I'm prefacing this writing with:
I've only ever written one other discussion post and that was due to a very large OOC issue that happened regarding what should have been an IC happening.
My current issues regarding the Lusternian community stem from a vast majority of sources now. Organizations, players themselves, and producers as well.
Let's start small and build from there up.
For as long as I have played, the issue system has been present. It has been a useful tool at times for de-escalation and escalation where needed for problem players and actions that have needed to be addressed. I've valued the system for what it was, a third-party mediation tool so that the admin team could assist in finding a resolution or stating that a certain player was out of alignment with their RP.
Since the start of 2021, the issue system has been abused by all different players as an "I don't like this person so here, have an issue that I could solve in RP/IC but because I don't like you I want OOC consequences for you." The amount of issues I personally have seen stemming from newer players is quite frankly disgusting. And oft directed towards the more veteran players who have the knowledge and framework for why they said or did what they said. At some point, the issuing system has become the complaint hotline and it's gross to see.
But to add to this, the issuing system cannot handle the out-of-character harassment that players are now receiving. Discord is the biggest issue. The biggest perpetrators of this within the time span that I have been near the Lusternia discord are [names redacted by moderation for breaking forum rules]. The reason that I have never spoken with the admin and hiked my own shorts up to deal with this is that I have heard repeatedly from several others "The admin won't do anything because Discord is not Lusternia." Players stop playing because they are harassed about in-character actions or words and decide "Yeah, this is pretty toxic. I need to stop because clearly, they won't."
Next problem: Organizations and Toxicity
It is not a hidden fact that many players have seconds or alts in other organizations. Generally speaking, once you find a community in an organization you resonate with you tend to play and spend the most character time there. I'm guilty of it as well, having bounced between Serenwilde, Celest, and Magnagora. It's truly great that we are allowed to have seconds so that you don't have to go rogue each time to find the organization you fit best with. In most other games, you'd have to restart a new character to join another faction.
My issue with organizations is that the sheer disgust for a videogame organization carries over into real life. When you receive threats because your character belongs to a videogame organization and somebody doesn't like that? Absolutely vile. It's a fair reason why a small minority of players have decided to stop playing. The toxicity that oozes from organizations into Discord. Or into forums. It's a videogame, yet some people can't mentally handle or separate the two and it is a large problem.
Last Problem: Balancing of Classes and sneaky changes.
I understand that reports are the chances for players to say "Hey, I think this is too powerful right now." or "Hey, this has no usage because it does too little".
The last round of reports that were sent out had the 5 admin reports as well to state and fix key points of the game in terms of conflict that are underwhelming or overwhelming. I'm happy to see that there were a lot of positives and negatives stated by everyone in the game (that I've spoken to from all organizations.)
My issue with the balancing is that it was stated "Hey, reach across the aisle and work with others to achieve what you think is a reasonable solution." Using the Holyfire reports as an example (and yes, I know I am slightly biased here), I collected data. I sent data to someone who I know can be more objective than I. That someone worked with a person of Celest to reasonably tone down how the affliction was built. Cool, we're working together to make the game more fun for everyone involved with it, yeah?
But then there are sneaky changes included in changelogs from producers. Or changes that weren't discussed with someone who has ANY relevant knowledge of how a class functions. Case and point: "Monks are overpowered." which has echoed throughout the game.
Ok, cool, so what can you do to ALL monks to bring them in line with how you'd like to see them played out?
Have you asked any of the current monks within your organization?
Do you have at least a basic understanding of how they have to build their kill conditions?
Easy examples of monks that I know of that understand the class (that are still present in-game): Zagreus, Thalkros, Ulkhar, Vayelle, Freja
If you don't understand, maybe try the test server to try the class out. Or an alt. Monk is significantly far more difficult to build and achieve a kill condition on than any other class in the game. So yes, when properly executed they are extremely deadly and can be thought of as overpowered. But if you miss a single piece of how to reach what you need, then you'll never achieve a kill. How many monks do you see in-game, compared to any of the other classes faction wide?
Warriors and Guardians are much less forgiving and Guardians themselves are nearly game-breaking with how fast their leveled afflictions can build.
How many times have we now seen Pulp kills, even though they were supposed to have received a large debuff? Several, and that is a good sign. Because it means that while it was balanced down, it is still viable.
Having written all of this above, I actually find myself killing time now in Lusternia with daily credits or gold farming and have jokingly called the game a retirement simulator because if you do anything conflict related you receive OOC backlash and I simply don't care anymore. I've lost too many friends over the span of two years who enjoyed the game to OOC harassment and toxicity which spills.
Discord was the worst move for this game hands down and I'll retire on that fact.