Absolution
Absolution
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 - 7:31 am GMT
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 - 7:31 am GMT

What is NSTracker?

NSTracker is a third-party program designed to provide the NationStates player with figures and tools they can't find anywhere else. The original program was developed by Fostonia circa 2005 and provided core domestic and economic statistics about individual nations along with statistical tracking and national comparisons. A solid core still used today. In May of 2010, Assorro assumed responsibility over development of the calculator nearly a year after Fostonia had ceased to exist. The site has since grown into "The Players National Network" with features now including but not limited to national military and regional statistics as well as the ability to set national roleplay parameters, create regional newspapers, journals, weather, photo galleries and interactive roleplay maps. Player suggestions and feedback have provided much of the inspiration to the continual development of NSTracker.

In 2010, players were welcomed to offer their suggestions and feedback concerning the popular site which Assorro didn't just listen to but implemented as well. A characteristic followed by later third-party authors. NSTracker became the first to actively engage its users in not only their praise but criticism as well through the line "What will make it better?"

Assorro has always maintained that NSTracker is a guide, a starting point for players though over the years entire regions have adopted the site as their singular roleplaying resource. Many attribute this to the standards set for development which have been deliberately put in place in an attempt to bring a sense of realism to NationStates roleplay which is satirical in its fundamental nature.

Education of Gmods

"God Modding" is in essence when someone's character has the ability to do practically anything without limits or boundaries. Pertaining to NationStates, certain players choose to ignore the economic facts about their nation which they can govern through both daily issues and custom settings here on the site. NSTracker stands firmly against this behaviour and has put in place economic consequences for those wishing to test their economic boundaries. One may pull from their workforce to increase their military and may increase the size of their military budget to train those new soldiers but an economic shift will occur as it would in real life.

This is covered in more detail within the section of the content menu titled NSTracker Version 5

Breaking the "Calculator" Stereotype

NSTracker has always been viewed as a calculator because it is. Though, if you take a close look at the features now in place you may notice how it's become so much more than that. The site now wishes to be viewed not only as a roleplay tool but as a separate NationStates "lounge venue" intended to draw not only players interested in national statistics but also those players interested in engaging and interacting with players from all regions.

There's a forum you'll notice which will be designed based off of player feedback. Perhaps interregional courts may finally emerge here or just spam topics meant to amuse all who read them. You can add friends as well as block nuisances and interact through timelines entirely integrated with YouTube search and post fuctions. These are just the tip of the iceburg as the future unveils itself.

This is not a replacement for the official NationStates forum though over the years it's been noticed how older players tend to steer clear of that venue as it's seen as being overrun with trolls, gmods and unimaginative players. Some players feel they are told what they may or may not do and made to feel stupid for suggestions they make or for posting something to the wrong area. NSTracker hopes to provide a separate venue driven by players for players remembering that respect online is something you loss, not earn.

Since the Autumn of 2008, this project has been owned, operated and developed by one individual. It wasn't until May 2010, that Assorro assumed full-time responsibility of the popular site NSTracker following the disappearance of the original author Fostonia.

There was never a need for increasing staff until 2017 when the site started putting in place social development plans with more fully developed key features planned for 2018. This meant that a liaison officer would be required for communicating between the players and the site itself in order to allow Assorro to focus entirely on future plans.

There are no immediate plans for increasing additional staff members to the site though that may very well change in the near future. Possible candidates should never tell us of their interest but rather show us their interest simply by performing the task itself. One gets noticed through their posts as well as their activity level, sincerity and commitment to an idea.

Talk's cheap and the players deserve better than that. I never forget it was the players themselves which promoted me to this position and each year I work to continue being worthy of that honour. So should we all.Assorro

Current Project Team

Delevelopment: Assorro

All ideas and complaints are funelled through Assorro who manages all aspects of the site. Some players have referred to him as a Picard who listens to his senior officers before making decisions. He's open to all criticism and has been known to stop all production at times in order to follow the suggestion of a single player whose idea was seen as being beneficial to all users.

Assorro started out in NationStates not knowing anything about current coding practices but had already developed an interest during the 1980s. Some players reading this will have undoubtedly seen him transform over the years as he worked to train himself through trial and error. This is the fourth time since 2010 that he has released a new version of the site with each new version housing more features and better performance.

Communications: Right-Wing _America (RWA)

Right-Wing _America or RWA for short, joined the team during late February 2017 as the chief communications officer. RWA is the only member currently that does not reside within Absolution and is responsible for international awareness and promotion of the site. What drew RWA to Assorro was how active they were in engaging activity within their own region. RWA has always been a workhorse which is a key quality desired by anyone wishing to become a member of our staff. Many players come and go as they please. Never really meaning to do what they had suggested they would. This is not RWA.

Though many might choose to believe the position easy enough to fullfill, the role of Communications is one that first requires the person to put together a solid strategy and prepare themselves to field any and all concerns players may have. RWA currently addresses all contact form submissions and will soon be seen bringing attention to new features for public review.

Many proposals have been made by RWA including the addition of regional newspapaers. It was thought that the players deserved the right to make their own editions right here on a site that is not only regularly maintained but concerned with providing continued development from player feedback and suggestions.

Moderation: Will increase through neccessity.

There is no current need for moderation at this time however, that may change over the course of 2017 into 2018.

Auxiliary Staff: Effulgnce, Atlantigria, The Sheika

Auxiliary staff are members of Absolution which have been willing to share their insights over the years with Assorro before he makes decisions concerning the site and at times also serve as testers. Auxiliary members have no authority over the site or its users but can be seen as the inner-circle which ideas get bounced-off of regularly. Referring to them as Advisers would not entirely be inaccurate.

History of NSTracker

First designed by a nation called Fostonia sometime in the early days of NationStates (2005) NSTracker has gained popularity over the years among players while providing fuel for criticism among others. Little is known about the early days of the project, beyond the fact that NSTracker became one of the staple third-party tools avaliable to nations. Following the sudden CTEing of Fostonia in 2009 the project came to a halt but players continued to use the service through the code embeded in the off-site regional forums of of Absolution. The fact that Absolution held a copy of the code was a fluke, but a happy one. Without the decision by Absolution's Founder Assorro to embed the code to add something to their forums, NSTracker would have been lost to the ravages of time.

On May 5, 2010 after realizing that interest and use of the project remained high, Assorro officially took over development and support for NSTracker. Assorro took over with no coding experience, instead learning as he went. Since then he has worked tirelessly to improve the tool, developing versions 3, 4 and 5 to add features, refine calculations and provide user freindly interfaces. He has made it a point to ensure a strong connection between the project and the players using it. Criticism and praise alike have been vital to the evolution of the NSTracker over the years and continues to be the driving force behind future upgrades and features.

Version History

Version

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

Release Date

2005

2008

April 2013

October 2015

Febuary 2017

Details

Original Fostnoia Version

Original Absolutuion Forum Embeded Version

First Assorro update, new style + mobile responsiveness

Additional Features, Refined Statistics & New Template Styles

New Style, load time optimization & framework for new + exciting features

Version 1.0 - 2005

Original Fostnoia Version

Version 2.0 - 2008

Original Absolutuion Forum Embeded Version

Version 3.0 - 2013

First Assorro update, new style + mobile responsiveness

Version 4.0 - 2015

Additional Features, Refined Statistics & New Template Styles

Version 5.0 - 2017

New Style, load time optimization & framework for new + exciting features

Every version has brought something new to NSTracker making it the most highly developed, continual project found anywhere in the realm of NationStates. 2017 will see more additions than ever before in our never-ending quest to bring player suggestions to life. Why just dream when you can have. If anyone has any suggestions they'd like to see incorporated into the site all one need to do is ask.

Exchange Calculator

Ever wonder what your currency would be worth to another nation or vice-versa? Wonder no more. It's posted not only to the welcome page of the site but within the Toolbox within the main menu as well. Now you no longer have to wonder. This is a two-part addition with the second half just around the corner.

Better Organized Settings

For those of you who said you couldn't find them before, we're sorry. Now listed within My Stuff in the main menu, your settings have been made a lot easier to read and understand. New additions have been made which we hope you'll enjoy.

Timelines

They work just like Facebook timelines only without all the advertising. Integrated with a YouTube search engine, previewer, save to playlist and easy-one-step posting abilities makes your timeline a truly unique feature found no where else like this. Timelines can be made private via your settings.

Add Friends

Add everyone you know. Friends receive status posts with notifications sent out. Know who's been on and who hasn't.

Block Users

If there's a problem, you want it dealt with. Now you have the ability to address problems yourself without the need of a moderator. Blocked users can not message you nor can they view any of your profile content. As far as they're concerned, you're just not there. And isn't that what you really want?

Privacy Settings

Three choices: Public, Friends Only or Just You. The choice is yours who can view your content from your timeline, photo galleries, YouTube videos, friends, movies and tv shows and journal entries. This is our way of saying that privacy should never have been removed from the internet nor your control.

Personal Journals

Robert Frost said that half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. Whether it a personal story, one founded in domestic, economic or military happenings within your nation, you now have a place to store those memories for you to share with people you know. Or not. The choice is yours and privacy is controlled through your settings.

Notifications

A general work in progress meaning, there will be more options added and reasons to be notified. From status posts and replies from your friends to article and journal entry comments no matter when or where they happen, you'll know about it.

Player to Player Messaging

What social platform is complete without the ability to message other players?

YouTube Integration

If you've been with NationStates a while then you'll have noticed that a lot of players love to post videos. This idea originated in the West Pacific where they hold Kareoke Fridays. Timelines were intended to become Regional Message Boards on steroids but has since migrated to private messaging, forum posts, news articles and journal entries. All of it by simply search for videos and clicking a Post button. Now that's class.

Photo Galleries

What's a national profile without images to back it up? Now you're able to showcase your nation through six national galleries.

Interactive Maps

Do you have a map you could talk about for days? Maybe even a map you could just talk about? Either way, you are now able to add area coordinates to as many maps as you like which will allow users to click those areas to navigate to content pages you yourself create.

By registering with NSTracker you agree to enter into a contract with us where disclosure of private information is deemed unethical and illegal. You further agree not to submit copyrighted material, images or other media content including links or other written suggestions to sites containing gratuitous violence and/or explicit sexual content.

NSTracker uses the same PG-13 rating as NationStates so as not to confuse players by conforming to already known and understood policies.

All content uploaded and posted by you will become the property of NSTracker to use, amend or dispose of at our discretion.

NSTracker is satirical in purpose. If you are not willing to agree to these terms do not use this site.

Use of Resource

Member are encouraged to make use of our storage to add images pertaining to their nation. Our only demand is, no offensive material uploads. This includes material depicting sex and/or gratuitous violence.

NSTracker does not collect information on users. It uses sessions and cookies to keep track of registered members as they navigate from one page to the next.

NSTracker does not make use of any Spyware to track surfing habits for the purpose of selling said information to third-party advertisers.

NSTracker is a concerned and proud free service that does not run ads via AdSense or any other third-party company looking to profit from your involvement with this site.

All personal data such as your name, email address, site photo and password are stored securely within our database for member personal use and can be changed at any time at each members discretion.

All emails are used for the sole purpose of password recovery.

All passwords are md5 encrypted.

Who uses NSTracker?

All players of NationStates. It is meant not only to be for roleplayers but for players and regions wishing to use it as a longue venue. Though many of the features found within NSTracker are indeed designed for roleplay use many of our newest features were designed for casual interaction. NSTracker belongs to the players which is why it is titled The Players National Network.

Is NSTracker supposed to be taken as canon?

Some do. Some don't. It's meant primarily as a guide to help players that do not have the time to calculate their own figures. A lot of time was spent making sure NSTracker delivers closely parallelled real-world values based on economy and population size. You will find entire regions that use NSTracker exclusively for their roleplays because of this.

How do I add a map?

See the category above titled "My Stuff"? In there you'll find your settings for the site. There are many things you can customize meant to help players sculpt their nations. One of these features is adding maps to their profiles. The section titled "Manage my map projects" is where you want to go.

All registered players are able to upload as many maps as they please. This feature is currently under further development though is ready for public use.

Leader, capital and religion aren't showing up, why?

Many players make the mistake of thinking NSTracker takes this information from NationStates API xml feeds ... it doesn't. NationStates requires players to surpass certain population milestones and complete certain issues before being allowed to enter this criteria. We allow players to enter not only these three items but other specific items within their personal settings from their very first day such as leader title, roleplay type and roleplay year. All that is required, is a national account with this site.

How often does the tracker update?

Once. Following the release of the data-dumps after the major update of NationStates NSTracker follows suit as updates its own records.

Why isn't the minor update included?

As previously stated, the daily data dump is only created following the major update. NationStates does not create it following the minor update. If they created it, we would use it but unfortunately, they don't.

Why is my military so small?

Well, if we're examining it from a game perspective then it's got a lot to do with how little you spend towards defense. Not to worry. If you have an account with NSTracker you can simply manage your budgets within your settings.

What is eligible population?

Many players have incorrectly assumed that eligible population refers to the percentage of their population assigned to their military. It's actually the percentage of your total workforce that serves in your military. First we take away youth and seniors to determine how large that workforce is then we apply the percentage.