The Shift: July 2020

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As we move into the second half of the year, the total World Assembly population in NationStates has just about stabilised following the Drewpocalypse. In this edition, NationStates Today will take a closer comparative look at the pre- and post-surge population levels in addition to the regular monthly update of changes.

In keeping with last month in a reverse of the initial gains, feeders again had the largest falls in World Assembly population for July at an average of -12.9%, followed by User-Created Regions (UCRs) on -10.2%, and then sinkers on -7.1%. In total, the total growth of all regions was -10.6%, slightly improving on June’s figure.


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However, there is quite a diversity of changes on a regional level. Left-leaning UCRs rounded out the top three performers of the month, with The Communist Bloc, Forest, and The Internationale all recording World Assembly population growth over 3%. Other UCRs fared a much different fate, with The Black Hawks and Conch Kingdom experiencing the sharpest falls among nine such regions with a growth rate lower than -15%.


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Both feeders and sinkers found themselves sandwiched in between the extremes, with the members of both categories keeping in close proximity to one another. Among the feeders, all remained within a range of -11.8% to -14.6%, while the sinkers were contained within a range of -4.5% to -9.0%. This suggests that there have been no exceptional movements among the Game-Created Regions (GCRs), with all being primarily affected by game-wide movements in the past month, rather than individualised factors.

Special: Drewpocalypse, Then & Now

Comparing the data from the March edition of The Shift to the new information generated today illustrates some interesting information about the winners and losers from this unprecedented surge in onsite activity.


Note: Enadia, Conch Kingdom, Confederacy of Layem, Anteria, The Glorious Nations of Iwaku, and Capitalist Paradise were excluded from this comparison despite having more than 100 World Assembly nations on 25 July 2020 due to a lack of data from 25 March 2020.

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On the whole, the total World Assembly population remains 6.9% higher than it was on March 25. At its peak in mid-May, the increase compared to that same point was approximately 43%, meaning that only about one-sixth of those new gains have been retained. So is this the outcome of a successful few regions, or are the gains more evenly spread out across the board?

The data seems to strongly support the first assertion. The fact that median and mean regional growth for regions above 100 World Assembly nations is significantly higher than total regional growth for all regions is a reflection of this, demonstrating that the gains have been consolidated in the largest regions.


Note: Enadia, Conch Kingdom, Confederacy of Layem, Anteria, The Glorious Nations of Iwaku, and Capitalist Paradise were excluded from this comparison despite having more than 100 World Assembly nations on 25 July 2020 due to a lack of data from 25 March 2020.

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Most notably, there are seven UCRs that have recorded growth over the period of over 40% – The Union of Democratic States, 10000 Islands, The Internationale, The Free Nations Region, The Land of Kings and Emperors, The Communist Bloc, and Europeia. Adding to this, feeders have performed disproportionately well as a group, ranging from 11.9% to 23.1% in their total World Assembly population growth from March to July.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, most smaller UCRs that have populations too small to count in The Shift have not gained anything from this surge in the long-term. However, there have been some notable exceptions to this rule – The Leftist Assembly, the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators, Osiris, and the New Western Empire all experienced negative movement in these four months, while other large regions like Balder, Lazarus and Europe experienced almost unrecognisable gains.


Note: Enadia, Conch Kingdom, Confederacy of Layem, Anteria, The Glorious Nations of Iwaku, and Capitalist Paradise were excluded from this comparison despite having more than 100 World Assembly nations on 25 July 2020 due to a lack of data from 25 March 2020.

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The distinguishing feature of the best-performing regions is that they went on the offensive with recruitment early on during the surge, allowing them to capture and lock in those gains. This is evidenced by the fact that almost all seven of those UCRs were the largest gainers in the April 2020 edition of The Shift, the first following the rapid spike. The only notable exception to this is The Communist Bloc, whose sustained growth can mostly be attributed to a sustained stamp recruitment campaign that has been highly successful in yielding steady gains across the period.

The lesson here for regions across NationStates is that, when in a population spike, your recruitment should similarly spike to maximise your chances of locking in long-term gains. As an extra bonus for the extra-long monthly update, I have created a bonus treemap with the July 2020 data from The Shift to visually represent the distribution of the World Assembly population across NationStates:


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Llo

Llo has been on NationStates since May 2016, residing primarily in The Leftist Assembly, where he has most notably served previously as its Secretary for four terms. He enjoys working in regional governments, particularly in news, elections, law-making, and polling. He is a former CEO of NationStates Today, and is now an editor and Politics/Gameplay writer. He has published over 50 articles, making him the most published writer in the organisation's history, and writes the monthly edition of 'The Shift'.