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Revolution or Evolution?

Discussion in 'Governors' Forum' started by Nails Warstein, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Nails Warstein

    Nails Warstein Rares Festival Silent Auctioneer
    Professional Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Patron Ultima Broker

    May 28, 2004
    Likes Received:
    As the Beetles once sang

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it's evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don't you know that you can count me out
    Don't you know it's gonna be all right
    all right, all right

    @Kyronix @Mesanna

    In my opinion its long past time to evolve this system. Here in lies my proposal to increase participation at Council Meetings, end power struggles, and build on existing content is as follows:

    Hold elections for the five following officer positions in all the current participating cities to share in the leadership.

    Governor - Enjoys the seat at the Governor's Council and is the first most important voice for their city.

    Viceroy - Can post on city bulletin boards, place ballot boxes, acts as city activity director, and rule at the behest of the governor in their absence including speak for the city at the council when the Governor is absent.

    Chancellor - Can bestow special titles on city citizens with loyalty to the city, and rule at the behest of both the Viceroy and Governor in their absence including speak for the city at the council meeting.

    Trade Minister - Can set the trade deals which sets the city bonus, and rule at the behest of the Chancellor, Viceroy and Governor in their absence including speak for the city at the council meeting.

    Captain of the Guard - Can form a city militia to recruit citizens with venerated loyalty to serve as protectors for the city that will be given timered uniforms that lasts 6 months, and rule at the behest of the Trade Minister, Chancellor, Viceroy and Governor in their absence including speak for the city at the council meeting.

    Now to clarify, only the Governor sits and speaks at the council meeting. Only when they are absent, can the next in the chain of command speak and stand behind their seat.

    Now if say no one, but a Governor runs for office, then he will receive the powers of all the other offices. He will usurp the powers of vacant office holders.

    The purpose of doing this is to end the feuding that tarnished the purpose of creating this game content, and to allow players to share the leadership. It could also endeavor a guild to be satisfied in possessing one town instead of many, which causes a lot of strife in this system.

    If Mesanna wishes to add new rather benign powers to each of these offices to make them more enticing, all the better. After re-watching the 15th anniversary where Mesanna unveiled this new enterprise, it inspired me to think of a solution I wish I thought up sooner. I still hold out hope that she will do more to enrich the role playing community by giving more value to this system and these officers in a more positive way.

    #1 Nails Warstein, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  2. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
    Administrator Moderator Professional Governor Wiki Moderator Campaign Patron Event Coordinator

    Sep 14, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I fully agree that the governor system is long overdue for updating and tweaking.

    However, while this is an interesting idea, I'm don't think it would end the feuding at all. Depending on how it was implemented, it could actually make it worse. The problem with the governor system is not the scarcity of available positions--it is the flawed underlying structure of the system that pits varying playstyles and residents of different shards against each other. I doubt many (maybe any) shards other than Atlantic have anywhere close to enough active/interested unique players to fill five positions per city--most shards don't even fill one position per city anymore.

    Watching that video, it's clear that they had had a goal that quite frankly fell flat. Mesanna stated (at 2:58 minutes in) " it's just for what you would like to see the improvements of the town and everything else". Literally the ONLY things that came of this were the Vesper stables and Minoc and Yew docks--and even that caused some irritation with players since some shard governors worked hard and ran events and played off of their "King"'s objections and obstacles, and some did absolutely nothing, but all the shards got the exact same thing. Many players were under the impression that their requests and efforts were, like the governorships themselves, shard-specific.

    Several times the possibility of a library of town improvements has been mentioned by the devs and players told to come up with builds for them, but no instructions or tools for creating such builds have been provided or recommended.

    Furthermore, having the governorships tied to a special extra buff has created friction between PvP and eventer play styles that want that buff but typically have less interest in the RP aspect of governorship and the RP communities that emphasize the player and story interaction above the game mechanic perk of the buff. This issue was exacerbated by the fact that at first, many governors were pretty much footing the full bill of the perk by themselves. The current system creates a divide between players interested in the CITIES and players interested in the TRADE BUFF. While RP players may be loyal to a city, PvP/event/other players become loyal to the trade association that offers their preferred buff.

    The voting system started bad and was made worse by "fixing" it to one vote per shard. One vote per shard gives the most power on a given shard to players from other shards. A genuinely contested election tends to become less a matter of what players on the given shard want and more a question of which candidate seeks and obtains the most votes from players on other shards. That is seriously wrong-headed and damaging to the communities of those shards.

    The nebulous expectations set up by the initial launch of the governor system, the variations in how different EMs presented the possibilities and interacted with their communities, and the conflicting needs of different play styles and how they were affected by the loyalty system inevitably fostered confusion and resentment among the players who tried in good faith to use the system to bring life and interest to their shards.

    I suggest instead the following:

    To strengthen the power of players on their own shard versus players from off shard:
    • City loyalty should be obtained ONLY via quests, not through ingot/board donations.
    • Each unique account should get only one vote. Not one per shard. I could get behind maybe up to seven votes too, if the per shard stipulation was lifted--seven votes total (which is the maximum number of characters a single account can have on a shard) to be used all on one shard or across different shards, but no more than that.
    To allow players to be more concerned with the city itself than with the buff:
    • Citizens should be able to select their own buff in an active city (a city with a governor).
    • Offer some kind of alternative in Fel. Something related to VvV is the obvious way to go, since VvV already has most of the same towns involved as the city loyalty sytem does. Otherwise, just adding a city stone to Buc's Den with an outlaw "governor" might be interesting.
    And probably most importantly, to set realistic expectations:
    • Publish a PUBLICLY POSTED, clear and uniform set of guidelines for EM and PEC participation. The various information floating around by different players from different EMs has caused and continues to cause a lot of grief with both the governorships and EMs in general. Just make it known what the official rules are already, from the top, end of story.
    • Make it completely clear, again with a PUBLICLY POSTED OFFICIAL DOCUMENT, what does and does not constitute a reasonable governor request and how a governor or citizen can and should go about designing and requesting city improvements.
    And just in general:
    • Make titles granted by governors last until the player turns it off, not until the end of the term.
    • Fix the issue that causes dev-"engraved" governors' titles to break every election cycle (the special yellow-text titles).

    I have plenty more thoughts about what could be done with the governor system to make it more fun and dynamic... but until the basic structural problems are corrected, making further additions would just add frustration to an already problematic system.

    I should add that the addition of the governor system was a big part of what captured my imagination and inspired me to engage fully in UO at a time when I was about to quit. I threw myself into a RP campaign for governorship of Vesper, going so far as to open another account to do it (for a "campaign office" house). After I won, Chesapeake EMs Drosselmeyer and Dramnar really helped bring the whole thing to life on my shard with excellent RP and engaging with the community--I was previously only barely aware of the EM system at all. I went from not playing with anyone except my husband and just about to cancel my single account once more to gradually becoming one of the major player-event holders on my shard, working to keep players on my shard aware of events (something that has never been easily accomplished with the poor ingame communication tools at our disposal), holding three constantly paid accounts, and making occasional purchases from the Origin store. I dare say I'm probably a poster child for what the system was meant to accomplish from both a community engagement and financial bottom line perspective. However, the flaws in the system become more and more a hindrance to the spirit of it. The foundation needs to be fixed before adding new rooms.
    Merlin, Kirthag, Tanieran and 4 others like this.
  3. Dot_Warner

    Dot_Warner Babbling Loonie
    Governor Stratics Veteran Britain [BRIT]

    Sep 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    I agree with Riyana regarding what needs to change, especially since I've been saying the same things since this system was rolled out.

    The town buffs need to be selected on a per-player basis, the way it is now has been an epic system-ruining failure. Its not just that the majority of the buffs are useless, its that it forces players to chose their city based on the buff provided...which can be changed at nearly any juncture. This is not the way to encourage city loyalty.

    Give the governor the ability to declare someone a Lt. Governor/Viceroy, to declare someone a constable/sheriff/guard captain. Let them see who their citizens are, how many people use the buffs, etc. Metrics are important, you can't make realistic decisions without them!

    The Royal Council meetings, and I really hate saying this, are pointless. Its basically a mini recap of EM plots since the last meeting, but its not as if the governors can react in any meaningful/impactful ways to what goes on. Blackthorn doesn't react in any meaningful way to what the governors say either, whatever events/plots are running in their cities may as well be happening in another reality. If two cities go to war, he'll simply say that they should learn to get along and then move on to the next city. It makes him appear feckless and disinterested in his own kingdom. Hard to then continue to believe he's some awe-inspiring mage. This hands-off, unidirectional approach simply doesn't work. Hiding behind the excuse of a perception of "favoritism" when saying that interaction isn't possible is fairly myopic. You created a system for RP, then run away from interacting with those people in ways that matter*.

    Improving the cities...is way more trouble than its worth. The docks were a fairly simple request, but it was like pulling teeth. The request for a pirate bounty NPC in Jhelom (where the pirates are) seems to go nowhere. A bridge/teleporter between the far western farms of Yew and the rest of the city continuously falls on deaf ears. The alleged library of improvements keeps being mentioned, but there's nothing to show for it - the only example of it has been a market in Trinsic.

    *The PECs are pretty much the only saving grace at this point, yet their hands are tied from implementing most things. Give them the same abilities as the EMs, allow them to help the govs create events that the players will care about (No, I don't mean items). Also give them the ability to add announcements to the City heralds like town criers. The "newspaper" bulletin boards don't cut it, not enough people use them/know they exist. (Spamming about your event in general chat just leads to abuse...and verbal abuse to the governors would need a completely separate, rant-filled thread)

    I really don't want to bash the system that I enjoy, but its just not working the way it should. I'm just going to stop here...
  4. Inkboy the Wild

    Inkboy the Wild Journeyman

    Nov 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I love it. Giving some additional autonomy to the Governor system would add a greater sense of dynamic content and fresh scenarios creating a player created every changing experience for players interested.

    Well thought out Nails.

    Anything that allows the players to have more ownership within the game, ensures a higher level of "fairness" and access to interested players and increases dynamic content is a win in my, humble, opinion.

  5. Draxsom Pri-Lem

    Draxsom Pri-Lem Visitor

    Jun 19, 2016
    Likes Received:
    The Governor system is going the way of the Player Town system, start it up & then ignore it.
  6. Keith of Sonoma

    Keith of Sonoma Babbling Loonie

    Aug 1, 2014
    Likes Received:
    LOL, if you want to be a Governor come to Sonoma. The EM there has run off most of the good ones.

    Except QM of course!!! :)
  7. Alex"Drake Iron Heart"CS


    Jan 19, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I think some Governors take some cities to secure the Trade deal to happen in the shard.
    There is many ways on manipulating the whole shard if a Gov really wanted to or even if a Guild wanted to.
    It only takes a Guild to take all seats and then they can choose the trade buff, say the community needs the FC1 buff or the SSI buff, well its down to the Gov to choose to activate it or not.
    I dont believe in each char choosing their own buff, that would beat the points of the cities, for example I am the Skara Gov in Eu, SSI buff is the only one it will have as its a Rangers city, so I am trying to keep the lore and at the same time supply the SSI buff to who needs it.