So I’ve had a rough weekend. Without a regular sub (no, haven’t logged back into EVE yet, but I do need to do that to wrap up a few loose ends) I’ve been concentrating on my favorite brower based F2P game – The Reincarnation (aka Archmage for you old timers), where I lead one of the games oldest and (to my mind, but I’m biased) best guilds. But lately there’s been a little too much drama for my tastes.
The player base has dwindled over the years – which is not surprising. The game itself is over a decade old now, and it shows in the graphics and interface. For many years though, the main guild (as opposed to solo) server has had an “Apprentice Academy” to help new players of the game. You can join that guild and learn all the unofficial guidelines that have developed over the long life of the game, not have to worry about being picked on or being warred to death while learning, and get some good teaching from some of the games best mages. Though there are no protective mechanics in place for the Academy, most everyone differed to them for the good of the game as a whole and the hope that it will help the life of TR continue. As a guild leader, I too supported their efforts, knowing it was the best way to find good new players for our guild.
A few sets ago apparently though, a move was made putting teachers into that Academy, rather than teaching from their own guilds on the server. No official announcement was made, and those who saw it shrugged and moved on – there are some mechanical advantages to being in the same guild – easier to share battle reports and more lines of communication. Which leads me down this tender road:
This set though, the Academy leaders renamed it “Advanced Academy” and welcomed not only new players, but graduates as well. They also radically expanded the teacher base. As a result, out of the dozen or so active guilds on the server, AdvA now ranks 4th. Some of their “students” occupy spots in the Top 50 (out of some 600 active mages). Some of the teachers have taken advantage of the confusion over their place in the guild and the hands-off approach that is afforded the Academy to break commonly accepted rules of engagement (ROE’s – the game is essentially constant Open PvP, and over the years to keep the entire server from constantly being in a state of wild abandon, there are now lines in the sand between attacks that help you rank and move up – and attacks that are deliberate assaults on a guild or player) and “hide” among the ranks of students to reduce the number of attacks that they would have to face.
How do I know this? Because my guild caught a teacher doing just that. On talking about this, our guild realized that *all* of us had been letting go numerous violations of our ROE’s – not just by students, but by teachers too. So we did what any guild would do when faced with that situation – we declared war. All bets are off in war – ROE’s are not respected, the most powerful and destructive magics and units are utilized, etc.
And that’s when the crying began. That we needed to accept AdvA’s sanctity, and that we were hurting the new players and the game. Always one to try to do what is right, I set up a ceasefire to work out a diplomatic solution. The first diplomat they sent just repeated “you are wrong” over and over and told us to stop immediately or else. So I kicked him out of our IRC channel. The second one they sent called me words that I can’t really repeated here. So I kicked him out too. The third one they sent has been pretty much the same as the first.
Normally at this point, I would be done with the whole ball of wax. And I am. But I do feel a responsibility for those new players who would be caught in the crossfire. As a result, I just laid down some basic rules and a mild punishment and let the whole thing go (for this set anyway). Which achieved nothing. The other guilds are mad that we didn’t follow through with the war – they agreed but didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger themselves. The AdvA people are royally pissed and taking every potshot they can at us through the people who run the game and through the game itself. Even some of my own guildmates are upset.
So why am I writing this? Just to let you all know – I’m declaring this HZero’s unofficial – Appreciate Your Guild Leader Day. Because we put up with crap that 99% of any MMO playerbase just wouldn’t have time for, and sometimes people just don’t understand that. There are tough decisions to be made, babies to be dealth with, and activities to coordinate. So when you log in today, send a PM or a public “YAY” to your current guild leader and tell them how much you love them for all they do. Okay? It will make their week, I promise.