Essay: CoPaP Social Dynamics 101
Joining the Confederation of Planes & Planets (CoPaP) is an intriguing prospect to many who come across the notion. However, many of those who come across us are either too afraid of what they do not know about the idea, or are not compatible with it in some way, either by our definition or their own. So what are we about?
On the player level, CoPaP is a group of PW servers connected to each other through portals. These are server vault servers, but they do not share server vaults over a network. Searching on "VaultSTER" will reveal how we do it, but how we physically link is not as important as how we "connect" on a human level. The players of CoPaP are free to go wherever they want within our multiverse consisting of many planes, planets, and one day, wildspace areas. The aim of the project is to create a super large and variable multiverse where players can spend months, even years, exploring and never see the same place twice, and never encounter the same IC cultures if they choose to explore. We aim to put together servers depicting every area of every planet, both official and unofficial, as well as every outer, inner, and transient plane, and the space in between. Impossible? Probably. But it's our goal to get as close as we can.
For players it's very easy. They come. They play. They either like or the don't like. They stay or they leave depending.
But what about the admins? Most likely, what convinces many admins NOT to join CoPaP is what they think of as the logistical nightmare involved in linking their server to a bunch of others. How are classes balanced? How is gold balanced? Ecconomy? How is experience given out? How are DM items given out? What is done with merchants? Will my world's balance be destroyed if I link to these other worlds? And above all.... will I be sacrificing my world's autonomy by doing this?
The first series of questions actually has an easy answer: The Articles of Confederation. This is a document posted here on this site in public view that gives explicit details on all those things above. It tells you what guidelines have to be adhered to on your world in order to be in balance with the rest of us. If you are creating your world with a similar balance, it's VERY easy to implement. If your world operates at a different balance point, then yes, it will be harder. It takes work. No doubt about that. But it CAN be done, and has already been done on 5 linked worlds as of this writing.
Now the second part, autonomy. CoPaP has a staunch standing on protection of autonomy. It's ingrained in our culture, young as it is. World leaders are expected to follow the guidelines for balance, but the day to day runnings of their world are NOT CoPaP-related. In fact, none of the other CoPaP leaders really want to hear about a particular world's minor troubles unless it affects all CoPaP worlds somehow. Each leader is a busy person in their own right, and though we are all willing to lend a hand if asked, we really tend to look after our own affairs. So if you are running your own world hooked up to CoPaP, and one player on your world griefs another player.... it's not a CoPaP issue. You must deal with it how you wish, even if it means banning that player from your world. It's your world. Your call. These situations are also laid out in the Articles of Confederation, and they are most definitely representitive of how it actually works. In fact in several instances, a mishap on one world severely angered players on another, even though it had nothing to do with them. Players demanded action, but as it was cited, the world where the offense occurred was responsible for dealing with it. None other. In that sense, each CoPaP world is *certainly* it's own place. Each has its own team and its own management.
This sense of protection of individuality extends to the tone and feel of each world too. CoPaP goes to great lengths to preserve the tone and feel of its member worlds. If one world is gothic and planar and not conducive to berserking medieval archetypes, then care is taken to control the flow of traffic to that world so as not to mess it up. You would not want an army of drow attacking Krynn for instance. It would ruin the feeling of Krynn. This is the LAST thing CoPaP would stand for, and these points are kept in careful note to make sure that each world stays as it originally intended.
For some worlds, this unfortunately means they cannot join, for their tone and feel is SO incompatible, but luckily this is not true of most D&D settings.
Unification of the playerbase, preservation of balance, tone, and autonomy..... all of these add up to large gains for member worlds. For one thing, CoPaP worlds freely share their code and resources, which cuts down on development time for new worlds. It took us a year and a half to write and debug a core PW system. You are welcome to spend another year and a half doing the same, or you can take our proven system and START with that. Your choice. When you join CoPaP, you are adopted into the ring. For those in our midst, it is our goal to make them grow as much as we can. We want them to be as popular and successful a world as they can be, because when THEY grow, WE grow. Thus, people like me and the other world leaders do all we can to promote YOUR world, and to give it everything it needs to be successful. In return, you are part of the body of people doing the same for others.
When people think about joining a group, they sometimes think the worse. Oppression, fear, anger, losing their identity and freedom. These things are not what CoPaP is about. If they were, you'd see a lot more angry posts on our boards saying as such. However, if any other world leaders would care to chime in here and support this essay, feel free.
CoPaP is about unity in players with autonomy in staff to produce a great experience for those who build it and those who play it.
Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:05 am