This post has been sitting in the back of my mind for a while and has nothing, in priority, to do with any recent raids whatsoever. I know tension is a little high right now, but I would ask people to focus in this hopefully fruitful discussion on the -mechanical- aspects of the raid mechanic in lusternia and how it could be improved to make less cumbersome and tedious. Please leave any personal animosities out of it.
Now to the topic and problem at hand, as to how I see it at the moment. Maybe I'll use something fictional to display the Problem.
Let us enter Joe the Cookie Jar Raider. Joe's a member of the licorice dynasty and regularly attacks the hidden settlement of the cookies.
Whenever Joe feels like going to look whether there's not more cookies to be had, he has the following advantages at his side:
- He has complete control over when he will raid, being able to choose easily a situation that will undoubtly favorable to him, including choosing times when his licorice group has superior numbers.
- As death does not really mean anything to joe, all he is going to lose is a little essence and he'll back to life in no time, he doesn't need to fear any defenders as well.
- Joe has a sizable artifact pile, he's also rather skilled and knows when to retreat, further reducing any risk that is involved in being a raider. Joe knows that cookie ville has only a few spots where any guards may be in the way and can easily avoid them.
- Joe can either just focus on the loyals of cookieville, his knowledge and skill as well as the artifact pile he has allows him to easily avoid or endure any attacks long enough to get the loyals he want slain. Furthermore, if he's looking to fight other players, he can possibly snatch a few favorable situations where he'll score a good kill or two, or even inspire an entertaining battle.
- Shoud joe still be slain, he can rejoin the battle moments later, either being resurrected by his allies or by phoenixing and buffing back up, netting him a small power loss if anything.
Lets look at the people associated with cookie ville now:
- The defendants of cookieville have two choices. They either can ignore what Joe is up to, or they can not. If they ignore, caring about their characters, they have to admit their characters are cowards and unable to defend their cookie ville from raiders or find some RP way around the fact that they're not responding. For some of them that leaves a bad taste in their mouth while others can simply look past it, CONFIG LOYALSAYS is a thing for cookie ville members after all and their loyals will be back in a little while.
- Or, they can choose to defend, which forces them to drop everything they are currently doing, untangling from RP, talking to godmin, hunting, influencing, whatever to respond to the possible thread of Joe, who may just be after their loyals and who may actually be looking after a fight.
- in this case, they don't have much to lose aside of their loyals. Death means little to them as well.
- They however do have no win condition, unlike Joe. They either have to defend till their loyals are dead, joe has lost interest, or the tire of dying, Killing Joe or chasing after him.
- Some of the defenders to get enjoyment out of tackling Joe and his possible accomplices and if a battle arrises of it, most people will enjoy it. However, if Joe is only after their loyals and will disappear as soon as someone is up to challenge him, most residents of cookieville will eventually tire.
Summing the above up, the defendants are in a disadvantaged position in terms of raiding. Cookie Ville members have only the choice to either ignore or comply and have no clear win condition.
If neccessary, for the following conclusions I have drawn for myself from observation, compare this setup with any other conflict event that lusternia has and the most glaring thing that you'll notice that unlike in other conflict setups, in raiding, one side has no 'win' condition.
This nets me to the main point of making this post. I have observed, both for myself and others, that not having a clear win condition, a clear condition when you're done and you've either lost or won and the event is just done and you can focus on other things again, that is just missing. If joe so wants, he can keep hitting Cookie Ville for as long as he can play, forcing the inhabitants to make choice after choice on whether they'll ignore him or not. From what I have heard of the many conversations that were had on this topic over the years, a good percentage of people are worn out by this, demoralized and eventually find themselves in a state of lethargy. And this is not from one org, mind you. Aside of the fictional Cookie Ville, I've heard from people of Serenwilde, Gaudiguch, Glomdoring, Magnagora, Hallifax. I'm not sure I heard it from anyone in Celest, but then celest hasn't been hit often in the last year or so.
Which now leads me up to the TL;DR on my wall of text: Having no win/lose condition on raiding is detrimental for each orgs health and willingness to engage in conflict. i would like to find some sort of win/lose condition for defenders that would allow them to actually walk away from a defense after a certain amount of time feeling like "yay, we've been them off." or "They've beaten us for now, but we've done well and we know where we need to improve." I would like to brainstorm ideas as to how such a solution could look like.
One last thing, I know a certain percentage of the playerbase is not able to relate to such reasonings, because they are driving by a different kind of thought construct as to what they get out of the game. I ask you people, please contribute as well, maybe we can find a solution together that we could present to admin.
Sadly, my own ideas so far felt really inadequate. Raising death penalities and introducing artificial cooldowns feel like they're not going to encourage a healthy conflict situation and would rather just turn people away. I'm curious to hear your thoughts and I apologize in advance for the wall of text!
Avatar / Picture done by Xeii. Wheeeeee