Author Topic: OOC power-gaming???  (Read 19608 times)

Constantine

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #30: May 13, 2020, 04:14:11 PM »
I'm all for making sure the game is fair for everyone. And I really like and value Gildre as a player.

But I really think reacting to a comment with "grow up" is not appropriate for a member of the Titans team. Even if the commentor acted immaturely, which in my opinion he did not.

That's all.

Gildre

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #31: May 13, 2020, 05:59:11 PM »
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Will you also go and call certain Thal players babies because they were perfectly fine inflicting something on others but are now crying foul when it happened to them?
From a titan spokesperson, I'd expect more impartial and civil discourse.

I have talked to Thal players and told them that saving realms from destruction is not something the Titans actively engage in. However, I have listened to their complaints that the war they have fallen into is so one-sided that they can do nothing other than lay down and die. The issue is much more multifaceted than simply "Thal getting what it deserves".

Regarding this issue though, I had no intention of calling anyone a "baby", nor belittling or humiliating anyone. I in no way think PolarRaven is a baby. He has brought good points to the table. However, he has clung stubbornly to a concept that is directly detrimental to fun in the game, and needs to grow up from that idea.

Is that impartial? Not at all. I pride myself on being a person that anyone from any realm can talk to and have me listen to their concerns objectively. I have in no way tarnished that.

Was it not overly civil? Sure. That being said, I hardly think it was aggressive and my conscience is not weighed down by it in the least.

As Anaris mentioned, treating players fairly was not my point. Breaking a bad cycle is my point, as articulated in the next reply I had.

I won't be apologizing for this. You have employed a very "it happened to me, so it should happen to them" attitude, all the while saying "when it happened to me it wasn't fun at all". Perhaps it would be more appropriate to lead with that and say "Hey guys, when this happened to me it REALLY sucked. Can we try to figure out something that is more healthy for the game?"

On a separate note, you mentioned:

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Where were you when Thalmarkin declared war on Grehkia, which was five times smaller?
I know that you were in Thalmarkin. But you get what I mean.

I believe I was either paused, in Nova, or in OS whenever that happened. When I created a character in Thal it was to join the folks creating VS, and we were just fighting rogues IIRC. I have no knowledge or details of the Grehkia pummeling.

I have said it before, and will keep saying it: We do not actively police Battle Master. It is too big, there is too much going on, and there are too few of us. Of course, if we see something wrong we will do something, but the vast majority of the time we rely on the community to submit reports. I don't know what happened with Grehkia, and I don't remember getting any Titan reports for anything that happened. I don't even really remember when it happened.

My point: If we don't know about something, we can't do anything about it.
Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations.

Anaris

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #32: May 13, 2020, 06:20:37 PM »
If we don't know about something, we can't do anything about it.

Just wanted to emphasize this, because it's something a lot of people seem to miss.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

PolarRaven

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #33: May 13, 2020, 09:18:12 PM »
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Quote from: Gildre on Today at 05:59:11 PM

    If we don't know about something, we can't do anything about it.

I think that what this really means is:
If nobody submits a complaint through the proper channels, we can/will not deal with it.
______

I find it very hard to believe that:
A)  There would have been no discussion about this (being the Grehkia conflict) on discord.
B)  There are no Titans on Discord to see the above mention.

I know that I complained at least a bit about Thal and other allies becoming involved in the Caelint/Gotland incident, on both Discord and the Forum as well as OOC in the game.
But OK, that's on me because I did not submit a report to the Titans.

On a separate note:
Have you (addressed to everyone, not any particular person) never sat around the table playing a game with your friends and thought to yourself, "You bastards.  I am going to get you next time."

My question comes from years of playing a board-game called RISK. 
I remember many times when MY FRIENDS would all gather together at some point or another and gang up on the player (also a friend and sometimes me) that was currently "winning" the game.  Did they come together to punish a specific player? No.  They combined their strengths to deal with the player currently running "rough-shod" over all the other players.  Is this fair?  HELL NO, it is not.
Occasionally things did get a little heated and people said mean things or threatened to quit playing or not come back for next time...
In the end we were all buddies and happily joined in the next time the game came up.  REGARDLESS of how "bad" the previous experience was.

LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS FAIR
PLAYING A BOARD-GAME WITH FRIENDS IS NOT ALWAYS FAIR.
Why should BattleMaster be any different?

If you feel so secure in your position that you do not take the time to worry about what other people are thinking of your choices and actions, then it is no surprise that you will have them "knocking at your door" with various concerns and complaints (quite possibly all at the same time).
Are they "conspiring against you" or merely RESPONDING to YOUR actions?

I think Gildre said it best:
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Grow up.

Sorry, one more thought to consider:
The Devs have, for quite a while now, been pushing towards larger realms for all the islands. (known fact)
Larger realms have more room and opportunity for "fun" while smaller realms can be much quieter and often (though not always) less fun.
Caelint/Angmar/Gotland/Grehkia were all smaller realms when they were on the wrong side of a "dogpile" type situation and eventually fell to be ultimately merged into Irondale. 
No big deal because the end result is one of the goals that the Devs have been pushing for for quite a while now, one large realm instead of four smaller ones.
Thalmarkin, a larger, more engaging/active realm comes under fire for its previous actions and it is time to step in and make the game more fair.

I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Matthew Runyon

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #34: May 13, 2020, 10:01:02 PM »
I think the key in a complex situation like this is communication. OOC communication.

Yes, you assumed that other realms would join in on Thalmarkin's side, which would have made it a more even conflict. Zatirri assumed that when he declared war on Irondale, he'd get Irondale and maybe one or two other realms involved in a war, and probably VS on his side.

Our characters didn't assume anything.  They planned for multiple possibilities, one of which included allies joining Thalmarkin.  Zat's character did not plan for any other eventualities, clearly.  When a character rolls into Rulership swinging, they often get sucker punched, and I think that is generally a good thing, because I as a player am not terribly interested in dealing with yet another megalomaniacal Ruler, and having the ones that do show up get sucker punched lowers the incidences of that.

What I would like to ask of "you" (in quotes because it's not "you, Matt" or even "you, the realms arrayed against Thalmarkin now", but "any rulers who are in the situation in the future of preparing to be one of several realms declaring war on one realm") in the future is that you first talk to the realm about to get its butt kicked, preferably on the Ruler/Admin OOC channel so that we can be present to help mediate, and make sure there's a good enough understanding on both sides of what you're all getting into that the players involved aren't faced with nasty surprises.

My problem with this has been and continues to be that I don't know where the line is.  Do we do that every time we think there's even a chance of a war becoming one-sided?  Because, again, initial projections on this didn't anticipate it being that one-sided.  Do we do that the moment we see it turning toward that path?  Even if that isn't obvious to everyone involved?

Do we do that with every war?

We're now talking about fundamentally changing the nature of the game, to something closer to some D&D games where all the character drama is discussed OOC first and arranged for fun, rather than the actual competitive nature that Battlemaster conflicts have frequently actually had.

I'm not necessarily opposed to that, to be clear.  But that is a change.  That's a big change.  And I think that's a change that needs to be discussed, not one that we can pretend was always how the game was and we just collectively forgot about for a while.

Because right now, the players of every single Ruler in the "Coalition" on Beluaterra have mentioned the possibility of abdicating or pausing or leaving, or have actually abdicated.  I was the only exception, and I'm saying now that I've been considering it.  Now it's possible Eugenica abdicating didn't have anything specifically to do with this, there was some other stuff going on there, but clearly a decision was made that playing a Duke was going to be better than playing a Ruler.  And that says a lot right there, because I, Matthew, thought Eugenica was doing some good stuff.

I won't speak for anyone else, but for me, I'm considering it because what I'm hearing now is concerning, and draining, and I don't know if I want to deal with it anymore.  I don't think I'm going to, but my reasons for that are a lot more of various obligations than they are anything to do with "fun".

So, let's see how this plays out.  But let's also be clear about what we're trying collectively to do here, and talk about it before we jump into major new changes, if at all possible.

PolarRaven

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #35: May 13, 2020, 10:08:07 PM »
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What I would like to ask of "you" (in quotes because it's not "you, Matt" or even "you, the realms arrayed against Thalmarkin now", but "any rulers who are in the situation in the future of preparing to be one of several realms declaring war on one realm") in the future is that you first talk to the realm about to get its butt kicked, preferably on the Ruler/Admin OOC channel so that we can be present to help mediate, and make sure there's a good enough understanding on both sides of what you're all getting into that the players involved aren't faced with nasty surprises.

WOW!!!  Really???

"Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I will be moving my Character to your realm in the next few days to cause as much havoc as possible and to try to undermine your realm. I hope that now is not an inconvenient time for you, but now is when it is best for me.
I have over 100 scrolls and will be using most of them to disrupt our realm to the best of my ability while our army is away fighting a war.  If this will be too big an inconvenience now, just let me know when will be a good time for you and we can work out a time that will be more convenient to both of us."

"Hello, we are planning to attack your western border as soon as we get reports of you fighting on your eastern border."

"Hi, we four guys that just joined your realm have a specific purpose in mind.  We are expecting to gather support from among your realm-mates to over-throw your government in a rebellion.  If it is not too inconvenient, we were hoping to have this support by the end of the week, so please prepare for this by pretending not to know and being unprepared when it happens."

"Just a heads up for you, once we see that your entire army has arrived in OS on the other end of the continent from your realm (Thalmarkin), we who are your quiet neutral neighbors plan to take advantage of the fact that you have no mobile troops close to home and will be raiding your lands for gold and food while your troops are away in the south."


Knowing this OOC will cause MOST people to at least consider their actions twice before actually acting. 
I know that we would like to think ourselves above this sort of gameplay, but it is human nature to protect oneself. 

I understand that OOC information is not "allowed" to be used IG, but if you KNOW that some form of trouble is coming your way most people will take or avoid actions in an effort to reduce their losses.  You may not act directly to the available OOC information, but you more likely to take more precautions and less likely to risk reckless actions with this OCC information in the back of your mind.


Anaris

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #36: May 13, 2020, 10:10:14 PM »
I find it very hard to believe that:
A)  There would have been no discussion about this (being the Grehkia conflict) on discord.
B)  There are no Titans on Discord to see the above mention.

If there was, I certainly didn't see it or notice it.

Lots of stuff gets talked about on Discord—well more than any one person can realistically keep track of—and if you're not specifically looking for stuff, it can very easily scroll away by the time you come back to that channel.

We don't police Discord any more than we police the game.

If you want something acted on, you need to report it. Period.

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LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS FAIR
PLAYING A BOARD-GAME WITH FRIENDS IS NOT ALWAYS FAIR.
Why should BattleMaster be any different?

There's a big difference between the game leading to unfair situations, and players engaging in unfair play. We're not trying to ensure equal outcomes for everyone—that would, obviously, be absurd. We're trying to ensure that everyone feels that the overall game environment, the rules, and the atmosphere are fair, and not stacked against them such that no matter how they played, they would have no chance to succeed.

And again, since it seems like I need to repeat this: We have no problem with Thalmarkin ending up in a war it's clearly going to lose. What we have a problem with is Thalmarkin ending up in a war it's clearly going to lose, and then other realms piling on, particularly if their primary reason is simply to drive activity within their realm.

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The Devs have, for quite a while now, been pushing towards larger realms for all the islands. (known fact)

Possibly known, but incorrect—or, at the very least, incomplete.

What we're pushing for is fewer very small realms.

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I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

And now you are being insulting to me and to the Titans, and I will not tolerate that. And don't try to bull!@#$ me by trying to say you never said anything insulting: there is no possible meaning to what you said there other than to insinuate that we are favouring Thalmarkin over other realms because of a hidden agenda.

We are open about our intentions. We do not have an ulterior motive. I take accusations that we do—however weasel-worded they may be—very seriously, and very, very negatively.

And my response to them is the same as usual: If you really believe that I'm the kind of person who would do that, hiding behind false intentions, why the hell are you still playing the game I'm in charge of?
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Anaris

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #37: May 13, 2020, 10:34:51 PM »
Our characters didn't assume anything.  They planned for multiple possibilities, one of which included allies joining Thalmarkin. 

[...]

Do we do that every time we think there's even a chance of a war becoming one-sided?  Because, again, initial projections on this didn't anticipate it being that one-sided. 

Please go back and consider this, because this is exactly why I said you made assumptions.

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Do we do that the moment we see it turning toward that path?  Even if that isn't obvious to everyone involved?

Do we do that with every war?

No, no, and no.

Again, since I apparently wasn't clear before: I would expect this to happen in the event you find yourself in a situation where you are among a large number of realms that is or will be declaring war on one or a very small number of realms, such that if they do not have realms join in to help them, they will be massively, hopelessly, demoralizingly outnumbered.

Yes, you may have had many contingency plans, but you made an assumption that led to your "initial projections" that had the war not being one-sided.

Those assumptions, not to put too fine a point on it, were wrong.

That was one of the factors that led to where we are now. (Another of them was Zatirri rolling into rulership swinging, and yes, he deserved to get sucker-punched for his arrogance in this matter. That doesn't mean every player in his realm deserved to be put in a position where they were forced into a war they could not win, and had no way of knowing how they could end without destruction, for an indeterminate amount of time.)

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So, let's see how this plays out.  But let's also be clear about what we're trying collectively to do here, and talk about it before we jump into major new changes, if at all possible.

What I'm trying to do here—and I recognize that I'm flailing a bit at it, but please try to bear with me—is not to change everything to being pre-planned and risk-free, but to change the culture so that rulers, at the very least, start trying to take some responsibility for the fun of the whole continent rather than the every-realm-for-itself model we have operated under up to now. To stop and take stock every once in a while, question your assumptions, and check in with your fellow players, "Hey, how are things going? Are you having fun? If not, what can we as a continent do to make that better?" Never expecting to be turning relations and RPs around on a dime, but just starting to take into account the other people sitting at the table.

If John Read-Jones had had a relationship with Matthew Runyon, and the other players of BT rulers, such that they all not only already saw each other as players, but had corresponded OOC—not about what their realms were planning, but about the general mood and what they felt like they needed—then I think it extremely unlikely that the setup for this situation would ever have happened. And this is emphatically not me saying I think you're to blame for that lack—I think this is a lack in BattleMaster's culture that I myself have only started to really see within the last few months to a year.

It's the same kind of disregard for other players' feelings as human beings that led Alexandros Stavrou to conduct his campaign of harassment and bullying. The same, frankly, that has led to every single major incident of OOC hostility and every single major controversial Titan case. I'm trying to attack that problem at its source and I do not claim to have a good idea of what I'm doing, but I'll be damned if I stop trying.

I hope you can see me in that light as you continue to bring critiques of my performance as I move through this effort.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

PolarRaven

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #38: May 14, 2020, 01:20:14 AM »
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If you want something acted on, you need to report it. Period.

Yep, I got it, which should be apparent when just a couple of lines later I take responsibility for my lack of action at that time.

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But OK, that's on me because I did not submit a report to the Titans.

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    The Devs have, for quite a while now, been pushing towards larger realms for all the islands. (known fact)


Possibly known, but incorrect—or, at the very least, incomplete.

What we're pushing for is fewer very small realms.
Really?  What is the significant difference between the two statements? 
Fewer very small realms (essentially =) larger realms?
Please try to quit picking on the wording of my comments, it will only bring on toxicity which I am truly trying to avoid.

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    I leave you to draw your own conclusions.


And now you are being insulting to me and to the Titans, and I will not tolerate that. And don't try to bull!@#$ me by trying to say you never said anything insulting: there is no possible meaning to what you said there other than to insinuate that we are favouring Thalmarkin over other realms because of a hidden agenda.

Leaving others to draw their own conclusions is insulting to you and the Titans?
Lets be very clear here then.  I really don't care if Thal lives or dies. 
I AM NOT CURRENTLY PLAYING A CHARACTER ON BT SO REALLY HAVE NO PERSONAL VESTED INTEREST EITHER WAY.
I am sharing MY opinions and concerns, as a player, for the entire game of BattleMaster.

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We are open about our intentions. We do not have an ulterior motive. I take accusations that we do—however weasel-worded they may be—very seriously, and very, very negatively.

And my response to them is the same as usual: If you really believe that I'm the kind of person who would do that, hiding behind false intentions, why the hell are you still playing the game I'm in charge of?

YES, you are open about your intentions and NO, I do not suspect ulterior motives.
The game you are in charge of.  Thank you again for all of your hard work.  It may not always seem so, but we (I) appreciate all the time and energy that you invest into our having fun.
I suspect that you, as a programmer/developer have a "VISION" of what YOU would like to see as an end result of your hard and dedicated work to a project that you are overseeing/creating.  And this is your prerogative of course, because you are the one putting in the hard, time consuming work to try to make the game fun for all of us.

When circumstances within the game go towards YOUR VISION of how the game should be, all is good and some small inconsistencies may be overlooked for the overall betterment of the game that is headed towards YOUR VISION of the game.

But when circumstances go against this "vision", say a larger realm that has many happy/fun players in it who are enjoying themselves so much that that realm becomes a "go to realm" for new players to be directed to so they will have a good experience and hopefully remain in the game... things start to change.

My own personal conclusions/observations.  Right or wrong, they are MY conclusions.  You need not agree.

Why do I still play the game you are in charge of?
Well, I have been playing for over 10 years now and enjoy many of the facets of the game.
If I must enjoy EVERY facet of the game to be allowed to play, then it may be time for me to move on.
Bear in mind, that there are probably many people like me that enjoy many, but not ALL, facets of the game.
Where would the game be without people like me?

If it would be a better place without my contributions, PLEASE just say so, and I will move along to allow the remaining players the opportunity to get the full enjoyment of the game without my input.

I won't quote it here because I already said it earlier in this thread, but you may want to refer back to an earlier response that I made to Andrew's earlier comment.  What is more important to you, player fun or your vision?

Matthew Runyon

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #39: May 14, 2020, 06:01:01 AM »
Again, since I apparently wasn't clear before: I would expect this to happen in the event you find yourself in a situation where you are among a large number of realms that is or will be declaring war on one or a very small number of realms, such that if they do not have realms join in to help them, they will be massively, hopelessly, demoralizingly outnumbered.

Yes, you may have had many contingency plans, but you made an assumption that led to your "initial projections" that had the war not being one-sided.

Those assumptions, not to put too fine a point on it, were wrong.

And, again, our characters did not assume anything.  We made plans based around multiple possibilities.  And starting from the presumption that the most powerful realm on the continent, with a historical ally and a newly formed colony, would be fighting alone seems, to me, problematic on the face of it.  That's not a sensible plan, and the characters making these plans are at least somewhat sensible.

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That was one of the factors that led to where we are now. (Another of them was Zatirri rolling into rulership swinging, and yes, he deserved to get sucker-punched for his arrogance in this matter. That doesn't mean every player in his realm deserved to be put in a position where they were forced into a war they could not win, and had no way of knowing how they could end without destruction, for an indeterminate amount of time.)

They had several ways of knowing.  Their Ruler could have, but didn't, tell them.  They could have reached out, to literally anyone, and gotten the story, none of which ever involved destruction of the realm.  The "indeterminate amount of time" is completely related to failures of communication, which would have been rectified in several ways.  And had any of us known that any of the players in Thalmarkin were having issues, we would have happily talked OOC about it.

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What I'm trying to do here—and I recognize that I'm flailing a bit at it, but please try to bear with me—is not to change everything to being pre-planned and risk-free, but to change the culture so that rulers, at the very least, start trying to take some responsibility for the fun of the whole continent rather than the every-realm-for-itself model we have operated under up to now. To stop and take stock every once in a while, question your assumptions, and check in with your fellow players, "Hey, how are things going? Are you having fun? If not, what can we as a continent do to make that better?" Never expecting to be turning relations and RPs around on a dime, but just starting to take into account the other people sitting at the table.

If John Read-Jones had had a relationship with Matthew Runyon, and the other players of BT rulers, such that they all not only already saw each other as players, but had corresponded OOC—not about what their realms were planning, but about the general mood and what they felt like they needed—then I think it extremely unlikely that the setup for this situation would ever have happened. And this is emphatically not me saying I think you're to blame for that lack—I think this is a lack in BattleMaster's culture that I myself have only started to really see within the last few months to a year.

I regularly talk with other players, both in game and on Discord.  I have pretty good relationships with several players in Thalmarkin.  Including a couple of people in the upper echelons.  And I have, in point of fact, talked about Obia'Syela, general ideas about it, how the realm is faring, etc.  Rea, Luitolf, and I have talked repeatedly about the Heralds religion.  Rogos and I talk all the time about Perdan and the problems the EC has faced.  You're right, I didn't have a particular relationship with John Read-Jones, but if your goal is to get everyone to have a relationship with everyone else, that's going to be a difficult task.

For me, the number one problem here is not talking, absolutely.  But putting that all on the Rulers is an issue, for the same reason that putting everything on the Devs and Titans is an issue.  If no one says anything, I don't think it's reasonable to expect us to know this.  I talked with all of these people, repeatedly, during the time when they were apparently feeling upset.  I will admit that I'm often oblivious to things, as Kel can attest, but at no point did I get the sense that there was anything more than the usual "oh crap, that didn't work" until Zat sent his message to the ruler/admin channel.

I completely agree that if we were all playing as friends around the table, this would have been avoided.  But I'm failing to see, in concrete terms, what we could have done differently.  Yes, at the point when Vordul Sanguinius and Ar Agyr didn't join the war, should we have stopped and thought for a moment, of course.  I've admitted that multiple times previously.  But I'm still not sure what I would have done differently.  And adding more burdens onto Ruler just makes me think, again, that settling down as a nice rich Duke is a better plan all around.

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It's the same kind of disregard for other players' feelings as human beings that led Alexandros Stavrou to conduct his campaign of harassment and bullying. The same, frankly, that has led to every single major incident of OOC hostility and every single major controversial Titan case. I'm trying to attack that problem at its source and I do not claim to have a good idea of what I'm doing, but I'll be damned if I stop trying.

I hope you can see me in that light as you continue to bring critiques of my performance as I move through this effort.

I get that.  I really do.  And I'm trying to bring constructive criticism to this.  I'm trying to point out that I agree with the goal and idea, I just disagree with some points of the implementation of it.  And I'm trying really, really, really hard not to take this personally, but that's difficult when you and others are linking what I and others did with continued examples of some of the worst things that have happened in the game.

I am guilty of something in this.  I am guilty of sticking too much in character, and not stopping and thinking OOC when the war allies broke out differently.  Absolutely.  But the continued comparisons of negligence that could easily have been corrected with one conversation, with active, hostile, malignant, intentional behaviour makes it really difficult for me to remain calm about this.

Graeth

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #40: May 14, 2020, 08:32:34 PM »
Seems like a good time for a daimon invasion
Geg Family: Elshon (Bel)

Anaris

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #41: May 14, 2020, 09:19:46 PM »
Seems like a good time for a daimon invasion

Sadly, those are the single biggest sink for admin/dev time and energy. (If you're curious about why, start another thread or ask about it on Discord, so we don't hijack this thread ;D )
Timothy Collett

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Gildre

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #42: May 15, 2020, 01:14:22 AM »
I will also add that these issues plague more than just BT, and an Invasion, while fun, would be a bandaid fix.

For all the pain and frustration, it is better to hash it out so that we can move on as friends.
Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations.

Zatirri

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #43: May 17, 2020, 02:15:53 AM »
Hey guys,

As I am less peeved now, I can perhaps offer an explanation from my point of view in a much more coherent manner.

My issue was never one of Thal being destroyed, but the lack of options as both a realm and as the players in the realm. We declared a losing war, offering Irondale, a realm formed by realms Thal has bullied (I totally accept the Thal is a bully points, it is and was) their opportunity at retribution. We knew Nothoi would join in, and the pair of them were winning the war as is. This was fine, no complaints here. But then SV was requested to join Irondale due to the unofficial federation between the realms. This is where the issue was. Those federations mean you have an alliance block that goes far over what the balancing requirements allow, and means all 3 of your realms combined will always win a war against realms following the balancing mechanics. This is the only point of reference I used for the power gaming accusation. As far as I can see it, bypassing a game mechanic designed to balance in order to get an advantage is power gaming. I am however willing to accept you may not have seen it that way and I am hoping you now can at see what I meant by that.

For the comparison to the Grehkia attack, I can see the issues you have with it, but there is a distinction to be made here. That was multiple realms vs Thal. At the time, we could handle that. But the realm had 6 nobles, there isn't a war on the continent they could have gotten in that wouldn't have been one sided. We actually pushed for them to make the merge into Caelint and the whole war took place without a major battle.

For the similarities to the Thal Caelint war, we actually weren't strong at the start of that. We got strong during it as we used it as a plus point for our realm. Thal did not grow in numbers due to real world recruitment, we grew in numbers because we accepted everyone and we accommodated everyone. Mordok was refused by every realm, we took them in. VS was banned en masse by Nova, we took them in. Thal accepts everyone and allows them to be the characters they want to be and works with that, rather than against it.

I never believed Thal would be destroyed, that isn't what I was worried about.
I was worried that Thal was the "mixer upper" of the continent. If Thal is pushed into that top right corner again, and weakened to a point that it can't start wars, can't do it's pushing... what will actually happen? When I joint Thal initially, the entire continent was at peace and every realm but OS was silent. You may not like Thal pushing it's weight around, but Irondale is a much better realm (game health wise) than Angmar, Grehkia, Gotland and Caelint were. Would that have occurred if a realm didn't push it?

If Thal is to either die, or be weakened to a point where it cannot be the antagonist anymore, then all that is left is a group of realms that are federated unofficially and have proven that they can and will attack in a large group and are capable of downing any foe. No one will declare war on any of you. Any war you declare you will win. That is not healthy from a game point of view.

One of the first things I did when I noticed how strong Thal was, was to start offending allies. Ultimately detrimental if we wanted to try win the game, but a realm that had at the time 50 nobles, having an ally always backing us up bringing our total count to like 70... just wouldn't be fun. Thal has a fair few players that like the war game, they want wars to fight, not stomps. I am sure your realms are similar.

And finally, this isn't just a BT thing.
The Northern alliance on EC is an issue too. It's a whole half the continent that ensures realms such as Nivemus, that have more regions than nobles, are untouchable due to unofficial alliances that shouldn't be there. Realms like Sirion, who actually do have the fighting nobles, are unchallenged because they have a 3 realm thick buffer state... that's an issue for both the southern players who are opposed by them, and for the actual enjoyment of the Sirion nobles. They have to play for weeks of just movement to be able to get a battle. No battle ever carries any risk whatsoever. Their regions are never at risk. That's... boring for everyone involved.

I hope this clears up that this is nothing to do with "boohoo thal is losing" and is something that I have pushed for, as I see it as a genuine issue, both IC and OOC sinse alliance restrictions were a thing.

PolarRaven

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Re: OOC power-gaming???
« Reply #44: May 17, 2020, 07:16:12 PM »
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For the similarities to the Thal Caelint war, we actually weren't strong at the start of that. We got strong during it as we used it as a plus point for our realm.

I don't mean to be picky here, but it was actually the "GOTLAND vs. CAELINT" war.  A very evenly matched war between two boring little realms that may have helped either or both with recruitment and or fun for their tiny realms.  Unitl Thal forced its way in. 
If I recall correctly, at (at  least) one point both Gotland and Caelint wanted out of the war due to the actual battles being fought on their lands and both realms were suffering.  The war, of course, did not end until the largest realm (Thalmarkin) decided that it had had its fill of the war.  And since there is no longer a Gotland or a Caelint, the only real winner in that war was Thalmarkin. 

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Thal did not grow in numbers due to real world recruitment, we grew in numbers because we accepted everyone and we accommodated everyone. Mordok was refused by every realm, we took them in. VS was banned en masse by Nova, we took them in. Thal accepts everyone and allows them to be the characters they want to be and works with that, rather than against it.

OK, Thal was accepting of anyone regardless of their previous history, I will give you that point.  But, at that time, anyone who asked on DISCORD about advice for joining a realm on BT, Obeah realm(s) and Thalmarkin were the "goto" advice that was given.  I have not seen this so much in recent times, but it was the case then.

You mention the "unofficial alliance block" of SV and Nothoi (and now include Irondale), as being a problem to prevent/influence war on the continent.  This was not the case when the Gotland/Caelint conflict was ongoing.  For whatever reason(s) SV was not there during that conflict.  It was more likely Thal's continuing actions of "bullying" that drew them into this most recent conflict.  After seeing Thal essentially destroy/damage "inflict their will" over the entire northern part of BT, maybe SV decided enough was enough and decided to intervene?  I can not say for sure, but seems quite likely to me.  OR maybe they just "used it as a plus point for their realm to help it grow and get strong".

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For the comparison to the Grehkia attack, I can see the issues you have with it, but there is a distinction to be made here. That was multiple realms vs Thal. At the time, we could handle that. But the realm had 6 nobles, there isn't a war on the continent they could have gotten in that wouldn't have been one sided. We actually pushed for them to make the merge into Caelint and the whole war took place without a major battle.

I was not there for this, but I ask you this "what choice did they have?"  I would think they really had no choice.  Thal had, by that time, practically decimated every realm in the area that could have offered Gerhkia any type of assistance.

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I never believed Thal would be destroyed, that isn't what I was worried about.
I was worried that Thal was the "mixer upper" of the continent. If Thal is pushed into that top right corner again, and weakened to a point that it can't start wars, can't do it's pushing... what will actually happen? When I joint Thal initially, the entire continent was at peace and every realm but OS was silent. You may not like Thal pushing it's weight around, but Irondale is a much better realm (game health wise) than Angmar, Grehkia, Gotland and Caelint were. Would that have occurred if a realm didn't push it?

If Thal is to either die, or be weakened to a point where it cannot be the antagonist anymore, then all that is left is a group of realms that are federated unofficially and have proven that they can and will attack in a large group and are capable of downing any foe. No one will declare war on any of you. Any war you declare you will win. That is not healthy from a game point of view.

SELF IMPORTANCE.  Without the actions of Thalmarkin's players the entire continent of BT would not be any fun for anyone?
We (Thal) made the continent fun for everyone.  Without us (Thal) you would all be bored.  "That is not healthy from a game point of view."
If the players in Thal think so much of themselves (and I do agree that there are many "good/exciting/engaging" players in Thal), would it not be "more healthy" to have disbanded Thalmarkin and spread those players throughout the other realms on the continent so as to drive more activity throughout the entire continent?

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One of the first things I did when I noticed how strong Thal was, was to start offending allies. Ultimately detrimental if we wanted to try win the game, but a realm that had at the time 50 nobles, having an ally always backing us up bringing our total count to like 70... just wouldn't be fun. Thal has a fair few players that like the war game, they want wars to fight, not stomps. I am sure your realms are similar.

You are right, it was not any fun, but there were those in Thal during the Gotland vs Caelint war that seemed to be having fun from what I recall of the letters that came out at the time.  So in an effort to help "equalize" the sides, you pushed your allies away by offending them.  Knowing full well that you had already meddled and aggravated pretty much every other realm on the continent.
And then you are surprised when suddenly most of the continent wants a piece of Thal and you now have no allies to help back you up???  What did you really expect?  Maybe it would have been a better idea to keep your allies close and ask them to not interfere unless needed their help to defend your realm... This is what I did in Caelint.  I asked my allies to not interfere in our Gotland incident until it became clear that both Thalmarkin and AA were not willing to stay out of the conflict.

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And finally, this isn't just a BT thing.
The Northern alliance on EC is an issue too.
I agree.  Consider this though:
I have not played a noble on EC for a while now either, but when I was there, I know for a fact that the war could have been ended at the time by the "south" admitting defeat and giving up ONE city (Perdan) to end the war. 
War over. 
What has held the north together for so long?  I suspect that the biggest factor holding the north together is the war with the south.
Without this war to solidify relations, I suspect that the north would quickly turn on each other for any number of reasons.
Sometimes, the best way to "win" is to admit defeat. 

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Realms like Sirion, who actually do have the fighting nobles, are unchallenged because they have a 3 realm thick buffer state... that's an issue for both the southern players who are opposed by them, and for the actual enjoyment of the Sirion nobles. They have to play for weeks of just movement to be able to get a battle. No battle ever carries any risk whatsoever. Their regions are never at risk. That's... boring for everyone involved.
Until recently, you could have replaced the name "Sirion" with the name "Thalmarkin". 
The only real difference being the side that you have chosen for your characters.

I hope this helps give you a clearer picture of the other side.