I was using the forums' search function to find all the ambient messages for all the assembly things (by the way, does anyone have a list?) when I found this post somehow:
I hate watching a circle sink further and further towards total obscurity and irrelevance, hearing how they are bailing out from that circle like rats from a sinking ship, and here we are still talking about how the 'remaining two circles need to consolidate'.
We need consolidation, but more and more I'm thinking we just need to delete a side. Seriously, it's time for me to repost this because it has been a page, but I am still watching this circle bleed fighters, participation, and engagement.. and it is not entirely their fault.
Game's scope is too large for its population. Can't support three circles. Can we do something about this sooner rather than later?
Edit: I am begging you to even delete MY side. I don't care. Something needs to give. It's nuts.
I was intrigued, because at the time that was posted, Demonic was dead in the water. AM/Antioch/@Septus
was king (I think?). Now, though, the tables turned in a big way. Khandava/Demonic is still pretty small, but I think we have a high participation rate for the population we do have. We're doing caravans when we can, grabbing leylines, doing obelisks, even raiding a couple of times. Kinsarmar is, of course, still Top Dog (shakefist @Galt
, and the rest!), but even AM (mostly Ithaqua, shout out to @Nilo
, but I also see @Kamaylie
here and there) is coming out to trade a few shots with us.
It just goes to show that having a three-sided conflict can work. Note, I've played before in Achaea and Lusternia, and I'm going to be basing my thoughts on my experiences from those two games, plus Imperian.
The biggest issue with The Organizations (the three Circles, and individually the councils and the cities) right now is, I think, the hard focus on AM-Magick-Demonic. It does two things:
- It stifles the individual organizations (Antioch/Ithaqua, Kinsarmar/Celidon) from having their own unique identity, since their Circle affiliation takes precedence, and
- It forcibly splits the Circle into two separate organizations, thus decreasing the population density for both.
Now, one might argue that guilds do the same thing. What's different about guilds is that, for example, Silvari and Stormweavers can still interact closely under the Celidon umbrella, where they have a common channel, help scrolls, and organization structures. In fact, I'd even say that's the reason why Circle RTs have become such a big part of Imperian (and not in a good way) -- not only can you discuss OOC mechanics there (and thus it becomes a place of general chatter), but you can bring in "the whole team", too.
More importantly, having bland, identity-less organizations has a subtle but very real effect on retention. Organizations are what anchor people into the game. It's how we feel like we're part of The Story. Take Achaea, for example, with its six cities. Four of those can be considered main factions, and each of those has a very unique identity that separates them from the others. In Imperian, I guess what the developers had envisioned was to consolidate things into just the 3 Circles. But from my observation, this was done in an incomplete way. For example, Kinsarmar and Celidon were both put in the Magick Circle. A lot of conflict systems were made Circle-based, but little was done to actually make Kinsarmar and Celidon feel like they're One Team.
Right now, Imperian is ripe and ready for a change in direction. I think the opportunity should be taken to decide which way The Organizations go. Will we double down on Circles? If so, steps should be taken to further integrate Antioch and Ithaqua under AM, and Kinsarmar and Celidon under Magick. Circles should be The Organizations, and the cities/councils should be like the guilds.
Or will we relax the hard stance on Circles, and revert focus on the individual cities and councils? If so, players and godmins together need to work on/redesign/reinvigorate their unique identities, since the cities and councils will be The Organizations that hook players into feeling like they're part of The Story, and thus stick around.
I think org. deletion should be the absolute last option, since, as empirical evidence shows, organizations can bounce back. Stavenn Forever!