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Dewei

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Conference of the Monarch (Thoughts) Reply to this Post
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So for those of you whom have been around a lot longer then 2007, you most likely remember that Hypnos used to hold Ocean wide conferences for the Top 10 Monarchs. I did some searching, and it seems the last one that was held was a little more then 2 years ago.

So being a bit curious if there was another one, I petitioned the OM on duty, and she said that she could not find anything, BUT, if Hypnos has plans he (she) will most likely inform us is anything comes up...

Anyways to get to the point of the thread... I was curious about what players thought about the idea, and whether not Hypnos (Or another OM) should hold one of these conferences. In my opinion I think it'd be great, I have never been to one, but it's my understanding, this really gave OOO an in dept view of Ocean economics and politics, and ways to improve on that and the game.

Your thoughts on the issue?
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Parrrdner

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I think you should try to find out if anything said in the past conferences was implemented, and decide whether those things turned out to be good ideas or not. For instance, is it the Monarch Conference's fault that flotillas barely ever spawn, and BKs are barely an issue anymore? That was a heck of a lot of wasted developer time, coding in something scary and then removing it.

If you want another conference, you should go back, and find evidence that the previous one was awesome.
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Pardner; Riot Forever
[but not around :/ these days ]
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sweetnessc

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I felt it was enormously valuable. For both of the first two conferences, the second of which I attended personally, a whole bunch of Midnight flags got together and sorted out what was the most disruptive/frustrating/unaddressed parts of gameplay so we could present a united list, and a lot of things did indeed get addressed.

Pardner, though I'm personally pleased that flotillas don't spawn more often, I don't think you can lay the blame for that on a conference that happened two years before the change.

As for the BKs, they were booched since the get-go, when it was revealed that the 'oh-so-evil' action they were going to take was nothing more than 100% taxes.
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Parrrdner

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Sure sure -- the example I gave is too long and probably unnecessary.

What I'm saying is that someone who wants another conference should provide evidence that the previous ones were good. If the previous ones caused changes that were wasteful, then that is not good.

I have no idea what the previous ones caused -- I certainly don't know that they caused any changes having to do with flotillas.
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[May 2, 2009 12:56:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
sweetnessc

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Well, I think it's more that they were found to be useful enough that Hypnos implemented weekly in-game office hours instead. (If you take a look at just one list of things discussed on one ocean, you'll see that a ton of things on that list have been addressed in the last couple of years.) Though I'm not sure if it's still ongoing, it was for quite a while. Though there's something to be said for the major collaborative effort in getting goodly chunks of the playerbase to coordinate and agree on what the most significant issues are.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

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treese

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I was actually wondering if we'd missed one recently too, our flag was invited to the one approx 2 years ago and it was really beneficial to the ocean.

There are a lot of improvements or suggestions that could be made that are ocean specific and not necessarilly game wide. It'd be nice to know that another meeting such as this was in the planning stages and would be commencing soon.
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Squashbuckle

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Why do we need the monarch's conference? We have forums where we can post ideas.

I participated in one conference and it was pretty pointless. It made the people in on the call feel special, and people left out felt left out. Other than that, it was just a bunch of players restating things that had been posted in game design already or making completely impractical suggestions because they had no idea how things actually worked.

Being a monarch of a big flag should not give you special access to the OMs.
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Grinfish

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How do you decide Top 10 status? Purely on Fame and numbers? Both are easily raised without actually being good at the game.

If a monarch wants their voice to be heard, point them to Game Design. If they can't be bothered to contribute there normally, why the hell should they get an "exclusive" audience to play to?
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Game Design exists for a reason.
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[May 2, 2009 3:30:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
sweetnessc

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A lot of things that weren't issues of coding were addressed. Also, a flood of suggestions in game design makes it difficult to get a sense of which are the ones of most importance to your playerbase. I'm sorry if the Hunter ones were pointless Polly, but both Midnight ones were very useful, and those who feel 'left out for not being invited (which included me for the first one) were given an opportunity to send in their comments to the people who were attending. I'd rather see the material benefits with a hurt feeling or two, than salvage people's inappropriately upset feelings at the expense of improvements to the game.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

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Squashbuckle

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You can use the forums for more than just game design. If you have a political issue or ocean personality or whatever, you can post in Parley. Heck, you can fill out a support form if something needs OM attention.

I fail to see how anything could be accomplished at an exclusionary conference that couldn't be accomplished through the communication channels that are always open to us all.
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sweetnessc

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Because some of the flags who were invited on some of the oceans took the time and trouble to put together a coherent effort. If others didn't bother doing that, I can understand your confusion, but the venue and opportunity was very well-utilized by some, and the outcome was pretty valuable.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

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Burnt_Water

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I prefer the OM/OOO requests for suggestions in Game Design rather than privileged-few conferences. I believe they are better than pick a-b-c-d surveys too.

My suggestion? Advertise the Game Design forum and moderate (prevent) trolls. (Not sure if it's a legal issue, but I reckon stating implementations based on someone's idea as an inspiration would go a long way to encouraging people to put forward ideas)

/I am hoping for Faulkston's opinion on Conference vs Survey vs OM Requests.
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barrelmonkey

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Polly, do you honestly thing Game Design is working as a means to influence change in the game? I know I've seen you rant about how the devs don't listen there. As a player with a lot of free time, I found that Game Design was ridiculously hard to keep up with even for me.
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BlackBeth

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I had the good fortune to attend one of the Midnight conferences. To me it seemed most useful as a filtering mechanism: out of the thousands of suggestions and complaints in GD, given just an hour to talk about things, which issues will people bring up because they find them most important? Little was said that wasn't on the forums somewhere already, but getting immediate OM feedback about our concerns was nice.

I do think the system is problematic in the sense of deciding who to invite. I was at the 2nd conference in the awkward position of a 'representative of a high fame but very low population crew'. While I did invite others I knew who did not have a direct representative attending to let me know what issues they would like to see brought up, I really didn't feel like I was representing much beyond my own POV.

I actually preferred the setup of Hypnos's office hours, which were free for anyone to attend if they were interested.

(and ugh, I posted in Parley, didn't I?)
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Jezzebel

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How about a mixture? Say 50% oldest active flags on that ocean and 50% highest fame flags? Mine would fit into the first category, but I wouldn't be attending myself. I have several more knowledgeable people I could send in my place.
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Parrrdner

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http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Conference_of_Monarchs:Midnight_(February_2007)

Sweetie, I couldn't find anything in this entire list that has been addressed. Except maybe this?
 
It was noted that it has become impossible to casually pillage and make any poe. The game was supposed to be a casual game, but favours taking a long pillage.


From the logs, it looks like the conferences were a flood of ideas, with no clear purpose. For example, here are three things listed under the "Maneuvers in Blockades" category.
  • Request for an option to turn off blockade maneuvers
  • Request for navs to be able to turn off the blockade maneuvers on their ships
  • Request for blockade maneuvers to appear all the time

Hell, look at the list under "Blockades, island transfers and event blockades." Not a single one of those things was implemented and very few of them should have been. Then there is a huge pile of whining about fame. Then the standard whining about how Midnight is dead or dying or whatever. Then the drinking puzzle, of all things. It just goes on.

If you want to spend more OOO time on the conferences, y'all should stop telling everyone how useful they were, and instead show everyone how useful they were. Providing a link to a long list of things that were not implemented and should not be implemented is not sufficient.
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sweetnessc

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Things that were addressed from just the Midnight conferences, off the top of my head:

- OM interference in blockades
- pillaging boredom
- brigand king/Titan issues
- fame level dropped
- payouts

No, not everything has been addressed, but a fair few issues have been.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

Sublime is shame.
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Dewei

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Well the purpose of the meeting was solely to bring up ideas that were important to people at the moment. Fame, and such were important at the time, so therefore it was brought up. Just as blockade maneuvers and drinking was. Just remember, it was brought up by the players so that the company could get an idea of what players wanted. That doesn't mean it will be implemented into the game.

I'm sorry many of you didn't find it helpful, like I said I was never at one, but I read the threads on the forums at the time, and they did seem to help a bit.

To answer some the questions about GD and other issues, for starters, I personally feel that this way of doing things is better than having to ask them on the forums. This is because, as we said, GD is constantly being flooded with new ideas by the hour, most of the ideas seem like they have potential, others don't. Some ideas are silly, others are serious. How can sort out what is what? How can you figure what is important to the players at the current moment in time.

Another thing to take into consideration. Important issues should NOT be brought up on the forums for the said reason above. Let's say for example, you got a bill, and there's an error on it, you don't send an e-mail to the company, you don't call the company's automated answer machine. You want an ACTUAL person there, someone who can give you answers right now and then. This is because you feel more assured that your problem is being dealt with.

Just like here, I find that if big wigs of the game talk to an OM at a more "exclusive" conference maybe some problems can be discussed and even answered. If we talk to an OM about... drinking, and how the puzzle isn't that much fun anymore, then we can get into a more serious discussion and see what could be done. We feel more assure after we talk to said OM rather than posting it on the forum. If we post it the problem on the forum we are unlikely to get an official response from an OM, on top of that we'd have so and so amount of people who will complain that the idea is flawed. We also risk that the thread will just get sunk after a few hours and left behind. We have to remember there are as many OMs on forum duty as there are in the game. We also need to keep in mind there are ALWAYS threads being made and OMs do not have the time to reply to every single needs that are being addressed on the forums and in GD.

But like I said, I was looking for opinions, and I'm sorry I didn't search hard enough and look into all the threads that came up into the search, had I done so I would of realized what Hypno's office hours meant. However, I still would prefer the conference, because it's good to have other player's perspectives and have issues addressed by the player base as a group of well known pirates than to have it come from one person's view.
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Aethera21

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I attended the 2nd conference on Cobalt, and my flag wasn't one of the Top 10 flags. Hypnos took PMs from those who weren't in that list but wanted to attend. So we don't need to argue about exclusivity. The first Cobalt conference, Pyralis attended, and I'm pretty sure we weren't in the Top 10 then either, though we were certainly closer to it. For the 2nd one, it wound up being only like 6 or 7 of us on the call, and Willelmus and I did most of the talking, if I recall correctly. A few people really just wanted to listen. Some decent issues were brought up in the conference , and a few were addressed, actually:

- XO help: number of stations filled v. not. (i.e. Sails 4/9, Carp 5/6, Bilge 4/4) Disconnecting messages shown ship-wide, new jobbing notices popping below old ones instead of above. Happiness expressed about the Ahoy tab not overriding the other tabs anymore.

-New, better game introduction for greenies. Some kind of new intro mission; that really teaches them some culture (about crews, flags, etc), let's them know about greeters, etc.

- Owner of ship listed somewhere, maybe on mouse over of ship on dock?

- Route difficulty. We've got too few yellow routes, only the interarches are orange, and we have no red routes at all. Increase difficulty of some routes all around, and make our "red routes" (aka the interarches we call red routes) actually red.

The first 3 we pretty much got in their entirety, and the last one, we got the league by league difficulty. We also got Pets in portraits and a change in pillaging payouts. I think some of our best suggestions, like dropping the allies of allies nonsense, should still be implemented, but they heard us on some of the other stuff, which we appreciated.

My point: they might not be groundbreaking, but they're helpful, because you get instant feedback on a lot of suggestions, and some stuff does actually get implemented, whether it's really by our suggestion or not. I know my flaggies felt really good about it when I was able to tell them I talked to Hypnos and shared their concerns. I think the reason Hypnos hasn't done these since 2007 is because she was doing that office hour once a week for a while. I think she's stopped them, and I doubt she got as much attendance as you'd expect. I know I never made it to one, because whenever I looked, it never seemed to be Cobalt's turn, and I'm sure when it was I forgot to look at all. So, maybe those should be started up again with a little fanfare, or maybe the monarch's conference can make a reappearance, but either way, more OM interaction makes for happier players.
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Squashbuckle

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Polly, do you honestly thing Game Design is working as a means to influence change in the game? I know I've seen you rant about how the devs don't listen there. As a player with a lot of free time, I found that Game Design was ridiculously hard to keep up with even for me.


I believe that game design is more useful than the Monarch Conferences. It samples a larger (although still pathetically small) portion of the population and the devs do read it. Although developer priorities are often out of synch with my own, particularly on the chest division issue, the forum is a useful way to bring ideas to developer attention. The conferences, on the other hand, were a great way to tell Hypnos what we thought. She may or may not have passed the ideas on to the developers, who had already seen all of the ideas anyway since they had all been posted about in Game Design (and often in multiple threads).

Hypnos doesn't need to hear my voice to find out what I think about YPP.
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Antique

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I'm with Polly on this one. The other problem I always had with the concept of Monarch conferences is that they confuse the imiginary with reality. Pretending to be a king/queen in a pretend environment does not mean that these players hold any actual standing in the real world to speak for or represent all of the other players of the game. These people are not actually monarchs, any more than the rest of us are actually pirates.

Further, if the monarchs involved are actually well selected (real, skilled, active, quality flags rather than credit card dockpressing greenie farms, etc) it is in fact one very narrow subset of players - the hardest of the hardcore players of the "social puzzle" - who are being heard from. If they want to have these kind of discussions they'd do better to mix up the subsets. Have a conference of the casual. Have a conference of the shopkeeps. Pull together Silveransom, Boothook, et. al. and have a "conference of the players who have serious knowledge of programming and game design." Etc.

By I'd still agree that Game Design - where all these disparate voices at least have the potential to be heard - it superior. If they want more targeted feedback than that, there's always more surveys.
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Antique of Cerulean!
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Antique at May 5, 2009 11:39:10 AM]
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Talisker

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Attending 2 of them, one on Midnight another on Sage, I rather enjoyed them. I thought they were great avenues for feedback, and some ideas benefitted from RL discussion. The entire tone and format of discussion was significantly different and on the whole, I thought was quite good. Getting some degree of immediate feedback from Hypnos was also great. I'd enjoy another.

That being said, I thought the recent office hours served a similar purpose in terms of getting some direct feedback. And I raised some similar concerns (seriously, meaningful governor controls) and some impromptu brainstorming yielded some nifty results. I'd be in favor of more office hours.

On the whole, the benefit of both to my mind was some degree of actual feedback and interaction with People Who Matter. Much of GD just seems to be shouting down a well.
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tarajayne

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I was at the first midnight one and there were some pros and cons.

Pros:
*We could feel like our voice was actually being heard, and actually got some OOO feedback. I mean, any one person can have thousands of posts in game design and still feel like they are not being heard by the powers that be.
*It brought a group of people together that normally just tart at each other on the forums. This time it felt like an ocean working together.
*It actually felt like we were discussing useful things unlike my work conference calls which put me to sleep.

Cons:
*Not much that was discussed had any impact on game design at least that I could see.
*People that were "left out" were whiney, even though they had opportunity to tell the representatives thoughts beforehand, and view what was discussed after.

It seems like when I hit the reply button I thought of something useful to say that hasn't already been said... but then I got tired so I think I failed at that :P

Edit: reading back on the notes from the meeting I was at... it looks like more issues have been addressed then I remembered. I do make the conclusion that someone is listening <3.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by tarajayne at May 5, 2009 8:25:20 PM]
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Squashbuckle

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People that were "left out" were whiney, even though they had opportunity to tell the representatives thoughts beforehand, and view what was discussed after.


Comments like this from past attendees are exactly why we shouldn't ever have another conference.
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Polly
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Squashbuckle at May 5, 2009 8:28:35 PM]
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sweetnessc

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Gotta disagree there, Polly, as one of the people who was left out, I sure hope they do have another one.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

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dan1701

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Gotta disagree there, Polly, as one of the people who was left out, I sure hope they do have another one.


I think its totally dependant on who they invite. There are many talented players out there playing the game, who have little or no interest in game design, there a many less talented at puzzling etc, but a very good thinkers, and are very interested in game design. There are a few who are good/interested in both. There are people that would be very useful in such conferences but becuase they don't play enough don't get a look in.

 
*People that were "left out" were whiney, even though they had opportunity to tell the representatives thoughts beforehand, and view what was discussed after.


But as a discussion/debate its imperative to attend, you can't do it by proxy, as you can't think like everyone else. Giving thoughs to a representative beforehand isn't totally wasted but it is 99% wasteful.

Selecting people who are active in GD, and active in game, might be a worthwhilw avenue to explore.
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[May 6, 2009 1:20:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
marundel

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I was relatively new to the game when Cobalt had their last one. Our monarch, Jakaubrey, attended. He came up in our flag forum and in game urging people to provide him with subject matter to take to the conference with him. Many of us did. Aside from the problem of the conference taking place simultaneously in voice chat and in-game, I heard no negatives. I thought it was a great opportunity for players to provide feedback in a forum where the discussion was happening over a matter of minutes rather than days, and a chance to reinforce some of the more immediate concerns. Now that I am a monarch, I am looking forward to the the next one.

As for this being a pretend environment with pretend monarchs, yes - you're right. However, within the confines of the game, the players have given the captains, royalty, and monarchs implied authority to speak on their behalf in any number of game situations. Even if you did not "elect" your in-game leadership, by your continued membership in the crew/flag, you accept the "play time" authority that the in-game position represents. Disagree? Start your own flag.
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[May 6, 2009 4:22:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.thehomebrewstore.com    meadbrewer [Link]  Go to top 
Antique

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As for this being a pretend environment with pretend monarchs, yes - you're right. However, within the confines of the game, the players have given the captains, royalty, and monarchs implied authority to speak on their behalf in any number of game situations. Even if you did not "elect" your in-game leadership, by your continued membership in the crew/flag, you accept the "play time" authority that the in-game position represents. Disagree? Start your own flag.


Thank you for making the point for me. As I said - it's represents a confusion between the imaginary and reality. Between "play time" and real life. You're absolutely right about players accepting the "play time" authority of their in-game monarchs by virtue of their being members in the first place. However, representing our interests as consumers to a company with whom we do business is not "play time." That's real life, where pretend monarchs have absolutely no authority or standing whatsoever.
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[May 6, 2009 5:56:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
slimbutt

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One problem with such a conference is who is really represented?
The high end and elite players. Their intrests are diffrent from the average player.
Example; many forum posters seem to think master is an average stat. Forum posters in general are upper level in wealth and talent and rarely consider the best interests of new players.
A conference would amplify this gap.
The best thing for the game is to get more new players. More first time navs. More of the hated greenies.
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[May 6, 2009 6:57:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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