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General Discussion / Re: Calamity Refuge Book Club
Last post by Catherine - Yesterday at 11:04:35 AM
I read chapter one on the train home yesterday! Thoughts so far below, but the spoiler tag really is there for a reason if you haven't read that far yet.

Spoiler: ShowHide
It's quite a bit more violent than I was expecting it to be. Jimenez really did not hold back with some of those descriptions of punishment and violence (wearing your own family's skin, wtf?!?), but I guess it's doing a good job of making me fear and dislike the royal family and the Peacocks every time they show up.

I'm a little disappointed that Araya didn't get more book time, she seemed like a really interesting character I'd have liked to know more. I'm hoping we get some more backstory about her later on but I'm not expecting it.

I am a little confused by who the Emperor's sons are supposed to be. The Peacock is a son wearing a mask? But the tortoises are actual tortoises? I might have to try and reread the scenes in the palace to understand that one.

If anyone else is reading it I'd love to know what you're thinking so far!
The Admin Tower / CalRef Development Journal 38
Last post by Luca - February 04, 2023, 06:38:01 PM
Dot 3.8: Economy II

We're Kick-Starting the Economy Again

It's been a little longer than expected for restarting the economy. Generation I was shut down for the 3.5 update when stocks exploded, destroying game balance and killing everyone. Now the gears of industry are turning once again.

On-Message credit generation has resumed. Under the new rules, you have a 50% chance of adding :planet: 2 to your bank account if you have spoken in the last sixty seconds, and a 100% chance if you have not. This allows people who just show up once and a while to still get some credit, but also doesn't forget the heavy chatters.

Recruitment credit has been reinstated. If you are fond of using the recruit command, you may also be fond of the fact that every addressee you send a telegram to will generate :planet: 2 in wealth to you.

It's the Battle of All Things!

Long has the day been awaited when the Ultimate Showdown received not only one ill-conceived sequel, but two. Like a Nickelback cover band, it's literally impossible to get us to stop. To coincide with the Battle of All Things in Refugia, Dot will also be participating with the release of a corresponding betting command, called BOAT.

 In each round, you can make a costless bet where a correct answer yields 5,000 planets, the in-game currency. You may change your bet as many times as you like, up to the time that the competition you are betting on begins. There is no penalty for incorrect guesses.

At any time, you can also lodge a prediction of who you think will be the final and ultimate champion of the Battle of All Things. You can change your answer whenever you want and as often as you want; however, the earlier you make a correct prediction, the higher your reward will be. The rewards timeline is tied to what the match is when you place or change a bet.

For a correct final bet placed placed during...
 • Round A: 150,000 Planets
 • Round B: 120,000 Planets
 • Round C: 100,000 Planets
 • Round D:  82,500 Planets
 • Round E:  68,500 Planets
 • Round F:  55,500 Planets
 • Round G:  46,000 Planets
 • Round H:  38,000 Planets
 • Round I:  31,000 Planets
 • Round J:  25,300 Planets
 • Round K:  20,500 Planets
 • Round L:  17,000 Planets
 • Round M:  15,000 Planets
 • Round N:  10,000 Planets

Because of the exponential system, it is prudent to try to reach the correct prediction as early as possible. Since answers can be changed, players whose original choice of champion was defeated may continue playing, and guess again for a lesser prize. It also gives players with surviving champions the decision to stick with them to the end, or jump ship to a more likely champion as The Battle of All Things goes on.

Activate the command with /boat or I cast boat

The Return of Infinity and the Rise of Inequality


It is, perhaps, inevitable within a game's economic system that inequality will appear. Ours will be no exception. This time, however, I am planning on it from the start. Unlike last generation, the only way that you will be able to receive a Gen II Economy badge at the end of season will be to donate planets through the infinity project. The Infinity command has returned with a freshly emptied account, and an even snazzier, paginated leaderboard feature. The top 2% of players who contribute to Infinity will receive the badge. In the unlikely event that there are less than 50 nations at the end of the season qualifying for a badge, the number will be expanded. But for now, it's 2%.

In order to encourage (or discourage??) people donating to the Infinity Project, there is a new command called inequality. This command brings a separate leaderboard of the wealthiest players by unspent bank. In this command, the top 1% of players will be receiving the legendary Gen II Shitlord Badge of Extreme Wealth Hoarding. Whether this is something you are aiming to obtain or aiming to avoid is up to you. I suspect many may try to avoid being saddled with this trophy for the rest of their days, plagued by it in the upcoming profile command. Fear not, you can escape it simply by keeping your balance low and donating to Infinity. Alternatively, embrace being a shitlord!

Something that I missed during the stock hype of the last economy generation was that inflation made it less possible to use the economy for events and activities. We have that opportunity again. Consequently, at the end of the Battle of All Things competition, there will be more fine sources of income added to Dot as well, and new events that will arise. The economy functions will continue to expand even after this update, and the season will not be closing any time soon.

Everyone will have ample opportunity to pursue their goals in our various events.

Notable Enhancements

The colour command has been pretty substantially improved in this update, and will likely be substantially improved again in the next update. But as of now, the output of a given colour comes with a label in the created image of the hex code it represents.

When you input a hex code, you will get back the name of the colour you are searching in the footer, or at least the closest name by euclidean distance. If you wish, you can use those colour names to as inputs, themselves. This means you can search colours even if they are outside the CalRef traditional colour palette, like "kelley green" or "very light pink". You are also now able to use commas to separate inputs, generating up to seven images in at a time, with the output image organising them nicely into the same image dimension as usual.

Two other commands getting an upgrade this update are info and timestamp, which can now be used as context commands. Context commands appear whenever you are interacting with a certain type of object in Discord.

You can use the info command by right-clicking or long-tapping on a user's name or profile picture, which will skip typing the command entirely. You can use the timestamp command in the same way, by right-clicking or long-tapping on a message to query Dot for the exact time it was sent. When using timestamp as a context command, the time object will also be a URL to the message, just so there is no confusion or dispute about what is being queried.

Finally, the telegrams command has been enhanced by providing an optional button to see the found rate over the last 28 days. Telegram queue history and newly founded nation history have a strong correlation; however, telegram queues heavily depend on how fast NationStates actually sends a message. They could linger in the queue for some time.

Still, this contextual information can be useful if you wish to study found trends and how recruitment might impact the queue.

Bug Fixes and Minor Changes

  • Map and RRS, despite being the oldest still-existing commands, have just now been added to the documentation
  • RRS, for whatever need, can now be used outside of the CalRef server
  • The commands / help command layout is improved and links to the CalRef server for support
  • Fixed a bug where Eyebeast stopped reporting the user that deleted a message
  • Fixed a bug where hail could not be used in a DM, if used as a slash command
  • Resolved an issue where Discord did not permit recruit to function as a slash command
  • Fixed a bug where roster could not display role data if that role had an icon
  • Fixed an ancient bug where save caused Dot to crash when saving a region with mixed-case BB tags
  • Fixed a Transitional Council error where tart's websheet led to a 404

Report all errors to the local authority.
General Discussion / February
Last post by Catherine - February 01, 2023, 01:42:06 PM
This month's Book Club book will be The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez.

Are there any themes or tropes anyone is particularly hoping to come across in this one before we start reading?

Based on the blurb, I'd like to see some family/found family, and I'm also really curious about the world and whether there's magic.
General Discussion / Re: Poetry Corner
Last post by Catherine - January 31, 2023, 04:58:52 AM
Quote from: Nakari on January 31, 2023, 03:16:50 AMPacked Lunch, by Tanvi Roberts

Still I remember the care he took each morning: rising early, like steam
from the green at the bottom of our street, not with the breaking
of light or out of any need, but with his sleep cut short
by the alarm. In his pyjamas he'd walk, slowly, blinking his eyes
into waking. And I – can you believe it – would be angry, as only
a well-loved child can be, even to hear his alarm, for it disturbed
me. I slept well and longer, woke up, panicked, gunned down the stairs
to find him there, in the kitchen, walled in by stacks of Hovis crusts,
tomatoes bled into a steel katori – for otherwise, the sandwiches would go
soggy. Whirlwind of adolescent importance, I picked them up and slung
them into my bag, barely thinking, I never looked
back. I savoured the luxury of walking away, of ignoring the man
behind bread, which was lunch, which was love, which was cut
into triangles, which was neatly packed.

I really like this one!
General Discussion / Re: Poetry Corner
Last post by Nakari - January 31, 2023, 03:16:50 AM
Packed Lunch, by Tanvi Roberts

Still I remember the care he took each morning: rising early, like steam
from the green at the bottom of our street, not with the breaking
of light or out of any need, but with his sleep cut short
by the alarm. In his pyjamas he'd walk, slowly, blinking his eyes
into waking. And I – can you believe it – would be angry, as only
a well-loved child can be, even to hear his alarm, for it disturbed
me. I slept well and longer, woke up, panicked, gunned down the stairs
to find him there, in the kitchen, walled in by stacks of Hovis crusts,
tomatoes bled into a steel katori – for otherwise, the sandwiches would go
soggy. Whirlwind of adolescent importance, I picked them up and slung
them into my bag, barely thinking, I never looked
back. I savoured the luxury of walking away, of ignoring the man
behind bread, which was lunch, which was love, which was cut
into triangles, which was neatly packed.
General Discussion / Calamity Refuge Book Club
Last post by Catherine - January 30, 2023, 01:10:14 PM
It started, as many things do, with a book club. And a dream that perhaps it could return.

15 people responded to the calling to share their thoughts, which are below. And then my thoughts on those thoughts! And you can reply with your thoughts on my thoughts on your thoughts. INTERDEPENDENCE. SYNERGY. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. :BIGCAT:

QuoteQuestion 1: What genres do you like? Choose as many as you like.
13 votes: fantasy, and sci-fi
8 votes: classics
7 votes: historical fiction
6 votes: action and adventure
5 votes: crime/mystery, and young adult
4 votes: romance, graphic novels, and dystopian
2 votes: horror, and nonfiction
1 vote: autobioghraphy/memoir, and thriller

We lean very heavily to fantasy and sci-fi, shared interests are nice! 

QuoteQuestion 2: Which three of the following would be most important to you in a CalRef Book Club?
7 votes: a dedicated space to talk about the book and share reviews/fanart, prompts, and thoughts or questions from others while we read
5 votes: free options (e.g. available through online libraries), voting on book suggestions, reading genres I like, and reading books I've never read before
3 votes: accessible options (e.g. audiobooks)
2 votes: diverse authors, reading at the same pace as others, and somewhere to share my reading goals
1 vote: books that are also a film/tv show

The top two are fairly simple! This thread can be our dedicated space to share our thoughts, and I can do my best to come up with some prompts if things are quieter, although I would love it a lot if we all shared questions and ideas.

The ones with 5 votes are a bit more varied. Voting is easy and can take place via emoji in Discord, and reading genres we like is hopefully doable with the handy-dandy answers to Question 1 above. For reading books we've never read before, that should hopefully be covered in the voting. For free options, there are online libraries which will be fine for classics and older books, but if we're reading anything relatively more recent the best option is honestly probably to support your local libraries and ask if they use apps like Borrow Box or Libby!

QuoteQuestion 3: How often should Book Club run?
9 votes: every month
3 votes: every 2 months
2 votes: reading a chapter per week
1 vote: every 2 weeks

This is a pretty substantial majority preference for once a month, that's easy! Although of course, you still don't have to join in every month to renew your book club membership.

TLDR: why aren't you reading, this is Book Club >:)
One book a month, will probably lean heavily to sci-fi and fantasy, we love democracy and encouraging the support of local libraries!

Well, now what?
It would be nice to start the book club on 1st February, as it will be easier to remember when the month starts and ends if we follow the calendar. I'll post some book club voting options tomorrow (31st January), and after 24 hours to vote, I will post February's book in this thread! Don't forget to add the Book Club role on Discord to get voting pings.
General Discussion / Re: Poetry Corner
Last post by Cat - January 30, 2023, 01:02:18 AM
The universe may stop expanding in five billion years
at which point time will cease
to exist and I can finally stop
complaining. there's a fragile
world reflected in the glassy
pearl of your spit left
on my belly and i'm telling
you, i've never been so
old. the day sucks with leech-
teeth. even given the shreds
of your dead rind caked under
my fingernails there's the black
chasm of want expanding
in my chest the way a bead
of ink breaks, making me difficult
to touch without an exit plan.
imagine, please, a better
continuum. you say earlier
doesn't feel real
and you're right,
not because there was anything
exceptional about the heath
in early afternoon, not because
our chins sticky with cider
was a notable pop in this
quivering glitch of a life,
but because it was too ordinary
to even dare remember,
because we'll someday ache
for any regular Sunday in June
where the sun was a sure
thing and breath tasted like warm
grass and there was not a single
indication the cosmos would one
day shut like your eyes, tight
with pleasure.

Savannah Brown, Sweetdark. Can be enjoyed in audio.
General Discussion / Poetry Corner: Last of the Dor...
Last post by Emily - January 29, 2023, 09:32:24 PM
The Last of the Dorsets by Al Purdy
Quote(Eskimos extinct in the 14th century A.D.)

Animal bones and some mossy tent rings
scrapers and spearheads
    carved ivory swans
all that remains of the Dorset giants
who drove the Vikings back to their long ships
talked to spirits of earth and water                   
—a picture of terrifying old men
so large they broke the backs of bears
so small they lurk behind bone rafters
in the brain of modern hunters
among good thoughts and warm things
and come out at night                                 
to spit on the stars

The big men with clever fingers
who had no dogs and hauled their sleds
over the frozen northern oceans
awkward giants                                       
  killers of seals
they couldn't compete with little men
who came from the west with dogs
Or else in a warm climatic cycle                     
the seals went back to cold waters
and the puzzled Dorsets scratched their heads
with hairy thumbs around 1350 A.D.
—couldn't figure it out
went around saying to each other                     
    'What's wrong? What happened?
    Where are the seals gone?'
And died

Twentieth century people                             
apartment dwellers
executives of neon death
warmakers with things that explode
—they have never imagined us in their future
how could we imagine them in the past                 
squatting among the moving glaciers
six hundred years ago
with glowing lamps?
As remote or nearly
as the trilobites and swamps                         
when coal became
or the last great reptile hissed
at a mammal the size of a mouse
that squeaked and fled
Did they ever realize at all                         
what was happening to them?

Some old hunter with one lame leg
a bear had chewed
sitting in a caribou skin tent
—the last Dorset?                                     
Let's say his name was Kudluk
carving 2-inch ivory swans
for a dead grand-daughter
taking them out of his mind
the places in his mind                               
where pictures are
He selects a sharp stone tool
to gouge a parallel pattern of lines
on both sides of the swan
holding it with his left hand                         
bearing down and transmitting
his body's weight
from brain to arm and right hand
and one of his thoughts
turns to ivory                                       

The carving is laid aside
in beginning darkness
at the end of hunger
after a while wind
blows down the tent and snow                         
begins to cover him
After 600 years
the ivory thought
is still warm
General Discussion / A List of Books I've Read (202...
Last post by Emily - January 29, 2023, 09:26:18 PM
Hello everyone, I compiled this list for a blog elsewhere and thought it would be fun to share here. It's split into two separate lists, books I've read for uni and books I've read in off-time for fun:

Books I've read for uni in no particular order:

  •     Beowulf
  •     Hildebrandslied
  •     Cú Chulainn
  •     The Völsunga Saga
  •     Nibelungenlied
  •     Parzival - Wolfram von Eschenbach
  •     The Faerie Queene - Edmund Spencer
  •     Troilus and Criseyde - Chaucer
  •     Morte D'Arthur - Thomas Mallory
  •     William Shakespeare*
  •     Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, short stories - Jonathan Swift
  •     Javanese Gentry - Umar Kayam
  •     Dumb Luck - Vũ Trọng Phụng
  •     White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
  •     Untouchable - Mulk Raj Anand
  •     Fantomina - Eliza Haywood
  •     Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
  •     Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  •     Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler
  •     The Female Quixote - Charlotte Lennox
  •     Romance of the Forest - Ann Radcliffe
  •     Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
  •     Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  •     Dracula - Bram Stoker
  •     The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
  •     The Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales
  •     Kiss of the Fur Queen - Tomson Highway
  •     Monkey Beach - Eden Robinson
  •     Noopiming - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
  •     Medicine Walk - Richard Wagamese
  •     Soucoyant - David Chariandy
  •     The In-Between World of Vikram Lall - M. G. Vassanji
  •     The Divine Ryans - Wayne Johnston
  •     All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews
  •     The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
  •     The Handmaid's Tale, Moral Disorder - Margaret Atwood
  •     Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus - Mary Shelley
  •     The Scholar's Guide - Pedro Alfonso
  •     Poetry by Me'ir of Norwich, Marie de France, Berechiah HaNakdan
  •     The Dead - James Joyce
  •     Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
  •     Spreading the News - Lady Gregory
  •     Playboy of the Western World - John Synge
  •     Translations - Brian Friel
  •     Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
  •     Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  •     Shambleau, No Woman Born - C.L. Moore
  •     The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
  •     Woman on the Edge of Time - Marge Piercy
  •     Adulthood Rites - Octavia Butler
  •     Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
  •     Clade - James Bradley
  •     The Tiger Flu - Larissa Lai
  •     The Annual Migration of Clouds - Premee Mohamed
  •     Greenwood - Michael Christie
  •     The School for Scandal, The Critic - Richard Sheridan
  •     The Beggar's Opera, Polly - John Gay
  •     Jonathan Wild - Henry Fielding
  •     The Rape of the Lock, The Temple of Fame - Alexander Pope
  •     The Iliad - trans. Alexander Pope
  •     The Way of the World - William Congreve
  •     A Sentimental Journey - Laurence Sterne
  •     The Belle's Stratagem - Hannah Cowley

* The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Hamlet, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, Henry VI Parts 1, 2, & 3, Richard III

There are more, of course, but these are all I can find record of and remember well enough to list.

For fun:

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
  • Shadow & Claw - Gene Wolfe
  • Sword & Citadel - Gene Wolfe
  • The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Sword of Destiny - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Blood of Elves - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Time of Contempt - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Baptism of Fire - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Tower of Swallows - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi
  • The Consuming Fire - John Scalzi
  • The Last Emperox - John Scalzi
  • Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer
  • Seven Surrenders - Ada Palmer
  • The Will to Battle - Ada Palmer
  • Perhaps the Stars - Ada Palmer
  • Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

If there's any interest, I'll group/categorise these and give recommendations from the list.
General Discussion / Re: Poetry Corner
Last post by Nakari - January 26, 2023, 04:54:30 PM
Quote from: Catherine on January 26, 2023, 01:16:36 PMOne of my favourite poets right now is Jay Hulme, a queer religious poet. I think my favourite of his less religious poems is Just Talk About the Weather

They told me not to swear at the bishop,
I said not to worry,
said I knew small talk when I saw it,
said what a shitty day for a party;
it's pissing it down out there.
Did it fuck up your fancy hat?

This is fantastic! I've heard of him + seen some of his religious poems, which I didn't really connect to as much, but this is so playfully irreverent I love it :P I shall have to investigate more!