Hello! I have been noticing that some cities, specifically the more... offensive-oriented ones (e.g., Mhaldor, Ashtan) tend to have very low population compared to the more... peaceful ones (Hashan, Cyrene). Sometimes that number feels like less than half, maybe even less than a quarter some days.
Why is it that people tend to avoid these strongly-thematic cities, when it seems like they may have the biggest potential for strong RP? Is it because they try to enforce citizens to participate in PvP-related activities? Perhaps the class restrictions imposed? Or is it other "RP restrictions", whatever that may mean, imposed on the citizens?
I mean, I understand that someone may not want to RP a slave, for example, but the other cities don't seem to have such extremes...
2017/08/08 04:56:29 - Regi has sanctioned a raid against The City of Targossas.
2017/08/10 04:58:55 - Karren has sanctioned a raid against The City of Eleusis.
2017/08/10 06:05:05 - Karren has sanctioned a raid against The City of Ashtan.
We just get depressed and apathetic when part of the crew abandons us. cough @Karren cough
Generally, the larger cities are the ones with the least restrictions, though Targossas/Mhaldor get temporarily big here and there despite being the most restrictive.
It can mean you can't spend time with friends, you can't buy/sell from certain people, you can't buy/sell certain things, you can't hunt here or there, kill this person or that person, et cetera.
There's a higher expectation and burden in cities like Mhaldor and Targossas, which are most affected by this, and that turns a lot of people off. Or, for some of us, it really turns us on. Hnng.
From my experience (as an outsider), I think Mhaldor does a good job of achieving those goals, but it does mean that for some people they're not going to get the hardcore experience they were expecting, and somethings are contradictory (by necessity).
Results of disembowel testing | Knight limb counter | GMCP AB files
The other cities seem to have a good mixture of both timezones.
Edit: seriously, I am at work right now, but I stay logged in because if a newbie comes In.. There'd be no-one around to answer their questions.
If you're going to have "slaves" and carry with them the connotation that they serve their superiors and Lord Sartan, then they need to be assigned to a master, somewhat similar to being allowed to pick a mentor or even utilizing the mentor system. "A man chooses, a slave obeys" comes to mind for that. I do realize that removes the capability of player choice and agency, yet for Mhaldor and for being a slave to Evil, I feel that's actually necessary to some degree. Also, while it could be argued that a slave's only master should be Sartan, I feel that's a very poor... execution I suppose?
I also think that instances of "Slaves should be seen and not heard" could more easily be replaced with, "Ignorance is weakness that shall be removed from you. Stupidity shall not be tolerated. Remember your station when you address your superiors, and think very carefully about your words before you speak." That still drives across the point of not flooding channels with chat spam, being careful with your words, maintaining proper RP decorum, and isn't contradicted when people start telling you to use house and clan channels for questions.
I realize that these are more personal gripes with the roleplay, and that as it was, it was just not my cup of tea. However, a bit more clarification and a bit less contradiction would have probably kept me around Mhaldor longer. As it was, it just felt cultish more than an actual city. Just my two sovereigns.
One of the very first ranks in either House, if not THE first rank (not online to check just this second) involves a task on reading CHELP BEHAVIOUR and CHELP STANDINGORDERS, both of which detail exactly what you mention above. In fact, one of my usual HNT messages I use for new members is "Welcome, Initiate, to the Insidium." "Do read over HHELP WELCOME and its contents fully. Should you have any questions, ask here via HNT <message> so we may begin to alleviate your ignorance as you begin your path to understanding your place within His planet." Like, nearly word for word. But the thing is, we've also had a lot of newbies quit (and then tell us later) that they felt they weren't allowed to ask questions at all, and they were confused about how to play the game, so they left for a city that could do that for them. Which, lemme tell you, is super frustrating for us.
I'm sorry you didn't find your experience compelling, and consistency of experience is something we're constantly trying to work on (which has been harder lately, a lot of our pop isn't around as much this time of year - school starting should help there), but certainly a lot of the structure of what you want detailed in your post is already in place. Moreover, it's hard to know where our newbies are coming from, so all we can do is prepare things for the best swathe of them we can, and then when you get a mentor is when you get the more personalized, tweaked experience that becomes more of your own story.
That love soon might end You are unbreaking
And be known in its aching Though quaking
Shown in this shaking Though crazy
Lately of my wasteland, baby That's just wasteland, baby
I realize Mhaldor is not everyone's cup of tea, but I know the Insidium pours a shit ton of hours into making the novice experience as enjoyable as possible (They are players too, we want them to stick around in our "rough" environment and not just confine them to do one thing). We do enforce our rules, we require that each of our members grow stronger, etc. It's a very thankless job taking a protege/slave so we want to make sure they aren't going to up and leave on us.
I mean it is 1pm EST... And there are 9 Targossians vs me.
Mhaldor just really likes to raid/crusade at 8 am.
@Xideron I'm confused. You say slaves should be held to stricter standards, but you admit yourself you quit because of standards you thought were too strict. Which is it?
Mhaldor slaves also shouldn't need a 'master' because they're not personal slaves. They're the city's slaves, which isn't really a concept without precedent in rl and other media.
A quick link to read more about it:
*edit: and yes, unskilled slaves exist and were treated poorly, you'd often see that imagery on the way npc slaves were treated*
As for why I quit, I quit because the rules in place were, to me, contradictory and paradoxical, not necessarily strict. It wasn't fun to play feeling like I couldn't ask questions, talk, or say anything. I also quit because I didn't really feel engaged with the roleplay aspect of the slave caste in Mhaldor, again, not my cup of tea. As for slaves being slaves to the city rather than a personal master, I'll freely admit that is an aspect that I failed to grasp during my time there.
One of the reasons I think Mhaldor is cool is because it subverts a lot of things you usually take for granted in a generic fantasy setting. For instance, evil in Mhaldor isn't the stereotypical "I want to kill everybody and destroy the world, bwahahaha." Slaves aren't their real life counterparts where you're pretty much a slave for your entire life, everybody in Mhaldor starts as a slave and it's possible to become something more. Exploring how all that works is a large part of Mhaldor's appeal, at least for me.
Assumed it was just my time-zone (New Zealand) and no point staying there if always quiet at those times.
Number of people on the time I usually play in evenings:
Citizen Rank CT Class
------- ---- -- -----
XX X On Apostate
XX X On Bard
XX X On Infernal
But... I've been playing IRE long enough to know that you should never pick a city for its population, but rather... for the sake of whether or not it fits with the development of your Character's RP.
Cause player populations in cities these days comes in waxing and waning waves. You'll have a bunch of players active in one city and another city is bound to take a hit somewhere. And by the time you leave for a city that seems to be the most populous, it can most likely turn into the opposite very easily.
The best thing you can do if you're really dedicated to a city is to try and prolong the waxing cycle by focusing on player engagement and retention. But don't let the decrease in player population be a soul-crushing defeat, because the waning phase is part of that cycle.
Whenever I see our population at a low point I always remind myself of that.
Luci is correct, every city has its life cycles, if you're committed to the RP of a city then you stick out the low points and push to make the highs even better.