Author Topic: The Massive Conflict Thread  (Read 12953 times)

Patuk

  • Posts: 4145
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2016, 09:32:39 PM »
I do think the difficulty in playing a minion is a problem, as well as the death rate such characters have. If you don't address that, scheming is going to work out for nobody at all.

What are your proposed solutions?

Depends. How invasive do we want to get?

Random list o' results for the benefit of assassins, thugs, thieves, toughs, and other ne'er do wells:

Make the Arm less ubiquitous. Make it more obviously corrupt and uninterested in crime. Increase the rift between templars and nobles. Nerf magick(already happened, cities are safe as fuck). Discourage death. Have staff tell survivors who was behind some attack. Make the city-based grind less tough. Have characters start out stronger.

Really, if you're absolutely sure you want to solve this, staff can animate gangs of angry relatives and lynch any person who is too trigger-happy. It'd be very top-driven, entirely subjective, and draw much ire from many people. It'd also work better than anything I have suggested, so there's that.

It's not a subtle solution, but it's a solution.
Quote
You take the last bite of your scooby snack.
This tastes like ordinary meat.
There is nothing left now.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8237
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2016, 09:38:10 PM »
What about de-emphasizing (combat) skills? A large part of the risk-aversion is people not wanting to lose their stats and skills that make their characters effective. Stats and skills which they've probably invested dozens or hundreds of hours in. It's not the sole reason people fear losing their characters, but I wager it's a big reason. Fuck, it's the main reason I don't store my long-lived-but-now-dull combat PCs.

If all combat classes came out of the box effective (everyone's a 30 day warrior, 20 day ranger, etc.) we have less to lose. Maybe we'll more willingly throw away our characters in conflict.

Let badasses and leaders earn their gravitas by being good leaders, through smarts and charisma and luck. Not simply by living the longest and sparring the hardest.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 09:44:32 PM by BadSkeelz »
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

Patuk

  • Posts: 4145
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #52 on: December 06, 2016, 09:43:44 PM »
Armageddon counter-strike. Let's fucking do it.
Quote
You take the last bite of your scooby snack.
This tastes like ordinary meat.
There is nothing left now.

Harmless

  • Posts: 2623
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #53 on: December 06, 2016, 09:44:12 PM »
To taven's last reply to me:

1.) As to the combat changes; I don't notice any significant difference yet. Learning may be better, I dunno. I don't min-max the skillgaining as much as I did when I first played 7 years ago and was arguably more obsessed with skillbuilding. But I did notice sleight of hands takes significantly longer to advance the other day, but besides that things seem similar.

1a.) I am also referring to the political gains a character makes as a bad thing to lose. The skills are kind of step one, though, for combative characters. So when your next Bynner, just about 1 year in or so, is killed pretty much instantly by a staff-spawned NPC or monster, it is a major bummer, because at that point your character was codedly powerful enough to "get the job done" and accomplish meaningful tasks.

2.) The familiar cycle of concern that twinks will abuse power --> karma can be used to restrict twinks --> concerns of favoritism. I agree this is a balance that needs careful monitoring and tweaking to remain fair but while giving players who have earned trust that they roleplay consistently a time saver to both reward them for consistent roleplay and understanding of the gameworld while also remove some of the burden of building a character, both codedly (boost CPP) and in terms of their clout (open more roles with strong antagonistic potential).

What I would also say is that a lot of the nostalgia that I see posted about, logs with player instigated plots and the like, there is a familiar thread of karma being more "meaningful" back in the day, with the power balance being more tipped in favor of those with karma. They had more political power also, such as Senior Agents (no longer available) and of course, red robes. Back then there may have been cries of favoritism, but did it stop people from playing? Maybe if they kept landing on the losing side of the staff "favorites" but they could always roll up their next character to work FOR your now dead character's enemy, since all sides of the conflict were open for players to join. Now the character who orchestrated your death is someone you work for. This may have been harder to do in the case of sorceror, nilazi, or similarly "bad" characters, but I remember many times dying to a Templar or The Arm for example and then later getting a special thrill out of joining that same clan and "seeing the other side of the curtain." If I have the ability to switch sides like this then it's not as concerning to me that some players, especially leaders who have accrued clout and other means of power, may be getting additional perks from staff.


3.) There are definitely advantages to PC to PC conflict. For one, see above; if your nemesis is a player, then you only have another player to blame. Solution? Get other players to help you overwhelm them, or join that player's side.

If it's PC vs Staff, sure the conflict will be balanced (and arguably, more predictable and boring), but if you wanted to switch sides... nope. Can't. Can't be a Tuluki anymore. Can't join a raider clan that will last more than one HRPT (gith).

Secondly, PC to PC conflict generates more unpredictable interlinked character networks. Staff have to animate NPCs to make them do stuff, and that takes time and is limited. A player, who is motivated, can network with 50 other players in a month. A staff may animate enough to interact with 4 players regularly, and most of those will be inner-circle players.

Conflict is unpredictable if you have an ace in the hole nobody's aware of. This is something one can do through interacting with the complex, diverse group of character backgrounds we have. Staff won't be able to do this without basically being players.

Another reason conflict has stagnated is that the diversity of character backgrounds has decreased.. true, you can still make a Warrens born Tuluki. But they can never enter Tuluk and gain any favor from their citizenship again, so players will not be rolling them often. Therefore fewer people play Tulukis.. suddenly, everyone in Allanak who "knew a few people in Tuluk" no longer has that element to add to the plot. Interactions between the citystates would often have interesting consequences on a plot that seemingly only occurred in one city.


The rest of your points I agree with. It's depressing that people only have the wherewithall to instigate plots 80% of the time and conflict needs to turn lethal less often. Hopefully through more brainstorming... and perhaps the rethinking of a few "permanent" staff decisions, which definitely do not need to be permanent much like the staffers that made them are not, will help things get a bit more interesting again on the large scale.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 09:47:55 PM by Harmless »
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #54 on: December 06, 2016, 09:53:49 PM »
Nobles can't accomplish a lot of what they want to do directly, that's why they need minions. And more, they need to be able to keep minions thoroughly entertained while they collect them. This is pretty difficult.


I'm not trying to nitpick here, but I disagree. Not with the need of minion but with the notion that you need to entertain your minions as a noble. I've played an aide many, many times. I think (personally) that the best aides are self-starters who generate their own plots, and that the best nobles I've seen and their relations with their aides had a sort of synergy where the noble isn't working to entertain the minion, the minion entertains themselves, but instead, the noble engages the minion by incorporating some of the minions plots into their own machinations and designs. At least personally for me, that has been some of the best noble/minion RP I have found, and kudos to the people behind those nobles. They know who they are.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2016, 10:02:21 PM »
What about de-emphasizing (combat) skills? A large part of the risk-aversion is people not wanting to lose their stats and skills that make their characters effective. Stats and skills which they've probably invested dozens or hundreds of hours in. It's not the sole reason people fear losing their characters, but I wager it's a big reason. Fuck, it's the main reason I don't store my long-lived-but-now-dull combat PCs.

If all combat classes came out of the box effective (everyone's a 30 day warrior, 20 day ranger, etc.) we have less to lose. Maybe we'll more willingly throw away our characters in conflict.

Let badasses and leaders earn their gravitas by being good leaders, through smarts and charisma and luck. Not simply by living the longest and sparring the hardest.

I like this idea, if for no other reason than that the longest lived combat pc I've had in about 9 years of playing next month, was 27 days played, and they got reel-locked by a carru and died.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5895
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2016, 10:03:07 PM »
Quote
Let badasses and leaders earn their gravitas by being good leaders, through smarts and charisma and luck. Not simply by living the longest and sparring the hardest.

That's already how it is.  Coded skills have nothing to do with being a good leader or an acclaimed/admired character in the game.  They do, however, make you useful to those people, who may or may not engage in the grind themselves depending on the character, and they do draw attention and make you a concern if you start drifting towards the other 'side' of a conflict already in place.

Quote
What about de-emphasizing (combat) skills? A large part of the risk-aversion is people not wanting to lose their stats and skills that make their characters effective.

That's been talked about before, but it's inherently flawed, because it ultimately just moves the starting line forward.  People still compete to be ahead in the race, and in the process of using this approach to try and fix it, you just throw the whole world's balance of skills/starting levels out of whack.  Everyone being able to kill scrab effortlessly out of the box might sound appealing, but that's just taking the risk aversion to another level.  Instead, just acknowledge that if you have fear of losing progress keeping you from doing exciting things in the game...no amount of switching things around in the game is going to change that aside from changing us into a MUSH, where progress is easily come by and the risk of losing it is low.

Choosing the seat farthest away from the game to sit in while you compose yourself while planning to move up when you're ready is fine.  But this is turning into forgetting that you're choosing that seat and hating the view, but complaining that when you move up you lose your seat back there, and that we should change the layout of the stadium to fix it.  (And when I say you, I don't mean you, Skeelz, I'm using 'you' in the generic sense).  When you choose to play low-conflict styles, you're going to have a hard time finding conflict.

I...do -not- have a hard time finding conflict.  At all.  Even when I'm actively trying to avoid it.

Quote
Secondly, PC to PC conflict generates more unpredictable interlinked character networks.

That's what I'm talkin' about.  I'm doubting you and me are on the same side in this topic, Harmless, but hopefully I'm not getting the above out of context.  The more we drift into a cooperative nature, and the less willing we are to keep that healthy respect/fear for the fact that other players can and will choose to end your plot sometimes, the less exciting as a whole the game will be.  I don't think drastic changes in the game itself are needed to combat that.  I think that's common sense for what the game is.  There are huge boons to us acknowledging that I think you're a cool dude on the GDB, but in the game we may very well kill each other.  No hard feelings man, but I had this thing going on and you purposely made yourself an obstacle (on the flipside, that person would be saying 'I have my things going, and what you already have going is an obstacle').

Again, not a proving grounds mud, but the best conflict in the game is brought about by every player just trying wholeheartedly to play their character, and if that character wants to leave a footprint, do what's in that character's interest.  Because that's what the character would do.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5895
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2016, 10:05:31 PM »
On a sidenote...I am not against there being more plots, more conflicts, more storylines, etc.

But I don't think talking about how non-aggression and less skills is even remotely necessary to that task, nor do I think the game is set up in a such a way to prevent conflict as it stands.  I think we, the players, are pretty responsible for conflict and lack of conflict, not the game.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2016, 10:06:14 PM »
I find it altogether appealing, and I find the repeated assertion that conflict isn't meant to be resolved to be kind of a hosh posh assertion.  I get killed sometimes.  I kill sometimes.  Sometimes I deserve to be, and don't.  Sometimes I should kill, and don't.  The fear of death is the entire point of a permadeath game, and if you start telling people conflict should purposefully avoid it, then you're wrong.

You say, "the fear of death is the entire point of a permadeath game". Well, okay, if that's the entire point, then people are doing what they should. They are avoiding any and all conflict because they are avoiding any and all risk of death.

If the entire point of a game is fear of death, then nothing ever gets done, period. People are simply too afraid and unmotivated to do anything.


Quote
And for the billionth time, killing someone does not do an injustice to the game.  It actually plays a very integral part -of- the game.  I'm not saying that we're a proving grounds mud, but I do indeed get tired of posts repeatedly put up that frame things in such a way that you're admonishing people for actually resolving conflict rather than just letting it go.  Conflicts end, new ones grow.  The insistence that every conflict has to go on for aeons and develop into something else is not accurate.  It's arguably -boring- to have the same players in the same conflict for too long.

If you think I'm advocating for no killing ever, then you clearly didn't read my post. What I did advocate for is a better scale. Things shouldn't be black and white, where black is INSTA DEATH NOW and white is SMILE AND BE FRIENDS. If you want to kill people, that can be a valid solution. But let's please stop trying to make it the only solution.

As things stand, there is a player habit of turning to murder as the first and best option to avoid all other conflict and risk. Because this is the first thing people turn to, all too often people will not take any risks at all. They will not make any conflict at all.

Let's vary up our responses a little, shall we?


Quote
Arguably.  Which is really the point of this entire post.  You're asserting things in your visualization of how things should be that are incredibly arguable.  I admire long-lived, rich PC's who left a pile of bodies on their way to the grizzled top, running the gauntlet of life, a lot more than a guy who can give long winded explanations about how things happened but didn't actually happen, but them and another player played it that way or how many times they communicated with staff to get a thumbs up on a cool story.

Most cool stories aren't "things started getting somewhat annoying, so I decided to stab the other guy first". Most cool stories involve enemies, and plots, and sure they may include murder... But how often does a cool story have murder as the first action taken?


Quote
Quote
The risk/reward ratio for starting conflict is dismal, with way too much risk.

...you mean the risk of death in a permadeath game?  I don't follow you.  There are plenty of low risk endeavors, but they certainly don't pay off like big risk endeavors.  I don't know what you mean by the risk/reward ratio being off.  Rewards for taking risks are pretty damn high, even if you just find a way to brag about the badass thing you did to the right people and land a reputation off of it.

You're not actually quoting my post anymore, just so you know. I did agree with that poster, however, that risk/reward ratio is off. As previously stated, I'm not saying all risk is death. Risks can be political disappointments and wasted effort as much as anything else. It's so hard to get much of anything done in this game that I think a lot of people have simply given up trying.


Quote
As far as the raiding group topic, you guys keep pretending Blackmoon never existed.  If a raiding group has staff support, you can send whole clans at it all you want; it won't cease to exist until the staff agree that it will.  It's the advantage of a staff-run clan versus a player-group.  You're splitting way too many hairs on it, and not realizing this is a game.  If you want to have a sponsored antagonist force, it will exist.

I'm not sure when Blackmoon was open, but it may well be before I started playing, and I've been playing a little under a decade. I think a lot of people in this thread are newer to the game then I am.


Quote
We've all been completely okay with this not really being a sandbox that we can do whatever we want in for a long time, I'm not sure why this topic in particular is being reduced down to all the inconsistencies that every other clan would be subject to.  Make a raider clan, support it, and it won't be wiped out as long as it has a staffer.  That's...how the game works.

I think you're reducing the topic a lot there as well. In my opinion, a raider clan should be fully considered, not dismissed as merely existing as long as it has a staffer.




As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2016, 10:11:15 PM »
Let badasses and leaders earn their gravitas by being good leaders, through smarts and charisma and luck. Not simply by living the longest and sparring the hardest.

Why isn't this already true, though?

I'm serious. If right now we have leaders who are leading purely because they have lived the longest and sparred the hardest, are we really emphasizing the right things?

Maybe the answer isn't changing the skill levels of everyone, but changing the promotion standards of everyone. Maybe you have to accomplish things besides living a long time and sparring a lot to be a leader. Maybe you have to actively be trying to pursue plots to be promoted.

If our standards were more about trying to make a difference via conflict and plots, isn't that really the best way to improve the game, regardless of skill level?



As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

nauta

  • Posts: 2181
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2016, 10:13:56 PM »
They [sc. players] are avoiding any and all conflict because they are avoiding any and all risk of death.

I know this is a bit of hyperbole, but I think the above statement is wrong for two reasons. 

(1) As a matter of fact, I, like Armaddict, do see a lot of conflict (some lethal, some quality and long term) in the game right now.  Could we see more conflict and better conflict?  Sure.  Are some staff doing that right now and others maybe not?  Sure.  This gets back to what Reiloth said, and what I discussed with the poll: bless your heart for making a poll and putting in the work, but I'd be hesitant to take much take-away from the poll for the reasons I outlined in another post (which even then the data doesn't support it).

(2) The 'because' clause can't be right either.  I'm not sure why some players avoid conflict, but presumably it's because people are different and play the game for different reasons: some want to make pretty things, some want to tell stories, some want to go on adventures, etc.  Moreover, there's the passive vs. active player -- a lot of players are passive (or sometimes passive) and look to others for their activity.

In any case, I think it's a good conversation to be had in general -- it might motivate players and staff to look at the kinds of conflict going on and how they can make conflict more interesting.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2016, 10:24:38 PM »
3.) There are definitely advantages to PC to PC conflict. For one, see above; if your nemesis is a player, then you only have another player to blame. Solution? Get other players to help you overwhelm them, or join that player's side.

I specifically meant in large conflict scenarios. Basically, when you have two opposing armies and a handful of PCs. You can completely crush and murder each other in a single conflict, which drops one side all the way to 0. It doesn't seem like a good way to sustain long-term combat conflict such as a war.


Quote
If it's PC vs Staff, sure the conflict will be balanced (and arguably, more predictable and boring), but if you wanted to switch sides... nope. Can't. Can't be a Tuluki anymore. Can't join a raider clan that will last more than one HRPT (gith).

Well, again, I was looking at it in terms of staff assisting in large-scale conflict. So instead of having a PC vs PC single battle, you'd have PC Team A fight NPC Team B. This would allow for more skirmishes and the like, or perhaps even just evening out the odds (PC Team A fights NPC/PC Team B).


Quote
Secondly, PC to PC conflict generates more unpredictable interlinked character networks. Staff have to animate NPCs to make them do stuff, and that takes time and is limited. A player, who is motivated, can network with 50 other players in a month. A staff may animate enough to interact with 4 players regularly, and most of those will be inner-circle players.

Well, again, I was looking at large-scale combat conflict. A player can make one PC and work their skills up for awhile... When they're dead, they start over. Staff can make a lot of NPCs of varying skill levels which can help make combat more interesting and challenging.


Quote
Conflict is unpredictable if you have an ace in the hole nobody's aware of. This is something one can do through interacting with the complex, diverse group of character backgrounds we have. Staff won't be able to do this without basically being players.

In my large-scale combat example, the staff NPCs would be helping round things out to support player efforts, rather then taking the place of them. Players would still have to consider strategy, etc etc.


Quote
Another reason conflict has stagnated is that the diversity of character backgrounds has decreased.. true, you can still make a Warrens born Tuluki. But they can never enter Tuluk and gain any favor from their citizenship again, so players will not be rolling them often. Therefore fewer people play Tulukis.. suddenly, everyone in Allanak who "knew a few people in Tuluk" no longer has that element to add to the plot. Interactions between the citystates would often have interesting consequences on a plot that seemingly only occurred in one city.

I agree that the closure of Tuluk closed off a lot of opportunities for conflict. Most especially because it was the only foil Allanak had; nothing can even come close to Allanak's military might in the current day and age. That's why I'm all for making something awful happen to depower Allanak and make the rest of the world more of a risk. Or, alternatively, we could just reopen Tuluk.


Quote
The rest of your points I agree with. It's depressing that people only have the wherewithall to instigate plots 80% of the time and conflict needs to turn lethal less often. Hopefully through more brainstorming... and perhaps the rethinking of a few "permanent" staff decisions, which definitely do not need to be permanent much like the staffers that made them are not, will help things get a bit more interesting again on the large scale.

I was actually saying that if you try to accomplish 10 plots, 8 will fail, sometimes before you can even get anywhere with them. The other 2 may achieve some limited degree of success; results will vary. I would argue that only 10% of all attempted plots actually achieve a true degree of success. (When I refer to plots, I mean ones that are changing the game in some way, not just throwing a party or pursing relationships).

What "permanent" staff decisions are you referring to?
As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2016, 10:28:45 PM »
Nobles can't accomplish a lot of what they want to do directly, that's why they need minions. And more, they need to be able to keep minions thoroughly entertained while they collect them. This is pretty difficult.

I'm not trying to nitpick here, but I disagree. Not with the need of minion but with the notion that you need to entertain your minions as a noble. I've played an aide many, many times. I think (personally) that the best aides are self-starters who generate their own plots, and that the best nobles I've seen and their relations with their aides had a sort of synergy where the noble isn't working to entertain the minion, the minion entertains themselves, but instead, the noble engages the minion by incorporating some of the minions plots into their own machinations and designs. At least personally for me, that has been some of the best noble/minion RP I have found, and kudos to the people behind those nobles. They know who they are.

I agree that the best minions will be self-starters, and the best leaders will provide their minions the support to pursue their own goals. However, there are also a lot of minions are not that way. There are minions that look to their leaders to engage them and keep them involved and active (IE, entertain them).



As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5895
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2016, 10:38:03 PM »
Quote
You say, "the fear of death is the entire point of a permadeath game". Well, okay, if that's the entire point, then people are doing what they should. They are avoiding any and all conflict because they are avoiding any and all risk of death.

If the entire point of a game is fear of death, then nothing ever gets done, period. People are simply too afraid and unmotivated to do anything.

This is misconstruing the statement.  The statement says that you, the player, are avoiding risky situations and thus not enjoying the game by diving into conflict out of fear that you could lose your character, or lose your plot, as a result.  So instead, you play passively.  However, the in-character world, while risk-averse, necessitates some brutality...unless everyone is doing the same thing, which is what we've come to and is now being discussed.

Drawing a line between those two dots isn't what the statement was about, which I think you understood just fine and wanted to say something witty and turn-against-you like.

Quote
If you think I'm advocating for no killing ever, then you clearly didn't read my post. What I did advocate for is a better scale. Things shouldn't be black and white, where black is INSTA DEATH NOW and white is SMILE AND BE FRIENDS. If you want to kill people, that can be a valid solution. But let's please stop trying to make it the only solution.

It isn't the only solution.  Other solutions are come to often in the game.  I experience them often.  I use them often.  As a matter of fact, there are often things that occur that are small escalations, over and over, until someone dies, and then that is often portrayed as the only escalation that happened.  That is what I'm combatting here, is the simplification of the game to 'Everyone just kills everything and it's not fun!'

That's not true.  It's not remotely true.  People do die, and people do kill each other.  But as noted, this is not a proving grounds.

Quote
As things stand, there is a player habit of turning to murder as the first and best option to avoid all other conflict and risk. Because this is the first thing people turn to, all too often people will not take any risks at all. They will not make any conflict at all.

...are you actually asserting that jumping into combat with people with political connections and combat skills is -avoiding- risk?  That setting up assassinations is risk free?  Because that's what I was saying to you; resolving conflict is not bad.  Not bad at all.  If conflicts are engagements between you and another force with differing goals or ideologies, resolution is kind of the point.

I played a character recently where I warred with a faction and people got dead.  But strangely enough, it actually de-escalated after that, when we agreed that pushing it further was unneeded.  It wasn't 'winning', it was agreement to get off each other's toes and end the conflict.  That's not impossible in the game, and it happens, and just because it isn't constantly happening in every conflict, or even most of them, doesn't mean the game itself or its mechanics need shifting to cater to non-aggression better.

Quote
Most cool stories aren't "things started getting somewhat annoying, so I decided to stab the other guy first".

Most stories in the game don't go that way either.  This is a gross hyperbole that keeps coming up.  Sometimes you make enemies, sometimes you don't, but the vast majority of the time, I do not see this jump that you're describing.

Quote
Most cool stories involve enemies, and plots, and sure they may include murder... But how often does a cool story have murder as the first action taken?

Against a main character?  Almost never.   But I think you're assuming that because you're involved and got killed, you were a main character.  Sometimes you're just an accessory in another story, or the beginning or detail of another conflict.  Just because you're the main character in your story doesn't make you a main character in all stories.

My assassin killing a noble from house snot-nose because he said the wrong thing seems out of sorts, until you find out that said assassin has ties with a group who that noble has been conflicting with for a long time and they've been complaining about him.  That noble wasn't shit to the assassin, he was just another notch of good faith with that other group to get what he needs out of them.  Not a main character in his story.  Just a main character in yours.

Quote
You're not actually quoting my post anymore, just so you know.

I'm well aware.  At some point, I might sit down and start actually putting full quote tags instead of clicking the neat button.

Quote
Risks can be political disappointments and wasted effort as much as anything else.  It's so hard to get much of anything done in this game that I think a lot of people have simply given up trying.

This is true.  But that's not often what's talked about these threads, which is why I always come in opposing; I've not averse to anything you're talking about aside from the oft-taken stance that conflict should not often escalate to violence.  I think a lot of what makes things escalate faster than people are ready for is when it goes from a passive aggressive stance to an outright threat, then not expecting anything to come of it.  A lot of the people on Zalanthas only take shit from nobles and templars, and there are the ones who won't even do that without a vendetta forming in their head (elves in particular). A lot of them will remember that you had gear they could live off of for a year, and that you insulted them, to boot.  There's no reason in Zalanthas for that guy to hold off if he's given or creates an opportunity.  None.  And it's good that way.

I think a large part of it has to do with the use of the word 'conflict', because this escalation is being brought up so much.  So let me break that down.

Life is cheap.  If someone doesn't know you, or doesn't particularly like you, you're kind of worthless to them.  Opportunity to put themselves ahead at your expense is a-ok, and to some degree, expected.  While elves get the brunt of the 'trust game', it's everyone who should be wary of each other.  As noted, betrayal is commonplace.  Murder is common enough.  Corruption is reality.  When I say 'conflict', I mean opposing goals between characters.  There is a driving force behind each of them to get done what they need or want done.  Reducing conflict to insults?  Yeah.  That's not impressive conflict, and it won't be impressive resolution, either...but it will be resolved, or fade off into history (both happen).

Quote
I think you're reducing the topic a lot there as well. In my opinion, a raider clan should be fully considered, not dismissed as merely existing as long as it has a staffer.

Blackmoon was a raiding clan with staff support with its own hideout that required coded tribe-ness to enter, much like any other clan compound.  It was positioned in a way to be unassailable without staff support, which means staff got the say on its destruction.  Much like...Tan Muark.  Red Fangs.  The northern occupation.  Blackwing (still around because...).  The Guild.  These things only exist(ed), regardless of how well you did against the PC population, because of staff support saying that the rest of it still existed.  There were raids on them.  There were wars with them.  But ultimately, it comes down to 'Does this clan still serve a purpose so that we want it to be around, even though it just got rocked?'  If the answer is yes, then it survives.

The guild has been slapped around so hard so many times over the years due to how people play in it.  Blackmoon got utterly rocked a few times, before it was decided it should disappear.  You say I'm reducing it too much, but at this point I'm talking about how you're saying something can't exist because of IC feasibility and how it would work, but we already make these exceptions all over the game based off of staff-supported clans.

That's not to say people shouldn't do their own raiding, but just know that it can be wiped out until such a time as a staffer decides to make it present beyond the existence of just the PC's in it.  Once they do that, you can't destroy it until they say so.  That's not an extreme position, that's how the game has run from the beginning of clans up to and including now.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2016, 10:40:13 PM »
(1) As a matter of fact, I, like Armaddict, do see a lot of conflict (some lethal, some quality and long term) in the game right now.  Could we see more conflict and better conflict?  Sure.  Are some staff doing that right now and others maybe not?  Sure.  This gets back to what Reiloth said, and what I discussed with the poll: bless your heart for making a poll and putting in the work, but I'd be hesitant to take much take-away from the poll for the reasons I outlined in another post (which even then the data doesn't support it).

Guys, my poll is in the other thread about plot satisfaction, where I specifically look at trying to improve satisfaction levels of plots. This thread does not have a poll. This thread opens by me analyzing how the current clans are set up within the game and how I think staff could take actions to make the way the game world is set up, to better enhance conflict opportunities. These are separate threads and topics.

You may be seeing conflict in the game, but I believe that there is an overall feeling of stagnation because there are a significant number of players who are avoiding conflict. Some of this I have personally observed, some of this I may not have access to and am speculating on.


Quote
(2) The 'because' clause can't be right either.  I'm not sure why some players avoid conflict, but presumably it's because people are different and play the game for different reasons: some want to make pretty things, some want to tell stories, some want to go on adventures, etc.  Moreover, there's the passive vs. active player -- a lot of players are passive (or sometimes passive) and look to others for their activity.

There are different playstyles, yes. That does not mean that fear of death is not a legitimate reason that players avoid conflict. I would say that it is a very large reason that people avoid conflict. I would also further say that conflict is avoided because it's easier for everyone to work together and be friends. That's why you so often see people being friends or kanking magickers, breeds, or elves. It's just easier to avoid sources of conflict, even the more basic documented racial/magicker tensions.

Do some PCs have reasons for this? Perhaps. But it's that age-old if everyone plays the exception to the rule, then is there really a rule?

And yes, there are PCs who do an excellent job of RPing their hate. I applaud those players. I think there should be more of them.


Quote
In any case, I think it's a good conversation to be had in general -- it might motivate players and staff to look at the kinds of conflict going on and how they can make conflict more interesting

I think the conversation is good, yes, and people giving their opinions gives a better overall picture. I still think that there should be more rewards for successful conflict, more incentives for getting into conflict, and in general making conflict more appealing (largely as staff changes, since I think the world would need to be adjusted).

As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5895
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2016, 10:45:48 PM »
I guess a tidy way to sum it up, which I can never do, is I think that the state of small-scale conflict in the game is alive, relatively healthy, and accessible when you want it.  I haven't experienced a lot of bad apples at all recently.

The thread, though, is about massive conflict.  I think that it will be hard to do with so few clans right now (i.e. fewer interests flying around on collision paths), lack of overarching built in antagonism (allanak vs tuluk), and the policy that the playerbase asked for back in 2006 or so, which was for staff to stop running their plots and let players take the reins.  I don't think the 'take the reins' has been successful because of obvious, very understandable concerns.  And I'd be glad to have staff go back into big plots, organized by clan, that players participate in more than control.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Harmless

  • Posts: 2623
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2016, 10:47:01 PM »
There are no permanent staff decisions, that's why I put it in quotes. Nothing staff has changed is permanent and everything can be changed back, either right to where it was or to something similar to what it was. I'm not going into specific changes because I don't want to jinx anything.

As for whether NPC enemies ever have the level of intrigue as PC enemies, never.

When the right hand man on the side of your enemy happened to be lovers with someone in your crew, long ago.. and decides, at the last minute, in a whim really, to neglect to tell his boss that he saw someone move in the corner of his eye, that's a form of slight betrayal that I doubt an NPC would even think of doing, let alone consciously.

It's that "butterfly effect" of player-player interaction, the small scale conflict and the little alliances and friendships, over time that makes large-scale conflict interesting. Moreover it's important that there be multiple groups that share a common enemy, but have enemies within themselves... such as how Byn supports both Tuluki and Allanaki interests, or Kadius had northern and southern branches, competing against each other but also against Salarr, or how raider tribes might have enemies and allies among other tribes...how Kurac kind of works its way through all of those competing groups and struggles to balance their place in the Tablelands' politics.

When a new antagonist group opens up out of the blue, not having any history with anybody else is a major limitation to the intrigue. When someone builds a lasting, strained coalition on one side, in order to openly antagonize another, that's a lot better. Examples of strained relationships being required just to survive against another more violent enemy, such as trying to appease Templars in order to manage the constant threat of wild witches plaguing Tuluk, forced Templars and Merchants to interact. With no witches, less reason to need powerful templars...
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1826
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #67 on: December 06, 2016, 10:54:16 PM »
Are there ways to have meaningful conflict that falls short of being lethal, or does it always have to come down to someone risking losing a character?

Also, I believe that leaders and other types of characters with authority would do good to foster small-scale animosity and conflict where it doesn't already exist, even to their own detriment as long as it stimulates conflict in the game and is part of their character. It seems that many leaders are quick to make alliances and get along with other people in attempts to play it safe and while this is good in the short-term, in the long-term the organizations involved actually begin to stagnate in a sort of alliance malaise. It'd be good if groups/clans/organizations had a sort of middle ground where they would feud and fight but never enter into a total war situation.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 11:03:06 PM by Molten Heart »

Harmless

  • Posts: 2623
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #68 on: December 06, 2016, 10:59:50 PM »
A lot of the reason why lethality is necessary is that if you're identified in your murder attempt, then you can be later hunted down and killed. Since identifying someone is as easy as looking at them, copying their description, then later looking at them again in a crowd, or even as simple as using the Way, then you are pretty sure to be identified for your crimes. The easiest way to prevent being identified is to kill your victim. Letting them live is hazardous to your health.

Therefore thieves become sappers, and muggers become straight up killers.

Empowering bad actions to prevent being identified, say with enhancements to defensive psionics and disguising abilities, may reduce kill rates and enhance the rates of lesser crimes, perhaps paradoxically.

This of course assumes that staff be able to punish players abusing this power to kill needlessly, which staff already do anyway.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 11:02:44 PM by Harmless »
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1826
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #69 on: December 06, 2016, 11:00:51 PM »
Also, it's never a Fale party until someone dies.

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #70 on: December 06, 2016, 11:22:14 PM »
Quote
You say, "the fear of death is the entire point of a permadeath game". Well, okay, if that's the entire point, then people are doing what they should. They are avoiding any and all conflict because they are avoiding any and all risk of death.

If the entire point of a game is fear of death, then nothing ever gets done, period. People are simply too afraid and unmotivated to do anything.

This is misconstruing the statement.  The statement says that you, the player, are avoiding risky situations and thus not enjoying the game by diving into conflict out of fear that you could lose your character, or lose your plot, as a result.  So instead, you play passively.  However, the in-character world, while risk-averse, necessitates some brutality...unless everyone is doing the same thing, which is what we've come to and is now being discussed.

Drawing a line between those two dots isn't what the statement was about, which I think you understood just fine and wanted to say something witty and turn-against-you like.

I don't think that you meant to draw a line between those two points. I think there is a line between those two points. I think that people are afraid of death (be it ICly, OOCly, or both) and that it prevents them from doing as much as they otherwise could.

I don't think this is a reason to get rid of permadeath. I do think it's a reason we need to take a look at conflict risk/rewards as a whole.


Quote
It isn't the only solution.  Other solutions are come to often in the game.  I experience them often.  I use them often.  As a matter of fact, there are often things that occur that are small escalations, over and over, until someone dies, and then that is often portrayed as the only escalation that happened.  That is what I'm combatting here, is the simplification of the game to 'Everyone just kills everything and it's not fun!'

That's not true.  It's not remotely true.  People do die, and people do kill each other.  But as noted, this is not a proving grounds.

I think that we actually have similarities in what we are saying. We both agree that conflict should escalate and that murder is an option at some point, and a part of the game. Where we seem to differ is if there is currently progressive escalation before murder, or if things go to murder too fast. I think that's going to be something that is hard to definitively argue, since each will be based on our personal experiences, and what plots we were personally exposed to. It sounds like we both agree on what the goal is, however.


Quote
...are you actually asserting that jumping into combat with people with political connections and combat skills is -avoiding- risk?  That setting up assassinations is risk free?  Because that's what I was saying to you; resolving conflict is not bad.  Not bad at all.  If conflicts are engagements between you and another force with differing goals or ideologies, resolution is kind of the point.

No, I'm asserting that if there's two players, they may avoid getting too conflicting with each other out of concern that things will go from 0 to DEAD. That instead of engaging in conflict that could ultimately lead to death, many players would prefer to avoid that conflict, and be friends and work together, instead.

There's nothing inherently wrong with working together. There's some really fabulous things that can be accomplished that way, and oftentimes more things can be accomplished together then can be accomplished alone. It's just that it's not a conflict opportunity.


Quote
I played a character recently where I warred with a faction and people got dead.  But strangely enough, it actually de-escalated after that, when we agreed that pushing it further was unneeded.  It wasn't 'winning', it was agreement to get off each other's toes and end the conflict.  That's not impossible in the game, and it happens, and just because it isn't constantly happening in every conflict, or even most of them, doesn't mean the game itself or its mechanics need shifting to cater to non-aggression better.

Your example, while interesting, is still people avoiding conflict out of fear of death. In this case, it was after death occurred, rather then beforehand.

However, maybe there will be more conflict to your story. Maybe you will just attempt subtler conflict against each other, rather then straight-out murder. And really, isn't that pursuing one of the options we've been talking about all along?


Quote
Quote
Most cool stories aren't "things started getting somewhat annoying, so I decided to stab the other guy first".

Most stories in the game don't go that way either.  This is a gross hyperbole that keeps coming up.  Sometimes you make enemies, sometimes you don't, but the vast majority of the time, I do not see this jump that you're describing.

I guess there's nobody who can really chime in on this objectively, except perhaps staff. We each just see a tiny portion of the overall picture. Your portion and mine may be very different.


Quote
Quote
Most cool stories involve enemies, and plots, and sure they may include murder... But how often does a cool story have murder as the first action taken?

Against a main character?  Almost never.   But I think you're assuming that because you're involved and got killed, you were a main character.  Sometimes you're just an accessory in another story, or the beginning or detail of another conflict.  Just because you're the main character in your story doesn't make you a main character in all stories.

My assassin killing a noble from house snot-nose because he said the wrong thing seems out of sorts, until you find out that said assassin has ties with a group who that noble has been conflicting with for a long time and they've been complaining about him.  That noble wasn't shit to the assassin, he was just another notch of good faith with that other group to get what he needs out of them.  Not a main character in his story.  Just a main character in yours.

I think you have a good example here that does illustrate your point well.


Quote
Quote
Risks can be political disappointments and wasted effort as much as anything else.  It's so hard to get much of anything done in this game that I think a lot of people have simply given up trying.

This is true.  But that's not often what's talked about these threads, which is why I always come in opposing; I've not averse to anything you're talking about aside from the oft-taken stance that conflict should not often escalate to violence.

I think it's okay if conflict escalates to violence. The key word is escalates.


Quote
I think a lot of what makes things escalate faster than people are ready for is when it goes from a passive aggressive stance to an outright threat, then not expecting anything to come of it.  A lot of the people on Zalanthas only take shit from nobles and templars, and there are the ones who won't even do that without a vendetta forming in their head (elves in particular). A lot of them will remember that you had gear they could live off of for a year, and that you insulted them, to boot.  There's no reason in Zalanthas for that guy to hold off if he's given or creates an opportunity.  None.  And it's good that way.

Is it bad that my first reaction is that it strains my belief to have someone that concerned off of gear they could "live a year off of"? Indies are so ridiculously rich, it doesn't seem to me that this would come up often.

Secondly, it's going to depend on what the person did. If all they did was insult you? Jumping right to killing them seems pretty extreme. If they've been shitting on you over a long period of time and you're fed up with it, and the opportunity presents itself? Well, I could see someone taking advantage of that.


Quote
But ultimately, it comes down to 'Does this clan still serve a purpose so that we want it to be around, even though it just got rocked?'  If the answer is yes, then it survives.

I think this is very likely true. I'm going to argue with it anyways, not because I'm arguing with you, but because I am arguing with the underlying idea and concept.

I think that it should be possible to wipe out clans through IC means and IC actions. Sometimes there are clans weakened by fights on a virtual level; I think it would be interesting to see PCs try to take advantage of those weaknesses and completely decimate the other side. I think that players don't often try this, because we already OOCly assume (and perhaps not incorrectly) that it is futile. Maybe part of the stagnation that we're feeling is this OOC safety net of staff keeping around a clan (or at least players' perceptions that there is a safety net which makes it so they never even attempt to get rid of a clan).

As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2016, 11:30:50 PM »
Are there ways to have meaningful conflict that falls short of being lethal, or does it always have to come down to someone risking losing a character?

Depends on the type of conflict, but there certainly should be ways. Economic and political ventures, for example, can always be about sabotage and ruining someone, rather then death. Or simply out-maneuvering someone. Combat conflict usually has someone dying unless the PCs happen to be on the same team, so I don't have any non-lethal suggestions there.


Quote
Also, I believe that leaders and other types of characters with authority would do good to foster small-scale animosity and conflict where it doesn't already exist, even to their own detriment as long as it stimulates conflict in the game and is part of their character. It seems that many leaders are quick to make alliances and get along with other people in attempts to play it safe and while this is good in the short-term, in the long-term the organizations involved actually begin to stagnate in a sort of alliance malaise. It'd be good if groups/clans/organizations had a sort of middle ground where they would feud and fight but never enter into a total war situation.

There should definitely be middle ground options, I agree. If this eventually did become total war over time, that might not be bad either, but there's no reason that a little animosity should always end that way.

As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #72 on: December 06, 2016, 11:31:56 PM »
Also, it's never a Fale party until someone dies.

I thought it was never a Fale party until something was lit on fire.


There may be some overlap between these two ideals.
As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

John

  • Posts: 4035
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #73 on: December 07, 2016, 05:10:44 AM »
I still like my idea of a massive demon invasion.  ;D
Given how demons exist in Armageddon, that would be pretty wicked  :D
Quote from: RogueGunslinger
On Zalanthas most sweat would evaporate instantly and cool you easier, because there is no humidity. The extra air-flow of a kilt would also keep things dry.

Jingo

  • Posts: 4791
Re: The Massive Conflict Thread
« Reply #74 on: December 07, 2016, 07:12:52 AM »
In order for PC-PC conflict to be worth anyone's time there needs to be a change in how players kill one another.

As it stands we punish players that take risks. And the winners in any conflict will always be the players with the lowest play standards.
Now you're looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.