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Stavenn

IhsanIhsan Member Posts: 8
edited October 2014 in Role Playing and Events
I am sure this is going to be viewed at with a level of contention, but, in light of some of the recent comments made in I Hate, and some internal discussion amongst major citymates, I have to agree with the remarks some people have made.

Imperial Stavenn is done. We had our glory days, but the game has changed, a lot. Hardline RP doesn't work as well in a metropolitan setting where, if you don't like the people above you in rank, you can leave for another organization without cost. Before, we could be as shitty to our Servitors as we liked IG, and it didn't matter, because where were they going to go? Stavenn's atmosphere was maintained because it was an isolated expansionist state.

No longer. When your city's major RP-arc is the subjugation and domination of the realms around it, but there are no real in game mechanics for 'conquering' land (much less a war system that isn't field PK), everything is always going to end up listless and underwhelming. We did okay before because of the aforementioned reasons, and because when we were a strong faction in the game (perhaps THE strongest, in an uncontested fashion) we could dominate in PK and at least pretend we accomplished something by clearing out a city.

So I'm going to start looking to change that. I would like sincere sugestions on what we can do with our org RP, now that demonology and demons is not as encouraged by the administration, undeath is not only 'our' thing, but a schtick of common enemies (the Liches) and now that faith --> power RP is kind of gone.

There is talk lately OOC of maybe considering a peasant rebellion, Bolshevik style, against the oppressive, corrupt and decadent/failing Stavennite elite. Turning Stavenn into a more horizontal (that is, less rank and kowtowing) organization that resembles a Communist state. I kind of like this idea, and think it could be an interesting take on the 'declining' Imperial majesty.

Thoughts, opinions?

Comments

  • IhsanIhsan Member Posts: 8
    As an addendum to what I have said, I still want Stavenn to be an 'evil' faction. Our skills neccessitate this, and demonick as a circle functions well as a sort of alternative game antagonist to orcs and undead. The biggest thing, if we tone down the hardline, rank based RP and lose expansionism being the impetus for our conflict, is that we find a way to integrate some of the old cultural values and chaotic/evil/ruthless RP so that we don't become some bland conglomerate who just happens to be Demonick.
  • BellentineBellentine Member Posts: 56 ✭✭
    People who do bad things do them thinking they are good things.  Good and bad are perspectives.

    As handsome Jack said "I just don't get you bad guys..." as he tore a planet apart.

    Be the hero your faction deserves, and be that hero through burning your villains.
    DiceneMenochAhkan
  • MenochMenoch Raleigh, NC, USAMember Posts: 594 ✭✭✭
    I think this is golden.

    You can try, but you will ultimately fail. I deleted taxation and citizen-slavery/Servitor as a rank to get rid of that exact kind of behavior. Can't just vivi a scrubling in the streets now, because they have real rights too and all. I did that with the majority support of both the Ephorate and the city via polling, and it was apparently the most vicious and evil lore destroying thing to ever happen in the game.

    Most of the people you are championing here saying "We need to change it for the vitality and this is how we can do the ages old quote 'fix your org'" don't want your help and don't want change. When you go 'well screw what those people think' you are becoming the problem instead of the solution.

    Good luck, you're going to need it.
    Ashani
  • TeraviTeravi Member Posts: 59 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2014
    No, people usually do bad things because they see them as a necessary sacrifice towards a better end. Rarely do people do something tremendously awful and believe it to be a -good- thing, just a 'necessary evil'. 

    Make the culture of Stavenn about perfection. The aims of the Empire is to become the absolute best at all the things, by any means necessary. The foundations for it are already there, so it's not a stretch to switch from a mindset of expansionism to a mindset of elitism like that. No mediocrity. That opens you up to all kinds of civic programs/rp/events too. If glorious Stavenn wants all its citizens to be top-notch, then they are going to want to encourage hunting, combat training, social interaction, research, whatever. You can still have nifty slogans and sharp uniforms with a push towards ascendance. 

    Being jerks to Servitors was always kind of stupid. The idea of a Servitor should have been someone who just hasn't proven themselves yet, Servitors were not and should have never been treated like slaves. Having something to aspire to within the city (nobility) is not a terrible thing. 

    What makes the game fun is giving people an opportunity to develop their characters in ways that are enjoyable for them within the faction they choose. Something that a lot of organizations fail to comprehend. It -really- doesn't matter what theme you pick or how you justify it, so long as you keep that basic principle in mind. Not everyone wants to play your way (in terms of the mechanics), so make sure the theme you are overlaying on top of the mechanics allows everyone to participate and contribute. 


    Edit - And also doesn't -force- participation in mechanical aspects of the game they don't enjoy. You might not like people who don't enjoy pk, but not everyone enjoys pk. Let them excel where they have fun. You won't run out of people who want to stab things, I promise. Same goes for people who want to do nothing but bash or write books or dance on tabletops (okay, maybe not the last bit). Don't ostracize people because they don't dig your scene :P

  • SagronSagron Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Hi,

    I believe I can comment because I have some experience with this.

    This will be a rant. You have been warned.

    First, a People's Revolution is not a good idea for a host of reasons. Virtually every player of note in the city who didn't join from Kinsarmar a week ago is like a Consul or something.The city guards are comprised of Diavlous (Knights) and Noctusari (Scholar-Mages), two groups unlikely to support a Servitor/Plebian revolution. Setting all that aside, how would it even work mechanically? What, do we have an event where peasant mobs charge at Iniar and the Ephor Council in their thousands? The Russian Revolution would not have gone as smoothely if every member of the White faction could summon a horde of demons to do their bidding. 

    The 'verticality' of Stavenn's decision making structure is not a problem. Long gone are the Dregaur days when no one under the rank of Stavennite was allowed to speak in public. 

    Second, the issue of being an 'Imperial Power' that cannot conquer territory has always been there for Stavenn. If anything, it was a greater existential crisis back when we were an unstoppable juggernaught of PK powerhouses comprising 85% of the game's active PK population, could literally wake up each morning and de-defense a new city... and still coudln't actually conquer anything in a meaningful way.

    So where does this leave us?

    I'm not in any position to tell Iniar how to run Stavenn going forward, but I will argue until I'm blue in the face that the solutions do not lie in "big picture" changes. Very few of the large scale changes, whether imposed from the admin or from players have ever actually had a lasting impact on how actively people engage with their city/council and almost all have been impossible to sustain in the long run.

    The core concept of Stavenn, that of a martial, hungry state willing to seize power where it can be found and scornful of those too weak to risk the darker paths is solid. That's not evil. There is no actual moral difference in having my Demon Lamia burn you to death and you breaking my back over your knee. Demons, Necromancy and even Vivisection are not inherently evil, they are just taboos the enlightened do not share... etc etc etc.

    There's so much to unpack there and so many different personal takes you could have as a character on that core concept that a big-ticket re-think is not required.

    The solution is in making the small stuff fun again. Lend small hints of meaning to the micro and the macro will flow. This requires a lot of effort on the part of everyone in the city above CR2.
    - Won a PvP Engagement? Congratulate one another out-loud or on CT rather than on Ring. The exact same chest-thumping and back-slapping, roleplayed out not only makes the PvP more fun by contexualising it but also gives the entire city the feeling that they belong to something that kicks ****.
    - Emptied a caravan of orc guards? Drag a corpse back and dissect it in front of everyone, discuss the weaknesses of the brutes that can be exploited.
    - Give everyone flags and banners to wave around, and if that fails to elicit patriotic fervor, lead a god-damn call and response.

    Above all that, just have conversations. Talk to the people in the streets in character. I am as guilty as anyone of logging on and spending the entire day nose-deep in code, chatting on Ring, Pkmn, Cavalcade and Bellatores. Seeing 6 people standing at the gates doing that is what kills the attractiveness of Stavenn to anyone not also in that ring or the clique-y clans, not the lack of a 'big picture' idea.

    /rant 
    MenochTeraviRaziyaArio
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sagron said:
    - Won a PvP Engagement? Congratulate one another out-loud or on CT rather than on Ring. The exact same chest-thumping and back-slapping, roleplayed out not only makes the PvP more fun by contexualising it but also gives the entire city the feeling that they belong to something that kicks ****.
    - Emptied a caravan of orc guards? Drag a corpse back and dissect it in front of everyone, discuss the weaknesses of the brutes that can be exploited.
    - Give everyone flags and banners to wave around, and if that fails to elicit patriotic fervor, lead a god-damn call and response.
    We're working on it. (flags, ct, non-pk bounties, comps, everything)

    It's the big-idea people that need something meaty to chew on. 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop.' 
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    Sagron
  • SagronSagron Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Iniar said:
    It's the big-idea people that need something meaty to chew on. 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop.' 
    Player-generating productive tasks for people to do has always been a nightmare.

    The only things I can remember coming up with that worked at all were:
    - 'Shrine War' I don't remember why, but we somehow ended up declaring war on every single God in both other Pantheons after a spat with Shallah escalated. We paid people out of the Stavennite coffers for finding undiscovered enemy shrines and paid them again for killing one. We had leaderboards in both categories and praise for those that topped them. Because nuking a shrine involved finding it (which anyone could do) and bashing up minions to kill it (again, just about anyone) it was pretty inclusive. We had to make a rule at some point to stop people just suiciding and having mates nuke shrines with their Aspect bodies though xD (because we decided it wasn't sportsmanlike).

    - 'Rituals' At the time, because we had a Miana and a Linslet, the whole 'twisted ritual' thing was really big in Stavenn for a while. To add a bit of spice to it, we'd break into an enemy towne, kill all the citizens and then throw their bodies into a pit or something and do a ritual over them. Good fun for all involved but not something you can do too often.

    Iniar
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Both of those things boil down to poking a bear with a stick for shits and grins, and the problem with that is that we have recently learned that Stavenn responds to bear maulings with whiny posts.

    "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."

    Cassius
  • SagronSagron Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Khizan said:
    Both of those things boil down to poking a bear with a stick for shits and grins, and the problem with that is that we have recently learned that Stavenn responds to bear maulings with whiny posts.
    Thanks for your contribution mate.

    As you well know, literally every conflict in Imperian's 10+ year history has ended up with at least one (normally both) sides on the forums/public boards complaining about some combination of: broken skills, zergs, off-hours raiding, biased event mechanics and having been killed in an unskilled way. 

    I wasn't suggesting either of those suggestions be implemented again, merely offering examples of what worked for us back then in the hopes of sparking some inspiration for today. 
  • RaziyaRaziya Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    +++ Warning: N00b Post +++

    I am positive that I am missing a lot of context which sparked this initial conversation, and I guess that's perfectly fine since the subject is "Stavenn" anyways(?). Correct me if I am wrong.

    From everything I have been reading, regardless of what Roleplay one would wish to inspire for Stavenn, whether that be the Imperialism it seems it was intended to be by the Game lore, or a bunch of evil oppressing Demonick gamers vying for power - pursuing to 'change' it to go one way or another will be incredibly tedious unless you have a few years and tough skin to be lashed in every direction.

    I am in agreement the underlying issue is the extremely lacking environment and how I discovered this will remain unspoken but I will say @Sagron covered a lot of the problems in his small suggestions. If you are wishing to change a (what feels like) OOC run org, you cannot go on full blast with a tremendous Event and hope people even participate or acknowledge that it's RP and not a threat to them as people, because they are not Roleplaying to begin with. Starting small and probably grabbing novices to follow suit (new players at least like myself, thanks @Caitryn :D ) and roleplaying with them and showing them a balance will go a lot further in the long run.

    I understand the potential smacks across the face I'll get from Stavenn for even posting anything without playing the game for a whole week yet, but I am only posting what I've experienced, and hopefully OP or others can gleam from it and approach the Org without expecting to succeed and be disappointed when nothing changes. It will take a lot of bending sticks to beat and break (what appears to be) old, bad habits. In the end though, if people are vicariously playing themselves through their characters then it will be moot.

  • SagronSagron Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Raziya said:
     

    I actually have no issue whatsoever with a new player commenting on the current state of Stavenn. The only caveat I'd add regarding your innexperience is that in my (slightly greater) experience, most organizations are to a large extent run at least partially OOC. I at least have never been in an organization where much of the discussion and debate about where to take the city didn't occur via (Ring) and clans. It's something we should all make a greater effort with. 

    When I log in these days, I find Stavenn generally has a reasonable (if not huge) population and people are talking ICly more and more. Ultimately, it's these things are about momentum and inertia. People talking IC gets more people talking IC. If people make an effort, we'll get there.
    Raziya
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've pretty much turned off all clans/channels/tells, but I find myself spending hours doing mundane administrative crap.
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    Raziya
  • SagronSagron Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Iniar said:
    I've pretty much turned off all clans/channels/tells, but I find myself spending hours doing mundane administrative crap.

    Delegate it to Caitryn.

    That's what I did.

    Being Imperator means never having to say, "I'll get right on that."
    Khizan
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The bitchwork component of leading a city is, imo, amazingly unimportant in the long run. It is amazingly rare for 'hours of mundane administration' to actually improve the quality-of-life for the majority of your playerbase; the majority of your playerbase just wants to bash and RP and PvP and chat.The only thing that's actually important is trade, and that shouldn't be occupying hours.

    The only people who will actually miss the administrative garbage are the people like Elizabell, who only like it because they're dancing with the administrative elephant and not underneath it.

    "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."

    IniarSarrius
  • LinsletLinslet Member Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2014
    I've actually been using trade work to rp Linslet delegating all the grunt work to her familiar because numbers are boring and the moloch is essentially a demonic bookkeeper and butler anyway. Could we do better with playing things out ICly? Absolutely. However, a lot of current Stavennites are more so the type of RPer more concerned with the day to day of their RP and less so about thousand word emotes and standing idle in the Silver Harp chasing skirts. The fact that most of the arpee in this case is "we should go poke another city because we're annoyed with them" is irrelevant, it's still rp regardless of the mechanics or the intention to just pk dudes. A big hurdle to cross would be bridging cool RP hooks with pk to appease our myriad of fighters who would otherwise find acting out some ritual or whatever boring. (Hi Menoch.) Maybe we need some priest corpse or whatever for a demon to inhabit. I dunno. A lot of the failings recently are on both the parts of the citizens and the people running the big RP events. I love @Svorai to death, but I can't help but say the demon empress thing was a little ill advised in hindsight, given the reactions. It's posts like this though that make me really miss certain older characters of mine who were 100% rp driven and would just kidnap people off the street to do zany necromancer experiments on. It was super fun. I might try to work things like that in the future.
    Today we shall die.
  • ReznokReznok Member Posts: 2
    I like to view these forums every few months to see what's going on in Imperian(some people who are my friends play again, and keep begging me to play again, and I really don't want to).

    I feel compelled to speak my opinion on this matter, for what it's worth.

    Given that Imperian is a roleplaying game, one is supposed to be acting within a role, to the best of their abilities. Stavenn always did have the problem of not being able to conquer anything, and yes, despite what the bleeding hearts say, they have always been the 'evil' faction. In my experience, the only way to express 'conquering' other people was to completely dominate them and make them have a hard time.

    As much as that pissed people off, it was a good substitute for 'conquering' a city because it bred conflict. Even if everyone involved took it personally, they still took it personally enough to log on and get back at you.

    This game stopped being fun for numerous people once everyone started taking everything personal out of the game. You want a more fun Stavenn? Grow a pair, piss people off, and find a way to conquer people within the boundaries of what you're given. It's better than the alternative, if you still have a desire to play this game.
    Iniar
  • AhkanAhkan TexasMember Posts: 2,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2014
    In my experience, the only way to express 'conquering' other people was to completely dominate them and make them have a hard time.

    And this kids is why Stavenn got tag-teamed with alarming regularity for the past few years. This domineering, conquering, **** waving behavior led to a populace that no one could stand to be around (Terrible imperators you can't oust, city advancement systems that go nowhere, hence civil war,, civil war II, the remix, and the remix of the remix). Now that the game is balanced and you can't steamroll people with complex toxin deltas (2 toxins) it's harder to rub someone's face in defeat. You also have to take into account the metagame has shifted with class redesigns and garrynbot, that 5 zerg mindlessly mashing a bashing button > any amount of elite toxin delta application. The game is not conducive to running around being a prick to everyone in lieu of actually conquering them (irony much?). Case in point: The Black Christmas of 99 Diamonds.
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Stavenn was able to get away with that in the old days because there were only like 10 people in the game who could cure their way out of Aeon(Risca, Eldreth, Kabal, Icarius, Tahm, Theres, Silken, Sethren, Ashel, me) and everybody else responded to aeon by immediately locking up and dying. This meant that Stavenn wielded an amount of power disproportionate to their size.

    This is no longer the case. The death of Aeon and the addition of the G-bot mean that Stavenn can't punch above its weight anymore because it can't rely on gimmick disables..

    "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."

  • RaziyaRaziya Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    That's all fine & dandy, about conquering in PvP and being l337 coding hax0rz combat bosses but.... It really doesn't sound, objectively, outside their roles? Looking at it from a new perspective, AM  & Magick apparently have no issue teaming up for OOC interests/bitterness when Stavenn's getting a lean into succeeding so it doesn't speak for much when, win or lose, Stavenn's an Empire of War and that's sort of their thing? Pulling a win and liking it is wrong? I've played these IREs for a long time, to be frank, and its a pretty self-defeating cycle of toxic behavior that would make people bust out their anti-roleplay devices because they can't seem to separate when another competitive organization is playing their role. I might not be reading the three above posts correctly, but even as a non-com I can tell you its pretty difficult to get reasonable Roleplay responses out of people without instigating with them, only to find out they've already branded my Character as some menace to society without knowing more than she's @Raykel's kid. :|

    A lot about Stavenn has changed internally from the time of @Sagron's explanation for me and I won't post exactly how out of respect for the ones involved - but I don't think there's a level of toxicity being assumed, mostly everyone shrugs about Caravan/Shardfall 'losses' and seems to be pretty comfortable in their own skin. I know I had went on several combat adventures and In-Action Stavenn went for their goal and its honestly a little frustrating to see the Org watered down so they're not tag-teamed for playing their roles...
  • CadeyrnCadeyrn Member Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    Stavenn needs to work with redefining what it stands for and by extension what it brings to the community - it has been something of a pit for a long time.
    Raziya
  • MathiausMathiaus PennsylvaniaMember Posts: 1,039 ✭✭✭✭
    I've enjoyed my time rp'ing in demonic than I have in any other circle. A great deal of combat minded people make it extremely comfortable, and it has really grown on me.
    image
    IniarCelestineRaziyaSagron
  • RaykelRaykel RomaniaMember Posts: 67 ✭✭✭
    Raziya said:
    "Stuff stuff"  I can tell you its pretty difficult to get reasonable Roleplay responses out of people without instigating with them, only to find out they've already branded my Character as some menace to society without knowing more than she's @Raykel's kid. :|

    Yeah, being Raykel's daughter is not something you want people to know. Sorry, kiddo.
    Raziya
  • RaziyaRaziya Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    Raykel said:
    Raziya said:
    "Stuff stuff"  I can tell you its pretty difficult to get reasonable Roleplay responses out of people without instigating with them, only to find out they've already branded my Character as some menace to society without knowing more than she's @Raykel's kid. :|

    Yeah, being Raykel's daughter is not something you want people to know. Sorry, kiddo.
    Lol I don't care : D Their loss!  #AvraeAertsen4lyf #Hatersarescared #Bloodbath (okay jk I wont hashtag dance anymore promise.)

    GjarrusRaykel
  • RaziyaRaziya Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    Double-post because when I dedicate myself to something, I care too much. If this is really necessary and intending to happen, we can look ahead. Idk if the inspiration to do any changes has faded since OP's original post, either but since Stavenn's so quiet atm why not try.

    Foremost, its inadequate to say "this or that alignment RP is played out" because Alignments set the basic fundamentals of an in-depth organization. So, if you don't like alignments or are tired of the cliche, I don't know why you are playing an  Iron Realms Game in the first place since all the organizations can be categorized by the 9. (Lawful good/neutral/evil, Neutral good/neutral/evil, Chaotic good/neutral/evil). Kudos to the pessimist who creates a 10th alignment I guess :/ .

    Power Roleplay doesn't have to be out, I don't think. Though intention to use it should be figured out. It's probably already been said that it's a shame demons/undeath can't be the cincher for it, since its still pretty damn relevant when we still have summoners and practitioners of Demonick. It makes things really confusing, actually, if we consider Demonick skillsets are still pretty relevant (in that everyone is still using demonick power..) so I don't know why the choice was made to change that. So if Stavenn's not going to have a specific 'power' unique to them anymore, the Org needs assistance in something else, without that assistance its just a bunch of people stuck in an org and not being taken seriously which is -harsh-.

    My second suggestion is finding Stavenn an enemy/position with either another org for reasons outside the shallow waters of circles. As it is now, there's not a whole lot of inspiration for people in the org to go further than "We fight because we're in a different circle" unless you're a much older player and are lucky enough to have remaining personal grudges or history with another faction. So I think Stavenn needs to take a risk, together, and take a stance on something and chase it through and burn it to the ground. By stance, I don't mean just opinion, I mean have the bases completely covered:
    • How can everyone participate?
    • Will taking a stand against this help us better define who we are?
    • Will it be something that lasts past our current leadership?
    I realize this doesn't exactly solve all the problems, and I really want to help but my inexperience can only go so far, so I strongly recommend if you are a Stavennite and envision Stavenn heading a different direction, then go with it through RP otherwise we'll just have to do with what we've got and hope some other event worth changing for comes along. :(
  • CaelyaCaelya Member Posts: 383 ✭✭✭✭
    You should rip off Dragon Age: Inquisition and start abusing shards (red especially) outside of their mechanical and presumably safe uses. Ingest them and deform yourselves, or force prisoners to ingest them, create a more interesting minion that isn't undead or demonic, but certainly within the empire's historical theme of using all available tools, to a fault.

    Dicene
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Ihsan. Found this! :D

    (->): Ihsan, "((16) (2014/11/03 06:53) Ihsan: "Ihsan stabs Iniar through the back with the ebony blade of the Harbinger, regret flashing in his serpentine eyes as he betrays the ruler of Stavenn. Then, the assembled nobles of the Empire converge on Iniar's bleeding body, daggers flashing as they rise and fall in torrents of crimson to viciously murder Iniar. Choking on his own lifeblood, Iniar croaks out, "Et tu, Ihsan?" and collapses to the ground."))"

    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    OystirTeravi
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