The case for closure – fighter guilds

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Which guilds should close? (pick two options)

The Gladiators of Athas -> layman guild
11
26%
The Army of Angmar -> layman guild
2
5%
The Calian Warriors -> layman guild
2
5%
The Knights of Solamnia -> closed
0
No votes
The Army of Darkness -> layman guild
5
12%
The Dragon Order -> layman guild
4
10%
The Neidar Clan -> layman guild
1
2%
The Shadow Union -> closed
7
17%
The Dragonarmies (red and blue) -> closed (or merged!)
8
19%
The Mercenaries -> closed
2
5%
 
Total votes: 42

Amberlee
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Location: Kristiansund, Norway

Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Amberlee » 16 Jan 2021 23:21

Budwise wrote:
16 Jan 2021 13:57
Well, thanks for the review of Calia, Nils.
Maybe stop drinking whatever you had before writing that garbage? :)

I suggest we close whatever guild Nils happens to be in.
Or close them all. That will teach us! ;)
Which part of his analysis did you disagree with?
Cause the power level of the guild is very accurate.
The views posted by me on this forum is not the views of the character Amberlee in-game.
If you ask for my opinion here, you will get MY opinion, not that of my character.

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Arman
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Arman » 17 Jan 2021 06:20

Stats are always interesting. Context is important though.

So why do people think the top five guilds are so active? I have my own thinking on this, but I'd like to hear what others think.

Thalric
Expert
Posts: 267
Joined: 14 Jun 2016 16:34

Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Thalric » 17 Jan 2021 12:38

The members are excellent at idling.

Which those stats don't take into account.
So guilds where characters are only awake when being actively played are of course seen as much less active than those where members are logged in 24/7.

Targun
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Targun » 19 Jan 2021 22:06

Thalric wrote: The members are excellent at idling.

Which those stats don't take into account.
So guilds where characters are only awake when being actively played are of course seen as much less active than those where members are logged in 24/7.
While people idling for the better portion of the day will obviously skew the activity data towards values higher than what we would associate with "active playing", it in no way depreciates the problem of barely active and dead guilds. As a matter of fact, it masks it, as to a greater or lesser extent all chars idle, and the actual “active play” time is lower than recorded, even for the least active guilds.
Zhar wrote:
16 Jan 2021 13:03
Another cool metric we could have is total guild members/guild members active in the last week for each guild and it could maybe be posted and updated weekly like the stats on the main website.

Then each year an aggregate of that, with average total and average active. This would give a better view of the current state of affairs in my opinion.
Karpath wrote: Great idea Zhar!

Remember that the metric should sort out the people who are linkdying/idling - those are clearly not "active" players in the guild now are they ;)
Ratio “Players Logged in Guild / Total Guild Members” is an interesting piece of trivia, but it would provide very limited information about activity and - in fact - would be very misleading (if used alone). That's because such stats ignore weight – 10 players that log for 10 hours a week are equal to 10 that log in for 1 minute. At the same time, a guild with 5 players that play 20 hours a week will seem much less active, than the one with 10 of 1 min.

To represent it and get some insight, we would need to know the count of hourly appearances for characters, so that then we could - for example - see that in the case of Mercs who had activity of 6.000:
Mercs Made Up Activity

Code: Select all

→ 3 characters generated 1.500 of this activity – AVG of 12 hours per day (25%)
→ 10 next characters: 1.500  – AVG of 3.5 hours (50%)
→ another 20: 1.500  – AVG of 100min. (75%)
→ and last 100 generated final 1.500  – AVG of ~20min. (100%)
However, this exercise is only useful for guilds that actually have some significant, high activity. Then we could say, “Ahh... ok, guild XY has relatively high activity, but 50% of it is generated by 2 people who have had their chars logged 18h a day”. It won't serve much purpose (if any), for numbers of activity like 0.500. If anything, it may turn out to be even sadder story there, when 1 person generates 50% of activity for such guilds.

On General Subject of Activity
I wouldn't focus on how “active” certain guilds are (although I think, there are some common denominators contributing towards their success), but rather how much on the verge of extinction the ones in bottom half are and how to reinvigorate them - meaning - encourage some players to dedicate time to the characters that would move towards that portion of the spread.

Guilds of activity of 0.100-0.300 are effectively just frozen code and they exist primarily on paper. It 's difficult to think of them as bearing any noticeable impact on the world or being available to new characters.

Code: Select all

    --> 0.100  activity means that in 48 hours (in 48 snapshots) 
    someone from that guild appeared only 5 times. 
That's a somewhat active player, not a guild and for guilds with activity of 0.020-0.100, it's not even that, it's just a sad, little “p”.

Even on the off-chance that all idlers who never log off their chars schemed to be exclusively in 2 top guilds and people from all other guilds never idle whatsoever the data is still overwhelmingly conclusive. We're talking of of 30-40 active players on AVG, and ~70 in peak hours. The highest activity numbers can be taken with a pinch of salt, but it's looking dry bones bleak for others and that's the actual problem.

For all meaningful purpose and from the perspective of your AVG player and future prospect who'd like to join them – they're ranging from mythical to verified non-existent and realistically not an option.

Targun
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Targun » 19 Jan 2021 23:54

Apologies for posting one under another. I've been scribing this answer in a separate file, and it got a bit out of hand. I think that it also concludes my typed characters pool for 2021.
Arman wrote:
17 Jan 2021 06:20
Stats are always interesting. Context is important though.

So why do people think the top five guilds are so active? I have my own thinking on this, but I'd like to hear what others think.
Tough question. For me it ultimately comes down to a healthy balance between supporting and elevating current members vs. being a reliable, viable (and available) choice for the rest of the community.

To achieve that, in my mind, all guilds should meet 3 conditions - I'm gonna call them "3 Laws of Serve Your Purpose" to have a fair chance of being reasonably active and – perhaps more importantly – to be a career path for the character. I also think all guilds that have been active in the recent years share these qualities (through combination of code and internal approach). There's of course additional question – what to do to make the spread more balanced out, but on that subject - later.

== 3 Laws of Serve Your Purpose ==

I. Guild must be able to sustain chars rotation.
II. Guild must be realistically available for potential new members (accept new members in a timely fashion, allow progression within the ranks).
III. I & II must stand true at all times; regardless if current members are actively playing or not.


These 3 rules stem from asking myself the following questions: “what makes guilds derelict?”, “why the spread is disproportionate to such a huge extent (wealth distribution vibes)?”, “what stops guilds from being reinvigorated?”. I tried to limit myself to 3 things that I believe are most impactful causes that are tightly knit together. Where a problem in one area resonates and causes chain reaction in the other 2.

== My 3 Guild Killer Candidates ==

No. 1 Downward Spiral a.k.a. Feedback Loop
This one is fairly obvious and the pattern is well known to all of us. Guild starts losing active players (RL, exhausted interest, balance, wars, etc.) and drops below critical mass. Then it gets desolated almost in an instant (with occasional surges of activity). Players rotation is interrupted, social bonds are broken, it all starts falling apart.

Internally - there's less prime equipment in racks, fewer interactions, fewer people to team with. It gets pretty lonely and you lose all benefits of working as a unit and sharing the fruits of your labour.

Externally - in conflicts with other guilds, you are more likely to become oppressed. With little chance of fighting back. Potential recruits have harder time to be signed in, while looking at a dubious prospect of becoming a badly bruised punchbag.

No. 2 Recruitment and Progression
At some point activity drops so low, it becomes exponentially more difficult to successfully sign in new chars and make them stay, as even if they are accepted, they cannot progress in the guild. There's a good chance they would even have a hard time finding out who's on the council and how to start applying.

That's only the beginning of their struggle, though. Potential new members will then have to jump through hoops that are on fire, lined with poisonous blades to somehow get a hold of people that barely log on. They will be trying to adjust their RL life schedule, hoping against better judgment that they'll be able to go through recruitment process in a foreseeable future.

The obvious problem here is – it has nothing to do with gameplay, RP, behaviour and is solely based on somebody else's activity. All of that to be a part of a desolated guild. It kills any sense of progression, locks time and resources and is bound to fail. So potential chars, essential for guilds to remain active go... “Ehh... I'll just become Merc or SoHM, both are nice guilds. One day perhaps, if something changes.... and then nothing ever changes”.

Side note (players attitude):
This is certainly controversial, but I think it cannot be left out in the discussion. There's probably something to be said about pseudo-elitism, that some players seem to have adopted at different stages in different guilds, locking them to inner cycles of friends&families (perhaps at a pretense of “roleplay” and “high standards”). There also might be a matter of whether members of the guild have a genuine and honest interest in treating it as anything more than a private clubhouse and whether they feel any need or display willingness to have new people in.

To what extent the last argument is valid... I don't know. I do know however, that while it's fine to bring in people you enjoy spending time with outside of Gen, it's important to stay open minded and make room for those who are not a part of that circle, but want to roleplay certain character. And I think that last part – about being able to choose path for your character, realistically pursue it and execute it is very important.

Guilds shouldn't be some ego-boosters, but places that welcome new members; as long as they are dedicated, don't break the rules and their characters maintain integrity. I think we grew a bit obsessed with who the puppet master is rather than how the character acts. It shouldn't matter if it's somebody's second, provided that person is serious about their characters. It creates a lot of unnecessary tensions.

No. 3 Power vs Accessibility & Restrictions
Some guilds are simply weak and they don't offer sufficient compensation (if any) for the limitations they bring as part of their theme or code. Others viability shifted vastly with introduction of imbuements, special bug, levels explosion, weapons inflation and nearly infinite herb availability. Good examples could be SU and Kenders. Paired with already low player count in their ranks it is far less likely for them to attract new players.

Finally, for many people it will be a matter of convenience and that freedom of choice. Which is perfectly fine and necessary. I may want to be a Merc with no restrictions, every possible layman combination, my allegiances are my own and I build my char from there. Thing is - when this option is so enticing why would I go for... here you can pick from the list, knowing all the issues you will run into.

Conclusions (and common deonominator)
To wrap it up and put it in other words. I think what makes guilds successful in terms of activity is the fact that... well... you can be those things (power aside for a moment) and let the character grow in that structure, actually roleplaying your character with a fitting playstyle (skills) and progression within the ranks. Your character is not at the mercy of someone who might have not the slightest interest or inclination to even respond to your application and if they even had the best intentions, they were last seen 2 weeks ago for 30 minutes.

I think there are many Mercs or SoHM that would've chosen different guild, if they had thought that it's achievable to be accepted in reasonable time frame and then move through the ranks (provided they are active and don't act like a... well I don't have any metaphor... a jerk). That they won't be ignored, because they're not friends with someone outside Gen or because their char is a second. Some of them would've been SU, some of them Clerics, MM, Knives, Knights or PoT.

Proposed Remedy
In my view the only sensible and achievable remedy is to open part of all guilds on Genesis as auto-join, starting with those least active. The initiates, recruits, or self proclaimed followers of certain gods, etc., they should have a realistic way to pursue all those paths that Genesis offers, within those guilds and certain play-styles associated with them.

They can have their own, thematically appropriate quarters, limited access to racks, libraries and rooms, but all guilds should have automatic progression system, that may be sped up or slowed down by guild Council. If someone plays actively for half a year, contributes to the racks, follows guild rules, there's no reason why they should be gated from becoming a full member. Least of all, gated by inactivity or lack of outside Gen connections.

As for Councils, they should get decaying influence points. They get points for being active (logon time, rack points, xp gained) and performing council duties. They can then spend influence points on removing rotten apples from the guild or bestowing their grace/ showing interest/ marking talents to speed up progress in the ranks of promising prospects and members. This in turn should increase influence generation rate of the Councilours.

I am convinced some kind of semi-automatic system is the only way to go forth if we are to have dead guilds reinvigorated in a lasting fashion, be serious about it, and for the spread to become at least a bit more even.

Council's main objectives should be strengthening the bonds in the guild, politics, recognizing promising members and removing bad eggs, while others should be able to realistically pursue their goals. And introducing some sort of semi-auto join and progression system is - in my opinion - the only way to satisfy 3 laws I mentioned at the beginning, and the only way that in the long run can break the impasse.
Last edited by Targun on 20 Jan 2021 00:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Zhar
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Zhar » 20 Jan 2021 00:40

I really like the idea of the influence points. I was discussing something similar with a few mortals, like pros and cons of various systems. What if people could vie for power within each guild with those influence points and top ranked one gets the leadership? Obviously, this should not be a single factor, like experience, kills or whatever but something tailored for each guild.

Take Calian Warriors as an example - who is on the council could be dictated by 1. guild experience, 2. rack contributions, 3. killing krougs. You can't just idle or others will overtake you, you can't just grind in top xp spots because this fills just 1 out of 3 criteria, you actually need to be a) active, b) progressing your character, c) contributing to the guild, d) engaging in thematic activities for your guild. No more just logging in once every 2 weeks to check mail, no more idling 24/7.

With more systems like that and some form of automated joining processes (Ranger Pupils, Knight Squires, Calian Followers and the like being free to join) people would actually flock to such guilds because it's more fun than just grinding your ass off for many hours over and over again (people who like that can do so but can forget about leadership positions in elite guilds or can enjoy it freely as mercs/sohm).

Edit: The above idea isn't mine really, it's from discussions with some of the big myths.
Time is precious. Waste it wisely.

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Redblade
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Redblade » 20 Jan 2021 07:46

I have a slightly different view on the joining process (no opinion about influence points and such).
As a player, I often found most fun in the game at the guild application process. It allowed me to fully create my character, someone finally asked all the questions I had to roleplay out (How old are you? Where were you born? What do you stand for? What do you seek?). I found these meetings with often either Council members or designated people within various guilds the best player experience I can get. Even after the character grew and eventually got to the other side of the table, I still greatly enjoy speaking to applicants as they are the one thing that will always be unique - on the contrary of eternal grinding and gear hunting. It creates those bonds among characters and their players that in my opinion largely form the community of Genesis. I hold the opinion that free-to-join or automated joining into guilds would ruin some of that experience.

In my time I have been in a Council position and I had turned down applicants. Not once it has been for other than purely in-game reasons. I have also applied to some of the guilds named as problematic having zero ties to the players already in those guilds (perhaps to their characters, but I do character separation, so...) and never was rejected because of that. I simply set my mind on joining the guild, roleplayed my very best in the character and didn't stop until I got in. I think the little extra effort going through application process is worth it :)
Auta i lómë, Aurë entuluva!
The Night is passing, Day shall come again!

Amberlee
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Amberlee » 20 Jan 2021 10:37

Redblade wrote:
20 Jan 2021 07:46
I have a slightly different view on the joining process (no opinion about influence points and such).
As a player, I often found most fun in the game at the guild application process. It allowed me to fully create my character, someone finally asked all the questions I had to roleplay out (How old are you? Where were you born? What do you stand for? What do you seek?). I found these meetings with often either Council members or designated people within various guilds the best player experience I can get. Even after the character grew and eventually got to the other side of the table, I still greatly enjoy speaking to applicants as they are the one thing that will always be unique - on the contrary of eternal grinding and gear hunting. It creates those bonds among characters and their players that in my opinion largely form the community of Genesis. I hold the opinion that free-to-join or automated joining into guilds would ruin some of that experience.

In my time I have been in a Council position and I had turned down applicants. Not once it has been for other than purely in-game reasons. I have also applied to some of the guilds named as problematic having zero ties to the players already in those guilds (perhaps to their characters, but I do character separation, so...) and never was rejected because of that. I simply set my mind on joining the guild, roleplayed my very best in the character and didn't stop until I got in. I think the little extra effort going through application process is worth it :)
This is the way.

Unfortunately nowdays many are just entitled brats who put in a minimal to zero effort :(
The views posted by me on this forum is not the views of the character Amberlee in-game.
If you ask for my opinion here, you will get MY opinion, not that of my character.

Dan
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Dan » 20 Jan 2021 11:01

Statistics doesnt work when the game allows for idling.

My suggestion:

1: Make a cap of idling for maximum of 2 hours (same as linkdead) and after you get logged out, or get a warning if you circumvent it.
2: Make a new leaderboard entry : Heroes of the week, showing top 15 logged in characters of the week.

That would make future statistics much more reliable than who idles the most statistics of today.

Thalric
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Re: The case for closure – fighter guilds

Post by Thalric » 20 Jan 2021 12:05

This would have to change the dynamic of how idle works, though.

Idle would for example be standing in the same room without moving.
I don't know of many meetings that last for more than 2 hours, and if there is a max time there should also be a warning. At which time talking people would get up and move a bit, to sit down again.
Sort of like what people do when at work. Don't sit down all day.

There are most likely more things that idle people do now, that shouldn't change the fact that they're idle.
Running vitals or health or whatever every minute shouldn't remove you from being idle.
That mainly just prevents you from being logged out, and should only do that.

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