COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
Equity vs. Fairness
+60

I typed this in a Discord discussion earlier. Posting it here for exposure. Feel free to discuss:

We've always said, the game is fair but not equitable. Fair by definition relates to the rules of the system. The rules are the same for everyone... But it is not equitable. Not everyone is born into the same wealthy family. Not everyone will have access to the same resources. Not everyone will have access to Talents or Magic. Not everyone will achieve the same level of fame and infamy.... the game is not equitable. But what it is, is... a world like you've never seen or imagined in a game before.

A world where those around you, the powerful and the weak, are constantly creating conflict and challenges for you to overcome. A world where your ability to rise up as the hero, is only limited by your understanding that the game is not equitable any more than our own world, and you are guaranteed neither fame, equality, nor success. You're not even guaranteed the same amount of play time.

Your skill, your desire to take risks, your acceptance or non-acceptance of your destiny are the only things you control.


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12/10/2016 3:50:47 AM #1
+8

The thought that everyone should start at the same spot is dumb. Sure you can overthrow a king, but only if enough people support YOU. Not everyone immediately agrees with your right.

1st edit: Look, sure a king is buying his position, but it's a one-time thing. he doesn't forever be king. Take charge of a revolution if you don't like the king, because you can. Don't try to call this a P2W game just because nobody wants you to be king

2nd edit: This post has strayed too much, the point of caspian posting this is in my opinion to say one thing, and that is a disclaimer that i guess is very much needed.

YOU can do anything anybody else can do, you might start from different points but there is nothing but YOU stopping yourself from getting there. Sure a duke probably has a set up caravan that takes him resources from that one big place that he owns. But if you want it you can take it, and if you complain that he has more power and people then you are the one being dumb. You are saying that you and your group which in this situation is probably weaker than the dukes, deserves the ability to overcome the duke which has more stuff than you just because he started with more stuff than you.

I love this game because this game is many things, it is a political battlefield, a seemingly endless open world, and little developer structure players are forced to play in.

I can buy duke sure and have a duchy and not talk to anyone and maybe go be a duke in an NPC kingdom. there's nothing, however giving me people. I can't treat the NPCs or even the maybe small amount of PCs who randomly joined my duchy, like trash just because my power. i still have to persuade them to help me. That is the challenge of a title


4/21/2016

12/10/2016 3:57:03 AM #2
+2

Amen


12/10/2016 3:58:08 AM #3
+0

As a Count backer i believe that it will be a challenge either way you look at the game. as far as fairness. is it fair to pay for a game that you are not guaranteed to be top tier in six months. yes you have to put in work in order to accomplish anything even in the games that you pay to win. you must have some skill in order to be a top player.


12/10/2016 3:58:39 AM #4
+11

personally i'm good with it

i have zero problem that somebody can buy 2 kingdoms and house a ton of dukes at game launch whilst others will struggle to fill a hamlet

i'm fine if in time one group dominates the server - on a map of this size and scale there is ALWAYS going to be the rogue element that have immeasurable amounts of fun playing the underdog

and as in r/l, empires come and go - looking forward to it all


12/10/2016 4:03:35 AM #5
+7

I followed the discord conversation, but didn't butt in because arguments in chats is a mess, lol.

I always liked this aspect of this game because it will create unique politics you won't have in other games. And I agree wholeheartedly with Caspian on that CoE won't have P2W conditions. Having a title is supposed to be a responsibility not an entitlement, leaders who think anything else will be those who become the equals of the corrupt and bad leaders of our world.

Some opposing arguments I feel have some merit however is those who are worried Kingdoms who take more than one Kingdom slot will reduce the potential cultural diversity in terms of number of unique Kingdom themes - having one or two NPC kingdoms also remains in interest of those united duchies that plan to overthrow a NPC kingdom.

However, I disagree about not allowing Kingdoms, duchies, or counties to double up (or more); I just hope Caspian will instead take things like that into consideration when he sets up the world generation for those servers. The idea that the gameplay shouldn't need to be equal could just as easily apply to the server world sizes.

12/10/2016 4:17:33 AM #6
+11

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." -George Orwell

I think this concept is central to a lot of the "pay-to-win" arguments we've been seeing on the forum, and I definitely agree with Caspian's camp when it comes to his thinking on the matter. I think there are two key distinctions regarding in-game advantages that dictate their "fairness":

  1. How did the player obtain that advantage?
  2. To what extent can a player without that advantage "bridge the gap"?

As Caspian put it, there's a difference between a situation being inequitable and unfair, and I think the two points above are key to that distinction. I would define unfairness in terms of game mechanics, to be an insurmountable advantage given to players based on out-of-game criteria (including but not limited to monetary payment; KS backing, micro-transactions, buying a DLC, etc.) A mechanic is unfair if the advantage it imparts both cannot be reasonably overcome and requires some out-of-game action or circumstance in order to occur.

Talents and Magic in CoE are inequitable, definitely. That's by design. If there were a particular KS tier that gave your character access to magic, that would be entirely unfair. However, there are two things to note here. First, selection for talents is entirely random. You can pay $30 to buy the game and your first character might have the Magic talent. Whether or not your character is "special" does not depend on out-of-game factors at all. Second, Magic is not the end-all and be-all of "winning" CoE. I'd imagine 3-4 proficient swordsmen could absolutely thrash a moderately skilled magic user in a straight-up fight. Even if you want to do something that does require magic, there's nothing stopping you from going out and befriending someone who has access to magical abilities, provided that you are capable of offering something worth their time.

That second argument could be made for titles and influence, as well. You can pay $30 for the game and become a king. Granted, it will be very difficult, dangerous, and require lots of connections, but it's possible (and arguably more fun than just being handed the title at launch.) You can go out and found a village with a few friends, build it up to a city and become a Mayor, and with enough support, overthrow the Count to become nobility. From there, you can play the DoD and work your way up the ranks, gaining the support of your peers to increase your power. If you play your cards right, there's no limit to where you might end up. You could even overthrow one of the $10,000 KS kings if you had enough people backing you. That, to me, is the very essence of fairness.

All in all, I think Caspian is to be commended for his excellent job not only listening to the community's desires, but sticking to his guns when he knows he's right. Everybody here has something to gain by trying to influence the game's development in their favor, so it's good that we have somebody with a strong vision and good judgement to make sure that the game does turn out fair for everyone... even if it's not entirely equitable on day 1. ;-)

12/10/2016 4:38:55 AM #7
+7

I don't care where everyone starts at launch. I don't care if not everyone starts out equal.

I do care about player's ability to reach the same heights as anyone else if they are skilled enough.

So as long as all these bonuses given to early backers are surmountable by players later on, I think this game will have achieved being fair.


So I have a thing now! 📣Also this is my signature until Sieraen gives me one. 🤷1 Like 👍 = 1 Prayer 🙏

12/10/2016 4:50:13 AM #8
+2

I appreciate this thread. Here is how I feel about it, personally, bottom line:

Fair is where you go to see ribbons placed on prize pigs. Nothing is ever fair ..because fairness is entirely subjective.

Equality is each of us having exactly what we've worked for and earned or otherwise expended the effort to achieve. As long as no potential opportunity is utterly denied to any segment of the people - we are equal. You may not get what you /want/ - but when you are not denied its potential gain except by entirely random chance is not an argument for calling something unequal.

Lastly, pay-to-win ....this whole mess can be completely avoided by only ever offering cosmetic benefit, but nothing that impacts game-play beyond visual enjoyment.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.


12/10/2016 5:10:07 AM #9
+2

I've always loved this particular element of the philosophy behind the game. It puts me in mind of a fair few older games I've played, which were notable/fun because they didn't attempt to level the playing field and make it balanced. Take Morrowind, for example, held ny quite a few to be the best TES game in terms of fun value. Oblivion and Skyrim did a lot of things better... but they also balanced things that were fun because they were unbalanced or broken.

I'd love to see more games - MMOs, particularly - released with this philosophy. Balanced does not mean fun.


To touch Divinity, one must be prepared to brave Reality.

12/10/2016 5:21:08 AM #10
+0

I think what is missing in here is the context in which this remark was said. People were complaining about Evelake buying a second kingdom. So his Kingdom will be a bit bigger, no biggie. Right? Well, what brought on the huge argument was that Caspian offered to make Evelake a Vice/Virtue if he bought a third kingdom.

I think a lot of people got a little up in arms like that because they felt that was way too much power so early on in the game. And let's be real, it's going to take quite a while for anyone to actually build up what it would take to kill a virtue/vice. Assuming anyone managed to do it even relatively quickly. Not to mention, I think a lot of people got a little upset with how shamelessly the power was dangled in front of Evelake. No one here doesn't want to reach the stretch goals, I think we can all agree on that. But everything in due time! Lastly, and this is just my personal view on it, I really feel like having someone with so much power running Vornair so early could very likely be immersion-breaking for a lot of people. And it just leaves a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people for varying reasons. I can shrug at a Kingdom that's twice as big. Hell, I'll shrug at someone being labeled Emperor. But basically being shoved up to near god status? I gotta draw the line there. Cement his household's name in the lore of the game, if you must. Give him an official family tree pre-alpha. Idc... but I just don't think I could shrug at a vice/virtue. Just my two cents on it.


12/10/2016 5:27:40 AM #11
+3

Virtue...? as in like a divine being?


So I have a thing now! 📣Also this is my signature until Sieraen gives me one. 🤷1 Like 👍 = 1 Prayer 🙏

12/10/2016 5:35:27 AM #12
+2

I would have to see the words specifically used in the Virtue/Vice situation then to actually make an assessment on that. I'm sorry if anyone was offended by the idea that someone was offered something in whatever context, but I'll give Caspian the benefit of the doubt unless it was crystal clear otherwise. Given what all I've seen, if he did in fact make such an offer, I would presume the main reason to be the expansion of a living world and story - not to make one person more powerful because they purchased something expensive. Can't really say anything else until context is available...


12/10/2016 5:44:23 AM #13
-2

"Some opposing arguments I feel have some merit however is those who are worried Kingdoms who take more than one Kingdom slot will reduce the potential cultural diversity in terms of number of unique Kingdom themes - having one or two NPC kingdoms also remains in interest of those united duchies that plan to overthrow a NPC kingdom." Quoted from Shadowtani

^^^^^ This so much this.


12/10/2016 5:46:15 AM #14
+2

take my like


12/10/2016 6:03:49 AM #15
+17

Posted By MaverickMissy at 9:21 PM - Fri Dec 09 2016

I think what is missing in here is the context in which this remark was said. People were complaining about Evelake buying a second kingdom. So his Kingdom will be a bit bigger, no biggie. Right? Well, what brought on the huge argument was that Caspian offered to make Evelake a Vice/Virtue if he bought a third kingdom.

I think a lot of people got a little up in arms like that because they felt that was way too much power so early on in the game. And let's be real, it's going to take quite a while for anyone to actually build up what it would take to kill a virtue/vice. Assuming anyone managed to do it even relatively quickly. Not to mention, I think a lot of people got a little upset with how shamelessly the power was dangled in front of Evelake. No one here doesn't want to reach the stretch goals, I think we can all agree on that. But everything in due time! Lastly, and this is just my personal view on it, I really feel like having someone with so much power running Vornair so early could very likely be immersion-breaking for a lot of people. And it just leaves a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people for varying reasons. I can shrug at a Kingdom that's twice as big. Hell, I'll shrug at someone being labeled Emperor. But basically being shoved up to near god status? I gotta draw the line there. Cement his household's name in the lore of the game, if you must. Give him an official family tree pre-alpha. Idc... but I just don't think I could shrug at a vice/virtue. Just my two cents on it.

Whoah, slow down a bit. Let's be clear, the conversation was whether or not I'd cap him at 2 Kingdoms purchased/merged, or allow him to go for three. At which point, the topic of adding a tier for emperor, with other Kings answerable to him was raised. And if so, what the design experience would be for the Emperor tier. There were several suggestions jokingly thrown out. There wasn't a serious offer made to make him one of the Vices or Virtues, Ancients, Guardians, or anything else...

That all said, my reason for posting this topic had nothing to do with what you were referring to as 'context' of the topic. I posted it simply because I felt like it nicely captured my philosophy on fairness vs. equity and wanted to make sure it was communicated to a larger audience. it had nothing to do with Adam or the conversation around it.

And again, that being said, with respect to the 'pay to win' conversation, of making someone a Virtue or Vice. While I have no plan to do so... I have no objection to allowing the highly influential players to log off of their primary accounts and log in under a GM account to RP a Vice/Virtue.

It's not P2W, it's pay to create a compelling story for the rest of the server. Anything another player does which adds value to your experience is for your benefit. And really, what difference does it make who DM's the role of Vices or Virtues if they exist? Does it need to be Soulbound Studios employees? And if not, what harm is there in allowing the roles to be filled by influential players?


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