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[EMBASSY] The North Pacific

Fregerson

Irrelevant Backwater
Joined
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NPA Bulletin
by Westinor, Deputy Minister of World Assembly Affairs
[PFC] Arichia -> Corporal
[PVT] Westinor -> Private First Class

The NPA has been very busy prepping for the holiday season, starting off the month of November with a visit to everyone’s favorite admin friends over at Testregionia ! They looked around for Testlandia , but couldn’t seem to find them anywhere… hoping to leave a little surprise and feeling a bit naughty, a tag was left behind for them to enjoy!

However, the rest of Nationstates was not to be forgotten. NPA Officer COL BMWSurfer, as well as Minister and Deputy Minister of Defense COL Gorundu and GEN 9003 led several tag and detag runs throughout the month, whipping new recruits into shape and singing awfully premature yuletide carols along the way. Featured Region of the Day Mikov Call was also hit on minor update of November 15th, led by GEN Gladio on the trigger.

During one of these tag runs the North Pacific Army also unseated several delegates in approval of the proposal “Repeal: ‘Liberate Confederation Of Corrupt Dictators’”, contributing to the eventual failure and dropping of a proposal that sought to remove an offensive liberation from fascist region Confederation of Corrupt Dictators.

The NPA also departed on two separate joint operations with members of ERN, looking to spread some Christmas cheer before Thanksgiving, ending at Christmas , where Defense Minister 9003 declared Die Hard a Christmas movie and challenged others to prove otherwise. The second, held on Major of November 25th featured an ultimately unsuccessful attempt at invading the region of Japan as variance resulted in the target region updating earlier than expected. However, participating members had a fun time bonding with members of different organizations.

High Command also had something in store for the beginning of the holiday season. On Thanksgiving weekend, a total of nine soldiers from the North Pacific Army gathered with members of several other organizations, including Lily and The Grey Wardens in an effort to unseat delegate Mikeswill of the region Nationstates . Soldiers were seen prepping for the op an hour before the jump, chatting with comrades and enjoying stories from times long past. The raid itself was successful, bringing King Zhaoxiang Of Qin up to the position of WA Delegate for a single update and ending Mikeswill’s 16-year long reign - the longest in Nationstates at the time.

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World Assembly Digest
by Cretox State, Minister of WA Affairs
WA Digest

Fifteen WA proposals in total went to vote during the month of November, nearly double that of October. Of these fifteen, eight were GA proposals, with the remaining seven being in the SC. Only two proposals failed at vote, both of which were in the SC. These defeated proposals included “Commend Ariusgrad” and “Commend Twobagger”. Impressively, ten out of the fifteen voted-on proposals were submitted by members of the TNP WA Ministry; this is 67% of voted-on proposals and 77% of passed proposals during the month. A total of ten unique authors submitted the fifteen voted-on proposals this month. Three passed resolutions this month were sponsored Accelerator proposals. Former TNP WA Minister Morover was commended this month.

Most Supported
The most widely supported proposal during November was , which passed with 89.6% support and sought to commend a prominent antifascist military gameplayer, WA and issues contributor, and member of the WA General Secretariat. Overall, this was an incredibly uncontroversial commendation that faced no major opposition. This proposal was authored by Cretox State and co-authored by Honeydewistania .

Most Opposed
The most widely opposed proposal to come to vote during November was another SC proposal, “Commend Ariusgrad”. Proposed by Joan Darc , this proposal sought to recognize its nominee’s region-building efforts in the founderless region of Philippines and received 31.7% support. A large portion of the opposition to this proposal stemmed from concerns over the actual significance of the nominee’s accomplishments, along with strange construction; specifically, the proposal cited the region maintaining “warm relations” and creating government positions as commendable.

Most Controversial
The most controversial proposal to come to vote in November 2020 was undoubtedly “Commend Twobagger”, proposed by Jakker City . Narrowly failing with 46.9% support, this proposal aimed to recognize the contributions of its nominee to defending, a subset of military gameplay, and regional development. The proposal was the subject of intense opposition from the beginning, with 10000 Islands being a primary voice of criticism. The proposal’s voting numbers shifted between slight support and opposition throughout the duration of the vote, and a single substantially powerful regional delegate had the power to flip the vote for most of it. The turning point arguably came after a highly publicized incident in which three members of The Black Hawks moved WA nations into The South Pacific and voted in favor of the proposal in an alleged violation of TSP sovereignty. Given the incredibly narrow final margin of the vote, there could very well be another attempt at this commendation in the future.
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November Justice Election
by Owen, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
The months of November brought us another Judicial election and this time all three justice positions were up for election. With it being a normal judicial election, there was a larger field than the special elections that have been held recently with 8 citizens declaring their candidacy. The citizens that ran in this election were: Comfed, Honeydewistan, Laeg, Lord Lore, Monkemafiatopia, saintpeter, Vivanco, and Yalkan.

Comfed
Comfed ran in this election on the back of their successful defence in a recent Court case as one of the newest citizens in the field. Comfed also ran on their belief that they had sufficient experience to allow them to take on the role of Justice with an open mind and the ability to be a neutral and unbiased judge of issues. Whilst Comfed received some support, they were not elected.

Honeydewistan
Moving onto looking at Honeydewistan’s campaign, they had a much more informal campaign than some of their other competitors. They had a campaign thread, but did not post any campaign promises or reasons to vote for them until they were asked to. After being asked why they should be a good pick for Justice they said that their neutrality in TNP politics put them in a strong position to ensure their neutrality if they were elected as Justice. However, when it came to voting, Honeydewistan did not receive the support needed and therefore was not elected.

Laeg
Laeg was the most inexperienced candidate in the election, having only joined TNP’s forum in October. Their campaign was a short one in which they promised to work to ensure that laws in the region remained fair and just, as well as ensuring cases were balanced and equal for both sides. In their campaign, they also endorsed Vivanco and Lord Lore as the other two justices that they liked to see elected alongside them. However, Laeg’s campaign was not successful and they were not elected.

Lord Lore
Lord Lore is a Security Councillor within TNP. They declared their candidacy in the election and then chose not to post a campaign thread. Despite not having a campaign thread, Lore was elected as Justice in the third tally of votes.

Monkemafiatopia
Monkemafiatopia is a new member of the TNP community and chose not to post a campaign thread. Likely due to the lack of a campaign thread, they received very little support and were not elected.

Saintpeter
Saintpeter ran off of the back of an unsuccessful attempt to get elected as Justice in the August Special Election. In this campaign, they had more experience in this branch of government in TNP having argued in a request for review before the Court as well as being Temporary Hearing Officer for another case. In their campaign thread Saintpeter argued that it was important to protect the independence of the judiciary, and ensure this by not voting in any RA business during their tenure as Justice. As well as this, they stood on a promise to make the Judicial branch more accessible to new members of TNP by looking at implementing law clerks within the judiciary to allow new members to get experience within TNP’s Court. Saintpeter’s campaign proved to be popular and was the second elected Justice.

Vivanco
Vivanco was the only incumbent standing for re-election. Vivanco ran their campaign as a continuation of their time as Justice after their election in the August Special Election. They also ran on their experience of TNP law as a former Attorney General as well as their time as Justice last term. As well as this, one of Vivanco’s most important aspects was the need for stability and independence within the judiciary. Vivanco proved to be the most popular candidate in the election and was the first Justice to be elected.

Yalkan
Yalkan is a long-standing member of TNP and stood for election for the first time in a while. Yalkan did not post a campaign thread, which proved to be an issue when it came to voting. Due to the lack of a campaign, Yalkan was not very popular amongst voters and therefore was not elected as Justice.

Therefore, after an election that had a good turnout and had a large field, Vivanco, Saintpeter, and Lord Lore were elected as Justices.

[small]The North Star: Lighting The Way To The Truth
Publisher: TlomzKrano :: Executive Editor: BMWSurfer :: Managing Editor: Arichia(Forum) and Gorundu (Dispatch)

The North Star is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and is distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and the Ministry of Home Affairs internally. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.[/small]

 

Fregerson

Irrelevant Backwater
Joined
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Messages
42
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Fiskadaha City
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Editor's Note
by BMWSurfer

Welcome to The Northern Lights.
I have been continually impressed by the cards community, and their dedication to their craft. I have seen newcomers and experienced players alike become excited by this relatively new game mechanic, and cards have left their mark on the NS world forever. I am grateful for the new Ministry of Cards for their help in creating this issue, and for all of the authors who contributed. Happy reading!
BMWSurfer
Minister of Communications
Note From the Minister of Cards
by DGES

Minister of Cards, you say? You know, many were quite surprised that such a position came into being, and developments such as this help prove just how far the Cards community has come forward in terms of progress. Cards as a feature has lasted for only an estimated two years - a fledgling duration of existence compared to other areas of the site, yet I believe that this issue of The Northern Lights will go into enough depth to justify why Cards has become its own, fully-functioning part of NationStates. Without further ado, let's show you what we mean by that!
DGES
Minister of Cards
Interesting NSers you might've not known were actually cards traders
by DGES

Please note that everything I will say from here on out will come from me as a regular cards player, not me as the current region’s Minister of Cards.
From time and again, I’m sure many people have come, continued to stay, or have gone from NationStates. However, not all those people manage to catch the eyes of others: some are perfectly fine with staying as regular players, while others choose to ascend within the site in terms of notoriety. Whether they become well-known Gameplay figures, joining the site staff such as the Moderation team, et cetera are all examples, and I’ve noted plenty of such well-known users who - despite their names being recognized for things unrelated to trading - have actually delved (and sometimes even continue to delve) into the cards game themselves.
As for which users I’m talking about, just naming a fraction of the total will take a while to accomplish. There’s so many we have to go over!
I guess the first group of NSers we can go over is the site staff/game volunteers. These people are likely the most important due to them essentially running the site, and one would assume that, due to how time-consuming performing such a task is, none of the users would ever dabble in cards. However, those who are familiar with the cards community know that such an assumption happens to not be the case; so many members of the site staff actually trade cards that naming them all would prove difficult! The most notable ones (in my opinion) would be Frisbeeteria and Ballotonia. Frisbeeteria is a current senior game moderator within NationStates and potentially the most active user in the field; plus they’ve been a user for at least 2 decades. I find it interesting to see how they’ve also dabbled in cards in addition to moderation, holding a near-monopoly on the epic cards market and continuing to possess one of the highest deck values in the trading leaderboard. As for Ballotonia, they’re a current game administrator who helps introduce new features and manages the code for existing features within NationStates; this could be considered even more potentially time-consuming of a job than being a moderator (though that is just speculation), yet Ballotonia has shown time and again to collect cards of numerous types out of self-interest, whether it be cards of commended/condemned nations, cards of World Assembly author nations, or even wacky/fun cards pertaining to rubber ducky images! And to add on to their collections, Ballotonia even regularly offers input, manages, or helps introduce new cards-based content for the benefit of all traders across the site, so we couldn’t be more grateful to them for everything they’ve done for cards so far!
For other site staff members, then I’ve also noted of Luna Amore and Noahs Second Country. I used to trade extensively with Luna (specifically for ex-nation cards), and they’re both a current issues editor as well as game moderator. For Noah, they’re one of the most recent issues editors to be added, and, despite their new responsibilities, they continue to “terrorize” the card market, so to speak (if you wish to gain a bigger idea of what I mean then try reading their condemnation). Both users I have communicated frequently with in the card game, and my experience with them I’ve considered to be a defining point in my journey through trading.
All in all, many site staffers/game volunteers have impacted the cards minigame one way or another.
As for Gameplay regulars, they too have dabbled within the cards market to a certain extent. Whether it be regional officers, delegates, or raiders/defenders, I’ve seen plenty of these types of users trade at least one time and/or start their own collections.
For the most notable ones, there are users like Xoriet, Ever-Wandering Souls, r3n, and HumanSanity. For Xoriet, they’re a current officer within the NPO and a former delegate of The East Pacific; they became especially known within the trading community for hosting pull events for the extremely valuable Season 1 Pergamon card, and they are currently involved as (both) a staffer within the trading cards server as well as helping manage (though I don’t know to what extent) the NPO’s card program. They’ve been an extremely generous and affable user to me, and everyone’s interactions with them have produced similar responses. For Ever-Wandering Souls (condemned raider and influential figure within The Black Hawks), they primarily card farm using their alt accounts, but the most significant thing they achieved in cards was their involvement in the so-called “cards raid” instigated by Refuge Isle and Feu de Glace. I currently don’t know the full extent to how much they impacted trading as a lone user, but their facilitation of the event might have contributed somewhat towards the admins’ changes to card pull mechanics, due to the amount of cards that generated in said event. I never interacted much with Souls so I can’t comment on how my experience was with them, but they seemed to be quite dedicated to trading (in their own way) at the height of their activity. As for r3n, they were actually a former delegate of The North Pacific and largely responsible for the World Assembly Development Programs largely used by TNP as well as Europeia, and (through their management of the ‘The Northern Light’ account) they currently hold the #4 spot for highest deck value - which would have been much higher had they not been regularly/generously donating much of their cards to TNP’s card programs. Super dedicated to what they do, and I’m sure many would agree that r3n could be considered the G.O.A.T. of trading cards (though many are still part of the Koem Kab fanbase of course). Finally, we have HumanSanity. Current delegate of 10000 Islands and on the opposite of Ever-Wandering Souls on the raiding-defending spectrum; like everyone else on this list, I know absolutely nothing when it comes to talking with them from a Gameplay perspective, but what I can say is that my interactions with them (when discussing cards) were nothing but laid-back, enjoyable, and sometimes even wholesome. They currently manage their region’s Card Co-op program, and we tend to joke around with each other in Discord card channels during the time we’ve been able to communicate.
At one point, there were even users Cormactopia Prime and Queen Yuno who originally traded cards. The former was a previous delegate of Osiris (though not on the account I’m naming) and simultaneous nominee for a commendation and condemnation; they were rocking a few legendary cards along with an entire series of Gameplay-focused cards before later choosing to sell their entire deck (even more funny was that I bought some of their cards when it happened!). For the latter, Yuno was a former delegate of The East Pacific, and they were one of the traders who originally tried extremely hard to purchase one of my Season 1 Menta Lee-IL legendaries years ago; as of this moment, they still possess their deck but they no longer seem interested in trading at the moment. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing not to continue card trading and that is something I can completely understand, but when you even have users as widely cited as Cormac and Yuno getting involved - despite their heavy focus on Gameplay - at this point you’ve likely come to the conclusion that the trading cards community can no longer be seen as a mere group of people supporting a slightly obscure minigame within NationStates; it has simply grown far too much and to the point where figures from all over the site have taken at least one look and even participated in it on certain occasions!
Players belonging to communities other than the above two have (also) naturally gotten involved in cards. Whether it be the issues authoring, World Assembly legislative, or roleplaying communities, I’ve seen many come and go over the time I’ve been a cards player. Examples include WA authors Cretox State, Morover, and Honeydewistania. I’ve interacted frequently with Cretox during my membership as a TNP Cards Guild member, and Morover and Honeydew have both posted many times on the Cards Discord server. Fauxia and Ransium (prominent issues authors) fall into the same case as the latter two I just mentioned, with Ransium even regularly selling me ex-nation cards when they were still active in trading. With regards to roleplay, then I’d have to say that Forum 7 regular + Factbooks & National Information poster Valentine Z easily takes the cake: not only do they regularly maintain an extremely large collection of cats (I sometimes gift them such cards as well), but they were also the main architect behind the now widely used ‘Gold Retriever’ tool (a script that outputs the amount of bank one possesses across all their puppet accounts); in addition, multiple players even used their card within a collaborative effort that would go down to be the longest card auction to ever occur in trading history (at least 12.5 days, hehe), something which many of the cards community is still proud of. All of these players - much like the other players I already noted - have occupied themselves in cards to some degree, and there is not much I can really say regarding this other than the fact that I’ve been extremely glad that this has been the case.
Cards have lasted as a feature for an estimated 2 years. Numerically speaking, this is starting to become rather aging. However, as a fully-fledged community it has lasted a bit shorter (due cards - for the first few months of its existence - actually being a mere April Fools Event), and it’s far shorter in its numerical age in comparison to most of the other communities NationStates already has (such as Gameplay). Despite this fact though, it seems that cards have been receiving a welcoming reception due to just how diverse the amount of players have been involving themselves within this fledgling area of the game. Whether it be a dedicated person who volunteers to keep the site running, an aspiring writer who wishes to further their own literary skills in an organization-like setting, or a humble user who loves to help others in communities they are apart of, all of these types of players have come together and have engaged - one way or another - in one thing within the NationStates universe: trading cards.
Yeah, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that the cards community possesses its share of interesting users.
Smaller regions that are using cards
by DGES

What exactly defines the phrase “smaller region”? Well, I’d definitely state that it’s not any of the feeder or sinker regions; regions possessing a minimum of 1000 nations are definitely not small by any means. That specific number leads one to conclude that, in addition to all the feeders and sinkers out there, large User-Created Regions such as Europe and 10000 Islands (the latter actually possessing its own card program) are also to be excluded from the “small” classification.
In other words, regions possessing a few hundred or below are to be focused within this article, and the reason as to why we will specifically be going over smaller - though not at all meager - regions (and their involvement within cards) is for one reason: dedication. In huge regions such as any of the feeders, there exists hundreds to thousands of active players that work toward contributing to the region they are apart of, and the chance for a region’s card program to grow becomes exponentially higher (than that of smaller regions) due to the sheer number of players within the former likely to get themselves involved, whether through self-discovery or through the large region’s highly developed methods of advertising. Should a smaller region - despite the setback of not possessing enough players to sustain the region’s programs - actually possess its own card program, then that speaks miles of how dedicated said region’s players are when it comes to cards, and I believe that this can go a long way in proving just how amazing cards can overall be for some people.
Without further ado, let’s get to the actual regions!
I remember over a year ago, that in the really old days of cards this one user, Democratic Republic Of Unified States (DRUS for short), really went out of their way in getting together much of the cards community. As for what exactly I mean by this, it’s that they chose to host an entire cards festival within a well-known UCR at the time: Pacifica (a region that peaked at nearly 700 members at one point). As DRUS was considered the region’s cultural officer at the time, their hosting of the cards festival could be considered an official method regarding a smaller (though by no means tiny) region using cards, and DRUS invited most of the well-known cards players at the time (including Mikeswill, Ballotonia, Samudera, and more) to temporarily join the region and offer cards advice, while also simultaneously hosting card giveaways within the festival. This was one of the first (and actually likely the first) time I ever got myself involved within another region’s dwellings in cards, and it’s safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which Pacifica pulled it off for themselves.
The next really out-of-the-water region I came to admire was Card Gardens. Though they are not known at all within the Gameplay community, they are actually one of most documented regions I’ve ever come across within cards. Not only were they a region utilizing cards in an official capacity, but the region itself is a literal cards organization. Possessing its own application, giveaways, and its own Discord server, Card Gardens possesses dozens of regional residents along with plenty of official members within its organization. The region hands out cards on a daily-to-weekly basis, and you’re not even required to be a member of any region (not even Card Gardens itself!) to become a member. Highly inclusive as a result, and I myself have donated to the region’s programs due to how active they currently are within the cards community.
As for the next one, there was Psychotic Dictatorships. As a few probably know already, my main account serves a current officer of that region (so this choice could come across as more nostalgic than anything), but I included it here due to the promotion of one of the region’s most dedicated members. Their name is Japhetia, and they were appointed as a regional officer partly for their RMB activity, but also partly due to their card donations. Said donations primarily consisted of Season 2 Menta Lee-IL (the region’s founder) epics, and they also mentioned donating more of the aforementioned epics within one of their most recent gameside polls. Overall, this example is not nearly as huge as the two regions I already mentioned above, but the fact that someone still managed to single-handedly play a role in introducing cards for their region speaks volumes on how far players can go with regards to promoting/enjoying the trading game. Nice working, Japhetia.
Lastly, there is the Tea House of Cards. Like Card Gardens, it would be a mistake to just consider this name to be that of a normal region. Unlike Card Gardens however, THC was not a cards organization, but rather the embodiment of an entire, multi-regional cards event! Organized by players (from regions Lazarus, The East Pacific, and 10000 Islands) well-versed in the cards game, over 100 users ended up participating one way or another during the height of the festival’s existence. Whether by guessing what card rarity they will be when the next season releases, roleplaying within the region’s RMB in the context of a cards-based setting, or giving out full-blown lectures solely discussing the trading feature, a multitude of things were completed during THC’s event duration - and I’d definitely be interested in seeing additional regions being made that would serve as embodiments for card events.
As a bonus, I also once noted of One Small Island (the nation). They’ve long been the delegate of the GCR Warzone Sandbox, and at the height of their influence they achieved over 100 endorsements (as far as I know) during the massive Drew Durnil wave. While their region never officially adopted cards in any official capacity, the user in question had regularly offered card-based advice and encouraged participation in trading to Warzone Sandbox while they were still active.
Similar cases were repeated in NationStates and Spiritus; long-time delegate Mikeswill ended up pinning the Cards Guide to their region, while The Salaxalans (user who even was partially commended for their potato card collection) frequently mentioned cards in Spiritus’s RMB - the latter even starting a regional card collection comprised of most of their region’s members. Delegates are oftentimes seen as a microcosm of what a region stands for, so the fact that these many delegates of regions - despite the regions not actually officially delving in cards - regularly involving themselves in trading as well as encouraging said trading is quite a notable thing on its own.
Overall, in spite of the numerical disadvantage many of these regions possessed in terms of players, the actual members of each region decided to take it upon their own hands and go out of their way to introduce cards in some fashion for their regionmates (and in some cases, for any player who hasn’t even delved into trading yet). People like this not only are considered admirable from my personal standpoint, but also serve as a truly genuine example of how cards - despite its rather fledgling duration of existence - has already influenced a multitude of players to try their hardest to bring about the full potential of this feature of the game. Whether it be through simple promotion on the RMB, regular giveaways to members of the region, or through the hosting/embodiment of entire card-based organizations/events for every player to enjoy, smaller regions could be considered to have performed just as admirably (or at least close to have performed so) as that of the more well-known/larger regions with regards to utilizing cards in their everyday functions.
What makes a good theme?
by Valentine Z

With the advent and inception of the Trading Cards since the April Fools of 2018, originally planned to be a one-off feature, it has seen a comeback as a permanent mechanics of NationStates, spanning 3 seasons so far, so to speak – Season 0 (when it was first incepted), Season 1, and Season 2. Without going too far into describing the history of Trading Cards, I would like to now talk on what exactly makes a good theme. A theme, by definition, is a set of cards that follows a particular set of rules or styles. When we think of theme, we usually would like to think about the Collections of both the big and small players, along with perhaps a few more. There are several factors that come into play, though none particularly superseding one another; after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Given the rarity of the cards, the first theme that most of the nations that went through and collected were the Legendary cards – the ones of the highest rarity. Even in the first days of Trading Cards, one can see a slew of collections that are all about collecting these Legendary cards consisting mainly of Admins, Moderators, Issue Editors, WA Secretaries (the staff in general), along with a few other older nations who have issued authors, amassed a large number of gold badges, and just about anything else that have set them apart from the crowd. With this, also branches out other smaller themes and collections that were based on the staff of NationStates. Other nations have collections that were based on themes of seasons and rarities. Often enough, these were the aforementioned Legendaries, but there were also Epics, Ultra Rares, Rares, Uncommons, and Commons. On a deeper note, these would also involve being separated into Seasons – for instance, there were collections on complete S1 Legendaries, as well as S2 Legendaries.
Of course, all of these involved a particular time-frame, or were confined to being separated into rarities, as well as to the time-frames (i.e. seasons). In contrast, there are many other themes that are boundless on these two traits, and instead are only concerned with the aesthetics of the cards. While some of the collections look at the value, these themes are all about the appearances of the cards, and in other times, about the names of these nations. There spans several of these – Entertainment, Flags, Geography, Nature, Objects, and many more. The Entertainment ranges from movies to TV shows to comics; Flags range from ones that are a collection of rainbows, to animated flags; Geography would involve players collecting cards involved with RL flags; Nature involves wild animals, trees, skies, and many more that are the wonders of Mother Nature; Objects involves the more wild card collections that were distinct and different from one another – food, guns, ships, cars, etc.
Last, but of course not at the very least, we also have themes that are hybrids of time constraints, rarities, among many other things. One of the first collections that attracted the eyes of the many would be Destructive Government Economic System (DGES)’s collection – The Ex-Nation Extraordinaire! As of the time of this writing, this behemoth collection has 18,960 cards, all of them being of ex-Nations, that is, nations that has ceased-to-exist (CTE) when the cards were snapshotted. Collecting these cards since the first few days of the Trading Cards’ inception, it would have been an understatement to say that DGES has defined the theme of ex-nation cards, and eventually boosting the demand for these otherwise forgotten set of cards for their perceived lack of value to them. Also from the same user and a noteworthy mention is a collection of cards that have extremely low ownership (usually only 1-3 users have these cards), regardless of rarity. These low-ownership cards can be called a subset of ex-nation cards, since they are still the ones that either does not have a large demand or are rarely pulled.
Of particular mention and my personal favourite are the slew of collections that are relevant to the field of Mathematics because of the competition.1 There is no limitation in creativity and what qualifies as a collection – it’s simply a matter of the story behind it, and the commitment these card players have put into them. There is simply no boundary to the themes that one can create and collect – apart from the aforementioned themes and large collections, there are also these smaller ones, such as memes or Internet Culture-based collections, that uses card ID numbers, their names, their pictures, and just about everything else in-between to make their own unique status quo.
With the themes being talked about, we will now go over to what makes them so good, or a cut above the rest. It is obvious to see their high values and large collection sizes, but none of these would have been possible without one thing – determination. Determination to get the bank that one needs in order to buy the cards, as well as the determination to add these to the collections. The former perhaps need no introduction, given how most of the players have at least tens to thousands of puppets at their disposal to answer issues with to get these card packs. The answering process itself is a tedious one, going through each nations manually and having no legitimate automated system to make it fair for everyone involved. It was simply a matter of how much the player is willing to sink their time into the game. With that, we have the second form of determination of making these collections. It is of note that the “Add to Collection” for each of the cards were only done so recently, that is, the feature was not around for a good majority of the lifetime of the Trading Cards game. In other words, those collections that were large and vast have been done painstakingly, once with going through the list of their main deck to add to, followed by going through the list several times in order to add more cards. As a result of all of this, it takes an equal amount of determination to get these cards, as well as to organise them into neat collections and themes.
In conclusion, going back to the first paragraph of this news piece, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as many of the themes and collections were made differently. While there has been repeating themes and collections from different people, on what makes them good and memorable would be the sheer amount of hardwork and dedication that these nations and players have put into making such wonderful pieces of themes and collections for everyone to behold and to follow in their own footsteps.
What changes should be made to the cards game?
by Valentine Z

This has been most very likely one of the more controversial topics of the game, because as with most of the situations and problems in real life, there is not a single solution that resolve everything. When something was supposed to solve a subset of problems had by a group of players, it would inevitably cause frustration for a few other players. We have seen this first and foremost with the addition of TCALS – Trading Card Anti-Laundering Service, as it would be called. This was made with the intent and purpose of increasing the chances of drawing and finding a card that was currently being used for a bank transfer. This prevents players from transferring banks without the threat in the form of new owners heisting them, while still offering a substantial chance of making sure that it is fair for everyone involved. While the system was not met with great reception at that time, it was eventually refined and evolved in order to better suit the needs of a majority of players, and it is also used as a means for players to get valuable cards (i.e. by making a large bank transfer called a pull event whereby the card farmers and other players alike can get that particular card).
One of the more common feedback and idea that I have heard from some of the players around are to limit the purchasing power of the players with large puppets, or to put it simply, to prevent them from simply owing a large number of nations. Just like how one can only have a single nation inside the World Assembly, this would ensure that there will be a fixed limit on how many puppets can a player has, i.e. 100 nations. However, this was usually thought less of as an actual suggestion, and more of an idea that players throw around now and then. This is due to the inherent difficulty of making sure that a nation belongs to the player, and it is unnecessary work involved. While the site staff can check for nations of that player, presumably with the same mechanics they use for WA Multing or for Delete-on-Sight (DOS) players, it is something that is deemed as needlessly restrictive, first and foremost problem being that limiting the number of puppets has absolutely little to no impact on the actual card game. Additionally, the needless hampering would have been frowned upon by the other subforums if the limit is lower.
Personally for me, I would like to see a change and improvement in the deck expansion system. The current system is such that in order to get space for another 50 cards (100 if you are a Site Supporter or a staff member), the cost to expand the deck increases with the square value. In other words: 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100, 121, 144, 169, 196, 225, and it goes on. This cost model is good enough for the first few expansions as I personally feel that it does help to curb the relatively new players from gaining deck space quickly without effort. However, the cost quickly ramps up to unreasonable levels as it went on, even for some of the players with a generous amount of banks at their disposal. It is of my personal opinion that while the bank cost modelling could be lower, perhaps down from x^2 to a slightly more reasonable x^1.8. This way, the bank could be used for something else, and while also helping to keep the collections more unified. It does not make much sense as to players being able to get new deck space for free on their puppets, while their main card-collecting nations have such a ramping cost that was nothing more than deterrence for having a lot of cards in their deck. A lower limit, personally, could ensure that the newer players would not have such a difficult time, while also still ensuring that the deck spaces do not explode with such an absurd growth rate.
Another controversial and frowned upon practice is the idea of penny-bidding, whereby the buyer would snatch away a purchase from the original buyer by bidding just 0.01 more, and thus the name penny-bidding. While it was done through an honor system at this point, i.e. players usually try their best not to touch a purchase, or they would bid much higher prices as an actual competition, it is still prevalent in some areas and is the woe for players. One of the suggestions I could see is for the system to only allow bids of more than 10% of the current auction price to go through. For instance, if the deal is going on at 10.00 bank match, another bid would have to be 110% of it, that is, 11.00 bank. The next one would need to be 12.10 bank to outbid, then 13.31, then 14.64, and it would go on ad infinitum until one of the buyers no longer has the bank to sustain or make a purchase. The idea of 10% increase requirement from the previous bid was just an example suggestion here, as there could be other mechanics and numbers in play. For instance, instead of 10%, we could have 20%. Alternatively, a piecewise increment is also possible, whereby if the bidding match is less than 10.00 bank, one would need 50% more bank from the current match in order to outbid it. If the match is more than 10.00 bank, then this percentage would drop to 25. I personally believe that this would help stop the slew of penny-bidding and sniping that most of the trading cards are not fond of.
One limitation, however, I can see is in the grounds of bank transfers (using a particular card to make bank transfers from one puppet to another) – the principles and rules might get muddled here, and at the same time, another mechanics – underasking, might become a new problem. Underasking, for context, is the practice of reducing the selling price a penny (or more) lower so that it is closely matched to the bidding amount (selling usually gravitates towards lesser values). For instance, a 5.00-5.00 auction can be disrupted by someone finding a card and bidding asking for 4.99. The card game, given how large it is right now – from small-time players to intermediate farmers, to large thousand-nation-strong players, will have extreme resistant to change, some for the better, some for the worse. While suggestions are welcome and I feel that there are some things that can be changed, I will also humbly admit that the changes are easier said than done, such is with other multiplayer games that we might be familiar with (e.g. Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege, League of Legends, DoTA, and many more). Even a smallest change can change a meta to unrecognisable levels and with it, usually a worse outcome or a game-breaking feature that must be remedied.

Addendum: If we use ceiling(x^1.8) instead of x^2, the prices could be more controlled. For a useful plot of this, please visit
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A look into the Diverse Community of Cards
by Westinor

As you are probably aware, cards are a relatively new feature to Nationstates, having only been permanently introduced in December of 2018. Ever since then, the cards community has grown from a few enthusiastic traders to a burgeoning and considerably large network of card farmers. This Cards community has grown around the practice of amassing bank and cards in order to fulfill a goal unique to each card farmer. These farmers are often distinguishable and can be classified by what cards they collect and why they collect them, and make up the basic pillars of the cards community so many have come to know and love.
First and foremost are those who run regional programs and activities. These farmers tend to focus more on the interpersonal and community side of things, often running regional or interregional cards programs and hosting pull events and other cards activities. Regional organizers have spearheaded the development of the Cards community by helping new and isolated players integrate into the Cards community as well as by holding events and activities for those interested in Cards. Events like the Tea House of Cards and organizations like TNP’s Card Guild help bring together players and provide incentives and aid in helping newer farmers grow. More often than not, these farmers utilize their card farms and expertise to help out newer players and manage programs and activities. These players have also been key in the recent development of Cards into regional programs, a huge step for the Cards community. Cards by itself is not much more than a simple trading game, but these players are essential in bringing it to life.
Some of the most active card farmers are collectors, particularly regional or rarity collectors. Though the term may sound ambiguous enough to apply to all card farmers, these particular traders focus on collecting cards of a certain style or classification, and often involve grouping cards with similar qualities together. Collections can vary from being small or even nonexistent in quantity to massive - just check out 9003’s huge deck! Collectors take advantage of the Card tabs’ “Collections” feature in order to create groupings of cards that they can title themselves. These collections can center around cards from a specific region (like Giovanniland’s TWP collection or r3n’s TNP collection), rarity (see Riemstagrad’s epic cards collection or Noah’s rares card collection), flag, name, puppet series, or more - the possibilities are practically limitless, especially with how creative NSers are with their nation customizations. Collectors are often integral to regional cards communities as well as the Cards community as a whole, with collections often being the focus of many regional cards activities like TNP’s Collection Spotlight and collectors driving much of the everyday market activity through their purchase of otherwise left alone cards.
Now, as noted before, there are many kinds of collectors. However, classifying them all by what kinds of cards they collect would be far too 2D, so I’d split them up into three groups - first off are the collectors who focus on larger, often regional, collections, who tend to partake in cards-related events with others or cards programs. These collectors put spectacular amounts of time into Cards, between placing bids for their humongous collections and often running regional cards programs. In a way, they are the cosmopolitans of the Cards community - their quest to complete their collection leads to encounters with all sorts of card farmers along the way, and thus these members of the community are often the organizers who drive Cards-related programs and activities. There are those who focus on amassing their collections of particular cards, though this group is fairly small in comparison to others. These collections are usually puppets or certain sets of nations, which are also often inflated due to the buyer’s demand. And finally, there are those who focus more on several different smaller collections, usually larger than your two-or-three-card collection but certainly smaller than the massive regional sets accumulated by the first group. These range from certain flag themes to nations with funny names, as well as the collections accumulated for collection-based activities. Most collectors are not restricted to one of these groups, and dabble in varying collections, though most can be identified by their focus on one type of collection.
Next up to bat are the deck expanders. Deck expanders tend to focus more on expanding their Deck Value instead of collecting a specific card, though there’s often a method to their amassing. Oftentimes traders will prioritize nice-looking cards or familiar faces over other cards, while some even go so far as to collect every legendary, which in turn greatly increases their Deck Value. In this way, most people are “deck expanders”, but the ones I’m talking about are those who prioritize higher Deck Value over collecting certain cards. A large portion of deck expanders focus on the valuable commodity of legendaries, but the most distinct class of deck expanders are the MV sharks. Most traders have encountered these players before - they target high-value and often inflated cards that are on the market in pursuit of a higher deck value. More often than not, they will fight and pennybid with their teeth during auctions in an attempt to purchase cards who are often about to drop in value. This species of trader is commonplace in the daily market, so take care next time your complete your bank transfer - you may find yourself missing a card, though likely with some extra bank on hand. More notable and generally more successful than the MV sharks are those who trade nearly exclusively in the legendaries market. This comprises a large portion of top traders, who invest in the stable and high-value rarity in order to move up the leaderboard. Here, flipping cards for profit and card farms numbering in the triple digits are common. This class is distinct from most collectors, who also hold expansive deck value and control huge card farms, in that the focus is on high-value or certain legendaries as opposed to specific cards to fill out a collection. Together, collectors and legendary traders make up nearly every trader you’ll come across in the Cards community.
Of course, the everyday hustle of buying and selling legendaries gets boring for some. There are a few key card farmers who tire of the mindless farming and seek to utilize their newfound wealth to break barriers and push limits. These players, who are often already incredibly successful, employ their vast bank and puppet army to test the very mechanics of the game. In this way, such mechanics like TCALS were discovered, leading to the later development of pull events. These players are just as important to the development of Cards as those who expand participation and hold activities, and contribute more to the technical side of things as opposed to the interpersonal. There is no doubt that without these players, breakthroughs that have transformed the playing field would not have been discovered.
Each class of farmer has carved out their own goals in Cards, whether that be in collecting every card in their region or seeking to dethrone Koem Kab (word of advice: it can’t be done). Card farmers are in the process of shaping and defining the landscape of this community for potentially years to come - and there’s a place for everyone, from the smallest trader to the largest armer, to thrive and pursue their own goals.

The Northern Lights: Beauty in Truth
Publisher: TlomzKrano :: Executive Editor: BMWSurfer

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and is distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and by the Ministry of Home Affairs internally. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.


 

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Hello embassy friends! Recently, TNP released two tools to help nations everywhere endorse all the people they need to. Instead of manually checking every WA nation in your region, you can receive an auto-generated list of nations you haven’t yet endorsed. And that’s not all! Say you want a more specific list of WA nations. The Endotarting Query tool can easily narrow your list down to just the nations you need! We’re hoping that this tool can promote endorsements for all nations who want it.

You might be asking. Where can I find this tool? Check out this dispatch linked here:

It has all the information you need to go on an endorsing spree! Happy endorsing!

Sincerely,
Your friends in The North Pacific
 

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The North Star Issue XXIV

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The Spotlight 32 – Interview with Owen
by Comfed
Comfed: When did you join The North Pacific?

Owen: I joined The North Pacific around 4 and a half years ago, in August 2016 I think. It was the region my first nation was founded in, so I just stuck around.

Comfed: And once you joined, what did you do?

Owen: For the first couple of days, I just got to grips with the region and became a citizen straight away. From there I started looking into the TNP government and joined the Foreign Affairs ministry, which was being led by Praetor I think, who really helped me get settled in the ministry and the region as a whole and was probably what got me really interested in FA, and that interest still remains today.

Comfed: What was the first thing you noticed about the TNP community?

Owen: I think the first thing I noticed about the TNP community was how involved and how active it was. I obviously joined right before a general election, so I saw what elections were like an it just surprised me how much is going on and how active it was all the time, and I think that is what has been something that I have always loved TNP for.

Comfed: Have any people in particular been important to you as mentors?

Owen: So this is a question that people have asked me a few times, and I think that his has changed the longer I have been around but I would definitely say that there are a couple of people that I would see as mentors. The first of these would be Pallaith. Pallaith was Speaker that saw something in me and gave me the chance to join the Speakers office and become more involved in the region. Since then, we have worked really closely on numerous occasions and I have never bee afraid to message and ask any questions that I have. The second of these is McMasterdonia. Since I first interacted with him when he became MoFA before going on to be Delegate, and we have developed a good relationship and have worked really closely on some really big projects and he is someone that I speak to a lot and bounce a lot of ideas off, so he is a really important mentor for me.

Comfed: So, what's your favorite ministry and why?

Owen: See this is something that is conflicting for me a little bit. Being the Home Affairs Minister, I should really be saying that it is the HA ministry, but then everyone would know that I am lying. For me, there isn't really much doubt, it has to be the FA ministry. It is the ministry that I have been a part of since the start and have done so much work for, so it cannot be anything else.

Comfed: Interesting! What was your first position in the government and who gave it to you?

Owen: So, the first position I had in government was actually a ministry that I am not really involved with now and that is the Ministry of World Assembly Affairs. Back when I was a deputy speaker, I was doing a bit in the ministry and Sil Dorsett approached me about becoming a deputy and I said yes.

Comfed: And finally, the most important question: cake or pie?

Owen: Now that depends, are we talking a sweet pie, like an apple pie, or a savoury pie?

Comfed: Whichever you prefer.

Owen: I would probably have to say a savoury pie, like a steak and gravy pie. I don't really have a sweet tooth and I usually prefer savoury to sweet, so I would have to go for that. [h][/h]
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News - January Elections
by lol2639
In January, TNP held a General Election. During this election, citizens voted on who should become the next Delegate, Vice Delegate, and Speaker of the Regional Assembly. In the Delegate election, McMasterdonia ran on a platform of government accountability and communication with the citizenry, while incumbent Tlomz ran on continuing his successes from the previous term. McMasterdonia won the delegacy, winning 78% of the total vote.

The race for Vice Delegate was uncontested, with only Cretox State running. He secured 79% of the total vote, with a notable 37% voting to re-open nominations. Robespierre and Bobberino, both former Deputy Speakers with similar backgrounds in TNP, were the primary challengers to the Speakership. Robespierre ultimately secured 43.9% of the vote, while Bobberino got 37% of the vote.

The transition into the new government was quick, with McMasterdonia taking the in-game delegacy within a couple weeks of the election. This was due to McMasterdonia having a high number of endorsements coming into the transition, and a rapid response from Home Affairs and the Gameside Advocates in publicizing the transition.
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NPA Bulletin
by Westinor
Lieutenant Gorundu -> Captain
Lieutenant 9003 -> Captain
Corporal Westinor -> Sergeant
Private Great New Canada -> Private First Class
Private East Isles -> Private First Class

Welcome back from the holidays, folks! Well, what can I say? The term started off quick as former Minister of Defense 9003 took the NPA flying with the Black Hawks in a joint op that hit several hundred regions! We bid 9003 a fond farewell and hope to see them joining us for ops again soon.

Cue the music: our next Minister of Defense, appointed by Delegate McMasterdonia, comes from the wondrous land of rows and recruitment telegrams - that’s right, Nimarya is taking the helm for this term! In her opening statement, Nimarya laid out a clear plan for the rest of the term. The first and foremost priority was leading and hosting more operations, with a greater focus on increased training ops and teaching chasing. Additionally, NIm also noted that much more time will be spent updating training manuals and guides. With the increased focus on versatility and training new soldiers, the NPA is looking at a term of great growth and renewed energy.

Nim took to the Minister role right away, giving regional jump points Lunarpunk and Birb a brand new coat of paint - pink paint, to be exact. She also managed to appease 9003’s newfound hunger for power with a promotion to Captain. The NPA focused on the delegacy transition for the first half of the month, helping to complete an incredibly fast transition for incoming Delegate McMasterdonia and Vice Delegate Cretox State.

But of course, who wants to wait for a stinky delegacy transition before going off on an op? Not the NPA! Some NPA soldiers snuck out to party with a whole bunch of regions in Operation Boom Beach, hitting Alnobia as part of the largest updater force ever! The NPA returned back to the delegacy transition before doing a one-eighty and turning back to delegate tip the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators - but in a surprising twist, the region refused to update! It appeared that the combined power of the NPA and its allies was too much for even the game to handle.

True to the goals outlined in her opening statement, Nim alongside officers ROM and BMWSurfer led the NPA on several training operations, whipping the new privates into shape and tagging regions along the way! Switching is going to become super easy, barely an inconvenience in no time for the new recruits. Additionally, Nim led the NPA in a special operation on the 22nd, splitting the participating members into two groups - one tagging group and one chasing. While the chasers had a bit of trouble catching the taggers, with a bit of experience and some determination there is no doubt the NPA will get the hang of things quickly.

To cap off the month, the NPA once again joined TGW, Europeia, Lily, the AA, and our fellow Pacifics in paying the CCD another visit. Energy was high as the force hit several openly fascist regions, toppling their delegates in an outstanding operation. Fun was had, but in the end the force accomplished a great feat. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last month, it’s that fascists have no place on NationStates, and the North Pacific Army is glad to have participated in an operation that cast shame on those who so openly supported a vile ideology.

That’s all for now! We hope to see you next time for some more action and some more ops. And hey, if you ever want to join in on the fun, the NPA’s doors are always open.
 

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World Assembly Digest
by Honeydewistania
Repeal: “Commend The Western Isles”
This incredibly savage resolution, penned by our former Deputy Minister of WA Affairs Bormiar, was the latest in a series of badge hunting ripping commendation badges without replacing them due to poor writing and inaccuracies. Commend The Western Isles was authored by former resident Greater Cesnica, which commended them for their roleplaying. Bormiar argued that the lack of international impact and gross exaggerations meant that the resolution should be InstaRepealed!, but also controversially stated that Greater Cesnica’s inability to listen to feedback or to not rush a resolution to vote was a reason the resolution should be repealed. The resolution was supported by The North Pacific, but was opposed by regions such as 10000 Islands who did not want to remove a commendation of an allied region. The proposal passed on January 6th.

Commend Northrop-Grumman
A sneaky sneaky resolution! This proposal included the many roleplaying accomplishments and contributions of the “most dark nation” of Northrop-Grumman, including maintaining indexes and creating databases. However, due to a certain unmentionable, the resolution also included numerous references to the unmentionable, in a slightly clever but somewhat-poorly executed attempt at sidestepping the well established decorum of the Security Council! The proposal was defeated by a tight margin, despite support from The North Pacific, owing to the lack of commendable content in the proposal. A discussion on the application on the legality of directly mentioning the unmentionable was generated, but in the end the established rules prevailed.

Commend Singapore no2
A very well written resolution, Commend Singapore no2 commended its nominee for their prolific issues authorship (28!), or as described in the resolution text, for their ability to resolve the conflicts that plague the nations of the world, as well as protecting their home region of Singapore in an issues-based commendation that broke the mold of past resolutions. Revised, rewritten and redrafted to excellent quality, the resolution passed comfortably and with the support of the North Pacific.

Regulating Remote Election Administration
Think you were out of the election woods when we exited 2020? Think again! The first General Assembly proposal to hit the floor in the New Year was in style, touching on mail voting (a RL hot button topic) and expatriate voters. The proposal was soundly (and perhaps surprisingly) defeated, garnering just over 10% of votes, due to multiple issues such as the narrow scope and the unpopularity of elections-related resolutions.

Repeal: “International Criminal Protocol”
Hot on the heels of the election proposal was yet another controversial proposal - Repeal International Criminal Protocol. Very similar to another passed resolution, Repeal: “Crime and Punishment”, this proposal denounced the target’s mandate that the World Assembly shall reserve the legality of the death penalty as a whole to member nations themselves. This proposal reignited the perennial debate on the death penalty but ended up passing overwhelmingly, despite concerns over the underdeveloped replacement to the other mandates in the target.

Fair Treatment of Prisoners
The WA should pass a ‘Fair Treatment of WA Ambassadors’ after subjecting us to the ensuing death penalty debate! This resolution aimed to protect the rights of prisoners regarding solitary confinement and prison labour. The proposal was fairly simple, passing easily and with the support of the North Pacific. It would hardly be the most exciting of proposals to come.

Death Penalty Ban
Now we have the resolution everyone was waiting for! Authored by longtime death penalty abolition advocate Imperium Anglorum, this resolution was cut and dry: abolish death penalty except for war criminals and the like, and commute all death sentences. Despite massive outcry from smaller nations, this resolution passed with minimal resistance, almost 100 resolutions after the original Repeal “Crime and Punishment” passed.

Protecting Sapient Life
Death Penalty Ban II: Electric Boogaloo, basically. This proposal enforced a full ban on the death penalty, in addition to preventing the extradition or deportation of people to countries where they could be executed. The resolution was surprisingly defeated on the voting floor likely due to its extremely vague text, leaving room for several loopholes. Following this defeat, another proposal has been drafted to enforce this ban (yes, this saga isn’t over yet), so stay tuned.
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Security Council Review
by Cretox State

With a new Delegate, new Vice Delegate, new applicants, and new and ongoing projects, January was sure to be a hectic month for the Vice Delegate and the Security Council as a whole.

The Transition to a New Government
As of January 11, 2021, McMasterdonia and Cretox State took the positions of Delegate and Vice Delegate, respectively. Despite beginning the transition period with fairly high enforcement counts, both nations had some distance to climb before assuming the first and second regional positions in endorsements.

In total, the Delegate transition took slightly under two weeks. The Vice Delegate transition was completed shortly thereafter. This transition was significantly faster than the previous two largely due to the Delegate’s and Vice Delegate’s starting positions, active endotarting, frequent endorsement alerts, personal telegrams, a responsive Security Council and executive staff, and involvement from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Gameside Advocates. No special card rewards were employed for this transition. A complete timeline of the transition is available .

2020 WADP Survey
Started during the previous term, the 2020 World Assembly Development Program survey invited interested nations to offer feedback on TNP’s , with some questions also tackling the region’s Security Council. The survey is released yearly, with 2020’s results made public in January 2021. Responses were positive and constructive, with a full breakdown available .

New SC Applicants and Resignation
Two nations applied to the Security Council in January: Kranostav and Dreadton. Additionally, Regional Assembly discussion and voting on Xagill’s Security Council application largely occurred in January, with Xagill joining the SC in early February. Despite being narrowly denied nomination by the SC, Xagill acquired the 2/3rds Regional Assembly majority necessary to be appointed to the SC. A former Delegate and career public servant, Kranostav was nominated to the SC by majority vote. RA discussion on their application is currently ongoing. Dreadton, a former Vice Delegate and Minister, applied shortly after Kranostav, with the Security Council currently voting on their application.

In late January, Sundred resigned from the Security Council, bringing total membership down to ten nations. However, the SC is poised to expand to as many as thirteen members in the near future.

Other Projects
In addition to the ongoing declassification effort and weekly reports, there have been a few new developments over the past month:
  1. The first monthly Vice Delegate fireside chat was held on January 31st, with a recording available on the Northern Broadcasting Service’s YouTube channel .
  2. An early version of a VD mentoring template is being sent to forum members who pass the Vice Delegate’s citizenship check.
  3. This is the first edition of a new Security Council Review article for the Ministry of Communications, covering SC matters over the past month.


The North Star: Lighting The Way To The Truth
Publisher: @mcmasterdonia :: Executive Editor: @BMWSurfer

The North Star is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and is distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and the Ministry of Communications internally. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.
 

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Produced by




Cards Symposium? What's that?

Greetings, everyone! To celebrate the fact that has lasted so long as a prominent feature, The North Pacific hereby invites YOU, fellow NationStates user, to attend our first-ever Cards Symposium!
Starting first-thing on February 21 2021, players finding themselves participating in this event will get to experience a wide range of activities, whether it be: 1) competing in games to win awards, 2) listening to experienced card users giving lectures, and more!
To participate, please click on the in order to join!


What exactly will take place at the Symposium?

With all honesty, there's so many things that it'll prove difficult to name! There will be events such as card collecting competitions, card lotteries, long-time users speaking about their experiences in cards, and even gaming rooms such as an Among Us match, so be assured that there will be more than enough events in order to make your participation worthwhile~

To view our full schedule, please see the following:


What's in it for me if I attend?

Not only will you get the chance to gain first-hand knowledge regarding the , but you'll also receive multiple chances to win extremely valuable cards each day, including the highly coveted !
Each day, there will be 1 lottery that will take place, and a random user attending the event will be the recipient of a randomized legendary card. In addition, multiple events + competitions will be hosted that will reward the winner with cards of the same rarity as mentioned, so not only will participation in those events be fun, but they'll also be highly rewarding!

We hope to see you there, so thanks a ton for reading!
 

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World Assembly Digest - February 2021
A busy and contentious month in the Assembly

By Boston Castle

This month was extremely active in the World Assembly with several resolutions, some quite contentious, passing in both chambers.

Repeal: “Freedom of Assembly”

This proposal was proposed by Wymondham to repeal a long-time resolution on the books (GA #27-passed in December 2008!). The North Pacific stood against this repeal effort, largely due to concerns about specific wording in the repeal. Wymondham’s resolution was, however, supported by the community-at-large and passed 58%-42% on February 5. This would not be the first thing that Wymondham worked on this month-an active month from an impressive first-time author.

Commend King HEM

On the same day that Repeal: “Freedom of Assembly” passed the General Assembly floor, a proposal passed the Security Council: “Commend King HEM”. The irony here lies in Wymondham’s co-author Maowi getting her month started with passing this proposal. Similar to Repeal: “Freedom of Assembly”, this proposal was quite contentious, with the newly formed Partnership for Sovereignty issuing a statement against it. Despite this, the proposal still passed 77%-23% on February 5.

Commend Northern Borland

Initially intended to be something of a joke proposal and a tongue-in-cheek commendation of the nominee by Honeydewistania, this proposal raised trying questions about pure stats commendations and condemnations that are still being discussed in the Security Council. The vote on this proposal went back-and-forth several times between passing and failing during the several days it was on the voting floor, something reflected in the even-split in TNP’s vote. The proposal’s back-and-forth status was largely due to the influence of 10000 Islands Delegate HumanSanity, whose vote changed several times. This vote passed extremely narrowly 51.2%-48.8% on February 10 giving Honeydew his 6th Security Council Resolution authorship.

Right to Assemble

The second time that the fundamental right to assembly was discussed in the Security Council and the intended partner to the repeal earlier this month, this was the second time that a proposal by the team of Maowi and Wymondham was discussed in February. This proposal capped off a busy month for both authors. As suggested by the title, this resolution codified a right to assembly.

However, this proposal was not without controversy as an effort by Greater Cesnica was introduced at the same time and both proposals made the formal queue. While the original proposal was not as controversial as the repeal effort earlier this month, this proposal passed easily 79%-21% on February 13 giving Maowi her 6th General Assembly Resolution authored.

Commend 1 very fast endotarter

This resolution dealt with the commendation of a figure well-known to many in The North and abroad, 1 very fast endotarter, also known as r3n. While the exploits of his long and illustrious second stint on the game are well-established elsewhere, it is worth noting that this proposal raised the ire of several in the defender community. Some figures in the defending community were reluctant to support the measure, or even outright opposed it, due to r3n’s association with independent militaries for whom the vast majority of activities are raiding in the NPA and the Europeian Republican Navy. Ultimately though, TNP author Noahs Second Country saw his proposal prevail, with TNP’s backing of course, and earned his 4th Security Council Resolution authored, and first of this month, 78%-22% on Valentine’s Day (February 14).

Right to Secure Digital Communication

A new face to many in The North, Greater Cesnica has long been accused of badge-hunting in his exploits in the General Assembly largely due to the large volume of proposals he creates and readily submits. Though some may intentionally vote against his proposals, even ones which deal with such a vital issue as ensuring digital communications are secure, his proposals often pass-such was the case with this one. While mired in questions of what constitutes a badge hunt and even if the term should apply to eager authors who pump out quality proposals, Cesnica saw this proposal passed with an emphatic 85%-15% margin on February 17-giving him his 3rd General Assembly resolution authored.


Liberate The Embassy

Perhaps the biggest topic in gameplay, the one which has led the most people to sound off recently has not been the R/D Presidential election-themed tag raids going on in Lily, Grey Wardens Warden Matthew’s trips to fast-food restaurants after the movies, but rather the invasion of The Embassy and the subsequent closure of over 3,600 embassies. Arousing debate among nearly every force that participated in the invasion, defenders seized on the moment and sprang into action with 10000 Islands Delegate HumanSanity submitting and passing a liberation, stopping raiding forces from holding the region for a potential refound. This proposal passed on February 18 by a 70%-30% margin marking an auspicious Security Council debut from the 10000 Islands Delegate.

Whistleblower Protection Act

Yet another proposal that quietly aroused conflicting feelings among many, this proposal dealt with questions of how to protect those exposing illegal activities. Though the proposal itself remained relatively uncontroversial to many, Europe delegate Imperium Anglorum issued a statement announcing that he could not back the legislation due to deficiencies he saw in the legislation. However, the opposition of that region and The East Pacific during the waning days in which Libertanny held the delegacy did not imperil final passage, it made passage by 78%-22% rather than a larger margin. Passage ensured that The North Pacific’s own Boston Castle earned passage of his 2nd General Assembly Resolution.

Repeal: “Commend Northern Borland”

As mentioned earlier in our roundup of this month’s action in The World Assembly, stats-based commendations and condemnations are still a hot topic of discussion in the wider world of the Security Council. Commend Northern Borland was always a contentious resolution, having passed by an extremely narrow margin when it first came to the floor, and opponents seized on this. While pointing out flaws in the resolution, including its use of tongue-in-cheek sarcastic or ironic language, this Repeal made the case to repeal the Commend and it was, indeed, repealed. This proposal passed on February 22 by a 59%-41% margin without the North’s support. It gave The North Pacific’s Noahs Second Country a 2nd Security Council resolution passed this month, coming 8 days after the passage of Commend 1 very fast endotarter, and his 5th overall.
Supporting People With Disabilities

Occasionally, a proposal will genuinely come to be considered quite “feel good”, this one qualifies under that category. Codifying the rights of the disabled into World Assembly law and “reaffirming the right to not be discriminated against on the grounds of disability”, this proposal passed easily-83%-17%. This proposal, authored by Free Las Pinas marked a promising debut for the author in the General Assembly and his resolution, passing on February 25, received the overwhelming support of the North.

Condemn Lily

One of the most infamous independent militaries of the last few years-Lily has no shortage of detractors and admirers. With their rainbow-colored tags on regional WFEs and the sheer number of operations they undertake, it is clear that at some point, regardless of their affiliation, they would be on the receiving end of a condemnation. One such attempt to condemn Lily came to the floor on February 22 and while it showed condemn worthy things, it did not tell the whole story or prove convincing enough for the North, or the wider World Assembly community, to approve it. This proposal failed by a 78%-22% margin on February 26.



Polaris: Lighting the way to truth
Publisher: McMasterdonia :: Executive Editor: Veniyerris

Polaris articles are produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and are distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and the Ministry of Communications internally.


 

Fregerson

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We are aware that not everyone is equally appreciative of image-based NS newspapers. As such, we've included the standard format mostly plain-text version of the newspaper below. We hope you enjoy reading this month's issue! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to contact the current TNP Minister of Communications PotatoFarmers (me!).


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Editor’s Note

by BMWSurfer, Minister of Communications

Welcome to The Northern Lights.
Recently, The North Pacific hosted a Cards Symposium, a gathering for all members of the cards community. Featured in this edition of The Northern Lights iare five lectures and Q&A sessions with prominent members of the community. We hope you enjoy reading this issue!

Note from the Minister of Cards

by DGES, Minister of Cards

The 2021 Cards Symposium was a large-scale cards festival hosted by The North Pacific during the end of February. Activities relating to this festival were held throughout the span of 1 week, with minigames, guest speakers, and fully-fledged competitions comprising the majority of what took place during the Symposium.
The Symposium marked one of the very first festivals celebrating the cards minigame, with over 110 users attending the event and enjoying it in one way or another. An entire month was spent planning its release, so we hope that this issue of The Northern Lights provides you some perspective on what took place if you weren't there!
Happy reading~​

Q&A with Mikeswill

Mikeswill: Welcome to the 2021 Card Symposium.
I would first like to give my thanks to The Infinite Hell-Sage Empire of Destructive Government Economic System for inviting me to share my experiences and opinions on this platform. I am truly humbled by the honor. It represents a degree of success in this endeavor based on much effort.
I do not have an agenda to promote. Instead I am willing to share my experiences in the Card realm over these two plus seasons. A brief history:
The initiation of the Card game during the April 1, 2018 limited period found me in an advantageous position given my long history of creating satellite Nations representing different points and interests in my Nation States life. As such I was able to move cards from these satellite Nations to my main resulting in a top 10 finish at the end of the first run.
When the game resumed in earnest I began as a Heister (a nation that undercuts a sell bid to gain profit); a Penny Bidder (a nation that raises buys in penny increments), and an inflator of Legendary cards (I pushed the price of Legendary cards to $10). The first two tactics brought ill-will and retaliation by a group of card players.
After a few combative conversations with Frisbeeteria I was invited to join a card Discord to the chagrin of many. It was via this Discord that I was able to evolve out my initial game-play and into a more community considerate style of play. Nevertheless, I was guilty of numerous antagonistic conversations for a period of time as I slowly evolved as a trader.
I learned about trade dropping – buying low and selling high on a trade. I learned how to protect a bank transfer after numerous times losing profits to heisters. (I used to transfer bank via 0.50 Rare sales). I learned how to create puppets to facilitate greater card/ bank and gain an advantageous position during pull events. And so it goes.
My intention, therefore, is not to present a position but rather to address any questions a Nation may have. Thus the format will be Q & A.
A few ideas for questions: How setting a reasonable goal can make card trading fun....Why Koem Kab is the only trader I completely trust? ... Dropping on Legendary trades: How to drop and why it is OK... How do I maintain my top 5 position without using scripts?
Event Participant [1]: That last one is interesting. How do you maintain your top 5 position without using scripts?
Mikeswill:This was a trick question. The answer is unwavering perseverance. I am a bit older than many of the players in NationStates and have had a difficulty understanding the creation and use of scripts or programming or coding or whatever it is called that automates or facilitates a more efficient manner of answering issues and junking cards for bank. So I work harder and longer ... one issue and one junked card at a time.
Event Participant [2]:What do you mean by Koem Kab being the only trader you trust and why?
Mikeswill:In the course of relationships it is easy to create expectations only to be let down at some point. In the card game as in most speculative endeavors one seeks consistency and over the 2+ years of play Koem has been the most consistent trader that I have experienced. Moreover, from my experience, he has yet to act upon emotion over logic.
Other players, me included, have exhibited emotion reactions that go against expectation. Usually these are one time occurrences but they are enough to create doubt in future transactions.
Examples: getting heisted by a Nation who for months gave and received the courtesy of non-interference. Purposefully have one’s pull event blocked so as to deny the opportunity to obtain a card by a player who abused the same system many times over.
Players have changed tactics from time to time for whatever reason. I am not going to necessarily judge why an ally all of a sudden decides to interfere with a bank transfer but I will alter my trades in the future to minimize the interference. (I used to get mad and that will be discussed via a different Q & A.
On the other, Koem trades in Legendary cards as I do so we have a common goal: to maintain and grow the value of these cards. I know that in a bidding war he will have 4x my bank so if he decides he wants the card I am not going too far above MV without encouraging him to drop me. He seems to know that if I am bidding on a high priced Legendary I’m going to buy the card and will back off once MV has made. Even though we seldom if ever converse via telegram we seemingly give and take when a series of Legendary cards hit the market at below MV bids.
So I trust him. I trust him because it is always good to trust at least one other player.
Event Participant [2]:How do you look at your trading style in the past and reflect on it today? What was your process for growth in that way?
Mikeswill:I am far more confident today than I was in the beginning. I began as a penny bidder and heister trying to win every trade for the sake of winning the trade. When I focused on a goal I was able to pin point the trades I wanted to be involved in. This took a degree of trial and error. Moreover, no one likes a penny bidder especially in the Legendary market. It can bring up antagonistic emotions and communications. So I quit being a penny bidder. I also realized that the market is incredibly large. It isn't necessary for me to try to get every card.
One more thing: If you see me buying a non-Legendary card I am probably moving the card from a pup to my main... that means I can inflate the card as high as I want because the bank is secure.
Event Participant [3]:What would you say is a good goal to have when beginning as a trader? For this answer, please draw from your own learning experiences and/or mistakes when you were first starting out and explain how it translates to setting a reasonable goal, if you would.
Mikeswill:When Season 1 began in earnest Legendary cards were the most desired. Although I was in the top 10 in Deck Value, the number of Legendary cards I owned was nowhere near a complete set of 184 cards. Additionally, seven Legendary Nations had ceased to exist since the April 1st rollout making acquisition of those cards far more challenging. And so I set the goal of collecting every Legendary card.
What I found was that I was initially tentative in my trading. I was easily intimidated by players such as Koem Kab and Fris and The Northern Lights who had far more bank and better trade tactics. I can specifically recall needing to get the CTE Legendary Mindless Contempt and knowing that my 200.00 bid – the extent of my bank – would be surpassed before the trade was completed. It can become disheartening when you feel like other traders have the upper hand. And so I changed my goal.
Actually I changed my attitude. I decided that I was not going to allow another Nation intimidate my card play. I got realistic on the amount of bank necessary to successfully consummate whatever trade I wanted to participate in. I decided that I was willing to purchase at 10% above Market Value (sometimes even more) to get the card I desired. I didn’t concern myself with penny bidding in an effort to get the lowest purchase rather I attacked the trade at Market Value. In other words, I got serious about obtaining my goal. And to me that is the ultimate goal, to decide what you want and then go out and get it.
I see so many traders trading to get the best deal and then missing out on the card because they weren’t willing to go the extra 0.25 – the value of a pack. Just yesterday a player bought one of my S1 obscure Epics to beat me out of .01 while another player battled me when all the while they could have spent an extra .02 to get the card.
So to get to the question in more tangible terms: depending on which Region you reside in you might want to start with the goal of collecting every Regional member. I am thinking of collecting both S1 and S2 cards of every WA member in my region. Setting goals which are attainable can bring much satisfaction and in the process develops one’s ability to consummate trades and communicate with card holders in order to persuade them to sell.
Event Participant [4]:1. Texan here, how long was your power out, lol
2. As someone looking to farm puppets for cards, how many puppets would you say is a good amount while not giving my life to the trade?
Mikeswill:1. My condo is near a Fire station so I only lost power for about 2 hours
2. I don't know the answer to the optimum number of puppets to have while still maintaining a real life outside NS. I have 345 active puppets. If I knew how to use scripts or whatever that is called I would probably be far more efficient than I am. I am certain that manually going through 345 pups a day takes up a lot of time.
Event Participant [5]:Hi! As a mere enthusiast to this game I find the collecting satisfying, but the sociology fascinating. Though communicating through telegraphs is the clearest way to convey information, I find most interesting the concept of attempting to communicate through bidding alone. Watching players get scared off by a large jump in bids, frantically scouring their trades to see if a puppet of theirs has another copy, attempting to discourage people from penny bidding by immediately jumping to MV, watching people bid .01 below MV as though that number matters at all.
What have you found to be effective methods of conveying intent to other players while bidding (or asking)? How do you discourage those who seek a "good deal" from taking a card you genuinely want?
Mikeswill:The Sociology of assessing another player by the way they bid is an awesome study. If I see a player penny bidding I presume that their expectations and confidence levels are low... they probably lack sufficient bank to adequately buy cards they want and are playing a game of hope. A large counter bid will usually dissuade them. If a player tries to heist a bank transfer I find that I can wear them down by penny bidding the clock knowing that I have at least one other bank transfer card copy. (I did this to Momo on a Legendary trade an extended the trade for four hours). One of my projects has me buying up some cards and initially I fought off the other bidders by raising my Buy price to deny them the copy of the card. But in retrospect I am just over paying on a card that by the time I want to take advantage of my ownership position, the other player may cease to exist making their ownership moot. And then I use the old fashioned style of communication: I send a telegram. Be careful with telegrams... there are a lot of angry Nations out there.
Event Participant [5]:Also, piggybacking off of [Event Participant #2], I assume you trust Koem Kab because their bids are consistent and clear, but do you think their complete monopolistic domination of the legendary market - essentially price fixing the entirety through plurality ownership - is detrimental to the competitive nature of auctions?
My questions are perhaps not technical enough for this Q and A.
Mikeswill:No. Keep in mind that though Koem owns 11,000 Legendary cards, r3n and I each own over 3,000 apiece. Thus Koem does not have a complete monopolistic domination of the market. Any player has access to the market and is no way curtailed from being successful in the market bank permitted. Whereas I am probably a Democratic Socialists at heart, I have no issue with someone like Koem utilizing his means and talents to arrive at his level of success especially where no one else is denied the same opportunity. I am a perfect example. I have successfully collected every S1 and S2 Legendary without any barriers.
As to the second point - the competitive nature of auctions – Koem has shown far more constraint in maintaining the status quo. The competitive nature of auctions is a myth. Either you have sufficient bank to obtain the card you want or you don’t. The fact that you can pull the desired card removes any barrier to competition. Koem doesn’t arbitrarily inflate Legendary cards (That was Noah in 2020). He simply attempts to maintain the current MV but will aid the inflation of a Legendary on a trade by trade basis as will I.
Now the purposeful inflation of common cards to artificially raise one’s DV as detrimental... :)
Event Participant [5]:Ahh, my question was worded poorly. I mean that Koem does not have to abide by the same issues of competition that I do when bidding on a legendary. They are able to undercut/drop any player on nearly any legendary; the result being that even obscene deals (such as when 9003 accidentally dropped [Zamri1138] for 2 instead of 20) go to Koem by default, and are frequently uncontested. I can do that with my own card and a few others, but they have domination in this respect to (nearly) the entire legendary market. I find the frenzy of bidding on a good deal to be exciting and fun, but don't bother on legendaries because the end result is known.
Mikeswill:You might want to ask yourself why are you so consumed with Koem Kab at the detriment of your own personal goal... I am not picking on you alone. I think man has an innate nature to criticize the highly successful and thus legitimize their own self-inflicted victimization. For instance: your complaint about Koem in the Legendary market could easily be applied to me. I have sufficient power and bank in that market to dominate any trade. But because I am #3 in the game I don't get the same negative attention that KK does. I am also amused by the frenzy of greed when someone purposefully or not places a low Ask on a Legendary... it means bank for me because if I get to the card before Koem I will drop you and then the ensuing outrage by the player who got dropped is delightful. Because it is outrage based on emotional greed. Keep that in mind in the future. I have been busy with a project so my involvement in the day to day Legendary market has waned but I will be back soon!
Event Participant [5]:I think my comments on Koem came off as antagonistic instead of esoteric. I don't mind them as a player at all, I was trying to get your thoughts on how monopolies and oligarchies skew the market and was using my experience as a comparison, not a complaint. I'm not much of a legendary hound, just trying to compare how market forces are asymmetrically applied to different players. Thanks for your answers!
Mikeswill:[Reacts with sunglasses emoji]
Event Participant [6]:As someone who has been active since the beginning, what is the most enjoyable facet of the card game for you?
I sometimes forget the connection between cards and the nations behind them. Do you place value on cards of players you have a good relationship with? Or are there cards you value due to memorable events (like first Legendary find)?
Mikeswill:The most enjoyable facet was and is the increased interaction with other game players. Prior to the card game I was basically just keeping my region going as the longest serving WA Delegate in the history of the game (15+ years). Because of the streak I was still active but isolated to my region. I don't participate in the Security Council because I find it either a popularity contest or a travesty to the game mechanics. The General Assembly has gotten incredibly stale as Nations write Resolutions for personal recognition and then Repeal the a week later. (I truly believe that there should be a 6 month wait time before Repeals can be considered). So when the card game arose it gave me the opportunity to branch out far beyond the confines of my nest. I have built relationships with Nations from many Regions reminding me of the joy I had in my first year in the game where players from across the globe engaged. In December I decided to blow past the constraints of Deck Capacity. This has allowed me to increase my collection from < 2,000 to over 15,000 cards giving me the opportunity to collect cards of Nations I have appreciated as players but whose card value might have not fit the prior limitation of deck space.
Event Participant [7]:What tactics should you be aware of when you try to card flip in Nationstates?
Mikeswill:I'm not sure what card flipping is. If that is the Buying low and Selling high trade style I am not a participant as it has no long term return for me. I am mostly a collector of Legendary cards. I will drop on any Legendary trade where I can garner a 5.00 profit or more. Now I do see players buying low on my CTE S1 Common transfer cards thinking they are going to get the 4.00 MV price at some point in the future not realizing that every historical trade has been made between me and my pups. It is the same with Buying inflated Commons thinking that because the card is at 200.00 someone is going to Buy at 50.00. This is Fool's Gold... a waste of bank because eventually the card, if traded, will only decrease in value.
Event Participant [1]: With people obviously hoping a Season 3 comes out this year, what can you do to increase the rarity of your potential future card?
Mikeswill:I have no idea. I am certain I will never be a Legendary because my activities in this game over 17 years tends to go against the grain of the the elite. I think that writing proposals might help. Maybe write a bunch of inane Security Council resolutions and the Repeal them a week later might get you a higher Rarity. Some folks try to manipulate the acquisition of badges. If that is your choice check out this link: - I just play the game. I was Commended once and then that was repealed out of spite. Other players have tried to both Commend and Condemn me I guess to help increase my card rarity which I have appreciated.
Oh, and S3 will never happen.
Event Participant [8]:I've noticed that you have valid concerns regarding whether Season 3 will ever occur, but if we were to be hypothetical and say that Season 3 decided to appear, what do you believe are some of the most important things players should do in order to prepare for the upcoming season?
Mikeswill:I'm not planning on doing a thing different specifically to plan for Season 3. I know some players have stocked puppets with packs waiting to open them at the time. I don't understand that logic. If S3 is inevitable them S2 cards will become rarer thus why hold onto packs for the future when you can open those packs and replenish them. I am doing something completely separate regarding S2 cards which will mean nothing if S3 doesn't occur. When S3 does begin I will try to get a list of the Legendaries and begin collecting them.
Event Participant [9]:Oh, one thing I've been meaning to ask you. It's a very little thing but I'm curious. Why did you decide to bid one cent above junk value on all your puppets' cards? I rarely see others do that - whenever I see a 0.06 bid on an uncommon I almost immediately know it's yours :p
Mikeswill:I want to incentivize the Seller by bidding above junk. I know that in S1 I never sold at junk, instead taking the bank immediately instead of waiting an hour. I have since changed that policy giving someone else the opportunity to raise the Buy price.
Event Participant [9]:Yeah - I can understand not bidding at JV. As small of an increase over JV as it is, the logic seems to follow from my experience. A lot of people do not honor JV bids.
Event Participant [10]:Any advice for starter traders who are struggling to earn bank? Further, do you have insight on how to maintain the collection bank balance?
Mikeswill:One aspect of trading power is a decent Bank and building bank while building a collection is obviously counter-productive. What helped my in S1 was pulling a Farakhan and then selling it at peak which at the time was 800.00. Back then my goal was to never fall to 200.00. This season I have adjusted that figure to 2,000.00 (inflation). In order to do that it takes discipline to stop buying until such time your comfort threshold is met. On that note I am always rather amused when a Nation pulls a Legendary and immediately sells for less than MV. With players like KK and me, said player might get half the bank between his ask and MV. This is a short term satisfaction over long term gratification. Either wait for a MV trade or create interest by having a puppet but at MV.
Event Participant [6]:With collecting legendaries, do you focus on building your ownership of any particular cards? Like CTEs or high value, or do you have any other landmarks you're working towards?
Mikeswill:Good question. As I already own every Legendary card I get to pick and choose which cards I will continue to buy. It is almost a guarantee that I will buy any Legendary whose MV is above 50.00. I do like S1 CTE Commons but as I have 5,000 already I'm not buying though I do have a project in the works which will see me move all of those cards to my main. In doing so I could buy extras. I am thinking of collecting every WA Nation in my Region. Since they have each endorsed me I ought to appreciate them more. I seem to be acquiring copies of my pups for future prosperity and am currently moving my S1 Epics to my main. Any card Gio has a 2.00 bid on goes to Utmost Brownies until such time as it is inflated and then gets sent to MikesHope - currently with 20K DV.
Event Participant [6]:You mentioned how blowing past your deck capacity opened up your deck to larger and more personal collections. Can you talk about your thought process behind making that decision, and perhaps how others should face that decision?
Mikeswill:It simply made financial sense. I kept to my deck space limit of 2,000 cards into December 2020. Keep in mind I had to pay extensive bank to reach this amount although my starting point from the initial April 1 was extensive. Most serious traders I know had long passed their deck capacities giving them an advantage for growing their DV. What I had to over come was my previous comfort in being able to Gift high bank Legendary cards to my main and how to move future bank to my main. So I observed what other players were doing and gave it a go.
Event Participant [9]:I realized semi recently that I’m sort of in the same position. My deck capacity is currently 900 and I’ve just started a collection that will assuredly cause me to think twice about expanding it any more. What are some things you’d recommend for those of us who are in the process of making that switch? I suppose, what are the things you observed people doing that made you feel comfortable with making the switch?
Mikeswill:My greatest challenge was transferring bank as I used 30 CTE cards in rotation. I had to get comfortable transferring large bank (500.00) in small increments (4.00). I watched Gio's inflationary tactics to get comfortable with large bank transfers. Additionally, I had a lot of S1 Commons that I knew would benefit me in the future but I didn't want to put them on the mark. Instead I moved 100 Legs to puppets, Gifted the 100 Commons, and then rebought the Legs - inflated of course. As such, I do my small transfers to MikesHope and Mikes Faith and then my large transfer at a later time. It also meant that I needed to be comfortable with my Bank spread amongst these Nations. All in all it is working out quite nicely.
Event Participant [9]:That's good to hear. Definitely the piggybacking and transferring large amounts of bank and cards from my storage nations to my main is the part that I'm most hesitant about. I have over 100 copies between the three different cards I use for mass copy transfers, so I'm not really worried about that bit, but the large amounts of bank and stuff about transferring legs is very helpful. Thanks a lot!

Q&A with W&S

W&S: Hi everyone and welcome!
Firstly, I’d like to give a huge THANK YOU to DGES for inviting me to speak at this event, and to 9003, McMasterdonia, Noah, and everyone else who was involved in making this possible. It is an incredible honor for me, as such a new trader, to be featured as a guest speaker at an event like this, and I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity.
In many ways, this talk is going to be a contrasting viewpoint to Mikeswill’s, who spoke before me. We have very different backgrounds and the goal of this talk is both to provide a contrasting point of view and approach, as well as give new traders a chance to ask whatever questions they might have about how to either start out or transition into large-scale farming. While Mike and I have both been around NS since well before cards (though even there he has about a decade’s headstart on me), Mike has been involved in cards since day one, whereas I only picked up the trading card game in November. Mike does not really use scripts; I have been almost completely dependent on them to rise quickly. It is a good contrast, because while we have similar approaches to some aspects of the game, we have achieved our goals in very different ways. Though we oppose each other in other parts of NS, I have tremendous respect for his persistence and dedication and his commitment to honorable and respectful trading.
So what follows is my card origin story:
On November 26, 2020 I had about 5 bank worth of cards. I occasionally opened packs on my main, but I wasn’t really into it. I was playing on the TRR Minecraft server and putting most of my energy into that. The next day, November 27, some who were on the server (Dakota, Sakana, and Jamie among others) mentioned a pull event was going on.
What is a pull event? They didn’t tell me much except to answer issues on as many puppets as fast as I could and open packs.
So, like a total idiot, I joined in. I started furiously answering issues, manually, on all my puppets. And then, like magic (ha), a S1 Aleisyr appeared.
That was all it took. I was addicted to card farming. The feeling of opening legendary cards and getting so much bank for them was just… especially in government-mandated lockdown, it was that rush of serotonin I had so desperately been missing. It was truly an addiction. And even more so, just like in defending, I wanted to go as fast as humanly possible. Within a few days I discovered scripts, and within a couple of weeks I had tripled the size of my puppet army.
I documented my climb up the ladder. I achieved top 50 global in one month and top 20 global in 2 months. Currently I sit at number 18 on the global leaderboard, with a peak rank of #17. It was a torrid ascent up the rankings - 9003 commented recently that he had not seen anyone climb to page one of the rankings so quickly since the early days of cards.
Along the way, I also gained a reputation for two other things: collecting every single Season 2 legendary card within just a few weeks, and refusing to use MV inflation to maintain or gain deck value. Some others have ascended faster than me, only to see their deck value plummet as the cards that were propping them up deflated. Others have managed, through diversification and creativity, to maintain that ranking, but the community should know by now that I’m not a fan of inflated commons either way. But I digress. That is my story and my claim to fame.
But that is quite enough about me.
I just gave that introduction so y’all can know a little about my background and my position as a trader. But one of my biggest goals in this game is to help new traders access the market and cards they might not have the time or means to grind for. So now I want to hear from you! What do you want to know? I want this to be a no-judgment, no-question-is-dumb, new-trader-friendly space where you can ask me anything about how I gained deck value so quickly, what strategies I used in auctions, or what you can do to either start out in card trading, or make the transition from new player to elite trader.
So with that, enough of my ranting and raving. Let the Q&A begin! I will be happy to answer any questions today, tomorrow, up to the end of the event, or even after.
Event Participant [1]: Would you farm if you were away from your computer and on your phone or another device without your scripts?
W&S: It would certainly be hard for me to keep my interest or have as many nations as I do now. When I started one of the main reasons I switched to scripts was because I went on a huge dry spell without finding any pull event cards or any legendaries at all in around 400 nations. I was really demotivated by that and I wanted to find a point at which my luck would sort of average out.
Still, I think my perspective has changed somewhat now. When I started I farmed to try and get cards; now I farm to get bank. That I think is something a lot of new players could learn from - and something that might keep me motivated in a world where I didn't have scripts. Farming is best for getting bank, not cards.
Event Participant [2]: How were you motivated to do cards for that long?
W&S: I had goals. They were lofty goals, but I was making measurable progress. As long as I was making progress that I could see, I continued to be motivated. Every time I added a S2 legendary to the collection or passed another person in DV, it only fueled my desire to reach higher.
Event Participant [3]: When you talk about respectful trading, what are some tips you'd give to newer traders so that they don't accidentally (and unintentionally) step on anyone's toes?
W&S: The main thing is paying attention to who is taking part in the auction and what you know about them. Is it a main and a known puppet of theirs? Do they have a standing, unmatched bid? Is it a collector trying to buy a card that you don't also need for a collection?
In general it is okay to make mistakes and accidentally step on people's toes, and a lot of the big players will understand if a new player doesn't know. Usually you'll know if that's happened when you get a telegram or a discord ping from someone like "hey that's my transfer". :p
As long as you acknowledge the mistake, the no-harm-no-foul rule applies if you correct it and don't make a habit of getting in the same person's way repeatedly.
Event Participant [4]: How do you find time for cards during the day? Do you go and sit and do all daily card stuff at once? Or split it into few parts? Do you have any tips (other than gold retriever and issue script) to save time during doing cards?
W&S: It really depends on the day. Some days, especially when I'm not working at my IRL job, I will spend hours at a time just spamming enter for as long as I feel like. But more recently I have found that for the sake of my personal health and well-being, especially as the days get warmer here in Austria, I've been splitting it up, so I'll do however many I want, then go outside or walk or go to the store, then come back and finish whatever card work I was doing that day.
I'll also often combine tasks; like when I'm doing a mass-copy transfer, I'll usually also do some farming to both condense the tasks into the same timeframe while also having a chance to TCALS another copy of the card.
Hotkeys are really helpful. If you don't have 9003's hotkey tool, get it. Pressing F to flip, J to junk etc is way faster than clicking. :p
I also like to place "reminder asks" on low-owner commons or uncommons I think would make good piggyback-transfer cards, so if I find a second copy of it I will see that I own another copy of that card, and then be able to hold onto both copies in the inevitable eventuality that I need to start doing a lot more piggybacking (when I run out of deck space).
Event Participant [4]: And a bonus question:
Do you open your packs asap or do you collect them and open when you have X amount? What is more satisfying to you? :D
W&S: I always open packs right away. Saving packs is pointless for me. I get that some people wanna save them for S3, I just don't feel the need to.
Event Participant [5]: (Who knows if we’re even gonna get a S3 tbh.)
Event Participant [4]: Oh and didn't mean S3. Rather like - do you prefer to eat one cookie a day or a cake at the weekend? :D
W&S: Farming is eating the whole cake for me. I need that serotonin immediately. :p
I have so many nations that farming by itself is the cake, lol.
Event Participant [1]: How's the S1 Legendary Collection going?
W&S: 55/184. Been on a bit of a hiatus lately. Trying to kick it back into gear soonish. S1 legendaries are HARD o_O
Event Participant [1]: Meanwhile me at 18..
W&S: LOL :p yeah I did add another to the collection just now! TUMS sniped one of them because I wasn't looking but I'm ok with not fighting TUMS all the time, lol.
Event Participant [1]: What's your preferred method of transfer?
W&S: Mass copy. 100% mass copy is my favorite.
Event Participant [4]: What is flipping?
W&S: Flipping has two meanings. Flipping over the cards when you open the pack is what I was talking about.
But flipping also means buying a card for a low price and immediately turning around and listing it for higher.
Event Participant [4]: Oh, then I'm weird. I open packs, don't flip and keep opening packs until I open all without looking at cards so I have a nice surprise if I get a TEP Card / high MV / Leg ;D
W&S: Ah, you're like HS then. HS does the same thing.
Event Participant [1]: How does your timezone affect your pull event availability?
W&S: For US based pull events it is usually quite good. Most take place in the afternoon in the US, which is evening for me. Perfect. But evening in the US is like 3 A.M. for me usually :p
Event Participant [1]: If you're in a pull event who has time to look at what you pull? Lol.
W&S: Me because I need that rush.
Event Participant [4]: If you could speak to yourself from time when you started doing cards, what advice would you give yourself?
W&S: Ooooo, that is a good question. The biggest piece of advice would be to not beat myself up over losing out in an auction or going on a long streak without a particular card. On that note, maybe the best answer is that farming is for getting bank, not cards. One of the most demotivating things as I was starting out as a trader was going on long dry streaks without finding a legendary or a card of the type I wanted. On the one hand it made me hungry to make more puppets, but in that quest I may have overextended myself from time to time.
When you farm cards, really you are farming bank to buy the cards you want. Bank is the most important piece of leverage in auctions and the most important thing when it comes to doing what you want to with cards. It does feel good to get that card you want in a pack, but just like IRL TCGs (i was a semi competitive magic the gathering player for a while), it is usually far easier and cheaper to just buy the card. Unless there is a pull event. Pull events are the exception. :p
Event Participant [1]: How's TSP's card program going?
W&S: It's good! Got a little slowed down because Vietnam and I were both running for Cabinet, but we are expecting it to kick back into high gear here in the extremely near future. I've put several thousand bank's worth of cards and bank into it, and I'm really excited for what we will be able to offer in terms of programming and rewards for those who join. We've spent a ton of time and energy planning this and I think it will go really well.
(That is also the main reason for the hiatus I mentioned in the answer to your previous question.)
Event Participant [4]: How do you suggest one should prepare for a pull event? I've never participated in one so any advice is probably cool :D
W&S: Make sure all your nations have 5 issues and then just answer them! The most important thing is having a full slate of issues, not card packs, because TCALS only works for a very short time after you receive the pack. You need to open it right away in order to have a chance to pull the card at auction.
Event Participant [4]: Oh interesting. I didn’t know that.
Event Participant [6]: Do you get your DV from magic?
W&S: Yes.
Event Participant [6]: Knew it.
Abra cadabra, summonus Testlandus!
Event Participant [1]: Testlandia's DV just plummeted 100 bank >>>
Event Participant [4]: I’ma try that.
Abra cadabra, sommonus Xorietus!
W&S: Sad she isn’t here :’(
Event Participant [1]: What do you believe is key to driving regional engagement in cards?
W&S: Accessibility, approachability, and good incentives for participation. I think that is one of the things that has gotten people to be interested in TSP's org - we've kept our cards planning channel pretty open to people who want to help out, and we've run giveaways and especially pull events already on rare and unique cards that aren't often featured. So it gives people a chance to get something they wouldn't have been able to get otherwise. And that is a really big part of driving interest, I think.
Event Participant [7]: Who got you into cards?
W&S: That is a little complicated. Certainly the event that sent me off the deep end was TNP's Aleisyr pull event, which I believe you, Dakota, and Sakana told me I should try. But there is a laundry list of people that were prodding me to try it for a while - you three and HumanSanity were probably the ones that did the most damage though. :p
Event Participant [4]: HS does cards? o_O
W&S: "Does cards" is a strong way of phrasing his tendency to lie dormant for weeks at a time until he decides to wake up and pull 6 copies of a card without realizing it in a pull event.
Event Participant [8]: Other than Legendaries, are there other cards that you're interested in collecting?
W&S: I will be doing a collection for Founderless in season 3. Otherwise - usually I just collect friends and prominent defenders and gameplayers. And my own Season 1 puppets. A ton of my nations have S1 ex-nation flags. :p
Event Participant [9]: Considering that the market is only increasing, do you think the barriers of entry (into the market) are also only increasing?
W&S: Certainly the barriers to gaining ranks quickly are increasing as more traders get interested and the inflation meta is taking over. And Season 1 cards are much harder to come by than they were even a few months ago. But Season 2 cards, especially legendaries, are continuing to balloon in supply, so it is actually getting (IMO) far easier to collect sought-after cards, since supply is only going up for Season 2.
Event Participant [10]: How to get Testlandia?
W&S: IDK, just farm more :p - I pulled one today.
Event Participant [10]: Oh this isn't Card Google, sorry.
W&S: It’s ok; I’m used to being treated like a search engine :’o
Event Participant [10]: What do you recommend for players like me who are currently not really farming but want to up their card game?
W&S: So the main thing before you really get going is ask yourself what you want to do. What are your goals? What sort of cards do you want to collect? Do you just want to focus purely on deck value? Or is there a rarity of card you like? Or a region? Or a flag? These are all questions that can guide you. The thing that really got me going was having concrete and achievable DV, rank, and collection goals. I said OK I want top 500 by X date - got that, now I want top 10 TSP by x date, and I wrote these things down. I still have a note in my phone with all my rank milestone dates.
Event Participant [9]: How many farms are considered "bare minimum" for someone who is attempting to start farming a decent collection (of say...all nations in a 100+ member UCR)? Or, in your opinion, this minimum doesn't exist?
W&S: I don’t think there really is a minimum - you can achieve something like that with very few nations. The number of farms you have only affects the speed with which you get the necessary bank and cards, not your ability to collect them.
Event Participant [9]: So if I can't collect cards like everyday, maybe I could consider having more puppets? (To make up for it?)
W&S: I mean, that depends on the time you want to dedicate to it. If you want to put a lot of hours into farming every day and collecting cards quickly, absolutely. If you only have a little bit of time, then having 1000 nations to farm every single day probably isn’t feasible.
One of the reasons I was able to go so ham in December and January is because I had an absolutely insane amount of time and not much else to do with it. I couldn’t leave my apartment except to walk along the river and go to the grocery store.
Event Participant [8]: Having completed the S2 Legendary set, and not being a mass hoarder of the entire rarity, what is your approach to selling duplicate copies received from farming? I understand the "Farrakhan" approach to dump for whatever bids are present contributes to deflation and newbies getting dropped by KK/Mikeswill. Though I've also seen asks below MV sitting for weeks (either unwanted or unknown about). Does a middle-path exist, or what thoughts do you have on selling Legendaries?
W&S: My approach to selling is that I basically keep all the cards unless I see that someone is looking for one, or I see a reasonable bid. There are only a few legendary cards that I hoard - notably Glen-Rhodes and Pencil Sharpeners 2. otherwise I just keep what i find unless someone is specifically looking for them.
Eventually I will look to increase my market share on a lot more legendary cards, but that is a long way off. I've moved on to collecting Season 1 legendary cards for now.
Event Participant [8]: Mikeswill has mentioned how blowing past their deck limit has allowed them to gather more cards of their friends. You said you want to collect your friends' cards, do you intend to blow past your deck limit?
W&S: Basically the only reason I increased my deck limit for a while is because it made it easier to send myself legendary cards and others I liked that I got from farming. I don't anticipate doing that for much longer - I plan to use one of my existing nations as a storage nation for bank, transfer cards, etc, and then start transferring things to my main. I think the magic number will be 1000 cards - once I hit that I will stop increasing my deck limit and just blow past it.
Event Participant [11]: What would be your advice to any new players that want to collect all legendaries?
W&S: Great question! First thing is that you need bank and a lot of it. Yes, it's possible to get most of the legendaries by farming, but that takes a lot of time and you can't collect them all that way.
Unfortunately, buying legendaries means dealing with a lot of traders who have a lot more resources than you. Mostly Koem Kab and Mikeswill, but also flippers, MV sharks, and others looking to make money. The most important thing for legendary auctions is to know that you will almost always be at a disadvantage in terms of leverage, and will thus need to know how and when to cut your losses.
My favorite strategy, because I have a strong distaste for long auctions, was to match a below-MV ask, and then whenever KK or someone else with a leverage advantage showed up and overbid me, just bid straight to MV and allow them to drop me there. Thus I would get the card at or near its market value, and they would make a profit from the drop. Everyone gets what they want.
The golden rule is to never, ever, ever bid more than you are willing to buy a card for, and likewise never, ever, ever ask less than you are willing to sell a card for. That is how you lose money.
Still, for some high value CTE cards like Ramaeus, Caelapes, NERVUN, Altmer Dominion, Drasnia, etc., pull events are your best friend. Those cards are extremely expensive because they are well-known players who CTEd, and thus quantities are limited. Finding sellers is hard, and when someone is willing to sell it is often for very high prices.
Event Participant [11]: You said that the best way is to match a below-MV ask first, then allow people to drop you. What if there isn't an ask below MV? What should people do then?
W&S: If there isn't an ask below MV, you are often safe from getting dropped. Koem Kab usually does not get involved in auctions going on at or slightly above MV.
If the auction is significantly above MV (say, a Season 1 legendary with an MV of 25 that is being sold for 50), he will often placea bid and ask of his own to inflate the card, but he will not fight or drop you. He is only inflating his own deck value more by creating a second match, so for your sake it's benign.
Event Participant [12]: [In response to Event Participant #11’s question] Get a friend (or several) with farms that are willing to donate spares to you. ;P
W&S: Having friends helps a LOT. :p
I got Ramaeus, Altmer Dominion, Nova Hollandia, and several other hard-to-find ones from gifts. And YOU gifted me my Soops. <_<
Event Participant [13]: For Season 3, do you think we can expect an increase or decrease in legendary cards?
W&S: That’s a really good question. I think in the short term Season 2 legendaries will go up, but there are so many copies of most of them that I don’t know how far. The thing about the S2 leg market is that there is just so much supply especially compared to S1. I notice this the more and more I try to hunt for season 1 legs - supply simply far outpaces demand in the S2 market.
Still, if the continuous influx of new copies slows, we can at least expect the general deflation to slow as well.
Event Participant [12]: [In response to Event Participant #13’s question] Do you mean the value of legendaries or the number of them in circulation? Going by previous seasons, they're fixed at 0.1% of all nations at the time of the snapshot, so we'll be seeing ~240 of them for S3 based on the current number of nations.
Event Participant [13]: Number in circulation; sorry if that was unclear.
Event Participant [12]: No, your question was clear; I wouldn't have assumed you were talking about value. :p
W&S: Oh, sorry. I did assume it was the value. I was also extremely tired and had drank about half a bottle of wine that evening. :p
But [Event Participant #12] is right. Both previous seasons had 0.1% of all cards as legendary. So I would expect a significant increase for S3.

Q&A with The Salaxalans

The Salaxalans:
**Potatoes and Branding**
*"When you are the potatoes guy everyone is like, 'Yeah, it's the potatoes guy!'" - Max Barry*
Welcome one and all to the Potato portion of the Cards Symposium! Thank you to the North Pacific Card Guild for hosting this Symposium, and thank you to DGES for inviting me to speak on a most important topic. There can never be enough potatoes, after all!
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been playing NS since late 2012, with most of my time spent in Spiritus. I was always friendly with people from outside the region, and Spiritus had some minor prominence in assorted NS events. Then, five years ago, the first Secretary-General election occurred. I saw that the event had begun, and had the following sequence of thoughts: “Oh an election! I should run! Hmm… What should my campaign be… Uh… Potatoes!!!” And thus a brand was born. I spent the entire election screaming nonstop about potatoes, narrowly losing in the final round. From this point on, potatoes were a frequent theme for me and by extension Spiritus. Our government now has assorted potato-themed titles, in NS events we usually have a potato-themed name, in the second Secretary-General election I was Kuriko’s running mate and potatoes became featured prominently in the platform, and recently in Spiritus we even held a potato pardon where I drew faces on two potatoes and everyone in Spiritus could vote on which to pardon. The other, unfortunately, was smashed with a hammer.
Of course, potatoes are a silly thing to base an identity on. But that’s exactly why it works: potatoes are simple, kind of funny, easy to grasp. Taking an idea and running with it to the furthest extent possible until you are entirely associated with it, that gives you an identity so that people know who you are even if you’ve never met. Spiritus and I have embraced the potato as a symbol of whimsy and friendliness, infusing our region and interactions with others with those characteristics. It has become a great tool for diplomacy, recently uniting many regions under the banner of the Potato Alliance for N-Day, helping us to forge relationships with regions we previously didn’t know as well, bonding over potatoes and our shared hopes of victory. The yelling and cheering about potatoes rarely let up for the entire 24 hours; such a spudly display had never been seen before! The ultimate culmination of the potato brand was Max Barry talking about it a little bit in an author Q&A livestream several months ago, and soon after sending me a “Special Potato Edition” signed copy of Providence, his newest book. All it takes is screaming about the same food item for several years nonstop!
Now, this is a cards symposium, so I suppose I have to bring this around to cards somehow! As many of you may be aware I have been collecting all potato-related cards. Anything with potato flags, nation names, or quotes, I want them all! Aside from collecting cards from my region and somewhat passively trying to collect staff cards, potatoes are the main goal. Deck value is of no interest to me, I’m just trying to be silly and collect my potatoes! This has resulted in my looking at cards from an entirely different perspective; I only recently started making some more nations so I could farm more effectively, and I have yet to use any scripts. Potato farming is the only goal, something silly and fun that isn’t too stressful. I can hang out with everyone collecting cards, see all the wackiness going on, but not get caught up in any stress from complicated trades or high level deals. It’s quite peaceful, and fascinating to see what goes on not having to worry about anything affecting me! Of course, being an admin in the cards server means I do have to actually know what’s going on, but I’ve tried to carry the whimsical and friendly potato attitude from Spiritus to the NS Cards server as well, keeping it a light-hearted place where everyone can hang out and have fun.
In short, the humble potato went from a meme campaign pledge, to a personal and regional brand, to a mindset and attitude brought to interregional interactions, card collecting, and NS in general. It’s difficult, in NS, to separate Spiritus or myself from potatoes, providing a way for all to know us. Branding is important; taking a simple brand and running with it can lead to great renown or at least, in the case of the potato, bemused bewilderment.
Thank you all for reading, and do not forget: A potato for all!
Event Participant [1]: What species of potato is your favourite and can you crest a brand name you can utilise to your advantage?
The Salaxalans: I love all potatoes equally!
And Potato Alliance has been a pretty good brand name so far. :p
Event Participant [2]: How do you find all potato cards? (What methods do you use to effectively find cards that would probably only been found in packs otherwise?)
Event Participant [3]: (All potatoes are equal, but some are more equal than others.)
The Salaxalans: TNP's Card Queries tool has been vital. I did searches for everything I could think of, with obvious things like "potato" or "tater" but also "fries" or "tato", anything that might be referring to potatoes. Recently I realized that a lot of cards relating to fast food restaurants might contain potatoes because there will be fries if the flag shows a meal, so I searched for those as well. In addition I rely on people noticing cards that have a potato only in their flag; there's no way to search for those but periodically people who know I want potatoes will notice one.
Event Participant [4]: Since we all know your favourite vegetable, what's your least favourite?
The Salaxalans: Brussels sprouts. >_<
Event Participant [5]: They're not that bad; eggplants are worse.
The Salaxalans: Oooh.
Hmmm.
You might be right.
Event Participant [5]: Fellow eggplant hater! ^_^
Event Participant [6]: I've always been curious about this one thing. :O
What's your opinion/thoughts/feelings on the mention of your potato card collection in your commendation Morover authored?
(Specifically the following clause: "The collection of a massive amount of artwork commemorating the starchy food, the full assemblage of which is valued at an astronomical price")
The Salaxalans: I thought it was wonderful. xD
Official recognition of potatoes is a great thing!

Q&A with Atlae

Atlae: Hey all. I’m Atlae.
I joined NationStates in February 2016, so it’s been almost five years on this stupid game. Last night, at the behest of friends, I found myself addicted to another card-based minigame, Magic the Gathering. :p - But until I leave cards forever with a huge giveaway I’ll still be in NationStates, The East Pacific, and cards for now. I joined the cards server on March 18 of 2020, probably at the behest of y0, but didn’t start collecting until April. My deck value really took off in May due to the Loop pull event. You may know me as the guy who’s collecting all TEP Cards (S1 is 85% complete, S2 is 93% complete as I’m writing this), or a member of Big Farma, or, for the purpose of this lecture, Deputy Steward of TEAPOT, The Eastern Association of Pacifican Ornamental Traders. I understand that my lecture, how to grow a regional organization, may be a bit strange considering that this Cards Symposium is hosted by the TNP Card Guild, who are doing a great job in many respects and probably know more about building an organization than I do. Nevertheless, I hope this lecture can be of use to you all.
The story about how I got into cards and how TEP got into cards is pretty interesting. It was April 2018, under Queen Yuno’s Delegacy, when cards were introduced. For the months leading up to April, we in the TEP government had been plotting. Finally, on March 18th, “Liberate The East Pacific” was proposed. On March 23rd, the Eastern Loligarchical Order (ELO) was formed, bringing in a whole new era of Francoism. But it was all a silly prank and fooled quite a few people, some of whom are now in power today. It was kind of stressful behind the scenes but it was enjoyable being on the other side of it. We really thought we’d done a better prank than what Max Barry could pull. And frankly, trading cards? That didn’t seem all that interesting, to be honest.
Of course, there were still traders in The East Pacific. Many had holdovers from April 1, but some like VW53aland were actively trading. For a while, Queen Yuno was probably at the top of DV charts in The East Pacific. But cards was never a thing that could unite a community like regional government or R/D could. It’s hard collecting data about this since the DMZ (server under Yuno and Fedele) was archived and I didn’t think to ask to reopen it until this lecture. Maybe I’ll ask and receive more information about the history of cards in The East Pacific, but for the purposes of this lecture let’s assume that cards weren’t really prevalent in The East Pacific until Season 2.
In December of 2019, some nerd named Evrigenis or y0 joined The East Pacific. Like the nerd he is, he got addicted to cards and got his friends to collect them as well. By late February 2020, he had started a “farming operation.” The group chat that would eventually become TEAPOT was formed on March 9th and added people one at a time over the course of a few months. Of course, that time was the pandemic, which probably freed up a lot of time for some people, like me.
y0 probably was the one who created the channel #ns-trading-cards in TEP’s server. That’s where I probably first got into cards. At this point, I had a bunch of leftover R/D puppets that I would farm, and I would choose each option manually (based on the number on the puppet mod number of options). Then I got into scripting, which made my life a lot easier and probably changed my life the most but we can talk about that another day. I shared these with my fellow East Pacifican farmers, albeit with some questionable advice (I mentioned that I put a walkie-talkie on the enter button to hold it down).
In late May, y0 also ran a pull event on the legendary very epic figure of 1 Infinite Loop, widely considered the founder of The East Pacific. Unfortunately, due to blocks (a time before TCALS nerfs when we didn’t know much) we got 2 pulls, one of which was me. That probably jumpstarted me into cards.
A few weeks later in June, we discussed the future of our little card farmers’ group. For the 10th slot in our group chat, we invited Sakana, who was this large figure in cards in TEP that I guess (I was probably intimidated by her and her place in the community lol) Sidenote, but Sakana was one of the reasons I got into cards in the first place. I almost heisted her once during a transfer but she still was nice to me and encouraged me. Thanks Sak!
Anyway, we decided to be our own separate, independent, non-governmental organization. This probably sets TEAPOT apart from many other card organizations because theirs is a ministry or a fully integrated part of the government. It was sort of modeled after TNP’s card guild, but then they made their Ministry of Cards so uh honestly I don’t know if it made a difference or not.
Reading through the old chats, I smile with nostalgia when we decided to choose names. Cards Bureau, Cards Mafia, Cards Agricultural Department… It looks like I suggested the acronym TEAPOT and Sakana filled in the blanks. I’m also proud to say I designed the TEAPOT logo (I also redesigned it this year) but my proposal for the TEAPOT flag was bad and I’m glad it wasn’t approved.
Growing TEAPOT was maybe a little hard first. After gaining legitimacy through a Magisterium resolution, our opus memorandi was to contact some of the traders in TEP to get them to join. Well, mostly people from outside TEP came into join at first, because card organizations!
The first major thing that TEAPOT did was in September, organizing the Tea House of Cards festival with Lazarus and XKI. It was a cards festival not unlike this here Cards Symposium, actually, with pull events, games, and all that. Great minds think alike? :p
After the Tea House of Cards festival, TEAPOT has been holding monthly pull events and will soon start giveaways soon. In almost 9 months, TEAPOT has grown to about 30 people. I don’t know how much people other cards organizations have gotten, but I’d assume we’re doing pretty well. The North Pacific’s Cards Guild has 90 people, but they have had a nice head start and everything. Well deserved too.
It seems that regional card organizations are now really in vogue. While I don’t know everything about each region’s motivations in cards, I would guess that this is due to an increased focus on cards being a community endeavor rather than something a few farmers somewhere can rack up without serving any real purpose to the game. I know that regions like The Pacific, The South Pacific, and The Rejected Realms have created their own cards organizations and hosted pull events as well.
To all the new cards organizations out there (and DavanteAdams, hi!) I encourage you to band together like XKI, Laz, and TEP did earlier. Everyone will start out small, so working together will get you where you need to go in terms of human capital. In addition, you’ll meet all sorts of new people and perspectives and might even boost foreign relations. This may have the downside of cards politicking but unfortunately there’s not much I can do about that.
In addition, I’d suggest reaching out to small farmers starting out in your region. You’re not going to find people just by going down the DV leaderboard. What you need is a community who can eventually grow and find their own niche in trading. A regional telegram works if you want to go the lazy way about this. :stuck_out_tongue:
One thing I would honestly say TEAPOT has struggled with (this is the same with many other cards organizations) is that sometimes, it seems like a group of people that hosts pull events now and again. Pull events are great, of course, but they aren’t everything. Also, anybody with a lot of bank these days can hold a pull event, no regional organization required. Thus, once an organization has its footing, try and diversify. Card giveaways are really trendy now, games like scavenger hunts, etc. Always look for new ideas.
Overall, I think that the space for regional cards organizations is growing. Our good friends in The North Pacific have reigned as the most powerful region in terms of cards for a while, but in a year or a few years this may change. I’m eager to see what new cards organizations will thrive and how this will effect the meta of the trading cards minigame.
Thank you for reading, and I will try and answer any and all questions you may have. It can be about TEAPOT, about me, anything really I guess.
Further reading:
y0 and Gr
Event Participant [1]: What would you recommend for a fledgling regional card organisation to focus on? (Special consideration to pitfalls that TEAPOT may have fallen in/narrowly avoided.)
Atlae: The most important thing in my view for a regional organization - of any regional organization really is outreach. One reason why is because it's for the very survival of an organization. At the core an organization is a group of people. Over time this group of people will shrink unless you find a way to increase the amount of people. Thus you have to think long term about what things will get people into the organization. That's where you think of things like pull events and games.
Another reason is because it benefits the cards minigame as a whole. For the most part, adding more people into the game makes it better. You might be annoyed at the MV sharks, but they indisputably made the game more interesting. And if you really hate them, convince them not to when they join your organization.
I realize that I forgot to mention something that TEAPOT struggled with. It's important to have some form of conflict resolution or mediation procedure. Although we did have anti-heist clauses in our charter, we didn't count for people deflating other people's cards to deflate their DV. Now whether that is a thing that needs to be adjudicated is honestly up to the community to decide.
I also regret not doing other events with TEAPOT, since I mostly just held pull events once a month.
Event Participant [2]: It was mentioned that many of the initial members of TEAPOT were from other regions which helped the organisation grow in the initial period, what other advantages have you seen from the more relaxed membership requirements?
Atlae: Buffed membership stats. :p
In particular, 9003 and Racoda came into TEAPOT pretty early on. They helped with scripts and other materials like farming guides.
Overall you will probably get like card cosmos in your organization. That's good as long as they actually contribute. Otherwise it gives you a false sense of success when you don't have people from your own region in your org.
Atlae: ...I'm bored and like to hear myself talk, do you have any questions about me specifically? :p
Event Participant [2]: What was the motivation behind starting a regional collection?
Atlae: For a few months I didn't think I'd be able to do it. I probably started because hey, I know some of these people.
I think Vylixan had something to do with it; seemed like a cool thing to do and I had a lot of new time on my hands with COVID.
Event Participant [3]: How did you choose the nation name ‘The Atlae Isles’?
Atlae: It was a long time ago. It's hard to think of names.
I wanted to go "Atlantis", but of course that didn't exist.
Event Participant [3]: Cards question now - Other than TEP S3 - do you have any particular one goal in mind for when S3 hits?
Atlae: Well I plan on collecting mottoes too.
Probably stockpiling specific cards to use as mass transfers and hoard legendaries.
Event Participant [4]: Atlae, for S3 I should give you my card and you should treasure it like gold!
Atlae: How much will it cost?
Event Participant [4]: F r e e.
Atlae: The card will be worth 0.00?
Event Participant [4]: Ohhh. I thought you meant how much will it cost you lol.
Event Participant [3]: So, since you like questions about yourself, have you always been a legend of Zelda fan?
Atlae: Well I really got into it in 9th grade.
So like 4 years ago.
Event Participant [3]: Do you have any Zelda themed puppet sets?
Atlae: Check Atlae-1 to Atlae-200.
Mipha, Champion Daruk, Champion Revali, Lady Urbosa are all Zelda themed.
Event Participant [3]: :D
Thanks for answering. ^_^
Atlae: Np!
Event Participant [5]: Is it possible to create a bank in Nationstates?
Event Participant [6]: Only by junking or selling cards.
Event Participant [5]: Ah.
Event Participant [6]: No way will there be an option to buy any.
Event Participant [5]: Would it be worth it?
Event Participant [6]: No, it'd just become a pay to win on the card market.
Event Participant [7]: Agreed.
Event Participant [5]: I meant a bank set up by private players.
Event Participant [6]: How would that even work?
Atlae: [In response to Event Participant #5’s question] Probably. I don't know enough about banks but theoretically people could.
Event Participant [3]: What is next for you in NS, generally?
Atlae: Couping TRR
Idk really.
Event Participant [3]: “Time to junk those TEP cards you have bids on.”
Atlae: Nuuu.

Farrakhan's Lecture

"But one man's rubbish may be another's treasure, and what is the standard of value in such a pursuit as this?"
-Hector Urquhart 'Popular Tales of the West Highlands''
As-Salaam Alaikum
One of the great things about the NS Card Trading Mini-Game is its open-ended nature. Players can engage as often or as little as they like, choose their own goals, and find their levels of satisfaction. My chosen style focuses on making a market for my card and managing the challenges that come with it. Back in 2019, I played for the short-term, intending to land the Top Deck Value before the end of the year. In four months, I managed the Farrakhan Season 1 card to around 500 MV, with purchases at a peak ranging between 400-800 Bank, eventually reaching my goal. For those interested, you can read more about the details of my earlier system in-The Monthly Snapshot - Issue 2 (Trader of the Month/Interview).
When I decided to return to active play last Summer with a new campaign, my goal was to rejuvenate the Farrakhan Season 1 card, reach 100 total copies, outperform the Legendary cards whose MV I had previously failed to displace, and score the top MV among all actively traded cards in the game (not including expired transfer cards). It took several months but on the day of this review (1/30/2021), I finally reached my magic number of 100 copies, and have peaked at an MV of 1,126, completing my goal!
In this write-up, I will offer my thoughts on the ways a player can operate as a Market Maker for their card, discuss some of the challenges that are inherent within the structure of the game, share my experiences using certain strategies, and discuss different metrics players can use to evaluate a Market Maker managed Card as a potential store of value.

The Impossible Trinity

The challenges inherent in making a market for a Card, are similar to that of managing a currency in the FOREX market. Commitment to certain actions will limit the potentiality of others. Every moment of the game, NS players face three conflicting options:
Maintain Bank with full liquidity
Provide Undivided Support for a Position
Retain Flexibility to Support Multiple Positions simultaneously
By definition, focus on any one element will nullify the ability to carry out the other two options. For example, Leg 1 of the triangle (retaining a fully liquid Bank) will prevent a player from placing Standing Bids and/or stepping into a live auction. Leg 2 (Making a Market) inhibits taking on additional outside positions and makes bank capital less liquid. Leg 3 (flexibility to pursue multiple positions) weakens the potential to act as a Market Maker and commits liquid Bank into the market. No player can escape the Impossible Trinity, we can only set goals and manage with-in the framework. Failure to effectively balance and navigate the limitations imposed by this trilemma will often lead to severe consequences: Bank Insolvency, Crashes in Market Value, Boom/Bust Cycles in Total Deck Value, inability to fulfill collection needs, etc. Player beware.
From the standpoint of my experiences playing as a Market Maker, the main trade-off has come from Leg 3 (flexibility/diversity in building a collection). With a focus on using Capital Formation to fund Bank, I willingly sacrificed appreciation of the artistic aspects of the game, using Card Farming to liquidate positions for future investment. At times, I have focused nearly exclusively on Leg 1, which delayed the fulfillment of goals that could only be brought about through Leg 2 (ie. realizing maximum Deck Value, actualizing near-term Farrakhan S1/S2 MV potential). I have used a Reserve Bank( Gold Crescent Alistan)to build a second Market Maker position in Farrakhan S2, and a Treasury( FMM1)to help manage Farrakhan S1, but elements of Leg 3 don't stretch far beyond that in my system. Keep these types of trade-offs in mind when measuring if my methods would align with what makes the game enjoyable for you.
Advice For Beginners Acting As A Market Maker
Whether you are a long-time player, an experienced player who recently had their card generated for the first time, or are completely new to the game, developing the value of your card can be a great experience. Below are some tips which may prove helpful:
*Determine the percentage of Total Bank you are willing to commit toward acquiring copies, repeating Standing Bids, and/or enacting Direct Market purchases (buying from your own account) toward your position. The larger the percentage invested, the more aggressive your approach, the greater your potential return. The trade-off is that your degree of investment will come at the expense of other aspects of the game (ie. Impossible Trinity).
*Set a target for how much cash flow you will need weekly to reach your goals. For example, if you can generate 10 Bank a week, and you are willing to budget half toward acting as a Market Maker, that's 20 Bank a month, 240 Bank a year. Measure that against your card's potential appreciation over its Junk Value. With consistency, the compounded effect can be great over time.
*Capital formationis the lifeblood of effective Market Making. To be successful as a Market Maker, a player must be prepared to provide a strong and consistent stream of cash flow into their Bank. Time is always of the essence. Active purchases need to be made, positions need to be supported with Standing Bids, and a reserve needs to be plentiful and liquid to prevent retrenchment. Below is a break-down of the Top 250 cards with-in each rarity tier, which shows where the most lucrative bids can be found:

As the chart above shows, the cards that carry the most double and triple-digit Standing Bids are in the Legendary market. Having owned and sold every Legendary card that has been produced at some point, my experience has been that even those Legendary cards with single-digit Standing Bids, listed at deep discounts to their MV (and in rare cases at discounts to their JV) have consistently outperformed the return on almost all other rarities when placed into Auction. If your goal is to build Bank, this is where the money is.
*Reserve Banks & Treasury Accounts: In line with the challenges imposed by the Impossible Trinity, a Market Maker will need to find a way to mitigate saving and investing needs. I have found it helpful to dedicate separate accounts to this purpose. My Reserve Bank (Gold Crescent Alistan) exists to buy new positions of Farrakhan Season 2 with recurring Standing Bids (set at a Hard Peg) as well as handle general tasks (ie. fund undercapitalized puppets during card farming process). My Treasury account (FMM1) is structured as a pure Put against Farrakhan Season 1 and places recurring Standing Bids at a deep discount to MV (set at a Crawling Band). While the Reserve is purposely active, the Treasury is purposely passive. In both cases, I find it helpful to deposit sums into each account that are large enough (either through direct transfers or sustained farming campaigns) that the capital committed will last for a long time. The set it and forget it approach allows for both fiscal discipline and psychological freedom (knowing there is a backstop in place).
*Heisting: Going through the process of Card Farming, countless opportunities will abound to interfere with other players transferring Bank through the auction process. Placing a low Ask on a newly obtained card pulled via TCALS can reap large amounts of Bank in minimal time. While often easy money, I choose to abstain. People of all ages and experience levels engage in this hobby purely for enjoyment, and I take no pleasure in exploiting their moments of vulnerability. These heisting opportunities happen so frequently that I established a dedicated account to store these cards when pulled: FGWF(Farrakhan Good Will Foundation). If in time these cards develop attractive MV, I will add them to my wealth account. If a player contacts me and requests the card for strategic use, I usually just gift it to them. I find this approach to be more rewarding than taking Bank. Feel free to choose your own adventure.
*Developmental Stage: As your return on expense is most advantageous at the beginning of the Market-Making process (ie. when velocity is high, card supply is robust, and before your MV has shown much appreciation above JV), it is to your benefit to obtain copies for as low a price as possible, for as long as possible. With time, your ability to purchase at a slight premium to junk value will end, as other players will come to see your card as being a store of value. Players will then begin to either charge you at a premium above MV, or begin to hold your card for longer periods for appreciation or future intended sales. Over time, this can generate an expensive feedback loop. Try to resist the urge to realize true price potential too quickly while the supply of copies is plentiful, as doing so will come at the expense of raising your costs long before necessary.
*Law of Diminishing Returns: At a constant rate of investment, the percentage gains from building your card will decrease over time. The only way to change the math is to increase the amount of capital you are committing to your position. For example: if you build the MV of an Epic card from 5 to 10, you will reap a 100% return. Taking that same card from 10 to 15 will only reap a 50% gain from the same amount of time and capital being invested. This downward trend will only continue to accelerate without a change in the financing structure. Options include: i. increasing the base amount of savings into your Bank while still investing at the same percentage, ii. investing at a more aggressive percentage of Bank without a change in your base savings, or iii. increasing your base savings while also increasing the percentage rate of Bank investment.
*An Average Calculatorcan be used to plan out the effects of future transactions on your card's MV. It takes five sales to generate an effect, and beyond that, the average of your last 10 sales will be scored.
*Sequence of Order Execution: When the system calculates a card's MV, the initial sale will be scored as most recent, but when there are multiple transactions with various prices with-in a sale, the ordering of the other positions will prove haphazard (often with the lowest as scoring most recent). For this reason, it is to your advantage to initiate higher-priced transactions after a multi-sale auction concludes, as opposed to placing them in real-time during this type of auction. Example: You are buying your card from two players for 10, a new seller drops their ask for one of the Bids to 9. Wait until AFTER the auction ends to buy out the remaining higher Ask so it will be guaranteed to place as the most recent sale sequentially. This will benefit your card's MV calculation for a longer time.
*Counteracting Short Sales: Dealing with market hazards is the responsibility of any Market Maker. At times, players will choose to sell below your Standing Bid, which can reset your MV downward in the near-term. While this can appear disadvantageous at the outset, if you invest into your position at a constant rate, steep discounts can prove highly beneficial, lowering your overall cost basis, increasing your rate of return, and allowing for greater profit over time than there otherwise would be. This is one of the reasons why publicly traded companies will willingly enact stock splits. If this happens to your position, simply place a Direct Purchase (or series of purchases) above the intended original Bid price to even out the difference. For example, a Standing Bid of 5 is matched to an Ask of .01. The trade will settle at 2.5. In a subsequent transaction after that Auction ends, proactively sell the card to yourself from another account at 10 (target price of 5 (2)) and the algorithm will even out the MV back to your target price. If you are capital constrained, you can accomplish the same goal with a series of staggered purchases that trend upward at an affordable rate as savings recover over time.
*Saturation Points: In line with the challenges imposed by the Law of Diminishing Returns, a mature position can reach a point where it is Priced to Perfection, as very few owners outside of the Market Maker wish to transact. This can occur as new supplies of the card dry up, while existing copies offer owners a store of value that is decidedly more attractive than alternative cards on the market. A victim ts own success, very few 'better cards' exist within the marketplace for which owners want to sell to raise Bank, even with the incentive of extraordinarily high Standing Bids. At that point, it may be to the advantage of a Market Maker to encourage actions that will temporarily bring MV down (ie. Free Floating the position, coordinating Pull Events). While this may seem counter-intuitive, when a Market Maker is at a Saturation Point, a short-term retrenchment can reset conditions for a new campaign, with even greater future returns than can be found under the status-quo.
*Over-Extension: real-time market conditions may cause a Market Maker to spend more of their Bank capital than their liquidity levels can comfortably support. When this happens, the number of repeat Standing Bids that can be placed at MV decreases, a red flag for Owners who view the card as a store of value. Options for the Market Maker include i. Increasing base savings, ii. Decreasing the number of repeat Standing Bids, iii. Lowering the Bank amount placed behind the position to some percentage below current MV. Over-extension marks a period where retrenchment becomes more likely until savings are replenished
*Bank Insolvency: a far more severe and bearish condition than over-extension, a Market Maker's savings can become thoroughly exhausted to a point where Standing Bids can no longer be placed anywhere near MV, possibly not at all. Operations may or may not cease, as clear gaps become visible in both the time between new Standing Bids and the Bank amounts being placed in support behind them. A sale matched at a discount to MV may take a significant period to recover (possibly never) and it becomes likely that the card will trend toward a lower base, creating a negative feedback loop. Unless and until Bank savings are recapitalized, options for the Market Maker include i. Free-floating (allowing the card to trade for some time with either a token Standing Bid or without any Standing Bid at all) or ii. Total Capitulation (walking away from the position entirely). With time, a Market Maker can recover from Bank insolvency, but it is not guaranteed
*Managed Decline: if a Market Maker is planning to make a change to their system that is likely to decelerate operations (ie. less card farming, committing bank to alternate positions, playing the game less entirely) there are protective steps that can be taken to minimize damage to the card's MV. Options include i. placing a stream of deeply discounted Standing Bids to publicly set a known floor, ii. performing Open Market operations (buying from your account) at the discounted MV to re-establish some form of price support, and iii. making occasional Direct Market purchases when Standing Asks are listed at affordable prices. A Managed Decline marks a bearish period for the position, and while it can seem depressing, the power to one day reverse this condition always remains within the hands of the Market Maker.
*Taking Time-Off: Eventually, your level of motivation will decrease. Maybe you will achieve your overall MV and DV goals, and the game will become a less enjoyable pursuit. Or perhaps something in 'real-life' will take priority over your free time. Don't be afraid or feel guilty about your card losing value in the interim of your direct support. In the real world, even the best of publicly traded companies have experienced bad quarters with intervals when their MV trended downward. Periods of decline build a sense of character into the history of your performance as a whole. Personally, I prefer to play in stints, with a goal in mind that's tied to some form of end trigger. My first goal was a time limit to achieve Top Deck Value. I then took a break, only later to return with the new 100 copies challenge. I find that creating hard deadlines and knowing there is a finish line ahead, makes things more fun. At the end of the day, all a Market Maker ever needs to input a price that trends upward are copies of the card, capital to invest, and the talent/willingness to spend time playing. If the latter isn't there, you can always return and recover using the tools of the former when the stars align again.
Metrics To Access The Value of Market Maker Run Cards
*Amount of realized profit the Market Maker has produced for other players through direct purchases of the card
Total Return on Investment the Market Maker generates for other players who hold the card as a store of value
Total sales volume the Market Maker generates relative to other cards
Amount of Liquid Bank the Market Maker has committed to supporting the card
#, recency and amount of alternate Bids the Market Maker has placed into other positions
# of copies the Market Maker owns
# of trades behind the position
Recency of time between transactions
Four measures of Intrinsic Value (i. Junk Value, ii. Highest Standing Bid, iii. Projected MV after the sale at Highest Standing Bid, and iv. Projected MV after purchase at lowest Standing Ask)
Velocity (frequency of Find History)
Likelihood of Pull Event target/capacity to withstand
Likelihood of Short Target/capacity to withstand
Number/Diversity/Recency of Standing Bids
Standing Bids relative to Market Value
Standing Bids relative to Peers

Ways To Protect A Position
Hard Peg
Two factors to take into account when evaluating the strength of any given price peg are i. Standing Bid to Current Market Value and ii. Standing Bid to Junk Value. A Hard Peg involves placing a Put (Standing Bid) either at, very near, or above the current Market Value. This encourages sales to transact very close to MV. A Hard Peg is the most aggressive form of price support, creating a high incentive for players to sell directly to the Bidder, and requires the highest commitment of real-time Bank support to maintain continuously. When acting as a Market Maker, you can use the Impossible Trinity paradigm to structure the degree to which such an approach is feasible toward your overall goals, balancing Bank solvency, with liquidity to engage other positions.

Example: Season 2 Farrakhan (entirety)

When Season 2 began, I prioritized building a position using a Hard Peg at a Premium to Junk Value with the purchase price as low as the market would allow. In review, Farrakhan S2 has never traded below .58 (a slight premium to JV) and began trading six times JV (independent of my purchases) within its first three sales. For several weeks, I was able to build a position from other owners with a Hard Peg of 5 Bank (10 times JV of an Epic .5). With time, the Market Value would rise in line with the Hard Peg, which would lead owners to Ask at prices at a premium to MV (the premium over JV eventually ceased to be an attractive enough metric to entice sales).
Another factor that bids up a Hard Peg as Market Value rises is a Card's growing appeal as a future store of value. Meaning the development of a belief that future value will become greater than the present value of a sale at the current Standing Bid. A growing number of owners will begin to either ask for much higher prices (ie. 1,000, 10,000) and/or hold the position outright with no interest in selling, while other players begin to place standing competitive Bids for the card of their own.
To maintain a dominant position, a Market Maker must be prepared to deploy more capital (ie. multiple Bids at higher prices than other players are willing to pay) to Crowd Out other buyers. In my case, multiple Standing Bids of 6 slowly grew to 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 38. Standalone purchases would run as high as 50. Eventually, an equilibrium price would be found where many players would sell, while very few players would attempt to bid. Keep in mind, while you may have the funds to win every auction, there are times when doing so will be a Pyrrhic victory, as the process of winning a bidding war will raise your MV and your future purchasing costs. An additional background factor is that of time. With the conversion into a new season, the market of the future will no longer organically generate the card at the same rate it currently does, raising potential Market Value through scarcity.
In retrospect, a Hard Peg (at a premium to JV, and later at/near MV) was very successful in allowing me to build a large position in my card (at the time of this write-up, 110 copies). The trade-off was that I had to deploy a great deal of capital consistently, budget liquidity for an extended period, and artificially keep down the potential market value (which also sacrificed Deck Value appreciation). As I now play for the long-term, the exchange was worth it, your mileage may vary.
Crawling Band
This is a strategy used by a Market Maker to mix the price protection of a Peg with the discretionary spending flexibility of a Float. Multiple Standing Bids are placed at a percentage below the card's Market Value but are structured in such a way to preserve most of the position. This tactic can also be used in combination with a subsequent purchase at a price targeted well above the band to reset the MV to the intended target price. When done correctly, this will allow incoming purchases to be made at a discount, while staggering the MV upward with discretion, increasing the overall return on investment of the Market Maker.
Example: Season 1 Farrakhan (late 2020/early 2021)

In late December, I decided to revalue Farrakhan Season 1 upward to 822 MV (total investment was 8,224.50 Bank, nine 775 Buys, and one 1,249.50 Buy). In the process, I gained six additional copies and deposited four of the 775 buys into a Treasury account labeled FMM1(Farrakhan Market Maker 1) with the intent to pivot into a Crawling Band. I then immediately placed three Standing Bids from FMM1 at 500 Bank (a 48.7% discount to MV, but still among the highest Standing Bids in the entire market).
For several weeks, there were no transactions until a Pull Event, where all three of the 500 SBs were executed, and I followed up mid-auction with three additional purchases from my Farrakhan account at 1,250, 1,253, 1,200, along with a drop sale at 1,257.34 that was deposited back into FMM1. Total investment was 6,961.01 with six additional copies of the card gained, three at a substantial discount, and a substantial increase in Deck Value. My greatest efficiency using the technique was to absorb a 500 Standing Bid and then follow-up in a subsequent auction with two large purchases, 2,499.66 and 2,499.97. This resulted in a gain of three copies (one at a discount), increased my Deck Value over 30k, and allowed me to realize my return goal of taking Farrakhan S1 to double its old all-time high with the targeted 100th copy.
The numbers involved in these transactions are historically high, but the strategies can work for any player, working with any amount of capital. In an auction involving multiple purchases with a trend below your target, place and match the higher bids in a subsequent auction AFTER that auction concludes. This will allow you to input a better-recorded price (or ideally a series of higher prices) as the most recent sequentially and will cause the lower prices to drop from future MV recalculations first.
General advice for players considering the Crawling Band strategy:
i. Determine what percentage of your Total Bank you want to target toward building MV (ie. an account with 1,000 Bank, an investment commitment of 5% would create a price target of 50). Use the Impossible Trinity paradigm to weigh how conservative or aggressive you want to be in the context of your goals as a whole.
ii. Dedicate a Treasury account with Bank that is solely used to hedge the position with Standing Bids set at a discount to current MV. This will impose a sense of fiscal discipline into your campaign, and allow you the flexibility to explore other aspects of the game separately.
iii. After any purchase of a new copy of the card at a discount, use the Bank in your main account to purchase more cards at a premium that will net toward your intended MV target. Cash is king, budget maintaining levels of liquidity.

Free Float
A Free Float is when the Market Value of a Card is allowed to fluctuate without the participation of the Market Maker. This often creates a negative feedback loop of bearish sentiment, because the source of the position's buying support (Standing Bids from the MM) has been withdrawn. Uncertainty builds to the position's legitimacy as a store of future value. Standing Asks will often begin to appear that are priced below MV, and investors will begin cashing out to those Bidding at a discount. The Free Float can lead to a near-term price crash, but with time a new equilibrium will settle things down.

Example: Season 1 Farrakhan (late 2019)

My direct experience with a Free Float stems back from September 2019 to late December 2019. For four months, I took a hiatus from the game, and Season 1 Farrakhan was traded in the market without my placing a Standing Bid. My last purchase price was 47.50. From then on, there were eight independent transactions, ranging from 7.51, 15.01, 17.26, 16, 15.01, 15, 15.75, and 10.32. That is an average sale of 13.98, a 70.57% decline from the last sale with the Standing Bid I had provided. Yet despite the uncertainty, relatively few Owners vacated the position.
Does it make sense to retain or invest in a Card that was once supported by a Market Maker that has been placed into a Free Float? It's a gamble. In the immediate term, there could be strong downward pressure on MV as the fundamentals that drove that price upward has changed. However, if in the future the Market Maker returns with a new campaign, and talent, support, and capital investment rebound into the position, the return for those who purchased at a discount during the Free Float could be extraordinary. There is one player who purchased S1 Farrakhan during the above Free Float period, and later sold during a return campaign for a positive return of 5,063%! A calculated risk that paid off.

Closing Thoughts
This is a great hobby, and playing as a Market Maker has been a rewarding experience. The strategies discussed were fun to plan out and have helped me to achieve various goals that made the game worth playing. The journey (conceptualizing abstract thoughts into a game-plan, developing an infrastructure within a Random Number Generator framework) was much more rewarding than ultimately reaching a destination. While no balloons and confetti drop from the ceiling, I can always look back and smile when logging into NS.
On the flip side, I'm also happy I was able to share the wealth during this last campaign, making other players 'rich' with triple and quadruple-digit purchases:

I also appreciate the loyalty of those owners of my card who chose to buy/farm and hold with greatly enhanced Deck Values, especially those who held the position during the Free Float. I even have a love for my haters, who dream of deflating Farrakhan with an endless stream of .01 Asks. This is a game, it is healthy that people are inspired to compete and I never take it personally.
I hope this read was useful in some way. However long from now that you are reading this, the techniques discussed should remain evergreen in their application. Thank you to those at TNP and the Cards Symposium for the invite. From scripts to community structure, it never ceases to amaze me how many talented and generous people are a part of this great community. Stay safe, have fun, all the best!
Farrakhan

[small]The Northern Lights: Beauty in Truth
Publisher: McMasterdonia :: Executive Editor: BMWSurfer

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and is distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and by the Ministry of Home Affairs internally. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.


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[/small]
 
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Fregerson

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Statement on the Invasion of Genua

Greetings,

This past Sunday, the North Pacific Army (NPA) participated in a large-scale joint operation alongside forces from The Black Hawks (TBH), the South Pacific Special Forces (SPSF), the East Pacific Sovereign Army (EPSA), the West Pacific Armed Forces (TWPAF), the Legio Pacificus, the Europeian Republican Navy (ERN), The Order of the Grey Wardens (TGW), the Land of Kings and Emperors (LKE), Balder, the League's Defense Forces (LDF), the Ten Thousand Islands Treaty Organization (TITO), the MT Army, Lone Wolves United (LWU), Thaempirial Army (THA), the Red Fleet (TRF), the Kingdom of Great Britain (KoGB), the United Kingdom Air Force (UKAF), the Free Nations Defender Army (FNDA), the Joint Systems Alliance (JSA), Korea, the Autumnal Court, Aurrelius, and Wintercrest to rid the world of an up-and-coming Nazi stronghold.

Following the deletion of its founder nation, [region]Genua[/region] was seized by a record-setting one-hundred and fifteen (115) updaters from all across the NationStates world. It is currently being held by over one hundred nations in an ongoing piling effort, where eight of the North?s finest were also in attendance on the jump. Their names are as follows:

Participating Soldiers:

General Westinor
General Rom
General BluieGamer
Colonel Gorundu
Major Koopa
Captain Knightblood
Corporal Cascadian Bioregion
Private First Class Kastonvia

It is clear to us that, whilst a few fascists may cling on in their hovels and hideaways, those who espouse such bigoted and prejudiced views will always be defeated by the combined forces of anti-fascism. The site administration has now made it clear that .

The North Pacific stands firmly in affirmation of the anti-fascist cause. We will not tolerate hatred and we are proud to be a part of the unifying show of force that was displayed from every end of the raiding/defending spectrum. The fifteenth (15th) of May's major update is a perfect exemplification of the sickly remnants of the ideologies that plague our game and how they ought to be dealt with.

We would like to thank all other participating regions, organizations, and individuals who came together to make this happen.

Sincerely,

Robespierre ( )
Delegate of The North Pacific

St George ( )
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Westinor ( )
Minister of Defense
 

Fregerson

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World Assembly Digest - May 2021
A busy and contentious month in the Assembly

By Boston Castle and planes

April was quite busy for the general assembly, passing 6 resolutions and one failing to pass. Let’s take a look!

Freedom of Association
A new right was born in the World Assembly by the passing of Freedom of Association, guaranteeing the right to be with any association unless the organization is involved in criminal activity. This resolution was written by our Deputy WA minister , who has written the Security Council section of the WA Digest. The resolution was passed 72.1% to 27.9%

Repeal: Voting Equality for Freed Inmates
wrote this repeal on the grounds of paving the way for more comprehensive voting laws, as the resolution would strike down all voting restrictions just because they had been in prison once. This repeal crawled through the world assembly 61.3% to 38.7%.

Reducing Microplastics
This resolution was written to deal with plastic pollution, addressing the health risks posed by microplastics. The proposal set out ways to eliminate plastic pollution through eliminating sources upstream. The resolution breezed through the GA 88.2% to 11.8%.

Repeal: Digital Network Defense
This repeal from sets out a privacy based defense of the rights of a nation’s citizens in a short and concise repeal, relying on other resolutions to support its case. While The North Pacfic was against the repeal, it moved through the GA 81.3% to 18.7%.

Long Term Storage of Produced Waste
This resolution provided regulation for safe storage for dangerous waste, providing safety regulations for the health and safety of WA citizens. This proposal attempted to make a blanket mandate for all businesses, and encouraged member states to subsidise the efforts. With such a plan largely seen as unfeasible, the resolution was heavily opposed, being defeated 84.6% to 15.4%.

Repeal: On Abortion
An interesting repeal in the GA in April was GA #128, on abortion, on the grounds of too little protection and too much restrictions on access to reproductive care, passing 87.1% to 12.9%

Citizenship and Birth Act
The last GA resolution in April was a bid to make sure no child is stateless, and provides an avenue for minors in member states to obtain citizenship . This resolution passed 84.8% to 15.2%.



Unfortunately, April was not as active as March was in the Security Council with only four proposals of note being voted on in the month. Let’s take a look at the month that was in the less frantically active chamber of the World Assembly.

Commend Marrabuk
This proposal commended the long time Delegate of the East Pacific for their efforts to restore the East to its former glory and modernize the Department of Foreign Affairs of the East as well as his successful efforts to restore the democratically elected government of the region following the Fedele coup. Relatively uncontroversial, though with some grumblings about whether or not the author was actually worthy, it passed 75.6% to 24.4% on April 8. This was the first resolution authored by Thaecian Tagus and represented another successful co-authorship for Europeian WA stalwart .

Commend Honeydewistania
This proposal commended World Assembly author, fascist fighter, and regional community leader (as well as prominent TNPer) , perhaps better known to our readership as Whatermelons. Previous efforts to commend this nominee had failed, but this was wildly successful on its second/third attempt. While some in TNP, who either via personal distaste for the nominee or simple rejection of all SC measures, voted against, this passed by a resounding 82.2% to 17.8% on April 13. This was the first resolution authored by Mariner of Roleplay , an auspicious start by a promising new author.

Commend Kelssek
This proposal commended sports roleplayer, UN and WA author, and TEP community leader, . A vestige of the ancient past, the crowning achievements of Kelssek are their involvement with the early World Assembly as well as their efforts expounded in sports roleplay, such as their various triumphs and hosting of various world championships. Some forumside expressed their discontent with such an RP heavy commendation, arguing it would be better served focusing on the nominee more holistically, instead of focusing on their roleplay, but this proposal passed with an emphatic 88%-12% margin on April 20. This was the first resolution authored by World Assembly Delegate and marked another successful co-authorship for the North Pacific’s very own elected Delegate .

Liberate The New Inquisition
Another very notable Security Council resolution this month was the controversial return of SC favorite , perhaps better known as . The long-time former Delegate had “retired” from the game earlier in the year, taking a hiatus especially after the end of their term as Delegate last year. However, this proposal was immensely controversial from the start, with many accusing Lenlyvit of abusing their standing in order to target a region which has long since ceased to be an international menace. This proposal did not make the voting floor.



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Fregerson

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May 2021 Election Summary
Robespierre elected Delegate in closely-contested election; Other officers elected with large majority

By Gorundu

On May 12, The North Pacific’s May General Elections wrapped up, with the region having witnessed one of the closest Delegate contests in history. Robespierre ( ) was elected Delegate in a nail-biter race against , while was overwhelmingly re-elected Vice Delegate and was elected Speaker by large margins.

Robespierre was the first person to announce their candidacy for Delegate, soon after candidacy declarations opened on May 1. This was followed by the incumbent Delegate announcing their intentions not to run for re-election, and Nimarya accepting a nomination made by McMasterdonia.

Robespierre was serving as Speaker at the time of the election, having been elected to that role in January. He previously had served as Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Defense, and was elected Vice Delegate in January 2020, though he resigned just over halfway into the term, without having reached the required second-most WA endorsements in the region.

Robespierre’s campaign, titled “Robespierre for Rejuvenation: A Delegacy,” was posted early, citing a desire to have a government that “gets people inspired again” and the many promises made in the January election that did not come to fruition as their reasons to run for Delegate.

Key planks of the campaign included weekly press briefings, boosting applications for the Executive Staff through targeted recruitment efforts by the Ministry of Home Affairs, a focus on developing authors for the new Polaris news program in the Ministry of Communications, and a full audit into the Ministry of Cards, which has fallen into inactivity. On the Foreign Affairs front, the campaign included promises to update the existing World Factbook project, expand the content variety of the Ministry of Radio, and foster talent in the Ministry of World Assembly Affairs by providing more support for prospective authors.

Nimarya last served as Minister of Defense under outgoing Delegate McMasterdonia, having made the move after two terms as Minister of Home Affairs. Her campaign focused on the need to revitalize struggling ministries by providing better training and resources for staff and thus cultivate new talent.

Nimarya’s specific campaign goals included a revitalization of the mentorship program within the Ministry of Home Affairs; a return to basics for the Ministry of Cards by restarting its original programs and increasing card farming; increasing resources for writers and encouraging creative writing to add variety in the Ministry of Communications; promoting and increasing visibility for broadcasts by the Ministry of Radio; publishing comprehensive manuals for the North Pacific Army; providing guides and training, including history lessons, for Ministry of World Assembly Affairs staff; and creating more opportunities for Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff to observe and participate in foreign affairs discussions.

Both campaigns shared several similar elements, such as a focus on casual games for the Ministry of Culture and plans for more engagement with WALL, albeit in different ways. Robespierre proposed an initiative for WALL staffers to discuss one passed resolution per week, while Nimarya proposed an IFV (Information For Voters) writing process that could take into account input from WALL.

As voting began, it soon became clear that the election would be close, as the two candidates traded leads throughout the voting period, never leading by more than a few votes at any given time. Outgoing Delegate McMasterdonia, for his part, endorsed Nimarya. However, in the final few days of voting, Robespierre began gradually pulling ahead, ultimately winning with 59 votes to Nimarya’s 53, while joke candidate 2 and 2 is Fish received 3 votes.

The contest for the other two positions at stake in this election were not nearly as close, with Cretox State easily winning re-election as Vice Delegate, 86-28, against , a General in the North Pacific Army and former Minister of Defensce. Cretox promised to continue the projects started in their first term such as Vice Delegate Mentoring and the Security Council Handbook, as well as to explore new ideas such as the Vice Delegate’s Staff and improvements to World Assembly Development Program (WADP) infrastructure and community engagement.

East Isles, who was a Deputy Speaker in the previous term, won election as Speaker, promising to continue the Speaker’s Office’s efficient Speaker checks and monthly audits. They won with 67 votes against 29 votes for , a prominent player on the RMB, who ran a joke campaign.

After the conclusion of the election, Robespierre announced their Executive Council as follows:

Minister of Cards:
Minister of Communications: Fregerson ( )
Minister of Culture:
Minister of Defense:
Minister of Foreign Affairs: St George ( )
Minister of Home Affairs:
Minister of Radio:
Minister of World Assembly Affairs:

Advisors to the Delegate: ,



Polaris: Lighting the way to truth
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Polaris articles are produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and are distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and the Ministry of Communications internally.


 

Fregerson

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Interview with Robespierre

By New Celoveniortan

New Celoveniortan: Hello, Robespierre. How are you today?
Robespierre: Hey there! I'm doing decently. Bit of a rainy day, but otherwise okay. I like the rain! How about you?
New Celoveniortan: I am doing very well, thank you very much.
Robespierre: Of course
New Celoveniortan: I have some questions for you today, would you mind giving me some of your time?
Robespierre: Not at all. Ask away!
New Celoveniortan: Thank you. First things first. I perceive you as a very enthusiastic person and friendly, but I'm curious: how would you describe yourself?
Robespierre: Hmmm, that's a very good question. I'm glad that you lead off with it. I think that some would find me to be a bit more serious than most. In-character, that's true, but what I don't think many people realize is that I also have a more relaxed, casual side to me as well. If you hang out in VCs often in the Agora or if you speak with me in DMs, you're likely to find that I'm not near as stiff as some believe. I like my sports, I like my computer hardware nerd talk, and I like politics too. I do try to be friendly though, so I'm glad that you perceive me as such. That must mean that I'm doing a good job with how I present myself, I suppose. I'd describe myself as someone who's extremely active in-character, very particular about things out-of-character, and as someone who's all-around ambitious. That probably sums me up to those who are unfamiliar. But I'm always up for a chat so, if you're reading this, come talk to me and find out what I'm like for yourself :stuck_out_tongue:
New Celoveniortan: I'm sure people will see you as very friendly! You said you are all-around ambitious, is it one of the reasons why you decided to run for Delegate? If so, are there any others?
Robespierre: Well, whenever you're considering running for such a high public office as this, there's bound to be a multitude of things that factor into your decision to do so
I think that my ambition did play a part in that, naturally, but I wouldn't have ran if I didn't think that I'd be able to make things better for everyone regardless of where they choose to spend their time in our community. That's really what my Delegacy campaign was all about: trying new things with the added bonus of a fresh perspective, bringing new energy to our executive government, and doing so with a calculated approach that combines well thought out plans and viewpoints with a strong desire to succeed. I also think that we've been too reliant on past Delegates during previous administrations. Namely McM, but also others.
I want to show people that it's okay for the new generation of North Pacificans - the new blood, as I call it - to take the reins so that some of the more experienced regional stalwarts can take a break and pursue other interests. That was definitely a motivating factor for me when it came to my decision to seek the Delegacy, but it surely helped to see the engagement that my campaign was getting and to get a feel for just how many people believe in me and my vision. But yes. To answer your question, I'd say that this is not a job for the unambitious. You almost have to be a self-critic, be a self-motivator, and have clearly set goals to effectively run an administration because, at the end of the day, the buck stops with you when you're the Delegate.
New Celoveniortan: I see that is a very interesting point of viewing the Office. Talking about your campaign, how confident were you while running for the position?
Robespierre: I was very confident, actually. I knew going into it that I'd have to work for it if I wanted to have a chance at winning and I'm very familiar with the election cycle grind, if you will. I'd planned on running regardless of who my opponents were and I'd spent a considerable amount of time formulating my ideas and things of that nature before I'd even launched my campaign thread and put my thoughts out there. If you're running a serious campaign then that's what you have to do. You have to come prepared, bring your A-game, and be willing to put yourself and your ideas out there in front of others who will likely critique you on them. I will say, however, that I didn't plan on the election being as hard fought as it was and I don't think that many others did either. It's a very gratifying win for me, having the margin of victory that I did. I'm a fan of close elections in general, especially the more exciting and high profile ones. Suffice to say, this one was a fun one for me.
New Celoveniortan: I see. Indeed it was a very close one. According to the Greitbart May 2021 General Election Coverage, there was a time that your rival had a majority of 53% over you. During this time, was your strong confidence ever eroded? Also, the Election Commission posted the results where we can see that only 6 votes were the difference between victory and defeat. You said it was a very gratifying win for you, but how else did you feel?
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Robespierre: I felt a sense of pride, mostly. It's nice because you never declare your candidacy with the intention of losing (and if you do, well... then you shouldn't be running in my opinion in my opinion). My confidence was never really eroded per se, but there were times where I felt either super upbeat and optimistic about things or really pessimistic and kind of beat down on myself a bit. I think it's mostly just being bipolar. That's the best thing that I can compare it to, really. When you're ahead in the vote count, you feel as if everything is going your way and you're ready to take that next step in your campaign en route to victory. When you're down in the count, it can sometimes be discouraging. But that's the nature of the beast, so to speak, and I realized that early on when I ran against Artemis/Oracle for the Vice Delegacy in early-2020. Vote counts change on a dime. They fluctuate. Stay confident, stay within yourself, and you'll be fine. My rule of thumb has always been this: If your ideas are good and your approach is worthwhile, then people will see that irrespective of who you're running up against. If you're confident in what you're putting out there then that's a solid ground for you to stand on all throughout the voting period.
New Celoveniortan: Those are very nice words, I think anyone would appreciate them. And yes, a coin has two sides. Which gets me to ask you: If you had lost to Nimarya, how would you have felt and what would you have done?
Robespierre: Another good question. For one reason or another, I don't think that I'd have gone back to the Speaker's Office had I lost. It wouldn't have made sense given the timing - for me to go from being the Speaker to being a Deputy Speaker again - so no matter how pleased I was to see East Isles elected, I doubt that I'd have returned to the legislative branch following my hypothetical loss. On the other hand, I don't honestly think that I'd have been offered a cabinet-level position and I had no illusions of being approached for one either. It's more likely that I would have continued on with my work in the Executive Staff, possibly been a Deputy Minister in a few Ministries again, and would have continued to endotart in the meantime. As for how I would have felt... disappointed would've been the best way to put it, I'd say. As I'm sure most anyone would be.
New Celoveniortan: Interesting. Snap back to reality, how does it feel to be in the Delegacy?
Robespierre: You'd be surprised to find out that this isn't a question I've been asked all that much, save for a couple people here and there who've been curious. The learning curve hasn't been too steep, which has been good. I didn't expect it to be but there's always that settling in process whenever one administration changes to another. It's definitely a bit of an adjustment just in terms of the dynamic that the Delegacy brings. People will message you and ask for your sign-off on things, people will ask for permissions, get your thoughts, seek you out, and so on. And again, that all comes with the territory. I think the moment will hit me more once I've taken the in-game seat of WA Delegate, but it's definitely been an exciting time for me and I've been enjoying it so far. Seeing your nation atop the region's page is an honor that not many have been able to receive, in the grand scheme of things. I'm very proud to be recognized as the leader of this community for the time being.
New Celoveniortan: Wonderful! You said you are still learning. About how much time do you need to invest in the position?
Robespierre: That's actually something that I'm still determining at this stage. A few players in our TNP RP community who participate in the Eras map are saying that I should join since I'm often interested by their roleplays. My response was that once I determined what the time commitment of being Delegate looks like, I'd then decide if I could reasonably commit time to RPing too. I haven't yet reached that number or range, but I'd say that the position requires as much or as little time as is needed to be the kind of Delegate that you want to be.
Since I want to be more hands-on, that'll likely require a more substantial time commitment and there's nothing wrong with that. I'd imagine it's different for everyone though
New Celoveniortan: Enlightening, thank you. Moving to your Cabinet, why did you choose your current Ministers, and what do you see in them?
Robespierre: Ah yes! Now this is a better version of the "Who would you want in your cabinet?" question that gets asked to every Delegate candidate under the sun :) It's worth noting that when forming my cabinet I did have to make some compromises here and there due to scheduling difficulties given that some of my first choices weren't available. Even so, I'm very satisfied with the team that I ended up with and it may end up working out better than my original plans, so I'm thankful for that.
In no particular order: In Radio, I saw Casc as someone who was a great facilitator of activity. His presence in the Ministry was very on-brand with the new blood presentation of my administration, so he was a natural fit since I'd already witnessed him being a manager of sorts and making sure that NBS content was being uploaded on the regular. In Culture, I'd originally had MadJack/St George penciled in for the position. That was soon changed for the aforementioned scheduling reasons, but I maintain the opinion that he was undoubtedly one of the more productive Ministers from last term and is indisputably a great mind for Culture. I ended up moving MJ over to Foreign Affairs, where I place my full faith in him and know he'll serve us well there. So I ended up seeking out Prydania - a former Delegate and someone who had lead the Ministry of Culture for over a year previously. In my mind, Pry and MJ are some of the best that our region has to offer. So it was a no-brainer for me to have both of them on board when I had the chance to, which is why I gave them the Culture and FA portfolios respectively. For Home Affairs, you [New Celo] were someone who I'd seen working diligently as a Deputy Minister last term and I saw the potential for you to grow into the role of the Minister of Home Affairs. The idea of going from a regular staffer, to a Deputy Minister, to the Minister is a perfect exemplification of how hard work does go a long way and gets noticed in this region. I wanted to show people that I was willing to develop new talent in the executive in the same way that I've done in other areas. For the next generation of TNPers to step up, we need that to be happening as often as possible so it was a great fit. In Communications, I felt that Freg deserved a full term to expand on their ideas and explore what was possible for their Ministry. They were sort of thrown into things last term and I think that May have affected them in the short-term. I wanted to see what Comms had there by re-appointing him and give him a chance to run the Ministry like he wants to run it with my guidance and direction in mind. For Defense, Westinor was my first choice. It was simple. They were doing great work coming up through the ranks and had already shown themselves to be an excellent tactful mind. Who wouldn't want that? So I made the offer and it's paid off so far. And finally, we round out the cabinet with Cards and WA Affairs: Due to legal restrictions, I couldn't appoint Boston Castle as my Minister of World Assembly Affairs. Indeed, he was whom I had penciled in for the position and I don't mind making that known. But what I did do is make the move to appoint Cretox as a Minister, which may seem unconventional given how he's also our Vice Delegate. Cretox did well as WAA's Minister prior to becoming Vice Delegate and he was a standout during the term he served too. I'm quite satisfied with the choice I made, and Cretox has been very willing to take on the added responsibilities without any noticeable drawbacks, so that's been nice. And for Cards, I wanted someone who could help develop and nurture our infrastructure. 9003 is already recognized as a leader in the wider Cards community of NationStates and our region is already one of the leading regions in that aspect of things as well. He helps create the necessary infrastructure with his scripting ability.. As a result, I was happy to give him another shot as a Minister because I believe he is much better suited to the Ministry of Cards than he is to Defense.
Sorry for the long answers, but I hope that helps paint the picture a bit better
New Celoveniortan: No worries, but I'd like to ask about your choice for Lead Gameside Advocate as well.
Robespierre: Sure!
Rocketdog was a pleasant surprise in the role last term and I personally think that he did well in moderating the RMB and providing service during a crucial part of the day in which not many in the West are online. I liked what he brought to the table and wanted to see it continue, so I offered a re-appointment and he took me up on that.
New Celoveniortan: Do you think there might be any complications with your government in the future?
Robespierre: None that I can foresee, no. If there are then they of course will be dealt with.
New Celoveniortan: I see some of that confidence there. Government aside, are you planning something major for TNP, like an event or something?
Robespierre: You know, it's easy to make grand promises and commit to doing events or hosting fun festivals with friends from all around the NationStates world, but it's another thing entirely to have those events be something worthwhile and amount to a successful happening. I'm of the opinion that we should be hosting events because we want to host them, not because we need to check off a box or fulfill a campaign promise. When we do festivals for the sake of checking off that box, they're less meaningful - the way I see it. Events can be good but it's better when they're of importance or are unique. We have to make them something special or interactive if we're going to do them. You can't always run something for the sake of running something, so any events I have planned will either be for regional celebration days or will incorporate some level of interactivity in them.
New Celoveniortan: I look forward to Democracy Day on July 7th in that case.
Is there anything else you would like to add before the conclusion of the interview?
Robespierre: Hmm… Well, if there was one message that I'd give to everyone reading, it'd be this: I may be the Delegate now but I'm still a North Pacifican just the same as everyone else. Much like the way I served the region while in the Speakership, public accountability and service are important to me. So don't be afraid to reach out and talk to me, even just casually. I'm here for you guys and I'm here for this community. So never get caught up in thinking that I'm too important to worry about the "little people" or that I don't have the time for certain things, because this is your guy's region much in the same way that it's mine and that's the truth of the matter.
New Celoveniortan: Okay, okay. Last, but not least: What is your favorite thing, what do you enjoy the most in the world?
Robespierre: This is a tough one. You really aren't taking it easy on me for the final question, are you? :p I'd say... I enjoy laughing. I've always liked humour, comedy, and anything that gets people to laugh, joke around, and have fun. If you're living life and things aren't going your way, then at the very least, you can always find something to laugh about, even if it's at your own expense. Hopefully, that doesn't sound too corny, but yeah. Laughter is very enjoyable to me as I always like getting a good joke in or two and being entertained.
New Celoveniortan: Thank you for your time, Robespierre. I'm sure everyone will enjoy this read. Until next time!
Robespierre: Yes! Glad to do this!


Polaris: Lighting the way to truth
Publisher: :: Executive Editor:

Polaris articles are produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and are distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs externally and the Ministry of Communications internally.


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