What is contained here is a general history of Nation Creation. I figure that the history is mainly a story of a lot of work done by the managers and the players who really like the game and you as players should be able to read about its past. I will be completing this and posting it in sections since there is so much to write about.
If there is any aspect you want me to post more about, I will do that. For those of you interested in what it was like in the past or how NC reached the height it is at today, read on.
Without further adieu, I present the brief history of Nation Creation.
Nation Creation: A name that carries much weight on the Forum Games. However, despite this, only the oldest of veterans can claim that they know the story of Nation Creation – beginning to present. In essence, the history of the thread can be described by its rocky beginnings, its inner turmoil, its competition with Empires At War and, in some ways, its war with Create Your Own Country.
Throughout its life, it has maintained long-term growth that has been experienced by no other thread. The period before Nation Creation was radically different, for Nation Creation revolutionized the genre that you have come to know. Nation Creation has seen fierce inner problems, severe inactivity, collapse and heavy competition from its competitors – it has persevered, and none have managed to silence it permanently. In short, with everything else set aside, it is a story of one thread and its players, working over the past few years to engineer a truly unique experience on the RuneScape Forums.
The First Era: Nation Creations 1 through 21v1 (February 22, 2009 - June 16, 2010)Edit
Based on the events that happened, Nation Creations 1 through 21 can be grouped together into what I call the First Era. In short, the First Era describes all major events starting with Nation Creation 1 and continuing until the Fall of Nation Creation during Nation Creation 21v1.
However, please take note that the First and Second Eras will be split up into various time periods (For example, Beginnings: Engineering a Giant). This helps to better organize and make sense of all major events that occured during all major time periods that make up the two Eras of the game.
Beginnings: Engineering a GiantEdit
The origins of Nation Creation can be split up over the time span of three important threads: Nation Creation (The First), Nation Creation and Nation Creation 2. It was during the first thread that the basic foundations were laid for the future, and during Nation Creation 2 that new aspects, some of which still exist, were added to make the game more unique and, in many ways, more competitive.
The shortest-lived NC thread in its history – the pre-Nation Creation thread was the first. Very few still remember it, and very few actually played it. The reason for this is that shortly after it was created, it was closed down by then-owner of CYOC, Djinn Spell. It was the beginning of a long NC-CYOC rivalry.
On February 21, 2009, not to be confused with the official founding date, February 22, the pre-Nation Creation (Or beta Nation Creation) concept was created. Two players and friends, Scorched and Teran Marine, sat in Scorched125’s chat and worked out the details for the new game. Once it was officially opened that same day, players like Teran Marine (Co-founder), 123xyz8 and E Chip signed up to play. Even though it was brand new, it was beginning to gain a support base. It was the first non-CYOC thread EVER to be created for Djinn had never allowed anything other than CYOC satellites to be created up until this point. In short, it was a radical step forward. Although no one said it on the Forums, people in the in-game chat doubted the need for a new thread, as well as whether it would even survive.
Temporarily justifying all anti-NC theories, Djinn Spell closed down the thread later that day and demanded an explanation. Players such as E Chip posted on CYOC asking Djinn to allow the thread to be reopened, so as soon as Scorched logged back on (He had been away while Djinn closed it), Djinn decided he would get in-game and have a meeting concerning the new thread.
Early the next day, Djinn Spell and Scorched logged into the Scorched125 chat and discussed whether or not the new thread would be allowed. Going into the meeting, it was doubtful it would. As previously stated, Djinn Spell had a tight monopoly on the CYOC-genre. However, by the time the meeting had ended, Djinn had somehow been swayed to let it open – he stated that he allowed it because he wanted a new thread to play on, but one theory is that he thought it would simply die shortly after being created.
Nation Creation (February 22, 2009 – March 16, 2009)Edit
On February 22, 2009, shortly after the meeting with Djinn Spell, Nation Creation was approved and reposted. It exploded.
Nearly every CYOC-player bar a few signed up for the thread. This included nearly every veteran player and nearly every newer CYOC-player. When the new thread was just getting started, CYOC was on thread 8, lead by Djinn Spell.
Aside from the fact that it was the first official NC thread, the first thread established the foundation for a future giant. It was active – nearly as active as CYOC, but nowhere near it in terms of size and long-term player base (Only because it was brand new).
NC 1 can be explained using words such as “lenient” and “open.” CYOC had become fairly chaotic. Player dissatisfaction, a burnt-out owner and a very rigid system (Much of space was outlawed by CYOC 8) were the reality of CYOC at the time, so the early goals of NC were to correct the problems that CYOC was encountering. Logically, its gameplay was designed to resemble the gameplay that was experienced during CYOC 3-4, and perhaps CYOC 2.
Two major external events happened during the course of NC 1. The first of them was the establishment of one of NC’s biggest rivals: Empires At War, created by Aries. The second was Djinn stepping down as thread owner of CYOC, leading to the beginning of Joseph’s ownership which started in CYOC 9. Both would have a large impact on the new Nation Creation, although Djinn stepping down would not have a significant impact until NC 3.
Empires At War experienced a startup which dwarfed NC. Many point out that it was mostly spam, and this is true – but it was active, and in the eyes of Scorched, that meant it was a major competitor. NC had to be overhauled to handle the newfound competition, and thus changes were planned.
Nation Creation 2 (March 16, 2009 – March 29, 2009)Edit
The first official Nation Creation thread established the basis for the actual gameplay, and NC 2 ushered in new changes that would build on the foundation that was already in place. These changes were carried out partially to make NC even more unique than it was, as well as to make it more competitive against EAW and, in turn, CYOC. If the thread could not only make itself stand out but also make itself more competitive, CYOC (Already 9 threads ahead) and EAW (Vastly more active, although mostly spam) would continue to pull ahead.
A new format was introduced. The lonesome “Welcome to Nation Creation!” was replaced with a full-fledged introduction. The EAW time system of 5 pages is equal to 1 game year was adopted, and has never changed since. To compliment the new time system, an activity rule was applied to the rankings, which still exists today – develop your nation, but remain active or it falls in the ranks. However, unlike EAW, the core of Nation Creation was maintained: the rules were only slightly expanded, a new “Yearly Update Application” was added to keep track of legitimate progress, and an official team of moderators was introduced to help keep order within the thread.
The results were simple, and they involved a huge spike in growth and activity. The new changes, specifically the time system coupled with the activity rule, created a new interest in posting many times (Legitimate posts) in one day. A rule was also created preventing posting more than one post in a row when your other post was not full to make sure players didn’t abuse the new system.
By the end of the thread, the future of NC was secured, but its first real trials had yet to come.
To War! The First Golden AgeEdit
-The Djinn Wars were a darker time for NC. The competition with CYOC was legitimate, but the spam/flame wars involved were not. NC is currently on neutral terms with Djinn and CYOC, which is good.-
The war would last until NC was past thread 10, and the first Golden Age would last until thread 7.
Nation Creation 3 (March 29, 2009 - ???)Edit
The goal of Nation Creation 3 was simple: keep growing. NC 2 had crushed all theories that NC would not make it, and the new-found activity allowed the players to enjoy fast project-completions as they eagerly formed the first player Empires NC would see.
However, such rapid growth simply could not be free. Although the mounting competition posed a huge problem, the thread had not seen any real problems, but this would all change.
Djinn Spell, as you may remember from the first section, had been retired since sometime during NC 1. However, while this was true, he still, in essence, represented CYOC – Joseph was the owner, Djinn was its army, so to speak. During NC 3, Djinn had successfully made it into the top 5 with his first NC nation, but this would be short-lived.
In a stunning event, Djinn’s powerful nation attacked Aiur (Owned by Scorched). The attack was sudden and without warning, and the international response was equally stunning.
Shortly after Djinn attacked, all major player nations piled him. The Djinn v. Everyone war was short and what followed was another war, only this time it was a flame war.
In short, both parties involved (Including Scorched) were out-of-hand when it came to the after argument. Harsh words lead to harsh penalties: Djinn was permanently banned from NC. The NC-CYOC Rivalry began.
Nation Creation 4 (Exact Dates Lost)Edit
Starting with Nation Creation 4, the focus shifted. Instead of continuing down the path NC 2 had set, a new trend started, further solidifying NC’s role as a highly-innovative aspect of the CYOC-genre.
The format of the thread changed often. It was expanded, and it no longer resembled NC 1 at all except for its lenient playing style.
During this thread, Djinn was also unbanned, and he rejoined shortly afterwards. Although Scorched and Teran often fought with Djinn, I don’t think either side really hated the other (I did not, for certain) – they simply did not see eye-to-eye.
The trend of Nation Creation 4 was, despite the changes, similar to NC 2 and 3: more activity, more growth… and more problems.
Nation Creation 5 (Exact Dates Lost)Edit
Although Nation Creation 5 was right in the middle of the NC Golden Age, it was filled mostly with fighting between the owners and Djinn. What resulted was another permanent ban.
By now, CYOC was past its 10th thread, and EAW was still surprisingly active.
It should be noted that from NC 2 until NC 5, despite the problems, NC was seemingly unstoppable. As the CYOC Rivalry increased in intensity and the competition from EAW grew exponentially, so did NC. It now had a very distinct player base and country base, and space was a major aspect of NC.
Nation Creation 6 (??? – May 16, 2009)Edit
Nation Creation 6 was signified by, of course, Djinn being unbanned and rejoining NC, as well as the fact that the first Golden Age of Nation Creation was nearing its peak. Until now, the growth rates and activity levels of the thread had been continuously high, and the thread had become very unique due to its constant innovation. The foundation had been set and the formula for NC’s success had been found (Or, so it was thought…).
Although NC was not the clear #1 thread, it was surely enjoying a huge level of activity, and the player base was both large and active.
One of the main things that had emerged from the extreme ambitions of all major NC players was huge Empires and extreme technology. By now, NC tech levels could compete with some of the much older CYOC countries, and the Earth and Space Empires that had been forged by the players were extreme.
Towards the end of the thread, two key things happened. For one, the NC-CYOC rivalry which was carried out between the two NC owners and Djinn had peaked. In short, the effects were disastrous – Djinn seemed to have one goal in mind: See to it that NC falls. What resulted was another permanent ban. The owners of NC were set on maintaining NC’s success and innovation while at the same time competing with both CYOC and EAW.
The second key event was the announcement of an overhaul of the game. New systems would be added, others improved, and the main page would expand greatly.
Another thing to note was that the NC player base had mostly denounced EAW by this time. It was dubbed as the spam-fest of the genre. Although this was true, it would remain one of NC’s two major competitors until its eventual fall.
Nation Creation 7 (May 16, 2009 – June 29, 2009)Edit
At the start of NC 7, the game year was 2229.
Nation Creation was the very last thread in which NC experienced huge growth, huge activity and a large amount of innovation. In short, it was the end of the first Golden Age.
As it had been in the past, Djinn was also unbanned yet again, and he rejoined.
NC 7 also ushered in a slew of new changes. For one, the Megapower rank was added. Player ambitions had exceeded the limits of the Superpower rank, and a new one was needed. Following this addition to the game, the Megapower Pact was agreed upon by all Megapowers. What this meant was that the Megapowers agreed never to go to war with each other for fear that the result would be the destruction of all NC players as collateral.
Aside from the new rank, the thread was introduced to a new format. The introduction was rewritten, and many new systems were added, most of which did not survive Nation Creation 8.
The first of these new systems was the Multiple Countries System. For the first time, you could own more than one country – in fact, you could have as many countries as you wanted.
Next on the list was the Power System. Every aspect that was considered when the rankings were being updated was compiled and posted for everyone to see.
Complimenting the Power System was the Promotion System. This was a detailed guide on how to move from each rank, what was normal for the countries of each rank, and how long it would take to rank-up.
The War system (Not the exact system you all know today) was also put into words and posted.
What resulted was an extremely long main page with changes that would put NC on a collision course with failure.
So ends the First Golden Age.
Nation Creation DepressionEdit
One thread – 104 days: Nation Creation 8. The worst Depression the thread has ever faced to this date, and hopefully it remains that way.
Nothing could have prepared us for the crash that occurred after NC 7. We had experienced 5 threads of healthy activity, active innovation, and a huge boom in our player base. The crash would be devastating and would reinforce the theory that the players can’t survive without management, and management can’t survive without the players. A balance between the two is needed, and when one is severely offset, disaster strikes.
It lasted from June 29, 2009 to October 10 (Estimated), 2009, a total of about 104 days. The effects of the Depression were so deep and so drawn-out that NC simply would not have survived to NC 9 without appropriate changes being made. After all that success, how could it have happened? The evidence is all too clear.
Beginning of the CollapseEdit
The start of NC 8 was not unlike past threads – activity from the last thread transitioned flawlessly. Everyone reposted their applications. Advancement was as usual.
However, NC 8 was not the true beginning of the collapse. The beginning is partially rooted in NC 7, which was a carry-over from the trend of rapid, unchecked innovation set off during NC 2. As a management, as a player-base, we had become too accustomed to success. Everything we had done had brought growth and activity. There were no limits for NC in our eyes.
But for every thread, there are limits. Innovation must be carried out in a planned-out, balanced way. Starting with NC 2, changes were made at a whim. There was no concern for the long-term effects of any of the systems, which is best demonstrated by the changes made during NC 7.
For example, for whatever reason, it did not seem like a bad idea to let players create as many nations as they wanted, so long as they did not interact with each other. We did not see a problem with letting people expand uncontrollably both on Earth, in space, population/military wise and technology-wise. A massive, disorganized, hard-to-read main page was deemed acceptable. Nothing was considered.
The next major problem, equally important to the first, was the disintegration of the central management of the thread throughout the course of NC 8. It started with brief activity – then the top managers seemed to be dropping out of existence.
Thread owners, take heed. If your central management disintegrates after your thread has been engineered to rely heavily on it, expect your thread to crash.
The collapse of the central management brought on other problems. For one, NC is designed to rely on both the managers and the thread holder very heavily. They need the land list updated every so often, new players to be added, and ranking updates to be carried out at more frequent intervals. When management goes inactive, all of these services go inactive with them.
Because of this, E Chip, the number one player nation at the time, became the unofficial central manager. Because of his influential country, he managed to take control of the gameplay, and due to his moderator status, all moderation was carried out through him. However, due to how the game is engineered, one player who has a very influential nation cannot manage the entire game, so the rapid decline continued.
As you can imagine, a thread lasting over 100 days will be extremely slow. By the end, the player-base had collapsed, management was nonexistent and gameplay had come to a screeching halt. It was during this time that Feudal Lords gained much prominence, being one of the main choices for all of the players that were migrating from the collapsing NC.
By the time of the return of Scorched towards the end of the thread, FL was already a well-established thread run by SethTheBleak (Royal Mythos), who was a former NC player seeking to establish a better playing experience than what was offered already.
Near October 15, there were a few undisputable truths that had to be faced head-on. NC was barely alive, its player-base, gameplay and management having collapsed. There was also the fact that the game was so damaged by the 109-day long Depression that it would not survive unless changes were made, and made quickly. October 15 was the end of the Depression and the start of the Reconstruction, which was a daunting task.
The decisions made by Scorched and fellow-managers (Mainly Scorched and E Chip) at the end of the Depression would help to shape the course of NC for many threads to come, and serve as a basis for how NC would be saved during the next crisis.
During the second week of October, 2009, the icy grip of the Depression was finally weakening. For over 100 days, NC had been locked in a horrible period of management disintegration, migration of the player base, and the degeneration of every aspect of gameplay.
By the time that NC 8 was nearing the 2000th post, it was what most people would have deemed a dead thread. It is strange that just one thread earlier, it was a rapidly-growing thread with a large and active player base, as well as player Empires that could compete with much older CYOC Empires.
The aftermath of NC 8 was a thread that was not about to heal on its own. In fact, a reposting of NC 9 would have most likely resulted in the complete loss of NC. For things to continue radical changes had to be made – it was a time to repair.
For reference, the Reconstruction can be seen as the small period immediately after NC 8 had maxed, as well as all of thread 9.
Since NC 1 is still around, everyone can see just how things operated. They can see how things were modded, although little was modded, and they can see just how easy it was to advance. However, this much more ancient model was already inaccurate by NC 8.
NC Rules are usually never created based on the future, but rather, they are created as a response to events that happen within the game. By now, NC 8 would be much more familiar to many of you. There were more rules, and new systems had been introduced so that gameplay wasn’t a complete free-for-all.
However, although there is a major difference in the leniency of NC 1 and NC 8, NC 8 was still more lenient than the current NC, and would remain so until the Second Golden Age changed everything.
Nation Creation World War (October 10, 2009 – October 15, 2009 (Dates estimated))Edit
Although this was likely not the exact name that was chosen, the name I have estimated should give you much insight as to what it was and why it was created.
In short, at the end of NC 8, it was decided that the old gameplay had to go. We were going to experiment with a new concept that hadn’t been widely used until this point, and that was a restart (By today’s standards, it would be considered a partial restart). We figured that if the thread was to continue, we needed to start gameplay from scratch so there would be plenty for all players, new and old, to do, as well as plenty of reasons to come back to the thread after the migration during NC 8.
To signal the end of the old gameplay, as well as to get people back into the game, it was decided that all old countries would be placed into an impossible World War situation – everyone was subject to being attacked by anyone at a whim, and that is precisely what happened.
The tactical genius, E Chip, did nothing short of obliterate all player nations, no matter their size or power, in a very methodical, blitzkrieg-type war. Among his first goals was 123xyz8, who owned one of the largest Empires (Both on Earth and in Space) within the entire game.
To get the message across that he meant business, E Chip decided he would torch the United States-region to the ground – so, using his forces, 123’s prized possession burned to the ground.
In order to prevent many surprised, a large network which prevented all FTL within the Solar System was activated. This gave E Chip more time to turn his attention to the rest of Earth (Save for Aiur, which was shielded).
Once complete, the space war began. 123, also having owned one of the largest space forces, was pushed back by Chip’s space forces and powerful Rift shield as far as the Star Wars Galaxy, where 123 was forced to wall-in.
Of course, E Chip was not about to let up. He continued the intense pressure, and soon 123 just accepted the fact that it was over.
After a few days of the raging war, it was only Scorched and E Chip left – both had to resort to their powerful shields. There was little fighting because of it, and after a while the thread ended in a draw. However, E Chip definitely caused more destruction than Scorched.
Although every nation except for 2 was now in flames, the massive World War sparked new interest in the formerly-inactive Nation Creation. The foundation for new success had been set.
Nation Creation 9 (October 15, 2009 – October 20, 2009)Edit
With the World War having concluded, the moment of truth had arrived – if NC 9 had failed, NC would have failed in general due to the terrible failure that was NC 8.
Concerning gameplay, a restart (Or partial restart) was carried out. What this restart entailed was to allow players to reclaim a certain amount of land (Plus 1 planet), as well as keep one of their technologies (No matter how powerful – they kept it, in tact, ready to be operated). Although some complained that absolutely everything should have been wiped from the previous game session, the partial restart remained.
As for the thread, it was reevaluated and reformatted. Gone were such systems as the Multiple Countries System, and the thread was toned down to only a fraction of the posts that the previous thread had required.
By now, CYOC was on thread 16 – despite the huge Depression, the gap had been reduced to a 7-thread lead for CYOC, while during NC 1 there was a 9-thread lead.
Now, based on the title of this sub-section, you may have noticed that NC 9 only lasted 5 days – the reason for this was because the World War and the partial restart combined to spark extreme interest in NC, and the thread was so active that it only took 5 days to get near to 2,000 posts.
Along with this, management was completely restructured during this thread, and each remaining system was once again maintained. The turn-around was astounding, and NC 9 truly helped lay the foundations for the transition into the Second Golden Age, which may be considered to be both longer than the first and much more rewarding – without this time period, I am unsure as to whether NC would have ever made it to the very top of the CYOC-genre (It was still CYOC-genre to everyone back then, even NC).
Another important thing to consider was the fact that NC 9 ushered in the style of NC which I call “Session Gameplay”. Basically, before this time, there was no plans by any thread (To my knowledge) to establish a system that allowed for a restart/transition into a new game session every few threads. The establishment of the restart system for NC 9 was crucial to the success of NC. The reinforcement of this idea dates back to NC 1 and 2.
During the first 2 threads, two important things happened – Nation Creation became the place to go if you wanted an aggressive atmosphere: this fueled the ambitions of the players. During the second thread, player ambitions were further accelerated with the addition of the activity-centered time system. These two aspects of the thread in combination created a fast-paced and highly-aggressive playing environment. This made NC one of the most active threads, in and out of the genre, but it also created the side affect which occurred when the player Empires were excessively large and powerful, which resulted in the general loss of the drive to continue advancing at fast rates.
For these reasons, NC restarts are both absolutely vital for the continued success of the thread as well as necessary if NC was to later reach the top of the genre, closing the gap with CYOC (And exceeding the number of threads EAW would later reach).