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[IDEA] NPC nations

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Situation

The world is empty. Expansions are slow. Europa is mostly inactive.

Proposal

Could NPC nations add some more flair to this? Mind you: without encouraging puppet-wanking (see definition at NSWiki).

Some examples

  1. A big bad nation in the middle of Alharu. Because everyone likes a war, but no-one wants to be the loser.
  2. Someone outside of Europa willing to RP as Ide Jima or Deltannia or Jilderen or ...

Questions

  • Just looking for feedback and ideas on something we haven't tried before.
  • I also don't know any good rules that could help guide this.
  • Someone please tear this apart and highlight all possible ways this could go wrong or be exploited
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Not on a computer so I'll sort of keep this short but I do think consistent NPC nations (meaning ones that are not solely used for expansion purposes) could be useful and interesting if used properly. That being said, there'd have to be some sort of vetting process (which I'd prefer to keep within the mod team hands) to keep everyone and their mother from making them as well as assuring that it doesn't turn into people basically having two, three, etc. nations.

One way could be to enforce a rule that any NPC nations have to be controlled by multiple people or by enforcing rolling for multiple actions/reactions. 

NPC nations for the sake of having something in the 'void' obviously isn't the way to go but promoting interesting ideas is always good. One idea for an inner Alharun nation could be a federation where interested nations control a part, although that may be a bit RP-ceptionish.

A good test run and example case, once we've ironed everything out in regards to rules and such, could be done through the whole Bahinar situation me and Fulgistan have vaguely cooked up. It's never been intended for either of the states or the unified state to join either of our nations so in that regard it'd fit.

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32 minutes ago, Orioni said:

Situation

The world is empty. Expansions are slow. Europa is mostly inactive.

Proposal

Could NPC nations add some more flair to this? Mind you: without encouraging puppet-wanking (see definition at NSWiki).

Some examples

  1. A big bad nation in the middle of Alharu. Because everyone likes a war, but no-one wants to be the loser.
  2. Someone outside of Europa willing to RP as Ide Jima or Deltannia or Jilderen or ...

Questions

  • Just looking for feedback and ideas on something we haven't tried before.
  • I also don't know any good rules that could help guide this.
  • Someone please tear this apart and highlight all possible ways this could go wrong or be exploited

I do think that this is a really good way to get people involved and help revive this server to a point. Of course, there are a few ways that this could go wrong. As @Variota mentioned, these NPCs should be kept only in the mods hands and not be made to the point where everyone is planning on creating NPC nations or taking control of dead nations. Maybe those who are balanced and can be trusted could be used as NPC nations as well, but I can assume that this would be very rare and could pave the roads for exploitation.

I don't think I should be trusted with this input because I'm not good at moderation, but it's good enough to do something. All in all, this is a good idea to bring this server to live in any way we can.

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I have know regions that do not like NPC's but I do think given the Eurth in its current state - its hard to really envision the planet being wholly alive without some NPC's. I am game for some New World NPC's - this is probably more urgent than in Europa the continent. But I do agree with Oyus that some cannon-heavy do need a presence in this capacity.

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I don't mean to double-post but to be fair, I am technically recognizing an NPC nation right next door that I am invading at this very minute. Without its 'existence,' my expansion would be difficult but not impossible. If anything, it would be a bit implausible as the land otherwise would be treated as 'open land.' A delicate balancing act needs to exist - just like one shouldn't create NPC's around them to just blow up everything...though again, given our geography on the map, there would be some give and take on that.

If we do go down this route, it may make sense for NPC's for focus in Alharu and Aurelia - as they have far fewer actors in general than Argis. 'Awaking' Europan nations is a challenge but as I said before, only if the nation has a major history in the regional cannon does it make sense or had some level of activity in the past. I think it is fair to say a good number of those nations were quite quiet.

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My opinions on NPC nations:

  • I am against filling the world with random NPC nations
  • NPC nations are created by lorewriting of PC nations
  • NPC nations should only play a role when it comes to expansions (Sachsen, Enolia, etc.)
  • we should stick to the one nation per player policy
    • except civil wars (->Mantella/Cristina)
  • I don't like the idea of recurring players wanting to play a new nation. Sure, this could diminish the fun those people have, but:
    • we shouldn't raze historical nations, their history and achievements
    • we shouldn't let people have more than one nation on the map, clogging it with de-facto NPCs
    • we shouldn't tolerate exceptions as that would create precedents detrimental to our running system
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Tossing my hat into this, but I would completely be against using dead Europan nations, as that is a violation of IP right. Sure, they're gone, but that does not give anyone the right to swoop in and use someone else's content without permission. Especially given that there's only four and occasionally five 'old guard' players left that actually know how those nations acted and were played, well, leaving them in the hands of players who didn't know those nations seems like a ill-thought out plan.

And again, I'm entirely against the use of other player's content, no matter if they're gone or not, because it's a violation of that player's IP. If there was no permission given, then those nations should not be used.

The best solution to this problem would be the creation of NPC 'power blocs', or just certain areas on the map that would contain cluster of NPC nations that could either be allied together ala Soviet Union, or it's just a politically tense little cluster of nations. The best way to make those areas interesting is to then build them up internally by giving them canon, characters, lore etc. You're essentially making a 'setting' within that area for people to do stuff in/with. That, in and of itself, could generate activity just from the creative aspect of it. Same goes with deciding what happens to them, the players that built them should be the ones that decide what happens, what action they take, be it a group or a single player.

That being said, these actions should be responsive to other players. The ones running the NPC nations should, at best, act as a Dungeon Master that gives outline and information, rather than interact directly. That gives the actual players that want to interact with the NPC a wider berth to do whatever they would like when it comes to writing RP posts. 

And, to avoid cases of IP abuse, theft, and other unpleasant things, make it clear that these NPC nations are being made for use within the Public Domain, so that anyone can use them, especially if the player goes inactive for long periods of time or quits altogether.

Example: I've been designated to DM the nation of Koreanesia. I then come up with a general background for that nation, it's leader, basic government and military, how it's people look, dress, basic culture, general look at feel so that it isn't just cardboard cutouts. Orioni is expanding into that area, so I provide Orioni with the information needed for him to interact with it. City names, places of importance. Orioni has then chosen that a military invasion would be the best way to go about this, so I provide him with ORBATS (if desired) or a general military reaction. Orioni is then free to portray that battle however he may please, and so on and so forth until he has completely conquered that nation. Then other players within this nation cluster would react on a general level, based on how those nations have been built. And if those players go on hiatus or leave? The information is public so that someone else can pick up as DM for those nations.

That would make having NPC nations work a little better than handing control over to the mods or individuals. 

And I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the best way to do this? Archive the old Europan continental map, move all the old threads into an archive subforum, move everyone interested in taking part over to the new continents (Given it's just the Occident and Orioni's giant island at this point). That removes the need to try to 'fill in' the Old World, part of the map that has deep history, with NPC nations. Start fresh, with everything that's happened in the last two years being the starting point for the current region canon. Less space to fill in, less concern about tripping over people's things, and in general you don't have to worry about old canon at all. A full reboot. But I know that chances of that happening are pretty slim.

 

Edited by Vocenae
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Sorry to be a dick, but I think both ideas are dumb. Removing inactive nations from the map is dumb, since that would make it even more empty and therefore even more "attractive" for slapping down NPCs everywhere. If players need nations to conquer, they can make them up, since it's their own lore they are writing. I wouldn't want someone else influencing my nation by worldbuilding the people I conquer. If players have problems with inactive nations, they can try to get rid of them IC, just like Alenveil and PyeMcGowan are. So what if Lusotropia is inactive? It's a chance for Iverica to liberate a nation from a Salazar-like regime and to unite a cultural region under one banner, should he ever wish to do so. Furthermore, it would be getting rid of a significant part of the region's history. Also, I support O's efforts to fill the continent of Europa with nations he previously removed from there. If a nation has been on the map in the past, they also gave consent to be present on the map. Note, that the map is also under O's copyright. There's nothing stopping Ide Jima from playing on the continent nor from expanding. Europa should remain locked to new nations, just as it was previously decided.

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For the purposes of not going around in circles, it is clear there are some strong opinions on this nor is this the first time the idea has been brought - perhaps in a more subdued manner than now. It is not an easy subject to talk about nor is it simple to come up with a consensus that will satisfy all viewpoints.  

I do not think it makes too much sense to populate all the remaining territory with NPC nations but I think we'd all agree that there are people living elsewhere on this planet other than where we have nations. I do not believe Orioni was ever suggesting the removal of one nation per player but a hybrid version along the lines of NPC's when applicable to situations (like Enolia for me for example). However, that does not preclude that there may be others that may exist in the context of being referred. I mean, when Asgeirria was still here, he and I had talked about a range of smaller states that proliferated along the waters we shared and in the general region so in the realm of NPC's, I'd say they'd exist for recognition purposes - for now. If this is going to be an issue, we'll need to have a much franker discussion about expansions because without some level of recognition of nations or individuals in 'unclaimed land' it seems weird to expand in the present day...

Civil Wars are a unique situation. From my reading of Aluxia's work thus far, he's been keeping it rather balanced but he's also keeping those factions entirely in the borders of the nation and hasn't even formally said their 'separate' states but regions of influence.

Now, on the belief of recurring players wanting to play a new nation - I don't think again, anyone is suggesting razing nations. Players in the space who want to play 'a new nation' would just transition their nation over time. For example, if I wanted to bring about an Empire, I'd go through the motions, but just raze everything in one stroke. Perhaps I am being dramatic but we'd not about to say a massive barbarian horde destroyed Central Europa.

I have also taken some time to think about what Voc said. I do not believe Orioni was ever suggesting an individual such as I would essentially become Nation X. I think the intention was that the historical nations that did exist would get some more recognition in terms of the world as it stands today other than just simply assuming they all died in a massive asteroid attack or rather a nuclear apocalypse by one nation...

Voc's suggestion of 'bloc' nations is kinda similar to what I was seeing in terms of at least NPC's that lore connection to a particular nation (though I admit its not 100% similar). I am technically giving Enolia a history and a canon connection insofar to my own history and the current conflict. 

I only reason I'd feel comfortable having the mods (or essentially the old guard) handle the 'quiet nations' is because they were present when they existed and would have the best understanding of them. Now, mind you, I could spend time reading far into the past and squeeze out as much information as existing in an attempt to piece everything together but that wouldn't be the best way nor in some people's eyes, 'moral.' 

Archiving the entire old Europa is just not going to happen - it's on the map and it has always been there. The best way to have avoided all those nations being there was to only migrate those truly in the world and for the long haul but that times come and gone. Removing them or any non-existent nation (except in the case where said nation literally did not anything and there is more than one that I can point to but this more in terms of the new continents than Europa) could impact other historical times and other content previously published.

Two final notes: I do not think anyone was suggesting opening the floodgates and letting people on Europa. Whatever the status quo was there, no one was going to change it. And finally, I am not recommending any player just picks up 40 NPC's and sprinkles them on Eurth. All I am recommending is that in order to make Eurth appear a little fullier than it does today, is that some approach is needed because otherwise, all you are doing is encouraging me to justify a very large nation (and I wouldn't complain if I owned half of Aurelia, but I am modest and staying within my expansion thread boundaries unless a completely, and unique opportunity presented itself).

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Clarity on my post earlier in case the was any confusion:

  • If at any point I implied that players should control old Europa nations, that was not my intention. I could only see it be done responsibly and managed responsibly by mods who knew how those nations played and reacted in order to realistically bring them to life through a responsible and justifiable means of new life. I would also like to emphasize that I only see nations that have great significance in the canon should really be considered for this manner of revival if applicable. 
  • Unless a nation was added and has done pretty much the equivalent of nothing or close to it and would not destroy canon by their removal, there is no real necessity to keep them, the only continent I see being the exception to this being Europa from what I have come to understand... 
  • No one new should be added to Europa, it was decided and it serves no real purpose to reverse that decision, as it just discourages settlement on much, much emptier continents.

I don't think we should discount this idea so quickly and have further discussion on this, even if at the end of the day nothing changes. It does not hurt to discuss. 🤷‍♀️

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In a post I'm writing, I make mention of the use of foreign-flagged vessels. In this instance, I was initially considering either asking a current player if I could use theirs or an older, inactive nation. But then that might not be an ideal solution, so I dropped that idea.

However, I imagine it will be easier to just to not mention what possible nation they might be flagged as. There are, of course, a couple of issues with this - it isn't particularly realistic and does cut away any potential follow-up for any other intelligence service snooping around, if they should so wish to try to do that.

But, I suppose, there are IRL many small and otherwise insignificant nations that act as flag nations like that, and it isn't like Tagmatium isn't above bullying smaller nations and just utilising she'll companies to accomplish this. So I think I may just keep it vague, even if it is a bit Godmod-y. And I can always work out with another player if they want to follow it up, but I doubt that that will be the case.

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