Navigating the NationStates Forums

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Navigating the NationStates Forums
When most people see the NationStates forums for the first time, their instant reaction is ‘wow – that looks complicated’. However, once you understand how to navigate the forums, it is much easier to find what you’re looking for. Firstly, we need to make sure we can access the forums. On the left-hand sidebar, click on the word ‘FORUM’. This will bring you to the forum homepage:

That is simple enough. Next, we’ll look at what each section of the forum contains and what kind of things people post there.

Sections of the Forums

DIPLOMACY:
This is the largest part of the NationStates forums and this is where many players spend a lot of their time. Here, players RP (role play) about their nations or other people’s nations. This section must be kept in-character (you may see this written in the forums as IC). This means that your topics must be based in NationStates and not about real life. If you do need to write something which is out of character (this can be written as OOC), you must say that you are talking out of character. When you need to say something about real life like “I need to go to bed now,” you need to mention that you are talking out of character. This is how you do it: OOC: I need to go to bed now. NationStates are very fussy about this so make sure, if you are talking out of character, that you write OOC. There are 5 sub-sections: Factbooks and National Information – This is a more formal section in the forums where players describe what their nation is like to live in, discuss their nation’s history and swap embassies.

NationStates – This section is where a lot of the roleplays (RPs) are posted. Roleplays are stories or plays about your nation (or other people’s nations). Popular RPs in this section are meetings with leaders of foreign nations, adventures in your nations and historic events (however, if they are major events, they should really go into the International Incidents section).

International Incidents – This section is entirely about roleplaying. This is where most players RP but it is meant for describing serious, major events in your nation such as having a new government, the leader having a celebration, war being declared, and so on. If you are not sure if your RP is about a major event, it is best to post it in NationStates (the forum moderators are very picky with which sections players post things in).

Global Economics and Trade – It is difficult to explain what this section is about. I recommend that you have a look at it yourself to get a better idea of what type of topics are included in this section. As the name suggests, this is about economic and financial topics such as trading. If you have thought of a company or a product idea, you can place advertisements here and other players will ‘buy’ them or ‘pay’ for your company’s services. Remember: you can not copy somebody else’s idea and please do not attempt to sell a product which already exists (food or clothes are usually alright but special products like power ranger toys must not be advertised here). The rules here are that you must create your own product or service to sell.

NS Sports – This is where players discuss and RP about sports in their nation. Sometimes, players hold sports competitions which you can take part in. If you like sports, this section is for you.

World Assembly:
This is the discussion area for the World Assembly (WA). Initially, before it is proposed, an idea for a possible resolution is made. It is then proposed on the suitable WA forum and is commented on (they are usually called drafts at this point). Eventually, when people are happy with it, the resolution gets officially proposed to the WA and then it can be voted on. This section is IC (in character).

General Assembly – This is the area to discuss or create resolutions in the WA General Assembly. Security Council – This is the area to discuss or create resolutions in the WA Security Council.
WA Archives – Here you can see all the important WA debates and resolutions. The WA archives are quite interesting. You should read some when you have time to do so.

National Affairs:
This is the first OOC (out of character) forum we have seen in the NationStates forums. This means that you do not have to type OOC: ‘post’ whenever you want to talk out of character. This section is

still about NationStates (and not real life) but the rules are usually more relaxed here. There are two sub-sections here: Gameplay – In this section, players discuss how to play NationStates, which regions are the best, discuss national animals (there are lots of topics about pony’s rights here) and generally what is the best way to improve your nation. Got Issues? – We do not recommend you ever go here. This is where people talk about the issues players receive every day. If you get stuck with an issue or want to laugh about a spelling mistake, you can do that here. However, these are spoilers and may take the fun out of responding to issues.

Nuts and Bolts:
This is the strictest section of the NationStates forums. The forum moderators and game admin spend a lot of time in this section and the rules are EXTREMELY strict. This is an OOC section. Technical – If you have found any errors in the game, know any ways to improve NationStates or want to know how things in NationStates work (Note: This is not how to play NationStates. It is about the programming behind NationStates), this place can answer your questions. However, you should be cautious about posting here. The forum moderators are busy people and can get a bit angry if they have to deal with spam or unnecessary topics. Moderation – This is about who is in charge of NationStates. However, unless you are a moderator, DO NOT post messages here. The rules are extremely strict here and anybody who ‘spams’ in any way will receive a warning and will have their post removed.

General Discussion:
This is a purely OOC (out of character) section dedicated to non-NationStates discussion. The rules of the forums still apply here but they are more relaxed. General – You must be OOC when you write topics here. You can talk about anything here, as long as it is sensible.

Arts and Fiction – If you read the description of this section, you will see that this is the place where players can discuss art, movies, books, TV, music and their own works. Portal to the Multiverse – In this section, you can RP (roleplay) but it can not be about NationStates. You could roleplay about a real life event, an alternative history and generally anything as long as it is not related to NationStates. Forum 7 – Here you can chill out and relax. This is the place where jokes are shared. According to the NationStates forum rules, you still can not spam in here but light-hearted humour is allowed.

Forum:
Finally, we have reached the bottom of the forum homepage. Great! This is just an archives section. You can not post anything here: your old and inactive topics are placed in here automatically. This is such a large section that it is often difficult to find what you are looking for but, for inspiration about what to post in any of the other sections of the forum, this can be a good place to have a look around in.

That’s it. I’ve told you everything there is to know about navigating the forums. Wait…there’s still more. Next, I’ll tell you about the different types of NationStates staff and, after that, I’ll tell you about the rules of the NationStates forums.

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