Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Conner Reid »

This is an interesting proposal and discussion --- whether we should extend the right to advocate for a challenger to all Warlords in an Overlord challenge, rather than continue to limit it to Renegade Barons, and if so, potentially at the price of 1 or 2 challenge rights.

Some other ideas have been mentioned here as well, but the above is what DoS staff is really interested in hearing about and so far the discussion has been helpful and we're following along here.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by PC »

I wanted to update the basic rule proposal to better reflect the current rules of DoS when it comes to the Test of Worthiness and the role title holders play in it.

Rank Requirement: Warlord
Cost of Countering: 2 Challenge Rights (or 1)
Challenger to the Overlord or Baron may decline.
May not be used to act as stand in for the Overlord.
May be superseded by a Renegade Baron or the King's Decree Holder. [1]
May be superseded by the Overlord in the case of a Renegade issuing a Test of Worthiness with their Squire against a Warlord (which allows a Loyal Baron or Overlord to act as a counter test for the challenger).
May be superseded by a Loyal Baron in the same case as above if the Overlord is not available.
May be declined by the Challenger.


[1] Usage Two of the King's Degree, Subsection B: Should this be a counter to a Test of Worthiness then the grant user will act in the role of a Renegade Baron. Like a Renegade Baron, this counter cannot be refused by a challenger.

This would keep Titles Holders as having the final say. Unless using 2 Challenge Rights, which can only be regained at the start of a new cycle / or by collecting 10 wins, could be considered a high enough price to make it so that no one but the Overlord could supersede should the challenger accept the offered aid.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Conner Reid »

Thank you for that re-posting, PC. I misunderstood and thought the proposal was limited to just OL challenges. I see it's broader now.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Rhiannon Brock »

Lilith Anderson wrote: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:27 pm
That would pretty much be 1/2 of the King's Decree prize given out by winning Warden of Overlook. So that's already in place + a little extra. Unless you mean a cycle long ability to do so?
That's exactly what I meant.
I made the comparison to the Talon which is:
Available to GM and below.
Held for one cycle (or to be precise, from one Talon/ART tournament to the next).
Its bonus is usable during that time until the winning character reaches Warlord or gains a Barony. (We've had a few lower ranked characters that have done the latter via Overlord and other grants.)
Allows a player to stack with a Squire fancy up to a total of 4 giving them the equivalent of Warlord mods.

What I'm suggesting is a prize/prizes for Warlords that is/are multi-use instead of one shot items. When challenge grants are earned as prizes, they have a one time use. Unless I have misread the information on The King's Decree and Grant of Karnafexx, once they are used, they are used.

DoM started giving out prizes that allow the winners to use EF, once per duel, or allow a Mage to chose which Mage specific spell they want to use. Those prizes are usable until the next tournament. To my knowledge, multi-use prizes/grants have never been offered to Warlords.

This is my suggestion:
Available only to Warlords
Useable for the cycle/from tournament to tournament
Valid during that time until the character becomes a Baron/Overlord then those rules would take over.
No limit during that time period on how many challenges they can offer to stand as Advocate. I say offer because it allows refusal by the challenging Warlord.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by PC »

What is the end goal for the grant? A grant that, as you write it, is superior to a title holders by being unchallengeable during a held period of time and no downside. There is already the King's Decree, along with the lesser variant that has been used as prize in the DoS ARTs. Putting out a grant as you are suggesting would then devalue the King's Decree; a grant won through the merits of a whole cycles worth of regulation activity.

Earlier in the thread you wrote about: Unless more dueling related perks will be given to the OL and Barons, it diminishes the Overlord and Baron benefits in place.

Your grant does just that. There's no high cost of use, there's no requirement to give back to the community via regulation, it's just another prize to be won in tournament.
Last edited by PC on Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Lilith Anderson »

I think in that case, I'd sooner see the King's Decree use expanded. Maybe something like... you can use it to challenge once or you can use it to counter/intercede (section 2 of the decree) as many times as you want in a cycle. My reason for that would be because you have to work for the King's Decree over the course of a full cycle to get it, versus just getting lucky in a tournament on one night. I feel like that would promote additional regulation and community involvement versus a single night boon. If that makes sense?
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Delahada »

Don't misunderstand me. I never said that I was adamantly against this idea. My initial criticism is for the implication that the Squire's Test does not already serve a purpose, that somehow being Renegade is the more desirable alignment option, and that there's something inherently wrong with challenge rights just sitting there not being used.

One thing I'd like to touch on is that unfortunate rule that states challengers may not refuse an Advocate stepping in on their behalf during a Test of Worthiness. Though, again, I'd point out that this is a great RP opportunity in and of itself. When I had Sal challenge Hope last year, the only Renegade at the time was Maggie. We discussed it ahead of time and concluded that Maggie had offered to Advocate should he be tested, but much like Ria he's of the opinion that he's a big boy and doesn't need the help, especially from a teenage girl. So we agreed that should Sal be Tested, which he was, that she would not Advocate on his behalf. A little communication goes a long way, both in and out of character.

I do think there needs to be more leeway with a Challenger's Right to Refuse an Advocate, no matter their rank. I like how Hope asked Neeky when Gatito tested her whether or not she wanted her to step in to Advocate on her behalf. The option of her saying "no thank you" was there, even though she couldn't, by the current rules, actually refuse.

Maybe we can call this potential add-on the Warlord's Petition to Advocate clause. I like the idea of it using up both challenge rights, making it a bigger price. Is it worth giving up their challenge rights and having to grind later, earning 10 wins just to be able to Advocate on someone's behalf again during the same cycle? Something they'll have to think about and take into consideration. I'm not sure adding in this option will increase dueling activity any more than it has. I'm skeptical about that part, but I'm not at all against this idea being implemented.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by PC »

Delahada wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:47 pm Don't misunderstand me. I never said that I was adamantly against this idea. My initial criticism is for the implication that the Squire's Test does not already serve a purpose, that somehow being Renegade is the more desirable alignment option, and that there's something inherently wrong with challenge rights just sitting there not being used.
And that's debatable depending on point of view. Renegades can challenge for Overlord (and bypass 30 day Overlord grace), Loyals in turn can not. Renegades now have the benefit of the Squire Test of Worthiness, which is a boon they did not have before; while Loyal's gaining of it allows them a secondary (though weaker) option to the Overlord. A Renegade can also counter any Test of Worthiness, no matter if the challenger agrees or not. The Renegade has strengths and options that can exceed Loyal beyond the simple perk of a grace period which is then kept in check by the Renegade Queue, something that happens at rare times. But, again, it's debatable. We don't need to agree on it.

The Squire Test serves a purpose. The revised Squire was something I worked on and put into motion for play-testing, after all, if it had no purpose then I wouldn't have pushed it forward. It's to allow roleplay opportunities and a bigger boon to being a squire compared to having a single fancy. With a duel requirement of 10 regulation matches, not wins, it is also easier to use compared to the suggested idea for a Warlords Right to Counter. In my original post I also note that the proposal should not be used for a Test of Worthiness, only for Challengers, so that the Squire Test continues to have a function without being overshadowed. This was put into a small nutshell phrase so it could easily be misunderstanding and my fault for not giving more context. Beyond that I'm unsure where you see perceived criticism outside of a simple opinion on whether a Renegade Baron is more beneficial than Loyal. Though if that was not aimed at me, then I apologize. If it is, then I ask that you do not misunderstand me as well.

As for challenge rights and being unused. There is something wrong in that, but not in a demand that there should be more challenges or that it is the player who is wrong by not using them. The thought-process is that allowing more options to an under used mechanic, and by doing so allow players who may not have interest in challenging something new to do. No one is going to shame anyone for not challenging when they don't feel like it. If a tool isn't being utilized it is a good idea to try and think up new ways to make it more fun. Look at it from an MMORPG point of view. Players don't like running Dungeons? Put incentives to join and help. It gives them a new reason to go out of their way to play old content. The duels themselves are old content and there is a need to revitalize aspects of it for continued future use.

Setting all of that aside though, your suggestion of naming the proposed rule "Warlord's Petition to Advocate" is nice. I think it would fit nicely.

Edit: I also agree that there should be leeway when it comes to denying an advocate. I personally dislike how a Renegade can step into a challenge when the challenger may not wish to involve, interact, or include them. Might be worth a new discussion thread in the future, though I think it'll be more heated compared to this lol.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Rhiannon Brock »

PC wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:24 pm Earlier in the thread you wrote about: Unless more dueling related perks will be given to the OL and Barons, it diminishes the Overlord and Baron benefits in place.

Your grant does just that. There's no high cost of use, there's no requirement to give back to the community via regulation, it's just another prize to be won in tournament.
You're right, it does. I was trying to offer a baseline and failed to expand on it further. I apologize for that.

Lilith Anderson wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:25 pm I think in that case, I'd sooner see the King's Decree use expanded. Maybe something like... you can use it to challenge once or you can use it to counter/intercede (section 2 of the decree) as many times as you want in a cycle. My reason for that would be because you have to work for the King's Decree over the course of a full cycle to get it, versus just getting lucky in a tournament on one night. I feel like that would promote additional regulation and community involvement versus a single night boon. If that makes sense?
That makes more sense to me than the original proposal. That adds rewards for people that are already active and can encourage others to participate more, getting the duels in the bank (for lack of a better phrase). Maybe make it something like challenge a Baron once and step in X times OR Challenge for OL once. Reason being that someone has already very actively dueled over the cycle to earn the King's Decree, why can't it be worth two challenge rights/choices if they want to use it that way? They've effectively paid the cost ahead, why not allow that choice/offer wider options?

Delahada wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:47 pm One thing I'd like to touch on is that unfortunate rule that states challengers may not refuse an Advocate stepping in on their behalf during a Test of Worthiness. Though, again, I'd point out that this is a great RP opportunity in and of itself. When I had Sal challenge Hope last year, the only Renegade at the time was Maggie. We discussed it ahead of time and concluded that Maggie had offered to Advocate should he be tested, but much like Ria he's of the opinion that he's a big boy and doesn't need the help, especially from a teenage girl. So we agreed that should Sal be Tested, which he was, that she would not Advocate on his behalf. A little communication goes a long way, both in and out of character.
We not only discussed that as players, but a brief scene in chat was involved. Maggie had no desire to have a repeat of the fallout after stepping in on Penny's behalf for Seaside. She offered Sal the option for many reasons, one of them being he is family (her aunt's grandson). While she was well aware her offer was very likely to be refused, she made it in good faith. Sal named Maggie as his Second for that Overlord match which she understood to be a gesture of respect.

Delahada wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:47 pm Maybe we can call this potential add-on the Warlord's Petition to Advocate clause. I like the idea of it using up both challenge rights, making it a bigger price. Is it worth giving up their challenge rights and having to grind later, earning 10 wins just to be able to Advocate on someone's behalf again during the same cycle? Something they'll have to think about and take into consideration. I'm not sure adding in this option will increase dueling activity any more than it has. I'm skeptical about that part, but I'm not at all against this idea being implemented.
This explains one of my concerns as well. The carrot on stick thing does work for some players, but others that are trying to balance time between several sports and characters as well as their real life situations, could be made to feel they just aren't active enough for some people's liking and give up entirely. That could lessen participation not increase it. Based on past experience, I know that is far from Na-rae's intentions here.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by Conner Reid »

The DoS staff has been in deep discussion about this proposal and all of the other ideas that have swirled through this thread. The DoS ruleset is complex, and many of the different structures are interconnected in such a way that changing one necessarily impacts at least one if not several other mechanisms or structures. That doesn’t mean changes are impossible, but it means that thinking them through carefully takes some time and pretty extensive discussion. We appreciate your patience while we worked on this.

There were several ideas floated in this thread, but these seem to be the repeated ones:
  1. PC’s main proposal: allow WLs to offer intercession or advocacy during challenges at the cost of CRs.
  2. Expansion of the King’s Decree to be usable for the entire cycle.
  3. Allow challengers to decline intercession or advocacy from renegade barons.
I’m going to give short answers for items two and three since we really wanted to keep focused on the main proposal here (however, as noted above, we do recognize that these ideas are interrelated).

Expansion of the King’s Decree

This is not something we are considering at this time. The ability to intervene in as many title challenges as you like over the course of a cycle is too powerful. We don’t think it’s the same as DoM’s one-special-move-per-duel prizes.

That said, we do recognize that the Warden of Overlook is one of the most difficult titles to achieve in our sport and rewards a fighter who is successful during regulation dueling over the length of the cycle. That is something we both admire and wish to incentivize. If we expand the availability of intercession/advocacy, the King’s Decree will be lessened in value and we will have to take that into consideration or make a change to this prize.

Declination of Intercession/Advocacy from Renegade Barons

This is also not something we are considering at this time. As was pointed out by several commenters, this is both a rare perk of being a renegade baron and a good opportunity for RP between characters and communication between players. We think this is an important part of the DoS game. While we recognize that some challengers would prefer to decline, whether for character reasons or for OOC strategy, we feel that this provides interest and texture to our sport and we decline to change it at this time.

Main Proposal - Allow WLs to Offer Intercession or Advocacy During Challenges at the Cost of 1 or 2 CRs

In considering this proposal, the DoS staff continued to circle back to the two main purposes of this proposal: 1) Expand the inclusiveness of the title game by allowing any WL the opportunity to participate in challenges; 2) Increase the usage of CRs such that duelers may be incentivized to earn them back through regulation dueling.

The updated proposal from PC addresses a couple of our key concerns about this expansion:
  1. Renegade barons will lose one of the few perks of the title.
  2. The King’s Decree is dramatically weakened by this expansion.
PC’s proposal solves these issues by creating something of a hierarchy about who can intercede/advocate and when, and whose intercession/advocacy takes precedence, and whose intercession/advocacy can be declined.

However, we still have concerns about these solutions and the proposal in general.

First, renegade barons still lose something that is otherwise unique to their status. Even if renegade barons can supersede, they are no longer the only ones who can advocate. Being a renegade baron comes with a lot of challenges (literally!) and it’s important that they have commensurate perks. Losing this one as a perk that is unique to their status requires a meaningful replacement. We have not heard an idea for that yet.

Similarly, the King’s Decree is still weakened in value. The King’s Decree recognizes that intercession/advocacy is a rare perk usually reserved for those in a special status (squires/renegade barons/OL). If that is open to all WLs, the specialness is gone, and just being able to supersede we don’t feel is enough on its own to save it. (As noted above, on the flip side, we think allowing it to have multiple uses throughout the cycle overpowers it).

Second, this is something of a complex expansion of the rulesset. This sort of complexity is not something I’m keen to add --- especially when it will be implemented by a caller on-the-fly at the outset of a challenge with potentially multiple offers of intercession/advocacy.

It would not be impossible for a caller to sort out such a situation, but it may add delay to the challenge and require consultation with staff for reassurance/certainty. Even if the caller utilizes a simple ‘first-come-first-served’ rule, they first must determine if any of the offers cannot be declined, then which of those came first. If all of the offers may be declined, then the title-fighter ultimately gets to simply choose their advocate. I don’t think that’s an ideal delay of the title fight, nor an ideal situation to play out in the heat of the moment.

Additionally, in part because of the situation described above, I am skeptical that this rule will lead to greater inclusivity. Allowing the challenger to decline an offer of advocacy from a WL means we could see picking-and-choosing of participants during challenges. That could leave some WLs feeling left out as people are likely to favor their friends IC and OOC. As a result, the goal of inclusivity might not be achieved here; rather, duelers may feel excluded instead.

In conclusion, with respect to the goal of expanding inclusivity in challenges, solving the problems this rule creates --- diminished perk for renegade barons, diminished value of King’s Decree --- ultimately creates a complicated ruleset and may also undermine its own stated goal in application.

Now for the second stated goal: increase the usage of CRs such that duelers may be incentivized to earn them back through regulation dueling. We also think this is a noble goal and we like the idea behind it.

However, I continue to have skepticism about whether this will work in practice. DoS has many participants that have multiple WL-level characters. This is not a statement of judgment on these players or their practice --- everyone is welcome to enjoy our game with however many characters they choose to play and duel with! However it is something we think about when we consider the behavior we’re attempting to incentivize. I suspect that it will be more common that WLs who lose CRs by intercession/advocacy are more likely to simply choose not to regain them and instead challenge with different WL chars. Frankly, we already see this on some level. Players interested in the title game participate in it through multiple characters. Those who are less interested simply don’t. Again, this is not a judgment --- the game is available to anyone who wants to play within the rules and we welcome that! But it is an observation that suggests that this proposal might not be the best way to encourage greater use of CRs and motivate regulation dueling through the need to regain them.

A theme in this discussion was the underutilization of certain DoS rules --- the squire test was one of them, for example. While it’s true that the squire test has only been used a handful of times since its introduction, it comes with a trade-off. If a defender invokes the squire test, they give up their right to a best-of-three challenge. That might be a reason why defenders don’t invoke this rule on a regular basis, even if they have an eligible squire.

I think that’s something we need to consider on a larger scale. Sometimes a particular aspect of the game might not see a lot of use not because it needs to be better incentivized, but because there’s something that is counter-motivating against it. If a player does not have the time needed to gain and defend a title, no amount of incentives or ease of participation will bring them into the title game.

In other words, I am not convinced that CRs not being spent is a problem that requires solving. Increasing regulation dueling is always a noble goal, but I’m not convinced that increasing usage of CR rights is the way to achieve this goal.


All that said --- we are open to this change. My skepticism about whether dueler behavior will be changed by the new rule would not stop us from testing it out! However, we do need better solutions to the following issues before we’ll consider it:
  1. A replacement perk for renegade barons.
  2. A replacement for the King’s Decree.
  3. Minimize the complexity of the intercession/advocacy hierarchy for callers.
As we noted at the outset, the DoS ruleset is complicated and changing one thing often affects another. We always want to be deliberate with our decisions here. But we are always open to your ideas too.
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Re: Thoughts on expanding Test options for Warlords.

Post by PC »

This is spitballing ideas. Most are not connected unless stated.

A replacement perk for renegade barons.
- Allowance to Sponsor a Warlord to challenge the Overlord during a grace period time limit.
- Allowance to Sponsor a Grand Master to challenge a Barony.
- Gains "Notoriety" for every defense. They can turn these in to the Duel of Swords staff: 1 notoriety counts for 10 days of grace. They cannot turn them in while under challenge or within a Renegade Queue. Hard cap at 30 days (3 notoriety).

A replacement for the King’s Decree.
- Keep the Grant. Upgrade to allow the King's Decree holder to gain a usable fancy throughout the cycle. If the idea is that the King's Decree is one of the hardest titles to gain, then why not allow them to fight like a Baron? This fancy could then either stack should they become a Baron (Putting them on the same fancy level as Overlord) or hard stop at 5.

Minimize the complexity of the intercession/advocacy hierarchy for callers.
- Make a caller guide that explains in tl;dr format for DoS. DoS can already be viewed as complex with rarely used abilities. A flow-chart could easily explain what happens. https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2P ... CnjVHH/pub
I made this a few years ago and it was handed out to a few callers. It could be simplified even more, honestly.

Extra and not on the list, but...

Issues with Activity and Usage of CR's without intending to regain through regulation
Replace the regaining format of CR's. Either by changing the Win-Only requirement to simply 10 regulation duels gained = 1 Challenge Right, replacing the 5 Wins only requirement. There would still be skepticism of regaining but it would make it a little less of a strain should someone constantly lose.
-or-
Replace the duel requirement all together with a baseline time limit. That way players who don't want to duel in regulation beyond staying active need to wait 30 days post a challenge to regain a single challenge right. This could hopefully promote play from less-active players who still have interest in the title scene.
-or-
Have both. Make regaining through regulation a little more easier while also giving the option of a wait period for those who can't participate in regulation more often. This was actually one of the ideas my assistant coordinator and I were discussing during the conversation of regaining challenge rights but chose the 5/10 win split instead. In hindsight it made things a little more tedious then it should be when this is meant to be a time sink hobby where one could do minimal action but still participate.

How does the above fit in with Warlord counter tests?
Player burns 2 Challenge Rights to counter a test. They wait 30 days, regain 1 challenge right and can challenge for a Barony -or- Spends the 30 days regaining 10 duels for 1 Challenge Right and regains another after the 30 days - allowing them to counter again, though at a slower rate compared to someone who participates more often in regulation.

What if they just don't do it?
Then they don't do it. Some players who want to participate will and those who don't won't. It's counterproductive to worry about those who aren't inclined to use every tool in the ruleset and are happy with just coming in, getting 1 regulation duel, and challenging — or not challenging at all and only participating in regulation and/or tournaments. If that's what they find fun then there is no issue in them having that fun with minimal tools, but there should be benefits to players who want to do more without damaging the experience of the less-active player.
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