1 Infinite Loop, renowned for being The East Pacific’s first flagmaker, a former Issues author, and longest serving delegate, ceased to exist exactly one day after the start of Season 1 of NS Trading Cards.
Gaining cards of nations who have ceased to exist (CTEd) is difficult because new cards of CTE nations are rarely created except when one of those cards is currently at auction. Thanks to a loan from Queen Yuno, we have obtained one of those copies. As a way to incentivize regional engagement with the cards sub-game, and to make Loop more available for everyone, TEP is hosting a 1 Infinite Loop pull event!
During the event, opening packs of trading cards will have an increased chance to pull Loop's card. Auctions last for one hour, and the event will comprise of two auctions. It will run from 18:00-20:00 UTC on Sunday, May 24th. You can convert this to your local time by searching “18:00 UTC to [your local time zone]”. No pulls are guaranteed, but hopefully more copies of Loop can enter circulation as a result of this event. Even if you don't pull a 1IL, card farming and Pull Events are a lot of fun and you'll still pull lots of other cards you can collect, junk, or sell for Bank to buy other cards you want.
The North Pacific's Card Guild has created a fairly comprehensive guide to trading cards that is located here:
Trading cards are NationStates' own trading card game. You can generate, trade, and collect cards representing other nations, with each card having its own rarity and value. There is a whole dedicated market where you can buy or sell cards, and compete to rise through the rankings for most valuable decks, as well as increase the value of your nation's own card. Or, you can simply create your own themed collections, e.g., your friends, enemies, regionmates, best flags, and anything else you can think of!
Given that players from many regions (including The North Pacific, The West Pacific, The Pacific, The Rejected Realms, 10000 Islands, and Texas, to name a few) have actively been involved with cards, deciding to get involved with this field will open players to an entirely new community to explore! (And yes, even game administrators, issues editors, and moderators are heavily active.) Of course, not just the wide-ranging community is to take note of, but you're also entitled to making a name for yourself, whether by collecting the most cards of a specific theme, achieving one of the most valuable decks to ever grace the leaderboard, possessing the most bank out of any player, or by becoming a philanthropist whom continues to serve as an example of pure generosity (people have actually done this in the past)!
Each player has a (roughly) 20% chance to obtain a card pack from answering an issue. Answering these daily will reward you several packs, and the maximum you may store per nation is 9. You will know if you won a card pack by scrolling to the bottom of the screen right after answering an issue, as seen here:
... or by answering all your issues, going back to your nation's main page, and clicking on the card logo:
... in order to check whether you've won any packs! Each pack contains 5 cards, and some might already have bids placed on them. If you wish to quickly gain some cash, sell the card to that bidder, especially if said bid happens to be over junk value!
Junking is the act of trashing your card (done by clicking on the card and pressing "junk"; note that cards from rare rarity and upwards will require confirmation before junking) in order to accumulate a set number of "junked bank". This varies by rarity, with commons yielding a junk value of 0.01 bank, uncommons a value of 0.05 bank, and so forth. Players typically do this in order to quickly generate bank (since selling a card at auction takes a minimum 1 hour) and instantly pay for a card. Do this if you're short on time!
Of course, sometimes you won't immediately get a card you want. If you're caught in this situation, you are able to do the following: A) lodge a standing bid with the bank you have and wait for someone to notice, B) telegramming an owner of that card, or C) by posting on the card forum to have people quickly check whether they can sell a copy!
Once you gain a card (whether from buying or simply opening packs), assuming you wish to actually keep the card (and not junk/sell it), you can then A) start a collection (done by clicking "Create a collection" at your nation's card page and adding cards to said collection) and/or B) view the cards you have in your deck, and you may even use deck filter buttons to narrow down the list of cards you possess in case you want to view specific ones!
Finally, it's important to know that all nations possess an official deck limit for how many cards each nation may store. Once you reach said limit, you must consume a certain amount of bank in order to expand your current capacity, otherwise gifting becomes unavailable and your nation will be restrained from opening further packs (though you may still purchase more cards from auctions).
Expanding your capacity increases by the squared exponent of every whole number (i.e. 1, 4, 9, 16, etc.), and purchasing the Site Supporter badge from the store grants you double the permitted capacity (along with doubling the capacity you gain each time your limit's expanded).
To give you an idea, here is a table of the expansion costs for (both) regular users and Site Supporters (brought to you by Valentine Z):
Without Site Supporter
With Site Supporter
Automatically given to all players
The list goes on, naturally. Don't think that this is the maximum number of cards you can store!
Yes, actually! There are several useful player-created features to utilize at your convenience:
2. Card Queries Page - Created by (another) code junkie + trader The Northern Light, this tool allows players to look up cards of a particular type, including card rarity, badge type, government type, and more. Use this if you don't feel like manually searching for what you need!
3. Card Market Watch - Another creation by The Northern Light, this document serves to actively track the statistical data regarding the entire card market, including auction activity, every legendary's combined market value, the total amount of cards currently pullable, and just how generous the gifting has gotten; all of these are noted daily and recorded up to its date of creation (i.e. July 7, 2019).
4. Goldretriever-Web - Created by Java enthusiast Racoda (and inspired from the original version by Valentine Z), this open source application will (automatically) output the total amount of bank + deck value (along with, should you input the password for each nation, the number of unanswered issues and unopened packs) for each nation listed! As to how it's done, 1) go to the website, 2) input the name of your nation(s) (if you have multiple accounts, press the "Enter" key each time you list a nation's name to add new lines), and 3) press "Start". [Note: if you wish to also calculate the number of unanswered issues + unopened packs per nation, you must ensure that the mode is set to "Auto" to enable the feature and then list both the nation's name & password and separate the two with a comma.]
5. NationStates Card Management Queue - Created by long-time user Anozia (and later expanded upon by traders Destructive Government Economic System and Racoda), this script utilizes the Tampermonkey extension (instructions on how to use the script + extension being found here) in order to allow many features, including 1) the saving of specific cards to a queue for selling/gifting when needed, 2) the addition of a cards icon at the top of your nation's page (clicking on the icon will conveniently redirect you towards the deck page), and 3) the removal of the nation-name from Season 2 cards (when the lower half of the card is clicked) to allow full access to the flag appearance of the cards! [Note: the script version that you must use to access these features is within this post, as provided by Recuecn.]
Final thing, please note that using a script that automatically performs card-based actions (including answering issues to obtain card packs, placing bids/asks, or junking cards) has been ruled illegal, per Eluvatar's and [violet]'s respective announcements, so if you plan on developing any of these tools... you'll probably realize that none of the players will actually use them. Other than that, have fun with coding!
Produced by The North Pacific Cards Guild.
The West Pacific also has a glossary of terms that gives a quick summary of the vocabulary involved in trading cards.
Glossary of terms: This guide is aimed at those who are interested in getting involved in the NS trading card game but are maybe a bit intimidated by the learning curve or don't know all the jargon involved. Some definitions may seem pretty obvious, but hopefully are helpful to a newcomer. Not included (with two exceptions) are any nicknames for various card players or cards, of which there are far too many to decide who to include. It can be very useful to know who someone's puppets are as well, but this is often easy to figure out by looking at who a nation gifts cards to or receives transfers from. So without further ado, some definitions:
0-owner: A card with no copies in circulation. This could be a Season Two card that hasn't yet been found, but typically it refers to either a Season One card or a card who's owner has CTE'd. In this case the card will never be able to be found, since it is only possible to find cards of non-CTE'd nations. (The meaning of a 1-owner of few-owner card should be easy to infer.) [Edit: in January 2020, [violet] changed this so that cards of CTE'd nations can be pulled, but only rarely.]
1%er: One of the top-ranked players in the card trading game. (Usually used either in a resentful or ironic way.) However, because so many nations are puppets or belong to users who don't play, most players find themselves in the top one percent. You could divide the number by 100 then to be more accurate: the rich elite to whom the term refers in fact make up only the top 0.01% of all nations.
Dead-inside: A card whose nation has CTE'd. Note that you can't tell this by looking at the card: you have to go to the nation's page itself. It is *not* the same thing as a card with an ex-nation flag. Dead-inside cards are important because they can only rarely be found in packs, unless they happen to be at auction at the time you open the pack, in which case there is a small chance.
Dropping: Dropping is a strategy used to make a quick profit without gaining or losing any cards; the profit comes from another user overpaying for a card. It works like this: you notice that a card you own is at auction, and either due to a low original ask or a high bid (perhaps you help out here by starting a bidding war on the card), there is a noticeable difference in price between the current highest bid and the ask with which it is paired. The person who has the current highest bid on the card thinks they're getting a good deal, since they will only be charged the average of their bid and the ask--they're not paying the full price of their bid. At this point you drop them by placing a bid of your own at the same price as the ask and simultaneously selling your card for the same price this person has bid. You sell a copy and buy a copy of the same card, so there is no change there, but you make a profit of the difference between the price at which you sold the card to your victim and the lower price at which you have bought it.
DV: Deck value. This is how much all your cards together are worth, according to the in-game market value computations. This is how users are ranked for the cards badge. It does not include the value of any bank you may have.
Ex-flag/Ex-nation: An ex-nation card is a card from Season One whose flag is the "ex-nation" flag of a CTE'd nation. Note that because of the way Season One cards were printed, the nation may or may not actually be CTE'd. It may have returned since its card was printed. (Conversely, a nation whose card is *not* an ex-flag card may have CTE'd, and it will not be reflected on the card.)
Farms: NationStates puppets especially for farming cards: used to answer issues and gain additional packs of cards.
Heist: To heist is to steal bank from another user's transfer (see below). The term can also be used as a noun. By selling a card another user is buying for a high price, you can effectively steal bank from them.
JV: Junk value. This is how much bank is earned by junking a card, and is the same price it costs to gift the card.
KK or Koem: Koem Kab, the user behind the nation of the same name, which is far and away the richest and most successful nation in the card trading game. (So much so that he has been given a Security Council condemnation out of jealousy.)
Leg: A card with 'legendary' value. Plural: legs. Can also be referred to as legends.
Match: To accept someone's bid or ask on a card by offering or requesting to sell the card for the same price. Or, in a more complicated auction, it can refer to different bids or asks pairing with each other as the situation changes.
MC: Mindless Contempt. The most valuable card in the game, a Season One legendary card whose owner has ceased to exist, meaning it can no longer be found in packs (with the exception of a pull event: see below).
MV: Market value. This is an in-game calculation to help estimate the value of a card, and is the rolling average of the last 10 trades of a card (not including sales from a nation to itself). However, there have been bugs in the system which may not all currently be fixed as of the end of 2019.
Overbidding: Offering to pay more than the current highest bid on a card.
Pennybidding: To bid only a cent (.01 bank... or so) over the current bid in an auction. Pennybidding is considered rude by 1%ers who resent wasting time on an auction (each bid adds a minute to auction length). The author of this glossary is of the opinion that anyone who complains about pennybidders is spoiled and that it is a perfectly valid strategy.
Piggybacking or Sneaky Transfer: Using an existing auction to transfer bank by selling another copy of the same card for a very high price just at the last minute of the auction. This cuts down on heists by avoiding having such a high bid outstanding for an entire hour.
Processing: Going through packs of cards to determine what to do with them, whether junk, sell, gift, add to a collection, et cetera. This may or may not include actually opening the packs.
Pull: To find a card in a pack.
Pull event: Because cards have a chance of being pulled when at auction, even if the nation behind them has CTE'd, players will sometimes purposely sell cards back and forth and farm in the meantime to try to find the card.
Pup: A puppet nation (in this context, one used for farming). Also called farms or sometimes puppies.
S1: Season One, or a card from Season One.
S2: Season Two, or a card from Season Two.
Snapshot: There have been two snapshots, one for each season. This is the moment at which the details and appearance of a card are determined. During the original April Fools cards event, cards were dynamic, meaning their appearance changed with their nation. When cards came back and S1 began, there was a snapshot which updated and finalized the appearance of season one cards. (This is why there are ex-flag cards: some cards exist for nations that no longer existed during the snapshot.) S2 began with a snapshot which finalized cards' rarities, but then there was a period where players were allowed to update various aspects of the appearance of their cards.
Sneaky Transfer: See Piggybacking.
Sniping: Sniping is sneaking in on an auction at the last moment. Usually this refers to heisting, where the goal is to steal bank from a transfer (see below) but it can also be used in the opposite direction to refer to overbidding at the last moment to try to win an auction.
Transfer: Almost always a Bank Transfer (Card Transfers are usually unnecessary since you can gift cards to yourself). A transfer is a sale to oneself via a puppet in an effort to get more bank on your main account. By selling a card for a high price no one else is willing to pay, you can ensure that your puppet wins the auction and the bank spent winds up on your main account. The danger, however, is that someone else has the same card, sees the transfer, and sells the card for just slightly less to make off with your bank (a heist, see above). Cards being transferred have an additional chance to be pulled during the auction.
Transfer card: A card specifically used for safe transfers of bank. This is usually a card that has few owners, or may have CTE'd. Perhaps it is simply a card of which you own a high number of copies. The market value of the card is likely not reflective of its true value, since by transferring it repeatedly for more than it is worth the market value calculations become inflated. Cards at auction have an additional chance of being pulled so another user may find the card you are using and try to heist you (see above).
Transfer Fee: the price paid to gift a card to another nation. The same as a card's Junk Value.
True CTE: This is a card whose nation has CTE'd (a dead-inside card, see above), of whom it is safe to assume that they are not coming back. A card whose nation CTE'd yesterday is not a true CTE since they may log in again in the future. In theory there's no way to know when a card is a true CTE, but by looking at how long a nation has been CTE'd and comparing that to how long it existed one can make an educated guess. True CTE's are valuable cards because they can only rarely be pulled except during a pull event (see above).
Turn and Burn: This move is similar to dropping (see above) but it is a bit more difficult to pull off and you don't need to own the card to do it. Like dropping, it involves working up the price of a card in a bidding war, once you've won the card, you turn around and sell it right away again before your opponent removes their higher-than-usual bid. Again you can make profit here because there is a difference between bid price and the actual price paid when an auction is resolved. Since you pay the average between your bid and the original (lower) ask, you can then ask the same amount as the similarly high bid of your opponent to make a profit.
UC: A card with an Uncommon rarity.
Underask: To ask less than someone else for a card, usually one at auction. This is the main mechanic used when sniping or heisting (see above). If someone has asked a price for a card that is more than it is worth--for example, in a transfer--by asking just less than them you can take the bank that has been bid on the card.
UR: A card with an Ultra-Rare rarity.
Thanks for reading! You've made it to the end of this guide. If you have any answered questions, please check out the card channel on our discord server, and we will make an effort to update this guide if deemed ncessary.
Hopefully now you're fluent in cardspeak, and you know that if you 'pull someone's leg' you're not playing a trick on them. Happy farming!