I think this should be done on a game by game basis. In a medival setting, you'd be member of a family and might be member of a guild, but you wouldn't be member of two families or two guilds. The article should be modified to reflect this.
KaiBlin 09:36, 11 March 2006 (CET)
It's not a finished article of course, as everything here (and in WF in general ;) it's a work-in-progress. Added a paragraph on limiting memberships, thanks for noting (I considered that obvious, but, well, I'm not writing (just) for myself here anymore).
--Jae 11:24, 11 March 2006 (CET)
I think limitation of memberships could be handled mostly by the entrance criteria and membership citeria for an organization. Fail to meet it, and you are not allowed in / are out. E.g. a Mensa organization would require the members to have Intelligence >= 20. If they get dumber, they are automatically kicked out. :)
Of course, most (player) guilds could simply allow guild managers to invite or kick people.
An interesting idea is spying - you could enlist in an enemy organization to be able to know which bases they have manned, or to open the gates and let in attackers. Perhaps you could try to hide your membership in some organization.
On the other hand, perhaps somebody else could have proof of your membership in an organization (e.g. having seen you in the organization colors or such - some kind of 'photograph / wiretap' feature might be used for this, to allow recording of evidence, and making it impossible to forge that evidence). Using such unforgable evidence as proof, that person could get you expelled from the organization (or he could sell the (uncopiable) evidence to you, allowing blackmail...).
--zzorn 13:08, 11 March 2006 (CET)
Maybe, similarily as in the case of contracts, it should be possible to verify that a new entrant is not a member of any organization that the current organization is at war with, to increase trust. OTOH, even within an organization you have different levels of access e.g. to funds, so you anyway have to make a personal judgement of the trustworthiness of the persons you allow to use the funds of your organization. A griefer doesn't need to be at war with you to abuse his position in your guild. So perhaps hiding some of your organization memberships and working as a spy should be possible too.
--zzorn 13:13, 11 March 2006 (CET)
I like the spying/subversion angle. Played quite a bit of AO, and do still like a lot about it. Or, a lot of my ideas are inspired by it.
There are two sides (Clan and Omnitec (mega-corporation which actually "own" the whole planet the game is set on)). And one class ("profession" in AO-speak), "Agent", can change sides (sorta temporarily... you can change sides as a normal character too. Agents have a tool for it, but they need (which dislike) the opposite tool to change back).
What I'd love would be an actual agent "class" (skill?). Like the spy character in the "Commandos" games... be able to wear uniforms of an enemy side. Disguises of some sort. Could include becoming a member of an org (actually, I'd see sides as orgs, at least some of them... if one party of a conflict is a corporation, being "their side" would mean being an employee, and thus, being a member of that org).
--Jae 14:49, 11 March 2006 (CET)
Yes exactly. You just hide your uniform, wear casual clothes, walk up to the opposing organization, and enlist as a member as any player would. Then you can operate from within that organization like anybody in it could.
Agreed on sides being organizations, even a nation should be an organization - after all, it controls some land, manages funds, has trade agreements and alliances with other organizations, owns or manages some land areas, has various kinds of members (citizens), has roles (like king, or finance minister, or general), and some rules for how persons are appointed to roles (by the king, by election, randomly..). Most or all of these features are needed for other organizations too.
--zzorn 15:16, 11 March 2006 (CET)
Nations being organizations might take it too far. Depending on world design, of course (my favorite words: "it depends" ;) ) In the AO context, the other side is the clans... no real organization, no real common goal (except being free of Omni-Tek). So, I wouldn't put the clans as an organization. But I'd put every member of the clans in some clan (players would have to choose a clan from a "built-in" default clan set (or could specify one freely, if they're an alt or want to join a friend's clan)). That is, if I'd design AO2 ;)
But then, you still have organizations on clan side. So... yup, nations would be organizations. And maybe even player-run. Depending, of course, how much control over the game world you want to give players (and griefers). I want that, actually, but OTOH, there's the griefer problem, which could get really bad that way. And you have the problem of time investment. Imagine actually having to run a virtual country/nation. Ouch.
--Jae 16:29, 11 March 2006 (CET)
Well, players would probably do a better job of running a nation than the default NPC AI. Not that I don't have grand goals for the AI too. ;-)
Probably a game world would have a set of game designer specified nations set up, with their own culture, people, towns, etc, and then run for some time with NPC:s to give opportunity for various NPC contact networks, trade routes and organizations to form.
In such a scenario griefing would not be that much of a problem (unless of course some nation was a republic or democracy, allowing people to get elected, and the people happen to elect some crazy leader that raises the taxes, steals all the nations funds, passes laws that makes everyone a criminal, and makes war on the neighbours...)
An organization controlling a land should be able to tax the transactions happening there, however, to prevent griefing there should be some server setting for maximum tax rate, and players should see the amount of a transaction that is paid in tax before it is done. The organization should also have some say in what is allowed on its lands, marking people that do illegal actions as criminals perhaps. Exactly how to implement crime and punishment in a way that helps organizations pass laws that improve nations, but don't cause too much problems or grief to citizens and visitors is a problem.
A Tale in the Desert is interesting in this regard - there people can vote on laws, which the programmers then implement in code if accepted. E.g. there's laws that prohibit building houses on roads or near public buildings, etc. It would be nice if this could be done without requiring continuous work from developers though.
We also need to have some mechanism for characters to aquire / take control over unclaimed land. An organization holding such land would in effect be a small nation. Of course, an organization might also rent land from another organization, but the host organization can restrict what kind of rights the renters have over the land - e.g. no rights to have own laws applying to it, or to tax trade more than some percentage.
TODO: Hmm, should move some of these ideas to the Organizations and Land page at some point..
--zzorn 18:46, 11 March 2006 (CET)