Rise and Fall of the NPD

On Nov 17 2005, Ivan Moldavi (Pierconium/Pixiedance) spoke to Lemuria in a Lecture entitled “The Rise and Fall of the NPD”; A reference to the North Pacific Directorate, which Ivan had ruled over.

A Frank and Honest Opinion on the Fall of the First and Second North Pacifican Commonwealths, the Rise of the Directorate and the Creation of the Third Republic.
A commentary through the eyes of a true doctrinaire.

Note and Disclaimer: This post will contain a great many references to the nation known as Gracius Maximus. This nation, while controlled by the same player in RL as Pierconium, has not ever been affiliated via gameplay or persona to Pierconium, Borogravia Moldavi or any other nation I have played in this game. This point can not be stressed enough. The actions of Gracius Maximus, while having a great deal of effect via external pressure on my other nations, was played independently and was not acting on behalf of any organization any of my other nations belonged to at the time the actions took place or belong to now. Thank you in advance for respecting my position on duality in gameplay.

This story begins with UPS Rail. The last Delegate of the First Commonwealth. The last Delegate elected before the Constitutionalists of the Second.

— Begin quote from ____

This region has been fractured and I will unite it. I have seen the Pacific, and it truly is a bastion of stability. Since our constitution has not been ratified, I have used the executive powers of the delegacy to join the New Pacific Order. Those in violation of the civil code have been removed, and shall be un-banned after they have come into compliance.

— End quote

Thus began the brief reign of UPS Rail, with a simple statement outlining his unilateral decision to align the north Pacific with the New Pacific Order and his commitment to the NPO system of governance and the Civil Code. Then the nation stepped down. Regardless of supposed inconclusive intelligence the identity of the player behind the nation was never conclusively determined and UPS Rail was the duly elected Delegate of the north Pacific. Having removed certain threats to regional sovereignty the elected Delegate left Great Bight as its selected predecessor.

Great Bight installed ALSO as the government of the north. Several nations that were displaced by UPS Rail in his cleansing of the supporters of the First Commonwealth and found themselves without power turned to the Alliance Defense Network and the Allied Liberation League in order to stage a terrorist campaign against the sitting Delegate. Massive numbers of puppet nations moved into the region and began a systematic smear campaign against the government. Unendorsement campaigns were rampant, along with constant hate spam on the Regional Headquarters. Great Bight was compelled to remove this element from the region. In an unfortunate turn of events Great Bight also discovered a penchant for relocating any nation that placed higher than him in the United Nations polling. This led to the Delegate relocating a great many of its own endorsers, a failed strategy to say the least.

With the unendorsement/spam campaign achieving minimal success, and Great Bights own efforts at lowering its endorsement numbers, the stage was set for Free4All to utilize a loophole in the game code to cheat his way, as Better Times, into the Delegacy and displace ALSO in favor of the ALL/ADN terrorist cabal. In an attempt to counter this end several members of the New Pacific Order, including Senator Unlimited and Governors Warrior Thorin, BlackAdder, Sarda and Pierconium took part in some of the debate taking place on the ADN controlled s2 regional forum. Also, citing the commitment made by UPS Rail, the last democratically elected Delegate of the region at that point, to uphold the Civil Code and ally with the Pacific, Francos Spain called for all loyal Pacificans to follow him into the north in order to support the beleaguered Delegate. Nearly 60 nations moved to the north in order to counter the invasion forces. New Sparrow ordered its military, SECO, into the region as well, adding another 19 nations to the tally. Unfortunately, the loophole succeeded and Better Times slipped in under cover of night and seized the Delegacy, removing Great Bight and Francos Spain, whose nation would cease to exist in the Rejected Realms shortly afterward. (It should be noted here that Better Times was required to follow the rules set forth for invader Delegates following this action.) The supposed “government-in-exile” then installed the Constitution that was slanted for ratification just prior to UPS Rail creating the Second Commonwealth.

Then a short period of relative peace existed. There were minor internal conflicts but nothing that could not be overcome and nothing that could not be used as an amendment to the Constitution. The nations of the Pacific that had moved into the north returned to their home. The ADN/ALL puppets ceased to exist. Save one.

Pixiedance, controlled by Cathyy, a resistance fighter against ALSO who had had several puppets relocated by Great Bight ran for the Delegacy and won. It was October. Autumn for the Second Commonwealth. Shortly after her ascension it became clear that this Delegate did not appreciate having policy dictated to her via proxy by an outside alliance. Further, internal forum administration problems came to a head. Quietly, she made plans with several nations to seek out possible solutions to both the ADN and forum admin problems. From afar a certain player, who had maintained a nation within the north since long before UPS Rail and Great Bight, and who had maintained a certain detached fascination with the happenings in the feeder took notice. This player quietly took part in #the_north_pacific on IRC, the “official” chat room of the region at the time, and started a dialogue with the Delegate. After just a few weeks of discussion this player, known in the north as Gracius Maximus, had gained the trust of Pixiedance and was assuming a minor advisory role to the Delegate’s activities. The ROOT administration on s2 had mysteriously disappeared, leaving a former northern citizen turned full ADN proxy in control. It was a tenuous situation at best. Then events started happening rather quickly. Pixiedance announced, on the counsel of the Minister of External Affairs, that the north would be leaving the Alliance Defense Network.

Since maintaining a hold on a feeder community is one of the primary life sources of the ADN it became necessary to counter this within the Alliance. Nations that had been fully indoctrinated on the ADN’s forum started lashing out against the Delegate. Ministers started resigning, leaving the Delegate without a governmental system of support. It also became apparent that the Constitution, on which the Second Commonwealth was based, was lacking in a great many areas when it came to clear separation of powers and processes during crisis. Therefore, along with the shorthandedness of the Cabinet, it became necessary to take a serious look at the Constitution, a daunting task for any head of state even in the most peaceful times. The stress had started to build.

Then the ROOT returned and stripped the Delegate and several moderators of power on the forum making effective offsite community governance impossible. The Delegate and Cabinet, having recognized this threat, had begun work on an alternate forum. When Gracius Maximus was approached about this possibility he offered the use of a forum bearing “The North Pacific” in its name, thus easing a bit of the turmoil that comes with such a change. It was decided between the Delegate, Gracius Maximus and a handful of nations that this forum would become the new home of the north Pacific and its government.

On the new forum a Constitutional Convention was started and headed up by the newly appointed Minister of Justice, the same Gracius Maximus that had befriended and earned the trust of Pixiedance. A new Constitution was to be constructed from the old. Several nations took part over its first few days. Then it happened. Pixiedance was taking her daily abuse in IRC and someone called her Hitler. While some people have no problem with this type of activity a great many people do. It is a highly offensive thing to do to a person over a game. Distraught, Pixiedance began speaking with Gracius Maximus on AIM. During the conversation it was mentioned that she was also being pressured by Better Times, who was running an illegal Delegacy campaign and was attempting to swap his way into the top position of the region. She stated that she would very much like to see him and Ceasersland removed from the region but didn’t feel she had either the resolve or internal support at the time to pull it off. She then did the unthinkable. In a spontaneous action she offered her nation to Gracius Maximus on condition that he would eject the two attempted usurpers. Seeing this as a quick solution to his longterm plans of having Gracius Maximus run in the next Delegate elections against Pixiedance he accepted the offer. Within minutes the password was exchanged, changed and the nations were in the Rejected Realms. It was January 8th. Again, things moved quickly.

It was announced on the new north Pacific forum that the Delegacy had been passed and that the Constitution was suspended and the region was placed under Martial Law. These announcements were made by the ROOT admin on the forum, TNP Delegate. There was much speculation in the NationStates world regarding the identity of the new Delegate. Eventually it came out that Gracius Maximus had taken control of Pixiedance. This caused a great deal of consternation in several regions that held affiliated, but unconnected game wise, nations of Gracius Maximus. The transition was less than smooth. The Martial Law declaration was a complete failure and the unprovoked and unannounced ejections only added to the turmoil.

It was then decided by Gracius Maximus that he would issue an apology and restore Pixiedance to Cathyy with the understanding that this restoration was to be temporary. In an erroneous action he made this apology OOC and posted it in several locations. That was his only gameplay mistake and it haunts him in some quarters to this day.

Along with the apology and the restoration, Gracius Maximus put several other plans into action. He contacted several OOC friends in the game and invited them to create nations in the north and get active on the forum. He then stalled the Constitutional Convention and appointed an unknown as his Deputy Minister of Justice. He also created http://s4.invisionfree.com/NPD on January 11th and invited his co-conspirators to take part in the planning of the North Pacific Directorate.

Since Gracius Maximus did not want the stigma of being the Delegate that destroyed the Constitution added to the stress that was sure to follow he convinced Pixiedance, under Cathyy, to hold a Cabinet vote, now stacked with NPD supporters or sympathizers, to suspend the Constitution and then to declare Martial Law. The two Cabinet members that would oppose such action were deliberately left out of the voting. With that completed he felt he could legally step in and install a new form of government leaving the opposition with very little legitimate grievance. He was correct.

On January 15th Pixiedance returned to the control of Gracius Maximus. This handoff was handled a bit more discreetly than the previous attempt and is commonly believed to have occurred 4 days later, on the 19th. Nations that telegrammed Pixiedance during this time, including a couple of invader group leaders that Cathyy had living in the north during her reign as a prop to her endorsements, had their messages intercepted by Gracius Maximus turned over to Cathyy, now playing as Judessia, and returned after an appropriate response had been formulated. It should be noted here that after the NPD came to power the Delegate informed these invader groups privately that they were no longer needed or welcome in the north. This led to a drop in endorsements that certain nations claim as a result of their pathetic unendorsement campaign.

With the Constitution suspended and a fairly comprehensive network of informants placed throughout the region and on the forum it was decided by the Ministry of the NPD to announce that Gracius Maximus had retaken Pixiedance as of January 19th. It was also decided that the formal announcement of the NPD would take place two days after that on the 21st. Gracius Maximus, feeling a bit foolish being stuck with the nation Pixiedance as Delegate, took the title The Minister on the forums and made the following proclamation:

— Begin quote from ____

To the citizens of The North Pacific, guests to our forums and the general NationStates populus at large:

Today, I would like to address the concerns here in The North Pacific. Recent events and shifts in the political landscape have propelled our region to the edge of utter chaos. Not since before the great diaspora from feeders to player created regions has a super region been in such a state. This can not stand.

Several political factions have decided to make their personal agendas paramount to the well being of this region. It is shameful. This too, can not stand.

Therefore, it is with both reluctance and pleasure that I introduce the North Pacific Directorate to this region. The Directorate will be a unifying force in The North Pacific. The Directorate will be a voice of reason in these troubled times. The Directorate will restore order to our homes. There will be those that continue to fight against the government, that is their right, but it will be to their ultimate detriment. I state here and now that I am willing to work with all sides in this conflict. I am willing to hear out all parties. But, I will not let the personal vendettas and agendas cloud our view. I will not let those that would see our region subservient to any outside influence effect our decisions as a people and region. The autonomy of The North Pacific is of the utmost importance. To that end, we will consider the views of others, but our own regional counsel will we keep.

The governmental structure of the Directorate will consists of several branches. First, the Regional Assembly. The Assembly will consist of 40-50 elected nations from the region. This body will be charged with monitoring the security of the region, mandating change to our legal system if needed, and providing a voice for the region to the rest of the NationStates world, in conjunction with our Minister of Cooperation.

The Ministry of the North Pacific Directorate will consist of The Minister, who will oversee the region, the Minister of Cooperation, who will be the voice of diplomacy for the region, the Minister of Liberty, who will administer justice and uphold The Codex of North Pacific Law, the Minister of Domestic Tranquility, who will oversee the offsite forum and assist in internal affairs matters, the Minister of Peace, who will be charged with maintaining regional defenses and the Minister of the Assembly, who will be Chairperson of the Regional Assembly.

These nations will serve in The Ministry:
Minister of Cooperation: Poltsamaa
Minister of Liberty: Judessia
Minister of Domestic Tranquility: Insane Power
Minister of Peace: DeutscheDR
Minister of the Assembly: Pletorium

Elections for the Regional Assembly will be started once the Ministry is in place and the structure for fair and balanced elections have been firmly established.

— End quote

Using the “for the good of the region” argument the North Pacific Directorate was born. Perhaps if Gracius Maximus had given up after the first day history would believe him to be a patriot as they are treating the irresolute tyrants of the west? One never knows. What is known is that Gracius Maximus did not give up. He stood behind his words and drove out those that would have the north serve the Alliance Defense Network, for, what he believed at the time, once and for all.

Then a couple minor tragedies struck. In RL the player behind Gracius Maximus, who spends 80-90% of his NS time while at work, lost direct site access because of a new server protection protocol. His access to NationStates.net was severely limited to his online time at home, which was minimal. His stress level increased as he attempted to maintain endorsement levels while only being on the game itself for 3 to 4 hours per week. Yet, he endured. The other minor tragedy was that his closest ally, the nation that he would have trusted leaving the region to above any of the others got off his butt (finally ) and got a real job thus limiting his interaction in the NPD and NationStates.net as well.

So, with this taking place behind the scenes and a newly formed resistance movement taking turns posting hate spam on the Regional Headquarters the Delegate, under Gracius Maximus, did what he thought was best for the time. He ignored them. He isolated them on his forum. Edited their posts and posting rights. IP banned them and used word filters to change parts of their posts so that they either looked foolish or simply inept. And he endured. So much so that by the end of March activity from the underground had started to falter and complete boring success was within the grasp of The Minister. It was then discussed that mass ejections would begin with the thought being that it would revitalize the underground movement and help maintain a certain level of “fun” in the situation. This belief was supported by the intel received from both the ADN led summit and the undergrounds own hidden forums on s2. It was compounded by the fact that only nine nations voted in the creation of the North Pacific Confederacy, the supposed “government-in-exile” that formed from the Second Commonwealth and the underground movement. In short, Gracius Maximus was bored.

In all, 489 nations (some repeats after the Five Tenets of Peace and Moldavi Doctrines cleared the banlist) were relocated by Pixiedance under the rule of Gracius Maximus before he decided the potential for continued fun did not outweigh the boredom. (Note: There are many more actions and events that took place during the NPD reign. Notible events like the PRP hosted Peace Summit and the ADN led PuppetMaster II: The Wrath of Ivan invasion attempt may be up for discussion later but serve no real purpose in this overview of events at present.)

So, after four months of war and turmoil, The Minister decided to step down. After speaking with a few people it was decided that the best course of action would be to hand the nation back to Cathyy, make a statement regarding his belief that it was damaging to gameplay overall, and leave her “holding the bag”. The unexpected handoff to Insane Power only solidified The Ministers position and sealed the deal on making Cathyy and her associate the scapegoats of the whole affair. It has been mentioned that Insane Power and Cathyy have stated that they were manipulating Gracius Maximus from the beginning but it is my opinion that anyone with a minimum of reasoning ability can see that Gracius Maximus gained all the power, stole all the glory and basically got away with it completely, while re-establishing some of the player’s other persona as prominent members of their respective communities and all Cathyy and Insane Power got was less than a month of inept regional leadership and a place on their s9 forum as obscure bit players to Gracius Maximus’ place in history. Who was manipulating whom do you think?

Regardless of this, the North Pacific Directorate came to an end. Not because of any outside supported invader, not because of any internal coup, not because of anything the oppositional government did but simply and only because the player behind Gracius Maximus, with his approximately 450 remaining endorsements, gained predominantly through efforts after the invaders left and the unendorsement campaigns and mass ejections had begun, got bored and decided to step down. It is my belief that a single day of swapping and telegramming in a feeder can net 200-250 endorsements. This has been proven time and time again and anyone that has ever served as a feeder Delegate can support this belief. If the player behind Gracius Maximus had decided to remain in control of Pixiedance, if he had decided to hold on and continue his limited weekly swapping, taking back a substantial number of the losses netted by the underground, he would still be Delegate of the north Pacific to this day. While the overall endorsement number may be less, the number would still be sufficient to hold the position. No invasion tactic, even one as deceptive as the puppet master, could net anything close to 200 endorsements without being noticed by someone in place to inform the player of the threat. It was a choice, one that is often overlooked by those so quick to rewrite history for their own benefit. Gracius Maximus, through his departure, and through his inadvertent action of leaving the ineptness of Insane Power in charge, fathered the circumstances that led to the Stars of Sky coup and the Third Republic. Those that dispute it are simply being unreasonable and unrealistic.

These are my opinions on the history of the events that led up to the Rise and Fall of the North Pacific Directorate. There are some new items presented herein that have not been discussed openly priorly but those that took part privately can attest to their validity. This symposium is meant to be an opportunity for me to present my historical views and for you, the reader, to comment and ask questions. It is my understanding that those taking part have agreed to certain rules regarding behavior, etc. but it is also my understanding that those taking part, especially those that were directly effected by some of The Minister’s actions, may have some built up frustrations and opposing opinions on the sequence of events and the outcome of certain actions. I feel that everyone should be given the right to speak freely. I will also state that I am prepared to elaborate on any topic held herein if asked directly and clearly about it.

Therefore, ask away.


Various players reacted and responded. The following is Flemingovia’s response to Ivan, posted Nov 23 2005.


Flemingovia’s Response

Have no fear, Flem is here.

This is a matter I have been thinking about a lot recently (and it is the subject of some debate in the West Pacific, by the way).

Without a doubt, events like the GB and PD eras bring a certain vibrancy to the game. Look at the traffic logs on S2 and posting levels were sometimes 10x the levels in more peaceful times.

However, it seems to me that there are two types of players of this game. There are those who thrive on the cut and thrust of conflict. Whether Invader or defender, it seems to me, their personality types are remarkably similar. One trait is one that the minister has clearly displayed here: They play their own game with little regard for the effect of their actions on others. You all know the nation type.

There is another type of player who is not attracted to conflict, but rather to community building. They are often found in OOC, or External affairs, or role play, or arcane areas of government happily drafting laws and UN resolutions. It is this type of player that we lost a lot of (to the region or the game) in both conflicts. Thel kept a list of hundreds of nations who quit during the GB era. I kept a list - now lost in a computer crash - of over 40 who quit in the PD era. Some of these were old hands who did not want the conflict, others were new players who took one look and said “WTF” and quit the game before they began.

In short, the minister may have “kept the game interesting” for himself and like minded people - hell, even for me. But the selfish cost of that was incredibly high. And it cut right across what I believe is the responsibility of a feeder region to nurture new players. The place of a feeder region in the game is too important for it to be the private plaything of any player.

I believe that a lot of TNP’s problems in late 2004-2005 stem from the fact that, months earlier, the GB conflict attracted to the region a number of players of the former type - who thrive on conflict and verbal warfare. this is a stark contrast to the region of early 2004, where most people were community builders. I think we are still seeing the effect of that shift in the regional makeup. Someone said to me recently that “if the NP is not in a time of crisis, they will go hunting for one.”

On a wider issue, I am coming to the brutal conclusion that if Nationstates is not a sophisticated enough game to sustain high levels of activity without correspondingly high levels of anguish and stress, it may not actually be a game worth playing.

But that is a whole wider issue, beyond the scope of this seminar.


[font=Verdana]In a comparatively brief post, Ivan defended himself from Flemingovia before receiving a sharp counter-response from Flemingovia.


Concluding Exchanges of Dialogue[font=Verdana]

Ivan Moldavi / Pierconium (Nov 23 2005): I fail to see how it is in any way shape or form the responsibility of any player to concern themselves with the welfare of another player in the game. It is a simulation game, some people choose to simulate tyranny, both through the issues internal to their government, the UN resolutions and yes, through interaction with other nations via offsite fora etc. At no point does one players actions control the response of another’s. If a player chooses to “prey” on what he or she may perceive as a weaker player and that player responds according to the method set forth by the manipulator it is not the manipulators fault per se, it is time each nation started taking responsibility for themselves and stopped attempting to blame every inconvenience on another players actions.

Flemingovia (Nov 24 2005): Yes, and your failure to see that is what distinguishes you from many other players in this game. And why, while I admire the skill with which you manipulated players like IP and Cathyy, and how several times you outplayed the Underground, I still cannot admire the basic thinking that lies behind the way you play the game.