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A Guide to Getting Started in International Incidents

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Milograd
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A Guide to Getting Started in International Incidents

Postby Milograd » Tue May 01, 2012 1:00 pm

A Guide to Getting Started in International Incidents

[ Stickies ]

As a new player in international incidents, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the size and varying quality of posts in the forum. With threads of various tech persuasions coexisting with one another, it is understandable that one might not know where to start their roleplaying experience here. It's generally advisable, however, that you read the "sticky" threads which are pinned at the top of the forum. Reading the stickies is the first thing that any new player should do before posting in this forum, as you're likely going to make a fool of yourself if you refrain from initially doing so.

[ Taking Advice and Seeking Help ]

Upon reading the stickies, you can attempt to make a roleplaying thread or seek advice and help concerning issues not addressed in the stickies. As a new player, it's best to assume that you know nothing. Other players whom have more experience on the boards will be willing to help you if you request assistance, and you'll probably find yourself receiving lots of advice when you first join the site. It's best that you take most of that advice, albeit it's important to know who's advice is worth taking. Be willing to take advice and accept criticism with an open mind, because a vast majority of roleplayers here want to help others succeed. A good source for credible instructions and critiquing can be found at the NationStates Mentors Hub, located here here. Be willing to take advice, accept criticism, but also be mindful that not everyone knows what they're talking about.

[ Writing Conventions and Post Length ]

The problem with most new posters in international incidents is that they are unaware of the standard this forum maintains; if you're over the age of thirteen and are capable of writing coherent sentences, you really have no excuse not to be, at the very least, a decent roleplayer. Using proper grammar, punctuation, spacing, and spelling is all that's really necessary to make a half decent post. It's also useful if you put single spaces between your paragraphs, which is something that new players seem to avoid for whatever reason. The typical post in International Incidents consists of multiple paragraphs and is elaborate enough to convey what needs to be said in a story. Bloating a post with superfluous information irrelevant to the plot really isn't necessary, though thats a matter of preference, and it is a common misconception that length equates to post quality. Regardless, making multi-paragraph posts with proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, et cetera is essential in becoming a decent roleplayer. One-liners written in textspeak or without punctuation aren't going to help a new player fit in here. Writing posts in Microsoft Word is a great way to ensure that your posts have proper spelling and no severe grammatical issues.

[ Post Content and Common Sense ]

If you’re capable of posting multiple-paragraphs with decent grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling, the next challenge many newbies face is that the content of their posts often becomes an issue. If you’ve read the stickies, you probably know what godmodding and wanking are, so you’ll know that it’s ideal that you avoid doing such in your roleplay posts. It’s best to ensure that what you post in a thread is fitting for that thread, and that it will be tolerated by your fellow roleplayers. Using common sense when posting is always worthwhile. Before posting something, a newbie should ask themself, “does it make sense for me to post this given the circumstances in this thread?”

[ Military Technology and Tactics ]

The next issue that far too many new players have trouble with is the usage and utilization of military technology and tactics in roleplays. It would be silly to assume that most users of Nationstates have a vast knowledge in regards to the military tech/tactics that that plan on employing in roleplays, but users are still expected to do their research before posting with a certain piece of equipment or tactic. A simple google search and a few minutes of research can help a newbie avoid making a fool of themselves by misusing a piece of military equipment or a tactic, and can also help a player avoid overestimation of a weapon’s capabilities. If a roleplayer has any questions or concerns pertaining to the utilization of modern military technology or tactics in a roleplay, it is advisable that they visit the NSDraftroom or seek information from reliable internet resources. If a player roleplays a nation of the future technology persuasion, they can ask for advice here.

[ Out-of-Character Understanding of Roleplay's Nature ]

Lastly, it is advisable that a new player understands the nature of roleplay on Nationstates. Roleplay is a collaborative effort at writing a story on these boards, and is in no way a competition. Winning wars in-character and becoming powerful is not the point of the game – writing stories is the point of the game. New players and old players alike should be willing to take losses, make compromises when necessary, et cetera. It is far too common that a new player will join the site and attempt to become “the most powerful nation.” In doing so, they tend to reject losses in conflicts, act arrogant when cooperation in a roleplay is necessary, and generally be dicks. As a new player, it is encouraged that you understand that Nationstates roleplay is not a competition and that compromise and out-of-character cooperation are the two most important keys in successfully writing a roleplay. It is also worth noting that the use of superlatives when describing an aspect of one's nation, such as "best" or "largest," is frowned upon because the Nationstates universe is too vast to accurately conclude who or what possesses such titles.

[ Conclusion ]

Ultimately, if you read the stickies upon joining, write multi-paragraph posts and use proper writing conventions, use common sense when posting, do research before using military technology or tactics, and understand that roleplay is not a competition, any newbie should be able to adjust to the II forum quite well, and pretty quickly. You'll definitely make mistakes during your time in International Incidents, but people will call you out on it and you can make adjustments as you see fit. Upon grasping the aforesaid concepts and applying them to your participation in II, the rest of your roleplaying experience is really a matter of trial and error. You'll improve as you become more experienced on the site, but grasping the above concepts and ideas early on can help accelerate your initial rate of improvement.

[ Site Rules ]

Reading the rules of Nationstates is also advisable to any new user of this forum, as doing so will inform you of what behavior is and is not tolerated on Nationstates.
Last edited by Jenrak on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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New Federation China
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Postby New Federation China » Tue May 01, 2012 9:55 pm

Because obviously there aren't enough of these "Help" threads...Obviously.
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Radiatia
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Postby Radiatia » Tue May 01, 2012 10:18 pm

I'm somewhat inclined to agree with New Federation China.

It's a great guide, it's a necessary guide, but it's not that different to the other 700,000,000 on the same subject.

That said it's simple, concise, and will hopefully help people along.

I tip my top hat at you, good Sir Milograd.

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Kyrusia
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Postby Kyrusia » Wed May 02, 2012 1:39 am

Out-of-Character: Pretty sure this is meant to replace the others in time. So... That would be why it's so concise.
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Yohannes
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Postby Yohannes » Wed May 02, 2012 1:57 am

Kyrusia's correct.

Awesome guide Milograd!
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Lolzieristan
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Postby Lolzieristan » Wed May 02, 2012 10:02 am

I love how this guide actually covers the basics the newcomers are asking about, instead of shipping over them entirely and moving on to things like communiques and godmoding. Admittedly, those are important. But we're taking for granted the fact that people understand what's going on. Which Milograd is seeking to rectify.

I think this is a great introductory chapter; I just think we could include two things.
1. Further reading hyperlinks, posted in an orderly and pragmatic manner and selected with an eye for quality, at the end of each section. The other posters are right; there ARE tons of guides already? Why not let the newcomers benefit from them immediately, instead of stumbling around the megathread(s) and clicking on links haphazardly like I did?

2. A finished product. I'm not saying we hyperlink to the one Greatest Battle In the History of Nationstates By Which All RPs Will Be Measured Forevermore, like some kind of Waterloo or Kursk, but I am saying we let them see us synthesize and apply each lesson the guide states into a good post. I believe in show, don't tell. A demonstration is worth a thousand lectures. Just because we say "no one liners" and "use paragraph form" doesn't mean they know what the hell we're talking about. I don't want them looking at the first war thread they see as an example...what if it sucks? What if

"I invade Milograd cuz he sank mai battleships lol :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:"


is the first one they see?
I just want them exposed to "good RPing" as soon as they click this link.
Last edited by Lolzieristan on Wed May 02, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dukopolious
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Postby Dukopolious » Wed May 02, 2012 12:56 pm

Lolzieristan wrote:I love how this guide actually covers the basics the newcomers are asking about, instead of shipping over them entirely and moving on to things like communiques and godmoding. Admittedly, those are important. But we're taking for granted the fact that people understand what's going on. Which Milograd is seeking to rectify.

I think this is a great introductory chapter; I just think we could include two things.
1. Further reading hyperlinks, posted in an orderly and pragmatic manner and selected with an eye for quality, at the end of each section. The other posters are right; there ARE tons of guides already? Why not let the newcomers benefit from them immediately, instead of stumbling around the megathread(s) and clicking on links haphazardly like I did?

2. A finished product. I'm not saying we hyperlink to the one Greatest Battle In the History of Nationstates By Which All RPs Will Be Measured Forevermore, like some kind of Waterloo or Kursk, but I am saying we let them see us synthesize and apply each lesson the guide states into a good post. I believe in show, don't tell. A demonstration is worth a thousand lectures. Just because we say "no one liners" and "use paragraph form" doesn't mean they know what the hell we're talking about. I don't want them looking at the first war thread they see as an example...what if it sucks? What if

"I invade Milograd cuz he sank mai battleships lol :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:"


is the first one they see?
I just want them exposed to "good RPing" as soon as they click this link.


There are various guides in the Megathread (thus the point of it existing) they cover the subjects this does not. As for quality RPs, showing them examples could easily restrict creativity and style development. The last thing we want is players to say "oh, this is how the example wrote it, so i have to make it extremely similar and be a copy of the example rather than developing my own style". It'd be much more helpful for them to develop their own writing style.
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Lolzieristan
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Postby Lolzieristan » Wed May 02, 2012 1:06 pm

First off, I'm not claiming there aren't other threads. I'm saying that if we spoiler-in hyperlinks that lead to the guides in question, we save people the trouble of scanning the entire megathread and following link after link until they find what they need. If one person did that here, then everyone else who reads this wouldn't have to.

I agree that the risk of copycat posts is the likely outcome of hard examples, but there must be some way. We're not showing them anything at this point, we're giving them rules. They don't know how one should be created without examples, which is exactly where the posts like "Then the Lolzi troops land in Dukopolious's harbors and take over them" come from. Perhaps we could give them multiple examples under spoilers. Some people, like me, write in third person limited, multiple focus style. Others write in first person, others write with an omniscient narrator. I've even seen someone attempt RPing from the perspective of a newspaper front page. Some people use numbers, figures, and bodycounts, others depict varying visual representation of battles, from company commanders leading a breakthrough to a divisional commander observing said breakthrough in his HQ tent. There's no singular right way, but I've seen enough wrong ways to know that new people have a tendency of going the wrong way first, and then some leave because their mistakes are handled incorrectly by others. And how can you tell someone they're doing something wrong without providing constructive criticism, and thus more or less specific guidelines?

Besides, how else would you learn than by some extent of modeling? It's how humans learn virtually all skills, according to psychologists like Albert Bandura.
Last edited by Lolzieristan on Wed May 02, 2012 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sometimes I'm reading through military threads here, and I stop and think "What the hell is wrong with all of us?" But then I get on Facebook, and realize I'd rather be insane than an idiot.
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Spooty
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Postby Spooty » Wed May 02, 2012 2:40 pm

You know what we're missing? A writing guide thread.

Look at the megathread list, apart from a select few it's made up mostly of technical and game aspects, poor form, considering the ideal put forth to newbies when I joined was "You cannot win Nationstates, so here's how to play it instead." Lolzieristan (god, I hope I spelled that right) just gave examples of several different narrative structures and there are so many more out there. If we want the Newbies to be good writers, and that seems to have become the crux of complaints over these past few years, maybe we should be teaching them how to be good writers, not good players.
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Cadagnia
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Postby Cadagnia » Wed May 02, 2012 5:38 pm

OoC: Heh...I actually had to research Bandura's social cognitive theory for my psych summative.

Putting that aside, I'm going to agree with Lolzieristan here and say a couple relevant links after each protip up there in this guide would definitely help other people (including me - I wasn't aware that there were megathreads for me to read).

In terms of writing styles, standard-setting examples might be nice in terms of helping new people adjust to a more literate community. I don't think modeling posts would become a problem unless textwalls of useless information become the next big thing - or if people start stealing formatting or other peoples' work without due credit, which is a totally different issue.

But you gotta learn the ropes before you get any better, and I guess a part of that is taking a look at why someone is considered a better RPer than you are. You run the risk of people going 'similar is the way to go', but what I've noticed while creeping out the post histories of Milograd, Duke, and Lolzieristan (and on the opposite end of the spectrum...CoolBoyGcp?) is that writing styles don't tend to change much. I would instead guess that with examples of what II expects from RPers, new posters would be able to interpret the posts (in conjunction with the tips here) and take what lessons they need from it.

...
One problem I'm having, and hopefully I'm speaking for some newer players out there, is fleshing out my nation. I'm guessing there's no cookie-cutter method out there, and I'm not sure what defines a nation - so I'd call for a writing guide thread, and a thread that doesn't focus on realistic militaries, but realistic diplomacy, geography/culture/demographics...unless such a thread already exists.

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Spooty
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Postby Spooty » Wed May 02, 2012 5:47 pm

Cadagnia wrote:a thread that doesn't focus on realistic militaries, but realistic diplomacy, geography/culture/demographics...unless such a thread already exists.


Individually these all exist, I could track them down and TG to you if you feel it's necessary.

But these are just elements of what makes a good RPer, again; the function of the nation but not the heart of the story, Leistung wrote what I consider to be the best guide out there "Writing a Decent Opening Post" In which he says "It's always best to explain a bit about your country in your OP so that you don't have to immediately follow up with your entire factbook when people get confused."
So whilst a Factbook is somewhat necessary, if only to keep the ideas in your head put on paper, everything a person should know about your country should be taken from the stories you craft, show, don't tell.
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Cadagnia
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Postby Cadagnia » Wed May 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Spooty wrote:Individually these all exist, I could track them down and TG to you if you feel it's necessary.

OoC: I'd be much obliged.


Spooty wrote:But these are just elements of what makes a good RPer, again; the function of the nation but not the heart of the story, Leistung wrote what I consider to be the best guide out there "Writing a Decent Opening Post" In which he says "It's always best to explain a bit about your country in your OP so that you don't have to immediately follow up with your entire factbook when people get confused."
So whilst a Factbook is somewhat necessary, if only to keep the ideas in your head put on paper, everything a person should know about your country should be taken from the stories you craft, show, don't tell.

OoC: Of course. Thanks for the link, it's a wonderful post - and that you're supposed to explain as much as it takes for the reader to be interested without overloading them with obscure references is a given. This again ties into the whole 'learning to write' thing - new players need to have resources like that available to them. Just a really good RP thread by itself...is just a really good RP thread, and just tips can be often hard to follow - like "explain a little bit about your nation in your posts but keep your reader interested".

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Lolzieristan
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Postby Lolzieristan » Wed May 02, 2012 7:19 pm

Honestly,I never made a factbook, and by now I know my country well enough to tell you anything about it, smallest detail to most general statement. Not because I've made a canonical ruling on everything there is to know, but because like a good actor, I've gained a deep enough understanding of my role.

In my opinion, the best way to establish your country is this project here.

1. Make a decision on general political consensuses (consenses? consensi?)
Yes, yes, I know, don't make all ofyour citizens believe exactly the same way as you, but I just said general. For example:
Lolzis are, for the most part, strongly small government. They do not believe in welfare, as general consensus is that most people who are on welfare in other countriesreally need it, and private charity can cover the truly handicapped, such as disabled war veterans and whatnot.

Now, the reason why this works for me is that not only do I give my political views a fair trial and assess their negative ramifications, but I also find a way to work it into the culture.

Going back to the example:
Compared to the US, the rich/poor divide is very severe here. As soon as you leave the middle class, income plummets like a safe filled with anvils. As such, two coping systems occurred:
1. As a whole, Lolzi society has avoided materialism like that in America and Western Europe. As long as a Lolzi has food, water, and to a lesser extent, shelter and clothes, he or she doesn't say they "need" anything. They don't buy $45,000 cars that do the same thing as $25,000 cars, or buy designer clothing that is literally just expensive because it is designer (high quality suits are generally an exception, as well as ladies' formalwear). This allows us to spend money on the important things in life. Like big business, heavy industry, and the military-industrial complex.
2. Since our culture is militaristic (and for good reason! Have you seen the neighbours I gave us?), poor people are strongly encouraged to enlist in the military. Which is one of the reasons why we can afford to maintain such high quotas and figures.

See how everything laces back together?


Also, judging by my rambling #1, you guys probably don't want me continuing. I say this because I forget what #2 is.
But anyway, a good way to get a feel for your nation is to thoughtfully answer a number of the "_________ in your nation?" Or "Your nation's stance on _________" posts in Factbooks and National Information. If you can pick up on the recurring themes of your answers, then you can discover the over-arching generalities that you're using for your nation, and make them systematic.

Also, a way to RP well is to select individual characters to develop thoroughly. My two favorites are Lieutenant First Class Dmitri Zaitsev and President Nikolai Beslavaky. Since you said you've read my posts, you probably know them.. It's fun (by fun I mean painful) to watch them grow as characters as I grow as a writer.

Someday I hope to have dozens of characters fleshed out as well as those two. I've got recurring names like Colonel-General Boris Simonov, the commander of the Counterinsurgency Branch's 1st Division, and Admiral Zelenskiy, the top fleet commander in our navy who bounces between the 4th Carrier Battle Group (Light) and the 1st Carrier Battle Group (heavy).

In short, pick up the book Red Storm Rising. That book is written like a really long RP, and although some people be hatin' on ma home boy Tom Clancy, I think it's one of the best guides out there.

P.S. Read the Kelt missile part twice. Then rip it off and use it in your naval campaigns. I've used it three times.
Last edited by Lolzieristan on Wed May 02, 2012 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sometimes I'm reading through military threads here, and I stop and think "What the hell is wrong with all of us?" But then I get on Facebook, and realize I'd rather be insane than an idiot.
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New Azura
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Postby New Azura » Sat May 05, 2012 5:34 pm

Spooty wrote:You know what we're missing? A writing guide thread.

Look at the megathread list, apart from a select few it's made up mostly of technical and game aspects, poor form, considering the ideal put forth to newbies when I joined was "You cannot win Nationstates, so here's how to play it instead." Lolzieristan (god, I hope I spelled that right) just gave examples of several different narrative structures and there are so many more out there. If we want the Newbies to be good writers, and that seems to have become the crux of complaints over these past few years, maybe we should be teaching them how to be good writers, not good players.


How to Write Good Dialogue
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Spooty
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Postby Spooty » Sat May 05, 2012 5:41 pm

Those are very nice, I intend to pour over the dialogue advice later, but I did say: "apart from a select few it's made up mostly of technical and game aspects" And three out of the hundreds of guides out there aint a good ratio to go by (I know there are more, and if it wasn't two AM I might go link some of those up.) The point I was trying to make is that our focus is in the wrong direction, that we're trying to have newbies aim to win rather than to play.
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New Azura
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Postby New Azura » Sat May 05, 2012 5:49 pm

Spooty wrote:Those are very nice, I intend to pour over the dialogue advice later, but I did say: "apart from a select few it's made up mostly of technical and game aspects" And three out of the hundreds of guides out there aint a good ratio to go by (I know there are more, and if it wasn't two AM I might go link some of those up.) The point I was trying to make is that our focus is in the wrong direction, that we're trying to have newbies aim to win rather than to play.


The problem is, the writing guides rarely get pinned, so it's a difficult battle for the few who do focus in that area.
THEEVENGUARDOFAZURA
UNEFLEURPOURLECOLOSSE

— A PROUD MEMBER OF GREATER DIENSTAD

THEDOMINIONOFTHERITHOS
CAPITAL:ISAURA (TSYION)DEMONYM:AZURGOVERNMENT:IMPERIAL THEOCRACYLANGUAGE:CIRAZUR

Her Graceful Excellence the Phaedra
CALIXTEIMARAUDER
By the Grace of the Lord God, the Daughter of Tsyion, Spirited Maiden, First Matron of House Vardanyan
Imperatrix of the Evenguard of Azura and Sovereign Over Her Dependencies, the Governess of Isaura
and the Defender of the Children of Azura


— Current Roleplays —
Congress of Ishikawa|Summit Tsyion 2016

— Multilateral Agreements —
CAPINTERN|Global Aerospace Trade Association|The Western Pact

— Controlled Nations —
Azura, Lexmark, New Azura

— Other Supported Regions —
Astyria (PT | MT), Teremara (P/MT | FT), The Local Cluster (FT)

— Roleplay Tech Levels —
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Milograd
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Postby Milograd » Sat May 05, 2012 5:59 pm

Spooty wrote: The point I was trying to make is that our focus is in the wrong direction, that we're trying to have newbies aim to win rather than to play.

Not really. Most guides, if anything, discourage playing to win.
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Spooty
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Postby Spooty » Sat May 05, 2012 6:06 pm

Milograd wrote:
Spooty wrote: The point I was trying to make is that our focus is in the wrong direction, that we're trying to have newbies aim to win rather than to play.

Not really. Most guides, if anything, discourage playing to win.


But they don't encourage playing to play either.

Horrifically butchering a quote: "Yes we have to focus on decreasing worldsuck, but we also have to focus on increasing awesome."
Last edited by Spooty on Sat May 05, 2012 6:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lolzieristan
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Postby Lolzieristan » Sun May 06, 2012 11:56 am

The main problem is that newer players have a difficult time correlating IC to OOC. In the IC, of course you play to win. Why wouldn't you? There's no IC reason to intentionally give bad orders to lose on purpose.
But there ARE OOC reasons, like "playing to play" or "RPing as an incompetent military" or "letting the enemy break through your perimeter to raise the stakes of the battle, make things more interesting, or trying to rake realistic losses."
Newer players see our IC and then assume the underlying motives are the same as the blatant ones and the subtle ones. We have to show them how to both play to win ICly (counterattacking, ambushing, etc.) while not exploiting OOC/narrative loopholes like refusing to admit casualties or allow a retreat, not claiming 100% efficiency in air defense and positional defense, etc.
They're sort of like hackers in FPSes, they want to win the game more than they want to enjoy it. When the legitimate courses of action the game provides don't seem to work, they tweak the system to allow them to win anyway. However, unlike hackers, I think the vast majority is doing it unintentionally, and they can be taught correctly.

Nationstates is different from anything else because there's absolutely zero game engine determining events. In Age of Empires or Civilization or any roughly comparable video game, one side wins because the game mechanic dictates that their forces did more damage to the enemy than vice versa. Here in NS, there's no concrete, game-world ruling on whose riflemen won the fight, and whether or not the SAM hit that helicopter just took is enought to shatter it into pieces or not. It's all in the imagination and the discourse, and sometimes people have to get used to that.
Last edited by Lolzieristan on Sun May 06, 2012 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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New Azura
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Postby New Azura » Sun May 06, 2012 4:26 pm

It just dawned on me to post what I originally intended to post here: Great job, Milograd :lol:
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The Amyclae
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Postby The Amyclae » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:22 pm

Imagining, for a moment, that I am that thirteen year-old who is fresh off the boat... I'm not sure I (or my thirteen year-old alter ego) found this series of nonstatements as particularly informative when first arriving. I found it more interesting to read it as an example of what is expected in a technical sense, because in that 'sense' it shines. The guide didn't have a grammatical mistake where it mentioned grammatical mistakes, which is something you don't see everyday. It provides a bar and says to me "you've arrived in II now post something mildly coherent and definitely readable. Don't worry too much about the content because, let's be real, we aren't writing anything groundbreaking." To be clear, I'm not saying that this bit of prose isn't admirable, or that it's wrong to enjoy it. Instead, it's odd to find inescapably weak advice as a 'guide.' Weak, not in the sense of being wrong but in the sense that it was not really advice at all.

The first bit of 'advice' about reading stickies seems, like most of the guide, mildly redundant. If my thirteen alter-ego isn't reading stickies, would it be possible to read this? I would think not. This is a stickie. If my thirteen alter-ego, or I, am reading this sticky I don't feel that it's compelling advice to read stickies. I already am; he already is. Admittedly, it does have a shameless hint of self-promotion that I am very sympathetic to but most of all I am going to read on whatever it says.

There seems to be a problem with the hyperlink ("here here") in the next paragraph. Otherwise the the paragraph reads smoothly to me. Of course, if I was forced to explain its point of contention I'd say "accept advice, except when you should not." A brilliant piece of wordplay, but does it help me? No. If my thirteen year-old alter ego already knows everything there is to know, telling him that he doesn't is going to be of little help. He already knows everything, remember? If one already agrees, smashing, the link of the Mentor's Hub is useful in that regard. More importantly, there is no denying that the Hub provides concrete advice, is a compelling case being made here to use it? No.

The next paragraph, about writing conventions and post length, is easily the most (only?) identifiably useful paragraph. Single spacing is definitely a behavior that is hardly universal. Equally, one can never go wrong with reminding potential readers (and my alter ego) the importance of basic grammatical conventions. That said, half of it essentially says 'write enough, but not too much.' I feel that if there was anyone on NS who could do follow that rule they wouldn't be here writing they would be out accepting a Pulitzer Prize.

The next paragraph follows along the same, sedate road that the others have traveled. A nice, unneeded and out of place reiteration of grammatical rules is followed by (again, as it reads to me) "write, but do not write garbage." Shocking, I'm sure, to so many. Perhaps someone wants to write as a God, but is reading a sticky admonishing him to do otherwise a deterrent? If there is any audience for this nicely attuned nonstatement it is for the individual who sincerely believes that II is a large collection of self-absorbed writers who aren't going to let others 'win the internet' yet is open to the idea that they're wrong on that point. I'm sure that audience's size is approximately four guys and a girl. I find it hard to imagine any players submit a post and consciously answer negatively to the question formulated at the end.

The next, as it reads, is "Google something if you don't know it." If that is groundbreaking to anyone, well, I wonder how they got here at all. Directing new players to NSDraftroom is a neat touch, but I wonder if the community there is really a 'help' community at all. Some of them have an expertise in the field, certainly, but I would not be the first to question whether they are open to newb-driven error. They take incompetence (even if as result of inexperience) poorly. I'm sure the last thing that they want, or allow, is more pimp-my-gun adherents (which is, essentially, my thirteen year old alter ego's homepage).

Above all I don't want to give the impression that I did not like reading the 'guide' or that I found it of a poor quality. It was good. The only problem is that if this is, indeed, a guide where is it guiding me to? "Don't be a dick." "Be a good roleplayer (by being a good roleplayer)." "Don't do X, expect when you need to." They're all good nuggets of self-evident advice. They are better than the alternative. Nevertheless, as I finished reading the last sentence I felt that I hadn't gone anywhere. Perhaps that is the nature of II and in that case I've done a great disservice to such a subtly written piece. Otherwise I couldn't help but leave with a bit of disappointment.
Last edited by The Amyclae on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Milograd
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Ex-Nation

Postby Milograd » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:50 pm

You're absolutely right, actually. After considering your points, I think that I failed greatly at trying to do what I intended to with this guide. It was meant to be a concise introduction to the forum for newbies, but I think that in trying to make it concise I ended up trimming out more valuable information about the forum. Thank you very much for taking the time to read over this, critique it, and post your thoughts. We all make mistakes, I suppose. :blush:

I've requested that this be destickied for the time being, so that I may rewrite this guide to be more helpful.
Last edited by Milograd on Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Yohannes
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Postby Yohannes » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:05 pm

I don't get what you're trying to say, The Amyclae. I've read the opening post twice now (the guide). It seems alright to me. First and foremost it was enjoyable to read, concise, straightforward and clear. In fact, your post (though it was no doubt eloquently and superbly written) is more confusing than the opening post in this thread itself.

In your opinion, what will be the solution to this problem then, since you've pretty much criticised and scrutinised every single aspect of the above guide. Perhaps, you will create a better (though let's face it, the word "better" by itself is misguided and largely subjective) guide to replace this one? That will be wonderful.
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The Amyclae
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Amyclae » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:51 pm

Yohannes wrote:I don't get what you're trying to say, The Amyclae. I've read the opening post twice now (the guide). It seems alright to me. First and foremost it was enjoyable to read, concise, straightforward and clear. In fact, your post (though it was no doubt eloquently and superbly written) is more confusing than the opening post in this thread itself.

In your opinion, what will be the solution to this problem then, since you've pretty much criticised and scrutinised every single aspect of the above guide. Perhaps, you will create a better (though let's face it, the word "better" by itself is misguided and largely subjective) guide to replace this one? That will be wonderful.


I really don't want to come across as having a problem with the grammar, the technical side, of the OP. I agree completely that it is "concise, straightforward and clear." I am not going to go over, however, any of my old points. Suffice to say, much of what I wrote was foreshadowed by some of Milo's earlier (if more private) thoughts. Even if it doesn't make sense, I guess it makes sense to us.

As for a solution, I think Milograd already has one in mind already. Asking him that question would be more useful than asking me. I am happy to admit that I am a little biased towards not having 'guides.' It is fun to read them and respond to them, especially when they're readable. I am never going to write my own.

If there is any 'take away' point it is that Milo clearly put a lot of work into his OP. He deserved (deserves) something more than a nice pat on the back and 'good job pookie.'
Last edited by The Amyclae on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Milograd
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Postby Milograd » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:56 pm

Yohannes wrote:I don't get what you're trying to say, The Amyclae. I've read the opening post twice now (the guide). It seems alright to me. First and foremost it was enjoyable to read, concise, straightforward and clear. In fact, your post (though it was no doubt eloquently and superbly written) is more confusing than the opening post in this thread itself.

In your opinion, what will be the solution to this problem then, since you've pretty much criticised and scrutinised every single aspect of the above guide. Perhaps, you will create a better (though let's face it, the word "better" by itself is misguided and largely subjective) guide to replace this one? That will be wonderful.

It is a straightforward, clear, and concise guide, but its content leaves much to be desired tbh. In my efforts to create a concise introduction to the forum, I unintentionally trimmed valuable information that might be less apparent to new users, and did so in favor of stating the obvious, which is contradictory to the interests of this ( or any ) guide. It is a decent guide, but it's not anywhere near great.
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