One of the many intriguing features of action MMO Tera is the ability for players to be elected "Vanarch" of any of the game's zones, and it's kicking off right now. These elected player officials will preside over their domains for three-week terms, able to make decisions such as enabling or disabling open PvP and how much of the gold you earn is taxed to support the state.
To run for Vanarch of a province (a small group of connected zones), a player must be Level 50, leader of a Level 3 guild with at least 20 members, and pay 3000 gold and 100 Catharnach awards (a currency for buying guild perks.) Registration will be open for one week (May 18-25 for the first cycle.) The following week, each player will have one vote to cast per province for the registered candidate of their choice. The three-week Vanarch term overlaps with the registration and election cycle, so aspiring career politicians will have one week off before having to prep for the next election.
If you're lucky enough to be elected, some of your powers will include:
- The ability to tax all NPC vendor transactions, such as those shiny, shiny crystals , (minimum 1%) and spend the earned gold for the good of your realm... or just pocket it in true politician style.
- Disable open PvP on a zone-by-zone basis on PvP servers. (Players will still be able to flag for voluntary PvP.)
- Earn "Policy Points" when people praise your guild, which can be spent to open up specialty vendors and services normally restricted to capital cities (class trainers, auction house access, etc.)
- Broadcast propoganda across your entire realm via a special chat channel.
The campaigning has already begun, with hub cities like Velika filled with cries of "Vote for (Insert Anime-inspired character name here)!" Ocean, a player on the Valley of the Titans PvP server, has been advertising his campaign on the official forums . He is running on a platform to turn off PvP in some of the game's lower-level areas. "I, like many other guild leaders of TERA have friends and members who are a low level," his manifesto states. "I believe it is unfair to the community in general to have level 60s roaming low level areas slaying new players, and thus I vow to protect the lowbies from such incidents."
Some are not so happy with this idea, presenting an intriguing alternative. Forum poster Philosonaught suggests that, instead of turning off PvP, Vanarchs should raise the tax rate and use the extra coin to hire player PvP militias. Said civil servants would patrol their liege's zones and attack anyone who tries to prey on low-level characters. This idea evokes many intriguing possibilities on how the political system could evolve beyond the game mechanics built for it.
What would you do if you were given reign over a nation in an MMO?