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Issues/Nation Management Tech Development

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.
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Sedgistan
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Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Issues/Nation Management Tech Development

Postby Sedgistan » Sat Jun 19, 2021 5:52 am

Read this News post first: https://www.nationstates.net/page=news/ ... index.html

I'm now running the development for Issues. In short that means I'm making the decisions on what gets passed to admin to code.

Issues are a bit different from some of the other areas that have got Development Managers, in that the issues game regularly gets new content added, thanks to the team of Issues Editors. So the focus here isn't really on the issues themselves, which IEs continue to add, but on the issues-derived information you see on your nation page, such as the description, world census rankings, industries and so on.

The other difference is that a lot of the development is on behind the scenes tools for Issues Editors, or is work that has to happen behind the scenes, because it involves the confidential game stats. But there's still plenty to discuss publicly here.

Before we go any further, I want to make clear that the Bad Faith standard is being imposed in this thread. You are expected to post in good faith. If your post is in bad faith, it will be removed and I will call you out.

The purpose of this thread is to gather views on what changes we can consider making to improve the experience of those managing their nations via issues. Links to previous ideas that already have threads are helpful.

Keep your posts brief. I am not going to read walls of text. Also, it's not expected that we are going to get into long back and forths in this thread over the merits of certain ideas. They'll get their own, separate threads for that. I'm not banning replies, but don't get drawn into those discussions.

From my point of view, what I'd like for us to be able to do is present more information to players about their nation, and go into more detail in some areas.

We've seen some betas go live recently, but there are plenty more ideas for world census rankings in the works. There are aspects of the text that goes into nation pages that could do with some sprucing up, particularly to make use of some new stats we've introduced since changes were last made to this. Additional detail on the "People" tab of the nation page would be good. Yes, we know how everyone dies, but how do they live?

More banners to unlock are on the agenda already - we're in the process of adding more images we can use for these & issues newspaper headlines.

Finally, the dreaded industry reform topic - it's been discussed for years, but needs to be addressed at some point. NS's range of issues are unrealistic and limiting. We'd like to see a more comprehensive range of industries in-game, but ones that continue to recognise NS's quirks, with niche industries such as Beekeeping added alongside the more predictable big ones like Pharmaceuticals.

The concept of adding industries has problems, though, which is part of what's held us back. One is how to present this information on nation pages - if we hadd 30 industries, for example, the industry badges overwhelm regular ones - so do we need those displayed separately? And the other is how we translate existing industry "scores" into new ones. We do not want to undo years of hard work from players, but also want to ensure that all the new rankings are not just dominated by the same nations. I imagine that we'd look to consult on these details, as well as ideas for the new industries themselves, as part of the process.

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Minskiev
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Postby Minskiev » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:09 am

Adding new industries would be interesting, yeah. But I think it'd be important to make sure that the industries we add wouldn't all be dominated by, say, Bright Angel. Industries that wouldn't be controlled by an industrial powerhouse (strange, right) might be more beneficial than the boring Pharmaceuticals. Things like Real Estate maybe, or Architecture, Banking, Waste Management. Stuff like that, perhaps.
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Bears Armed
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Bears Armed » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:32 am

Sedgistan wrote:Finally, the dreaded industry reform topic - it's been discussed for years, but needs to be addressed at some point. NS's range of issues are unrealistic and limiting. We'd like to see a more comprehensive range of industries in-game, but ones that continue to recognise NS's quirks, with niche industries such as Beekeeping added alongside the more predictable big ones like Pharmaceuticals.

Hooray, you remembered your earlier comment (from back when I was pushing through a GA resolution on the topic?) that Bee-keeping would be an interesting addition: Thank you.
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:51 am

Oooh, hi there! This is certainly very interesting news. So yes, I have read through the News section, and also your OP, so... I suppose that I could make a few suggestions based on stats.

So earlier this year, Ransium talked about how the 0.05% cutoff is harsh for extreme nations. I would personally like to see this as well, maybe in the form of settings of sort that allows users to view stat changes with more precision. That is, we already have "Show more stats", so perhaps an option to "Show every change in the stats". The ability to choose is solely because there will be times when a younger nation might not need it, but the older nations do, or simply for those who does not want to see more stats.

As for the Industries, I am okay with it for the most parts - as far as my knowledge goes, there are 18 Industries that exist: 15 Industries, 2 Sectors, and then Tourism. I picked Tourism because it is counted as so in overviews like "The industrial sector, which is highly specialized, is mostly made up of the Information Technology industry, with significant contributions from Tourism and Book Publishing." I am also in favor of having more Industrial statistics added, maybe something about "Social Programs" because I think there is a slight difference between Welfare and Social Programs. Again, I think.

------

Then comes my personal suggestion: Would it be feasible and doable to have stats on Music or Movies? I know it could be said as being under Culture, but Culture as a stats is a little too huge of a blanket, in my opinion. It could have been a combination of: Movies, Music, Literature (that's under Book Publishing, so okay), Opera, Theaters, and so on. Culture is the blanket term for all the Arts people have done, so I was wondering if this could be reflected in more precise details in the form of other stats? I suppose this falls under Industries up there.

Lastly, I am not in favor of having Industry stats being separate from the rest. It could be an option like how you click on the Globe/Flag to show World/Regional stats, so maybe another option beside to separate Industries or not. In short, I don't mind if it is an option, but I don't want the separation to be a default.

This one is more of a small suggestion and food for thought: So API call for stats have precise value for four particular stats: hdi-economy hdi-smart hdi-health hdi-precise, these actually run on much more precise values than HDI you see on stats page, for example. For instance, the API call shows 99.909113504809 instead of 99.91. Is this only for HDI-based stats, or will we see other stats in more precision?

EDIT: Oh, one more thing, and perhaps the most controversial, at least in my eyes. Is there a way to perhaps make it so that other nations are catching up quickly for some of the "hard stats" - ones that involved time or a lot of issue-answering? It's obvious that the early bird gets the gold worm, so even after 5 years, for example, it's hard to break through Inclusiveness, for example. Have been stuck on 15th for a good while, even with my small increments. I know Population, Residency, and Influence are tougher to change, but what about those players who were out of luck because they were not there since the days of Antiquity?

Thanks! ♥
Last edited by Valentine Z on Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:01 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Comfed
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Postby Comfed » Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:08 am

Minskiev wrote:Adding new industries would be interesting, yeah. But I think it'd be important to make sure that the industries we add wouldn't all be dominated by, say, Bright Angel. Industries that wouldn't be controlled by an industrial powerhouse (strange, right) might be more beneficial than the boring Pharmaceuticals. Things like Real Estate maybe, or Architecture, Banking, Waste Management. Stuff like that, perhaps.

I agree with this. And Valentine Z’s last idea.
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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:04 am

Like Valentine Z, I’m interested in making issues less depressingly gerontocratic. If you look at the slope of a stat increase of one issues player and another, you’ll see that they’re roughly the same— it’s virtually impossible to catch up in the stats. Furthermore, those stats have become so dominant with their badges and immediate results shown after answering in issue.

Does anyone have any idea how to solve this?

One idea is to add new Easter eggs for players who do really special things with their nations, like move it through every government type or get a really high percentage of bungee cord deaths.

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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:11 am

Oh here’s an idea!

I figured that old people get pushed out of other subcultures of the game whenever they’re no longer contributing. How about stats atrophy due to a lack of leader participation?

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Sanctaria
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Postby Sanctaria » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:28 am

Thank you for all the comments re industry reform. Sedge didn't originally post this as he wasn't sure if I, as designated PM/point Editor on the team for this, wanted to disclose current status, but I also think it's important people know where we're at.

You'll all be very happy to know that we've (the Editing Team) identified a whole host of new industries, and how industries are built/structured, and we're closing to finalising this and the conceptualisation/basic architectural stage. I am hopeful we'll move on to the start of what will be the implementation stage in the next few weeks. Many of the ideas mentioned here thus far re new industries will be reflected in some way in the new make-up.

That's not to say to expect the industry reform any time soon (#sorrynotsorry) but this update is just to let you all know that we're much further along than we have been before and it's an actual "project" now, and not just an "idea".

*insert Ron Paul "It's Happening" gif here*

P.S. please keep ideas coming (though I think penalising people for not being active in answering issues may be a bit of a non-runner, as that's a little mean :blush: )
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Valentine Z
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Valentine Z » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:59 am

Just to add a bit of an addendum, case in point of some of the stats being a little too much in favor for those who are around longer:

Image
Image

Of course, I am not suggesting that all these should not rely on age, but rather a balancing act of sorts - give those who are here longer an advantage, but perhaps not that big of an advantage. The idea of a stats decaying for not answering issues is also good with me.
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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:03 am

Valentine Z wrote:Just to add a bit of an addendum, case in point of some of the stats being a little too much in favor for those who are around longer:


Of course, I am not suggesting that all these should not rely on age, but rather a balancing act of sorts - give those who are here longer an advantage, but perhaps not that big of an advantage. The idea of a stats decaying for not answering issues is also good with me.

Those graphs are actually a bit misleading in this case, because they include nations that don’t answer issues. If you isolate the top 1000 in certain stats and graph using that, you’ll probably see a much more profound correlation, showing that the situation is even worse than it looks.

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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:03 am

I also don’t imagine that active players like Kindjal or Borland would be really effected by this.

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Valentine Z
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Valentine Z » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:18 am

Ohh whoops. Let me add more in, so sorry to litter this place with graphs. ^^;
Image
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:27 am

I posted some minor issues with the census score units here. I think that fits more closely with this role than any of the others? Whatever it takes to get it looked at.

Valentine Z wrote:Then comes my personal suggestion: Would it be feasible and doable to have stats on Music or Movies? I know it could be said as being under Culture, but Culture as a stats is a little too huge of a blanket, in my opinion. It could have been a combination of: Movies, Music, Literature (that's under Book Publishing, so okay), Opera, Theaters, and so on. Culture is the blanket term for all the Arts people have done, so I was wondering if this could be reflected in more precise details in the form of other stats? I suppose this falls under Industries up there.
Book Publishing isn't necessarily literature. It also covers all sorts of nonfiction books with no artistic merit. Having lots of science textbooks wouldn't make a nation cultured, I think.

Bormiar wrote:Like Valentine Z, I’m interested in making issues less depressingly gerontocratic. If you look at the slope of a stat increase of one issues player and another, you’ll see that they’re roughly the same— it’s virtually impossible to catch up in the stats. Furthermore, those stats have become so dominant with their badges and immediate results shown after answering in issue.
The problem is, either old nations have an advantage, or no-one has an advantage and thousands of nations end up tied for first place, which is what currently happens with the "capped" stats like Civil Rights (1272 nations). Especially bad since the game doesn't currently even pretend to have a fair tiebreaker mechanism (if I recall correctly it's based on DBID).

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Valentine Z
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Valentine Z » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:29 am

Trotterdam wrote:Book Publishing isn't necessarily literature. It also covers all sorts of nonfiction books with no artistic merit. Having lots of science textbooks wouldn't make a nation cultured, I think.

Oh yes, we actually went through this before in my stats thread. My apologies, haha! ^^;
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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:31 am

Trotterdam wrote:
Bormiar wrote:Like Valentine Z, I’m interested in making issues less depressingly gerontocratic. If you look at the slope of a stat increase of one issues player and another, you’ll see that they’re roughly the same— it’s virtually impossible to catch up in the stats. Furthermore, those stats have become so dominant with their badges and immediate results shown after answering in issue.
The problem is, either old nations have an advantage, or no-one has an advantage and thousands of nations end up tied for first place, which is what currently happens with the "capped" stats like Civil Rights (1272 nations). Especially bad since the game doesn't currently even pretend to have a fair tiebreaker mechanism (if I recall correctly it's based on DBID).


I don’t see how that’s the case at all. My atrophy idea would plenty advantage old nations.

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Lord Dominator
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Lord Dominator » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:37 am

Stats atrophying for lack of participation wouldn’t help with catching up really, given that it’d just be a more obvious version of them not answering issues. I agree with Trotterdam that a mechanism for decay (or anything really to remove the advantage of time) would probably result in what are pretty close to gigantic ties.

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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:19 pm

Lord Dominator wrote:Stats atrophying for lack of participation wouldn’t help with catching up really, given that it’d just be a more obvious version of them not answering issues. I agree with Trotterdam that a mechanism for decay (or anything really to remove the advantage of time) would probably result in what are pretty close to gigantic ties.

I don’t think you can say that it already exists and then proceed to say that it would lead to gigantic ties.

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Lord Dominator
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Postby Lord Dominator » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:13 pm

Bormiar wrote:
Lord Dominator wrote:Stats atrophying for lack of participation wouldn’t help with catching up really, given that it’d just be a more obvious version of them not answering issues. I agree with Trotterdam that a mechanism for decay (or anything really to remove the advantage of time) would probably result in what are pretty close to gigantic ties.

I don’t think you can say that it already exists and then proceed to say that it would lead to gigantic ties.

Applying it only to the inactive is the former, applying it to all (I’m aware you didn’t propose that) is the latter.

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USS Monitor
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Postby USS Monitor » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:50 pm

Bormiar wrote:Oh here’s an idea!

I figured that old people get pushed out of other subcultures of the game whenever they’re no longer contributing. How about stats atrophy due to a lack of leader participation?


If someone is not answering issues, their stats are not rising and it is possible for other players to gain ground (even if slowly).
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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:05 pm

USS Monitor wrote:
Bormiar wrote:Oh here’s an idea!

I figured that old people get pushed out of other subcultures of the game whenever they’re no longer contributing. How about stats atrophy due to a lack of leader participation?


If someone is not answering issues, their stats are not rising and it is possible for other players to gain ground (even if slowly).

The idea is to speed it up.

Edit: regardless, if I want to push the idea, I’ll start a dedicated thread.
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Flanderlion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Flanderlion » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:43 pm

I have a bit to say, but will try to keep brief (sentence) for each point. Written more elsewhere on them - and spoilered below.

As an older player, I like the current way how big nations have bigger industries. I would be fine with per capita etc. stats as long as we keep the old ones, so that smaller specialised nations would top that. e.g. Most specialised X in the world vs Largest X in the world.

More industries I like, along with re-balancing.

Issues based on census ranks - e.g. if I'm in the top/bottom X% in world I become eligible for certain issues.

More integration of stats with issues.

Better stat visibility for high stat nations, Val already mentioned this. Show more stats should show all the stats.

Inverse censuses - we have some but I feel like I should have a most exclusive stat to reverse inclusiveness etc.

Not sure if this one fits in here but it is a census that counts the number of WAs in a region. Also reversing/adding the old ways regional stats were calculated in the past of total rather than per capita. Maybe even a filter, but personally I find total better than per capita, but others have different ideas.

Larger dumps with all stats - could be generated less frequently, but the daily dump doesn't have all the info in it so you can't mass compare nations stats with your own tools easily without sending a million requests.

Issue history/stats - what issue options I picked in the past, what % players have picked each option (not immediately visible) and a census for issues addressed.

Issue inbox up to 10 issues - it didn't increase when our issues per day did and has been requested a lot.

Fix flags obscuring trend graphs.

More stats for game events like N day etc.

More love towards Newspaper headlines - they're alright, but I feel like they could be explored more.

More world ranking trend lines/save older rankings - so I can view what I was in comparison to the world rather than the raw stat.

Not sure if currency/challenges fall under this, so will leave them out.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:27 pm

Flanderlion wrote:As an older player, I like the current way how big nations have bigger industries. I would be fine with per capita etc. stats as long as we keep the old ones,
The industry scores are already per capita stats. The factors that cause them to be bigger for older nations are completely separate from the factors that cause older nations to have bigger population.

The only current census score that needs a per capita equivalent is the Black Market score (hint, hint).

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Flanderlion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Flanderlion » Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:35 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Flanderlion wrote:As an older player, I like the current way how big nations have bigger industries. I would be fine with per capita etc. stats as long as we keep the old ones,
The industry scores are already per capita stats. The factors that cause them to be bigger for older nations are completely separate from the factors that cause older nations to have bigger population.

The only current census score that needs a per capita equivalent is the Black Market score (hint, hint).

Oh really? Then I agree that they probably need rebalancing, but I also would like a total stat rather than per capita for it. In a perfect world we'd be able to on the graphs toggle between total, per capita/specialisation and region/world ranking over time.
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Krusavich
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Krusavich » Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:51 am

I would like to bring back an old suggestion Candlewhisper wrote up some years ago regarding a nation's front page description of crime. While Candle's suggestion includes a rework of the Crime stat itself, I feel like a readjusting of the linked descriptions would suffice.

This description has been in need of a rebalance for some time to more accurately reflect how the Crime stat actually trends in-game. Many front page descriptions are like this frankly, but crime is the most egregious.
Last edited by Krusavich on Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sedgistan
Senior Issues Moderator
 
Posts: 31911
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:48 am

Replying to a few:

Flanderlion wrote:Issues based on census ranks - e.g. if I'm in the top/bottom X% in world I become eligible for certain issues.

Why is this different from checking against whatever value there is for that ranking?

Flanderlion wrote:Issue history/stats - what issue options I picked in the past, what % players have picked each option (not immediately visible) and a census for issues addressed.

Cards make this less than useless, annoyingly. The game does record what issues you have had previously, but it's a lot more data to record the options you've picked previously.

Flanderlion wrote:More love towards Newspaper headlines - they're alright, but I feel like they could be explored more.

That's on our internal to-do list to get done at some point. We did add a few a month or two ago, for when your issue decision doesn't actually change anything (what I call "slow news day headlines").

Krusavich wrote:I would like to bring back an old suggestion Candlewhisper wrote up some years ago regarding a nation's front page description of crime. While Candle's suggestion includes a rework of the Crime stat itself, I feel like a readjusting of the linked descriptions would suffice.

That should be relatively easy for us to do, without admin involvement. It's worth posting a thread for any other bits of text you think aren't right.

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