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Customs of Nelva

Nelva defines customs as “common practices” that are seen as laws as long as they are fitting the context and the era. They are secondary to the constitution, and may change.

Le Costume Alsacien * Alsace et Moi * Pixanne Photographies
Don’t worry, it’s not the national outfit.

Each alliance tends to develop traditions throughout time, and Nelva is no exception. The Constitution is the supreme law, and nothing contradictory to it can be enforced (Guaranteed by the action of the King and the Minister of Justice, also called the Arbitrator).

In this regard, the customs of Nelva are a set of culturally significant traditions that are considered as de facto laws. They are often tied a lot to the morality of the alliance, but they can be changed depending on the need or the era. In other words, where the Constitution is a law that can only be changed with the approval of the people, customs can evolve organically with time.

It’s important to note that most processes, like “how to recruit”, “how to assess skill” and “military standards” fall under the “Customs” style of laws.

Customs are important to the heart of Nelva people, but they are not “so” important that they wouldn’t be changed in face of new and better ideas.

They ensure to the government some flexibility in the ruling of the alliance, as long as it remains on the highway of the constitution and ethos.

List of Customs

  • The Discord Server of Nelva is open to all, in the respect of Nelva’s values and decency.
  • Cadets hold the exact same rights and duties than citizens, save for the voting rights.
  • One Group of Nelva players per map maximum. In the general case, the max number of Nelvas allowed in a group is equal to the 2/3 (rounded to the above) of the max size of a coalition. Some maps are handled case by base, for ethical reasons.
  • Diplomacy has ethical boundaries : White/Grey/Black Diplomacy
  • Teaching and Learning of Bug Exploits is forbidden
  • The King chooses Ministers. Nomination of Civil Servants is to the discretion of Ministers.
  • King and Government act with the highest transparency possible
  • Citizens can propose ideas that, if they are compatible with constitution and ethics, will turn into referendum.
  • Constitution Modifications are revised, improved, and voted again, as long as they do not gather 90% of citizen votes.
  • Gold Usage is tolerated case per case, for anti-traitor and anti-massive gold user defense, but remains at the executive order of the Justice Ministry
  • Small disputes are handled by House Leaders inside their respective houses, and they refer to the Arbitrator if the problem seems too big for them.

Explanation of Customs

L'hospitalité dans une villa à Pompéi - Cesare dell'Acqua (1821 - 1905) -  XIXe siècle - N.88230
We are very xenophile

The Discord Server of Nelva is open to all, in the respect of Nelva’s values and decency.

By King’s decree, 2018

This custom sets the idea that as long as you are not a traitor, a massive gold user, you will be welcomed within our walls, and you are entitled to hospitality : friendly and active people to discuss with, and people answering your questions if it is in the realm of their abilities.

This doesn’t exclude other languages, and speaking english in the public citizen area is perfectly allowed, even if a dedicated english room was created in 2018 to accomodate the english speakers, in the middle of all those baguettes.

Despite this custom, Nelva usually doesn’t hesitate to just throw away people that are jerkasses, and this isn’t limitative to Nelva. Acting like a waste of a human being in the server of a young alliance will make Nelva like you are abusing our hospitality.

99 questions pour bien préparer son entretien de naturalisation ! – Une  tunisienne à Paris
Citizenship is earned, not granted.

Cadets hold the exact same rights and duties than citizens, save for the voting rights

By Minister of Recruitment, 2019.

The current process of how Nelva recruits includes that each potential applicant (we call them Nelv-able) becomes a “Aspirant” (cadet), which means we are actively trying to turn him into a citizen, by training and education. Usually, “being a solid and disciplined teammate in a challenge” is the last “trial” before receving the citizenship. In the few monthes where someone is a cadet, we consider that he is a citizen in everything but name, and we except him to behave a such. If a cadet fails, we either expand his time of training, or we plainly cancel his citizenship process.

Platoon - Film de guerre sur Télé 7 Jours
Not winning too easily, and losing regularly, is part of Nelva’s semi-competitive attitude and long term “real power” growth

One Group of Nelva players per map maximum. In the general case, the max number of Nelvas allowed in a group is equal to the 2/3 (rounded to the above) of the max size of a coalition. Some maps are handled case by base, for ethical reasons.

By Arbitrator’s Decree, 2016

This custom is tied to the Article 5 of the Constitution that expresses how important it is for Nelvas to not ensure themselves a easy victory, and how they must respect the right of any player to have a fair fight.

Nelva considers that 5 Nelva allied together on a public map are close to unbeatable, except by other alliances or massive gold users.

As a result, we forbid ourselves to play in such groups, and we tend to say “If you want to play in a group of 5, we’ll organise you a challenge. 5 vs 5, fair and square”.

In most CoN maps, this means that 3 players is the maximum allowed. It’s in our perspective already more than enough, and we encourage groups of Nelva to infuse “more fairness” by taking on young players.

Of course, it may and will happen that those smaller squads are defeated, and it’s the goal : Public games are still awfully easy, but there is a bit more merit winning them in groups of three than in groups of 5.

And if there is defeat, there is a compulsion to humility, learning, and training : the solution to losing a 3 vs 5 in Nelva’s martial doctrine isn’t to bring more troops to make it a 5 vs 5 : it’s to train until the 3 vs 5 is on equal grounds.

From the King’s perspective, that approved this Justice customs : It’s never a good idea to make Nelva look bigger than it is, but it certainly has its perks to look a bit smaller than we actually are.

After all, we are not in a game where military defeats means to be erased from the game.

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“Why” we do things is core to Government’s principle and player behaviour

Diplomacy has ethical boundaries : White/Grey/Black Diplomacy

By Minister of Recruitment, around 2019

We touch here a very specific concept of our alliance philosophy, that is more tied to Supremacy1914, but that remained after our arrival on Conflict of Nations.

Conflict of Nations has way less diplomacy than Supremacy1914, where it’s a pivotal part of the game.

Everything done in terms of game and diplomacy can be the topic of introspective or discussion : Is it white, grey, or dark ?

White Diplomacy : Altruistic and respectful, it uses empathy as a basis for exhange, and while it doesn’t ask of a player to put himself in harm, it asks him to understand that the other guy is a human that tries to enjoy the game too.

Examples of White Diplomacy :

  • You see a young player that is struggling to conquer a country. He is not your ally, will potentially be a rival, but you take the time to explain to him how to deal with insurgents efficiently
  • You see that a coalition has struggled to counter a massive gold user. Your strategical interest would be to attack them and to deal with the massive gold user. You however join the fair players and help them strike down the Leviathan, even if you know that ultimately, this probably costed you the map win.
  • One of your opponents has fought like a lion in the late game. You have enough room in your coalition : despite his defeat, you propose to take him in the coalition even if it asks you to farm a little bit more, but you have rewarded bravery with a coalition victory

Grey Diplomacy : While not trying actively to be “good”, Grey diplomacy keeps it “legal and contractual”. If you give your word, you stick to it. Player’s interests remain the core, but the defining trait is “Not angels nor devils”

Examples of Grey Diplomacy :

  • You have a NAP with another player. When it expires, you simply attack without further discussions because that was your strategy from the beginning. The other side may have had hopes of turning it into an alliance, but it’s not gonna happen.
  • A player gives your a right of way. He doesn’t answer to your pleas to withdraw it. You finally use it to attack from his cities.
  • You have a coalition full of retards that don’t communicate and don’t do anything beside you. They really abuse of your efforts. You inform them that the relationship can’t work, and that you’ll seek a solo victory.

Dark Diplomacy : Diplomacy that doesn’t care for anything but yourself, regardless of consequences, or how much you tarnish your own dignity for a game. It encompasses all kinds of betrayal, but not only.

Examples of Dark Diplomacy :

  • Asking a beginner for a right of way, promising him advices and assistance, then using it to attack it right away from his capital. Bonus points for trash talking him until he quits the game after that.
  • Having good and dedicated allies but leaving them anyway for a solo win because you convinced them it made more sense for you to have the largest country, and you just wanted to have your solo win, you don’t care for those losers.
  • Begging a way superior player that beated you so he would let you alive, and stab him in the back after that in order to take revenge (for what, only you know)
  • Insults, threats, and harassment.
La réforme de la Justice dans tous ses états ! Tribunes et analyses. -  Village de la justice
We don’t joke with that

In Nelva, all occurences of Dark Diplomacy are hated :

  • For a Nelvable, it means being “crossed” out of the line of applicants, no further details given.
  • For a Cadet, it means the immediate stop of the recruitment process, no further details given.
  • For a Citizen, it means court martialing, with likely removal of citizenship.

Occurences of such things are so rare in Nelva that we often have “a name” a year, to such drastic measure. Of course, we take into account odds of redemption, and education. The overall approach, though, is that Nelva will not suffer such behaviour, even if it came from mighty Achilles himself.

Grey Diplomacy is tolerated, in the meaning that the alliance doesn’t applaud it, but we understand that the game goes as such, and it’s the “normal diplomacy” that happens between reasonable players all the time. We like the slavic proverb : “Don’t do bad things to people, but don’t let people do bad things to you”, and we consider it’s possible to attack and conquer people in the game, without being a awful human being.

White Diplomacy is encouraged, as long as it isn’t confused with naivety, or an excess of Kindness. White Diplomacy is the most tied to our values because it typically forces us to be smarter, and more brave, in order to win while still behaving “above the crowd”.

Outside maps, (in the international community) Nelva Diplomacy MUST ALWAYS be white. Use of Dark or Grey diplomacy in such contexts will always be contradictory to Nelva’s constitution and founding values.

Most serious” Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit  (updated) | Ars Technica
Basing one’s power on secrecy is a dead end

Teaching and Learning of Bug Exploits is forbidden

By King’s decree, 2017

This custom comes from Supremacy1914, a incredibly bugged game where nearly nothing works as designed, and the few little things that work are tied to ensuring the Pay2win aspects of the game can dominate easily (and cheaply, ironically)

Several bug exploits on supremacy allow to “go quicker than you should”, “shoot more than you should”, or “receive less damages than you should”. In the past, people were considering it to be “high skill”, we decided to dig up this “knowledge” and let it die. People knowing how to do it in Nelva do not share it, and are strictly forbidden from using it.

If such equivalent things existed on CoN, we would not use them nor teach them. We would lobby for them to be fixed.

Contenu roi : la vision prémonitoire de Bill Gates sur le contenu sur  internet
Despite the pompous name, the King is more a “CEO”, and his power is by far smaller than the “direct power” a undeveloped “leader boss” has.

The King chooses Ministers. Nomination of Civil Servants is to the discretion of Ministers

Unknown Origin, 2011

Nelva’s government looks like a British “Her Majesty’s Government”, the bulk of the direct power is delegated into specific ministers that appear or disappear depending on the need and the era, even if some ministers (like the Interior) are pretty permanent considering its need is always present.

Civil Servants, or Helpers, do not hold decision making power, but often help at running the alliance. For example, a civil servant may discuss each month with citizens to check if they are active or not, and report it to the minister.

The nomination of those civil servants is not the duty of the king, and Nelva prefers teams that “work well together”.

Transparence de l'action publique – TRAVAILLER ENSEMBLE À NOTRE FUTUR
Don’t say anything in private you wouldn’t defend in public, and don’t say anything in public you wouldn’t dare to say in private

King and Government act with the highest transparency possible

By Decree of the Interior Ministry, 2016

Something that often strucks our visitors that come to us to say that we maybe made a mistake : the government channel and the alliance discussions channel is entirely public. Everybody can read it or even speak in it, in good or bad.

Of course, we don’t put in public our challenges discussions, nor do we put in the open our passwords, but we have the tradition that the government owes to the citizens, as repayment for their trust, continuous information of the highest quality possible over their action.

Being in the government of Nelva doesn’t really means to “enter a inner circle”, and it’s pretty common that the King learns of a decision or a project that regards a specific ministry… at the same moment than the other citizens.

Some topics may require discussions in private, but the general idea is that whenever possible, the citizens MUST be informed, and we do not trust bullshit policies like “Citizens don’t have to know that” or “It’s confidential”.

It’s a policy we hold dear but that requires a lot of work, due to how much we tend to discuss in private anyway. This custom basically exists to redirect the flow of the river to constructive ends.

Le référendum, un outil à améliorer
Referendums are rare but a guarantee of the power of the people

Citizens can propose ideas that, if they are compatible with constitution and ethics, will turn into referendum

By Arbitrator’s Decree, 2019

This custom is a bit of a odd one : Referendum are incredibly rare in Nelva, due to how the governments tends to take all good ideas and enact them anyway, after consultation of the citizens and lengthy discussions.

However, we had the case once or two that some citizens were convinced their idea was good, the government wasn’t. In such case, we have this “citizen power” that if the citizens disagree with the government about an idea, they may force us to enact it anyway through a majority referendum.

The last referendum that happened was in December 2019, where the citizens and the government were in disagreement over the return of a individual as a visitor. The Referendum expressed to the government that his opinion was contradictory to the wish of the alliance, and the government abided by the referendum.

La Constitution de la 5ème République | Superprof
Despite being simple and not too much in depth, it has a massive influence on Nelva culture

Constitution Modifications are revised, improved, and voted again, as long as they do not gather 90% of citizen votes

Unknown Origin, 2015

Nelva enjoys a pretty unified society of like-minded people that share their values, even if political opinions differ.

As the constitution is the absolute foundation of everything, we have the tradition that “just” having a absolute majority to change the constitution isn’t enough, and that the goal is to get the absolute approval of nearly the entirety of the alliance.

As a result, we tend to make vote each article change individually, and to discuss/debate until we can alter it in a way that satisfies the vision of pretty much everyone.

For example, the last revision of the constitution, made in January 2020, was voted with 95% approval, after lengthy discussions and modifications of the Article 5, where several citizens expressed their desire to make the article “more flexible to the case per case situation”.

By the way, by 90% of the citizen votes, we do not mean “90%” of “those who vote”. We mean 90% of the “actual citizen count”, which often requires to get to the discussion table people that are not a lot into legal talks (citizenship sometimes requires boring talks)

Nuclear policy – information, recherche et analyse – The Conversation  France, page 1
For Developped Alliances with Ethics, Gold Usage is a bit like thinking about Nuclear Weapons

Gold Usage is tolerated case per case, for anti-traitor and anti-massive gold user defense, but remains at the executive order of the Justice Ministry

Citizens Discussions, 2021, evolution of an older custom

Nelva population is 30 years old in average : people that are part of the alliance are financially safe enough so that they would be able to purchase gold and use them in large amounts if they desired.

The reason they don’t is tied to ethics and Nelva’s values. Large usage of gold is by itself a slope toward “not playing well” and relying exclusively on money to “win”.

Even if Gold can be won fairly, or gathered through mobile ads, we discouradge heavily to use it, and we encourage to “hoard” it as much as possible as a nuclear stockpile, that will be put to use in defensive cases against people that use gold too much for their own good, or traitors. The case happens often enough anyway.

In other words, Nelva has Nuclear Weapons, because we are no teenagers that beg for 2 $ to buy a snack, but we have a strong “Second Strike” policy, that the Arbitrator ensures.

Trying to argue wrongly that a individual is “golding like crazy” as an excuse to gold like crazy yourself is considered Dark Diplomacy, and judged accordingly. Generally speaking, all gold usage should always be “spectacularly inferior” and “tactical” to what is thrown at you.

It’s also not allowed to use gold just to demonstrate to a random crying child that “you weren’t using gold so far”. Skilled players get accused of being hackers and gold users even when they don’t, endure it like adults.

The future of arbitration in India: Strengthening the process of  alternative dispute resolution - The Economic Times
Social peace is important, but not to the point of digging problems

Small disputes are handled by House Leaders inside their respective houses, and they refer to the Arbitrator if the problem seems too big for them.

Spoken Agreement between House Leaders and Arbitrator, 2021

In Nelva, we have 4 houses :

  • House Dragon : The warriors (Offensive mind)
  • House Griffon : The hoplites (Discipline mind)
  • House Lion : The captains (Leadership Mind)
  • House Phenix : The diplomats (Collective mind)

They are not ultra rigid and they are mostly sub divisions of the alliance to better organise training and education. They have their own “house leaders” that act as middlemen between the government and those “parts” of the alliance that often have strong distinguishable personalities (it remains in good spirit).

It also allows us to do some alchemy : “Hmm, this Dragon is a bit too fiery for his own good. Let’s put him with 1 griffon and 1 phenix on this Public map, let him learn more discipline”.

Even if Nelva is pretty united, the fact it’s a very active social place means that disputes and problems are unavoidable (every human community has its drama).

We can’t argue to be a utopia of social peace, but we are very energetic to deal with problems.

House Leaders are the “boy scout leaders” that deal with the most petty problems, and mediate problems to ensure that nothing turn into feuds, and that everyone gets his fair share of explanation.

If the problem is really too heavy (example : a player that disrupted discipline several times and gained animosity of his comrades), he will refer to the Arbitrator for the case to be handled by the government.