Feedback on Lack of DM Factions/Introduction of Patrons



  • Making this as to avoid derailing the other thread. So, a couple of questions.

    1. Do you miss dm factions, and if so why? What do you feel unable to do at the moment due to the lack of them? Short of reintroducing dm factions how can we adress these lackings?

    2. Opinions on Patronage. Is the system clear enough. If not, what needs clearing up? Are the npcs, possibible benefits clear enough, and if not, what needs clearing up?

    Also, related to this, two more questions.

    3. Do you find it easy to involve others in v5. If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.

    4. Do you find it easy to get involved in v5? If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.

    Thanks, to all those that take time to offer feed back on all or any of these four. Can also pm feedback on this to me if so inclined for whatever reason.



  • I haven't really given much thought about the first two points but I'll have a go a the second two so here goes.

    Involving others:

    A hard one for me as I've never been much of a leader or mover in the past yet i really am gonna try with Gannon, i think so far he's had more pvp fights than all my other char's put together and I'm really trying to create some conflict and other general stuff for players to latch onto.

    Getting Involved:

    I see plenty of stuff going on ig, players are going out trying to do things, dm events and intervention seem quite frequent to me, i think i've picked up on a plot hook or two but then I'm terrible at spotting them so i might be missing lots more.

    Overall i'm really enjoying playing at the moment the place is vibrant, player count is good and seems that there is always something to do.

    Hopefully this helps



  • 1. No I don't. I really can't name a single thing I'd like to do that their absence precludes, or something I'd rather avoid doing that their presence would somehow make happen. Good move on the removal.

    2. Haven't really seen this at work enough to make a comment.

    3. Well, sendings are a bit pricy these days, but that's been discussed already. Apart from that, no, it's not become noticeably more difficult.

    4. There are two effects at work here. Firstly, the lack of DM factions means there are less posters of people announcing their plans. On the other hand, the smaller city and the fact leaving the city is a bigger deal makes it easier to get into interactions in general, which balances the former out, at least in my experience.
    I've also had the experience that the economical troubles, for all their less pleasant aspects, make it far more difficult to deal with only a select group of people. At least in my case it means doing shady weapon deals with shifty individuals with full expectation to see that weapon turned on me one day, or dying now. That helps the involvement.



  • 1. DM factions seemed like a great way to get people motivated to do things. Having a boss breathing down your neck to make sure things get done is pretty ideal. I don't feel restricted for the lack of them though.

    2. I like the patronage system. Though it's a little ambiguous at times I don't necessarily believe that's a bad thing. I think whether the benefits are clear of having a patron or not really depends upon the patron. Some might have less obvious benefits, but I think it's reasonably obvious that having an npc group invested in what your doing has its perks. Might be a good idea to outline some examples of what a patron can do for a character/group.

    3. It feels a lot easier to drag people into situations now than ever before. The only way to avoid sinking into the muck is perpetually hiding in the citadel and even then your boots will get messy eventually. I think you guys have done a great job in this regard. I think the only thing that I would change is adding more rewards for people to leave the safety zone. For example maybe collectors who pay much more than NPC's in the citadel for certain items. They could be scattered all over with each having a specialization. This would pull more people out of their safety zone and get them out into the wilderness at least now and then.

    4. I find getting involved in things is fairly straight forward. Even from the perspective of an outlaw there is always a way for us to get in on things. I don't think you can do much to improve on this as it feels a lot more like it's in the players hands to get themselves involved.



  • @DahVypur:

    1. DM factions seemed like a great way to get people motivated to do things. Having a boss breathing down your neck to make sure things get done is pretty ideal. I don't feel restricted for the lack of them though.

    My experience with DM factions has been different. To tell you the truth I've never felt that NPCs bosses, by themselves, provided any motivation to do anything. Fellow players in DM factions may have but you have fellow players now.



  • @Ponies:

    1. Do you miss dm factions, and if so why? What do you feel unable to do at the moment due to the lack of them? Short of reintroducing dm factions how can we adress these lackings?

    No, keep them away. Also keep guard factions away, or only available after you kissed hardcastle's ass to the greatest extent possible.

    @Ponies:

    2. Opinions on Patronage. Is the system clear enough. If not, what needs clearing up? Are the npcs, possible benefits clear enough, and if not, what needs clearing up?

    No idea yet. Haven't seen any ingame, or any obvious Patrons "Uncle Saming" around, or even asking for help. I'm fine with the perks. Just no idea how to kiss their ass yet. Maybe a IC letter would work? No idea…

    @Ponies:

    3. Do you find it easy to involve others in v5. If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.

    Sure, people are clueless into much of anything too. So the random adventures are there as they've ever been, Made easier with the more concentrated space.

    @Ponies:

    4. Do you find it easy to get involved in v5? If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this

    Same as above.



  • 1 dms factions gave specific ideals for the faction which were then easy to use as a framework to hang your characters goals off, now we need to do more work ourselves! but that is not a bad thing, just need to run anything unusual about a char past dms before creation is all.

    2 finding a patron is problematical atm as we are aware of so few potential patrons and meeting with them requires a dm in game as forum letters are unlikely to get us anywhere currently as we dont know who to write too…
    hard to comment beyond that, though i have been given a hook in game just need to manage to get some help in following it up. sendings for generic help dont seem to work, only ever seeing people showing up for quests.

    3/4 with the recent focus on pvp it has seemed hard to get anyone involved in just wandering exploring for me tbh. the new ai will also be a factor i think, when that settles then peoples attitudes might change.

    My character was in part designed to explore the new server and whether it is the low character levels at the moment or what, people seem very reluctant to go outside the city unless it is to quest.



  • This is very useful, keep it coming!

    With regards to a Guard Faction. There are PC Agents who are as close to a guard faction we're likely to get. It's a necessary evil because a DM isn't around to RP consequences of breaking the law or doing investigations into whether an evil villain has become notorious enough to warrant being outlawed yet.



  • Citadel Agents are like Spectres. They're independent agents with a mission. They don't really get anything like what you'd expect from DM factions of prior versions, except Hardcastle's authority (again, what that means in reality is something players themselves work out). It's not a "faction" as such; Many agents operate independently with their own groups.

    It also came about purely due to PC actions, due to the recent spates of villany and scuffles that independent adventurers / groups didn't resolve on their own. We didn't have the Agents waiting in the wings for introduction, it just happened.

    We do have NPC groups that act as sponsors, some necessarily secret (though a few players have uncovered them) but personally, I find the lack of DM factions to be a huge plus. Factions will come and go as players make them work, or don't. Something new is always around the corner.



  • Thanks for clearing that up then Polaris. Its a wealth of stuff thats new and being added. And my first thought when seeing the appearance of them was…"Oh god please No". But if it was actually earned in game and all with actual player actions towards that, then so shall it be.



  • Rest assured, applications are mostly for personal perks now like subraces, backgrounds, official clergy status and the like. You can't app to be an agent or a gang member or whatever, you find people IG and put in your time like everyone else.



  • Agents are just characters that have been sponsored too by the way.

    As for sponsors, if you just do sweet stuff then you'll probly find out about one that can help you with what you want, and vice versa, that's how it's designed, the power is all in the players hands now. And if you really don't fit into anything, or just want to be entirely independant, you can spend time trying to discover and claim a place for yourselves and be entirely independant of NPC entanglement.

    Again, power is there for players to take.



  • Having been told I have a loose cannon playing style I find that the new server fits just perfectly. if I want something I can go get it without someone telling me to go through such and such.

    not too sure about the npc sponsor thing as yet, but the rustic gold rush old west feeling is awesome.



  • 1. Do you miss dm factions, and if so why? What do you feel unable to do at the moment due to the lack of them? Short of reintroducing dm factions how can we adress these lackings?

    I find a guard-faction a must. But the late dm-factions tended to make the server too lawful and structured imo. Which made it harder to evolve something new like a pc-faction but it was also good for new players to get an insight on the server when joining the dm-factions (dms will have to cover up for that somehow though it isn't much.). To me the dm-factions were more a minus than a plus since it controlled the setting too much and thereby also forcing the dms to spend more time on those factions instead of doing other fun stuff for themselves and others. It became too stale. You knew what would happen and if ppl say they miss intrigue inside dm-factions I can say it's no different than in a pc-faction.

    2. Opinions on Patronage. Is the system clear enough. If not, what needs clearing up? Are the npcs, possibible benefits clear enough, and if not, what needs clearing up?

    Some kind of guide with examples and info would help a lot. Also a brief introduction without too much spoiler about several npcs.

    3. Do you find it easy to involve others in v5. If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.

    Less people want power in a certain faction which definetly promotes them being more open for pc-factions.

    4. Do you find it easy to get involved in v5? If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.

    V5 is much more open and hectic. The pc-factions I remember were usually more fun as you didn't have to do much what dm possesed npcs wanted but more what you yourself wanted together with other players.



  • I think DM factions can be a great thing, provided they're supported decently. They tend to give characters guidance and access to plots- or at least a way to more easily push their own plots from a stable platform.

    I feel the reason there are no DM factions is so the players are more able to create their own factions and be 'leaders' themselves. My problem with this is- many people want to do their own thing and few want to conform or fall in line behind others 'plots/factions'. So instead of one or two major mercenary/trading factions you have seven different ones all with only one or two, tops, PCs in them.

    While I can see the worry about having too many factions making the setting too lawful, I think this can be easily avoided. There are three main divisions in COA- being the lawful citadel, the chaotic slums/ghetto, and nature. In each area you have unlimited potential for DM And/or Player Factions with varying goals/alignments.

    So in lieu of DM factions there's the 'patronage' system which is really awesome, but I think I'd personally get burned out by the time I somehow managed to earn that. Most Players don't really want to have anything to do with your faction/concept unless they absolutely love it (Which, as I said, most people want their own things to succeed and not 'conform' with other PCs), see that you're getting DM attention/Plots, or see you have obvious benefits like a DM faction might (Resting area, storage, etc.). Thus it becomes fairly difficult to create a faction with patronage if you're hoping to get it by simply running an active player faction.

    I feel like some of the things offered by the patronage system should simply be offered to a budding group of players who simply managed to come together. Forums, for example, should simply be a 'hey, we got a group together who wants to hunt giants all the time and create hunting parties, can we have our own forums?' I think Lairs/Faction HQs could be as simple as creating generic zones/places/locations, depending on the location of the HQ (Could be a a cave or grove, if it's in the wilds, or a warehouse in the slums, etc) and allowing PCs to simply claim them IG and have their meetings, etc. After a period if the DM feels they've earned it they could work with the faction to make this HQ a more permanent place (Maybe the PCs secure it with doors/locks, so it's truly theirs. Or there are beds for free resting/etc.)

    I'm not sure how many active DMs there are on COA, or on what time zones, but it doesn't seem like there are many- acquiring more DMs might help with some of the support issues.



  • 'hey, we got a group together who wants to hunt giants all the time and create hunting parties, can we have our own forums?'



  • That's pretty much how areas are claimed by players right now.

    There are secret actual bases that rival DM faction areas, some with their own secret and unique powers.

    None of them has been claimed yet, but that's fine. We don't tell players what to do, they either put in the effort, find them, and take them, or they lie unused.

    As for the DM faction / patronage issue you raised up; They're valid points, but I'm not sure that it is as severe as you say. We may start with a lot of "Leader" PCs, but over time, they inevitably realize that they can't survive with 1-2 PC recruits and fold themselves into a composite faction until only a few remain.

    In the "traditional" DM faction, this is what you got:-

    • NPC support
    • Base, storage, rest
    • DM introduced Faction plots.

    How it is now:-

    • NPC support - Approach an NPC patron (can be any NPC!) and get him to support you
    • Base, storage, rest - Find an area, claim it for a while, it'll become yours. Or find one of the scripted secret claimable areas
    • Faction plots - Start your own plot, involve people in fun and interesting stories, and DMs will gravitate to you without asking, even.

    As you can see, nothing's changed apart from the fact that instead of being given stuff for free just for being in a faction, you need to take that stuff yourself. Any player can do this, no application required.



  • many people want to do their own thing and few want to conform or fall in line behind others 'plots/factions'. So instead of one or two major mercenary/trading factions you have seven different ones all with only one or two, tops, PCs in them.

    This is probably the biggest issues I see at the moment, I see 3 or 4 groups that could combine their efforts into one group and be three times as powerful. It seems so many want to lead and not many want to follow.



  • @Ponies:

    1. Do you miss dm factions, and if so why? What do you feel unable to do at the moment due to the lack of them? Short of reintroducing dm factions how can we adress these lackings?

    One difference between DM factions and player factions is that the former has the benefit of more clear DM/NPC guidance: "The adventure is that way!", while the latter must come up with unique (non-scripted) plot/adventure opportunities on their own and cross their fingers that the DMs take notice and set something up. Which is great because it makes the player feel like his character is having a noticeable impact on the story, but at the same time–he can adventure and intrigue for months and risk not getting noticed.

    @Ponies:

    2. Opinions on Patronage. Is the system clear enough. If not, what needs clearing up? Are the npcs, possibible benefits clear enough, and if not, what needs clearing up?

    I think this is a good substitute/replacement for DM factions. The best of both worlds. NPCs point their finger "that way" and players get to decide when/how/why to follow (or not) the NPCs lead. The down side of this, as ArabelsPhoenix points out, is that you end up with the old problem of too many chiefs, not enough Indians. With a player-base of 30 people (pulling numbers out of thin air for the sake of example), you end up with 10 factions with 3 members each–and nobody can recruit to strengthen their numbers. Currently there are 3 Agents, and they've had difficulty even maintaining that low number--not a very effective law-enforcement organization.

    @Ponies:

    3. Do you find it easy to involve others in v5. If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.
    4. Do you find it easy to get involved in v5? If not, what do you feel we as dms can do to aid this.

    In my experience, getting involved is easier than getting others involved. Without DM direction/guidance, there is no way for me to know whether or not my plot ideas will be interesting to other players.

    These are my thoughts, however, I don't have any suggested resolutions so… not very useful commentary.



  • I feel as though the player base has shrunk. Not for any reasons that reflect poorly on CoA, it just has. When I was a sheriff, we had five other sheriffs, two factions just as large as ours, the Harts, who were sizable, and the legion. Those are just the factions I can think of. In the new Arabel, it is more difficult to get others involved because the pool is smaller.

    Having NPC followers, appropriate to Charisma score or Deeds done, might help bring players into the less popular factions that might not have the ear of a DM who just happens to be around at the same time.

    As a Sheriff, I never felt alone, because even when no other Sheriffs were around, I had my mastiff. It was little and weak but it made all the difference for me. V5 is difficult, but not impossible. I can say, the initial cost for starting a faction is huge.

    Armor, supplies, dies, and numerous little things that drew in low level characters are shouldered by players who are functioning in a small economy. That hurts a bit.


Log in to reply