I've talked to @Makarios
and he said that he is open to the idea of a discussion regarding the actual mechanic of Crusading.
I can't speak for anyone else, other than the people that I know feel the same as I do, but I hate the way Crusades currently work. Here are my main complaints:
1) There is rarely any conflict associated with them, as a result of further points.
The vast majority of Crusades are about an hour of waiting and another hour of mindlessly boring yourself to death looking for the splinters. This may be fun for, like, a hound dog or something but I find it to be quite possibly the worst hour of my life.
It is very rare that another 'team' will jump into a Crusade. I think I've seen Eleusis in 1 or 2, Ashtan in 1 or 2, Hashan in 2 or 3, and every other one has been Mhaldor or Targossas. Perhaps people just aren't interested in them, which is more a testament to how they work than anything else. The end result, however, is just a snooze fest.
2) There are only two types of Crusades: The EST time zone "pk crowd" or the EST time zone 4 AM "I don't want to fight" crowd.
Most Crusades have a start time that is specifically geared towards one of these two reasons, but half of the former ends up resulting in nothing, and almost all of the latter always results in nothing. So the end result is the vast majority of the Crusades taking place during times when a lot of Achaeans can't participate, if they wanted to, or at times when there aren't enough people around to participate if your small little European group -does- want to participate.
3) The actual end-result of Crusades.
The actual purpose of a Crusade, affecting the "attacking" group, is Avatar. Avatar is fine and dandy and you can have some serious RP fun with it (See: Deucalion/Ashtan), but for most groups the end result is just Avatar. That's roughly 5 Crusades, assuming a 100,000 sweep, which equates to 10ish hours of mindlessly gathering splinters so that one single individual can be buffed for a limited period of time. Now, at present, there aren't many avenues through which to take advantage of an Avatar. The Mhaldor/Targossas war is one example (rare), but the combat situation with the highest potential would be...Crusades, assuming they meant something. So...no real point other than a little flair.
4) The actual end-result for the defensive side of Crusades.
If your Order is hit by a Crusade, and you decide to do nothing as a result, then your life doesn't change in the slightest. If I recall correctly you can't raise shrines for a small period of time, can't defile, can't world burn, but these are all so limited in scope that the chances of it actually affecting any Order besides Aurora/Deucalion/Sartan is effectively nothing, and the chances of affecting those three is still so low that it's not even worth worrying over.
So what I'd like to do is open up the floor for ideas to solve the Crusade problem.
How can it be made more fun? How can the results be made more worthwhile, and the consequences more dire? How can you solve the "time zone abuse" that most people hate about things like this? All in all, how can Crusades be changed to accurately reflect the potential of them and the weight the term "Crusade" actually holds?
Would love to hear your thoughts.