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Do a WA reset

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Quintessence of Dust
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Democratic Socialists

Do a WA reset

Postby Quintessence of Dust » Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:42 am

Arguments in favour:

1. It is unfair that newer players have limited opportunities to discuss the big issues because they've already all been legislated on, in some cases 12+ years ago. We will soon be reaching a point where legal forum users (13) were not even born when the WA closed off forever the ability to discuss slavery and torture. They are stuck legislating on fairly narrow topics and dealing with the weight of hundreds of past resolutions duplicating/contradicting their best efforts to play a game.

2. Most pol-sims reset every few months up to perhaps a couple of years. To go on 12 years without a reset is far from the norm.

3. The WA has changed substantially and standards are different. There are new categories, and other categories have been removed. Some older resolutions would no longer be in the correct category. Game staff have always insisted the technical impact of WA resolutions on nation stats is important. If so, it is, at present, wrong.

4. Despite some mythologising that it led to vast outcries, the 09 reset actually went pretty smoothly.

Preferably, the rules would be redrafted in full before the reset. The current situation, where a group of mini-mod players are interpreting rules substantially derived from a ruleset written by the mods 16 years ago, is pretty untenable.

Ideally, and this is the controversial bit, the reset would need to be implemented with minimal warning. If you flag up months in advance that it will go ahead, WA activity will grind to a halt and everyone will concentrate on drafting new resolutions. The old reset worked precisely because it was dropped unannounced.

Rebuttal to potential arguments against:

1. "Players will just resubmit the same old resolutions" Some will, but many older players are no longer active. The same concern was voiced in 09, too, and relatively few direct resubmissions actually occurred.

2. "In another 12 years we'll end up in the exact same situation" OK? So reset again then. Most pol-sims go through many resets.

3. "It'll end up with months of proposals on abortion" Probably true. Oh well.

4. "It's unfair on new authors who wrote resolutions only to have them wiped after a few weeks" Those players had no guarantee their resolutions would not be repealed anyway. It's just a game.

5. "A sunset is a better idea" It's not. It's more complex, and all the previous discussions on sunsets ground to a halt over technicalities.
Last edited by Quintessence of Dust on Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cormactopia Prime
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:54 am

As someone who once wanted to and tried to get involved in the General Assembly before delving into gameplay when I first started playing NationStates almost 9 1/2 years ago, I can say the reason I stopped trying was due to the intricacies of trying not to duplicate or contradict existing legislation. I can only imagine what it's like for new players 9 1/2 years and so many GA resolutions later. I don't think it's any wonder we see so many resolutions from the same handful of authors.

I would definitely support this, and I think it would be wise to make periodic resets a standard part of how the GA operates. New players and veteran players outside the GA niche should have an easier time getting involved with authoring GA proposals without running into a slew of legality issues based on previous proposals. I think it could be healthy for the SC as well, though the SC doesn't have the same contradiction and duplication issues. Regardless, I think cleaning house every few years in the SC is a good idea as well just for a fresh start. I'm unsure if the OP meant it to apply to both, but the topic title does say a WA reset.
Last edited by Cormactopia Prime on Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:24 am

QoD usually uses "WA" to refer to the GA.

I don't have an opinion to share on resetting the GA, but I'm opposed to it for the SC. There's not a compelling reason to do it, as there aren't the contradiction/duplication issues - there's still the freedom for new authors to pass resolutions on new subjects. Also, as old recipients of C/Cs CTE, they cannot get a replacement.

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Bears Armed
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Bears Armed » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:24 am

Does any RL international organisation throw out all of its passed laws every 'X' years, all in one go, as a matter of policy? Seriously?

Regardless of any OOC benefits that this might bring to the game (even if, as I think should be the case, pre-reboot resolutions must still be taken into account for the purposes of the 'No Plagiarism' rule...), I do not see how it could be justified IC other than by something along the lines of "The nations now existing that have the same names as pre-reboot nations are all 'Alternative Reality' counterparts of those, from a timeline where the WA never existed before this", and some players -- particularly among those who already incorporate 'alternate reality' concepts in their RP, and object to having which versions of their nations now exist godmoded because of this -- might not accept that. If the WA is rebooted like that then I, for one, am just going to ignore the rebooted version altogether and continue running the version of my nation that has had a 'Mission' as a member of the pre-reboot WA... and that, in its RPed appearances, might still have a Mission in that organisation.
Last edited by Bears Armed on Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Quintessence of Dust
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Postby Quintessence of Dust » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:33 am

In a game in which nations experience 7 million population growth every day (yet are still light enough to be towed between regions by helicopters), in which it is both completely impossible not to comply with resolutions and trivially easy to answer issues directly in opposition to them, and in which your nation is populated by sapient bears!, I'm not really that concerned about people having trouble with the RP implications. WA RP is pretty dead anyway.
Sedgistan wrote:I don't have an opinion to share on resetting the GA, but I'm opposed to it for the SC. There's not a compelling reason to do it, as there aren't the contradiction/duplication issues - there's still the freedom for new authors to pass resolutions on new subjects. Also, as old recipients of C/Cs CTE, they cannot get a replacement.

Fair enough. I left out discussion of the SC as I'm in the converse (reverse? inverse? transverse? I've never really known, tbh) position to you, I have no opinion on it for or against.
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Bears Armed
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Postby Bears Armed » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:41 am

Quintessence of Dust wrote:In a game in which nations experience 7 million population growth every day (yet are still light enough to be towed between regions by helicopters),
That's OOC game-mechanics, admittedly, but what proportion of the RP-ing players do you you think actually consider it to be the case IC?
And if we drop the idea of the GA having a RP existence, altogether, then what purpose is participation in it supposed to serve? Demonstrating one's writing [& politicking] abilities, even though the results will then be scrapped every 12 [or whatever] years? "Virtue-signalling"?
Last edited by Bears Armed on Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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(includes The Ursine NorthLands) Demonym = Bear[s]; adjective = ‘Urrsish’.
Our population is approximately 20 million. We do have a national government, although its role is strictly limited. Economy = thriving. Those aren't "biker gangs", they're our traditional cross-Clan 'Warrior Societies'... and are generally respected, not feared.
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Quintessence of Dust
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Postby Quintessence of Dust » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:45 am

Bears Armed wrote:
Quintessence of Dust wrote:In a game in which nations experience 7 million population growth every day (yet are still light enough to be towed between regions by helicopters),
That's OOC game-mechanics, admittedly, but what proportion of the RP-ing players do you you think actually consider it to be the case IC?

The vast majority. Most players never visit the forums or engage in RP. For the overwhelming majority of players, the game mechanics is the game.

Sorry, I misread your post. What proportion of RP-ing players? Probably not so many (though I still think forumgoers underestimate how much RPing just happens on regional RMBs by people who never touch the forums). But still:

I don't consider problems incorporating this into their IC canon to be a technical argument against the change.
Last edited by Quintessence of Dust on Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lytrovia
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Postby Lytrovia » Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:37 am

This is suggesting that we should overhaul every WA resolution, just so that we can rewrite them again by new players...

Or maybe I read it wrong. I don't know.
Last edited by Lytrovia on Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mallorea and Riva
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Postby Mallorea and Riva » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:26 am

Sedgistan wrote:QoD usually uses "WA" to refer to the GA.

I don't have an opinion to share on resetting the GA, but I'm opposed to it for the SC. There's not a compelling reason to do it, as there aren't the contradiction/duplication issues - there's still the freedom for new authors to pass resolutions on new subjects. Also, as old recipients of C/Cs CTE, they cannot get a replacement.

For whatever it's worth, agreed.

Thanks for starting this discussion, QoD. It's sure to raise some heated debate, so everyone please try to keep things cool.
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Frankland
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Postby Frankland » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:33 am

Point of order, WA was created in '08 so it is already older than some NSers users at 13+ years old. I think QoD is thinking of SC being created, which may well have been the following year.

It has been a long time since I wrote WA legislation, and when I did I was heavily in the SC. But I did write more than a couple GA resolutions and helped draft GA resolutions for a while.

IMO, to answer Bear's hypothetical of what is the GA if it is not about creating a long comprehensive story of this body: To me the GA is about problem solving, much like model UN. Write the best resolution you can that addresses all the possible "what ifs" within reason that makes as many people happy as possible. Or possibly, only pisses off 49% of WA Votes, however your particular goal is...

I'm in favor of this generally. To me it is pretty clear the GA is less than approachable with 500+ resolutions which cannot be duplicated so we all need to know what has been done in all of those resolutions. (OK, so a lot of them are repeals so maybe not 500. But a lot.) I'm sure I'm not the only one that has on occasion seen a topic come up in a proposal and spend ages digging through the resolution list seeing if it 'has been done'. And I'm far from the average person interested in the WA if I've written a few resolutions myself, and even I find it a bit cumbersome.

I get it is a tradeoff, as there are people invested in the current resolutions.. But, IMO there does come a point when the match is played out and it is time to start a new one, and maybe that line is somewhere around 500 or 600 passed resolutions.
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Quintessence of Dust
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Postby Quintessence of Dust » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:01 am

Mallorea and Riva wrote:Thanks for starting this discussion, QoD. It's sure to raise some heated debate, so everyone please try to keep things cool.

Fuck you.

:p

Frankland wrote:Point of order, WA was created in '08 so it is already older than some NSers users at 13+ years old. I think QoD is thinking of SC being created, which may well have been the following year.

Eep, you're right! I think I was mixing up the reset and SC, as you say.
Frankland wrote:I get it is a tradeoff, as there are people invested in the current resolutions.. But, IMO there does come a point when the match is played out and it is time to start a new one, and maybe that line is somewhere around 500 or 600 passed resolutions.

As a follow-on, if there is not a reset, I'd like to see if there's some way of making the passed resolutions archive more user friendly. At present it's not very easy to navigate for new (or returning) players.
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Frisbeeteria
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:08 am

Let me know when this happens, so I can have my newest version of Rights and Duties of WA States lined up and ready to go!

Kidding, kidding. Seriously, if this goes through, somebody should have some sort of Charter standing by and ready to go. I still think it's important to have a rules-defining document at the top of the list.

And yeah, I'm ready for a reset.

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Mallorea and Riva
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Postby Mallorea and Riva » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:23 am

Quintessence of Dust wrote:
Mallorea and Riva wrote:Thanks for starting this discussion, QoD. It's sure to raise some heated debate, so everyone please try to keep things cool.

Fuck you.

:p

"That's it, we're only resetting YOUR resolutions."

I keep going back and forth on whether sunset clauses are a part of this discussion- maybe not, but definitely related. If we do a reset again, it would certainly set a precedent that we'll do another at some point, and another, etc...
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Postby Refuge Isle » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:56 am

I remember this topic most recently brought up at the last WA convention thing that TNP hosted, where I think we all resoundingly agreed that there would be no point as the same types of resolutions would be passed again with little to no gain.

The OP rather mischaracterises this as "Some will repeat, some won't, we have different authors now", but I will bet you fifty million planets that we'd see Tinhampton out with five hundred sparknotes drafts of 90% of everything that's been passed and just sailing it through again. So, you'd have that many resolutions multiplied by voting time in activity and then we'll be back to where we are now. What's the point, exactly? What would it accomplish?

I'd also caution against this suggestion that "we could just reset it every twelve years", representing this idea that there are only X number of viable legislative topics and we're going to close down the patent office because we think we've done everything. That's just now how it works. As IRL governments go through time, they discover new pressing issues, new ways of doing things, feel the shifts in political climates. The General Assembly is no different; witness how much opinion and strategy has shifted on capital punishment and abortion.

There are simply infinite possible topics to legislate on and new ways to handle existing topics that have not yet been thought of. Creating busywork by reinventing the wheel accomplishes nothing.
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Postby Coradortodos » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:58 am

what the point for this?

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Quintessence of Dust
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Postby Quintessence of Dust » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:28 pm

Refuge Isle wrote:The OP rather mischaracterises this as "Some will repeat, some won't, we have different authors now", but I will bet you fifty million planets that we'd see Tinhampton out with five hundred sparknotes drafts of 90% of everything that's been passed and just sailing it through again.

The only reason brute forcing like that is a problem is because of the changes to the telegram system, which have had such a wretched impact on the WA. But given there is zero chance of that changing I'm not going to bother arguing there and instead focus on what we can do.

FWIW in 08 (as Topid reminds me) there were all sorts of dark predictions about people doing exactly that. They didn't. More recently people like Wayneactia threatened to flood the WA with proposals when rules were changed they didn't like. They didn't.
Refuge Isle wrote:As IRL governments go...

There is no RL government that operates under duplication+contradiction rules, without sunsets, remotely comparable to the NS WA. I don't think it's a reasonable comparison to say it's not how it's done IRL because no government could legislate under the constraints imposed by the WA's meta rules.
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Galiantus III
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Postby Galiantus III » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:32 pm

I've got a better idea:

Resolution #1 can't be repealed, right? Simply change that, and if it does get repealed, it automatically repeals every other (GA) resolution. That would put any reset up to significant political debate, rather than moderation approval or some automatic cycle.

(Also, I want to be able to say I destroyed the WA.) :twisted:
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Bears Armed
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Bears Armed » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:36 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:Let me know when this happens, so I can have my newest version of Rights and Duties of WA States lined up and ready to go!

Kidding, kidding. Seriously, if this goes through, somebody should have some sort of Charter standing by and ready to go. I still think it's important to have a rules-defining document at the top of the list.

I still think that the 'Charter' (including the "compliance in good faith' clause) should be outside of & earlier than the list of resolutions, as the OOC version of whatever document our nations are presumed to sign IC when they join.
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Our population is approximately 20 million. We do have a national government, although its role is strictly limited. Economy = thriving. Those aren't "biker gangs", they're our traditional cross-Clan 'Warrior Societies'... and are generally respected, not feared.
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Meretica
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Postby Meretica » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:40 pm

I would support this, given that all major/important legislation has already been drafted and there are no real reasons to implement real changes at this point.
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Quintessence of Dust
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Postby Quintessence of Dust » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:40 pm

Galiantus III wrote:I've got a better idea:

Resolution #1 can't be repealed, right? Simply change that, and if it does get repealed, it automatically repeals every other (GA) resolution. That would put any reset up to significant political debate, rather than moderation approval or some automatic cycle.

I wouldn't be completely opposed, tbh, although I generally doubt game staff want site changes put to a public vote. (Pretty sure they've said the WA would have gone ahead even had #1 been voted down.)
Bears Armed wrote:
Frisbeeteria wrote:Let me know when this happens, so I can have my newest version of Rights and Duties of WA States lined up and ready to go!

Kidding, kidding. Seriously, if this goes through, somebody should have some sort of Charter standing by and ready to go. I still think it's important to have a rules-defining document at the top of the list.

I still think that the 'Charter' (including the "compliance in good faith' clause) should be outside of & earlier than the list of resolutions, as the OOC version of whatever document our nations are presumed to sign IC when they join.

100% agreed.
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Azalfia
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Postby Azalfia » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 pm

I'd be willing to do this, coming from a Non-WA nationstate. I see the General Assembly is clogged up with hundreds of old pieces of legislation, which, don't get me wrong, probably brought alot of roleplay discussion in there day. But a reset could revive a entire scene in roleplay discussion; it could allow for better written, better engaged, bills.

Although, if you really wanted to take a step further, then maybe a constant timeset for resets; whether that be a few years or whatnot; might be better. We don't wanna make the mistakes of our past.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:32 pm

The idea which I discussed on the WA Discord was this:

1. Create a score based on age and on the per cent in favour of a resolution (both positive in the scoring function).

2. Order the resolutions based on that score, descending.

3. Every month (or two weeks) retire the first resolution on that list, unless it is marked as reaffirmed.

4. Create a new resolution category that applies to resolutions. Resolutions can be reaffirmed; those resolutions are then exempt from score-based sunsetting.

This idea resolves a few issues. First, topics for which there is more of a consensus are not brought back as perennial issues. Second, there is no flood of expiries based on activity gluts something like 10 years ago. Third, it also means that recent resolutions are not lumped in with really old resolutions. More broadly, a queued sunset also opens up topics at a rate which the WA can deal with and produce drafts for instead of having a rush of haphazard replacements.

If we are really wedded to GA 2 (I'm not, I have desired it's repeal for some time), we can reaffirm it so it doesn't isn't immediately queued out. (To do this, one of course would have to open reaffirmations before the sunsetting queue starts processing.)

Quintessence of Dust wrote:
Refuge Isle wrote:As IRL governments go...

There is no RL government that operates under duplication+contradiction rules, without sunsets, remotely comparable to the NS WA. I don't think it's a reasonable comparison to say it's not how it's done IRL because no government could legislate under the constraints imposed by the WA's meta rules.

This also is true. The analogies to real world governments break down in the face of the game's mechanics.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Wayneactia
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Postby Wayneactia » Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:54 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:Let me know when this happens, so I can have my newest version of Rights and Duties of WA States lined up and ready to go!

Kidding, kidding. Seriously, if this goes through, somebody should have some sort of Charter standing by and ready to go. I still think it's important to have a rules-defining document at the top of the list.

And yeah, I'm ready for a reset.

Could be interesting trying to pass a set of "rules" for the GA that isn't rife with metagaming. I just don't see how that could be done. If a GA reset happens, #2 should be given the same status as #1 imo. As for a reset, I'm down for it.

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Comfed
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Postby Comfed » Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:06 pm

Galiantus III wrote:I've got a better idea:

Resolution #1 can't be repealed, right? Simply change that, and if it does get repealed, it automatically repeals every other (GA) resolution. That would put any reset up to significant political debate, rather than moderation approval or some automatic cycle.

(Also, I want to be able to say I destroyed the WA.) :twisted:

That’s... not a bad idea.

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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:19 pm

Let me start by saying, I'm not taking this position because I'm concerned about my old resolutions being phased out or dropped. Doesn't bother me one bit -- I'm sure authors today could take on those subjects and do them justice. :)

But I don't think this is as good of idea as it may seem prima facie.

In 2008, NSUNers (you included) were outraged that the NSUN was dumped without consultation. These arguments caused a lot of future debates, a lot of hurt even in some cases. This shouldn't be repeated just because some players think it is a good idea now. They cannot speak for the WA at large, and they shouldn't try to.

The WA should aspire to be a democratic and a humanitarian body, it makes very little sense from the perspective of the WA to cull legislation that its member-states have passed without a formal established process, and in general, it makes no sense from the perspective of the WA to subject sometimes quite critical human rights legislation (like, banning slavery) to a sunset clause which could create an unacceptable interregnum.

This is the kind of a game change that serves the authors, but it doesn't necessarily serve the WA or its member-nations.

Creatively speaking, the WA would be better served with changes to WA categories that fleshed some areas like the Environment that have been underutilized.

I also wonder if it might be helpful to change the Repeal system to not use the title of the resolution in the header. The big bold text in the title would just say "Repeal GA Resolution #30" or whatever. That way fluffy titles like The Charter of Rights wouldn't undermine legitimate reform efforts by other authors. We've known for years that fluffy titles help protect those pieces of legislation from repeal -- it's been a longstanding source of frustration.
Last edited by Unibot III on Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of TRR | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
Unibotian Factbook // Collected works // The Gameplay Alignment Test //
Proudly Authored 9 GA Res., 14 SC Res. // Commended by SC#78

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✯ Duty is Eternal, Justice is Imminent: UDL

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