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Should Anathema/Excommunication be player-controlled abilities?

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  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    You're kinda implying the opinion of the Deacon and even the opinion of Deucora is above reproach. Just because it's effective, doesn't mean it's right. By that logic, Trump rallies are perfectly legitimate and also above reproach.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If you can't trust anyone's opinion you can't give players any kind of real power, and that'd be even more boring. It's worked fine for 15+ years. There have been a few less than great cases, but even they had some kind of reason behind them.

    The price you pay for a world where the players (and gods) can shape it and make it truly interesting is that sometimes you have to deal with things going awry, but it's much preferable to me than the alternative.

    The problem with the old system is that if you were careful you were under no real punishment at all. You could go for ages without running out of essence or devo, really, so what was the point of the excom?
    TaeltwoAodfionnHalos
  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo DomingoMember Posts: 3,265 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Forcing you to be careful. Putting a limit on what you could feasibly do if you did not want to run out of essence and be locked out of your class. It placed a strain, which sure, could be overcome, but was a strain nonetheless. I think perhaps the difficulty to keep afloat could be amped, some more penalties could be added to make swimming against the current harder, while also not making it impossible.

    I mean, I can see your point, but I've ever thought black and white have and will always be more boring than subtle shades of grey. Which is probably why I have a great problem playing zealot characters.

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


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

  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    Shirszae said:
    I mean, I can see your point, but I've ever thought black and white have and will always be more boring than subtle shades of grey.
    Two things:

    1. The biggest problem is that almost everyone agrees with you on that.

    Really extreme shades of grey where you're playing against type are a great idea for a video game or a tabletop RPG where there are only a few players and they're interesting because they go "against the grain" and their interactions with NPCs will be more complex because they defy the NPC expectations, but it doesn't really work when you're in an MMO-like setting where something like half of the devotionists are working with factions that directly oppose the source of Devotion's power. You're not really going against the grain at that point, you've just changed the direction of the grain. And that's ignoring how many people would just ignore the RP entirely and use it as an excuse to play a mechanically desirable class.

    2. You can absolutely play shades of grey. That's actually one of the main reasons excommunication is set up the way it is.

    There are limits to how dark a shade of grey you can play, but you don't get excommunicated for not being a 100% yes-man ultra-zealot for Good. Avoiding excommunication is not the Good equivalent of playing a Mhaldorian character where some degree of zealotry is required (though even Mhaldorians have shades of grey). You can roleplay someone who disagrees with the mainstream direction of Good, even very vocally. Many notable characters have done so. Many have argued over whether the whole "kill the infidels" thing is actually the right path for Good. Some have pointed out syncretism between Good and Evil or Good and Nature. Some have purposefully lived outside the bounds of Good organisations to afford them more opportunity to play those shades of grey. You can absolutely play a nonviolent, non-zealot Good character. People don't get excommunicated for those things. Excommunication doesn't require you to play on the blindingly white side of the scale, it's just a ban on playing too far on the black side of the scale.

    And @Aerek, I'm definitely not implying that and that's a silly analogy. There is no logic by which willingness to accept any thing that isn't perfect means that you must accept that Trump rallies are above reproach. Nothing is perfect. Nothing is perfectly fair. Sometimes there are mistakes. But it's pretty damn rare that people get excommunicated without knowing that their actions brought it about and the roleplaying in the game would be far poorer without it. And in cases where excommunication wasn't fair, that's what admin are for (assuming we can rely on them without implying that Trump rallies are beyond reproach).
    JeslynAodfionnHalos
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    No one's yet said that the opinion of Deacon/Deucora is going to eternally be above reproach; but given that this mechanic has existed for an RL decade and a half and hasn't been abused, I think it's pretty reasonable to expect that nothing will change drastically in the future on that front.


    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

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


  • KhairtKhairt Member Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    You're absolutely right, I have found the simple solution. Dealt with it, in fact. I don't play those classes because I do not wish to put myself into a position where a player can directly devalue the investment I make in my amusement. Still do not think it should happen to anyone else. I don't walk down dark alleys, but I don't think the people that do deserve what they get.

     I'm not personally a stickler for the RPs, I specifically remember "Not Required" written on the Achaea website. (please do correct me if I'm mistaken, it's been quite a bit over a decade at this point) I don't specifically go out of my way to ruin that experience for others, but I'm more than content with doing my own thing and speaking to people who I have literally watched grow up here. That immersion and rp has become more and more a talking point over the years is fine, admin cycle out from the players and players who are primarily ooc chatterinos don't tend to become celani, but that doesn't make it suddenly ok to feel justified in being the boss of make pretend, especially when you stand to cost someone money. It's a text world, but a game primarily, I've never thought of it as that serious. Especially since what GOOD is has been so mutable and varied.

    As for trusting players to be responsible, no thanks. I'm pretty sure that is why we lost guild control over classes in the first place, and theft. Two other systems I "dealt with" and were since removed. Not sad to see either gone.

    tl;dr: ok


    VerruchtKyrra
  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016

    Achaea is a roleplaying game: some level of roleplaying is expected.

    Direct quote from HELP RP.

    ** Be warned that if a Paladin strays too far from the path of good, they can be excommunicated and lose the ability to use Devotion. Thus, this class requires roleplaying and may not be for everyone.

    Direct quote from HELP PALADIN. Priest has its own very similar warning.

    I don't like the fact that anyone can take away someone else's investment in the game, but you can't say there isn't sufficient warning.

    EDIT: Not saying that @Khairt or anyone is complaining, just pointing out that it's clearly stated that the class requires some degree of RP.
    Huh. Neat.
  • KhairtKhairt Member Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I don't think that has always been the case, re: the warnings in help files. Also, the warnings weren't really in question, I know they exist now, and have for some time. Just not cool with the loss of skills dictated by players based on an ethos that changes over time. Or at all, to be perfectly honest.  Not complaining, things are how they are, just positing that were it up to me, it wouldn't be a mechanic. It isn't up to me, and I don't lose sleep over it. 


    Verrucht
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Those RP warnings were added sometime around when Rho excommunicated everyone outside of Cyrene/Shallam, iirc. 

    I dislike the comparisons to guilds, because guilds were rife with examples of abuses - to my knowledge, there's never been even one instance of Deacon/Archprelate/Dread Eclair going off the rails and abusing their power. 
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

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


  • IsrayhlIsrayhl Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Aodfionn said:
    Those RP warnings were added sometime around when Rho excommunicated everyone outside of Cyrene/Shallam, iirc. 

    I dislike the comparisons to guilds, because guilds were rife with examples of abuses - to my knowledge, there's never been even one instance of Deacon/Archprelate/Dread Eclair going off the rails and abusing their power. 
    Bolded the parts that seem to contradict each other a bit. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'd think excommunicating every rogue en masse would be considered an abuse of power. 
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If 100 players were hit with that, then most of them suicided. I have a list of every character that's been excommunicated, and it shows the folks who got excom'd even after they've switched factions or class (hi Ruth). I'm not sure there's even 100 names on that list, and I excommunicated more than 50 in the rl year since the Cyrene thing happened. This is not my record keeping, but a hard-coded command that the Deacon can do. 

    I disagree with the sentiment behind your point, Aerek - because I personally have done all within my power to encourage and facilitate folks who want to 'just toe the line' to get by with their generally nuanced roles - but I completely get why you'd feel that way. Team Good could definitely have done better by some folks, and I'd like to think we're moving further and further away from that culture.

    Speaking of - Rho's wave of excommunications was ten years ago. That's nuts.
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

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


  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Yeah, you have, Aodfionn, but you won't be there forever. The next guy may not try so hard, and that's generally when those cases start to crop up.

    As for the number of excomms, I don't know about your Deacon powers, but:

    http://www.achaea.com/forum/the-church-0

    That's just Hashan and Eleusis on the day of. Easily 60-70 Excomms in that list, though you have to read through and pick them out of the enemyings. Add in the few Ashtani Devos, plus the rogues, Cyrenians, and Shallamese that have caught it over the years? Your command must only track things since the Targossas/Deacon became a thing.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    Deros, Medrwyn, Sojin, Talisman, Thakren, Tylin, Aaragon, Yang, Magnangemon, Morrigu, Trenia, Caerid, Anu, Radagast, Starrsong, Riven, Ryvern, Twinklefoot, Dalamar, Verlaine, Xianty, Silverlock, Lashar, Cyre, Atreus, Lajon, Lydia, Darby, Seymour, Vexlore, Malia, Elbryan, Callianessa, Elowen, Psyngitarum, Lot, Troyian, Hisui, Linnia, Kullus, Ceccilla, Averon, Kendel, Marwhan, Dyzanru, Rykoyo, Nocturn, Aoelithon, Ado, Sophier, Veovis, Irina, Choronik, Tianmei, Ruth, Neirenn, Tonk, Aerek, Gadolayim, Ensis, Elad, Profit, Pip, Daitya, Astari, Yuni, Galileo, Marcas, Valriir, Aerath, Elowynn, Artifex, Eira, Iluvatar, Boudicca, Marcel, Sena, Karen, Ahlea, Luxy, Forx, Mica, Melodie, Yiao, Aminah, Fanniya, Charan, Ishameal, Daryn, Meaux, Prydwyn, Tebera, Rurik, Pymn, Arimael, Vicious, Scherzer, Avianca, Jenowa, Minna, Solen, Bria, Dawnella, Akeem, Zengus, Tiarra, Glaci, Qiesei, Cerony, Irial, Solanus, Mahesh, Alcynous, Ryleigha, Bellus, Alloran, Jessi, Alden, Syrennia.


    Some of the ones on that list were folks that Rho excomm'd, like Tonk. Caerid was... way, way before Targossas. 

    No idea what all makes this list, but it seems to go back before Rho, and also misses some of the names in that log. 

    edit: Cursory honors-check of a lot of the names from that forum log says that a lot of them suicided. If I had to guess, I'd wager my list is comprehensive only so far as it includes characters that still exist. There is no record of the ones that suicide, from my end.
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

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


  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    What Rho did was not in any way an abuse of power and was 100% better for the game. Every single rogue/enemy city devotionist got a warning and a chance to avoid it. The same thing happened when Mhaldor recalled apostates/infernals, but it went over better since there were few enemy-city ones by that time.
    HalosTaeltwoAethele
  • AntidasAntidas Member Posts: 1,497 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Aerek ;It is worth noting that in the log provided you about the excommunications, only a small portion of them are excommunications at all. If you read closely, the vast majority of that is just Rho making them enemies of the church rather than actually excommunicating them, which is not the same thing. There's only about 30 or so people who got excommunicated as per that log from old forums.

  • SarathaiSarathai Member Posts: 2,139 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Aerek said:
    http://www.achaea.com/forum/the-church-0

    That's just Hashan and Eleusis on the day of. Easily 60-70 Excomms in that list, though you have to read through and pick them out of the enemyings.
    "[20:06:54] 2007/12/18 04:06:19 - Rho declared Sarathai to be a formal enemy. Reason:
    [20:06:54] declared enemy of the Church, Eleusian."

    Good times!
    - (Eleusis): Ellodin says, "The Fissure of Echoes is Sarathai's happy place."
    - With sharp, crackling tones, Kyrra tells you, "The ladies must love you immensely."
    - (Eleusian Ranger Techs): Savira says, "Most of the hard stuff seem to have this built in code like: If adventurer_hitting_me = "Sarathai" then send("terminate and selfdestruct")."
    - Makarios says, "Serve well and perish."
    - Xaden says, "Xaden confirmed scrub 2017."



    Antidas
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Antidas said:
    @Aerek ;It is worth noting that in the log provided you about the excommunications, only a small portion of them are excommunications at all. If you read closely, the vast majority of that is just Rho making them enemies of the church rather than actually excommunicating them, which is not the same thing. There's only about 30 or so people who got excommunicated as per that log from old forums.
    There's 60, actually, but yes, I said that in my post.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
  • AntidasAntidas Member Posts: 1,497 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Aerek said:
    Antidas said:
    @Aerek ;It is worth noting that in the log provided you about the excommunications, only a small portion of them are excommunications at all. If you read closely, the vast majority of that is just Rho making them enemies of the church rather than actually excommunicating them, which is not the same thing. There's only about 30 or so people who got excommunicated as per that log from old forums.
    There's 60, actually, but yes, I said that in my post.
    Whoops, so you did. Thats what I get for not reading the entire post :( my bad

  • AtalkezAtalkez Member Posts: 5,048 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2016
    For those who has said they don't like the mechanic (and I'm in the same boat, personally. The investment is pretty large, especially if the class is your 2nd, 3rd, etc) - what would you do to change it?

    I don't think anyone disagrees that a Hashani playing a Priest needs to be stopped for the sake of the integrity of the game if nothing else, but it's still possible to bypass the hard-coded restrictions that were added by popping a Lucrescent and grabbing the class. I don't like seeing any class that's factional (or almost like Occultist) being played by someone who doesn't follow the actual outline of the class.

    As to the OP: I think adding another the restrictions on joining a class (a Hashani newb can't make a priest, as far as I know) went a long way. If they closed the Lucescent loophole, I wonder if it's worth discussing removing the ability entirely and leaving actual stripping of skills to the Divine directly. In the event your divine is dormant, maybe even have a denizen that can.


    You hug Aurora compassionately.
  • VerruchtVerrucht Member Posts: 269 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Kiet said:
    What Rho did was not in any way an abuse of power and was 100% better for the game. Every single rogue/enemy city devotionist got a warning and a chance to avoid it. The same thing happened when Mhaldor recalled apostates/infernals, but it went over better since there were few enemy-city ones by that time.
    That's not actually true. He had told Eleusis he wasn't going to excommunicate them at the time, and then went ahead and did it anyway.

    MelodieValaria
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    Atalkez said:
    I don't think anyone disagrees that a Hashani playing a Priest needs to be stopped for the sake of the integrity of the game if nothing else, but it's still possible to bypass the hard-coded restrictions that were added by popping a Lucrescent and grabbing the class. I don't like seeing any class that's factional (or almost like Occultist) being played by someone who doesn't follow the actual outline of the class.
    I think this thread shows pretty conclusively that there are people who disagree that a Hashani playing a priest needs to be stopped.

    But I agree that the clear problem is what you would replace it with. I can't see any mechanical way to do it that doesn't require exactly the same kind of discretion as excommunication.

    Even if you hardcore in that priests can't join Mhaldor and you manage to cover all of the different ways of being Mhaldorian and changing to priest, or being a priest and becoming Mhaldorian, you haven't really solved the problem. All someone has to do in that circumstance is play a sort of city-ally without actually mechanically joining the city. It doesn't even matter if Mhaldor commits to not accepting that person - they can still roleplay trying to help Mhaldor despite having Devotion, which makes no sense. No matter what mechanical restrictions you put on priests, no mechanical restriction can test whether a player is roleplaying a character sympathetic to Evil, which is the root RP problem. Lacking better artificial intelligence systems, for the present the only way to address a character's RP is to use a human.

    It seems like the bigger problem that many people here are articulating though is the cost, not the inability to play an Evil devotionist.

    And while I don't think it's a good reason to get rid of excommunication or design a system of "lesser" excommunication or make playing an excommunicated devotionist more forgiving, I'm definitely a little bit more sympathetic about the money involved than maybe I've implied.

    I don't really see any reason why getting excommunicated couldn't, for instance, just strip you of Devotion and give you back all the lessons. You'll likely still want to change class to get a third skill, but at least you're only losing 1/3 of your lesson investment in that scenario (rather than the normal 1/2).

    Or, better yet, if the goal is to incentivise people not to play devotionists in situations that don't make sense, why not strip Devotion and then just make forgeting the Excommunicated Priest class cost-free (i.e., you get all of your lessons back instead of 50%). It makes some sense - you're rewarding them for not playing the class against the established RP and, for the rare few who purposefully get excommunicated to get a "free" class change, they have to both burn their bridges with everyone they know on Team Good to do it and they're providing some drama for the game by doing things to get excommunicated.

    I guess either of those would cut into credit purchases, but the number of excommunications is already ridiculously low, and class changes often have more side purchases involved anyway (changing stats, traits, artefacts, etc). Hell, it might even be that more people end up buying credits making priest characters if they're less afraid (whether rationally or not) of excommunication.
    Aodfionn
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,218 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    There's potential for abuse of that mechanic, certainly (i.e. planning on leaving faction/class? just aim for an excom to get a better return), but given how rarely excommunication actually occurs, I think it'd be worth trying out if nothing else.

    100% lesson return from skills negated by excom is something I'd love to see from Tecton/Sarapis' side.
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

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


    Aethele
  • BorranBorran Member Posts: 845 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Why would IRE change a roleplay mechanic that takes 432cr to  (About $150) per excom/anathema?

  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,380 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think IRE/Achaea/Admin aren't going to change how excommunication because they are the moneygrubbing bastards that like to drain us from every cent you have.

    I think they aren't going to change the excommunication how it is because in the past few years they've been working hard against the dilution of faction idealogy. Recalling factional skills, the Renaissance and even re-writing the purpose of certain cities have been huge steps in strengthening factional identities. I think reigning in the shades of grey is actually good for the game. Painting a picture with black and white is much more striking then two shades of grey slightly different than each other... but it's alright because the first grey you added white to black but the second shade you added black to white.
  • VansittartVansittart Member Posts: 232 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited March 2016

    That old excom thread is such a good read.  Am I the only one who misses forums where Silas could post this?:

    "I actually am incredibly proud that I ruined it for those carebear bitches. I fap furiously to the sound of their weeping at least once a day."

    On topic though, it is SUPER IMPORTANT that excom/anathema remains in the hands of players.  It opens up all sorts of interesting RP opportunities.  Yes, of course, there's the potential for abuse, but excom/anathema has, historically, been probably the most admin-scrutinized player power in existence.  If it was genuinely abused, there is a very good chance that it would be reversed and the abuser removed from their position quick-smart.

    It's worth looking back at Rho-gate, and actually a lot (most?  all?) of the people who lost out ended up getting reimbursed through various RP related means.  It was hugely interesting, and a really good example of the playerbase at their best.  Recognising the OOC issues with their IC RP, and addressing them without any dilution of the story.  People can rise to their best if you let them, and powers like this are (a sadly vanishing) means of players developing the story of Achaea.

    I only pop in now and then, not because I play, but because I still love the game and the story even if I don't really have the time to play it any more, and if I want the playerbase to do anything it's dream big, play big, shoot for the big change.  Fight stagnation, shake things up, do something different.  If you're in a position of power, think about how you can really take your org forward.  Players have done such amazingly interesting things in the past.  Effectively created a God, fundamentally realigned Achaean power structures, instigated massive RP events.

    Achaeans (both mortal and not) should always, always, err on the side of big story rather than safety.  And just deal with the fall-out as best it can.

    ETA: You would not believe how long it took me to manually get a quote right.  WTF ever happened to [quote]blah[/quote].

    AodfionnHalosTael
  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Most of the list Rho excommunicated there were newbies/young players with very little invested in their skills. They were also given the option to return to the Church and be un-excommunicated.

    Also, your list of excomunicated players is people, Aodfionn. Unless it's a list of still currently excommunicated (I was excommunicated twice, three times if you count the time Sarapis excomm'd me right after Aurora did).

  • AtalkezAtalkez Member Posts: 5,048 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Taeltwo said:
    Atalkez said:
    I don't think anyone disagrees that a Hashani playing a Priest needs to be stopped for the sake of the integrity of the game if nothing else, but it's still possible to bypass the hard-coded restrictions that were added by popping a Lucrescent and grabbing the class. I don't like seeing any class that's factional (or almost like Occultist) being played by someone who doesn't follow the actual outline of the class.
    I think this thread shows pretty conclusively that there are people who disagree that a Hashani playing a priest needs to be stopped.
    Poor phrasing on my part. Everyone seems to be against it because of the time/money investment of the player, not because the idea/RP isn't sound. That was the point I was trying to make. The RP is understandable, but the investment that players get deprived of isn't.


    You hug Aurora compassionately.
  • DaeirDaeir AustraliaMember Posts: 6,288 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I have never agreed with a sentiment more.
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