I know, I’m on a posting spree.
I’m in the middle of reading an article from Massively, interviewing En Masse (TERA) about the political system of TERA. So far, there’s a lot of work going into this. It’s player driven and provides all of the power, wealth, and fame that usually comes along with political fame. The position up for grabs? The Vanarch, provincial ruler.
How does one become a Vanarch? Well there are two routes. Gain the popular vote of all the players through honest hard work and campaigning. Though, you will probably be crushed by the shady politics that is taking place without your knowing. Dirty back alley dealings with large guilds is going to be costly and you’d most likely be required to be in a position of power in order to pull it off, aka the leader of another large guild. This could end in disaster for the back-handed politician, as those they bribed may not follow through with their deals.
Here’s where things can get interesting. Top ranked pvp players can take control of a province, regardless of popular vote, and work their way into a full blown coup d’état. There isn’t much specific detail when it comes to this method of achievement, but I would assume the current Vanarch could rally together his allies to repel the rebels. Leading to serious political conflict.
Why is this position so prized? The perks of become supreme ruler of a province. What else? First of the authority given to the Vanarch. They will have control over whether or not their province is free-for-all pvp, restricted duel based pvp, or no pvp at all. They decided whether or not to open specialty shops, the tax rate, and plan events to be held. Then there’s the authority to throw specific individuals in prison (for an undisclosed duration). That one could be abused to no end and I’m uncertain of the specifics around it, but it could also serve to benefit the players in that province. Have a player who is griefing? Ninja looting? Being an all around pain in the neck? Appeal to the Vanarch and have that player thrown into prison. This leads me to wonder if other provinces can extradite players who have outstanding warrants for their arrest. Or if there will be bounties for players… Or… I have no idea, but the potential is there for situations far beyond simply “ruling” over an area.
Of course, a majority of the taxes and profits made from selling specialty items (found in only your province) will give the Vanarch a surplus of wealth. This alone may be reason enough for players to climb their way over their politico rivals.
Finally, the fame! Who would want to be renowned as a great and benevolent ruler? Or possibly a tyrannical fury that sweeps into a land with mighty strength and takes as he (or she) pleases? Aside from the fact that you will already have some notoriety from campaigning or pvp, all players entering your province will be informed of the current ruler. You also acquire distinct mounts for you and your closest allies. The fact that benefits also fall upon the friends of the Vanarch is doubly intriguing. Who can kiss the most hiney and earn those vip spots?
Once a player becomes a Vanarch, how long is he supreme? Well, the standard time-frame is two weeks. It seems that bi-weekly votes are held to establish whether or not your Vanarch should stay in power. This part of the system is called Policy Points (PP). Vanarch’s earn PP through being a good ruler and maintaining the popular vote or through very difficult Vanarch quests. The quests include killing, what En Masse refers to as, a Big-ass Monster (just BAM for short). These BAMs will be very difficult to kill and will require substantial support to deal with. Something a despot will not easily rally, unless he’s supported by a band of villains (or simply an evil guild).
En Masse has thankfully regarded their sandbox addition to TERA as a nesting ground for scum, villainy, and your general abominable acts. Where the corrupt and tight knit guilds will attempt to reign supreme. Thankfully they have several political tools to keep the political system a cutthroat environment, all of which are sadly not ready to be talked about.
The last thing that Massively was able to get out of En Masse was something about a position called the Exarch. A political position that rules over a continent. The plot thickens… >_>
I’m definitely eager to hear more.