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All the Empty Land is....?

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This thread was made as requested by @Iverica who wanted any answer to go on the record. So, for those not acquainted with the discord discussion that happened, this is the run down. It all started with @Adaptus's recent blockade of Greater Serbia. Greater Serbia is landlocked and is surrounded by empty lands. The question quickly arose: What is the land around Greater Serbia? The answer to that question is critical to the future of this RP and useful for the rest of us. If there's NPC nations there, then Adaptus' blockade would violate their sovereignty and directly hurt them. If the land is empty, then everything's good. Although I and others doubt the answer is so black and white, this example demonstrates that an answer to this question is urgently needed. So, for the record, all the empty land is....?


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Just placing the essence of my input (Originally posted on Discord) Here:

"...All unclaimed territory can be of the two following natures: Uninhabited Land (Terra Nullis) or NPC Land. Now the question becomes: How do we determine the classification between the two? The Answer hinges on how well such expansions explain 'What sort of land it is'. Simply, reasoning can determine if the land is more likely uninhabited (it could appear a desert or infertile waste using inferences on GEarth) or whether it is too "rich" or favourable looking to be deserted--and thus ought to be NPC. At the end of the day, it comes down to inputs on which makes more sense and some objective justifications behind that"

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My own personal viewpoint is this.

I tend to want to treat empty land as some sort of civilization that for some reason or another we currently do not have contact with yet. With reasonable exception of course, like enormous stretches of desert being mostly empty, or massive mountain ranges not holding any sizable populations, or perhaps smaller islands not holding much due to isolation.

In a RP instance I find it hard to believe that the land around Greater Serbia is empty. If Seylos occupies the same latitude as real world Florida in the United States, those lands should very clearly have people in them. And if there there is no canal leading to Greater Serbia, then a blockade would only affect these nameless NPCs, and just maybe Greater Serbia as a nation. Thus if one country wants to deploy troops to further their goals regarding GS they should have to deal with everything around GS first before then.

Perhaps a way to solve this would be to temporarily generate NPC nations based on the needs of an RP in control of admins and/or RP mods. For instance X is a landlocked nation. However Y and wish to attack X. Assuming everything is in order to attack, and the location of this unclaimed space is in the right environmental habitat, shouldn't Y and Z have to deal with whatever inhabitant are in the way to nation X?

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Just to be clear. My opinion doesn't really matter in this situation. Since I am directly involved in the flagged RP. So it's not really prudent for my opinion to be worth anything. 

That being said...

I agree with O. In that it is either Unoccupied land. Or NPC, in varying degrees of sovereignty and organisation. For the most part, I have always thought of the lands around major nations as to be in a state similar to Somalia. Or to a point, much like the American West, but without the added backing of an official government. Basically, loose nations, confederations, and tribal arrangements, existing in a lawless to semi-lawless state. Or, depending on the area, nomadic peoples. 

I think, it comes down to context, and what is agreed for the sake of an RP. If it makes sense for the RP to have the unoccupied territory as barren, then go for it, if it makes sense to have a fully fledged NPC nation, then go for it. If it makes sense to have something in between, then go for it. The only caveat to that, would be if someone had used a second of that territory connected to their nations history. But then I'd also argue that should be clearly stated before hand. 

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Just to weigh in on my thoughts...

I think that all empty land should be inhabited by NPCs. There isn't a patch of territory IRL that isn't owned by a country in one way or another, and that's how it should be here. If we're striving for realism, it's unrealistic to think that huge masses of land are uninhabited or in a Somalia-like condition. If you look at trade, relations have only been forged with existing roleplayers. However, a country can't sustain itself on trade with a handful of other nations. 

When someone new joins the region, they were always there IC. People seem to like coming out of isolationism, which I think is now greatly overused and unoriginal, but I suppose it works. It just makes no sense to me that the vast majority of land in the New World is uninhabited.

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Short-term answer: It's all NPC until someone decides to make it their home.

Long-term solution:

What I can do to avoid this unclear situation is: cut all the open spaces into subcontinental pieces with a description of what kind of nation supposedly exists there. Part of this labelling is already included in how we deal with new map requests. The same goes for cultures and languages. It's time I start adding those to the maps as well. It will help you as existing players, and help any future new players. This is a practical solution that wouldn't cost too much time. Example of what this could look like:

  • (Subtropical French)
  • (Desert Oriental)
  • (Latin archipelago)
  • ... and similar names

Look at Argis, where similar cultures are being clustered together. This, with labels for the open spaces

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Quick update. I've made a rough draft with the potential cultures of these open spaces. Moderators of each area are commenting on the draft. Once that round of review is done, I'll publish it here as well for a broader debate. Thanks for your patience. It's good we finally see some progress on this.

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