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Z-Day12: 1.182 Trillion Brains Is Enough For Anyone

by Max Barry
Wed, 01 Nov 2023

Thank you for participating in this year's global struggle for/against the undead. We are pleased to report that we have now cleared all that nonsense away.

Get your final Z-Day12 Tally here!

Special congratulations to regions that slayed the leaderboard categories! Especially:

Check your nation's final Z-status

Z-Day12: Hungry Hungry Zombies

by Eluvatar
Mon, 30 Oct 2023

The hour we warned you of has come: it is the NationStates Zombie apocalypse!

What You Need to Know

  • The zombie apocalypse will begin (click for local time)

  • It will run for 36 hours, ending

  • Zombies move between nations in the same region. This makes it important to be aware of what your neighbors are doing, as will be difficult for an individual nation to hold out in a heavily infected region. Each region will report its infection rate so that residents can make an informed choice about which are relatively safe and which are basically pools of pandemic-level z-virus.

  • You have three options:

    • Exterminate the zombies with military force. This converts them into dead citizens, who pose no further risk to the living. It is very effective when you have lots of survivors and few zombies, and less effective when your military forces have mostly been eaten. But be warned! Sometimes the dead rise again.

    • Research a cure, which helps to lower your region's infection rate. Enough nations working together can slow or stop the spread of zombies and even begin to turn infected back into survivors. However, this takes time and is most effective with test subjects and collaboration.

    • Embrace the zombie hordes, becoming part of the problem as you spread zombies all around your region. Eventually, of course, your hordes may run out of food and starve. This option isn't for everyone. But there's always someone.

  • Your nation may also unlock superweapons over time. Once built, they can be manually deployed against targets of your choice by visiting their nation page and hitting the appropriate button.

    • Exterminating zombies develops Tactical Zombie Elimination Squads, who can enter other nations and kill zombies there. They can also restore zombie command and control centers have been zombified to the respective government's control.

    • Researching a cure develops Cure Missiles, which can be launched at other nations in order to convert zombies into survivors. They, too, can restore zombie command and control centers have been zombified to the respective government's control.

    • Embracing the undead develops Hordes, which can surge into other nations and infect their survivors, and zombify other nations' zombie command and control centers.

    Superweapons can be deployed every 20 seconds. If you take a hit from a superweapon, the resulting chaos makes your own superweapon unavailable for a few minutes.

  • There is a Zombie Spotting page which can be used to intelligently target your superweapons.

  • The World Census will maintain some relevant zombie-related ranking scales:

    1. The Most Survivors

    2. The Most Zombies

    3. The Most Dead

    4. The Most Zombified

    (Note: Up to one hour delay is to be expected in the ordering of these scales.)

  • During Z-Day, Governors and Delegates can close their region's borders at no Influence cost, sealing themselves off the from the world, and the plaintative cries of nations seeking refuge. It seems pretty harsh. You're just sitting there watching trillions of people die. But zombie apocalypses demand tough choices.

  • There will be a no worldwide resets or setbacks this time.

  • The rate of zombie infection and cure development has been slowed down again, to something closer to our "classic" speed. Also there are more zombies to start with.

The Z-Day Tally Board will track global progress during Z-Day. Good luck!

Z-Day12: Ich Bin Ein Hamburger

by Chingis
Sun, 29 Oct 2023

I've always felt a tinge of compassion for your everyday zombie. Locked away in a repetitive, mindless cycle of existence, forced to toil away in servitude to his basic needs and desires. We're not so different, really, this hypothetical zombie and I.

He and I could even become the bestest of friends someday! If he wasn't so fond of my brain, that is. I'm very fond of my brain too, you see. Maybe it would be best to act in my own interests, resorting to violence to protect my precious brain if I must. Or, perhaps I could use this brain I wish to keep safe to figure out how to cure the poor soul. Then, instead of a desire to pursue brains, he would become just like me, pursuing other, more acceptable desires. This pursuit has never harmed anything or anyone, of course. That way, we could truly be friends!

Zombie apocalypse begins in:

N-Day9: Post Mortem

by Chingis
Wed, 04 Oct 2023

This N-Day, I learned two things. Firstly, everyone loves having ten times as many nukes to fire. Secondly, everyone loves it when those nukes are fired at four-time winners Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who ended this event at the bottom of the scoreboard with almost 745,000 radiation.

Congratulations to the winners Kingly Heathens Asserting Neighborliness and runners-up Potato Alliance, whose coalition clinched their victory from the combined forces of the third to fifth place factions. A special shoutout to Anime Nations Against Liberals (3rd) for raking up a record 782,622 intercepts; to Jellyfish Elite Fighting Force (4th) for accumulating a score of 97,791 with less than 1000 nations; and to Starlight Brigade for placing fifth overall despite averaging 91.2 radiation per nation.

The final top 10:

FactionScoreNationsRegion
1.Kingly Heathens Asserting NeighborlinessFlag317,0244,514 NationsKingly Heathens Asserting Neighborliness
2.Potato AllianceFlag151,8935,726 NationsThe Potato Alliance
3.Anime Nations Against LiberalsFlag118,3295,335 NationsAnime Nations Against Liberals
4.Jellyfish Elite Fighting ForceFlag97,791330 NationsJellyfish Elite Fighting Force
5.Starlight BrigadeFlag34,5031,128 NationsRefugia
6.The RainDrop PactFlag27,388220 NationsIndia
7.Nova Arctic RepublicFlag27,03459 NationsArctica
8.Northern KerbaliaFlag26,668121 NationsKerbals of the North
9.FuniaFlag25,040655 NationsThe Funian Puppet Region
10.The Trident AllianceFlag23,722310 NationsUnited Kingdom

Some statistics for the nerds:

  • 662 factions were created.
  • 33,705 nations joined a faction.
  • 5,380,472 nukes were targeted.
  • 4,415,445 nukes were launched.
  • 2,430,331 nukes were shot down.
  • 50,656 volleys occurred and caused 1,533,132 radiation.
We look forward to seeing you all again in February!

N-Day9: World Annihilation

by Chingis
Wed, 27 Sep 2023

As the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons comes to pass each year, so does the total elimination of all nuclear weapons on NationStates. This weekend, join us in getting rid of all those pesky, dangerous nukes in the most efficient way known to mankind - by launching them at your nasty neighbours!

  • Be amazed as your citizens go from protest to praise, proud of living in a completely nuke-free country, mere minutes after launch.
  • Rejoice as your nation's laziest labourers head down to the factories with newfound motivation, gazing at the rocket trails on the horizon.
  • Take heart as fellow nations join your cause, banding into great factions. The larger they get, the harder they fall!

Note: N-Day will have no actual effect on any nation stats.

The apocalypse begins in in:

Click here for your local time: We are keeping the pre-registration from last year, meaning that you will be able to create and join factions a few days before the event begins. Furthermore, collaborative efforts between World Assembly member states have borne fruit in new production technologies. This year, nations that are both members of the WA and an N-Day faction will receive a significant boost to their production speed and cap. You can read more about this, and N-Day in general, in the dispatch below:

OVERVIEW

N-Day is an opportunity for nations to come together and exchange nuclear weapons in a fiery Armageddon of mutually assured destruction.

To Participate

  1. Once registration opens, you can create or join a Faction. Nations outside a Faction can't attack or be attacked. You can join a Faction when you're ready and leave when you're not (to stay safe).

  2. When the event begins, nations will be assigned a random Specialty and begin to accumulate Production. You will now be able to spend Production, fire nukes and deploy shields.

  3. Watch your nation automatically generate Production at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes. Use it to build Nukes and Shield.

  4. Launch Nukes at other nations and use Shield to shoot down Nukes that are launched at you.

Tactics

The simplest way to play N-Day is to join whichever Faction seems most fun and start targeting Nukes at its enemies while shooting down anything incoming. Your Faction page's icon bar shows everything you need to know, including who's targeting anyone in your Faction, and who your fellow Faction members are targeting.

Attacking: Step by Step

  1. On your Production screen, spend some of your Production to build Nukes. These go into your Stockpile.

  2. On another nation's Nuke page, click/tap the TARGET button and select the number of Nukes to use.

  3. Once Targeted, it takes 10 minutes for your Nukes to reach a READY state (3 for Intel Specialists). Note that your Targeted page is public: All nations can see who is targeting whom.

  4. When your Targeted Nukes are ready, click/tap LAUNCH.

  5. Your Nukes are now categorized as Launches for you and Incoming for your target. Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. When they do, they earn Strikes for you and inflict Radiation on the target, which reduces their rate of Production. This also earns Score for your Faction and reduces the enemy Faction's Score.

Defending: Step by Step

  1. On the Production screen, spend Production to build Shield.

  2. Find Launched Nukes to destroy. Your top priority is any Incoming Nukes launched at you. Secondarily, you may wish to target Incoming Nukes on anyone in your Faction (see your Faction's Incoming page), and also keep an eye on Targeted Nukes that may threaten you or your Faction in the near future.

  3. Click/tap DESTROY to deploy 1 Shield per Nuke.

Strategy

Strategically, it may be wise to avoid attacks on nations or Factions until you are confident of obliterating them, since this eliminates the possibility of counter-attack. Smaller-scale attacks, which damage but don't destroy an enemy, can lead to an escalating series of grudge-related nuclear exchanges.

On the other hand, targeting an enemy can be an effective warning. And it takes Nukes 10 minutes to be ready to launch, so you can't leave it too late.

Scoring

Each Nuke that reaches a target causes Radiation damage, which reduces the target's rate of Production generation and counts as a Strike for the attacker.

A Faction's Score is Strikes minus Radiation.

Duration

N-Day lasts for 24 hours, after which point, an Arms Control Agreement means that no Nukes can be launched. (In-flight nukes can still land, however.)

The "winner" is the Faction with the highest score; if, that is, nuclear war can be said to have a winner. Which we say it can. It's the Faction with the highest score.

FACTIONS

Once registration opens, Factions can be founded by a Regional Officer of any region. Any and all Regional Officers of that region can update the Faction's official text to issue instructions to Faction members.

Factions can be made open to all members, or restricted to the region's members only.

You can leave your Faction, which is a good way to stay safe if you're signing off for the night. However, you can only do this if you're not engaged with the enemy! That means:

  • You must not have any nukes targeted or launched at another nation; and

  • No nukes can be targeted or incoming on you.

Note that in practice, this can make it challenging to leave a Faction, since you may be frequently targeted.

While outside a Faction, you cannot be targeted, and do not generate any Production.

Before joining, it's worth making sure a Faction isn't currently under mass bombardment.

SPECIALTIES

Nations are randomly assigned a specialty.

Military Specialists build Nukes faster: They receive 50% more Nukes when converting Production.

Strategic Specialists build Shield faster: They receive 50% more Shield when converting Production.

Economic Specialists can accumulate more Production: Their production cap is four times larger than the other specialties.

Intel Specialists can finalize targets faster: Their targetted nukes reach READY in 3 minutes instead of 10. They have no Production advantages.

Cost of Nukes/Shield in Production Points

Military Specialist

Strategic Specialist

Economic Specialist

Intel Specialist

1 Nuke

0.67

1

1

1

1 Shield

2

1.33

2

2

PRODUCTION
Non-WA nations automatically generate Production at a rate of 1 Production per 2 minutes, up to a maximum of 50 (200 for Econ Specialists).
WA nations automatically generate Production at a rate of 10 Production per 2 minutes, up to a maximum of 150 (600 for Econ Specialists).

Production can be spent on Nukes or Shield.

WA NATIONS
World Assembly members will accumulate Production 10x faster than non-WA members, and have their Production limits increased by 3x.
It is allowed to switch WA membership to receive this benefit for different nations, but (as per regular site rules) you are only allowed to have one nation in the WA at a time.
Keep in mind that if your Production is over the non-WA limit when you resign membership on a nation, the Production on that nation will decrease down to the limit (i.e. if you resign with 75 Production on a non-Econ nation, the Production will drop to 50).

We ask that you refrain from switching WA for N-Day purposes more than once every two minutes. You will not be punished for this, but it is against the spirit of this change to the event mechanics.

NUKES

Nukes are purchased with Production, kept in stockpile until ready, then targeted and launched at an enemy nation.

Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. While in-flight, they can be shot down by any nation using Shield. If they're not, each Nuke generates 1% of Radiation in the target and earns 1 Strike for the attacker.

SHIELD

Shield can be used to knock out Launched Nukes. You can shoot down any in-flight Nukes regardless of who they are aimed at.

Locate in-flight Nukes under Launches or Incoming, and use the DESTROY button to eliminate them at a rate of 1 Shield per Nuke.

It is possible to waste Shield if multiple nations deploy Shield simultaneously to knock out the same Nukes.

TARGETING

Target a nation by viewing their Nuke page and clicking/tapping TARGET. You may then select how many Nukes to target from your Stockpile.

It takes a short time for a Targeted Nuke to reach a READY state, after which it may be launched. This is normally 10 minutes, but Intel Specialists are faster, finalizing targets in only 3 minutes.

If not launched after 1 hour, Targeted Nukes automatically return to your Stockpile.

RADIATION

Radiation is generated in a nation when it is struck by a Nuke.

Radiation proportionately reduces a nation's Production generation rate. For example, 20% Radiation reduces Production generation by 20%.

When a nation is 100% Radiated, it is destroyed and no longer able to launch any Nukes nor use any Shield.

Radiation is irreversible.

You can leave a Faction when irradiated, but this does not affect your Faction's score.

SCORE

A Faction's score measures strikes and radiation that occurred while those nations were a member. It is unaffected by nations joining or leaving the Faction.

GLOSSARY

Term

Explanation

Production

Used to buy Nukes and Shield. Automatically generated by all non-destroyed nations in a Faction.

Nuke

Unholy instrument of death and destruction.

Stockpiled Nuke

A Nuke that has been purchased with Production and is sitting idle, awaiting a target.

Targeted Nuke

A Nuke that has been targeted at a nation. A targeted Nuke takes 10 minutes to achieve a READY state, after which it may be launched.

Launched/Incoming/In-Flight Nuke

A Nuke that has been launched at a nation and is currently chewing up 3-5 minutes of in-flight time.

Shield

A unit of defensive technology. Possibly involves lasers or satellites or something.

Strike

A record of how many Nukes have successfully landed on targets.

Radiation

A record of how many Nukes have struck the nation. Reduces Production generation.

Faction

A group of nations sharing a common interest in survival and/or bloodlust.

Score

Strikes minus Radiation.

Read dispatch

As always, be on the lookout for the soon-to-open Vault 41 subforum.

Congratulations to the winners of Issue Contest: Was It Something We Eight?

by Verdant Haven
Mon, 24 Jul 2023

This post comes courtesy of Issues Editor Verdant Haven.

Begin intercepted transmission:

3d1t0r: "Yes... excellent... our eighth Annual Game to Encourage New Draft Activity has been a success!"

4dm1n: "That's gr-eight! Did you r-eight them all? The d-eight is getting l-eight, how much longer do you need to deb-eight before announcing the winners?"

3d1t0r: "We can announce them now, but why are you talking so strangely?"

4dm1n: "W-eight, what? You started it! It's eight-puns for the eighth contest!"

3d1t04: "Pfft, eight-puns are so outdated - the next contest will be nine, not eight."

4dm1n: "..."

The Issues Editing Team was hoping to see some major submission activity, and you responded big time with nearly 200 entries! After carefully spinning our hamster-wheels, and spending a good long time peering into the mirror-lined box that is our collective psyche, we're ready to announce this year's winners!

Presented in alphabetical order by author, the winners are:

These issues are now guaranteed to be published! Winners, you can expect your shiny "Issues Author" badge to come along with it. Speaking of which, fully half of these nations will be getting published for the first time! We don't plan that, but it's always a delight to see first-timers mixing it up with the experienced veterans.

Please join us in congratulating our winners! You can expect to see these issues start appearing in game soon.

This Weekend: Cards Against NationStates

by Max Barry
Fri, 30 Jun 2023

Remember Cards Against NationStates? Of course you don't, it was eight years ago, that's a thousand years in internet time. But it was the 2015 April Fools event. Like the game "Cards Against Humanity," but NS themed.

For this weekend, the game has been fixed up and is highlighted for visibility! You can organize a game with people you know, or randomly dip into someone else's.

*** Cards Against NationStates ***

Issues Contest: Was It Something We Eight?

by Verdant Haven
Wed, 31 May 2023

This post comes courtesy of Issues Editor Verdant Haven.

Begin intercepted transmission:

3d1t0r: "W-eight for it... w-eight for it... one must appreci-eight the need for proper timing."

4dm1n: "Ugh, stop punning. We h-eight w-eighting, and you know we... hang on. Why are we speaking in puns, too?"

3d1t0r: "It's f-eight! The eighth Issues Contest is here, and will domin-eight our minds until we've had time to deb-eight the entries!"

4dm1n: "Please make it stop! Can we just announce this thing already?"

3d1t04: "That would be gr-eight, m-eight!"

4dm1n: "..."

Do you love issues? Do you enjoy creating content for your fellow players? Do you really want to earn a swanky little gift-shaped badge for your nation page, which proudly declares "Issues Author" for people who hover their mouse over it? Then you've come to the right place!

We are pleased to announce our eighth Roughly-Annual Issues Contest - "Was It Something We Eight?" Winners will be announced on the news page, and will earn the aforementioned swanky gift-shaped badge. More importantly, all of our winning submissions are guaranteed to be added to the game, where they will become a part of the Issues canon enjoyed by all of our players from around the world!

The contest only permits one entry per player, so we strongly encourage you to draft on the Got Issues? forum, where you can get helpful feed back from editors and fellow authors, and can access the Got Issues FAQ and issue-writing guide. Your choice of topic is entirely up to you - bring your A-game and show the world what you can do!

Please submit your issue during the month of June, using the usual method, and make sure to check the box that confirms you are entering your submission for the Issues Contest! Please ensure that you're happy with your submission prior to sending it in - there is no "undo" button on submission.

Please see this thread for full information. Good luck!

World Trade Fair II: Metrics

by Max Barry
Sun, 14 May 2023

Thanks for taking part in this year's World Trade Fair! It was the second one in history, after last year's inaugural April Fools event.

Unlike last year, different regions topped the leaderboards in different items. But LilyFlag came pretty close to a clean sweep, taking out most categories and placing in the top two for others.

World Trade Fair Region Leaderboards

Some event stats:

  • Nations performed 296,524 actions, including 121,910 inspections and 119,400 stashings.

  • The most searched-for items were Kittens, Patriotic Flags, Uranium, Gold Bullion, and Inspector Uniforms.

  • The least searched-for items were Electronics, Tractor Parts, and Gas Centrifuges.

  • The Trade Fair ended with nations holding 174,023 unstashed items. The most commonly unstashed item was Cassowary Eggs (16,568), a new item this year, which was particularly challenging to stash.

  • Only 1,159 items were destroyed, and again the most commonly destroyed item was Cassowary Eggs (418), presumably in an attempt to prevent them from being seized.

Thank you for participating, and may all your trades be fair!

World Trade Fair II

by Max Barry
Sat, 06 May 2023

What better way to celebrate World Fair Trade Day than with a World Trade Fair?

Just like last time, the World Trade Fair will involve the collection, confiscation, and stashing of a range of goods. A leaderboard will track which regions stash the most of each kind of good, if you're into that kind of thing.

  • Trade Fair begins (click for local time)

  • Trade Fair ends (click for local time)

World Census Adjusts Censorship Rating

by Max Barry
Mon, 01 May 2023

The World Census today announced an important change to the way it tracks Personal Freedom in nations.

"Until approximately six years ago, we tracked a particular form of censorship known as Personal Censorship," a spokesperson explained. "We then found a better way using two alternative metrics, Political Censorship and Free Speech. And so we abandoned the old concept of Personal Censorship."

"Or so we thought. It turns out that in older nations, our records were still maintaining the old Personal Censorship rating. And this could act as a permament bias on a nation's Personal Freedom, causing that score to be higher or lower than it should, no matter what laws the nation passed."

Approximately five percent of the current world population is affected, the World Census says.

In finally purging its records of Personal Censorship, effective immediately, the World Census is confident that its ratings will be more accurate than ever.

How to Succeed in Life

by Sedgistan
Tue, 18 Apr 2023

In the beginning there were regions. But not Founders. Only Delegates. That's right, back in 2002, you started a region and just crossed your fingers that it wouldn't be immediately overrun by hostile forces. It was a wild time.

Founders have kept the peace across thousands of regions for the last two decades. But what happens when a Founder slips off into the void and isn't around any more? Well, things would get interesting: often in a good way, in regions that were large enough to form self-sustaining democracies, but sometimes not, and regions would die out.

Today we release a package of changes that radically increase your ability to run your region the way you want.

Governors

Regions now feature Governors, who inherit all the powers that Founders previously had, such as ejecting nations, password-protecting the region, granting the Delegate Executive control, and appointing Regional Officers. Any nation that was an Executive Founder of a region previously has automatically been appointed Governor of that region.

Founders are still recorded in regions, but only as a historical record of the nation that created a region; the role does not have any powers associated with it.

Successors

Governors have gained a new power, to appoint Successors. This provides an additional layer of protection for regions, as if the Governor nation ceases to exist, the first in line Successor inherits the Governor role, allowing them to take over management and safekeeping of their region. Governors may also choose to abdicate, which allows their chosen Successor to immediately become Governor.

These changes provide longer-term security for regions, as well as allowing the baton of command to be passed on to another nation when a Governor feels they are no longer able to provide leadership for their region.

Frontiers

A new region type has been introduced: Frontiers. These regions have no Governors, meaning Executive power is held by the Delegate position. This makes them more vulnerable to invasion from outside groups, or to internal coups; however, newly founded nations may spawn within Frontiers, providing them with a steady flow of new residents.

When founding a new region, you can choose to designate it as a Frontier, or to stick with the security of a standard region with the founding nation becoming Governor. Existing regions can choose to transition to Frontier status, which will result in the Governor relinquishing their powers. Regions can also choose to transition away from Frontier status, which will result in the WA Delegate being appointed as Governor. In both cases, the process takes two weeks.

Injunctions

The Security Council has been granted new powers to pass Injunction resolutions on regions. This prevents the region's WA Delegate from changing the region's status to or from Frontier. This allows the World Assembly to intervene to prevent unwanted changes of region status.

Icons

And that's not all! There are also some swanky new WA-related icons rolling out, courtesy of Kyrusia, who beat out a talented field of designers. We greatly appreciate the contribution.

For more information see the updated FAQ or join in the discussion in the Technical forum.

Maps: The First Wave

by Eluvatar
Mon, 10 Apr 2023

Some people said you couldn't secretly write and implement a major new feature that melded cartography and diplomacy inside a graphical interface with 20-year old code. Or maybe they said "shouldn't." It was one of those.

Either way, it was done! And it mostly worked! Not entirely! But mostly!

Congratulations to those regions and nations that figured out what the heck was going on and managed to craft and endorse some maps. In total, 1,307 nations made 4,687 map versions and 879 nations created 896 maps with a total weight of 430,021.

At the end of the first week of maps, we'd like to salute the following pioneers whose maps have the most diplomatic weight:

RegionMapAuthorship NationMap Weight
The North PacificThe Lai RainŽ LiŽarda of Meadowfields118,716
The East PacificThe Goin' Silent of Zukchiva88,175
Conch KingdomThe Puddle of Socialist Platypus61,690
The North PacificThe Generation Kill of Kastonvia20,991
Commonwealth of LibertyThe Alpine Republic of Cascadla12,197
The Western IslesThe Blue Islands of Corindia11,618
The North PacificThe Republic of Yeco11,454
Lands EndThe Peafowl Conglomerate of Peacockastan10,853
The North PacificYauco9,360
the Rejected RealmsThe Angelic Avant-Garde Asylum of Minskiev7,970

Special shout-out to The Puddle of Socialist Platypus of Conch Kingdom for not only holding third place, but for punching above their weight several times during the week with a chart-topping map despite having far fewer World Assembly members than their rivals in their region.

Maps are staying, but with work to do as they grow into a full feature, as opposed to something that needed to go live at the start of April come hell or high water. In particular:

  1. Regions can (now) choose whether to hide or display their most-supported map

  2. There will be storage limits on what can be uploaded and saved (you all uploaded 1.4 gigabytes of map in a week!)

  3. Maps will come with a legend

  4. Map activity will be integrated into map pages

  5. And of course miscellaneous bugfixes

Thanks for your participation during this first week, and please continue to provide feedback on what you'd like to see in the Maps Technical forum thread!

Regional Maps

by Eluvatar
Sun, 02 Apr 2023

The World Assembly welcomes you to a world illuminated... by maps!

We outsource the creation of these maps to the many nations of the world. It's a two-step process.

Before we are even involved, the nation's best artistic resources are summoned to create an image file which represents them and their neighbors, friends, or enemies, each with a unique color. They may also paint part of the map two other colors: one designated for future nation designation (we can call it "land"), and one that is not ("sea").

Once the nation's leadership decides, they can create a Map Version. If they were inspired by the work of another nation, or making revisions to their own previous version, they should make an Update to that Map Version.

Separately, there are officially declared Maps. Unlike a Map Version, a Map has to be associated with a particular region, and only nations in that region will properly show up on it. A map has a "latest version", which may not have the same author nation - as national leaders, you are great enough to accept when someone has improved on your work, and you can update your Map to someone else's version. These maps can be endorsed by nations that are on them.

A nation may endorse only one map. That is the map you officially recognize. If you leave a region or cease to exist, your endorsement of the map is removed. Each endorsement has weight, related to the nation's World Assembly endorsements and influence in the region.

The maps with the most prominent endorsements will be recognized as such by this august instution. Starting with the world''s most-supported map:

Most Heavily Supported Map: Europe

This is the map of Europe created by The Federal Council Republic of Pilipinas and Malaya . It has 441,068 estimated diplomatic weight behind it, the most in the world. It is one of 4031 maps in the world.

If you have confidence in your nation's artist, it might be good to begin the process by visiting the map drafting area.

While interns and administrators at the World Assembly Headquarters have labored day, night, and midnight to release these new informational graphics, there may yet be glitches or obvious improvements to be made. Please point them out in the Regional Maps Technical Discussion.

The most-supported maps at the end of this first week will surely deserve to be remembered.

Unimaginable News

by Max Barry
Sun, 02 Apr 2023

One morning, a new intern, let's call him Igor, trotted up the marble steps of the World Assembly. Igor's shoes were brightly polished and his hair was combed real neat, because this was Igor's first day, and he wanted to make a good impression. Like all World Assembly interns, Igor had beaten out hundreds of hopeful candidates for the job, and he was desperate to prove himself and to bring honor to his home nation, an 80 million pop Inoffensive Centrist Democracy in a rarely noticed and never-featured regional backwater.

Igor's shoes squeaked as he crossed the great floor to the World Assembly front desk. "Thirteenth door to the right," said a man, without making eye contact. "Inductions."

Inductions was a great hall filled with other interns. "Take a randomly selected seat," rasped the Administrator, a very old woman with the subtle but distinctive ear markings of a vat clone. Igor found himself seated beside a dark-eyed girl with the effortless self-assured grace of a resident of a much more popular region, and found himself sneaking glances at her.

"Before we begin," the Administrator announced, "I will remind you of the first, and, in some ways, most important tenet of the World Assembly."

"Objectivity," whispered the dark-eyed girl beside Igor.

"Objectivity," said the Administrator. "You may have come here with opinions, regional customs, or religious beliefs. Leave them all at the door. Only the most objective belong here at World Assembly Data Synthesis & Presentation."

The girl nodded emphatically. Igor, an occasional follower of a deity that was technically illegal in several nations, including his own, decided to keep his beliefs to himself.

"Some of you undoubtedly harbor..." The Administrator's lip curled. "New ideas. Wild dreams of new methods of data presentation. Forget it. In ten years, perhaps, or twenty, you may be ready to produce such a thing."

"I'm going to have a new idea one day," Igor murmured. The dark-eyed girl glanced at him, and he blushed.

"Marp," said the girl, adding: "That's my name. I'm Marp."

"Igor," he said quickly, and she smiled.

When the lecture concluded, the interns were given a simple data location task: to look up the fourteen millionth data point on Beverage Sales in a nation that had ceased to exist long ago. As the interns scattered to various terminals, Igor seized Marp's hand. "It's a trick," he said. "An Antiquity nation? That data will only be found in the Basement."

Entering the Basement required an elevator ride and a short ruse involving Marp posing as a lost tourist. Once inside, the pair split up to search the labyrinth, and Igor found the file in question jammed underneath a huge broken stone disk. He pulled, but the disk was too heavy: the file didn't budge.

Igor set his feet and tugged again. He grit his teeth and closed his eyes. When that failed, he even invoked the power of several deities under his breath, including the one that was technically illegal. The file budged, just enough to make him redouble his efforts.

"May ______ guide me!" he cried, using the name of the technically illegal deity.

There was a gasp from behind him. He turned to see Marp, wide-eyed with shock, her hands flying to her ears too late to block out the sound of his blasphemy. Then she turned and fled.

Losing his grip on the file, Igor fell backwards into a pile of boxes, which toppled and spilled dusty files across him. He stared miserably at his polished shoes. He had failed. He would surely be expelled, a disgrace to his nation.

Then he noticed the blue file in his lap.

Two words were scrawled across it: one began with U and the other with N, but what caught his eye was the flag below them: a kind of graphic he'd never seen before. Transfixed, Igor opened the file. Inside were documents, hundreds of them, more than 240 although probably not quite 245, as well as legal agreements, and what appeared to be a hand-written version of General Assembly Resolution #1, the legal framework that set out the scope and purpose of the World Assembly itself.

Igor had seen similar records before, of course, but sanitized for public view. They didn't have the two words, the ones that began with the U and the N, nor the strange flag.

"There!" cried Marp. "There's the one who brought culture-specific beliefs into the World Assembly!"

The Administrator tottered toward him, her face dark with fury. "In all my time--"

Igor, scrambling to his feet, thrust forward the file. "Look! Look at the flag!"

He watched her face change. "What is this? It's almost..."

"As if we're high above a region, looking down," Igor said. "We can see how all the nations relate to one another, geographically."

The Administrator took the file with shaking hands.

"It's a new way of data visualization," Igor said. "We could call them... Marps."

Marp's eyes widened.

The Administrator slowly nodded. "I don't love the name," she said. "But you may have something."

N-Day8: Aftermath

by Chingis
Mon, 27 Feb 2023

We all love a feel-good story about a group of misfit underdogs rising up to best the seemingly all-powerful antagonist through the power of friendship and teamwork. It leaves you with a warm glow in your heart, reassuring you that all is just and fair in the world.

This year's N-Day was not one of those stories. Instead, reigning champions Horsemen of the Apocalypse crushed the second largest faction in a one-sided massacre, effectively winning the event by the 9th hour. The rest of the event was devoted to factions feasting on the corpse of Potato Alliance, which ended the event with an astounding seven figures of radiation.

Congratulations to the winner of the event, HotA, which secured its fourth N-Day victory with a record-breaking 1.6 million score. The top 10 factions are listed below.

FactionScoreNationsRegion
1.Horsemen of the ApocalypseFlag1,652,90513,133 NationsBelisa
2.Horsemen of the Apocalypse IIFlag21,73120 NationsLily
3.Horsemen of the Apocalypse IIIFlag21,6719 NationsHell
4.Second Best Test 218,20710 NationsTwo
5.The Minotaurs 2Flag13,08438 NationsThe Labyrinth
6.Shambhala Strategic Javelin CommandFlag10,59610 NationsFodlan
7.The_MinotaursFlag7,7340 NationsAtlantiso
8.Lego6,9545 NationsIndonesia Nusantara
9.AMAZEINGFlag6,83858 NationsCasagrande
10.YourselfFlag6,53226 NationsConfederation of Corrupt Dictators

See the full final leaderboard

Highest Scores Per Nation (min 10 nations):

FactionScoreScore Per NationRegion
Second Best Test 2 18,207 1,820.7 Two
Horsemen of the Apocalypse II 21,731 1,086.5 Lily
Shambhala Strategic Javelin Command 10,596 1,059.6 Fodlan
Stellamare Compact 3,491 349.1 Astral Sea
The Minotaurs 2 13,084 344.3 The Labyrinth
Chess Players 4,249 265.6 Chess Players
Yourself 6,532 251.2 Confederation of Corrupt Dictators
Horsemen of the Apocalypse 1,652,905 125.9 Belisa
AMAZEING 6,838 117.9 Casagrande
Horsemen of the Apocalypse IV 5,676 45.0 Children of the Grave

For the number-enthusiasts among you, here are the global stats for this N-Day:

  • 971 factions were created.

  • 46,576 nations joined a faction.

  • 5,054,680 nukes were targeted.

  • 4,616,014 nukes were launched.

  • 1,665,637 nukes were shot down.

  • 2,951,117 strikes occurred for 2,416,622 radiation.

N-Day8: Half-Life Every Half-Year

by Chingis
Wed, 22 Feb 2023

In this life, only three things can be certain: death, taxes, and the imminent threat of Nuclear Apocalypse. For the first time in NS history, the (now biannual) N-Day will occur in February. Less than 72 hours remain until the world goes up in a nuclear ball of flame. Grab your lead umbrellas, throw some popcorn kernels in the nuclear reactor, and join us for the 8th run of an iconic NS event!

Faction registration and the Vault 41 forum have been opened.

The missiles fly in:

Click here for your local time:

Read about the aftermath of the previous N-Day here. Will the Horsemen of the Apocalypse sweep the competition yet again? Or will a new champion arise from the ashes? Mere days remain.

Best Nation in the World: Especially Yours This Valentine's Day

by Chingis
Sun, 12 Feb 2023

For two decades now, hordes of scientists with PhDs have painstakingly compiled terabytes of data on every nation on NationStates. They have drawn fancy tables, run complex algorithms and compiled countless census tables. The features are multivariate. The correlations are significant. The statistics are all so... lame?

Why do we need these people anyway? If we really want to know what the coolest, bestest and most amazing nation in the world is we don't need numbers. We need good old-fashioned democracy! We need the return of Best Nation in the World!

When voting opens, for 28 hours, you will gain access to this page. Two nations will be shown: just click the one you think is better. What does "better" mean? We don't know! But we do know that after thousands of votes, the nations on the leaderboard will be the objective best. If you want to know how your nation is doing, you'll be able to see it on your nation page.

Check below to see the start time of the event for you.

Voting opens in:

Update! Congratulations to the best nation in the world, The Commonwealth of Felpolandia!

We Were Offline And It Was Dark And Cold

by Max Barry
Tue, 27 Dec 2022

I'm not sure if you noticed but the site was unavailable for four and a half days just there. It wasn't great, to be honest. Here's the story:

What's Working

Almost everything should be back and working fine, with no data loss.

What's Not Working

  • Trading Cards bids & asks: The major casualty of this episode, apart from the sleep and sanity of admins, is bids and asks on Trading Cards. We're not able to safely restore these. This means you will need to re-set any bids and asks you had before.

What's Different

We kicked back the Cease To Exist (CTE) timer: for a limited time, nations now cease to exist after 35 days of inactivity, not 28.

We temporarily suspended processing of World Assembly resolutions and proposals, so some of those are still there even though voting should have closed. This will resume in about 48 hours.

What Went Wrong

We scheduled downtime to replace a disk at end-of-life. We took a backup of the relevant system, powered down, and our host attempted to clone the disk. We then had a glorious 30-minute period where everything was running again, before we lost power and experienced a hard crash.

Since then, we've been piecing together data from various sources & backups. This was challenging because they were in different states.

What Might Be Weird

Some things were skipped, because they weren't running during downtime: There were no daily updates, no World Assembly resolution passing, no inactivity warning emails, and so on. This will get back to normal soon.

Thank You For Your Patience

Thanks for standing by, and welcome back!

A huge shout-out to our admins, especially The Royal Confederacy of Eluvatar, for the back-breaking toil of getting this site breathing again. If it was up to me, I would have just rolled everything back two weeks and it would have been chaos. Thank Eluvatar it's not like that.

Update: Due to popular demand! You can help buy Eluvatar dinner.

NationStates Turns 20 Today

by Max Barry
Sat, 12 Nov 2022

20th Anniversary Highlights

I mean hooooooly crap. TWENTY YEARS. For perspective, the web itself is only 33.

Here are some things that didn't exist when NationStates launched: MySpace, Digg, World of Warcraft, Facebook, XBox Live, iTunes, Skype, Firefox, Chrome, iPhones, Reddit, Twitter, Wordpress.

NationStates began in a time where any idiot could make a website and people would go check it out, because there weren't many to choose from. In 2002, I was that idiot, learning to code from a book, hacking the site together, and emailing a few friends. Then they told a few friends, and almost immediately, it was in the newspapers, even the New York Times, because that was newsworthy back then, some dork's website.

Almost all the web sites from 2002 are now gone. And like a geriatric who's outlived his contemporaries, I marvel at the simple fact that we are still freaking here. Everyone thinks you can put up a site and it will just hang around forever because that's how the internet works, but that's not true at all, not even for the dumbest, most static pages like THIS IS TIM'S WORLD WIDE WEB PAGE, UNDER CONSTRUCTION, COOL STUFF COMING SOON, because sometime in the last twenty years, Tim's web host got bought out and shut down, taking Tim's dancing baby GIF with it, and now, at best, there are a few snapshots filed away in an internet archive.

Sites that do things, interactive sites, like this one, are hard to keep alive. They have so many ways to die. I'm incredibly proud that NationStates is here twenty years and eight million nations later, with as many players as ever. That's magical. I credit:

  • Not selling the site. I came close. In retrospect, the buyer would have spent 12 months squeezing users for money before everyone left.

  • Moderators. Oh my god, moderators. They do so much, every day, for nothing, and without them, the site would almost immediately become somewhere you wouldn't want to visit. Some mods have been here from the beginning. Many have clocked up over a decade. So much is thanks to mods.

  • The community. I can't even explain this because I don't fully understand it. I made a site where you could create a nation and talk to people. The community did everything else, i.e. turned that into something interesting, with political intrigue, relationships, lore, rules; basically the vast majority of what makes NationStates worth your time. This includes regional leaders, ordinary nations, World Assembly Delegates, admin, Roleplay Mentors, Founders, dispatch authors, World Census trophy chasers, forum regulars, forum irregulars, anyone who's taken the time to explain something to someone new to the site, card traders, everyone.

  • The people who buy Site Supporter, Postmaster, Postmaster-General, and Telegram Stamps. Most people don't, and that's totally fine, but the lights wouldn't have stayed on without those who do.

  • Managing the tech stack. All the tech from 2002 is slow, insecure, missing essential features, and three thousand times harder to work on that what's available today. It also can't be replaced without losing 20 years of bug fixes. So far we have managed to steer a path between killing the site from negligence and killing it from overly ambitious upgrades. And we keep adding features! To a 20-year-old codebase! Written in Perl!

Happy Birthday everyone.

Love,

Max.