If there's one thing I learned from this experience, it's: Wow, there really are a lot of nations. It's one thing to know there are a quarter of a million, but it's another to click through them one randomly-generated pair at a time.
Congratulations to objectively the Best Nation In the World! It is: The Serenýsima Rep¨blica of Farnhamia
Over the 28 hours of the event, 829,257 votes were cast, so you know it's correct. Thanks to everyone who participated: I hope it was a mildly interesting journey through the breadth and depth of nations we have here on NationStates, many of whom are not faceless card-farming puppets, and which you might otherwise never see.
Thank you also to everyone who has made an interesting nation. There is a lot of hidden depth here because of people like you, which deserves to be acknowledged and elevated.
For a long time, people have wanted to know how good their nation is. They have turned to us, and we have said, "What is 'good,' anyway? A strong economy? Kind citizenry? Rich culture? An effective military? You can't boil down a whole nation to a single variable. That's why we have so many World Census ranking scales." And they have nodded and thanked us for nothing.
So let's fix that! Today, for the next 28 hours only, we will answer the question: Which is the Best Nation in the World?
It's simple: You get shown two nations and you click the one you think is best. Repeat. After a few hundred thousand votes, we'll start getting somewhere.
Wondering how great your nation is? Your nation page shows how you're doing in the eyes of the world. And, of course, there are leaderboards.
We have a little scheduled downtime coming up, in order to perform some server upgrades. I know, I know; nobody has downtime any more in today's fast-moving cloud environment with microservices and hot failovers and whatnot. But NationStates doesn't have those, because it's still running on a PC I have underneath my desk. Not really. That was a joke. Mostly.
Both gameside and the forum will be unavailable for about three hours starting 10:45pm Thursday Wednesday Pacific Time (after the major daily update).