This article is under construction. Please, feel free to add to it, especially if you remember things about the rankings that I haven't mentioned.
The NC rankings have been apart of the game since the very first thread. Upon the release of NC 1 (Both NC 1 the locked version and the official NC 1), the famous 3rd World, 2nd World and Superpower rankings were present.
The original NC rankings were based loosely off of the rankings as they were seen in the earlier CYOC threads (CYOC 3-8). The main difference between the NC and CYOC rankings were that the NC rankings were far more focused on your activity within the game and the development of new technologies, while CYOC was primarily focused on how old your country was (In real-life days or years).
It should be noted that at every major restart (There is a difference between the one or two minor restarts during the NC 30-threads), the 3rd World, 2nd World and Superpower rankings were present. This is the standard 3-tier ranking scale that you have all been accustomed to. However, around the time of NC 7, which is around the time that players began reaching new heights in power, new ranks have been experimented with.
Around NC 7 the rank of Megapower (Explained below) was released, and it allowed for the most powerful players to be divided up between Superpower and Megapower status, which made things more clear.
During the NC 9 restart (Before thread 18), the Hyperpower rank was introduced. It was the successor to the Megapower rank, but it was slightly different. It was also around this time that ranks such as Great Power and Potential Superpower were introduced, but they were later discontinued and have not appeared in any of the other restarts since.
It should be noted that between NC 1 and NC 8, the ranking system was far easier to progress through. Between the time of NC 1 and NC 4, there were players that had already progressed all the way to the Superpower rank.
NC 9-19 was a period of extremely rapid tech creation and extreme activity, and as a result, this time period had the largest and most complex ranking system (There were 4 ranks and 1 list).
Although it was far easier to obtain in the early times of the game, the Superpower rank is still one of the hardest and most famous ranks in the game, mostly because it is one of the early targets of all players since the higher-leveled ranks are not introduced until later on in a restart.
Between the time frame that was NC 1 and NC 4, 8 different players were promoted to Superpower.
Usually, a Superpower is classified as having:
1. A military force capable of projecting power over a wide area.
2. A large economy.
3. Partially because of their title and partially because of their power, they should also have a high level of influence within the game.
4. Very advanced technology.
5. Be one of the more active players.
With the large and growing list of Superpowers during the early times of the game, it soon became clear that a higher-leveled rank would be needed, and so the Megapower rank was born!
Megapowers during the early times were not only the most active players, but the most influential players. By the time NC 7 came around, there were a total of 5 Megapowers. These would be the first and last players to achieve this rank, as it was discontinued forever after the NC 8 Depression.
1. These players need to be some of the most consistently active in the game.
2. Not only do they have a powerful military force that could be used on Earth, but they also all had a very formidable space force.
3. These players, mostly due to their power, had a very high level of influence within the game.
4. Their technology was the most advanced tech in the game, and could only be challenged by other Megapowers or the most powerful of the Superpowers.
5. Massive economy, usually obtained through having a good deal of space land.
After there was a small base of Megapower-ranked countries, these players got together to form an agreement that would be known as the Megapower Pact.
It was fairly simple in nature, and was upheld by the Megapowers, not the management or other players. The Megapower Pact basically stated that none of the Megapowers would ever go to war with each other, for any reason. The reasoning behind this was that in the event of such a war, too much would be damaged (Because the Megapowers had a large arsenal of weapons), and neither side would be truly victorious because of the severe damage.
This pact was maintained until the first NC restart of NC 9, which is the time when the Megapower rank was scrapped altogether.
The Great Power rank, like the Megapower rank, was only used during one restart, and has not made a return since then. It was created before the NC 19 restart.
Basically, the Great Power rank was created to split up the 2nd World category due to the large number of 2nd Worlds at the time that it was created. Great Power was known alternatively as the "High 2nd World" rank by players such as E Chip.
The Great Power rank also became the rank that you were required to go through before becoming a Superpower.
With the introduction of Great Powers, the Potential Superpower list was created. It was more of a list than a rank, as you had to be one of the Great Powers to be placed on this list, rather than being promoted. Like the Megapower rank, this was only used during one restart, and has not made a return since then.
The thought behind this was was as follows: If you were one of the top Great Powers, you were most likely to be promoted sometime soon. To let people in the Great Power rank know that they might be promoted to one of the highest ranks soon, they should be placed on a list.
The Hyperpower rank was introduced during the NC 9-19 game session, and it is the only "new" rank that has been reintroduced (And will continue to be reintroduced) when the Superpower rank just isn't enough.
While the Hyperpower rank technically replaced the Megapower rank, there are some differences:
1. The Hyperpower rank is the most exclusive rank in NC history (Megapower was easier to get into).
2. It generally consists of the most powerful countries the game has ever seen.
3. If you become a Hyperpower, your nation can be considered a Legendary aspect of the game.
Basically, the Megapower rank was easier to get into, while the Hyperpower rank was far harder. The main proof for this is that by NC 7, there were 5 Megapowers. By NC 19 (The last thread of the 2nd game session), there were only 3.
Due to the difficulty there is to get into the Hyperpower rank whenever it is released during a game session, those player countries that get in usually become Legendary in that they are not easily forgotten. Below is a list of past Hyperpowers.
Session 9 - 19:
Session 21 (v2) - 28/29
~ = Proper spelling needed.
+ = Needs confirmation as to whether this nation was actually a Hyperpower.
Spacebattles Season 1
Future of Rankings
There are a few things that can be expected:
1. The 3rd World, 2nd World and Superpower 3-tier ranking system will continue to be used.
2. Megapower will not come back.
3. The Hyperpower rank will continue to make debuts when the Superpower rank is not enough.
4. It is uncertain as to whether or not the Great Power rank will be needed as a stepping-stone rank.
5. The "Potential Superpowers" list will remain forever dead.