Reducing the Number of Player Orgs

EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,069 Creator
One of the things I said I'd consider later in the year would be to reduce the number of cities and communes if the player population doesn't really support six orgs. However, rather than wait, I think we should at least open up discussion at this time since our population seems to have settled. Keep in mind that this is something I really am loathe to do and have been dragging my feet even thinking about it, but the reality is that we need to look at the health of the game and what we need to do to succeed moving forward. Another reason would be it would narrow development resources as balancing three orgs is easier with our limited coding resources than it is to continue to balance six.
Thus, the current thought is to go back to the 'original three' organizations: Serenwilde, Celest and Magnagora, and allowing Glomdoring, Hallifax and Gaudiguch to go dormant. However, we know Glomdoring is a large organization so it would be tough on players currently there, but it may help bolster the remaining organizations. We have also considered other combinations of closings but if we want to grow in the future, I think new players look for familiar themes (nature/good/light) rather than what may end up having with other sets. Anyway, nothing is written in stone and I'm not even sure we'll go forward with org reduction, but I wanted to hear your opinions.
Finally, we know there is a lot to consider, including possibly reducing the number of commodity-producing villages, allowing a way for players to transfer their wealth/artifacts/etc. to another character if they want to preserve the roleplaying integrity of their current character, updating the website, and many other things that will be challenging.
Please keep the conversation respectful. We're looking to have a considerate and productive discussion.
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Comments

  • PysynnePysynne Member Posts: 41 Apprentice
    edited April 24
    I know everyone (Disclaimer: Not Everyone) hates Glomdoring, but 4 orgs is better than 3 orgs. 4 allows for 2vs2 alliances, 3 is just one org is always dogpiled, like it was in the first few years of Lusternia.

    You also keep your forest/good/evil alignments, offer a chance for forest vs city, or what not.
  • CoralineCoraline Member Posts: 282 Adept
    edited April 24
    4 orgs also give players more choices (or feel like there's more choices). Three orgs just seems like too limited of options available, to me personally. (Also, personally, I'd rather have the 3 orgs that are suggested to go dormant stay active while the original 3 go dormant, but I feel like that one might be an unpopular opinion)

    Edit: because I feel like Light vs Dark (vs Forest) is there in every game whereas Order vs Chaos gives a more unique flavour instead that I feel might draw people.
    Ghost-shark, ghost-shark! A ghost and a shark!
    He's spooky and scary and white
    He swims circles around in the night
    He fights with the forces of Light
    If you see him, you will die of fright!
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,069 Creator
    Pysynne said:
    I know everyone (Disclaimer: Not Everyone) hates Glomdoring, but 4 orgs is better than 3 orgs. 4 allows for 2vs2 alliances, 3 is just one org is always dogpiled, like it was in the first few years of Lusternia.

    You also keep your forest/good/evil alignments, offer a chance for forest vs city, or what not.
    I don't know what you're remembering but Glomdoring was founded as a player org in the first few months after opening, and I don't believe there was ever any 'dogpile' situation before that, so I think assuming that would be the case is just theorizing (and anyway dogpiles could happen with 4 orgs as well).
    Anyway, we can consider 4 orgs but I'm wondering if the population would be healthier with 3. What do you guys think?
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  • NelrasNelras Member Posts: 128 Gifted
    First of all, thank you @Estarra for opening this discussion. While it will be difficult for the players in the orgs in question, it can't be easy for you, or any of the admins, to think about getting rid of the results of so much work on your parts. I can understand the desire for four orgs rather than 3, although it runs the risk of the game stagnating politically (Is that even a bad thing though?)

    I would however like to suggest taking a careful look at which four orgs remain. Celest and Magnagora are critical to the lore of the game, and I do not believe that they should be removed. Serenwilde should, in my opinion, also remain as it has been around since the start. While Glomdoring might be the obvious choice to keep as it was around before Hallifax and Gaudiguch, I believe that either of those could also survive. In a three-org situation, Serenwilde remains 'neutral' to the conflict of Light vs Taint, and opposed to both cities. In a 4-org situation, they would need to be opposed by the remaining org.

    This could be Nature vs the Wyrd, mirroring the Light/Taint conflict.
    It could also be the Natural Order of the Serenwilde, against the unnatural Fire and Chaos of Gaudiguch.
    Or it could be Nature vs the Science and civilisation of Hallifax.

    While I may be biased towards the latter, and it would also allow all of the city-haters to have something to hate rather than hating another forest, I am posting these as examples to spark a discussion. 
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,547 Transcendent
    Estarra said:
    Pysynne said:
    I know everyone (Disclaimer: Not Everyone) hates Glomdoring, but 4 orgs is better than 3 orgs. 4 allows for 2vs2 alliances, 3 is just one org is always dogpiled, like it was in the first few years of Lusternia.

    You also keep your forest/good/evil alignments, offer a chance for forest vs city, or what not.
    I don't know what you're remembering but Glomdoring was founded as a player org in the first few months after opening, and I don't believe there was ever any 'dogpile' situation before that, so I think assuming that would be the case is just theorizing (and anyway dogpiles could happen with 4 orgs as well).
    Anyway, we can consider 4 orgs but I'm wondering if the population would be healthier with 3. What do you guys think?
    It was mostly 2v1 when I started playing.  Magnagora had a lot of difficulty getting potions (see: Rowena).  That also was a part of what led to Mag v. Glom tensions at the beginning (amongst other things they desperately wanted us to be their alchemy depot).
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  • AramelAramel Member Posts: 270 Fabled
    edited April 24
    I agree with Xenthos. I would probably stop playing Lusternia if Hallifax were deleted.

    That being said, I think if orgs are going to be deleted, 3 orgs is better than 4, if only because it makes an alliance less stable/desirable and makes alliance shifting more frequent.

    Beyond all this, I think there's a real problem beyond sheer "number of orgs" - if orgs were deleted, people would still move and cluster with their friends that they have made. What is the guarantee that the two (or more) "sides" would be any more balanced, numbers or skills wise, than they are currently?

    Edit: I also support Makai's solution - people would probably feel less angry if everyone's orgs got reconfigured equally, rather than feeling like their org in particular was deleted.
    (clan): Falmiis says, "Aramelise, verb, 1. adorn with many flowers."
  • AyisdraAyisdra Member Posts: 1,098 Mythical
    Deleting any org is probably going to do more harm than good. It will just cause people to quit the game if their org is one of the ones that doesn't make the cut and the game will have even less people.
    At this point, if your goal is the health of the game, I don't think you can reduce the number of orgs and just have to try your best at supporting the six.
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,069 Creator
    Creating a new org (Jojobo) is off the table, unfortunately. It would probably take 6-12 months to build properly and would mean other things wouldn't get done. It's a pretty massive project.
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  • CoralineCoraline Member Posts: 282 Adept
    I like @Makai 's idea, although, to be fair, that would be so much work for the admin to do.
    Ghost-shark, ghost-shark! A ghost and a shark!
    He's spooky and scary and white
    He swims circles around in the night
    He fights with the forces of Light
    If you see him, you will die of fright!
  • InnonInnon Member Posts: 152 Capable
    I think three orgs is definitely ideal. I would also regret my decision to retire Innon if this becomes reality. I believe this would be a step in the right direction. Yes, it hurts, but sometimes the band-aid needs ripped off. I think it would be fair to offer 100% credit to those people that would want to create a new character within Lusternia from one of the destroyed orgs. (Could limit this rate at 1 per person) 

  • MakaiMakai Member Posts: 251 Capable
    Well, even if a new area (Jojobo) isn't created, things can still be merged. Heck you could make Serenwilde and Glomdoring linked by an archway or nature portal to quickly move between those prime locations, leave the archways on Faethorn to act as proxy gates to those prime locations as well. We don't need a new map, and if we did, we have mortal builders and could bring on more if necessary. Instead let's merge orgs that have similar archetype structures and just make them specializations like they already are. Using my mergers from before:

    Warrior: Knighthood (BM, PB, BC, Cav, AL), Athletics, Rituals (Necromancy/Aeonics)/Tracking. Depending on which ritual they take, they could be considered that specialization.
    Guardian: Cosmic (Nihilism/Harmonics), Rituals (Necromancy/Aeonics) forced based on primary, Tarot/Hexes/Healing/Astrology.

    And the list continues, but that might be easier to achieve with changing flags of skills and what nexus they require, than outright making new things or just deleting orgs.
  • AramelAramel Member Posts: 270 Fabled
    I'd like to liken this to the guild overhaul. We lost a lot of roleplay and purpose with the death of the old guilds, and population in the new guilds has not been what we have hoped.

    With all due respect to the necessity of low population that put us in this position, I honestly think that I will not be the only person leaving if my org does not make the cut. It is one thing to have a cataclysmic event that destroys all orgs/guilds and reforms them anew. It's quite another to have your particular "side" which you have identified so long with in the game be wiped out, while other orgs, including your "enemies", remain. At the end of the day, many players don't play for their characters' advancement. They play for their orgs and the people around them.

    If the problem is too few people actively engaging in an org, forcing people to join an org they don't already want to be in isn't going to solve the issue. There is no guarantee that they will engage or find themselves drawn to the culture (both IC and OOC) of their new org. And the issue that drives people away from the game - the feeling that "my org is losing and I can't do anything to help, and therefore I feel futile" - is going to be worse instead of better.
    (clan): Falmiis says, "Aramelise, verb, 1. adorn with many flowers."
  • KeahiKeahi Member Posts: 15 Inept
    It's a tricky place. I'm 100% in support of trimming orgs. I also love every one of the current six, and think trimming any one of them would be something of a loss. There are going to be people, like Xenthos, who are in this for one org, and if it's not there, then they don't have a reason to stay. Same as with the guild overhaul.

    My feelings at current are that simply shuttering 3 orgs and forcing players established there to migrate to an existing org and be folded in will be nothing short of catastrophic, especially given current levels of enmity. If you're going to do it, it would be better to shutter ALL orgs, and open 3 new ones, even if they're built on the "easy themes" of light/dark/nature. For example, close both Serenwilde and Glomdoring, and open Ackleberry (or Jojobo). New forest, new RP opportunities. Not sure the best sort of similar solution for the cities, but new cities can always be built, and I think it would be very cool to see new Nexuses raised, and possibly new elemental or cosmic planes found, depending on how you want to go about it.

    I think the "2 orgs dogpiling" thing could maybe be avoided with more mechanical disincentives to doing so. Not sure what that would look like.

  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,125 Transcendent
    Estarra said:
    Creating a new org (Jojobo) is off the table, unfortunately. It would probably take 6-12 months to build properly and would mean other things wouldn't get done. It's a pretty massive project.
    I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • AramelAramel Member Posts: 270 Fabled
    edited April 24
    I'd be (very begrudgingly) on board for an org trimming if the new orgs were actually new orgs. They don't have to be actual recodes - just rename them and delete half the classes.

    "The forestal council"
    "The beacon of flame"
    "The engine of science"

    I am opposed to deleting some orgs and not others because it is the ultimate middle finger to people who have put in hard work to those orgs - in many cases building them up to be fairly successful even in the current game climate - to be passed over in favor of other orgs. "Sorry, we know you're the third most active org but we care more about x org's theme, bye". It's very alienating. A total wipe feels less targeted, more equitable, and allows for new avenues of RP.

    Alternately, if we're going to delete, keep only two orgs: one pair of opposing cities. This allows for even more integration (since with alliances, there's basically only two "sides" to the game already).
    (clan): Falmiis says, "Aramelise, verb, 1. adorn with many flowers."
  • InnonInnon Member Posts: 152 Capable
    edited April 24
    People are leaving the game pretty rapidly as is. 

    Edit: Meaning the risk may be worth the reward because people are frustrated with status quo. This could pull back some players.
  • CrekCrek Member Posts: 257 Fabled
    Innon said:
    People are leaving the game pretty rapidly as is. 

    Edit: Meaning the risk may be worth the reward because people are frustrated with status quo. This could pull back some players.
    Or it would backfire horribly.

    I know I would be taking a long hard look at why I keep playing a game that keeps deleting what I've grown attached to.

    I would probably hope that if we go this direction (deleting three orgs and keeping three orgs) the administration would at least open up 100% retirement for members of the deleted orgs so they can get a full fresh start. Because characters have baggage!
    The Divine voice of Ianir the Anomaly echoes in your head, "You are a ray of sunshine in a sea of 
    depression. I just wanted you to know that."
  • CoralineCoraline Member Posts: 282 Adept
    Innon said:
    People are leaving the game pretty rapidly as is. 

    Edit: Meaning the risk may be worth the reward because people are frustrated with status quo. This could pull back some players.
    This only works for the case of three new orgs being created (I like Aramel's idea). I don't really see the incentive for players to come back if they learned that three orgs were deleted while three of the old ones remain as is.

    The only positive thing I see for this is that new players will have an easier option picking an org. (Although, speaking of guild overhaul: As someone who wasn't playing when old guilds existed, it was very confusing to me why the guilds were not the same as your class and the guilds purposes were seemingly something random. I don't think new players will face a similar confusion in this case though).

    If the current proposal happened, I would either stop playing this character or go to an org where all my friends go to.
    Ghost-shark, ghost-shark! A ghost and a shark!
    He's spooky and scary and white
    He swims circles around in the night
    He fights with the forces of Light
    If you see him, you will die of fright!
  • MakaiMakai Member Posts: 251 Capable
    Estarra said:
    Finally, we know there is a lot to consider, including possibly reducing the number of commodity-producing villages, allowing a way for players to transfer their wealth/artifacts/etc. to another character if they want to preserve the roleplaying integrity of their current character, updating the website, and many other things that will be challenging.
    Please keep the conversation respectful. We're looking to have a considerate and productive discussion.
    This has been mentioned, I think if the trimming/merging did happen, it would be wise to allow a soft-restart for the player.
  • PortiusPortius Likes big books, cannot lie Member Posts: 1,496 Transcendent
    edited April 24
    I have basically no horse in this race. Frankly, I think that Lusternia is doomed because you don't have the resources to do any of the projects that could save it. On the other hand, this is interesting enough to draw me out to comment.
    I've got no position on IF you should eliminate orgs or not. But I do have opinions on how you should do it.
    If you delete some orgs, take a look at the overlap in themes between those orgs and the ones that remain. All of them have some things in common. Make a list and then ask around to see which ones people value.  Then, add some content to each of the surviving orgs that emphasizes those themes so that the refugees have something that appeals to them.
    Let's look at Hallifax as an example, because I'm familiar with Hallifax. Hallifax loves itself some science and it has some industrial and economic themes. Mag also has industrialization with all of its smogginess and the vaguely Victorian elements. It has less science than Halli, but still some science. They also have at least some shared pragmatic ideology. Sure, there's a lot of differences within those broad groupings. Halli doesn't have the gratuitously evil aesthetics and tends to be a lot more modernized, but there is overlap. So if I was doing the merger, I might give Mag a new guild that focuses on industrialization and a sort of evil progressivism to merge the two. Call 'em the Robber Barons or something.
    Compare Celest. The lighter side of Hallifax has an idealized view of collectivism, with everyone working for the greater good, mutual support, and so on. That lines up pretty well with some of Celest's Light stuff. Once again, not exactly, but there is overlap. So make sure there is a guild, or a quest, or some locus for RP that emphasizes those commonalities.
    -------------
    Gotta say that I also have opinions on which orgs should merge. I think the only thing that would get enough interest for me to consider logging in again is if you merged all of the opposites. I know that they're supposed to be designated enemies, but they straight up have more in common with each other than with their neutral orgs.
    Look at Halli and Gaudi. They're unified by the search for truth. They define truth differently, but they both rely on thinking and looking for it instead of taking inherited religious wisdom. They're pretty meritocratic, between Halli's technocratic leanings and Gaudi's individualism. In more sinister terms, they both have elites than control the masses. Gaudi uses demagogues to control the mob while Halli uses law, but there's control for both. Merge them to get an org that focuses on those themes.
    Celest and Mag have fundamentally similar churches. Different gods, but they're both religious in ways that other orgs aren't. The forests share being forests. Doing this gives you new axes of conflict: Nature against city, with the cities splitting between the old ways of faith and nobility against modernism and the nouveau riche.
    Granted, that would take more resources than just axing things. You may not be able to do it. But if I was to bet on a way to keep things going, this would be it.
    P.S. Friendly advice if you end up making anything new: Get in touch with the players who were involved in building new guilds, both when we were working out the basic ideas and the guild leaders who tried to establish things after the fact. I can't speak for all of us, but I've gotten the impression that I am not the only one who was seriously dissatisfied with parts of the process and it would probably be a good idea to try to fix those problems before doing anything like that again.
    Any sufficiently advanced pun is indistinguishable from comedy.
  • AramelAramel Member Posts: 270 Fabled
    edited April 24
    I agree with @Makai . If it does happen, I hope there is an option for current players that is not necessarily retirement-based, but a one-time transfer of artifacts might be good. I have a number of rare/limited artifacts on my character that I've gained over the years that would be hard to replace with simple credit value.

    It would also be nice to keep the option of logging in to my now vagrant/rogue character occasionally for sentimental reasons while understanding that her character arc (and pvp utility) is finished.
    (clan): Falmiis says, "Aramelise, verb, 1. adorn with many flowers."
  • InnonInnon Member Posts: 152 Capable
    First, I would like to clarify. I think moving to the suggested three orgs is the true fix. There is a lot of Glom hate, and I believe this would allow the game to heal past that. If Glom stays then it is status quo. If you go to four orgs and keep Glom. I would say most Gaudi's would just move to Glom/Celest, and most Halli's would move to Mag/Seren. This would be status quo. 

     I will say there is a big difference in not being dorment and playing in my opinion. 
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,069 Creator
    Thank you all for your opinions! Just to clear things up. It will not be possible to add new orgs from scratch (i.e., Jojobo, etc.). While merging/joining orgs would be possible RP-wise, we would still want to cut down the number of classes so choices would need to be made (i.e., Hallifax-Magnagora merge would either keep Hallifax or Magnagora classes, not both). Part of the appeal would also be reducing the number of classes necessary to maintain/balance. Also keep in mind, that I do hope Lusternia to grow over time (call me a crazy!) so I think I'd prefer the door to be left open to re-opening dormant orgs in the future which may be more problematic if they were merged.
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  • CoralineCoraline Member Posts: 282 Adept
    Would it be a good idea to keep the old orgs as "provinces" of the new merged org and just delete the classes of one of the org? That way, if in future they can be brought back, you can just split them again
    Ghost-shark, ghost-shark! A ghost and a shark!
    He's spooky and scary and white
    He swims circles around in the night
    He fights with the forces of Light
    If you see him, you will die of fright!
  • CrekCrek Member Posts: 257 Fabled
    Estarra said:
    It will not be possible to add new orgs from scratch (i.e., Jojobo, etc.).
    Obviously not a coder so I probably have a lot of this wrong but wouldn't designing a commune be the easiest option compared to a new city? I understand that it would still be a large undertaking. But the groundwork could already be there.

    Druidry and Wicca are largely the same between the two communes. Druidry has the same abilities except for org specific effects (spiders/murder and squirrels/pathtwist*) and scarab/darkseed. Wicca is the same except for three fae ents. That is two skillsets largely  already written, especially druidry which is just coded weird. Sun, Lion, Bard spec, Monk spec would be left.

    Could just take over a forest already designed and rewrite room descriptions, change some NPC interactions or delete all NPCs and start that part fresh. Half the work would already be done. Would even serve as an RP arc where the new forest is taking over.


    I remain unconvinced that deleting three orgs with the potential to revive them is a good option. Reopening orgs would just add further stress as by then these refugees would have settled in to their new old orgs and have to choose again if they should move.

    *I am aware pathtwist is not an effect in the traditional sense. Yes cudgel bashing attacks are different as well.
    The Divine voice of Ianir the Anomaly echoes in your head, "You are a ray of sunshine in a sea of 
    depression. I just wanted you to know that."
  • MakaiMakai Member Posts: 251 Capable
    Deletion of classes is what is really going to drive people away as well, not to mention wreck any kind of org synergy that could/would exist. Sticking with my mergers to be the example:

    Nihilists
    Sentinels
    Cacophony
    Tessenchi
    Geomancer

    Or really any combination might just feel extremely awkward, as most of these classes are rooted deep into the philosophies and culture of their organization of origin. We either need to:

    1) Keep classes and let people choose which specialization they wish
    2) Merge archetype skills (staring at Aetolia's original Magi being split into element combinations)
    3) Fresh skillsets for these new orgs

    Otherwise there is no point in the merger and further alienates people from the game.
This discussion has been closed.