Now that the remnants are done, I think it's a decent time to start talking about this event.
I didn't like it at all, honestly. Not because of a lack of PK, though I would have loved the chance to influence matters with some good old fashioned raiding, but because I think this event puts people into a place where sticking to your RP guns mandates a major organization-wide penalty. At first I talked a big game about how I'd rather eat the debuff than see them get a bonus, but the more I thought about that, the less I felt like that was a good option.
I mean, sure, I'd eat it personally just to screw with them, that's fine for me. But I've got +3 con, +3 str, +2 int, L3 bracelets, an artifact warmask, and a reincarnate gem so I can go strong and mitigate the penalty with higher base stats. I can eat -3 con and I'll still have more health than most everybody. I can eat -3 str and still be at baseline strength. I'm in a good situation to eat a penalty without suffering any serious consequences, and the same is pretty much true of Septus and Jules and Ultrix.
Problem is, I've got a huge city full of people who aren't in that situation and lots of them aren't in a good place to eat that kind of a penalty. People like Kryss going fighting without the artifact bulk to counter -3 con. Lots of non-aspects who would get to spend the next two weeks bashing with big stat penalties. This kind of thing really discourages sticking to our guns on this issue, because it's a choice that will directly mess with their playing experience and that's a huge problem for me as a leader.
I could eat a penalty to the city as an organization for this, no sweat. Big damage to the city that would require a crapload of gold and comms to fix? Sure, we can take that. Kill off half of our guards? Sure, we can recover that. Devastate our townes? Same thing. If you hit the city as an organization, we can work together as a city to raise gold and rebuild. We can make a sort of event out of that in and of itself, and most people won't really mind. It'll go down as battle damage and the cost of doing business, and the city will probably be proud of sticking it to them despite the cost. The way we had it, though, a choice to stick to your RP guns on this issue is basically telling the citizens "I value screwing the enemy more than I value your playing experience, so I decided that everybody in the city is eating a stat penalty for the next two weeks." That's not a very palatable choice, and it's a choice that's impossible to justify on a meta-game level.
I honestly don't really mind having the occasional diplomatic event that can't really be resolved through sheer PK Power, but I'd really like it if future events could avoid putting me into a position where I'm forced to choose between an RP position and the gameplay experience of my citizens.
"On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."