Tera's political system opens itself to exploitation, devs close the loophole [UPDATED]
You may recall us reporting on Tera's Vanarch system a while back. It allows players to be elected to a position of power over one of the game's provinces, and do things like set taxes and spawn services like auctioneers for a fee. A recent update threw a wrench into the works when it allowed players to accumulate progress toward Vanarch-hood by PvPing in the zone they seek to rule. This has, apparently, led to certain guilds splitting into two so they can farm each other for points and far outstrip any competitors in the race for control of certain zones.
While the argument could be made that splitting a political faction down the middle and starting a fight for personal gain is just a clever tactic, many Tera players were unhappy that this method of farming for power was possible. Some on the official forums have even gone as far as to say that it could be the death of the game's community. In a response to these concerns, En Masse made it clear that they don't condone this sort of gameplay:
"We are taking these steps to resolve a GvG kill trading exploit a few guilds chose to abuse for the vanarch position. This exploit is achieved using a guild of alts, this behavior is not something we condone.
During the regular maintenance hours tomorrow morning. the GvG score of the few guilds that have abused the system will be reset to 0. We will also be reducing the maximum points that can be earned from an opposing guild per day from 600 to 100 to help with the issue.
As mentioned below, we will continue to monitor the political system and make improvements as needed."
It's an interesting choice, as Tera falls somewhere between the fenced-in fun model of games like WoW, and something along the lines of EVE, where gaming the system is part of the experience. The decision will likely set a precedent that will color how the game is perceived in the MMO community going forward.