6/30/2022 at 23:35
Ictinus, the Architect
Conflict Events & Attitudes
I think it's time we talk about attitudes a bit, especially as it pertains to conflict events or PK scenarios. Aetolia is an RP game and PK game and good conflict is essential to both. Without it, none of the events we have matter, nothing has any stakes, and the world becomes a stale, boring, safe haven with everyone in harmony. This isn't what the game was founded on and isn't the direction we've been taking it since I took over.
PK remains the pre-eminent method of conflict resolution between players. There's never going to be a city org vs city org event where there isn't some sort of PvP involved in it. That's just the nature of the game. If your org isn't in a position to back up their RP responsibilities with the required action to do so, that is a problem with the org that needs to be solved, it's not a flaw in the game or event design.
We've put a great deal of time and effort this year into bolstering org identity and themes and that work will continue. These sorts of high stakes, tense scenarios are important parts of that, and acting like you're being persecuted, bullied, mistreated, or griefed (we've heard all of these in the last 48 hours or so) is the wrong attitude to have, especially if you're in leadership or another position of responsibility. That attitude trickles down to the rest of the players in your org and actively dissuades others from participating in things.
In what is intended to be a grim dark / horror themed environment, expecting to be safe or otherwise indifferent to the perils of the world at large is not reasonable. Disaster is going to strike. Bad things are going to occur to your characters that are often outside of your control. Sometimes you are going to lose. When you join an organisation, you are making a choice to buy in to their themes, motives, goals, and ideals. That character choice is always in effect, not only when it's easy, and these difficult-choice situations are rare enough that it's not something that has to be dealt with or endured every single day.
If you have a problem with an event, another player, or an admin, then esteem is not the venue for your complaint. I am. The whole team sees these and if the extent of your feedback is to tell the people going out of their way to create content for you that they're wasting their time, then you can send it to me instead.
This post isn't only aimed at the current events in Sterion, and it should be pointed out that this event was entirely player initiated. We chose to facilitate that conflict with mechanical and RP support. I've noticed this prevailing attitude across the board from all orgs when it comes to conflict, and I want to go on the record now and remind you that it's immensely discouraging to everyone on my team when people treat these situations like they're some sort of conspiracy to ruin the game experience. They're not.
Penned by my hand on Kinsday, the 11th of Midsummer, in the year 503 MA.
I've been putting some thought into this over the last few weeks and thought a forum post would be the best way to express my opinion on the matter. I am aware that, as a city leader (and a long tenured one, if we look at all the times Iesid has been some form of leader in Duiran), it is something I am theoretically in the position to fix. That is not really why I am posting this; I'm not really looking for intervention or some kind of admin assistance, and I'm definitely not here looking to shame the people who work hard as guildmasters or other Speakers in the council. However, I think pretending there isn't a problem is doing a disservice to the other organizations in the game that depend on our participation to have the game world feel 'real' or 'alive', and it is also doing a disservice to ourselves as players who log in to find something interesting to do.
To cut to the chase, I think Duiran is an org that is largely defined by its apathy. No matter what angle a leader tries to go 'in' at, it never seems to really stick. The 'the world is bigger than us' and 'big picture' thinking is just too disconnected from the day-to-day lives that Duirani citizens seem to want to roleplay. 'The Cycle' is an excellent concept on paper, but it has been boiled down to a very tepid 'I guess we kinda dislike undead and vampires, sure' with back-and-forth law adjustments and hazy policy changes that give me the impression of an organization in full identity crisis. The apathy to organizational roleplay is so strong that a lot of characters did not even remember that Dendara is dying - a reminder from Haern about the core of our org RP ended up sending the entire council into a spiral of 'what if we do this?' and we have had not much to show for it after it inevitably burned out into 'whatever just put it on the town crier'.
Not only is the organization apathetic, I kind of perceive it as afraid. Duiran seems terrified of the idea of being the aggressor, villain, or antagonist. If nobody wants to be our villain and we won't play the villain, that means there is no story. Bloodloch and Enorian seem to be happy to bash each other's heads in, but there's no organization that wants to pick that fight with Duiran and Duiran sure doesn't seem to want to pick that fight either. To me, that's not fun. It makes me want to go do something else - or play someone else or somewhere else that isn't Aetolia. I don't want to feel forced to join Bloodloch or Enorian if I want a piece of the action, but Duiran's collective outlook (leaders and all) seem to be collectively unwilling to do anything besides say 'well we have to help Dendara' or 'well Dendara has to come first'.
Dendara, the core aspect of our organization's story, is being used as a way to avoid interaction/conflict and that is not healthy whatsoever. Something has to change. I feel as if we pick and choose what we care about in our organization's roleplay and, when we do not want to do a part of it, we write it off as 'for Dendara'.
Am I crazy? Am I just expecting an org to warmonger? Is it unreasonable for me to want my organization to do cool things instead of trying to make friends with every single NPC and every single PC org?