Avalon is either in a "development" or a "refinement" phase. The "development" phases are few but, like marmite, you either love them or hate them: the game is in flux as the gamesystem is pro-actively driven to a point of completion which includes major additions, expanding the design paradigm in ways that affect all players. It is invariably disruptive. First play of any new system needs use, feedback, observation, exploitation and revision - often many iterations - before the evolution can be declared "OK". Indeed, as most of the meta games are interdependant, each substantial update in one area likely repercussions into dozens more. It takes a while to unearth them all. 90% of the bugs/issues after "development" phase are of this type.
The "refinement" phase succeeds "development" and has covered most of Avalon's lifespan. This phase is focused on the fine tuning of the gamesystem and additions to the realm perfecting and beautifying and balancing and improving - but within the confines of Avalon's overall design. Many enjoy "development" as it allows players to be part of the creative process and ideas can be immediately incorporated into implementation, contributions can have a profound and defining role. All are welcome to be part of the process. It helps make sure things are done faster and better. Many, however, find it bewildering and infuriating - especially towards the end of a marathon "development" where 'development fatigue' sets in (both for those working on it, and those playing!). The only consolation here is the end-result: the designer knows all that's coming in finished article, some players know enough to be confident, some must rely on faith. It is understandable there will be complaint and concern - especially from those who've less reason to trust in our commitment.
The design is evolved with tender loving care from smallest to largest evolution, working to a vast consideration of variables and gamesystem cross-dependencies. This process is leavened by player driven creativity and every ability in Avalon has the touch of a dozen players (usually more).
Everything in Avalon - the crucible (the sum of all its parts) and the event (the conditions of a single moment) - aims to stay true to simple founding principles: a challenging competition played through the prism of the world's five META games: combat, warfare, politics, wealth and adventure. Not simplistic. Not in a vacuum. Not devoid of passion or consequences. Winning means losers and both must feel it else Avalon isn't doing its job and the protagonists aren't giving of themselves to the contest.
Our core balance and challenge is defined by how innovative, brave and prepared a player is with a sprinkling of luck and professional individuality to shape the outcome of any situation. The overarching design of Avalon is held by the divine but the lived experience of Avalon is the most vital aspect of any balancing and the constructive input of front line players an essential part of that process.
Avalon prides itself on the visceral and emotional element that its game-play engenders. The most active and potent players are invariably the ones who utilise new aspects the fastest and to the greatest effect. What seems overpowered in one sense may merely have either an unknown counter or an element of defence which is not functioning quite as intended. Ignoring obvious professional strategic situational or prepared advantage, any element of the world which seems grossly unfair should be viewed through a simple questions:
Am I thinking through the lens of the subjective experience of suffering under a perceived imbalance or experiencing something "too good to be true"?
Either answer is reason enough to initiate an honest and measured discussion with the administrative team. Your observations will always be welcome and keep in mind any lack of immediate reaction will be down to busy or attention elsewhere and NOT disinterest; never that. The ultimate goal we share, friend or foe, god or mortal, is to improve the lived experience of all Avalonians.
This is a game. It should be enjoyed most of the time. It should be gripping and the emotional peaks and troughs you feel, once fully embroiled, should be as intense as possible. Enjoyment is important but Avalon must stay true to itself and the realm must be a crucible of passions where player action fans the flame of 'star-crossed' storylines, your own included. Courage, cowardice, care, cruelty, creativity, commitment; and consequences evaded only by cutting the connection entirely. We understand this type of game isn't for everyone but it is and will always be Avalon's raison d'etre.
The motivation for "development" is nothing short of ensuring the challenge stays worthy of your time and effort and hard-won expertise not just for months or years but decades to come.
See also HELP GAME, HELP FOUNDING, HELP AIMS, HELP META and for those interested in articles recent and further back in time: HELP TWENTIETH, HELP CREATORS, HELP WHODID, HELP ROLE, HELP SECONDS, HELP HONESTY, HELP ONCE, HELP TAO and HELP APPOINTMENT.