[. . .] the common idea that seems to come up again and again is that the first few weeks or perhaps even the first few months of the game launch are going to be complete anarchy. I'm not talking about exposition because in order to gain access to that you must have pledged to support the game and therefore it is very likely you are already involved in a community.
I'd like to correct one thing before I continue:
Exposition will, eventually, be open to everyone.
Those who have pledged to support the game at a minimum tier that grants access to the Exposition (Bloodline, $125) will have access to the world-building phase for the entire three-month duration of it. From then on, in descending order of Influence, others will gain access as well. The more Influence you have, the more time you will be able to spend in Exposition. If you have very little Influence, then you will have the minimum time available to partake in the Exposition.
Keep this in mind :-) I'll be referring to it occasionally throughout the rest of this post.
What I mean by total anarchy is that the first few weeks to months are going to be full of new players who don't know anything about the communities that are currently being built. They will pick a starting location in the game and will start playing without even knowing who their king of duke or is. Somehow the ruling classes are going to need to approach these people and get them integrated into the community that has formed prior to the launch of the game.
[. . .]
So what tools is the game going to give rulers for controlling this period of anarchy where perhaps players are going to ignore the rules set down by communities prior to the launch of the game? How can rulers get to know the people underneath them? How can we build an organised kingdom or duchy when we have been refused the very communication tools required to organise a large group of people?
I'd like to offer a few points of interest that may help alleviate some of your concerns:
Access restriction, involving Taboo locations, locked doors & objects, etc., will be one of the main feature areas being tested in the pre-alpha experience Prologue: The Awakening. This will carry through onto Exposition, and into launch.
Families provide a small, supportive social structure with a sense of identity, as players recognize themselves as being part of a family, a noble house, or a dynasty. They, usually, will be the center of your social experience in Chronicles of Elyria.
The nobility and aristocracy have their own responsibilities to attend to. It is unlikely that you would personally meet the President or Prime Minister of your country or the Governor of your region, isn't it? Unless you plan to introduce yourself before you kill them...
Discord, Skype, TeamSpeak, etc. do exist. We're not big fans of reinventing the wheel when the wheel works just fine :-)
When a new player enters the game, it is unlikely that they would have accumulated the Story Points earned through gameplay to begin their life as a Non-Traditional-Character. So, they have either the option to join a player family who has established themselves during the Exposition, or an NPC family. Either way, they are invested in your success because your reputation equals their reputation and vice versa -- similarly, they may very well excommunicate you if you are tarnishing your family's reputation.
That's mainly what the 3-month world-building phase referred to as Exposition is for -- it's for getting our early backers and influential members into the game before it's officially launched, allowing them some time to establish a player population amongst the existing NPC population so that, at launch, new players aren't surrounded by NPCs and other players scrabbling to build up their kingdoms/duchies/counties/baronies/settlements.
Growing up in a family, whether NPC or PC, is comparable to the tutorials most other games hold your hand through. A family will teach you the ins and outs of the world and society they are a part of, impart upon you some of the skills and knowledge they have learnt through the course of their lifetime(s), and offer you some of the support you need to begin creating your own narrative.
As well, whether the family you join is a group of friends you know or complete strangers, access restriction is a feature area. It would suck if someone were to join your family and loot some of your most precious possessions! Similar to that one room you were forbidden to enter when you were a child or just felt wrong to enter, you will be able to add a layer of protection to your home. And if you really wanted to, you could always just booby-trap that room, too.
Moving onto nobility: you mentioned that the ruling classes would need to come into contact with the new players. In case you didn't click the links provided, here's some info:
Kings are responsible for setting the success or victory conditions for the kingdom. That is, it's the king who decides whether the kingdom will focus on research & technology, business and commerce, or military endeavors. Kings also set laws and taxes for the kingdom using contracts.
Dukes set laws/taxes for their duchy, and are responsible for paying dues to their king. They're also responsible for law enforcement, military, and the defense of their duchy. They manage the Strongholds / Castles / Outposts, and assign sheriffs and judges. In times of war, the dukes raise their armies and lead them into battle.
Counts are responsible for resource and land management, building up settlements, and encouraging research. Counts maintain a Land Management Table in their County Seat, managing the sale and adverse possession of parcels of land.
Mayors and Barons control local settlements - either towns or strongholds. They typically own the majority of land within their settlements and are responsible for zoning, monitoring settlement resources and taxes, along with local laws.
There are communities, and then there are communities within those communities, and so on and so forth. How often do you meet with the teacher of your classroom compared to the administrative staff of your school, or the Principal or Vice Principal, or the people on the Board of Education? Unless they go out of their way to make themselves accessible to the common student, or you have gone out of your way to specifically meet with them (through good deeds or bad), it is unlikely that the monarch that manages over 15000 people would meet with you, personally.
Regarding us refusing you the communication tools required to organize a large group of people... well. As stated before, we're not refusing you anything. We can't stop you from turning to Discord or Mumble or Curse. Chronicles of Elyria is a Massively-Multiplayer-Online-Role-Playing-Game -- we're going about the chat system a bit differently from most other MMOs.
To give you some idea of the scale of the problem. The largest communities so far in this game probably have about 300 players per kingdom but when the game launches each kingdom will have 100,000 / 6 = 16,667 players per kingdom (assuming the game sells well). That is 16,000 players (roughly) that have no idea about the player made communities and have no idea how to go about communicating with the rest of the community.
Is anyone else wondering how rulers are going to manage this logistical problem at all? I feel that the developers should provide robust tools for rulers to communicate with their subjects so that they can organise their lands and citizens properly.
When I first joined this community in February 2016, I was just shy of being the 25th-thousand registered member. There were only a handful of kingdoms then, and they were sparsely populated.
It is now March 2017, and the size of the community has easily quintupled. There are much more than just a handful of kingdoms now, and they are more densely populated than the kingdoms a year ago. By the time the game launches, I don't think the kingdoms will be dealing with such a large fraction of their player-base being new to the community in general.
And if they are, I'm sure the existing community will be able to show them the ropes just fine. We have forums, too <3