Losing My Religion: Thoughts on Current Religious System

KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
edited June 2017 in Harpy's Head Tavern
I shall try to indicate the several points in the current Order system under different subtitles:

No Cult Creation : Consider a case of a populous Order. The God or the set of people presiding over it, keep the leash of the Order so tight, there is no room for theological interpretation. There is no theological conflict on this God because they can appear and disprove you even. Even if you are a group of 5 or more, you cannot go about your way and preach another interpretation, which would cause inter-Order conflict. That leads to stagnation and lack of action. In a more healthier system, cults would be created and maintained. Cults would be vying for supremacy over each other. Of course, cult system means less direct Gods, but more mortal touch to the topic. And before anyone says, Aetolia has a small playerbase for this, cult system has been tried for games with far lesser populations and it was an adequate success.

Greek Gods Inequality: Let us face it, God characters are the superstars of Aetolia (and they used to be other games' as well at some point i.e MKO) and interacting with them (depending on the person behind it) may be exhilarating or sucky. Also this creates an inequality about that more visible Gods have more vibrant orders while dormant or less interested Gods will have a weaker following, because all of the players want to feel the touch of the superstar. And it is not possible to maintain all God-shells with top-quality. As a side thought gods speaking only to their order through omens/visions and rather then using their omnipotent shells strutting around, would make a better approach. Greek Gods stuff is beyond its expiration date.

Divine Words Carry Weight: Exactly, when you see a Divine being so chummy chummy with players and starting to conflict on Its own logic, then they try to pull "I am omnipotent!" card. It really kills the whole atmosphere. Also, when some Gods disregardingly say one thing or another, it affects the world because usual players will take God-word as absolute and then act accordingly. That creates more trouble then it is worth.

Holy Wars Are Scarce: The title itself is clear, they are scarce because there is no danger for an Order to lose their privileges if some miscreant defiled one shrine or another. There is ABSOLUTELY no point to start a war beside then utter boredom (then cover it with some RP exchanges) and even those boredom wars will end quite fast, because there are no objectives, you cannot make your God more influential on the Material Plane, you are not making any change. Throughout my time, I realized that a good number of Aetolian players are extremely averse to player-driven conflict. Hence they should be encouraged with proper tools to create player-driven conflict. Over and over, I have seen that players are more energetic when they are presented with player-danger instead of admin-crafted danger. So, a cult will rise? Why not have tools? It will rise and perhaps eat the old/corrupted/dormant order. Or they will be locked in a stalemate and come to a certain agreement. More RP, more conflict, more fun!


  • DiogenDiogen Member Posts: 181 Immortal
    I wanted to clarify that Aetolian Gods are in fact by no means omnipotent in-character. Out of character, if what they say or do is particularly impactful, it is probably because they are not necessarily roleplaying their own agendas and are contributing to the administration's directed story of the game. God roles are heavily moderated, and I think most people know it, so it's not unreasonable for players to take them seriously.

  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think @Diogen has said about the most important thing that can be said about Aetolia's gods. What they do -is- watched. There are bounds that they are not allowed to cross. That being said, just because there are bounds that oocly players know that they aren't allowed to cross, that doesn't mean they don't have the in-role capability to do some pretty rough things. On a scale of power, even the weakest of our gods is so much more powerful than our most powerful mortal that it makes sense that they are listened to (generally) when they speak.

    The fact of the matter is that being a celani and taking up a god character is a pretty thankless job. No matter how happy you may have your character's followers, and no matter how hard you may try to engage with people across the board, there will be people that rag on you. And honestly, volunteering can be very difficult when it comes to time commitments. But the best thing that someone can do, if they think there is a problem, is to apply for Celani when there is a call. But one shouldn't expect to go up to the pools and immediately take up a god role.

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    @Rhyot Imperian's problem was that they killed the gods. It was possible to establish cult mechanic without killing the gods. For example, MKO which was the most lore heavy of all IRE (since you cannot really dispute books too much) allowed a God to have different Sects without deviating too much from canon. That creates a modicum of diversity but their vision was unfulfilled, unfortunately. You could not kill Banath at all, but you could have different cults of Banath because in different parts of the world he is known by different aspects. At North he will be known as the Deceiver, the Coyote while at southern parts he is the Prankster, the Nightwalker. And when a sect was grown too much, it even spawned a third one since he was also God of Knowledge due to having domain of his lost brother. That potentially allowed different viewpoints on a God to clash at times. It positively enriched RP. Of course, I am not saying that one thing working for another game will work for Aetolia. Just I state that one botched attempt should not make us avoid it altogether.

    And you agree pointlessness of holy wars as well.

    @Tiur Holy Wars may not work out when people take loss very hard and they cannot be mature about it. RPing a loss or a compromise is way too hard for certain people, I do agree. Though my positive side still believes that Holy Wars are not a lost cause. Just I will not wrack my brain over it for now, though.
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    In general, I am in agreement with the mentality of: more present divine is good. Even though I hear people complaining about divine on occasion, it is usually in terms of "They feel too approachable and not powerful/enigmatic enough" or "they overstep their bounds!" (but this one is usually just PCs blaming Gods for their actions). So people complain they're too influential, or not powerful enough... Hmmm

    Holy Wars: The only way I really see holy wars not being just big grief machines (everyone complains about them every.single.time) is to somehow take out the "We're going to PK you into the ground until you capitulate" aspect of it and instead work in some OTHER aspect. Maybe instead of taking down shrines, the warring order/congregation can have the power to graffiti them (I.E., if my order is fighting against Dhar's order, some fancy colourful text of "DHAR SMELLS LIKE OLD SHOES," or "Chakrasul's the best!"- so it's just a flavor effect and costs shrine energy to repair them/graffiti them. Relatively harmless, can be done somewhat anonymously, you can bash/offer to bolster the energy and gives you something to do that isn't going to make people stop logging in because they're tired of being ganked trying to run errands.
  • KodaKoda Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    Having seen both sides of that particular fence throughout my years of playing, I will say that for a lot of people playing a god is the reward for that thankless job of doing just about everything else.

    Are gods sometimes chummy with players? Sure. But recognize too that in the absence of a named mob that a Celani plays consistently, that God is more times than not the only way you get to play with other players anymore in any way that's consistent, or builds arcs. How did the current Gods get into Aetolia? Playing with other characters first and building their own stories. What do you give up to become a volunteer? That. This is where the usual line of 'well don't volunteer if you're not okay with that' comes in, and that's all fine and well, but if you take an integral aspect of playing like that away it turns into more of a job than something you do for fun. Volunteer activities need to have an aspect that's enjoyable or fun to them or else they just turn into unpaid jobs.

    When you add in the fact that players can be absolute unicorns to the people behind the scenes, the incentives are even harder to find. I've seen straight up berating via tells/messages, smack talk copied and pasted over Skype (trust me, it almost always finds its way to the person), threats, discord mobs, everything.

    The only saving grace there is that for every 10 crappy interactions with that, there's somebody posting an RP log, or saying that you've motivated them to log in, or that you've helped them enjoy the game more, etc. Those moments are worth their (theoretical) weight in gold.

    Some of those more specific points:

    Not offering different interpretations of tenets: Feel free to interpret the tenets of whatever God you like, hell, some have completely done away with tenets altogether. Unless you're trying to make the argument that Iosyne is actually the Goddess of trees, roll with whatever interpretation you'd like and make the argument for it. Maybe you'll even get the person playing the God to see it that way. In every Order I've ever been a part of (and there's been lots), personal interpretation of tenets was something valued, not countered. Back your interpretation up and you're fine. Most tenets are vague and meant to be interpreted in different ways.

    Greek Gods: I don't know many other games that you can play where a God can step into your personal story line and interact with you directly. Most games don't allow for this because it's mechanically unfeasible. This is if anything a niche that this industry allows for that is arguably a selling point. I've heard many players say they kept playing because of X/Y/Z God interaction(s) because it's simply something you can't get anywhere else.

    Does it suck that whatever God is active most of the time gets most of the attention? Sure, but it's a price of such a system. Sometimes interest wanes in a God. If you're playing a character for a year and you get tired of it, you can roll an alt and build yourself a new story to change things up - not often the case from a volunteer perspective. Sure, there's mobs, but players don't always give mobs the same level of seriousness.

    Holy Wars: Holy wars don't happen for a variety of reasons.

    1. They're griefy as hell and the amount of effort that needs to be put in simply isn't all that fun from a player perspective. It's like the old war system; the biggest complaint was that there simply isn't a break once you start, so people just don't log in. You're obligated to fight/participate if you're online, and if you don't you're a jerk/not the best worshipper/whatever.

    2. Order size can be a bit variable for that kind of thing. Knowing that Holy Wars can be griefy, new God that just got 20 new order members because they're the flavor of the month doesn't necessarily want to subject a smaller order to that kind of grief because it's really no fun for anybody involved.

    ...Whew. Sorry if that bordered more into rant category, but alas.
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    The argument that playerbase is too small is a bit shaky, @Phoenecia . The initial thought is that everyone and their brother would easily have a cult but actually the establishment of the cult itself with enough active core players would be an first limiting factor. You cannot start a cult alone and then bank on it, then create another and bank on it as well. The design steps of such a system would deal with such occurrences. You will not have a cancerous growth at your hands but rather a chance that a new Order may rise with enough interested people to put effort for it.

    @Koda I definitely do not see it bordering on rant category, if nothing else, the thread itself can be used to brainstorm and clash different viewpoints

    Greek Gods theme itself contributes to the issue of "Flavor of the Month" because everyone will gravitate towards the active superstar. It is quite empowering for one character to feel as Chosen, Champion, Blessed of X, Y, Z Divine. On the other hand though, one should remember there are not enough volunteers for all God-roles and Gods being all approachable creates huge disparities when the player behind it changes. And from another point, if green names increase the amount of people around...then that means without green names the game does not offer enough sandbox mechanics to keep people interested much.

    Now for Holy War, it can still be engaging if the playerbase can be convinced that they cannot have everything with minimal cost. The system can be revamped to engage many people but eh, I do not fathom any such idea making through without ruffling some feathers right now. Hence I simply stated that point, but refrained from pushing an idea.
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 242 ✭✭✭✭
    I have regular arguments and discussions in-game about the finer points and interpretations of both @Chakrasul and @Iosyne and the tenets of their respective orders. There's definitely room for interpretation, and I think these Orders mimic real life in that there's an orthodoxy, a 'normal' way to worship the Divine that's largely accepted. I think if someone really wanted to, they could branch off and get a small group of people who believe a certain way about Pain or Equality or Justice, and get themselves branded as heretics with all the RP that comes. This doesn't address many or even all of your issues, but I think it seems like you might be asking for mechanical back-ups to things that can already happen just fine, they just don't happen.

    I also agree that more Divine presence is good, though -- my experiences with Iosyne and Chakrasul have been some of the best in the game by far, and honestly, I sometimes prefer my interactions with my Order over nearly anything else, because the structure and boundaries of the Divines seems to leave less room for drama and nastiness. I feel comfortable fully dedicating my character to being a zealous worshipper, devout and obsessed, because I know that my chosen Divine will guide that and never take advantage of it in a way that is unpleasant out-of-character. I'm still very new, of course, but I love the Greek Gods approach where their presence is very much felt.

    Plus, having a world where faith is easy, because evidence of your Divine is plainly visible, makes folks like @Rhyot playing a heathen so much more valid. It's a really cool option that I think would go away or be changed unrecognizably with lesser Divine presence.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Kodaza said:

    You're just upset Chakrasul embarrassed you over Spinesreach CT. Stop being silly.

    Actions of Kalak are his own problem. But clearly you are unable to differentiate IC and OOC. Remember, right now you are not talking to Kalak.

    As a player I have my own viewpoint on the religious system. Greek Gods stuff was just one aspect of the criticism and apparently you did not care to read the rest of the points mm? You might be happy that Gods can act as your bestie, but that does not mean every player will find it immersion-enhancing. For one I find it immersion-breaking.

    The thread itself aims to bring forward points about the religious system. They may be popular points or unpopular points, but they have nothing to do with IC occurrences. Now I will disregard your immature attempt to flame and continue.

    @Rijetta Actually @Rhyot being heathen would not be affected with that. Now, less visible Divine form does not mean "lesser Divine presence". That suggest that their touches could be subtler instead of all domineering and open to fault. If I must go back to being a heathen, visible Divine presence does not make being a heathen stronger because there is nothing to argue over there theologically. On the other hand, you can be a true heathen when you try to raise a cult against the established Order. The struggle there would be more real.
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 242 ✭✭✭✭
    @Kalak I'm not really sure I see any Gods acting as 'besties'. They lavish favor on those who follow them with zeal and devotion, and literally kill people who speak out against them, like a petty greco-roman god should. I'm almost dead positive that people who get visits and gifts from Divines are devout followers of that Divine, or players who have sparked their particular interest for one reason or another. If that player stopped acting in accordance with that Divine's wishes, I'm sure they'd see a serious decline in positive Divine RP -- it might turn to negative (whihc, out of game, is probably still positive, because conflict and character growth are mad cool), but either way, I agree with @Teani in that the Divines acting upon the world the way they do isn't really very immersion-breaking, at least for me.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    People appear to focus on Greco-Roman Gods, so let us consider it then:

    1. Availability: That is a game material not available to everyone and even not to all of the Orders. People go towards that Order, because people will get to have Divine attention. Of course that is a thankless job, I am well aware. But then this creates a disparity.

    2. Persistent Quality: Ensuring the Divine will have persistent quality is tricky because let us say that the old player had some RL difficulties, or simply bored etc. then departed. New one is left with large shoes to fill.

    3. Lack of Stimulus: It is time and again stated in the thread, green names and Divine attention boosts the numbers. But let us say, they disappeared for a moment. Let us say, there is not even an admin event for one whole month as well. Then we shall obviously see a fall in the numbers, because it is an indication that current conflict tools are inadequate to stir the pot in a player-driven way and players just will recede to their circles, waiting to be fed with something.

    4. It Has Been Always Like That: IRE games had their Greco-Roman period, some of them went longer then the others. It has good sides and bad sides as discussed.

    5. God X Said That: That is my personal preference though, Gods as chattering fishwives with a juicy bit of gossip to tell makes me facepalm. Basically Gods being that close to mortals, really leaves no room for viewing an Order as a religious institution. There is no religion when there is an entity which will say "That is that" It is a fact, not a religion. Trying to dispute it, is being a salmon swimming against river current. You can be castoff and creating a Clan-Cult has no incentive because people respect mechanical stuff. Not-recognized cults mechanically will not succeed because they cannot threaten mechanical one in any way. Hence we are coming to the pointlessness of Holy Wars too.
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Antehe said:

    It is also important to remember that the Gods are vessels of Aetolia's lore and development. They do not have the same liberties and freedoms and familiarites of true played characters. As has been touched upon, God roles, and volunteering, are incredibly thankless jobs. Any favouritism that is given to a character in game is something related to that God's following. We are monitored pretty closely, and any gifts that are given must adhere to certain policies.

    Even our Gods that are most personally involved with mortals are not sitting around having scuttlebutt with mortals. This misrepresentation of being approached and asked questions, or drawn into others' arcs, as being 'chattering fishwives with a juicy bit of gossip' is disingenuous and misleading.

    And, being able to be corrected by a God or High Priest does not mean that there is no room for interpretation of of their values and tenets. Damariel's vision of Truth, Chakrasul's focus on Emotion, Ethne's Tempering, Dhar's Silence, Iosyne's reach of Pain and Power. Not all interpretations are *correct*, but the only times a God would be interjecting would be if it was egregiously off the mark and impacting their communities.

    While there are certainly flaws within the religious system, and some things we would love to do thematically, we are also bound to maintaining the world view of Aetolia and sustain systems that make sense to what Sapience is and embodies. That requires compromise and, in the end, mortals recognizing just where they actually are in the food chain.

    There is no disingenuity over there, nothing to mislead. Simply that visible and strutting Divine are subject to human nature. Takes away from their credibility and their omnipotence. Some people will like that, some people will not. There is a difference between making a ritual to commune with your Divine and straight out asking them one thing or another. When they speak, their words can be picked apart, fallacies in their words can be found and they lose Divine-value. They no longer are the top of the food chain, but rather beings with mortal flaws. That is the point where immersion breaks for me.

    Now the getting corrected part, lack of being able to create cults along pointlessness of Holy Wars are all connected to each other. They create a whole stagnant system which allows only "keep-hands-clean RP" to fluorish. PvP or RP-PvP will not have much room. Because is there even point to start a crusade for a God? Nothing will change unless it is an admin event. So that essentially makes us sit on our chair and expect to be spoon-fed with events rather then taking the initiative.

    Despite risking being the black sheep and the bad man, I will state: The religious system of Aetolia is bankrupt and works on the goodwill of volunteers rather then having a strong foundation in mechanics. Bloated essence reserves, invulnerability of Orders, inability to spawn cults, overly-involved Gods...are all meh points. The system will continue on. When the volunteers withdraw, you are left with a jumble of mechanics which are extremely static.
  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The thing is, divine essence literally does not matter. I sure as heck wouldn't want to see gods unable to do anything because they have a small following. Would anyone want to step into a new god role knowing that because that god had been inactive for so long their following has dwindled and as a result they are little more than a mortal with a special name on qwho?

    Cults sort of worked for MKO, sure, but they wouldn't work here because our gods are more visible. What's our option to deal with your complaints? Completely eliminate gods? That didn't work out too well for the IRE game that did it. And if you remove that character-playing incentive, you're going to find that our volunteer turn-around rate would become even worse than it has typically been here.

    All of the things you are stating are problems are things that most people do not have an issue with and are just a symptom of how Aetolia is. People fall away from orders of inactive gods because they could get that interaction elsewhere. It's the way of the world. It really does look like you're making mountains out of molehills when it comes to gods. Ultimately, if you don't want to be corrected by a god, don't give them a reason to correct you.

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Kodaza said:

    I can't, can I? Look, you had your character go on a self-aggrandizing speech about how he knew more than Chakrasul did about her own tenets, and the city laughed at him while she shut him down. After which, you come here to the forums and post all about how the god players have too narrow a view of themselves and that their words have too much influence over player characters. And you're telling me these events are completely unrelated? I read every single one of your complaints, and every one of them is a direct response to the argument your character deliberately picked with Chakrasul on CT. So who can't separate?

    You went on to say "When they speak, their words can be picked apart, fallacies in their words can be found and they lose Divine-value." So you aren't even bothering to pretend to hide it anymore. Well, Chakrasul claiming she is divinely tied to the essence of Fear itself, and your character claiming he's seen things She could never understand and that She should learn from him, is not discovering a fallacy in the Divine words. It's just your character trying to one-up a god, an objectively foolish thing to do in any religious model, and so he got treated like a fool accordingly. If you aren't a fool but choose to roleplay one, that's cool, but then what are you trying to accomplish with this "DAE gods too strong" thread?

     There are lots of small heresies and broader interpretations in the world already. @Phoenecia is in Slyphe 's order, but she took Kodaza's side when Kodaza went through a similar experience of being embarrassed by Slyphe in front of all Enorian. Kodaza herself is a heretical Damarielite who thinks Damariel misses His own point, even now that she's in Spinesreach. And not only is @Zaila 's cult clan idea awesome, but @Vyxsis is in the process of doing just that, trying to restore Khepri. No one's agreeing with your issues here because they're solely about your own interactions with the gods not putting up with your antics.

    Going back to the IC/OOC issue you accuse me of, you're accusing me of only being here because I'm best friends with Chak. Which is exactly the same thing Kalak accused Kodaza of, so.... Let me settle that for you, though. Kodie isn't in Chak 's order. Kodie didn't even know anything about Chak 's teachings until that talk over CT. She had certainly never interacted with Chak before then. And that city-wide blessing is the first one she ever received. Kodie has no special ties or loyalty to Chak. She's not held in some favor, she's not told Divine gossip.

    You're imagining cliques and conspiracies against you when there are none.

    1. Kalak never accused Kodaza being best friends with Chakrasul, you are imagining things apparently in your fervent ranting. And I do not care which order your character is. Keep your IC away from this thread.

    2. Greek-Gods criticism is not the only part of this thread, there are other points ranging from Holy War to creation of cults. So if you think that I conjured up a thread out of spite, you are out of luck.

    3. As I said before actions of Kalak are his own problem. I have played IRE games long enough that I know both how fun and detrimental Greek Gods stuff can turn into. But as I said that is just part of the points, as a player I prefer religion and rituals instead of straight up nudging a Divine.

    4. And I will remind you again to keep IC away from this discussion, because you are deliberately twisting up what transpired about Chakrasul and this is not about that event. I mean "Kalak claiming he's seen things She could never understand and that She should learn from him" that is a lie. He simply took Her words and sold them back in character. So, again. Stop associating this thread with that, else I shall start to think that you have some kind of problem with me personally. That we can speak about at a more private platform.

    5. Cliques exists in every IRE game, it does not matter whether against Kalak or me or anyone. Because we are human beings and we gravitate towards people we like and stay away from those who we do not.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,149 admin
    Okay, let's chill on this being inspired by anything IC. Constructive discussion on how Divine are being played can happen, I'm sure of it. Whether I feel like it's something we can change positively, that's up to persuasiveness. The inspirational source of that persuasion doesn't matter too much.
  • KodazaKodaza Los AngelesMember Posts: 115 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Kalak said:

    Greek-Gods criticism is not the only part of this thread, there are other points ranging from Holy War to creation of cults. So if you think that I conjured up a thread out of spite, you are out of luck.

    I've said literally nothing about your "Greek Gods Inequality" point. And we've never interacted before now, Sir/Ma'am/Other-Pronoun-of-Choice, so I have no reason to have any personal problem with you.

    Your other points were cults (I.e., lack of diverse interpretation of the gods), holy wars, and divide words carrying too much weight.

    Non-mechanical cults exist. Other interpretations of the gods exist. You bring this complaint to the forums that the gods don't allow for various interpretation, immediately after your alternative interpretation of Chakrasul got rejected. It's a false claim that only reflects what happened to Kalak.

    I have nothing to say about holy wars that wasn't already better stated by others.

    "Divine words carry too much weight" seems to be blatantly and transparently about how gods told your characters something you didn't want to hear, because it's not a complaint with any meaning otherwise.

    Every one of your other points (excepting the holy war, to be fair) boils right back down to your character having a public disagreement.

    And regarding your "Greek Gods" point about the divine having too much spotlight attention, I have said nothing and will continue to say nothing regarding that, so you can stop claiming I'm fixated on that point and ignoring everything else you say.

  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 636 ✭✭✭✭
    Let's compare this to something we all know and love, D&D.

    In D&D, you have the DM (Divine Gods). Now the DM is the master of the game, the person who sets the tone/mood/campaign, literally everything. They are god and you must appease them. They hold all the power. Every day you play, things are going to happen that you may or may not like. You might be forced to interact with heretics wanting to murder you, or maybe high charisma paladin folk who can see through your bluff, or even a blacksmith who wants to charge you 5 platinum for a sword. You don't have to like or even agree with these parts, but they are parts of the game that you as a player have come to expect and won't fight with because you can't change it.

    Likewise, you have the players (Order Interpretations/Holy Wars). Now, the players determine the level of difficulty you have of completing your quest, but they also determine how your campaign goes. We all know you have the main quest (following of the god), but we also know that we can manipulate the campaign to our whims. You could be the moron who gets a coup de'grace in their sleep (order wars), you could be the guy that convinces everyone to forego the main quest and venture into the realm of business ownership to make gold before venturing out on the main campaign (order interpretations), or you could just go with the flow (playing of the game). No matter what you do, you inherently accept all mechanics of the game because you can't change them. They were set by the rules and guidelines of the books you bought and the creators of the game of the edition that you're playing.

    Even though there are fallacies with each edition, and many will argue what edition is best, you can't change the mechanics and you still play the game because you accept certain infallible truths. Truths that were set in place by others with a higher degree of knowledge about the game than you.

    Yes, I play a heathen, but I do not think that getting rid of the gods nor forcing them to take a backburner to the game would be healthy in any way. The gods actually have the RIGHT amount of visible time to roleplay with their Order and their invisible time to work on things behind the scenes.

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Kodaza said:

    ...still ranting...

    Take a deep breath and have fun, alright?

    That would not be a wrong assessment that non-mechanical things tend to die out quicker then mechanical ones. Players cannot dispute something mechanical, they have to live with its legitimacy while they can pretty much ignore non-mechanical stuff. Let us consider that I have created a cult with 5-6 interested people. And then only way for it become a force in the gameworld is that it should have the mechanical groundwork every order has. We cannot erect shrines, bestow blessings and offer all the cozy stuff a vibrant order can offer. So you are pretty much locked up to the one possible Order which has its tenets pretty much calcified throughout time. Yes, you can make small deviations and heresies, but if you wanted to split, there is no mechanic to help you.

    Divine Words Carry Weight is a statement based on years of experience with this kind of stuff on other games. If ICly a God says something, you are compelled to believe and accept that stuff. I have seen it backfire in several cases and undoubtedly Aetolia should have its own kind of experiences that way.

    Now upon words of @Tiur I would like offer my criticism on the Divine being played:

    First of all, I do not have any problem with a Divine communicating with His or Her Chosen, High Priests etc. After all that is their people devoted to them. They can have all kinds of exclusive interactions with each other. Though Divine's way of coming forward and speaking like a lecturer in public, makes the Divine appear more like a common priest mob rather then a force of nature whose mysteries are only provided to their Chosen. This is not something exclusive to Aetolia, though.

    The second part is more about my personal taste. A God which communicates through visions, signs, their Chosen/Priests and indirect methods appear more engaging and seamless rather then the God appearing right before everyone with all His/Her glory. Whenever a god appears like that, I could think nothing but this Claptrap fella with all the strutting, dancing and stuff:

    @Rhyot None of us advocates getting rid of them or putting them on the backburner thoroughly. They should work with their Orders while still keeping the mystery for the uninitiated. Their faithful should preach the word, not the God. Otherwise, that is not a religion but a Divine-campaign for attention. I will be blunt, that is no different then shouting "Hey look, how cool I am!" Hence that creates the inequality, because everyone likes Divine-attention, they flock to the advertisement. Till the God-player is fed-up or forced to go dormant. Then people are back to square one at the absence of such stimulus.
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Kodaza said:

    From your words from the beginning of the thread to now, and given that no one what has witnessed the same general phenomenon, it really really seems like this is all just a personally motivated vendetta.

    @Tiur, you're a good producer, so I realize you want to be open to any and all feedback and try to get something productive from it. And people are bringing up issues that could be improved, in this thread. But even the raised or acknowledged issues don't have any connections to Kalak's complaints, and it doesn't seem as though he has raised these complaints in good faith. This doesn't feel like an honest discussion, and from the player-base community side, I worry that these complaints (which are clearly not held by majority of us ((or even a significant minority))) will not only waste the community's time, but make you all feel like you're doing a worse job than you are.

    1. I believe @Tiur is doing a very good job.

    2. I am a player who enjoys religious conflicts aside from the usual PvP stuff. Aetolia has Orrery/Major/Lesser/Sect minigames and rare Holy War conflict systems as PvP. Let us for one moment look at how finance/skill intensive PvP is and how little opportunities we get to fight in a meaningful PvP-RP manner. Holy War systems, Conquest systems, War Systems they all enhance a PvP-RP attitude.

    3. That is a phenomenon I have experienced in other games and thought whether similar things occur here as well or not. Apparently it does. So that was my driving point to put forward criticism. This is not something out of spite, you try to make it seem to be. My points may be unpopular, but they are my personal thoughts. I did not come here to crush your Happyland into pieces.

    4. Today I would be playing another game and if its system A and system B were quite underdeveloped and stagnant, I would offer my criticism. Every player has different playstyles and you are quick to jump to conclusions. I am all behind my assessments regardless of what may occurred to my character in the game. Next day he could be different. There is no vendetta. I am not laughing like an evil man in a dark room after sipping my wine. Remember always that I am not Kalak. When I said the religious system of Aetolia is relying on the efforts of volunteers and when you pull those volunteers all left is a static bunch of mechanics, I am not stating something out of place or vindictive.

    5. And I am putting off-topic to your posts because you are trying to do "source derogation" by tying my criticism to a recent IC occurrence witnessed by yourself. And then you described the whole exchange in your twisted way. A surprise, these points have been always my thoughts. And we are not doing an election right now where minority vs majority occurs. As a player I am raising points I find lacking. This has no expectancy to change what is already in motion. If I do not offer criticism then it would be disservice to the game itself. After all, player mentality is diverse and as a player I enjoy player-driven conflict and asking for tools, is only natural. As a player I enjoy more mysteries rather then strutting Divine beings, that is only natural to speak about that. As a player I enjoy dynamic organizations which can split and merge, that is only natural to speak about that. So, before you try to portray me as some vindictive person, take a step back and remember that I am a player with different thoughts then you.
    Post edited by Kalak on
  • KodazaKodaza Los AngelesMember Posts: 115 ✭✭✭
    I will continue to dispute that I have at no point been off-topic in this thread, by continuing to engage with your points throughout. But you raise some good points. if you didn't care about this game, you could play something else. So alright, Kalak. The ball is in your court. You've convinced me you have real things to say about the health of this game. The floor is yours, but I hope you use it to benefit the game as a whole, and not just yourself.

  • AngrothAngroth Member Posts: 66 ✭✭✭
    Was just browsing and thought I'd add in my two cents.

    I'm a 12, 13 year veteran of IRE MUDs. In that time frame, some of my most treasured and enjoyed RP moments were with the Divine characters. In Lusternia (by and large my "home" MUD), you had your fair share of flagrant "greek god syndrome" (see: Eventru, Terentia), but many of the gods did a wonderful job in striking a fair balance.

    A personal favorite of mine was Fain, one of the (to oversimplify the character) "oooh grimdark evil" gods. Like most gods, he would only occasionally "show" himself; but whenever he had an active player, Fain was always very active with his order, and would regularly RP with anyone who came to his fulcrux/prayed. He was apparent to the city and world at large, but VERY apparent to his Order.

    I could wax poetic about being teleported with another order member and being forced to fight to the death, being appointed as a priest, or any number of things: but I think my point is that "Greek god" isn't necessarily a bad thing. It helps immerse the player in the world and the culture, lets you know that yes there is someone there, and it provides another set of goals and contact points for players. I agree that flagrant "zap zap zap look at my godliness u gaiz" ought to be tempered with a sense of subtlety, but sometimes showing off your all-powerful immortal-ness makes sense too.

    tl;dr It's important that the god characters let us know they're there. It boosts player activity and if the god characters are willing to RP with you, gives everyone the warm and fuzzies. These "in your face" gods, however, ought to be tempered with a degree of subtlety, tact, and full understanding of their role.
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