In the couple days since the Leaders meeting, I've been speaking with many of you and Aetolia's staff to further solidify our design of the City Novicehood system. I have left some details vague in hopes of sparking more interesting ideas from player and volunteer feedback, and that has worked quite spectacularly in some cases. Unfortunately, it has also allowed misinformation to spread and misconceptions to grow, which is not unusual.
Because novices require more effort and support when they're confused than a normal guildmate would, smaller guilds can struggle to help new players acclimate.
City assimilation and advancement are largely self-motivated, which allows players to fall off the radar or stagnate.
Cross-city guild membership presents conflicts of interest, stifling potential for antagonistic and diplomatic roleplay.
Allow new players to benefit from larger city populations when learning the ropes of Aetolia and kickstart city advancement.
Build lasting relationships between helpful city members and new players, even after they leave novicehood.
Allow guilds and cities to focus more on their fundamental theme and mission in the game world, promoting compelling roleplay between organizations.
With these areas for improvement and these goals in mind, I am committing to the following changes:
Guild Novicehood will be removed as a concept. New players in the introduction will select their class, then be sorted into the city appropriate for that class (except Shapeshifter and Wayfarer). At the completion of the city Academy (pending changes to that system based on city/guild leader feedback), they will leave novicehood and automatically join the appropriate guild at GR1.
After joining the guild, new members will have 72 hours to leave class with no lesson penalty.
The Ambassador will serve as city Head of Novices, and his or her aides will serve as Novice Aides.
Each city will gain a tutor for each class it hosts, allowing citizens to apprentice under the multiclass system for the usual fee. Guilds will be able to choose whether or not they sanction as usual.
Members of a guild may not join cities other than the one hosting the guild. Guild membership is not required to be a citizen, and citizenship is not required to join the guild.
I understand that the last two points will be controversial, given the friendliness between similarly-tethered cities and the roles you have built as such. However, we feel that it's important to the future of our storylines and the health of the game as a whole to reinforce organizational identity. We will be having meetings with each guild and city to help refine those identities and give any support we can in better communicating them to the world. Many of you have reached out to that end, and I think it's a no-brainer. Further, as we implement these changes, there will be a 4-week grace period for players to roleplay the natural consequences of the changes and make organic decisions about which allegiance their characters value most.
I'd like to invite your questions and feedback here and in private messages, however you are most comfortable. If you do choose to post here, please keep in mind forum rules and the goal of having a dialogue with the administration. Arguing amongst yourselves is not likely to reap productive results.