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Asking for your feedback

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:24 pm
by Koi-Cipher
Greetings Dreamers!

As many of you know, your GM Team is diligently working to create and provide new and exciting content for the UnderLight community that provides a consistent level of both player enjoyment in the form of expansions, dynamic role plays, and in-game content, while also working to maintain and facilitate gaming balance for our community so any player will enjoy the unique experience UnderLight offers.

Within the past weeks an update announcement regarding in-game content was provided to the community (located here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5053) that offered a small glimpse regarding some of the in-game and role play items your GM Team is considering for review, clarification, and potential updates. As part of the dynamic nature of the gaming environment UnderLight offers; this is a near constant process.

In order to facilitate a more dynamic and robust role playing environment for our players, your GM Team is working through a series of significant updates and revisions to the in-game criteria surrounding the current House/Faction/Guild system.

However, UnderLight would be nothing without our players, and player involvement is critical to our success. Your GM Team would like to extend an opportunity to allow players to offer their suggestions and feedback about what YOU might like or dislike about the current House/Faction/Guild system currently in place within our community as we work to consider and update this key area of our community role playing experience.

This message will be placed in the RP Discussion forum and your GM Team fully encourages players to please provide your feedback, suggestions, likes, dislikes, or changes you might like to see for consideration during this period of review while keeping in mind that we are asking for your input on what is capable of being considered NOW. Some suggestions, while excellent, require very intensive coding and impact on developer limitations that make them unfeasible at this time or in need of extensive patches/updates. With this in mind, please let us know what YOU think!

Your GM Team fully looks forward to your feedback and thanks you in advance for your participation in helping to continue making UnderLight the wonderful and unique gaming experience that it has been for so very long!

Keep dreaming those dreams!

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:37 am
by Arnaya
On a personal level, I'm not a fan of the overall guild thing. I personally believe it detracts from the houses, overstretches already spread thin players (Since it's pretty much the same people pushing activity for the guilds as it is for the houses, and where those people arn't... the guilds are pretty much inactive), and end up just being personal domains for one or two people on top of cutting off area's in game that really should be open domain (The path through LC being a personal pet peeve).

But, since they're around and some people have been enjoying them... I'm not going to argue for their removal from the game or anything like that. Instead, I'd suggest that they be cut back in size allowance and HAVE to be on dead end area's (IE: Not blocking any travel routes, nor taking main game area's out of availability for public play. No sancs, existing Vaults, etc. If the guild wants one of those, they have to build it in the one room they have. Just as the Focus Guilds have a single room). I could go for using one of the complex's like Fayd's Fortress (There's a few of those around) provided the central room remained unlocked as a sort of Common area like the houses have.

If someone is looking for a large area with sancs and Vaults and numerous member locked area's for their roleplay group.... get enough together to claim one of the empty houses. For smaller groups, a single guild hall room is great... and as has been proven, can be upgraded to contain vaults and other perks. Especially since the guilds have been basically declared as flat out Inviolate... something that hasn't been a true blanket rule even for the houses.

Feedback asked for and given, Flame away ;)
~ Jan

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:21 am
by Cherokee
These are the changes I’d make to the House requirements:

For a house to open:
*The prospective group must have 10 ACTIVE dreamers following their cause. Dual crested members only count toward their primary faction.
*A prospective group must have a clear set of defining beliefs/goals that set them apart from the current houses.

For a house to remain open:
*A house requires 6 active single crested members to remain open. Active is defined as having logged in within the last 14 days, and has played a minimum of an hour.
*A single house can have up to two (alt) characters from one OOC player, though only one counts toward membership.

First off, I’d like to touch on this recent surge of dual cresting. Once one house accepted it, all of them started allowing it. Now it has become more common than not. I don’t think there should be a rule against it, but I do think they should not count toward opening and maintaining a Stronghold.

We currently have SIX houses open, in a community that should be at two to three, max. If the player base continues to grow as it has been lately, then I can see the possibility of more opening in the future. However, as it is now, we have a handful of people spread out in seclusion across the map – while encouraging players to work together should be a priority.

Everyone wants to start or lead their own House/Guild, but it just isn’t feasible at this time. As part of my above suggestion, I added in “A prospective group must have a clear set of defining beliefs/goals that set them apart from the current houses.” This would lessen the amount of unnecessary houses. Currently, we have three that are so similar they could and should be one large house. I remember opening houses in SoT was a big deal. Putting more emphasis on each belief structure would form a foundation for them to last, appeal to players, and overall create RPs to build off of.

“Active is defined as having logged in within the last 15 days” I understand we all have real lives: jobs, family, relationships, children. Some weeks are busier than others. Though, the 15 day limit that decides who is active or not needs to be looked into a little more. I have witnessed almost completely dead houses remain, just because a few of the more inactive players log in once every two weeks. Two suggestions to try and fix this would be to either place time played into account or pay closer attention to the individuals repeatedly skating by the rules. Not only has this been an issue with keeping houses open, but opening houses have been given supports in the past from people that hardly ever play, and they were counted.

While there are some aspects of alt characters that I do not like, such as the potential to cross over - I am of the belief that the majority should not suffer due to the actions of a few. If someone is caught abusing the system, they should be dealt with individually. If anything, having alts in different houses is more of an issue. With that in mind, I do not see a reason one player cannot have two characters in one house. To make things fair and not risk people flooding a house with filler characters, only one character from each player should count toward membership.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:03 am
by Uthanatos
I believe the intent of the guilds is sound, since we don't have the playerbase to support more than a few houses. It is a good way for a group to establish themselves and possibly grow into a house and the original post had the right idea, requesting that these groups be respectful of the spaces they claim and stay towards complexes. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. In the instance of the Kabal, it was established by Agonarius before the guilds became a player organization and it was kind of assumed that locking off that whole area was temporary, the locks were even broken a few times.

So, my suggestions.
1) Guilds should be limited to one room in a complex area with exceptions for existing guilds being reduced to one room but maintaining their current location.
2) Guilds in complex areas could either purchase vault status for their guild hall or work towards it themselves. (Prices to be determined by GM team)
3) Guilds should not include all members of a single house.
4) Guild memberships would count as primary memberships. I.E. A character could not count towards the membership total of a house and two guilds. One organization would have to be primary and their membership would only count towards the total for that group.
5) Guilds and houses all incur a monthly fee for maintenance. (This would help to prevent groups with largely absentee members from maintaining hold on properties)

This is a sort of basic assessment as I wait to go to the dentist. I will revisit when I'm not on opiates.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:04 pm
by Harkyn
The key/lock systems that the guilds rely on is pretty broken. I have literally picked up every single open guildhall’s keys from being dropped in combat. The risk of filling the vaults with any usable or unique items is too great, you can lose 2 entire vaults worth of items from a single collapse in addition to any artifacts stored at the guild and it is only a matter of time before that happens. To add insult to injury, you are out several thousand worth of energy to rekey them which nobody besides SM with trap would be able to gather. The amount of members a guild house needs versus a house is so similar it makes little sense for anyone to use a guild instead of a house. There could be several solutions to this problem including making keys no-drop. Coding would need to be done to fix this.

I like Uthanatos’s ideas of house and guild upkeep costs, but currently it would be too reliant on only soulmasters with trap. I had suggested before that regular mare energy strength should be increased such as was done in SoT. 1 strength for emphants, 5 for bogroms, 10 for agoknights, 20 for shamblixs, 40 for horrons. Trappers would still be able to gather more energy easier, but this would allow all members of a house to contribute to their energy. This change was approved by Drama about 6 months ago, but did not make it on the last patch and does not appear to be on the roadmap. Coding would need to be done to fix this.

More effort should be put in to ensuring that house leadership is engaging their players. Houses are a core part of the game and house leaders are an important part of that. A new player joining a boring house that does little to engage their members is likely to cause that new player to leave. One solution would be to give initiates of a house support ascension/demotion arts and guardians the demote art so that they could demote a bad ruler or claim rulership for themselves by gaining the support of the members. 3 member (including initiate) supports should be able to turn an initiate into a guardian without the prime. 3 supports should be able to turn a guardian into a ruler without the prime. Coding would need to be done to fix this.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:48 pm
by -Lacie-
Ok, here's my buck, thirty five....

I like the Guild idea (of course, I would, right?) because it makes the ruler of Calenture make posts like she did above... sit up, wake up, get t'going... It's a player way (without relying on GM's for practically EVERYTHING) of giving the Houses a smack on the tu-tu. They're not a threat, like a war-threat, but a wake-up call.

Secondly, it gives the new dreamer, returning dreamer and/or otherwise bored dreamer something to add as a possibility for their dreams. Anasina did it a while back. She didn't call it a Guild or have a sealed off room, but she gathered other interested in the idea she had, formed a group, held events and it was fun, if not a bit silly, but it was good rp that she used little GM intervention in. Hopefully the guild rp system will spark new ideas too.

What's most important for the Guild idea is.... well, ideas. The people who create the guild(s) need to have a good first project idea AFTER they get thru the Acquisition rp to establish the guild. A quirky friend of mine used to remind me, "Think Chess, not Checkers". That applies here.

Lastly, while Harkyn's ideas are really good ones, his are dependent on GM/coders, etc. We need to think smarter and deeper and do what WE can to help facilitate the GM's "behind the scenes" efforts, so they are freed up to do more of the coding issues (where they can and stuff).

I do have a few ideas that I've gathered had and gotten from other dreamers and guess what? I'll only talk about them INGAME, where I have a modicum of control....

Screchethan Kabal

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:21 pm
by Erasmus
I share several of the same or similar opinions.

Houses don't mean much anymore. There are many of them that are the same as others and really are more cliques or trophies for people able to open them. They are also too transient... They open and close so easily, AOE included, that it's overwhelming to know what, when and if regarding house viability and which ones will be there in the short term, much less the long term.

Maybe the automatic mechanic for membership requirements should require more flexibility. For example, an active house (one that does events or activities or involved somehow in the city) with 4 members may have a bigger impact on the game than a stagnant collection of 10 or 15 place holders. No matter the house.

And don't get me started on beliefs. I can't really tell you what each house's prime function or tenets even are. It's almost more a popularity thing than anything else. Houses should HAVE to be unique. Or why not merge?

To recap, numbers shouldn't matter, involvement should matter. Houses should have a purpose that is unique and if they are too similar they should merge. I like the idea of beliefs, but it definitely seems to have lost popularity over the years.

Guilds are somewhat of a trickier topic for me.

I like the concept. Mini-houses in a way. This could negatively impact house activity and population though. I agree that you shouldn't hold primary membership in both or at least they shouldn't count towards totals in both if numbers are going to remain a thing. If membership is allowed in both a house and a "guild", for the sake of continuity, they should be aligned in belief, tenet, or purpose. A house that believes in ice cream Gods, shouldn't permit a member of a guild that believes in lactose intolerance being a requirement for membership. It just doesn't make sense for either the house or the guild.

They also should have a location other than in the middle of an established plane. Whether this can be accomplished in a way similar to the Nexus where guildhalls are collectively accessed from one hub or whether a new area off of each of the lesser planes in created, such as a portal from Evernight leading to guild A's hall, a portal from Umbric leading to guild B's hall, so on and so forth. Just not in the middle of an area that people are already accustomed to going. Just seems like squatters or invaders to me.

If they DO have to remain in existing planes, there should be some marker denoting who has "claimed" those rooms. A special portal appearance? A special ward with an inscription? Something.

I don't mind the number of rooms thing. But a public area, like a gathering hall, should be included. So, for example, a public entrance, a sanctuary, a private meeting room and a vault should comprise the four rooms, in my opinion.

But to recap, I don't think guilds should be enticing enough to detract from houses. I think they, too, should be required to have a purpose. They shouldn't invade on existing lands.

To tie into Harkyn's idea somewhat, I think that Rulers should also have some more authority. For example, they should be able to disable a member's ability to use a house art for abuse or as a punitive measure. This is an idea that would need to be tweaked of course. But there needs to be some ways that house can provide consequences besides simply demoting a member. Temporary suspension from the Mission Board? I don't know. However, I don't know that I agree that initiates should be able to promotet/demote. Guardians maybe.

My last suggestion would be a big one, with a lot of work required.

Houses should WANT to recruit and membership in a house could unlock certain "perks". Numbers could be tweaked.

For example...

- Less than 6 members and the house loses the Mission Board and all vaults, with the exception of the essence room. No access to the house art.
- 6 members keeps it open with minimal services, such as Mission Board, essence room and one additional vault, and minimal other rooms. Access to the house art.
- 8 members adds additional vaults (armory, specialty vaults, whatever).
- 10+ members opens up some additional bonuses that unlock and perhaps scale with increased membership. XP bonuses, essence strength bonuses, and even more as membership grows. Combat bonuses, defense bonuses, art bonuses, etc. These could start as only available on the prime house plane for lower numbers, moves to spoke planes (like Illapse for DoL) as numbers increase, and even large areas for still larger membership numbers.

Again, these are just ideas and the mechanics would need to be worked out, tweaked, etc. But an idea I've pondered for a long time.

Sorry for the wall and also for any spelling issues, I'm typing all this on a phone.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:57 pm
by Tember
I did not read all of the comments, but have some concerns myself.

One thing that I do not really agree with, or understand, is why you need ten players to open the house, and then only 6 to maintain. This only leads to players getting initiated to help open it, and then immediately demoting out right after it is opened. Or getting dual crested and then demoting back out. This has been happening recently. In the meantime, while players are doing this, the house that they are originally in goes into jeapardy because of the dual crested rule.

I suggest, just having the six uncrested to open and to maintain the house. I know that some people think six is low, but, if you do the math and the size of the player base, it’s reasonable.

I feel bad for folks when they work hard to open a house and it closes, I have been there and am still attached to DoL. But, I know that it has to happen in order to keep the balance and fairness.

What I propose and suggest is, when a house is on the verge of closing and the MoTd goes up, that the house in jeapardy has the option from one of the caretakers to use the prime strength from their prime to close off one of the out of the way rooms on their plane to use as a guild for their remaining house members. (Uncrested) They will be able to use this to build back up their numbers if they choose, or to have the guild to just do what they do, but did not have enough members for the house.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:00 pm
by PKChrisChan
Erasmus/Jade/everyone is correct in all of their statements. It was an intoxicating feeling seeing alts in other homes for the sole fact of keeping them open. 3 of the homes literally are clones. Understandably, I see why they are seperated though.

Most of the houses in the game are opened due to nostalgia. Then social popularity plays a huge factor in who's selected for leadership. I find that incredibly distasteful from a roleplaying standpoint. I pin that on the community. I can't relate as I only played Lyra UL 2 months and SoT around 1 month so I may be a little biased there.

Then, I feel like I have to be friendly and in good terms with the GM team both IC and OOC. In a lot of ways that binds me from playing my characters certain ways because people feel you share the same traits as your characters. No, irl, I am not like Nathan/Vistael at all. I've stopped playing my alts because I feel that they can't be played the same since I revealed who they were.

As far as guilds, I thoroughly enjoy them, I am able to gather at least a few dreamers to a common goal that is not overtaken by house politics/beliefs/dynamics. I agree that they should not be personal vaults and blocking off public areas and there should be an upkeep in some way (strength, activity or event-wise). As far as taking away from houses. I disagree. The current player/GM enforced cultural behaviors take away from houses. But it goes even deeper than that....

Consider this:
We're a strange community where we are encouraged and forced through a variety of methods to AGREE to everything stated above. Anyone who shares contrary opinions are often demonized as problematic. People know this but refused to acknowledge for the sake of being deemed problematic. I find that this is a result of the game mechanics, how rules are enforced and the smaller population. Teaching and the supports structure FORCE you to be on good terms with players/dreamers/whoever or else you sacrifice a good deal of progression.

I started Xererth out as a stereotypical 'good' character. I played Nathan to be easily manipulated and placed on the 'bad' side. As both of these characters grown I was doing some social assessments and slowly make Xererth to evolve into a 'lawful evil' type of character. Nathan was evolving into a "Chaotic Good", a vigilante to be more exact. Both of these rp options are constantly squandered by this gamewide enforced behavior. Both of these playstyles would have been met drastically limited teaching/roleplay support/sphere&task support.

But that's not all, I would like to see invulnerability adjusted. By no means should a GM attacking you have invulnerability on. Quite literally Invulnerability should be coded to TURN OFF once you fire a chakram/hostile art/etc. Pseudo methods of invulnerability should (Like unlimited durability 70% reduc. shields) should be reevaluated as well. Roleplay with invulnerability on and fight with it off.

Also consider Darkmares' benefit to effort ratio. 200k is very low for a mare spamming 90 Vampiric Draw, 90 firestorm/GK damage bonus, sucking on dreamsoul, 10-99 chakrams, shifting shields all the while championing frontal immunity. There should be flags for things of this nature(experience on certain mares should scale with abilities/items). One mare doesn't need to be a badass through OP/waste of time methods. Darkmares should be treated more as a threat in a force rather than one annoying individual mare with super powered items & 9th plat everything.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:06 pm
by Arnaya
I like Tember's suggestion about the Guildhall for the house that's closed. I think that would be a nice angle to take on it

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:40 pm
by Koi-Scribble
Please remember to keep this thread a constructive topic on the guilds and houses system. Thanks! :)

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:56 pm
by -Lacie-
Tember's idea has precedent, if that helps. Countless groups had tried to open KoES the first time and all failed.

The Penumbra decided to go about it differently. They formed their ~own~ guild, did stuff, got the City's attention, got some cool Caches, got them locked, then went about collecting the # of strength to open the house. Asmodan came in for laughs and giggles. We ended up working with the other guild, the Kabal, to eventually having the Penumbra strong and known enough to be able to open the house. But it was the actions, the .. rp's that we did that impressed the then Lyran staff that we had the best shot at the house being opened.

So, maybe the EA group doing this type of rp might actually strengthen them as a group and the Guild Hall idea would be a great jumping off point. Plus it'd be fun to watch and see how the group progresses and gives others ideas also. Win, win, win.


Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:14 am
by Elmer
People don't much go for my ideas on this, but i don't think houses should have limits at all. We want dynamic and interesting roleplay, yea? ok, imagine if you will that Zooby wants to open a house and nobody likes Zooby or they don't believe what Zooby believes, so he goes about it all on his OWN, imagine 1(or 2 or 3) person (no doubt a zealot) doing all the work to open a house, IF he or she were to actually put in the work, RP the hell out of it and succeed?, that's very good roleplaying to me and in doing so? i bet that people would then say hey...Zooby isnt so bad, lets join zooby!!

You get my drift. Im just being a moron on purpose here with the Zooby thing, i realize why there are minimums, but maybe it would be fun to try without them, see how it goes, if it sucks, could always turn it back to how it was. The reason i share this particular input is, when AOE closed, Elmer would go there day after day by himself, and he had ppl come up (some GMs) and try to talk him OUT of being up there, cuz it was closed, well no, that would be out of character for him to do that, even if it was STILL closed, Elms'd be hanging up there a lot because he BELIEVES in it, it is his cause, his purpose and his passion to follow AOE's beliefs.

Long story short. Maybe think about limits, pros and cons, roleplaying being the whole purpose. Not much roleplaying in people coming out of the woodwork suddenly after ages away when a house is going to close, ya know?

p.s. Guilds, i like the concept, if they have an actual purpose.


Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:52 pm
by Harkyn
My idea about having more involved GM Seneschals in houses was deleted so I propose instead: Turn house rulers into mini-GMs leading their houses.

Invite all house rulers into a special House Ruler room of GM-slack(the chat program they use) with the GM Roleplay lead and other GMs as appropriate. This would allow them to easily keep the GM team informed on things going on with their house and plan/coordinate events with other houses. Roleplay lead could also help provide direction to rulers to help keep their members engaged.

Enhance ruler's forge to create current GM only graphics and the ability to forge no-pickup items and pick up no-pickup items created by other rulers (they still wouldn't be able to pickup GM forged nopickups). Rulers would communicate in the GM/Ruler Slack when they were doing this and Roleplay lead could approve/deny it's use. Example 1: BotC attacks AoE's telescope, ruler puts down no-pickup lightning bolts to show the damage. Later on after BotC leaves, AoE's ruler leads their house in a roleplay to repair the telescope and deletes the no-pickup lightning bolts. Both rulers are communicating with each other and roleplay lead about what they're doing in GM/ruler slack.

Give rulers the ability to perform Raws. Same rules apply as above.

Give rulers ability to disable/enable portals. Each ability would cost a large amount of energy from the house prime and would need to be approved first by roleplay lead.

Give rulers access to the House Rosters section of GM tools to keep up to date of their house membership as well as a version of Uber locate that shows only their house members.

Abuse of any of these, not communicating when they were being used, or ignoring roleplay lead would result in ruler being demoted and replaced with someone else. Several of these involve coding changes that would take some time, but inviting all the rulers into slack to communicate with roleplay lead/gms and request no-pickups/raws could be done immediately. There are probably other things that could be done to give rulers more tools to engage their members as well.

Re: Asking for your feedback

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:43 pm
by Koi-Cipher
Greetings Dreamers!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outstanding level of participation this thread received and the number of suggestions that were put forth! There was a wealth of amazing and insightful ideas and suggestions presented here by our players and your assistance during this period of review has been beyond appreciated.

Many of the suggestions and feedback put forth by many of you have been taken directly into account and your GM Team has used them to help frame the basis of the considerations that have been made towards the review process regarding the House/Faction/Guild system. There remains some work left ahead of the team before a final announcement has been made but please stay tuned!

Once again, our sincerest thanks for your participation, suggestions, and feedback during this process! It continues to be a source of pride for your GM Team that players remain interested in helping to shape and expand the UL experience!

Keep dreaming those dreams!