FRONTIER/STRONGHOLD UPDATE DROPS, EUROPEIA LAUNCHES TRANSITION TO FRONTIER
Frontier Europeia Dawns
Written by Pland Adanna, Edited by McEntire
Arnhelm, Europeia - A new chapter for Europeia begins today. NationStates administrators released the long-awaited Frontier/Stronghold update, paving the way for regions to choose their future in the world of gameplay. Europeia has chosen to become a Frontier. Just seconds ago, HEM, founder of Europeia, clicked the button.
Europeia's decision to become a Frontier opens the possibility of population growth with some level of security costs. Frontier regions remove all power from their founder nation, and vest their gameside powers—like the ability to eject and ban nations—in the delegate. In exchange for this security downgrade, a portion of new nations spawn in their region, like they do in game-created regions. Strongholds, on the other hand, remain very similar to current user-created regions, but the founder has the power to appoint a successor in case they cease to exist or step down.
For over a year, Europeians have worked to prepare for this moment through legislation to establish structures for a transition, initiatives to engage gameside residents, and plans and agreements to shore up regional security.
The Frontier/Stronghold Act of 2022 put Europeia on track to face this momentous change. The law dictated that the region would choose which path to take via a referendum. After a public push to have the referendum earlier and successful legislation codifying that effort, 65% of participating Europeian citizens voted to become a Frontier in March.
Delegate Le Libertie carried out the next part of the Frontier/Stronghold Act soon after: appointing officers to the Regional Security Council. Following Senate confirmation, the Regional Security Officers established new endorsement caps, designed to comfortably protect the delegate—and the community at large—from security threats to Frontier Europeia.
“We've been able to repeatedly reach out to resident nations, and I think this has given many an opportunity to at least understand the situation and their options,” Le Libertie told the EBC. “And this has made an impact, with many nations now informed of the update and compliant with our new endocaps. Still, there are dozens of non-citizen nations who continue to be over the endocap, so our work is far from over. But we're absolutely moving in the right direction."
During Writinglegend's several successive presidential administrations last year, he pursued a major realignment of Europeia's alliances in response to aggression from the extreme raider group known as the Brotherhood of Malice. This realignment also aimed to ensure Europeia's security if the citizenry eventually chose to become a Frontier. Over the course of Writinglegend's latest tenure, Europeia terminated treaties with The Communist Bloc, Kantrias, and United Kingdom. In that time, Europeia also entered new treaties with The League, the Social Liberal Union, The Order of the Grey Wardens, The Pacific, and 10000 Islands, as well as a non-aggression pact with The South Pacific and a landmark agreement known as the Modern Gameplay Compact with Balder, The West Pacific, The Pacific, and The North Pacific.
Recent administrations have also worked to improve Europeia's gameside presence, with President Rand frequently discussing his "whole-government approach" to engaging residents. This push has led to an experiment with new Cabinet-level positions, such as the Minister of RMB Affairs under former President Lloenflys and the revamped Minister of Interior under Rand. While the region has tried similar efforts before, the culmination of many months of preparation has generated the sense of a full-scale endeavor.
"Obviously, the preparation for the transition to Frontier has come with costs, but I am encouraged by the responsiveness and cooperation of the RSC and much of the gameside community," Le Libertie said. "The drastic change in our endocap policy combined with the relatively low-activity nature of most of the gameside residents has presented us with a task that requires a lot of work. I am grateful for the time we've been given, which has been better than some of the worst-case scenario projections that could have been more chaotic.”
Europeia's debate over the Frontier/Stronghold (then-called Democracy/Autocracy) update started as founder HEM created a discussion thread and announced jokingly, "This thread title is both 100% literal and also a bit of a troll." He went on to ask Europeians which path they thought Europeia should take. While the answers were mixed, the clear conclusion was a hope that NationStates administrators would abandon the planned update altogether. This consensus led President Calvin Coolidge to release a statement calling for this very action.
Upon NationStates administrators' refusal to stop the update, Europeians continued debating whether to become a Stronghold or a Frontier. Initially, Stronghold seemed to have the most support, highlighted in a September 2021 poll showing 71% favoring this option. However, some citizens, led by McEntire, launched a new political party, Forward Europeia!, that helped turn the tide in favor of a Frontier, even as it faced several political setbacks and as prominent Stronghold proponents, like UPC and Le Libertie, continued to make their case.
A turning point may have been when President Lime and Vice President SkyGreen, who ran on a platform of a Stronghold Europeia with satellite Frontier regions, announced that they now endorsed becoming a Frontier. Transition Minister Peeps then presented a proposed Frontier Act to the Senate that would have codified Europeia's transition to a Frontier, and senators launched a committee to focus on the update. While the Senate eventually tabled the bill, it served as a starting point for a "pared-down version," the Frontier/Stronghold Act, which prepared the region for the update and allowed citizens to choose which path to take via a referendum to be held closer to the actual launch date. Europeians voted in that referendum in March and decided to go Frontier, starting a new chapter for the region.
"There's something incredible about a community that can outlast so many game updates and changes -- and eventually outgrow a founding figure to become a truly autonomous collection of individuals," founder HEM expressed to the EBC. "I rarely had to use the powers of founder -- though perhaps the threat of them kept certain foes at bay -- so there's not much of a tangible loss in terms of the day-to-day. In many ways, the region had long evolved from needing the founder as a daily caretaker. I am sure it will feel bittersweet when the moment comes, but I also hope it serves as a reminder to all citizens that this is OUR region as a community. It isn't my region, or the region of the old guard, it's for everyone. And I hope it stays that way for as long as people want to spend time here."