I feel like people are assuming that this sort of thing is going to happen every single game from here on out, and that's why they're pushing for a change in the nuke/voting rules. As Zac said, this situation happened in this game because of a TON of legwork beforehand. Quite frankly, this was a perfect storm situation. There were essentially 7 allied powers between the Americans/Africans. All 7 agreed that it was worth saving Sri Lanka. Due to machinations earlier in the game, there wasn't a counter-force capable of preventing us from doing that. If anything had gone wrong earlier in the game, this wouldn't have happened. If the Americans/Africans didn't agree on Sri Lanka, saving him would have been much harder. If the Americans/Africans hadn't teamed up in 2015-ish, this situation would not have come up ever. Even something as simple as if I (Zambia) and Mabbas (Mexico) hadn't built up our nuke range enough early on, we wouldn't have been able to pull this off. Sure, in the future, a power could probably pull off "saving" another power once by nuking their votes in the fall. But the situation we had here, where we were able to keep Sri Lanka alive in perpetuity? That only happened because as an alliance, we were dominating the board *anyways*. There was no one who could match our nukes, and nothing was going to change that. This was a case of a game that was played really damn good, and as a result, saving Sri Lanka in perpetuity was something we could pull off.
If we change the rule to revert votes to neutral, you end up with a completely different problem. Just looking at the previous game, Turkey held 6 votes with 4 SCs, Russia held 2 votes with 5 SCs, and Australia held 2 votes with 4 SCs. So, with 13 nukes the Africans/Americans could have completely removed 10 votes from the board. Considering we held 42 of 78 votes, that would have meant we held 42 of 68 votes instead. What you end up with then is that it would have been literally impossible for any coalition to win without us, and even impossible with only 1 or 2 of us on board until the other 10 votes were recaptured. What I would see happening in the future is that big powers use this ability to eliminate powers halfway around the board at strategic times in order to cripple their enemies' voting ability by all of a sudden cutting out a handful of votes from their team. Imagine if I (Zambia) had been eliminated via nukes. Due to game long alliances and working together tactically, the areas around many of my scs and votes were essentially abandoned. How many years would it have taken for my team to recapture my votes? Is that a path we want to go down?
Moving on to something Zurn mentioned: phase length. Please, please, PLEASE, do not shorten phase length. I have played many games on webdip/vdip with shorter phase lengths (1-2 days typically per phase), and the quality of the game drops dramatically when the phases get shorter. Obviously that's not the only reason (the quality of players on those games tends to be lower as well), but I suspect it's a very important one. Can anyone imagine being an A or B power and trying to work with 3-4 days phases? YIKES!! Playing UK in the game before this one, it was bad enough with 7 day phases, I can't even imagine playing with 4 day phases. Simply put, this map is far too complicated and intense to shorten the phases, especially for the larger powers. They simply NEED the time. We need to consider that even if I, as the US, send out 40 messages a day, I won't necessarily hear back from everyone that day. The fact that people have lives (Yes, I know, shocking for Diplomacy players to actually have a real life sometimes isn't it? Sometimes I'm convinced we're all secretly college kids sitting in our dorms :p ), and that people are typically way less active on the weekends means shorter turns would absolutely cripple the game. It could certainly be done, but does anyone really want to play a game where the people playing are only putting in half effort because they just don't have enough time because of short phase lengths? I personally can say that I've spent the entire 7 days talking over plans before, and sometimes it still doesn't feel like enough time.Shortening it would only serve to begin the decline of the quality of the game to webdip/vdip quality, and that's something I don't think anyone here wants. One of the biggest draws of a site like this is that the quality of the games are far, far, superior to other sites. I personally can't even play on webdip/vdip anymore after only a mere 4 games on here. It's that big of a deal.
As an addendum to that, we need to consider that the GM usually sets the deadline on a day/time that is convenient to them, when they can afford to spend 1-3 hours adjudicating the turn. With shortened phases, that day will continue to change. The GM is already doing enough by volunteering their time and effort for a game they aren't even playing (and by listening to all our player complaints :) ), do we really want to f*ck them over even more by changing what day of the week they have to do work for us? Doesn't seem like you'd get many people willing to do that.
Jumping off of phase length and on to how often we play the map, I have to agree with keeping the pace either similar to what we are doing now (about 1 game/year), or even slowing it down. NWO is an extremely intense map. It causes a lot of dip burnout, at least in myself and the people I've talked to about it. It's not easy to drudge up the willpower to put your all into every game when you play for 6 months, and then only have a 1-2 month break. To put it in perspective, I have 2941 emails in my GotWD folder on gmail. Assuming I sent approximately half of those, that means I sent about 1470 emails as an E power. That's not even counting the countless hours I spent on gchat talking to my allies about strategy. There is absolutely no way that I would be able to muster up the willpower to do this more than once a year. Again, if we want people top put their all into the game to make it a quality game, we need to give them some time off after a game.