ImprovingNumbers:AbigThing



  • as mentioned by Syrus mentioning dripster… "A Big Thing"

    often good vs evil or chaos vs law has a clear "theyre the good guys" when looking at it from player moral/player ease perspective.
    What if "A big Thing" can be setup so both sides have drawbacks, and both sides have advantages.
    with the edvent of the Chaos brigade, theres a clear conflict.
    Well, so whats new about that. The criminals will be outlawd, and law/good will stomp em and reap the rewards.
    but why would a "typical" adventurer want to be on the Chaos brigade side... or even consider it ?
    Not a whole lot of reason "Hardcastles a tyrant is easy to say", but c'mon who really sticks to that when it comes down to event access? (some do)

    Lets make EACH SIDE have in-game mechanical RP (not combat) effects.
    Such as... Hardcastle is a tyrranical money-grubber? A tax. A damn heavy tax. Like... 2% of your consumables every time you enter the Citadel. And 5% of your gold. And things are very very expensive in stores. Want to be considered on his side? it'll cost you. And it gives you incentive to get things changed.
    Unless.... of course... you earn bounties/favor by turning in those who evade taxes (and dont have the 'receipts'). Whether in-person or ratting...

    Want to be Chaotic? well, that will have a cost too. like.... npc pickpockets... or limited access to goods and services. or., or not having 'papers', so there is the chance of random NPC searchs getting you tossed into jail for a RL hour

    Gives the fence-sitters real reason to if not Join a side, to at least act in accordance with one side or the other. Or, lol, deal with the "penaltie" of both.

    Just a thought, but its a way to have large, over-arching things going on that make people give real consideration to who they want to associate with



  • Really like this idea a lot



  • No. Costing people consumables and gold to just enter areas would drive people away.



  • I think that's a really solid idea Games. Honestly, there is too much benefit to the Citadel right now as a location for adventurers. There is really no reason to side with groups like the chaos brigade from a setting perspective. The citadel is and has remained the path of least resistance since I started playing on this server.

    I'm a big fan of the attitude of 'You may not care about the War, but the War cares about you.' Things like rents, and tolls add immersion and force a shift in character attitude rather then making it come solely from the player.



  • @dagonlives:

    I'm a big fan of the attitude of 'You may not care about the War, but the War cares about you.' Things like rents, and tolls add immersion and force a shift in character attitude rather then making it come solely from the player.

    Ditto. This is exactly the mindset I'd like to see CoA adopt.



  • They also drive people away as proven by the draft. If something like this is implemented I'm straight up leaving.

    They don't force a shift in character attitude they just annoy people into leaving and then we get even lower numbers.

    If people want old town to be used more then there needs to be benefits to doing so. Not penalising people who want to use the citadel which is where most of the quests are anyway.



  • An alternative to just scripting a "bye bye" gold when entering, would be to establish a dialog upon entering, as in, a npc contacting you. I see your point Verk, but there HAS to be sideeffects. A balance, if you will. The draft was a brilliant attempt, but was perhaps, (from what I can read on the forum), too harsh or unavoidable.

    You could double prices on Merchants inside the citadel. You "get the Kings protection, but also pay the piper". But I agree, it is a tricky task to make it apparent enough, without it people feeling buggered.

    My best answer, would be to slowly, but surely, begin moving key npcs out of the citadel, because they can no longer pay their taxes.



  • @O'louth:

    My best answer, would be to slowly, but surely, begin moving key npcs out of the citadel, because they can no longer pay their taxes.

    Excellent suggestion.

    Yeah we get the Rumors about taxes and of Course Old Town gets hit, but it always is just swept under the rug in terms of the Citadel.

    We got rid of the "poor" in the citadel.

    Next, merchants start filing out. Sure even if they just set up in North District Market, it still at least makes a show of it. I know the Illmateri moved there making it easier to get raises for Old Towners and making it more expensive on people who shouldn't be in Old Town.

    Similar things with other key NPCs



  • "My best answer, would be to slowly, but surely, begin moving key npcs out of the citadel, because they can no longer pay their taxes."

    I would agree with this 100%. It is great to see the server shift with player's actions but these actions shouldn't be rubbed in every other PC's face. Showing their effects on NPCs is manageable and doesn't cause the same problems the draft had all over again.

    As for having you locked in jail by NPC and random searches I think that would be a terrible idea.

    Remember how many times a damn beggar would pester you in the middle of an epic RP sess? Imagine if this led to jail time.



  • Something else I was thinking on.

    We have been trying so hard to focus on giving Team Evil a faction and it kinda keeps flopping SO, should the Chaos Brigade fall through, I have a suggestion.

    Instead of having an Evil faction, make it easier to get evil perks. I know some people feel it's too easy now but there are others who disagree.

    I know about a year back there was a group of people aiming for Rift Pacts and worked really hard for it to be rewarded with literally being forced to fight each other and come out with nothing to show for it.

    Instead of making a Faction to adapt to playstyles, the DM team (And players) should strive towards focusing on helping Team Evil get the specific things they need.

    For most Goodly concepts, you don't need as many specific ideas as Evil concepts. You can throw the Militia at people and see a plethora of concepts, ranging from Lawful Evil to Chaotic Good. The Penal Legion proved you can't do that with Team Evil/Chaos. It kinda has to be fit to their story. I think if we can aim for that, it will make it a lot more feasible to accomplish more with fewer Ragequits and Boredom retirements.



  • NPCs are slowly moving out of the Citadel. Frin's and the Gnomish potion seller have been moved to Arabel North, Moving a few quest givers might help as well, As I've said earlier most of the popular quest givers are in the Citadel


  • Admin [DM]

    @verkosh:

    NPCs are slowly moving out of the Citadel. Frin's and the Gnomish potion seller have been moved to Arabel North, Moving a few quest givers might help as well, As I've said earlier most of the popular quest givers are in the Citadel

    Slow progress but moving there! Damn those taxes


  • Storyteller [DM]

    @Drip:

    I know about a year back there was a group of people aiming for Rift Pacts and worked really hard for it to be rewarded with literally being forced to fight each other and come out with nothing to show for it.

    Just want to nip this bit of misinformation in the butt- This group was given support and a number of plot hooks, and was literally about to get their pacts when they killed each other. I logged on to run the event only to find out. Which is pretty great IMO. We've all had PCs end just before they almost got something, it's just something that happens.

    Verk is right though, while I'm of the opinion things like the Draft that force players to become involved are cool, we almost universally get huge push back against this by players. It doesn't work.



  • I would like to point out that some players want to do their own plots, run their own things, and that should be supported as much as possible because giving players the agency to do their own stuff and be rewarded for it will build a sense of belonging and community and thus give them reasons to stay. Forcing players to join a plot only attracts some people, most of which would already be involved, or looking for a way to become involved.

    I really hope the question to be asked is How-Can-I-Help-You-Achieve-Your-Plot, rather than Why-Aren't-You-Joining-My-Plot?

    People do stuff because it is fun, and because there is a chance of success. Most people don't like hopeless causes and "work".
    Make living in Old Town fun and people will go there. Make it a chore and irritating and hard, and people won't.

    Stop using the stick, start using the carrot. Mentalities have to change.

    Edit: I don't think people understand that what may be fun and exciting for a few winners, and helps to "build character" for the losers, does not necessarily benefit the server. Likewise, 5 undefeatable PCs who can mow down every single PC in the server in an event and then take on powered-up NPCs and win, does not make the server better. How many players left the server permanently in the wake of the Castle Crag-Slime Cult siege? These events are so tied up in telling the story that the cost in disgruntled players is simply ignored.

    If players that lost were treated better, I believe we would have more players.



  • Let me just point out here that CoA is practically a rotating door of character concepts. I highly suspect I know which character(s) you are referring to, and let me just go out on a limb and say that after a player plot 'fails', a few things immediately happen. One of those things is that, your character (not you) has failed. They have a choice to make. How do I go on?

    If you refer to the Plot Triforce(tm!) you can pretty easily see solutions to give you some ooc ideas of the sorts of plots/ic stuff that's going to pick your butt off the ground and help you keep going. For instance, Dagon's Cale originally failed at wrestling a giant. He gained some friends, did some adventures, helped some other peoples' plots for a while - even did a stint as a Thayan mercenary - and then he climbed that damn mountain and wrestled that stupid giant and made his weapon of awesomeness. (Friends > DM NPCs.) Without really recognizing that he was doing what he was doing, just simply pursuing his own fun, it was a plot that was involved a lot of people, and included an initial failure - and ended in 'success'. However, the real fun was the fun he was having pursuing it. . . with friends.

    However, often the answer is; you sometimes don't recover from failure. You stop having fun on the character. And then, you concept up another one and jump right back into the mix (though I usually space my serious characters a month or two apart and sometimes more). There are plenty of good stories on Arabel, and though there's less people that seem to be telling them now, they're still there. For every character I like, I usually run through a few that I don't before I get to them. From what I've seen that is pretty common throughout the current server populace.

    Losing is part of the game. This is not World of Warcraft. You will make characters, and those characters will fail; but some of my most spectacular failures was also the most fun I've ever had on City of Arabel. Malik Goldaron, a Clar Bandan sorcerer, lasted a week. And he pissed off literally the entire server and died at level 5 with no loot or gear, and got all of oldtown to madly pray to Clar Banda for salvation from the undead he and Huorn his crazy partner summoned.

    My point here is… hm. There might be a 'trifecta' to a 'successful' plot which I detailed earlier - that is to say, forcing the damn thing - but that's just the game breaking mechanics I brought up to showcase the way that the system itself tended to work, in order to display HOW it worked. Perhaps I somehow didn't stress or neglected to mention that Actual winning comes from enjoying the game. Actual value comes from seeing the plot you're pushing as a connected story that you are telling for other players, with other players. The DMs themselves are like this, almost every single one of them. They want to tell (and facilitate) a good story.

    But people sometimes seem to expect the DMs to make this game fun and cater to every idea and whim. To a certain extent, I think that's a wrong way to view the situation. Most of the people I find who are well adjusted on CoA have accustomed themselves to loss; levels, plots, and characters. 'Loss' and 'Failure' are only bad things if you let them be bad things. I had a boss of mine tell me once, "Aha, I see you figured out how not to do that." The meaning, I think, being that simply participating in these plots can often be the fun part; Arabel is like a book that you read and interact with.

    You are, more or less, expected to both find your own fun, and to make fun for others. I think I notated that earlier too. The strength of this server is in the people who carefully conflict with and provide entertainment for other characters. Help others, and you rise yourself.



  • I'm sure you and I can remember a few instances where a group became either unbeatable, or so perceived to be unbeatable that everyone just avoided them. The end result has been that they retire the PC/s after a few weeks of being avoided, or self-destruct into internal conflict. The point I am trying to make is that before that happened, the server wasn't a fun place to be in. After the first few defeats, very few or no one tried to fight them, and activity would die down. The server would take weeks to recover, and we would end up with fewer players than before. Players, not characters. Some would come back, but others didn't. While the revolving door of characters annoys me, its not the discussion here. Players are what is important, not characters.

    Part of the problem was much like the Draft, I think. "I'll just avoid them till they go away" became the shared mentality, because no one wanted to get beaten to a pulp (again), having tasted defeat more than a few times before. And generally speaking, the defeats can be stinging ones, and sometimes downright humiliating. At this point, Group X, almost always already highly skilled in PvP, are utterly tooled up with quest and DM loot, and can blow through all the 9-12s high level quests accessible to them. Meanwhile, everyone else has to do a runner if they encounter them, on their way to a 3-6 or a 4-8. Sendings never happen because it becomes ambush points, and a siege mentality sets in.

    Siege mentality is not the sort of behavior that is healthy for the server to have, for so many reasons, but the primary reason here is because feeling trapped and imprisoned is not fun. There has to be a balance, and support for the "losers" as well as the "winners". I must disagree that conflict (player v player) is the strength of this server. It is as much a weakness as a strength, and has driven away some people, and been the source of much disagreement and ranting on the server/forums/irc.

    The strength is in the Story. This isn't daytime TV land, where everyone must be fighting everyone else for cheap shock value or ratings. A good, engaging, rewarding, enjoyable story can occur regardless of whether or not characters are fighting each other. There should honestly be more back and forth and real reasons for fighting, not set-in-stone hatreds because that is in the character application submitted a month ago. Real honest conflict is so much more engaging then ones that were decided for OOC reasons, which is sadly what I feel has been encouraged, perhaps unwittingly, by the server.



  • A tax. A damn heavy tax. Like… 2% of your consumables every time you enter the Citadel. And 5% of your gold. And things are very very expensive in stores. Want to be considered on his side? it'll cost you. And it gives you incentive to get things changed.
    Unless.... of course... you earn bounties/favor by turning in those who evade taxes (and dont have the 'receipts'). Whether in-person or ratting...

    Want to be Chaotic? well, that will have a cost too. like.... npc pickpockets... or limited access to goods and services. or., or not having 'papers', so there is the chance of random NPC searchs getting you tossed into jail for a RL hour

    Penalizing people to get the ball rolling is a great idea in theory but not in application, that's what the draft was supposed to be and average server pop went from 18 to 3 in less than a week because of it.

    I do like the idea of making old town have more important people/stuff in it, I find that the decline of team chaos started right around when the north district swallowed up half of old town and about 80% of the stuff you'd go into old town for ended up being in the north district.
    Point being old town got waaaaay less important all of a sudden so being exiled or restricted to it became 5 times more painful and dealbreaking.



  • I hope someone's put up adverts mentioning that the draft is over. . . .right now the entire server kind of feels as if it's on pause. I don't suspect that'll change until we get some new/old players back in.



  • 1)As the OP.. let me clarify… My suggestion would involve not just a tax here and a tax there... but carefully planned edicts, one here, perhaps one there in response, with discussion able to be made IC, (such as the legion petition/debates a while back), with PCs able to effect what happens. and able to reap benefits and opposition suffering. That, I believe, would give people a sense of belonging, a sense of investment, a sense of success/failure in ways other than just being able to buy more potions than the other side.

    As far as rift stuff mentioned... i -MUST- come out and defend the DMs on that.
    2) Often DMs have given support to outlaw groups and still people leave because they dont like the issues of being outlaws.
    For example, I had a character who at least three times tried to use rift-stuff to get groups/actions going.
    A.) recruited some people, who, when they found out they couldnt use normal, cheap, healing/buffing sources OOC gave up on it, and decided to whine to get "fixed'.
    Scratch that plotline. Vanish and come back another season.
    B.) gathered in a half-orc tribe calling self their, 'witch who makes chief much strong'. had a pretty decent plot going involving getting redharts attacking west gate and then when forces called to defend, 8-10 or so super-rift-buffed hot-pant-teleporting 1/2 orc warriors attacking Tymoran temple.(yes,Minna, thats why Shevarra hung with you) That group fell apart, I believe because a couple key people in that, and other groups retired characters. Not due to DM stuff.
    C.) a group of somewhat demented criminal elves who I had recruited to rift-power. Although I IC called it selling their souls to me in exchange for My own power, rituals n everything. Most of them quit the characters - or in one case, suicided in a rift-buff attack against some npcs (with DM supervision) because they couldn't, once again, deal with the OOC consequences of all the easy buffs and healing not being available.

    In these cases, it was Players not liking the Mechanical consequences of their choices that led to Characters being quit, groups falling apart, etc.
    Never, not once, due to DMs doing stuff. if anything, i can only think it was some DM guidance with PC miltia faction that kept her from execution for so long.

    DMs gave plenty of support. More than was asked for. (I'm terrible for asking for aid. I just like to let things flow)

    I Can't speak for other rift-groups that failed. just sheverras



  • Honestly, the finger tends to get pointed at DMs not liking the way something's going being the cause for failure, but I don't think that's been the case nearly as much as people think. Players are quite capable of messing things up on their own.

    As far as the OP's suggestion goes, prices going up and NPCs moving to where it's cheaper/safer or what have you could be interesting. Is it really a Big Thing that'll spark renewed interest, though?


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