Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

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Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#1 Post by Andreati » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:49 pm


I've forced myself to log on to Andy a few times since the most recent Asralite/Crusade ordeal has started, primarily to read mail and not completely disappear as many Judges have before. However, I’m finding it more difficult to do so every time. I’ll try not to point fingers at any one person, group or cause, and say that they’re entirely the reason that I’m having issues playing with Andy, or just playing in general. In addition, some of my limited playing comes from having RL time constraints, but I’ll admit that I decided to lessen Andy’s playtime just before the “war” began.

Anyway…I don’t really like to complain OOCly about how things in-game are run; I’m fairly sure I haven’t even ever gone on a forum ‘Crusaders Suck’ rampage that seems to be the hip new thing these days, but feel free to cram those words down my throat if I’m wrong. There are a few of reasons I try not to do this sort of complaining.

1. I don’t really feel that way.

2. Numerous forum threads are twisted beyond their original purpose, frequently making an inhospitable OOC atmosphere (at least for me).

Example: One of the saddest things for me about GEAS is people deciding to stop playing due to things happening in game. Sometimes it’s that own person’s fault, but there are frequently other major factors as well. My example here is Fernao. A relatively new character who got involved in a war that he was not at all ready to take part in. After crap happened, he left a note saying that he would be leaving “at least temporarily”. While there were a fair amount of “hope to see you soons,” “I’m sorry’s,” pieces of good advice, and even an apology for possibly being a reason for his absence, there were posts A) blaming/hating on the Crusade and its players, B) unsympathetic statements/views, and C) some useless and unproductive banter between players which had absolutely NOTHING to do with Fernao’s post.

I’m not saying that people involved in this are bad, but when a problem like this occurs, isn’t it a better use of time to try to find ways to fix it and prevent it from happening again…than it is to call each other names and post just for the sake of posting? I’ll be surprised if this post can make it to the second page without having this problem.

3. It shouldn’t really matter what happens in character, there’s absolutely no reason to go OOC crying, whining, or screaming to Mommy if something happens that you don’t like. Now, that’s not to say that if something’s wrong, you shouldn’t put up a post to attempt to solve it…but many of those that try to be productive attacked by point 2, and many of those that want change are just complaints. If the game’s affecting you to a point where you’re not enjoying playing, where you as a person are becoming too aggressive/defensive over game matters, or where you’re just being stressed out by whatever’s happening...chances are that you should take a break. It’s a game. It’s supposed to be fun and entertaining. If it’s not—there’s a problem.

And point 3 is really one of the major reasons Andy is at stake: I’m not enjoying playing and I’m being stressed out.

In char and out of char, I’ve never wanted to lead the Asral Clergy. I originally took it up because there was nobody else to, certain people asked me to, and it seemed to me that the Asrals were basically on the brink of collapse. In short: if I didn’t, all the time I put in to making Andy an Asralite would have wasted (so I thought). So, why wouldn’t I want the prestigious position of leading a guild? If I seriously have to answer this question, you need to learn your history. In my opinion, Asrals have had the most tumultuous past and are the probably most tumultuous guild, partially because a generally only a certain kind of player is attracted to the guild and they basically do the same things over and over again, and partially because there’s no stated direction for the guild to be going in. Therefore, when that certain repeated event comes up (which it seems to at least twice a year), I tend to separate Andy from it. To me, these conflicts are more from an OOC “I don’t like you” cause, than from actual in game conflict. Now, there are exceptions to this (Mona leaving the Crusade), but in general…”I don’t like you” causes prevail.

So, during these conflicts, the Asralites tend to be slaughtered due to lack of numbers, lack of strength, lack of strategy, lack of coded backing—the reasons really don’t matter. The point is, since Andy joined the Asralites…a while ago…every time that shit happened, people expected me to clean it up. The first few times, this was ok. I was glad to help the guild and keep things running. OOC and IC, it was fine. But then, as the conflict repeated, I got tired of it. It truly seemed like ‘if I leave then the Asrals are going to have problems which I’ll have to clean up’. I tried to find a substitute; I may have asked wizards for help; I did my best to teach people to prevent this conflict…but I failed. And so, I find myself again being prodded to clean up this mess.
In my own guild, characters are saying Andy will step in when they’re weak and reclaim power. Well, a pattern has been set—yay me. Outside the guild, the last time I logged in I found a certain character who gave this ultimatum to Andy: ‘if you’re not going to clean this shit up, in which you haven’t been a part of, I’m going to kill you.’ Whoopee. Well, I’m far beyond the point where I actually care if Andy dies, yet not quite at the point where I try to rack up as many deaths as I can within a certain time frame. Nothing happened, but there’s something wrong if everybody expects me to swoop in and correct everything; I’m tired of it.

Asralite Clergy Issues:

1.) There tends to be one large problematic ideology for Asralites: worshipping a god of war means starting wars over everything. There are exceptions to this, but if you look at a majority of the majority of Asralites who have spent a significant amount of time playing…you can’t miss it. The main problem here is the constant attack, ignore outcome, attack, ignore outcome, attack…and so on until the cows come home. There doesn’t seem to be any real consequence for losing a battle, as is addressed in at least two threads in the forum…and so it doesn’t really seem to matter how many times one dies, one doesn’t necessarily have any reason to back down. This seems to have made most of the conflicts in the past 2-3 rl years just about exactly the same, with slight variation. Occasionally, the Asralite who started the war gets sick of dying, and instead of ending the war—just decides to stop playing. It’s a somewhat understandable course of action, but it really screws over everybody else in the guild (Exhibit A: Axstream).

2.) Almost every, if not all, other guilds have a fairly clear directive—given to them by code, if not by general RP. Crusaders crush evil. Tanielites deal with law, assist the Crusade, and fight evil. Druids heal things and protect nature. Sathonites wreak havoc. The Order, Rangers and Shaolin…do things. And the Asrals? I haven’t a damn idea what the purpose of the Asralite Clergy is, and I’ve had Andy for how long? Originally, back when they had a stronghold there, I imagine it was to protect Arborea. After being screwed over by the problem that was Axstream…we didn’t have that. Sure, Asralites can still guard Arborea…but there’s a lack of manpower and ability, their fortress is half a continent away, and there’s no way to know (other than following obvious insect tracks, and mindcalls) that Arborea’s being attacked short of going there oneself. So the way I see it, protecting Arborea is now just a task, not an actual purpose or directive.

3.) Apart from being unguided in terms of guild-goal/purpose, the Asralites seem to be generally ignored by the wizards/admin…except for when they do something wrong, and then everybody’s up in their business. Sometimes, this is fine, as we don’t always need immortal help, sometimes we need to be scolded, and for serious issues (Avatar picking business) help usually turns up. I’m definitely not trying to criticize immortals, and I completely understand that imms are frequently busy with their own projects, or have work to do IRL, or other things, but there are some things that really need modification. For example, the Asralite guild guards are probably the most pathetic guards in the game. Only one of them, I think, is a priest? That seems a bit silly, as they’re guarding the fortress of the Asral priests…They don’t fight well as a team, and any team of 4 insects or a human on a unicorn will slay them nigh-instantly. And it’s not like this is a recent problem…somebody brought up the problem in November 2009, and I’m not entirely sure that’s the earliest account. It’s definitely not the most recent: 13 of the last 58 OOC board posts were about how terrible the guards are, and how detrimental it is to the guild. As I said earlier, I’m not trying to criticize anybody; I just think that someone REALLY needs to modify things like this when they’re available.

On the Crusade:

On whole, I think the Crusade is stronger than the Asralites. Whether this is because of better backing, stronger players, more numbers, or whatever—I don’t really care. It doesn’t bother me. For a lot of things, I feel the Crusade is justified in its action: Mona leaves Crusade, there’s a crusade to kill Mona. Makes sense. People destroy a watchtower, Crusade counters by destroying said people. Makes sense. Cause and Effect, I understand what they do and why they do it. It’s logical. They’re following their guild rules.

My issue with the Crusade they are so unmovable, so in-depth in their game mechanics and RP, that it basically takes away from other people. Their relentlessness tends to scare people away, but it definitely makes sense given the purpose of their guild. They’re controlling, like the actual Crusaders were and like they should be—but to the extent that there isn’t much space for characters who aren’t with them. In essence, the Crusade basically influences everybody and everything in the game to a degree that many people just aren’t comfortable with.

Wrapping this post up…I’ve been playing GEAS for over 5 years, I started out as one of the youngest players, and I’ve seen the game go through numerous transformations. Hey, I was even around when @say became @chat, and then when @chat was banned. I’ve seen characters come, go, come back, and go again, all for various reasons. I think this is a wonderful game, not only because of the mechanics, administration and gameplay, but also because of the people who play. I really, REALLY don’t want to stop playing, but at the same time: there are single things, perhaps multiple things, which desperately need to change, and until they do...I am sure that there will be a fair amount of unhappy players. As for me, until this situation gets better, don’t expect to see Andy around much. I’ll be here just enough to deal with Arborea issues, as I’d feel guilty about being yet another Judge completely abandoning the City. I’ll read the forum every now and then to see if the situation improves, but I haven’t got my hopes up for the near future.

In addition, I expect that there are going to be at least 3 people who refute and contradict various things I‘ve said, or will go off topic and make this just a finger-pointing post. In advance, I ask you to hold back your smart-ass remarks and try to stay respectful of each other. Thanks.

Best of luck to you all,

--Lauren, poAndy
There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved by a suitable application of high explosives.

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Re: Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#2 Post by luminier » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:10 pm

Thank you for giving your time to write this post Andy. I think it is constructive, well thought out and something that should be considered seriously.

Our characters certainly hate each others guts, but, at least there is some warped form of comradeship there. Sorry to see you have to go, Ill be glad to have you back, whenever that is.
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Re: Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#3 Post by lanyara » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:33 pm

Admin can interfere at any point and decide on outcomes/results and without a doubt the players would follow this.
Last edited by lanyara on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#4 Post by Skragna » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:40 pm

Well, I certainly didn't know that you'd been asked to clean up after someone else's mess before, and I do have to say that, as a cleric of Asral, Lesur is starting to feel a lot more pressure than he did. In fact, if I was high-ranking enough, I would most likely try to take control and to ease the tension between the Asral clerics and the Crusade. It truly is sad to see such an interesting character leave, but I hope that, when you return, things have changed enough that playing again becomes fun.

Good Tidings,
Kacy Roush, @Lesur.

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Re: Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#5 Post by arxthas » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:18 pm

Andreati wrote: ... but when a problem like this occurs, isn’t it a better use of time to try to find ways to fix it and prevent it from happening again…
I agree.

I do think though that if you cut away all the flame and blame, there is some core of true disagreements about how this game should be played. There are also players from a mix of old and young players. And I'll admit that I was not RPing (good) when I start here. New players need guidiance by older ones.
Andreati wrote: And so, I find myself again being prodded to clean up this mess.
That really sucks. You have no obligation to clean up someone's mess (speaking OOC). The fact that you're posting a note rather than just leaving is more than what most others before you did.
Andreati wrote: Asralite Clergy Issues:
1) I agree.

2) I agree. The Asral clergy doesn't have a directive. It's funny how people wildly disagreed to that in previous forum topics. Now it's more clear maybe.

3) I agree, but I want to add a bit a bit. The guild wizard is absent, yes. But that does not mean work was not done. The biggest problem about it is that:
A) Players are not going to accept changes easily - so we risk player drops. Especially large and "in-the-face" of currently present members.
B) It is a hard problem to solve.
C) It has to be done retroactively.
Andreati wrote: On the Crusade:
It's hard to stay objective when commenting on your own guild. But I believe that the Crusade is nearly good as it is. It could be downgraded in power (I honestly do not care about it, if you can believe me), but the RP goals are right. I'd say the problem is that the other guilds are not in such a way. A lot of people seem to choose guilds from what gives them most "freedom".
Andreati wrote: I really, REALLY don’t want to stop playing, but at the same time: there are single things, perhaps multiple things, which desperately need to change, and until they do...I am sure that there will be a fair amount of unhappy players
I understand your position. Apart from the problems described above, there have been a lot of old "guild leaders" for who the game turned into "work". Trust me I know this.

The bad part about old people quitting is that the wisdom gets lost. Most likely the history repeats itself, later on. But it makes sense, you should not play if it does not bring fun to you. I do not play much now. I do try to contribute some to the game (at the risk of sacrificing myself too much) in order to make it better.. but much must happen before it gets fun enough to play. I am not sure though if the admin know about that there is actually a demand on fixing the situation. I don't mind divine intervention..

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Re: Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#6 Post by luminier » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:03 pm

I don't actually agree with Crusaders getting downgraded in power. Right now two strong miracles (bone spear, heavens fire, lightning bolt) can bring Luminier to near death with no magic resistance. If he gets magic resistance I can take about four hits - which is honestly pretty good. The fact is that getting magic resistance is significantly difficult for Crusaders to do normally. Unless they have a taniel cleric to offer resistance (and that doesn't help the Evrenite crusaders as the miracles effectiveness is based on the favour you have of the blessing the god is from) they are shit outta luck.

As for towers, I still don't agree they are -that- deadly. I've played a very active evil character and i never once had a problem with it ever.

As for unicorns, I think other -non clerical- guilds have bonuses like unicorns. Shaolins have tattoos and as well as some other nice bonuses and rangers have amazing equipment (rangers could use something else though IMO). And of course, clerics have miracles. Miracles are very powerful. The fact that if Luminier (a character who people claim is invincible) can only eat 1-2 miracles without dying is saying something about their power.

You might say we have nice equipment, and it's true we do. It's also extremely heavy and we can't even wear all of it without sacrificing flicking up.

The fact of the matter is, I've taken all of these advantages and disadvantages and used them completely to my advantage, couple that with the fact Luminier is a character that is old and you have a recipe for nastyness.

tl;dr - Crusaders are not OP. Can we drop it.
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Re: Andy, Asrals, Geas, and other things

#7 Post by lanyara » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:02 pm

I won't comment about IC events nor about balance/power here, though I must admit that I do think the balance/power in the game is not perfect right now. And naturally you will have players disagree about it a lot.

There is one thing I want to comment on, which is the activity of (guild) wizards. Their activity has decreased. If I would have to pinpoint a problematic year, I would pick the year 2007 (but don't quote me on that)

I can not speak for others, but my guess is that aside from time constraints, frustration with/within the game must have increased for guild wizards.

Naturally you have a high activity when a guild is fresh and young, lateron it is much more maintenance work which isn't so interesting anymore. And the rest of the world keeps on evolving as well.

Perhaps a reason why maintenance isn't a lot of fun is because you have more freedom to design a guild when you start from scratch? Whereas in maintenance mode you'd have to care about what already exists in the game and have less way to change, especially if it wasn't your code, nor your ideas you'd have to care for.

And then you have a few unique game events which can change guilds, and how important they are to the overall game.

How flexible a guild can be is important. If players can not change much within a guild then a guild becomes rather static. And if players want to redefine the purpose of a guild, then there is also a problem. I am not sure if anyone is still following this? My point is basically that guilds need both:

- active playercharacters, and
- (a) wizard(s) supporting them

If you look at most guilds, especially those who are involved in PvP, being a leader isn't a lot of fun for either the leader, or for the other guild members (if they disagree with the leader or with outcomes of disagreeing characters/players).

And when you are leader, how much code support will you be able to get if guild wizards are rather inactive and admin too burdened? There are also some bugs when wanting to take up a leadership position in some cases.

There really has to be some way for active players to want to play, and also go ahead with their guilds and for this they will require code support and sufficient freedom to act.
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