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Would Imperian ever consider a Reboot?

SarthanSarthan Member Posts: 27
I don't want to offend anyone. Putting that right out there. If discussion about the death/closure of Imperian upset you, it would be best to avoid this thread - if it doesn't get deleted.

I think it's pretty obvious that the game itself has shrunk to a level not seen before. I know I stopped actively playing more than a couple of years ago, after most of the population I enjoyed playing with had moved on for several reasons, though mainly being the games overall direction. It's hard to pinpoint one specific change as the cause, because it's a culmination of things. Since then, the game has continued to haemorrhage players and has dropped to an all time low. Frankly, I consider it unplayable in its current form and I'm surprised there are still a few people trying to make a go of it. When I see forum posts (this post will be the first post on the entire forums since June 25th btw) that state that PKers are in the minority in the IRE MUD that was 'the combat MUD' it just confirms that the game is past it's used by date.

On to my question: Would IRE ever consider a wipe to Imperian with a potential revert to some changes?

Yes I know there's a bunch of stuff involving people having money invested, all that stuff. But if the game closes they lose their investment anyway. But since you can retire now and retain some of your investment I feel it's pretty moot. Determining what changes to revert is another much longer and in depth discussion which this thread is not about. 

While the question is directed at Jeremy and any other IRE employee and I'm not really interested in what the playerbase has to say about that, I do have a question specifically for the players: Would you play in a fresh Imperian that would be different from the one currently? Specifically, with a bunch of changes to revert it to an earlier state. 


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Comments

  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 921 mod
    Sarthan said:
    Would you play in a fresh Imperian that would be different from the one currently? Specifically, with a bunch of changes to revert it to an earlier state. 


    I can't speak officially on whether we'd ever consider something like this or not, but my answer would be "no, of course not." The biggest reason for this: wanting to revert a bunch of changes is almost always a case of rose-colored goggles and wouldn't in any way fix any underlying issues that exist.
    Like what we're doing? Why not take a second to vote? Vote for Imperian at http://www.imperian.com/vote
  • SarthanSarthan Member Posts: 27
    Eoghan said:
    Sarthan said:
    Would you play in a fresh Imperian that would be different from the one currently? Specifically, with a bunch of changes to revert it to an earlier state. 


    I can't speak officially on whether we'd ever consider something like this or not, but my answer would be "no, of course not." The biggest reason for this: wanting to revert a bunch of changes is almost always a case of rose-colored goggles and wouldn't in any way fix any underlying issues that exist.
    "You think you do, but you don't." Really?

    Regarding underlying issues - The game is continuing to bleed players. Doesn't appear any underlying issues are being fixed. To my mind that either means the drop in players isn't related to content/changes or that the content/changes that are being released aren't impacting the drop in players.

    Or, maybe I'm just wrong and the population is fine. I'm not tied in anymore but I've kept an eye on Imperian in case it showed any changes on that front and I've only seen people leaving the game.


  • SarriusSarrius Member, Beta Testers Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    Population is not fine. That being said, I don't think there's some magical formula to relaunch Imperian, a la 'A Realm Reborn' for FFXIV. Unless Iron Realms finds an intelligent way to market their game to new players in 2018+, Imperian relies on non-retirees returning. Not many people retire to Imperian, and some time in other IRE games has given me an understanding of why. The long and short of it comes down to community as the top issue, followed by a few others.

    With all of the above, reverting to a more draconian era will not do it any faves. The blow by blow, if you really need it, @Sarthan ...
    • The game has an issue of not having a cohesive, non-passive roleplay environment. 'Passive' roleplay is surface level. It lacks actual depth. Passive roleplay is being Kinsarmarian 'cuz that's where Mages are from'. It's roleplay with no investment or attachment in the story. It's saying 'Greetings, Antioch!' instead of 'sup dudes' - but we say 'sup dudes' on Ring Chat anyways. This is in the hands of the players to fix, because I suspect that the administration has done all they can with what they're given. The producer of the game went through the trouble of acquiring volunteers - going so far as to open up volunteer roles to those from other games; this is indicative of the fact that he did not want to rob the game of any more players, but did want to provide new roleplay assets to the game. The best roleplay assets are those with people behind them. I have beat this dead horse about how entities were received and how they should be utilized in multiple threads, but I believe my point falls on deaf ears in favor of 'DON'T TREAD ON ME' sentiments, so I won't harp on this any further.
    • The game's PvP balance is the best it has ever been; there's just no combat to demonstrate that fact. There's only one class I'd consider completely completely unviable and that is Engineer - this class has design problems that could not be circumvented by the scope of what classleads allow, and we really ran up a huge bill of 'lets see if this works' during its initial beta. With that being said, the game has a perceived buy-in issue. I believe doubloons have taken care of some of this, but not all - however, if you give powerful alternatives to everything, Imperian has no way to make additional funds. Ultimately, this is a business and their hands are tied by the fact that they need to, well, do business things like make money.
    • The game has no direction. What are we? Are we the PvP IRE? The Mini Game IRE? The 'build your own religion' IRE? The 'throw spaghetti at the wall' IRE? Imperian has always suffered a schizophrenic design direction, with its old age driving this perception further and further. The dominant personality has always been one of consequence-less PK.

    A reboot will not fix any of this. A reboot will merely inconvenience players by returning us to 'the Old Country' for no other reason than because. For reference on how that will eventually turn out? Look to how they received the inconvenience of much-needed movement nerfs. Well designed changes were thrown under the bus.

    A reboot would merely serve to stoke my nostalgia. Nostalgia is poison to true progress.
    Message #2062  Sent By: (imperian)      Received On: 1/20/2018/2:59"Antioch has filed a bounty against you. Reason: Raiding Antioch and stealing Bina, being a rightass, and not belonging anywhere near Antioch till he grows up."
    Bronach
  • BronachBronach BronachMember Posts: 14
    I echo a lot of Sarrius' points, but from the other side of the coin.

    I don't think the decline is a matter of game mechanics, or that there is a decimal place missing and something is imbalanced. There is a coding wall at which high-end changes affect the Illuminati and do not trickle down the food chain - or potential new customer. Yes, I do get the decisions based on economics here, and yes, I may not be the intended demographic for this game. Your results may vary, but I would favour a shift towards LESS complexity, actually. BEFORE I would need to decide, as a brand-new player (and they HAVE to exist, otherwise, we can end this discussion), which artifact or miniskill to invest in. Because I'm not yet sold on the game, and browser games are pretty, easily accessible, need no installation, and look fun too. Things like fixing the queue to be more user-friendly are a huge improvement (thank you, I appreciate the team's work here), so that I can buff after login without Googlin' to learn how to put in a 5000 ms pause between TOUCH MINDSEYE and EVOKE PROTECTION in HTML or LUA (or both). Remeber that moment, 10 years ago? Yes, I figured it out and was relieved and proud when I did so. Yes, customisation is a plus and HTML and LUA may be valuable 'real world' skills. But learning Esperanto or building a Raspberry Pi that can run Imperian from scratch can also be "challenging". It is a time cost-benefit thing, really. Whether it is "rewarding" depends on the payoff and time spent playing on the back end, which is, largely social according to my internal metrics. Help me out in explaining to my pre-teen WHY he should do that instead of installing a 'ready to play' graphic app from Google Play.

    I got into MUDs late in life (having skipped them in University) because I enjoy stories, proof-read text passages, and can manage to log in a few hours a day late at night or on the train with mobile phone. Again, your results may vary, but I'm experiencing the game as overengineered in mechanics and lacking in storyline. I used to think it was just me, because I didn't understand all the moving parts, or that I haven't been around for ten years. The idea of ideological 'circles', an engine that could potentially drive RP-based conflict makes no sense right now - and I've TRIED to delve into its philosophy using the disjointed and largely contradictory lore available to me. I've watched Imperian webinars on the topic. Where is the 'hook' today to encourage us to stick it out? Shards, for the most part, lay on the ground. Magickal and Antimagickal 'champions' duke it out with one another for the privilege of unleashing howling plagues on their city/councilmates. In my two to three years here, combat has been 'shirts' vs. 'skins', which I'm hearing on the forums is fine for an already-indoctrinated fan base. For me as an RPer who is struggling to break out of his microcosm, it is a problem of disconnection to the macrocosmic point of it all. That my decisions have weight, that my hours of keymashing in an event or 'happening' have some effect on the overall narrative beyond a facelifted trip back from death. Yes, ideally I should be encouraged to collaborate with a PKer if I can't manage the client/coding/credits myself. If there was one idling at my org's gathering place with nothing to do between shardfalls, I guess I would. For my two cents, THIS is where we could use a few more design changes. I'm actively trying to work with my circle's Entity on this, perhaps ineffectively. Cause, Entities.
  • SwaleSwale Member Posts: 302 ✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    I'd be more than willing to try one last Hail Mary of some kind, but as far as I am concerned, it's definitely time to start looking at formally shutting the game down - and possibly even reimbursing some of the many big names that left already with retroactive 100% retirement.  We all know those people didn't leave because "Imperian was great, but I just felt like I did everything I really wanted do there, and this other game allows me to explore a different side of IRE" (which is why players wanted and supported retirement in the first place).  They left out of sheer desperation.  And that probably started in a big way about 1.5 years ago :(  And those people had been thinking hard about it for at least 2 years before that.  Those retirements also helped seal the game's fate, and a temporary hold on retirements probably should have been considered at least after the first big wave.  
  • SarriusSarrius Member, Beta Testers Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Retirements as a blight on IRE. This is why. Once one game is viewed as entirely undesirable to be on, it creates something of a brain drain that siphons everything out of that game and makes a more well-rounded IRE benefit instead. You will never get those characters back.

    I didn't retire Sarrius, strictly because I wanted to show my faith that the game could turn around and get a real pop again. If we are just given normal retirement credits for a potential shut down (of which I doubt the possibility of anyways), I would be very salty.

    If the game were to shut down, I'd really like some special type of retirement credits that I can consolidate on an existing character outside of the retirement range. I would really like that ANYWAYS, because if I could put my retirement credits on a non-newbie, I think I might have at this point. I would take a slightly larger hit as a surcharge for such a thing.
    Message #2062  Sent By: (imperian)      Received On: 1/20/2018/2:59"Antioch has filed a bounty against you. Reason: Raiding Antioch and stealing Bina, being a rightass, and not belonging anywhere near Antioch till he grows up."
    Swale
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 636 ✭✭✭✭
    -Profession slots that scale to tritrans at 100, 1 free for everyone with 24 ig month swap cooldown.
    -Statpack swaps for less than $10 converted cost.
    -More bound credit generation

    That's basically what I'd do. If players know they can get to the starting level in whatever profession they feel like trying and then advance by playing without investing, then there's no harm in them playing (and potentially getting baited into investing with Promo#1023012).

    A story+soft reset (not artis/levels, but everything else basically) might be okay, but that's gonna make some people leave.

    Otherwise, yeah. It's been so dead that I'm seriously considering retirement for the first time. And Mihaly confirmed 3 month out retirement for Starmourn, soooo :/
    Seig
  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    @Kabaal I'll be honest, at this point it's too late to worry about price-points. What Imperian needs is players. They won't be coming back for simply lower prices. The ones that've already retired largely won't come back at all. The game's population at a given 'busy' hour is a whopping 20 or so.

    I honestly think that if you don't fundamentally change imperian (story, etc.), then it is doomed to fail. I think that forced shuffling of pkers might also be necessary as the game enters its new era in order to break up strongholds and usher in a measure of success enough to keep everyone happy (at least until/if the population booms.)

    Edit: I understand how unpopular with everyone that last statement is. Some pkers don't want to move, and many pkers "cannot" move because they're unwelcome where they'd be shuffled. Pkers are kind of commodities at this point and should be looked at as game balancing features, not so much story drivers.
    GjarrusOystirSeig
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    edited July 7
    I think a large part of Imperian's problem is that the Admin have not been able to decide if they are catering to the consistent conflict-avoiding roleplay crowd or the PKing, conflict-generating bullies. They waffled back and forth with coding priorities (Engineer), issue resolution , and even in the authority given to players and volunteers both, and we lost enough of both parties that the only people left are people wanting to play leading role in a one-man show. Being unwilling to delete an objectively meaningless city just because one person was willing to log on and roleplay and PvE, being unwilling to give true authority and purpose to volunteer en. tities, etc. 

    With a game this small and the issues as they are, the only thing I actually see drawing people back is to stop being afraid to lose anyone else. Genuinely - really, on the ground level - letting player-driven actions actually leave a lasting impact on the game. Don't code mechanical ways to delete cities; let people roleplay burning the thing to the ground, change the effing room descriptions and let it smolder. Don't release another collect-'em-all promotion; interact with players to give them unique items or relationships with NPCs. Let me roleplay brainwashing a tutor and then actually change the NPC. I've never seen anyone but players do mobposs. This is the kind of thing that will draw people over; a unique experience and one rich with admin interaction. PK and RP is done better elsewhere, culturally if not mechanically. Imperian's only appeal is the QoL that frankly only appeal to a crowd that prefer a game they do not have to be challenged by. I have never seen anyone but players create flavor room emotes. I've never seen anyone but players create wars and conflicts. Imperian has provided the tools, sure, but players are given nothing bigger or more permanent than what can personally be created, and the admin have never shown a willingness to run with the game people have tried to make. Then they have demonstrated that they do not really know what to do with the game themselves for fear of losing the people left. 

    And honestly, the people left *are* the people who will be upset if the game stops being stagnant, because everybody else has found better things to do. Other games have lasting conflict because they trust that they have enough people around to keep people roleplaying or PKing or what-have-you, even when a portion of the game feels like they've lost. Despite knowing they do not have this cushion, Imperian is also so hands-off with the small playerbase that exists- unwilling to show favortism to the handful of people who buy things, fight,OR roleplay in meaningful ways. Unwilling to consolidate or delete organizations - and subsequently unwilling to take a strong hand in forcing orgs to let in active players they dislike for the health of the organizations. Unwilling to bend on any uncoded creative proposition. Unwilling to let anything escalate or reach its own resolution, unwilling to let the bullies impact the game of the roleplayers meaningfully, unwilling to enforce roleplay on the PKers, and unwilling to engage with any party outside of coded mechanics. And to pop a cherry on top, the players who KEPT their Imperian characters hoping for a reason to come back as they went to other games now look back on that time and investment and hope for Imperian as WASTED, as we have to start brand new characters in the games we are invested in to make any of that Imperian time or money worthwhile. A lot of us in that boat would rather see Imperian deleted, 'cause at least we could have our retirement credits on characters we care about.

    I log on after being gone for months and the only things I see are news about *another* new gold-generating system, *another* new farming promotion, *another* codeside update, *another* change to giftbags, all things I can't even utilize without investing time into learning them or money into buying them. Why should I bother? My city is the same. My guild is the same. The news tells me nothing else and I don't expect it to. I love my character and his friends, but we're all bugs in a jar and I'd rather be a single bug in a swarm if we are allowed to go outside. 

    If it's dying anyway, then you have nothing to lose from doing insane and risky treatments. Literally what do you have to lose?  
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
    OwynSeig
  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    @Oystir Other than the statement that the people who are left if things stop being stagnant or the statement that everyone playing wants to be a one-man show, I agree. I've tried to reach out to other orgs OOCly and offer advice or teach their players how to do things. I took a 5-month hiatus myself from playing, and it was even worse when I got back (as it has been for you.)

    Some of us are still here not because we haven't found something better to do, but that we're still holding out hope that this might once again become worthwhile to do. I do not personally like the other MUDs: Achaea is too much like work for me to want to play and Aetolia's theme isn't at all my thing (also, the combat is terribad. There, I said it.)

    Lusternia? Maybe. I'm looking into that and I'm waiting to see what Starmourn is like also. For me I have a couple of options, but if these upcoming changes aren't drastic (maybe not exactly what you suggest, but certainly as drastic as you suggest,) I will retire and figure it out.

    I would be more than happy if things were shaken up and we saw entire landscapes change (not something a small as city deletion, or even circle deletion, but something huge -- like a legit restructuring of everything.) I agree with you that this should be radical though, for sure.
  • OhmOhm Member Posts: 327 ✭✭✭
    The biggest issue with Imperian is the fact that there is no over-arching goal. I mean, every side is completely content to hunt and carry on. We have a bunch of mechanics (shards, outposts, raiding) yes. But there is nobody to drive the story forward. Yes, you can mechanically do those things, but after a points its boring.

    When was the last major event in the game? I don't remember an event since the chain was moving around the world (which was late last year). After that, what have we had?
    A few sects came into being (okay).
    We had one sect war (there was much moaning from all sides but at least people were invested in it).
    Bunch of individual bashing related promotions. 

    It's as if the whole game is waiting for the next major event. Holding its breath for resolution. 

    When the game lacks population, I do think it is imperative to focus on RP than QoL improvements. I do think its important to make people feel they can make a difference. Right now, I don't think there is any such desire or drive. A lot of it also goes back to @Owyn 's point that combatants are needed to make a stand and to defend interests. 

    At this point, it may be time to move on from the three-way conflict system to a two-way conflict system. The game has to adapt to the population base and at this time, the population isn't big enough to support more than 2-3 cities (let alone 5)
    image
    ReiOwyn
  • SarthanSarthan Member Posts: 27
    I don't understand why companies are so loath to accept that the product they had in the past may be superior to the product they have now. I mean, I get it. It'd be tough to accept that you have already past your peak. But the fact is, Imperian WAS better years ago - and not because I'm **** nostalgic.

    I object to this statement @Sarrius - A reboot will not fix any of this. A reboot will merely inconvenience players by returning us to 'the Old Country' for no other reason than because. 

    Perfect combat balance is boring as ****. I left because shifting the focus to group combat inevitably led to the boring as hell combat system you have now, amongst other things. 

    No identity? We didn't give a **** about identity years ago when the game was peaking. We WERE the combat MUD, whether that was intended or not. It was everywhere and we thrived. Honestly if you need the administration to give you an identity, that's pretty pathetic. Live your own way.

    'no other reason than because.' There's plenty of reason to consider it other than 'just cuz lol'. The only thing that is going to stop the closure of Imperian whether you accept it or not (I'm sure the citizens of Pompeii never thought their volcano would destroy your civilization either) is DRASTIC changes. While a reboot to an earlier game era and a complete wipe might not be the answer (I think it is but accept it might not be) it's the level of action that needs to be considered if anything is ever going to improve.

    Poll your playerbase. Send out emails. "Have your say in Imperian's future!" Ask people what they want. Come up with some ideas, present them for people to vote on and get the information you need to make a decision.
    Gjarrus
  • SwaleSwale Member Posts: 302 ✭✭✭
    Sarthan said:

    Perfect combat balance is boring as ****. I left because shifting the focus to group combat inevitably led to the boring as hell combat system you have now, amongst other things. 

    A heavily 1 v. 1 game seems to need harsh consequences for grouping up at all (think Proficy hunting down every last newblet that took him down in an event and making them pay dearly).  I wouldn't want to play that game, but I've said before that that seems to be how you skew a game in favor of 1 v. 1.  You don't have to go quite that far, maybe - you still provide lots of engagements where you can't just be hunted down afterwards.  But maybe you do have to go that far.  Maybe you actually can't have a game that does lots of group combat (at least not group combat that anyone who isn't also a strong 1 v. 1 fighter can take part in) AND lots of 1 v. 1.  Maybe you definitely have to pick an audience.  You might or might still not have a beef with combat being well-balanced, but I think your bigger beef might be this form of tension between group combat and 1 v. 1.  
  • SarriusSarrius Member, Beta Testers Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The only people that don't want a well balanced game are those that can't accept that they might be the reason they lost.
    Message #2062  Sent By: (imperian)      Received On: 1/20/2018/2:59"Antioch has filed a bounty against you. Reason: Raiding Antioch and stealing Bina, being a rightass, and not belonging anywhere near Antioch till he grows up."
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    imo, when Antioch was hardline forbidden from becoming pro-horde during the Ugtar(or whatever his name) event was when the game accelerated into its decline. Magick/Not-Magick became meaningless as soon as the Gods died, and this was the strongest, best-played and best-timed push possible in the meta to allow players to shift the direction of the game into a new area. And they were told no. And then we waited a few months and got raiding, which really only had one consequence, and that consequence was stripped of most of its value shortly afterwards. All conflict right now is bullying because there is no reason for conflict, and I'd play with myself if I had to if I had any inkling that the admin wouldn't just slap my hand if anything actually happened that meant anything, and if my entire team wasn't also aware of that and equally apathetic. 

    I'm just really disappointed in how the adminstration have refused to respond to the desires of the playerbase beyond bugday and gold creep. I understand that other games have and can support paid staff, but that shouldn't result in the stagnation that has existed even if only Jeremy is at the helm. Plenty of players have wanted and tried to contribute to the game and been refused the chance. The only things that'd make me come back right now is Bellini returning, or finally being given a way to permanence items for my house without having to hunt down an increasingly rare currency, dependent ON an active playerbase, to leave any sort of lasting mark on Imperian (and being hardline refused to make furniture out of 'free items' in the first place). I'd find and volunteer to write more flavor stuff if it hadn't been seven months since the last thing I volunteered to write was sent in and ignored. I'd design if anyone I cared about was around to look at my designs. I'd claim a territory and fight for it, even my own people, if I didn't know I'd be scolded immediately. And I feel like I'm one of the more self-motivating and creative people remaining (not to toot my own horn), and I'm sick and tired.

    Drop an effing meteor on it then. Maybe literally - that'd probably spice things up. But honestly, I think the kindest thing for Imperian to offer its playerbase is a drastic change accompanying a free retire. Short of Bellini coming back, I got nothing to log on for except to be sore about all the credits I'd rather use elsewhere and be hesitant to BUY credits elsewhere because so much of what I've invested is gated off. 
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 636 ✭✭✭✭
    What we really need is a new promo.

    Not facilitating 1v1 through champion better.
    Not doing pointless changes like profession slots and gold-sink statpack swaps (lol 50c) to get people doing silly things like rolling new chars to try out tritrans in different classes.
    Not more frequent class-based classleads to fix things like Engineer being the ugliest class I've ever encountered.
    Not in-game bound credit generation beyond ungodly long achievements or things the megabashers like myself keep on lock.
    Not making typical roleplay mechanics more accessible (a la dropping credit costs to gold costs on things like pet cages/ambience/crafting licenses [lol "pay us $80 multiple times to create content for our game!"]).
    Not an exp sink so people won't feel like non-gold activities are a waste of time (bashing is more profitable than pk, even if you win the rl month streak token ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).
    Not giving minigods more storyline agency so they don't feel like sect familiars that will poof if you kick them.
    Not events, big and small, to give people something to talk about other than rehashing philosophy, discussing their sicc bashing gains, or writing their own smut.

    No. We need more. Fricking. Promos. Especially with new items that take coding time. When Wyll, Galt, and Ohm buy them, ho boy everything will be fixed. The thing that has always attracted people to IRE is the ability to spend thousands on a character every month, amirite?

    </rant>

    These are mostly systemic IRE issues, of course, except the minigods bit, (I think) others have both exp sinks and exp loss (ew) still, and it seemed like events have been happening regularly at least via newsletters and what I heard when flopping around Aetoolia.
    SeigOwyn
  • SarthanSarthan Member Posts: 27
    Sarrius said:
    The only people that don't want a well balanced game are those that can't accept that they might be the reason they lost.
    That's a nice blanket statement. Patently false though and you know it.

    I said PERFECT BALANCE is boring. I did not say you can't have a well balanced game. I think it funny that stating Imperian has never been more balanced and the utter lack of players speak volumes. Perhaps it's a little too balanced. People enjoy being powerful and people enjoy winning. There is a reason we have abbreviations like FOTM and Meta. People will always choose the strongest option because they don't want to lose. The best game is not one that hammers everything flat so it's even, but keeps everything in a constant state of flux so that people CAN be powerful and win as well as keeping things interesting so it doesn't get stale.

    Now you're naturally going to come back and make some claim like "But then it's a perpetual cycle of people constantly hopping and changing to the strongest class/race/city so that they always stay on top!" Except history proves that while people do move around, they do get attached to their Cities/Guilds/Classes and stay put, making this statement not true. A small percentage of people will always move, but we've always been able to pick them out of the pack anyway.

    @Oystir ; the game was dead long before they killed off the Gods. That was one of the big things they tried to change things up. Didn't work though. 

    @Swale I absolutely have a huge beef with group combat. Dig back in this forum a bit for my post on 'Shifting Focus'. I maintained then and still maintain that Imperians downfall was in large part due to the administration listening to a select group of people who had had their fun with 1v1, been there and done it all (props to em. It's great that they were good) and wanted to move onto group stuff. By taking the focus off the individual and putting it on the group/org they made the story less about how any Joe Shmoe could become Murderking of the World and more about how you had to be a group of people in order to prevail.

    having said that, I don't feel you can't have some group stuff while remaining focused on the individual players. I accept I may be wrong and that you might be right about having to pick your audience however.


    Bottom line is this: I -don't- think it was people growing up or moving away from games or the world changing or other games coming out that made Imperian dwindle to the husk that it is. Good intentions or not, I believe it is the culmination of multiple changes over time that has contributed to the type of world Imperian is now versus then. I do feel that removal of Circles (those were a fatal poison that was one of the first changes in all of this), a revert to previous skills/classes (enormous wall of text regarding which ones so I'm not going to bother writing that unless someone asked me to), a reset to certain City deletions, and a complete wipe to characters (everything. Gone. All of it. Start over from Day 1.) would bring me and many, many people back. That is my opinion. It is a radical opinion. it is a hard to stomach or accept opinion. But it is not an opinion formed one one afternoon after saying "wouldn't it be cool". It's the culmination of many, many discussions with ex players, players from other IRE games and much, much thought on the subject.

    But even though I'm so sure about all this, I could be wrong. That's why I say they should ask their customers. Send out emails and polls.
  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited July 9
    Sarthan said:
    Sarrius said:
    The only people that don't want a well balanced game are those that can't accept that they might be the reason they lost.
    That's a nice blanket statement. Patently false though and you know it.

    I said PERFECT BALANCE is boring. I did not say you can't have a well balanced game. I think it funny that stating Imperian has never been more balanced and the utter lack of players speak volumes.
    Mmm, there's one gigantic flaw to your argument here. The game was halfway dead when the balancing happened. Fun fact: most of the team balancing the game were not even people playing anymore. They were retirees.

    Edit: ok, not 'most.' But definitely bare minimum 33%. (Septus, Cyr, Juran,) with some having quit *really* playing semi-recently (Ozreas, Sarrius, myself, Kabaal.)

    Edit edit: It's incredibly possible to become 'murderking' of the world. And I can tell you, it's boring. People don't want to fight you. They stop even jumping you in teams of two unless you're in their city and can get guards to hit you. The reason the 'shift' in focus happened is so murderkings still had stuff to do.
    GjarrusSeig
  • SarriusSarrius Member, Beta Testers Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't really think the person that began this thread is arguing in good faith. There's a lot of indicators that he's not interested in accepting any other opinion. When somebody comes to the table for discussion, it should never be with the preconceived notion that facts aren't real.

    The truth of the matter is that making Imperian more fair was something that generated a wave that made it successful during its last big point of popularity. We focused on team combat mechanics to make the game more inclusive. We released autocuring for the same reason. We took classes in different direcrions so there was something for everyone in every circle. None of these changes were detrimental to the game.

    Of course, it might look that way to somebody that doesn't play or hasn't played in a long time. It isn't like this person has been present for the actual issues that heralded waves of retirement. The issue has always been one of direction and resources, nothing more. Imperian lacks the firm direction and attention it needs; somewhere down the line, players with less eye for detail became city leaders. Risk averse mindsets began to rule the day. 

    The environment is the issue. The game is fine. The environment is not; it is dominated by people that don't want the game to move forward. Like @Oystir said, they don't want to risk not playing the leading role in a one man show. The environment is also the fault of the Admin for not taking a firmer hand and caving to outrageous things like letting their 'customers' abuse volunteers sent forth to improve that environment. It falls on their heads that the game became an endless rabbit hole of the issues Kabaal alludes to.

    If you haven't been here, you don't know **** about what this game needs or what ruined it. 
    Message #2062  Sent By: (imperian)      Received On: 1/20/2018/2:59"Antioch has filed a bounty against you. Reason: Raiding Antioch and stealing Bina, being a rightass, and not belonging anywhere near Antioch till he grows up."
    OwynSeig
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    edited July 9
    @Sarthan - I made my first Imperian character (in ~10 years) about two weeks before the Gods died and I have been playing fairly regularly since then. I do not have any concept of the game prior to that and my perspective is entirely from the many years between then and now. The game was not dead then and didn't begin to truly die for many years afterwards. Maybe you didn't like it and maybe it's been in the decline for years, but the game survived for a long time afterwards.

    Group combat was good for the game. Shardfalls were one of the few things that existed to motivate the PK and Roleplay crowd into interacting together and it was one of the few things where individual PK ability wasn't the only way to contribute to org health and goals. It has also been an entryway for a lot of non-comms to learn to make aliases and stop being afraid of death (especially in Imperian where it means nothing). I personally set up at least six non-comm people with bones of a system to help them learn combos, upkeep defenses and be able to come out of their comfort zone in combat. 1v1 didn't die because of group combat; it died because 1v1 isn't rewarded or meaningful and that has nothing to do with letting new players compete. Other games do group combat/1v1 well, and it's because they know what they're doing. They came out with caravans too which were also awesome for that purpose, then the admin bastardized it because of a classlead (written by someone who retired within weeks) and took literal months to make them possible again, and by then I was the only one who cared. 

    I have to agree with @Sarrius that you have a biased perspective hung on your inexperience with the game's meta. I don't mean that to say that you do not have anything to contribute to the conversation, but you'll be hard pressed to find somebody who was actively playing around that time who doesn't agree that Stavenn being deleted was better for the game on the whole. People crop up occasionally with starry-eyed memories of Imperian and try to argue against its necessity but, sorry, you just don't know. I started in Stavenn and the Nobility rp is some of the best I've ever interacted with in IRE, but 1. they ruined that roleplay well before the city was deleted 2. it is an objective fact that more orgs need to be deleted, and least one of the circles in its entirety and 3. they tried to pull a do-over with one aspect of the game and couldn't even manage that properly. Entities were an attempt to bring back the Gods in some capacity and they were treated like **** because, even though we knew that's what they were for, the rp was established terribly and they were given nearly no power in-game to establish their authority as such. And there was no place for them in this game honestly. You can't just hit reset. It's too late for a lot of things and the people telling you that right now are the most prominent players left from the last several years. If you want to open a discussion about fixing Imperian it will do you a lot of good to listen to our experience and opinions. I haven't played much in the last year, but I played a lot in the last five, and I know how the game was and I know how the game is *now* because it hasn't changed and that's the problem. 
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
    OwynSeig
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    edited July 10
    Forgive the double-post, but to me 'dead' means unplayable without hyperbole. Right now the only reason to play Imperian is 'cause you feel like it. Player retention is 100% the individual's taste towards how the game is. That is completely divorced from anything the game has to offer. Like I said twice before, and I'll say it again, the only thing I've logged on for *at all* in the last year+ is for the one person I still care about emoting at. And knowing I'd have to restart in the MUD I'm enjoying now to get value for my credits. 

    I felt actually, genuinely bad when people from MKO migrated to Imperian; most of them ended up eating the additional retirement loss and moving on to Aetolia/Achaea/(god forbid)Lusternia. That was probably our best opportunity in the longest time to grow our playerbase and that was the month before earrings came out and they were so effing cool and I was given like 20 of them when one of the MKO whales got fed up with Imperian and left to Achaea and that *was* effing cool. Except for how terribly I felt for the actual hundreds of dollars she spent trying to get situated on a character she realized wasn't even going to enjoy. 
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
  • SarthanSarthan Member Posts: 27
    Sarrius said:
    I don't really think the person that began this thread is arguing in good faith. There's a lot of indicators that he's not interested in accepting any other opinion. When somebody comes to the table for discussion, it should never be with the preconceived notion that facts aren't real.



    If you haven't been here, you don't know **** about what this game needs or what ruined it. 
    Your hypocrisy aside, I didn't come here for discussion. I'm not 'at the table with you'. I don't care what you think, Sarrius. You're part of the problem as far as I'm concerned. The people who like the game the way it is now or the people who came here after the decline had already begun and weren't around for when the game was at its peak aren't the crowd I'm interested in at the slightest. And no @Oystir, there are loads of people who disagree with you that the removal of Stavenn was a good thing.

    I stated in my original post I'm not interested in what you have to say, other than the question I asked. You answered. The rest of this thread is an attempt to try and shake the administration up and expose them to some thoughts that I honestly don't know if they've been exposed to. That's probably arrogant on my part. Oh well.

    I could be wrong about it all - I've maintained that all along. Maybe Jeremy will be able to come up with something that truly reinvigorates Imperian and brings people back. It may not be my idea, but I'd put money on it being something equally drastic. 

  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    @Sarthan No one is saying that it doesn't need to be drastic. Pretty much everyone who's posted agrees on at least that one point. We're saying that the reasons things need to be drastic are different from the reasons you describe. I've been playing Imperian (with a year or two gap) since imperian was a year old. Just because Owyn is a new character does not make me a new player. The gods did hit hard; it's true. But the game was stable after the fact for a very long time, and had very active players. Stavenn was a dead org long before it was destroyed. I say this as a person whose first and oldest character was Stavennite his entire life.
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    I'd put money on not. 
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
  • SarriusSarrius Member, Beta Testers Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10
    Sarthan said:
    Sarrius said:
    I don't really think the person that began this thread is arguing in good faith. There's a lot of indicators that he's not interested in accepting any other opinion. When somebody comes to the table for discussion, it should never be with the preconceived notion that facts aren't real.



    If you haven't been here, you don't know **** about what this game needs or what ruined it. 
    Your hypocrisy aside, I didn't come here for discussion. I'm not 'at the table with you'. I don't care what you think, Sarrius. You're part of the problem as far as I'm concerned. The people who like the game the way it is now or the people who came here after the decline had already begun and weren't around for when the game was at its peak aren't the crowd I'm interested in at the slightest. And no @Oystir, there are loads of people who disagree with you that the removal of Stavenn was a good thing

    Two things: the difference between my opinion and yours, and why I don't think I'm being hypocritical, is because my opinion is informed by current events and the events of the last 'age' or two - and I have the scope of having played the game since basically launch (by about a few weeks, really) as Arlith, Deinsek, and Sarrius.  Your opinion, and you've indirectly admitted this, is not. I would not trust a dentist that has been out of the practice for twenty years over a doctor that has been out of the practice a few weeks, sorry. You can have an opinion, but you need to accept that it is one based off of antiquity and not reality.

    Sarthan said:

    I stated in my original post I'm not interested in what you have to say, other than the question I asked. You answered. The rest of this thread is an attempt to try and shake the administration up and expose them to some thoughts that I honestly don't know if they've been exposed to. That's probably arrogant on my part. Oh well.

    I could be wrong about it all - I've maintained that all along. Maybe Jeremy will be able to come up with something that truly reinvigorates Imperian and brings people back. It may not be my idea, but I'd put money on it being something equally drastic. 


    You haven't maintained that at all.

    I promise you that 'reboot the game', 'delete a circle', and etc are thoughts he has likely entertained multiple times. I'm sure he knows that Imperian is dying, if not already really just a corpse moved by a few strings. You aren't revolutionizing the game by telling him any of this. If anything, you're muddying the waters asking for us to return to a stone age whose features were not the cause of its population boon. The game was very happy and very healthy during the era of decisions that you seem to so abhor. The game lost its way some time after that due to an endless rabbit hole of problems. Problems that had to do with how Imperian markets itself (or lack thereof), the way it decided to generate revenue over the past few years, and the decline of many structures in the game that don't have to do with PK. Once your PKers feel like they've conquered this mountain, truly and utterly, they will leave.  Go read some 'here's why i'm retiring' posts and get back to us.

    If you would like that 'old country' feel on homework assignments from your guild, a long grind to 100, and a million other things that make the nostalgic aspect inside of you drip with anticipation, go to Achaea. Hell, go to Aetolia - they actually did right everything Imperian has done oh so wrong.

    edit: at least the homework part is facetious, that ****'s all gone from everywhere.
    Post edited by Sarrius on
    Message #2062  Sent By: (imperian)      Received On: 1/20/2018/2:59"Antioch has filed a bounty against you. Reason: Raiding Antioch and stealing Bina, being a rightass, and not belonging anywhere near Antioch till he grows up."
    Seig
  • SeigSeig Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    Let's do something drastic like make imperial the first MOBA MUD ever. 10 of 10 would play. 
  • SeigSeig Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    And make Diablo style rifts for the pve savvy :D
  • SwaleSwale Member Posts: 302 ✭✭✭
    edited July 10
    I love team combat and I love having benefited from lots and lots of low stakes practice.  Also, team combat in Imperian is as close to a MOBA as I've seen in an IRE - just because team sizes always tended to be small, which is a lot of fun and encourages each member to improve, because each team member actually matters.  

    But IRE does have a very successful history of catering mainly to its top tier fighters in ways that DO alienate most of the player base - very importantly through harsh consequences for losing a fight.  And most of the top tier (with a few exceptions) does seem to crave the dynamic that creates.  Very few top tier players are consistently in favor of inclusiveness by way of not having harsh mechanical penalties (like XP loss) for losing.

    XP loss has all sorts of far-reaching implications, but one of the most important ones is that it has a pretty strong chilling effect on an often cited, but rarely used "solution" to "murderking" bullying - the top tier loves to suggest teaming up and taking him down (while reminding people that he'll hunt you down later and make you pay for "teaming"). Even in a game like Imperian where it really is possible to hunt down a murderking, it's not easy for a bunch of regular players. Someone like Owyn or Sarrius can easily slice through a bunch of non-coms or lowbies. But an Alvetta can grab a couple of people (me, for example) and have a great chance of doing it. But people like us won't even -exist- in a game that has harsh XP loss. Certainly, we'd have never grown into PK-ers who could threaten Owyn. You need arties, a passable system, and plenty of low stakes PRACTICE in real world teamfighting to kill a guy like that. People like us existing pisses off (most of) the top tier crowd. We're not considered "good enough" to be in fight club and it's an insult to them that we exist and could have a shot at murdering Owyn in the face.

    Sarthan has other gripes, yes, but one of his big ones is the 1 v.1/murderking issue.  Favoring murderking play (obviously) alienates a lot of players, but many of them also can't quite bring themselves to leave. Pellerins stay because they're Pellerins, and Alvettas stay because they're Alvettas (though they would be less likely to have ever become pretty good PK-ers).  Most players occupy themselves with non-PK things, even if they're interested in PK (this was me before Imperian).

    All you have to do is make occasional minor concessions to the regular player base so that most of them don't actually reach tipping point and leave - but really, you cater to the top tier PK-ers.  You have XP loss that stings.  You provide PK-ers with ways to initiate fights when the other side absolutely does not want to play, but feels obligated to engage, either due to RP (this is an important role that RP can and does play) or mechanical reasons, or both - things far more powerful than "you need ways to instigate sometimes" buttons.  You make bashing a restricted resource and then create richer bashing areas (that happen to be Open PK).  Your population is healthy so you get a trickle of new people (who definitely aren't fully aware that they'll probably play the role of "fodder" at some point).  And the top tier PK-ers are pretty happy - but will actually still campaign for more loosening of PK restrictions, at which point you have to decide whether you should indulge them, or if it might be a bridge too far. And the Owyns and Septuses stay simply because there are people to fight. 

    I couldn't possibly hate this system more than I do, but it works because of the things I just mentioned.  Too bad I didn't fully understand that many years and many thousands of dollars ago.  I understood a good part of it, but consistently underestimated how you can pretty reliably count on -enough- of the regular player base to not actually get mad enough to leave (some do, but you're fine as long as you have that trickle of new players).  Now it needs to be said that I am not saying Imperian couldn't have "made it" as a game that is more inclusive.  Imperian suffered from so many other things.  I am just saying "this has been an incredibly successful model".
    Post edited by Swale on
    Owyn
  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    @Swale Well I, for one, love that I can be hunted down by a group of people. To be fair, before I hunt you down individually I will absolutely put up an earnest effort to kill all of you while you're together. :D I also do not want things like xp loss because personally I believe that a) the population is too low for it, and b) the people here are accustomed to death being only a minor inconvenience of time. I'm ok with that. I think most of the 'top tier' here are.

    I'm also glad that team members matter. I've even been giving Antioch's tiny, budding defenders some tips while I tumble/flip/run/fly around their city. That's what I do for fun these days. And if I die doing it? Well that's even better. It means two things: 1) it means I've got to get better at being manual (because I died.) 2) It means that they're gaining confidence in their ability to meaningfully defend (or attack) something. It's a win/win. I improve their morale and they improve my on-the-fly abilities (many of which are admittedly lacking, simply because I've never needed to use them before (web-spamming has not been a tactic used in imperian Owyn's entire life, thus my entire pk career, and I do not have quicksilver boots.)

    I wouldn't advocate for a return of harsh penalties for participation; that is the opposite of what is needed right now. What is needed right now is full participation.

    I don't think you need to worry about that kind of thing returning, because most of the people who would advocate for it (if not all) are gone at this point. And frankly, bringing it back wouldn't make those people return (I could be wrong, feel free to tell me I am @Juran ; -- I think you were one of the people that wanted to see this a couple years ago.)

    Also, @Swale, you have to understand that at this point if you were to actually come back and play... you would actually be one of the most competent pker's in the game. I'm being 100% serious when I say that. You can't think of yourself as lesser than 'top tier' here, because pretty much every tier is eroded to the point of it being two levels: I can do things, or I am completely useless in combat. Pretty much anyone who has ever participated, at this point, IS the 'top tier.'
    SwaleSeig
  • SeigSeig Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    I want to echo @owyn on this. Also I don't like that you down play yourself, as you are one of the best pkers I've ever known. I would even go so far as to say you are -the best- team member in the entire game. That's something everyone could use a little work on. Not just the skill but the demeanor that you give off. I'd take you on my team over owyn any day. : D 
    SwaleOwynAlvetta
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