coming weeks to tart and collect endorsements in defiance of Great Bight.

Meanwhile, a joint resolution was submitted to both houses of the ADN Congress to (1) refuse recognition to Great Bight's delegacy, (2) condemn the manner in which he rose to power, (3) dismiss the legitimacy of Great Bight's withdrawal of the North Pacific from ADN as "unilateral and unlawful," and, (4) offer the organization's full support for the North Pacific's government-in-exile. The resolution ultimately passes, 19-1-2 (For-Against-Abstain.) 2

And then things got a little weirder still...

July 10

16:11:03 GMT – Melkor Unchained ejects Great Bight from the UN by for “gross infractions.” The ban list is cleared.

20:30 GMT - Responding to the power vaccum in a gob-smacking turn of events, Francos Spain (the Pacific's delegate) himself launches into the North Pacific. He also alters the Pacific's World Factbook Entry to request UN Nations to support him:

Image
(This is a faithful impression of the transcribed WFE / Population.)3

At update, Poskrebyshev - Francos' right hand man - would take control of the Pacific with 320 endorsements.

21:53 GMT - Great Bight's UN ban is quickly reversed when Melkor Unchained was made aware of prior rulings related to Francos Spain.

Melkor: “Alright, I need to say something. I'm overruling myself. Great Bight was ejected from the UN wrongfully and the ban on his admission to the UN has been lifted.

I mistakenly ejected him from the UN based on outdated rulings. I was only made aware of the Francos Spain ruling today, as it occured some time ago during one of my lengthy absences from the game. I've sent an apology to Great Bight, but wanted to make one here as well.. “

Despite being removed from the delegacy, Great Bight never lost access to the regional controls because the region hadn't updated. He returned to the delegacy once his endorsements were returned. With a vengeance, he booted a number of nations that were vaguely in position to challenge him, including Xtraordinary Gentlemen, Thel D'Ran, Mikitivity and Nastic.

July 11

12:43 GMT - Francos Spain writes on the North Pacific's RMB, "Please endorse Francos Spain for brighter days."

He begins to slowly collect endorsements in the North Pacific with this tarting message:

"Greetings ____, 

I have given you my endorsement as a show of support. Would you kindly endorse me back?"


Four days later though, Francos Spain logged in for the last time (till 2011.) His inactivity soon started to draw the attention of others. At this point however, the NPO Senate explained his absence as a "vacation."

July 13

Loop's League of Pacifics hits a major diplomatic stumbling block as a question arises over who will represent the North Pacific in the League: the government-in-exile or Great Bight? Mammothistan and the New Pacific Order's delegation contends that it is inappropriate for a government-in-exile to be recognized by the League, while the North Pacific's delegation contends it is inappropriate for the League to recognize the legitimacy of Great Bight. 1 Infinite Loop's suggested compromise to allow both delegations to sit on the League of Pacifics pleases neither side and contributes to the project's ultimate failure. While Lazarus and the East Pacific eagerly ratified the League of Pacifics, the North Pacific and the West Pacific confirmed their opposition to the treaty and the Pacific never ratified it.

Image


Act III: Better Times

July 16 marked a noticeable change of tone in the North Pacific. More than two weeks into the invasion, natives - tired of Great Bight's regime - were growing more frustrated and outspoken. A number of high profile members, including Poe, were deleted for flaming and spamming.

With the banjections starting to pile up (many residents were banned multiple times), messages on the region forum started to express doubts that the occupation of the North Pacific would ever end. Indeed, many were wondering just what it was defenders - their treatied allies - were planning to do about the occupation if anything? To that end, the mission's organizers from the GLA/A.L.L. - Ananke, Crazygirl, and Free4All (Ballotonia) - were facing serious pressure to reassure everyone that a plan was in the works, while also defending its unconventional approach.

"Unconventional," is putting it lightly. The operation pioneered an ingenious 'pre-endorsement' technique which Free4All had actually devised for the purposes of overthrowing the New Pacific Order in the Pacific. It was only in light of the dire circumstances facing the North Pacific, that the wily plan - the region's best hope for a liberation - was put into action. And so began, "The Puppetmaster Attack."

With failure conceivably resulting in a permanent NPO occupation, the very fate of region depended on the mission's success...

Players were instructed by the mission's organizers to found three anonymous non-UN puppet nations in the North Pacific and distribute their names and passwords to the mission's organizers. By now, we could already see signs of the operation quietly percolating on the North Pacific's regional happenings under the cover of anonymity. For instance, if you look hard on July 14 (15:45), you can see one player founding two disposable puppets in the North Pacific to use in the operation: their names, "Soviet Urinals" and "Wickedly evil people."5 Less than a day later on July 15 11:08:37, Free4All would found "Better Times," one of the mission's three lead nations (in the end the only one which was utilized).


When the mission's organizers logged into each of these non-UN puppet nations, they 'pre-endorsed' the mission's lead nations (which were also non-UN puppet nations at that time) by posting an endorsement action ("endorse.cgi") with the otherwise correct CHK values. This process allowed the mission's puppetmasters to endorse a non-UN nation with another non-UN nation, albeit without said endorsement 'counting' as a real endorsement until both nations joined the UN. It should also be said that because the mission predated National Happenings, Dossiers, and the Activity page, there was no sign present on either nation that an endorsement had been given or received. Throughout this process, participants never lost access to their puppet nations. Free4All was in constant communication with the site admins and game moderators to verify the legality of the Puppetmaster Attack.

The value in this technique was the anonymity it gave the lead nations and the mission's participants in the run-up to update, but also the simplicity of the mission for its participants. Provided you didn't try to understand the byzantine logic behind it, the instructions were terribly simple: make a puppet nation, give the password to so and so, and join the UN when the organizers ordered you to. If your nation was ejected by Great Bight, you had back-up nations to rejoin the liberation with - as did the lead participants. It was a liberation for which anyone could participate in, and indeed, it needed to be. Despite a determined and effective unendorsement campaign against Great Bight, his endorsement levels remained stubbornly high due to his reliance on foreign support. By July 19, it was noted that Great Bight had retained only five native endorsements. Between Great Bight and Francos Spain, approximately 148 foreign endorsements had been amassed from the New Pacific Order, USSR, and New Sparrow. To unseat Great Bight, the liberation recruited over 180 participants but only two thirds of them, 121, ultimately joined the UN in time and contributed to the final count. Ananke notes that out of the participating forces, the North Pacific, TITO (10000 Islands) and the ADN provided the largest numbers; while she’s confident the liberation could have recruited more participants, security concerns kept recruitment confined to trusted defender circles.

July 28

08:23 GMT - Update in the North Pacific begins.
08:23 GMT - Better Times joins the UN. (Now with 120 Endorsements.)
08:27 GMT - Update in the North Pacific ends.
08:27 GMT - Better Times replaces Great Bight as TNP's Delegate.

At this point in time, the order of NationStates' update was in fact randomized (much to the annoyance of defenders), which meant liberators typically had to move into their target-regions at the beginning of update (6 GMT), leaving them wholly exposed to invader leads for hours. However, as part of Puppetmaster's unique method of attack, the lead nation only had to join the UN before it was updated itself by the update mechanism. There was no need to be a UN member at the start of the region update, and even if the lead nation were to be ejected before the regional update concluded, after being updated in the region its endorsement would count towards the delegacy regardless.

08:31 GMT - Better Times banjects Great Bight6
08:31 GMT - Better Times removes Great Bight from the region's banlist.
08:31 GMT - Better Times banjects Francos Spain
08:32 GMT - Better Times removes Francos Spain from the region's banlist.

Immediately after taking the delegacy, Better Times began trading endorsements to build his count and secure the region with the intention of departing from the UN when the government-in-exile's delegate, Thel D'Ran, was safely in position to take the reins. This is a screen capture of the North Pacific as it appeared on July 30 (01:08:36), freshly liberated. Better Times added an excerpt to the World Factbook Entry from the Broadway Musical, Les Misérables, an allusion to Paris' June Rebellion of 1832. Although the delegate's clock says "elected 42 days ago" - this is a technical bug, which had been present throughout the coup - the correct time would have been "elected 1 day, 17 hours ago."

July 31

06:12 GMT - Thel D'Ran becomes the delegate of The North Pacific. To tart his way to the delegacy, Thel had to endorse more than 1350 nations. Yikes!

September 13

07:10:01 GMT - The Stabilizing Force of Francos Spain ceases to exist in The Rejected Realms, after being kicked from The North Pacific by Better Times.

____________________________________________________________________

1 Below is a copy of the West Pacific's full statement.
Official Statement of The West Pacific on the Recent Situation in The North Pacific

We, the Provisional Legislature of the West Pacific, with all legal powers vested in us by the second Constitutional committee, hereby declare the following:

-The actions of UPS Rail are illegal and jeopardize the freedom that all nations deserve in the NS world.
-We condemn those actions as intolerable acts that are unacceptable and inexcusable.
-We encourage the ADN to act in the defense of freedom, and because all the Pacifics are threatened by this new development, we activate the mutual defense clause of the ADN charter.
-Furthermore, we encourage all citizens of free regions to take measures to end the tyrannical and illegal reign of UPS rail.

Passed by unanimous vote of The Provisional Council of The West Pacific, July 1, 2004.

2 Below is a copy of the ADN's full joint resolution.
Joint Resolution of the Senate and House:

WHEREAS: The current delegate of the North Pacific, Great Bight, rose to power by means contrary to the stated procedure as outlined in the lawful Constitution of the North Pacific Region.

WHEREAS: Great Bight has illegally ejected all opposition (to wit: UglyTool and others early morning 7/8/04) and wrongfully imposed an endorsment cap of 180.

WHEREAS: Great Bight has unilaterally and unlawfully withdrawn the North Pacific from all alliances and treaties and closed all NP embassies.

BE IT RESOLVED: That the Alliance Defense Network, all its offices, government officials, military and intelligence operations and personnel, The ADN in all its totality; refuses to recognize Great Bight as the delegate of the North Pacific.

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED: That the ADN also refuses to recognize any appointees or enactments by the so called delegate, Great Bight.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the ADN will recognize the last lawfully appointed representatives of the North Pacific (as of 17 June 2004) as the de-facto lawful government of the North Pacific in exile and work with said Lawful Government and its representatives to restore the North Pacific to a status of lawful governance in accordance with the North Pacific Constitution. Said lawfully appointed representatives shall be referred to as "The Lawful Government of the North Pacific".
---------------------

4 Text of the Pacific's World Factbook Entry. (July 10.)
The Pacific

World Factbook Entry: http://newpacificorder.proboards19.com/index.cgi

UN nations are requested to temporalily move to The North Pacific and endorse Francos Spain.

UN Delegate: None.

The Pacific contains 6,128 nations. [List all nations]

5 Yes, that Wickedly Evil People.
6 I dated these times based on Zeta Black's founding time. A nation which happened to be founded at the same time as these happenings.

Acknowledgements

Flemingovia assiduously noted the endorsement and ban levels multiple times a day on a regular basis - a public record which was essential to compiling this analysis. Each morning he would playfully invoke the style of a BBC news bulletin to announce the delegate's endorsement count. Much of the data presented here can be attributed to Flemingovia, yet again evidencing his incontrovertible divinity.

Thel D'ran also contributed quite a lot to my research with his own retelling of events in his "History of the War."

I’m also indebted to Ballotonia, Ananke and Eluvatar for peer-reviewing this lecture. The mission details and the mechanics of the Puppetmaster Attack are complicated and easy to misinterpret; it was important to me to get them right for the public record. I dedicate this lecture to Free4All, Sydia, and Goobergunchia.
Last edited by Unibot III on Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:52 am, edited 12 times in total.
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but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
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Fauxia
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Postby Fauxia » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:43 pm

Wow. Wow. Just wow.
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Postby Galiantus III » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:28 pm

:clap:

This is why gameplay is awesome.
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Postby Lenlyvit » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:35 pm

It was a very good read, good job Unibot. Did they use the "endorse.cgi" in the domain? Or somewhere else?
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:52 pm

Lenlyvit wrote:It was a very good read, good job Unibot. Did they use the "endorse.cgi" in the domain? Or somewhere else?


That's a great question.

There's at least two ways you could do it. (1) Through the domain like you say, or (2) alter the html page of a WA Nation to switch out their CHK value with a different CHK value and then press the "Endorse" button.

I don't know what Free4All used in 2004. Free4All taught me the pre-endorsement method with the latter approach. But it's an easier method to do using Mozilla's Firebug and Chrome's inspect tool - neither of which were around back then.
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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✯ Duty is Eternal, Justice is Imminent: UDL

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Postby Gracius Maximus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:36 am

A good read. I’m glad it kept mostly to the facts and didn’t sensationalise like a lot of the ‘winning’ side accounts have done over the years.
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Wickedly evil people
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Postby Wickedly evil people » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:47 am

I had a third nation there for the puppetmaster but don't remember its name. after the dust settled I moved to the West Pacific as you likely know already...
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Marilyn Manson Freaks
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Postby Marilyn Manson Freaks » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:32 am

Good read.
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Postby Crazy girl » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:44 am

Reading this you make it sound so simple :P

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Postby Malphe » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:59 am

A very good read, I'm impressed by the sheer detail in this.
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:40 am

Galiantus III wrote::clap:

This is why gameplay is awesome.

This is why gameplay was awesome. Nothing remotely this interesting has happened in years.

In any event, thanks for compiling this information like this Unibot, it was very informative and fun to read.
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Malphe
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Postby Malphe » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:34 am

Cormactopia Prime wrote:
Galiantus III wrote::clap:

This is why gameplay is awesome.

This is why gameplay was awesome. Nothing remotely this interesting has happened in years.

For as awesome as this sounds, I'm very content with it staying in the past.
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Cormactopia Prime
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:21 pm

Malphe wrote:
Cormactopia Prime wrote:This is why gameplay was awesome. Nothing remotely this interesting has happened in years.

For as awesome as this sounds, I'm very content with it staying in the past.

Yes, most people feel that way these days. That's why actual gameplay is now rare, if not non-existent, outside the humdrum R/D skirmishes, and why so many formerly gameplay regions have either found something else to do (such as roleplay), become embroiled in constant OOC toxicity, or gone quiet.
Last edited by Cormactopia Prime on Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Gibraltarica
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Ex-Nation

Postby Gibraltarica » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:31 pm

Cormactopia Prime wrote:
Malphe wrote:For as awesome as this sounds, I'm very content with it staying in the past.

Yes, most people feel that way these days. That's why actual gameplay is now rare, if not non-existent, outside the humdrum R/D skirmishes, and why so many formerly gameplay regions have either found something else to do (such as roleplay), become embroiled in constant OOC toxicity, or gone quiet.

Shame, too. How are the new folks supposed to be content with bureaucracy and RP? Gameplay deserves a good coup/scandal every few months.
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Unibot III
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Unibot III » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:17 pm

Cormactopia Prime wrote:
Galiantus III wrote::clap:

This is why gameplay is awesome.

This is why gameplay was awesome. Nothing remotely this interesting has happened in years.

In any event, thanks for compiling this information like this Unibot, it was very informative and fun to read.


Thanks Cormac. Controversial point, perhaps, but I would argue the invasion of the North Pacific is probably only interesting because the NPO lost. If Free4All, CG, and Ananke hadn't pulled Puppetmaster out of thin air, Great Bight had all the means at his disposal to be delegate of the North Pacific indefinitely. The game doesn't have a means to combat piling - and the invasion of the North Pacific is in some ways just a major case of piling (120+) in line with what we're seeing unfold in Westphalia. Liberators/natives would have had to have waited till a server error appeared to exploit (the next one came Sep 26, 2004.)

If TNP hadn't been liberated, I doubt the region would have been a bastion of internal activity. A lot of people would have lost their NS region and NPO would have annexed TNP. Mammothistan's regime, "ALSO" was basically a non-entity - completely 'astroturfed.' It's like imagining what would have happened to Lazarus if Kazmr hadn't defected, or TEP/TNP if the Empire or Ivan hadn't gotten bored. I would argue the 'Undead Dominion' is finding out the hard way that stripping a region of its community isn't a great basis for activity. It's all fun and games when the "good guys" win, but without an end date, a lot of these occupations are just outright boring internally.

I do think the game is missing the kind of risk-takers, the mischievousness, and the political intrigue that made this invasion fun, but I think it's important to point out that we might have a different opinion of the North Pacific occupation if it hadn't had a happy ending. I wanted to write this lecture because I've met a number of new players who had never heard of Puppetmaster - and I thought that was horrible! When I was a newbie, I remember we'd sit around an IRC channel like it was a campfire and listen to Kandarin or Goober or Eluvatar or whoever retell the invasion and we'd be transfixed by it. I probably heard the story of how TNP was freed two dozen times and I never got bored of it. But I'm not sure it's a story that would have been retold as much if it it had had a different conclusion.

Wickedly evil people wrote:I had a third nation there for the puppetmaster but don't remember its name


'Gun wielding psychos' or 'Weathered Stone', perhaps?

Gracius Maximus wrote:A good read. I’m glad it kept mostly to the facts and didn’t sensationalise like a lot of the ‘winning’ side accounts have done over the years.


Crazy girl wrote:Reading this you make it sound so simple :P


Thanks, both of you. The real challenge, beyond trying to understand the logistics of Puppetmaster (grrrrr), was determining what to put in the lecture and what to leave on the editing floor. There were months of events relevant to the invasion. To keep the lecture feeling streamlined like an after-action report, I had to leave some events undiscussed:

- Blackshear's backstory that explains how Magicality became delegate.
- New Sparrow's betrayal of the ADN.
- The ALSO 'government'.
- ADN's attempts to disrupt the Posk-Unlimited transition [Aug 8].
Last edited by Unibot III on Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Greater Moldavi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:34 pm

From a certain point of view, the ADN, through its betrayal of the founding ideals and the move towards imperialism, betrayed New Sparrow.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:56 pm

Greater Moldavi wrote:From a certain point of view, the ADN, through its betrayal of the founding ideals and the move towards imperialism, betrayed New Sparrow.


And from a certain point of view, the sun appears to revolve around the Earth.

The ADN's support for TNP's government-in-exile cannot reasonably be interpreted as a betrayal of its founding ideals. The North Pacific was a member-region of the ADN. Defending the North Pacific was not just consistent with its founding ideals and its constitution, it would have been a serious abandonment of the ADN's foundational ethos, explicit and implicit, to have sided with Great Bight.

An alternative point of view is that twenty-one days into a coup that looked to be very successful, New Sparrow betrayed the ADN to support the winning side.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:42 pm

I've made a dispatch version for those who like to link articles in their WFE and such.
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Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
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Vulturret
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Postby Vulturret » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:34 pm

Very interesting.
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Postby Alkasia » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:04 pm

Had no idea about all the logistics of the Puppetmaster attack. An ingenious strategy, indeed.
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The Atlae Isles
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Postby The Atlae Isles » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:44 pm

Just making sure, but Great Bight is not Great Bights Mum, right? :P

Very good read overall.
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Greater Moldavi
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Postby Greater Moldavi » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:28 am

Unibot III wrote:
Greater Moldavi wrote:From a certain point of view, the ADN, through its betrayal of the founding ideals and the move towards imperialism, betrayed New Sparrow.


And from a certain point of view, the sun appears to revolve around the Earth.

The ADN's support for TNP's government-in-exile cannot reasonably be interpreted as a betrayal of its founding ideals. The North Pacific was a member-region of the ADN. Defending the North Pacific was not just consistent with its founding ideals and its constitution, it would have been a serious abandonment of the ADN's foundational ethos, explicit and implicit, to have sided with Great Bight.

An alternative point of view is that twenty-one days into a coup that looked to be very successful, New Sparrow betrayed the ADN to support the winning side.

I’m not speaking only of the actions in TNP, although I do admit that such a viewpoint is in the minority and somewhat off-topic (although the OP brought New Sparrow into the conversation).

But, in talking about the ADN position within TNP specifically, yes, TNP was a member region. But, the policy of the ADN was to actively support administrations that were favourable to them while actively opposing any dissent and seeking to discredit anyone that spoke out against that outside organisation dictating the internal affairs of the region. That occurred in many of the larger ADN regions. Luckily, New Sparrow had an active Founder that wasn’t easily coerced.
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Gracius Maximus
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Postby Gracius Maximus » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:31 am

Alkasia wrote:Had no idea about all the logistics of the Puppetmaster attack. An ingenious strategy, indeed.

Some at the time considered it more devious than ingenious.
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The Noble Thatcherites
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Postby The Noble Thatcherites » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:59 am

Wonderful read. Great lecture, Unibot. :)
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Unibot III
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Unibot III » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:07 pm

Greater Moldavi wrote:But, in talking about the ADN position within TNP specifically, yes, TNP was a member region. But, the policy of the ADN was to actively support administrations that were favourable to them while actively opposing any dissent and seeking to discredit anyone that spoke out against that outside organisation dictating the internal affairs of the region. That occurred in many of the larger ADN regions. Luckily, New Sparrow had an active Founder that wasn’t easily coerced.


This may be true and, if so, you might as well be singing to the choir since I am to the FRA what EuroSoviets was the ADN, but I don't think UPS Rail/Great Bight were just 'unfavorable administrations,' they were in the process of destroying the administrations and the institutions themselves.

I understand what you're saying about larger regions. When you're a defender alliance and you have some larger democratic regional members (where there's a lot of administrative turnover), you spend a inordinate amount of time trying to keep them in the fold and it can compromise your judgement.

The Atlae Isles wrote:Just making sure, but Great Bight is not Great Bights Mum, right? :P


Nope, she's a TNPer who made that nation to mock Great Bight and it's since become her main nation. The founding date is July 21, 2004 - mid-invasion. If you look hard enough on Old Blue you can find out her original main nation. :P
Last edited by Unibot III on Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of The Rejected Realms | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
Unibotian Factbook // An Analysis of NationStates Generations // The Gameplay Alignment Test // NS Weather // How do I join the UDL? // The Transpacific Trade
Paradise Found // The Unibotian Life Expectancy Index // Proudly Authored 9 GA Res., 14 SC Res. // Commended by SC#78 // The Polysemes of Nativeness;

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