The Producer's Dilemma

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  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 160 ✭✭✭
    I think Evalyne is just trying to say that there has been, in the past, a focus on making the losing side suffer. I'm tired of the heated talk, so let's not name names and not drudge up the past, but there has been, and I'm sure both sides have done it. The only way to move forward is to make sure THAT mentality dies.
    TeaniEvalyneZailaShachalai
  • EvalyneEvalyne A CoffinMember Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    It's a present too, but yeah, naming names and turning this into a personal flamewar hardly helps progress matters. Any conflict system that doesn't also want to become a griefing system needs to have safeties, and I think relying on the players to enforce it is half the reason the orgtheft in Enorian was as stressful (for lack of a better word) a matter as it was. You cannot rely on players to enforce social mores as a means of limiting conflict to constructive venues because all it takes is one or two bad actors who decide to damn the consequences and then everyone else is probably having a terrible time. I know I sure have had an awful time the instances where that's occurred, and in fact, a similar instance years ago is basically why I quit playing Aetolia in favour of Imperian back when.

    Make it fun to lose and you will stymie the complaints of all but the people who don't want to be pleased anyways. There's a variety of ways to do that, and the decision of what way in which to do that is one that is on the shoulders of the producers to make. However, speaking personally, I'm used to losing. I've never expended the same effort as many others into developing my own system on the combat level because I don't see the point. It's not that which burns me. It's the conduct of the community around it, when players are intentionally doing something to make the other players unhappy. When it crosses the threshhold from "I want to kill Evalyne" to "I want to make May (hi thats me) pissed off", people need to re-evaluate their conduct. And the latter has happened a lot in IRE, I'm just a stubborn scotswoman who's stuck around anyways.
    RasaniShachalai
  • EmirEmir Member Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
    There doesn't have to be a big negative impact for the losers. Often times the loss itself is a big enough impact for players, assuming the conflict meant something.

    There's also just a natural connection between competing and fun. But if you're not looking to win, then you're not competing, so you're not going to have fun. In games, I don't think there's much difference between the words competition and conflict

    What I mean there is you don't have to win to have fun. So I guess we're not in complete disagreement, I'm just unicorns at articulating my thoughts as clearly as I see them in my head, and there's this fear I have that the admin will focus too much on making something that's already fun (conflict is competition, competition is fun) fun, that it's not fun. The stuff we already have, like lessers, well the only competition there is really just hitting harder than the other team, 90% of the time. This is not fun.
    (Web): Toz says, "Emir's Express Evacuation and Existence Eradicator, Every Experience is Explosive - Experience the Entirety of your Existence!"
    ShachalaiEvalyneZaila
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 285 ✭✭✭
    edited March 17
    I guess it doesn't help that some people take losses personally (like me). It's why I don't bother trying to code an offensive system. It isn't that I don't have the ability to figure it out, or make it happen. I just don't want to invest the time into it while I'm trying to focus on more productive IRL stuff.

    That, and because every time I dive into combat (really dive) I end up pissed off more often than not because Mudlet refuses to cooperate with me. Like tempTimer NOT WORKING despite having the EXACT same syntax in Imperian where I used it. Like.. wtf...

    Anyway, I'm overly competitive and hate losing. It's what made playing League so sweet. I'd identify where I messed up, work to correct it, and win by playing better than I did before. What made me hate and quit League, though, were the players that would either grind my nose in the dirt when I lost, or would spend the time to grill me, as their teammate, for why I am making such stupid decisions. If the community sucks, it doesn't matter how good the game is.

    It was at that point that I'd troll, more or less, because I'm too prideful to quit but not so noble as to suffer for their enjoyment. I made it fun for me.

    Anyway, random thought before work, but yeah.. maintaining perspective is also important with any conflict system enacted, because it won't always be fun, and not everyone will be a winner.
    Edit: Perspective being that it's a game, we aren't our characters, and there will always be another battle that we could win.

    EvalyneShachalai
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 105 ✭✭✭
    edited March 18
    My ideas lean towards more freedom and more player responsibility.

    (It's kinda long. I'm not good at explaining myself)

    1) Bring the fifth city to the landscape and allow it to be neutral. Undead, vampires, light-side, dark-side, whatever. Make it a haven of 'do what you want'. This doesn't mean they're going to be immune to outside influence or conflict. They will need to contend with Bloodloch's disgust at them having light vampires or Enorian's outrage at them keeping undead and shadow or Duiran's upset at their advance and destruction over nature (despite the city potentially claiming to not intend to do that). The neutral city may be neutral, but it should in no way expect to be left alone or exempt from aggression held against it. The city will take resources, ylem, and people from the other organizations, as examples.

    Why do this? Players who can't fit into a polarized system will finally have a place to breath again. Without an overarching ideology or one that does not factor in shadow/light, dead/living, good/bad, they can focus on playing the game how they want.

    1a) Use the mechanic the divine used in the past to strip counter-rp classes from breaking established roleplay. Example: Strip spirituality from luminaries, domination from Indorani, spirits from Shaman. It has to be case-by-case and sparingly used for this to work. Extreme cases only, like a player causing more grief than creating conflict or playing a roleplay that makes sense. Being a Templar for the skills, but having almost zero of the roleplay left is not acceptable. People of this city should be those who disagree or fall outside the rigid structure of the other cities: Like a templar lacking honor, an Indorani using necromancy for healing others, etc. Before an admin steps in, allow players to respond to the cross rp for a time. Attacks on the city, person, groups, insults and other might be enough. Sometimes, a divine encounter may curb the toxic behavior. However, if people are afraid their roleplay will get them snubbed by the admin, they won't even bother. Likewise, allow some leniency on lesson refund for god-punished. We don't want players quitting when they can't afford to pick a different class. Abusers will be obvious, but everyone should get at least one free pass. It'll pay off in the long run.

    1b) Remove the tether system entirely. Give cities internal conflict and external conflict by dealing with cross-classes trying to go light/dark. It gives more reason for one faction to be upset and puts more responsibility for citizens to enforce their ideology. Example: Zealot decides to join Neo-Ashtan (my pet name for neutral ground) Illumine responds with outrage and launch attacks, creating further conflict.

    1c) Implement something like a reverse sanction, that cripples the class in a small way, like Indorani gain essence slower from graves or Carnifex dogs take two generations to lose that mut trait. A stigma that isn't crippling but comes up often enough to not be forgotten. It is also controlled entirely by people, which means enough RP could remove it.

    1d) Aetolia is in desperate need of a neutral city without any guilds. A focus like money, or arts, or freedom is enough. It is hugely successful in other IRE muds for a reason. It should also have a unique government, something akin to Duiran's three-leader system but each seat has a designation. Examples: Commerce, Infrastructure, Foreign Policy. Citizens would have to NOMINATE person TO seat. To begin elections. Allow the first group to set other policies, but skew it towards term limits and a constitution and all the other government aspects people crave.

    1e) Other cities need to double-down on their ideals. Enorian becomes more zealous, but allow a broader definition to be accepted so you include more. Redemption could mean giving someone a second chance or burning them alive or forcing them to bend the knee to a truer religion, etc. Allow for multiple interpretations of the ideas and support them openly.

    2) Remove the base class requirement from guilds entirely. Shift the guild focus from a class granting system to an ideology tied closer to the city it resides within. For example, anyone can be a 'Sentaari' but those seeking to be a 'Monk' can be taught by the Sentaari trainer in the city, restricted by faction so shadow side still has to convince someone to apprentice. Why? Class is given via the tutorial now and some people conform to a class type but not the guild's ideals. A templar may feel more spiritual and Shamanistic, for example. As I said above, allow for case-by-case basis for Divine (Maybe a GM can petition their Patron too) to have a means to cripple or punish those who abuse this new environment. This may already be the case with guilds and I'm not seeing it because I haven't created a new character in years.

    2a) Reset guilds to GR1, after class is no longer required, and set some guild-by-guild expectations and goals for using guildrank. Have some plan in mind for making the ranks have purpose and tie them to benefits. Carrot and stick philosophy. Stick is hardship, time, effort, and carrot is rank and reward. Most guilds have pets, style scrolls, and other trinkets tied to ranks (some have class abilities linked to rank!). Put emphasis on RP growth in creating an atmosphere of the final rank being earned and respected instead of (pardon the lack of creativity here) a joke and meaningless. Each rank shouldn't be a boring, unfun slog of work, but have a handful of activities that are related to the theme of the guild and generally engaging. Not much would change here since many guild requirements are already like this, it would mostly remove the 'Learn X ability, demonstrate it, talk about how it relates to us.' into 'Imagine guild ideal X, how would you implement it? What does it make you feel?'. This is probably the hardest of all the suggestions because it requires undoing a decade of guild process (which is now mostly bypassed by tutorial). Most of the 'knowledge' tasks are done on the spot anyway, so it would be more beneficial to strip them down to the meat and bone of the guild so smaller portions are retained by guild members. In the new system, people are choosing to be in the guild for the guild's Roleplay and members, not to become a scholar/historian on the guild.

    2b) Since guilds now have a more focused structure and requirements are thematic rather than time-sinks, tie them into the city further and treat them as city factions vying for control over politics. Duiran being a prime example of this in action. Three different ideals clashing and each dividing the power so no one could crush the other two. Checks and balances. The internal struggle is each guild/faction wants to shift the city towards a specific guild-centric goal. That goal should be somewhat private too, like wanting to bring war to Enorian could be a goal of the Carnifex. It doesn't have to be complex.


    EDIT: Point 3 vanished! I must of deleted it without realizing. It will be significantly shorter as I can't remember all the details I added.

    3) Change the rules for city-raiding. Include a function that dying to an enemied city doesn't start the life/death cycle but places your body in confinement. Like a prison. Have multiple options for handling this situation as an enemy combatant who has just died: kill the guards there and try to escape alone. Wait for the time limit to end and be teleported outside the gates (which would be minutes depending on the number of murders/crimes committed, like trespass), wait for buddies to show up and begin the raid anew from the prison but with different guard tactics.

    3a) Players would suffer a similar fate, being placed in a 'tent' outside the city as a PoW style of confinement with different options. Unique NPCs from the city would be guarding and the process starts from there being the raiders would have to pull back to defend the guards or ignore them and risk losing reinforcements when they get sent to prison. This would force the conflict to move to shifting combat zones, each with different benefits.

    3b) Allowing Tent guards to die will reduce the amount of 'commodities' or other asset stolen during the raid. Likewise, allowing prison guards to die would increase this amount. Something akin to that mechanic, where the solution isn't simply to kill the raider but to force them to defend their camp or defend your own prison. There could be other spots in a city the raiders could be gunning for in order to gain stuff and likewise ways to fortify it by attacking their supply chain back to the camp.

    3c) Place other penalties for being in an enemy city too long, like slow movement if they've not alerted a guard in a while, or persistent health loss as bystanders try to fight them off.

    3d) I can't remember the rest ;(

    I expect outright refusal, but please give me the benefit of trying to improve things for everyone.
    Vyxsis
  • TeaniTeani Evening Sky SwedenMember Posts: 1,932 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just want to point out that it is interesting how Spinesreach is not mentioned in the first section, about bringing in a neutral city. I believe that is because that essentially already is the most neutral option. The only things keeping it Shadow-aligned are the tethering system and the guilds connected to it fiddling around with darker research and dangerous stuff. 

    It should be noted that Admin has been working hard towards the opposite of what is suggested in this point. I doubt they are going to back-paddle now, but it's good to bring things up for a different perspective nonetheless  



  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 285 ✭✭✭
    I know in Achaea, if you go against your faction, you lose your faction resource. Example: Priests losing Devotion generation. This means that eventually, they lose access to their angels once all their devotion vanishes (since angel requires devotion to summon).

    Necromancers lose Essence generation.

    etc, etc. It'd be a solid way for Divine to smack down people who are going against the spirit of what the classes represent.

    The hard part is that Achaea has divine who specifically lord over those resources, where in Aetolia, the closest thing to a god owning a resource is Ethne with Illumination.. Maybe Damariel with Essence.. Ivoln with Essence, cause Undeath..?

    I'm sure there are more examples.. maybe it was the factions themselves that determined who had access and who lost access, determined by a vote.

    This has officially turned into a ramble.

  • EvalyneEvalyne A CoffinMember Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    Allowing neutrality mechanically would remove consequence, not add it, so it would seem at odds with the "player responsibility" angle. Imperian's experiences with it teach that it's not a good conflict generator. Celidon has put it's head in the sand in terms of global conflict for literally half an IRL decade if not more and it generally just contributed nothing at all meaningful to the world at large other than something of a laughing-stock. I don't think it's really a good road to go down.

    Making guilds less important, well, Imperian is also an object lesson in that. Now even with large experience and other bonuses offered by guild membership and an aggressively condensed guild list - as well as a monthly promotion that has brought in a lot of new players - given all the advantage in the world, even the guilds with strong remaining roleplay have a desperate lack of active members, and most of the people whom are members are just there for the experience bonus and don't interact meaningfully with the other members at all.

    I see a lot of ideas in that post that would remove existing loci of conflict, but none that I think would really add anything.
  • AnteheAntehe Member, Immortal Posts: 428 Immortal
    Adding a fifth city is highly unlikely.

    Adding neutral player-run organizations is even more unlikely. The polarity in organizations is not just political, but elemental (as in there are physical conflicts, not just ideological). This has been laid out multiple times, resulting in many pockets of "neutrality" being willful ignorance of the larger conflicts of the game for the sake of promoting personal brand.

    Impacting class skills, neutering ones tethered to specific accesses or channels, etc, is something only done in incredibly severe circumstances. Thematically it is great and makes sense, but in practice, having individuals lose access, or have diminished access, to things they have paid credits to learn, only ends in headache for all parties.

    A large point we are working over as we assess city-state conflict is a need to project it past city walls and out into the world. There needs to be a sense of territory and continental influence, rather than sticking a flag in so-and-so's barracks since you can't actually conquer/remove another city. You are world forces and should feel more like world forces.

    EvalyneShachalaiKelliaraNahuaque
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 389 admin
    I am Tiur, and I approve @Antehe's message.

    I don't see neutral groups as worth the resources. Conflict is lifeblood for a game, and to support real neutrality the conflict is forced to be entirely exterior. At that point, in my opinion, we could all just go play WoW. The difference in IRE is that political positions are vied for, wars are player driven, the world is organic.
    EvalyneKelliara
  • VyxsisVyxsis VyxsisMember Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Evalyne said:

    Imperian's experiences with it teach that it's not a good conflict generator.

    idk, my sense is that Imperian's problems are rather larger than one particular city - iirc @Rhyot harps on about how they killed off all the gods or something, which seems like a more discouraging direction on its face. plus, it's worth pointing out that Achaea, which is (if i'm not mistaken) the largest IRE MUD, has a neutral/merchant city, and while i don't necessarily want to mimic all the kinds of conflict they've got, it seems like a better litmus test than a less popular game that's beleaguered with other issues. if Achaea is succeeding in spite of allowing some form of neutrality, that's a case that can be made, but i don't think Imperian having issues that may or may not be related is that case.
    Teani said:

    I just want to point out that it is interesting how Spinesreach is not mentioned in the first section, about bringing in a neutral city. I believe that is because that essentially already is the most neutral option. The only things keeping it Shadow-aligned are the tethering system and the guilds connected to it fiddling around with darker research and dangerous stuff.

    i don't see spinesreach as neutral in the least, honestly, and i don't think what the guilds do is really accidental to, but rather constitutive of, the city's 'nature' (for lack of a better word bc tiredbrain). sure, they exist a little more toward the grey middle of the spectrum than bloodloch, but so does duiran relative to enorian. neither is really neutral, though, because they do ultimately stand with either Spirit or Shadow - duiran the former because it's life-promoting, spines the latter because it's expedient.

    which leads me to...
    Antehe said:

    The polarity in organizations is not just political, but elemental (as in there are physical conflicts, not just ideological). This has been laid out multiple times, resulting in many pockets of "neutrality" being willful ignorance of the larger conflicts of the game for the sake of promoting personal brand.

    while i understand it's the 'admin stance', and while i don't see myself really winning anyone over to my viewpoint because that just doesn't happen on internet forums/blogs/facebook/twitter/snail mail chain letters/tumblr, i don't really love the framing of the conflict in terms of 'physical differences' because... a lot of reasons. what seems relevant to me here, right now, is that the opposition posed between political/ideological and physical/material is false both in Aetolia and the meatworld. to the extent that they're distinguishable, they are mutually constitutive. "there is no pre-discursive body," as some dead bald french guy wrote (rip discoballhead). we see this in Aetolia all the time, particularly in the construction of binaries.

    Spirit vs Shadow.
    Life vs Undeath.
    Good vs Evil.
    Existence vs Non- (or different?) Existence.
    etc.

    within the fiction of the game, Spirit may well be a 'physical' substance, but it is also Good (an axiological quality). look at it in the opposite direction, though: what in Aetolia is 'good'? it's definitely not something about Spirit-tethered characters' moral qualities, or else a number of those characters are Doing RP Wrong (which would be a silly claim). no, it's their relationship to Spirit.

    but why is that the case? why is Spirit-Good and Shadow-Evil?

    if your answer is a variation on "because [someone] said so" - regardless of whether [someone] is a God from the fiction or an admin speaking OOCly - that's ideological. for the God, it serves Their interests for the world to 'naturally' reflect Their views. for the admin, it's something else - control, the illusion of authorship, facilitating gameplay through a simplistic enforced worldview, idk, this is a bit off-the-cuff.

    if your answer is a variation on "well, Spirit is Good because it doesn't destroy things, whereas Shadow does" - that's ideological. is existence good? which existence? why or why not?

    ideology isn't bad per se, but it should be recognized (and recognizable). attempting to naturalize conflict that is always already political conflict only obfuscates things - and, *alanis morissette voice* ironically, it encourages the spread of "us vs them" attitudes to OOC relationships.
    Tiur said:

    The difference in IRE is that political positions are vied for, wars are player driven, the world is organic.

    i wrote like 8 paragraphs in response to this one sentence, but i've deleted them in favor of asking a single simple question:

    how is the world "organic"?

    tl;dr bug is long-winded, proceed directly to fart joke
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    (Research): Cariv says, "Itsa me, Buggio."
    Evalyne
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,238 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cyrene is pretty awful, and has traditionally been pretty awful. Just as my .02, struggling to involve them in anything of substance has been an issue. They're starting to come out of their shell a...little? Now? But only because a few people are willing to lead against the raiding squads. I played as a member of their combat House (which was kinda weird to have right?) and just...what was the point? You could have deleted Cyrene from the world and outside of interpersonal stories (which you can find anywhere, with anyone else), nothing would have been lost. If an org is to exist, and get admin attention, I think that they should have some kind of main thrust by which they interact/influence/change/try to modify the world.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
    Evalyne
  • VyxsisVyxsis VyxsisMember Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Leana said:

    le snip

    we've talked about this some, and i suspect we'll continue discussing it. i'll just say one thing here:

    i really, really don't like the idea of divorcing classes from guilds. in fact, i almost wish multi-classing were penalized more heavily - i say 'almost' because i like fiddling around with dif classes too much to entirely want it. you mentioned ideology, rather than class, being the basis for guild unity, but i think in Aetolia, class is political. this is true from a lore-historical perspective (e.g. Indorani developing out of anti-Ankyrean militants into its own empire), and it continues to be true (how could teradrim exist in enorian? luminaries in bloodloch?). the class *is* the ethos to such an extent that, to me, being Indorani GM basically requires it. h*ck, being Arch-Prelate made me feel obligated to take lumi even though i joined as a zealot. sure, from a player perspective, we may say "i enjoy playing X class more than Y class" - but RPly, the guild and class are more or less interchangeable, having arisen together as communities with particular needs and beliefs developed (or were granted) techniques that served their purposes. to me, all that history is much of what being an Indoron is all about, it's what makes throwing cards and bartering with Chaos Lords and eating hearts meaningful rather than rote exercises that literally anyone can do regardless of affiliation or purpose.

    grain of salt, though: i'm also petty and don't want to share my toys.
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    (Research): Cariv says, "Itsa me, Buggio."
    KelliaraShachalai
  • AnteheAntehe Member, Immortal Posts: 428 Immortal
    @Vyxsis
    Good and Evil as a whole are purely your interpretations, however, yes, there are trade offs that need to be individually reconciled when it comes to choosing what skills and causes you endorse. Is there a general sense of 'good for Sapience or bad for Sapience'? Yes. Because you generally want Sapience to keep existing.

    The imbalance of any element over the others is a #badthing for Sapience. Spirit essence taking dominance would not be good, just as Shadow essence taking dominance is not good. There are a few, common, canonical differences that have already been discussed and revealed:
    • Shadow by its nature is a seeping source of unending consumption and destruction.
    • Shadow's diffusion into Sapience and the other planes increases the reach of the Shadow Mother.
    • Shadow by its nature corrupts the things it touches, which has been revealed in the shadowplague/bound events and the abominations in Dendara.
    • Spirit is Shadow's counterbalance. Spirit does not spread like Shadow does, their natures are diametrically opposed. However, if Spirit were to overstep like Shadow is, there would be other adverse effects as well. It is in here where Duiran has a unique foothold in maintaining the natural order, and have a rightfully wary stance when it comes to Enorian's wielding of the elements.
    This is a chemical polarity, for lack of better phrasing, that neutrality does not support, on top of the game design issues that come with the concept. It does create an us vs them issue in character, and that is the world. Ignoring the world won't make it go away.

    Now, are there otherwise good people making distinct choices in the skills they use when it comes to aiding Shadow's spread? Yes. Are there cruel, manipulative, and otherwise amoral people fending off Shadow's advances? Yes.
    KelliaraVyxsisEvalyneSatomi
  • KelliaraKelliara Member Posts: 503 ✭✭✭✭
    Aaargh.

    @Antehe I can't awesome and like and insightful your post!
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Chibi-Kelli by @Eleanor.
    Evalyne
  • VyxsisVyxsis VyxsisMember Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Toz said:

    Cyrene is pretty awful, and has traditionally been pretty awful. Just as my .02, struggling to involve them in anything of substance has been an issue. They're starting to come out of their shell a...little? Now? But only because a few people are willing to lead against the raiding squads. I played as a member of their combat House (which was kinda weird to have right?) and just...what was the point? You could have deleted Cyrene from the world and outside of interpersonal stories (which you can find anywhere, with anyone else), nothing would have been lost. If an org is to exist, and get admin attention, I think that they should have some kind of main thrust by which they interact/influence/change/try to modify the world.

    maybe. i've still only played Achaea for a really small amount of time, so could be i'm just talking out my... not-mouth. still, Achaea is relatively popular and active, and having a neutral city appeals to some people in some way. i almost moved my char to Cyrene, but it wasn't class compatible.

    neutrality, though, doesn't have to mean *not having a thrust* or something, does it? like, does Delve not have a thrust? idk, maybe i'm being idiosyncratic here.
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    (Research): Cariv says, "Itsa me, Buggio."
    Evalyne
  • AnteheAntehe Member, Immortal Posts: 428 Immortal
    Delve is a foreign national that is in an embittered battle against the Dreikathi forces. They are neutral in terms of Sapience's politics because they are on another continent with their own pressing issues.

    If you mean Esterport? No, they have no thrust outside of their own economic stability and keeping a peace. It is why it is a no-man's market town.
    Evalyne
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,238 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Vyxsis said:

    Toz said:

    Cyrene is pretty awful, and has traditionally been pretty awful. Just as my .02, struggling to involve them in anything of substance has been an issue. They're starting to come out of their shell a...little? Now? But only because a few people are willing to lead against the raiding squads. I played as a member of their combat House (which was kinda weird to have right?) and just...what was the point? You could have deleted Cyrene from the world and outside of interpersonal stories (which you can find anywhere, with anyone else), nothing would have been lost. If an org is to exist, and get admin attention, I think that they should have some kind of main thrust by which they interact/influence/change/try to modify the world.

    maybe. i've still only played Achaea for a really small amount of time, so could be i'm just talking out my... not-mouth. still, Achaea is relatively popular and active, and having a neutral city appeals to some people in some way. i almost moved my char to Cyrene, but it wasn't class compatible.

    neutrality, though, doesn't have to mean *not having a thrust* or something, does it? like, does Delve not have a thrust? idk, maybe i'm being idiosyncratic here.
    The trouble with fighting Cyrene or involving them in any way with pk/war/objectives is you have a significant chunk of their pop who point to their status as 'neutral' and just....wordlessly screech. And then don't fight. For a long time, they were actively running off their PKers if they got the city itself attacked because 'we are neutral and you are bringing violence down upon us'. So they'd sit there and take the raid, then refuse to offensively raid back or do anything related to standing up for themselves.

    Why open that can of worms, and for what sort of benefit, I guess is my question here? We have 4 orgs that cannot support themselves - Bloodloch is quiet as the grave (har) right now. Adding a 5th city further dilutes the playerbase, especially in a time when we need to be unifying orgs (delete Houses, make guilds ideological not class dispensers and 2-3 per city) to consolidate rather than splitting an already thin population.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
    Vyxsis
  • VyxsisVyxsis VyxsisMember Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Antehe said:

    snip snip snip

    to be clear, i was not endorsing neutrality, arguing that Shadow doesn't consume, etc etc.

    i also wasn't claiming that there aren't or shouldn't be "us vs. them" IC attitudes.

    i was quite explicitly discussing your framing of the polarization, with a throwaway observation that your framing is, in part, some of what underlies OOC hostility. you know, the "Shadow players are all mean and toxic" or "Spirit players are all do-gooder crybabies" - things that are obviously untrue, yet somehow are incredibly entrenched among players.

    as a personal aside, i'm like most people in that i like to feel like people are actually considering and engaging with what i say - even if they disagree - because it conveys respect. you, Antehe, basically never give me this impression, as it seems you're too busy responding to an imagined interlocutor and/or condescendingly/hostilely giving lessons that don't need giving. i realize i'm a lowly mortal and all, but since we've discussed 'community standards' #ITT, i'd like to say that i believe these should be modeled from the top. if that's not something you can do, it's unlikely the player base will do it, either.
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    (Research): Cariv says, "Itsa me, Buggio."
    EvalyneKoda
  • VyxsisVyxsis VyxsisMember Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Toz said:

    Vyxsis said:

    Toz said:

    Cyrene is pretty awful, and has traditionally been pretty awful. Just as my .02, struggling to involve them in anything of substance has been an issue. They're starting to come out of their shell a...little? Now? But only because a few people are willing to lead against the raiding squads. I played as a member of their combat House (which was kinda weird to have right?) and just...what was the point? You could have deleted Cyrene from the world and outside of interpersonal stories (which you can find anywhere, with anyone else), nothing would have been lost. If an org is to exist, and get admin attention, I think that they should have some kind of main thrust by which they interact/influence/change/try to modify the world.

    maybe. i've still only played Achaea for a really small amount of time, so could be i'm just talking out my... not-mouth. still, Achaea is relatively popular and active, and having a neutral city appeals to some people in some way. i almost moved my char to Cyrene, but it wasn't class compatible.

    neutrality, though, doesn't have to mean *not having a thrust* or something, does it? like, does Delve not have a thrust? idk, maybe i'm being idiosyncratic here.
    The trouble with fighting Cyrene or involving them in any way with pk/war/objectives is you have a significant chunk of their pop who point to their status as 'neutral' and just....wordlessly screech. And then don't fight. For a long time, they were actively running off their PKers if they got the city itself attacked because 'we are neutral and you are bringing violence down upon us'. So they'd sit there and take the raid, then refuse to offensively raid back or do anything related to standing up for themselves.

    Why open that can of worms, and for what sort of benefit, I guess is my question here? We have 4 orgs that cannot support themselves - Bloodloch is quiet as the grave (har) right now. Adding a 5th city further dilutes the playerbase, especially in a time when we need to be unifying orgs (delete Houses, make guilds ideological not class dispensers and 2-3 per city) to consolidate rather than splitting an already thin population.
    sure, ok. i guess it's kind of like what i commented regarding the hood of elusion a little while ago: while some people may like the idea, it enables and encourages behavior that's not healthy for the game. i can gel with that.

    i still don't like the idea of making guild & class separate. i *will* die on that hill. (nobody plays with my toys!!!!)
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    (Research): Cariv says, "Itsa me, Buggio."
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,238 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Give mine back please T_T

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
    Vyxsis
  • VyxsisVyxsis VyxsisMember Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Toz said:

    Give mine back please T_T

    NEVARRR !!11!!!!
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    (Research): Cariv says, "Itsa me, Buggio."
  • EvalyneEvalyne A CoffinMember Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    Toz said:

    The trouble with fighting Cyrene or involving them in any way with pk/war/objectives is you have a significant chunk of their pop who point to their status as 'neutral' and just....wordlessly screech. And then don't fight. For a long time, they were actively running off their PKers if they got the city itself attacked because 'we are neutral and you are bringing violence down upon us'. So they'd sit there and take the raid, then refuse to offensively raid back or do anything related to standing up for themselves.

    This was also true of Celidon long before the Gods were killed off and certainly has been since as well, in Imperian.

  • IrruelIrruel Member Posts: 668 ✭✭✭✭
    @Toz
    Cyrene 'works' because the playerbase is large enough that the people who enjoy the neutrality can be members, without that making other cities too small/underpopulated.

    It could not work in Aetolia because, as you said, the playerbase here is already spread too thin.

    I don't understand why you bothered to stick with Cyrene with your own character, but you must have had your reasons.
    EvalyneVyxsis
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 389 admin
    One more infraction and I close this thread. It has been a source for some insight into what players want to see out of more conflict systems, and has helped clear some things up, but it is not worth subjecting my staff to personal insults.
    RazmaelTedrunaiKynaEvalyne
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 105 ✭✭✭
    Hopefully not as long as the last one. I'm using @Antehe 's post to blanket respond to most of the other comments.
    Antehe said:

    Adding a fifth city is highly unlikely.

    That is a real shame, because I believe it would bring membership back to the game rather than thin it.

    The playerbase is not spread thin so much as they're lacking for choice. There is a real disconnect in the interest of city affairs when you are only there because the alternatives are less beneficial or socially engaging.

    I don't know how the tutorial works now, but I imagine they pick their class and then the city. So if the tutorial says, "Hello new Indorani, you can pick a city! Your choices are: Bloodloch!" it doesn't really feel like a choice. Imagine it said something like: "Your choices are: Bloodloch, the Sanguine Fist, home of your guild and on a mission to conquer all of Sapience Or Fifthcity, the Mechanical Dawn, a city allied unto itself seeking to industrialize Sapience by force where you will be without guild and with dynamically opposed individuals all vying for power."
    Antehe said:


    Adding neutral player-run organizations is even more unlikely. The polarity in organizations is not just political, but elemental (as in there are physical conflicts, not just ideological). This has been laid out multiple times, resulting in many pockets of "neutrality" being willful ignorance of the larger conflicts of the game for the sake of promoting personal brand.

    I believe willful ignorance is a symptom of not connecting with the factions ideals, while the player is enjoying the class they've chosen.

    Neutrality isn't exactly what I was going for but I had trouble phrasing it. What I really want is a fifth choice with a goal/ideology that is outside of the tether system that chaffs both light and shadow. A city determined to industrialize sapience and bring it into the 'age of Dawn' in their own way, for example. Or seeking to be the wealthiest nation on sapience and monopolize all resource generation. Both instances are outside of shadow/light, but will come into direct conflict with the other cities. The citizens may not wish to fight, but the city would be new and voluntary so I expect the oath would require defense/proactive assaults to gain territory/resources. If it were as @Teani said, making Spinesreach the neutral city, I would be against it. The city is too old and has already gone under a transformation. They couldn't expect all the citizens, active and dormant, to adopt a new affiliation for their city. This new city, if it ever happened, would demand it from anyone seeking to join.
    Antehe said:


    Impacting class skills, neutering ones tethered to specific accesses or channels, etc, is something only done in incredibly severe circumstances. Thematically it is great and makes sense, but in practice, having individuals lose access, or have diminished access, to things they have paid credits to learn, only ends in headache for all parties.

    I agree. This is why I said the first use of this power would grant a near full return of investment. It would allow someone to dip their toes into rebellion, have their fun, be struck down, but not lose enough to be financially crippling and get them to leave the game. Those who try to abuse this for non-rp refunds would get struck down for real and it would be stated in the policy not to try it. The idea is to allow the story to unfold in a way that players and divine admin can be involved for the roleplay and conflict, I imagine lots of fighting for the person between guilds and cities. I said as much, but I did write more than anyone should ever write in a forums post so I don't blame you for missing it.
    Antehe said:


    A large point we are working over as we assess city-state conflict is a need to project it past city walls and out into the world. There needs to be a sense of territory and continental influence, rather than sticking a flag in so-and-so's barracks since you can't actually conquer/remove another city. You are world forces and should feel more like world forces.

    This is great. I can't wait to hear more about this in the future. I left the quote because I miss the old war system. Not because it was good, but because it was there.

    Irruel said:

    @Toz
    Cyrene 'works' because the playerbase is large enough that the people who enjoy the neutrality can be members, without that making other cities too small/underpopulated.

    It could not work in Aetolia because, as you said, the playerbase here is already spread too thin.

    I don't understand why you bothered to stick with Cyrene with your own character, but you must have had your reasons.

    I wonder if there are records of player numbers for the past decade that can help determine what policy, game change, or improvement hurt or grew Aetolia's membership. The question we should be asking is: Why is Achaea still so massive? It's no where near as refined as Aetolia in some areas and yet it grows daily.

    I am not for copying Achaea, but we should be comparing them and ourselves a little more to see what keeps someone around there and not in Aetolia.
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 285 ✭✭✭
    I think when it comes to Neutrality, Duiran is the only one who has the ability to claim true neutrality. They are the only ones interested in maintaining balance. Spinesreach, while still more neutral than Bloodloch, is more interested in manipulating forces to their advantage, be they spirit or shadow. The alignment system (got, I just blanked on what it's called), that keeps Spines as Shadow and Duiran as Spirit is really the only thing preventing Spines from using Spirit for experimentation. As it stands, their only way to toy with Spirit is through the use of Shadow on Spirit.

    Anyway, that's just what I think, when it comes to that sort of thing. As for classes being tied to guilds, I figured that's what the um.. god.. brain is dead.. the system that gives people in the Guild, and anyone with 'favored' status to the Guild, special perks. Like Syssin's super secret signing language that only Syssin and favoreds can understand, while everyone else is stuck with the standard signing. Stuff like that. While I don't want classes to be Guild-centric, upping the perks some more could be a way to distinguish the guilded from the non-guilded. The favored from the unfavored.

  • KelliaraKelliara Member Posts: 503 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi, I'm Kelliara.

    I keep seeing a lot of talk about Spinesreach being neutral, and I feel the need to clarify.

    Spinesreach is self-interested. It typically doesn't bother with things it doesn't have a vested interest in, or can't profit from somehow. If you're unsure of why this is the case, have a look at the Gods that sit on the Pantheon.

    When push comes to shove, Spinesreach is always going to throw down on the side of Shadow, it's Patron is literally the Shadow God, and every single guild in the city uses the element explicitly in one way or another. Does that mean it can't/won't work with Enorian and Duiran if it suits its purpose? No. But it would be dangerous and naive for either of those organisations to assume Spinesreach is helping them out of the goodness of their heart, unless there are extreme circumstances where Spinesreach is under threat, or likely to be. And even then, Spinesreach is probably going to try to bleed them for every drop they can in the process.

    Personally, I don't think that this makes Spinesreach neutral, because the city isn't impartial in conflict, and at the end of the day, the city isn't going to suddenly stop looking out for its own interests, or doing something that another city/org doesn't like just to keep itself from being drawn into a conflict with one side or the other.
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Chibi-Kelli by @Eleanor.
    Satomi
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 389 admin
    Actual note of interest: We do track activity based on time of day and org. This is how I know when to host a short event for the largest number of players in an org. The tracking began about a month into my tenure, and we have this graph from then till now. So we do use it to track the effects a decision has made upon an org.

    I'm not really sure that sort of granularity exists over the entirety of the game, but monetarily, it does. We have always tracked average sales/player, new players/day, sales/new player etc etc.
    SatomiZaila
  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 105 ✭✭✭
    Just to clarify, I am not vying for neutrality. Let us drop that part because anyone who wants to be neutral can do so via the willful ignorance mentioned earlier by Antehe.

    I don't want a group of people who are against conflict.

    I want a group outside the conflict of shadow/light to further complicate things and provide a constant common enemy. WoW was brought up, but it's the okay example. Two factions, a third faction to rally the two to cooperate on occasion. That's Fifthcity and outside admin controlled events purpose.

    @Tiur Thanks for the input. I wonder if there would be evidence to support the game had more players during its time with five cities. Or at the least, what was the high point and what were the events going on at the time.
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