Author Topic: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections  (Read 1248 times)

Akaramu

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2017, 05:20:14 PM »
As someone who actively tried to get a tavern running at some point, I found it incredibly hard (and frustrating) to have my IC efforts recognized and credited. I wasn't the one who started the player clan in question, but I ended up doing most of the work (months and months of solo RP, for the most part). I reported what I was doing in the usual character reports.

Things were moving forward, a staffer built the NPCs we'd been promised for ages. The NPCs were ready to go.

Then staff rotated, and the new staff wasn't aware of my months, and months, and months of solo RP and what I had done. The response to my reports was 'tell (insert player who started the clan) to send a request. Nevermind my months, and months of effort. I felt it was all for nothing because staff rotated and apparently no one had left notes on where the project was standing, and that the promised NPCs were ready to be implemented. I needed those NPCs so I could stop solo RPing / AFK idling and focus on more fun things away from the tavern.

I quit over this, more or less. This and the elementalist changes.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 05:25:40 PM by Akaramu »

Feco

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2017, 07:20:10 AM »
My relatively brief experience with the system was overwhelmingly positive -- in particular, the early stages (1-3) seem pretty well put together, and I think have a good pace to them.  This is especially true after the most recent set of changes to them (which are actually a bit tough to find, but they're on the forum).  This system facilitated a style of play that would have otherwise been awkward (working out of apartments, having to rely on stock NPCs all the time, etc).

I suspect my success was due to reporting.  I find that regular, detailed, and most importantly, on topic, reports make it 1000000% easier to do anything with staff.  It keys them in to what I'm thinking and wanting, and they can help me set expectations and facilitate my needs.

I had some criticisms/thoughts about the upper levels, but it was a lot of stuff best not discussed on the forum.  I passed my thoughts on to staff.  I encourage everyone who has used to system to do the same.

Just thought I'd share that, seeing as some people had negative experiences.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 07:23:17 AM by Feco »
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Riev

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2017, 11:15:58 AM »
I had some criticisms/thoughts about the upper levels, but it was a lot of stuff best not discussed on the forum.  I passed my thoughts on to staff.  I encourage everyone who has used to system to do the same.

Just thought I'd share that, seeing as some people had negative experiences.

Normally a great idea, but for those who have not had a positive experience with the system, going to the staff members who may have been a part of the negative experience is a poor method of handling it.

I don't know Akaramu's exact experience by any means, but I don't see how her sending in more requests for 3-4 faceless staff members to mull over would be any different than having sent in the requests she has.

This thread is for the discussion of an initiative that has been in place for a while now, consequent to the implementation of warehouses. Staff have said a few people have gotten up to the point of being allowed to use warehouses, but maybe two have gotten use of vendors, and none have become an MMH in their own right. So the discussion is: Does this seem to be as intended? Is there too much work and time investment required on behalf of players? Should there be more?

If left to "just staff" to review these questions, things will not change. It is on us to have our own input to the system, and my personal opinion based anecdotally on the number of "successful integrations" of this new change is that it is only affecting less than 5% of the playerbase, if we have 200 players a week and only 2 have gotten past Stage 3.
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Brokkr

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2017, 12:32:15 PM »
Most stages in the PC clan progression are highly, highly dependent on the founder.  As originally designed, they were wholly dependent on the founder.  Since then, we have allowed highly involved seconds to take over PC clans, with fairly harsh penalties, when a founder is permanently out of the picture.  There are not multiple leaders of a PC clan until the MMH stage.

If the founder falters, the clan falters.

Riev

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2017, 01:33:21 PM »
Most stages in the PC clan progression are highly, highly dependent on the founder.  As originally designed, they were wholly dependent on the founder.  Since then, we have allowed highly involved seconds to take over PC clans, with fairly harsh penalties, when a founder is permanently out of the picture.  There are not multiple leaders of a PC clan until the MMH stage.

If the founder falters, the clan falters.

This is actually super informative. It makes a little more sense why things fail, if they were so focused on one player "going the distance" with all the work that needed to happen. I think its a good start that they were loosened to at least a heavily involved Second.
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Is Friday

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2017, 01:42:26 PM »
That sounds like an arbitrary rule. What's the reasoning for enforcing a rule like that?
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Jihelu

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2017, 01:44:57 PM »
That sounds like an arbitrary rule. What's the reasoning for enforcing a rule like that?
I guess to ruin the fun of a clan because someone lawl assassinated the leader.

Or maybe it's a pain in the butt to keep information updated and staff thinks that clan leadership would just pass hands all willy nilly when a leader dies...
Kinda like how...you know, the other clans currently work.

I don't see why you can't just "Here's the one thousand coin registration fee to have my buddy here added to the list of 'he can take over when I die" If I recall at a certain level someone can pay the fee to make the clan a clan...
But it's like, something stupid like 5-10k and you've still gotta pay more fines.

In a game where coin means basically nothing there seems to be a lot of it being required for clans.
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TheGoose

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2017, 01:45:32 PM »
Most stages in the PC clan progression are highly, highly dependent on the founder.  As originally designed, they were wholly dependent on the founder.  Since then, we have allowed highly involved seconds to take over PC clans, with fairly harsh penalties, when a founder is permanently out of the picture.  There are not multiple leaders of a PC clan until the MMH stage.

If the founder falters, the clan falters.

Well, that's depressing.

Riev

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2017, 01:48:16 PM »
That sounds like an arbitrary rule. What's the reasoning for enforcing a rule like that?

I think to enforce the fact that the GMHs are built on family... and since nobody has put out a Family Role Call specifically designed to set up a family based MMH... then a Clan is only as strong as its leader. Clearly, without the reputation that leader has, the clan is doomed to fail.

I don't necessarily agree with it, but that's the angle I can see staff coming from to enforce.
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Brokkr

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2017, 02:03:05 PM »
From help Player-Created Clans:

Quote
Contract is specific to the founder.

Quote
Clans developed through this process are not immune to the results of their members' machinations. In other words, player and staff investment into a clan do not necessarily mean that the clan will be durable or extend beyond the life of the PC. IC and even OOC factors can lead to setbacks or even clan dissolution.

It is surprising to me that this is a surprise.

Riev

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2017, 02:05:32 PM »
I don't know that its a "surprise", at least in the manner that IsFriday put it. It sounded more like he was saying "that is an arbitrary rule". Because that's what he said. Exactly.

He didn't say it was "surprising". Even my comment was geared specifically toward the loosening of allowing it to possibly live on under Secondaries, because that WASN'T the case before.

So. Which one of us said it was a surprise, that ended up surprising you?
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Brokkr

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2017, 02:23:45 PM »
  • Trading company is the first time a player clan is officially recognized as an organization.  Before that, the warehouse, shopkeepers, etc. are hired directly by the founder.  It isn't arbitrary that if the founder flounders,
     or dies, that the clan fails IC'ly because of this.
  • It is important to have mechanisms for other folks to attempt to make a player clan fail.  That is alluded to in the helpfile.  It is not arbitrary that there is a mechanism allowing for them to do so.
  • A clan where there are several members who could ensure its survival would be extremely durable.

It seemed to me that what I stated was unexpected, by use of words like "arbitrary", "depressing" and "super informative", which indicate deviations from expectations.  It was unexpected that folks would find this unexpected, given a logical interpretation of what is in the helpfile, and withholding personal bias for what they would like to see happen.

Riev

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2017, 02:35:43 PM »
What you stated was that "Originally, only the one PC mattered". It was surprising to me that there was a Second allowed, and furthermore that there were "harsh penalities" for the use of a Second.

It is unexpected (to you) that folks (players) would find the staff's adherence to helpfiles "unexpected". Is that what you're saying?

My interpretation of what you said, and the helpfiles, is that there is NO SECONDARY ALLOWED because multiple leaders are not allowed until the full MMH stage. So what you said? Informative. As in, not in the helpfiles. Could not be logically concluded based on the information given.

What it sounds like others are saying? "Sounds like you put this rule into place for an arbitrary reason. What is the reason behind it?". I say that, because that's exactly what was said.

That sounds like an arbitrary rule. What's the reasoning for enforcing a rule like that?

So. The reason for enforcing that rule, is because its a rule. A rule that was made, but we don't know why. The only information we're given is:

Code: [Select]
*  Clans developed through this process are not immune to the results
of their members' machinations.  In other words, player and staff
investment into a clan do not necessarily mean that the clan will be
durable or extend beyond the life of the PC.  IC and even OOC factors
can lead to setbacks or even clan dissolution.

This seems to be a caveat pre-empting complaints that a clan died out because someone assassinated the head of the clan, or because the leader suddenly stopped playing (ooc factors). Has this been the case for a significant number of applicants? have most been "content" at staying at the Warehouse level/
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Eluin

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2017, 02:46:14 PM »
What's wrong with a clan being durable though? If it has the interest and passion to succeed even after the death of its founder that seems to me to be a good reason to let it keep going.

That doesn't disallow people to make it fail, and if anything it seems like it would make for a more interesting story to try to do so than an arbitrary single death. It becomes less "kill this one person and you win." And more "kill this one person, and their successor too, and/or demoralize and sabatoge them till the clan is actually dead."

Waiting till the very last stage to allow that at all is a bit unusual. From a RP perspective. Even the argument that the founder hired things on directly falls a little flat to me considering there shouldn't really be anything to stop 2-3 people all going into a venture as equal partners doing everything together from the start  (other than lack of trust and possible backstabbing of course.)

One person died all is lost is very much arbitrary. There are situations where it makes sense, but there are also situations where it doesn't really make sense at all. Beyond just a particularly dedicated second in command taking over, is there any flexibility for situations like that?

Molten Heart

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2017, 02:56:11 PM »
From an IC perspective, as long as -the powers that be- who are supplying things to the group of players continues to receive the money/service/political support the group of players is supplying, it'd make sense the powers that be would want to continue for the same reason they started in the first place.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 02:58:09 PM by Molten Heart »

Feco

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2017, 03:43:32 PM »
I had some criticisms/thoughts about the upper levels, but it was a lot of stuff best not discussed on the forum.  I passed my thoughts on to staff.  I encourage everyone who has used to system to do the same.

Just thought I'd share that, seeing as some people had negative experiences.

Normally a great idea, but for those who have not had a positive experience with the system, going to the staff members who may have been a part of the negative experience is a poor method of handling it.

I don't know Akaramu's exact experience by any means, but I don't see how her sending in more requests for 3-4 faceless staff members to mull over would be any different than having sent in the requests she has.

This thread is for the discussion of an initiative that has been in place for a while now, consequent to the implementation of warehouses. Staff have said a few people have gotten up to the point of being allowed to use warehouses, but maybe two have gotten use of vendors, and none have become an MMH in their own right. So the discussion is: Does this seem to be as intended? Is there too much work and time investment required on behalf of players? Should there be more?

If left to "just staff" to review these questions, things will not change. It is on us to have our own input to the system, and my personal opinion based anecdotally on the number of "successful integrations" of this new change is that it is only affecting less than 5% of the playerbase, if we have 200 players a week and only 2 have gotten past Stage 3.

I didn't say there's anything wrong with a public discussion.

It's just that you can be more specific with a staff-side communication, and you don't have to wait a year to discuss potentially sensitive information.  The more real-time the feedback, the better, I think.

Go HAM with both.
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BadSkeelz

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2017, 03:52:19 PM »
That doesn't disallow people to make it fail, and if anything it seems like it would make for a more interesting story to try to do so than an arbitrary single death. It becomes less "kill this one person and you win." And more "kill this one person, and their successor too, and/or demoralize and sabatoge them till the clan is actually dead."

If you flip it around it also doesn't make a lot of sense: Rules that discourage the use of Seconds and ensure that the clan is effectively with the dead with the death of the Founder sound like something that would discourage inner-clan machinations. What Second is going to want to usurp the Leader if it leads to the clan-application being deleted by Staff?
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Vex

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2017, 03:54:27 PM »
That sounds like an arbitrary rule. What's the reasoning for enforcing a rule like that?

It sounds more and more like, resentment.
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Is Friday

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2017, 04:00:26 PM »
I've never run a MMH myself. I've just seen a dozen come and go failing to make any lasting impact. Some of which struggled for RL years to get one knick knack or store front. I don't really like the system as it is from my viewpoint (the outside looking in.) I don't want to invest that much of my life as a clan lead or as a member of a MMH with the hopes that it will actually cause real change or have some impact on the static game world.

I understand that you don't want everyone to own their special slice of the Known and be Kings in their own right. But this feels too far on the other end of the spectrum, to me.

And with arbitrary rules like "When your clan lead dies, so does the clan"--that to me really just reinforces that it's rather pointless to try unless you're willing to devote years of your life for a 1% chance of success.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 04:02:28 PM by Is Friday »
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Akariel

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2017, 04:40:40 PM »
In the last two and a half years two player clan leaders have died due to political machinations. One clan had it's leader killed, and then was systematically killed until they stopped calling themselves that clan - this was completely player on player violence.

The second had it's leader killed, and continued to exist normally with the second.

The other ~10 or so player clans that have tried to get started since then generally don't make it for reasons unrelated to a situation like is being talked about here. (Maybe the leader didn't hire anyone and ran into a beetle, or decided they were done with the clan and were stepping down to not run a player clan any more, ect.)

Suffice it to say, staff are more than happy to try and keep player clans going if possible - and active communication between leaders of a player clan and staff only bolsters that. If we know what you're thinking or what you're doing, we have a lot more to work with if you finally kick the bucket and Talia comes to us saying she wants to take all your hard work and ruin... Err... Run it.

Lizzie

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2017, 04:43:58 PM »
1. I saw a school started in Tuluk that died due to lack of interest after its founder was gone. Some folks tried to perk it back up but failed, part of it was transformed into a museum that no one ever visited.

2. I saw a guy start a clan in Allanak that still has a shop there with an NPC vendor, and it's less than a few years since it was founded and its founder is gone, and so are all its original members, save perhaps one. At the present time I'm not aware of a single PC member of it, save that one - though I'm sure it's possible more than one exists.

3. I was a member of a group that has had various incarnations of itself over the years, but was never able to solidify because people kept dying or storing. The group still exists, it is likely to always exist, with a different name and different members, but the same purpose and function and general concept of leadership.

Personally I'm a fan of #3, above. I like the fluidity, it is much more representative of Zalanthas, in my opinion. The GMHs will always be there but always with different leadership. The noble houses and templarates will always be there, but always with different leadership and even contributors to their existence. Same with the tribes. The fact that these non-established, non-"official" groups come and go fits the theme perfectly, on a more playable level.
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Armaddict

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2017, 05:15:18 PM »
Quote
3. I was a member of a group that has had various incarnations of itself over the years, but was never able to solidify because people kept dying or storing. The group still exists, it is likely to always exist, with a different name and different members, but the same purpose and function and general concept of leadership.

This is the ideal for me, as well, but you have to accept it with the caveat that this was all put into place to make a 'concrete' way of receiving coded IC boons for your clan, rather than just working towards things and hoping staff would work with you.  I think this also relieved some of the staff burden of the appearance of favoritism, as well, though arguably that's backfiring with some of the testimonials above.  Not that they're showing favoritism, but that the bar is so high that those goals are not attainable for most players of the game.

Me, I'm really happy with just people being able to get a space to share, and that's that.  But I'm notoriously not-craft-based or mercantile or anything.  A gang with a hideout is all I need, even if that gang dies out.
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Veselka

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2017, 06:12:03 PM »
I've never run a MMH myself. I've just seen a dozen come and go failing to make any lasting impact. Some of which struggled for RL years to get one knick knack or store front. I don't really like the system as it is from my viewpoint (the outside looking in.) I don't want to invest that much of my life as a clan lead or as a member of a MMH with the hopes that it will actually cause real change or have some impact on the static game world.

I understand that you don't want everyone to own their special slice of the Known and be Kings in their own right. But this feels too far on the other end of the spectrum, to me.

And with arbitrary rules like "When your clan lead dies, so does the clan"--that to me really just reinforces that it's rather pointless to try unless you're willing to devote years of your life for a 1% chance of success.

Quite true. While Akariel cites reasons like:

Quote
The other ~10 or so player clans that have tried to get started since then generally don't make it for reasons unrelated to a situation like is being talked about here. (Maybe the leader didn't hire anyone and ran into a beetle, or decided they were done with the clan and were stepping down to not run a player clan any more, ect.)

I can only think that while Staff has a kind of omnipotent oversight in that they can review Runlogs and poof-in and out of places at will, they don't quite have a grasp on the motivation behind Players (not PCs) pursuing something like a player-made clan.

From what I can posit, the motivation a player has behind creating a player-run clan is making a lasting impact on the world in some fashion or another. To create something new that may last. While this may or may not actually be the result, or the case with every person, I can only imagine the reason they didn't join House Salarr or Kurac or the Byn is they decided the particular PC would be motivated to create their own thing.

The conflicting things i'm seeing from Staff's presentation of the helpfiles and language choice is that this policy was enacted before current Staff came on Staff, and they are now stuck towing the party line. There were updates to the system by Xalle (and presumably other Staff had input there as well). But as we have seen with Tuluk, endless revisions do not necessarily mean the system is non-functional.

In my opinion, the lack of participation by the Playerbase should indicate that the system is simply not fun to engage with. It appears at once top-heavy and not centered around the game, but around the request tool. The fact that Feco can claim having a positive interaction, whereas most players agree the system is clunky and needs modification to run smoothly, indicates that he had active Staff members to interact with who were on board with his vision/concepts. This to me is the essence of bias and favoritism (no offense, Feco).

If the system cannot run on its own, with Staff oversight and guidance but not direct intervention, it will suffer from consequences such as favoritism (one PC getting more attention/success than the next PC with similar circumstances), bias (one PC having more obstacles placed before them than other PCs due to Staff perception/likes/dislikes), and non-participation (real/perceived obstacles too difficult to overcome, risk vs. reward and time-sink ratio too large a leap to justify).

I don't think the system is terrible as it stands -- I think having obstacles and time-based requirements makes sense for multiple tracks within a 'player clan system'. I would challenge Staff to examine the system objectively if possible, and see if it's worth having a player-clan system at all, and if this experiment would be considered successful or not. I think it might be worth Staff interviewing the people who attempted to use the system, and find out what they liked/didn't like, and what their experience was like. Speculation and guess-work yields often skewed perceptions. This could be alleviated from taking player opinions seriously, rather than with a grain of salt and superior-sounding assertions.

Along the lines of what Lizzie is saying (and I don't think is unfair to posit) -- Creating a lasting impact on the game world does not seem to fit in with the Setting, intrinsically. From what I gather, players stories are meant to be ephemeral. To be remembered at all is a feat in itself, and for years after your PCs death, a legend. But to create player clans in this kind of environment seems to work against what Staff presents as the 'World View' of life on Zalanthas. Perhaps creating player clans shouldn't even be a possibility.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:19:08 PM by Veselka »

Lizzie

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2017, 06:31:10 PM »
I think your entire argument falls short, because of just these two things:

In my opinion, the lack of participation by the Playerbase should indicate that the system is simply not fun to engage with.
and this:
Quote
Perhaps creating player clans shouldn't even be a possibility.

In the first, you're judging 1) that there's a lack of participation.

What constitutes "enough" participation? Quantify it. I challenge you to that, because there are extremes on either side. On the one hand - none, or maybe just one failed attempt, might be indicative of something significant. On the other hand, if everyone was doing it, it would cease to be a special thing, and by extension, no one would bother anymore.

You're also judging that 2) the lack of "fun" is the reason why there is some non-quantified lack of participation.

I posit that 1) there is no such lack, and 2) the reason it's not MORE popular, is because most people simply aren't interested in creating their own player clan. Some want to be a mage, and do magey things. Some want to be independent. Some want to be in an established clan. Some want to be members of someone else's clan, and not run or create their own. Some just want to kill stuff with bone swords. Some want to adventure. There are as many reasons for people to not want to create a player clan, as there are people not trying to create a player clan.

The second thing - that perhaps player clans shouldn't even be a possibility - seems to be cutting your nose off to spite your face. Especially considering that several clans that exist currently, do so because players created them. House Terash and the Atrium comes to mind.
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Veselka

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Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2017, 06:40:29 PM »
I think your entire argument falls short, because of just these two things:

In my opinion, the lack of participation by the Playerbase should indicate that the system is simply not fun to engage with.
and this:
Quote
Perhaps creating player clans shouldn't even be a possibility.

In the first, you're judging 1) that there's a lack of participation.

What constitutes "enough" participation? Quantify it. I challenge you to that, because there are extremes on either side. On the one hand - none, or maybe just one failed attempt, might be indicative of something significant. On the other hand, if everyone was doing it, it would cease to be a special thing, and by extension, no one would bother anymore.


Speculative. I would quantify 'enough' participation as being 1-3 Player Clans made per RL year, and 1-2 of those clans being destroyed/decimated/absorbed per RL year.


Quote
You're also judging that 2) the lack of "fun" is the reason why there is some non-quantified lack of participation.

I posit that 1) there is no such lack, and 2) the reason it's not MORE popular, is because most people simply aren't interested in creating their own player clan. Some want to be a mage, and do magey things. Some want to be independent. Some want to be in an established clan. Some want to be members of someone else's clan, and not run or create their own. Some just want to kill stuff with bone swords. Some want to adventure. There are as many reasons for people to not want to create a player clan, as there are people not trying to create a player clan.

I would agree there are more reasons than the system not being fun that it's not wildly successful.

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The second thing - that perhaps player clans shouldn't even be a possibility - seems to be cutting your nose off to spite your face. Especially considering that several clans that exist currently, do so because players created them. House Terash and the Atrium comes to mind.

I merely question the purpose behind having a player-clan system in a Game World that does not encourage lasting longevity of player made clans. It seems to be at odds with the mission statement of ArmageddonMUD, in that there is no common literacy (legacy with writing for common people doesn't exist), there is no emphasis on religion or history, and static monopolies/large organizations with some wiggle room.