I know many of you are curious and/or anxious about the status of Associations, so here's the skinny:
We've decided to do a complete 180 degree switch in philosophy and remove nearly all Staff interaction with associations, as well as a great many rules and regulations which we now feel may have stymied the growth of player guilds in the last few incarnations of Sojourn.
Full details will be released when the code is ready, but I will give you a brief rundown on how the new code will work:
First off, as opposed to reading through a long treatise and writing up a lengthy charter, the process to starting a guild is much simpler. Within the MUD itself, you will be able to create an association, flesh out the name, titles, ranks, background story, and first 5 members (the officers, if you will). This association that you create will initially be 'Inactive', meaning that nearly all of the standard guild functions (such as bank accounts, chat channels, titles, etc) will be non-functional.
Once the guild leader has finished fleshing out the guild and added a short background story/description (which any player can view at anytime via a simple command), it will be placed in a queue to be approved by the Staff. Once approved, all guild features will be enabled, and almost no further assitance from the Staff will be required, as the guild leader and officers will have a wide range of management commands available to them.
Of course, if the Association is denied for one reason or another, a message will be sent to the guild leader with instructions on what he or she needs to change, and the guild will re-enter the approval queue when the neccessary changes have been made.
The Staff WILL oversee Associations, insuring that no silly/inappropriate titles are issued and minor things like that, but direct intervention will be rare, and only when absolutely neccessary.
What this means is that YOU are responsible for running, structuring, and managing your associations. We feel this is the best route to go, with few downsides. The only really obvious downside of course is the fear of being 'flooded' by sub-par guilds. Personally, I doubt this will be a problem, as natural selection will generally weed out the chaff and allow the strong to flourish. And I'd rather have too many that too few anyhow!
As for the actual coding of this system, I'm happy to report that the bulk of it was finished over a year ago, in the inital development cycle we went through before reopening. Final tweaks and testing remain, as well as a final decision on the rules, prices, and errata.
I hope to have this code in place within the next two weeks, possibly sooner.
Ah, and before I forget - we WILL be offerring a few things for guilds that are heavy into roleplaying, but I'll save that for a later update.
<B>Shevarash -- Code Forger of Sojourn3
Updates and notes from the development staff.
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