I am starting this thread to discuss the Orrery because it's been a pattern for a while that most people do not really bother contesting it. It is, to me, not a very fun competition as is and could use changes. But I wanted to open it up to everyone to discuss!


Scattering is a contest that happens for three RL days for a four-hour block of time every eight hours. That is, if it starts at 7:00 p.m. in whatever timezone you're in, it'll proceed as follows:

Day 1

7-10 p.m.: contest for attunement point #1
3-6 a.m.: contest for attunement point #2
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: contest for attunement point #3

Day 2

7-10 p.m.: contest for attunement point #4
3-6 a.m.: contest for attunement point #5
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: contest for attunement point #6

Day 3

7-10 p.m.: contest for attunement point #7
3-6 a.m.: contest for attunement point #8
7-10 a.m.: contest for attunement point #9

  • Only one city can have attunement points at a time. If you gain one, and then another city gains one, that city's "gaining" of a point simply removes your city's point and puts it all back at zero. To end in a place where you win any bonus at all, you basically need to score at least five total attunement points. Otherwise, the other point windows will always subtract you back to zero.
  • Five attunement points requires approximately 15 to 20 hours of time commitment and those 15 to 20 hours generally cannot be put in within one "ordinary" playtime window for one person. For example, I tend to play only from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, at most, on weekdays. But as set out in the example above, only three windows would realistically ever fall within that timeframe and you need to win five. So, currently, it requires cross-timezone commitment or people who can play at all times of the day to be able to win it.
The orrery bonuses are neat and it'd be nice to be able to compete for them, but I suspect the time commitment is not only too high for me but for most people since most cities do not seem to compete in it at all, ever.


During classleads, I proposed that rather than attunement points working as is where a point gained by one city eliminates points gained by another city, each attunement point earned by any city should just count towards bonuses. So, I compete in a 7-10 pm window during my playtime and we manage to win an attunement point. Spinesreach now gets level 1 bonus. And so on. This was rejected because it'd make the bonuses too readily available, essentially.

But I'm starting this thread because I'm curious what others' thoughts are on this. It seems like when there is a competition that only one city will ever compete in due to timezone issues, it's not ideal. To me, the biggest problem, by far, is that if you can only commit, say, 16 hours to it, you may as well not even bother. Winning even up to four attunement points will not do you any good, ultimately.

I think there needs to be some reward for winning less than five attunement points out of nine, personally. The time commitment is already significant just to win one attunement point.

I've also thought about the possibility that we still have these different contest windows but the orrery attunement is time-of-day based. So, like, X city wins during all the windows at 3 a.m. my time and their reward is the orrery bonuses affect them from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the IC half year or whatever that the bonuses last. A different city might get the bonuses from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The bonuses would reflect the contest results from that time period each contest day only.

Alternatively, I think the orrery contest periods could rotate in a way that they all sometimes fall in one timezone's main playtime and all sometimes fall in another, rather than the current situation where you have to compete in multiple "timezones" every single orrery no matter what or you will never win anything. But anyway, discuss!


  • edited April 2023
    The all or nothing style of orrery rewards is bad design. I am not saying give everyone the ability to get max rewards. But participation should lead to some rewards. Even lessers/majors/twins, if your city wins a round they usually get some ylem.


    Aetolia has several no-life endurance slogs masked as PK events, Orrery and Holy Wars. I would really like to see these two PK mechanics examined and changed. I have won and lost Holy Wars. They boil down to; can you contend till the other side either loses the will to fight or until they go to bed? You win (if you stay up and take down the shrines.) Orrery is framed in slightly the same way, does your city have enough spread of timezone players? You can win.

    These mechanics would work 15-20 years ago when everyone was young and had no real life obligations. But lets be real, the average mud player is in their 30s with obligations.
  • I think an important thing to note about Orrery is that practically, in all the rounds I've been to, it's only been the first two hours that matter. For all intents and purposes, it's a 2-hour engagement with a 6-hour break in the middle. If you win the first two hours, you can just easily get 1 more globe in during the third hour to secure the point. It's definitely not 15-20 hours of time commitment as was stated in the problems. It's not even the full hour either, it's 5-10 minutes maximum to grab/infuse globes with a 50 minute break until the next round, maybe double that if it's contested.

    I do not see why timezone is an issue because one city happens to have more people who play during off-peak times. These same people are the ones who have had to wake up at 4-5 am (in my case) to make events like the duel, or CTF (last one was 3am for me IIRC, and I didn't wake up for it), or basically any other PvP event (and story events!) that gets held during peak times. Y500 games for me were all between 3-5am or earlier. Orrery being across all timezones makes it more balanced than less, since everyone has an equal chance to participate. It is not as though there aren't people online at off-time as well, it just seems as though most people don't want to bother to contest if the main leader/caller of their city isn't around.

    I would like to hear from Enorian and Bloodloch people as to why they don't participate though. Spinesreach has been contesting most of the time, and -did- win two orrery periods ago, so it isn't as though it can't be won at all.

    But speaking of rewards, the assimilation contention used to give commodities to the winning tether's cities for every round won. Perhaps that can be brought back again.
  • edited April 2023
    To be clear, we won once (lvl 1 bonus only) when I stayed up until 5-6 am two nights in a row on weekdays. We haven't done it since because this was crazy of me and isn't something I can afford to do with any regularity. Events tend to happen on weekends, at least, which are different for a lot of people, myself included.

    I have no idea what you do for a living, but some people can more viably do these things than others. A lot of us cannot.

    Some of us have been contesting since then during our own playtimes, but there's a consensus that we're just wanting to pk and aren't going to get anything from it. I think for the average person it's pretty discouraging to fight hard for multiple hours and know you aren't going to be able to pull an actual win unless you also get up and fight at 5 am.

    Lessers are very different because I can tap a lesser during my own playtime and win a reward and you can tap one during yours and also win a reward. One doesn't completely eliminate the other. But my own suggestions, at least, were trying to maintain reward for winning in each timezone, not just one.

    Maybe there could even be like five contest windows and one of the five orrery bonuses is assigned to each one (randomly). You win that period, you get that specific bonus.

    Edit: Another thing that might be interesting is if you could somehow only participate in one orrery period every 24 hours. So, participate in the 7 pm window, you're out for the 3 am and 11 am ones. Then you can participate whenever you like but it's less a contest of whose core and leaders can make the most periods. This might actually increase participation without requiring no-lifing. Hard to say.

    I am also curious what Enorian and Bloodloch think, though.
  • Sheryni said:

    Maybe there could even be like five contest windows and one of the five orrery bonuses is assigned to each one (randomly). You win that period, you get that specific bonus.

    I do think this might be interesting, and make it so you don't have to worry about winning every single round and then also winning the last round to secure all the bonuses, while also incentivizing others to still try to fight when one city is ahead. Since there's 9 different rounds, each of them could give you individual rewards, e.g.

    1: +5% crit
    2: Increased gold drops
    3: Increased bal/eq vs denizens
    4: +3% increased dodge/divert
    5: +5% extra sip
    6: +10% damage vs denizens
    7: +10% max hp and mana
    8: +10% audit
    9: +1 all stats

    Optimally, the rewards would be randomized, so whenever a new round starts, it announces what rewards it'll give that round, so there's still an equal chance for everyone to get whatever. If you win a round you get the reward for that round, independent of anything else. Alternatively, it could just be that you get n randomized rewards at the end according to how many rounds your org won.
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