Ramblings of a Random Jo

Let me start off by saying this is primarily an effort to push ideas into the spotlight. Election season has long been treated as an opportunity to spread ideas, and I have been sitting on these ideas for a bit, never deciding whether to air them properly. On Aivintis’ suggestion, I’ve now finally tried to formulate them into a comprehensive outline. It’s also bloody long, so please accept this non-apology for that.

With that stated, I’d like to divide this in two categories: the first part is a fairly standard overview per ministry of what I’d like to see changed, or at least raising discussion around them. The second part consists of broader observations of the way TEP’s infrastructure interacts with the Executive, at least from my perspective. Let’s get to it.

Foreign Affairs

I have complained about this at length to a variety of people, so I’m going to get this one out of the way first: our foreign policy makes no real sense. Worse, our aimlessness is seen abroad as weakness and often leads us to situations where we get kicked around. We have treaties with about half the world, and the number of occasions where we have benefitted from them that I can recall is exactly 1: that is, the ones with the Lausanne regions. For most of the rest (there are certainly exceptions, TSP and TRR have largely been supportive of us, but we have a lot of treaties), you could name almost any major WA voting power and we probably have a treaty with them that either A) they leverage to get something from us, but we barely leverage in return, B) we forgot we had the treaty in the first place or C) both, because we only remembered the treaty existed because someone came to leverage it. That’s stupid, it defeats the point of having treaties in the first place and leaves us in an actively worse situation. It’s not even as if we have no care for Foreign Affairs, either - we have seen several TEP-related commendations crash and burn, and there’s no denying that we care about those.

With that in mind, I’d like to propose we actually pick a comprehensive strategy with our Foreign Affairs: that is, our foreign affairs should be geared towards strengthening our influence in the World Assembly. Besides Lausanne, the treaty allies to start to rekindle relations with would include the Rejected Realms and Lazarus - these are all regions with significant voting power that I believe we can find common ground with. But treaties cannot be seen as set in stone - if we wish to gain any support from our allies, we need to reach out, keep in contact, and provide them support on their endeavours in return. There are some other regions as well that I believe we should reach out to, but I’d rather approach them in private and I do believe our first step should be to rekindle the relations we already have, and perhaps take steps to sever the dead weight.

With regards to Lausanne specifically, I think we should push to collectively have our votes make a bit more impact - that means coordinating stomps and stacks at the update a proposal comes to vote. To my knowledge, this has already been done previously, but I’d like to give it proper emphasis. Lausanne is the backbone of our WA presence, and consists of regions we actually like and trust.

World Assembly Affairs

As said above, I believe Foreign Affairs would function a lot better if it was designed to achieve a specific goal - and the World Assembly is an arena that we do actively care about. I’d like to say that I thought pushing out voting recommendations early and the system of voting we have are actually fantastic, much as I often end up arguing about specific stances. I think the current WA ministry is great, but what I’d like to cultivate is a WA culture. There have been sporadic attempts at doing this, and we do have authors in TEP - I’d like to push this through the creation of a proper channel for drafting (I’ll complain about this more a bit later, too), creating a role for volunteers to proofread drafts and for our Foreign Affairs to throw its support behind these homegrown drafts.

On that note, and this is actually more an idea than something I’d specifically push for, I’m considering whether we should pull out of the Heroes of Valhalla programme. I recognise that might sound counterintuitive, but our participation in HoV doesn’t cover for any real weakness on our part (that weakness would be votes) and is honestly just outsourcing WA activity to an outside body, in my view. I recognise the rationale for participating, but the way I see it it is mostly just pushing activity somewhere else. Again, this is mostly floating the idea more than pushing for it - I’m somewhat favourable to it but not exactly convinced of the course, so I’d like to hear some more thoughts from both our homegrown authors who have made use of HoV and our FA Council.

Eastern Pacific Sovereign Army

Yeah, I’m tackling all of the external ministries first. At the risk of accusations of obvious bias, I might as well get this relatively minor point out of the way: we should start by pulling every single EPSA soldier out of Libcord. I’ll walk you through the rationale.

I hate to do this, but we have to admit reality: EPSA is not big. I’ll get back to this, because I think we can fix that too, but for now, hear me out. EPSA is not big, and that means that if there’s a Liberation ongoing our support is fairly minor. If we do not officially support an effort, our more active members will jump anyway. This would not be a problem at all if there was a significant difference between EPSA’s support and EPSA members serving as mercenaries, but the reality is that this is not often the case. This leads us to a situation where the League can treat us like utter shit, and we either A) officially support the League’s military endeavours through Libcord anyway, or B) our members participate anyway because they are in the server and get pinged for it. In both cases, we get treated like shit and essentially hand the people treating us like shit free military support.

I do think we should support liberations, however. But we should do it on our terms - and we run our side of things from our own server. Defenders should be treated in the same way we treat raiders or our fellow independents: if they want our help, they come to us. This approach might seem somewhat controversial to some, but it is (from my understanding) the way the NPO’s military interacts with defenders when they do and I believe it would serve EPSA’s purpose of advancing TEP’s FA far better if we stopped letting ourselves get walked over.

Now, as for promoting EPSA itself, I think there are three key concepts: activity, visibility and purpose. Activity is simple: we should do things. That means participating in liberations, it means tag runs and it might even mean a hold of our own. There is no magic fix to this, it simply requires our officers to be on the ball at all times. It also means training up eager officers, triggers, points, etc. who can keep this activity going. I know precisely well how much work that is, but it is necessary work.

Visibility isn’t complex either, and is similarly just a matter of endurance. For every little thing we do we should post a report, and we should push this report in an announcement channel. We should celebrate promotions, successes, and push out recruitment messages. Simple stuff, and not even as much work as it might sound. But again, it needs to be kept up. Victories should also be promoted on-site, on the RMB, in dispatches, and a way for RMBers to pile should be made available as well.

Purpose is the last and the most important word, and it ties into visibility, because it is what justifies EPSA’s existence. EPSA should not exist simply as a way for some of our members to half-heartedly participate in R/D and support either one side or the other. It’s a Feeder’s military arm, and it should have the proper strength to crush who we want and to protect who we care for. Military gameplay is, put simply, the most active and influential part of gameplay at the moment, and TEP is in a unique position where we have all the resources needed to make a difference for whoever draws our favour, and to make life more difficult for those that draw our ire. This, ultimately, should be what underscores EPSA: not only that it’s fun and that it’s a grand old time but also that it serves the East Pacific.


Now for the internal Ministries. UTEP is the simplest but also the one that struggles the most, in my view, because its main problem resides in visibility. Its activity has picked up recently, and that is genuinely awesome to see. I’d like to see if we can push new pieces in an announcement channel, and partially in this way encourage greater discourse around pieces. If it is a place of learning, it should also be open to debate and discussion, in my view, and I think that is tied primarily to its visibility.


I freely admit this is not my strong point. I am terrible at Culture, and I don’t have a lot of insights or ideas to improve as a result. I think the Culture ministry has done an excellent job at hosting events, and any ideas I might have about improving it are mostly observations about the broader Executive that I’ll ramble about in a bit.

I will say, though, from the perspective of an outsider coming to TEP that its culture takes a minute to get used to. This isn’t a bad thing at all, it shows how tight-knit the community ultimately is - and the constant activity on Discord and the RMB are signs of the community’s health. In this regard, I think our big cultural events are an excellent way to integrate people into that culture - the Hunger Games events are an excellent example, as they are fun, filled with hype and easy to get into - they don’t require joining any other server, they don’t require applications and they barely require effort on the participants’ behalf beyond observing them. I think especially these sorts of events are important in integrating new people into the server, and really the only thing I can add to the Culture Ministry is that a higher frequency of these sorts of events is always welcome.


Honestly? This one runs fine, no complaints, and if anything its success should perhaps be celebrated a bit more.


I’ll be honest, I kind of kept forgetting about Outreach while writing this down. I don’t think this is the Ministry’s fault, at all, it frankly does its job and seems to do it well. Rather, this mostly highlights the fact I can only approach this matter from my own perspective, and Outreach largely operates outside of the spaces I pay attention to. This is a good point to start to talk about some broader thoughts I have on the Executive/the Ministries.

Broader thoughts on the Executive

TEP has made the decision to move the Executive away from its own server and integrate it into the main server. This has not been executed seamlessly, in my opinion. The main discord server is big, it’s arguably cluttered, and there are a ton of channels. Organisation is the one thing that truly makes everything on NS work, and frankly the move to the main server hurt the Executive’s ability to organise and promote itself now that it’s tucked away between other channels. The Executive hub is unintuitive to navigate, at least for me. Ministers looking to organise their Ministry need to either create a new thread or dig up an old one, and then keep all their staffers paying attention to that particular thread among many. It’s not all bad, to be clear, there are certainly arguments to be made for the move - the Executive application channel is good for sure - but I think on the whole I find the transition has been a bit rocky. The point of the Executive is to execute the Delegate’s view and to govern the region, and I think the move to Discord’s threads function has not gone over well.

The way threads work is that anyone can go to the Executive Hub and navigate their way to whatever thread they need, but the only ones that will be displayed in the channel list will be the ones you have specific masking for. As has been pointed out to me, it would be easy to simply forcefully opt Residents in without pinging them, putting the major Executive threads in the channel list for all to see. The point of doing this would be to A) make them easier to find for anyone looking to check out the Ministries and B) it puts them at the forefront of anyone looking through the government channels instead of hiding them under the Executive Hub. Chiefly, I’m hoping to encourage people to take notice, take an interest and ask questions. And then hopefully sign up, of course.

A more radical variation of the above, I would think, is moving the Executive Hub to its own channel category as opposed to a Discord forum feature collection hidden away among other government-related channels, and granting the Ministries their own channels within this category. This accomplishes two things: 1) the channels are easier to find and sort out, and separate projects within them can be organised into their own threads if a Minister wishes, and much more importantly, 2) they are more visible, as is the Executive category as a whole if we go this route. The moment someone takes a good look at our channels list, they will see the Executive channels and the category. While this does make our channel list longer, I’d argue that this added visibility and ease-of-use outweighs that minor inconvenience - put frankly, the Executive’s health is important enough to make this trade-off. For specific projects, such as collaboration between Ministries, we can simply retain the threads feature within this category. Again, I recognise this is a bit of a more radical change and it might be prudent to attempt the former suggestion first.

Next, there’s a reason the word “visibility” appears so often in the above. Finding out what a given Ministry does is not all that easy, at least for me - the Executive application channel doesn’t even have a pinned explanation of what the Ministries you’re supposed to join do, which I think is kind of shooting ourselves in the foot. The on-site dispatches only have a short line per Chief Ministry about what falls under its responsibility, and doesn’t have much of anything about the individual ministries - and while the specific ministries might vary per Delegate, in practice they tend to stay relatively same-y. This might go somewhat against my earlier point of flexibility, but I do think it would be useful to sort that out first, make it clear what the Executive and each Ministry within it does, how to join and where to read more. Governments require staffers, regions require people - and with Frontiers, we have fewer people coming in than ever. If we are to maintain our government and its functions, our absolute priority should be to promote the government and integrate the people willing to help out.

Related to this, I’d encourage any Delegate to make use of the Executive announcements channel a bit more. At present, it’s used very sporadically to announce some events, Cabinet appointments and channel overhauls, but I think this ignores its potential to promote specific projects the Ministries are working on. Related to my earlier bit about UTEP, it can be used to promote published pieces, too, as well as recruiting for the EPNS. I would highly recommend this, as it keeps the Executive at the forefront of everyone’s mind, is an excellent opportunity to recruit for individual Ministries, and shows that the government is active and doing things at all times.

With the aim of keeping this at a somewhat reasonable length, I’d like to wrap it up after all that with a note that these are all personal observations from what I have seen, and ideas I’d like to be considered. I know I am not the person to bring them to life in the next term - I won’t properly have the time, and I’m not sufficiently established in the community either. I do hope to change that at some point, but first and foremost I’d like to bring these ideas and observations to the forefront, while everyone’s eyes are on the future as it is. I invite everyone to take a look at what I said and start discussion around it.


I must say, I liked much of the writing. As far as EPSA is concerned, I’m not steeped in that, so I can’t really comment. But on the rest I can say that I agree with you.

If you do not become a Delegate, I would love for you to reach a position in the Executive where part of the reforms (such as the dissemination of the activities of the ministries and the promotion of UTEP) can be applied. Or at least that the members of the Executive take into account some of your proposals.

Congratulations and good luck.

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I agree, but I think just two is too small. I think the NPO and Balder are strong candidates, too, as well as the smaller regions we’ve established relations with, like Astoria. Maybe throw in UDS and/or TSP, and it’s solid. IMO it doesn’t have to be a “bloc” as some have suggested before, but just a list of regions we’re close with. We don’t need them to have the same level of relationship with each other, like Lausanne.


That may be difficult - AC is always willing but Thaecia and FNF have internal mechanisms. Still worth a shot. Another issue is coordination requires the WAD being online. When I ping AC’s delegates to vote or approve a proposal, I usually get 1-2 right away and the other 2-3 sprinkled over 24 hours.

I think a big obstacle to this is definitely interest. How would you get people involved? As far as I know the only two people in TEP who have considered WA authoring are Cappedore and Dremaur, and both are too busy.

I think Milly’s suggestion of adding a region to boost activity could work, but it’s definitely very dead right now and something should be done about it.

Eh. I mean. West didn’t follow through with her TEP commends for various reasons, Gem left Condemn Norgs on the forums. Both damn shames, but I get the reasonings. I’m the only author who has seen through a TEP HOV proposal to a vote. This “outside body” has barely done anything to touch the proposals that do go through. In theory, it may be that, but we’re not seeing many people jump on it. We don’t see any TNP, Europeian, or Balderian authors looking at us. Maybe because C/Cing a TEPer is doomed to fail thanks to TNP and TL&C hating our guts over one proposal each, but still.

You know what’s funny is that WA has not been considered an external ministry in a looong time. Perhaps that’s our problem.

Damn. I mean, I knew you were gonna propose something radical, but damn.

My objection to this is that TL&C isn’t Libcord, they’re just members, same as us. It’s not really about them. Also this seems dangerously close to the argument of a certain Wolfist thinkpiece…

One problem with this: When we do joint ops we still have to do it on one server. Unless you suggest two triggers on the same operation or fast reaction time repeating orders from Libcord. Both seem a bit childish/ineffective if it’s just to send a message.

Do you envision the OO doing this, or the trigger of the operation?

I agree, and recently, Altys (I think) did indeed remind me that I can use the Executive Updates announcement channel for this. Are there other ways we can improve visibility?

Any ideas for other events that fill the same role?

I wouldn’t necessarily oppose this but too much infrastructure change at once can be confusing and displeasing.

That’s a good idea, I approve.

I think there may be plans to update those dispatches but if not then yes I very much support this. We don’t need fifty thousand dispatches explaining everything in detail but one Executive dispatch with descriptions and contacts and how to get involved would be fantastic. I think the use of a single info nation which only high level admins have access to (when I was Delegate I didn’t have access at all, and even as Grand Vizier I have to ping a Tech Mod to get the Praesidium list updated; a Tech Mod who really doesn’t want to be the one behind content editing because it’s not their job at all) is also kinda bad. Maybe putting the impetus on the Delegate or a Ministry-level nation (more like EPNS, which a number of past and present Editors can access) could work better.

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I agree, but I think just two is too small. I think the NPO and Balder are strong candidates, too, as well as the smaller regions we’ve established relations with, like Astoria. Maybe throw in UDS and/or TSP, and it’s solid. IMO it doesn’t have to be a “bloc” as some have suggested before, but just a list of regions we’re close with. We don’t need them to have the same level of relationship with each other, like Lausanne.

I strongly agree with this, the two I cited were just the two examples that I thought would make for a fine start.

That may be difficult - AC is always willing but Thaecia and FNF have internal mechanisms. Still worth a shot. Another issue is coordination requires the WAD being online. When I ping AC’s delegates to vote or approve a proposal, I usually get 1-2 right away and the other 2-3 sprinkled over 24 hours.

I’d argue Thaecia and FNF would also benefit from a stronger, more influential and more decisive Lausanne. At the very least, I’d recommend raising the possibility with them - we, too, follow our own internal mechanisms, but we have the ability to stomp or stack all the same. I think Thaecia and FNF might very well be open to a similar arrangement, as their proposals and interests would benefit also.

On your second point, I acknowledge it may not always be perfect - the AC in particular has a number of Delegates, and it’d be unrealistic to assume every Lausanne Delegate can make a given update. Nevertheless, I do think a lot can be achieved through coordination, watching when a proposal we care about goes to vote and coordinating to have as many of our Delegates online as possible.

Eh. I mean. West didn’t follow through with her TEP commends for various reasons, Gem left Condemn Norgs on the forums. Both damn shames, but I get the reasonings. I’m the only author who has seen through a TEP HOV proposal to a vote. This “outside body” has barely done anything to touch the proposals that do go through. In theory, it may be that, but we’re not seeing many people jump on it. We don’t see any TNP, Europeian, or Balderian authors looking at us. Maybe because C/Cing a TEPer is doomed to fail thanks to TNP and TL&C hating our guts over one proposal each, but still.

This doesn’t necessarily make a strong case for sticking with the HoV, but I agree that it also does no harm to stay in it, then.

There is merit to following our own vote, and we should continue to do so barring exceptional circumstances, but it’d be foolish to close our eyes to the fact that our vote has bearings upon our Foreign Affairs and our own ability to pass proposals. Our voters should also be properly made aware of a given vote’s impact upon said matters, in my view.

Let none say I advocate for the path of least resistance.

Hey, at least I’m being consistent!

To get into the meat of the argument, though, I think you’re being had if you buy into that story defenders put up every time they mess with someone. TNP was, all of Libcord extorted them and then promptly gaslit them by claiming they didn’t represent all of Libcord. You will never get Defenders to respect you, to back off or to apologise if you simply unquestioningly support their endeavours immediately after. Just look at TRR, which Quebec still brags about. So long as you do not put conditions upon your military participation in Defences, any single Defender region can insult, provoke or blackmail us with impunity because they can always hide behind the excuse that it was “just one bad apple”. I’m not saying we should immediately suspend all cooperation with Libcord if a Defender regions vexes us, that’s silly. What I am saying is that we should be more selective - we should not treat military support as an act of charity, especially not to people who hate us.

Not so ineffective as you might think - both Legio Pacifica and TITO operate in this way. It’s also a good way for us to keep our own triggers sharp, since instead of simply jumping we also give a good opportunity to our officers or upcoming talent to practice commanding an operation - and ultimately, our participation in liberations usually only serves to provide us with activity and training - why let a part of that go to waste?

Joint operations on a raid do usually require being in one server, due to the way OpSec works. For liberations, OpSec doesn’t apply whatsoever because anyone with the ability to search the World Activity Feed can figure out the target anyways. The only practical reason to be in one server for a liberation, then, is if we’re being too lazy to organise our own side of things - and I hate to say it, but we do not need to encourage laziness with EPSA’s current state of affairs.

Both, neither. Reports should be written by whoever feels like writing them - they should have some fun with it, maybe the entire tagging team can even pitch in. It’s not so important who writes them, so long as EPSA is seen being active by potential recruits and the citizenry at large.

Perhaps through the implementation of a role that may be pinged when new pieces are written? We also have a UTEP category on Discord, but I’m wondering if it would be worth adding another channel explicitly dedicated to discussing the pieces published on the forums to it. Primary discussion would ideally still be on the forums, but people check Discord a bit more than the forums I would guess.

Sadly I have all the creativity of a doormat when it comes to events. There are options (CAH, Diplomacy, Werewolf are a couple of relatively common games that come to mind that have a low bar of entry), but trying to work out which ones would or wouldn’t work is not something I’m good at.

I think that is fair, which is why I’d suggest opting Residents into the main threads for the Executive first. If this doesn’t produce many results over time, at least it lets people get used to the relatively minor change and creating its own category isn’t such a big step afterwards.

I agree with this entirely.


  1. What are your thoughts on the situation in Thaecia?
  2. What are your thoughts on my plan, with Millenhaal and maybe The Ice States, alongside any authors we get (since I wouldn’t be authoring), to start an interregional nongovernmental “World Assembly Roleplayers Platform” non-GP authorship organization? Would TEP be willing to endorse the project and/or allow it to make use of TEP FA connections in order to establish itself?
  3. What are your thoughts on a Lausanne Libcord-esque joint military server for us to pool our militaries, considering we’re all low on activity at the moment?

I think it’s an internal issue for Thaecia to sort out. As far as I’m concerned, the founder acting to preserve the health of their region is not an illegitimate position - laws and governments ultimately should serve the community, in my view. And whether we like it or not there is no point in us interfering in their affairs - that is neither our place as an ally nor is it productive.

I have not heard of this plan to my knowledge, and I’m not sure what its purpose would be. Could you clarify?

I don’t necessarily hate it, as I do trust the Lausanne regions to have our back and best interests at heart, but it depends in what way we’d go about it. Libcord has the awkward position of being tight-knit enough to be essentially one military force, as only TITO operates with any measure of autonomy on defences, but not organised to centralise stuff like training. A Lausanne-wide similar initiative does have the advantage of giving all member regions greater pooled resources that we can leverage more effectively, but there would have to be some questions asked on its setup. Would training officers and updaters still fall to individual militaries or would that be pooled? Would all member states have to vote on participation? Would it only be used for truly joint operations? And if so, how would FNF’s (to my knowledge) Defender ideology be reconciled with Thaecia and TEP’s unalignment? What about Lausanne’s non-GP members in the AC? Would the treaty be amended for it, or would it simply be a looser agreement amongst the Executive of each region?

These are all questions that would have to be asked, deliberated and decided upon by our government and our allies’. I’m not opposed, and I absolutely believe it’s worth exploring, but consider me somewhat skeptical that it will work out.