Talking About Tethers

Disclaimer: This thread is NOT intended to be used to purely discuss the ongoing event. I will mention the ongoing event below in connection with several other events, but this is simply to make a point as to it being a continued symptom of a perceived problem, not to start a conflict over current events. If you don't have anything constructive and are intending to sling mud or hostility over current events, please don't derail the thread. Thank you!


As the title says, lets talk about tethers. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to pinpoint my single greatest frustration with Aetolia, and I think tethers about sums it up. I'm going to try and explain why and how I believe this stunts game story as well as game mechanics, and offer a few examples of each.

Lets start with roleplay and the game story. One of the things I find the least compelling is that for every event, essentially, there is a "good" or an "evil" option, by necessity. With the game being split 50/50 the way it is, there's only a tiny amount of wiggle room for nuance here. Even if the organizations in question may slightly disagree, it forces that split regardless because of how the game is set up. Tethers, for all intents and purposes, basically subsume organizational identity, in my eyes. When it's 50% of the game against 50% of the game, there's not really an option or a desire to explore differences in org view and org direction, you need to sign along the dotted line to either fight for "good" or fight for "evil." If you don't support one or the other not only are you stepping outside the established norm that tethers have created, you're weakening whichever tether you're a part of, and breaking these long established ties and expectations.

I think this further weakens the narrative we're trying to tell, and makes the world overall less interesting. I'll try to pick on everyone equally here. I've gone out and asked Enorian and Duiran folks both why they help eachother, pointing out that Enorian is, for all claims of defending life and innocents and such, a blight upon the natural land. Shouldn't this be abhorrent to Duiran, being a fundamental violation of what they hold dear, regardless of what Enorian believes? Shouldn't Enorian, by contrast, be somewhat iffy about the more savage tendencies of the natural cycle and how it impacts innocents every day?

I've done something similar with Bloodloch and Spinesreach. This is another good example of two factions that IMO should NOT be friends. Bloodloch is the type of government Spinesreach essentially exists in opposition to. In any normal circumstance, I'd say Spinesreach is exactly the type of city Bloodloch would be eager to subjugate for their stance on freedom. That's what the empire wants, after all.

In each and every case regardless of the org, the answer is relatively similar. It boils down to this: we have to make do because the other side is aligned. That's really boring! I can't speak for everybody, but to me that is supremely not entertaining. It's essentially sweeping all these very neat, potentially interesting stories, all of these rp motivations and disagreements that could be explored, under the rug because well, the game's split. You're expected to fight the other half so why would you push these org differences when the tether difference is so prevalent? There's no guarantee the other side will, and it leaves everyone in this stalemate where lots of roleplay potential goes unexplored and the story ends up being very linear. I often hear again and again that this is the "RP game," but how can it really be that when org identity is so diluted to account for the necessity of splitting exactly half and half? How can it be when RP reasons are routinely shunted aside because it HAS to be two sides and not separate factions?


Alright, now lets break into the pk discussion. I expect this is where things may get somewhat hostile, so I'm going to try and be fair here and hope this can be a constructive conversation.

I think the half vs half aspect of the game really kills the pk scene. Now, I know not all fights are purely about numbers. It's about attitudes, it's about coordination, it's about a whole host of factors. But by splitting the game in half, it essentially limits diversity in such a way that it ends up being eminently clear which side has the weight of numbers at any given time. Instead of it being say, four warring factions each with a variable number, it's two lump sums. I've heard in the past shadow was the larger, and would stomp all over spirit. I can say currently spirit is the larger, often reaching anywhere from 15 to 20 people against shadow groups of 10 or less.


This isn't intending to point fingers or shame anyone for how they play. If I had that many people, I'd bring them all to an objective too! I think we all would, if push came to shove. But that's not really healthy for the game environment, IMO. The game is always going to be heavy on one side or the other, and that's a lot harder to compensate for when there's only two factions, period. The two faction system essentially seems to rely on people self regulating and moving to the other side if one side is too heavy, but I don't think it's fair, or realistic, to have people try to self-regulate in that way. Folks want to play with their friends or don't want to play with x or y, it's a game, that makes sense. But when all the weight congregates, it's a lot more telling in a two sided conflict than it would be in say, a four-sided conflict. I enjoy winning as much as the next person, and as stated above I would definitely bring all my people, but that doesn't mean that's fun or engaging in the current climate.


Certain pk mechanics also go so far as to enhance this issue I think. Numbers are the big tell in the current conflict and other such open world events, but there are also mechanics that force the issue and punish based on tether rather than on the org level. I'm talking about things like Twins, where you literally can't compete unless you have enough people from both orgs in your tether, or hunting grounds, where one person can enter from each org, but it essentially becomes a 2v2 scenario based on the tether divide. Whichever tether is larger can essentially ensure control over the hunting grounds items using this mechanic, because it's based on tether, not org.

It's also worth noting here that there's really no way to seek out or define the size of pk battles. Before someone says battlefields, yes these do exist, but I think it's clear they're intended for very specific scenarios. They're not here to be a complete substitute for open world pk. But you really can't start open world pk without it devolving into tether-based pk. Foci? Tether oriented. Shrines? All gods are tethered, and regardless of defile aura changes, defending the shrines of a god that is on your tether in the moment is still fair game. It's never just order vs order, defiling becomes tether pk as well. Story conflict? Tether vs tether. Raids, such as during the last war when Bloodloch raided Enorian/Duiran, or when spirit raided Bloodloch, it became a tether wide conflict in all instances. Even just a month or so ago when Sheryni raided Enorian with just the two of us, half the group that showed up was Duiran people. Spinesreach shows up to defend Bloodloch, and Bloodloch shows up to defend Spinesreach in this same vein. You can't ever tailor your group and say you know, we only have a few, Enorian only has a few, lets go fight Enorian, or lets go fight Spinesreach, because you're getting the whole tether no matter what.


I'd also like to say that on a broader scale, I think tethers just instill this sort of tribal atmosphere to the game that isn't healthy whatsoever. There is such a pervasive mentality of "them or us" based on the fact that the game is just split straight down the middle. It creates so much hostility and vitriol, and it's not diluted at all because there's only two sides. Us or them. I think this can be seen a lot in how quick people are to think the worst of the other side, and to assume that any and all pk is unjust without really investigating or considering. Further, it just makes the game a less pleasant experience for everyone playing it.

In short, I think tethers are one of the biggest issues Aetolia has, with story potential and with pk balance both being limited by the half and half split. It would be a much more interesting game on all sides if the story and the fights all had more sides. Do you agree? Disagree? Discuss!

RazmaelAlmolBraxLinIctinusKurakKalenaHolbrookReaveValorieEleneQelresNipsyTetchtaIesidGalileiIazamatEliadonLegynLenorielFyrrenTeaniAlela
«13

Comments

  • edited February 17
    For that to happen there would have to be some very monumental shifts in both player and in game culture. Tethers really only hard coded something that has been more or less fact since I started playing back in 2006 or so - Duiran and Enorian have always had at least semi overlapping interests and Bloodloch and Spinesreach have almost always had at least a somewhat amicable relationship aside from a few brief spats where they fought.

    Anti-civilization has been tried in Duiran before and would be the only way I could think of to really fracture the positive relationship between that org and Enorian, and the majority of players didn't really care for it then, why would they now? Especially when the arguments tended towards...well, less than engaging.


    Edit: I also think that some of the current issues stem from what seem to be cultural differences between the two tethers. From the outside at least it looks like Shadow tends to value the success of the individual over the value of the group, while Spirit tends to take the opposite approach. Maybe that's just how it looks from the outside though?

    KalenaSryaen
  • edited February 17
    Xavin said:

    For that to happen there would have to be some very monumental shifts in both player and in game culture. Tethers really only hard coded something that has been more or less fact since I started playing back in 2006 or so - Duiran and Enorian have always had at least semi overlapping interests and Bloodloch and Spinesreach have almost always had at least a somewhat amicable relationship aside from a few brief spats where they fought.

    Anti-civilization has been tried in Duiran before and would be the only way I could think of to really fracture the positive relationship between that org and Enorian, and the majority of players didn't really care for it then, why would they now? Especially when the arguments tended towards...well, less than engaging.

    That is the amazing thing about a living game! New stories can be pushed and story introduced to change that relationship dynamic. Being stuck on the past because one time an idea did not work in a certain way is a bad precedent.
    Whirran said:

    It's also worth noting here that there's really no way to seek out or define the size of pk battles. Before someone says battlefields, yes these do exist, but I think it's clear they're intended for very specific scenarios. They're not here to be a complete substitute for open world pk. But you really can't start open world pk without it devolving into tether-based pk. Foci? Tether oriented. Shrines? All gods are tethered, and regardless of defile aura changes, defending the shrines of a god that is on your tether in the moment is still fair game. It's never just order vs order, defiling becomes tether pk as well. Story conflict? Tether vs tether. Raids, such as during the last war when Bloodloch raided Enorian/Duiran, or when spirit raided Bloodloch, it became a tether wide conflict in all instances. Even just a month or so ago when Sheryni raided Enorian with just the two of us, half the group that showed up was Duiran people. Spinesreach shows up to defend Bloodloch, and Bloodloch shows up to defend Spinesreach in this same vein. You can't ever tailor your group and say you know, we only have a few, Enorian only has a few, lets go fight Enorian, or lets go fight Spinesreach, because you're getting the whole tether no matter what.

    This really hits my issue with World PK here. This has become enough of an issue for me I basically have stopped participating in world pk outside of big events. I really do not find the two tether deathball/meatgrinder that compelling. And I loved world PK in Achaea. You essentially had better options to pick a fight with a more even sized force. You do not have that here with the two tether system. Yes, there battlefields are cool and exist. But there are not a good substitute for spontaneous world PK.
    KalenaNipsyLenorielIesidFyrrenWjoltyr
  • I actually enjoy the tethers and I've actually really disliked things that have tried to break them up, and disagree vehemently that they are bad for the game. I honestly think there's actually a huge cultural difference between the two tethers but I won't get into that here because I want to focus on my experience in the Spirit tether.

    We have a very small community and the tethers already make up only half of this very small community. If we look at individual cities, most of the time not a single city has a population that I would say is healthy for it. Activity breeds activity in games and when a city is essentially lifeless it's going to have a very hard time trying to attract new people into joining the city. I've seen this across many games, and within IRE especially. It's just extremely hard to get an organisation to pick itself up on its own. The Spirit tether solves part of this problem by ensuring that even if our own individual city is a bit dead, we still have another city to rely on. When something as simple as a newer player needing guidance, we just have more people to rely on to be able to help them.

    Now, if we look into PK, I really, really like group combat. Most of the multiplayer games I play are team-based because I not only want to compete, but I also want to feel like I have people I can back up, or who can back me up, when things happen. I don't think this is an unpopular opinion either - if we look across what the biggest multiplayer games around, almost all of them are team-based rather than individual. That's not to say I don't enjoy the odd 1v1 fight here and there, but I just don't get the same rush as when we get a good team fight going. There is also the class diversity aspect. There are some classes that provide a huge advantage in groups and without them you are really just crippling yourself. Splitting the population even more just makes this issue even greater.

    When I joined this game Spirit was very much divided, and it had been for a large part of my time here. Enorian and Duiran barely saw eye to eye on many issues, and this extended beyond IC actions. However, over time, this has shifted a lot. We worked for these changes. We had to endure some very frustrating moments, to the point where I personally thought about just giving up. Fortunately, I didn't because for the most part we've overcome that and now I have a large network of people who I would consider very good friends - people who I know can help them out when they need, and hopefully know that I can help out when they need. We still have our cliques and some of us still very much dislike each other. IC, Enorian and Duiran still hold very distinct identities and we still do not agree on many things, but maybe because we are motivated OOC to ensure that this community succeeds, when we need to we find more common ground.

    At this point I think I would go as far as say I think without the combined Spirit community of Enorian and Duiran - without those close bonds that we have worked so hard for - I really don't see myself playing this game. The best, and worst, but also most importantly unique, part of this game really is its community.
    ValorieKalenaSaltzXavinIesidFyrrenTeaniBenedicto
  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    yes break up tethers

    KurakKalenaQelresNipsyAkriosGalileiIazamatLenorielTeani
  • edited February 17
    Not a huge fan of the idea for a few reasons, but I'm mostly going to go into the one:

    We'd have to really mess with certain class's lore.

    As an example, Wardens use simulacra of ancestral forestal energy. We currently have a lot of Enorian Wardens - you're telling me that we'd have to RP being OK with people using our ancestors' memories in conflicts with Sentinels? Because the alternative of gatekeeping the entire mirror class is just as lame, if not moreso.

    Building on that, mirrors are built along the tether divide. Barring oneiromancers, separating classes like that would necessitate that the two cities still remain close to at least an extent unless we want to go back to the days of not having access to certain classes unless you join their city. Changing from Tethers to a my city > everyone else's city system would necessitate a discussion of how to adapt the system going forward at the very least. If we dilute them, classes lose some flavor. If they become gatekept instead to keep the class's lore in check, that, honestly, might be even worse. But neither are great options.

    At the same time, I do see why tethers can be frustrating when it comes to conflict. The fact is, though, even characters in Duiran I've met who aren't as big fans of Enorian as a whole (often Eaku, yes, hello) recognize that Undeath and Shadow are significantly worse blights on the world than a city which also hates both of those things. I know we're not using the current event as an example, but touching on it, the stated goal of Ivoln's followers going into this is "we want to find out how to force people into undeath". Frankly, it's more surprising to me from an outsider's perspective that Spinesreach would make fighting against this treason. Maybe that's a point in favor of tether balance consideration being bad for RP consideration, honestly?
    ValorieKalenaXavinSaltzKurakIesidTeani
  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    I feel like this is conflating "making each city more independent" with "make them so at odds that their skills stop working."

    NipsyKurakKalenaGalileiSibattiLenorielFyrrenTeani
  • Tetchta said:

    I feel like this is conflating "making each city more independent" with "make them so at odds that their skills stop working."

    Making each city more independent without forcing the breaking of relationships would just end up with a situation like we have now. The only difference would be that there's not a mechanical enforcement. And tethers would still need to exist in some fashion for multiclassing.

    EakuKalena
  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    I'm sure there's a world where Enorian and Duiran have more independent RP while both cities get to keep their classes. Like didn't Severn invent the Syssin or something? And yet every dingdong with some credits to spend has the class if they want it, regardless of where they are. Things like magic, philosophy, and spirituality kinda transcend geopolitics.

    Lenoriel
  • The cities do have independent RP, though. If you think that everyone in Enorian cares about everything Duiran does and the other way around...well, that's just not the case. But there has been a lot of roleplay and working together that has built up the relationship that Duiran and Enorian have. I understand that that relationship leads to frustration at the moment for people in Spinesreach and Bloodloch, but - at the risk of sounding callous - that's not a -tether- issue. If Bloodloch and Spinesreach have a strained relationship, like Duiran and Enorian have had to some extent in the past, then maybe work needs to go into strengthening that relationship, and it's not something that will just change over night.

    KurakNipsySryaenLenoriel
  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    edited February 17
    I said more independent.

    edit: why is italicizing causing a linebreak T_T

  • Xavin said:

    The cities do have independent RP, though. If you think that everyone in Enorian cares about everything Duiran does and the other way around...well, that's just not the case. But there has been a lot of roleplay and working together that has built up the relationship that Duiran and Enorian have. I understand that that relationship leads to frustration at the moment for people in Spinesreach and Bloodloch, but - at the risk of sounding callous - that's not a -tether- issue. If Bloodloch and Spinesreach have a strained relationship, like Duiran and Enorian have had to some extent in the past, then maybe work needs to go into strengthening that relationship, and it's not something that will just change over night.

    It is a tether issue. Really think about what you just said, why should another whole city have to 'fix' a city being dead weight? That is absolutely an issue with tethers. A cities success or failure being that intimately tied to the success/failure of another is a tether issue.
    XavinValorieAkriosVelheimaEakuValeriaGalileiIazamatLinNipsyEleneLenorielBenedicto
  • edited February 17
    Yikes what a shitty attitude.

    If you care about it, you should help fix it. If you don't, well I guess keep blaming the game instead of yourselves for not taking action, and helping to mend the issues like Enorian and Duiran both took steps to. Fixing the problem isn't down to one city, and nobody said it was.
    TetchtaGalileiIazamatKurakNipsyLenoriel
  • I have heard over and over that Shadow tends to not be so good at helping new people learn, focusing on a culture of self reliance. Maybe part of your problem is calling your tether's other city 'dead weight'. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, or so hard, to help that other city move in a more positive direction.


    And maybe, just maybe, it would be a better idea to fix the problems in your back yard instead of pointing at people who have -done- that work a long while ago and shouting 'this is what's wrong with Aetolia'.

    For reference, not counting newbies/neutrals/people I don't have cataloged in my namedb, there are 10 people from bloodloch, 20 people from spinesreach, 13 from duiran, and 16 from enorian online at the time of this posting. There may be times of the day where Spirit truly does outnumber Shadow. But usually the numbers are close, and there are definitely times where Spirit is outnumbered. If y'all can't work together, that really strikes me as a you problem.

    IazamatKurakNipsySryaen
  • edited February 17
    Akrios said:

    Yikes what a shitty attitude.

    If you care about it, you should help fix it. If you don't, well I guess keep blaming the game instead of yourselves for not taking action, and helping to mend the issues like Enorian and Duiran both took steps to.

    There is not really a relationship issue. Unless we are talking about this event specifically, which the whole premise of the thread was to not, but even then Spines, outside a small handful of players, has been a non-presence on the field since I started. They really just only have a handful of people that will PK.

    I did not mention Spines specifically in my original post and this whole thing is moving into tribalism. We are purposefully taking my words in the most uncharitable way and it is derailing the thread. My point does not change, Tethers artificially tie a city success to another. So I am really missing how the observation is a 'shitty' attitude.

    edit for clarification
    GalileiXavinIazamatLenoriel
  • TetchtaTetchta The Innocent
    Is there any hope of this thread not becoming yet another tether-tribalism-rife nightmare of everyone getting in a contest to see who can be the least charitable? I feel like there's a lot of nuance just being glossed over in order to turn this into "your tether sucks" when that really wasn't the content nor the spirit of the original post.

    KurakGalileiIazamatLenorielKalenaIesid
  • I mean, I'm going to be real.

    If someone from Enorian was calling Duiran dead weight on the forums and getting backed up by other members of their city, I'd stop helping out of spite. That said, I don't think it has to go any further than that. It's just a very unkind thing to say, and, imo, undermines the point of the main post pretty severely.
    XavinSaltzNipsyCzciennValorieAeryxKurak
  • The fact that you have people outright calling Spinesreach dead weight and saying "why should we be obligated to help them when all they do is drag us down" speaks some actual problems. Are they actually going to -want- to work with people who talk like that openly?

  • edited February 17
    Xavin said:

    I have heard over and over that Shadow tends to not be so good at helping new people learn, focusing on a culture of self reliance. Maybe part of your problem is calling your tether's other city 'dead weight'. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, or so hard, to help that other city move in a more positive direction.

    Unless something has changed significantly, I have a hard time believing this. When players come over from Spirit to Shadow, most remark on how helpful and kind Shadow is, which is the exact opposite of what they hear from other players. If this is the case, however, it'd be extremely cool of players to point this out rather than use it as ammunition to start arguments on the forums, as we are all one community and it should be in the interest of the game's health that we work to fix something like that. Pointing those people in the direction of actual helpful Shadow players and/or relaying to us when they fall by the wayside is a much better option than holding it in reserve as a "gotcha!" Furthermore, I think you also have to keep in mind that there are players who have had poor experiences in Shadow orgs due to their own behaviour and OOC issues and their word should be taken with a grain of salt.

    That said, I don't think it changes or diminishes Kurak's point that something larger than players are equipped to handle or should have to handle is at play here and there is some level of blame to place at the feet of the tether system, whether you want to acknowledge that or not.
    GalileiNipsyKurakLenoriel
  • Kurak said:

    There is not really a relationship issue. Unless we are talking about this event specifically, which the whole premise of the thread was to not, but even then Spines, outside a small handful of players, has been a non-presence on the field since I started. They really just only have a handful of people that will PK.

    I did not mention Spines specifically in my original post and this whole thing is moving into tribalism. We are purposefully taking my words in the most uncharitable way and it is derailing the thread. My point does not change, Tethers artificially tie a city success to another. So I am really missing how the observation is a 'shitty' attitude.

    edit for clarification

    I feel like it needs pointed out - in addition to Elene's mention that there is no unifying goal on Shadow tether - that Spinesreach currently has no reason to change and, really, why should they want to? They're content with their current situation and are happy with their RP and status. Outside players attempting to move in and "fix" things, as some of you have put it, would actually be far more disrespectful and far more damaging to IC and OOC relationships than attempting to address the larger tether issue.
    TetchtaKurakNipsyGalileiLenoriel
  • edited February 17
    Iazamat said:


    I feel like it needs pointed out - in addition to Elene's mention that there is no unifying goal on Shadow tether - that Spinesreach currently has no reason to change and, really, why should they want to? They're content with their current situation and are happy with their RP and status. Outside players attempting to move in and "fix" things, as some of you have put it, would actually be far more disrespectful and far more damaging to IC and OOC relationships than attempting to address the larger tether issue.

    It seems like most of Spinesreach is not really into the PK scene and that's their choice. What isn't a choice is that all available PK is against two other cities - that's how the game is designed. When I play the game I want to RP and PK, I don't want to have to get involved oocly with a bunch of people in order to be able to do that. Remember this is the 'RP game' and it should support that playstyle.
    IazamatNipsy
  • LinLin Blackbird The Moonglade
    What I've taken from this thread is that we should revive the old plan to move to Albedos
    ReaveLenoriel
  • edited February 17
    Shadow players seem to be more invested in changing or deleting the institution in question because of how their organizations have shaken out in terms of diversity of player type. Because everybody piled into Bloodloch and there's nobody there to begin fostering Spinesreach, Bloodloch is saddled with the unfortunate task of growing much bigger if it wants to take on Spirit by itself.
    What I want to change is the ability to have more story or significance that ties the Shadow cities closer together than it has historically been. As Legyn said, the only Shadow significant story we've had recently where we banded together... is for Shadow to fight Shadow. The tethers functioning the way they are right now only conflate issues.

    Also, Spinesreach has plenty of people there to foster their city. There are also young and new faces who have started to dabble in things to inculcate a better tether understanding and relationship, IC and OOC. To name some names, Legyn is one, Bryn is another, Pietre, Kagura, and some of my Archivists as well (Taye, Holbrook, Linne, Koriel, etc.) Spinesreach has way more citizens than Bloodloch has. In fact, Ayukazi and Rhyot shifted to Spinesreach to start anew and help out, and brought along a bunch to do that as well. Already the Sciomancers are doing better than they were, with their Revenants having actual paths to progress and integrate into their RP.

    It's simply that from my point of view as the leader of an allied city hoping to work more closely with each other, they seem content with the status quo of "we're doing just fine if we stay neutral and in our lane" aka the Switzerland of Aetolia. There's a strong mentality (from its Syssin-led days) of preferring to lean on political connections to make things happen than PK/physical might. However, I think anyone who isn't Spirean shouldn't have the right to dictate what they should or shouldn't do, though. What we can do, though, is foster a positive environment from both sides of the game that makes people want to put in effort, interact and branch out.

    Edit: typo'd might into night.
    IesidReaveKurakValorieKalenaTetchta
  • Lin said:

    What I've taken from this thread is that we should revive the old plan to move to Albedos

    This is the only take that matters. Blow it all up, start over ruining a whole new 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 fucking awfulness Toz
    ---------------------------
    Didi's voice resonates across the land, "Yay tox."
    ---------------------------

    Ictinus11/01/2021

    Block Toz
    ---------------------------

    limToday at 10:38 PM


    you disgust me
    ---------------------------
    (Web): Bryn says, "Toz is why we can't have nice things."

    KurakGalileiLin
  • edited February 17
    Destroying the idea of tethers.. I'm not 100% opposed to the idea, but I am in agreement it would take a MASSIVE amount of lore to really make something like this work so that each city stands by itself on a narrative level. However, if you do this, you really run the risk of people feeling like they've lost their entire character identity that they've spend so much time and effort in trying to cultivate. In addition, I'll echo the sentiments that Spirit side has put a LOT of work into the level of cooperation, coordination and camaraderie that we share today. For a little while there, Spirit side didn't have the numbers and it was very demoralizing to go to lessers and just get utterly stomped. Aisling and Benedicto were so great about giving praise, even in defeat, to our fighters on Front Line.

    "Great job, team. We'll get them next time!"

    "So-and-so, you did a great job calling."
    or
    "You came in with that clutch defend, you really turned the tide of that fight!"

    I think this is one of the reasons why people tend to stick around on the Spirit tether, and if people have differing experiences, I am truly sorry that this didn't work for you. I always try to be as approachable as possible (despite my char's RP dictating otherwise), because player leaders have more of a responsibility when it comes to setting the tone and atmosphere of their corner of the game. And when it comes to people abandoning an org or a tether, for whatever reason really, I try to find out why and what I could've done better for next time. Because if someone's gaming experience is negative to the point where they want to switch sides out of frustration, there's always something that can be improved upon.

    I would love for cities to have their own narrative that sets them apart from others in a more drastic way. Inter-tether conflict can be fun, if done right. I think @Iesid is a fantastic example of someone who constantly pushes the envelope and lives ICly by the words of "We can be allies, but we don't need to be friends". He's incredibly frustrating to deal with ICly, as far as his views go. Sryaen is not a fan of the Seer, but he respects what he brings to the table and recognizes that he makes a better ally than an enemy. So I think that the idea that Duiran and Enorian are all buddy-buddy isn't 100% accurate. It's more like.. 75%/25%, that we, for the most part, accept our roles as mutual allies but there are some fundamental differences between us. I will, however, respond to the mention that Eno should take issue with Duiran's savagery, cruelty of nature belief - I think most of Enorian is rather okay with the fact that nature happens. It's unnecessary bloodshed that they take issue with. If Duiran was hunting down their enemies and flaying the flesh from their bodies while they were still alive, we might have more of an issue with that. In terms of Spinesreach's identity, I wish they would be more vocal about their role in the game. You'd be surprised how many people don't know that Spines is supposed to protect against the Shadow Plane and Ohlsana or w/e. Admittedly, this is a relatively new direction that previously I'd had no knowledge of back when Sryaen was Spirean (I hope?), so I was a bit taken aback when Saidenn shared this snippet with me. So if Enorian and Spinesreach's goals align of not having more Shadow spread uncontrolled , that'd be interesting to explore. But I think it would make people from both sides concerned that they were committing treason, and that is a mentality that I have really tried to squash, especially in my dealings with the Gray Accords (which I LOVED).

    PK-wise, I would also LOVE to get away from these massive battles. I would advocate for more Twin Foci, add 2's and 3's arenas for Sect so that people learn to handle stuff in smaller, tight-knit groups rather than just a massive deathball. Foci Battles are a great start to try these mechanics out in, so it would be nice to have Tether Foci or something where the ley energy is locked to a certain tether and they can fight over it or not. XP loss is disabled with ylem aura anyways, so who really cares about dying? Or even give cities a reason to want the ylem to themselves rather than share. Major gateways give the option to open for both cities or just the one, so why not make the incentive better? A city who solo-opens the major for their city will get, I dunno, 4 ylem cores instead of 1. Or a different type of ylem core that is more potent, lasting a RL week instead of just 3 days.

    Sorry, it's late and I would love to respond more to this but my brain has been slowly turning to mush during the 2 hours I've been writing and re-writing this post. Will check back in the morning when I'm more coherent.


    Tell me how I'm doing!
    (Web): Mileta says, "Okay... Sry is an edgelord..."

    (Web): Dreww says, "Sryaen just wants to be the best Dhar boi and slaughter everyone."
    ValorieCzciennReaveKalenaKurakEakuBenedicto
  • edited February 17
    I'm glad that this is being talked about, and people bringing up many good points from many directions, because it -is- a problem.

    I don't necessarily agree that doing away with tethers is the answer, but I also vehemently disagree that forcing Spinesreach and Bloodloch closer together is the answer either. Spinesreach is the place for characters who are morally grey and want to RP that, who think Spirit is a bunch of goody-two-shoes but don't want to be a Slayer of Orphans either, and there is a MASSIVE place for that in this game - look at Spines's population and you can see that immediately. There are LOTS of people that enjoy being scholars and spies and artists and other forms of non-combatant, RP-rich characters. Forcing them to march in closer step with Bloodloch would erase a LOT of the freedom and grey-area independence that makes Spines such a great place to play, because Bloodloch (bless 'em) are unequivocably evil and embrace that. That's fantastic RP too! But there are many, many people who enjoy being guards against Shadow encroachment and feeling like a sort of true neutral, and there would be no recourse, nowhere for them to go, if Spines was pushed to be totally fine with Loch and ended up just being Bloodloch 2.0.

    Also, Spinesreach has plenty of numbers, but few fighters. I really don't see that changing - this is an RP city almost exclusively with its current makeup of characters, and it thrives for it! Pushing them into Bloodloch's battles doesn't really change anything, because the handful of fighters they could provide are already free to go fight, and usually do.

    I don't want to erase the things that make Spinesreach fun and unique. But also, it's not fair to Bloodloch to have to always stand against Duiran and Eno shoulder to shoulder - especially with the fact that Spirit has a single combat system that synergizes wonderfully (that they've worked hard on! not shitting on it or downplaying the work! just pointing out that they can have nearly any noncom download Sunder and teach them a few commands and they have a ready-made semi-proficient fighter). Meanwhile, Shadow can barely call targets straight. That sort of combined RP and system imbalance has been very telling and discouraging of late.

    I would love to constructively work out how we can make things fun and fair for everyone without ripping down people's RP and communities.

    Edit: I want to add one thing- I play a Spirit char and a Shadow char with about equal investment, and I noticed very strongly that as soon as it became known that I had a Shadow char, the Spirit community started treating me with a measure of paranoia that has been honestly really hurtful. As if that made me sus as a person. Deny it or not, but there /is/ an OOC bias across tethers- especially spirit to shadow- and I truly think that, too, plays a part in the desire to find reasons to stand together as a tether against them IC. Please, don't take this as an attack. I love my Spirit friends to pieces. But I need to speak what I see, and I'm not the only one who has experienced that.
    The Divine voice of Ictinus, the Architect echoes in your head, "I think you are cursed."
    TetchtaReaveKurakKalenaIazamatIesidRihrin
Sign In or Register to comment.