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As someone who just started motivating myself to make the push for dragon again, I don't mind these changes one bit. Especially after following the whole extended discussion regarding actions have consequences and the world being a dangerous place, revolving around theft, these changes are interesting and mix things up a bit. While the initial design of the game may have had a heavy emphasis on gaining xp via the murderhobo route, that doesn't mean things aren't subject to change and balancing. It's always felt weird that people go out and mindlessly slaughter entire villages, children and all usually, and don't bat and eye but one adventurer death is something to get up in arms about.
There are a lot of denizens in the world help shape Achaea and make it an interesting place, and while for the most part these exist silently in the background unless some big event ushers them to the fore, they're still there, they still have connections and backstories, they're still as integral a part as the adventurers.
As part of these continued changes, I would very much like to see efforts made to where leveling or xp gain can be obtained via alternative methods with the same potential efficiency, such as questing, exploration, participation in world events, etc. Also, would be estatic about the remove of XP loss, which I think would quell a lot of mutterings, but I'm not holding my breathe over that one.
I think the majority of these changes should be fun! And I mean for the most part dying to a Mark one time for you slaughtering a full on settlement seems fair, even if you don't like pvp, you're the real murderer.
Not sure how I feel on ship changes. Far as I know most ship combat is dead right now. Don't see this helping.
I'm all for more being done to not treat denizens like bags of experience, and I think that the changes being made here -could- be a cool part of how that could be done. But I think that done alone like this it's unlikely to address the core issue here, which is people not considering murdering denizens to have any roleplay weight, and very likely to add frustration for people who just want to avoid PK.
The biggest problem here is that the game gives no incentive to actually considering denizen murder to be a moral choice, and doesn't even provide the lore details to make it easy to do so. For instance, there's basically no information in the game about how often denizens come back from the Halls of Death (plenty of people assume that they always do, which is why they see the same denizens over and over). And if you -do- want to treat it as a moral choice, that basically gives you two options: either avoid hunting 75% of areas, or adopt an ideology that says that wanton murder is good. Basically, there's not much in the way of resources, let alone incentive, to roleplay this part of the game seriously, and a whole lot of disincentive.
Changing this is going to take more than slapping some contracts on people. It's going to take making it possible to play a character who -doesn't- want to commit wanton murder without locking yourself off to a huge chunk of the game. That means actual incentives to thinking about where you hunt, it means more non-sentient areas (especially at higher levels) so you aren't locked to a super small fraction of places, and it means adding real lore to what happens when you kill denizens and what the impacts of hunting are without brushing it aside until Sartan wants to remind you how evil you are.
Also, for all of this "make the world a more dangerous place" stuff, we -really- need to end or change experience loss. I've heard "I don't want to go do this dangerous thing because I just got logosian and will lose it" countless times, it's a huge disadvantage for participating in dangerous things if you're around that level, and yet meaningless for the people who engage in dangerous things more often.
Just make it only apply past level 81. People who want Logosian should be able to get it without getting 360 no scoped by Marks, and if you've put in the time and effort to get Logosian, you either have some idea of what you're doing or you've been autobashing and deserve what you get.
Alignment was removed from the game specifically to permit the culture of treating NPCs like bags of exp and not people. While that was a long time ago and may not have been the best thing to do, it doesn't negate the fact that it was done - so I see where Namino is coming from on that kind of thing. The lack of alternative, if we do seriously start treating NPCs like people equal to adventurers is also a solid point.
Is there any IC weight behind the fact that adventurers are Rebirthed and NPCs (afaik) are not?
So far we've only seen it apply to Mysia off of a quest though- has anyone else actually gotten a contract on them?
I got the warning line, but no contracts yet that I know of.
I don't post on the forums anymore, thankfully (I'm sure others are thinking the same as I am). These forums are mainly built around flaming and insults. Alas, this is actually something that made me want to post, unfortunately.
This change is dumb.
"Just go pve, you don't HAVE to pvp." - jk.
"I just wanna silo myself away and get dragon." - Enjoy those deaths on the way, cause oof, that grind to logosian probably just got worse.
"BUT MY IMMERSHUN" - No... comment. Just stop.
This game, is literally just PVP now. Non-comms were already being pushed out, this just more solidifies the way the admins want the direction of the game to go.
I'm glad I'm 99% dormant atm and not shitting money into the gambling promos anymore. Hopefully ya'll figure it out, maybe the game will somewhat live up to the game it used to be.
@Namino 1tear. Beautiful.
It doesn't sound like the denizen contract thing is likely to hit people around level eighty. But this general effort to make the world a more dangerous place via opening up PK consequences is still going to discourage people who are around those levels from participating in things, just like it already does now for combat/honours hunts/etc.
If we want to make the game world more dangerous, the first step should be to make danger -fun-. And right now it's a whole lot more fun when you're a dragon and dying is basically immaterial, compared to being level eighty and having each death cost you.
@Keorin Sure... If you bash solo the entire way and don't join higher level people on the way?
I’m just curious—been working the last 2 days and haven’t had a chance to log in and check all the changes out—did this monumental change to how denizens/villages and players express enmity simply get Announced on news IC, or was there any RP build up whatsoever prior that people can share here?
It's pretty easy to make it so people don't treat denizens as 'bashing fodder'...literally don't make them bashing fodder....reduce the incentive (xp/gold) when bashing sentient areas and increase the incentive to bash non-sentient areas. This isn't rocket surgery.
Wouldn't that just make the newbies bash the sentient areas? Inb4 Mizik roflstomps 3 level 25s in a row
actually I'm all for it, i wanna see how many level 25s @Mizik can fight at once and beat.
All of them. That’s like two attacks each with damage, 3 for serpent since they can’t even focus
It'd finally get Infernal arc nerfed, maybe.
While we are at it with PK changes and adding more contracts to the Mark Boards, can we look at the way Contracts are run down? I know it makes sense that contracts only run down when the target is out of a "safe" space like City, ship, temple etc. However, that creates a problem with people who simply never leave, or have significantly reduced play time. I took a contract when I first went Mark that still has 27 days left, and at this rate, it'll genuinely not expire until sometime in 2022 (or they go dormant). Given Marks only have a certain number of contracts they can take, at least at my Mark rank, it really stifles the role and hampers what you can do. I've got a 2nd that expires shortly and once that is completed either way I'm very tempted to just quit Mark and re-apply again when I can so that slot can be freed up.
Every time I do pvp I am literally shaking
Sometimes... maybe most of the time, this community is like the equivalent of scheduling a bowling tournament and an entire team demanding bumpers in their lane because the gutter scares them. Can we just stop a moment and reconsider how trite and privileged you're all acting, as if it's your god-given right to be able to murder these NPCs who live robust, intricate lives in their flourishing communities which you deem acceptable to destroy at a whim because "hur dur it's PvE"? Do you treat your SIMs this way?
To be perfectly honest, the bulk of the criticism surrounding most changes recently has come from people who just straight up don't play the game. Like, not the "lol what are you doing" kind of not playing the game, the "I have not been seen in-game for longer than 2 minutes for the past 3 months" kind of not playing the game. Puts a damper on things a little bit.
@Kog Cyra has also had a Quisalis contract taken out on her. As she only hunted Dun Fortress and Mysia yesterday post-change announcement, I presume the contract was placed by either one of these denizen groups, but since it is pending fulfillment, I am not sure which one yet. If it was the Dun orcs/ogres, I could potentially see the contract being linked to a quest, as I handed in their corpses for gold; however, if it was the Mysian pirates, I would conclude the contract derived purely from number of (or perhaps named) denizens slain, since I actually am unfamiliar with the majority of the Mysian quests, and only know how to complete one or two simple fetch ones.
@Truax There was simply an ANNOUNCE post which mentioned the change. No RP build-up.
@Makarios Speaking as a more reluctant combatant who is nonetheless trying to learn and become more involved with PvP because doing so is consistent with my factional roleplay, I can understand and even be sympathetic to the goal of making Achaea feel like a more dangerous world. Likewise, I agree that, from an in-game and IC perspective, it makes sense for there to be consequences for slaughtering entire villages or even fortresses full of denizens.
On the other hand, even if it is intended as merely a prelude to broader changes and/or the introduction of new systems to make denizens feel less like "bashing fodder", suddenly leading off with denizen-placed Mark contracts, which shatter a hitherto clear delineation between PvE and PvP activity, certainly makes it feel that engaging in player combat is increasingly (by a vocal element of the playerbase) and also officially (by administration) considered the only "correct" way to play Achaea -- "to engage with the game world", and that there is no room for non-combatant players or characters here.
To be fair and absolutely clear, if some of the well-articulated concerns and ideas already expressed by others in this thread had been addressed and/or implemented first (@Kog - more options for non-village exterminations and non-sentient hunting for experience and gold; @Vasher - new ways to interact with denizens beyond killing; @Shecks - an IC way to bribe/remove said contracts; @Keorin - actual roleplay incentive to consider denizen hunting as a moral choice, etcetera), I would be far more comfortable with this change. As it is, however, I find it hard not to see "more PvP" being used as an all-purpose hammer with which to hit every perceived problem as a nail.
@Aegoth - Yes. I do treat my Sims that way.
@Truax There was simply an ANNOUNCE post which mentioned the change. No RP build-up.
If this is true...what a missed opportunity.
Personally, I would like to see a way to offset aggression beyond not hunting, i.e. Influencing of some type to right old and new wrongs.
@Aegoth Several of us have already said we are fine with repercussions to those actions, but what we would much rather prefer is that the repercussions remain as PvE repercussions instead of becoming PvP.
To use your bowling tournament analogy, it's not like we're asking for bumpers in the gutters. It's that there's a group of us that came to the bowling alley with our friends to hang out. Those friends (PvP'ers) enjoy bowling, so they go bowl a few frames or do a bowling tournament. Meanwhile, the rest of us that don't like bowling, or in some cases cannot bowl, go to the arcade. Both groups meet up after they are done for pizza and laughs. So far, everything's perfectly fine.
Now we are being told though that if we play too many arcade games, we have to come out and bowl. Doesn't matter that we might not like bowling or want to bowl, we have two choices: not play as many arcade games or be forced to bowl.
If instead we got told "Well, looks like you've played so many arcade games lately that you've gotta play XYZ arcade game, or potentially lose your high score!" ala Denizen/NPC bounty hunters, that would be fine. Arcade folks get to do more arcadey stuff and everyone has fun.
What the arcade folks don't want is someone coming up to them and hitting them in the face with a bowling ball. That's all we are saying. Why is that trite or privileged?
@Eurice I'm honestly not sure what you're talking about, as I've seen most of the people raising concerns in this thread on and active for far more than just "a few minutes every month." The only two I can recall saying they don't actively play / are dormant anymore are Jonathin and Senoske, but the rest I've seen in game pretty often.
I’ve thought about this some more, and ultimately my conclusion is that I like the spirit of these changes. I especially think the denizens hiring on people could be really interesting, and ocean combat extending to land would provide additional recourse against people that otherwise were untouchable.
However, I think in both cases where it falls flat is the involvement of the mark system, and I think that has highlighted some ways that the mark system has changed from its original inception.
I recall when marks were released, the idea was that it would be self regulating, that there might be marks of different combat levels and lets say a level 70 person wanted to hire on another person around their same might, they likely wouldn’t have a ton of gold to throw at it, so it’d get a lesser amount on that contract. The idea was that the higher tier marks wouldn’t want to work for a pittance, and that’d be left for the lower tier marks. Over time, this has adjusted as these things do. Lower tier marks is not really a thing anymore, and most contracts are picked up regardless of their financial reward because it gives you a reason to fight. Functionally, this concept alone would be enough to box out lower tier fighters from maintaining their mark status, on top of the fact that they will be constantly attacked by those same high tier fighters. I’ve heard that some high tier fighters take pride in the number of people they’ve forced out of the mark. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it demonstrates how that initial idea of self regulation has mutated into being unrecognizable.
Now with the oceans changes, if you’re a pirate, and you shoot an enemy ship that has 9 people on it, that’s now nine contracts that can be filed against you, and again, these contracts are adjudicated by the top tier combatants that line the marks.
I think if the goal is to make the world more dangerous, but also living and breathing, this misses (pardon the pun) the mark. In reality, When people have issues, they turn to their friends and people aligned with them to execute justice on their behalf, not a random nameless faceless organization.
The Mark system in its current incarnation actually removes a large portion of roleplay that might be created if that system did not exist, and instead tends to act as a tax on entering into conflict with someone else. Not only is it then decreasing roleplay, it’s also decreasing conflict, because if I’m not a top tier fighter, why would I create conflict when it’s just going to lead to the top tier fighters collecting my conflict tax.
I think there are a -lot- of solutions to this problem, Personally, I’d love to see more of something like groups allying with those denizens, similar to the GoM. And ideally, if you ally with one group, it makes other groups of denizens less likely to want to work with you if there are people willing to work with them and are unaffiliated. This would both spread out the people participating in this conflict more, but it’d allow you to actually roleplay as being allied with these groups.
In mechanical terms, this might play out that you could go to Mhunna and see which contracts are available. The contracts available to you would be based on your reputation with that faction, obviously if you are hated, they wouldn’t want you arbitrating justice for them, and similarly if you’ve failed a number of contracts, or you have active contracts for other factions, they’d only give you the contracts that nobody has wanted to pick up and have lasted out there for a long time. If you complete the contract, maybe that increases your reputation for that group, and you’ll start getting access to those contracts earlier after they are posted, and they’ll pay you a bit more because you’re a trusted ally.
Again, I’m not terribly committed to this is the way it needs to be but I don’t like saying things could be done better without giving practical examples of how.
Thank you for reading my Thesis. Why the mark misses the mark, and how to do better.
I spent entirely too long making this. Basically I ran the AREAS 5, AREAS 10, etc. command for every set of 5 levels. I removed anywhere OPEN PK (no Annwyn/UW). I then combined each area into a range (for example, Minia appears on 5, 10, 15, 20, so Minia has a 'range' of 5-20). Loaded all of that into a spreadsheet, kicked Google Sheets until I figured out how to make it do math. I tried to be generous (though I also hadn't heard of some areas and had to rely on the helpfiles)- if it is 'Wilderness' then it's somewhere with just critters or monsters. I didn't include loyals (like those ice demons are technically loyal to a guy, and you can hire if someone kills your loyals) as belonging to an organization. I also didn't include the undead as people (sorry Z). So areas there include Tenwat, Morindar, and Phereklos. I also included Maim's Mansion because zombie children aren't people and presumably people aren't bashing Maim/her guests casually? Categorized as 'Hybrid' if there is a mix of both organization and wildlife/monsters to hunt. So examples for 'Hybrid' include Darkenwood Forest, Mirror Caves (those little fungiis), and the Barony of Dun Valley. If it is 'Sentient' then it is something resembling a government or organization that primarily lives there. Examples include Minia (four little kingdoms), Mysia, and Tir Murann.
I'm happy to share my ranges if anyone wants to bicker amongst one another about where I placed stuff. My personal opinion is to add in a beasties-only zone for the 5-25 range, maybe 1-2 meaty areas with a Manara-style spread (because that place has a huge range according to areas) with wildlife to bash and a small town to cheer you along. Once you hit about 80, despite the chart, an awful lot of the 'good' places seem to be sentients (Tir Murann, Istarion, Delos, salt mines, Prin, etc). So maybe 1-2 areas there too, at hybrid or wilderness tier. Re-add LHG or something similar too, with some experimental group bashing incentives because friendship is magical even though I suck at group bashing and always leave my partners behind.
Tl;dr (even though I included colors Archaeon you ungrateful prat) there are a lot of Sentient areas, and not very many wilderness areas comparatively, especially for the lower levels.
I think this is an incredible RP change. This should have been a part of the game from the beginning, but it wasn't. I do have issues with the suddenness of the change itself as it really and truly does change the meta of the game for some people.
There seems to be a big disconnect in how a lot of the playerbase view the world and story we have been building together. This runs the gamut of people who see denizens as xp packets there should be no issue killing all the way to seeing them as real as any player (which to be fair is how the meta of the game is being seen as right now with the new changes). This does create a richer RP environment, but it does put people out in the cold who play for different reasons.
I personally play this game for low stakes RP and a pretty stress free way to unwind. I want to do this while staying in character as a goofy tinkering inventor and merchant of sorts. My character is not overly violent. Thibs hunted sentients he had issues with (but I did kinda morph his RP to have issues with certain people.) I will probably be steamrolled by anyone hired on me and I understand this is a repercussion of hunting those sentients. I get that. I don't want a game where I play alone in a world full of people. I want my actions to have lasting consequences and I want to contribute to the story we all write together.
The issue I have is feeling that my playstyle is being pushed out and not considered by this change. I will still try to eek out my place in it as it changes, but I think there are a few things that could be done to make people with my playstyle feel welcome while still keeping the realism and frankly awesome RP mechanic of villages hiring Marks.
The world building in the past has always been about adding sentient hunting areas and tethering things like talisman pieces to those full of sentient beings like villages, cities, and settlements. Before this moment it never felt that I COULD play a pacifist or someone who avoids killing sentient beings in order to grow. I think the best thing to do at this point would be to release some new hunting areas with animals and magical beasts to leave room for those players like me and people who want to contribute, but choose not to do PVP. I get not everyone plays like me. I get I am not a part of a demographic that is a big money maker. I know I opt into any and all interactions when I log in. I know building areas takes a lot of work and manpower. I just think having more options going forward would be great for everyone/
Some alternate suggestions. Upping the amount of animal denizens in places with them (like bears in the Southern Vashnars, lions in the northern Vashnars, and wolves in the forests) would also a really nice thing to do as well. Also possibly opening up the Great Hunt Caves to give more options could help too.
So TL:DR, this is an RP change that makes the world richer and it needed to happen. It as a change should not be walked back. Please give more options for hunting that don't include murder. Everyone plays for different reasons and have different lines, there are ways the community can be happy if we listen to each other and compromise a little!
I'm interested to know how identifying people on the other ships is gonna go, does everyone need to have deckhand specialized now? Not too happy with the hiring thing but will wait to see how it shakes out. I have a feeling it will just be a new bunch of don't bash here places but we'll see. I know marks have been light on the contract and this seems like an easy way to fix that anyway.
Just thinking about the knock on effects of having limits to how much bashing can be done in an area before getting a price on your head.
Suppose adventurers were to regularly trigger contracts, then you would have Achaea's best PVP players regularly killing some of Achaea's weakest PVP players. That's a pretty big benefit to be handing the best PVPers at the expense of the weakest. Will this encourage or discourage the weakest PVP players? I would have thought that weak PVP players would get a far greater benefit from facing other players with similar skill level.
However, it seems to me that the most likely outcome will be that players will learn to avoid triggering the contracts. Bashing will become a bit harder in that you would have to move from area to area more often and keep an eye out for the warning line, but in the end there will be no uptick in contracts.
For both the theft changes and the "let's make Achaea feel dangerous again" changes, it seems to me like a sledge hammer has been used where a careful quarter turn with a jeweler's screwdriver is all that was really needed to adjust the balance.
There's a fundamental misunderstanding of how the system works.
For instance, there is a way to generate a contract on yourself in Sirocco, but you can bash out virtually the entire area on repeat and never have that happen. Rather, if you kill one denizen in particular multiple times in Sirocco, you will start getting hired on.
The solution here is to not kill that denizen, you don't have to fundamentally change the way you hunt.
Seems like a lot of this could be simply resolved with changes to XP loss. Don't even have to completely turn it off, but limit XP loss to Sanctioned Raids, Infamous, Mark, Dauntless, and deaths upon Treacherous plains.