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Trading Cards Are Back!
Sorry, that took slightly longer than anticipated. But now cards are available again!
Finally cards have completed their transformation from a one-off April Fool's event into a permanent feature. Here's what's new:
New packs of cards are earned occasionally and randomly when answering an Issue, instead of being delivered on a regular timer. (You can opt-out of this in Settings.)
Cards are traded through a Timed Double Auction, a system designed to reduce the ability of puppet nations to feed valuable cards to their masters. The main feature is a one-hour countdown timer that permits other buyers and sellers to jump in with a better offer, replacing one of the trading parties. Details!
There's also a new ability to gift a card directly to a particular nation, for when you want to skip the auction, by paying a nominal amount of bank.
You can organize your deck into Collections, according to any scheme you like. One of the great things about the April event was how people set out to build different decks for different purposes—but those purposes could be hard to divine for anyone just looking at the cards. Collections allow you to bestow order and titles upon your purposes.
The original set of cards was made from all nations who were active as at the start of April 2018. This is still the case, but these cards are now marked "Season One." At some unannounced time in the future, we will enter Season Two, at which point a new set of cards, marked "Season Two," will be created from active nations at that time.
New packs always contain cards from the current season only. When a season ends, the cards remain, but no more of them will be generated.
Cards are now snapshots of a moment in time, instead of changing to reflect the nation's current state. Cards for the same nation will therefore look different across different seasons.
Season One cards are unusual in that they were generated in April 2018 but only converted to snapshots in December. This means that a Season One card only exists if the nation was active in April, but reflects the state of the nation in December.
A new page offers a global overview of current auctions, top cards, and top decks, with multiple ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the marketplace.
New packs don't rarely contain cards of nations that no longer exist.
Cosmetic overhaul! Including a nifty zoomable graphical sales history.
During the April Fool's event, each new pack had a high chance of containing a card of a nation in your region. This remains true, but the chance is much lower.
The number of cards that can be held at once is now limited by Deck Capacity, which can be upgraded by spending bank. This limitation stems from the technical challenges of managing nations who hold extremely high numbers of cards. Nations with Site Supporter status from the Store have double normal Deck Capacity.
For even more, there's detail in the FAQ!
Z-Day7: The End
This is the end.
The more robust zombies outlasted their predecessors, and at the end of the day outnumbered the living.
Some regions, however, were safer than others. Kudos to the dozens of regions which completely eliminated the infection while retaining hundreds of billions to trillions of survivors, to the several which sheltered hundreds of billions to trillions without closing their borders, and to the many regions with similar numbers of survivors. The full leaderboard is available for your perusal.
So long, and thanks for all the brains!
Z-Day7: The Stumbling Dead
We can now say with confidence that the undead menace has arrived. Despite all signs having been to the contrary, we now know there are zombies in every nation.
Whether because zombies are slow moving or because of someone's tardiness, not all nations were aware of zombies at the same time. Nations exploring their options before the appearance of zombies would have been unable to elect to build a zombie empire, and any selection they made before the appearance of the stumbling dead within their borders has been reset.
If you wish to cure or exterminate your zombies, double check that your selection is active!
Further information will be provided as we can.
The parable of the zombie and the hare comes to mind.
Z-Day7: Latest Research
This is the secret WASP office of, well, zombie preparedness. The backup one. Here's the latest research from the latest researchers.
First, there's more good news! The lightly-gnawed upon notes of Professor Brooks indicate that with minor adjustments, your anti-zombie superweapons can be re-targeted to remove undead saboteurs from infiltrated command and control structures. This will restore the nation to its previous stance. Your allies and friends will be able to help you. You do have allies and friends, don't you?
Unfortunately, there is also bad news. Don't ask us how we know, but it's clear that strains of undead have developed which handle the absence of survivors better. They just don't die- Err.. They don't "de-animate", at least not as quickly. So if you're looking forward to the zombie problem just going away on its own... Sorry?
World Leaders, resistance cells, and diplomats: the secret WASP office of pseudoanimate preparedness has good news and bad news.
First, the good news. There are hours, nay, days before the world as we know it falls apart due to rising demand for and shrinking supply of brains. Also, some of our researchers have survived!
Their consensus recommendation of what you need to be empowered to handle this shambling business is intelligence, intelligence, intelligence. The intern who was the most experienced survivor was quite insistent on this. Without intelligence, even the smartest decision will be brainless! In other words, as the intern put it, "Braaaains!"
As the surviving researchers head home, the administrative staff here are hard at work on solutions to bring you more adequate intelligence.
What is the bad news, you ask? Well, that's a very good question. It will be addressed just as soon as we answer this scrabbling at our doors. Can't keep people waiting!
In the meanwhile, enjoy this helpful clock:
Zombie apocalypse begins in:
We're not sure of much, but we're sure of this countdown!
Our staff expects that once that clock reaches zero, vigilant regions will begin to close their borders and see a daring group of nations attempt to research a cure, while less vigilant regions will be overrun by shambling nightmares. In due course, 75-80% of the world population will die. No biggie.
Our staff are still examining notes from the office of pseudoanimatae preparedness to understand any new mutations or developments you need to know about.
What You Need to Know
The zombie apocalypse will begin (click for local time)
It will run for 33 hours, ending
Zombies move between nations in the same region. This makes it important to be aware of what your neighbors are doing, as will be difficult for an individual nation to hold out in a heavily infected region. Each region will report its infection rate so that residents can make an informed choice about which are relatively safe and which are basically pools of pandemic-level z-virus.
You have three options:
Exterminate the zombies with military force. This converts them into dead citizens, who pose no further risk to the living. It is very effective when you have lots of survivors and few zombies, and less effective when your military forces have mostly been eaten.
Research a cure, which helps to lower your region's infection rate. Enough nations working together can slow or stop the spread of zombies and even begin to turn infected back into survivors. However, this takes time and is most effective with test subjects and collaboration.
Embrace the zombie hordes, becoming part of the problem as you spread zombies all around your region. Eventually, of course, your hordes may run out of food and starve. This option isn't for everyone. But there's always someone.
Your nation may also unlock superweapons over time. Once built, they can be manually deployed against targets of your choice by visiting their nation page and hitting the appropriate button.
Exterminating zombies develops Tactical Zombie Elimination Squads, who can enter other nations and kill zombies there.
Researching a cure develops Cure Missiles, which can be launched at other nations in order to convert zombies into survivors.
Embracing the undead develops Hordes, which can surge into other nations and infect their survivors.
Superweapons can be deployed every 20 seconds. If you take a hit from a superweapon, the resulting chaos makes your own superweapon unavailable for a few minutes.
When looking for targets, the World Censuses helpfully provided by the WA administrative complex may be of use:
During Z-Day, Founders and Delegates can close their region's borders at no Influence cost, sealing themselves off the from the world, and the plaintative cries of nations seeking refuge. It seems pretty harsh. You're just sitting there watching millions of people die. But zombie apocalypses demand tough choices.
The Z-Day Tally Board will track progress during Z-Day. Good luck!
N-Day3: The Aftermath
That concludes our third annual N-Day! Please hand in your nuclear launch capabilities to the steward.
Reigning N-Day champions Augustin Alliance were a hot target early on, literally. More like RAINING HOT NUCLEAR FIRE champions, you might say.
That left the path clear for N-Day2 runners-up UPPERCUT to deliver a knockout blow! And it really was a nuclear blowout, with the new champs winning by over 100,000 points.
Thank you for participating in N-Day3! And remember: nuclear exchanges are much more fun when they're simulated.
More stats to come! This post will be updated shortly.
Update! During N-Day:
826 factions were created
16,263 nations joined a faction
1,715,906 nukes were targeted
1,276,503 nukes were launched
894,432 strikes occurred for 738,999 radiation
383,796 nukes were shot down
Once again, the faction from Forest recorded the highest score while taking zero radiation, thanks to the excellent nuclear shelter provided by Canopy.
Also now available: Your Permanent N-Day3 Archive!
And here are some Factions that managed to finish with a score per nation above 100:
|Nations||Score Per Nation|
|Ever Victorious Army||1||644.0|
|Look Horatio, its the Indy!||2||217.0|
|Brotherhood of Nod||2||150.0|
|Reborn Foundation Nuclear Department||23||119.5|
|The E Team||45||119.4|
|Sit Aeterna Aeternum||59||118.1|
|The AA Nukem||1||109.0|
|148th Artillery Regiment||6||102.2|
You know the terrifying thing about nuclear war. It can happen without any warning.
Nuclear apocalypse begins in:
Click/tap here for your local time:
That's why we give you a heads-up before a nuclear apocalypse. It's just more friendly.
N-Day3 will run for 24 hours, after which time no further nuclear launches will be accepted.
Here's a handy primer!
N-Day is an opportunity for nations to come together and exchange nuclear weapons in a fiery Armageddon of mutually assured destruction.
Once N-Day begins, join a Faction. Nations outside a Faction can't attack or be attacked. You can join a Faction when you're ready and leave when you're not (to stay safe).
Watch your nation automatically generate Production at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes. Use it to build Nukes and Shield.
Launch Nukes at other nations and use Shield to shoot down Nukes that are launched at you.
The simplest way to play N-Day is to join whichever Faction seems most fun and start targeting Nukes at its enemies while shooting down anything incoming. Your Faction page's icon bar shows everything you need to know, including who's targeting anyone in your Faction, and who your fellow Faction members are targeting.
Attacking: Step by Step
On your Production screen, spend some of your Production to build Nukes. These go into your Stockpile.
On another nation's Nuke page, click/tap the TARGET button and select the number of Nukes to use.
Once Targeted, it takes 10 minutes for your Nukes to reach a READY state. Note that your Targeted page is public: All nations can see who is targeting whom.
When your Targeted Nukes are ready, click/tap LAUNCH.
Your Nukes are now categorized as Launches for you and Incoming for your target. Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. When they do, they earn Strikes for you and inflict Radiation on the target, which reduces their rate of Production. This also earns Score for your Faction and reduces the enemy Faction's Score.
Defending: Step by Step
On the Production screen, spend Production to build Shield.
Find Launched Nukes to destroy. Your top priority is any Incoming Nukes launched at you. Secondarily, you may wish to target Incoming Nukes on anyone in your Faction (see your Faction's Incoming page), and also keep an eye on Targeted Nukes that may threaten you or your Faction in the near future.
Click/tap DESTROY to deploy 1 Shield per Nuke.
Strategically, it may be wise to avoid attacks on nations or Factions until you are confident of obliterating them, since this eliminates the possibility of counter-attack. Smaller-scale attacks, which damage but don't destroy an enemy, can lead to an escalating series of grudge-related nuclear exchanges.
On the other hand, targeting an enemy can be an effective warning. And it takes Nukes 10 minutes to be ready to launch, so you can't leave it too late.
Each Nuke that reaches a target causes Radiation damage, which reduces the target's rate of Production generation and counts as a Strike for the attacker.
A Faction's Score is Strikes minus Radiation.
N-Day lasts for 24 hours, after which point, an Arms Control Agreement means that no Nukes can be launched. (In-flight nukes can still land, however.)
The "winner" is the Faction with the highest score; if, that is, nuclear war can be said to have a winner. Which we say it can. It's the Faction with the highest score.
Once N-Day begins, Factions can be founded by a Regional Officer of any region. Any and all Regional Officers of that region can update the Faction's official text to issue instructions to Faction members.
Factions can be made open to all members, or restricted to the region's members only.
You can leave your Faction, which is a good way to stay safe if you're signing off for the night. However, you can only do this if you're not engaged with the enemy! That means:
You must not have any nukes targeted or launched at another nation; and
No nukes can be targeted or incoming on you.
Note that in practice, this can make it challenging to leave a Faction, since you may be frequently targeted.
While outside a Faction, you cannot be targeted, and do not generate any Production.
Before joining, it's worth making sure a Faction isn't currently under mass bombardment.
Nations are randomly assigned a specialty.
Military Specialists build Nukes faster: They receive 50% more Nukes when converting Production.
Strategic Specialists build Shield faster: They receive 50% more Shield when converting Production.
Economic Specialists can accumulate more Production: Their cap is 200% higher.
Intel Specialists (new!) can finalize targets faster. They have no Production advantages.
Nations generate Production automatically at a rate of 1 Production per 2 minutes.
Production can be spent on Nukes or Shield.
If not spent, Production accumulates up to a maximum of 50 for Military and Strategic Specialists and 200 for Economic Specialists.
Nukes are purchased with Production, kept in stockpile until ready, then targeted and launched at an enemy nation.
Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. While in-flight, they can be shot down by any nation using Shield. If they're not, each Nuke generates 1% of Radiation in the target and earns 1 Strike for the attacker.
Shield can be used to knock out Launched Nukes. You can shoot down any in-flight Nukes regardless of who they are aimed at.
Locate in-flight Nukes under Launches or Incoming, and use the DESTROY button to eliminate them at a rate of 1 Shield per Nuke.
It is possible to waste Shield if multiple nations deploy Shield simultaneously to knock out the same Nukes.
Target a nation by viewing their Nuke page and clicking/tapping TARGET. You may then select how many Nukes to target from your Stockpile.
It takes a short time for a Targeted Nuke to reach a READY state, after which it may be launched. This is normally 10 minutes, but Intel Specialists are faster, finalizing targets in only 3 minutes.
If not launched after 1 hour, Targeted Nukes automatically return to your Stockpile.
Radiation is generated in a nation when it is struck by a Nuke.
Radiation proportionately reduces a nation's Production generation rate. For example, 20% Radiation reduces Production generation by 20%.
When a nation is 100% Radiated, it is destroyed and no longer able to launch any Nukes nor use any Shield.
Radiation is irreversible.
You can leave a Faction when irradiated, but this does not affect your Faction's score.
A Faction's score measures strikes and radiation that occurred while those nations were a member. It is unaffected by nations joining or leaving the Faction.
Used to buy Nukes and Shield. Automatically generated by all non-destroyed nations in a Faction.
Unholy instrument of death and destruction.
A Nuke that has been purchased with Production and is sitting idle, awaiting a target.
A Nuke that has been targeted at a nation. A targeted Nuke takes 10 minutes to achieve a READY state, after which it may be launched.
A Nuke that has been launched at a nation and is currently chewing up 3-5 minutes of in-flight time.
A unit of defensive technology. Possibly involves lasers or satellites or something.
A record of how many Nukes have successfully landed on targets.
A record of how many Nukes have struck the nation. Reduces Production generation.
A group of nations sharing a common interest in survival and/or bloodlust.
Strikes minus Radiation.
As usual, if you don't wish to participate in an unforgiving all-out nuclear exchange, you can simply ignore it. Nations can only be nuked out of existence once they join a Faction (and even then, only for the duration of N-Day).
All Factions from previous N-Days will be wiped shortly before the start of N-Day3, so you will need to recreate/rejoin them.
You are permitted to use multiple nations, but the more you use, the more annoying the anti-bot checks will become.
Update: The Vault 41 forum is now open to service your nuclear needs.
I don't want to blow your mind but we just added Issue number ONE FREAKING THOUSAND. That's right: Your nation may now encounter any of 1,000* different dilemmas that ask you to make an ideological choice between a set of flawed options.
* Actually 1,001, since the first issue is #0.
I'll be honest with you: I didn't see this coming. After I wrote the first 31, I thought that was plenty. "That's all the major topics covered, Max," I told myself. "You nailed it." The fact that we now have an additional 970 issues is because an often-changing team of volunteer authors and editors decided there were actually more areas to explore, and attacked them with tireless good humor and ingenuity.
Hundreds of different people have written or edited an issue, and over two dozen are in the double digits for issue contributions. It's impossible to thank anyone in particular without ignoring someone else who equally deserves it, but I do want to acknowledge three people in particular who we couldn't have reached this milestone without: Sirocco, who was the editing team in the early days, Sedgistan, who remodeled and championed it as a professional organization, and Candlewhisper Archive, who runs it today.
Thank you to everyone who contributed an issue, even if you submitted an issue that didn't quite make the cut. And if you've simply enjoyed the end result of what the editing team produces, thank you for that! Authors and editors need readers, too.
P.S. Cards are still coming.
Another Card Trading Update
Okay! Obviously card trading was supposed to reopen by now. I did slightly overestimate how much card-based work it was possible to accomplish in one week, following two other weeks that were also full of card-based work. Thanks to those of you patiently waiting.
We're still a little way off being ready to re-open trading, but this post is to share current thinking about the plan. Confirmed/definitely intended features include:
One loot box per nation every 48 hours
Greatly reduced likelihood of drawing the card of a nation from the same region
Direct trading of cards between nations
Greater snipability of low-value transactions (discussion below)
No ex-nation cards in loot boxes
When a nation ceases to exist, its deck will also cease to exist (after a period of time)
Deck size limited but expandable by spending bank
The ability to group cards together in "Collections" for display purposes
A browsable global marketplace
A range of upgrades to the interface and underlying mechanics
There are also some more ambitious longer-term ideas, but one step at a time. Some of the above will be live from when we re-open trading and others will come in as development time allows over future months.
All About Puppets
The trickiest question has been how to handle puppet farming. This is when a player controls many nations and uses them to collect cards and funnel good ones to their "main." I actually think the first part is fine: It doesn't matter if someone wants to use multiple nations to build multiple decks. It's the second part, where they sell good cards to their main for next to nothing, that threatens to become corrosive over time, because in that case, it's less like the person is building multiple decks, and more like they're building one deck by earning cards at a faster rate than everyone else. That's problematic in a trading game where your position is impacted by others' holdings.
For mini-games like this, it's often suggested that we limit it to World Assembly nations, where a one-nation-each rule is enforced. But many people have good reasons for not wanting to join the WA, which shouldn't exclude them from other parts of NationStates.
The real challenge is to discourage puppet farming without unduly interfering with real communities exchanging cards amongst themselves. Because an important part of the fun of deck building, I think, is that you can offer special deals or gifts to people you know. We could eliminate puppet farming by forcing all trades to be conducted at current market prices, but this would also eliminate elements of trust, friendship, and co-operation, leaving us with a more economically fair but less interesting game.
Essentially: You should be able to offer a good card for cheap or even free to someone you know, because that's how communities work. But puppet farms should not easily stream their cards to a single owner.
To deliver this, we're doing two things. Firstly, direct trading will allow you to nominate a particular nation to exchange with (or gift to), with a bank fee involved. This makes it accessible for most nations, but less viable for puppets, who don't normally accumulate much bank, and will be disproportionately affected since they want to gift every good card they find. Secondly, to create a window of time that allows sniping of open market-based transactions, to reduce the ability to "sell" a valuable card for nothing to yourself.
That's it for now, and thanks again for your patience!
Got feedback? Forum: Discussion thread!
Each year, my primary goal for the April Fools event is to create something that will not make people go, "Well, that was disappointing." It's also nice if we can explore community dynamics or encourage people to explore their own morality or whatever, but most of all I want to not spend a lot of time building something that sucks.
Often it's hard to tell whether we've achieved that goal. But this year we did! A lot of people had a lot of fun with it, including me. And there were plenty of interesting stories and dramas and different people and communities reacted to the cards in different ways.
I'm glad I decided to make the cards pointless. At first, I was thinking they would be part of some kind of point-scoring game, where you would want to collect particular cards because they did something. But it was actually much better as an undefined, nebulous thing, much like NationStates itself, where people developed and pursued their own goals.
But we do like stats here! So I have some of those anyway:
As per the previous news post, cards trading will remain frozen for the next week, and there will be a future announcement on how they will work as a permanent site feature.
And that's another April! Phew. Thanks for being a part of it, and of NationStates in general. It's always deeply rewarding to me to throw out something simple and watch people evolve and adapt it in unexpected ways, and that's been this place for more than 15 years now. It's awesome. Thank you.
Trading Cards Update
Trading is almost over! So far, three million cards have been found, 1.7 million cards are in circulation, and nations have made 150,000 trades.
But it can't go on forever!
Card trading ends in:
At this time:
Loot boxes will cease to be available
Cards will no longer be able to be bought, sold, or junked
Your cards and decks will remain visible. We'll also post some stats and links to interesting decks.
This has been a particularly fun event and many people have asked whether the cards can stick around. The answer is: Yes! In some form.
What we'll do is have a week where all trading and looting will remain frozen, to give everyone a chance to eat/sleep/reconnect with loved ones/reflect on their life choices, and us a chance to figure out some details about how it should work. Then we'll re-open in retooled form, with a much lower card generation rate (perhaps one loot box per day) and a few changes aimed at making this a more permanent but less frenzied part of the NationStates experience.
NationStates Trading Cards!
Here at NationStates Industries, we're always striving to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
As such, we're excited to announce a deck of trading cards made up of NationStates nations! You can begin collecting right now, using our advanced Loot Box Technology, which combines all the thrills and neurological reward systems you love of gambling with a clever new twist, where you don't pay real money!
Trade cards on the open market to get the ones you want. Or junk them for a small amount of bank, which you can spend on opening loot boxes faster in a deliciously cyclical dopamine adventure of psychological addiction!
Some people may ask what the point is of collecting these cards. Those people sound like losers who own no cards. Maybe you want to collect a full region. Maybe you want to drive up the value of your own card. Maybe you want to fill the gaping void in your life with some kind of meaning, even if it's virtual card-based. I don't know. But I do know we have sweet cards!
Available Only for the First Week of April 2018!
* * * Deckbuilders' Forum! * * *
How to Build a NationStates Deck
Open Loot Boxes
These unlock automatically over time. Keep checking your Deck page.
Keep, Junk, or Sell your cards
Tap the top flag area on a card to reveal options: Junk, Sell, or Buy. Junk a card to instantly earn a small amount of bank, which can be used to purchase cards you want from other players, or to open more loot boxes faster. Keep the card or sell it on the open market!
Whole Bunch O Betas
Several changes to World Census scales came out of beta today and are going live as I write this, so if you're wondering why some of your numbers look different, that's why!
Beta 002B affecting Scientific Advancement and Primitiveness
Beta 003 affecting Workforce Participation
Beta 007 affecting Corruption and Integrity
Beta 009 affecting Authoritarianism
Beta 011 which introduces Average Disposable Income
Beta 013 affecting a minority of nations across a variety of scales