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Queste

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YOUR RP NATION

Full Name of Nation: The Imperial State of Queste

Government type of nation: Unitary Autocracy

Culture/ethnicity of your nation: Quessin ((Based on Ukrainian))

Give us a short description of your nation: An authoritarian state recently created from a violent revolution. Support is overwhelming for the new Imperial State, and attitudes towards overly capitalist or bureaucratic practices are at an all-time low.

Do you have an IIWiki page?: Not yet, but a NationStates page very similar to a wiki.

WRITING EXPERIENCE

How would you describe your level of experience in regards to roleplaying?: Very experienced, been roleplaying actively for around 7 years now! Mainly online, but dabbling in tabletop RPGs IRL as well.

How would you describe yourself?: Open, sociable, not easily embarrassed, but really against most political talk when trying to just have fun.

RP/Writing samples (if available already): From a previous attempt at a civilian POV:

Spoiler

It was a very long night.

Nicholas was hyperventilating.

"Shut up," the nameless man beside him whispered. "We're going to be passing the naval checkpoint soon!" He was not lying, and Nicholas knew that, but only made his heart race faster and his knees shake. He was surrounded by five other men and women, each dealing with their terror in their own ways. One was huddled in their coat, while another was clinging to a picture of love long lost. They were stowed away aboard a cargo ship exporting various vehicle parts, and just moments away from the naval checkpoint, mere kilometers from international waters, from freedom. Nicholas clamped his eyes shut, forcing his breathing to steady as he held his freezing hands together tightly.

He had wasted his chance to leave during the economic crash. He thought things would be better with the new government, and for most people, it was. The economy was growing and he finally got a job to pay for his family's well-being.

His baby girl had been out buying him a gift for his birthday when she saw a police officer brutally beating a man for spitting at his feet.

Nicholas swallowed hard, trying to wonder how his little girl had been an 'accomplice' in anything for trying to stop a fight. She never came back home, and he realized what he had to do. The urn held close to his chest, Nicholas shudders from the cold, stomach turning with the rocking of the boat and the smell of the salt in the air. He had boarded the ship with a goal, and being shoved into a dark shipping container filled with machinery had snuffed out that hope.

Everyone in the container froze at the exact same moment when the beeps of police scanners sounded from just outside.

Nicholas held his daughter in his arms as the light of a flashlight and the shouts of faceless police officers signal his last breath.

 

Do you wish to have a mentor assigned to you to help guide you through the start of your time here?: Yes please!

NATIONSTATES

Why do you want to join this region?: Roleplay and political simulation without unrealistic memes and biased views!

Have you ever had trouble with any moderators?:  Nope!

Do you have any prior experience on NationStates? If so, give a brief accounting of it: A year and a half ago I had started to roleplay with this nation, but the region I joined hadn't felt professional enough so I let the region know and slowly stopped playing. I came to realize, though, that NationStates itself still had potential, and that other regions out there may fit what I want.

Are you currently or do you plan to be a member of the NationStates World Assembly?: Yes!

Anything else?: My factbooks will likely remain on NationStates unless I can transfer the format over easily, which I cannot right now. Is that alright?

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Providing any falsified or deliberately misleading information will result in your application being rejected and your access to the forum revoked. By submitting this form, you are indicating that you agree to abide by the community and RP rules of this community. Any breach thereof may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to revoking of forum posting rights, banning from the forum, removal of regional citizenship, and ejection from the region.

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Hey @Queste, welcome to Europa!

Before anything, I apologize for replying really [really] late. I'm still taking studies by the way, and it just so happened that this week turned out to be a really busy one. Rest assured I'll be on Discord every now and then, if you need anything.

Let me introduce myself — I'm Andalla, but you can call me Andy. I'm an RP Mentor over here — as RP Mentors, it's our responsibility to guide newcomers around the ropes of this community. Expect our other friendly RP Mentors (@Fulgistan and @Rihan) to come around and give some feedback as well, but don't be afraid — it's all for your own benefit.

Do remember all your posts get moved to the main forums once you're accepted, so don't worry about wasting any efforts here. We'll fit you into our current RP storyline smoothly once your posts have joined our canon. :2thumbs:

As @Orioni has already said, I've reviewed your factbook and it's pretty solid stuff. Great work there! Allow me to just take a couple minutes of your time — I have just a few points for improvement, which I hope you might consider. Bear with me since this one's quite long, but it's only long because I've added some explanations just to make everything clearer. Don't worry, the factbook's still awesome.

✔️ Before we start, I'd like to say: I love your writing! I've read the sample excerpt and it's just great. Your factbooks seem to follow accordingly, and they're written far better than other factbooks I've seen. Great start there. 👍

✔️ Now, the single largest issue I've found is you're puffing your nation up too much. Basically, your factbooks seem to show that your nation over-performs in basically everything. Now in essence that's not bad at all, but it ain't much fun for your neighbors when some overpowered nation moves in — kinda like how that one smart kid in class grabs all the spotlight even when you deserve some attention as well.

I'd like to point out that it may not even be fun for yourself, as Europa is a very vibrant community. We thrive on the IC interactions between nations. Things will get rather boring if all you do is export and export — and even then, not many would approach you to set up trade as we're already busy with the exciting global market.

Basically, know your weaknesses. Because a community is all about complementing each others' weaknesses.

✔️ The next thing I have in mind is quite related to the previous one. Now, I'd like to zero in on your economy. I've noticed that you describe Queste as a developed mixed market economy, which I don't find too convincing as you've also described yourself as a socialist, isolationist, militaristic, autocratic pseudo-empire with a $10,000 GDP per capita and an industry-centered economy. Queste basically lacks the very foundations to justify having such an economy, and here's why:

Socialism. Regardless of how morally clean one can be, greed is simply innate human nature. As seen with many socialist and communist countries, the government's tight control of the economy is often exploited by politicians for their own benefits. And even without corruption, government mismanagement is a huge deterrent to the socialist system — only the people themselves are able to truly define what exactly the economy needs, which is what makes a free market generally freer. Of course there are many factors influencing this; socialism may sometimes even be the better choice. But if we're talking money-wise, a free market with minimal government involvement will put more money in people's pockets.

Isolationism. Economies do not develop from secluding themselves — they do the exact opposite. When foreign businesses enter the local market, local businesses are forced to respond accordingly. If done right, this spurs competition between the businesses. And competition, of course, encourages businesses to lower prices and develop new products and innovations. In the long run, painful as it may be to the business, competition actually allows the economy to develop massively through the introduction of new ideas.

Isolationism, on the other hand, is a thing of the past. We've seen Ming-dynasty China, sakoku in Japan, and today North Korea. As the story goes, China and Japan were both able to restore peace through isolationism after the arrival of Westerners. This, however, proved disastrous nearly 200 years later in the late 1800's as both nations were exposed to Western invaders with weapons far more advanced than their once-mighty swords and gunpowder. At that time, the Japanese and Chinese economies seemed to be flourishing under their own standards. On the other side of the world, the Industrial Revolution was taking place and economies were skyrocketing tenfold while Japan and China sat there with nothing but peace.

Even today, we see North Korea as a largely under-developed nation with rampant poverty and famine. This isn't just because of the terrible government itself, but the issue is actually only compounded with their isolationist policy. Take a look at South Korea — they didn't get rich for nothing. After the Korean War, the South had developed very close ties to its Western allies, while the North sat there rotting as all of its socialist allies slowly crumbled to pieces. Imagine what would've happened if the North had also opened up its borders to foreign trade — perhaps they too could have had a well-performing economy today.

Exports wouldn't be good for isolationism either. It essentially makes you look really arrogant — buying from nobody then making them buy from you. Aside from fellow socialists or your absolute closest neighbors, you wouldn't find any economic allies at all. I must also stress that it's nearly impossible for a nation to achieve complete self-sufficiency, and self-sufficiency won't provide you with economic development either.

Authoritarianism. Similar to socialism, complete control over everything can turn out as disastrous. But above all, the largest single downside of authoritarianism is actually productivity. The state of the nation, or of the people, is a huge factor influencing the morale of your citizens. And it's clear that morale is also a huge factor influencing productivity, because it's what simply pushes people to work and to make a living.

I'm not saying the system of government immediately decides the citizens' morale, but Queste as you've said is basically a socialist military dictatorship. So I wouldn't really expect the people to be that productive unless they're forced to. And even then, they wouldn't put any heart into their work either.

Later on in your history, you cite having "harsh restrictions" on your businesses. If you want a strong economy, restrictions won't be good. As much as you want to safeguard the nation and its people, restrictions prevent businesses from innovating or even operating properly. So there's that.

Per Capita GDP. Your economy factbook states a per capita GDP of $10,000. That's right above the Third World, which isn't so bad. I'd just like to point out that truly "developed" countries have probably twice that number, while countries around the $10,000 mark tend to be developed only in urban areas (Turkey, Malaysia, etc.).

Industry. No matter what, industry won't get you anywhere in the First World. Sure, it's the lifeblood of the economy and a very important factor in economic development, but that's it. Developed is different from developing — industry is for developing economies. In a truly developed economy, services provide the majority of GDP. "High-quality exports" won't last forever; in fact, high-quality exports are a sign of a post-industrial economy.

Your factbook cites having a strong arms industry. But without any market for these arms, they're beneficial only to the military. There's almost no income to balance out the huge expenses on resources, workers and R&D.

With all this, I'm not saying Queste should be a crumbling impoverished nation. My point is, by international standards, the economy of Queste isn't highly-developed, as you've put it.

✔️ I've also noticed your history is rather exaggerated. Now, often isn't a big issue at all and we could actually keep it that way, but here are some points for improvement.

First, take your time. There's no rush with ancient history. An ancient nomadic civilization does not become a triad of wealthy empires within a hundred years. And there's no need to have all three empires become economic giants — again, know your weaknesses. After all, the nomadic period could make for some great stories about ancient Queste, so it'd be good to make it longer.

Also, by the 12th century, civilization was generally more advanced than just nomads. By comparison, drawing from actual Ukrainian history, the Kievan Rus' reached its peak by the mid-11th century. Not to mention Kiev was the capital, as the name suggests.

Now this time I'm proposing a change for the better. Queste had its first major revolution in the mid-1500's, which is pretty early on. I won't be getting into much detail on this, but nations were still pretty stable at that time. I'm not saying you absolutely can't have your people revolt during this time, but it's alright if you push the date forward a bit. For comparison, most revolutions took place between the mid-1700's to the early 1900's.

After the revolution, Queste seemingly goes silent for 400 years without incident. I mean, the time between the 16th and 20th centuries was the golden age when new things and places were being discovered and huge kingdoms were waging war. It'd be a shame to miss all the excitement, wouldn't it?

✔️ Alright. So we're done with that. Now here's where things get tense — the arrival of democracy in Queste. Now I understand that it might be hard to cite interactions with other nations as you don't have a spot on the map yet, but there are some things I noticed here. First, the way you define democracy — does it immediately imply a presidential system of government? A kingdom like Queste could be somewhat democratic as well. Or, perhaps the kingdom would've attempted to defend itself from republicanism at first, which meant that things would've got a bit heated up. Not everything goes peacefully and harmoniously as planned.

Back to the economy — democracy does not imply capitalism either. Sure, capitalism does make the market "freer", but at its full force, it's not democracy anymore. What would be more likely to happen is that your kingdom switches from a protective, isolationist economy to one that slowly and cautiously accepts foreign ideas. Not immediately become some ultra-capitalist nation. And it does take time to build an economy, no matter what — a silent kingdom sitting in a corner cannot become a global economic power in a single decade, just because of capitalism.

Now the modern isolationist period was a bit controversial among us RP Mentors. First, after switching to a liberal republican democracy, it'd be way, way harder to go back into isolationism. And as I've said before, isolationism is a thing of the past. In no way whatsoever does it truly benefit a nation, since it's basically restricting the influx of foreign innovations and technology. Sure, you could develop some technology yourself, but imagine this — the knowledge of the whole world combined against the knowledge of only Queste. And even then, things would get worse if you're a growing economy, because you're also a growing population. It's a given that any nation would fall into crisis as soon as the demand for food and resources becomes greater than the actual production or imports (and Queste wouldn't have any imports).

During the isolationist period, things seem to move too fast. Remember, you're working with almost a century of isolationism. We might have to change that, but either way, a well-performing economy doesn't crash in a year unless you have some extreme circumstances. In that case, however, the repercussions of such "extreme circumstances" would probably still affect Queste late into the 1900's and early 2000's.

Next, Queste becomes a chaotic battlefield between people and corporations. Remember, this is the 1920's. Corporations still weren't too big at this time, so they wouldn't have a strong fighting chance. Furthermore, a civil war of this intensity does not last a hundred years. Maybe a decade or two at most. And by the 1940's you'll most likely be caught in some WW2-like conflict, so it'd be better if your nation was already re-stabilizing by then.

Lastly, your group led by Anna Eline literally goes from a band of self-proclaimed saviors to the leadership of Queste, in under a year. Which again is quite fast — very fast, so to say. And no matter how quick the reforms are put into action, it will still take a few years for the effects to really show, especially considering the fact that Queste is just recovering from an intense century-long civil war (again, we might have to change that).

✔️ I don't want to get into too much detail with this one but perhaps you should nerf your military just a bit. I know you're trying to play a very militarized nation, but at some point it just breaks the realism line. Again, you'll need a good economy to support a good military — that's the way it goes. To put it bluntly, the military is a waste of money. Not in the sense that everything absolutely goes to waste, but you're pumping in so much money to prevent some rebellion or war — nothing that would really completely destroy Queste. Compare the military to an investment of sorts, where the returns are far lower than the initial money you began with. It's basically a risk. So you might want a stronger economy to support a stronger military.

As I've said in the beginning, nobody can truly be self-sufficient. So don't burden yourself with having to produce all your military equipment yourself. After all, again it's a risk, so you wouldn't want to be placing the whole risk on yourself. Find an ally; a trade partner. You guys could exchange equipment and expertise. Win-win.

Now one small thing — I noticed there was one part where you mentioned helicopters hovering above government buildings all day. Come to think of it, that's not such a far-flung idea, but again — the military is an economic risk. What actual benefit do you get from flying helicopters around all day? Looking cool, well, that's not so bad, but think of the fuel costs. The maintenance costs. You'll have to be landing these helicopters constantly to refuel; they don't just stay up there forever. Then you're operating them all day, so the wear and tear would be terrible on the engines. Ultimately all that spending just to prevent some hooligans from starting an uprising?

Also, 200 combat aircraft. Most non-superpowers would have maybe 50 at most, including the really old and rusting ones. Just saying.

✔️ Bear with me — this is the last one. Now I've noticed that you seem to base your nation heavily off NS stats, which we don't really encourage. Not that we're discouraging it, but we want everybody to be creative. Don't be bound by the way NS issues mold your nation — it should be you alone in control of your own fate. Now of course it's really your choice whether you want to follow NS stats or not, but let me just advise you not to take it too literally. As everybody knows, NS stats aren't all that too serious, there are small jokes and references inserted if you look close enough. Just because your people have been ranked the 284th most apathetic in the world doesn't mean Questians are ultra-apathetic in RP. In fact, they can be the exact opposite. It's totally acceptable for you to change up some stuff, provided that everything fits within the boundaries of realism.

Also, it's much easier to gain certain powers through NS stats as compared to real life, such as military, economy and influence. Those stuff don't just come along, they're the hard-earned rewards of a well-managed country. Right now we don't really have a proper system that truly determines your overall IC standing, but it's generally based on your influence in the region. Not the NS stat for influence, of course. What I mean is that you could roleplay as a really rich and advanced nation, but you'll never be as rich or as advanced as the well-known and established members of our community. In the same way, you could claim to have a stronger economy as your influence in the region grows. Quality writing and some presence on Discord, bam, you're an instant Europan celebrity (Not really, but you get the point). And in the end of course it's about writing, not climbing the ranks. Influence comes naturally, trust me. Take it from somebody who was once a shy nobody just over a year ago. 😉


Alas it has been finished. This is all sincerely constructive and done in good faith, I have no intent to criticize you or anything. I mean, I did start this off saying the factbook is pretty good as it is, and these are just my humble two cents for improving it. If you might have been offended by anything along the way, my deepest apologies for that — that's really the way I talk. So no worries, and thanks for the time! :2thumbs:

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