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Demotion of unsubscribed characters

Bob
Mistwalker
How about this:

Non settlement controlling companies do not get touched.

Settlement controlling companies get a name change, a new company with the old name is created and all of the unsubbed characters are moved to it, at their present rank, with say a 1000 influence.

Would this address everyone's concerns/issues?

Founding Companies are actually already covered, for the most part. The official owners of the settlements, who have to be active, can contact me at any time to demote leaders of those companies. If I notice a settlement owner/co-owner is inactive (possibly because of grumbling by settlement members), they're given a reasonable amount of time to reactivate or name new owners, otherwise the settlement succession rules kick in. The leadership challenges rules would only really be useful for founding companies in cases where a settlement owner/co-owner is still on an active account, but isn't logging in and doesn't respond to emails, which hasn't been a big issue.

Flari-Merchant
I really do think that almost everyone remotely believing that they should be The Leader when they come back and that they should be able to come back to a "paused game" will respond to a challenge. That right there will put a serious crimp on things like take aways.

We really have NO IDEA what these absentee leaders really think about expecting what to find when they come back. We here now, though, do have a duty to secure all of not just the current subscribed players have been working for but these absentee players as well.

You can look at it emotionally if you like or you can look at it practically. In my mind, if I were coming back from a long hiatus, I would expect that there were probably going to be some changes and that the situation of "The Game" politically will have changed.

I would be darned thankful if "My Company" were still there and I was still part of it. Possibly still put back as leader.

Do some of you really not expect that if your company is a security risk to a settlement that you will find that hole plugged because…. common sense? These will boil down to extreme cases, I am fairly sure, and I really hope that no one is able to abuse this system. And no you can't control every danger about losing thru back doors, but you probably should control the ones that you see and can control.

But just like leaving that hole open and losing a settlement (too bad), closing that hole and losing a company could be just as important(too bad). This is supposed to be (at least in theory) a territorial conquest and control game, right?
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Father Bronin
If people are so paranoid about having an old leader take over your company, create a new company and shift the resources over. Feud holdings and make your own as needed. Should the old leaders return, they will have what holdings are left and the influence will be intact.

For settlement companies, if the issue is that serious, create a new company with new leadership and have all leaders notify Bob to transfer ownership to the new company. Should the old leaders rejoin, the company will be intact but they cannot loot the settlement vaults.

Having devs change the rules and personally intervene in company politics is not terribly "sandboxy". Let players sort it out. Devs should only intervene in extreme situations.

FB
Bob
Our original blog posts about companies briefly mentioned rules for managing company leadership, particularly succession, and implied pretty strongly that companies would be managed for the benefit of their active members. In many ways, the proposed challenge rules are just my way of saying "sorry we haven't gotten those implemented yet, here's what I can do manually in the meantime."

On the other hand, even with all the rules we hoped to implement eventually, leaders about to go inactive could theoretically just boot everyone else from the company before doing so, leaving no other members to take over in their absence. Since the currently inactive leaders might have overlooked doing that while there wasn't any policy for demoting them while inactive, the ability to protest a challenge seemed appropriate.
Midnight
Bob
Midnight
Disregarding the players who suspended their subscriptions during crippled development of a long overdue game (and who far outnumber the actives) would seem to be a serious misstep, in my opinion. And why in the heck would active players even have remained in leaderless companies? It still smells like alts hoping to gain undeserved rewards.

Inactive players definitely wouldn't be disregarded. Every effort would be made to contact them, and as long as they respond with a protest, they wouldn't be demoted unless there are active leaders and all the active leaders who respond vote against the protest. In such a case, there likely wouldn't be much of a company to return to anyway, as I'd expect the current active leaders to strip the company clean and start a new one if they didn't have the option of demoting the challenged leader.

The goal is to provide lots of protection for inactive leaders who are even vaguely considering returning at some point, while making some allowance for company members who are deeply invested in a company to keep it viable when inactive leaders can't even be contacted. Challenging the inactive leaders is actually pretty risky, since they have a pretty good chance of successfully protesting the challenge, or they could choose to return to the game and clear the company out, but at least then the company knows where they stand and can move on.

What I've seen in games like WoW is absent guild leaders replaced by any run of the mill member who went to customer service, and then could inherit an entire guild bank just for being the last man standing. While that isn't unfair in a healthy MMO, I think it would be unfair in the odd circumstances this game has found itself in. If you are ONLY talking about demoting leaders where there are other already appointed leaders to step in, that isn't nearly as concerning as the impression I had from some of the posts that gave me the impression that whoever had remained active would get leadership (which I mentioned in saying that people who hadn't been trusted with leadership roles shouldn't become leaders just as an outsized reward for staying active through the current difficulties. That kind of result would basically penalize company leaders for having given new unknown players a chance to prove themselves).
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Bob
I've posted the final rules for Leadership Challenges. The biggest changes made during a final editing pass were to explicitly state that leadership for founding companies is fully under the control of the settlement's owners and that an initial cleaning pass will be done on any challenged company to remove permanently banned leaders or deal with any other outstanding issues. Since the rules themselves include plenty of notifications and time for responses, I'm making these rules active immediately.
Bob
Midnight
What I've seen in games like WoW is absent guild leaders replaced by any run of the mill member who went to customer service, and then could inherit an entire guild bank just for being the last man standing. While that isn't unfair in a healthy MMO, I think it would be unfair in the odd circumstances this game has found itself in. If you are ONLY talking about demoting leaders where there are other already appointed leaders to step in, that isn't nearly as concerning as the impression I had from some of the posts that gave me the impression that whoever had remained active would get leadership (which I mentioned in saying that people who hadn't been trusted with leadership roles shouldn't become leaders just as an outsized reward for staying active through the current difficulties. That kind of result would basically penalize company leaders for having given new unknown players a chance to prove themselves).

These kinds of worries are my biggest concerns with leadership challenges, so I took another look at the rules focusing on exactly these concerns. In the end, I'm convinced that there are enough safeguards in the system to provide as much protection as a player should expect, if not more. In a case where there aren't any remaining active leaders, the inactive leaders automatically win their protests, so they pretty much just have to respond to our emails to preserve their leadership. In addition, if the leadership does all wind up getting demoted, it's not necessarily the person making the challenge who will get promoted to leader. Instead, we'll work with the highest-ranked active members to set new leadership. That means that we're effectively going through the ranks, which is the closest thing we have in-game to a line of succession declared by the now-inactive leaders. For a company to go to an unknown player who was just given a chance to prove themselves, there would have to be no active members of higher rank interested in taking over. Since the original design called for charters that included succession rules, that seems like basically what players should expect to happen if they leave members behind.
Flari-Merchant
The "Company" as a structure is so different from the original concept presented, so gamed, and so abused with non subscribed players (as well as totally fake ones) that it is pretty much obsolete, anyhoo. More of a crutch for mechanics that need complete overhauls than anything else…
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Bob
I made another quick edit to the rules for Leadership Challenges, clarifying that an inactive challenged leader who protests the challenge gives up the right to do any account reactivation options, not just the ability to block the demotion by logging in. It's not really a substantive change, since it was pretty clear the restriction was intended to say that going the inactive challenge route was risky and blocked other options. Still, better to be explicit in cases like this.
 
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