I'm here to talk about something that I've been weighing back and forth for about a year now. It started as an inkling but over time, and surprisingly quickly in recent months, has embedded itself in my mind stronger than it did previously. I held off on posting it because I've been on hiatus but given a lot of the recent changes and my beliefs to what influenced a lot of it, I feel like there is no better time to bring it up than now. It is a topic that has been discussed before but hasn't been brought back up recently and frankly, I'm going to be upfront and blunt with my opinions, observations and beliefs in this. I promise no offense to any party whatsoever and I want this to be an open, honest discussion for all of us.
It's time to seriously consider how important it is that our magic have stats in our day-to-day role playing.
Yes, this hot topic again. It's been argued and discussed before and nothing has changed. For a time, that was fine -- people seemed fine with keeping the system as it was without issue. But the last time this was discussed, to my knowledge, in a public setting, it was almost three years ago. That was before the system got tended to, adjusted, fixed and patched. It was before we could go on jobs -- any jobs -- without magic. And unfortunately, through that time, we've seen several staff members come and go that got burned out. Some of that was muse but I think we're seriously disillusioning ourselves to how demanding, stressful and aggravating the process of creating stat magic can be. And that's not only for us members that create it but for the staff members that then need to approve it. Magic with stats abuses us all and requires us to continually adjust rules and stipulations for the sake of balance.
Now this isn't to put down the hard work that has gone into balancing the system. Over the past three years, we've seen plenty of addendums and patches that have cleared up outstanding issues and made a fairly balanced system. It works and it gives a lot so that we, as writers, can craft magics that can be unique, flashy and exciting. The problem I've seen is the fact that it does not get used properly. Our system is put in place so that the numbers have to clash against another set of numbers. As someone that spent five years on another roleplay board that saw PvP as a more important component of story, I understand the logistics of what the system is meant to do.
But here's the problem. This is not a PvP site. I know, I know -- hard to believe. But actually take a minute and think back to all the player versus player threads that have occurred over the past few weeks, then go back months, then go back years. Not a lot -- barely any. And in the few that have happened, many of them were simply story-based combat. A compromise between the writers to use their magics creatively to craft a story rather than slamming numbers against one another and seeing which one was bigger. The idea of reaching a place where the numbers are superior to all over parties is one to strive for on many boards but it doesn't provide any content or fulfillment here. No one fights one another. I know plenty of people have said they would and were always down to have a PvP match but where are those fights? Why haven't they pushed for more combat? The answers can vary and frankly, this isn't a putdown on any one person. I'm sure there are people that want to do PvP but they have hectic work schedules or a busy social life or demands at home that prevent them from dedicating the time. And there is nothing wrong with that, at all.
There is something wrong with putting so much focus on stat-based magic. It isn't viable -- in fact, one might even say it's draining. For years, we've operated with minimal staff members because the very idea of having to memorize the rules around the magic in addition to whatever knowledge they focus on during the day is downright terrifying. I'll admit that it has turned me off to joining staff and I was the admin of a board that was exceptionally PvP heavy, where the stats were so very important.
I can go on for ages but I don't want to clog up this topic with incessant verbiage before other people have even weighed in. So let me start out by saying this -- I do not want to remove the stat system for magic. I believe it should stay, for those circumstances where people do want to slam their numbers against one another. But I think it needs to be reformed into "PvP Magic".
Essentially, this is how it would work. You create a character and get it approved. The next step is making your magic. Rather than being given a choice between numbers and statless, the default is to make statless magic. You create your spells with the flair your want and then put it up for approval. Staff looks over it, makes sure it doesn't have any god-mod or other rule-breaking angles in the wordage and it's approved. Bam, you've done it.
Now let's say you do want to fight someone else and you want it to be a no-holds-barred brawl. The first step is my first suggestion: a new subboard for approvals that is "PvP Fight Approval". Here you outline the people competing in the battle and a reason for the battle. Maybe you talked to someone and they thought their dark mage fighting your legal mage would be a blast. You craft a premise for the battle and present it in the approval forum. A staff member looks at it and decides to approve or deny it -- for this instance, we'll say approve. With that approval, the staff member asks you to go and create your "PvP Magic" in the PvP Magic sub forum.
Here's where you put in your numbers. You go through the rules, craft your spells and then each participant in the battle posts a link to their PvP magics for approval in the PvP Magic Approval sub forum. Here you link to your magic and to the approval for the battle from the staff member. The staff member is then responsible for looking over the magic, making sure it's up to standards and working with the creator to get it approved. Once the magics of the competitors are approved, the battle can commence.
This sounds like a lot of posting in several sub forums but the truth is, we already do that. And with this rather simple change, magics will be easier and quicker to approve. It comes down to just reading the description for the spells to make sure it isn't rule breaking. And it's not like you have to create an entirely new magic if/when you decide to do PvP because you will just be filling in the numbers to the spells you already created. Lineages will still matter because the benefits you get from them still apply to PvP but they also can apply to your statless magic.
Most of us that have been here for a decent amount of time don't even bother with getting magic approvals anymore because the effort and time it takes to slog through the numbers isn't worth it. Why craft the perfect AoE spell when you know you're never going to use it anyways? For a "just in case" scenario? Why not just take the focus off the numbers and let people create magic right from the get go? And then when they decide they want to fight, they have to put in the effort to make sure staff is aware and ready for battles rather than cramping up approval threads for magic for days and waiting days for staff to look over them. It takes the pressure and weight off staff members and it allows members the ability to just create magic without trying to wrap their heads around the numbers. They then can make the decision to look through the numbers themselves for the sake of getting that PvP fill.
Here's the tl;dr section to better present it.
-Statless magic becomes the primary creation method for magic.
-Change stat magic to PvP magic.
-To PvP, you have to coordinate and get approval for the battle ahead of time.
-Once staff approves of the setting for the battle, the competitors then go and recreate their magic with numbers.
-They then get it approved by staff and the battle can commence.
So there's my pitch. Please feel free to pop in and discuss, dissect or even offer alternatives. I simply believe that we need a hard change so that members and staff don't cringe at the very mention of making magic.