Broken Base: This is probably the best way to describe the multitude of divisions of fans and the subdivisions of these divisions.
Catharsis Factor: One of the reasons the game is addictive. Making a totalitarian hellhole that responds to diplomatic incidents with all-out war may not be morally acceptable, but it's plenty fun.
Gameplay Derailment: Nationstates stands out as a franchise whose methods of playing the game could almost all be considered forms of Gameplay Derailment. Perhaps the most extreme example is the inter-regional combat system that players have improvised out of World Assembly elections, regional ejection mechanics, and huge amounts of Meta Game coordination. Word of God says that the creator didn't anticipate this but still finds it immensely entertaining.
Good Bad Bugs: A very common one, in the form of (example): "'This raises an interesting issue,' says Elizabeth Winters, your brother."