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Should Anathema/Excommunication be player-controlled abilities?

AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
edited March 2016 in North of Thera
I've been curious as to where people stand on this - so, please, vote and state why you feel the way you do.

For those newer members, Anathema and Excommunication are two abilities that effectively sever your ability to regain life essence (for Necromancers) or devotion (for Devotion users). Currently, both of these powers are wielded by mortal characters. Anathema can be severed/restored by the mortal in charge of it, but Excommunication requires Aurora and Deucalion to manually go in and restore it.  
Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

(The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


Should Anathema/Excommunication be player-controlled abilities? 100 votes

The current system is fine
67% 67 votes
Anathema/Excom should by divine-only abilities
33% 33 votes
Elipise
«13

Comments

  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    Welp. Forums cut me off and posted before I could add other poll options, so I guess just talk about your ideas. 

    For what my own two cents are worth, I'm of a mind that the Deacon/Dread Ecclair should both be able to restore Necro/Devo, rather than rely on a system where I have to essentially just pray that I have an active divine forever.
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

    (The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


    Halos
  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    The issue with divine only Excom/Anathema is when you don't have an active divine.

    EDIT: Though I agree that Deacon should be able to restore Devo
    Huh. Neat.
  • AntidasAntidas Member Posts: 1,497 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Agree that Deacon/Dread Ecclesiarch should have full control - as in, the ability to take away and restore as necessary. Should continued to be monitored by admins as always, considering the amount of power these two individuals have, but if there's no active divine, i think the player should definitely be able to handle it.

  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Also paging @Tahquil who I know has some thoughts on Excom
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

    (The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


  • SilvarienSilvarien Member Posts: 577 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Having been a devotionist for almost all of my time on the game, I would say that if these abilities are trusted to mortals at all, they should be trusted only to people directly responsible and directly picked by the relevant Divine. Abuse of power can happen either in the real world or in a virtual reality world, but this particular power makes the mortal bearer the Pope or his Evil equivalent. The ability to sever Devotion, to me, means the severing of ability to draw from Lady Aurora and Lord Deucalion, which is awfully close to the Gods doing it themselves. I am not sure how the Necromantic equivalent works. If Lady Aurora and Lord Deucalion see fit to place this power in a person's hands, then it's Their power and Their prerogative, or They can do the excomms Themselves if they want to. I just don't think this power should be anywhere further from the Gods themselves though. It's not a "normal" power like a City Favor, it should always be very close to the control  of the Gods.
  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Silvarien said:
    Having been a devotionist for almost all of my time on the game, I would say that if these abilities are trusted to mortals at all, they should be trusted only to people directly responsible and directly picked by the relevant Divine. Abuse of power can happen either in the real world or in a virtual reality world, but this particular power makes the mortal bearer the Pope or his Evil equivalent. The ability to sever Devotion, to me, means the severing of ability to draw from Lady Aurora and Lord Deucalion, which is awfully close to the Gods doing it themselves. I am not sure how the Necromantic equivalent works. If Lady Aurora and Lord Deucalion see fit to place this power in a person's hands, then it's Their power and Their prerogative, or They can do the excomms Themselves if they want to. I just don't think this power should be anywhere further from the Gods themselves though. It's not a "normal" power like a City Favor, it should always be very close to the control  of the Gods.
    Only one person on each side can Excom/Anathema, and yes they're handpicked.
    Huh. Neat.
    Silvarien
  • SilvarienSilvarien Member Posts: 577 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Ahmet said:
    Silvarien said:
    Having been a devotionist for almost all of my time on the game, I would say that if these abilities are trusted to mortals at all, they should be trusted only to people directly responsible and directly picked by the relevant Divine. Abuse of power can happen either in the real world or in a virtual reality world, but this particular power makes the mortal bearer the Pope or his Evil equivalent. The ability to sever Devotion, to me, means the severing of ability to draw from Lady Aurora and Lord Deucalion, which is awfully close to the Gods doing it themselves. I am not sure how the Necromantic equivalent works. If Lady Aurora and Lord Deucalion see fit to place this power in a person's hands, then it's Their power and Their prerogative, or They can do the excomms Themselves if they want to. I just don't think this power should be anywhere further from the Gods themselves though. It's not a "normal" power like a City Favor, it should always be very close to the control  of the Gods.
    Only one person on each side can Excom/Anathema, and yes they're handpicked.
    @Ahmet : thanks for clarifying.
  • JaceroJacero Member Posts: 37 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    Edit: Keep the current removal function and devotion/essence access should be restorable by the Deacon/Dread Ecclesiarch.
  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,380 @@ - Legendary Achaean
     O.o not really.
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Are there changes that could be made to Excom/Anathema to mitigate the total loss of utility, while also respecting the factional purity that we've been building towards for the last few RL years? 
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

    (The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


    Jeslyn
  • SkyeSkye The Duchess BellatereMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 3,056 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Haven't some of those changes already been made? For example,  the nerfing of blessings and shields,  the requirement for people to accept preaching before being able to be delivered/rezzed. 


    Shirszae
  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,380 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    Warped and sickly Angel/daemon appearance, 1/4 essence regen, devotion/necro reliant skills having a 1 second channel to reflect the unwillingness of the Angel/daemon to serve?

    This would sorta be like making excom and antheama an affliction or illness.
    AodfionnUtianima
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    I don't know about fancy cosmetic differences, that could almost be desirable to some, but if the penalties are still discouraging enough, why not?

    Blocking daily regen is completely legit, that's a crippling penalty to actually using your Devotion/Necromancy stuff. The "regen" from Cannibalism/Vivisect/Catharsis and Immolate/Damnation/Absolve is a small amount in the grand scheme, and so could still be allowed. "Big" regens like Rite of Prayer/Exterminate could still be blocked, since those could effectively recharge someone and shrug off the consequences in the right circumstances. Finding the right balance means that an Excommed player could keep their class, but would have to "save up" Devotion/Essence and choose carefully when to use it, with the "big" abilities like Force, spammed Rites/Ghands, Soulcage (The things that people don't want Excommed/Anathema'ed folks to have) would be pretty impossible to actually use. Some specific abilities could/should be made unavailable: Nirvana/Inferno, Deliver/Transverse, Angel Sacrifice/Demon Fury, give Spiritshields a small Devotion cost, maybe Succor so that distance healing could be removed without the Priest losing all of Healing, etc.

    I spent 6 months playing/fighting as an Excomm'ed Paladin, and at most I could "afford" to use Inspiration in some fights, and only used anything else if it really mattered. It was fun, in a way, I got to be a little smug when I won fights as a Paladin using 1 skill, (Though the state of combat balance would probably make any success I had then impossible now) and I took some pride in bearing my consequences and showing that my Excomm resulted from closely-kept character consistency, not just in-the-moment petulance toward Team Good. I had my character, and was willing to bear the consequences to tell his story. I had intentions to stay Paladin as long as I possibly could, politics actually forced me into Runewarden while I still had about 37% left, but with the totality of Excomm, hitting 0% was inevitable, and then I would eventually be forced to change if I wanted to keep fighting/hunting/playing.

    I firmly believe that if Excommunication/Anathema is a roleplay-based penalty, then it is 100% possible to find a balance between crippling penalties that no one would want, but that do not remove a player's class outright, because I think that's a 100% valid line of RP should a character choose to pursue it knowing the consequences. Unfortunately, I think the Admin view Excomm as more of an administrative punishment that happens to be RP-justified, and if that's the case, then it should probably mirror Occultist "excomm", where only the Gods can do it, and only to the absolute worst abusers.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
    MelodieShirszaeElowin
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Having actively pkd and dealt with essence many years ago, I can say just blocking auto regen isn't going to actually keep anyone's essence low. Part of the problem is how different essence/devo are, I'd say.
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,087 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    Devos get devotion in a similar manner to hearts - they just immolate corpses at the tree, instead (more inconvenient, for sure).

    I've not actually compared the numbers, but in general, necros have a easier-to-gain-but-easier-to-lose limit, while devotionists have a much longer-standing pool that is much, much slower (and harder) to refill. I think in the end, it mostly balances out. Maybe a minor tweak to effect necro more firmly, but nothing major I think.

    I had a pretty long post I wanted to get out, but I think Aerek covered it for the most part. Instead, I'll paste part of an email I sent to Tecton at the end of January in 2013, which was just a few weeks after my first excommunication, that included some of my thoughts and research into a rarely-glimpsed subject:

    "Although an unfortunate amount of excommunications, both Good and Evil, happen due to characters who just fall out of line very blatantly, a few happen now and again because of legitimate role playing reasons. I would like to think my case is one of those (although I will admit parts of it is due to a few bad decisions as a player that I now just have to deal with). With this change [referencing the added mechanical change that you use a little devo/necro to summon angel/baalzadeen], you not only render one skill (eventually) completely unusable, but most of two skills completely gone. I feel this is too far, from a player's standpoint.

    If we look at both Spirituality and Devotion, the first has thirty-three abilities, and the second thirty-two abilities. For Devotion, out of those abilities, only three (rites, prayer, and bloodsworn) are usable without Devotion. Crippling, for certain, but not utterly unplayable. It is when you reach over to Spirituality and, without an angel (since if you have no Devotion, you cannot summon her), you only have access to a total of seven abilities (touch (which would be rendered useless), mace, call, smash, judgement, chasten, and contemplation). Rites in Devotion and Contemplation in Spirituality also both are located in skills any adventurer can learn, thus lessening the amount of abilities even more. In total, you'll have anywhere from 7-10 abilities at your disposal over two skills. Healing, the third skill, only has a single offensive ability - the rest is tied to use in healing and (ironically) blessing yourself and others."

    I have not done a similar examination of Apostasy/Necromancy yet, but I could if there's interest in the numbers.

    That email was sent over three years ago (holy fuck has it really been that long now?), but unfortunately I never got a return response. This is an issue I still continue to feel very strongly about, even with my situation well behind me. At the very least, as Aerek states, there needs to be a clarification: If this is meant to be an administrative punishment that happens to have some roleplay flavor, then make it a God-only thing. If this is meant be an actual, true roleplay consequence, then I believe some adjustments truly need to be made, the first of those having both head mortals being able to both punish and redeem, but also other tweaks.

    Edit: I want to say from my own experiences that it should be and is a roleplay-based consequence, but sometimes I'm not really sure what the admin are driving at in regards how everything plays out. Either way, it should be resolved.
               My wing tips waltz across naive
                     Wood floors they creak
                  Innocently down the stairs

                          Drag melody
    My percussive feet serve cobweb headaches as a
              Matching set of marching clocks
                The slumbering apparitions
              That they've come to wake up
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Okay so this would solve the problem if the Bloodsworn go dormant, but what if the Deacon goes dormant, too?
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,087 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Then I imagine it'd go to Tecton, who handles these sorts of things when gods/etc have gone missing. It's how we replace some of our leaders and get certain admin-only things pushed through without Sartan, etc. Dormancy issues can only be prevented so much, unfortunately (and is a problem with every org and their various duties, not just this particular section).
               My wing tips waltz across naive
                     Wood floors they creak
                  Innocently down the stairs

                          Drag melody
    My percussive feet serve cobweb headaches as a
              Matching set of marching clocks
                The slumbering apparitions
              That they've come to wake up
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Ah okay. Well at least it'd still be handled, but if that's the case... would the Deacon need to be allowed to do all this then if Tecton can just do it?
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • SilvarienSilvarien Member Posts: 577 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Melodie said:
    Then I imagine it'd go to Tecton, who handles these sorts of things when [b]gods/etc have gone missing.[/b] It's how we replace some of our leaders and get certain admin-only things pushed through without Sartan, etc. Dormancy issues can only be prevented so much, unfortunately (and is a problem with every org and their various duties, not just this particular section).
    And here we have Lord Babel on a milk carton:

    "Have you seen this Mad God? Reward of 9001 gold, be sure to check the Divine Asylum near you!"
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Kayeil said:
    Ah okay. Well at least it'd still be handled, but if that's the case... would the Deacon need to be allowed to do all this then if Tecton can just do it?

    Having a Deacon should simply exist to streamline the process, from a mechanics standpoint; Tecton doesn't have the time or energy to be putting into essentially being the last line of 'RP police' for Team Good. Asking him to take on the entirety of it doesn't make any logical sense, as long as there exist players/admins who are more devoted to that area.

    Tecton could just do the entirety of it now; doesn't mean it's not good to delegate this kind of stuff, and in this instance, all I'm proposing is that we add in an extra layer of 'people who can help fix a problem,' to bring us in line with another faction that has similar mechanics.
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

    (The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


    ShirszaeMelodieMami
  • SkyeSkye The Duchess BellatereMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 3,056 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I've never really liked the One Size Fits All method of punishment for devo/essence users. Why not just have two levels of excommunication/anathema? 

    On one level, what you would largely experience is inconvenience. Your abilities may random fail, or you may randomly get backlash from your own angel/baalz and your devo/essence regen is slowed to a trickle. Ideally you may still function as a devo/necro user, but you're  not the most useful person around in a pinch. This could be reserved for those borderline heretic cases of rogue priests who hang out with the 'wrong crowd'. You could probably call it more like 'censured' or something. 

    On the other level, it would be more like the current excommunication where your class is effectively killed. This would probably be reserved only for people who are outright defying the Bloodsworn/Team Good by joining in raids, getting citizened by a blatantly enemy city (if said city will even take them). 


  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo DomingoMember Posts: 3,265 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I feel that even if something like that was introduced (which would be ideal, honestly. I very much like the idea) I still think most factions would automatically apply the severest punishment on all/most occasions.

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...


    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

    JeslynTaeltwo
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    I'm on the fence about making Excommunication and Anathema reversible by the Deacon or Dread Eclair.

    If it's made reversible, it becomes tempting to use it as a temporary punishment. That takes a lot away from the impact of what is one of the most impactful things in the game (particularly one of the most impactful player-controlled things) and is also likely to lead to lame "I'm excomming you for a week as a warning" stuff, which is no fun.

    On the other hand, it certainly should be possible to get an excommunication reversed. I don't know how doable it is right now, especially when the relevant factional gods are domant, but it certainly should be possible. And given that the Deacon/Dread Eclair are already trusted to use excommunication/anathema with good judgement, maybe it would work well to just say "hey, don't use this as a temporary punishment" and trust them with reversal too.

    As for things like "lesser" excommunication, I really, really dislike that idea. The current system makes excommunication very dramatic and its severity means that it's reserved for large of repeated transgressions. I don't think having a form of lesser excommunication would be a positive thing. The relevant factional orgs can already enact punishments through other methods, and I think it's a good thing that rogues exist in a sort of limbo where they have to toe the line because they can get away with more without facing lesser punishments, but they still can't go too far.

    I disagree very strongly that excommunication/anathema should be balanced around the legitimacy of roleplaying an excommunicated/anathamatized character. While that sounds nice in theory, the point of excommunication/anathema is to ensure that the ideological classes stay true to their ideology and fiction. If you allow people to play excommunicated priests in a meaningful ways, there are going to be a lot of excommunicated priests. It's already a popular class and people have spoken at length for years about how it's a mechanically desirable class too. And there's just no way to keep the classes grounded like this while making excommunication/anathema a "viable choice" - either it's balanced so excommunication/anathema isn't that big a penalty and then there's nothing ensuring that the class's population stays true to its fiction, or it's balanced so excommunication/anathema is a big penalty and people don't feel like it's mechanically viable (the current situation). The mechanical viability of the class and the ability of excommunication/anathema to ensure adherence to the fiction are directly opposed. I don't think you can have it both ways.
    MediMamiAodfionn
  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo DomingoMember Posts: 3,265 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Anathema is already reversible and people don't get 'anathema'd for a week' so I doubt people being able to reverse excommunication would lead to that issue either.

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...


    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

    TaeltwoMami
  • KhairtKhairt Member Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Don't think either should exist at all. A warning that your skills can be taken from you doesn't make it feel less like a player stealing is 100$ from me. My money is far more valuable to me than someone else's roleplay. Call it selfish, call it naive, I get that it's an unpopular opinion. Try to take even 10$ out of my piggy bank though, and you're in for a bad time. As it stands, I don't play classes that people get sniffles over specifically because those things exist. 


    ElipiseShirszaeFrederich
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    100+ people's roleplay is more important than your bucks, though, so dwi.
    TaeltwoAntidas
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    Khairt said:
    Don't think either should exist at all. A warning that your skills can be taken from you doesn't make it feel less like a player stealing is 100$ from me. My money is far more valuable to me than someone else's roleplay. Call it selfish, call it naive, I get that it's an unpopular opinion. Try to take even 10$ out of my piggy bank though, and you're in for a bad time. As it stands, I don't play classes that people get sniffles over specifically because those things exist. 
    There's an easy solution to your problem if you feel that way. You even seem to have found it: Just don't play those classes.

    It's also not like people can randomly take your class skills for no reason. You don't just play Priest and hope the Deacon doesn't throw a dart at your name. If the Deacon is excommunicating you, it's because you've egregriously violated the blindingly obvious factional roleplaying restrictions. They're not stealing $100 from you, you're giving away $100. They're just the ones who collect it from you.

    Some classes have roleplaying restrictions. Some classes don't have ents. Some classes don't have ranged attacks. Not every class has to be attractive to every player. If you don't want to deal with ents, don't play a class with ents. If you don't want to deal with roleplaying restrictions, don't play a class with roleplaying restrictions. The roleplaying restrictions don't need to be lifted in the same way that the ents don't need to be taken away to attract the people who don't like managing ents.

    I have zero interest in playing a Druid. That doesn't mean the Druid class shouldn't exist.

    Do you really, seriously wish you could play an Evil character with Devotion, no matter how completely and totally nonsensical that is?

    And that's significantly understating the real problem by individualising it. In reality, if you could be an Evil devotionist, a huge proportion of devotionists would be Evil - both because they're mechanically attractive classes and because a lot of people love the idea of playing that kind of special snowflake using-the-powers-of-Good-for-Evil thing.
    HalosMamiAntidas
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