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The Organizations

MereisMereis Member Posts: 229 ✭✭✭
edited September 2018 in Role Playing and Events
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:
Sarrius said:
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.
(https://forums.imperian.com/discussion/comment/42921/#Comment_42921)

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, @Owyn, 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:
  1. It stifles the individual organizations (Antioch/Ithaqua, Kinsarmar/Celidon) from having their own unique identity, since their Circle affiliation takes precedence, and
  2. 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!
currently tentatively active
(may vanish for periods of time)
Tyanna

Comments

  • SeptusSeptus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wasn't involved during that period (haven't really been for a couple of years now), you want @Sarrius or @Ozreas for perspective I imagine.

    Mereis
  • SwaleSwale Member Posts: 304 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I really liked Sarrius' idea of using sects (which can be born or die relatively easily) as the main vehicle for RP basis and those all important mechanical buffs.  Get rid of normal IRE orgs (and the bloated, deeply entrenched power structures they tend towards) entirely.

    Magick was a whipping boy for nearly my entire playing career.  And a long time before that.  I don't know, I can't really think of a time when -someone- wasn't just the whipping boy/guys who team with the other, slightly less weak whipping boy because they basically have to. 

    And most orgs don't send incredibly promising combatants away with "no, don't join Kinsarmar, we're too strong right now".  You can thank Owyn for that... there is a time I'd have felt that way, too, but from a player perspective, it really does make the most sense to make your current org as strong as possible.  Period.  Even if that is "way, way too strong".  On a similar note, I left a winning team to help "balance teams" (someone had to leave first), and I will never do that again in this game or any other, no matter how dead team PK is.  In my case, because I don't consider it worth leaving friends (even though I made some great new ones).  It rarely works out anyway, because that isn't a thing players should try to fix.  Ever.  It only sort of worked for us because Owyn came too, and obviously turned out to be REALLY good at combat once he decided that's what he really wanted to do.  

    All in all, most people seem to gravitate towards winning teams, period, and it's really hard to avoid having a side that is ridiculously dominant, and I think splitting the currently non-dominant teams tends to hurt those teams.  For starters, they always get cast in the role of "dirty teamers", even though, all in all, anyone who is doing that, is doing it exactly because they're losing, and that's what they think they need to do to win.  That said, even a very dominant team isn't going to find a giant team doing cross circle mechanics particularly enjoyable.     
    Post edited by Swale on
  • KalynthariKalynthari Member Posts: 243 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I'd rather they just do away with circles/affinity (change leyline surges to be something else), and go the route of other games where people can ally with whoever they want. Classes be city-based instead (with the same restrictions as current) to prevent Bards in Khandava, Outriders in Kinsarmar, etc.
  • BronachBronach BronachMember Posts: 15
    Agreed. Forced circles for orgs (via shunning and/or barring) and mechanical punishments (via affinity) for cross-circle collaborations creates a classic double-bind for two (largely) non-overlapping types of player sets (PK vs. RP: all apologies to the few successful hybrids) who are stuck in the middle as they try to develop their unique identities. One half of the circle repeatedly raids their "team mates" because they openly admit to being bored raiding the other circles (read: they're too hard, and you're a PK pushover), but then berates their other half for having poor RP or no org focus (read: you're not adhering to circle dogma). Currently great for promoting intra-org conflict, unsatisfying for encouraging inter-circle conflict. Maybe this is exactly the kind of shakeup we need, but it by no means "comfortable". I had assumed that people would simply switch to their elsewhere alts when things got sticky, but have also been encouraged by people who have stepped up from both camps to try to help sort it. Cheers for that.
  • HavamalHavamal Member Posts: 109 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    If you want roleplay, you need an established _role_ to play.  Without some form of structure you're just ego-surfing.  A lot of the reasom is that Imperian has no real community consequences for breaking role.  A vampire that goes off making peace blankets with the Enorianite will probably have a hunt called on them.  Combatants here meanwhile have run roughshod over roleplay in Imperian about as far back as I can remember, though its had periods worse than others.

    A world without consequences is one without meaningful conflict.
    Developer of the Valkryior system - forum thread | code repository
    Mereis
  • KalynthariKalynthari Member Posts: 243 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Havamal said:
    If you want roleplay, you need an established _role_ to play.  Without some form of structure you're just ego-surfing.  A lot of the reasom is that Imperian has no real community consequences for breaking role.  A vampire that goes off making peace blankets with the Enorianite will probably have a hunt called on them.  Combatants here meanwhile have run roughshod over roleplay in Imperian about as far back as I can remember, though its had periods worse than others.

    A world without consequences is one without meaningful conflict.
    Every city still has their roleplay facets, irrespective of circle. They can just as easily hone them if we broke away from the circle systems, especially since gods are gone and entities play an entirely different role. They'd still have the roleplay surrounding the professions belonging to those cities. Not to mention the sects attached to those cities.
    Nobody said move away from circles and leave it at that. There is definitely things already in place, should circles no longer be a thing. People just have to actually want to bother. Which... Admittedly has been the hardest part about sparking roleplay here...
    Rokas
  • MereisMereis Member Posts: 229 ✭✭✭
    Agreed, each individual city/council should re-focus on their unique, individual roles.

    Didn't Jeremy call for a Roleplay Producer position thing? This seems like just the thing for that.

    currently tentatively active
    (may vanish for periods of time)
  • AsmundAsmund Member Posts: 9
    edited September 2018
    Septus said:
    I wasn't involved during that period (haven't really been for a couple of years now), you want @Sarrius or @Ozreas for perspective I imagine.

    At the time that Sarrius posted this, AM(Ithaqua mostly) and demonic(mostly Tywin and Aodan((me)) were the driving fighters, with Kabaal though he was usually busy) were working together to fight Kinsarmar. Not to say that there weren't other fighters joining in khandava, but they were the main drivers. Things went down, 2 of those people jumped ship to Ithaqua, and demonic had almost no participation in the fighting because of it. A reason Aodan left was the fact that he was reprimanded for using his war powers to unenemy Sarrius(in hopes he would actually join demonic), then replaced by a newb(yes I was butthurt), and the fact that he saw he could help form a super power team in ithaqua, and the fact that I like outrider out of all the classes. Then he convinced Tywin(not much convincing needed really) and then the sect war happened between the flame and the hollow, which was amazing until it devolved into pettiness which caused a good chunk of all the amazing people in ithaqua to retire, myself included. During that time, Demonic was limited further and told not to engage the flame cause a certain sect didn't want to lose shrines, which caused more people to switch sides.
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