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PostSubject: Introduction   December 20th 2016, 6:47 pm

So what is this?

NationStates is a free nation simulation game. You create your own country, fashioned after your own ideals, and care for its people. Either that or you deliberately torture them. It's really up to you.

Is it a serious political thing, or just for fun?

You can play it either way. NationStates does have humorous bent, but that's just because politics is naturally funny.

Gameplay

What do I do?

First, create a nation. From there, it depends. Most nations concentrate on developing their laws and ideology by answering Issues, which pop up several times a day. Others prefer to engage on the international scene by winning a position of power in Regions, crafting international law in the World Assembly, or discussing various matters in the Forums. You can explore or ignore different areas of the world as you choose.

How do I win?

Beats the hell out of me. You can make an infinite variety of nations, but no-one can tell you which are best. Nations do get ranked on many different scales by the bean-counters at the World Census, but being ranked high on a scale isn't necessarily a good thing. Is it a badge of honor or a mark of shame to reach the top of "Most Religious?"

Can I attack other nations?

No. Nations cannot be damaged or destroyed by foreign powers. You develop your nation the way you want, without being forced to take care of the military, or the economy, or anything else you don't especially prioritize.

But I keep hearing about invasions.

Some nations craft battles, trading pacts, and more on their regional boards or in forums such as International Incidents. But there's also a type of interregional invasion known as "raiding" or "R/D". This is where organized groups of nations attempt to seize control of regions by moving there en masse and endorsing each other to gain political power. Unlike nations, regions can effectively be captured and destroyed. This isn't common, but isn't unheard of, either.

Issues & Politics

How do I develop my nation?

A few times a day, you'll face an issue and need to decide what to do about it. How you respond determines almost everything about how your nation evolves. There's no micro-management. You control your nation's destiny by making broad policy decisions, not tweaking numbers.

I don't agree with any of the options on this issue!

Dismiss it! This is the equivalent of ignoring an issue until people stop talking about it. If you were a real government, you'd do this all the time, of course. But it's usually more interesting if you take a position.

I just banned skateboards and my insurance industry boomed! Why??

Because of the way so many factors can interact, it's hard to predict the effects of a decision even when you know all the variables. Banning skateboards, for example, can lead to unhappier teenagers, who generate more youth crime, which increases the level of fear amongst the general populace, which spurs insurance sales.

But why did it change so much?

The world is realistic but more so. There's a logic to how things work, but everything tends to gravitate to the most extreme outcome, with the largest consequences. Fear not, though: This also means it's usually easy to reverse the effects of earlier decisions.

Why am I a Corrupt Dictatorship?

Your nation's government category is determined by the nerds at the World Census, who classify you according to the amount of personal, economic, and political freedom in your nation. Here is a neat visual representation.

How do I set taxes?

You don't need to bother with such petty details! You're a big picture kind of person. Bureaucrats will automatically adjust your taxes as necessary to fund whatever government spending you've authorized.

How do I increase my population?

Your national population grows steadily over time no matter what you do. It just does.

This issue boosted Civil Rights in one nation but not another. What gives?

Issue effects depend on the state of your nation. For example, shutting down a newspaper that's critical of your government is just another day at the office for a Psychotic Dictatorship, but a major policy shift in a nation with a history of protecting the free press. Sharp ideological changes will be very visible, but if you only reaffirm the status quo, some issue choices will change nothing at all.

My nation just outlawed street racing and was awarded a banner for tyranny! That's a bit extreme, don't you think?

Banners are awarded when nations reach a particular state. If your nation is already very close to that state, one more small step in that direction can get you over the line.

Similarly, approving a broad-based program can qualify your nation for a banner specific to one thing. For example, broadly supporting public spending might cause you to gain a banner for Education funding, while doing something that's good for business in general might trigger a banner for the mining industry.

Isn't this "simulation" biased towards your politics?

Very possibly. Not intentionally, though.

Why can't I set my nation's pretitle, Capital City, Leader, or Religion?

This becomes possible at particular population levels:

250 million: Your nation will receive an issue that allows you to set a Capital City in some circumstances.

500 million: You can write a custom pretitle in your Settings.

750 million: The Leader issue.

1 billion: The Faith issue.

If you dismiss the issue, or select a choice that doesn't unlock the custom field, you will receive the same issue again at some point in the future.

The World Assembly

What's the World Assembly?

The World Assembly is the world's governing body. It's your chance to mold the world to your vision, by voting for resolutions you like and scuttling the rest. However, it's a double-edged sword, because your nation will be affected by any resolutions that pass. (Unfortunately you can't obey the resolutions you like and ignore the rest.) In other words, it's a hot-bed of political intrigue and double-dealing.

Your nation can join the WA, but it's not compulsory. If you remain outside, you're unaffected by its decisions. If you're ready to mix it up in international politics, though, the WA is for you.

There are two main benefits to WA membership: you can vote on resolutions, and you can give and receive endorsements to and from other nations in your region, which detemines who is Delegate.

You mean like the United Nations?

Funny you should say!

What's the benefit of being Regional Delegate?

Except in regions where the Founder has stripped the position of executive powers, a Delegate can alter the World Factbook Entry, set a password, eject other nations, suppress message board posts, establish and cancel regional Embassies, and more. Some Delegates use this power to keep the region safe and orderly; others do it to cement their grip on power. And some, it's a little of both.

A Delegate also represents the region before the World Assembly. She can review upcoming proposals for legislation and promote those she approves. When legislation reaches the resolution voting floor, she wields additional voting power over regular WA members: 1 extra vote for each endorsement. Delegates of large regions therefore have considerable influence over whether resolutions pass or fail.

A nation must have at least one endorsement to be elected Regional Delegate.

I'm a WA member! What should I do?

Endorse some other WA members in your region, as a way to signal you like their policies, or their cool flag, or their willingness to endorse you back, or whatever. The nation with the most endorsements is elected Regional Delegate: you can support the incumbent or push for change.

Be aware that some Delegates are more democratic than others. Some will happily allow a fair ballot; others will ruthlessly eject anyone they consider a political threat. Dictatorial Delegates must be overthrown by building opposition in stealth.

You can also contribute to NationStates international law! The World Assembly has two Councils, the General Assembly and the Security Council, which each propose and pass resolutions. You may vote for or against any resolution at vote. Depending on how ardent you feel, you can also debate the issue in the WA forums, and discuss which stance your Delegate should take on your Regional Message Board.

How do I endorse another nation?

You can only endorse another nation if:

You are both members of the World Assembly
You are both in the same region
If this is true, the other nation will have an "Endorse [Nation Name]" button in its World Assembly section.

I have more than one nation. Can they all join the WA?

No. While you can have as many nations as you like, only one may be a World Assembly member at a time.

What if I sneak them in?

First, please don't. This is against the rules, and considered cheating. Sophisticated pattern-matching software constantly scans for suspicious behavior and will expel nations from the World Assembly that it determines are likely to be cheats (known as "WA multies"). Repeat or large-scale offenders are deleted.

I only have one WA nation but my brother has one and he sometimes uses this computer.

Unfortunately that's asking for trouble. We try to identify WA cheats accurately, but we have no way of telling exactly whose fingers are touching the keyboard at any given time. So unfortunately if you don't want to run the risk of being ejected from the WA (or worse), you shouldn't let anyone else operate WA nations from your computer, either.

Sharing a network or IP address is usually fine. The game does not rely on any single method of identifying WA cheats, but combines data from many different methods to calculate the likelihood that multiple WA nations are operated by the same person.

What's the difference between the General Assembly and the Security Council?

The General Assembly is concerned with passing international law: resolutions to improve human rights, environmental standards, and the like. They have an immediate and material effect on all WA member nations, and can change your laws and category. For example, if you are a protectionist nation, and the WA passes a resolution promoting free trade, you may find your nation becoming abruptly more capitalist.

Broadly speaking, the General Assembly does not concern itself with individual nations or regions, but humanity as a whole. It has a vibrant role-playing community in the General Assembly forum, which debates and drafts legislation.

The Security Council, on the other hand, is very much about specifics. It passes resolutions that Condemn or Commend particular nations or regions, and authorizes Liberations, by removing a Delegate's authority to set a regional password (usually to restore order following its capture by invaders). Compared to the General Assembly, it is more concerned with gameplay (regional politics, invasions) than role-playing.

Both Councils function similarly in that they accept proposals, which enter the voting floor to be voted on as resolutions. Each Council may have a resolution at vote at the same time.

Can I propose a World Assembly resolution?

Yes, once you have at least two endorsements, you can also propose resolutions. If approved by enough Delegates, your proposal will be voted on by the entire World Assembly, and if passed, will become international law.

Over time, the WA has developed a significant body of protocol governing proposals. To maximize your chance of success, you should familiarize yourself with it. You can find out more in the WA forums.

Whether a proposal reaches the voting floor is determined by the Delegates. If at least 6% of all Delegates approve it, it is said to have attained quorum, and will enter the resolution voting floor at the next opportunity. If it fails to gather enough approvals, it will be dropped.

Getting a resolution up is no easy business, and usually requires support from many key players (especially Delegates of large regions who are active in the WA).

Why don't my proposals ever make it to resolutions?

The WA takes itself seriously and will not approve proposals it sees as inappropriate. There are two common mistakes inexperienced contributors make:

Not reading the relevant rules for General Assembly Proposals or Security Council Proposals.

Proposing something beyond the scope of the WA's authority. For example, proposals cannot change the rules or mechanics of the game itself, nor ask for new features. They should not reference events, people, or things in the "real world" that do not exist in NationStates.

The best path to success is to get involved in the forums: the General Assembly forum or the the Security Council forum. There you can meet key players, propose your idea as a draft, gather feedback, and build support even before your proposal hits the queue.

How do I approve a proposal?

You must be a Regional Delegate. If you are, then you will have an option to approve proposals when you view the list. By allowing unapproved proposals to fall by the wayside, Regional Delegates make sure that the WA only votes on worthy issues.

Can I make a resolution to add war to the game?

No. Well, you can, but I'm still not going to add war. The WA is not there to request new game features. I admit this would be nice: propose a change, vote it through, and BAM! The game gets better. But then, I would have to make the BAM! part happen. It would require me to spend so much time rewriting game code that I wouldn't be able to pursue my real passion, which is earning enough money to buy food, and staying sane.

WA resolutions are a way to bring all member nations into line on a particular issue; be that environmental, democratic, free trade, or whatever. Don't suggest game improvements there. They just clutter up the place. And they make people think, "Hey, yeah, that would be cool! Why doesn't that bum Max Barry get off his ass and do that?" I get e-mails.

Etiquette

It's free speech, so I can post whatever I like here, right?

Ahahahaha! Hahaha! Free speech! No, it's not. I run this web site, see, so you have to play by my rules. It's like my own Father Knows Best state.

What can I post?

You can discuss and argue about almost anything, so long as it's vaguely relevant to politics or NationStates and doesn't fall into any of the categories below. You don't have to be politically correct, but you must maintain a minimum standard of behavior.

What can't I post?

Any content that is:

• obscene
• illegal
• threatening
• malicious
• defamatory
• spam

This applies to your nation's name, motto, and other customizable fields, any messages you write, images you post, or any other content you upload or link to NationStates. If you do, your nation will be deleted. See the site's Terms & Conditions and One Stop Rules Shop for details.

Also prohibited is the practice of "griefing." Griefing is playing with the primary aim of annoying or upsetting other people. If you do this, the game moderators may take action against you.

Does that apply to my nation's flag?

You betcha. In fact, we're much stricter on nation flags than we are on forum posts, because they're not open for challenge and debate. If you want to make a political point, it's best you use the forum, where other people have the right of reply. If you use your flag, you run the risk of having it removed if we determine it breaks site rules about content and behavior.

I got into an argument with this idiot in the forums, and I got deleted and he didn't! How come you allow pro-Catholic argument, but when someone tries to tell the TRUE story of the coming of Christ—

Okay, let me stop you there. It might look as if you are being persecuted for your political views, but what most likely happened is you made a personal attack and your opponent didn't. No matter what the subject matter, if you don't conduct yourself in accordance with the rules of etiquette, you will get into trouble with the moderators. The best way to get your points across in the forums is to remain calm and respect other people's right to disagree with you.

Another player posted something offensive!

People get offended at different things, so first make sure it falls into one of the above categories. If it does, please report it to the game moderators using the Getting Help page, or if it's in the forums, to the Moderation forum.

Because our moderators are players who have volunteered to help out of the goodness of their hearts, please deal with lesser disputes without involving them. For example, if someone in your region is annoying you, your region's Founder or WA Delegate can eject them.

Can I steal another player's nation?

No. This is fraudulent behavior and breaches the site's terms & conditions. The same applies to any attempt to impersonate another player, including attempting to hack nation or region passwords.

Can I invade other people's regions?

Yes. See: Regions.

Can I have multiple nations?

Yes, but only one can be a World Assembly member at any one time.
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