Author Topic: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?  (Read 31064 times)

Beethoven

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Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« on: March 26, 2016, 06:49:59 PM »
Is the practice of gating extended subguilds, for example, behind karma a good idea or a harmful one? Is karma becoming a way for privileged people to play privileged characters, rather than a means to restrict roles that require a certain amount of responsibility/RP chops/trust to players who have shown themselves capable? Or has karma always been the former, more or less?

Discuss.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 06:52:29 PM by Beethoven »

Beethoven

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 07:06:39 PM »
My two cents:

I agree with the sentiment that making extended subguilds karma-restricted is unnecessary and possibly a deterrent to new players. Players with karma will likely choose nothing but extended subguilds, so having a regular subguild functions as an unnecessary handicap for low or no-karma players. With magick it makes sense to an extent, because you don't want people who haven't learned to RP running around with pew pew magick, and some of these combinations require a measure of staff trust. But mundane extended subguilds? Nah.

My vote is to get rid of the handicap and make the extended subguilds regular subguilds. If staff fear that this will lead to too many submitted mastercrafts when everyone and their dog can mastercraft, then maybe make the mastercrafting subguilds the one exception, or find some other way to limit the barrage of mastercrafts.

I just don't think that tying extended subguilds to karma does much else besides punish newbies and those who otherwise haven't managed to accrue karma. And that doesn't sit right.

Funnily enough, I advocated tying extended subguilds to the karma system. I think Nyr even responded to my comment by saying they'd look into doing that, so perhaps I'm even partially to blame (or to thank, depending on your point of view) for the current situation. But for the most part, I suggested this idea because I was tired of blowing all my special applications on extended subguilds. After having more time to think about it, I actually think it would be better for the game (if more tedious for me) if we went back to the old spec-app-only system (although obviously I've already explained my first choice.) The last thing we want to be doing is discouraging new players.

Dresan

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 07:56:18 PM »
While I generally like the changes so far, I have to agree that all the changes are putting a lot more emphasis on the karma system. A system which is still considered biased, flawed and unfair by many. Despite its guidelines, the way karma is calculated is still really up to interpretation by whoever is reviewing you.


The majority of people don't get beyond two or three karma, even if they never play anything remotely twinky or threatening. This idea is probably not going to be popular but karma should be more of an automated process. After certain point of time played(we are talking months if not a year here) a player should probably be rewarded karma assuming there are no bad notes or concerns to their records. This should continue to a specific limit.  I feel that karma limit should be 5, forcing anything above 5 karma to be special app only. That said, ideally I feel the limit should be four karma but that is with the assumption players will be able to special app things four level above their karma instead of three.


Until the system is changed to a more automated process, the idea that staff rewards only people they like, their friends or just the people they are dating with karma is unfortunately a fair criticism.  :-[
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 08:00:38 PM by Dresan »
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RogueGunslinger

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 07:59:15 PM »
I'd be 100% okay with extended subs becoming normal subs. That sort of makes all the work done to subguilds pointless though. I think Karma works okay when players know about it and know the best way to get it is to communicate with staff with the request tool via karma reviews and updates. I never found not having karma to be an issue when I was new to the game. 

I don't think there should be any hard limits on special apps though, I don't think there's that much nuance when it comes to trusting a player to play a role correctly. Spec apps should not tie in with karma. So if it's a good concept and there aren't too many IG already, you should be able to play a Mul or psion or whatever. Someone wants to play a warrior/assassin double full guild with half their skills bumped, go for it. They'll both be dead ina month anyhow ;).

Nergal

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 08:12:46 PM »
While I generally like the changes so far, I have to agree that all the changes are putting a lot more emphasis on the karma system. A system which is still considered biased, flawed and unfair by many. Despite its guidelines, the way karma is calculated is still really up to interpretation by whoever is reviewing you.

Several members of the staff team pitch in to review players in many cases. It is not an autocratic process, although that also makes it slow.

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The majority of people don't get beyond two or three karma, even if they never play anything remotely twinky or threatening. This idea is probably not going to be popular but karma should be more of an automated process. After certain point of time played(we are talking months if not a year here) a player should probably be rewarded karma assuming there are no bad notes or concerns to their records. This should continue to a specific limit.  I feel that karma limit should be 5, forcing anything above 5 karma to be special app only. That said, ideally I feel the limit should be four karma but that is with the assumption players will be able to special app things four level above their karma instead of three.

Typically the cut-off is 4-5 karma before it starts to get harder to earn karma. I would say most players have the potential to reach it, however at the moment that requires them to put in regular karma reviews to kind of remind us to review them.

Quote
Until the system is changed to a more automated process, the idea that staff rewards only people they like, their friends or just the people they are dating with karma is unfortunately a fair criticism.  :-[

It used to be a fair criticism, for sure. Nowadays many players earn their first karma for longevity within six months, and new active players generally get up to two karma within a year. I see a lot of players who have earned their karma before the current review process, often 7-10+ years ago, and in many cases it is vague as to how they got that karma at best. I feel there are many low-karma players who deserve to be notched up and a few high-karma players that deserve, at the least, a review under the current guidelines. The question really becomes how staff can do this in a way that is fair for everyone.

I encourage anyone who is concerned about their karma level to put in a review and ask for feedback. That said, if you don't trust in the process enough to do even that then it's difficult to help.
  

BadSkeelz

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 08:13:54 PM »
Coat of Arms amd Vwests both had well-written posts on karma, its purpose, and how recent changes to Guilds and Subguilds have impacted the purpose of karma in their eyes.

Coat of Arms
http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50895.msg936436.html#msg936436

Vwest
http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50895.msg936490.html#msg936490

Here's my gut reaction to the first read-throughs
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The karma discussion is an interesting one but probably deserving of its own thread. For what it's worth, I've found respecting the virtual world to be the best path to karma. Assuming that the one karma point I got for leadership right after leading my clan into a spider nest was more of a joke than anything :P

A theme I see in both Vwest and Coat of Arms' views is that karma is conferring mechanical advantages on some players over others. To that I agree. A Mundane Guild with Magickal Subguild is probably codedly "Better" and stronger than a straight mundane. I think the Extended Subguilds are more of what a subguild should be than the old ones. For the extended mundane ones, I don't see much of a threat to giving 0 karma players them. I would just make them the new basic subguilds and leave karma subguilds to magick.

I think both Coat and Vwest are selling short the non-coded challenges that magicker characters (and to a degree other karma-restricted characters) face: a hostile virtual environment that they are always going to be outcast from. Karma isn't just a measure of how much staff trust you to wield coded power - it's a measure of how much you play to the virtual world and inhabit a realistic space in it. It's your responsibility with the documentation and the roleplay, as well as the code. There's an interchange between the two, but to think "Magickers have no (coded) weaknesses now because they have a Guild to ride on" does suggest a lack of understanding of magick's place in the world - one largely of being hated, feared, and excluded. If you don't uphold these non-coded disadvantages, if you just accept and play magickers, or master-riding reliable breeds, or smart-half giants, or anything else that gives a coded advantage simply because it's a coded advantage to do so - then I think you're inadvertently creating the nightmare world where Karma Players get to lord it over non-karma players with our super-powered no-downside races and subguilds.

The best means to maintain a game where Karma means something - and, in my opinion, the best way to earn karma - is to respect the documentation, play to the documentation, and try not to think of the game as simply coded advantages and disadvantages.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 08:16:54 PM by BadSkeelz »
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Norcal

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 08:21:19 PM »
Yes karma does fulfill its intended purpose. It is still used to limit very powerful and RP intensive roles to players who are trustworthy and capable. Yet it is also being used for some things for which I do not think it is needed.

Contrary to some posts in other threads, I do not believe that karma is given out to "privileged players" that "staff like", whatever that means. There are some guidelines for karma and I believe staff do try to apply them across the board. However, applying those guidelines is still very subjective, and that makes the system function in an illogical way at times, which can appear biased.

Staff did well to de-couple karma from account notes requests.  That was the first step . The second one is to set the karma system to milestones in terms of time played, IC, yet leaving room for direct action from staff IF THE PLAYER IS SEEN TO BEING DOING THINGS WHICH BREAK DOCUMENTATION AND OR RULES, OR IS SIMPLY IDLING OR OBVIOULSY NOT PUTING MUCH INTO THEIR RP.

Staff can then send the player a mail to tell them where they need to improve if they want to make karma at their next milestone.  Flag the account and watch them.  Yet for other players who -try- to RP well, respect docs etc, the progression would be automatic. No need for any subjective milestones. Play regularly, play by the rules, make an effort at rp and progress with karma.

 Now, as to the question of using Karma for extended subguild applications.  If karma is about trust then I do not know why certain ext subguilds are karma dependent.  If as a new -zero- karma player I am encouraged to play a merchant who can master craft, then I do not see why I need karma to play a human ranger who can master craft a sword. Certain ext subguilds do require some trust however and therefore should be karma dependent.

Now, having said that, if we make many of the existing ext subguilds karma dependent then many of the regular sub guilds would go into the bin. Who would play them? However if karma were tied to time played and some ext subguilds set at lower CGP costs, it would provide goals for new players and encourage some retention.

Also, change the name completely. Just use CGP. Get rid of the name karma.

And finally..with the fact that there are now gicker subguilds...there should also be gicker EXTENDED SUBGUILDS.......YES!
I voted and staff let my c-elf ride skimmers and pilot a wagon.

burble

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 09:25:34 PM »
If the difference between advanced and master wasn't so huge, then I doubt it would be a problem with extended subguilds costing CGP.
I've never mastercrafted an item and probably never will. But, I love mastercraft because you hardly ever fail.

Maybe I posted this years ago because it is a sore point, but I kept track on one character and with 2 tools, advanced arrowmaking he was hitting 60% success on making arrows.
You figure the time to get branches around Tuluk, take them to Nak, cut branches into shafts, find shards (fortunately they don't break if you fail) and buy feathers then sit in an apartment and actually craft the arrows and you can easily spend hours of play time just grebbing/making arrows. Then after all that trouble almost half the supplies are wasted.
I pick a mastercraft extended subguild for this reason only, no other.

To me it seems that advanced = D- and master = A++.  And everybody has knows about cooking.  ;)


Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 09:40:26 PM »
I would like to see a system which gave a single karma to players who have played a certain number of hours on their account and who have been playing for two years. Any more karma after that would have to be reviewed. This is because I would prefer it if people got reviewed before being allowed to make warriors with krok skin because frankly that is going to be terrifying. Also, there's definitely a number of badly-played mages out there, and I've played my fair share, and that was in the three or four year range of my own time here.

Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 09:44:07 PM »
It is my honest opinion that one needs to play bad mages/play badly around mages before they play any good ones, thus with the karma after two years thing (for touched options), but maybe I just played real badly or something.

Jingo

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 10:28:42 PM »


For those crawling masses hoping to get their plebeian hands on this scarcely doled marker of status; 8-Karma Master Race Jingo recommends putting in a karma review.
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Dresan

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 10:42:48 PM »
Thanks for the reply Negral. Frankly, I got some of my karma back in the days you still toggled the RP review flag in game. I remember I eventually got the message, in game too I believe, "Watched you a couple days. Your role-playing seems fine to me. You might want to avoid backstabbing animals though". This was over 10 years ago now I think so times have changed in more ways than one. Back then, you didn't ask for karma, if got noticed by someone in staff, they awarded you karma, the assumption being that you were RPing well.


That said, just a couple years ago I would have wouldn't have even posted in a discussion like this because karma was more or less useless, I didn't think that was a bad thing. I didn't like playing mages, I just liked playing mundanes. You didn't need karma if you just like playing mundanes, unfortunately these days however there are a lot of interesting options for mundanes using karma. I say unfortunately because again despite liking all the changes and having enough karma for a healthy selection already, I agree there is something about it all that still feels a bit unfair.

On top of that, there is also the other issue: why play a gladiator or thief when I can play aggressor or rogue with enough karma, I'm hoping some of the CGP ideas somehow still addresses this issue, where I might be tempted to pick a lower level sub-guiild and the be able to invest the rest of my karma in something else like skill bumps. I know there are still more changes coming so I'm eager to see how it all turns out. :)

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Armaddict

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2016, 10:48:50 PM »
Quote
I feel there are many low-karma players who deserve to be notched up and a few high-karma players that deserve, at the least, a review under the current guidelines. The question really becomes how staff can do this in a way that is fair for everyone.

Way back when, a common way to get karma was to submit a special app for something just above your karma level and play it out.  If you could do it in a way that seemed constructive, they'd sometimes let you keep it when you emailed in to say they hadn't removed that option yet.

You can do with mine what you want.  Just don't remove my ability to play mundanes or I'll cut you.
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ChibiTama

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2016, 11:28:40 PM »
For as long as I have been playing... I'm ashamed to admit I don't really know -how- to earn karma...
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Dar

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2016, 01:20:50 AM »
If I understand it correctly. The finale of the whole karma/subguilds/CGP revamp is that karma will become spendable. So arguments that a high karma player has no reason 'not' to choose an extended subguild would not work. As in, an 8 karma player could make a chara with extended subguilds and a buncha skill bumps and then die within a day. Now he'll need to wait ... 8 months to regenerate 8 CGP? So only mundanes for him!  That's how I understood the CGP's "final" form to be. It's just taking its sweet time to get there.

Once that system is in place. Even those ranger/gicker lot will not be as common. Since their lifespans will be markedly shorter then mundanes ... I hope.

BrokenRomance

  • Posts: 176
Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2016, 03:11:35 AM »
If I understand it correctly. The finale of the whole karma/subguilds/CGP revamp is that karma will become spendable. So arguments that a high karma player has no reason 'not' to choose an extended subguild would not work. As in, an 8 karma player could make a chara with extended subguilds and a buncha skill bumps and then die within a day. Now he'll need to wait ... 8 months to regenerate 8 CGP? So only mundanes for him!  That's how I understood the CGP's "final" form to be. It's just taking its sweet time to get there.

Once that system is in place. Even those ranger/gicker lot will not be as common. Since their lifespans will be markedly shorter then mundanes ... I hope.

I hope to Krath not. I'd hate to put in a review, and be content to finally get just one or two karma then lose it because some idiot in an alleyway decided he wanted my merchant's counting rod more than I did and my life was in the way. Then I'm stuck trying to get back to where I can try again and probably never playing another city character.

I personally think the way the system is works out. You get most of the extended subguild stuff with the very basic core guilds, especially merchant. A lot of the extended subguilds are a way to be something like a merchant that can fight or a ranger that can eventually make that bow everyone keeps paying a three large for that you just can't save up for. It's a powerful thing, and if you ask me it's something that new players should hope for and not outright have handed to them. You shouldn't be able to be a completely self-supplied with mastercraft items ranger on your first character.

I'm not even sure anything I just said makes sense, but there's my two cents.
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hyzhenhok

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2016, 04:22:12 AM »
If I understand it correctly. The finale of the whole karma/subguilds/CGP revamp is that karma will become spendable. So arguments that a high karma player has no reason 'not' to choose an extended subguild would not work. As in, an 8 karma player could make a chara with extended subguilds and a buncha skill bumps and then die within a day. Now he'll need to wait ... 8 months to regenerate 8 CGP? So only mundanes for him!  That's how I understood the CGP's "final" form to be. It's just taking its sweet time to get there.

Once that system is in place. Even those ranger/gicker lot will not be as common. Since their lifespans will be markedly shorter then mundanes ... I hope.

This doesn't address the central problem, which is that it doesn't make sense to combine mundane extended subguilds with the original karma structure, assuming the purpose of karma was about keeping difficult, powerful, abuse-able roles in the hands of trustworthy, proven players. Extended subguilds don't get anything main guilds don't; there's nothing difficult or powerful or abuse-able about them that doesn't exist in 0-karma main_guild form. For skill boosts it's even worse. That problem remains if you swap karma for CGP.

Frankly, I think it implies something very unpleasant: that karma was never about trust. It was never about preventing abuse. It was about rewarding (some) veterans with perks. And that proposed CGP system just makes that explicitly true.

I give staff the benefit doubt and think it's actually just a mistake of crossed wires. 1) We want to gate access to magickers, and 2) We want more varied and more powerful options for mundane characters. It's understandable that you'd try to take out two birds with one stone. It just doesn't work here.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 04:27:29 AM by hyzhenhok »

Patuk

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2016, 09:27:15 AM »
The argument that karma essentially gives your character coded perks and flashy things isn't wrong, per se. If you take that to be the central issue, arguing that it isn't so sounds silly. What you'd want to instead look at is whether or not it's wrong to give some people access to characters that can shoot fireballs and fly around whilst keeping them shut off from others - especially when this measure is by its very nature added or subtracted in a subjective system.
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Warsong

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2016, 10:36:18 AM »
I definitely think that all players should at least have the same mundane guild opportunities. Races and magick probably have to remain karma, but there I'd also recommend doing something that makes it so the new elementalists aren't just objectively superior to mundane characters. We've already lost what made elementalists unique and interesting, it would be nice to not also lose what previously made playing a mundane feel worthwhile and compelling.

Lukoyin

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2016, 11:02:26 AM »
Personally, I don't care about Karma. Likely because it never impacted me one way or the other, I suppose. I have 4, and I've been playing for something like 13-14 years. The last time I got a karma point was from Belenos, somewhere around 6 to 8 years ago?

Still played at least one of everything out there, including Psi/Sorc. But, 99% of my pcs have been and will continue to be mundane human merchant/ranger/warrior, with a basic subguild. I love the extended, I love the changes being made on mages, too. But, meh, just saying it doesn't much matter to me.

valeria

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2016, 11:43:09 AM »
... Frankly, I think it implies something very unpleasant: that karma was never about trust. It was never about preventing abuse. It was about rewarding (some) veterans with perks. And that proposed CGP system just makes that explicitly true. ...

I disagree.  It makes perfect sense to me why ESG are behind a karma wall:

Staff trust is required for more codedly powerful things.
More codedly powerful things are behind a karma wall.
Extended subguilds are more codedly powerful things.
Extended subguilds are behind a karma wall.
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whitt

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2016, 12:48:14 PM »
For as long as I have been playing... I'm ashamed to admit I don't really know -how- to earn karma...

You submit a Karma Review request in the Request Tool about once every six months. 

Staff discusses offline and voila.  Karma.  (Or not) Then just wait a bit and rinse wash repeat.
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Dar

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2016, 01:27:14 PM »
I always understood the skill bumps thing being granted by Karma. Those with high karma have probably played awhile. And by awhile I mean years. They've done the whole skill grinding thing and arent really all that excited about it. So when a character dies, the temptation exists to just go "fuck it" I best go see the sun IRL instead of starting anew with some new chara. Skill Bumps kind of alleviate this, by allowing a character start with greater skill levels, skipping some of the grind.  And the issue of trust is understandable as well. You dont want a griefer getting a bunch of griefing skills bumped up, just to quickly cause some chaos before he is deaded off.

To a much lesser degree, but still close enough, the extended subguilds fall into that category. By the time you hit your karma 3-4, you've probably played a few roles. You've explored all those different guilds and so on and so on. So here's something different to wet your beak in.

Personally. I do not mind having 'extra' options available to karma. In the end of things. Every mundane 0 karma guild can become powerful. And twinks do get lethal on a pretty steady basis. I still remember ... oooph <insert any other example of a guy who went out into the wilderness to skill up on npcs, only to do some dumb shit to players later, with no story, no explanation, and no point>. None of that is bannable offense. None of it is 'really' against the rules. But it's just dickish.

Setting aside the commonplace "mistrust" into staff judgements that's displayed so often on GDB. Having extra toys behind the karma barrier just to encourage better play in people is not such a bad thing. All of the extended sub guilds are available upon special application. And they're all within 1-3 karma level.

IAmJacksOpinion

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2016, 01:49:17 PM »
I think "submit a karma review" should be bolded and underlined on the karma help page. I'm from the bad old unregulated days wheye I once received a point for solo rping beating up my Kank when it wouldn't go anywhere for 20 tries in a row. There weren't really guidelines, but even then I got most of my karma for emailing in and asking.

I do like that the extended subguilds are behind a karma wall because I feel they actually are quite powerful. A warrior who can sneak up on you and initiate combat with a 60+ hp blow is scary, plain and simple. Frankly, I don't even like that they're no longer limited per year. Some folks will never app a regular subguilds again. (I know I sure wont.)

However I also like the idea that karma could be on a level schedule. Maybe 1 at 6 months, 2 at a year, 3 at to years assuming active playtimes and no bad notes, and the rest is up to merrit. It does seem ridiculous that people have played this game for years and years and have no karma. I'm sure for some people it's intentional, but I'm willing to bet most people were simply overlooked.
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Dresan

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Re: Karma: is it no longer fulfilling its intended purpose?
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2016, 01:55:58 PM »
The fact still remains that one of the biggest issues with the current karma system is that normal sub-guilds become obsolete after a person gets a bit of karma.  With the introduction of both extended-sub guilds AND elemental sub-guilds it feels like it is this way.  It is hard to look at normal sub-guilds in the same way especially with such a variety of additional powerful sub-guilds to continually choose. With just extended sub-guilds, I kinda ignored it because Elemental guilds could still make use of these normal sub-guilds however that has changed.

This is almost a derail but I wonder its the the main guilds need to be trimmed down to their very core themes with no additional frills and whistles to allow everyone to be able to pick a regular sub-guild to balance them out. And then, if you have the karma you can pick one addition extended sub-guild on top of that as a bonus. This would probably close to the original Arm 2 plan where everyone would pick almost dual classes.

To give you an idea of what this might look like with just warrior, they would lose stuff like bandage, skin, there would be no ride or branching direction sense added like I was hoping. They would just have their core skills, which would then be complemented by a sub-guilds and the option to further boost that with an addition extended sub-guild if you have the karma. The current character creation would support this easily, just extended and magick-subguilds would be an addition choice after selecting a regular sub-guild.  
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