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Z-Day10: The End of the End, For Now

by Eluvatar
Mon, 01 Nov 2021

This is an automatically issued notice that the 10th annual NationStates Zombie Apocalypse has come to an end. All biting, researching, exterminating, and tallying is finished. Graphs and statistics remain accessible, and the final tally board is available for your perusal.

There may be a more thoughtful and topical review of this event after someone here wakes up to comment on it.

Z-Day10: The Beginning of the End of the End of the World

by Eluvatar
Sun, 31 Oct 2021

Watching the situation, there is a definite trend. If all continues to, well, continue, it won't be long before we once again see more than twice as many still corpses as shambling ones. The few survivors, meanwhile, seem to be holding steady. Only a massive effort of inter-regional cooperation could change things now.

Our zombie scientists are growing more sluggish and less erratic. I think we can forecast a definite end to this end-of-the-world scenario. See you on the other side!

Zombie apocalypse ends in:

Z-Day10: Situation Normal: A Fright of Undead

by Eluvatar
Sat, 30 Oct 2021

Here we are again. The shambling hordes are slowly spreading over most of the world, and gradually starting to starve, while some safe enclaves are distributing a cure. We've seen this song and dance before. It usually takes longer though, odd.

Have you looked into the numbers we're seeing? Why, in some nations all of the undead dropped, well, dead-er, at once.

I'm sure it's fine. After all, this is an infection we're talking about. The dead don't rise from their graves or anything...

I'm sure the cure will behave just as consistently as it always has, too. It's not magic, it's science!

Update: I stand corrected. It appears many of the recently-dead have arisen and there has been a worldwide setback in cure progress. I'm told that the nations most advanced in their research retained the most useful data, but the more advanced they were in their efforts the greater the setback. There are no signs, however, that future research will be negatively affected.

Z-Day10: The Tin Ear

by Max Barry
Thu, 28 Oct 2021

I knew a zombie once. He was a good guy, a little on the quiet side, prone to chewing his own fingers. "Arg," I would say, because that's what I called him, Arg. "Arg, what is it about you and feasting on human flesh? Is it really all that? Have you tried burgers?"

But Arg would just stare at me with his one good eye and drool. Because he was a zombie. I learned a lot from Arg over the years, but mainly that you can't expect conversation out of a renanimated corpse. They really do just want to eat brains.

This year I'm hearing a lot of talk out of World Z-Day Preparedness Center that we have better cures than ever, and there might not even be a zombie apocalypse. Blah blah blah. I've heard it all before. I say, get ready for waves of the undead.

That's just a guess. I'm going on instinct here. But sometime around this, I reckon you may want to look out for shamblers.

Zombie apocalypse begins in:

N-Day6: Aftermath

by Max Barry
Sun, 26 Sep 2021

This year was a triumph for the big guy, as two megafactions dominated the landscape. Ultimately it resulted in a supreme Crab hegemony in which all the little guys were pancaked early and thoroughly, and every leaderboard Top 10 slot was claimed by Crabs of the Apocalypse and associates.

Here's a summary from our eyes on the ground, Sedgistan:

Like generals preparing to fight the last war, the major players prepared for this year's event expecting it to be like last year's. That had seen the biggest faction (Horsemen of the Apocalypse) nuked to oblivion when everyone else ganged up. So the solution was to get even bigger: HotA merged with CRAB to form Crabs of the Apocalypse, twice the size of last year's and the biggest by far ever seen on N-Day.

The Potato Alliance grew as well, albeit only to half the size of CotA, but that was it for megafactions. Augustin Alliance didn't return, neither did Ba Sing Se (some ended up in CotA, others didn't participate) or ATOMIC. The Catgirl Hivemind was the only other faction this year with more than a thousand nations; last year there were six.

CotA and TPA had a non-aggression pact that lasted for the first 12 hours of the event, after which either could end by giving two hours notice. So both megafactions spent the first half of the event obliterating everyone else, then at the halfway point, TPA gave notice of ending the non-agression pact, knowing that a fight between the big two was inevitable. Two hours later, The Potato Alliance launched its nukes at the Crabs of the Apocalypse... a small fraction got through, most were shielded. CoTA then responded with a colossal barrage, having something like 1.5 million nukes stockpiled at this point, and that was the end of the Potatoes.

CotA spent the remainder of the event wrapping up every last remaining nation, and clearing up the scoreboard.

This was a shocking turn of events, because no-one expects nuclear war to be one side just nuking the other with no serious threat of reprisal. That's some kind of 1940s garbage. We expect our nuclear wars to be finely balanced games of mutually assured destruction.

But congratulations to Crabs, who came in with a game plan and executed it to perfection. It's not Crabs's fault that it's so good at nuking people.

In doing so, it achieved an all-time record score:

1.Crabs of the Apocalypse1,287,97416,601 NationsCrabs of the Apocalypse
2.Crabs of the Apocalypse 25,75111 NationsCota 2
3.Crabs of the Apocalypse 34,65311 NationsCota 3
4.Crabs of the Apocalypse 44,21111 NationsCota 4
5.Crabs of the Apocalypse 53,98511 NationsCota 5
6.Crabs of the Apocalypse 63,44411 NationsCota 6
7.Crabs of the Apocalypse 73,08311 NationsCota 7
8.Crabs of the Apocalypse 82,76211 NationsCota 8
9.Crabs of the Apocalypse 92,38511 NationsCota 9
10.its Crabs all the way down btw1,73111 NationsCota gang

Here are our global stats. Most of these are also all-time records:

  • 564 factions were created.

  • 32,743 nations joined a faction.

  • 3,247,651 nukes were targeted.

  • 2,751,847 nukes were launched.

  • 704,807 nukes were shot down.

  • 2,047,432 strikes occurred for 1,473,601 radiation.

Thank you for participating in N-Day6! We've had a lot of fun here today, but remember, nukes aren't just for playing games: They're mostly for creating death and destruction on an unimaginable scale. Have a great day.

N-Day6: Nuclear war is imminent or has already started

by Max Barry
Sun, 19 Sep 2021

I was doing a little research and saw that's the description of DEFCON-1: "Nuclear war is imminent or has already started." That strikes me as a bit vague. I feel like you really want to be able to distinguish between those two situations: whether nuclear war is immiment, or has already started.

In this case, it's imminent. I can be clear about that. In the near future, nations will be exchanging hot nukes. This will last for 24 hours, then we'll sweep up all the radiation and life will return to normal.

Nuclear resolution begins in:

Click/tap here for your local time:


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

To Participate

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

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

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

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


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

Attacking: Step by Step

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

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

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

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

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

Defending: Step by Step

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

  • No nukes can be targeted or incoming on you.

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

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

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


Nations are randomly assigned a specialty.

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

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

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

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

Cost of Nukes/Shield in Production Points

Military Specialist

Strategic Specialist

Economic Specialist

Intel Specialist

1 Nuke





1 Shield





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

Production can be spent on Nukes or Shield.

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

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


Nukes 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.

Stockpiled Nuke

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

Targeted Nuke

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

Launched/Incoming/In-Flight Nuke

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


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.

Read dispatch

This year, we'll be allowing limited reservation of names for notable Factions ahead of the event, in order to avoid sniping. Because if there's one thing you don't want in a nuclear war, it's sniping. Watch this space for details. Update: pre-register here.

Also imminent: re-opening of the Vault 41 discussion forum.

Issues Contest Update: Episode Six -- Return of the Editor

by The Free Joy State
Thu, 22 Jul 2021

This post comes courtesy of Senior Issues Editor The Free Joy State.

Hey, guys, gals and non-binary people!

After many countless player hours spent slaving over drafts, lengthy dance battles in the Editing Room and the collapse of several coding hamsters, the votes are cast and we are pleased to announce the top ten issues from the sixth issues contest:

Here they are in authorial alphabetical order:

Please join with the team in congratulating the authors of our Top Ten issues! Look out for them starting to appear in the game in the near future.

I Do Declare

by Sedgistan
Thu, 08 Jul 2021

This post comes courtesy of Development Manager Sedgistan.

Following on from the introduction of Development Managers, we have our second* new feature - the Security Council has gained the ability to pass Declaration resolutions.

Declarations are an opportunity to express an opinion on international affairs and obligations. What does that actually do? Well the answer is "not much" in terms of in-game effects.

But nonetheless there is a lot that can be done with a Declaration; you should never underestimate the strongly-worded letter of protest. Topics covered could range from commentary on the political situation in The South Pacific to a set of standards on the conduct of ambassadors, congratulations to Turori for their recent triumph in the 88th Football World Cup, or a call for a ceasefire in the Second Insaani Civil War.

It's up to you: make your Declaration now in the Security Council.

*If you're wondering what the first was, the Boneyard now links to a nation's Trading Cards.

Exciting Max Content

by Max Barry
Tue, 06 Jul 2021

A special behind-the-scenes look at NationStates:

So hey, I'm doing some online events. Come along and join me, if you want!

All this is because my new novel is out today. That's right! I'm still writing books! And you can support my career choice by buying them!

The 22 Murders of Madison May by Max Barry


“Mind-bending novel of the mid-year” —Chicago Tribune


maxbarry.comThe 22 Murders of Madison MayReviewsInternational

Introducing Development Managers

by Max Barry
Sat, 19 Jun 2021

Since the beginning, NationStates has worked under a software development model I like to call, "Excite the admin." That is, when someone notices something that needs fixing, or has an idea for a new feature, they have to hunt down an admin and get them excited about it. If they're successful, the admin codes something; otherwise, they don't.

This is an excellent model in the sense that it lets admin do whatever they want. This is important when your admins are volunteers. But as NationStates has grown and its communities have multiplied, it's become impossible for admins to stay across what's happening all over the site, and make informed decisions about what to work on.

Therefore we've created six new Development Manager roles. These people will act as the community conduit to the mod/admin team, taking on the primary responsibility for prioritizing code fixes and new projects with admin for their area.

These roles align more to technical feature sets than communities. For example, there's a large number of roleplay-based communities with varying needs and priorities, but they're all heavily invested in and affected by the site's communications tools.

We don't expect this to unlock a slew of new features, because we still have the same number of admins. But hopefully this provides a better pathway for getting things done.

Your World Census Rankings May Look Different

by Max Barry
Sat, 12 Jun 2021

The World Census, the world's leading international bureau of testing and measurement, is pleased to announce the latest series of additions and modifications!

New Scales

  • Patriotism

    All citizens love their nations, of course. If they have democracy, they love that. If they don't, they appreciate the firm leadership. Every nation is great, in the eyes of its citizens. Still, some are more fervent about their love of country than others, and the World Census is now tracking exactly how disturbingly fervent it is.

  • Food Quality

    Ah, cuisine. Is there really a way to quantify such a delicate, personal slice of the human experience? Yes, there is. And the World Census has done it. Nations are now ranked on exactly how delicious their food is, according to indisputible science.

Modified Scales

  • Tourism

    The World Census made a long-awaited adjustment to acknowledge the reality that modern-day tourists want less unspoiled environments and more assurance that they won't be stabbed between the airport and their hotel.

  • Civil Rights

    The World Census no longer considers "freedom to commit crime" as a civil right. This is the result of a long debate, during which it became clear that nobody was quite sure what "freedom to commit crime" meant.

Knock Us For Six

by The Free Joy State
Tue, 01 Jun 2021

This post comes courtesy of Senior Issues Editor The Free Joy State.

The Issues Team know that every corner of NationStates is bursting with people who are full of interesting and entertaining ideas. Now, your chance to show us your stuff is an annual event.

We are very excited to announce our "One Chance Only Issues Contest". The top ten finalists will be featured in a News post, immortalising your name (think of the bragging rights), and will guarantee your submission will get into the game. These contests can also help us spot potential future editors -- so, if you want to show us what you can do, there's no better time.

There's one entry per player, so if you've got a (non-pandemic related) idea you can't wait to get down, we strongly urge you to draft on Got Issues?. For tips and advice, see Got Issues? and check out our issues-writing resource.

Please submit your issue between June 1st and June 30th by the usual method. Make sure you are fully happy with your submission and that you check the box to confirm you are entering it into the Issues Contest.

Please see this thread for full information. Good luck.

Better Region Theming

by Max Barry
Sat, 22 May 2021

You might notice your region is looking a little spiffier than usual. If so, that's because your regional officers have discovered new customization options, including the ability to upload a regional banner. They're also probably all like, "Huh, I can actually preview changes first before making them live. That's not bad." And they're right. It is not bad.

Best Nation In the World: Wrap-Up

by Max Barry
Thu, 01 Apr 2021

If there's one thing I learned from this experience, it's: Wow, there really are a lot of nations. It's one thing to know there are a quarter of a million, but it's another to click through them one randomly-generated pair at a time.

Congratulations to objectively the Best Nation In the World! It is: The Serenýsima Rep¨blica of Farnhamia

Final Leaderboard

Over the 28 hours of the event, 829,257 votes were cast, so you know it's correct. Thanks to everyone who participated: I hope it was a mildly interesting journey through the breadth and depth of nations we have here on NationStates, many of whom are not faceless card-farming puppets, and which you might otherwise never see.

Thank you also to everyone who has made an interesting nation. There is a lot of hidden depth here because of people like you, which deserves to be acknowledged and elevated.

Best Nation In the World

by Max Barry
Wed, 31 Mar 2021

For a long time, people have wanted to know how good their nation is. They have turned to us, and we have said, "What is 'good,' anyway? A strong economy? Kind citizenry? Rich culture? An effective military? You can't boil down a whole nation to a single variable. That's why we have so many World Census ranking scales." And they have nodded and thanked us for nothing.

So let's fix that! Today, for the next 28 hours only, we will answer the question: Which is the Best Nation in the World?

Start Here: Best Nation in the World

It's simple: You get shown two nations and you click the one you think is best. Repeat. After a few hundred thousand votes, we'll start getting somewhere.

Wondering how great your nation is? Your nation page shows how you're doing in the eyes of the world. And, of course, there are leaderboards.

We'll Be Right Back

by Max Barry
Mon, 22 Mar 2021

We have a little scheduled downtime coming up, in order to perform some server upgrades. I know, I know; nobody has downtime any more in today's fast-moving cloud environment with microservices and hot failovers and whatnot. But NationStates doesn't have those, because it's still running on a PC I have underneath my desk. Not really. That was a joke. Mostly.

Both gameside and the forum will be unavailable for about three hours starting 10:45pm Thursday Wednesday Pacific Time (after the major daily update).

Click here for your local time.