Equity vs. Fairness

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.

12/11/2016 2:33:09 AM #121

Wow, that was one long read. I do appreciate the conversations that transpired here and the answers given.

Caspian. I know ninety percent of this thread had nothing to do with the OP, but thank you for taking the time to clear up the communities concerns. It is this kind of service that makes me keep hitting that pledge button. :P I'd ask you to stop it, but naaa.. {thumbs up}

And to the Community. I have always loved a good debate, with minimal hostilities or flaming. Like this thread and many others I have read in my time here.. You guys Rock!

Just sayin.. :)

/ / Edited to add Oh oh, I didn't read far enough.. Well most of the community.. Heh

12/11/2016 2:33:32 AM #122

"They have more items than the rest of the players, that means they have an advantage."

In a traditional game, you're entirely correct. However, take everything you understand about traditional MMOs, and ignore that for a moment. There is no "gear race." No best in slot armor, no end-game bosses, no win conditions. You would be better off thinking of this game as a Survival game first, with thousands of people on the same server as me. In our private forums, we already (think we) know who one of the kings that bought into the $10,000 tier is. That player has a huge target on their back. Up-and-coming assassins' guilds, wannabe leaders, jealous ex-girlfriends all want to make sure that the king either loses their power or greases their palms. The pieces of land, mules, clothing, etc. that are being handed out in the lower tiers will have the same effect on those players owning those items, just on a smaller scale. Somebody out there wants the things that you have, and you're going to have to go the extra mile to protect your possessions. The point is that they aren't any better off than you are. Its the same reason why players that come into the world seven years after the game is released won't be at any kind of disadvantage. Simply because there is no real advantage. There are only players that are doing what they want to do, for now.

"Players with early access will know more about the world, which in itself is an advantage."

In whatever it is that they have focused their time and resources on, yes. That is an advantage. How would a new player learn how to play the game? This is a tricky one to answer, since we don't know if there will be a tutorial before a player jumps into the game. Teaching other players is a responsibility that will fall on the players. There is a handful of things that go into making sure players aren't totally selfish. The first is the family system. Players will have the choice to start a family, anybody in that family will pass down their skills (read: genetics) into their offspring. Even when the older members of the family teach the younger player, they will still knowledge in whatever it is they are teaching them. Much like I am learning even more about the game right now when I try to come up with ways to explain it. There are plenty of other family-based mechanics that promote them working together, which provides an incentive for players to make sure everybody in their family is strong. Then we have cities and towns. Each player will likely start in a city, the same place where the family lives. Here we get more into politics so I won't dwell on too much. But essentially, if the people in the kingdom aren't happy, then the leadership will know about it. Hopefully through democratic methods, before their heads are on a stake. Whether its 90 days or 4 years, these mechanics are going to be how a player learns how to play the game in the earlier portions.

Hopefully, that clears it up. All of the mechanics in the game work in tandem with each other to fix any issues they would have on their own. So I can totally understand how missing a couple pieces of the puzzle is what is confusing a lot of people. But I reiterate any question you come up with, Soulbound has heard them and have an answer to it.

The game becomes Pay to Win when we see a cash shop selling items that offer a bonus, improvements etc. Or starts selling currency. If the game becomes covered in microtransactions as well. However, we have been assured that this will not be the cause.For now, it's one nice guy, who happened to buy a personal vacation in a game. Everything he's bought can and most likely will be taken away in the future. It's called the dance of dynasties. I bought in as a Count. Sure I can buy Duke right now. I didn't because I felt Count was better for me.

Calling the game Pay to Win.......when it's clearly not...because one player has more money than you in real life... Is honestly petty. CoE is not a traditional MMO. It's not WoW. Stop judging a game that's has told you it's not traditional as a traditional MMO. At least put forth the effort to think outside of the box.

Just my 2 cents.


12/11/2016 2:55:33 AM #123

Maybe one thought can be without the advantages the players have at the begining, we wouldnt have enough content as a player base other then people who have more time to play the game to get way ahead of people who dont have as much time.

Normally this wouldnt bother me except that all the time to play people will just be killing NPCs to take the spots, its kinda easier to have the spots filled so players can interact with other players.

12/11/2016 3:08:57 AM #124

I guess I understand Caspian's stance on Layaway even if it is a bit pessimistic.

Kairos has always stated that they would be a Kingdom and have been around for a long time. They have also been part of the community and recruited many a people.

I really don't see them not fulfilling their layaway after putting so much work into it.

I don not know if it was answered somewhere else but what happens if a Layaway King and community who have been planning to be on one server the whole time but at the end someone who pays in full takes the last spot? Do you settle them on a new server or perhaps force them to go to a different server? I could see them asking for a full refund because they won't be on the same server as friends and enemies.

Now I understand that you and SBS never promised that everyone could be together however the people that love this great idea and game have made a community and forged many friendships. It just feels "wrong" that theirs a chance it could be teared a part.

Heck it was sad when it was confirmed that there was going to be a east and west server as the community fractured.

12/11/2016 3:20:16 AM #125


...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...

Good to hear. It will be interesting to see if you are able to hold your ground against the pressures that will be brought to bear to change the rules in favor of small subsets of the player base.

The inequity part is of little import to me.

My only concern is how far along development is. ie. I have no real clue. I know christmas (uhh... 2016 that is) is out of the question, but is mid-year too much to hope for on the first deliverable thingy?

12/11/2016 3:20:46 AM #126

Posted By Caspian at 3:51 PM - Sat Dec 10 2016

Hey folks,

I'm glad you guys have had the opportunity to discuss things - and this topic has definitely gone multiple directions, but I wanted to quickly circle around and address some of the topics that people have raised - especially the more serious ones.


Hey Casp :) Thanks a lot for the explanations and clarifications. I think most of your players have a fair understanding of what you guys are building and respect that.

Personally, the only thing that may made raise an eyebrow was when you mentioned allowing players to login a GM account. I think it's different from allowing a player to play an NPC. GM accounts often can reach far and have meaningful impact, so I dread that there could be any appearances of potential foul play. Playing a GM is, by definition, exactly playing by another set of rules than the rest of the players. That is not fair, nor equal. Based on that, I'm wondering:

1- Do you really plan to have powerful players also be active GMs within the game, beyond just playing an NPC?

2- If your answer to #1 is yes, what measures do you plan on taking to make sure those players do not abuse GM powers for their own personal gain or that of their faction/kingdom?


12/11/2016 5:22:15 AM #127


12/11/2016 5:46:08 AM #128

Lol @Shtgame I think you meant Archeage.... Their forums are over there - - >

12/11/2016 6:38:48 AM #129

I'll preface this by saying I understand (now) that the idea wasn't presented as a serious proposition, just further expanding on it for discussion purposes.

Now's probably a good time for me to point out that if a developer journal/other data point for vices/virtues exists, I've either forgotten reading it or haven't been able to find it, and that my post on the matter was made with several assumptions regarding what a GM account - even a heavily limited one - would be able to do that a normal account cannot. Please reference me to the appropriate DJ if one exists with info on them, or any other point at which I might read if one's available.

If not, I have several questions:

First, how is a Vice/Virtue defined? This title sounds like it has religious connotations. Is it simply that of an emperor/empress of the appropriate alignment, or something more faith-aligned? Can a player be an emperor without holding one of these esteemed titles?

Second, if the answer to the last question in the first set is no, what can a Vice/Virtue do that a simple emperor cannot? Are any of their abilities supernatural, existing beyond the reasonably achievable scope of an average player? I say "reasonably achievable" with the same comparison made in Caspian's last post - that of Vices/Virtues versus vampires or liches. Do they share similar status in terms of meta-tiering?

Third, and lastly: Specifically, does a Vice/Virtue/GM account within the capacity that was discussed it have admin privileges on a server? That is, the ability to make changes that bypass game mechanics in any capacity, such as teleportation or resource spawning/despawning.

The potential for this last is the main concern I had and was addressing in my post on admin account access. If a player has access to a supernaturally endowed character through an alternate account, that still strikes me as being somewhat unfair, but (just) within the scope of what I'd consider acceptable as a high-tier backer reward. If a player has access to admin commands, on the other hand... that is definitely a problem. The potential for abuse is simply too great, even with players screened by the company and accepted for good character. If something happens in the game or development process that displeases them and drives them away from the game, they have a lot of potential havoc to wreak with even a day's access to that account before they go.

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

12/11/2016 7:26:22 AM #130

I'm tempted to apply to play a Vice, just so I can mess with y'all nay sayers and pooh pooh platter makers.

First, all the "extra stuff" that backers get at the various tiers and through EP purchases are not designed to be a leg up in an established world. The tier and EP "bonuses" higher backers get (what y'all are calling the pay to win stuff) is to help CREATE the world and lore. Once Exposition is over (IE Game LAUNCH) there will be no such thing as EP, and there will be no ability to drop-build anything. At launch the game is a closed system. Period.

Prior to launch, it's still equitable in that everyone has the opportunity to contribute and back (fair) but here is reality guys, not everyone can give as much as Adam or GhettoMaster. I surecan't be a king at outset. I can't afford the 10k, but I sure as heck could go after the throne IG and get it using my county seat as my base! (Equitable)

Also, layaway... Unlike a mortgage, where you get to live in the house before it's paid off, here we have the contractor seeking full payment before giving you the keys to your new house.

It's there, and you reserved it, but if you can't finish your payments by the contractor's deadline you don't get the keys, and you can't live in your dream home. Sucks to be you, but dems the breaks.

~ Goody Odsbodikins, Count of the Highest State. ~
Friend Code: F41EFF

12/11/2016 7:31:18 AM #131

in an effort to make allowances for you, the community, we've made our jobs more difficult

Hey, everyone--that is your dev team, right there: listening to you, and taking the hard road because it's what's right for the players. That's a risk for them.

Look, I know we all have quite a bit invested in this game. But also recognize that it is beyond awesome how responsive and dedicated the dev team is. And let's not forget smart. Probably smarter than you. They probably don't need your wall of text speaking on the implications of their decisions. They're already staying up late at night chewing over these problems. They know the implications.

They also know more about the game than you. It does no good for you to speculate on game features and then roll out a new list of conjectures based on that speculation. Never go more than one "maybe" deep, I like to say.

So, let's chill out and worry less about whether the decisions made today will doom the game before it's off the ground. From where I stand, I see a group of hard-working, intelligent, thoughtful people bending over backwards to answer your demands.

How about we just make fewer demands and let them get back to work?

12/11/2016 7:47:27 AM #132

If they didn't want us to discuss and debate things about the game I would think they would simply not have a forum.

But that is just my thinking.

12/11/2016 8:12:49 AM #133

I was advised to make a short post saying only the following - for clarity.

I have no plans to allow players - high backers or otherwise, to log into Game master/Dungeon master accounts to run live story events. Period.

That is all.

12/11/2016 8:47:21 AM #134

Posted By Caspian at 03:12 AM - Sun Dec 11 2016

I was advised to make a short post saying only the following - for clarity.

I have no plans to allow players - high backers or otherwise, to log into Game master/Dungeon master accounts to run live story events. Period.

That is all.

For the most part I don't think anyone thought you had any serious plans laid out to allow active players to log in to GM accounts. I would assume stuff like that is low priority right now.

The real thing that seems to be unclear is if you want active players to be able to log in to GM accounts or not.

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

12/11/2016 8:48:55 AM #135

Double Post.

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