Author Topic: The Allanak Problem  (Read 29339 times)

Gentleboy

  • Posts: 246
The Allanak Problem
« on: August 19, 2020, 03:53:28 AM »
I think we all know it, but right now, Allanak has barely a population of players.

Why? What can we do to bring people to this 'RP Hub'? And honestly, is it worth pushing any RP into it?

Allanak feels like a tired thing. The city is just one road with three taverns off of it. None of the rumor boards have been updated in about two weeks. No one outside of Allanak seems to even need Allanak anymore. Everyone who is located there seems kinda tired and those of us in the city currently try to make the best out of it. Cause we're stuck in our plots. Literally stuck in a city with barely any foot traffic.

Would it be better to just open up a chasm and let Allanak fall into it? Start anew? Or should we try to keep pumping blood into an empty city?

X-D

  • Posts: 5789
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 04:11:01 AM »
Once upon a time...not really too horribly long ago. There was plenty of complaints that nobody played in storm or Luirs etc...because everybody played in Allanak and Tuluk. They played in Tuluk because...well, Allanak and they played in Allanak because...well...Tuluk. Then Tuluk was closed for staff and player consolidation. I stated at the time that it would not work and that players would just start playing in the corners of the world.

The problem is, Allanak was set up to be that counterpoint to Tuluk and is still in that state, but without Tuluk that is some Idle/limbo state SUPER POWERFUL SORCERER KING, MASSIVE ECONEMY, Templars of DOOM able to bring massive armies of mundane and magick too.......Nowhere.

Basically, without some real and PLAYABLE "enemy", Allanak, in current state, has no real reason to exist.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 04:13:59 AM by X-D »
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Gentleboy

  • Posts: 246
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 04:27:09 AM »
Oh shit, that's such a good response.

Thomoto

  • Posts: 190
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 04:40:52 AM »
First off, thank you for starting this topic. Secondly, I have a few things to say about this.... Close Allanak and open Tuluk, the superior city where you can kank cat girls as a noble, hell yeah!

I personally feel some of the problem is Allanak being... Dull, there is no conflict. Make conflict that actually is relevant to Allanak and worth playing in from different perspectives besides a select few clans that can see the plot. I have a few more ideas but Im leaving off with this for tonight.
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SodaDogARM

  • Posts: 83
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 04:57:16 AM »
In my view the responsibility lies in a complete shift in the culture of how conflict is treated and those who created it in the past are fed up and seeking to do so elsewhere.

Barsook

  • Posts: 8617
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 07:37:12 AM »
I do agree with the whole Allanak needs a playable enemy, but my problem with the city-state is the size. Yes, it's there for realism but at a playability standpoint, it doesn't work. I main reason why I liked to play in Tuluk and now the Outpost, is almost everyone gathers around one tavern. Allanak has three plus the bakery. It would be nice to have just one but with multiple levels for each class type.

In my view the responsibility lies in a complete shift in the culture of how conflict is treated and those who created it in the past are fed up and seeking to do so elsewhere.

That too, it seems the subtly of Tuluk is affecting Allanak.

triste

  • Posts: 974
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 08:37:50 AM »
I do agree with the whole Allanak needs a playable enemy, but my problem with the city-state is the size. Yes, it's there for realism but at a playability standpoint, it doesn't work. I main reason why I liked to play in Tuluk and now the Outpost, is almost everyone gathers around one tavern. Allanak has three plus the bakery. It would be nice to have just one but with multiple levels for each class type.

Agreeing the taverns in Allanak can use some refactoring. Not sure if consolidating them is the answer given that charming things happen in Allanak taverns currently like people getting backstabbed in the middle of the day at the bar.

[snark]Personally that's why my characters don't stop by Allanaki Taverns much anymore. Don't really like the whole getting backstabbed in public thing. It's a tad bit of an embarrassing way to go. If we have a tavern where if you `l up` and see a Templar and a Noble two floors above you that tavern is just going to become a tacky PK hub... even more so than the Gaj already is![/snark]

In my view the responsibility lies in a complete shift in the culture of how conflict is treated and those who created it in the past are fed up and seeking to do so elsewhere.

That too, it seems the subtly of Tuluk is affecting Allanak.

Subtle? About a year and a half ago there were three threads about people being too PK happy and ending plots, probably because we had Templars doing stuff like hunting down criminals on their own outside the gates with their flaming thunder swords. I had something like five characters killed by the same two Templars in a row last year. When Allanak has no real antagonists, players are free to individually play antagonists, but given the unsubtle way Allanaki leadership handle conflict...

120h 90s 110m 100v | Lord Templar Crushalot>say Now you shall die by my awesome roleplay.
120h 90s 110m 100v | Lord Templar Crushalot>kill rougue.gick


Well, it's not super fun "volunteering to be an antagonist" -- which is the current status quo -- given the super lame way that plot will resolve 9/10 times.

Sidenote and shoutout to the northern tribal gal behind the PBRPT who helped drive a huge battle with Allanak, gathered a bunch of allies behind her, and VOLUNTEERED to be an antagonist and COMPLETELY ROCKED AT IT. I don't know when I am going to be able to mention this character by name, because so far as I am concerned her reputation is immortal IG. I think I tried to kudos her twice.

It sucks that we currently have a state where you have to basically "volunteer" to antagonize Allanak, which given the power differential, is essentially volunteering to be killed even if you're the baddest chick to ever live like the chick I just mentioned. I feel like the Crimson Wind was kickstarted to try and generate conflict outside of a Tuluki reopening, but the Crimson Wind is still more or less "volunteering for a resistance effort where you will inevitably be killed." I would love it if things are more balanced, and I've casually mentioned the benefits of reopening Tuluk [or some other opposition force] since coming back to this game like... forty times.

Lastly, I wonder if Staff open roles in a way that try to AVOID conflict to make their lives easier or something. About 4 months ago a small number of people whined about how we keep opening noble roles, how so many staff resources are focused on that sort of roleplay and intentionally neglect concepts outside of Allanak. The criticism seems fair, as yet again we see AoD/Militia roles opening, but no role calls for any clans that would provide the Militia/Allanak any conflict. When I saw this AoD rolecall my first thought was "Wow I hope this means they are going to open up a clan or some roles to antagonize the AoD in the next rolecall!" This will likely prove to be wistful thinking but hopefully staff surprise us.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 08:43:46 AM by triste »
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Barsook

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Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2020, 08:58:35 AM »
Good point, but I wasn't thinking of PKing. More in terms of intrigue.

triste

  • Posts: 974
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 09:09:44 AM »
Good point, but I wasn't thinking of PKing. More in terms of intrigue.

Oh yeah I agree there too. Slightly different take on the problem, same solution. Imagine a world where instead of intrigue looking like:

The wizened, thin-boned templar tells the prim, tressy-tressed aide:
   "Lady Agnez Jal bought that pearl necklace out from under me in the auction. I want you to kank and poison her aide."

We have intrigue like:

The wizened, thin-boned templar tells the prim, tressy-tressed aide:
   "That damned Jihaean upstart from Tuluk has the gall to patrol south of Luir's. Contact Lord Killgor Tor and Sergeant Buttcrust of the Steel Talons to organize a patrol North next week, and if we happen to come across that Jihaen we can settle this matter on the spot."


Suddenly we have:
- Conflict involving a TON of players, not just petty high-school grade drama involving a handful of players.
- Antagonists who [gasp] feel like protagonists on either side, a key to good storytelling since the advent of the Homeric epic.
- Organic, self-generating conflict, instead of people feeling like they have to manufacture petty and ephemeral conflict.
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Is Friday

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Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 09:13:57 AM »
@Barsook Perhaps that is what you are experiencing but I don't believe that is the case for many players. There is a lot of overt and subvert conflict ongoing. The two years prior to this one had more "overt" conflict, I would say -- but is there anything wrong with a change of meta culture if it is still canon? People don't want to play the same game over and over so I think it is a natural counter culture effect to go through periods of obvious and subtle conflict. Sometimes feuds take RL months to develop and other times they're born of the first few minutes of interaction between PCs.

As for having a suitable enemy to compete with Allanak--We have had a lot of player driven antagonists for the past year. It would be nice if there was a more established or similar power level enemy to conflict with Allanak.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.

triste

  • Posts: 974
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2020, 09:16:29 AM »
It would be nice if there was a more established or similar power level enemy to conflict with Allanak.

Yep: a summary of what I've posted, basically, we all agree on this. Who doesn't want this at this at this point? How many times to we have to collectively say we want this until we see a change?

And if someone says "be the change," read the example and details I posted. We had a cool player who was almost "the change" but even she couldn't succeed. Given how insanely qualified she was to "be the change," it's fair to say it's impossible to "be the change" and some staff action on this matter is needed.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 09:19:25 AM by triste »
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Barsook

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Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2020, 09:21:01 AM »
@Barsook Perhaps that is what you are experiencing but I don't believe that is the case for many players. There is a lot of overt and subvert conflict ongoing. The two years prior to this one had more "overt" conflict, I would say -- but is there anything wrong with a change of meta culture if it is still canon? People don't want to play the same game over and over so I think it is a natural counter culture effect to go through periods of obvious and subtle conflict. Sometimes feuds take RL months to develop and other times they're born of the first few minutes of interaction between PCs.

As for having a suitable enemy to compete with Allanak--We have had a lot of player driven antagonists for the past year. It would be nice if there was a more established or similar power level enemy to conflict with Allanak.

You are right, but it seems to happen to me always. Perhaps, even after ten plus years of playing, I'm still not getting to roles to be aware of the levels of conflict. Or just not noticing it.

triste

  • Posts: 974
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2020, 09:34:03 AM »
I think we all know it, but right now, Allanak has barely a population of players.

Besides the obvious and often repeated but unappeased observation that having a strong foe, like Tuluk, can remedy this issue...

… I just want to take a moment to comment on Allanak being empty, and say, I told you so.

Per Friday's comment on plotlines and the meta changing -- yes, it has -- and not in a good way. Many players saw the stifling mass of GMH and Templar roles, the reopening of the Atrium, and didn't cheer about it; they questioned the shift in this direction. I did, for the sheerly personal reason that I do not enjoy uppercrust roleplay, and not only that, but that I often play concepts prohibited from ever entering that sort of roleplay. And surprise, gasp, you run some basic statistics, and you will see that most players are prohibited from entering this realm of roleplay, even if they want to, due to stuff like playtime minimums for being a GMH, race restrictions on who can join the Atrium, etc. We poured players and staff resources into roleplay where the entire theme is elitism and exclusivity, and are now shocked that the city has become emptied because the main roleplay supported is roleplay that by definition excludes people.

Feel free to weep about the state of things today, feel free to ignore me, but realize I told you so as did many other players. But you decided you were all better than us and rode your cart into your now empty city.
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WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4768
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2020, 10:04:48 AM »
I liked the consolidation into Nak but it didn't really pan out.

Start a civil war. Red robe VS red robe, wooing noble and merchant houses. Black robes overseeing it and more or less keeping the in-city PK orgy under control. Or not.
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lairos

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Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2020, 10:19:17 AM »
Quote
Subtle? About a year and a half ago there were three threads about people being too PK happy and ending plots, probably because we had Templars doing stuff like hunting down criminals on their own outside the gates with their flaming thunder swords. I had something like five characters killed by the same two Templars in a row last year. When Allanak has no real antagonists, players are free to individually play antagonists, but given the unsubtle way Allanaki leadership handle conflict...

120h 90s 110m 100v | Lord Templar Crushalot>say Now you shall die by my awesome roleplay.
120h 90s 110m 100v | Lord Templar Crushalot>kill rougue.gick


Well, it's not super fun "volunteering to be an antagonist" -- which is the current status quo -- given the super lame way that plot will resolve 9/10 times.

Sidenote and shoutout to the northern tribal gal behind the PBRPT who helped drive a huge battle with Allanak, gathered a bunch of allies behind her, and VOLUNTEERED to be an antagonist and COMPLETELY ROCKED AT IT. I don't know when I am going to be able to mention this character by name, because so far as I am concerned her reputation is immortal IG. I think I tried to kudos her twice.

It sucks that we currently have a state where you have to basically "volunteer" to antagonize Allanak, which given the power differential, is essentially volunteering to be killed even if you're the baddest chick to ever live like the chick I just mentioned. I feel like the Crimson Wind was kickstarted to try and generate conflict outside of a Tuluki reopening, but the Crimson Wind is still more or less "volunteering for a resistance effort where you will inevitably be killed." I would love it if things are more balanced, and I've casually mentioned the benefits of reopening Tuluk [or some other opposition force] since coming back to this game like... forty times.

I want you to take a step back from your perceived notions about what Templars do or what the posts were about and quit trying to put them to fit your narrative. Considering there are only ever typically 2 or 3 tenplars at one time that makes sense as well. Also, take a moment to think at why a Templar would be out there, solo before you start bashing play you should really take another perspective. I too have been killed by templars and raiders alike and in not so great fashions, but when I heard what was going on with the other side of it? I was amazed at the depth of reasoning and what was going on. Sure, some cases it was just bad, but I think you should start giving people more room than you are.

I give every single person who was in that battle mad props not just one single player who was apart of it. That was such a big undertaking for both staff and all players involved.

Regarding the Crimson Wind, I think you missed the point where the CW ran for quite a long time, unchecked and even when things went down they kept plowing forward without the coded support. The player behind the creation did it and actively was the change. Being an antagonist to an entire city state with mass amounts of funds, soldiers and templars immense power is never going to be easy, but there is still a way it can be done and that is proof.

Now, I do 100% agree that Allanak has completely shifted focused and without Tuluk it has been a huge push for internal conflict within than against external outside of that PBRT and few other honorable mentions. Allanak truly has nothing currently that poses any real threat with Tuluk going insane internally itself. Its why its been pushed down to the players level than Allanak as a whole, and while its not easy? Its been proven possible to do.

On Allanak being empty? There are a lot of likely reasons behind it and many of them include. People being behind closed compounds doors or even just not playing as much. There is also the switch like we all used to do of going from allanak to tuluk that now its luirs/tribal/red storm time.
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Is Friday

  • Posts: 6607
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2020, 10:22:06 AM »
@triste I think you misunderstand what the Atrium does. It trains human Allanakis to exist and succeed in clans for human Allanakis (Templarate/Noble/GMH, albeit Kurac and Salarr allow subhumans.) Aides interact with everyone in Allanak, or should, not just their friends. They talk to criminals, gemmed, soldiers, merchants, tribal, etc. (Because nobles can't or shouldn't.)

The Atrium opening back up is not making Allanak more exclusive, it is making it more inclusive for play.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.

triste

  • Posts: 974
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2020, 10:33:27 AM »
@triste I think you misunderstand what the Atrium does. It trains human Allanakis to exist and succeed in clans for human Allanakis (Templarate/Noble/GMH, albeit Kurac and Salarr allow subhumans.)

To paraphrase, "I think you misunderstand what the Atrium does. It does exactly what you said it does." Yes. Human Allanaki roleplay for Human Allanakis by definition is excluding...…… every other concept.
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Shaydee

  • Posts: 316
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2020, 10:37:40 AM »
Aides may only be allowed to be humans, but they work with all kinds. Criminal, gemmed, etc. Aides are the go between them and the nobles.

I always try rotate where I play with each character. I definitely prefer to play in a certain part of the world, but I try not to limit myself to only playing there. Also trying to rotate any clans I might play in, though I definitely know my favorites.
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Bigbruiser

  • Posts: 21
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2020, 10:39:37 AM »
Want to touch on the last Crimson Wind role call those people went straight out attacking every grebber they could see and all got murdered quickly.

Also if the clans empty and CW are raiding people maybe the Templar did cause newbs were getting wrecked by people with stat bumps..

The bars are empty because a max stealth elf can go unchecked forever and never be seen robbing everyone blind.

Fredd

  • Posts: 1827
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2020, 10:53:12 AM »
First off, thank you for starting this topic. Secondly, I have a few things to say about this.... Close Allanak and open Tuluk, the superior city where you can kank cat girls as a noble, hell yeah!


You are clearly joking, or never played in Tuluk. Nobles were not allowed to even touch commoners, and you would be stored for it. It was one of the major complaints about the city. If you played a Logging into Tuluk as a NOble Lady was like logging onto Facebook as a woman. You immediately get messaged by people thinking they deserved to get there dick wet.

@triste I think you misunderstand what the Atrium does. It trains human Allanakis to exist and succeed in clans for human Allanakis (Templarate/Noble/GMH, albeit Kurac and Salarr allow subhumans.) Aides interact with everyone in Allanak, or should, not just their friends. They talk to criminals, gemmed, soldiers, merchants, tribal, etc. (Because nobles can't or shouldn't.)


The atrium is an Orphanage for Aides.


Jokes and pointing out the past aside. Alanak is hurting right now. And it's not a lack of a playerbase. We have, roughly the same general numbers showing up at the same general times we have over the years. The problem is everyone plays everywhere else. And they don't even WANT to come to Nak. Why would hunters come to Nak when there biggest customer,s the Merchant Houses, all live in Luirs now, which is also where they hunt? This is the same exact problem as Tuluk had on the playerbase. Players have NO INCENTIVE to ride through gith land, past the PC raider clan, to a city. When they can get rich, and live their whole lives in Luirs. Most of the materials in the world aren't a long ride from a central location like Luirs. And with all the major buyers staying there... Yep.

As for conflict in Allanak. I know of....1,2,3,4,5... 5 DIFFERENT noble houses open. And at least 2 living templars. Plus The Guild. People are getting assassinated, plots are hopping, and things are happening. But it's just a handful of us enjoying this.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 10:56:32 AM by Fredd »
I remember recruiting this Half elf girl. And IMMEDIATELY taking her out on a contract. Right as we go into this gith hole I tell her "Remember your training, and you'll be fine." and she goes "I have no training." Then she died

triste

  • Posts: 974
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2020, 10:54:45 AM »
Want to touch on the last Crimson Wind role call those people went straight out attacking every grebber they could see and all got murdered quickly.

Also if the clans empty and CW are raiding people maybe the Templar did cause newbs were getting wrecked by people with stat bumps..

Yup, fair enough. Since it's been a long time, and we're talking about it anyway, full and obvious disclosure that I was one of those CW. The only notable thing I did was rescue one of the other CW, who got his ass beat and stuff stolen for being overzealous. I died while following another CW on a raid, and my character was hesitant while the other CW was... again, overzealous. It's a fair critique. But being chased down and killed by a solo Templar was still... something else. IDK, delegate your CW killing duties and spread the fun. Mon Un Fireball is quite a way to go out with six hours of playtime.

The bars are empty because a max stealth elf can go unchecked forever and never be seen robbing everyone blind.

I'd like to circle back to how one of my other failed characters was backstabbed in the middle of the Gaj. But at least it was a good scene as there happened to be some staff animations right beforehand.
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Brokkr

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Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2020, 10:56:21 AM »
Can someone explain the need for a "strong" foe?

If there were 10 active players in Tuluk that were Allanak's adversaries, having those 10 players in groups like the Crimson Wind seems just as adversarial?  Since the vNPC elements rarely come into play with PC interactions.  The coded power seems roughly the same, if the groups have members/contacts with non-mundanes not aligned with Allanak?

So, other than just wanting Tuluk back, what really is the need for a "strong" foe with virtual backing vs a "weak" foe, when they have the same amount of PC participants?

Fredd

  • Posts: 1827
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2020, 11:01:35 AM »
Can someone explain the need for a "strong" foe?

If there were 10 active players in Tuluk that were Allanak's adversaries, having those 10 players in groups like the Crimson Wind seems just as adversarial?  Since the vNPC elements rarely come into play with PC interactions.  The coded power seems roughly the same, if the groups have members/contacts with non-mundanes not aligned with Allanak?

So, other than just wanting Tuluk back, what really is the need for a "strong" foe with virtual backing vs a "weak" foe, when they have the same amount of PC participants?

The foe doesn't need to be PC. You could have arma-romans invade from the silt sea or something. Or tuluk as our NPC getting uppitty about all these southies hunting their land. OR any of the antagonist tribes used for NPC's. Make the north unsafe again.

But I think the call for this is because Military style PC's are boring. WTF do the Byn do these days? How about Arm of the Dragon and Templars in the War ministry? Hassle half elves mostly. some sort of organized threat gives these two clans more of a functioning feel. Yes I know the Arm is the law, and so on. But if you only have 10 pc's in Nak and 4 of them are the law, and 6 are proteced by employment with a Noble House, who cares?

We need more reasons for people to go to nak, other then nobles.



« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 11:05:40 AM by Fredd »
I remember recruiting this Half elf girl. And IMMEDIATELY taking her out on a contract. Right as we go into this gith hole I tell her "Remember your training, and you'll be fine." and she goes "I have no training." Then she died

Fredd

  • Posts: 1827
Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2020, 11:04:08 AM »
this was a half awake double post.
I remember recruiting this Half elf girl. And IMMEDIATELY taking her out on a contract. Right as we go into this gith hole I tell her "Remember your training, and you'll be fine." and she goes "I have no training." Then she died

Brokkr

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Re: The Allanak Problem
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2020, 11:18:36 AM »
Can someone explain the need for a "strong" foe?

If there were 10 active players in Tuluk that were Allanak's adversaries, having those 10 players in groups like the Crimson Wind seems just as adversarial?  Since the vNPC elements rarely come into play with PC interactions.  The coded power seems roughly the same, if the groups have members/contacts with non-mundanes not aligned with Allanak?

So, other than just wanting Tuluk back, what really is the need for a "strong" foe with virtual backing vs a "weak" foe, when they have the same amount of PC participants?

The foe doesn't need to be PC. You could have arma-romans invade from the silt sea or something. Or tuluk as our NPC getting uppitty about all these southies hunting their land. OR any of the antagonist tribes used for NPC's. Make the north unsafe again.

But I think the call for this is because Military style PC's are boring. WTF do the Byn do these days? How about Arm of the Dragon and Templars in the War ministry? Hassle half elves mostly. some sort of organized threat gives these two clans more of a functioning feel. Yes I know the Arm is the law, and so on. But if you only have 10 pc's in Nak and 4 of them are the law, and 6 are proteced by employment with a Noble House, who cares?

We need more reasons for people to go to nak, other then nobles.

You do realize that these sort of PCs rarely had any sort of threat before Tuluk closed, as well, as outside of Staff organized events they very, very rarely ever did anything that resulting in PC vs PC martial conflict?  Sure, virtually, they were at war, but this more facilitated others (like GMH) enjoying some power in their ability to go North/South, so crossing a line as a Noble/Templar had some reprecussions.  So it was more political anyways?