Deep Dive with Dome

Zukchiva

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Deep Dive with Dome
By: Dome Artan, Guest Writer



Hello UDS! Yes despite my previous hostilities with Everyday News I now find myself writing for the great Zuk/Guess and Check/Derp. When I asked Zuk about EDN’s stance on guest writers (always welcome by the way to anyone interested in making a contribution to the Union’s media landscape) I thought I had an idea in mind for an article I could write quickly and demonstrate that the industrious Dome of old was all the way back. Instead I kept expanding the scope of that topic and found myself contemplating an article far longer and, I hope, far more meaningful. Unlike that Kanglia’s Corner article which was [strike]mostly[/strike] satire, with this piece I intend to take a serious long look at the Union’s changes between my last period of activity and my return. I would like to thank Zuk for the opportunity to write for EDN and for mostly singlehandedly keeping the Union mediascape going, as well as for partially inspiring this Deep Dive with their article on the Future of the Gameside Community which I highly recommend.

Ultimately I intend to cover the differences and changes to the areas I was most heavily involved in previously. This unsurprisingly means emphasizing the World Assembly related statistics and for that matter I'll be basing the analysis off the WA Stats Reports I published once upon a time. I’ll also be looking at electoral activity, ministry and executive engagement and some other general changes I feel worth commenting on. With that said I hope everyone enjoys the read and maybe, just maybe, the region gets some discussion out of it.




Basic Statistics



Last WA Report Released

Delegate EndorsementsNon EndorsersWA NationsNon WA Nations
11840158274


Delegate Endorsement PercentageWorld Assembly Membership Percentage
74.68%36.57%


*The final stats report, published August 4th 2020.​





Current WA Statistics

Delegate EndorsementsNon EndorsersWA NationsNon WA Nations
9347140340


Delegate Endorsement PercentageWorld Assembly Membership Percentage
66.43%24.14%


*The same stats tabulated February 3rd 2022.​




Before addressing the stats above it is worth remembering the situations of both mine and The Glorious Hypetrain's Delegacy and how surprisingly well the present situation compares. I became Delegate at the perfect time, I've even seen mention that the success of PIG was luck because of the influx of nations at the exact time of its launch thanks to the Drew Rush. Certainly the numbers achieved would not have been possible without it and for that reason I won't bother to make comparison on Delegate endorsements. The real reason I bring up the Drew Rush here is the similar, if much smaller, Brazilian Rush that has been experienced in NS recently. We have clearly benefitted mightily as our nation count has ballooned because of it (just check out the Union population graph in the Influence section). Because Delegate Endorsement percentage only increased dramatically to the level seen in the first table (74%) after the die off of nations from the Drew Rush, and before was really quite terrible, the fact that the current Delegacy's endorsement rate is as high as it is before any population retraction from the Brazilian Rush is a testament to the success of UDSWAP. Where UDSWAP appears less successful is in getting people to join the WA, the current non WA members number in region is massive and compares in total numbers to the middle of the first Drew Rush CTE wave and percentage wise to nothing I ever tracked. If I may suggest, UDSWAP should be expanded to include a similar dispatch to the Delegate Endorsement Request (which based on the above seems to work well) that is a WA Membership Request inviting non WA members to join the WA.


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I've spoilered the final total regional influence graph published in the dispatches to avoid flooding this space with similar looking graphs. At this point UDS ranked 34th in regional influence with about 1,200,000 influence. When Dome Artan CTEd at the end of October the region was at about 1,500,000 combined influence. An interesting tidbit is the region had 500,000 influence at the time of the Delegate transition between Asdersland and myself. Below is the influence total graph updated to the present day. The UDS actually recently broke the 2 million influence mark, something I mentioned on the Discord a couple days ago. We currently rank 32nd in regional influence with a good chance to advance a couple positions in the coming months as we have more total endorsements than the four regions directly ahead of us, two of which are puppet storages.

Obviously the dramatic influence growth that was possible thanks to the Drew Rush (note the incline between April and October 2020) wasn't going to last and by the last published stats dispatch influence gain was slowing. However it had by that point only slowed from around 70,000 influence a week to 56,000 and based on the slope of the graph not especially noticeably changing until the influence spikes in October; which I'm not entirely sure the cause of as I was inactive, obviously one of the down spikes around that time is Dome Artan's CTE but the others I'm clueless to even guess at; there was still in region potential to keep gaining influence at a respectable rate. So why afterwards was there never any return to comparable levels of influence gain? It's an interesting question, tempting as it is to point to my inactivity and glorify myself, the fact influence continued its steady growth after both the inactivity of the PIG program in August and my personal inactivity from September on indicates that the dividing point between the two rates of influence growth can't really be accredited to that CTE. Certainly the chaos a CTE Delegate causes probably has something to do with it, as well as redirecting of endorsing efforts to different people and probably a corresponding unendorsement effort on Kantobliv at minimum and maybe others as well. It is no surprise that the rest of 2020 was rocky from an influence gain perspective.

zKPxZM0.png

Where I have some surprise is in how unsteady the influence gain is from 2021 on. UDSWAP launched in December 2020 and has the same stated goals PIG did. Why then was influence gain not similar to the end of PIG? The answer lies in some surprising struggles the Union experienced in regards to population, spending December 2020 - October 2021 below 300 nations and even falling all the way below 200 in April 2021 (see below). It is simply not fair to evaluate influence gain when nation count was hurting so dramatically. It is certainly possible to maintain high influence growth with less nations, the UDS dropped below 400 in June 2020 and kept falling with no noticeable difference to the rate on the above graph, but the nation levels have only recently recovered to a similar point. With that in mind shouldn't influence growth recover to previous levels along with it? There is an increase in October 2021 that corresponds to the recent surge of UDS nation count but the influence then slows while nation count shoots up with the Brazil wave. Is this new influx of nations prevented by a language barrier the Drew Rush nations (joining by following an English speaking YouTuber) didn't have? Perhaps that's a contributing factor but I really think the reason lies in the only difference I can find between PIG and UDSWAP (aside from the fantastic automatic features of UDSWAP), that there doesn't appear to be an effort involved with it to get nations into the WA. I mentioned this in the Basic Statistics section so I won't go into much more detail but based on what was presented here and above if its a goal of the region to build up its Influence and increase endorsements at all levels there should be some refocusing of the efforts of UDSWAP.
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Similar to Influence I've spoilered the last graph I published cataloguing total regional endorsements. Unlike the Influence graph we can already see some worrying signs of collapse at the end of it. This could be contributed to the inactivity of PIG as by the time Dome Artan CTEd total regional endorsements were at around 3000. The current endorsement total actually compares pretty well at around 2700 and to give a bit more context for those numbers both of them would rank at the exact same spot amongst regions, 23rd most in NS today. We can see, based on comparing the graph below and the nation count graph in the Influence section how tightly linked the two are. Logically this makes sense of course, the more nations the more to endorse and be endorsed by. However the correlation between the graphs, similar to the Influence one when comparing it to the nations graph, ends with the recent population increase. We see the early spikes in Union population mirrored by spikes in endorsements, we see the massive Drew spike and its corresponding endorsement spike and then we see the recent population boom approaching 600 and no movement on endorsements at all.
jUyu0Pv.png

Average endorsements was really my favourite thing to track, after all we made it into the top 10 getting up to 17 endorsements a nation. Today we're a bit under 5 and sit in 27th, definitely still respectable. Endorsement saturation captures all the previously touched upon WA changes in one number. Last WA Report: 27.73% of all potential endorsements. Current rate: 14.11%. It is a hard number to increase admittedly but not impossible, FNR is around 22% with by appearances a less sophisticated WA Program than our own.


tqPGL3p.png
I think its fair to say Union activity in this regard has dropped dramatically. The above graph compares the last 3 Senate elections in 2020 (Past) to the last 3 Senate elections from the present date (Present). At best there is a gulf of 10 voters, at worst 15. The UDS has always been a region that emphasizes government activity, sometimes admittedly to a fault, failing to generate activity that wasn't related to the government. Now though it seems efforts to branch out have hurt the region's activity levels in its most important area. Obviously the most recent election had 17 voters which is an improvement but the current election only had 5 candidates with 3 failing to post any campaign content whatsoever (making me want to propose legislation like TSP's "must post campaign to qualify for ballot" but that's for another time). The region is coming out of a population sag, which explains past activity levels but the current gain in population is meaningless if it doesn't translate to active citizens voting and campaigning to improve the region. Not to belabour the point but Phoenix's two Presidential elections saw 36 and 24 votes cast respectively, Sacento's election saw 13.


I was mostly involved with the Census and Foreign Affairs ministries so I'll keep the content to that. In passing I'll mention I like the decision to split out Roleplay from Culture, I know from my experience in the role-play it takes a lot to stay on top of your own interactions never mind being responsible for running it as well as all other aspects of Union culture. To the Census now; the speed at getting to applications is fantastic so credit there. The legislative emphasis on trying to make citizenship easier is also admirable, credit to The Glorious Hypetrain for their detailed post accompanying their proposed amendment citing difficulties with UDS election schedule and citizenship acceptance. Foreign Affairs, likely as a byproduct of general Union activity being lessened, seems to struggle getting embassy reports out based on looking at our forum thread. The diplomatic achievements I missed out on, specifically reconnecting with FNR and The League and the first non founder signatory member of PfS, are impressive. I don't have much to evaluate in this section, the Ministries seem to be functioning reasonably well, but especially with regards to FA its interesting to look back and see how fast things change on NS even though they seem slow when you're in them. I will in this section also make note of general Executive activity, which until the first Executive Report I thought would be something I would be politely taking issue with. However the Report was pleasantly surprising and instead I offer this to Kingdom of Sacento, try and make it a bit more apparent what is going on behind the scenes. One, people might find it interesting and want to get involved either simply through citizenship or the Ministry applications. Two, dispelling appearances of inactivity is incredibly important, maybe just to me but I think to everyone that doesn't have Cabinet level knowledge. This doesn't have to be through more frequent reports, once a month is enough writing, but just through general regional conversation in the two Liberty Square's we have available.


This essentially covers three main things, two good and one not so much. One, the new Constitution and the removal of the General Assembly. I liked the GA, there I said it, but it was pointless when I was active due to lack of people eligible and engaged and would be even more so if it still existed. I think everyone can agree the other major change between the Constitutions, Chancellery to Electoral Commission, is much more palatable democratically, even if there never was any issue with how the Chancellery functioned. The second miscellaneous point to cover is of course the new forum and credit to Phoenix Coalition for it. It is simply a fantastic upgrade. The citizenship and ministry forms are on par if not better than similar GCR efforts. The integration with discord continues to amaze. The ability to find all the rosters easily is another benefit. Truly can not say enough about it. The rosters though does bring me to the one negative I want to mention in this section, roster upkeep and on a similar note dispatch upkeep is out of date. The Government tab on the forum continues to list Sacento as interim culture minister; Zukchiva was never listed as a Senator; I'm sure the Ministry tabs need updating if after all the whole UDSAF server did. Onsite we've already seen Zuk mention the law dispatch being out of date and I imagine there's other dispatches the Dispatch Office has produced that need correcting. I think there is value in maintaining the onsite dispatches but if we don't have the hours to put into keeping it up to date perhaps no dispatch is better than an out of date one.


I’m certainly not perfect, of course the reason I even have cause to write this article is my sudden withdrawal from NS due to exhaustion with all the little tasks it involved so I can understand the little things in the UDS getting forgotten. There isn’t a lot of us that have the time and ability to commit to maintaining these truthfully rarely examined things whether that is the dispatches, the rosters or even the embassy updates and the World Assembly stats. I don’t write to criticize and if I was overly so I hope I would be called out by the people who have been putting in the time far longer than I have (my nation after all hasn’t even existed for a full year in game yet), and in fact I think the UDS is truly doing great especially for a region who's main cohort has gone, or is about to go, off to college, one of the most famed nation killers. I could write for ages about the advancements this community has made in taking some of the grind out of running the region while mostly escaping any quality tradeoff. The new forum as I've mentioned continues to amaze me, just a couple days ago I learned about its automatic acceptance/denial features for ministries and citizenships. At the end of it all, I just want to see the region continue to thrive and avoid as I think I saw Phoenix mention in his interview with Everyday News the trap of content inactivity.
 
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