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NS World Adjustment 2.0

Talk about regional management and politics, raider/defender gameplay, and other game-related matters.
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Unibot III
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NS World Adjustment 2.0

Postby Unibot III » Sat May 15, 2021 3:08 pm

Often NS Gameplayers have created threads in Technical musing about technical changes, but I've never seen a thread in NSGP about the big ideas, the 'blue skies' projects & intiatives could undertake on its own without tech changes...

So I just thought I'd throw the discussion topic open and see what NSGPers today would like to see happen in NSGP that hasn't been done before. Sometimes there are big things that players would like to see happen, that just never get off the ground because someone doesn't start the conversation officially and it requires the cooperation of many regions/communities.

The NS World Fair actually began as one of those conversations originally in 2013. The title is a throwback to a thread that someone created in 2008 (Was it Todd or Bruce?? I can't remember!).

I know for many years, players had talked about an international court (like the UN ICJ) but we were never able to advance the conversation along because of sovereignty concerns.

One thing I had often wanted to see start was more summitry in NS. Like regular (seasonal) "G9" summits between the GCRs where they can talk shop and discuss current affairs, charter out plans for the future.

I was often interested in the idea of an interregional economic/currency exchange system, but I could never figure out something that would be functional and relevant to NSGP as it was practiced. Nowadays, I wonder if regions could hold cards in a sovereign reserve which would establish a kind of exchange rate (I am fuzzy on the details).

I had an idea for a training intiative for defending one time that I think could be very helpful - but nowadays there's no clear super defender organization that could clearly benefit from the intiative's organization. The initative would be a migrant community (like TAO or the Featured Regions followers), that travelled to small to medium sized UCRs with limited contact with official NS GP and invited to train players who were interested in learning the basics of how to defend their region. One of the things that I've learned as a player is that there are lots of communities out in NS that have untapped potential in terms of the contribution that they can make, but you have to find a way to burst that bubble and strike a connection.

I always wanted to see a proper NS Olympics -- individual events (ejecting, spotting, tarting, card trading, trivia) and group events (warzone free-for-alls, rock-paper-scissors). People have talked about doing this for years, but it could be a very fun annual event for regions to crow about, and recruit their best players to put forward.

I wonder if players could just ... create a new GCR? Like, we're assuming we need the game to create a GCR. But players are the game. What if the leading regions just got together, and decided they wanted to pursue a interregional mandate to found a new international territory, presumably self-governing, to service some need in NSGP like card farming or just artifically creating a new ally? If the NSGP world wants such a region, it doesn't have to wait for the admins to annoit a region with status, any region created by major regions together as part of an international intiative would inherently be a special, essentially unprecedented event.

Looking back, I think NS families were often gross, but I wonder if an attempt at forming a more coherant organized religions in NS could take off? A mythology, a church-centric region that followers could travel to, a sacred land, prayers. Usually the organized religions in NS have been too silly to be taken seriously as a way to play the game. But I wonder if the religion was characterized the right way, striking a balance by being fun and complicated enough that it didn't just feel irreverent, if players might actually be interested in pursuing it?

Do we need an interregional war? A superorganization? Can those even be initiated without events to justify them? :p The 3WB could be revived to boycott the SC till the admins got around to adding new categories. :P

What would you like to see in NS GP?

If you had a magic wand and could make something happen? Start something new, organize something, instigate something etc. The ideas above are just meant to be some starting ideas. Some of them are ancient!
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Davelands
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Postby Davelands » Sat May 15, 2021 3:25 pm

I have a thought, but no plan for this.

Influence has stagnated things, especially in the GCRs and larger UCRs. Whenever there is some R/D action or "other" event, everyone gathers together and ends it quickly.

Some options are: Only allowing nations in an embassy region defend or pile against a raid. Giving a raided region off for one update so both sides could consolidate and negotiate. ROs with BC would not be allowed to ban new nations in their region until the next major update. Eliminate the delay for a new WAD to appoint Border Control officers.

I'm sure there are a lot more (and probably better) ways to shake things up, but that's what I could come up with off the top of my head.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Sat May 15, 2021 4:32 pm

Davelands wrote:I have a thought, but no plan for this.

Influence has stagnated things, especially in the GCRs and larger UCRs. Whenever there is some R/D action or "other" event, everyone gathers together and ends it quickly.

Some options are: Only allowing nations in an embassy region defend or pile against a raid. Giving a raided region off for one update so both sides could consolidate and negotiate. ROs with BC would not be allowed to ban new nations in their region until the next major update. Eliminate the delay for a new WAD to appoint Border Control officers.

I'm sure there are a lot more (and probably better) ways to shake things up, but that's what I could come up with off the top of my head.


So just to be clear, I was opening the discussion here in NSGP because I was putting the question to NSGP whether there would things, without admin involvement, you’d like advanced?

I suppose perhaps there could be signed agreements between invaders & defenders over certain behaviour on conditions (there was an attempt to negotiate such a thing between 10KI & DEN in 2004 in lieu of Regional Influence.) It would require a deal where leading invader groups defined limits on things like piling that defenders wanted in exchange for limits on things that defenders do that would be an acceptable handicap (No script assistance? No triggering??). It could be regarded as a way to avoid a stagnation situation from lack of competition.

Just riffing off your idea. But I wanted to emphasize in this thread that not all ideas to make a better game require tech changes.
Last edited by Unibot III on Sat May 15, 2021 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Sat May 15, 2021 5:11 pm

I had someone reference Koth’s Factions idea — I wonder if Factions could be implemented by players themselves?

If players were just to carve up the big regions right now into factions / spheres of influence — what would they be like? Who would go with who? What would the enabling legislation look like to form a faction? I wonder if it might be thought of as an informal alliance — heavy on political association, lighter on legislated obligations than a treaty?
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Kylia Quilor
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Postby Kylia Quilor » Sat May 15, 2021 5:14 pm

There's no way we could 'create' a GCR without the mods making it. What makes a GCR (not counting the Warzones) valuable real estate to many is the sheer size and prominence they possess due to being where nations are created, reborn or ejected too, and a lot of non-Gameplay Nations simply stay there, and endorse a delegate. We could make a region, let it go founderless and pretend it's a GCR all we want, it won't make it a GCR, and why would we even pretend?

A card based currency would only work insofar as people want cards badly enough to make it valuable, which might work, but would require so many people to buy in all at once and have no bad faith actors as to be impractical. Allowing players to not only transfer cards, but also transfer Bank could be a solution, but that again, is technical.

Factions wrts to sub-regions - the problem is that in many regions, while factionalism may be a thing, it's not always static - political parties don't have a good lifespan in most NS GP regions for a reason (most, not all)
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Davelands
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Postby Davelands » Sun May 16, 2021 5:16 am

Unibot III wrote:So just to be clear, I was opening the discussion here in NSGP because I was putting the question to NSGP whether there would things, without admin involvement, you’d like advanced?

oops
:blush:
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Sun May 16, 2021 10:24 am

A card based currency would only work insofar as people want cards badly enough to make it valuable, which might work, but would require so many people to buy in all at once and have no bad faith actors as to be impractical. Allowing players to not only transfer cards, but also transfer Bank could be a solution, but that again, is technical.


Totally unrelated, but I had an idea where a player-created browser app could edit NS Card pages to add custom attack powers, elements, & abilities to NS Cards so that players could flip the app on and use NS Cards like a card attack game.

As for a transfer bank — makes perfect sense, but I don’t see why a tech solution is needed. You need a trusted third party — you gift a card to the third party account, then the third party gifts you the other card, if that player pony’s up — if the player doesn’t gift the card, the third party would gift you the card back. We used to do this to transfer founder accounts.

Kylia Quilor wrote:There's no way we could 'create' a GCR without the mods making it. What makes a GCR (not counting the Warzones) valuable real estate to many is the sheer size and prominence they possess due to being where nations are created, reborn or ejected too, and a lot of non-Gameplay Nations simply stay there, and endorse a delegate. We could make a region, let it go founderless and pretend it's a GCR all we want, it won't make it a GCR, and why would we even pretend?


I think it would be an exceptional case for leading regions like GCRs to co-create a Founderless UCR for some purpose — if it were to happen, the region would instantly have status that set itself apart from other UCRs because it could tie its origins to a significant political development. The most obvious reason I can think of is to create an open space for card farming (which would have the added benefit of ensuring the region was one of the biggest regions in NS) or the last updating region in NS.

Not all GCRs have status due to their size: warzones are often fairly small.

GCRs have status because they’re permanent features of the game that are not tied to a founder or an originating personality. I think the same can be said about many of the founderless UCRs named after real countries or continents — they’ve been sought after, popular targets for invasions, and essentially permanent in NS.

Do I think that this region would be treated the same way as TNP? No. It would exist with its own unique dynamic in relation to other GCRs. I also think it’s creation would be a source of significant political discussion.


Factions wrts to sub-regions - the problem is that in many regions, while factionalism may be a thing, it's not always static - political parties don't have a good lifespan in most NS GP regions for a reason (most, not all)[/quote]
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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sun May 16, 2021 10:56 am

What's the benefit of an interregional currency? What services can be bought and sold? The services that require skills outside of NS (e.g. programming, graphic design) are either hoarded because it gives you an edge, or they're given away freely.

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Postby Kylia Quilor » Sun May 16, 2021 11:21 am

Warzones are small, but also - people don't really fight over them. Once in a very long while, someone will try to colonize one, but even then, not really. Warzones don't really represent valuable real estate. Not in the same way as Feeders and Sinkers.

And I appreciate I missed the whole 'cards' thing being rolled out, but why A) does anyone need a 'card farming region' (as opposedto just doing it wherever) and B) why would a card farming region represent the valuable real estate of a GCR, or even close? I don't see people spending a lot of time raiding TCB's founderless card farming region, though I could be wrong.

As for a card-based currency, yes, you would need a lot of people. Card trading is just barter, and expensive barter at that, and relying entirely on someone having valuable cards at all. (and using a third party to transfer them would get mighty expensive for all involved over time) A card-backed currency would require us to trust a whole lot of people to all be operating truthfully and in good Faith. Which is like real currency, but you actually need real currency to buy things you need IRL. In NS, the only currency we have and the only currency we need is social capital. That's what makes NS amazing - even given the power of founders and ROs and WADs, social capital is really the only power people have that truly matters
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Postby Unibot III » Sun May 16, 2021 3:39 pm

Bormiar wrote:What's the benefit of an interregional currency? What services can be bought and sold? The services that require skills outside of NS (e.g. programming, graphic design) are either hoarded because it gives you an edge, or they're given away freely.


I think that's what has always held up the advent of an interregional currency - what is being marketed? You've hit it on the nail. It's been talked about for years.

I think it's an exciting idea, a marketplace region that would act as a hub for NSers to barter for something. But not sure what could be bartered. That's always what has stopped the creation of an economic system in NS in that private goods/labour is hoarded by communities.

I don't want to get hung up on this subject though if it's just unworkable. :P

Kylia Quilor wrote:And I appreciate I missed the whole 'cards' thing being rolled out, but why A) does anyone need a 'card farming region' (as opposedto just doing it wherever) and B) why would a card farming region represent the valuable real estate of a GCR, or even close? I don't see people spending a lot of time raiding TCB's founderless card farming region, though I could be wrong.


Cards are mined like BitCoin via lots and lots and lots of puppets. :P

What would be helpful is an open space at the end of update for card farming because it would reduce disruption to update. Any shared card farm / shared puppet dump would be very large. It's possible this would be permanently the largest region in NS.

What the GCRs could agree to is a co-intiative to pool together their resources to go through the effort of mining for a new last updating non-founder region as a neutral territory for gameplay activity & card farming. The WA Delegacy would be sought after since the wrong WAD could disrupt invasions/defenses/liberations by ejecting soldiers before TRR updates.

This new region would take on a life of its own with a special status as the creation of an unprecedented international partnership. Its politics and its internal dynamics would be unique. Since many of its long term residents would be players who were interested in NS Cards or Gameplay, it could offer regular training and orientation sessions and Q&As. A sort of one-stop shop for players who want to play the game in a more involved way.

In some ways, this idea would bring together other ideas for a new GCR as one proposal - and it's a proposal that players could pursue without admin involvement. One way to add additional status to the region would be to commend the region and essentially outline the international agreement behind the region's purpose in the commendation so that the commendation acted as a foundational pre-constitutional document adopted by the WA Security Council.

Just riffing on the idea...
Last edited by Unibot III on Sun May 16, 2021 3:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Bormiar » Sun May 16, 2021 4:18 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Bormiar wrote:What's the benefit of an interregional currency? What services can be bought and sold? The services that require skills outside of NS (e.g. programming, graphic design) are either hoarded because it gives you an edge, or they're given away freely.


I think that's what has always held up the advent of an interregional currency - what is being marketed? You've hit it on the nail. It's been talked about for years.

I think it's an exciting idea, a marketplace region that would act as a hub for NSers to barter for something. But not sure what could be bartered. That's always what has stopped the creation of an economic system in NS in that private goods/labour is hoarded by communities.

I don't want to get hung up on this subject though if it's just unworkable. :P

This and 10KI's currency system are the only examples I've seen on NS: https://www.nationstates.net/region=sou ... ng_company

In the case of TSP, it wasn't very successful.

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Postby Kylia Quilor » Sun May 16, 2021 4:58 pm

Region Inc had one, with money buying Shares (votes in the regional government), but it's economy needed constant cash infusions because money didn't cycle outside of stock purchases as much as one might like (and tons of people went inactive with money left locked up).

The only way that the interregional currency would work as a way to exchange creative talent and labor across regions is if tons of regions all agreed up front, because then people might share the fruits of that enough to make the loss to their own regions worth it.

The issue is, I think the last thing Gameplay needs right now is something that blurs the lines between regions even more. That's the very thing I think that's hurting the dynamism of the GP dynamic right now.

EDIT: Really, the only things I could see serving as a basis for currency is something that could have technical impacts (I know, I know, you want GPsolutions, but...) and that would be ways for the currency to be burned as influence, or have an impact on WA votes or endorsements. Or allow stamps to be transferrable (You can gift stamps, but that's all, they can't be traded between nations, AFAIK unless something changed.) But that last one has a lot of issues that could come from it, so I don't blame Max/etc for not wanting that to be a thing.

---

The issue with your cards idea is that... well, while plenty of people are valuing cards, plenty aren't. Everyone values eating, and having shelter, things that money buys IRL.
Last edited by Kylia Quilor on Sun May 16, 2021 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Unibot III » Tue May 18, 2021 7:30 am

Kylia Quilor wrote:The issue is, I think the last thing Gameplay needs right now is something that blurs the lines between regions even more. That's the very thing I think that's hurting the dynamism of the GP dynamic right now.


I don’t want this discussion to get hung up on a currency system, it was just a throwaway comment (there’s a reason it’s never panned out!).

What would you like to see in NSGP today? What could players themselves do to advance the game? Make it better?

I suppose the other question is whether players think NSGP is in need of some changes in direction, big ideas etc. ?

I didn’t mean to spark a discussion solely on exchanges rates. :p I was recounting some ideas in the OP that had been tossed around for a while that have never manifested.
Last edited by Unibot III on Tue May 18, 2021 7:33 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Galiantus III » Fri May 21, 2021 1:59 pm

Interesting discussion here.

Before I dive in, I need to bring up an issue that makes these kinds of ambitious goals so difficult: in terms of regions, NS has infinite, free, real-estate. Getting large groups of players to act together is already hard, but doing so when their comprehension of the game is incomplete makes it much more difficult. This is illustrated well with a discussion of political parties:

Political Parties
Political parties fail at a regional level because that's what happens when you can just go off on your own and found a region where you have ultimate power. You disagree with the majority? Then leave. For the most part, everyone in a region has a basic agreement why they're there and what they're doing. Consequently, any conflict tends to be born out of toxicity, instead of anything meaningful.

Now this is not entirely true of GCRs. They can sometimes get away with having political parties because things are more organic there. They exists as a canvas for player interaction and conflict. At risk of sounding like a francoist, I think the only way we're going to see meaningful political parties is by agreeing to abandon UCRs and only treating GCRs as valid real-estate.

Unified Last Region
This could potentially work, but I don't think it would look quite like what is being discussed here. There are certainly reasons to want such a region, but actually getting people to do it would be a problem. There needs to be a reason for people to move there. Military organizations would need some guarantee of security, while also being allowed to cross before jumps. That's one source of conflict. If you want card farmers to come you'll need an economic incentive that won't disappear. And I'm not sure how you'd pull that off.

Dead region cleanup crew
It could be useful to have a group that actively works to contact nations in dead or dying regions and attempts to integrate them into active regions. They could also facilitate region mergers. The goal would be to help NS feel more lively to new players, and direct people to communities where they'll be a good fit.

Factions
It surprises me we don't see formalized factions already - at least, not on the scale we're thinking of. I would have expected with the amount of conflict available, and people's eagerness to write treaties, we would see more consolidation of power for directed purposes. And while the membership of such factions is never going to be static, the core reasons for power consolidation have at least some inertia.

If I had to guess, I'd say the energy that would be spent on factions is being consumed by military gameplay. Obviously we can consider "raiders" and "defenders" factions of their own, but they don't really match what we want from factions. When we talk about factions, we are referring to our desire for compelling conflict that originated organically an led to use of force. I think we assign higher quality to that type of conflict than the conflict in pursuit of conflict that is R&D. Perhaps if we ignored R&D and considered conflicts from a more diplomatic or territorial perspective, we'd get what we want.
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Postby Great Algerstonia » Fri May 21, 2021 2:57 pm

Thered have to be quite the "world adjustment" for rock paper scissors to be a group game.

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Postby Frattastan IV » Fri May 21, 2021 3:59 pm

Not a joke, but the UDL may have been the closest to an NS organised religion: a superregional group whose members shared something that vaguely resembled an all-encompassing ideology (and a mythology, and the reactions of sovereigns concerned about subjects with dual loyalties ...). If anyone manages to create an organised region surely it would work like that, with some properly religious theme layered on top. I don't think it can run on pure make-believe beyond 'quirky-themed region with no followers outside its borders' because the leaders would have no sway over their members. At least the core beliefs need to be something that people actually care about.

Conventions are possible but will be difficult because the NS world doesn't have the same level of institutionalisation of RL international systems (in terms of common values, rules, institutions). In fact, I'm doubtful that a 'Gameplay community' even exists. Anyone who tries to set up NS-wide conventions will be swimming against the current, and will need to start from very simple norms and mechanisms. e.g., in the past I thought about the possibility of introducing arbitration as a dispute resolution method in treaty clauses. It's courtlike, but might be easier to set up and accept.

Galiantus III wrote:Political Parties
Political parties fail at a regional level because that's what happens when you can just go off on your own and found a region where you have ultimate power. You disagree with the majority? Then leave. For the most part, everyone in a region has a basic agreement why they're there and what they're doing. Consequently, any conflict tends to be born out of toxicity, instead of anything meaningful.


imo, parties fail at a regional level because they have no reason to exist. Most NS communities are too small to require intermediation from parties to organise political participation. If people are interested in politics it's easier for them to get directly involved and express their positions with as much nuance they want. A 'membership card' won't help them. Any party will be outclassed by informal and temporary groups that people form over specific issues and enter and exit at will. "everyone in a region has a basic agreement" is somewhat true in the sense that our regions are much much less complex than actual societies.

Currencies and (somewhat) religions fail for similar reasons. They are fun roleplay ideas, but they lack the drivers that sustain those ideas in real situations. Maybe. I don't mean to be more overly pessimistic, more pointing out that an idea is more likely to work if it solves someone's problem.

Galiantus III wrote:Perhaps if we ignored R&D and considered conflicts from a more diplomatic or territorial perspective, we'd get what we want.


"Ok, Westwind".
Last edited by Frattastan IV on Fri May 21, 2021 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Galiantus III » Fri May 21, 2021 5:55 pm

Frattastan IV wrote:imo, parties fail at a regional level because they have no reason to exist. Most NS communities are too small to require intermediation from parties to organise political participation. If people are interested in politics it's easier for them to get directly involved and express their positions with as much nuance they want. A 'membership card' won't help them. Any party will be outclassed by informal and temporary groups that people form over specific issues and enter and exit at will. "everyone in a region has a basic agreement" is somewhat true in the sense that our regions are much much less complex than actual societies.


You make too much sense, my dude. 8)

GCRs are the only places I've seen where there wasn't a "basic agreement " for any extended amount of time. They are large enough to have some complexity, and there's not a founder (or a delegate with literal decades of influence) whose authority literally cannot be challenged. They also happen to be the only regions someone might reside in more by chance than by choice.
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Postby Unibot III » Sat May 22, 2021 10:39 am

Great Algerstonia wrote:Thered have to be quite the "world adjustment" for rock paper scissors to be a group game.


It’s been done! I thought it was fairly successful. You play it collectively between regions via regional polls.

RE: Fratt, regarding political parties. I do wonder if we could see the development of an interregional political movement, rather than a political party though.

I think we saw in 2016/2017, the emergence of a cross-regional idea that democracies are a discredited institution— blasé, static, not in keeping with the times, weak, insecure etc. This took the form of different ideologies, some named, some not - meritocracy, Francoism, Sinkerism, Rahlism, monarchism whatever — although these parties were often in conflict with one another, they were promoting ideas that advocated similar outcomes for major regions in NS. They advocated that modern regions should have planned successions and govern themselves based on tight knit groups over Discord — down with the procedural forum-centric muck of democratic institutions.

I think it could be helpful to see the development of a pro-democracy interregional movement today that promotes the success of democracies as a source of continued activity and relevance.

I’d also like to see a movement towards multilateralism and international engagement. When the game is contracting, regions cannot afford to simply look inward.

Concerns about entryism dominated the Cold War — democracies like TSP were under attack not because they were democratic but because of geopolitics. In a time of relative peace, like we’re experiencing now, I think the argument could be made that a lot of major regions, like the sinkers, could benefit from the revitalization that democratization can advance. If meritocracy was so good at promoting talent and generating cultural output, the game’s talent wouldn’t be primarily joining leading democracies and outproducing them there culturally.

P.S., a dispute resolution system is brilliant, Fratt — and is more how ICJ operates anyways!! I wonder what the enabling legislation for such an institution would look like?
Last edited by Unibot III on Sat May 22, 2021 10:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Kylia Quilor » Sat May 22, 2021 11:23 am

Galiantus III wrote:
If I had to guess, I'd say the energy that would be spent on factions is being consumed by military gameplay. Obviously we can consider "raiders" and "defenders" factions of their own, but they don't really match what we want from factions. When we talk about factions, we are referring to our desire for compelling conflict that originated organically an led to use of force. I think we assign higher quality to that type of conflict than the conflict in pursuit of conflict that is R&D. Perhaps if we ignored R&D and considered conflicts from a more diplomatic or territorial perspective, we'd get what we want.

The problem is, within the rules as written, there's not many other ways to fight, nor much to fight over, at least that isn't just wars of words. Which brings us back to the fact that the modern GP world is a very sanitized place comparted to it's past, in terms of the levels of politeness.

As long as there are big D defenders (that is, people who defend everything regardless of the reason for the attack, though these days fascists are the exception) and Big R Raiders (raiding things just to raid things) - Big D Defenders being the bigger problem in terms of staticness - then there's not much else you can do in military than R/D as it is, and even then - R/D is a very narrow and limited means of conflict.

But we're not going to lose big D defenders because there's too many people who think 'helpless innocents' need to be protected from the 'evil raiders', even if they don't say it quite as loud and angrily most of the time.

R/D, such as it is, is one of the only ways regions can actually directly combat each other, short of sending infiltrators and spies to blow up regions from within, which - I mean, dynamic, but the costs are too high. Every other kind of conflict can ultimately be resolved by people saying 'I'm leaving and founding my own region', short of the situation in the GCRs, but the GCRs haven't been the most dynamic places either of late, as I understand it, so...

NSGP as a whole needs to decide what it is. Because it's not really political anymore.
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Postby Galiantus III » Sat May 22, 2021 1:07 pm

@Kylia Quilor

And that's why I consider the root of this problem the existence of UCRs. If the world consisted of only 50-100 GCRs, and those were the only regions that existed, gameplay would be very different. There would be limited real-estate to fight over, and military action anywhere would be game-wide news. Factions and parties would just be the way of things (they might even be a formalized feature), and there would be no arbitrary raiding or defending. It would all be politically motivated. But at this point such a system cannot be implemented.

R/D was never political. It has always been a somewhat destructive sport. It has more in common with gladiatorial games than actual warfare. Raiders and Defenders fight each other because they are opposing teams, not because they are trying to take territory. With the exception of GCRs, taking territory is usually not worth the effort - if not downright impossible.

The only thing we as gameplayers can do to buck the system is place accurate value on regions. We need to come to terms with the fact that UCRs are a dime a dozen - there are more than 25,000 of them! But there are only five feeders, three sinkers, one rejected realms, and six warzones. Fifteen regions with unique mechanics to the other 99.9%. I know this makes me sound like a francoist, but from a gameplay perspective GCRs have inherent value and exclusivity that other regions lack. And it comes down to the fact that GCRs exist for their power dynamic, while UCRs exist for the social dynamic.
Last edited by Galiantus III on Sat May 22, 2021 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Frisbeeteria wrote:
For some reason I have a mental image of a dolphin, trying to organize a new pod of his fellow dolphins to change the course of a nuclear sub. It's entertaining, I'll give ya that.
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Testing is for sissies. The actual test is to see how many people complain when any change is made ;)

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Postby Unibot III » Sat May 22, 2021 5:08 pm

Kylia Quilor wrote:NSGP as a whole needs to decide what it is. Because it's not really political anymore.


I think it goes back to the rights culture/framework - if you acknowledge the presence of rights, claims, sovereignty, and/or freedoms, you have a political dynamic of sorts. Without it, you're not really acknowledging any sort of natural law.

It feels today like the game is kind of drained of its normative content - the should, if you will. But it's the should's and the ought's, the can's and cannot's, the mine's and yours' - that plays a driving role in the political sub-game.

Today's game feels like regional governments operate on a smaller scale as kind of cultural adminstrators -- facilitating small mini-games, events, and help guides -- like they're campus orientation coordinators or something. Players don't seem to often think in bigger terms of the state and its obligations or the right of claim to power and sovereignty. This transition began when it became more popular for people to talk about "community" rather than "government" as a reaction to the big geopolitics of the Cold War. The pendulum swung back so hard from the Cold War that it's due for a course correction.

However, I am unsure whether such a reversal would be popular - there are a lot of advocates for the status quo who positively regard today's apolitical (laid back, self-aware etc.) game as free of interpersonal conflict and toxicity. I think a more palatable start might be more organized international conferences and an international organization.
Last edited by Unibot III on Sat May 22, 2021 5:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Kylia Quilor » Sun May 23, 2021 4:24 am

Well of course you'd support internationalism as a cure to all ills, Unibot. I think we should be going the other direction.

@Galliatus: The GCRs are valuable real estate, that is true, but to say that the UCRs are only social is to miss the rich political history and life of many UCRs, with contested elections, dynamic internal affairs and complex arrangements. While people can just pack up and leave, that is rarely people's first response to defeat in an established UCR - they usually stick around and try some more, politically. And while a world of just GCRs would be good for Gameplay in some ways - some - NSGP is not the only way of playing, and trying to draw sharp line and say 'only GCRs can participate in Gameplay' even if we had 50-100 would be exceedingly difficult, to say the least.

GCRs themselves are valuable real estate, but they aren't only valuable real estate, and with 50-100 of them, the actual value in fighting over them would be much less. You can have too much of a good thing. Now, I do actually think we could use some more feeders (5 Atlantics, maybe?) but unless the other kinds of GCRs had other, unique things going for them, your proposed idea wouldn't do much.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Unibot III » Sun May 23, 2021 9:47 am

Kylia Quilor wrote:Well of course you'd support internationalism as a cure to all ills, Unibot. I think we should be going the other direction.


What NS has now is neither internationalism nor isolationism nor regionalism. There is profuse intercommunication, interconnectivity, and cultural and military cooperation between established circles — more so than any other time in the history of NSGP in my opinion.

In a way, we are all cosmopolitans, but we are not cosmopolitan: liberalism is dead, imperialism is dead, rationalism is dead, idealism is dead. What remains is a postliberalist ideology that remains nameless by contemporaries.

I think I and others have been assuming that NSGP has drifted away from ideology, but I’m starting to think that the past ways of thinking have just been replaced with a new ideology that has not been named. A lot of people are very passionate about the status quo, to a point that it suggests ideological conviction.

We’re essentially operating in an antidrama. The new ideology is clear:

  • The reduction of the game into “bad” players (e.g., fascists, right wing Trumpists, racists, creeps, Nazis, and sexual and verbal abusers) and “good” players (e.g., everyone else) which is turns means the rejection of traditional roleplaying, protagonism and antagonism.
  • Strict non-aggression and non-intervention towards “good” states and parties.
  • Pariahism and active ostracization of “bad” states and parties.
  • A redefinition of the state as chiefly a facilitator of cultural activity possessing no real international agency.
  • The absence of regional self-identification stifles the development of an ethnic regionalism or patriotic sentiment. But the inherent rightlessness and exclusive citizenship of these communities also stifles the development of a civic regionalism or constitutional patriotism.
  • A learned passiveness — deference to social gatekeepers and entrepreneurs.

For a lack of a better term, I’ll just call it Oocism. :p Oocists are everyone! And I think they genuinely believe that the game they’ve helped to reconstruct is a better game specifically in that it does not have a lot of drama. If you don’t believe in rights or citizenship or empire or identify with your region in a meaningful way, what you have left is an antidrama that resists the traditional elements of NSGP that were a source of interpersonal conflict and disagreement.

NS cannot successfully turn to tech-based solutions to what is fundamentally a people problem. I used to dislike dualism — I saw it as a social strategy to deny responsibility for unlawfulness. But today’s NS is much more thoroughly oocist than even five years ago — players fear that inviting in-game identity and values back into NSGP is a road to toxic behaviour, they don’t even want to be seen agreeing with the notion because they might be associated in doing so with the wrong people. You may be right, CQ, that I lean to heavily in seeing conferences and internationalism and liberal democracy too much as an antidote, but I don’t agree that big D-defenders are the problem — big D-defenders are non existent.
Last edited by Unibot III on Sun May 23, 2021 10:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
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but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Sailiopia » Sun May 23, 2021 10:18 am

Unibot III wrote:
Kylia Quilor wrote:NSGP as a whole needs to decide what it is. Because it's not really political anymore.


I think it goes back to the rights culture/framework - if you acknowledge the presence of rights, claims, sovereignty, and/or freedoms, you have a political dynamic of sorts. Without it, you're not really acknowledging any sort of natural law.

It feels today like the game is kind of drained of its normative content - the should, if you will. But it's the should's and the ought's, the can's and cannot's, the mine's and yours' - that plays a driving role in the political sub-game.

Today's game feels like regional governments operate on a smaller scale as kind of cultural adminstrators -- facilitating small mini-games, events, and help guides -- like they're campus orientation coordinators or something. Players don't seem to often think in bigger terms of the state and its obligations or the right of claim to power and sovereignty. This transition began when it became more popular for people to talk about "community" rather than "government" as a reaction to the big geopolitics of the Cold War. The pendulum swung back so hard from the Cold War that it's due for a course correction.

However, I am unsure whether such a reversal would be popular - there are a lot of advocates for the status quo who positively regard today's apolitical (laid back, self-aware etc.) game as free of interpersonal conflict and toxicity. I think a more palatable start might be more organized international conferences and an international organization.

The question I ask, particularly about regional governments, is what should their purpose be? From my perspective, the nature of NS means that regional governments are almost there to sustain themselves. In regions with legislatures, most legislation is just acts that place/remove limitations on the government, or reforming constantly. When a region is new, the government sets about establishing itself, which I find enjoyable, but then it doesn't do much outside of government beyond RMB regulations and a legal code. Regional executives are fairly limited to foreign policy, creating RPs and events, and admin (such as master dispatches).

So to make government more enjoyable, what should the focus of governments be, beyond just looking after themselves?

I haven't been on NS long enough to know what life was like before 1/2 years ago. However, I believe that toxicity is still present. Just look at posts in gameplay (and even technical) that involve long arguments between raiders and defenders, alongside arguing in any region that has been subject to an occupation. That will probably never stop. Regions can still be internally argumentative - one of my regions (Lorania) has had very heated arguments for about 7-9 months, and this has partially led to the likely downfall of the region.

However, there is still an aspect of 'Oocism' as you call it. NS has become a battle, like most of politics (including OOC RL politics, to my distaste), the battle of 'good' vs 'evil'. While I am against raiding, I am seeing more and more regions becoming independent, as they don't want to be associated with raiders, who some of the community associate with as the 'evil' side. Raids themselves are being conducted more and more against fascist regions - I believe that is justified, as fascists are generally people with seriously racist, inhumane views. Regions that even hold embassies with regions that hold embassies with fascist regions are being scorned - that I see as a step too far, I wouldn't sift through every embassy of a region that I want to create an embassy with. This is just an example of it.

What region you are in is important. Personally, I value community, small-scale, mostly onsite regions. Therefore, my regional identity is important to me. But this is a subject that is becoming polarised (at least from what I can see, I'm in the centre on this issue). As more interregional events are happening, R/D coalitions etc., some people are becoming more focused on the NS community as a whole. However, some people are taking their patriotism to an extreme and turning it into what is referred to IRL as nationalism (don't know what term to use as 'regionalism' means something slightly different). People value their region above all else, are fundamentally against other regions and care about regional growth rather than community, as having a larger population size makes a region 'better for some reason. This isn't helped by citizenship policies such as WA-only citizenship (I prefer WA + Waivers, more inclusive), that means that people are restricted in how many regions they can be citizens in. This might not end well for some regions, or even for the community as a whole.
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Kylia Quilor
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Postby Kylia Quilor » Sun May 23, 2021 10:29 am

Unibot III wrote:
Kylia Quilor wrote:Well of course you'd support internationalism as a cure to all ills, Unibot. I think we should be going the other direction.


What NS has now is neither internationalism nor isolationism nor regionalism. There is profuse intercommunication, interconnectivity, and cultural and military cooperation between established circles — more so than any other time in the history of NSGP in my opinion.

In a way, we are all cosmopolitans, but we are not cosmopolitan: liberalism is dead, imperialism is dead, rationalism is dead, idealism is dead. What remains is a postliberalist ideology that remains nameless by contemporaries.

I think I and others have been assuming that NSGP has drifted away from ideology, but I’m starting to think that the past ways of thinking have just been replaced with a new ideology that has not been named. A lot of people are very passionate about the status quo, to a point that it suggests ideological conviction.

We’re essentially operating in an antidrama. The new ideology is clear:

  • The reduction of the game into “bad” players (e.g., fascists, right wing Trumpists, racists, creeps, Nazis, and sexual and verbal abusers) and “good” players (e.g., everyone else) which is turns means the rejection of traditional roleplaying, protagonism and antagonism.
  • Strict non-aggression and non-intervention towards “good” states and parties.
  • Pariahism and active ostracization of “bad” states and parties.
  • A redefinition of the state as chiefly a facilitator of cultural activity possessing no real international agency.
  • The absence of regional self-identification stifles the development of an ethnic regionalism or patriotic sentiment. But the inherent rightlessness and exclusive citizenship of these communities also stifles the development of a civic regionalism or constitutional patriotism.
  • A learned passiveness — deference to social gatekeepers and entrepreneurs.

For a lack of a better term, I’ll just call it Oocism. :p Oocists are everyone! And I think they genuinely believe that the game they’ve helped to reconstruct is a better game specifically in that it does not have a lot of drama. If you don’t believe in rights or citizenship or empire or identify with your region in a meaningful way, what you have left is an antidrama that resists the traditional elements of NSGP that were a source of interpersonal conflict and disagreement.

NS cannot successfully turn to tech-based solutions to what is fundamentally a people problem. I used to dislike dualism — I saw it as a social strategy to deny responsibility for unlawfulness. But today’s NS is much more thoroughly oocist than even five years ago — players fear that inviting in-game identity and values back into NSGP is a road to toxic behaviour, they don’t even want to be seen agreeing with the notion because they might be associated in doing so with the wrong people. You may be right, CQ, that I lean to heavily in seeing conferences and internationalism and liberal democracy too much as an antidote, but I don’t agree that big D-defenders are the problem — big D-defenders are non existent.

The Big D defenders comment was specifically about what Galliatus was talking about, not what you were talking about. And we do still have big D defenders running around, they just don't rant about it like we used to.

Regardless, please, for the love of god, do not call me CQ anymore. There's a reason I switched to this nation as my main well before I abdicated the Cerian Quilor nation itself to Caldemar.
Unfocused populism is just as dangerous, if not more so, to an elected government's wellbeing as creeping authoritarianism.
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