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Posted by Dylan at Jun 7, 2005 12:30:22 AM
True Pantheons
Just as the Greek Gods took power from the Titans, it is theoretically possible to have 'Pantheons' in each ocean. Let me start by disclaiming that the following idea is not intended to increase the work-load on Ringers or OMs, but rather rebalance it.

The 'game design' idea of this is that each flag MUST choose one of the available 'deities' if they wish to own or even contest islands. The ONLY additional new rule is that this deity (and no other) can veto the dropping of the chest, either within 12 hours of the drop, or by having a blacklist of flags.

However, there will doubtless be one or two 'rogue' deities willing to promote/provoke some mayhem in the world of mortal noseless pirates too! Or this could be random: say we have 6 deities in Midnight; roll 2d6 for attacker and defender: doubles means mayhem, or no action, depending on the deity's nature (Hades -> mayhem, etc).

The advantage of this idea is simple: while still leaving players with 99.9% of the work, it keeps final accountability there - just as for example a student club might have a senior treasurer.

There could be different ways of currying favour with each deity: one might be a simple PoE sink, another require artistic skill, another bloodthirsty PvP (within reason), etc.

Once again the intent is not to do away with the current system of alliances, but rather to add another layer to the onion of the world.

To give a better example, yet without using current OM names, but rather concepts, there could be the following deities:

Harmony - hates fighting, and will only encourage it when she is badly insulted.
Militant - aims to rout out percieved baddies wherever they may be.
Creative - supports the arts by making sure there are no philistines around!
Earth-mother - Simply wishes to restore islands to their natural state. That doesn't mean no colonization, simply less.
Greevil - as long as it brings in money! Has an insatiable appetite for PoE, but rewards followers well too... if they do well.
Burner - wants to cause mayhem and chaos (all in the best possible taste).

Anyway, I think that gives a pretty good picture of the general idea. Cleaver knows the idea well, because he has run a game with much heavier developer involvement in the past. I'm sure many other players have been in similar worlds at some point.

At it's very simplest, it is just a blacklist (or whitelist, per deity) of flags that can't blockade, and as such solves the RD conandrum.

What it adds to the game is a way of introducing blockades in a friendlier fashion: there can be little player tarting when the storyline of the week is dictated by the role of a die. With luck, there will instead be a lot of role-playing, in forums and in game.

It is not the intent that players feel they need to curry favour with the OMs to be 'chosen' to lead a blockade - the fame system will take care of that! They can still initiate their own blockades as long as they have not been blacklisted by their own deity.



Posted by goodmanj at Jun 7, 2005 12:44:29 AM
Re: True Pantheons
So roleplaying aside, the idea is that OMs vet blockade attempts to make sure they adhere to the idea of "game spirit"?

I like it, but if you think the kvetching over interfering, "activist OMs" is bad now, your idea will make it ten times worse. I pity the OMs if this happens.

Added: If your deities' personalities restrict the allowable blockades more than "spirit of the game" requires, there will be even bigger trouble. "Sorry, your flag is not greevil enough to blockade Lora Bora" will not go over well.
Senior Officer, Six Leagues Under, Heavens Aligned
Fleet Officer, Sweet Pillage and Mayhem, Cobalt

Posted by Dylan at Jun 7, 2005 1:12:23 AM
Re: True Pantheons
Yes, you could interpret it that way (and at the worst end of the scale, you should).

But the intent is to post-vet, rather than pre. Basically 3 strikes and you're out type thing - but not out of the game, rather out of the innings.

The deities personalities are not intended to restrict allowable blockades in the least (or in other words, at all). They are intended to provide a reason for one deity to say 'this week, my followers will attack your followers'.

They needn't even do the roleplaying themselves (perhaps the devotees of the 'creative' deity could do humorous scripts for all combinations of attacks).

The vibes I am getting from the forums (read: the boss) right now is that although there are have been too many blockades at say, hrm... Jorvik, there haven't been enough at say Xi. This suggestion would give a reason for everybody (supporting a certain deity) to attack Xi in a blockade without feeling that they will be persecuted by CT and allies for the rest of eternity.

That kind of thing. We make it very clear that the actual OMs involved are role-playing the roll of a die. They would have NO in-game power except to veto their OWN supporters 'unfair' blockades. If some of them get in to role-playing on a higher level along with the players, that would be great, but no magicking up stuff for players or anything.


Posted by shark2bait at Jun 7, 2005 1:49:54 AM
Re: True Pantheons
Dylan wrote: 
...but no magicking up stuff for players or anything.

I could see where creating things out of thin air would help inspire to blockade. Such as the Burner telling his/her followers that the first one to take island X from the Harmony group will get a gold ship or something like that. Or maybe just a gold leaf or something that each diety is given so many to bestow on loyal followers (or to destroy if the flag/pirate has fallen out of favor) that are more status symbol than have any use. But I would definitely say no to creating things up so that diety's people are given a leg up before the event, more of a "you did my bidding well" reward.

Posted by Faulkston at Jun 7, 2005 1:58:17 AM
Re: True Pantheons
I can see some great opportunities for roleplaying ceremonies to propitiate yer patron deity. Just, um, don't get carried away with the sacrifices.

why are you all looking at me like that? I don't want to lie chained to this cold slab of stone! Get that skull dagger away from me!
Avatar by Carribean

Posted by goodmanj at Jun 7, 2005 2:05:35 AM
Re: True Pantheons
Part of me is thinking, "this isn't Yohoho! Puzzle Shamans". The whole idea of Greek gods watching over Carribean pirates is kind of a genre muddle, do we need to make it more prominent?
Senior Officer, Six Leagues Under, Heavens Aligned
Fleet Officer, Sweet Pillage and Mayhem, Cobalt

Posted by emerson at Jun 7, 2005 2:06:51 AM
Re: True Pantheons
Wasn't there some thread way back saying that deities would never be part of the game? I think it came from a discussion about temples, but I could be misremembering.
Cleaver shouts, "I lub this island."
Personally I think that TITS are a technique if they are used less than once every three moves. Any more than that, and you're just waving your exploits in their faces. - Flamer

Posted by spiritello at Jun 7, 2005 2:19:52 AM
Re: True Pantheons
Eliminate the "gods" cause there will be no religions. make Emporors each flag as to declare which emporor they serve when they are created. All the emporors want to control every island in the ocean so they direct their flags to move on them
and can disapline their "misbehaving" flags
Captain of the Brain Sturgeons
Lady of Bloody Hell

Posted by Dylan at Jun 7, 2005 2:19:52 AM
Re: True Pantheons
Yeah, I'm fairly sure no 'worshiping' was specified - but this is essentially a game mechanic to at the same time protect against any (perceived) abuse, and also generating 'reasons' for a fight, without it needing brigands to initiate blockades.

It has now been acknowledged from on high that blockades have an aspect which is broken; this is just one suggestion to fix that.

The OMs are there anyway, and currently have to deal with what anybody might feel to be a 'grief' blockade, anyway. This gives them a chance to be proactive rather than reactive.

I'd like to add that while I don't personally like the current exile situation, I do understand the reasons for it. I think that this suggestion would basically remove those reasons in future, whilst at the same time stirring up more action pretty much at random, yet with a role-played background.


Edit: and yes, needn't be called Gods or anything like that. I'm sure the right terms can be found if the idea is right.

Posted by DaneT at Jun 7, 2005 9:14:25 AM
Re: True Pantheons
My single thought is this. Wouldn't being told to attack by someone cause the grief to be directed at the OM's? They don't need that knid of pressure.
It has been said, my friends, that I like war. My friends, I like War. No...I LOVE WAR!

Danet - An old salt of Y!PP, but not the oldest by a long shot.

Posted by shark2bait at Jun 8, 2005 2:25:29 AM
Re: True Pantheons
I was thinking about this some more. Make an algorithm based on island location and following of a specific deity (will use for consistency rather than accuracy in name).

This would work by a deity "having power" over an arch (at least in midnight). Say give the burner Jet. If another flag in Jet does not support the burner then the chance their island would be targeted in the algorithm would greatly be increased. Also as the distance away from Jet increases the likelihood of targeting would decrease.

There would also be a following philosophy added to the location in the decision. By having the same type of thing with location as with the deity?s philosophy. So a Builder philosophy island would have more of a chance to be targeted by the Burner than a Greevil or War island. You could also have other things that happen when sailing in a territory controlled by a deity with a philosophy less like the one your flag has taken. One thing you could have in place is harder brigands the farther from your deity?s territory, and/or your ship could show up more in the old salt rumors with more information about your ship the more distant the philosophies.

The key to this would be coming up with a number of philosophies (figure 8 for midnight) that have enough overlap that you can have some neutrals be placed near the center (Diamond and Emerald for midnight). Then you would have to make the territories besides the near neutrals be a wheel like structure around the map so that the opposite philosophies would be on opposite sides of the board, with those of more like philosophies be next to each other.

Just some thoughts. If it was purely decided by an algorithm people would not have much to claim greifing with.

Another thing I just thought of is that deities could bribe flags to join their side. Not by giving things from magicing them, but by having followers donate stuff to win favor and then transferring X% to a flag while they are a follower. This could be useful to the more peace loving areas where they could donate to their deity to get a flag colonizing a more war-like territory to change, thus increasing the bribed flag's chance of being the next target and thus reducing the bribing flags' chances. This could add some competition between the OM's, giving them something for some friendly competition, while also giving the rest of the ocean a constant story line.

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