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B.C. Political Weekly 6/25/2012

By on Jun 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm, in Article, TERA  |  Comments: 1 comment

Editor’s Note: If you don’t recall, Oloh was the guy who purchased a Teratome siteskin and had an interview with Massively!

I’m Oloh.  I am guild master of Nagafen, one of the more influential political guilds on the Basilisk Crag server.  My goal with this column is to give insight into the ups and downs of political maneuvering within The Exiled Realm of Arborea.  The thoughts and comments expressed here are meant to be informative and entertaining to all players ofTERA, but I will focus on examples and stories from my home server, Basilisk Crag due to its fertile political scene.

This week’s topic is on the importance of choosing the right allies and the responsibility of a Vanarch to server health, which are the two most important aspects of becoming a real political player on any server.  Some GMs are inclined to simply ally themselves with guilds that have a high number of members, but such approach is short-sighted and detrimental to the long term health of both the GM’s guild and the server as a whole.

My approach for every political decision that I make is to find a solution that both increases Nagafen’s influence on the server and that promotes the general health of the server.  Note that I make no claims that our motives for server health are altruistic…it is no fun to be a political powerhouse on a dead server.  Guild power and server health are inextricably linked in my mind. 

Playing it Safe

For the first Vanarch election, Nagafen wanted Arcadia as its province.  Because so many new players were leveling, we wanted to have control over Arcadia to ensure a nice, health jump start for new players coming into the game.  We were concerned some other guilds would either turn off PvP, which we were strongly against, or let bored level 60 gankers run free, which would hurt the new influx of players onto Basilisk Crag.  Our plan was to take Arcadia and defend against gankers by actually patrolling the area.  We felt it was important to expose new players to the PvP system rather than shield them from it, but still give them “heroes” that they could look up to and look forward to becoming or fighting against.  The exposure that Arcadia brought was also very attractive to us as a long term play.

At that time, the server was still very much in flux.  Guild were rising quickly, then falling off the map as leaders left and the pain of mass growth took its toll.  To achieve our goals for the first election, the right allies for us needed to be “safe” alliance partners.  We couldn’t have them disbanding during the election, nor could we have partners that would “stir the pot” so to speak so early in the game.  Enter Ravenwood and Citadel.

Ravenwood was a leveling guild in the classic sense.  They had tons of low level members and very solid, kind and helpful leadership.  They avoided conflict for the most part.  I really liked them because I wanted to see a true leveling guild succeed while leveling was a very important part of the game.  They were more of a chance, but a chance worth taking because they had the numbers we needed to take Arcadia and filled a role that the server needed so early in its life.

Citadel came later.  Citadel was a medium sized guild that was not that active on the PvP scene, but had strong, mature leadership.  They were non-controversial in every way.  They rarely posted on the forums.  They rarely caused drama for GvG.  They were relatively active.  They just did their thing and added some very valuable stability to a server that was in constant change.  In short, they were the perfect “safe” bet to offset the risk with Ravenwood.

In my mind, the alliance proved successful for both Nagafen and the server.  All three guilds obtained Vanarch, with Nagafen getting its first pick in a province, Arcadia.  Players new to the game had relatively safe PvP zone to level in, and a Vanarch guild that was more than willing to accept new players into their ranks and give them that first taste of server politics.

Taking a Chance

We maintained the Ravenwood and Citadel alliance for the first terms.  In the second term, the combination of Ravenwood’s and Citadel’s increased presence on the server, as well as my own political appeals to the public outside of our alliance lead Nagafen to achieving the grand prize inTERA…Ostgarath by a very safe margin.  Nagafen was secure in its place on the server.

The server, however, needed a boost.  The impact of political public opinion and the formation of mass alliances for political purposes had a chilling effect on high level PvP on the server.  Everyone as playing it safe, just as we did in the first two elections.

Bored with an inactive PvP scene, some of the more influential PvP guilds left the server or stopped playing all together.  As one of the  political leaders on the server, I felt it was Nagafen’s duty to lead by example and switch away from the safe bet for the guild to a better player for good of the server.

As soon as the second elections ended, we told Citadel and Ravenwood that we were moving on.  To ensure we left on good terms, we referred them to some other larger guilds that we felt would be a good fit for political purposes.

We began alliance discussions with two new guilds, TERArists and Divine, both much, much more active PvP guilds on the server that had the need for a third guild that shared similar motives for both the guild and the server as a whole.  It was a rather easy discussion because each of the guilds knew each other’s dedication to PvP and each shared similar mindset: we never surrender a GvG; members are not allowed to detag; our leaders fight along side of the other members; and we do not typically “safe zone” once engaged in a fair fight.

Being concerned about being a “bully” we very carefully chose our first GvG targets and limited them only to guilds that we respected enough to fight back.  We chose Reckless, a pure PvP guild with ties to other very powerful allies on the server (Quixotic and Revolt).  While we took them by surprise on the first couple Nexus, we knew that they were a prideful bunch and would respond with like force.  As expected, the next round of Nexus, our newly formed alliance had six guilds declare on each of us and we fought in a massive GvG battle the entire weekend.  In one glorious weekend, the GM to GM talks have went from focusing on how to secure the most votes, to focusing on who should be fighting whom.  It is the birth of the high level PvP scene on Basilisk Crag, and Nagafen is happy to play a small part in it.

Our choice to team up with Divine and TERArists may very well cost us Ostgarath in the next election.  Time will tell.  But, I feel it is the duty of political leaders on the server to consider the server health when making choices to make the right Vanarch alliances.  I can more easily accept political defeat over an active and vibrant landscape, than I can reign supreme over a barren and desolate wasteland.

I urge all GMs on all servers to think similarly.

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  • Dragonought

    Great Read, glad to see Vanarch’s like you among us. I wouldn’t worry too much about getting Ostgarath next election, you’re doing a great job and the community knows it! Keep up the good work Oloh.