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 House Ranking and other things.

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Dieu_Le_Fera



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PostSubject: House Ranking and other things.   Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:52 pm

Let's get some suggestions going as to how exactly we as players wish to have house ranking handled... I am sure most of you want it*judging from the party chat I heard with some Korali members* and it's pretty clear that the DMs are not going to touch it *rightfully so how it blew up in their face last time*. So, I guess it's up to the players to decide.

If we go by server lore *IF* the house that would have the most "favor" would be Morb as it's the combination of Morcane and Mori who were always fighting it out for first house. Also, Vilm is Morb who did run the temple.. and Pau was morb and she was Valsharess. The problem with that is I think morb only has two players now and are they even active? Do we go by most active house? If that is the case then I would expect to see a lot more of the "join my house get free gear... or join my house and I will enchant for you" kind of thing. I hope that isn't how the rest of you want it handled.

A couple other ideas... limited PVP? RP Generated? Unlimited PVP?

*let me just add this.. I don't really care who is first house. Hell, none of my characters are noble but it's something that needs to be cleared up.*
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ombra

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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:02 am

I think we should come up with a mechanism to allow house ranking changes. If there isn't one, then house ranking itself is useless. I would discard PvP all together, both roleplayed or played. The reason being that if that was the case, a war between houses would realistically lead to the distruction of the losers and death of its members, or otherwise to a result that suggests PvP can be skipped (if everyone stays alive, why PvPing ?). Such stuff would be very delicate and complicated though, we all saw the results after all, but I thought that maybe we could deviate a bit from the Lore: eliminate the competition for house rankings in a strict sense and move the it (the competition) to the positions in the city: the heads of the three academies and a coupla more minor positions we can come up with. There would be some event every 2-3 months for each position (not all together, so that there is often such an event) to allow a shift, it would be nice if such events would allow deceit, plots, corruption and whatever else in preparation of the event itself, to give room to the real nature of Drow. Holding a position would give some advantage to the House of the character currently in charge. This way the house in power would be the one with most positions held, and I think we would overcome a lot of issues that in the end take away from fun while still promoting the attitude of extreme competition typical of Drow society.

What do you think ?
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Dieu_Le_Fera



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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:40 am

Positions held is a good idea as long as the player who holds the position will actually do something with it.. IE hold classes in sorcerie\run sacrifices for the temple\organize patrols for the melee\the vdvm I guess would spend most of its time looking for heritics in szith or expanding spy networks on the surface. Three main positions *not including VDVM as it is so prone to metagaming I wouldnt suggest it becoming public*, three houses... it could just end in a stalemate. If it does.. what happens then?

I also agree that house rank should be dynamic... not static. If we want static first house we might as well just all join one house or ask the DMs to run an NPC first house.
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:39 pm

Dieu_Le_Fera wrote:
it could just end in a stalemate. If it does.. what happens then?

I didn't mean to say that the house controlling most positions will be proclaimed "first house". I meant to say that it will be obvious by the fact that they control most positions, and that they have some kind of bonus pertinent for that position. The details have to be further discussed if we decide to go in this direction. In any case I think that the position of Yathtallar is the most important, so even in the case each house controls one position, there is still a difference in what position they do control.

Quote :
I also agree that house rank should be dynamic... not static. If we want static first house we might as well just all join one house or ask the DMs to run an NPC first house.

This is exactly my thought. And it can be fun as well... the only problem I see, based on personal experience, is that if we play Drow in only one house, it is mandatory that we have much more interaction with the other races, otherwise everything would get just as boring.
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Dieu_Le_Fera



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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:21 pm

I could see a point system that could come from this to house members involved in the "greater drow rp" meaning temple/academies and so on...

Of course the ullathtaller *head of the temple*/head of sorcerie/head of melee would get the most points... say 5 points for holding those positions... while yathtallars who are involved in the temple would get 3 points to show the importance of the temple in drow society *at least in a lolthian society*.. then lesser positions in the academies ie yathrin/members of sorcerie/members of melee would get 2 or 1 point depending on their standings.

In a system like this it would promote houses to both actively recruit and encourage players to join one of the three sub factions and stay active as it would clearly show their houses influence in the city. The more positions a house holds *no matter how menial the position still has some importance*

This of course is just a complete rough draft that I made in a matter of seconds.
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Raye'Kan Dev'Lin

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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:14 pm

I think this is a very interesting discussion

Though I suggest that a simple system is a better one, and that any official 'house order' is going to lead to the same 00C issues it has always lead to - in other words, the death of Szith.

Lets face it, the mori-morcane 00C crap lead to Hari washing his hands from the drow all together, and from that point, everything since has gone down hill. We have had a few brief 'up' periods, only to have the same down fall yet again due to house order complaints. This includes complaints about not have a house order. Add to this repeated house order issue the general feeling of surface favortism leading to underdark neglect, and we have the UD as it has existed from many months.

House order issues cause 00C issues for players (some more than other, as we are all individuals). This leads to folks getting frustrated, and leaving.

In my opinion, keep it simple, let the three ruling houses be practically equal in status, so that no one group gets to piss all over another for their own ego gratification. No matter what the player's intent, be it role play, personal fun, or whatever, the at least one person from the group that is getting that is 'lesser' will interupt the situation as being 'pissed on' by the group(s) that are above them. And invariably, that one person will complain louder and longer than anyone else until he or she is in the 'pissing' position.

In addition, if one group is 'king of the hill' and others are not, it will only encourage the drow to play in house only groups, helping house members exclusively, and creating an 'us' vs. 'them' mentality all over again. TFR does not need that. It is bad for the UD and Bad for the server as a whole.

If a house order is an absolute must, then make it damn simple as well as practically unimportant. Set an 00C 'who is on top order' based off of a real life set in stone calendar, so that 00C-ly everyone knows that they will be in the 'pissed on' position in time, no matter what happens.

That way those few players who are likely to be offend or cause offense, flat out knows that the positions will soon be reversed.

There are three 'Ruling Noble Houses" so each of these houses get one quarter of the year (three months) at their present position (first house, second house, third house). After their three months, the standing changes.

Make it unimportant by offering no in game benefit what-so-ever. State that it is the Yath are the ultimate rulers of Szith, not the houses; that the 'ruling houses' are given their power by the grace of the Yath (aka Pope grants King their crown). That the Yath only support loyal noble yathrin as ilharessen, due to their utter and complete brain-washing Arach Tinilith to obey the temple, and thus Lolth, above all else, the Yath keep control of the 'ruling houses'

Example;

First Quarter of the year (January-March)
House Bady is first house
House Kickarse is second house
House Smackdown is third house

Second Quater of the year (April-June)
House Kickarse is first house
House Smackdown is second house
House Bady is third house

Third Quarter of the year (July-September)
House Smackdown is first house
House Bady is second house
House Kickarse is thrid house

Fourth Quarter of the year (October-December)
House Bady is first house
House Kickarse is second house
House Smackdown is third house

Why does the order change? Simple; Lolth is a fickle psychopath who pulls her favor whenever she feels like it (and for RL purposes as well as community health, this system was devised).

PS - I also support a system that rewards new active guilds within Szith a chance to become one of the three ruling houses, bumping and inactive house out of their mansion/keep and into non-ruling lesser noble status. But that idea is being discussed on the DEV forums for the moment.
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:44 am

Hi Raye'Kan, I think that your idea has good merits, except that in case we adopt it, there would still be a coupla points to set in stone:

1) Positions in Szith. Ulathtallar, Archmage of Sorcere and Magister (or whatever) of Melee Marghtere. Who determines who holds these ? How ? Are they dynamic ? Can every house realistically access them ? If not, we are again facing the same problems of house rankings.
2) There must be dynamic systems IMHO. Make them as simple as you want, but they must exist and rules be known to everyone and depend on players rather than DMs. This is the best way to avoid OOC arguments. The nature of the server is dynamic, and what you proposed is still static. Like you said there should be a mechanism to allow the rise of new houses in case one of the three in power is for the great part or fully inactive. The problem with this is that as soon as someone claims a house is inactive, and with good reasons, the players of these houses typically will pop on the forum to state that the house is still alive and well, and will log in for 10 minutes to pretend they are being active.
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Raye'Kan Dev'Lin

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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:54 pm

I agree that it would be great to have some sort of in game dynamic system that was monitored by the game engine/pw-mod or hak thingy.

I do not know if anyone who has the skills to make such a thing that is presently associated with TFR Staff or not?

My sophomoric thoughts about how something like that might work are well, confused at best. A new server client that tracks what account is logged in for how long with what character? An external program that parses server logs and somehow presents a score based on activity of specifically flagged characters?

Stepping beyond the issues of mechanics, how is reward judged by this tracking program?

Does this sort of thing reward folks who grind for hours on the weekend over those who rp for a shorter periods during the week days?

Regarding positions; After Hari washed his hands of Szith, the remain community came up with the idea of an Illharessen Council that would confirm the head of each school. I know that some players what to get rid of the illharessen Council claiming that it is not supported by the fiction, but to be blunt, they are wrong.

I don't have the novel with me right now, but I can find the chapter and page when there is a meeting of the Illharessen of Menzoberranzan meet to discuss war plans and house issues, if necessary, though I am kinda tired of dealing with quote wars from other players at the moment.

After the Council of Szith appoints a person to the head of a school, then they get to appoint the masters of said school from nobility.

In the specific case of the Ulathtallar, who is effectively higher ranked than any other player character, that position had to break all house ties, due to favoritism concerns. I still support that the Ulathtallar should be a DM role, since anyone in that position would have the RP power to declare that any other player/guild/house was out of favor with Lolth, and thus free to be destroyed by any and all drow. Repeatedly. Personally, I don't want that sort of power in a players hands, including myself.

The Ulathtallar's seconds, the Yathtallars (of which there can be more than one) who be the females who appoint new yath'abban and promote new Yathrin to full status. In my mind, players should equate yath'abban as PC city guards, and Yathrin as PC city guard captains to put it in a general surface power reference. In other words, they keep the population loyal to Lolth (in spoken words and actions, drow loyalty isn't the same as normal non-psychopaths considering the Spider Queen would rather be hated and feared than admired or god forbid, loved). Putting even that sort of lesser power into anyone's hands with out a DM in an RP position to smack them up side the head for abusing it is just asking for trouble. Players will begrudgingly accept a DM telling them 'don't do that' and will only argue louder when a player says that to them in most cases.

In the past, at least in my memory, there was little to know problem with the houses having access to the master positions of the Academy (think of the Sorciere, Melee Magthere and Arach Tinilith as departments that all students have to take classes in).

Pretty much, all the player character had to be was Epic levels and willing to take on the RP role as best as they could given their RL situations etc. In the case of the Sorciere, it seemed to me to be quite successful at breaking the house vs, house walls in getting players to play together. I do not recall the other schools being successful in that matter, other than the brief popularity of the Melee Magthere's combat training sessions (aka drow PvP melee events).

Using Academy positions to help establish rank is supported by the fiction. A house with more full Yathrin within its ranks is accorded more status etc. But what happens when a player gets their character to 30th and their grinding time has ended? It is only natural that the Yath PC will eventually not be logged in as long as that next PC that they are leveling. The player is still around, his Yathrin that provides a status plus for his house is still there, and can be logged in as needed, but will the character be considered 'active' by some sort of tracking program like it was before? It's no longer grinding, its just RP'n. Tough call, I am thinking.

I like the idea of some sort of dynamic system, but I really don't know how to program it, let alone who it should judge appropriately. I think a subjective system based in a DM's judgment is a more likely solution.
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:08 pm

First let me say thanks again for your contribution.
The problem with the picture you illustrate is that it leaves little to no room for players and/or groups of players (Houses) to roleplay their rise to power. This component is essential for Drow roleplay IMHO, without this what do we have ? In this case, it would indeed be better to just make a ruling House and that's it, because really there would be no technical difference but at least from a roleplaying point of view it would make a bit more sense.
My idea would in no way involve scripts, like I said I was thinking of periodic events, every 3 months for example, that would allow a possible shift in a position, depending on the outcome. These events could be ran or supervised by a DM, if needed, but the outcome should not be determined by the DM, that's what I meant, so that people don't start complaining OOC about favoritism. It should be decided by rules set up. Much like any competition with an arbiter... the arbiter doesn't determine the outcome, the players do. The event would differ from position to position and we can come up with the rules for it.
The important things are IMO two:
1- make so that there is someone actually playing at the top of the CoC (even with alts, ok... but playing). Otherwise we face critical problems.
2- don't make it too hard for this positions to shift. If it is made "hard", as it is now I think, players simply lose interest and will go play something else.

The Council would still be there, I see no problem with that. I do think though that the Matron of the currently "in power" house would have the last say in any matter though. Because the event you refer to in the book is a meeting, not a Council meeting (I may be wrong, I read it 10 years ago... but I think I remember well). There would be discussion but then the last say was of Matron Baenre only; much like a company meeting with the CEO having the last word on actions to undertake.
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Raye'Kan Dev'Lin

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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:37 am

Come up with this point system, let me see it (please don't read that as a bully-challenge statement, I really do want to see it, your thoughts bare merit imho). I'm interested, though am lacking any really good idea of how to have it and not have player whining that their house/character/rule-interpretation should mean that they are 'number one' instead of 'number two' leading to a repeat of TFR Szith failed history.
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:30 pm

I'll think about it, although I was hoping more people would take part in this important topic. More minds = more and better ideas.
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Labella



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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:19 pm

The house ranking surely is a complicated thing and led to a lot of trouble in the past.

First of all I want to agree with Raye that the Ulathtallar should be a DM role (actually according to the 'new' DM staff actually a DM should hold always the highest position in any guild/city).

2nd: Of course Faerns etc of different houses will be polite to each other and provide a certain help - Lore wise a drow would not be offensive in publi to another powerful noble (of course shebali are excluded here, except certain merchants/mercenaries maybe which can hold some power). Even if there would be a war, no member of the house would be aggressive inside of the city but try to backstab in some dark cave without any witnesses.

3rd: How does a house rise - Lorewise there would be a shadow war, meaning the lower house A would have to eradicate all of the members of the higher house B in one strike without getting noticed. This is incredible dangerous for house A, because if they would get noticed, all other houses would group up and kill together all members of House A. In the end it means either House A or House B gets completely annihilated. This is the cause why the house order relatively rarely changes...

This is pretty much impossible to realize on TFR as many many player chars would have to die.

I personally would suggest that the leading house does not change more often than every six months. Even if it leadership changes that often, it will be tough enough to find a fitting rp reason without either killing the Ilharess of the house which gets 'depromoted' or killing the whole house.

What could lead to a change of the ranking?
In my eyes an especially active drow house should get promoted to the first house (especially if not much is seen of the other 2 houses) but then of course you have to notice as well that one house might be more active on EU times and one more active on US times - this a DM (probably the one that fills the roll of the Ulathtallar) would have to decide.

Also maybe it should be clearer what higher ranked means - It does not mean that a higher ranked house can give orders to a lower ranked house. It does not mean either that a noble of the first house can bully a noble of the second house around.

It does mean though that the first house has more saying on the city decisions - still if all the other houses are against the first house there, the first house does have a problem.

This were my first thoughts to that matter - Below just a portion of out "drows of the underdark" concerning the drow ranking.

Quote :
The majority of drow warfare consists ofbattle against other
cities - be they drow or other races. Sometimes, however, the
constant spying, sabotage, and assassinations between rival
houses erupts into civil war within a city. This sort of conflict
can easily destroy an entire community if it is allowed to drag
on; thus, the drow have very strict customs fordealingwith civil
wars. Ifone house can destroy another in asingle overwhelming
attack, the community assumes that the victim was weak and
ripe for takeover. In this case, the victorious house is entitled
to the spoils ofwar, including the resources ofthe fallen house
and the right to.take its surviving members as slaves. should
a house's offensive fail to destroy another house immediately,
however, the other local houses and the priesthood of Lolth
collaborate to aid the target house in destroying the aggressor.
This action ensures that no civil war lasts longer than a few days
in any drow community, and that no house launches an open
attack on a rival unless it is certain it can win
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:12 pm

I disagree about a couple of things:
1) that it would be hard to find a RP reason for a switch in leadership.
2) that a DM must decide anything like house leadership based on just personal judgement. Because it is not humanly possible to do so in a fair way, this will only lead to complaints.

In any respectable society, rules are set on stone (ie: clear to anyone), and arbiters/judges take decisions based on set rules, not based on their opinions. This includes even a chaotic society like the one of the drow. I can't stress enough how this is essential.
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Valas



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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:50 pm

yes in my opinion we need a strong and actively played Ulathtaller by a dm who doenst belong to any of th enoble house...

we could make a list on criteria the dm then bases his decision which house the ulathtaller will declare to have the favor of Lloth.

examples are already named:

-activity
-rp and motivation shown of players of the houses
-sacrifises


i tend to say that activity and rp quality being the only criteria should be good FOR NOW .. since constantly given task by the ulathtaller to the houses would break up any mixed parties between members of different houses we have now.. and we arent enough right now to do that...



but i have a good feeling a bout szith right now,


also we should work on getting some tournaments and compitions by that ulathtaller to fill the open academy leader positions... with some events =)
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:21 am

Here are my ideas so far. Periodic events are exactly what I would like to promote. At the same time, I think that they can be used to allow a dynamic switch in leadership positions. These positions are IMO:
- Valsharess: Queen/Representative of Szith
- Ulathtallar: Arch Priestess of Arach-Tinilith - DM Held.
- Ul'Faeruk: Archmage of Sorcere
- Ul'Saruk: Warlord of Melee-Maghtere
- Ul'Veldriss: Arch Shadow Mistress of the VDVM

How to determine the holder of a position.

Valsharess:
Priestesses, High Priestesses or Matrons that log into the game are encouraged to set up a hunting party to find sacrificial victims for the greater glory of the Spider Queen. It is up to them to display the leadership, charm, intrigue and whatnot to set up said party. If they succeed in procuring a sacrifice, they will do it in the name of their house (possibly not in the circle but on the sacrificial altar near the waterfall), with screenshots to be posted here. Every four months the Ulathtallar will hold a ceremony declaring which house is currently in favor of Lloth (the one with most sacrifices during that time period). The Priestess/Yathrin (if any) that held most sacrifices should be made High Priestess/Yathtallar IMO. Current house ranking would also be decided by these standards. In case of draw the current holder retains the title. In case of draw of non holders, the Ulathtallar decides.

Ul'Faeruk:
A DM held competition at the Arena is held every four months with qu'el'Faeruken (House Wizards) as opponents. This competition consists in turns where each single wizard faces NPCs of different kinds, in a row and without resting. The Wizard that defeats most opponents wins the competition. Challengers will be the first to play. Challengers are lower level and lower ranked wizards. In case of draw the current holder of the title wins. In case of draw among non holders, the highest level first and highest house ranked then decide.

Ul'Saruk:
A DM held tourneament among sargtlinen, held at the Arena every 4 months. For details I would ask some input from fighter players. I would say that buffs of any kind are allowed, so that a House that is active and takes part in the event can buff at best its fighters.

Ul'Veldriss:
Here I really don't have clear ideas, since I'm not even sure what the VDVM does or should do. Some input from Dieu Le Fera is required here. For sure I think it shouldn't be determined through a tourneament Very Happy


What do these positions allow their holders to do.

Valsharess:
She would be sort of the foreign minister/president of Szith, which means she will be entitled to manage all relationships of Szith with foreign powers. For any decision that regards the city she should still talk to the Council. She might also have the right to veto on decisions at the council (your opinions needed).

Ul'Faeruk:
He will be entitled to name the Masters of schools of magic, and general administrative tasks of Sorcere. Nothing should prevent him to favor his house I think Wink But at the same time he shouldn't "sabotage" other wizards.

Ul'Saruk:
Organizes player events and training of drow fighters. More input/ideas welcome.

Ul'Veldriss:
Manages the VDVM.


Note: I chose 4 months time period because of 4 positions. This means one event every month, for each position in turn. Should spice up things a bit in Szith.

More input, ideas, suggestions for changes and polishing this first draft are welcome and appreciated. If on the other hand you don't like these ideas... well, tough luck; I tried. I think it would promote some activity beyond mere xp grind and it should give something to play for to players of level 30 chars, which otherwise log in for 15 minutes every other day when lucky. At the same time it should turn the whole power-race into more of a competition with rules and with "return games", which I hope would drastically lower ooc polemics. At least, these are my goals...
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:26 am

I probably did not make my statement clear enough - Yes I do wish for a DM to decide but of course there should be some criterias which he would considers in his decision, it should not be just like "oh, i like those players ooc and they do make a few sacrificers so let us make them the first house". But what I do believe is needed, is a DM that makes a final decision based on the facts that he will have to gather.

Concerning a RP reason: Can you please give me a couple rp reason that fit the drow lore why houses positions change quite often without any of the houses being destroyed? I do have trouble there if I try to stick to the D&D lore but maybe I oversee something.

This discussion is quite interesting,

Cya Labella
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:12 pm

Right now, at least in my mind, I favor a system that sets a house order between three 'Ruling Houses' that is based in 'on line' time and role play bonuses.

Here is what I am thinking (very much based out of ya'll thoughts - no real original thought here, I admit it ;p)

I have been given the impression that it would be possible to track information on player characters through the server's data base. Things like, most kills, longest amount of time on line, most gold etc.

If that is that the case, it might be possible to track the amount of time that a particular group of player characters who all have the same last name are on line. Using that information a point system could be tracked, say one (1) point per hour per character with the particular surname is tallied.

Example; Qu'ellar Kor'ali has five guild members online for two hours each. This would generate a point total of ten (10) that would help establish the prestige level of their house.

So generally, in regards to the three ruling noble houses that would be tracked, the house that has the most members on line the greatest amount of time would be in the highest house position. As this groups activity dies down (as it always has in the past) then another house who is more active on the server would then assume the higher rank position.

Inactivity decrease; So say a house is very active over a period of a couple of months, and as a result collects a large number of points, so large that in theory they might be able to 'ride out' a down time of lesser activity by sheer number advantage alone. This could be covered by having a regular degrading of accumulated points. Perhaps each month all of the tracked houses would have a set amount of points removed from their total, thereby giving the still active groups a better chance of advancing above a non-active house. I would also think it necessary to set the lowest point total a house can go to as zero, avoiding negative point totals.

Now before everyone flips out screaming about this idea not rewarding role play and positions, chill a second and read on please....

Roleplay points; the DM staff would be given access to a widget that directly adds points to the total of a tracked house. They click the widget, pick a point number, and the points go into the database for the tracked surname. Maybe there is an announcement in game that says something along the line of "Qu'ellar So-and-So has gained favor in the eyes of Lolth" and maybe this widget can also remove points from the total with an announcement of "Qu'ellar So-and-So has lost favor in the eyes of the Spider Queen" in order to accommodate role play failures as well.

Regarding a system of reward for specific positions (Sorciere Master, etc) that would be, frankly, a pain in the asre, since these folks would have to be tracked by a one case by one case basis requiring that the staff to keep updating and changing as the positions change (as well as multiple scripts, database adjustments etc). I would prefer to not toss that added off line responsibility onto the Staff's shoulders that would keep them from being face to player DM's in game. Hopefully this position benefits to status could be covered under with the DM widget mentioned above (not to mention the active rp of said character).

How would the community know which house is on top, and who is close? Well the Eleben Aator website. Perhaps a tab that a site viewer could click that shows the 'Szith Stats" aka - which house is #1, #2 or #3 and what are the present point totals. If which player has the most kills can be shown on the site, I suspect this information would not be difficult to present (at least incomprehension to the data base scripting I am suggesting with all of this).

What about a new house in Szith? Well here goes, first the folks who want a new house have to make a guild with at least five members (and not five characters on the same account). Next the DM staff would have to approve the guild (which would probably be almost automatic, like most new guilds, I suspect). Once the DM staff feels that this new guild is actually going to stay on the server, they could be given a guild leader ring and a building in Szith as their guild hall door (just a normal building in Szith Center, you will see what I mean when the new Szith goes live update after next). Once this new lesser noble guild is established, their last name is added to the above tracking system, and so begins their ascent (of course they have to be patient enough to wait for the staff to put their name into the tracking system). Should the new guild move into one of the top three 'Ruling House' spots and manage to stay their for say a month, their guildhall door gets switched with the guildhall door of the 'Ruling Hose' they just surpassed and they become one of the three 'Ruling Houses' (changing the doors is a manual toolset edit, and cannot be automated due to the required bake).

Why three 'Ruling Houses' ? Well, not to be a jerk, so please I beg you to read this with the kindest tone you can possibly imagine, but I spent months building new Szith with three large house compounds, and i'll be damned if i'm going to throw out all of my work to somehow expand the eight area caverns (yes 8 large areas that can be view all at once from a central highpoint) just to accommodate a new house that may be gone from the server in a few months. I don't get paid to do this, so please, please try to understand.

So, at this moment in time, this is what I am thinking about. I have yet to try and sell this to Tickles, he has more than enough on his plate right now. But once the new machine is working, and the bugs in the new areas are worked out as well as the Elben Aator website and server database, I hope that rest of the Staff will be willing to consider an option such as this suggestion.

Yes, this does mean you will have to wait, so please be patient, and understanding.

I am of course, open to further discussion, being that this idea is still very rough and really only theory at the moment. nothing is set in stone.
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ombra

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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:17 pm

Labella wrote:
I probably did not make my statement clear enough - Yes I do wish for a DM to decide but of course there should be some criterias which he would considers in his decision, it should not be just like "oh, i like those players ooc and they do make a few sacrificers so let us make them the first house". But what I do believe is needed, is a DM that makes a final decision based on the facts that he will have to gather.

Concerning a RP reason: Can you please give me a couple rp reason that fit the drow lore why houses positions change quite often without any of the houses being destroyed? I do have trouble there if I try to stick to the D&D lore but maybe I oversee something.

This discussion is quite interesting,

Cya Labella

The premises in this thread and even in your post itself were that we cannot stick to FR Drow lore in everything, because it would be detrimental for our fun rather than help it. This said, roleplaying on TFR means sticking to server lore, not necessarily to FR Drow lore, and what we are discussing here are ideas to shape the Lore in order to make things happen because again, if we are to look at FR Lore we can't make those things happen, and then everything becomes pretty static and boring as it is now. Things in which we already don't follow Lore:
- Ulathtallar not being a noble of a House.
- Council of Szith.
- non nobles becoming nobles upon being recruited into Houses.
- alliance with duergars.
- something else I may have overlooked.
All these were changed for the sake of gameplay, we're discussing how to change house rankings for the same reason.
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:45 pm

@Gildren/Raye'Khan

here are my concerns with your ideas:
- Being online doesn't necessarily mean being active. One could be online without doing much, or worse without doing anything. Such an automatic script would be highly exploitable I'm afraid.
- DMs awarding roleplay points. First of all I could roleplay my arse off but a DM is never online to witness it, then Bob comes and roleplays something well for 15 minutes, and gets a number of points. Not to mention that DMs are human beings, and they have friends and enemies, that has been the issue in the past why do we want to repeat the mistake ? And even supposing that DMs are superhuman persons, players are still mortals. So if for example Raye'Khan becomes DM tomorrow, and Dev'Lin after a few months becomes the first house because of exceptional RP display, people will complain OOC that "coincidentially" Raye'khan was Dev'lin before becoming DM. And then a deadly spyral of OOC arguments will arise and people get pissed off again.
- I've been saying this at every post but maybe I'm really the only one who think it ? Decision of whom can be first house shouldn't be left to DMs judgement, for a number of reasons. Because we're in many different timezones, because there aren't enough DMs for all these timezones, because DMs aren't omniscent and omnipresent, and because DMs are already in charge of such task AFAIK, so what change would we have here ? None really tangible.
- What's in it for the first house ? I mean... is it really worth implementing all this stuff for just "prestige" but no real benefit ?
- Which of the two thoughts of a player you like better ?
1) *rubs hands together* "Now I connect and I have to try and set up a hunting party that succeed in making a new sacrifice, because with this we will most likely be confirmed as the house favored by Lolth".
2) *rubs hands together* "Cool, I need only connect 30 more minutes for my house to be confirmed as the ruling house".
- Yes I do agree that 3 houses are enough. If not for the map of Szith, for the number of drow players that doesn't really support more than 3 houses.


At this point I'm even more convinced that having a single house would be better. All these hassles wouldn't be present... but anyways, I'm pretty done here. I have tried to pull out ideas where players participate in such matters more than the staff does, because this is actually what makes players happy... but none seems to really want to even discuss my ideas, so well... see you ingame.
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:04 pm

@Ombra: I figured as you just mentioned rp reasons you went by drow lore first and not already made new lore, just a missunderstanding i guess
Of course lore can be altered to fit the server with the consent of the dm staff and hopefully the players as well. At the end it is about having fun not strictly following the rules everywhere, even though there must be some basic rules to make sucha society work.


Now back to the discussion:

Concerning the point system I would also be afraid of an automatic script that just counts who is online and for how long. But maybe there is some way to notice if the player is active (=moves/talks/does anything besides just standing around)? I am not good with scripting so maybe another one can answer this question for me.

DMs awarding rp points - I will consent there with Ombra, it is always a luck game if you catch one online or not (and definitely depends on your timezone)

So far being first house is mostly prestige (if even that) which is good in my eyes - there are a little bit of different playing styles in all three houses and this gives every drow player a chance to prefer which style he likes more. As well as it gives everybody a better chance to gain some rank/position if they are interested in it. And of course if the first house would be overly powerful (= like over double number of the other houses) it might have a chance of ruling them, but as long as the first house is just a tiny bit more powerful it won't rule too much as it would have to fear the consequence of the other two houses gathering up against it.

So maybe if it could be 'measured' if the players are actively logged, it would be okay to have such a "time-counting-system". If that is not possible, there could be as good a time table change (as it was suggested before - like 4 months house a, 4 months house b and 4 months house c)

So long
Labella

PS : I am really curious to see the new Szith!
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:43 pm

Labella wrote:

Concerning the point system I would also be afraid of an automatic script that just counts who is online and for how long. But maybe there is some way to notice if the player is active (=moves/talks/does anything besides just standing around)? I am not good with scripting so maybe another one can answer this question for me.

it's called an auto-boot script, and it's possible and I think it is a good solution for more than this possible issue.

Labella wrote:

DMs awarding rp points - I will consent there with Ombra, it is always a luck game if you catch one online or not (and definitely depends on your timezone)

I understand the feeling very well, because it was such things as the players whining about DM favoritism regarding house order that lead to the person who once ran this server (hari) effectively quiting about a year and a half ago, and the general death and ghost-town that Szith has been ever since (not to mention the server going off line due to a 'power supply' failure which has lead to this new administration).

This is why I favor having the three ruling houses as nearly equal status with a more powerful DM run Yath (as in the DM plays the Ulathtaller, like what is happening now) than this automated tracking system based in rewarding the guild who gives the most time to the server that I have suggested above.

I came up with the suggestion of this automated system in attempt to help support the apparent desire to have a #1, #2, #3 house order in such a way that flat out ends all the 00C BS, and damage the invariably follows, due to it.

Oh, and Ombra, I am on staff, I'm the Szith Developer, I turned down being a DM a long time ago, I wouldn't be good at it for several reasons (personality, typing speed, reading speed, work schedule etc.)
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PostSubject: Re: House Ranking and other things.   Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:45 am

Quote :
This is why I favor having the three ruling houses as nearly equal status with a more powerful DM run Yath (as in the DM plays the Ulathtaller, like what is happening now) than this automated tracking system based in rewarding the guild who gives the most time to the server that I have suggested above.

sounds good to me then especially if this auto boot script would work

cya
Labella
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