Is powergaming bad?

Talen

Adept
Fearless Leader said:
Talen said:
Wasn't the town-wipe at HQ the low-level event?
No, it was a normal event. http://alliancelarp.com/news/ig/911.htm

No perms from what I remember....
OK, so minimal long-term effects. Still, it's in the right direction- there were options that would result in "people die", and the PC's chose them...and the game didn't dodge around the potential result.

Edit: More importantly, it wasn't just "let's kill people" but people had FUN with the results. PC deaths aren't the suck, after all...as long as they're done right. Like being torn to bits and fed to a bestial? :)
 
Is powergaming bad? I guess that depends who you are. I believe my version of powergaming is the worse as I attempt to get one plot to destroy another at every turn which is a real pain for a plot team to deal with.



Is our system "bad" is the more important question. It is certainly better than others I have played. I myself believe it is "bad" at running a game with such a HUGE power disparity.

Lets get back to "Does it run as it is intended?" And when I go there I wonder if there is even a clear "vision" of what the game is/should be/is intended to be anymore? Which then begs the question with an organization of this size and complexity can we get a coherent "vision" back?

I like to think so. But it will ruffle some feathers.
 

Wraith

Newbie
RuneBrighteyes said:
Is powergaming bad? I guess that depends who you are. I believe my version of powergaming is the worse as I attempt to get one plot to destroy another at every turn which is a real pain for a plot team to deal with.



Is our system "bad" is the more important question. It is certainly better than others I have played. I myself believe it is "bad" at running a game with such a HUGE power disparity.

Lets get back to "Does it run as it is intended?" And when I go there I wonder if there is even a clear "vision" of what the game is/should be/is intended to be anymore? Which then begs the question with an organization of this size and complexity can we get a coherent "vision" back?

I like to think so. But it will ruffle some feathers.
Despite how it may appear from my posts, I don't think our system is bad. It is just suffering unintended consequences of the power level far exceeding design specifications. Correcting this is the hard thing, though. Not all players are going to be willing to give up power they feel they've earned in order to bring the game back to balance, and with our rules essentially written by committee having a single vision and direction is night impossible.
 
I think you'd find that many, even most people who are "all powerful and what not" would be more than willing to get scaled back if someone put forward an actual plan for how to do it with out making them feel gutted. The internet is a horrible medium for this, though, because it's way too easy for a few people chanting about needing to target high level characters for perming or removing magic items to turn people off even having the discussion.
 
obcidian_bandit said:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
Really?

500 gobbies spent in NH, 500 in CT: one item which gets used only NH, one item which gets used only in CT. That is the same as 500 gobbies spent in chapter A that is used in chapters A, B, and C?
It's exactly the same. You're intentionally not including the fact that your CT or NH item is usable in chapters A, B, and C, too.

A small subset of chapters deciding not to allow in LCO items doesn't actually help the global situation of reducing the power level of the game, it makes LCO items from those chapters more powerful in the global scheme of things. Independently, it puts a throttle on what that specific chapter has to deal with, but it doesn't address the overall issue at all, it makes it worse.
Not if the people with those items, the people who believe that LCO means what it says, choose not to use them elsewhere because they actually practice what they preach. Which is what is happening. So no.

This is the basic fact: if LCO items were actually LCO, there would be far less backlash against them. Pointing blame fingers at the people who aren't abusing the system is backwards. You're a big wheel at your chapter, so change your policies back.
 
Well, I'm not sure what to say here. I guess "I'll get back to you once you're read the post you're quoting." There are people in this very thread who talk about doing what you're denying, so I've got nothing for you, you've already got it.
 

Avaran

Baron
I don't need gobbies for what I donate, but they're nice to have...
A sentiment I've seen and heard quite a bit.

If this is actually true, get rid of gobbies and the gobby system, and send people a thank-you e-mail form letter.

Dear <Enter Player Name Here>,

We here at Alliance <Name of Chapter Here> are grateful for your recent donation of <Enter Donation Here>. We really needed it! Thanks!

Kind regards,
Your friendly Alliance <name of chapter> staff!
 
I'm getting off point.

I never heard a single complaint about LCO item compensation for staff members and NPCs until chapters started allowing them in. I'm not even close to convinced that the solution is to do away with them when reversing the recent change allowing them to transfer is far less sweeping and could easily resolve the issue.
 
Avaran said:
I don't need gobbies for what I donate, but they're nice to have...
A sentiment I've seen and heard quite a bit.

If this is actually true, get rid of gobbies and the gobby system, and send people a thank-you e-mail form letter.

Dear <Enter Player Name Here>,

We here at Alliance <Name of Chapter Here> are grateful for your recent donation of <Enter Donation Here>. We really needed it! Thanks!

Kind regards,
Your friendly Alliance <name of chapter> staff!
I donate to easily half a dozen chapters regularly. While I might still donate on occasion to a couple of those chapters I certainly wouldn't donate with the volume and frequency that I do if it weren't at least for some measure of goblin stamps...

Call me whatever, but I don't really don't think I'm the only one in that camp.
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I'm getting off point.

I never heard a single complaint about LCO item compensation for staff members and NPCs until chapters started allowing them in. I'm not even close to convinced that the solution is to do away with them when reversing the recent change allowing them to transfer is far less sweeping and could easily resolve the issue.
Beyond blankets, what would you recommend dedicated staff members use their gobbies for? I cannot play my chapter, I play OR. We allow LCO transfers since our dedicated staff plays their chapter and vice versa. It wouldn't be fair if only staff could do that so we allow everyone to transfer LCO items that are built within the current rules system (no wonky, made up LCO effects).
 
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I never heard a single complaint about LCO item compensation for staff members and NPCs until chapters started allowing them in. I'm not even close to convinced that the solution is to do away with them when reversing the recent change allowing them to transfer is far less sweeping and could easily resolve the issue.
I complained about the EC "item swapping" workaround back in 2001 or so, when we were still on the Yahoo boards. Chapters have been allowing in LCO items for a decade or so on a case by case basis, and it's been more than five years since LCO items were allowed to pretty much travel freely between chapters, so it's hardly a 'recent' change. It still doesn't address the issue of staffers being able to use their gobbies if it's 'changed back.'

Furthermore, any one chapter changing their policies to make it so that they don't allow LCO items actually makes the problem worse, not better. So long as people can swap their LCO items, a workaround exists, and the LCO items that are native to the "'Nope' Chapter" are more valuable because they can travel to one more chapter than those items which come from anywhere else, making them a 'more travelable' LCO item. They still break treasure policy, they still travel to other chapters. It's got to be a global fix. Really, this (the post that linked back to here) is my best (newest) solution to the problem that I've been thinking about on and off for the last 6 or 7 months since I posted this (sorry to the folks playing along at home, it's on the 'secret' Staff board, but I'd copy-paste it here if there's interest; it's very much in the theme of "We are the 1%, and we have f--ked up.")
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
evi1r0n said:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I'm getting off point.

I never heard a single complaint about LCO item compensation for staff members and NPCs until chapters started allowing them in. I'm not even close to convinced that the solution is to do away with them when reversing the recent change allowing them to transfer is far less sweeping and could easily resolve the issue.
Beyond blankets, what would you recommend dedicated staff members use their gobbies for? I cannot play my chapter, I play OR. We allow LCO transfers since our dedicated staff plays their chapter and vice versa. It wouldn't be fair if only staff could do that so we allow everyone to transfer LCO items that are built within the current rules system (no wonky, made up LCO effects).

I sent in a proposal (and never heard anything back except for that it was received), leave LCO items as LCO and make staff/npc items called NPC. Allow them to transfer (if you accept NPC items). That way you are showing your appreciation to the NPC's that you have as well as staff members for there dedication.

You know people did actually do some leg work to use items in other chapters. I know that Scott K. would trade his LCO Hq items for other chapter LCO items. He didn't complain that he couldn't use his HQ items in a chapter that he would write for full time. He would take the extra step and find some one that is interested in the item (or a pick) and trade. You said that you play OR. Any member of OR staff that plays your chapter? Find out what they want and come to some type of agreement and make the trade.
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Gilwing said:
I sent in a proposal (and never heard anything back except for that it was received), leave LCO items as LCO and make staff/npc items called NPC. Allow them to transfer (if you accept NPC items). That way you are showing your appreciation to the NPC's that you have as well as staff members for there dedication.

You know people did actually do some leg work to use items in other chapters. I know that Scott K. would trade his LCO Hq items for other chapter LCO items. He didn't complain that he couldn't use his HQ items in a chapter that he would write for full time. He would take the extra step and find some one that is interested in the item (or a pick) and trade. You said that you play OR. Any member of OR staff that plays your chapter? Find out what they want and come to some type of agreement and make the trade.
I could get behind something like this.
 

Wraith

Newbie
evi1r0n said:
Gilwing said:
I sent in a proposal (and never heard anything back except for that it was received), leave LCO items as LCO and make staff/npc items called NPC. Allow them to transfer (if you accept NPC items). That way you are showing your appreciation to the NPC's that you have as well as staff members for there dedication.

You know people did actually do some leg work to use items in other chapters. I know that Scott K. would trade his LCO Hq items for other chapter LCO items. He didn't complain that he couldn't use his HQ items in a chapter that he would write for full time. He would take the extra step and find some one that is interested in the item (or a pick) and trade. You said that you play OR. Any member of OR staff that plays your chapter? Find out what they want and come to some type of agreement and make the trade.
I could get behind something like this.
At least it would mean chapters would get an occasional NPC shift out of the folks looking to build up fat stacks of loot. :funny:
 
obcidian_bandit said:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I never heard a single complaint about LCO item compensation for staff members and NPCs until chapters started allowing them in. I'm not even close to convinced that the solution is to do away with them when reversing the recent change allowing them to transfer is far less sweeping and could easily resolve the issue.
I complained about the EC "item swapping" workaround back in 2001 or so, when we were still on the Yahoo boards. Chapters have been allowing in LCO items for a decade or so on a case by case basis, and it's been more than five years since LCO items were allowed to pretty much travel freely between chapters, so it's hardly a 'recent' change. It still doesn't address the issue of staffers being able to use their gobbies if it's 'changed back.'

Furthermore, any one chapter changing their policies to make it so that they don't allow LCO items actually makes the problem worse, not better. So long as people can swap their LCO items, a workaround exists, and the LCO items that are native to the "'Nope' Chapter" are more valuable because they can travel to one more chapter than those items which come from anywhere else, making them a 'more travelable' LCO item. They still break treasure policy, they still travel to other chapters. It's got to be a global fix. Really, this (the post that linked back to here) is my best (newest) solution to the problem that I've been thinking about on and off for the last 6 or 7 months since I posted this (sorry to the folks playing along at home, it's on the 'secret' Staff board, but I'd copy-paste it here if there's interest; it's very much in the theme of "We are the 1%, and we have f--ked up.")
Lead by example? If more chapters start disallowing out of chapter LCO items, it becomes easier for still more chapters to do so. I haven't yet seen a single good reason why chapters allow in non-local LCOs; no chapter I frequent ever has.

For someone like Ron, the solution IS the item swap. I am staff in NH, and PC CT. Bill is staff at CT, and PCs NH. If each of us spends 5000 gobbies on behalf of the other for items that get used in one chapter and one chapter only, what harm is done? Who is being disadvantaged that two people who would otherwise have little are getting more? So long as both CT and NH have responsible, reasonable gobbie policies there isn't anything damaging to the game occurring, since such policies attempt to emulate or modestly exceed what a person could be expected to acquire from PCing for a like period of time. That modest excess is the benefit of writing events, modules and personal plot, marshaling encounters and rituals, attending meetings during down time, and spending so much time thinking about, working on and obsessing over our respective chapters' game that one starts having vivid dreams about checking weapons in live combat against a fisher cat (long story).

Again, this hinges on LCO items being local chapter only, but that has always been true in the chapters I am familiar with. If there was a good reason for any given chapter to start ignoring that rule, I haven't heard it.

There is already a system in place to go beyond LCO rewards as well: Dragon Stamps. If chapter owners are given a budget of Dragon Stamps they can assign to their staffers per event, then a limited pool of travelling items is made available to those people who otherwise likely wouldn't have them, regulated by national level oversight and without having to raze the entirety of existing policy and build an entirely new system from scratch. Whether that last bit is a benefit is personal perception, I suppose.
 
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
Lead by example? If more chapters start disallowing out of chapter LCO items, it becomes easier for still more chapters to do so.
That's not really a thing, though. A small cluster already do that, and it's not spreading. Leading by example in this case doesn't work. I'm looking for solutions that might work, not ones that are already proven not to.
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
For someone like Ron, the solution IS the item swap. (...) If each of us spends 5000 gobbies on behalf of the other for items that get used in one chapter and one chapter only, what harm is done? Who is being disadvantaged(?)
The item swap is just a work around. It's not a real solution, you're still effectively doing the same thing, you're just calling it something else. Net, you're still inflating Treasure Policy, and that's the harm that's being done. There's no checks that ensures that those items are only being used in one chapter, because they can be used in 12 chapters. It disadvantages people like Ron, who are thousands of miles from some chapters that will disallow his items, so there's even less incentive for him to travel out there where he'll take a significant step down in power because his PC has less stuff for his level because he doesn't PC. Who's trading him for items that they may ever use once because they're not likely to travel the other direction more than once every 5-10 years.

Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I haven't yet seen a single good reason why chapters allow in non-local LCOs; no chapter I frequent ever has.
Here's your reason:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
So long as both CT and NH have responsible, reasonable gobbie policies there isn't anything damaging to the game occurring, since such policies attempt to emulate or modestly exceed what a person could be expected to acquire from PCing for a like period of time. That modest excess is the benefit of writing events, modules and personal plot, marshaling encounters and rituals, attending meetings during down time, and spending so much time thinking about, working on and obsessing over our respective chapters' game that one starts having vivid dreams about checking weapons in live combat against a fisher cat (long story).
You're respecting that the chapter that gave the reward did so for a good reason, and that the person with the LCO item deserved it. Who actually wrote the tag is irrelevant. That's the only difference. That's why LCO items get let in.

Every chapter I've ever been in has allowed LCO items, including where ever the National Event gets held, because LCO items being allowed in is a nationally expected policy at this point. Again, no one chapter can change that expectation, it's got to be done on a wider, national scale.
 

Avaran

Baron
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
obcidian_bandit said:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I never heard a single complaint about LCO item compensation for staff members and NPCs until chapters started allowing them in. I'm not even close to convinced that the solution is to do away with them when reversing the recent change allowing them to transfer is far less sweeping and could easily resolve the issue.
I complained about the EC "item swapping" workaround back in 2001 or so, when we were still on the Yahoo boards. Chapters have been allowing in LCO items for a decade or so on a case by case basis, and it's been more than five years since LCO items were allowed to pretty much travel freely between chapters, so it's hardly a 'recent' change. It still doesn't address the issue of staffers being able to use their gobbies if it's 'changed back.'

Furthermore, any one chapter changing their policies to make it so that they don't allow LCO items actually makes the problem worse, not better. So long as people can swap their LCO items, a workaround exists, and the LCO items that are native to the "'Nope' Chapter" are more valuable because they can travel to one more chapter than those items which come from anywhere else, making them a 'more travelable' LCO item. They still break treasure policy, they still travel to other chapters. It's got to be a global fix. Really, this (the post that linked back to here) is my best (newest) solution to the problem that I've been thinking about on and off for the last 6 or 7 months since I posted this (sorry to the folks playing along at home, it's on the 'secret' Staff board, but I'd copy-paste it here if there's interest; it's very much in the theme of "We are the 1%, and we have f--ked up.")
Lead by example? If more chapters start disallowing out of chapter LCO items, it becomes easier for still more chapters to do so. I haven't yet seen a single good reason why chapters allow in non-local LCOs; no chapter I frequent ever has.

For someone like Ron, the solution IS the item swap. I am staff in NH, and PC CT. Bill is staff at CT, and PCs NH. If each of us spends 5000 gobbies on behalf of the other for items that get used in one chapter and one chapter only, what harm is done? Who is being disadvantaged that two people who would otherwise have little are getting more? So long as both CT and NH have responsible, reasonable gobbie policies there isn't anything damaging to the game occurring, since such policies attempt to emulate or modestly exceed what a person could be expected to acquire from PCing for a like period of time. That modest excess is the benefit of writing events, modules and personal plot, marshaling encounters and rituals, attending meetings during down time, and spending so much time thinking about, working on and obsessing over our respective chapters' game that one starts having vivid dreams about checking weapons in live combat against a fisher cat (long story).
At that point, you may as well make staff gobbies transferable to a chapter of the staff member's choice (one and only one), or else it amounts to the same thing with a different name.


There is already a system in place to go beyond LCO rewards as well: Dragon Stamps. If chapter owners are given a budget of Dragon Stamps they can assign to their staffers per event, then a limited pool of travelling items is made available to those people who otherwise likely wouldn't have them, regulated by national level oversight and without having to raze the entirety of existing policy and build an entirely new system from scratch. Whether that last bit is a benefit is personal perception, I suppose.
Dragon Stamp items are limited to the number of effects on them (max of 5, not counting preserve), and there is a fairly high "exchange" rate? I can't remember, but it's something close-ish to 5:1 (5GS = 1 DS). How is that limiting items, especially for longer-term staff? It just causes the same sort of problem, except instead of having 2 20-rit items, you get 8 items with 5 rits each. I admit that might be a bit simplistic, but for the sake of discussion I think it might need to be.

Are you suggesting that instead of being "paid" in gobbies, staff members should be "paid" in Dragon Stamps? How would you go about regulating that? Would each chapter have a specific maximum amount they could give out? What about larger chapters who need more staff? Would they get more to "pay out" with? If it were all equal, smaller chapters that only need a handful of staff members would be able to pay "higher" rates, affording those people an advantage (not like they don't exist, but it's something the system tries very hard to avoid). Do you pay different rates to different positions? Head of Plot, Plot, Head of Logistics, Head of Rules, GM (if you have one)?

Also: What does "staff" even mean? There's no national definition of what "staff" even is. I've heard some chapters count their Marshals while others do not. Some count the GM position, others don't. What someone says "Staff Member" what do you think of?
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Avaran said:
Also: What does "staff" even mean? There's no national definition of what "staff" even is. I've heard some chapters count their Marshals while others do not. Some count the GM position, others don't. What someone says "Staff Member" what do you think of?
Well I think there is staff: those who have an assigned position and regularly work for the chapter (marshals, logistics, etc.)

Then there is dedicated staff: those who forfeit playing to make the game run (plot, monster master, NPC guild, etc.)

Of course I can only base this observation on the two chapters I play.
 
Avaran, unless I've said otherwise my ideas should always include the premise that LCO items are again (newly) LCOnly, not "out of policy restricted rewards."

Bandit: it does work for those chapters that don't allow LCO items; I can't force any other chapters to change policy, but I can and will keep pointing out that in the region where that is true, there are far fewer complaints about LCO compensation being out of control. Moderation is better than over-reaction. I guess, since you have no experience with the system as written, you could just trust me that it's working as expected?
 
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